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on, and seemed delighted with his appearance in them, frisking about for some time and cutting several somersaults, till, on hearing the first cock-crow, he twitched his mantle about him and disappeared with the malediction usually adopted on such occasions :
“Here's a cloak, and here's a hood,
The Cauld Lad o' Hilton will do no more good.” Although this spirit was thus summarily disposed of by the historian, the inhabitants of Hilton and its vicinity for many generations continued to believe in its frequent reappearance, and over the glowing embers told wonderful tales of its deeds. So strange were its doings at times, and so frequent its apparition, that it was difficult to retain the domestics in the castle. Among other stories told of the terror with which it contrived to imbue the minds of the servants, is one of a dairy. maid who was too fond of helping herself to the richest cream the pantry afforded. One day, as this not over scrupulous young woman was taking her usual sips from the various pans, the Cauld Lad suddenly addressed her from some invisible vantage-ground, “Ye taste, and ye taste, and ye taste, but ye never gie the Cauld Lad a taste!” On hearing this appalling accusation, the affrighted maid dropped the spoon on the ground, rushed out of the place, and could never be induced to enter it again.
The local tradition of the “ Cold Lad,” more closely assimilates his nature to that of any ordinary ghost or apparition, and in no way to the Brownie of our forefathers. The popular idea is that a lad, a domestic of the house, was cruelly ill-treated and kept confined in a cupboard, and the cupboard is, or was quite recently, pointed out by the guide who shows visitors over the house, as “the place where they used to put the Cold Lad.” He is supposed to have received the suggestively awesome name of the “Cold Lad,” from his stiff and stark form having been discovered in the cupboard.
Surtees endeavours to explain the origin of this ancient legend by reference to a murder of Roger Skelton, apparently a servant, by his master, Robert Hilton, of Hilton, on the 3rd July 1609. Hilton was found guilty of having killed Skelton, but received a pardon some few months after his conviction. According to the old tale, the lord of Hilton one day, in a fit of wrath or intemperance, enraged at the delay in bringing his horse after he had ordered it, rushed to the stable, and finding the boy, whose duty it was to have brought the horse, loitering about, he seized a hay-fork, and struck him with it. Intentionally or not, he had given the lad a mortal blow. The tale proceeds to tell how the murderer covered his victim with straw until nighttime, when he took the body and flung it into the pond, where, indeed, the skeleton was discovered in the last. Lord of Hilton's time.
With such ghastly and such ghostly traditions connected with it, it is no wonder that Hilton Castle is a haunted place.
THE History of Holland House by the Princess Marie Lichtenstein, the adopted daughter of the present Lady Holland, is a well-known popular account of one of the most interesting London residences extant. The many highly-gifted men and beautiful women, who have frequented Holland House for several generations past, have endowed it with memories of a most attractive nature ; but the Princess Marie's work tells us that reminiscences of a far less pleasing character hover about the old house, and, indeed, that, like most respectable dwellings of any antiquity, Holland House is haunted. At least two ghostly legends, according to the fair authoress, are connected with it.
An ancient manor-house, belonging to Sir William Cope, it is believed, formerly stood where Holland House now stands, and, so it would seem, was incorporated in the present mansion. Sir William Cope's daughter and heiress, Isabel, was married to Sir Henry Rich, created Baron Kensington in 1622, and sent to Spain by James the First, to assist in negociating a marriage between Prince Charles and the Infanta. In 1624 he was created Earl of Holland, and it was this same nobleman, as the Princess tells us, “who added to the building its wings and arcades, and more than this, he employed the best artists of the time in decorating the interior."
Clarendon describes the Earl as “a very handsome man, of a lovely and winning presence, and gentle conversation.” He played, says the historian, a con: spicuous part during the reign of Charles the First and the commencement of the struggle with the Parliament. After having stood in high favour with Queen Henrietta, he fell under suspicion of disloyalty, which was confirmed by his lending Holland House for a meeting between Fairfax and certain discontented members of Parliament. The year following, having rejoined the Royalists, he was taken in arms at St Neot's, and, having been imprisoned in Warwick Castle, he was condemned to death, and beheaded in March 1648–9 in Palace Yard. Warburton, in a note to Clarendon's History, says: "He lived like a knave, and died like a fool. He appeared on the scaffold dressed in a white satin waistcoat, and a white satin cap with silver lace. After some divine conference with a clergyman and an affectionate leave-taking with a friend, he turned to the executioner and said, 'Here, my friend, let my clothes and my body alone ; there is ten pounds for theethat is better than my clothes, I am sure of it. And when you take up my head, do not take off my cap.'" He appears, however, even by Warburton's account, to have died with much firmness, and his head was severed by one blow from his body.
This Lord Holland, the first of his name, and the chief builder of Holland House, is, the Princess Lichtenstein tells us, believed to yet haunt one room of the splendid old mansion. “The gilt room is said to be tenanted by the solitary ghost of its first lord, who, according to tradition, issues forth at midnight from behind a secret door, and walks slowly through the scenes of former triumphs with his head in his hand. To add to this mystery, there is a tale of three spots of blood on one side of the recess whence he issues—three spots which can never be effaced.”
In the grounds of Holland House is “the Green Lane,” formerly called “Nightingale Lane," as long as nightingales frequented it. “It is,” says the Princess, “a long avenue, like an immense gallery arched with trees and carpeted with grass, the distant light at the end softening down into that misty blue so peculiar to dear England." This avenue is the scene of a " spiritual experience,” chronicled by Aubrey in his Miscellanies, and which is as follows :
“The beautiful Lady Diana Rich, daughter to the Earl of Holland, as she was walking in her father's garden at Kensington, to take the air before dinner, about eleven o'clock, being then very well, met her own apparition, habit and everything, as in a looking-glass. About a month after she died of small-pox. And 'tis said that her sister, the Lady Isabella Thinne, saw the like of herself also before she died. This account I had from a person of honour.”
"A third sister, Mary, was married to the Earl of Breadalbane," we are informed, and it has been recorded that she also, not long after her marriage, had some such warning of her approaching dissolution.
And so the old tradition has remained, and who would