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The village of GREAT Mitton, though within the boundary of Yorkshire, is a portion of Whalley parish; and its Church is boldly seated on a high precipitous bank, above the river Ribble, near its junction with the Hodder. The church appears to be about the age of Edward the Third, and contains several monuments and tombs to the memory of the Sherburnes of Stonyhurst, in this parish. Most of these are within a private chapel or chantry", on the north side of the choir. The most ancient of the monuments is that to the memory of Sir Richard Sherburne, who, according to the inscription, was “master forester of the forest of Bowland, Steward of the manor of Sladeburn, Lieutenant of the Isle of Man, and one of her Majesty's deputy Lieutenants in the county of Lancaster.” Sir Richard died the 26th of July, 1594. Here is a mural monument to another Richard Sherburne and his Lady, kneeling: he armed; she in a ruff, with a black hood turning from behind over the top of her head. Three Altar-tombs, with recumbent figures in white marble, having long hair and loose gowns over their coats; one of these has his Lady lying by him. All of them are of the name of Richard, and each figure is spurred, and placed cross-legged. A long inscription to the memory of Sir Nicholas Sherburne, among other things, states, that he “was a man of great humanity, simpathy, and concern for the good of mankind, and did many charitable things while he lived; he particularly set his neighbourhood a spinning of Jersey wool, and provided a man to comb the wool, and a woman who taught them to spin, whom he kept in his house, and allotted several rooms he had in one of the courts of Stouilhurst, for them to work in, and the neighbours came to spin accordingly; the spinners came every day, and span as long a time as they could spare, morning and afternoon, from their families: this continued from April 1699, to August 1701. When they had all learn'd, he gave the nearest neighbour each a pound, or half a L 3 - pound
* A View of this is given in the History of Whalley, from an exquisite drawing by Turner.
pound of wool ready for spinning, and wheel to set up for themselves, which did a vast deal of good to the north side of Ribble, in Lancashire. Sir Nicholas Sherburn died December 16th, 1717. This monument was set up by the dowager dutches of Northfolk, in memory of the best of fathers and mothers, and in this vault designs to be interr'd herself, whenever it pleases God to take her out of the world.” “This epitaph, or rather history,” says Dr. Whitaker, “was written by the Duchess herself, who had certainly no mercy on the marble cutter.” The two tombs, and four statues of the father and mother, grandfather, and grandmother of Sir Nicholas Sherburne, were finished in 1699, for 253]. by William Stanton, lapidary, who lived near St. Andrew's Church in Holborn, London. The two male figures on these tombs, Dr. Whitaker says, “are probably the latest instances of cumbent cross-legged statues in the kingdom.” In November, 1328, Archbishop Melton appropriated the church of Mitton to the Abbey of Cockersand, reserving to himself.40s. per annum, and 20s. to the deacons of his cathedral, ordaining also a perpetual vicar, presentable by the convent. Near Mitton is BASHALL, a plain large house, formerly belonging to the Lacies, and granted by them to the Talbots, who possessed it for many centuries; but the present mansion appears to have been erected since the extinction of this family, and now belongs to John Lloyd, Esq. of Gwerhlás, in Merionethshire. WADDow HALL, also on the Yorkshire side of the Ribble, and immediately opposite to Clithero, is the seat of Thomas Weddel, Esq. The house is seated in a most romantic and picturesque district, on the side of a round and insulated hill, that rises from the bank of the river, which here runs furiously over a rocky channel. The views from this mansion, and the surrounding eminences, are greatly diversified, and comprehend the town and castle of Clithero, with the hills of Pendle, Penygent, and the more lofty Wharnside. In this parish is the chapelry of WADDINGton, where is an Almshorse, which was founded and endowed in 1700, by Robert Parker,
LAN CASHIRE, 169
chapel, washes the foot of a tall conical knowl, covered with oaks
• History of whalley, p. 208.
now enclosed, and mostly cultivated, was within a few years ranged by several herds of wild deer; the last of these was destroyed in the year 1805. Browseholme has long been the seat, or lodge of the Bowbearer”, or master-forester of the district t; and this title and office has been retained by the present worthy possessor. “Here have been two lawnds, or enclosures for deer, Radholme lawnd, and Lathgram Park. The beautiful river Hodder, famous for its umber, rising near the cross of Grete, and passing through the parish of Sladeburn, intersects the forest, and forms the only ornamental scenery of a tract, otherwise bleak and barren, by its deep and fringed banks. On one of these is the little chapel of 'Whitewell, together with an inn, the court-house of Bowland, and, undoubtedly, a very ancient resting-place for travellers journeying from Lancaster to Clithero, or Whalley. The landscape here is charming—the Hodder brawling at a great depth beneath the chapel, washes the foot of a tall conical knowl, covered with oaks to its top, and is soon lost in overshadowing woods beneath.-But it is for the pencil, and not the pen, to do justice to this scene. On the opposite hill, and near the keeper's house, are the remains of a small encampment, which has been supposed to be Roman, but the remains are too inconsiderable to justify any conjecture about them. At no great distance a cairn of stones was opened, and found to contain a sort of kist-vaen, and a skeleton: it is singular that neither of these remains have been moticed by Rauthmell, the diligent and accurate investigator of the Roman antiquities of his own neighbourhood: but as he was minister of Whytewell, he could scarcely be ignorant of this encampment, and may therefore be presumed not to have thought it Roman. On an adjoining height was discovered a quarry and manufactory of querns, or portable millstones, of which, though probably introduced by the Roman soldiers into Britain, the use appears to have continued among us till after the Norman conquest”.”
- - - chapel,
were separated at an early period from their mother church, and at the Domesday Survey were taken as portions of the manor of Grindleton, as they have since been of Slaydburn; but the forest of Bowland, in the strict sense, was, in its civil relation, always taken as one of the demesnes of the castle, and subject to the court of Woodmote alone; and its ecclesiastical was always a portion of the extra parochial tract called the Castle-parish, and uniformly paid tythes to the Abbey of Whalley, after the annexation of the chapel of St. Michael in Castro."—History of Whalley, p. 206.
- * Dr. Whitaker thinks that the title of Bowbearer is allusive to this forest: but we find it in different Archaeological works applied to an under officer of the forest; and in Cromp. Jur. fo. 201, his peculiar duty is defined.
#. One custom in letting the great sheep farms in the higher parts of Bowland, deserves to be mentioned, as I do not know, says Dr. Whitaker, that it prevails any where else.—It is this, that the flock, often consisting of 2000 sheep, or more, is the property of the lord, and delivered to the tenant by a schedule, subject to the condition of delivering up an equal number of the same quality at the expiration of the term. Thus the tenant is merely usufructuary of his own stock—The practice was familiar to the Roman law, and seems to have arisen from the difficulty of procuring tenants who were able to stock farms of such extent.
The mansion at Browseholme is a large pile of building, with a centre, and two wings projecting at right angles from the ends. In the front of the centre is an ornamental façade of three stories, with pilasters of four orders of architecture, and the whole in the
fashion of Elizabeth and James the First's reigns. Though many very considerable improvements have been progressively made, and are still making in the house, yet the present possessor carefully guards against any innovations or alterations in the exterior character of this venerable and interesting specimen of ancient domestic architecture. Within the house is a fine old library, well stored with curious, useful, and amusing literature; a collection of coins, and a valuable assemblage of manuscripts, many of which relate to the history and antiquities of the neighbourhood. Among other curiosities preserved here with laudable attention, is the Original Seal of the Commonwealth, consisting of massy silver, and inscribed “ The Seale for approbation of Ministers.”
* History of Whalley, p. 208.