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was succeeded by Thomas Ros, his brother, who was knighted in the wars of France. Dying in 1431, he was succeeded by his son,
who was then an infant; but who, on coming to age, took an active part in the civil wars between the houses of York' and Lancaster. He was attainted in parliament, the 4th of November, 1461; and the possessions of this noble family were parcelled out, by King Edward the Fourth, among his numerous partizans. “ The honor, castle, and lordship of Belvoir, with the park, and all its members, viz. Wolsthorp, Barkston, Plungar, Redmile, Harby, Bottesford, Normanton, and Easthorpe, with the advowsons of their several churches, and the rent called Castle-guard throughout England, at that time an appurtenance to this castle, were granted, August 9th, 1467, to William, Lord Hastings, to hold of the king and his heirs, by homage only*.” Leland gives the following account of the castle, &c. at this time. “ The Lord Ros toke King Henry the VI. parte agayn King Edwarde; wherapon the Lord Roses landes stode as confiscate, King Edward prevailing; and Bellevoir castle was given in keeping to the Lord Hastings; the which coming thither upon a tyme to peruse the ground, and to lye in the castel, was sodenly repellid by Mr. Harington, a man of poure thereabout, and friend to the Lord Rose; whereapon the Lord Hastings came thither another tyme with a stronge poure, and apon a raging wylle spoilid the castelle, defacing the rofes, and taking the leades of them t, wherwith they were al covirid. Then felle alle the castelle to ruine; and the tymbre of the rofes unkeverid rotted away; and the soile betwene the waulles at the last grue ful of elders; and no habitation was Kk 3
* Nichols's History, from “ Pat. 7, Edward IV. Pars 13"
+ “ The Lord Hastinges caryed much of this leade to Aschely-sle-la. Zouche, wher he much buildid. The Lord Hastinges likewise spoiled Stoke de Albayne, a goodly manor place of the Roses, miles from Stanford, as I remember, in Northamptonshire, and carryid part of it also to Asheby-de-la-Zouche.” Leland's Itin. Vol. I. fo. 114-115.
there tyl that of late dayes the eyrle of Rutland hath made it
In 1472-3, on the petition of Sir Henry Ros, Knight, the
was during the time that this Earl of Rutland possessed Belvoir Castle, that Leland visited it, and described it in the following terms. “ It is a straunge sighte to se be how many steppes of stone the way goith up from the village to the castel. In the castel be 2 faire gates; and the dungeon is a faire rounde towere now turned to pleasure, as a place to walk yn, and to se al the countery aboute, and raylid about the round (wall), and a garden (plotte) in the midle. There is also a welle of grete depth in the castelle, and the spring thereof is very good."
Henry, the second Earl of Rutland, succeeded his father in 1543; and, after being engaged in some of the Scotch wars, devoted his attentiou to the castle of Belvoir, the buildings of which were greatly extended during his life. He also collected together, from the ruined monasteries, several of the monuments of bis ancestors. In 1556, he was appointed, by Philip and Mary, captain-general of all the forces then going to France, also chief commander of the fleet. He was installed knight of the garter, June 4, 1559; and the same year was made lord lieutenant of the counties of Nottingham and Rutland. His monument, with those of the other Earls of Rutland, have been al ready noticed in the account of Bottesford.
Edward, the third Earl of Rutland, eldest son of the former, succeeded in 1563 ; was made lord lieutenant of the county of Lincoln in 1582 ; and knight of the garter in 1585.' Camden calls him, "a profound lawyer, and a man accomplished with all polite learning t." In his will, which is written in a style very superior to the generality of such productions, he die rects 1001. at least, to be expended on his tomb.
John, a colonel of foot in the Irish wars, became fourth Earl of Rutland in 1587; and, in the same year, was constituted
* « This well is 114 feet deep, and has still usually ip summer abont thirty-eight feet of water." Nichols.
+ History of Queen Elizabeth, Book III. p. 127,
constable of Nottingham Castle, and lord lieutenant of that county, and died in February 1587-8. He was followed by his son Roger, the fifth Earl, whose titles, &c. are already. specified. Dying without issue, his brother Francis was nominated bis heir, and made the sixth Earl. He was a great traveller, and appointed to several important offices of state. He married two wives, by the first of whom he had only one child, named Catharine, who married George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham. Her issue, George, the second Duke of Buckingham, dying without an heir, the title of Lord Ros of Hamlake again reverted to the Rutland family. By a second marriage he bad two sons, who, according to the monument, were murdered by “ wicked practice and sorcery *."
George was created seventh Earl in 1632; and was honoured with a visit from King Charles, at Belvoir Castle, in July, 1634.
The eighth Earl was John Manners, who was born in 1604, and came to the Belvoir estates after the death of the preceding
Attaching himself to the Parliamentarians, he thereby involved his castle in the consequences of attack from the royal army. It was occasionally garrisoned by each party; and, in
* As, illnstrative of the folly and superstition of the times, it may be amusing to explain this. Joan Flower, and her two daughters, who were servants at Belvoir castle, having been dismissed the family, in revenge, made use of all the enchantments, spells, and charms, that were at that time supposed to answer their malicious purposes. Henry, the eldest son, died soon after their dismission ; but no suspicion of witchcraft arose till five years after, when the three women, who are said to have entered into a formal contract with the devil, were accused of “ mur ring Henry Lord Ros by witchcraft, and torturing the Lord Francis his brother, and Lady Catharine his sister." After various examinations, before Francis Lord Willoughby of Eresby, and other magistrates, they were committed to Lincoln gaol. Joan died at Ancaster, on her way thither, by wishing the bread and butter she eat might choak her if guilty. The two daughters were tried before Sir Henry Hobbert, chief justice of the Common Pleas, and Sir Edward Bromley, one of the Barons of the Exchequer, confessed their guilt, and were executed at Lincoln, March 11, 1618-19.
the struggles for victory, the place must have materially suffered. October 25, 1645, the Earl of Rutland represented to the House of Peers, “ that he hath bad bis whole estate, in Lyncolne, Leycester, Nottingham, and Yorkeshire, possessed by the enemy, from the beginning of these unhappy wars, his houses spoiled, and not received any of his rents, whereby he is put to great streights for maintenance of his family; beside, was left in much debt by the late Earl of Rutland, which since is so much augmented, that the pressure is heavy upon him. Now so it is, that the Lord Viscount Campden hath been a principal instrument in the ruin of the petitioner's castle, lands, and woods, about Belvoyre, ever since the first taking thereof, being a chief commander there, and to the damage of the petitioner above 20,0001.” The lords recommended this petition to the house of commons; and it was agreed by both houses, “That 1,500l. a year be allowed and paid to the Earl of Rutland, for his present subsistence, out of the Lord Viscount Campden's estate, until 5,0001. be levied out of the said estate, to the use of the said Earl of Rutland *.” To describe the various events that occurred at Belvoir castle during the civil wars, would occupy much space; and would be nearly a repetition of several engagements, sieges, &c. that have been already detailed in the preceding volumes of this work.
John, the third son of the above nobleman, succeeded his father in these estates, &c. in 1679, when he became the ninth Earl. He was married three times; was particularly attached to the castle of Belvoir; and spent a sort of rural life here. Though he declined appearing at court, the Queen advanced him to the titles of Marquis of Granby, in the county of Nottingham, and DUKE OF RUTLAND. He died here in January, 1710-11, and was buried at Bottesford, when the Rev. Mr. Felton preached a serinon, which was afterwards published, and which contains some account of the family, with a panegyric on the deceased duke.
* Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. VII.