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considerable ravages, the general disposition of the apartments is still to be traced; and the carving, of which a drawing is presented to the notice of the Society, may be deemed at least so far curious, as it affords a specimen of the taste of this country, soon after the introduction of the Italian architecture, and which, as to part of it, also seems by no means wanting in intrinsic merit.” The estate of Speke descended from the Norris family “to the late Topham Beauclerk, Esq. whose son, the present Mr. Beauclerk, disposed of it to the late Richard Watt, Esq. *”
At a short distance to the east of Speke, and at the southern extremity of the county, is HALE-H All, a seat and estate belonging to John Blackburne, Esq. one of the M. P. for Lancashire. This estate appears to have belonged to the Ireland family, soon after the conquest, and, according to some genealogical accounts, one of them was buried in the chapel belonging to the Hutt (the original seat) as early as 1088. An heiress of that family having married Thomas Blackburne, Esq. of Orford, near Warrington, thereby conveyed this estate into a new family, and it has since devolved to the present possessor, as heir of the above, Mr. Blackburne. The oldest part of the present mansion, the north front, appears to have been built by Sir Gilbert Ireland, in 1674, and continues in a tolerably perfect state. A modern front, to the south, has lately been erected, and this commands a fine view of the river Mersey, with the high grounds of Cheshire, and parts of North Wales. The river here is about three miles across, and Mr. Blackburne, as lord of the manor of Hale, is entified to
fourpence for every vessel that anchors on the northern shore of
the river, in this district. Near the house is a decoy-pool, for
taking wild ducks, teals, widgeons, &c. Here is a small chapel,
which is independent of the parish church of Chiliwall. In this chapelry was born, in the year 1578, John MIDDLE
To N, commonly called the “Child of Hale,” who was remarkable
• Archaeologia, Vol. XIV. p. 20, where a slight etching is given of the chimney-piece already referred to.
able for his largeness of stature, and extraordinary strength. It is traditionally reported here, that one of the Ireland’s “ took him to London, and introduced him to the presence of King James the First, drest up in a very fantastic style. On his return from London, a portrait was taken of him, which is preserved in the library of Brazen-nose College, at Oxford; and Dr. Plott t gives the following account of him:-“John Middleton, commonly called the Child of Hale, whose hand, from the carpus to the end of the middle finger, was seventeen inches; his palm eight inches and a half; and his height nine feet three inches, wanting but six inches of the size of Goliath.” * ALLERtoN-HALL, near the chapelry of Garston, is the seat of William Roscoe, Esq. the learned and elegant author of the Life of Lorenzo de Medici, and several other elegant literary works. The house is partly old, and partly modern, and conmands a cheerful view of the broadest part of the Mersey river, with the high lands about Runcorn, in Cheshires. This estate formerly belonged to the family of Latham, of Allerton, and Parbold, near Ormskirk, who sold it to Alderman Percival, of Liverpool, from whom it was purchased by John Hardman, who sold it to the present possessor.
O 4 - bold,
* In a M.S. account before me, he is called Sir Gilbert Ireland, “who, with some of the neighbouring Lancashire gentry, dizened him off with large ruffs about his neck and hands, a striped doublet of crimson and white round his waist, a blue girdle embroidered with gold, large white plush breeches, powdered with blue flowers; green stockings; broad shoes, of a light colour, having high red heels, and tied with large bows of red ribbon; and just below his knees were bandages of the same colour, with large bows; and by his side a sword, suspended by a broad belt over his shoulder, and embroidered, as his girdle, with blue and gold, with the addition of a gold friuge upon the edge. We are traditionally informed, that his amazing size, at one time, frightened away some thieves, who came to rob his mother's house.” In the dress just described he appears in his picture, in the possession of Mr. Blackburne, at Hale.
f History of Staffordshire.
; See View of the house annexed.
In Garston is an old mansion, called AIDBURGH-H ALL, which formerly belonged to the Tarleton family, and, after passing through different proprietors, came to John Tarleton, Esq. Several other handsome modern seats, and old hails, ornament the country south of Liverpool, and, on the high grounds east of the town, are numerous pleasant, and some elegant villas, belonging to the wealthy merchants of that prosperous sea-port. Indeed the environs of Liverpool, like those of London, and some other large cities and towns, are thickly covered with single houses, and rows of buildings; and clearly indicate to the passing traveller and fo– reigner, that domestic comforts and luxuries are the ultimate rewards of English industry and active talent.
The parish of WALtoN, called Walton on the Hill, from the elevated situation of the church, comprehends a large traci of country north of Liverpool, and, besides the parish church, which is a rich rectory, has the chapelries of Formby, W. Derby, and Kirkby, dependant on, and subordinate to it: besides the townships of Toxteth-park, Croxteth-park, Bootle, Everton, Kirkdale, Fazakerly, Linacre, Simond's-wood, Raver's-Meals, &c. There was an ancient family of Walton, of Walton; “the last of the name, who owned all the lands in Walton, left three daughters, coheiresses. By one of them, a third part passed to the family of Fazakerly, in which it continued till sold to the late Earl of Derby. Another part went to the Chorleys, of Chorley, but being forfeited in the rebellion of 1715, it was purchased by Mr. Crompton and others. The other third went to the family of Hoghton, of Hoghton-tower, by the descendants of which, most of
the estate was sold to Mr. Atherton *.” SEFTON
* Description of the country round Manchester, p. 329.