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on, and deceive our judgments, if we wish to ascertain and clearly comprehend the history of human actions, and of human powers. That nature occasionally produces phenomena, is evident; but the instances are very rare: it is more commonly the case, that craft, folly, or infatuated zeal, magnifies and exaggerates common effects into wonders. That Lady Jane was very learned for her age, and the times in which she lived, that she was amiable in manners, and truly unfortunate, are all circumstances extremely probable and admissible; but the indiscriminating and garrulous encomiums of Roger Ascham, her preceptor, and afterwards Queen Elizabeth's schoolmaster, do not command implicit credit *, nor, should we take such evidence alone, for historical data.
CASTLE Don INGTON, a large village on the northern verge of the county, was described, in the time of Edward the Second, as the castle, town, manor, and honor of Donington, and was granted by that monarch to Hugh le Despenser, junior. In this village are the remains of an hospital, and a small fragment of the castle, with the vallum. The church is spacious, and has a large chancel, also a lofty steeple; and within is a fine altar mor nument of alabaster, with the statues of a man in armour, and woman. In this parish is
DoNINGtoN PARK, a seat of the Earl of Moira. This fine demesne was noted for extensive woods at the time of compiling the Domesday Book, wherein it is stated that—“ In Dumitone there is a wood twelve furlongs long, and eight broad.” From the time of the conquest this manor continued the property of the Barons of Haulton, till 1310, when it was conveyed in marriage ... , Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, Leicester, and Derby. It came to the Hastings family by purchase, in 1594; and, in 1789, WaS
* In delineating this, or any other character, the writer is wholly influenced by a love of truth, and a desire to exercise his own and the reader's rational faculties, in investigating the obscurities and improbabilities of bio, graphical, political, and statistical history,
was bequeathed, by Francis, the last Earl of Huntingdon, to Francis, Lord Rawdon, now Earl of Moira. This truly patriotic and munificent nobleman has made very extensive and important improvements on the estate, since the above period, and, among these, has erected a new mansion, on a large and liberal scale. This was raised after the designs of Mr. William Wilkins, of Cambridge, and is described in the following terms in a recent work. “The present house, which has been lately erected by his lordship, stands in a plain, formed by the union of three delightful vallies, which radiate from the spot in the direction of east, south, and south-west. The situation is, notwithstanding, considerably above the general level of the country. The style of the front and entrance-hall is Gothic, adapted by a plan suggested by his lordship, as most fitting to the scenery of the place. The house is equally convenient for the residence of either a large or small family; perhaps few are better calculated for the purposes of excercising the rights of hospitality, in which the noble possessor vies with his feudal ancestors. The principal rooms, namely, the Gothic hall 24 feet square, the dining-room 48 by 24 feet, the anti-chamber and the drawing-room 40 by 24 feet, have a southern aspect; the library 72 by 26 feet, looks towards the west; and the breakfast parlour towards the east. On this side a wing extends, in which is the chapel, 58 by 20 feet, and it is so situated as to screen the offices. The various offices on the ground-floor, on the north side, are very little below the common level of the ground, although the vaults under the south side are entirely sunk, and are appropriated to the butler's department".” The house is built of stone, and surrounds a court-yard. Many of the apartments in this elegant mansion are decorated with pictures, several of which are interesting, as specimens of art, and as portraits of illustrious characters. Among the latter are PortRAIts of King Edward the Fourth, George, Duke of Clarence, his brother, an
C. c.4 half
* New Vitruvius Britannicus, Vol. II. See two good Views of the House in Nichols's Leicestershire,
half length, in mail armour.—Cardinal Pole, Anno. 1557. Æt. 57.-Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, 1544. Het. 64, by Holbein.—Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.—Jane Shore.—Jaqueline, Dutchess of Hainault, who was married to Humphry, Duke of Gloucester, 1. Henry VI. 1423. This is described by Mr. Nichols as a curious and remarkable portrait in several respects. —Francis, second Earl of Huntingdon, Knight of the Garter, three quarters.-Henry, third Earl of Huntingdon, Knight of the Garter, half length.-Henry, fifth Earl of Huntingdon, in his coronation robes, by Vansomer, 1614. AEt. 28.—Theophilus, seventh Earl of Huntingdon, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, half length. —George, eighth Earl of Huntingdon, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, half length.-Theophilus, ninth Earl of Huntingdon, by Le Bell, whole length.-Francis, tenth and last Earl of Huntingdon, by Soldi, half length—Henry Hastings, second Lord Loughborough, by Cornelius Jansen.—Dr. Harvey, by Vandyck. —Sir Daniel Heinsius, by Mirevelt.—Sir Thomas Wyatt.— Sir John Chardin.—Henry, Lord Loughborough.-Sir Godfrey Kneller.—W. Prynne, author of Histriomastix, 1632.-Alexander Pope.—Edmund Waller.—Samuel Butler.—Duke of Berwick, natural son of James the Second; a rare and curious Portrait—The Hon. Robert Boyle, by Sir P. Lely.—Dean Swift. —George Williers, Duke of Buckingham, temp. of Charles II. by Sir P. Lely.—Algernon Percy, Earl of Northumberland, by Dobson.—Earl of Derby, temp. of James the First, by Cornelius Jansen–Earl of Warwick, temp. of Charles the First, by Vandyck.-Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, temp. of Elizabeth, by Porbus. Most of these portraits are in the dining-room. Besides these, here are some valuable miniature heads, by Isaac Oliver, Hoskins, and Cooper. The principal apartments are also ornamented with some select cabinet pictures, by old masters. As these have never been noticed, I believe, in any publication, I shall give a list of the principal pictures, specifying
the rooms wherein they hang.