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simple to his widow, with a legacy of one thousand pounds to his niece, Mrs. Haviland. A plain marble tablet, according to his desire, was erected in Beaconsfield church, with the inscription, which was completed on the death of Mrs. Burke,
NEAR THIS PLACE LIES INTERRED ALL
THAT WAS MORTAL OF THE
RIGHT HON. EDMUND BURKE,
WHO DIED ON THE 9TH OF JULY, 1797, AGED 68 YEARS.
IN THE SAME GRAVE ARE DEPOSITED THE REMAINS OF HIS ONLY SON,
RICHARD BURKE, Esq., REPRESENTATIVE IN PARLIAMENT FOR THE BOROUGH OF MALTON,
WHO DIED THE 2ND OF AUGUST, 1794, AGED 35;
AND OF HIS BROTHER RICHARD BURKE,
WHO DIED ON THE 4TH OF FEBRUARY, 1794 :
AND OF HIS WIDOW, JANE MARY BURKE,
Some years previously to her death, Mrs. Burke sold the mansion and estate at Beaconsfield for £38,500, reserving the use of the house and grounds during her life, and for one year after. She continued to reside there, much attended to by her husband's friends, until her death.
In her latter years she had suffered from a severe rheumatic attack, which deprived her of the power of taking exercise. At her death five thousand pounds were bequeathed to Mrs. Haviland, Burke's niece: and the rest of the property, with the library, and the various presents and memorials given to him during his public life, to his nephew Mr. Nugent.
From Beaconsfield, returning through a beautiful district of country, we gain Hensor, a village in the hundred of Desborough and deanery of Wycombe, about five miles east of Marlow, and about the same distance from Maidenhead.
The manor anciently belonged to a family who derived from it their name. It is now the property of Lord Boston, into whose family it came by purchase from the Parkers, the late possessors.
An estate in this parish called Lambert's Farm, is stated to have been held by the service of bringing in the first dish at the lord's table on St. Stephen's day, and presenting him with two hens, a cock, a gallon of ale, and two manchets of white bread; after dinner the lord delivered to the tenant a sparrowhawk and a couple of spaniels, to be kept at his costs and
charges for the lord's use. This curious service is now discontinued, and a money composition demanded instead.
Few parish churches are smaller than that of Hedsor, but few, very few, are so delightfully placed or so well worthy a visit, were it no more than to admire the delightful views afforded from the spot wherein it is situated.
Hereabouts are many rotund knolly hills, of no very great elevation, yet commanding beautiful and extended prospects; some rejoicing in the richest verdure, covered with browzing flocks and herds ; whence, sweetly softened by distance, comes across the vale the tinkling sound of sheep-bells : others coronetted with groves of venerable oaks, murmuring in hoarse and low sympathy with the freshening breeze of evening: this, holier than the rest, stands forward from its fellows, proudly rearing upon its crest the lowly house of prayer. It was the hour of setting sun when we reached the spot, and the horizontal ray lit up every window, illumining the sacred edifice as with a holy light : twilight was upon the hill-tops, and upon the vales the blackening shades of night had already descended : far to the west the landscape was parted by the waters of Thames, and upon the edge of the empurpled horizon twinkled one little star : peace was upon the waters and upon the earth, descending with the dew upon tree and flower : the tinkling of the sheep-walk was hushed, and animated nature sought repose: it was the place and hour when we forget for a moment that we are mortal, and find, we know not how or why, the soul expanding beyond its narrow house : when the desire of clinging to the poor concerns of our present life becomes less strong within us, and we think we should not care how soon the spirit parted from its confining clay.
Nor was our little church, when we visited it, without its congregation : from the low embattled tower the owl hooted her melancholy, but to us not unpleasing, notes: bats flitted past with capricious erratic flight, like unhappy sprites of air : nor did we want an anthem ; while gazing upon the waters, blackening into shade, and marking the rapid, yet almost imperceptible gradations, by which night asserts her empire over earth—hark! the nightingale; now with slow and unconnected notes essaying her nocturnal song ; now swelling by degrees into one unintermitting flow of various melody; now trilling soft, almost inaudible lays; now harsh with loudness; and soon, too soon, subsiding into silence, leaving the wanderer to pursue uncheered his devious, uncertain way.
One circumstance connected with Hedsor churchyard we must animadvert upon : the noble owner of the manor, it appears, does not permit the graves of those interred there to be individualised ; at least we could observe no mouldering heaps, but a mere level sward, with here and there a small tablet, placed flat upon the turf: the immediate vicinity of the church to the mansion of the lord of the manor may make this course expedient, as a gratification to the eye, yet we think the individuality of the habitations of the lowly dead should for ever be sacred
“ Each in his narrow home.”
Hedsor Lodge, the seat of Lord Boston, stands on the ridge of the hill, of which the church occupies the terminating point to the westward.
The house is small, but elegant and commodious, containing a good collection of family pictures, chiefly portraits of the houses of Irby and Paget.
In the churchyard are deposited the remains of Nathaniel Hooke, with an epitaph in Latin, carved upon a tablet fixed in the western wall of the church.
Hooke's reputation depends upon his Roman History, and but little of his life, its incidents, or vicissitudes, are known. The first account we have of him, is a complaint to Lord Oxford, that the South Sea scheme, or rather his own infatuated pursuit of unreasonable gain, had reduced him to ruin, leaving him, as he expresses himself, just worth nothing. He was reported to have received five thousand pounds from Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, for assisting her in the compilation of her celebrated ' Apology.' She is said to have quarrelled with him afterwards for his indiscreet zeal in attempting her conversion to his Roman Catholic opinions, for which he made many 'apologies, but gained nothing.
Hooke it was who, greatly to Bolingbroke’s dissatisfaction, brought the clergyman who attended Pope at his last moments. His epitaph styles him a man“ deeply learned in various literature;” and what is to him now more important, if true, a man “truly pious." His work is described as a performance of great accuracy, precision, and acumen—the true elements of excellence in historical style, without pretensions to fine writing or deep reflection, to which the higher attributes of the historian have been often sacrificed: the pains-taking narrator of events, with as much fidelity as time and the accidents of tradition will permit, is always respectable and generally read: the metaphysical historian, the philosophic, or the partisan, is referred to by few, quoted chiefly by those who refer to him for particular purposes, and admired by those alone whose pre-conceived opinions or prejudices tally with his own.
Cliefden, the next object of interest on our route, a place for choice of situation and prospect unsurpassed among the many princely seats around London, is in the parish of Taplow. It was begun by George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham, and completed by the Earl of Orkney, the friend and companion in arms of John Duke of Marlborough, in whose family it remained a considerable time; it is now the seat of Sir George Warrender. The mansion, with the exception of the wings, was destroyed by fire in 1795, but has since been rebuilt, from designs by Shaw, in a style rivalling its former magnificence. The character of its founder may
be best gathered from an account of his murder of the Earl of Shrewsbury, with whose wife the Duke had formed an unhappy connexion.
The Lord Shrewsbury having challenged the seducer of his wife, Charles the Second heard of the intended meeting, and commanded the Duke of Albemarle to prevent it by confining Buckingham to his house, or by any other means which he might think it convenient to adopt. Albemarle, seeing the king so resolved upon the matter, took no precautions at all, thinking that Charles would manage it himself. Thus, between them both,
nothing was done, and the parties met at Barnes Elms, each attended by two seconds. Lord Shrewsbury was attended by Sir John Talbot, a gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and by his relative, Lord Bernard Howard; while the seducer was accompanied by two of his dependants, Sir John Jenkins and one Captain Holmes. Lady Shrewsbury, the guilty cause of all the mischief, stood close at hand in a neighbouring thicket, disguised as a page, and holding her paramour's horse to avoid suspicion. The result of the encounter was, that Lord Shrewsbury was run through the body, Sir John Talbot severely wounded in both arms, and Jenkins left dead on the field. Buckingham received some slight wounds, and taking Lady Shrewsbury in her page's dress into his carriage, rode post haste to Cliefden. Buckingham afterwards took her to town with him, under the same roof with his Duchess, who loudly protested against the insult, declaring that it was not fit for her and his mistress to live together. “So I have been thinking, madam,” replied Buckingham, “and have therefore sent for your coach to convey you to your father's.”
Buckingham and the Countess of Shrewsbury continued to reside together for many years, principally at Cliefden, until their extravagance in dissipating the fortune of the young earl, the son of the countess, attracted the attention of Parliament, and they were forbidden to reside together, under a penalty of ten thousand pounds : and the control of the Shrewsbury property was taken from a woman who was both unfit and unworthy to be entrusted with it.
This very infamous countess was eldest daughter of Robert Brudenell, Earl of Cardigan. Very infamous though she was, a husband, after the death of Buckingham, was not denied her; one of the ancient family of Brydges, of Kyngham, in Somersetshire, disgraced himself and his family by marrying her. She died in obscurity, nobody cared how or where.
Of Buckingham, Horace Walpole thus speaks, in his “Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors."
“When this extraordinary man, with the figure and genius of Alcibiades, could equally charm the Presbyterian Fairfax, and the dissolute Charles ; when he alike ridiculed that witty king and his solemn chancellor ; when he plotted the ruin of his country with a cabal of bad ministers ; or equally unprincipled, supported its cause with bad patriots, one laments that such parts should have been devoid of every virtue. But when Alcibiades turns