[From Draper The House of Stanley]


The princely domain of Knowsley has been in possession of the present House of Stanley and its maternal ancestors during the last seven centuries. Knowsley became the property of the Lathom family by the marriage of Sir Robert de Lathom with Catherine, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas de Knorsley, from whom it passed into the Stanley family by the marriage of Isabella, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas de Lathom, the grandson of Sir Robert de Lathom, with Sir John Stanley, the founder of the House of Derby, by which happy and eventful union was laid the foundation of that strength and nobility of which "Lathom and Knowsley" are proverbially significant, the honour of which has ever been so signally sustained by the illustrious race of the Stanleys.

Knowsley, now the principal seat of the Earl of Derby, is mentioned in Domesday Survey as Chenulueslei (Knoosley), and is situate in the parish of Huyton, being about eight miles from Liverpool and two from Prescot. During its possession by the Lathom family, Knowsley appears to have been kept as a hunting lodge and chase, the principal residence of the Lathoms being Lathom House ; and even after it had passed into the Stanley family, until after the battle of Bosworth, which terminated the protracted and bloody contests that had raged between the royal Houses of York and Lancaster, Knowsley remained a hunting seat ; and, no doubt, it was to enjoy the pleasures of the chase there afforded that Henry VII. was entertained at Knowsley also, when on a visit to his mother, the Countess of Thomas, the first Earl of Derby, at Lathom,—Knowsley Hall, as well as Lathom House 1, having been previously enlarged for the reception of the King by the erection of a detached stone building with two round towers, at the south front, but now having the square tower (within which is the magnificent banquetting-hall) and the colonnade front on the east, and the stewards’ offices on the west, the latter being connected to the mansion by a stone arch-way. Between the two round towers are contained the royal apartments, still distinguished by the name of "The King’s Chambers." In 1552 the Knowsley estate was greatly increased by Edward, the third Earl of Derby, who received in exchange for his house in London, called Derby Place, considerable lands adjoining the old domain of Knowsley, as occupied by his ancestors. For many years, Edward and Henry, the third and fourth Earls of Derby, kept open three establishments in the county, these being Lathom House, the New Park, called Alton or Horton Castle 2, and Knowsley, and took up their residence alternately at each of them, as is fully borne out by an entry in the " Household Diary" of Earl Henry, in December, 1586, which is as follows :—"On Satoreday the householde removed from Knowsley to the New P’ke," where it appears to have remained for six days, for on the following " Fryday the householde at the New P’ke brake vppe, and the stvffe3removed to Lathom," where the house-hold spent the Christmas of that year.

Knowsley Park is the largest park in Lancashire, being about thirteen miles in circumference, and having an area of about two thousand statute acres. Round the park are eleven elegant stone lodges, and, with the exception of the Liverpool lodge, all have large and ingeniously-wrought iron gates, by which entrance is gained into the park. The Liverpool approach lodge is the principal lodge, and is a massive and imposing structure, the ponderous oak doors being under a handsome arch, supported by a round tower on the right and a square tower on the left, and surmounted in the centre with the Derby arms and the family motto. Over the door of the side entrance of this lodge, which is under the square tower, is the following inscription " Bring Good News, and Knock boldly."

The surface of the park is delightfully varied, and abounds in beautiful scenery—lawn and woodland alternating in picturesque variety, and clumps of majestic trees of ancient growth adorn the summits of verdant slopes, and broad avenues open up pleasing prospects. From the Stand-hill and the other more elevated positions, the spectator has a splendid view of the surrounding country ; and, looking towards the sea, where the prospect is not intercepted, the scene which presents itself is most charmingly picturesque, and embraces St. George’s Channel, Formby, Ormskirk, and the surrounding neighbourhood. The finest trees are in the Glade-woods, to the north of the Stand-hill, one of which is an object of special interest from the fact of its appearing to have been twisted in the stem, as by some "giant hand," from top to bottom. On the Prescot side from the Stand-hill are a number of fine old thorns, the great growth and beauty of which cannot fail to secure the attention of the visitor. Be-sides the rich plantations of stately trees with which the park is so tastefully decorated, a fine sheet of water, about ninety acres in extent, called the "Large Lake," or the "White Man’s Dam,"4 adorns the centre, being about a mile and a-half to the north-east of the mansion, not far from which, on a gentle slope, on the south-east, below the Stand-hill5 stands the nude statue of "The White Man," which tradition says was found in the lake ; and on the west side of this large lake is the Boat-house, built of stone, the interior displaying on the panels of the wainscotting a fine array of oak carved work, which, with its rich collection of rustic and antique furniture and other contents, affords to the visitor a pleasing and instructive retreat. In addition to the lake, just noticed, but more south-east of the mansion, is the "Mizzy Dam ;" and at the south front of the hall, beyond the lawn and beautiful pleasure-grounds, which surround the south and east fronts of the mansion, is another fine lake, extending in width equal to the whole length of the mansion on that side, called "The China Temple Dam," which, like the Mizzy Dam, receives its water from the Large Lake or White Man’s Dam. The gardens and pleasure-grounds are very extensive, and are laid out with great taste, being profusely decorated with the choicest of nature’s ornaments and many valuable works of art,—the group of " Hercules and Antæus," competing in their giant strength, occupying a prominent position a few yards beyond the south-west side of the China Temple Dam6. On this side also, and stretching beyond from west to east on the Prescot and Eccieston side, is the Deer-Park, with its bounding and roaming herds of red and fallow deer, —the whole presenting a picture of grandeur and loveliness far easier to conceive than describe.

The mansion may be described as consisting of two sides of a square, the main part, as it now stands, having been erected by James, the tenth Earl. The west, or carriage-approach front is composed of red brick, with stone quoins and dressings to the long range of numerous windows, which give to it a somewhat modern aspect, although including some of the most ancient portions of the edifice. This front is very extensive, and is disposed in three equal parts of uniform height, the main entrance being in the centre, gained by a double flight of steps to the principal floor : and the whole is surmounted with a balustrade and neat scroll ornaments. In this portion of -the mansion are contained the spacious and princely magnificent drawing-rooms, and also the splendid picture gallery, with its rich and valuable treasures of artistic works. The east front, like the west front, is built of red brick, having stone dressings to the long range of windows similar to those on the opposite front. On this side of the edifice, and about the middle, is a projecting wing, forming the domestic chapel, which is entered from the interior of the mansion. The chapel has recently been refitted up in the Gothic style, the seats, which are of Dantzic oak, being very neat, and having on indented panels on the sides richly-carved foliage, differing on each. The pulpit stands at the east of the chapel, and is also of oak, and is very chaste in design and beautifully carved. On each side of the pulpit is a finely-carved old oak chair ; and the mantel-piece, which is at the west and on the right of the entrance, is of variegated marble. The east side exhibits a longer facade than any other, extending the whole length of the building, and has a somewhat street-like appearance, terminating at one end with the south-east angle of the colonnade front, and at the other end with the north-east angle of that portion of the edifice north of the library, a portion of which was devoted to the museum of the late Earl of Derby. On this front of the mansion are the Derby and Hesketh arms, with the date 1704 between two coronets, and a stone tablet underneath the whole thus inscribed,—" Edward and Elizabeth, Earl and Countess of Derby." In the garden, off the north-end of this front, stands the conservatory. The south front is built of red stone, and is in the castellated style of architecture, and has three distinct divisions, as already noticed, these being the colonnade front, which is the termination of the brick portion of the edifice ; the massive square tower, forming the ban-quetting-hall ; and the buildings with the two round towers comprising the King’s apartments, which, as originally built by Thomas, the first Earl of Derby, were detached from the the rest of the mansion, and included a drawing-room, dining-room, staircase, bed-chamber, dressing-room, page’s room, a bed-chamber for the lord chamberlain, and a dining-room for the principal officers of his Majesty’s household. The modern or red stone portion of this front was built by Edward, the twelfth Earl of Derby, for the reception of the Prince Regent, the tower forming the banquetting-hall being completed about 1821. This is the principal front of the mansion, and accords in style more than any other part with that of the old baronial halls of England. The colonnade portion of this front stands out more than the other parts, and is two stories high. The colonnades are of stone, and painted, one being above the other. The base one is supported by six pair of columns of the Doric order, the spaces between the pillars being left open to the gravel walk, from which the floor of the colonnade is gained by the ascent of two steps. The columns of the upper colonnade, which rest on the plinths of those below, are also six in number, but of the Ionic order, and have a rail-work, breast high, between each two of the columns. On each side of the entrances, opposite the intervals between the pillars, are deep rounded recesses in which are seats. Over the entrance to the upper colonnade, which is from within, is a large and splendid gilt panel, inserted in the wall at the outside, bearing, in basso-relievo, the " Expulson of Adam and Eve from Paradise ;" and above the centre of this upper colonnade are the arms of the family, resting on a large stone tablet, the latter bearing the followinS inscription :—

James Earl of Derby, Lord of Man and the Isles, Grandson of
James Earl of Derby, and of Charlotte, Daughter of Claude
Duke de la Tremouille ; whose Husband James, was beheaded at
Bolton, xv Oct. MDCLII,7 for strenuously adhering to Charles the Second,
who refused8 a Bill passed unanimously by both Houses of Parliament, for restoring
to the Family the Estate lost by his loyalty to him.

In this south front, over another entrance, a fragment of the old mansion has been neatly introduced, on which are sculptured two of the badges of the Stanley family—the eagle’s claw erased, and the three legs conjoined, armed, and spurred —the well-known ensign of the Kings of Man. The north front, which forms the wing of the west, or carriage-approach front, like the new portion of the opposite or south front, is built of red stone. This front too is two stories high. The upper story contains the " bachelors’ apartments," and the lower one, the larders and other store-rooms. This front has a somewhat sombre appearance, though the prospect from the windows of the bachelors’ apartments is very fine and picturesque.

Having given a brief outline of the exterior of the mansion, we will now proceed to notice summarily some of the principal apartments of the interior. Entering at the west vestibule, we are led into the hall, which is fitted up as a billiard-room ; and, opposite this entrance, has just been erected a magnificent staircase, 30 feet by 27 feet, the whole being formed of richly-carved oak, and having a most imposing appearance. To the right, or south side of the entrance-hall, are two splendid drawing-rooms, en suite, each having four windows, the splendour and magnitude of which are quite in character with the mansion. The walls are profusely decorated with a fine display of costly pictures, the most prominent of which is that highly-finished and valuable painting, " Belshazzar’s Feast," by Rembrandt, in which the figure of the king is truly majestic, and his attitude and alarmed countenance, as seen below his high and curious turban, strongly indicative of his surprise at, and concernment as to the meaning of the " handwriting" which has so unexpectedly appeared before him on the wall. From the second drawing-room the stucco-gallery is entered, the walls of which are also hung with paintings by the first masters. This gallery terminates in a handsome mahogany staircase, which leads to apartments called the " mahogany chambers," from the wainscotting and furniture being all of solid mahogany. At this point the house ends in the handsome colonnade front, already noticed. From the stucco-gallery on the right, entrance is gained into the stucco-room, so named from its walls being ornamented with that material. The walls of this beautiful white marble-like apartment display medallions bearing the heads of the twelve Cæsars, the great philosopher Locke, and other celebrated characters, in basso-relievo. The ceiling also is adorned with various devices, and the cornices are remarkably neat,. This magnificent saloon was built and fitted up as a ball-room by James, the tenth Earl of Derby, but the apartment is now used, in common with thOse just named, as a drawing-room. From this apartment access is had to the King’s chambers, and here, in the royal bed-chamber, is a handsome bedstead, which, besides other distinctions of royalty, bears on the top of the footboard a large Prince of Wales feather in gold, the drapery being crimson velvet. These apartments were occupied by the Prince Regent, afterwards King George IV., while on his visit at Knowsley to the twelfth Earl of Derby. In this room is hung, with others, an interesting painting, the subject of which is the celebrated Countess Charlotte de la Tremouille receiving the " last message" from Colonel Rigby during the siege of Lathom House, in which the bearer of the message is brought blindfolded into the presence of the Countess, who, after reading the document, tears it, and indignantly dismisses the " foolish instrument of a traitor’s pride" with a disdainful scorn.9 The two adjoining apartments, the royal dressing-room and sitting-room, also contain many valuable paintings, the latter receiving the name of " the miniature room," its walls being hung with many valuable miniature portraits, some being Vandykes painted on ivory, amongst which are those of Queen Elizabeth, Charles I., Cromwell, and other distinguished personages.

Retracing our steps, we now proceed to the banquetting hall, which was built by Edward, the twelfth Earl of Derby, the work being completed in or about the year 1821. This apartment, in which are held the festive celebrations of the Derby line of the noble House of Stanley, is contained within the massive stone tower at the south front of the mansion, as already stated, and is one which crowned heads would be proud to possess. This gorgeous and magnificent apartment is entered by a massive double door of beautifully carved oak, about sixteen feet in height. The hall is very spacious, and is fitted up in the Gothic style. It is about fifty feet high to the ceiling, which is pierced in the centre by a capacious and beautiful lantern light, through which and the fine window on the south is admitted an effulgence of light into the apartment ; and from the centre of the lantern light is suspended an elegant chandelier. The furniture is all of massive oak, richly carved, and is fashioned to, and strictly harmonjses with the hall. The most prominent piece of furniture is a magnificent and elaborately-carved oak side-board, of considerable antiquity, Occupying a position on the west side of the apartment ; and there are also in the room two other large sideboards at the north end, one being on each side of the entrance ; and immediately opposite the entrance stands a large and beautiful screen, bearing Chinese figures. Two large and elegant fireplaces, one on the east and the other on the west side of the hall, having pure white marble mantels, impart an air of homeliness and comfort to the surrounding grandeur, which is greatly enhanced by the rich drapery and artistic decorations, all being highly and pleasingly appropriate in taste and character. In this banquetting-hall are treasured a numerous and valuable collection of family portraits, including those of the whole of the deceased Earls of Derby and their Countesses. In viewing this matchess collection of family portraits, one cannot fail to have the attention drawn specially to those of Thomas, the first Earl of Derby, and his Countess, Margaret of Lancaster, the mother of Henry VII., who is represented as the very personjficatjon of a saint dead to the world, with uplifted hands in the attitude of deep devotion, and having her breviary laid open on a cushion before her ; and also to those of James, the martyred Earl, and his illustrious and heroic Countess, Charlotte de la Tremouille, and to that of her mother, Charlotte Brabantine de Nassau. Several of the portraits at Knowsley are by Holbeins, Vandyke, Sir Peter Lely, Reynolds, and other great masters. The walls of the banquet-ting-hall are also adorned with four other valuable pictures, painted on leather, by Burgoyne, the subjects being " The Passage of the Red Sea," " The Journey towards the Land of Promise," " Moses, with Aaron and Hur, on Mount Horeb, interceding with God on behalf of the Israelites who are fighting with the Amalekites at Rephidim," and " Joshua commanding the Sun." These pictures are very large and beautifully framed, and are hung over, and north of the fire-places, on each side. In addition to the portraits already noticed, the Knowsley collection includes a third fine portrait of the Countess Charlotte de la Tremouille, in which she is represented in her widow’s weeds, and which shows, as Canon Raines observed, at the annual meeting of the Chetham Society, in 1864, that " she retained the peculiar features of her character even in her old age ;" and there has also been recently found at Knowsley, and rescued from par-tial obscurity, owing to the kindness of the present Earl of Derby to the Chetham Society, a fine portrait, by Dobson, of Archdeacon Rutter, the celebrated chaplain to the seventh Earl and his Countess, who acted so conspicuous and faithful a part during the memorable siege of Lathom House and the trying events subsequent thereto.

The superb collection of pictures which adorn the walls of the picture-gallery (which is ninety feet by eleven feet), the drawing-rooms, and almost every other apartment of the mansion, is too extensive to enumerate. Amongst this vast collection of paintings, however, may be mentioned—Seneca in the Bath, by Rubens ; Augurs prophesying from the Flight of Birds, by Salvator Rosa ; Glaucus and Scylla, by the same master ; Christ and the Woman of Samaria, a beautiful and highly finished picture, by Vanderwert ; Christ delivering the Keys to Peter ; Dead Christ, by Vandyke ; Angel’s Head, by Guido ; Head of John the Baptist in a Charger ; Hercules and Antæus, by Rubens ; Procession to the Temple of Apollo at Deiphos, by Claude ; The Expulsion from Eden ; Madona and Child, by Oorreggio ; The Feast of Levi, by Paul Veroness ; a highly-coloured Venus, and the Arnours of Cupid and Psyche, both by Cheron ; Rape of the Sabines, after Rubens ; Wild Boar Hunt, the man being by Rubens, the animals by Sneyders ; Group of Zebras ; several sea pieces, by Vanderveldt, Monamy, and De Long ; and three pictures of Knowsley as the mansion has been. There are also in the Knowsley collection many other valuable paintings by Teniers, Correggio, Pousin, Claude Lorraine, Salvator Rosa, and other eminent masters. As already mentioned, 10 the works of the old masters were, for the most part, brought from the Continent at the expense of James, the tenth Earl of Derby, by Hamlet Winstanley, a native of Warrington, who is said to have etched no less than twenty of the finest of these paintings in 1729, under the patronage of Earl James.

The corridors and staircases also display numerous antlered trophies of the chase, whose histories are connected with kings and princes and other distinguished visitors at Knowsley and Lathom. Throughout the mansion, the furniture is remarkably chaste, and strictly harmonises with each apartment. In speaking of the furniture, we must not omit to mention two large and elaborately-carved oak cupboards, one of which bears the date of 1501, and has several Scripture pieces carved on its panels and other parts in alto-relievo. There is also another carved-oak sideboard worthy of notice, the carving of which is by the Countess of Charles, the eighth Earl, and bears on the front the following inscription, in large characters,—" Helena, Countess of Derby."

The library is on the left or north side of the entrance-hall on the west, and contains a large and valuable collection Of books, which are under the care of a librarian. The library also contains an extensive and curious collection of old prints and manuscripts, and drawings by the best ancient masters ; and here are also treasured, in beautiful order, a valuable and interesting collection of family portraits in neat cases, with a short biographical notice written on the back of each. Here, too, we must not omit to mention, is a very interesting relic of James, the martyred Earl, being the chair on which the Earl seated himself immediately after ascending the scaffold, previously to his execution.—(See page 223.) The chair is oak, having a low carved back, and spiral spindles. The chair has been presented to the present Earl of Derby, and bears the following inscriptiõn, on a silver plate, at the back,—" This Chair of the Great Earl of Derby at his martyrdom was presented by James Hardcastle, of Bolton-le-Moors, Esquire, to the Right Hon. Edward-Geoffrey, Earl of Derby."

The interior arrangements of the mansion afford every accommodation and comfort, each department being replete with every modern improvement. Adjoining the library are large suites of apartments occupied by the family ; and in rear of the entrance-hall is a staircase communicating with a corridor which runs nearly the whole length of the mansion, being lighted by sky-lights, and having a range of doors on each side opening to sleeping apartments.

The present stables and coach-house at Knowsley, erected about fourteen years ago by the late Earl, at an expense of £30,000, form a magnificent building, and are the largest in all Lancashire, probably in England, and are fitted up with every modern appointment. This equine palace stands off the north end of the mansion, almost in a line with the large lake, between which formerly stood the famous aviary and menagerie of the late Earl.

To give even a summary of the interesting objects in and around the noble mansion of Knowsley would require a volume itself, therefore we desist, and bring our notice of Knowsley to a close with the following extract from an in-teresting poem " On Knowsley," from the pen of an unknown author, about the year 1760

Whilst nature’s face diffusive joys o’erspread,
And the gay Spring in verdure lifts its head,
Whilst all around enlivening scenes appear,
And recent honours deck the blooming year.
E’sn my cold breast the genial season knows,
And through my veins life revels as it flows.
Delightful forms before my fancy play,
And joy spontaneous pours the tuneful lay.

Let youthful bards when candidates for fame
Imagin’d ardour from their " Phoebus " claim;
Let them in verse laborious wing their flight,
And pant to gain Parnassus’ tow’ring height;
Disdain, my muse, such low fantastic aids,
As streams of Helicon, and Pindus’ shades;
To Knowsley all those beauteous scenes belong,
Which charm the poet, and adorn his song;
Sweetness the song, the poet must have praise,
Who tunes, whilst Derby smiles, his grateful lays.

Delightful objects here around me rise,
At once exalt my fancy and surprise;
Here art and nature amicably join,
This nobly great—that regularly fine.
Hence opening vales extensive prospects show,
Till hills o’er hills arising, bound the view.
Here blooms a grove, there laughs a verdant mead,
Here spouts a fount, there rolls a loud cascade.
New columns here the chastest rules refine,
And recent domes in splendid structure shine;
Memorial lines, on high the summit grace,
A hero’s glory, but a king’s disgrace.
How DERBY arm’d, the just inscription shows,
In Charles’s cause, to tame the rebellious foes,
Serenely brave, he join’d th’ unequal strife,
There lost his fortune, liberty, and life.
How didst thou, Charles, repay so vast a debt?
Repay thou could’st not, therefore—didst forget.

An injur’d offspring, an ungrateful king,
Sad themes ! to verse no decoration bring;
More grateful objects here the senses find,
Whilst glad amusements brighten to the mind.

What varied sweets perfume the ambient air,
Shot from the bosom of yon gay parterre !
Here blooming flow’rs their painted heads unfold,
Luscious to smell, and splendid to behold;
Here colour all its gaudy pride displays,
In bright reflections and distinguished rays,
Colour, whose magic laws the sight beguile,
Bid nature flourish, and creation smile.

What guides the leaf to catch the solar ray
What to refract, and what reflect the day;
From what deep source the strange appearance flows,.
When each fair texture variously glows;
How dart the beams on pores how nicely laid
Whilst these fly from them, and whilst those pervade,
The deep research the muse attempts in vain,
It mocks her labour and chides her pain;
Nature unveil’d alone can NEWTON show,
Alone disclose her mysteries to view;
NEWTON, whose name shall deck Britannia’s shore
Till time, and light, and colour be no more!

Thus lavish nature decks the blissful scene
Without, whilst art triumphant reigns within
Each shinig piece for fixed attention calls,
Where Roman artists decorate the walls;
Here Bassan gladdens, and Correggio charms;
There Paulo elevates, and Titian warms;
What heighten'd gustos, and what grand designs!
How strong th’ expression, and how bold the lines
See lights and shades, life, motion, passion give,
And still in paint, kings, heroes, sages live!
some great event each pregnant piece displays,
And useful pleasure to the mind conveys.

There infant Rome sends forth her youthfultrain,
To feastful combat on the insidious plain;
Drawn by the novel rites, the Sabine fair,
The destin’d prizes of the day, appear;
Each warrior eyes an amiable prey,
Waits for the sign, then bears a prize away.

There god-like Seneca, in death sedate,
Rises superior, and looks down on fate;
Through lengthen’d wounds his gaping veins divide,
Doth still retain the crimson vital tide,
His blood, as willing Nero to confound,
Flows from the sluice, and stagnates in the wound.

Here draws the eye a venerable scene,
Where Rome in pompous solitude is seen;
Whose splendid piles august in ruin nod,
And sculptur’d columns bend beneath their load.

There in the clouds with hoary time, appear
Devouring famine and destructive war.
But partial causes these, whose noxious force
Labour suspends, till valour stops their course.
Paint artist there, cbain’d minds, and exil’d hopes,
Paint friars, jesuits, cardinals and popes;
Those plague and pass—these sure destruction bring—
They taint the climate, and they blast the spring.

Monsters in paint as nature still offend,
Wonder we may. but never can commend.
Whence then this motly crew of lustful fawns
Of goats, and satyrs bounding o’er the lawns
Alike the poet as the painter nods,
In wanton goddesses, and drunken gods.

Picture, like verse, should warm but not inflame,
Should mend the heart, but rebel passions tame;
Satire than truth more proselytes will gain,
And jest prevail, when doctors preach in vain.
In just resemblance Hogarth thus arrays,
And nymphs of Drury to themselves displays,
The loathsome progress all with horror see,
How black they are, how wretched soon must be,
In each black soul successive terrors dwell,
Of Chaitres, Gonaon, Misaubin, and hell.

For virtue’s aid was each bright talent giv’n,
And skill and genius, donatives of heaven;
For this each artist should exert his fire,
And this high object bold attempts inspire!
For this the sage should spend his midnight oil,
Should bards indite, should politicians toil;
Heroes for this laborious fields sustain,
And front the horrors of th’ embattl’d plain.
Hence wreaths immortal crown’d great William’s bead,
For tyrants vanquish’d, and for nations freed;
Hence DERBY fought for conscience, right and law,
For virtue, freedom, Britain and Nassau.
DERBY, whose praise the advent’rous muse would claim,
But sinks, unequal to th’ important theme.
Her thoughts no longer will expression meet,
Mute and confused she owns the task too great !


1 LATHOM House is now the property and seat of the Right Honouiable Lord Skelmersdale, and is a splendid mansion in the Italian style of architecture. The rebuilding of the present south front (as already stated at page 256) was commenced by William-Richard-George, the ninth Earl of Derby, upon the site of the old Lathom House which had been so heroically defended by the Countess of the seventh Earl of Derby during the mcmor able siege of 1644, but the Earl dying shortly after the work was begun, the estate passed to Lord Ashburnham, who had married Henrietta-Maria, second daughter of the ninth Earl of Derby, from whom it passed by purchase to Henry Furnese, Esq., who, in 1724, re-sold it to Sir Thomas Bootle, Knight of Melling, who, in the same year (1724) recommenced the building of the mansion and completed it in 1734, after a beautiful design by Leoni, which was published in the Vitruvius Britannicus, vol. iv., that portion of the south front, as erected by the ninth Earl of Derby, being retained.—Sir Thomas Bootle had been bred to the law, and secured for himself the most honourable distinction in his profession, and was Chancellor of Frederick Prince of Wales. He died a bachelor, and left his estates to his brother Robert, a distinguished naval officer in the East India Company’s service, whose daughter Mary, and sole heiress, married Richard Wilbraham, Esq., of Rode Hall, M.P. for Chester, the lineal descendant of Sir Richard de Wilburgharn, high-sheriff of Cheshire in 1295, and who, in compliance with the testimentary injunction of his wife’s uncle, Sir Thomas Bootle, assumed the additional surname of Bootle, but his elder son, Edward, who succeeded to the family estates in 1796, and married, on the 19th of April of the same year, Mary-Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. Edward Taylor, of Bifrons, and resumed by sign-manual, in 1814, the surname of Wilbraham, and in 1828 was raised to the peerage as Lord Skelmersdale, whose elder son was the Hon. Richard Bootle Wilbraham, of The Blythe, Lathom, M.P. for South Lancashire, who married Jessy, third daughter of Sir Richard Brooke, Bart., but who dying before his father, the first Lord Skelmersdale, the estates descended to his son Edward, the present Lord Skemersdale, who was born 12th December, 1817, and married, in 1860, Alice, daughter of the fourth Earl of Clarendon. The other children of the first Lord and Lady Skelmersdale are Colonel the Hon. Edward Bootle-Wilbraham, late of the Coldstrearn Guards ; the Hon. Mary-Charlotte Bootle-Wilbraham ; and Emma-Caroline, the present Countess of Derby. Besides the present Lord Skelrnersdale, the Hon. Richard Bootle-Wilbraham, M.P., eldest son of the first Lord Skelmcrsdale, left four still surviving daughters, namely, the Hon. Adela-Mary Bootle-Wilbraham, born 1834 ; the Hon. Jessy-Caroline Bootle-Wilbraharn, born 1836 ; the Hon. Edith Bootle-Wilbraharn, born 1840, and married, September 7th, 1859, at Lathom Chapel, to Ynyr-Henry Burges, Esq., only son of Mr. and Lady Caroline Burges, of Parkanaur, Tyrone, Ireland, and grandson of Nathaniel Clernents, second Earl of Leitrim ; and the Hon. Rose Bootle-Wilbraham, born 1842.—The mansion of Lathom, as completed by Sir Thomas Bootle, consisted of a ground floor, principal, and attic, with a rusticated basement, having a double flight of steps to the first story, the steps at the south side being within, and those at the north without the mansion. In 1859-60, an additional story was erected on the middle portion of the edifice, extending to the south and north pedirnents, each tympanum being pierced with three round lights, by which arrangement thirteen more bedrooms were gained, as well as a great improvement in the external elevation of the mansion effected, and the external appearance of the south front was also further improved by the erection of a double flight of steps to the first story outside the mansion similar to those on the north side. The south front is about 70 feet in depth, and, with the exception of the new story, has 11 windows on the first and second floor, and 13 on the third floor. The north front extends 156 feet, and on this side there are nine windows on each of the three stories. The double flight of steps on this side lead to the grand hall, under which is the entrance to the common hall. The north-front forms three sides of an open square, having east and west wings, facing each other (containing the offices), of large and uniform dimensions, which are joined to the mansion by two colonnades, supported by Ionic pillars. Each wing, in the centre, is sur mounted by a tower, that on the east being the bell tower, and that on the west the clock tower. The grand hall is on the principal floor, being about 40 feet by 40 feet and 30 feet high, and is ornamented with twelve halfcolumns of the Corinthian order, and also with paintings in chiaroscuro, by Goupy, the light and dark tints of which give to the apartment a most pleasing appearance. Adjoining the grand hall (to the south) is a handsome saloon, 40 feet by 24 feet and 24 feet in height. On the east side of the hail is the library, which is 50 feet by 21 feet ; and the dining-room, on the west, which was formerly only 37 feet by 22 feet, was, during the recent alterations greatly enlarged and tastefully decorated with columns of pilasters in the Corinthian order, composed of scagliola, in imitation of green marble, highly polished. Amongst the pictures at Lathom are some fine portraits, the principal of which are in the grand saloon just referred to, and include Sir Thomas Bootle, Knight of Melling and chancellor to Frederick Prince of Wales, the Prince, and those of the principal personages of his court and party, including Charles (the Proud) Duke of Somerset, William Boulteney (Earl of Bath), and others—Lathom Park is about seven or eight miles in circumference ; and within it is a chapel, which, before the Reformation, seems to have been under the Priory of Benedictines at Upholland, but has since been the domestic chapel of Lathom. It is worthy of remark that, contrary to usual ecclesiastical arrangement, the altar is at the south end of the sacred edifice, and the bell-turret on the north. About thirty-five years ago, the old altar window of Lathom Chapel was removed to St. Paul’s Church, Skelmersdale, the burial place of the Skelmersdale family, where it forms the east window. The chapel was put in its existing state by the late Lord Skelmersdale, the present altar window, as well as the others, which are remarkably neat, having been painted by the Honouarble Mary-Charlotte Bootle-Wilbraham. Adjoining the chapel, at the north, are the alms houses, ten in number, four of which were built about 1792, by Sir Thomas Wilbraham-Bootle, father of the first Lord Skelmersdale ; and adjoining the alms houses is a girls’ school, a short distance from which, but outside the park, is a boys’ school, both of which are supported at the sole expense of Lord Skelmersdale. In the park there is a trench, formed at the time of the siege, and cannon balls have been turned up in the adjoining grounds, and wooden tobacco pipes, which had been used by the soldiers during the siege, have also been discovered. Some years back, a stone coffin, containing the remains of a soldier buried during the siege was found in a delf, and whilst the recent alterations were being executed, the skeleton of another soldier was exhumed in the pleasure-grounds ; and a window sill or old Latbom House was also discovered in the excavations adjoining the mansion at the time the late improvements were being made, and a piece of stone tracery of one of the windows of the old mansion was likewise found. Within the park are two excellent stone quarries, called the " Round 0 Delf" and the " Park Delf," which have supplied the stone for the alterations recently effected. The stone used in the erection of the mansion, as completed by Sir Thomas Bootle, was hewn from the Scarisbrick quarry. The park is richly wooded, some of the trees being of large size and ancient growth ; and some years back, in addition to the extensive coal mines, which have been for many years worked, a cannel mine was discovered on the estate, from which the gas consumed at the mansion is manufactured.

2 See page 102.

3 The " stvffe " here mentioned, no doubt, included the necessary food in store, wearing apparel, and such moveable furniture as might be required.

4 The embankmetit of this fine lake of water is raised to a great height, but is con-cealed by a thick plantation. About seventy-five years ago, owing to a severe storm, the embankment gave way, and the whole body of the lake rushed down in a torrent, carrying away trees, soil, and everything before it, and breaking down the embankments of the Mizzy and China Temple lakes in the pleasure-grounds, and threatening the south-front of the house, which only narrowly escaped. The water found its level in the meadows on the south-west of the mansion.

5 Stand-hill receives its name from being the site of a square stone tower of considerable height, surmounted by a dome, and which is now used as an observatory, and serves as one of the landmarks to mariners entering Liverpool.

6 S This lake takes its name from an old temple, in the Chinese style, which stood on its banks, previously to the pleasure-grounds being modernized. At the ti-tue of the removal of this temple and the clearing out of the lake, a large gold cup and salver. of considerable antiquity, were found at the bottom of the lake. Whether the cup had been used as a wassail bowl in the temple, and by accident cast into the water, or whether it had been concealed there during the great Civil War, is not known. The salver fits on the top of the cup as a cover, and both are richly engraved, bearing Chinese ornaments and figures, those on the cup being a Chinese philosopher, reading, a Chinese officer, foliage, &c. ; and on the salver are three helmets, birds, and foliage. The weight of the cup and salver-is 15oz., and both are of the finest gold.

7 1651

8 Possibly the word " refused " has reference to some hesitancy on the part of the King, as a bill was passed in the 16 and 17 Charles II. (1664-5) by which Charles, the eighth Earl of Derby, was " restored to blood."

9 see page 129.

10 See page.258. :.  


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