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REVIEW.-Bell's Huntingdon Peerage.
and unwearied industry to say, that
In the early portion of the Volume, the history is well condensed; and several interesting particulars, collected from authentic sources, are properly interwoven; and one of these may serve as a curious specimen. "Henry the fifth Earl of Huntingdon succeeded to the family estates and honours, at the age of eighteen; having, the preceding year (June 1603,) married Elilizabeth, youngest of the three daughters and co-heirs of Ferdinando Stanley, Earl of Derby; a worthy lady,' says Burton, 'descended of royal blood, and adorned with all the beauteons ornaments of nature and honourable parts.' Some time after, in honour of the first visit of his mother-in-law, the Countess Dowager of Derby, to Ashby Castle, and according to the custom of the Court and Nobility in those days, a splendid Mask was represented, written by Marston for the occasion, and entitled The Lorde and Ladye of Huntingdon's Entertainment of their right noble mother, Alice Countess Dowager of Derby [who at that time was the wife of Lord Chancellor Egerton.]"
"An outline of this unpublished Mask, as a specimen of that species of dramatic composition, the performance of which was then fashionable at Court, and at the private houses of the nobility, and to which custom probably we are indebted for so exquisite a production as the ' Comus' of Milton, cannot fail to be acceptable to the reader of taste."
Agreeing in opinion with Mr. Bell, we have transplanted this poetic gem into the previous pages of the present mouth.
But the most important part of this publication is, "the Investigation of the Claim." After the title had remained in abeyance nearly thirty years, when the difficulties attending the proofs of a voluminous Pedigree through a period of three centuries is considered, the result is truly astonishing. In less than nine months from the commencement of the pursuit, in the midst of unexampled impediments, Mr. Bell so fully established the claim of his Noble Friend and Client, as to obtain an unqualified Report from the Attorney General to the Prince Regent; and consequently (without the intermediate
process of the Committee of Privileges) a Writ of Summons for his Lordship's attendance as a Peer of Parliament.
We now resume the Pedigree. Richard Hastings of Lutterworth, with whom our previous enquiries had stopped, was afterwards of Welford,and had an only son, Henry, who died in 1786, at the age of 85. He had three sons, Theophilus-Henry, George, and Ferdinando.
Theophilus-Henry, born in 1728, was presented in 1763 to the Vicarage of Belton, and in 1764 to the Rectory of Osgathorpe, both in Leicestershire; and resigned them in 1795, on being presented to the Rectory of East and West Leke in Nottinghamshire. He was generally considered as the presumptive heir to the Earldom; and, as Mr. Bell informs us,
"For some time after the Earl's death, he assumed the title of Earl of Huntingdon; and there is a stone pillar standing in front of the Parsonage House, at Leke, on which there was a plate bearing a Latin inscription, stating him to be the eleventh Earl of Huntingdon, godson of Theophilus, the ninth Earl, and entitled to the earldom by descent. This plate covered another Latin inscription, stating that it was erected by Theophilus the second Earl of Huntingdon of that name.
"In his religious principles Mr. Hastings was a zealous supporter of the established faith, and a constant and animated opposer of the sect of Methodists, by which last application of his talents he incurred the severe displeasure of the Countess Dowager Selina, and probably the loss of a great part of her fortane, which might otherwise have been bequeathed to him, or his brother's family."
George Hastings, the next brother, born in 1735, entering the army, obtained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He resided for some time at Ashby, and died at Belton, Feb. 6, 1802, leaving four sons, of whom the present Earl was the youngest, and is now the only survivor.
Hans-Francis (now. Earl of Huntingdon) was placed as a midshipman in the Navy, under the brave sir John Borlase Warren, and distinguished himself in several engagements; but in 1809, he was placed by his kinsman Lord Moira, at Enniskillen in Ireland, in the office of Ordnance Storekeeper of the Garrison, on a salary of 1507. a year. There he resided, highly esteemed by the neighbouring gentry;
REVIEW.-Bell's Huntingdon Peerage.
and though well aware of his right to
"My dear Nugent,
proverbial; we shall conclude with Mr. Bell's triumphant climax :
On the 28th of October, the Report of the Attorney General was completed, and presented to his present Majesty, then Prince Regent.
"This day," says Mr. Bell, "was a proud and joyful one to me, and only exceeded by one other happier day in my life, the fourteenth of January following. The crisis was deeply interesting, and even awful; but the tone of the Report for no feeling but confidence, when I conwas decidedly favourable, and I had room
"I will pay you all costs in case you succeed in proving me the legal heir to the Earldom of Huntingdon. If not, the risk is your own, and I certainly will not be answerable for any expense you may incur in the course of this investigation. But I pledge myself to assist you, by let-sidered the exalted and impartial hands in ters and whatever information I can collect, to the utmost of my power; and remain ever sincerely yours, &c.
"Nugent Bell, Esq. 3, Moland
In the following month Mr. Bell set out for England; and the narrative of his various adventures, which are fully detailed, is so highly amusing, that (if the facts were not verified) they might almost pass for a Novel. His accidental meeting on the road, indeed, with an old woman, who many years before had been a servant in the Huntingdon family, is nearly bordering on Romance.
Much, however, that is told by Mr. Bell had long since come under our observation. We had frequently taken up head-quarters both at the White Hart at Ashby, with mine host of the Turk's Head at Donington, the Three Crowns at Leicester, &c. &c. and have explored and described the monuments in St. Helen's Chapel, and the massy ruins of the Castles at Ashby and Donington. We can bear ample testimony to the courteous manners of Dr. Hardy, rector of Loughborough; and the uncommon intelligence and readiness to oblige, of his worthy old Clerk Mr. Webster.
Though not so adventurous as to encounter ghosts or braying animals at midnight, we had long ago decyphered the fragments of the dilapidated tomb at Humberstone, and transcribed the more perfect epitaphs at St. Mary's
After expressing our admiration of the adroitness with which Mr. Bell succeeded with two of the most intelligent and independent Lawyers of their time-Sir Samuel Romilly, Mr. Bell's first and only confidential Counsellor and Sir Samuel Shepherd, then Attorney General, whose integrity is
which it was now placed. It is true, we had some temptation to suspect an obstacle in that high quarter. Previous to the presentation of our petition, and frequently during the progress of the business, many persons had endeavoured to mind, that the intimate friendship so long inculcate a belief on Lord Huntingdon's Marquis of Hastings, would prepossess known to exist between the Prince and the his Royal Highness, and operate powerfully, if not fatally, against his Lordship's success. Such officious persons had formed, or seemed to have formed, a most erroneous, and most unworthy estimate of the august Personage in question-an estimate, which both Lord Huntingdon, and I myself, always treated with absolute contempt. These insinuations never gave us a moment's uneasiness, convinced as we were, that in so truly Royal a breast, no personal or private feeling, however dear, could be suffered to mingle itself with the sacred duties of a Sovereign, in any other way, than to give greater eclat to an act of public justice. The result fully and nobly realized our confidence. From the commencement, whenever reference was necessary to the Prince in his high capacity, his Royal Highness facilitated the proceedings as far as in him lay, with a zeal and anxiety for the ends of truth and justice, which excluded all subordinate considerations. The nation, and
posterity ought to know and appreciate this conduct, so worthy of the Regal character, and of the illustrious individual himself. When the page of History shall record, that through his wise counsels, and steady and uncompromising policy Kingdoms have been preserved, and Thrones restored, the present signal act of impartial justice occurring, under the peculiar Reign, may be fairly allowed, as his name circumstances, during, as I may say, his descends down the stream of time, to pursue the triumph and partake the gale;' and ought to endear him even more to every honest and loyal heart."
Finis coronat opus !-and Mr. Bell, who is a keen sportsman, is ready for a similar View Hollow.
REVIEW.-Tour in the Highlands.
Sketch of a Tour in the Highlands of Scotland, through Perthshire, Argyleshire, and Inverness-shire, in September and October, 1818; with some Account of the Caledonian Canal. Lond. 8vo, 1819. pp. 352. Baldwin and Co. THIS Tour has much of a statis
tical character, relieved occasionally by digressions. Tours are so various in kind, that this specific denotation of the form of the Work is essential. It is a Survey in the manner of an engineer, making minute geographi cal descriptions, for the purpose of aiding or suggesting improvement; and guiding travellers.
It is observed in page 22, that the erection of weirs in salmon rivers occasions fewer salmon to frequent the rivers.
In page 40, we have a long account of the dwellings and agriculture of the Highlanders, before modern innovation had assimilated them to the plans of their more civilized neigh
"One principal cause of the rapid and extensive improvements in this district (Strath-Tay), and other parts of the High lands, is the advantage long possessed by Scotland, with respect to the division and inclosure of lands, without the necessity of resorting to the Legislature. Every proprietor had it in his power, by a summary legal process, to compel such a division and inclosure.......In the Highlands of Scotland, the expense and difficulty [of Acts of Parliament] would have been an insurmountable bar to the most valuable improvements." P. 58.
The same remark may be applied to all barren countries. Lawyers, in their proper professional zeal for the preservation of rights, upon which zeal depends their character for integrity, do not consider that they are men who keep an old house in good condition, but never improve it. But by exalting Law, over the first principle of all law, the public good, they forget that, in foro conscientiæ, the observation of it may be no longer a duty; and that the said law is degraded into a custom more honoured in the breach than in the observance. They people our common lands with spectres of quibbles, whom the Red Sea of Parliament can alone prevent from annoying their rustic neighbours by their grim appearance; whereas, by simple agreement alone, among the claimants themselves, an immense portion of our lands had
been reduced to private property; to the great reduction, no doubt, of geese, but to the vast increase of corn, cattle, and timber.
In commemoration of Druidical Stone circles, we find (p. 72) that "stones is, in the language of the old Highlanders, a common designation at this day for the church, or place of worship."
The following remarks upon scenery are profound and philosophical:
"Scenery of extraordinary magnificence forms one of the great features of a country; and, like those local situations which are associated with the memory of events of national importance, possesses somewhat of a public character. In these, every one, as a part of the community, feels himself interested, and as far as the bare facility of inspection is concerned, has an interest of the enjoyment of which he cannot in justice, using the word in the largest sense, be deprived, although such places should be the property of a few individuals. It would be, besides, most impolitic, with reference both to the private proprietor and the public, to discourage that opinion of common interest in such situations, which binds by so many agreeable ties, every individual to the soil of his country, and to the rest of the community, and stifles the envy which the appearance of vast possessions and wealth in the hands of an individual is apt to generate.
For the inspection of splendid and extensive scenery of this description around a mansion house, the points of a public road are of all others the most convenient. The traveller gratifies his curiosity, while he pursues his journey, without further attention or trouble; the temptation to general and improper trespass is diminished, and the pretence for it taken away. The privacy of the proprietor, and preservation of his grounds are equally consulted, while the public taste and curiosity are indulged in the easiest and most commodious manner." pp. 75,
In page 85, we have some important remarks concerning pruning timber trees. It appears that the branch ought to be cut close to the body of the tree, and some composition applied to assist Nature in curing the wound. It seems too, that excessive pruning injures the quality of the timber, and that one-third of the whole length of the tree ought to remain unpruned.
Upon the whole, this book is instructive. The description is close,
REVIEW-Lord Stafford's Improvements.
too close, occasionally bearing too
4. An Account of the Improvements on
THIS is a Monument to the noble Marquess more honourable than Brass or Marble.
Mr. Loch, in a manly Dedication to the Marquess, thus accounts for the publication :
"It was incumbent on me to give some account of the nature and progress of those measures (now that they are completed), which your Lordship and Lady Stafford bad adopted for the improvement of the estate of Sutherland, in order to contradict, in the most positive and direct manner, the unfounded and unwarrantable statements; or, perhaps, I shall be more correct if I were to say, the artful perversions of the truth which have been circulated in regard to this subject;statements which were not more calumnious to your Lordship and to the respectable gentlemen and other individuals who Occupy that estate, than unjust to the people themselves, whose orderly conduct and excellent behaviour cannot be too highly commended, and which approbation is particularly due to those whose removals have been carried into effect in the month of May; in spite of all that was done during the course of the last year to inflame their passions, and mislead their judgments."
In a concise and luminous Preface Mr. Loch observes, that in the Work he now presents to the Publick,
"The consideration of the more general questions, as to the propriety of the policy of permitting or encouraging emigration, and of converting small occupations into large farms, with the consequent effects of accumulating a large portion of the population of the country into villages and large towns, has in some degree been taken for granted, as matters upon which the public mind seems to be in a great measure made up; at least as far as the practice of the whole nation can be sup posed to be a proof of their acquiescence in the truth of these once strongly contested points. At the same time, it is true, that it is too much the case in all questions of political economy, to agree, with GENT. MAG. January, 1821.
out hesitation, to the truth of every gene. ral principle, but immediately to set up so many exceptions to the rule, as utterly to destroy the effect of this gratuitous admission*.
"In the following pages, however, the truth of those general principles being taken for granted, it will be shown, that they apply as well to Lord Stafford's English estates, aud to the county, or rather to the estate of Sutherland, as they do to the rest of the kingdom.
"In doing this, it will be pointed out, how it should have happened that these estates should only now be undergoing that change, which began to operate in England, as far back as the reign of Henry VII."
Mr. Loch then proceeds to state what passed in England in conseof another 39 Eliz. intituled, quence of a Statute of Henry VII. and
"An Act that arable land made pasture since 1 Eliz. shall be again converted to tillage, and what is arable shall not be converted to pasture, &c." attended with as little effect as another Statute of this So-, vereign, enacted to prevent the enlargement of London.
"The outrages of the people, and their open defiance of the laws, in regard to these measures, continued to a much later period.
"The arrangement of the Northern counties was naturally suspended, as long as the island obeyed two monarchs, but during the period which elapsed between the union of the Crowns and that of the Kingdoms, the same system was essentially carried into effect in the Border districts of both countries, except that the land thus freed of people, was applied to the rearing of sheep, and not to the cultivation of grain. The attachment to the Stuart family, and the hereditary jurisdictions, still maintained in full force the former arrangement of society, peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland. But the discomfiture of the adherents of the Pretender, and his own defeat in 1746, with the abolition of the heritable jurisdictions in 1747,
It is universally conceded, that it is from large farms alone that a surplus produce can be obtained for the maintenance of our artisans and manufacturers. It is conceived, that there is as little doubt that such an arrangement also, rather increases than diminishes the agricultural population of the country. Nor can there be much hesitation in admitting that a sober, well-doing farm labourer, feels less want, and experiences fewer hardships than the poorest class of tenants, formerly the occupiers of the soil of England.
REVIEW.-Lord Stafford's Improvements.
having brought the Highland chieftains within the pale of the law, and placed them on the same footing as the other gentlemen of the land, they began rapidly to acquire the same tastes,-to be occupied with the same pursuits,-to feel the same desires, and to have the same wants as their brethren in the South. In order, however, to indulge these propensities, and to be able to appear in the capital with due effect, it was necessary that they should convert their estates to that mode of occupation most suited to their circumstances, and from which they could derive the greatest income. Luckily in this, as in every other instance in political economy, the interest of the individual, and the prosperity of the State, went hand in hand.
And the demand for the raw material of wool by the English manufacturers, enabled the Highland proprietor to let his lands for quadruple the amount they ever before produced to him. These arrangements continued to be carried into effect from time to time, in the Southern and central Highlands, up to about the commencement of the French Revolution war; not always, however, without serious resistance on the part of the people.
"The demand for soldiers, after the commencement of the war, to recruit fencible regiments, for a time influenced the progress of these changes, but as the supply of men became more equal to the demand, and as the Highlanders have never enlisted cheerfully by the ordinary means of recruiting, these arrangements never ceased altogether to be acted upon.
"The Northern Highlands still remain. ed to undergo that change which the rest of the island had already adopted. In this district it naturally began to be followed in the counties situated nearest to those into which it had already been introduced. In Rosshire, accordingly, it was undertaken on a great scale in 1792. The dissatisfaction produced was so great, that the most serious affrays took place, and the military had to act, and blood was shed before quiet was restored.
"Between that time, and about four years back, the greater portion of the county of Sutherland, not belonging to Lord and Lady Stafford, was arranged according to those plans, so universally adopted. Why this antient condition of society should have prevailed longer on the estate of Sutherland, than in any other part of the island; and why the proprietors of this estate, notwithstanding they have afforded the people advantages which no other owner ever gave the people they moved, should have been the object of animadversion, while others have passed without notice, it is the object of the following pages to explain."
"For the sake of accuracy, it is also ne
cessary to mention that eighteen families have left the Barony of Assynt this season. Eight of these, deceived by the delusions of the Transatlantic Association, entered some time ago into an agreement with the master of a vessel, who insisted on its being fulfilled, notwithstanding their wish to remain and settle on the lots they had at first refused. The other ten famimilies had long been established fishermen on the coast, but having attached themselves to the doctrines of a fanatical blacksmith, they followed him to the other side of the Atlantick-the only schism which ever occurred in Sutherland-a fact which reflects no small credit on the worthy and zealous persons who compose that Presbytery, and who, by the diligent exercise of their pastoral duties, do honour to the Church of which they are members.
"It has been omitted to be stated, in its proper place, that about twenty houses have been built on the coast by the proprietors, for aged widows, who had it not in their power to do so themselves."
This is a truly valuable publication; and contains much useful information on the subject of the excellent roads and bridges recently constructed in the Highlands-on the cultivation of land-and on the erection of convenient inns and farmhouses.
The improvements on the English estates are not less important; but we have only room for one very short
"Upon the Shropshire estates there have been planted, within these few years, above half a million of trees, and nearly three hundred thousand quicks. At Trentham about two hundred thousand trees, and in Yorkshire about three hundred thousand."
5. Summary of the Mahratta and Pindarree Campaign, during 1817, 1818, and 1819, under the Direction of the Marquess of Hastings; chiefly embracing the Operations of the Army of the Deckan, under the Command of his Excellency Lieut.gen. Sir T. Hislop, Bart. G.C.B. With some Particulars and Remarks. 8vo. pp. 362.
THERE are few who think that the success of the British arms in India confers a real blessing on the natives, but no fact is better established. India was divided among wretched petty tyrants, under which neither life nor property was secure ; and no law, human or divine, could check their despotism and extortion