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The reader will not be surprised at further scandal being attached to the family of the Hungerfords, instances of whose degradation we have just recorded. Hence has arisen the popular story of the device of a toad having been introduced into their armorial bearings; but we are assured that this report is in every way nonsensical. * Argent, three toads sable,' says the Rev. Mr. Jackson, 'is certainly one of their old quarterings, as may be seen upon one of the monuments in the chapel at Farley Castle. But it was borne by the Hungerfords for a very different
Robert the second Lord, who died in 1459, had married the wealthy heiress of the Cornish family of Bottreaux; and this was one of the shields used by her family, being in fact nothing more than an allusion, not uncommon in heraldry, to the name. This was spelled variously, Bottreaux or Botterelles ; and the device was probably assumed from the similarity of the old French word Botterel, a toad (see Cotgrave), or the old Latin word Botterella,—the marriage with the Bottreaux heiress, and the assumption of the arms, having taken place many years before any member of the Hungerford family was attainted or executed (as some of them afterwards were), so that the toad story, which is in Defoe's Tour, falls to the ground.'
The town house of the Hungerfords, and which we have already mentioned, was one of the stately mansions which formerly embellished the north bank of the Thames, and stood between York House, and Suffolk, now Northumberland House. The estate had now devolved to Sir Edward
Hungerford, who was principally noted as a spendthrift. He sat in Parliament many years, sold in the same time twenty-eight manors, and ran through a fortune of thirty thousand pounds per annum.
Malcolm is therefore correct in his conjecture as to Sir Edward's waning fortunes inducing him to convert his house and gardens into a public market. One of his extravagant freaks was to give five hundred pounds for a wig which he first wore at the coronation of Charles II. Malcolm tells us that, “influenced by the same motives that prompted his illustrious eastern neighbours, he determined to sacrifice the honours of his ancestors at the shrine of Plutus, and obtained an Act of Parliament in the reign of Charles 11. to make leases of the site of his mansion and grounds, where a market was soon afterwards erected.' This privilege was granted in 1679 ; the market rights were fully established in 1685, when they were granted to Sir Stephen Fox and Sir Christopher Wren, who became proprietors of the market estate. The vainglory of the Hungerfords was not, however, forgotten in the market-house ; for in a niche on the north side was placed a bust of Sir Edward Hungerford in the 500-guinea wig. Beneath was this inscription :
• Forum utilitate publicae per quam necessariam,
Sir Edward did not, however, retrieve his fallen fortunes : he is said to have lived for the last thirty years of his life on
charity, and died at the advanced age of 115! By him Farleigh was sold in 1686 to the Bayntons, and it next came into the possession of the Houltons, in which family it still remains. They did not, however, take up their abode in the old castle of the Hungerfords, but at a house in a different part of the parish, adding a park and picturesque grounds.
The next record of the Hungerford family shows a member of it in a more favourable light than his predecessors, but strikingly illustrates the transitoriness of human exist
The spendthrift Sir Edward had an only son, Edward, to whom is dedicated the volume entitled Humane Prudence, consisting of quaint maxims and sentences, edited by 'W. de Britaine.' Edward Hungerford was not only heir to a noble fortune, but by a very early marriage, at the age of nineteen, with Lady Alathæa Compton, became entitled, had they both lived, to still larger possessions. You have,' says the 'dedication, 'made a fair progress in your studies beyond your years. “The nobleness of your stock is a spur to virtue.' “As much as you excel others in fortune,' etc. Such phraseology could only be addressed to some young man of good family and great prospects. But Sir Edward's son died in September 1681, aged twenty, and the Humane Prudence did not appear till 1682, which renders it doubtful whether Sir Edward's son was the person to whom the book was dedicated.
Here our glances at the chequered fortunes of the Hungerfords must end. Aubrey has this quaint regret for this
family decadence. In his Miscellanies he points to the place for its “local fatality,' telling us : “The honourable family of the Hungerfords is probably of as great antiquity as any in the county of Wilts. Hungerford (the place of the barony) was sold but lately by Sir Edward Hungerford, Knight of the Bath, as also the noble and ancient seat of Farleigh Castle. But that this estate should so long continue is not very strange; for it being so vast, 'twas able to make several withstandings against the shock of fortune.'
John Britton, in his Autobiography, tells us the Hungerford family possessed numerous estates, manors, and mansions, in the counties of Wilts, Berks, Somerset, Gloucester, etc. “Though, at the zenith of its prosperity, the Hungerford genealogical tree spread its branches over a wide tract of territory, it had dwindled almost to nothing in my boyish days, and was said to have had one of its last distant female representatives in Chippenham, near the end of the last century.' Mr. Jackson, in the Wiltshire Magazine, describes two chapels founded by the Hungerfords in the cathedral of Salisbury; a redeeming record wherewith to close our Hungerfordiana.
THE HOUSE OF FERRERS.
HE very ancient and honourable family of Shirley,
of whom Earl Ferrers is the head, has had the
good fortune to be illustrated by an historical narrative, compiled by a distinguished member of its own house. Sir Thomas Shirley of Botolph's Bridge composed three distinct ms. histories of the Shirleys, all of which are preserved in the British Museum. From these records it appears that the Shirleys derive descent from Sasnallo or Sewallus de Etington, whose name, says Dugdale in his Antiquities of Warwickshire, argues him to be of old English stock. He resided at Nether Etington, in the county of Warwick, about the reign of King Edward the Confessor, which place had been the seat of his ancestors, there is reason to believe, for many generations before that period. “After the Conquest,' says Sir Bernard Burke, 'the lordship of Etington was given to Henry Earl of Ferrers, in Normandy, who was one of the principal adventurers with the Norman Duke William, and was held under him by this Sewallus, with whose posterity in the male line it has continued to the present reign; the late Hon. George