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Gncombe House, Dorsetshire;
THE SEAT OF THE
EARL OF ELDON.
ford, Esq., Commt of Devonshire. or it was eve
ENCOMBE is seated in a very deep vale, that opens to the British Channel on the south, and is about a mile and a half south-west from Kingston. It seems to take its name from its situation on the extremity of the island of Purbeck, i. e. End-Comb; or, according to Hutchins, from its situation in a Comb or Vale, In-Comb. This estate is one of the best in the island, consisting of arable and pasture, and has, from its fertility, been distinguished by the name of the Golden Bowl. It yields a greater plenty of grass, and more beautiful verdure, than is usually seen in this island.
It is conjectured that this Manor and Hamlet belonged, in ancient times, to Shaston Abbey. In the 32d year of Henry VIII., it was granted to John Lord Zouch, who at the same time had license to alienate it to Sir Thomas Arundel, Knt., and his heirs. After the attainder of Sir Thomas in the 6th year of Edward VI., this Manor and that of Remmescomb were granted to John Bourchier, Lord Fitzwarren, to be held in chief by service of the fortieth part of a fee; and in the same year he had license to alienate Encombe to Robert Culliford and his heirs. In 7th Edward VI., it was granted to Margaret, wife of Sir Thomas Arundel, in confirmation of her dower for life. But this does not seem to have taken place, for it was ever after the property and seat of the Cullifords, a family that came out of Devonshire.
William Culliford, Esq., Commissioner of the Customs in Scotland, died without issue in 1723, and was succeeded in the possession of Encombe by his brother Robert, who died in 1728. In the 7th year of George II., an act was passed for the sale of this Manor and Farm; soon after which it was purchased by Mrs. Lora Pitt, who gave to her second son, John Pitt, Esq.: from him Encombe came into the possession of his son, William Morton Pitt, Esq., who, a few years back, disposed of it to its present noble owner.
The ancient seat of the Cullifords being much decayed, was entirely pulled down about 1734 by Mr. Pitt; who on the same spot erected a most elegant Mansion of Purbeck stone, laid out the grounds with great taste, and made extensive plantations. It has a fine view of the British Channel, and is esteemed one of the most beautiful and romantic situations in this part of the kingdom. The facade of the building, as seen in the annexed Plate, presents a centre with two wings. Each wing consists of two sections; the roof of one having gables with globular ornaments; the other bordered with an embrasured parapet. The wings are joined to the centre by a short corridor, having in front four columns of the Doric order.
John Scott, Earl of Eldon, Viscount Encombe, of Encombe in the county of Dorset, and Baron Eldon, of Eldon in the county of Durham, was born on the 4th of June, 1751, at Newcastle-uponTyne, in which place his father carried on the business of a merchant. Applying himself to the study of the law, his Lordship was admitted a member of the Society of the Middle Temple in 1772, and rose through the different gradations of office to its highest honours. Lord Eldon was called to the bar in 1776; elected Member of Parliament for Weobly in 1783; appointed Solicitor-General and knighted in 1788; Attorney-General in 1793; Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in July, 1799, and at the same time raised to the Peerage by the title of Baron Eldon. His Lordship was, in 1801, appointed Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain: this high office he resigned in February, 1806, but was re-appointed in April, 1807. Upon the demise of the late King, George III., his Lordship delivered up the great seal into the hands of His present Majesty, who was graciously pleased to entrust it again to his Lordship’s custody; and on the 6th July, 1821, as a further mark of royal approbation, His Majesty was pleased to advance him to the dignity of Viscount Encombe, in the county of Dorset, and Earl of Eldon. On the 1st of May, 1827, Lord Eldon once more resigned his office of Lord High Chancellor, after having held that distinguished post nearly twenty-five years, a far longer period than any of his predecessors.
As long as sterling ability, strict integrity, and impartial decision, are considered as the distinguishing characteristics of a sound Lawyer and conscientious Judge, so long will the name of Eldon conspicuously shine forth. As a principal member of the administration of public affairs, during one of the most eventful and glorious periods of English history, bis Lordship has a peculiar claim upon the gratitude of his country, which all good men, and sincere friends to our present constitution in church and state, will readily acknowledge.
Encombe is a favourite residence of its noble possessor; and here at intervals, removed from the busy scene of official life, his Lordship was accustomed to relax his mind and to recruit his health.
Lord Eldon married Elizabeth, daughter of Aubone Surtees, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Esq., by whom he has issue. His grandson, John, commonly called Viscount Encombe, is his Lordship's successor. Motto :-Sit sine labe decus.
Milton Abbas, Dorsetshire ;
THE SEAT OF THE RIGHT HON.
LADY CAROLINE DAMER.
-- nom its ancient Lords the Abhote
The town of Milton, originally Middleton, stands in the very centre of the county of Dorset, and takes the adjunct of Abbas from its ancient Lords the Abbots. According to Domesday-book, we learn that in the time of the Conqueror, the Manor of Middleton belonged to the Abbey which was founded by the Saxon King, Athelstan. Previous to the Conquest, the whole Parish was held in chief of the King by the Monastery; the only service required in return being Prayers for the souls of him and his successors. In order to render churchmen more dependent on the Crown, the Conqueror seized all Church Lands held in frank almoigne into his own hands, but soon after made a fresh grant of them to be held of him by knights' service in chief. .
In the reign of Henry VIII., upon the dissolution of monasteries, the site of the house of Milton Abbas, with other demesnes, was granted to John Tregonwell, Esq. in consideration of £1000, and forfeiture of a pension of £40 per annum; to be held in chief by knights' service, as the tenth part of a knight's fee. His cousin and heir, named likewise John, who died in the 28th of Elizabeth, had livery of the premises mentioned in the aforesaid grant. To him succeeded his son, who compounded for his estate in the sum of £3735, for deserting the Parliament, and residing in the King's quarters.
Sir Jacob Bancks, a native of Sweden, who married Mary, daughter of John Tregonwell, Esq., and relict of Francis Lutterell, Esq., possessed this estate in right of his wife, and transmitted it upon his death, in 1724, to his second son, Jacob Bancks, Esq. This gentleman dying intestate in 1737, several claimants for the property rose up, the principal of whom were, Mr. Tregonwell, of Anderson, who claimed as heir to Mr. Bancks on the mother's side, and Mr. Strachan, as heir on the father's side. Betwixt these parties a law-suit was commenced, and, after considerable litigation, the affair was compromised, and Mr. Strachan remained possessor of the property. To secure himself against other claimants, Mr. Strachan procured an Act of Parliament to obviate doubts that might arise on an Act made in the 12th year of the reign of William III., to enable natural born subjects to inherit the estates of their ancestor, either lineal or collateral, though their father and mother were aliens. In 1752, Mr. Strachan sold this Mansion and Estate to Joseph Damer, Esq., created Earl of Dorchester in 1792.
This nobleman, about the year 1771, built the present magnificent Mansion, on the site of the Abbey-House, and a more monastic situation cannot well be conceived. It stands in a valley on a beautiful undulating lawn, surrounded by an amphitheatre of hills, whose summits are crowned with woods planted with great taste. The form of the house is a quadrangle, and it was designed by Sir William Chambers in the pointed style, to correspond as much as possible with the architecture of the Abbey Church. The Abbot's Hall, the only remaining part of the old Monastery, is a good specimen of a monastic refectory, and also of the old style of ornamenting a large room. It is still in its original state, being fifty-three feet six inches long, and twenty-six feet six inches broad. The compass roof is of Irish oak, finely wrought. A stone pilaster that supports the roof bears the date 1498, supposed to be that of its erection. On a piece of stone work that runs across the wall are the arms of different families on stone shields. On an ancient carved wooden screen at the lower end of the Hall, are three niches and two doors : and the same date again occurs. On the south side of the Hall, near the upper end, is an oriel, nineteen feet four inches long, and fourteen feet eight inches broad. From the Hall, a passage leads to the Drawing Room, containing some fine Paintings, a list of which is subjoined. On the same floor are the Dining Parlour, Library, &c. Above is a suit of Rooms neatly furnished, the prevailing colour being pea-green, or French grey, without the glare of ornament or gilding. The paper corresponds with the furniture, being chosen from the chastest patterns.
Lord Dorchester laid out the grounds which surrounded his Mansion with great taste. The drives through the Plantations extend more than ten miles within a ring fence; the Park wall exceeds five miles in length. The approach from Blandford is grand and imposing, through an avenue of laurel-hedges, backed by timber trees.
Sherborne Castle, Dorsetshire ;
THE SEAT OF
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE EDWARD DIGBY,
EARL OF DIGBY, &c.
The body of this noble mansion was built by the famous Sir Walter Raleigh, to whom a grant of Sherborne Castle and Manor was made in 1592, when he was at the height of his prosperity. Sir Walter at first contemplated the restoration of the Castle, the ancient possession of the bishops of Salisbury; but changing his purpose, he laid the foundation of the stately edifice which is represented in the annexed Plate. It did not, however, assume its present appearance until after the Restoration, when the wings were added by the Earl of Bristol, out of the ruins of the ancient castle.
The interior of Sherborne Castle is equally worthy of admiration. The finest room is a Saloon fifty feet long, adorned with several very good family portraits; here also is a parlour hung with very excellent tapestry of Romano, which was a present from the King of Spain, to the celebrated Earl of Bristol, when he was ambassador there. On one of the windows may still be seen the arms of Sir Walter Raleigh, with the date 1594.
In a walled Park, containing, with the gardens, 1172 acres, and well stocked with deer, are found some of the finest oaks in Dorsetshire. The ruins of old Sherborne Castle are to the south of the present mansion, upon the opposite bank of the canal. This fine sheet of water, which was formerly an inconsiderable stream, known as the river Ivel, was formed by the skill of Brown. Over the narrowest part of it, a stone bridge of three arches, leading to the principal entrance of the mansion, was erected by Henry, seventh Earl Digby, from a design by Mr. Milne.
Edward Digby, Earl of Digby, Viscount Coleshill and Baron Digby in England; also, Lord Digby, Baron of Geashill in Ireland, D.C.L. Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the County of Dorset, was born Jan. 1773; and succeeded his father, Henry the late Earl, Sept. 1793.
The family of Digby is of great antiquity in the county of Warwick, and was first ennobled in the reign of James I. by whom Sir John Digby, younger son of Sir George Digby, of Coleshill in the county of Warwick, was created Baron Digby, and afterwards Earl of Bristol; which titles became extinct on the death of his grandson, John, third Earl, in 1698. Sir Robert Digby, eldest brother of the first Earl of Bristol, had a son named Robert, who was created Baron Digby in Ireland, in 1620. His grandson Henry was created a Peer of Great Britain in August, 1765, by the title of Baron Digby, and in November, 1790, advanced to the dignities of Viscount Coleshill, in the county of Warwick, and Earl Digby, in the county of Lincoln. His Lordship was twice married. His first wife was Miss Fielding, daughter of Charles Fielding, Esq. brother to William, Earl of Denbigh, by whom he had two sons, who died in their infancy. By his second Lady, Mary, daughter of John Knowler, of Canterbury, Esq. he had issue Edward, the present and second Earl; and his brother, the Hon. and Rev: Robert Digby, who is presumptive heir to the titles and estates.
Motto:-Deo non fortuna.
f his had as create advanced Lincelding, E. By hithe presin to
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a List of the principal Pictures at Sherborne Castle. The Three Earls of Bristol, of the Digby family.
Sir Stephen Fox and Sister when young. Sir Kenelm Digby.
Sir Stephen Fox and Lady-whole length. Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, Lord Treasurer, William, the 5th Lord, commonly called the good Lord in hair, band, staff, and star.
Digby. Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Lord Treasurer Southampton, Lord Mornington reclining on his right hand: in his left an red gown, blue mantle, right hand on her breast, left on
ode to Henry Fox. a couch.
Edward, 6th Lord Digby, in furred coat and hair. Elizabeth, Countess of Southampton-Cornelius Jansen-an Two family pictures; 1. Henry, 1st Earl of Digby with excellent painting.
three sons; and 2. Countess Digby, with son and Robert, 1st Lord Digby, on wood, in armour, hat and
daughter. feather, beard and ruff.
Henry, 1st Earl of Digby-Sir J. Reynolds---colours faded. Robert, eldest brother of William, and son of Kildare Lord Countess Digby Knowler with a book ; Mrs. Knowler, her
Digby-Carlo Marratti. Sir Kenelm Digby, Lady Venetia his wife, and two Sons Also, on canvass, the famous procession of Queen Elizabeth Vandyke.
when she went to St. Paul's to return thanks for the deDigby, Earl of Bristol, and Earl of Bedford—Vandyke.
feat of the Spanish Armada. The Queen is represented Lewis XIII.
in an open sedan carried by eight of the principal nobleAnne of Austria, queen of Lewis XIII.
men of her court. Others conjecture that it is a procesLate Duchess of Norfolk.
sion of the Queen from London to visit Lord Hunsdon in Earl of Ilchester, Sir Stephen Fox's eldest Son.
Hertfordshire. Ascribed to her Majesty's painter, GerHenry, Lord Holland, second Son of Sir Stephen Fox.