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which something of interest may not be discovered, unknown perhaps to many, and that of Windsor, I think, is one of them. When I have mentioned places to which a little curiosity and research have led me, persons residing near them have expressed their surprise at not having heard of them before, and I, therefore, now propose to describe some of those I have visited during the last summer. What has interested me may interest others, and it has often struck me that a very agreeable as well as instructive book might be made, describing the various places throughout the country, which have been the residence of persons of distinguished character, and particularly of those eminent for their science and learning. In addition to this there are little facts and circumstances in a neighbourhood of which the antiquary might like to be informed, or the lover of nature to find described. A very rich map might be thus unrolled, especially if we extended our researches from those days in which it might be said our literature was forined, to the present; and commencing with Sherborne Castle, the seat of Raleigh, and of Wilton, the residence of Lord Pembroke, come down to those later days in which Twickenham and Kensington became connected for ever with the names of Addison and Pope. Nor should the list be closed, till the more distant and romantic scenes of Abbotsford and Keswick had been visited.

The present Sketches will, however, be confined to the neighbourhood of Eton, taking a circle of a few miles from it, and it is intended to attempt either to revive recollections of places probably faded away and almost forgotten in the public mind, or to describe those which have only been preserved in correspondences now but little known. Let me begin with


It was on a fine Summer's morning, that accompanied by an agreeable friend, whose mind is stored with elegant literature, we visited this once celebrated place. I will describe it as it appeared just a century since, and it would be an object of interest and benefit to compare this description with its present state. It is hopeless to suppose that the garden bench, on which Pope and Gay sate and rhymed, is still in existence, for alas, we found it not, but some of the scenes still remain, which the hand of Nature formed, and which art and taste had heightened and improved.

In the year 1806, the second edition was printed of a very elegant and pleasing correspondence between Frances, Countess of Hertford, afterwards Duchess of Somerset, and Henrietta Louisa, Countess of Pomfret, between the years 1738 and 1741. The countess of Hertford was the eldest of the

two daughters and coheirs of the Honourable H. Thynne, son of the first viscount Weymouth. She was married in 1713, to Algernon, Lord Hertford, eldest son of the duke of Somerset. She was lady of the bedchamber to Queen Caroline, and continued in this office till the Queen's death. The most memorable circumstance, however in her life is that connected with the history of Savage the poet. He was condemned to death for a murder committed in a drunken rencontre in 1727. His mother, the Countess of Macclesfield, contrived to prejudice the Royal ear against him, and her calumny was but too successful, the queen refusing to hear any intercession for his life. In this juncture, Lady Hertford stepped forward, demanded an audience of the Queen, and laid before her the whole series of his mother's cruelty and unnatural hatred. The benevolent interposition proved successful, and Savage was liberated. To the Countess of Hertford, Thomson inscribed his poem of Spring. Dr. Watts dedicated his miscellanies to her, and Mrs. Rowe's Meditations, which he edited. Shenstone's Odeon Rural Elegance is also inscribed to her. After her husband's death, which took place in 1749-50, Lady Hertford, then Duchess of Somerset, lived almost entirely secluded from the world at her seat near Colnbrook, which the Duke, when Lord Hertford, had purchased of Lord Bathurst. The name from Richings or Richkings, was changed to that of Piercy Lodge, and under the latter name it is mentioned by Shenstone and other poets. Here this accomplished and amiable lady closed her life in January 1754, and was interred in Westminster Abbey. Her acquirements in literature were various, and she had some taste in poetical composition. There are four poetical pieces by her, concealed under the signature of Euphebia, in the sixty-third number of Dr. Watts' Miscellanies. Her correspondent, Lady Pomfret died, having previously made a noble donation to the University of Oxford of the Arundelian Marbles and Statues, which had been purchased by Sir William Fermor, the father of Lord Pomfret.

Having given this short account of the owner of Ritchings, I will now proceed to extract a few notices of the place itself, as given in Lady Hertford's letters, and which is distinguished not only as the residence of this accomplished lady, but also as having been visited by those who have ennobled the age in which they lived by their genius and learning, and given to it a title that emulates the glorious period of the Roman History, when the arts found a protector and patron under the mild and tranquil reign of Augustus.

“We have taken (says Lady Hertford) a house just by Colnbrook. It belongs to Lord Bathurst, and is what Mr. Pope in his letters calls his extra

vagante bergerie. The environs perfectly answer that title, and come nearer to my idea of a scene in Arcadia, than any place I ever saw. The house is old, but convenient, and when you are got within the little paddock it stands in, you would believe yourselves a hundred miles from London, which I think a great addition to its beauty." This was in 1739. The next

she informs her correspondent, — “I cannot discover who were the first builders of this place. My Lady Bathurst brought it in marriage to my Lord. . Sir Peter Apsley, their common grandfather, for they were cousin germans, purchased it of an ancestor of Mr. Britton, but that family had not long been in possession of it. On the spot where the greenhouse now stands, there was formerly a chapel dedicated to St. Leonard, who was certainly esteemed a tutelar saint of Windsor forest, and its purlieus, for the place we left (St. Leonard's Hill) was originally a hermitage founded in honour of him. We have no relics of the Saint, but we have an old carved bench with many remains of the wit of my Lord Bathurst's visitors, who inscribed verses upon it. Here is the writing of Addison, Pope, Prior, Congreve, Gay, and what he esteemed no less of several fine ladies. I cannot say that the verses answered my expectations from such authors; we have however all resolved to follow the fashion, and to add some of our own to the collection.


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