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once strong and memorable castle.' When Walpole visited the spot in 1763, he wrote: “The castle is totally ruined. The mount on which the keep stood, two doorcases, and a piece of the moat, are all the remains. Near it are a front and two projections of an ancient house, which, by the arms about it, I suppose was part of the palace of Richard and Cicely, Duke and Duchess of York. ... You may imagine we were civil enough to the Queen of Scots, to feel a pity for her while we stood on the very spot where she was put to death.'
During the rest of the reign of Elizabeth the castle is passed over unnoticed, and was probably uninhabited; but in the first year of James i. it was granted to Charles Lord Mountjoy, created afterwards Earl of Devonshire; Sir Edward Blount, Knt.; and Joseph Garth, Esq. Upon the death of the Earl, four years after, the two other proprietors conveyed the castle and lordship to his natural son, Mountjoy, who was afterwards created Earl of Newport. In 1625, the last year of the reign of James 1., the castle was surveyed, and is described as
very strong, built of stone, and moated about with a double moat.' The great barn and part adjoining were in 1821 tenanted by a farmer. On the east side of what was then the dwelling-house was a Gothic doorway, the only fragment of original architecture on the premises.
· Historic Notices, by the Rev. H. K. Bonney ; a book wrought with the most trustworthy materials, including an unpublished record of Dugdale.
Soon after this survey, we gather from Mr. Bonney's Notices, the castle seems to have been consigned to ruin ; for Sir Robert Cotton, who lived at that time, purchased the hall in which the Queen of Scots was beheaded, and removed it to Connington, in Huntingdonshire. The stone of other parts was purchased by Robert Kirkham, Esq., to build a chapel in his house at Fineshade, in the neighbourhood; and the last remains of the castle were destroyed in the middle of the eighteenth century, for the purpose of improving the navigation of the Nen. There is a tale of Fotheringhay having been destroyed by order of James I., on account of its having been the scene of his mother's sufferings; but this has been disproved, although it was long believed that the Talbot Inn at Oundle, which is evidently of the age of James 1., was built with the stone from the castle.
In June 1820, the earth on the eastern side of the mount on which the keep stood was removed, when the workmen laid open one of the servants' apartments on the western side of the castle court, and part of the pavement of Norman bricks could be traced. About the same time, in the earth outside the fortification, were found a groat of Edward 11. and a shilling of Edward iv.
Mr. Brooke's visit to Fotheringhay in 1858 gives us this brief but minute account of the aspect of this very interesting historic site : ‘Sufficient remains of the earthworks and ramparts of the castle are yet there to show that it was built in the form of a fetterlock, with a flat face or portion on the side (westward) nearest to the village, and circular on the eastward portion. A very small mass of masonry, a few feet long, lies near the river, and seems to have slipped or been thrown down from the outer wall.'
The events of Mary's life have been minutely discussed by a host of writers. The site we have here described was the closing scene of this most unfortunate of sovereigns. The opposite views of the several authors have led to a protracted controversy as to the guilt of Mary in her ambitious schemes. Of late years evidences from forgotten archives have thrown a flood of light upon her dark career; and the Simancas papers and the collection at Hatfield have been adduced for the first time, and proved of great importance and interest. These novel materials Mr. Froude has ably digested in his valuable History of England. Of Mary Stuart's history he takes a most unfavourable view. Entirely unprincipled, save in her fidelity to the Church of Rome, which led her into conspiracy against her cousin Elizabeth, Mary was not habitually vicious or depraved. But her passions were strong; and when they were once aroused, no obstacle either of virtue or of fear could turn her from her purpose. Her energy, her fiery strength of will, were perhaps unequalled in the history of woman. “There are only two views which can be entertained of Mary Stuart's character,' says an impartial reviewer. Either she was the most curiously and extraordinarily unfortunate woman who ever lived, or she was a foul adulteress and murderess, who lured her husband to his death with circumstances of
peculiar treachery and baseness. Mr. Froude has convinced the large majority of his readers that the latter view is the true one. The broad facts of the case point unquestionably to the worst conclusion. Nor can it be well denied, that if Mary had been old and ugly, and had died in her bed, probably not a single voice would have been raised in her defence. Her beauty, her misfortunes, the injuries which she received at the hands of her rival, and her early and tragical death (at the age of forty-five), have thrown a halo of romance round her name which has raised
defenders of her innocence ; but they have been persons led by the heart and not by the head.' Their number must be greatly reduced by evidence recently. produced ; and if Mary Stuart was innocent, no conclusion can be considered worthy of reliance.
The few fragments which remain of this palace and prison can only be duly appreciated by the archæologist. It is not a little curious, that of so celebrated an edifice in its entirety, not a view exists, or is of extreme rarity. Even a large folio history of the county represents but a few stones.
TRADITIONS OF WALLINGTON AND THE
N the time of Henry VI., there was erected by
William de Strother, in Northumberland, a
border tower named Wallington, which is described in a survey of 1542 as consisting of 'a strong toure and a stone house of the inherytance of Sir John Fenwyeke, in good reparacion.' So profuse was the hospitality kept up here, as to become the subject both of song and legend, narrating the frays and frolics that followed a hard day's 'chase. ‘Show us the way to Wallington' is an old and favourite air in the neighbourhood :
Harnham was headless, Bradford breadless,
Shafto picked at the craw;
But Wallington banged them a'.' But this hospitality could not be supported after a frequent residence in London, and the profligate habits of Charles II.'s court encroached too deeply upon the rentals. This led to the sale of the property, and not improbably was the cause of Sir John Fenwicke, its last owner, being implicated