Page images

The House itself was built at the Publick Expence; but the Bridge, the Column just mentioned, and the Portal contiguous to the Town, were erected solely at the charge of Sarah Duchefs Dowager of Marlborough



E Y, *' Τ Τ Η Ε S Ε Α Τ




ITCHLEY is a modern Fabric, lofty, and ele

gantly built, situated on an Hill, which commands much of the Country, having Blenheim, Oxford, and the Hills beyond it in full View. Over the Front of the House are two grand Statues, Loyalty and Fame, with their proper Emblems.. The offices, which form two beautiful Wings, have a communication with the principal Building by circular Colonades. In the House are many valuable and masterly Portraits by Rubens, Vandycky Sir Peter Lely, Johnfon, and Wotton.

THE H A L L. This Room is finely proportioned and elegantly decorated. Its Sides and Roof are ornamented with Stucco, which is at once bold and delicate. Its Doorcases, Pediments, Entablatures, and Columns of the Corinthian and Composite Orders, are all richly ornamented with Gildings, &c. The Ceiling contains an Assembly of the Gods, painted by Kent. Two of the


[ocr errors]

Compartments are filled with historical Pieces from the Æneid, by the fame Hand; one of which represents Æneas meeting Venus, his Mother, in the Wood near Carthage; and the other, Venus presenting Æneas with the new Armour. The Sciences are in. troduced as Ornaments, with Busts of Philosophers Poets, Historians, and Orators, viz. Socrates, Virgil, Homer, Cicero, Sappho, Shakespeare, Dryden, Milton, and Livy. Over the Statues are Bafreliefs, copied from Antiques out of the Florentine Museum, properly disposed ; and a Statue of the Venus de Medicis. Here is also a curious Model of the Radclivian Library at Oxford,

The Chimney-Piece is fuperb and lofty, decorated with a Portrait of Henry Earl of Litchfield by Akerman.

THE MUSIC-ROOM, Is well constructed for Mufick, and has several Paintings in it, viz.

The Grandfather and Grandmother of the late Earl of Litchfield. The late Earl. The two late Dukes of Beaufort. The Honourable Mr. Lee, and Sir Watkin Williams Wynne, by Hoare. Rubens and his Son, hunting wild Beasts. Two Venetian Courtezans. A Shooting-piece, and two Hunting-pieces, by Wotton. In the Shooting-piece the two late Lords' are introduced.

Is ornamented with several masterly Portraits.

Henry VIII. by Hans Holben, in his highest finishing,
Charles I. with Charles II. at his Knee, by Vandyck.

Sir Harry Lee, with the Mastiff which saved his Life, by Johnson. The story of this piece is founded on an escape of Sir Harry, from being affaffinated by one of his own Servants, who had formed a design of robbing the House, after having murdered his Malter. But on the Night it was to be put in execution, the Dog, though no Favourite with, nor ever before taken notice of by his Master, accounpanied him up


[ocr errors]

E 2

Stairs, crept under the Bed, and could not be driven away by the Servant, when Sir Harry ordered him to be left: and in the dead of Night, the fame Servant entering the Room to execute his design, was inftantly seized by the Dog, and upon being secured, confessed his intentions. In one Corner of the Piece is the following Line.

« More faithful than favoured.Lord Henry, by Richardson ; and the old Dowager Lady, by Vanderbank, both in their Coronation-Robes.. The Duke of Monmouth and his Mother. Prince Arthur by Johnson, Sir Charles Rich, killed at the Isle of Rhée, 1627. Sir Christopher Hatton. Four Portraits of Sir Henry Lee's Brothers, by Corn. Johnson, in his best manner.


The Tapestry which is executed with uncommon Expression, represents Boys engaged in several Sports and Employments, fome fqueezing Grapes, others at

Play, &c.

PAINTING S. Admiral Lee. The Queen of Bohemia, by Johnfon. Lord and Lady Tenham.

TAPESTRY DRAWING ROOM, Is furnished with Tapestry not less masterly than that last described. The subjects are, the Muses and Apollo singing and playing on their several Inftru. ments; Bacchanalian Scenes, and a Vintage.

The Paintings are The Countess of Rochester, by Sir Peter Lely. The Countess of Lindesey, by the jame. Sir Francis Harry Lee, by Vandyck. Sir Harry Lee, full Length, in thé Robes of a Knight of the Garter, by Johnson.

In this Room we are shewn a large beautiful India Chest. From this apartment we have an entertaining View


of a winding Valley, with a serpentine Canal, over which is thrown an elegant Bridge from a Deign of Palladio's.

THE SALON. The Ceiling and Walls are richly Stuccoed; in the middle Compartment of the Roof Flora and the Zephyrs : and on the Walls Minerva and Diana.

ANTIQUES. The Goddess Health, three Feet in Height, formerly in Dr. Mead's Collection. On its Pedestal is a Bas Relief of Æfculapius. A Medallion of a Sleeping Cupid, the Diameter of which is nine Inches. THE GREEN DAMASK DRAWING ROOM.

The marble Chimney-Piece and Table in this Room are of the most beautiful Sorts. The two Corinthian Columns to the Chimney Piece and high finishing of the Whole are worthy of Scheemaker, who was the Artist. The Landscape in the middle is by Mr. Wotton, who has gained great Applause in this Species of Painting. Over the Doors are striking Paintings of Ruins, Rocks and Cascades. The Italian Table in this Room is a valuable and beautiful Curiosity.

GILT DRAWING ROOM. This was formerly called the Best Dining Room.

Paintings, viz. A full length Portrait of Charles II. and of the Duchess of Cleveland, by Lely. The present Duke of Grafton's Great Grandfather, and Lady Charlotte Fitzroy, his Lordthip's Grandmother, by Kneller.

The Decorations of the Wainscot are gilt; and the stuccoed Ceiling is correspondent to the Taste and Splendor of the rest. Here are two Tables of Ægyptian Marble, which justly demand our Observation. The Chimney-Piece of this Apartment is finely exccuted ; and over it a Landscape by Wotton,


E 3

THE VELVET BEDCHAMBER, So called from the Bed and Hangings, which are of a fingular Figure, made at Genoa. The elegant Chimney-Piece is by șih.emaker, ornamented with an Italian Prospect of a Ruin. The Dressing Table is of Tortoile-shell, curiously inlaid. It was made in France.

THE TAPESTRY ROOM, The last we are shewn, is curiously ornamented in the Chinese Tafte, and has two elegant and costly Sconces. The Tapestry represents the Cyclops forging the Armour for Æneas, and Neptune, properly attended, directing the refitting a Vefsel, which has been shipwrecked. The Chimney Piece is of white Marble. Over it is a capital Picture by Sir Peter Lely of the Duke and Duchess of York, and the Princesses Mary and Anne. Two Landscapes over the Doors are by an Italian Maiter. The Chairs in this Room are each ornamented with one of the Fables of Æfop. In this Apartment is a beautiful Fire-Screen of Needle Work, by the Dowager Lady of Henry Earl of Litchfield. The Subject is the Rape of Proserpine. Proper to this Apartment are the Chinese Lady and the Porter with a Chest of Tea. Two rich Branches on each Side the Chimney Piece; one supported by a Black-moor, the other by a Mullatto.

Η Ε Υ Τ Η R. Ο P,


THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE EARL OF SHREWSBURY T is situated seventeen Miles North of Oxford, and

about four and an half from the Seat of the Earl of Litchfield. It stands on an Eminence and has every de


« PreviousContinue »