Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

this interesting station, the scenery which it commands is seen by few persons, and has been described by none. Indeed, it is the pencil only which can do justice to these charming landscapes.

Though the whole, or nearly so, of this parish' is enclosed, yet the lands are generally ill cultivated. Its soil, for the most part, is a stiff clay; coal is got in the southern parts; it contains much grit or sand-stone, but no lime-stone, except in the beds, or on the banks of the Ribble and Calder. The divisions of the enclosures are formed of quicks, and other common shrubs, generally planted on dry dykes, and interspersed with oaks, alders, and ashes, which every where, except in the sequestered valleys, are stunted, and shrink from the breezes of the sea. Hence the parish assumes a general air of dreariness and poverty, and only loses that character in the neighbourhood of its boundaries, the Roddlesworth, the Darwen, the Hyndburne, the Calder, and the Ribble.

In Billington an asylum for that unhappy part of our species who labour under mental derangement, has been long established, and is now under the management of Dr. Chew.

Much landed property in this parish has, within these few years, been transferred by purchase. The principal new proprietors are Henry Sudell, Henry Feilden, William Feilden, Jonathan Peel, and James Taylor, Esquires.

CLITHERO, CLITHEROE, or CLIDEROU,

Is a modern borough, and market town, seated on the eastern bank of the river Ribble, and near the northern border of the hundred and county. At an early period this place was raised to the dignity of an honor; and the learned historian of the district, Dr. Whitaker, has given a long list of its lords, and has taken much pains to trace its descent, with the names and peculiarities of many proprietors. As this account details several circumstances illustrative of ancient customs, and is particularly connected with the history of this county, I shall briefly lay before the reader the substance of what this gentleman has related. Ac

cording

cording to him, the hundred of Blackburn was granted by the Conqueror to Roger de Busti, and Albert de Greslet; but the Dr. doubts the authority of Dugrale, in placing " Ilbert de Laci, a Norman adventurer," as the first Lord of Clithero; and is incliued to identify Robert de Laci as the earliest possessor, “ who was certainly Lord of Blackburnshire.” The great fee of Pontefract, in which was comprehended this lesser one of Clithero, after being dispossessed of it by llenry the First, for espousing the cause of Robert Curtois, was restored to him, after a temporary alienation; and the grants of the church of Whalley, by Hugh, or Guy de la Val, during his possession, to the monks of Pontefract, was annulled for want of Robert de Laci’s confirmation, though he ratified several other grants made during his attainder. The castle of Clithero, said to be built by this Robert, was fixed by him to be the seat of his barony, on an ipsulated conical rock of lime-stone, as the most eligible situation for his temporary residence, most convenient for transacting the business of the fee, which consisted of twenty-eight manors within the hundred, and as a fortress most desirable for defending his lands. His second son, Henry de Laci, bis elder brother, Ilbert, dying willout issue, founded a Cistertian Abbey, at Barnoldswick, which was afterwards translated to the more genial climate of Kirkstall, on the river Aire, about three miles west of Leeds, in Yorkshire, wherein Robert, the second son of this llenry de Laci, after his death in 1193, without issue, was interred. He devised his estates, by the mother's side only, to his sister Awbrey, whose husband, Richard Fitz-Eustace, Lord of Halton, and constable of Chester, died in 1178, as well as his son John in 1190; whose son, Roger de Laci, the terror and scourge of the Welch, succeeded to the fees of Pontefract and “Clyderhow," a fire having been levied, in 1195, between him and his grandmother Awbrey for that purpose, after his return from the siege of Acre, in the Holy Land, whither' he had accompanied Richard the First, in the third crusade. To the Abbey of Slanlar, which had been founded by John de Eustace, improperly called John de Laci, tbis Roger, his son, gave the advowson of the church of Rochdale, with four bovates of

land

[graphic]

land in Castleton, and Brandwood in Rossendale. He died in 1211, and his son John de Laci, in 1240, to whose issue the earldom of Lincoln, in right of his wife, appertained; this was ratified by letters patent, in 1232. His son, Edmund de Laci, died before his mother, in 1258, and therefore never assumed the title of Earl of Lincoln; to whom succeeded Henry de Laci, the last and greatest man of his line, and the confidential friend of Edward the First, who, in 1290, appointed him first commissioner for rectifying abuses in the administration of justice, and in 1293 sent him ambassador to France, to demand satisfaction for plundering the ships of the English merchants, by subjects of that kingdom. In 1299 he led the vanguard at the memorable battle of Falkirk. He was also protector of England during Edward the Seconds unfortunate expedition into Scotland, and died in that office in 1310, at the age of sixty years. For his great services he was rewarded with the honor of Denbigh, in Wales; and in consequence stiled himself Lord of Roos and Rowennock; and his statue, in his robes, is still preserved over the gate of Clithero castle. His eldest son, and the last male heir of the family, perished either here, or at Pontefract, by a fall. Henry liberally rewarded his servants; and gave the advowson of Whalley, and its dependencies, to the monks of Stanlaw, and afterwards procured their translation, which he personally attended, to that beautiful site, and laid the first stone of their conventual church. Both his sons died young; and one of his daughters, Alice, with an inheritance of 10,000 marks a-year, was married to Thomas Plantagenet, earl of Lancaster, whose weak, but restless mind, supported only by his vast possessions, gave much disquiet to the kingdom; and, after being overpowered by Edward the Second, a man as weak as himself, was beheaded at his own manor of Pontefract, in March, 1321, leaving no issue. All that we find of him, respecting Clithero, is, that by a charter, July 25, 1316, he gave to the abbot and convent of Whalley, Texteth, and Smethedon, they having complained of their new situation, as wanting fuel, timber, and a sufficient extent of domain ; but after this grant, all these inconveniences were removed, and the situation was retained. His Vol. IX.

I

widow,

widow, Alice de Laci, bad for her dowry various lordships in Yorkshire, and the manor of Widues in this county, and, after marrying two other husbands, died in 1378; the first of these was Eubulo L'Estrange, with whom she is stated previously to have lived in great familiarity, and afterwards married without the king's licence, of which circumstance he took advantage, and seized on her inheritance, both in this county and in Yorkshire. These remained in the hands of the crown until the beginning of Edward the Third's reign, when, with the exception of Ightenhill park only, they were granted for life to Queen Isabella. But on the reversal of Thomas of Lancaster's attainder, which was before her death, Henry Duke of Lancaster, by virtue of the entail on Edmund, the king's brother, and his heirs, succeeded to this honor and hundred. This Henry founded an hiermitage for two recluses, in Whalley churchyard: he also granted the bailiwick of Blackburnshire to the abbey and convent there; and the manor of Downlıam, to John de Dyneley. He died March 24th, 1360, leaving only two daughters, co-heiresses, of whom, Blanch was married to Jolin of Gaunt, fourth son of Edward the Third, Earl of Richmond, who was afterwards, in her right, created Duke of Lancaster. By this marriage he had the fees of Pontefract and Lancaster, and the hundred of Blackburn, or honor of Clithero, with the appartenances, and died the 3d of February, 1398, leaving Henry of Bolingbroke, his son and heir, duke of Lancaster, who was then in banishiment.

Henry, on his return, deposed his unfortunate master, Richard the Second, and the honor of Clithero thereby merged in the crown; but, aware of his usurpation, he made a charter of separation of the duchy of Lancaster, lest it should, on any future contest for the crown, follow its fortunes; yet still continued to pass all grants of lands, &c. under the great seal of England only, wtil the third of Henry the Fifth, when the duchy seal alone was directed to be used, a practice which was followed until Henry the Sixth was deposed. Leland * has thus related the manner in which that un

fortunate * See Collectanea, Vol. II. p. 500.

[graphic]

fortunate king was betrayed and abused, on seeking a temporary refuge here from his enemies." In A. D. 1464, King Henry was taken in Clitherwoode by side Bungerley hipping stones in Lancastershyre, by Tho. Talbot, sunne and heir to Sir Edmunde Talbot of Bashall, and John Talbot, his cousin, of Colebry, which deceived him, being at his dyner in Wadyngton Haul, and brought him to London, with his legges bounde to the sterropes.” For this good service there are no fewer than four patents, from Edward and Richard the Third, still extant. Edward the Fourth, on the contrary, passed an act, that the duchy should be incorporated with, and united to, the crown of England for ever; only providing that it should remain a corporate inheritance, and be governed by such officers as it had been during the three preceding reigns. But Henry the Seventh, the only legal heir to this honor, under the deed of settlement on the heirs male of John, Duke of Lancaster, and Blanch his wife, soon repealed Edward the Fourth's act, and entailed on himself, and his heirs, the duchy of Lancaster, with its appurtenances, together with the crown of England. Thus it continued till the restoration of Charles the Second, who bestowed it, for his eminent services, on General Monk, and his heirs; and it is now the inheritance of Henry Duke of Buccleugh; but whether it was devised in fee by the second duke of Albemarle to his duchess, and was included amongst the estates given to her step-son, Jobń, Duke of Montague, and so passed to the ancestors of the present possessor, I am not at present able to ascertain.

The Borough of Clithero, which has been represented in parliament from the first year of Queen Elizabeth, is a small town, on an insulated eminence, having its castle at one end, on an elevated lime-stone rock, the remains of which consist only of a square tower, distantly surrounded by a strong wall. In the latter part of the civil wars of the seventeenth century, it was a post of the royalists, but in 1649, was ordered to be dismantled; and the town, the inaccessible parts excepted, had been entirely moated round. Mention is made of a chapel here in the grant of Hugh de la Val; this was within the castle, and was erected for the use of

the

1 2

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »