Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

CHISLEHURST, was antiently an appurtenance to Dart. ford, and descended in the same line as that manor to Sir Thomas Walsingham, of Scadbury. It passed, by heirs female, to the honourable Thomas Townshend, whose grandson, lord viscount Sydney, the present owner, occasionally resides at Frognal, now called SYDNEY'S LODGE. The CHURCH, dedicated to St. Nicholas, contains various monuments of the Walsingham, Betenson, Bertie, and other eminent families. The celebrated Sir PHILIP WARWICK, knt. author of the “ Memoires;" and who, in 1646, was appointed one of the commissioners to treat for the surrender of Oxford; and Sir RICHARD ADAMS, knt. baron of the exchequer, who died in March, 1774, have also memorials here.

SCADBURY, though now occupied as a farm, was the birth place of those eminent statesmen, Sir FranCIS WALSINGHAM, (son of William Walsingham, Esq. by Joyce, daughter of Sir Edward Denny), and Sir Nicholas BACON, lord keeper to queen Elizabeth.

Camden Place, had its name from the famous historian and antiquary, William Camden, who is said to have com. posed bis Annals of Elizabeth, while resident here. He died at Chislehurst, in November, 1623; and was carried with great solemnity to the place of his interment in Westminster Abbey. The estate is the property of earl Camden.

Having passed the CRAYS, we arrive at ELTHAM, a considerable village, situated on the high road between London and Maidstone, and extending about three quarters of a mile in length. The'antient name of this place was EaldHAM, the old mansion or dwelling. John de Vesci, one of its lords, procured a grant of a market for this manor : the markets appear to have been discontinued when the palace ceased to have any conveniences for its royal visitors.

This PALACE was, however, for several centuries a favourite retreat of the English sovereigns, to which, probably, its vicinity to the metropolis not a little contributed, as well as the pleasantness of its situation. The manor had

belonged 5

belonged to the crown, even in the times of the Saxoils: William the Conqueror granted it, with many other estate: in this county, to bishop Odo; after the confiscation of whose possessions, by William Rufus, the manor was die i vided between the sovereign, and the noble family of the Magnavilles. Edward I. granted his moiety to John de Vesci, who afterwards obtained the whole by exchange. His son, William de Vesci, had a natural son, also named William, to whom he devised this manor, with the greater part of his other estates; but having appointed Anthony Bec, the warlike bishop of Durham, a trustee under the will, that baughty prelate betrayed his confidence, and obtained possession of Eltham ; where he died, in the year 1311. William de Vesci, the younger, was slain at the battle of Strivelin, in Scotland. It was afterwards said to have been given to Isabel, consort to Edward II. Since that period it has been occasionally granted, and is now held under a lease from the crown by Sir John Gregory Shaw, bart.

When the palace was originally built is unknown; it must, however, have been prior to 1270, when Henry II. kept a grand public Christmas here, accompanied by his queen, and all the great men of the realm. It was the birth place of John of Eltham, son of Edward II. Edward III. held a parliament here in 1329, and another in 1375, when the Commons petitioned him to make his grandson, Richard de Bourdeaux, prince of Wales; and most of the succeeding sovereigns, till the reign of Henry VIII. resided in this palace: on the rise of Greenwich, it was gradually deserted. Edward IV. repaired the palace at great expence; and in the year 1483, kept his Christmas in it in a very magnificent and costly manner, two thousand persons being daily fed at his charge. His daughter Bridget, a nun at Dartford, was born here.

“ The change which the palace of Eltham has undergone, is exceedingly striking. This edifice, the abode of sovereigns, and the birth-place of princes, is now a farm; and the beautiful great hall, where parliaments were held.

and :

and entertainments given in all the pomp of feudal grandeur, is used as a barn for the housing and threshing of corn. The area in which the buildings stand, is surrounded by a high stone wall, that has been partially repaired and strengthened by arches, &c. of brick, and a broad and deep moat, over which are two bridges, nearly opposite to each other, on the north and south sides. The hall is a * most noble remain, measuring one hundred feet in length, by fifty-six broad, and about sixty high. The windows have been extremely elegant, but are now bricked up. The roof is of timber, curiously wrought in the manner of that at Westminster Hall, and richly ornamented with finely carved pendants. Three parks, well provided with deer, and including together upwards of one thousand two hundred acres, were formerly connected with his palace."

The CHURCH, dedicated to St. John Baptist, contains various monuments, but none remarkable. Under the north aisle is the burial place of Sir John Shaw, by whom this part of the edifice was built in the year 1667; he also rebuilt the roof of the nave, which had fallen in whilst the workmen were employed in digging the family vault. In the church-yard is the tomb of the excellent divine, Dr. GEORGE HORNE, bishop of Norwich, who died in 1792. The parish register records the burials of Thomas Dogget, the eminent low comedian, who, dying in 1721, bequeathed a coat and silver badge to be rowed for annually on the 1st of August; and Sir WilLIAM James, bart. of whom an account is given under Shooter's Hill.

The road from Eltham lies through Lee and Lewisham, (already described) to the Kent Road, and to the metro. polis; which ends the first portion of the Circuit.

SURREY. THE COUNTY OF SURREY, has not an equal boast with that of Kent, either in the nature of its soil, its beauties,

* Beauties of England. Vol. V. No. 113.

Nn

or

or its productions. It is bounded by Middlesex on the north, by Kent on the east, by Sussex on the south, and by Hants and Berkshire on the west. Its shape would be nearly a parallelogram, had it not been for its great northern inequalities, the windings of its boundary, the river Thames, and its contraction by the projection of the county of Berks. Surrey is, however, to be reckoned among the middle sized counties, measuring from east to west, thirty-nine miles; and from north to south nearly twenty-five miles, containing in the whole about four hundred and eighty.one thousand nine hundred and fortyseven acres.

It is divided into thirteen hundreds, and contains fifteen market towns and boroughs, and has one hundred and fifty parishes in the diocese of Winchester, and province of Canterbury. The county sends fourteen members to parliament, two knights of the shire, and two members for each of the following boroughs: Guildford, Southwark, Haslemere, Ryegate, Bletchingly, and Gatton; and pays eighteen parts out of five hundred and thirteen of the land-tax; providing also eight hundred men .for the na. tional militia.

Surrey received its present name from the Saxon Suct and Rea, on the south of the river; indicating its situation on the south of the Thames. Its inhabitants, in conjunction with those of Hants, were denominated Regni by the Romans. During the Saxon Heptarchy it constituted part of the kingdom of Sussex, and so continued till England was embodied into one kingdom by king Egbert.

The parts of this county in the more immediate vicinity of the capital, are in general most delightful, the various parts being beautifully diversified with hills, vallies, and woods. lo many places the air is exceedingly mild and healthy, which is the reason why there are so many elegant seats belonging to the gentry and citizens of London. The soil is fertile, and produces large crops of corn and hay, together with great quantities of very valuable wood, par. ticularly box and walnut. It is also remarkable for pro

ducing

dacing large quantities of Fullers earth, an article very useful to the makers of woollen cloth.

The great proportion of waste land in Surrey, is, howe ever, such a deformity, that it cannot be said to rank with some of the finer cultured counties. The vast heaths, commons, and fen wastes, in the interior, produce a bleak and barren appearance, and degenerate into open downs, sandy, and steril, except when broken by a few fertile and pleasant spots *. It is, on the whole, a dry country, its soil being composed of chalk and gravel ; whence it is generally healthy, and, where cultivated, pleasant.

The principal rivers in Surrey are, the THAMES; the Wey, which rising near Alton in Hampshire, enters this county on the west of Godalming, whence it becomes na. vigable, and continues its course northward to. Woking, where it divides itself into two branches, which afterwards form one stream at Weybridge, where it falls into the Thames. Pope distinguishes this river as,

“ The chalky Wey, that rolls a milky wave.” The Mole rises near Oakley, and after running eastward along the coast of Sussex, turns north-west, and passing Dorking, hides itself for some distance under ground. Hence Pope calls it,

The sullen Mole that hides his diving flood ! The accurate fact is, that a tract of soft ground, near two miles in length, called the Swallows, in very dry seasons, absorbs the waste water in caverns in the sides of the banks; but not 'so as to prevent a constant, though diminished stream from taking its course in an open channel above ground, winding round in the vallies from Dorking to Leatherhead; though not of that breadth as when it crosses the road at Mickleham; beyond which, at Burford Bridge, its channel, in very hot seasons, is sometimes dry.

* It is computed that the commons and wastes in this county, amount to ninety-six thousand acres, capable of improvement. NO2

The

« НазадПродовжити »