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in armour, et. 22. He has likewise rebuilt lord Loughborough's hospital, on a more convenient spot. In lady Cobham's time, Mr. Gray, whose aunt resided in the village, often visited Stoke Park, and, in 1747, it was the scene of his poem called, A Long Story; in which the style of the building in Elizabeth's reign is admirably described, and the fantastic manners of her time delineated with equal truth and humour.
The churchyard must ever be interesting, as the scene of Mr. Gray's celebrated Elegy; and, at the east end of it, he is interred; but without even a stone to record his exit. In an adjoining field Mr. Penn has erected a monument with the following inscription:
“ This monument, in honour of Thomas Gray, was erected A. D. 1799, among the scenery celebrated by that great lyric and elegiac poet. IIe died in 1771, and lies unnoticed in the adjoin. ing churchyard; under the tombstone on which he piously and pathetically recorded the interment of his aunt and much la. mented mother.”
In this parish is the handsome seat of the late field marshal Sir George Howard, K. B. now belonging to general Vyse; and, at the west end of the village, the neat residence of the rev. Dr. Browning.
Taplow, near Maidenhead, is twenty-five miles from London. It is finely elevated above the Thames, is distinguished by its noble woodlands and picturesque appearance, and is adorned with many handsome houses. Taplow House, the antient seat of the late marquis of Thomond, stands on the summit of the hill. On a fine eminence in the park, is an oak, said to have been planted by queen Elizabeth, when in confinement here. pect,” says Mr. Ireland, “ that it must at that period have been of sufficient growth to afford ample shade to her majesty, which could pot have been the case had she planted it herself. It is the noble remains of a very aged tree,
66 Whose antique root peeps out 66 Upon the brook that brawls along the wood !" This delightful village is adorned with handsome houses.
66 But I sus
CLIFDEN House, formerly the seat of the countess of Orkney, and built by George Villiers, second duke of Buckingham; it came by purchase to the earl of Orkney. It was a favourite residence of his royal bighness Frederick, prince of Wales. This stately mansion, which had a noble terrace in front, supported by arches, was totally destroyed by fire, on the 20th of May, 1795, together with all the furniture and paintings, and the fine tapestry hangings, re. presenting the victories of the great duke of Marlborough, in which the earl of Orkney himself had a conspicuous share *.
GREAT MARLOW is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Thames, over which a new wooden bridge was erected by subscription of the nobility and gentry in the neighbourhood in 1789: the inhabitants have likewise paved the foot-paths of the town by voluntary subscriptions. The chief manufacture of the place is black silk lace, and paper.
The town lies under the Chiltern hills, in a marly soil ; it is a considerable borough, though not incorporated, and
Pope has commemorated this place, in the celebrated lines, in whieh he records the wretched end of its founder:
In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half-hung,
has a handsome church and town hall, with a charity school for twenty boys, who are taught and clothed.
This borough sent fourteen times to parliament before the 3d Edw. II. and then ceased sending for four hundred years, until it was restored 21 James I. when it began again to send members. The right of election was resolved to be in those only who pay scot and lot. The returning officers are the constables.
The Thames brings goods bither from the neighbouring towns, especially great quantities of meal and malt from High Wycomb, and beech from several parts of the county, which abounds with this wood more than any in England. In the neighbourhood are frequent horse-races; and here are several corn and paper mills, particularly on the river Loddon, between this town and High Wycomb. It has two fairs, one on the 29th of October and two following days, for horses, cattle, hops, cloathing, and toys; also a statute for hiring servants: and the other on the 1st and 2d of May for cattle and toys. Market day is Saturday. There are two good inns in the town, one, the Upper Crown, the post and excise office, the other the Lower Crown.
The manor, which originally belonged to the earls of Mercia, was given by William I. to queen Matilda ; it was bestowed by Henry I. on his natural son Robert, earl of Glocester, from whom it descended through the noble families of Clare, Despencers, Beauchamp, and Neville, when it reverted to the crown till Mary I. granted it to William lord Paget; it afterwards came by purchase to Sir Humphrey Winch, lord Falkland, Sir James Etheridge, Sir John Guise, and Sir William Clayton ; whose descendant, Sir William Clayton, bart. is the present proprietor: his house at Harleyford, beautifully situated on the banks of the Thames, was built after a design of Sir Robert Taylor.
WIDMER formerly belonged to the Knights Templars; part of the manor house, (now a farm, is very antient. The chapel is desecrated to a brewhouse.
The parish church of Marlow contains a fine screen of chalk, with Gothic tracery, and a monument to the me
mory of Sir Miles Hobart, one of the members for the borough, who was killed by the overturning of bis coach in going down Holborn Hill, 1632. Also for the families of Clayton, Chase, &c. Among the curious brasses is one for the children of Sir John Salisbury, 1383. Part of the antient rectory house, appropriated to the abbot and convent of Tewkesbury by Russell, bishop of Lincoln, in 1494, is still standing; the great hall is now used as a kitchen. Anthony Ellys, bishop of St. David's, was vicar of Marlow in 1753. The register book exbibits lamentable and horrid specimens of civil war; among the churchwardens accounts appears the sum of five shillings paid to the ringers, when the unfortunate Charles I. passed through the town as a prisoner in 1647!
The second department of the Royal Military College for the instruction of such who at early age, are ivtended for the military profession, has been placed at Marlow for some years; and is intended io remain here, till its final removal to Sandhurst, in Berkshire.
LITTLE Marlow, two miles north-east of Great Marlow, had formerly a small convent of Benedictine nups founded before the reign of king John. The manor belonged to the family of Borlace. Sir John Borlace, bart. died in 1688, leaving a daughter married to Arthur Warren, whose great grandson, admiral Sir John Borlace Warren, bart. K. B. sold the manor in 1781 to the guardians of William Lee Antonie, Esq. M. P. (then a minor) the present proprietor, and patron of the vicarage.
The parish church contains an altar tomb with brass plates, for Nicholas Ledwich, founder of the church or chancels; he died 1430. Also memorials for the families of Chase and Warren. The present vicar is the rev. Thomas Nartyn, regius professor of botany at Cambridge.
WYCON is also called CHIPPING WYCOMB, from cwm, a British word for valley. It is a large handsome town, consisting of one great street, branching out into divers small ones,
It is full of good houses and inns, being a great thorough. fare from London to Oxford, twenty-nine miles from London; and has a market on Fridays, which is plentifully supplied with fish, flesh, and other provisions; besides a fair on September 25. It is seated on a small river which passes through a fine valley to the Thames.
The many antiquities discovered near this town, parti. cularly a tescillated pavement, coins of Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, &c. have induced a supposition that this was a Roman town; it was however inhabited by the Saxons. There is a strong double intrenchment in the neighbour. hood, denominated Desborough Castle, probably designed by the Saxons as a refuge during the incursions of the Danes.
Wycombe was certainly considered as the property of queen Editha, consort of Edward the Confessor. It was during the short reign of his successor Harold II. held by Wigod, lord of Wallingford, whose daughter having married Robert D'Oyley, one of the followers of William I. these domains became his property. Milo Crispin, and afterwards Brian Fitz-Count, having successively married the daughter and heiress of D'Oyley, she and her second husband assumed religious habits; in consequence of which Henry II. took possession of their estate, which he be: stowed on his natural son Geoffrey, archbishop of York. This manor afterwards became the property of Alan, lord Basset of Wycombe, from whose family it became the property of the De Spensers, and reverted to the crown by their attainder in 1326. This manor, which had taken the name of Bassetbury, afterwards passed to William de Bohun, and in 1421, reverted to the crown. Edward IV. gave it to the church of Windsor, from which it was leased by the family of Dashwood, and Sir John Dashwood King, bart. is
the present lessee.
The other manors are Teniple Wycombe, so called because it belonged antiently to the Knights Templars, afterwards came into the possession of the family of Petty, earls of Vol. V. No. 120.