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longer. It finally surrendered in 1539, when there were fourteen
nuns, a prioress, and a sub-prioress. The site of the priory, with
the demesne lands, were granted in the same year to Sir Humph-
rey Foster, Knight, by the service of a fourth part of one knight's
fee, and the rent of 50s. a year. This gentleman immediately
conveyed the whole to John Beaumont, Esq. to whom a very
curious inventory" of the “household-stuffe, corne, catell, orna-
ments of the church, and such other lyke,” in the priory, was
made out. Among them is the following entry, respecting the
number and prices of “cattell.” “Item—twelve oxon, 10l.;
eight kyne and bull-calf, 66s. 8d.; twenty-four bests in the forest,
71.; seven calves, 15s. ; six horses, 66s. 8d.: thirty-four swyne,
praysed at 26s. 8d.: sum of the whole, 25l. 15s.” In the church
were, “Fyrst, one table of woole; over the hygh alter certain
images, two laten candlestyks, one lamp of laten; certain oulde
formes in our lady chappell, certain ould images, one particion of
tymber, one lampe, and ould formes in the nunnes quere, one
rode, certeen images, and the nunnes stalls; in the belhowse one
cloke, certein ould images, ould stoles of woode, one ould chest,
one ould holy water stole of brasse, and the rosse, glasse, ieron,
and pavement in the churche, and the glasse and iron in the steple,
as sould for 15l.” - - -
FRANcis BEAUMont, the celebrated Dramatic poet, whose
name is generally associated with that of Fletcher, his literary
coadjutor, was a native of Gracedieu, where he was born in 1586.
Whilst Beaumont was remarkable for the accuracy of his judg-
ment, Fletcher was distinguished for his energy and fertility of
imagination; thus, what the one created, was, by the other,
“formed and fashioned,” with so much discrimination and effect,
as not only to prove extremely popular at the time, but entitled
to admiration and praise of the present fastiduous age. These
co-authors produced fifty-three plays, the greater parts of which
are attributed to Beaumont. “I suspect,” says Mr. E. Brydges,
- . . " who

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* This is printed in Nichols's History of Leicestershire, Vol. III. p. 653.

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who unites the vivid fancy of the poet with the more substantial judgment of the antiquary and biographer, “that great injustice has generally been done to Beaumont, by the supposition that his merit was principally confined to lopping the redundancies of Fletcher. Indeed, the judicious authors of the Biographia Dramatica are not guilty of this fault; for they say, ‘It is probable that the forming the plots, and contriving the conduct of the fable, the writing of more serious and pathetic parts, and lopping the redundant branches of Fletcher's wit, whose luxuriance we are told frequently stood in need of castigation, might be in general Beaumont's portion of the work.’ This is to afford him very high praise; and the following authorities induce me to believe it just. Sir John Birkenhead, in his verses on Fletcher, has the following lines, which prove at least his opinion that Beaumont was better employed than in lopping luxuriances:”

“Some think your wits' of two complexion's fram’d,
That one the Sock, th' other the Buskin claim'd;
That, should the stage embattle all its force,
Fletcher would lead the foot; Beaumont the horse;
But you were both for both, not semi-wits;
Each piece is wholly two, yet never splits.”

Beaumont died at the very prime and vigour of life, in the year 1615, before he had attained his thirtieth year, and was buried at the entrance of St. Benedict's Chapel, in Westminster Abbey Church. A volume of his Poetical Essays, with a little Dramatic Piece, was published in 1683, in octavo. See a portrait of him, with many particulars respecting his writings, &c. in Nichols's History of Leicestershire, Vol. III. p. *662, &c.

BREDoN, a considerable village on the verge of this hundred and county, is seated at the base of a high lime-stone rock, on the summit of which the church stands, proudly elevated above the circumjacent country, and commands very extensive views. The parish is large, and includes the hamlets of Staunton-Harold and Worthington, Breedon Brand, Wilston, part of Cole-Orton Manor, - B b Q - a third

a third part of Launt, and a part of the village of Diseworth. An
act was obtained in 1759, for inclosing the open and common
fields of this manor, amounting to 1336 acres, and Harry, Earl of
Stamford, is described as lord of the manor, patron of the vicarage,
and proprietor of the principal lands. The manor is still belong-
ing to the Earl of Stamford, who is also proprietor of the valuable
and extensive lime-works here. “Whoever,” observes Dr. Dar-
win”, “ will inspect with the eye of a philosopher, the Lime-
mountain at Bredon, on the edge of Leicestershire, will not hesitate
a moment in pronouncing that it has been forcibly elevated by
some power beneath it; for it is of a comical form, with the apex
cut off; and the strata, which compose the central parts of it, and
which are found nearly horizontal in the plain, are raised almost
perpendicularly, and placed upon their edges, while those on each
side decline like the surface of the hill; so that this mountain may
well be represented by a bur made by forcing a bodkin through
several parallel sheets of paper.”
The lime produced from this rock is of a singular quality, and
is occasionally used as manure on the adjoining lands, to the
amount of five or six quarters per acre. If more than this quan-
tity be laid on, the farmers consider that it will poison the land.
Here are six or seven kilns generally kept burning, and the quarries
are between thirty and forty feet high, each presenting a cliff of
heterogeneous rock, whence the stone is obtained by blasting.
This stone is very brittle, and when broken, is laid on the kilns, in
layers of about half a yard thick, between each of which layers is
another of coals, five or six inches thick. The latter are obtained
in abundance within three miles of the kilns, and very strong fires
are constantly kept up. Each kiln burns, on an average, four loads
a day. .
At Bredon was formerly a Priory, or rathera Cell, of Augustine
Canons, subordinate to the priory of St. Oswald, at Nostell, in
*Workshire. The present church belonged to the cell, till the dis.
- solution,

* Philosophical Transactions, Vol. LXXV. p. 4.

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solution, when it was sold by Henry VIII. to Francis Shirley, Esq. as a burial-place for himself and his successors. This gentleman afterwards granted it to the parishioners. The porch is decorated with several small fragments of ancient sculpture, probably taken from the older church; and within the building are some fine monuments to the Shirley family.

STAUNTo N-HAROLD, an extensive lordship, is the seat of the Shirley family, and is now occupied by Robert Shirley, Earl Ferrers. The name of this place is evidently derived from the natural character of the spot—Stone-ton, or town, and the adjunct of Harold from the name of an ancient lord. After the Norman conquest, Staunton was given to Henry de Ferrariis; and caume into the Shirley family by the marriage of Margaret, sole heir of John and Joan de Staunton, with Ralph Shirley, Esq. in the year 1423. This family, says Burton, is of great antiquity, and descends from “an ancient Saxon line, long before the conquest.” “Of the opulence and dignity, as well as the autiquity of this noble family, a copious account may be seen in three distinct MS his

tories preserved in the British Museum”.” The mansion-house at Staunton-Harold is a large pile, composed of brick and stone. Its south-eastern, or principal front, is ornamented with pilasters and Doric columns in the centre, surmounted with a pediment. The interior of this mansion is spacious, and many of the rooms are decorated with pictures, &c. In the library, seventy-two feet by eighteen, is a splendid and copious pedigree of the Shirley family; also the complete Works of Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, in sixteen quarto volumes. Here is also a curious old bugle-horn, formed from an elephant's tooth, and adorned with representations of various field sports. Of the B. b. 3 • pictures

* Nichols's History, Vol. III. p. 11. p. 704, where are extracts from, and descriptions of, these MSS.; also an account of the chief persons of the family, with portraits of Sir Robert Shirley, Baronet, who died 1656; and a full length portrait of another Sir Robert Shirley, the celebrated traveller in Persia, from a picture at Petworth.

pictures only a few can be particularized. PortRAIts—Sir
Robert Shirley, by Wandyck; and his Lady, by Lely; a small full
length of King Charles the Second, in his robes, very highly
finished; six Ladies, commonly called King Charles's Beauties, by
Sir Peter Lely. These last seven portraits were given by that
monarch to Robert Earl Ferrers. In the dining-parlour is one of
Wright's best pictures, called the Lecture on the Orrery, in which,
among several portraits, is that of Mr. Burdett, who surveyed
and published a map of Derbyshire, and was afterwards made
chief engineer to the Prince of Baden.
Dead Game, &c. by old Weenix; and a landscape, with figures,
ruins, &c. by Wynants, in his best manner. A large picture of
the Crucifixion, by Carracci. The Last Judgment, by Rubens, a
fine and highly-valued picture; two landscapes, by Berghem; and
two others, with an encampment and a battle-piece by Wouver-
mans. A landscape, representing the effect of a storm, by N.
The house stands in a fine park of one hundred and fifty acres,
in which is a large lake, that covers about thirty acres, and is
adorned with a handsome stone bridge. Adjoining the house is
the church, or chapel, consisting of a nave, ailes, chancel, and
tower. Withinside are some monuments and long inscriptions,
commemorative of the names, titles, and characters of several per-
sons of the Shirley family interred here.

CoLE-ORTON, anciently written Ovretone, is a large parish, distinguished for its collieries, and whence it appears to have

derived the corrupted addition of Cole, or Coal. The country is

high, and commands very extensive views every way. Orton consists of two townships, called Over-town, or Cole Orton Saucy; and Nether-town, or Overton-Quatermarsh. This place has been noted for its coal-mines for many ages; and in the reign of Henry the Eighth these “did burn for many years together, and could not be quenched until that sulphurous and brimstony matter (whereupon it wrought) was utterly exhausted and consumed.” In this village


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