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with it to the best of all securities, God's dear love, remaining
your friend as much at command
I have expressly sent this my foot-boy to prevent your departure without som acknowledgment from me of the receipt of your obliging letter, having myself through som business, I know not how, neglected the ordinary conveyanoe. In any part where I shall understand you fired, I shall be glad and diligent, to entertain you with home-novelties; even for some fomentation of our friendship, too soon interrupted in the cradle.
SOME ACCOUNT OF LUDLOW CASTLE,
Where Comus was first represented.
THIS Castle was built by Roger de Montgomery, who was related to William the Conqueror. The date of its erection is fixed by Mr. Warton in the year 1112. By others it is said to have been erected before the Conquest, and its founder to have been Edric Sylvaticus, Earl of Shrewsbury, whom Roger de Montgomery was sent by the Conqueror into the Marches of Wales to subdue, and with whose estates in Salop he was afterwards rewarded. But the testimonies of various writers assign the foundation of this structure to Roger de Montgomery, soon after the Conquest.
The son of this nobleman did not long enjoy it, as he died in the prime of life. The grandson, Robert de Belesme, Earl of Shrewsbury, forfeited it to Henry I. by having joined the party of Robert Duke of Normandy against that king. It became now a princely residence, and was guarded by a numerous garrison. Soon after the accession of Stephen, however, the governor betrayed his trust, in joining the Empress Maud. Stephen besieged it; in which endeavour to regain possession of his fortress some writers assert that he
9 This letter appeared first in the edition of 1645. I know not why it was suppressed, and by Milton himself, in that of 1673.
succeeded, others that he failed. The most generally received opinion is, that the governor, repenting of his baseness, and wishing to obtain the king's forgiveness, proposed a capitulation advantageous to the garrison, to which Stephen, despairing of winning the castle by arms, readily acceded. Henry II. presented it to his favourite, Fulk Fitz-Warine, or de Dinan, to whom succeeded Joccas de Dinan; between whom and Hugh de Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore, snch dissentions arose, as at length occasioned the seizure of Mortimer, and his confinement in one of the towers of the castle, which to this day is called Mortimer's Tower; from which he was not liberated till he had paid an immense ransom. This tower is now inhabited, and used as a fives-court.
It was again belonging to the Crown in the 8th year of King John, who bestowed it on Philip de Albani, from whom it descended tó the Lacies of Ireland, the last of which family, Walter de Lacey, dying without issue male, left the castle to his grand-daughter Maud, the wife of Peter de Geneva, or Jeneville, a Poictevin, of the House of Lorrain, from whose posterity it passed by a daughter to the Mortimers, and from them hereditarily to the Crown, In the reign of Henry III. it was taken by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, the ambitious leader of the confederate barons, who, about the year 1263, are said to have taken possession of all the royal castles and fortresses. Of Ludlow Castle, in almost two succeeding ceuturies, nothing is recorded.
In the thirteenth year of Henry VI. it was in the possession of Richard Duke of York, who there drew up his declaration of affected allegiance to the king, pretending that the army of ten thousand men, which he had raised in the Marches of Wales, was “for the publick weale of the realme.” The event of this commotion between the Royalists and Yorkists, the defeat of Richard's perfidious attempt, is well known. The castle of Ludlow, says Hall,
was spoyled.” The king's troops seized on whatever was valuable in it; and, according to the same chronicler, hither“ the king sent the Duchess of York, with her two younger sons, to be kept in ward, with the Duchess of Buckingham, her sister, where she continued a certain space.”
The Castle was soon afterwards put into the possession of Edward, Duke of York, afterwards King Edward IV. who at that time resided in the neighbouring castle of Wigmore, and who, in order to revenge the death of his father, had collected some troops in the Marches, and had attached the garrison to his cause. On his accession to the throne, the castle was repaired by him, and a few years after was made The Court of his son, the Prince of Wales; who was sent hither by him, as Hall relates, “ for justice to be doen in the Marches of Wales, to the end that by the authoritie of his presence, the wild Welshmenne and evill disposed personnes should refraine from their accustomed murthers, and outrages.” Sir Henry Sidney some years afterwards, observed, that, since the establishment of the Lord President and Council, the whole country of Wales had been brought from their disobedient and barbarous incivility, to a civil and obedient condition; and the bordering English counties had been freed from those spoils and felonies, with 'which the Welch, before this institution, had annoyed them. See "Sidney State-Papers, Vol. I. p. 1. On the death of Edward, his 'eldest son was here first proclaimed king by the name of Edward V
In the reign of Henry VII. his eldest son, Arthur, Prince of Wales, inhabited the castle; in which great festivity was observed upon his marriage with Catherine of Arragon; an event that was soon followed, within the same walls, by the untimely and lamented death of that accomplished prince.
The Castle had now long been the palace of the Prince of Wales, annexed to the principality, and was the habitation appointed for his deputies, the Lords Presidents of Wales, who held in it the court of the Marches. It would therefore hardly have been supposed, that its external splendour should have suffered neglect, if Powel, the Welch historian, had not related that “Sir Henry Sidney, who was made Lord President in 1564, repaired the castle of Ludlowe, which is the cheefest house within the Marches, being in great decaie, as the chapell, the court-house, and a faire fountaine.” See Mr. Warton's second edit. p. 124, where he quotes D. Powell's Hist. of Cambria, edit, 1580. 4to. p. 401. Sir H. Sidney, however, was made Lord President in the second year of Elizabeth, which was in 1559. See Sidney State Papers, Vol. I. Memoirs prefixed, p. 86. Sir Henry's munificence to this stately fabric is more particularly recorded by T. Churchyard, in his poem called “The Worthines of Wales," 4to. Lond. 1578. The chapter is intitled “ The Castle of Ludloe,” in which it is related, that “ Sir Harry built many things here wortbie praise and memorie.” From the same information we learn the following particulars :-“ Over & chimney excellently wrought in the best chamber, is St. Andrewes Crosse joyned to Prince Arthurs Armes in the hall windowe." The poet also notices the “ Chappell most trim and costly sure;" about wbich“are armes in colours of sondrie kings, but chiefly noblemen.”
He then specifies in prose," that Sir Harry Sidney being Lord President, buylt twelve roumes in the sayd castle, which goodly buildings doth shewe a great beautie to the same. He made also a goodly wardrobe underneath the new parlor, and repayred an old tower, called Mortymer's Tower, to keepe the auncient records in the same; and he repayred a fayre roume under the court house, to the same entent and purpose, and made a great wall about the woodyard, and built a most brave condit within the inner court: and all the newe buildings over the gate Sir Harry Sidney (in his daies and governement there) made and set out to the honour of the Queen, and glorie of the Castle. There are in a goodly or stately place set out my Lord Earle of Warwick's Armes, the Earl of Dar. bie, the Earle of Worcester, the Earle of Pembroke, and Sir Harry Sidney's Armes in like maner: all these stand on the left hand of the chamber. On the other side are the armes of Northwales and Southwales, two red Lyons and two golden Lyons, Prince Arthur's. At the end of the dyning chamber, there is a pretie device how the hedgehog brake the chayne, and came from Ireland to Ludloe.” The device is probably an allusion to Sir Henry's armorial bearings, of which two porcupines were the crest. Sir Henry Sidney caused also many salutary regulations to be made in the court. See Sidney State Papers, vol. i. p. 143 and p. 170, in which are stated the great sums of money he had expended, and the indefatigable diligence he had exerted in the discharge of his office.
In 1616, the creation of Prince Charles (afterwards King Charles I.) to the principality of Wales, and earldom of Chester, was celebrated here with uncommon magnificence. It became next distin
stances in the course of its history," THE REPRESENTATION OF
when and inhabited it. A scene in the Mask presented both the castle and the town of Ludlow. Afterwards, as I have been informed, Charles the First, going to pay a visit at Powis Castle, was here splendidly received and entertained on his journey. But “pomp, and feast, and revelry, with mask, and antique pageantry," were soon succeeded in Ludlow Castle by the din of arms. During the unhappy Civil War it was garrisoned for the king ; who, in his flight from Wales, staid a night in it. The castle was at length delivered up to the Parliament in June, 1646.
A few years after this event, the goods of the castle were iuventoried and sold. There is a priced catalogue of the furniture, with the names of the purchasers, in Harl, MSS. No. 4898, and No. 7352.
No other remarkable circumstances distinguish the history of this castle, till the court of the Marches was abolished, and the Lords Presidents were discontinued, in 1688. From that period its decay commenced. It has since been gradually stripped of its curious and valuable ornaments. No longer inhabited by its noble guardiańs, it has fallen into neglect; and neglect has encouraged plunder. “It will be no wonder that this noble castle is in the very perfection of decay, when we acquaint our readers, that the present inhabitants live upon the sale of the materials. All the fine courts, the royal apartments, halls, and rooms of state, lie open and abandoned, and some of them falling down.” Tour through Great Britain, quoted by Grose, Art, Ludlow Castle. See also two remarkable instances related by Mr. Hodges in his Account of the Castle, p. 39. The appointment of a governor, or steward of the castle, is also at present discontinued. Butler enjoyed the stewardship, wbich was a lucrative as well as an honourable post, while the principality-court existed. And, in an apartment over the gateway of poet had been secretary to ttie Earl' of Carbery, who was Lord President of Wales'; and who, in the great rebellion, had afforded an asylum to the excellent Jeremy Taylor.
In the account of Ludlow Castle, prefixed to Buck's Antiquities, published in 1774, which must have been written many years before, it is said “Many of the royal apartments are yet entire; and the sword, with the velvet hangings, and some of the furniture are still preserved.” And Grose, in his Antiquities, published about the same time, extracting from the Tour through Great Britain what he pronounces a very just and accurate account of this castle, represents the chapel having abundance of coats of arms upon the pannels, and the hall decorated with the same ornaments, together with lances, spears, firelocks, and old armour. Of these curious appendages to the grandeur of both, little perhaps is now known. Of the chapel, a circular building within the inner court is now all that remains. Over several of the stable-doors, however, are still the arms of Queen Elizabeth, and the Earl of Pembroke. Over the inner gate of the castle, are also some remains of the arms of the Sidney family, with an inscription denoting the date of the Queen's reign, and of Sir Henry Sidney's residence, in 1581, together with the following words, Hominibus ingratis loquimini lapides
No reason has been assigned for this remarkable address. Perhaps Sir Henry Sidney might intend it as an allusion to his predecessors, who had suffered the stately fabrick to decay; as a memorial also, which no successor might behold without determining to avoid its application : "Nonne IPSAM DOMUM metuet, ne quam vocem ELI, CIAT, nonne PARIETES CONSCIOS.?" Cic. pro Cælio. Sect. 25.
Mr. Dovaston, of the Nursery, near Oswestry, who visited the castle in 1768, has acquainted me, that the floors of the great Council Chamber were then pretty entire, as was the stair-case. The covered steps leading to the chapel were remaining, but the covering of the chapel was fallen : yet the arms
of some of the Lords Presidents, painted on the walls, were visible. In the great Council Chamber was inscribed on the wall a sentence from 1. Sam. xii. 3. All of which are now wholly gone. The person, who showed this gentleman the castle, informed him that, by tradition, the Mask of Comus was performed in the Council Chamber.
The situation of the castle is delightful, and romantick. It is built in the north-west angle of the town upon a rock, commanding an extensive and beautiful prospect northward. On the west it is shaded by a lofty hill, and washed by the river. It is strongly evvironed by walls of immense height and thickness, and fortified with round and square towers at irregular distances. The walls are said by Grose to have formerly been a mile in compass; but Leland in that measure includes those of the town, The interior apartments were defended on one side by a deep ditch, cut out of the rock; on the other, by an almost inaccessible precipice overlooking the valce of Corve. The castle was divided into two separate parts : the castle, properly speaking, in which were the palace and lodgings; and the green, or outwork, which Dr. Stukely supposes to have been called the Barbican. See his Itinerary, Iter. iv. p. 70. The green takes in a large compass of ground, in which were the court of judicature and records, the stables, garden, bowling-green, and other offices. In the front of the castle, a spacious plain or lawn formerly extended two miles. In 1772, a publick walk round the castle was planted with trees, and laid out with much taste, by the munificence of the Countess of Powis. See Mr. Hodge's Hist, Acc. p. 54.
The exterior appearance of this ancient edifice bespraks, in some degree, what it once has been. Its mutilated towers and walls still afford an idea of the strength and beauty, which so noble a specimen of Norman architecture formerly displayed. But at the same time, it is a melancholy monument, exhibiting the irreparable effects of pillage and dilapidation.
THE EARL OF BRIDGEWATER,
AND HIS FAMILY.
JOHN EGERTON, EARL OF BRIDGEWATER, Before whom Comus was presented, was the second son of that great lawyer and statesman, Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Keeper of he great seal to Queen Elizabeth, and Lord High Chancellor of