Page images
PDF
EPUB

ancestors seldom neglected to proclaim this great though too easily forgotten truth even on the walls of their banqueting chambers and the cups for their wassail, thus enforcing the necessity of hourly preparation.'

The wainscotting of the noble west drawing-room is panelled, and the ceiling has pendent drops and moulded Gothic tracery, within the involved forms of which, among other insignia, the form of a cockatrice is frequently repeated. The cockatrice was a bearing of the Mudge family, and was doubtless displayed by Sir William More in affectionate remembrance of Margaret, his mother, who was the daughter and heir of Walter Mudge, Esq. The chimney-piece, of elaborate design, and in good preservation, consists of an upper and lower division, the latter Corinthian, composed of two columns and a bracket on each side, sustaining a very florid entablature. Below each bracket is a caryatid figure, and the whole is based on high pedestals, enriched with festoons and other sculptures. The upper division, or mantel, is bounded at the sides by brackets and grotesque caryatides supporting a rich fascia and cornice. In the intermediate panelling are displayed the heraldic bearings of the Mores, etc.

Emblazoned shields of arms also enrich the glazing of the mullioned windows of this room, which forms one of the examples in Nash's Mansions of England in the Olden Time. It is also engraved in Brayley's History of Surrey," from

1 To this carefully compiled Topographical History, produced by the enterprise and taste of Mr. Robert Best Ede, the well-known printer

Wch makes my thoughts the tacks ther to knock,

And by ay turning courses them to chase.
Yea, in the circuit of that restles space

Tyme takes the stage to see them turne alwaies,
Whilst careles fates doth just desires disgrace,

And brings me shades of nights for shynes of dayes ;
My heart her bell, on which disdaine assaies

Ingratefully to hamber on ye same,
And, beating on the edge of truth, bewraies

Distempered happe to be her proper name.
But here I stay-I feare supernall powers :

Unpoised hambers strikes untymelie howers.” In the appendix to the Ambulator, twelfth edition, 1820, we find : On the stairs in the gallery is a large allegorical picture, representing at one end the effect of an honourable and virtuous life ; at the other, the consequence of vice and debauchery. At the bottom, in the centre, is a chariot drawn by two oxen; the driver is an old man with a crutch, with death at his back, and the motto, Respice finem.Several other mottoes are inscribed on this picture.'

Among the early apartments at Loseley, the most elaborate is the west drawing-room, a splendid example of the decorative style of the early part of Queen Elizabeth's reign. On its enriched cornice is the Rebus of the More family, a mulberry tree intersecting the motto, 'Morus tarde Moriens Morum cito Moriturum.'

Mr. Kempe, in his Loseley Manuscripts, considers this motto as implying that the family stock, like the mulberry tree, should be of long endurance, but that its individual descendants, like the fruit, should be the common lot of mortality--be subject to speedy decay. The piety of our

[ocr errors]

ancestors seldom neglected to proclaim this great though too easily forgotten truth even on the walls of their banqueting chambers and the cups for their wassail, thus enforcing the necessity of hourly preparation.'

The wainscotting of the noble west drawing-room is panelled, and the ceiling has pendent drops and moulded Gothic tracery, within the involved forms of which, among other insignia, the form of a cockatrice is frequently repeated. The cockatrice was a bearing of the Mudge family, and was doubtless displayed by Sir William More in affectionate remembrance of Margaret, his mother, who was the daughter and heir of Walter Mudge, Esq. The chimney-piece, of elaborate design, and in good preservation, consists of an upper and lower division, the latter Corinthian, composed of two columns and a bracket on each side, sustaining a very forid entablature. Below each bracket is a caryatid figure, and the whole is based on high pedestals, enriched with festoons and other sculptures. The upper division, or mantel, is bounded at the sides by brackets and grotesque caryatides supporting a rich fascia and cornice. In the intermediate panelling are displayed the heraldic bearings of the Mores, etc. Emblazoned shields of arms also enrich the glazing of the mullioned windows of this room, which forms one of the examples in Nash's Mansions of England in the Olden Time. It is also engraved in Brayley's History of Surrey," from

1 To this carefully compiled Topographical History, produced by the enterprise and taste of Mr. Robert Best Ede, the well-known printer

William More, the eldest surviving son of Christopher, was born on January the 30th, 1519-20. He sat in Parliament as member for the borough of Guildford several times in the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, and in that of the latter he was chosen knight of the shire for Surrey; he was also appointed Vice-Admiral of Sussex, the duty of which office was to enforce the rights of the Admiralty on the shores of the district entrusted to his jurisdiction. On the 14th of May 1576, the honour of knighthood was conferred on him by Dudley Earl of Leicester, in the Earl of Lincoln's garden at Pirford, in Surrey, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth, who, on giving him her hand to kiss, told him that he well deserved the honour which she had then conferred upon him.' He may be considered as the founder of Loseley House ; for in 1562 he began to build the central compartment of the mansion, somewhat to the north, probably, of an earlier edifice, some vestiges of which have been placed in the Great Hall of the present building. On the wainscot is a monogram composed of the letters H. K. P., for Henry and Katherine Parr; H. R., the fleur-de-lis, the rose, and the portcullis, with the motto, Dieu et mon Droit,—all evidently executed in the reign of Henry VIIT.

Sir William More died, much respected, on the 20th of July 1600, in the 81st year of his age, and was buried in the family vault at St. Nicholas' Church, Guildford. This gentleman was highly esteemed by Queen Elizabeth, who visited him at Loseley in the years 1577, 1583, and 1594,

and probably also on one or two other occasions. He was a firm supporter of the Protestant religion; and in 1570 the safe keeping of Henry Wriothesley, second Earl of Southampton, who had been subjected to restraint as a suspected Papist, was entrusted to him; and the Earl, in consequence, became his prisoner-guest at Loseley for nearly three years.

Among the manuscripts at Loseley several letters are extant respecting the arrangements for the Queen's visits, and the caution that was taken to prevent Her Majesty being exposed to any infectious disease during her progresses. In a letter dated from the Court at Oatlands in August 1583, Sir Christopher Hatton informs Sir William More that ‘Her Matie hath an intention about ten or twelve days hence to visit yor House by Guylford, and to remayne theere some foure or fyve dayes, wch I thought good to advertise you of, that in the meane whyle you might see every thinge well ordered, and your House kept sweate and cleane, to receave her Hygnes whensoever she shal be pleased to

Sir Christopher was at that time the Queen's chamberlain.

How highly Sir William More stood in the Queen's favour may be inferred from a letter sent to him by his daughter Elizabeth, who was one of the ladies of Her Majesty's Privy Chamber.

This letter was apparently written in the autumn of 1595, but is not dated, and includes the following passage in reference to Sir William, the spelling modernized :

—Since my coming to the Court, I

see it.'

« PreviousContinue »