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shroud but little decayed. The Derwentwater estates were held by trustees until 1735, when they were conferred upon that noble institution, the Royal Hospital for Seamen, at Greenwich. Their annual value amounted some time ago to £60,000. The Cumberland portion of them was disposed of many years ago to Mr Marshall, the eminent manufacturer of Leeds. The Earl of Newburgh, the descendant of Charles Radcliffe, petitioned parliament for the reversal of the attainder, but he only succeeded in obtaining, as a compensation for some claim he had upon the lands, an annuity of £2500.
When Charles Radcliffe, the brother of Earl James, perished on the scaffold, he left a son and a daughter. This son, on his mother's death, became Earl of Newburgh. He died in 1780, and was succeeded by his only son, James Bartholomew Radcliffe, who died without male issue in 1814; and thus, to all appearance, the race of Radcliffes, in the male line, was extinct. But about the year 1865 a claimant to the title and estates appeared in the person of a middleaged lady, styling herself Amelia Matilda Radcliffe, Countess of Derwentwater. According to her statement, John Radcliffe, son of Earl James who was beheaded in 1716, did not die in 1731, as alleged, but, fearing that the British government might procure his assassination in order to get rid of the possibility of his claiming the estates, withdrew from notice, lived to the age of eighty-six, and died at Frankfurt in 1798. In 1840, he had married, as the lady's story goes, the Countess of Waldstein-Waters (a title not to be found, it is said, in any peerage), and when he died, he was succeeded first by his eldest son James, and then by his second son, John James. This John James, who was sixth earl, died in 1833, and she, Amelia Matilda Radcliffe, as his only surviving child, has inherited his title.
That this lady is in some way connected with the hapless Radcliffes would seem to be borne out by certain family relics-pictures, the muniment chest, &c.—which she has in her possession. But her story, as a whole, is, on the face of it, improbable, and the documents which she adduces as evidence are said to be more or less open to suspicion; so that, although the Houses of Parliament have been petitioned on her behalf, both the government and the commissioners of Greenwich Hospital have refused to listen to her claims. The 'Countess,' on her first appearance took up her abode at a village not far from Newcastle. At length in October 1868, she proceeded to take possession of the ruins of her ancestral home, the two men-servants by whom she was attended having made one of the rooms habitable by spreading a tarpaulin roof over it. From this she was forcibly removed by the agent for Greenwich Hospital, and was set down, with her effects, by the side of the highway. Here she set up a tent in which she lived several weeks until the public authorities, on the plea of its obstructing the highway, caused her tent to be remo
moved, and she herself was left sitting under an umbrella. By the latest accounts that have reached us, she had
accepted the hospitality of a neighbour, and was 'living under a roof. The public sympathies of the district in which Dilston lies are said to be strongly on her side.
The following ballad, which has long been popular in the north of England, may appropriately conclude our account of the last Earl of Derwentwater:
FAREWELL to pleasant Dilston Hall,
My fathers' ancient seat;
Which gars my heart to greet.
My heart has held so dear;
Or hold their lives in fear.
I'll rove in autumn gay;
The lav'rocks wake the day.
And Foster, ever true;
Receive my last adieu !
Since fate has put us down;
Our king has lost his crown.
Ill, ill thou counselledst me;
That smiles upon thy knee !
That carried me aye so sree;
Last time I mounted thee.
My trouble's nearly o'er;
Shall rise on me no more !
It is my fate to die-
In my fathers' grave to lie.
In Hexham's holy towers;
Scatter my grave with flowers.
And when the head that wears the crown
Shall be laid low like mine,
For Radcliffe's fallen line.
My fathers' ancient seat;
Which gars my heart to greet.
ESCAPE OF THE EARL OF NITHISDALE.
THE Earl of Nithisdale, as has been mentioned, was fortunate in making his escape from the Tower on the night preceding the morning appointed for his execution. The particulars of his lordship’s escape have shed a glory over female devotedness. But for the love, prudence, and heroism of his lady, he would most certainly have suffered the same violent death as that of the unfortunate Derwentwater and Kenmure. The history of this remarkable occurrence is as follows:
The Countess of Nithisdale having heard that her husband was a prisoner, and in peril of his life, hastened from the family seat in Scotland, in order to employ every means in her power to save him from his anticipated fate, or at least to be near him in his last moments. Her melancholy journey was performed in the dead of winter, and under many difficulties. The ground was so deeply covered with snow, that the posts and all ordinary conveyances were stopped, and she was obliged to ride on horseback from Newcastle to London-a distance of three hundred miles. On her arrival in town, she presented petitions to the king, and used all other expedients to procure a remission of the sentence against the earl, but without success. Pardon being evidently hopeless, she resolved on delivering her husband by other means. Escape in the disguise of a female occurred as the plan most likely to succeed. Settling on this device, and having with some difficulty procured his lordship's consent, she confided her intentions to a faithful female attendant, Evans; and finally, when about to put her design in execution, procured the assistance of a Mrs Mills, with whom she lodged, and a Mrs Morgan. On the evening of Friday the 23d of February 1716, the next morning being that on which the unfortunate lords were to suffer, the countess proceeded with Mrs Mills and Mrs Morgan in a hackney-coach to the Tower. What ensued will be best described in her ladyship's own language, in a letter which she afterwards wrote to her husband's sister, the Countess of Traquair, lately made public.
When we were in the coach, I never ceased talking, that Mrs
Mills and Mrs Morgan might have no leisure to reflect. Their surprise and astonishment when I first opened my design to them had made them consent, without ever thinking of the consequences. On our arrival at the Tower, the first I introduced was Mrs Morgan; for I was only allowed to take in one at a time. She brought in the clothes that were to serve Mrs Mills, when she left her own behind her. When Mrs Morgan had taken off what she had brought for my purpose, I conducted her back to the staircase; and, in going, I begged her to send me in my maid to dress me; that I was afraid of being too late to present my last petition that night, if she did not come immediately. I despatched her safe, and went partly down stairs to meet Mrs Mills, who had the precaution to hold her handkerchief to her face, as was very natural for a woman to do when she was going to bid her last farewell to a friend on the eve of his execution. i had indeed desired her to do it, that my lord might go out in the same manner. Her eyebrows were rather inclined to be sandy, and my lord's were dark and very thick; however, I had prepared some paint of the colour of hers, to disguise his with. I also bought an artificial head-dress of the same coloured hair as hers; and I painted his face with white, and his cheeks with rouge, to hide his long beard, which he had not had time to shave. All this provision I had before left in the Tower. The poor guards, to whom my slight liberality the day before had endeared me, let me go quietly with my company, and were not so strictly on the watch as they usually had been ; and the more so as they were persuaded, from what I had told them, that the prisoners would obtain their pardon. I made Mrs Mills take off her own hood, and put on that which I had brought for her. I then took her by the hand, and led her out of my lord's chamber; and in passing through the next room, in which there were several people, with all the concern imaginable, I said : “My dear Mrs Catherine, go in all haste, and send me my waiting-maid : she certainly cannot reflect how late it is. She forgets that I am to present a petition to-night; and if I let slip this opportunity, I am undone, for to-morrow will be too late. Hasten her as much as possible, for I shall be on thorns till she comes.” Everybody in the room, who were chiefly the guards' wives and daughters, seemed to compassionate me exceedingly; and the sentinel officiously opened the door.
"When I had seen her out, I returned back to my lord, and finished dressing him. I had taken care that Mrs Mills did not go out crying as she came in, that my lord might the better pass for the lady who came in crying and afflicted; and the more so, because he had the same dress which she wore. When I had almost finished dressing my lord in all my petticoats excepting one, I perceived that it was growing dark, and was afraid that the light of the candles might betray us ; so I resolved to set off. I went out, leading him by the hand, and he held his handkerchief to his eyes. I spoke to
him in the most piteous and afflicted tone of voice, bewailing bitterly the negligence of Evans, who had ruined me by her delay. Then said I : "My dear Mrs Betty, for the love of God, run quickly, and bring her with you. You know my lodging, and if ever you made dispatch in your life, do it at present : I am almost distracted with this disappointment.” The guards opened the doors, and I went down stairs with him, still conjuring him to make all possible dispatch. As soon as he had cleared the door, I made him walk before me, for fear the sentinel should take notice of his walk; but I still continued to press him to make all the dispatch he possibly could. At the bottom of the stairs, I met my dear Evans, into whose hands I confided him. I had before engaged Mr Mills to be in readiness before the Tower, to conduct him to some place of safety, in case we succeeded. Evans and Mr Mills having found a place of security, they conducted my lord to it.
'In the meanwhile, as I had pretended to have sent the young lady on a message, I was obliged to return up-stairs, and go back to my lord's room, in the same feigned anxiety of being too late ; so that everybody seemed sincerely to sympathise with my distress. When I was in the room, I talked to him as if he had been really present, and answered my own questions in my lord's voice as nearly as I could imitate it. I walked up and down, as if we were conversing together, till I thought they had time enough thoroughly to clear themselves of the guards. I then thought proper to make off also. I opened the door, and stood half in it, that those in the outward chamber might hear what I said ; but held it so close that they could not look in. I bade my lord a formal farewell for that night; and added, that something more than usual must have happened to make Evans negligent on this important occasion, who had always been so punctual in the smallest trifles, that I saw no other remedy than to go in person; that, if the Tower were still open when I finished my business, I would return that night; but that he might be assured I would be with him as early in the morning as I could gain admittance into the Tower, and I flattered myself I should bring favourable news. Then, before I shut the door, I pulled through the string of the latch, so that it could only be opened on the inside. I then shut it with some degree of force, that I might be sure of its being well shut. I said to the servant as I passed by, who was ignorant of the whole transaction, that he need not carry in candles to his master till my lord sent for him, as he desired to finish some prayers first. I went down stairs, and called a coach. As there were several on the stand, I drove home to my lodgings, where poor Mr Mackenzie had been waiting to carry the petition, in case my attempt had failed. I told him there was no need of any petition, as my lord was safe out of the Tower, and out of the hands of his enemies, as I hoped; but that I did not know where he was.
'Having discharged the coach, I went in a sedan-chair to the