Imatges de pÓgina

The Park of Arundel, which contains much picturesque scenery and many thriving plantations, was originally the hunting-forest of the ancient

Counts, and covered a great extent of country, which is now either under cultivation, or converted into pasture. Beyond the pleasure-grounds, immediately under the Keep, is the Inner Park, entirely surrounded by an artificial earth-work, still perfect, and adorned with magnificent elin and beech trees. The new, or Outer Park, comprises an extent of nearly twelve hundred acres, enclosed by a high wall with lodges, and stocked with a thousand head

of deer. The scenery is variegated by numerous undulations of surface-alternate ridge and ravine, grove and glade, and watered by rivulets that derive their source from the neighbouring Downs.

At a short distance from the entrance to the Park, on the south side, is Hiorne's Tower, the subject of the accompanying view. It is a triangular building, about fifty feet in height, with a turret at each angle, and in design and execution presents an admirable specimen of Gothic architecture. The merit of the design is due to the late distinguished architect, Mr. Hiorne, who superintended its erection, and left it as a monument to his name. The view from this tower, under a favourable atmosphere, presents a magni


ficent prospect of the adjoining Park. The soft pastoral hills that trace their bold outline on the sky; the umbragevus woods that cover the nearer acclivities; the villages, hamlets, and isolated dwellings that infuse life and activity into the picture; the herds of deer that are seen at intervals through the trees; the distant channel with its shipping, and the shining meanders of the river Arun-all present, in combination, one of the most richly diversified landscapes on which the eye of poet or of painter could love to expatiate.

To the readers of romance this scene is rendered doubly interesting by its immediate vicinity to Pugh-dean, where the graves of Bebis, the giant castellan




of Arundel, and his horse Hirondelle, carry us back to the days of King Arthur and his knights. To this personage we have already adverted * ;“ but of his connexion with the Castle of Arundel,” says Tierney, “ it were difficult to trace the origin, although there can be little doubt that it existed at a very early period. At the bottom of the valley called Pugh-dean, the locality now under notice, is a low oblong mound, resembling a raised grave in its form, and known in the traditions of the neighbourhood as 'Bevis's burialplace. It is about six feet wide, and not less than thirty feet long. It is accompanied by several smaller but similar mounds; and although peculiar in its shape, as compared with Roman and other tumuli which have been examined at different times, has, nevertheless much of a sepulchral character in its appearance. It was lately opened to a depth of several feet, but nothing was discovered in it. In the middle, however, at the bottom to which the ground was originally made to shelve from each end, a level space of about six feet in length had been left, as if for the reception of a deposit; and as the lightness of the soil above seemed to indicate that it had been merely removed, it is not improbable that this deposit may have rewarded some antiquary more fortunate than those who were engaged in the late excavation.”

Not far from this retired valley a different interest is excited by its having been the site of the chapel and hermitage of St. James—an hospital for lepers, and built soon after the middle of the thirteenth century, for the reception of the unhappy outcasts who were afflicted with that loathsome malady. The clump of trees observed in the view marks the locale of this ancient sanctuary, which must have enclosed a very considerable area.

A pleasing incident in the history of Arundel, is the visit of the Empress Matilda to her step-mother, Queen Adeliza, as already alluded to in our notice of Albini. Accompanied by her natural-brother, Robert of Gloucester, and a retinue of one hundred and forty knights, she was received

[ocr errors]

* See ante. p. 12, also Appendix to this Vol. p. 338-9, where

legend is given.

within the walls of the Castle, and treated with all the distinction which her own dignity and the affection of her relative could bestow. The news of her arrival, however, threw the army of Bing Stephen into immediate motion, and brought the engines of war under the walls of the Castle. Fearful of the consequences, Queen Adeliza determined to try the effects of policy in lieu of force, and appealed to the chivalrous feelings of the incensed Monarch, in behalf of her illustrious but ill-timed visitor. She assured him that the only object of her royal guest in making this visit, was to gratify those feelings of love and relationship, which might be reasonably supposed to exist between mother and daughter; that the gates of the Castle had been thrown open to her, not as a rival to the throne, but as a peacefully disposed visitor, who had a longing desire to see her native land, and who was ready to depart whenever it should please the King to grant her his safe-conduct to the nearest port. It was, moreover, delicately insinuated, that to lay siege to a Castle, where the only commander of the garrison was a lady, and where the only offence complained of was a mere act of hospitality to a female relation, was surely an enterprise neither worthy of a hero such as his Majesty, nor becoming in lim who was the crowned head of the English chivalry.

The result of this appeal, or of some more convincing argument *, has been already stated in the safe retirement of Matilda from the scene of danger, and her return to Normandy. But a small chamber over the inner gateway enjoys

the traditionary fame of having been her sleeping room, during her sojourn in

the Castle. It is a low square apartment, such as the castellan might have occupied during a siege. But, as an imperial chamber, it

could have had

had more than one recommendation, namely its security, in times when security was the chief object to be kept in view; and six centuries ago it was no doubt a very eligible state chamber. The bedstead on which the Empress is said to have reposed—for we would not disturb any point of popular and poetical faith—is




* See Appendix to this vol. pp. 336, 7; also Dugdale Bar. i. pp. 12, 118.




certainly a relic of considerable antiquity. Its massive walnut posts are elaborately carved, but so worm-eaten, that, unless tenderly scrutinised, the wood would be apt to fall into powder in the hands of the visitor. Looking upon this, as a relic of the twelfth century, it may be imagined with what feelings the daughter of a King, the consort of an Emperor, and mother of a King, laid her head upon that humble couch, reflected on her checkered fate, and felt the shock of warlike engines under the battlements.

“ 'Mid crash of states, exposed to fortune's frown,

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."

The other events and incidents which give Arundel particular distinction among the ancient baronial seats of England, are partly owing to the regal dignity of its visitors. It was here that Alfred and Harold are believed to have resided; and it was in the castle of Arundel that William Rufus, on his return from Normandy, celebrated the feast of Easter.* In 1302, King Edward the First spent some time within its walls: and from the fact of its containing an apartment familiarly known as the 'King's Chamber, it is probable that, in later times, it was often graced by the royal presence.f The luxury and splendour of its apartments are amply attested by the minute inventories of the costly materials employed in their decoration; while the princely revenues of many of its lords permitted them to indulge in a style of hospitality to which few subjects could aspire. It was frequented by the élite of our English chivalry; beauty and valour were its hereditary inmates; its court resounded to the strains of music; while military fêtes and religious solemnities gave alternate life and interest to its halls. Many a plan, afterwards developed in the field or the senate, was first conceived and matured in the baronial fastness of Arundel. One of the dark yet dramatic scenes of which it has been the theatre, is the conspiracy, in which the Earls of Arundel, Derby, Marshall, and Warwick; the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Abbot of St. Alban's and the Prior of Westminster, met the Duke of Gloucester, for the final ratification of the plot. After receiving the sacrament, says the Chronicle, they solemnly engaged, each for himself, and for one another, to seize the person of King Richard the Second ; his brothers, the Dukes of Lancaster and York; and, finally, to cause all the lords of the King's Council to be ignominiously put to death. This plot, however, was happily divulged in time to defeat its execution; and Arundel was brought to the block on the evidence of his son-in-law, Earl Marshall, then deputy-governor of Calais.I

Rediit ad vigiliam Paschæ in Angliam, appulit I See a full and interesting account of this conapud Arundel. Henr. Huntingd. lib. vii. 216. spiracy, with its disastrous consequences, at pp. 49,

+ Tierney, i. 55. Patent 30th Edw. I. M. 9, is 50, 51, of this vol. dated at Arundel.

So great, says Caraccioli,“ was the hereditary fame of Arundel Castle, and so high its prerogative, that Queen Adeliza's brother, Joceline of Lorraine, though a lineal descendant of Charlemagne, felt himself honoured in being nominated to the title of its Castellan.” From William de Albini, Joceline received in gift Petworth, with its large demesne; and on his marriage with Agness, heiress of the Percies, took the name of Percy—and, hence, probably, the origin of “Percy's Hall,” an apartment which has existed from time immemorial in Arundel Castle.

Of Isabel de Albini, the widow of Earl Hugh, the following anecdote is preserved :*-Having applied to the King for the wardship of a certain person, which she claimed as her right, and failing in her suit, she addressed him in these spirited words :—“ Constituted and appointed by God for the just government of your people, you neither gover yourself nor your subjects as you ought to do. You have wronged the Church, oppressed the nobles, and to myself, personally, have refused an act of justice, by withholding the right to which I am entitled.” “ And have the Barons," said the King, “ formed a charter, and appointed you their advocate, fair dame?” “No,” replied the Countess; “but the King has violated the charter of liberties given them by his father, and which he himself solemnly engaged to observe; he has infringed the sound principles of faith and honour; and I, although a woman, yet with all the freeborn spirit of this realm, do here appeal against you to the tribunal of God. Heaven and earth bear witness how injuriously you have dealt with us, and the avenger of perjury will assert the justice of our cause.” Conscious that the charge, though boldly spoken, was the voice of public opinion, and struck with admiration of her frank spirit, the King, stifling resentment, merely rejoined, “ Do you wish for my favour, kinswoman?” “ What have I to hope from your favour,” she replied, " when you have refused me that which is my right? I appeal to Heaven against these evil counsellors, who, for their own private ends, have seduced their liege lord from the paths of justice and truth."

We now take a short retrospect of the public services, patriotic achievements, and traits of personal character, which have distinguished the thirtytwo lords of Arundel from the period of the Conquest down to our own times. Of several of these, however, our notice must be exceedingly brief.Of Roger Montgomery and his family we have little to add beyond what has

• Tempore quoque sub eodem domino rege adhuc ut pro jure suo de quadam custodia ipsam continmoram Londini continuante, venit ad eum in Came- gente verba faceret sibi profectura, &c. Paris, p. 853, ram suam Isabella, Comitissa Harundelliæ relicta A. D. 1252. The original will be found in the ApComitis Harundellie H. et ejusdem regis cognata; pend. p. 339.

« AnteriorContinua »