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(who died in the first of king Edward the Fourth), he was father to Sir Thomas Talbot, one very zealous for the house of York, and a servant to king Richard the Third, who bestowed an annuity of forty pounds by the year, on him and his heirs for his good service, as by the following patent will appear:
“ Richardus, Dei gratiâ Rex Angliæ et Franciæ, et Dominus Hiberniæ, omnibus ad quos presentes literæ pervenerint, salutem: Sciatis quòd, de gratiâ nostra speciali, ac pro bono et gratuito servitio quod dilectus serviens noster Thomas Talbot, miles, in capturâ magni adversarii nostri Henrici nuper (de facto sed non de jure) regis Angliæ, nobis ac bonæ memoriæ regi Edwardo Quarto (fratri nostro) defuncto impendit, et in futurum fideliter impendet; dedimus et concedimus eidem Thomæ, et heredibus suis masculis, quandam annuitatem sive annualem reditum quadraginta librarum; habendum et percipiendum annuatim, eidem Thomæ et heredibus suis, de exitibus, proficuis, et reventionibus comitatus Palatini nostri Lancastriæ, in com. Lanc. per manus Receptoris ibidem pro tempore existentis, ad Festum Sancti Michaelis Archangeli; aliquo statuto, actu, sive ordinatione in contrarium edito sive proviso in aliquo non obstante. “In cujus rei testimonium, has literas fieri fecimus patentes.
“Dat. apud Ebor. 2do Aug. anno Regni 2do." A branch of these Talbots are removed into Lacashire; and from those in Yorkshire colonel Thomas Talbot is descended.
EDWARD IV. 10. HEN. VAVASOR, Mil.—It is observed of this family, that they never married an heir, or buried their wives. The place of their habitation is called Hassell-wood, from wood, which there is not wanting, though stone be far more plentiful, there being a quarry within that manor, out of which the stones were taken which built the cathedral and St. Mary's abbey in York, the monasteries of Howden, Selby, and Beverley, with Thorton college in Lincolnshire, and many others. So pleasant also the prospect of the said Hassell-wood, that the cathedrals of York and Lincoln, being more than sixty miles asunder, may thence be discovered.
HENRY VIII. 2. RADULPHUS EURE, alias Evers, Mil.—He was afterwards, by the above named king, created a baron and lord warden of the Marshes towards Scotland. He gave frequent demonstration (as our chronicles do testify) both of his fidelity and valour, in receiving many smart incursions from, and returning as many deep impressions on the Scots. There is a lord Evers at this day, doubtless a remoter descendant from him, but in what distance and degree it is to me unknown.
5. WILLIAM Percy, Mil.- I recommend the following pas
sage to the reader's choicest observation, which I find in Camden's Britannia, in Yorkshire :
“More beneath, hard by the river [Rhidals] side standeth Riton, an ancient possession of the ancient family of the Percyhays, commonly called Percys."
I will not be over confident, but have just cause to believe this our sheriff was of that family. And if so, he gave for his arms, "Partie per fess Arg. and G. a lion rampant;" having Will. Percy-hay (sheriff in the last of Edward the Third) for his ancestor.
23. Nicholas Fairfax, Mil.—They took their name of Fairfax, à pulchro capillitio, from the fair hair, either bright in colour, or comely for the plenty thereof. Their motto, in allusion to their name, is Fare, fac,“ Say, do,” such the sympathy (it seems) betwixt their tongues and heart. This Sir Nicholas Fairfax mindeth me of his namesake and kinsman Sir Nicholas Fairfax of Bullingbrooke, knight of Rhodes, in the reign of Edward the Fourth.
Jacomo Bosio, in his Italian history of St. John of Jerusalem,* saith, that Sir Nicholas Fairfax was sent out of Rhodes, when it was in great distress, to Candia, for relief of men and provisions, which he did so well perform, as the town held out for some time longer; and he gives him this character, in his own language, “Cavilero Nicolo Fairfax Inglico homo multo spiritoso é prudento."
3. CHRISTOPHER METCALFE, Mil.—He attended on the judges at York, attended on with three hundred horsemen, all of his own name and kindred, well mounted and suitably attired. The Roman Fabii, the most populous tribe in that city, could hardly have made so fair an appearance, insomuch that Master Camden gives the Metcalfes this character : “Quæ numerosissima totius Angliæ familia his temporibus censetur,”+ (which at this time, viz. anno 1607, is counted the most numerous family of England.)
Here I forbear the mentioning of another, which perchance might vie numbers with them, lest casually I minister matter of contest.
But this Sir Christopher is also memorable for stocking the river Yower in this county, hard by his house, with crevishes (which he brought out of the south) where they thrive both in plenty and bigness. For although
Omnia non omnis terra, nec unda ferel :
Nor all waters, every thing : yet most places are like trees which bear no fruit, not because
† Camden's Britannia, in Yorkshire. | Idem, ibidem.
• Fol. 578.
they are barren, but are not grafted, so that dumb Nature seemeth in some sort to make signs to Art for her assistance. If some gentleman in our parts will, by way of ingenuous retaliation, make proof to plant a colony of such northern fishes as we want in our southern rivers, no doubt he would meet with suitable success.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. 4. GEORGE Bowes, Mil. - He had a great estate in this county, and greater in the bishopric of Durham. A man of metal, indeed; and it had been never a whit the worse, if the quickness thereof had been a little more allayed in him.
This was he who some seven years after, viz. anno 1569, was besieged by the northern rebels in Bernard's Castle, and straitened for provision, yielded the same “on condition they might depart with their armour.'
After the suppression of the rebels, their execution was committed to his care, wherein he was severe unto cruelty; for many well-meaning people were engaged in (and others drawn into) that rising, who may truly be termed loyal traitors, with those “two hundred "t men, who “went after Absalom in their simplicity, and knew not anything," solicited for the queen's “service.” These Sir George hung up by scores (by the office of his marshalship); and had hung more, if Master Bernard Gilpin had not begged their lives by his importunate intercession.
23. Robert STAPLETON, Mil.-He was descended from Sir Miles Stapleton, one of the first founders of the Garter, and sheriff in the 29th of Edward the Third. He met the judges with seven score men in suitable liveries; and was (saith my author)“ in those days, for a man, well spoken, properly seen in languages, a comely and goodly personage, had scant an equal (except Sir Philip Sidney), no superior in England.”I He married one of the coheirs of Sir Henry Sherington, by whom he had a numerous posterity.
42. FRANCIS CLIFFORD, Arm.-He afterwards succeeded his brother George in his honours and earldom of Cumberland; a worthy gentleman, made up of all honourable accomplishments. He was father to Henry the fifth and last earl of that family, whose sole daughter and heir was married to the right honourable, and well worthy of his honour, the then lord Dungarvon, since earl of Cork.
45. Henry BELLASIS, Mil.-He was afterwards by king Charles created Baron Fauconbridge of Yarum; as since, his grandchild, by his eldest son, is made Viscount Fauconbridge. . Camden's Eliz. anno 1569.
† 2 Sam. xv. 11. | Sir John Harrington, in the Archbishops of York.
John Bellasis, esquire, his second son, who, in the garrison of Newark and elsewhere, hath given ample testimony of his valour, and all noble qualities accomplishing a person of honour, is since advanced to the dignity of a Baron.
9. HENRY SLINGSBY, Mil.—The arms of this ancient and numerous family (too large to be inserted in our list) are as followeth : “Quarterly, the first and fourth Gules, a chevron between two leopards' heads, and a hutchet or bugle Argent; the second and third Argent, a griffon surgeant Sable, supprest by a fess Gules.”
11. GEORGE Savill, Mil. et Bar.-- This is the last mention of this numerous, wealthy, and ancient family, which I find in this catalogue. And here, reader, to confess myself unto thee, my expectation' is defeated, hoping to find that vigorous knight Sir John Savill in this catalogue of Sheriffs. But it seems that his constant court attendance (being privy councillor to king Charles) privileged him from that employment, until by the same king he was created Baron Savill of Pontefract, as his son since was made Earl of Sussex. I hear so high commendation of his house at Howley, that it disdaineth to yield precedency to any in this shire.
12. John RAMSDEN, Mil.—The reader will pardon my untimely and abrupt breaking off this catalogue, for a reason formerly rendered. Only let me add, that the renowned knight Sir Marmaduke Langdale was sheriff 1641. He, without the least self-attribution, may say, as to the king's side of Northern actions, “ Pars ego magna fui.” But, as for his raising the siege of Pontefract (felt before seen by the enemy), it will sound Romanza-like to posterity, with whom it will find “ plus famæ quam fidei.” No wonder, therefore, if king Charles the Second created him a Baron, the temple of Honour being of due open to him who had passed through the temple of Yirtue.
BATTLES. Many engagements (as much above skirmishes as beneath battles) happened in this shire. But that at Marston-Moor, July 2, 1644, was our English Pharsalian fight, or rather the fatal battle of Cannæ to the loyal cavaliers.
Indeed, it is difficult and dangerous to present the pa ticulars thereof. For one may easier do right to the memories of the dead, than save the credits of some living. However, things past may better be found fault with than amended; and when God will have an army defeated, mistakes tending thereto will be multiplied in despite of the greatest care and diligence.
Know then that prince Rupert, having fortunately raised the siege at York, drew out his men into the Moor, with full intention to fight the enemy. Discreet persons, beholding the countenance of the present affairs with an impartial eye, found out many dissuasives for the prince to hazard a battle. 1. He had done his work by relieving York; let him digest the honour thereof, and grasp at no more. 2. His wearied souldiers wanted refreshing. 3. Considerable recruits were daily expected out of the north, under colonel Clavering.
Add to all these, that such were the present animosities in the Parliament army, and so great their mutual dissatisfactions when they drew off from York, that (as a prime person since freely confessed), if let alone they would have fallen foul amongst themselves, had not the prince, preparing to fight them, cemented their differences, to agree against a general enemy. But a blot is no blot, if not hit; and an advantage, no advantage, if unknown : though this was true, the prince was not informed of the differences aforesaid.
However, he did not so much run out of his own ambition of honour, as answer the spur of the king's command, from whom he had lately received a letter (still safe in his custody) speedily to fight the enemy if he had any advantage, that so he might spare and send back some supplies to his majesty's perplexed occasions at Oxford.
Besides, the prince had received certain intelligence, that the enemy had, the day before, sent away seven thousand men, now so far distanced, that they were past possibility of returning that day. The former part hereof was true, the latter false, confuted by the great shout given this day in the Parliament's army, at the return of such forces unto them.
But now it was too late to draw off the Parliament forces, necessitating them to fight. A summer's evening is a winter's day, and about four o'clock the battle began.
Some causelessly complain of the marquis of Newcastle, that he drew not his men soon enough (according to his orders) out of York, to the prince's seasonable succour. Such consider not that soldiers newly relieved from a nine weeks' siege will a little indulge themselves. Nor is it in the power of a general to make them at such times to march at a minute's warning, but that such a minute will be more than an hour in the length thereof.
The lord general Goring so valiantly charged the left wing of the
enemy, that they fairly forsook the field. General Leslie, with his Scottish, ran away more than a Yorkshire mile and a wee bit. Fame, with her trumpet, sounded their flight as far as Oxford, the royalists rejoicing with bonfires for the victory. But, within few days, their bays, by a mournful metamorphosis
, were turned into willow; and they sunk the lower in true sorrow, for being mounted so high in causeless gladness.