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At LANGLEY, “a beautiful sequestered lordship,” was founded a priory for Benedictine nuns at a very early period, and at the dissolution the site and demesne lands were demised to Thomas Gray. From a descendant of this gentleman, Langley priory, since called LANGLEY HALL, was bought by Richard Cheslyn, Esq. for 77691. 17s. 6d. and now belongs to Richard Cheslyn, Esq. a descendant of the above. The house is situated in a sequestered spot in a low situation, and consists of three sides of a quadrangle. Parts of the building appear to be remnants of the priory, and withinside are many family portraits.
Rothley is a considerable village on the turnpike road between Loughborough and Leicester, and is distant from each of those towns about five miles. This place anciently belonged to the Knights Templars, who had a temple here. The manor house now called Rothley Temple, belongs to Thomas Babington, Esq. Lord of the manor. This manor is extensive, and is invested with peculiar jurisdiction in ecclesiastical affairs; being free from all higher courts, and, as the lord of the manor can grant licences of marriage, is exempt from the jurisdiction and visitation of the Bishop of the diocese. “The custom of Gavelhind prevails throughout the soke; a sokesman's widow holds all her husband's real property therein, so long as she continues such; and the lord receives an alienation fine for every first purchase made by a foreigner, i. e. a non-sokeman. These several privileges are holden in virtue of a patent of the land heretofore of the Knights Templars, and afterwards of the Knights Hospitalers, who originally enjoyed it by special and express words conveyed by the patent; which, with all its privileges, was conveyed to the ancestor of the present owner. The Soke of Rothley enjoys moreover the privileges of court-leet, court-baron, &c. oyer, terminer, and gaol delivery, independent of the
county".” In 1722, a Roman Pavement, with foundations of a floor, walls,
* Nichols's History of Leicestershire, Vol. III. p. 955.
walls, &c. were discovered near Rothley. The church is a large, ancient pile, and in the inside are some curious old monuments; also an ancient low font. In the church-yard is the shaft of a stone cross, the four sides of which are decorated with fanciful sculpture of scrolls, tracery, &c.
At THURCAston, a small village about four miles from Leicester, in East Goscote hundred, was born, about the year 1470, Hugh Latimer, D. D. This zealous divine was, at the commencement of his ministerial career, an enthusiastic Papist; but deserting the doctrines and tenets of the Catholic church, afterwards adopted and powerfully enforced the Protestant Religion. He was advanced to the See of Worcester, and in 1549 preached a sermon before King Edward the Sixth, wherein he gives the following account of himself, his family, and the value of farms, &c. at that period: “My father was a yeoman, and had no lands of his own; only he had a farm of three or four pounds by the year at the uttermost, and hereupon he tilled so much as kept half a dozen men. He had walk for an hundred sheep; and my mother milked thirty kine. He was able, and did find the king a harness, with himself and his horse, while he came to the place that he should receive the king's wages. I can remember, that I buckled his harness, when he went to Blackheath field. He kept me to school, or else I had not been able to have preached before the king's majesty now. He married my sisters with five pounds, or twenty nobles, a piece; so that he brought them up in godliness and fear of God. He kept hospitality for his poor neighbours, and some alms he gave to the poor; and all this he did of the said farm; where he that now hath it, payeth sixteen pounds by the year or more, and is not able to do any thing for his prince, for himself, nor for his children, or give a cup of drink to the poor.” At the time Latimer excited popular attention in promoting the reformation, Bilney was equally or more zealous in the same cause. These two at length so far provoked the rage of the intolerant intolerant Catholics, that both were apprehended, and sentenced to be burnt as heretics; Bilney at Norwich, and Latimer with Dr. Ridley at Oxford.
SHEPESHED is a large village, four miles west of Loughborough. By an Act passed in 1777, for dividing and inclosing certain lands within this parish, to the extent of about 2000 acres, Sir William Gordon, in right of dame Mary Gordon his wife, is described as Lord of the manor and patron of the vicarage and parish. A very large stocking manufactory is established here, which, exclusive of combers, spinners, &c. is supposed to employ 400 persons in frame work knitting only. In the middle of the village is a stone cross of a single shaft, standing on steps. Here are three meeting houses: one for Mr. Wesley's followers, one for Anabaptists, and one for Quakers. In 1801 Shepeshed contained 485 houses and 2627 inhabitants. In the church are some monuments, with long inscriptions to Sir Ambrose Phillips, Knt. and other persons of the same family.
At ULvescRoft, in Charnwood forest, was a priory, or, as commonly but improperly called, an Abbey. The church, or chapel, is in ruins; and the priory house, which has been altered, is now occupied by a farmer. The situation of the house is sequestered in a deep valley, by the side of a brook; and the combination of ruins, trees, &c. presents various scenes of picturesque beauty.
At WANLIP, five miles north of Leicester, was found a Roman tesselated Pavement, with coins of Constantine, broken Urns, &c. Here is an handsome modern house, called WANLIP HALL, belonging to Sir Charles Grave Hudson, Bart. F. R. S. who inherits it in right of his first lady. The house, built of brick and stuccoed, is situated near the river Soar, and is fitted up, and the pleasure grounds laid out, with much taste. Near the mansion is the neat village church.
EAST GOSCOTE HUNDRED is separated from the former hundred by the river Soar on its western side, and has Nottinghamshire for a northern boundary, whilst the hundreds of Franmland and Gartre, with a small part of Rutlandshire, bound it to the east and south. Part of this district is occupied by the Wolds, or Woulds; and it is divided into two, nearly equal, parts by the river Wreke which crosses it from east to west. There is not one market-town in this hundred, and but few places that present any curious or important facts for the historian or antiquary. At Segs-hill, at a place near Radcliff, and again a little to the north of Thurmaston, are some tumuli, all contiguous to the Foss road, which crosses this district. The cross roads are generally in very bad condition. Towards the north part of the hundred are some high grounds, and at the south-eastern end, joining Rutlandshire, are some considerable woods, the remains of Leifield forest. A turnpike road from Leicester to Newark, and another from the former place to Melton Mowbray, passes through the whole of this hundred from south to north.
Mr. Nichols gives the following list of townships in this hundred, and specifies the peculiarity of each clerical living. Some of these have already been described in the former hundred.
“Allerton, a rectory.
Barrow, a vicarage; including
the chapelries of Mountsorell (the north end), Quorndon, and Woodhouse, and the mansion and park of Beaumanor, Vol. IX.
Charley, Alderman's-Haw, and Maplewell. Beby, a rectory. Belgrave, a vicarage; including the chapelries of Burstall, and the south end of Thurmaston. . . . . Brooksby, a rectory. Cossington, a rectory. Croxton, South, a rectory. Dalby Magna, a vicarage. Dalby on the Woulds, a donative. Frisby on the Wreke, a vicarage. - Gaddenly, Gaddesby, with Caldwell, Grimstone, f(eame, the south end of Mountsorell, Wartnaby, and Wykeham, are chapelries belonging to Rothley. Hoby, a rectory. Humberstone, a vicarage. Hungarton, a vicarage; including the hamlets of Bagrave and Ingarsby (in Gartre hundred) and Quenby Hall. To this vicarage that of Twyford (including the chapelry of Thorpe Sachevile) is also united. ...Laund Abbey, extraparochial. Lodington, a rectory. Loseby, a vicarage; including the hamlet of Newton Burdet, or Old Newton.
Prestwould, a vicarage; includ
ing the hamlets of Burton, Cotes, and Hoton.
Sileby, a vicarage.
BrooksBY, in ancient writings called Brochesbi and Brokesbi, though formerly a village, is now reduced to a gentleman's house and farm. This demesne belonged to the Williers family for many generations. . Of this family was GEORGE WILLIERs, Duke of Buckingham, who was born here August 28th, 1592, and who was memorable in English history for having been the favourite of two kings, &c. He was the youngest son of Sir George Williers, by a second wife, Mary, daughter of Anthony Beaumont, Esq. of Cole-Orton, in this county. Young Williers attracted the attention and excited the admiration of King James at an early period, and proved himself one of those supple and insinuating courtiers who can condescend to flatter the vices, or follies, of a - - monarch,