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kitchen-gardens, though kept at a distance, are not wholly in Brunonian guise ; for neither the lady's private flower-garden—the pricye-garden of old—nor the roomy and well-wired aviary are omitted, -while tastefully-serpentined walks among trees and shrubs of varied descriptions afford all the recreation which can be yielded by the most exclusive pleasure-grounds. In many points they would meet the views of the illustrious Bacon, whose zeal in this cause was so ardent, that he opened his essay on the subject with “God Almighty first planted a garden; and indeed it is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man; without which buildings and palaces are but gross handyworks.” He did not admire the knots or figures of divers-coloured carths, they being but toys—“you may see as good sights many times in tarts;” but his rules aim at the same end with those of the Hartwell designer, namely, to obtain, as far as the locality will admit of, a ver perpetuum. Some verses on the wall of an alcove, called the Shepherd's Bower, near the cedars on the Bowling-Green, attributed to Lady Elizabeth Lee, are somewhat descriptive of the spot :
Shepherd, awhile, with curious eye,
Observe yon path besprent with flowers ;
And where that varied wood embowers
There flowrets gay, and shrubs have strove,
To guerdon fair the shaven green;
And thence yon sacred dome is seen,
Now, as untutor’d fancy wills,
Pursue her steps.-See! where she leads,
Thro' archen woods, o'er daisied meeds,
Then say —why seek the lofty tower?
From scenes like these shall courts detain?
Peace loves to haunt the rural plain,
And opposite this Shepherd's Bower, is another light but retired structure embosomed among the trees, called the Green Arbour, where was inscribed
THE SUCCESSIVE LORDS OF THE MANOR OF HARTWELL, FROM THE CONQUEST TO THE
PRESENT TIME : PEVEREL, DE HERTEWELL, LUTON, HAMPDEN, AND LEE.
1. THE PEVERELS.
FROM ancient authorities it seems that there were various tenures here at an early period, William of Normandy having divided the lands among his several followers; by which, real property lost at least one-third of the value it possessed in Edward the Confessor's reign. The goodliest shares of the district at and around Hartwell being wrested from the possession of Thane Alwyn, were bestowed by the Conqueror upon his natural son, or, as Sir Walter Scott has it, his supposed son, William Peverel; on his brother Odo, the noted Bishop of Baieux; and on his favourite gonfalon, Walter Giffard, who became Earl of Buckingham. The principal manor at IIartwell was that of Peverel, consisting of six hides and three virgates; the Bishop of Baieux had four hides (three held under him by Helto, and one by Robert); Walter Giffard, two hides; William the Chamberlain, two hides; and Walter de Vernon half a hide. The Norman, who was equally keen and rapacious, prided himself in having made the grand state-survey, as witness his charter to the Abbot of Westminster, dated post descriptionem totius Anglie : but it should be recollected there was already extant at that time a general survey of the whole kingdom made by Alfred. Maistre Wace, the early Jersey poet, corroborates history by stating, in his Chronicle, that William “let castles be wrought, and poor men to be sorely swinked;” and that he so thoroughly surveyed England, that there was not a hide of land but he knew who had it, and what it was worth :
-volenters voleit saver
quant de viles en chascon conté
mie la terre,
Thus Domesday-Book became a trusty legal evidence, the Liber Judiciarius vel Censualis Anglie; and this accurate and great survey of the kingdom is justly esteemed, as Spelman truly said, “if not the most ancient, yet, without controversy, the most venerable monument of Great Britain.” Thus of the several manors in question, the following details are singularly in point, from
In a miscellaneous note-book now preserved among the Hartwell MSS., Sir William Lee has made this note: -“ William the Conqueror had an income of near three millions per annum, ut dixit A. Onslow, Speaker.” He assuredly had easily gained a magnificent prize!
the exact style of the book, as to the state and condition of Hartwell at the opening of the eleventh century, as near as translation will render it :
HELTO * holds of the Bishop (Baiocensis) three hides in Herdeuuelle. There is land to three ploughs (Te’ra ē iïi. car.), and they are there, with one villane (copyholder) and seven bordars (cottagers), and one mill of eight shillings value. In the whole it is, and was always so esteemed, worth fifty shillings. Three sochmen (freeholders) held this land: one, a vassal of
, Archbishop Stigand's (of Canterbury), held half a hide; another, a vassal of Earl Lewin's, had two hides; and the third, a tenant of Avelin's, had half a hide; and they might sell or grant them away. In the same vill ROBERT holds of the Bishop one hide. There is arable land for two ploughs (carucates); there is one plough, and another may be kept (or made). There is one villane and four bondmen (servi). It is and was worth twenty shillings; in King Edward's (the Confessor) time forty shillings. Avelin, a thane of King Edward's, held this land and might sell it.
. WALTER GIFFARD holds, and Hugh de Bolebec † of him (as the sub-feudatory of Walter), two hides in Herdeuuelle. There is land sufficient for two ploughs, and they are there, with four villanes (homagers or copyholders), three bordars, and four bondmen (servi). It is and always was worth thirty shillinys. Two vassals of Sired's held the same (before the Conquest), and might dispose of it; and they now hold it.
WILLIAM PEVREL holds in Herdeuelle six hides and three virgates, and Tehel is his tenant. There is land to eight ploughs (carucates), there being three in the demesne; and sixteen villanes with four bordars have five ploughs. There are four bondmen (serri) and meadow for eight ploughs (i. e. sufficient to support their teams). Its whole value is, and was, one hundred shillings; in King Edward's time seven pounds. Alwin, a thane of King Edward's, held this manor, and might sell it.
WALTER DE VERnon holds half a hide in Herdeuuelle. There is land for half a ploughteam, but there is no plough there. It is and was always worth ten shillings. Turgot, a thane of King Edward's, held this land, and might alienate it.
WILLIAM THE CHAMBERLAIN (camerarius) holds, and Robert of him, two hides in Herdeuuelle. There is arable land for two ploughs. There is one in the demesne; and two villanes, with four bordars, have one plough. It is, and always was, estimated at thirty shillings. Wlmar, a priest (confessor ?) of King Edward's, held this land, and might sell it.
It should be observed, that arable land is always expressed by terra in the Liber Censualis, in contra-distinction to pasture, meadow, and wood-lands.
* Helto was a man of substance. He was also the tenant of the Bishop's manor of Dinton, consisting of fifteen hides; and of that of Stone, which was seven hides.—It is conjectured that the land belonging to the Bishop of Baieux was afterwards reckoned as in the parish of Stone, and not in Hartwell; and that the lands of Walter de Vernon and William the Chamberlain became annexed to Great Kimbel.
† Molebec in the printed edition of Domesday Book; but by a misprint.