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FRANCIS, the sixth Earl of Rutland, whose effigy is habited in the robes and insignia of the garter, with a picked beard and whiskers, sword, satin trunk hose, with a peacock at his feet. Of this Earl we are informed, in a long inscription, that he was highly honoured by most of the Princes of Europe; was Knight of the Bath in 1604; married Lady Francis Bevill, daughter of Sir Henry Knyvett, by whom he had one daughter, Katherine Duchess of Buckingham; afterwards married Lady Cecilie Hungerford, daughter of Sir John Tufton, by whom he had two sons, “both which died in their infancy, by wicked practice and sorcerye.” In 1612 he was made Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, and Chief Justice in Eyre; in 1616, made a Knight of the Garter; and in that year was one of the Lords appointed to attend King James into Scotland. At the foot, on a flat stone, it it stated this “Francis, Earl of Rutland, was buried Feb. 20, 1632.” Against the same wall is a white marble monument, for GEORGE, sEVENTH Earl of Rutland, who is represented in a Roman habit: the inscription specifies, that he married Frances, sister of Wiscount Falkland, and died in the Savoy, London, 29th March, 1641. A similar monument, on the opposite side, commemorates John, EIGHTH Earl of Rutland, and Frances his wife, who are represented in effigies as large as life. He in a Roman habit; she with her right hand on her breast, bearing her robes with her left; her hair strung with jewels. She died May 1671—the Earl, September 1679. These monuments, and the whole interior of Bottesford church, are now preserved in careful and clean condition: though formerly they were obscured by dust and filth, and greatly injured by mischievous boys, &c. The Rev. William Mounsey, during his curacy here, laudably appropriated his leisure time to clean and repair these monuments; and to his exemplary care is to be ascribed their present respectable condition. “No monumental inscription,” says Mr. Nichols, “is yet placed in memory of either of the four Dukes of Rutland, or the great Marquis of Granby, who are all buried at Bottesford with their ancestors.” BELVoIR CASTLE
Belvoir CAstle, the splendid seat of the Manners family for many generations, and now belonging to John Henry Manners, the fifth Duke of Rutland, is the greatest ornament of the county; and the whole demesne embraces a large tract of land at the north eastern corner of Leicestershire, and extends into Lincolnshire. In some topographical works it has been described as situated in the latter county. Camden says, “In the west part of Kesteven, on the edge of this county (Lincolnshire) and Leicestershire there stands Belvoir castle, so called (whatever was its ancient name), from the fine prospect on a steep hill, which seems the work of art.” Burton expressly says, that this castle “is certainly in Lincolnshire;” and the authors of the ‘Magna Britannia' repeat the same terms. Mr. Nichols, whose authority on this, and most other subjects of local history respecting Leicestershire, is decisive and satisfactory, states that “the Castle is at present in every respect considered as being within this county, with all the lands of the extra-parochial part of Belvoir thereto belonging (including the site of the priory); consisting in the whole of about 600 acres of wood, meadow, and pasture ground; upon which are now no buildings but the Castle, with its offices, and the Inn. It would be a difficult matter, notwithstanding, to trace out with accuracy the precise boundary of the two counties in this neighbourhood”.” Leland notices it in the following terms, “Bever castle of surety standeth in Leircestre (Lincolnshir), in the vale of Bevert.” In another place he writes, “The Castelle of Bellevoire standith in the utter part of that way of Leicestershir on the very keepe of an highe hille, stepe up eche way, partely by nature, partely by working of mennes handes, as it may evidently be perceyvid. Wither ther were any Castelle ther afore the conquest, or no, I am not sure; but surely I think rather no then ye. Totenius was the first enhabiter after the conquest. Then it cam to Albeneius. Vol. IX. K k And
* History of Leicestershire, Vol. I. p. 23.
t Itinerary, Vol. VI. f. 29.
And from Albevnius to Ros. Of this descent and of the foundation of the Priory in the Village at the Castelle foote, I have written a quire separately”.” The original castle was founded by Robert de Todeni, who obtained the name of Robert de Belvedeir, and who was standardbearer to William the Conqueror. At the Domesday Survey it was probably one of the two manors noticed under the name of Wolsthorpe: but afterwards becoming the head of the lordship, the whole was distinguished by the title of “Manerium de Belvoir, cum membris de Wollesthorpet.” As the possessors of this castle and lordship were chiefly persons of great eminence, and many of them distinguished in the historical annals of the county; and as some of them, from their dignity and power, exercised considerable control over this and the contiguous counties; it will be necessary to give a concise account of the most eminent. Robert, the first Norman lord, died in 1088, and was buried in the chapter-house of the Priory, where Dr. Stukeley discovered a stone inscribed to his memory. “By a general survey taken at the death of Robert de Todenei, it appears that he was in possession of fourscore lordships: many of which, by uninterrupted succession, continue still to be the property of the Duke of Rutland. The lordships in Leicestershire, as enumerated in Domesday, were, Horninghold, Medborne, Blaston, Harby, Barkston (including Plungar), Bottesford, Redmile, Knipton, Laughton, Lubbenham, Barkby Thorpe, Hungarton, Croxton, Quenby, Long-Clauston, Howes, Stathern, and Holwell.— In Lincolnshire his domains were still more numerous. In Northamptonshire he had nine lordships; one of which, Stoke, acquired the additional name of Albini, when it came into the possession of his son f.” William de Albini, son of the above, succeeded to these lordships; and, like his father, was a celebrated warrior, and distin- guished
* Itinerary, Vol. I. f. 114. t Inq 26 Edward III.
: History ot Leicestershire, Vol. I. p. 23.