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curious erection of red stone, in the form of an antique cross. In front is the west end of the ancient church; also the venerable front of the mansion, with its towers and battlements, and Gothic windows; and on the right some additional buildings in the castellated style, originally intended for domestic offices, but now in a greater state of ruin thau the older parts of the house, yet assimilating well with it, particularly as being overshadowed with the darkening foliage of some lofty elms.
Ascending some steps, a heavy grated door and porch opeu into the great hall, quite in the antique style: its only ornaments are two pictures of a wolf-dog, and another from Newfoundland, favorites of his lordship; to the latter, indeed, he once owed his life.
The little drawing-room contains a few family pictures still interesting from their locality. In this apartment there is a very ancien carved wooden chimney-piece, in which are introduced four of the old monarchs of this kingdom, Henry VIII. and two of his concubines, and the family arms of Byron in the centre.
The gallery over the cloisters is very antique; and from its windows we see the cloister court, with a basin in the centre, used as a stew for fish. It is impossible to contemplate this scene without a recurrence to past times; when we look down on the Gothic arches, or up to the hoary battlements, midst all the sombre silence that reign around, busy fancy peoples the scene with ideal beings, and the shadows of some small ash trees in the area may readily be mistaken by an enthusiastic imagination for the shade of the passing religious from his cell to the altar.
The great dining-room is a nost noble apartment, presenting a good idea of ancient manners, but now deserted and forlorn.
In passing towards the habitable part of the house, it was impossible not to feel something like an awful regret in passing the chamber of the late Hon. Mrs. Byron, exactly in the same state as when she breathed her last within it, only a few days preceding her clothes, her ornaments, were displayed as if she had just retired-alas! retired
to return no more!
Our aged Ciceroni with great good will expressed a desire to show his lordship's study, and with all the respectful familiarity of an old domestic dependant went into the apartment, to request his lord's permission, which was readily and politely granted, though at a moment when a recent domestic loss must have rendered it an unwelcome request, and one, indeed, which the writer of these sheets would have shunned, had it not been for the friendly and even hospitable attentions
of the venerable old man. It was impossible to enter this sweet little apartment without noticing some of the very unusual ornaments for such a place; but as the house itself is literally a mansion of the dead, (for the monkish cemetery was in the cloisters,) it may account for the noble owner's taste in decorating it with two very perfect and finely polished skulls, instead of the more tasty ornaments of bow-pots and flower-vases. The other ornaments are some good classic busts, bookcases with a select collection, and a very curious antique crucifix.
A small drawing-room next to this apartment contains some good modern paintings. A portrait of his Lordship as a Sailor Boy, with rocks and beach scenery. Some good Sea Pieces. An exquisite Madona. East and West Views of Newstead. Dogs, horses, &c.
We now come to a long range of deserted apartments. In one, called King Edward the Third's room, on account of that monarch having slept there, there is a very ancient chimney, which, together with the whole fitting up of the venerable apartment, seems to be coeval with the royal visit, and excites a most pleasing enthusiasın in the mind.
Next to this is the sounding-gallery, so called from a very remarkable echo which it possesses.
The cloisters exactly resemble those of Westminster Abbey, only on a smaller scale; but possessing, if possible, a more venerable appearance. These were the cloisters of the ancient abbey, and many of its ancient tenants now lie in silent repose under their flagged pavement. There is something particularly sombre in the circumstance of the ha bitable part of the house not only opening into this scene of departed mortality, but even having it in some measure as a thoroughfare. These cloisters lead into an ancient and extensive crypt under the body of the church, but for many generations used as cellars: here also was the singing-room for the practice of the choristers, now very handsomely fitted up as a bath; the ancient chapel, too, long used by the family for the same purpose, is still entire, though in ruin, and its ceiling is a very handsome specimen of the Gothic style of springing arches. This chapel was also used as a cemetery, and its light clustered pillars and ancient carved windows add much to the melancholy expression of the scene.
An ancient Gothic green-house, with an antique roof, now opens into the garden, which was once the burying-ground of the church, and in which a large circular vault has lately been dug, with a handsome pedestal of white marble, on one side of which an inscription tells the
passing stranger that it contains the body of a Newfoundland dog, to whom his lordship once owed his life, and whom his gratitude has placed here. This garden also includes the dilapidated part of the church and is altogether a very interesting spot.
The following is the inscription alluded to:
'Near this spot are deposited the remains of one, who possessed beanty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity and all the virtues of man without his vices.-This praise, which would be unmeaning flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the memory of Boatswain, a dog, who was born in Newfoundland, May, 1803, and died at Newstead, October, 1808.
• When some proud son of man returns to earth,
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit !
Each kindred brute might bid thec blush for shame.
Pass on-it honours none you wish to mourn ;
Sir John Byron, the first possessor of the abbey of Newstead, left that and his other possessions to his fourth son, of the same name, on
whom Queen Elizabeth bestowed the honour of knighthood in 1579. His eldest son, Sir Nicholas, served with distinction in the Low Country wars; and when the great Rebellion broke out, he was one of the first to take up arms in the defence of the Royal cause. After the battle of Edge Hill, where he displayed his courage, he was made Colonel-General of Cheshire and Shropshire, and Governor of Chester, which city he defended gallantly against the Parliamentarians, though at last he fell into their hands. Lord Clarendon speaks highly of his character, and of the exertions made by him in Cheshire to assist the King. He was,' says the noble historian, a person of great affability and dexterity, as well as martial knowledge, which gave great life to the designs of the well-affected; and, with the encouragement of some gentlemen of North Wales, he in a short time raised such a power of horse and foot, as made frequent skirmishes with the enemy, sometimes with notable advantage, never with signal loss.'
Sir John Byron, the younger brother of Sir Nicholas, was made Knight of the Bath at the coronation of King James I. He married Anne, the eldest daughter of Sir Richard Molyneux, Bart. by whom he had eleven sons and a daughter. The eldest of the sons served under his uncle in the Low Countries; and in 1641, when the House of Commons complained against Sir Thomas Lunsford, as being au unfit person to be Governor of the Tower, the King appointed this Sir John Byron to that office. In a short time, however, the new Lieutenant became no less obnoxious to the refractory spirits in the City and Parliament than his predecessor; and information having been given them that much provision was sent into the Tower every day, they sent for Sir John Byron, who appeared at their bar, and gave so full answers to all the questions they asked of him, that they could not but dismiss him. However, they sent again to the King to remove him, and put a fitter man into the place, and recommended Sir John Coniers to him as a man in whom they could confide; and, because they did not speedily receive such an answer as they liked, they appointed their Major-General Skippon to place such guards about the Tower as might prevent the carrying in more provision of victual thither than would serve for one day's consumption; notwithstanding which the King would not consent to their desire.
The Commons then applied to the Lords to join them in a petition to the King, praying him for the removal of Sir John Byron; but though the Peers in other respects gave too much way to the en
encroachments of the Lower House, they had firmness enough in this instance to reject the proposition, as well for that the disposal of the custody of the Tower was the King's peculiar right and prerogative, as likewise that his Majesty had committed the charge thereof to Sir John Byron, a person of very ancient family, an honorable extraction and good fortune, and as unblemished a reputation as any gentleman in England.' The City, however, petitioned the King on this subject, and, among other grievances, complained of the 'preparations made in the Tower, and the calling of divers cannoniers into that fortress.' To this his Majesty replied, that, for the Tower, he wondered that, having removed a servant of good trust and reputation from that charge, only to satisfy the fears of the City, and put in another of unquestionable reputation and knowu ability, the petitioners should still entertain those fears.'
But some time afterwards the King-less perhaps from a disposition to conciliate the malcontents than at the express desire of Sir John Byron, who begged to be freed 'from the agony and vexation of that place, which had exposed his person and reputation to the rage and fury of the people, and compelled him to submit to such reproaches as a generous spirit could not brook without much regret'—thought proper to remove him. In the summer of 1642 he was employed in escorting the plate contributed by the University of Oxford, and some money which had been sent thither from London, for his royal master's use. This important trust he discharged with such satisfaction, that the learned body conferred on him, the same year, the honorary degree of Doctor in the Civil Law. Shortly after this he bore a distinguished part in the battle of Edge Hill; as also in that of Marston, where three of his brothers, besides himself, were actively engaged. Lord Byron has commemorated the achievements of his ancestors on this occasion in the following verse:
On Marston, with Rupert 'gainst traitors contending,
Four brothers enriched with their blood the bleak field;
For these services Sir John Byron received a patent of peerage, dated at Oxford, October 27, 1643, creating him Baron Byron, of Rochdale, in the county of Lancaster, with the remainder of the title to his brothers, and their male issue respectively.