« AnteriorContinuar »
cart, the only vehicle in the village, with the polite baker for coachman and guide, and arrived at the Park in two hours, through a rich highly-cultivated country, with the beautiful hawthorn hedge in full bloom, on either side, the whole distance, filling the air with its sweet fragrance, so delightful to inhale while admiring the picturesque scenery so noted in England by all tourists. I found ihe Park gates closed, it not being the regular day for the admission of visiters, and not having time to make a second visit, we concluded to get over the gates and call at the game-keeper's lodge, and state our object, trusting to chance for admission to view the grounds and Chapel which contained the remains of the noble family of Greys. After a pleasant walk through the Park, in which were herds of deer, as tame as sheep, amounting, I should presume, to over five hundred, we came to the neat, quiet, lovely cottage of the game-keeper. Some time before we arrived at his truly rural abode, the smoke which was seen curling above the lofty elms, reminded me of the favourite song,
“I knew by the smoke that so gracefully curl'd
Around the green elms, that a cottage was near;
The heart that is humble might look for it here, &c. I freely stated to the polite game-keeper, Mr. Adams, my great desire and my great disappointment, if not permitted to enter the sacred chapel. He promptly procured the keys, and led the way to it. On the left side of the entrance, was the monument over the remains of Lord Grey, and Lady, with the following inscription, viz.-" The Right Honorable Thomas Grey, Baron of Groby, Viscount Woodville and Earl of Stamford, late Lord Lieutenant of Devonshire and Somersetshire. Died January 31, A. D., 1719, Aged 67. The Right Honourable Mary, Countess Dowager of Stamford. Died November 10, 1722, aged 51 years." Opposite, stood a costly marble monument, with two effigies the size of life, of marble, male and female, in costumes of two centuries past, with the following inscription viz.-" The Tomb of Henry Lord Grey, of Groby, and his Lady;" the front and summit of which are deco rated with the quarterings of the families of Grey, Hastings, Valence, Ferrers, of Groby, Astley, Widville, Bouille, and Harrington.-Guilford Dudley, son of the Earl of Northumberland, married Lady Jane Grey, who was born at Bradgate Park, and the eldest daughter of Henry Grey, Marquis of Dorset, and of the Lady Frances Brandon, eldest daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, by Mary, Queen Dowager of France, youngest daughter of Henry the Seventh, and sister of Henry the Eighth. Lady Jane Grey proclaimed Queen of England, July 6, 1553. Executed February 12, 1554.” It is said that Lord Guilford Dudley, her
husband who was beheaded on the same day, was some years after brought to this chapel privately and interred by the side of his lamented wife. Bradgate Park is now owned by the Earl of Stamford, who resides twenty miles from the Park.
After leaving the chapel, we seated ourselves under an aged oak, the favourite resort of Lady Jane, when studying the classics, near which runs a clear murmuring brook, from which the timid and nimble deer quench their thirst, while the young fawns gambol under the shade of the venerable oak, from which I procured a cane and some of its leaves. The tilt-yard is surrounded with a brick wall, in a good state of preservation, and the place where Lady Jane sat to witness the tournament, is still preserved. The fishpond is very extensive, surrounded with ancient elms and oaks ; and the daughter of the game-keeper informed me seriously that every year, on the 12th of February, at midnight, a headless figure, supposed to be the spirit of the late Lady Jane, is seen walking around the pond, under the shadow of the old oaks; and from the earnest manner in which she related it, I presume she really believed it to be a fact.
On a high eminence in the Park stands, in bold relief, Johnnystone Tower, built of stone in the 10th century, with cells beneath, but for what purpose it was intended is not known to the present generation. From its top the prospect around, for ten miles, is grand, picturesque, and truly imposng, beyond description for my feeble pen. While at the Park, I wrote the following IMPROMPTU:
This was thy home, then, gentle Jane !
This thy green solitude-and here,
Thine eye oft watch'd the dappled deer
Browsing beside yon brooklet clear;
The deer yet browseth-where art thou ? On returning from Bradgate Park, I turned off a mile to the right, to visit the ruins of Mount Sorrell Castle, which was battered down by Oliver Cromwell, after a long siege, in the reign of King Charles the First. Cromwell, finding no hill or elevation whereon to plant his connon, to bear on the castle, caused a mound to be raised half a mile from the castle, and then effected his purpose. I stood upon this mound, and also on the spot marked, where Cromwell lay upon the grass giving orders in person to his cannoniers, and enjoying the demolishing of the castle's strong towers, and the humbling of King Charles's proud standard floating in defiance from the highest para pet. Stephen, King of Scotland, was confined in Mount Sorrell Castle in the year 1135. The romantic village of Rothby is near the base of Mount Sorrell, in which is an ancient temple, containing many valuable paintings from the old Flemish masters, and the tourist will not find his time thrown away in stopping to exanine them, as well as many relics of ancient times. The temple is surrounded with an ancient brick wall of massive thickness, in the enclosure of which is a beautiful garden, laid out with great taste and filled with valuable exotics. On returning to Quarndon, the owner of the humble equipage refused to receive a single farthing for the day's excursion, and politely tendered it, with himself, to my service at all times, during my sojourn, in visiting any place of note I desired in the neighbourhood. Hospitality and generosity seemed to go hand in hand in old Quarndon while sojourning within its walls.
Quarndon ; City of Leicester; Equipage; Election and Chartists mob;
Ancient abbey; Arrest and death of Cardinal Wolsey in 1531 ; His power and splendour; Coffin of Richard the Third ; Roman Tessel. lated pavement; Head Quarters of Richard the Third ; His golden bedstead; Tale of murder; Execution; Roman mile stone; Inscription ; Cromwell; The seige; King Lear and his daughters; Productions of the county of Leicester; Hospitality; Bosworth Field; King Dick's well; Combat of Richard and Richmond at the well; Death of Richard ; Indignity to his remains; Their rescue ; Burial ; Wentworth Hall; Paintings, etc. etc.
QUARNDON, strange as it may seem, has no market or a grocery -all its supplies are procured from Loughborough, a market town two miles distant, containing about 12,000 souls. The country around is highly cultivated, and all appeared happy and contented, and but few idle persons were seen. Most of the buildings have either tile or thatched roofs, which is the case all over England in the country towns. The Hyde family reside in Quarndon, who once were the possessors of Hyde Park, London. They are now in reduced circumstances. The hopitality of Mr. and Mrs. Cwhile I was sojourning in Quarndon, will ever be remembered. A chamber, and a seat at their hospitable table, were always at my command, and not a day passed but found me enjoying one repast in their agreeable company. Mrs. C is a lady of finished education and exalted mind; to her do I feel indebted for a pleasant excursion to Nottingham Castle, around Newstead Abbey, and a stroll through the celebrated Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, (so noted in Robin Hood's time,) and for numerous other civilities.
The ancient city of Leicester is twelve miles from Quarndon by railway; fare one shilling. Sileby station, where the trains make a short stay, is one mile from Quarndon. Partaking of an early breakfast, I intended, after visiting Leicester, to ride out to Bosworth Field, so celebrated in English history, and return to Quarndon the following day. While leisurely walking toward the station at Sileby, admiring the beautiful scenery for the purpose of taking the train, it suddenly came in sight, and before making the signal, it was off again-leaving me to patiently wait for the next downward train at twelve o'clock, or procure some conveyance to Leicester. On making my wishes known to the polite host at the “Red Lion” in Sileby, in about one hour a common horse-cart, the only vehicle in the village, was procured, with a merry ploughman as a coachman, who placed two chairs for seats, and cracking his whip, we were soon making our way along the beautiful stone road, giving me a fine opportunity to view the delightful country, admire the neat and beautiful hawthorn hedge, and scent the fragrance from its blooming flowers.
On arriving in the city, I found the streets crowded on account of some election, and it was with great difficulty our humble equipage could reach the “ Three Crowns”-in front of which, on the square, was an immense multitude listening and huzzaing to the speakers on the balcony in front. A band of musicians was heard approaching the square, and then a shout--- The Chartists !-The Chartists!" The crowd gave way as they came up with music and banners, with the shout of “Čorn and Free Trade !" “ Corn and Free Trade!” and in another moment, the hotel was carried, after some severe blows being given on both sides. The mob satisfied themselves with as much ale as they wanted-then giving three cheers for America, with merry fife and pealing drum, marched to another quarter of the city to make contribution.
After a slight lunch and discharging my equipage, I visited the Ancient Abbey, built in the eighth century. Its immense walls enclose thirty acres ;—there are also attached to the Abbey eight hundred acres of the most productive land in the county-all now owned by Lord Dysait. Cardinal Wolsey, the favorite Minister of Henry the Eighth, died at this Abbey while on his way up to London from York, under an arrest. The Cardinal and escort stopping here for rest and refreshment, was suddenly taken ill, and in a few days died, at the age of sixty years. The ancient private arched gateway into the gardens, is where the Cardinal entered with his guard; on the right of the entrance is the porter's lodge, in which the Cardinal went for shelter from a sudden thunder gust, and while standing humiliated, surrounded as a prisoner of State, he who, but a few weeks before, caused Princes and Nobles to tremble, having all England at his command, uttered audibly the words which is recorded in his life, viz. : “ Had 1 served my God as diligently as I served my King, he would not have forsaken me in my gray hairs !”—The lady who has charge of the Abbey pointed out to moʻthe very spot on which the Cardinal stood when he uttered the expression. The Cardinal died of a broken heart.
I passed through the arched passage leading to the cloisters in which the remains of the Cardinal were taken, and also the re