« AnteriorContinuar »
“ A History of the University of Cambridge,” and “A History of Waltham Abbey."
Here also is a monument to the memory of Sir Charles Scarbrugh, or Scarborough; the inscription recites his titles as physician successively to Charles the Second and James the Second, and calls him another Hippocrates among British physicians, and among mathematicians a second Euclid.” Sir Charles published during his life a Treatise on Trigonometry, a Compendium of Lilly's Grammar, and an Essay on Cowley.
West DRAYTON, the next station, is one of those places to which the stoppage of the railway trains alone gives importance. The river Colne
“ Colne, whose dark streams his flowery islands lave,"
divides the counties of Middlesex and Bucks, not far from Drayton.
North-east of Drayton lies Hayes, twelve miles from Hyde Park Corner. The name is probably derived from the Saxon, Haeg, a hedge ; in the French, Haye. The manor house at Hayes was the occasional residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the year 1095, Archbishop Anselm, then at variance with William Rufus, was commanded to remove from Mortlake, where he was keeping the feast of Whitsuntide, to his manor of Hayes, that messages might more conveniently pass betwixt him and the king, who then kept his court at Windsor.
Robert Wright, presented to the vicarage of Hayes in 1601, was the first warden of Wadham College, Oxford, which situation he resigned because Dorothy Wadham would not suffer him to marry. Patrick Young, his successor, was esteemed one of the most elegant Greek scholars of his time, and was librarian to James the First and his successor.
A monument in Westminster Abbey perpetuates the memory of Dr. Triplet, one of the prebendaries of that church, who had for some time a school at Hayes. Anthony Wood calls him a great wit, a good Grecian and poet : he adds that several specimens of his poetry were extant in several books, and that he left many more in MS.
The church contains no monuments worthy remark, nor are there any historical records connected with Hayes of general interest.
To the left, about two miles south of Drayton, lies
COLNBROOK, partly in Middlesex, partly in Bucks, seventeen miles west from London, on the now comparatively deserted great western road,
a market-town, built between the four channels of the river Colne, over each of which it has a bridge. Camden is of opinion that Colnbrook was the Pontes of Antoninus; but other antiquarians differ as to the position of that station. Horsley places it at Old Windsor. The Colne, rising in Herts, falls into the Thames at Staines.
Iver, between Uxbridge and Colnbrook, to the north of the railway, is in the deanery of Burnham and hundred of Stoke, and is supposed to have derived its name from one Roger D'Iveri, who came over with William the Conqueror. It formerly enjoyed a market and two fairs, but latterly has sunk into complete insignificance. It was successively in the hands of the Doilleys, Crispins, and of Brien Fitz Count, the brave defender of Wallingford Castle, who, having taken upon him the vows of a religious order, lost his estates in consequence. King Edward the Third granted this manor to Simon de Beresford, and afterwards to Ralph Lord Neville. King Edward the Sixth gave it to the Lord Paget, in whose descendants it for some time continued.
The chief attraction in this part of our journey is Riching's Lodge, the property of the Sullivan family. Richings is well worthy the attention of the classical pilgrim who delights to tread whatever ground derives additional charms for its recorded associations.
In the year 1739 the estate was purchased from Lord Bathurst, the friend of Pope, (to whom that great poet dedicated his Epistle on the Use and Abuse of Riches,) by the then Earl of Hertford, who changed the name of the place to Percy Lodge. His Countess was, or affected to be thought, a woman of intellect and spirit, “whose practice it was,” Dr. Johnson informs us, “to invite every summer some poet into the country, to hear her verses and assist her studies. This honour was one summer conferred upon Thomson, who took more delight in carousing with Lord Hertford than assisting her Ladyship’s poetical operations, and therefore never received another summons !”
Thomson dedicated to this amiable lady his poem of Spring :
“ O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts
With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
A very pleasing poem by Shenstone, entitled “Rural Elegance,” was suggested by a visit to Lady Hertford, afterwards Duchess of Somerset, at Richings :
“ Fatigued with form's oppressive laws,
When Somerset avoids the great-
The correspondence between Henrietta Louisa, Countess of Pomfret, and this distinguished lady when Countess of Hertford, contains some letters of the latter descriptive of this place, and which, as they at the same time give an idea of the character of the writer, we think may be found worthy of perusal :
“We have now taken a house just by Colnbrook. It belongs to my Lord Bathurst, and is what Mr. Pope calls in his letters his extravagante bergerie. The environs perfectly answer that title, and come nearer to my idea of a scene in Arcadia than any place I ever saw. The house is old, but convenient; and when you are got within the little paddock it stands in, you would believe yourself a hundred miles from London, which I think a great addition to its beauty. This paddock is about a mile and a half round, which is laid out in the manner of a French park, interspersed with woods and lawns. There is a canal in it about twelve hundred yards long, and proportionably broad, which has a stream constantly running through it, and is deep enough to carry a pleasure-boat. It is well stocked with
and tench, and at its upper end is a greenhouse, containing a good collection of orange, myrtle, geranium, and oleander trees. This is a very agreeable room, either to drink tea, play at cards, or sit in with a book on a summer's evening.
“In one of the woods (through all which there are winding paths) there is a cave, which, though little more than a rude heap of stones, is not without charms for me. A spring gushes out at the back of it, which falling into a basin, whose brim it overflows, passes along a channel in the pavement, where it loses itself. The entrance into this recess is overhung with periwinkle, and its top is shaded with beeches, large elms and birch. There are several covered benches, and little arbours, interwoven with lilacs, woodbines, seringas, and laurels, and seats under shady trees disposed all under the park. One great addition to the pleasure of living here is the gravelly soil, which, after a day of rain, if it holds up only for two or three hours, we may walk over without being wet through our shoes; and there is one gravel walk which encompasses the whole. We propose to make an improvement by adding to the present ground a little pasture farm which is just without the pale, because there is a very pretty brook of clear water which runs through the meadows to supply our canal, and whose course winds in such a manner that it is almost naturally a serpentine river.
“On the spot where the greenhouse stands, there was formerly a chapel dedicated to St. Leonard, who was certainly esteemed as a tutelar saint of Windsor Forest and its purlieus, for a place we left was originally a hermitage founded in honour of him. We have no relics of the Saint, but we have an old covered bench, with many remains of the wit of Lord Bathurst's visitors, who inscribed verses upon it. Here is the writing of Addison, Pope, Prior, Congreve, Gay, and, what he esteemed no less, of several fine ladies. I cannot say that the verses answered my expectations from such authors; we have, however, all resolved to follow the fashion, and to add some of our own to the collections. That you may not be surprised at our courage for daring to write after such great names, I will transcribe one of the old ones which I think as good as any of them:
Who set the trees shall he remember
“There has been only one as yet added by our company, which is tolerably numerous at present. I scarcely know whether it is worth reading or not.
“There is one walk that I am extremely partial to, and which is rightly called the Abbey Walk, since it is composed of prodigiously high beechtrees, that form an arch through the whole length, exactly resembling a cloister. At the end is a statue, and about the middle a tolerably large circle, with Windsor chairs round it; and I think for a person of a contemplative disposition, one would scarcely find a more venerable shade in any poetical description.”
Delaford Park is another fine seat in this parish, formerly the seat of Lord Kilmorey, afterwards that of Mr. Clowes, who made considerable additions to the house, and embellished it with a circular portico of the Ionic order. The late Sir William Young, a great benefactor to the parish, built a bridge for the convenience of the villagers, and a poor-house, at his own expense, and in addition, was conspicuous for practical liberality and active benevolence. Having had occasion to dwell, in connexion with this spot, upon poets and their lady patronesses, who, whatever may be their unbounded theoretical philanthropy, are sometimes practically wrapped up in the unendearing delights of self, we should be to blame if we omitted to record the name of one who, unambitious of prosaic or poetic fame, is satisfied to solace himself with perhaps a more truly exalted ambition, that of being the benefactor of a lowly hamlet, and the friend of humble villagers.
At Shredding's Green, a hamlet of this parish, is Iver Grove, a brick mansion, built by Sir John Vanbrugh for the Dowager Lady Mohun, whose husband was killed, together with his antagonist, in a duel. The house is now in the occupation of the Lady Gambier.
Iver church, from its elevated situation a conspicuous object, contains a monument in memory of Sir George and Sir Edward Salter, successively carvers to King Charles the First, with the effigy of Lady Mary Salter, the wife of Sir George, rising from her coffin in a shroud. There is also a monument to the memory of John King, gentleman, who met his death from a shoemaker's awl struck into his forehead by a drunken kinsman.
There are also memorials of Alice Cutt, Richard Blunt, gentleman, Elizabeth his wife, and her father, Richard Ford; and also of Rauffe Aubrey, Cheyffe of the Kitchen to Prince Arthur.
LANGLEY is a scattered village, about two and a half miles to the northwest of Colnbrook, a part whereof is in this parish.
Langley has a parochial chapel, subject to the mother church of Wyrardsbury, in which are memorials to the family of Kedirminster, to whom a particular aisle, bearing their name, is appropriated.