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Reveal'd its purpos'd destiny;
To her sad heart, whose pulse was cold,
FRAGMENTS OF FAMILY HISTORY.
ANCESTRY OF LORD GEORGE BENTINCK.
His lordship is second surviving son of the present Duke of Portland. His mother Henrietta, eldest daughter of the well-known General Scott, of Balcomie, in Fifeshire, derived, in the female line, from the families of the famous Scottish worthies, Balliol and Wallace. General Scott was of very eccentric notions. By his will, he prohibited any one of his daughters from marrying a nobleman; and provided that disobedience on this point should entail a forfeiture of the testamentary bequest. Despite, however, of this injunction, the three ladies, all became in the sequel peeresses, and by an arrangement amongst themselves preserved their fortunes: the eldest, who succeeded to the chief portion of her father's great wealth, married the Duke of Portland; the second, became the wife of Francis, Lord Doune; and the third, the widow of the Right Hon. George Canning, was elevated to the peerage in her own right, at the lamented decease of her distinguished husband. Under the guidance of that illustrious statesman, who was thus his uncle by marriage, Lord George Bentinck first entered on public life; but he did not long continue at that period to devote himself to political pursuits. The attractions of the turf engrossed his attention, and it was not until the great struggle that preceded the abolition of the corn laws that he gained the leading position he now holds in the parliamentary arena.
Lord George Bentinck was born 27th Feb. 1802, and is unmarried. He has sat in the House of Commons as member for Lynn Regis, in the representation of which borough he succeeded his uncle, Lord William Bentinck. The ducal house of which his lordship is a scion, was founded by William Bentinck, a Dutch noble, who enjoyed in an eminent degree the favour of King William III., and was created by his majesty Earl of Portland in 1689. His lordship had the command of the Dutch regiment of Horse Guards, and took a distinguished part, as Lieutenant-General, at the battle of Boyne. He was subsequently invested with the Order of the Garter, and at length died in 1709, leaving a large family: the eldest son Henry, second Earl, obtained in 1716, the highest grade in the peerage, being elevated to the Dukedom of Portland and Marquesate of Tichfield. His Grace died in Jamaica, of which he was Captain-General and Governor, 4th July 1726, leaving, with other issue, a son and successor, WILLIAM second Duke, K.G., who added considerably to his fortune and influence, by marrying the Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley, only daughter and heir of Edward, second Earl of Oxford, by Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles, his wife, only daughter and heir of John, first Duke of Newcastle. The paternal grandfather of this richly portioned heiress, Robert Harley, was the illustrious minister of the reign of Queen Anne, and her maternal grandfather, the Duke of Newcastle had the reputation of being one of the richest subjects in the kingdom. From him has descended to the present Duke of Portland Welbeck Abbey, Notts, together with the valuable property of Cavendish Square, Holles Street, and its neighbourhood, so productive at the present day.
The son and heir of the marriage of the second Duke of Portland with the heiress of the Harleys, the Holles' and the Cavendishes, was WilliamHenry, third Duke, K.G., who filled the dignified office of Viceroy of Ire
land in 1782, and was twice Prime Minister. He wedded Dorothy, only daughter of Williain, fourth Duke of Devonshire, and dying in 1809, was succeeded by his eldest son, William-Henry Cavendish, the present chief of the ducal house of Portland.
THE HOUSE OF O'CONOR.
OUR obituary of this month records the death of the O'CONOR Don, a gentleman universally esteemed and beloved, in whom vested the representation of the ancient monarchs of Ireland. From the remotest period, his ancestors were Kings of Connaught, and in the twelfth century they became Sovereigns of all Ireland. Tordhellach O'Conor, who ascended the throne in 1136, reigned twenty years, and died in 1156, leaving two sons, RODERICK the last monarch of Ireland, and CATHAL Croibh-dearg, or Cathal, of the Red Hand. Roderick's history is well known. In 1175, his Chancellor Lawrence O'Toole signed the Treaty of Windsor with King Henry II. of England, wherein Roderick resigned the supreme monarchy but reserved to himself Connaught as an independent kingdom. The treaty may be seen in Rymer's Fœdera. From Roderick's brother, Cathal, descended in a direct line, the late O'Conor Don. The singular title of "Don," so constantly used by the successive chiefs of the house, is variously explained. Some derive it from Tirlagh O'Conor, living temp. Richard II., who was surnamed Don, or the dark, while others carry up its adoption to the time of the invasion of Ireland, under Prince Don, the son of Milesius. Certain it is that for centuries, it has been the invariable designation of the head of the O'Conors; and was borne as such by the late O'Conor Don. Of the princely heritage that erst belonged to his royal ancestors, a small tract alone remained. Spoliation and persecution-the result of loyalty to the king, and devotion to the ancient faith-gave the final blow to the power of this illustrious house. Major Owen O'Conor, of Belanagare, governor of Athlone for James II., was taken prisoner by William of Orange, and confined in the Castle of Chester, where he died in 1692, and his nephew and eventual heir Denis O'Conor of Belanagare, was involved in the troubles and misfortunes which seemed at that period, the common inheritance of all who professed the Catholic religion. Suits were instituted for the sequestration of his paternal estates, and he was happy to preserve a portion by the sacrifice of the rest. Though thus left but a small fragment of the once broad domains of his forefathers-domains, which were guaranteed by several solemn and indisputable treaties,-he was still the supporter of all, whose virtues or distresses had a claim upon his bounty. The traditions of the country attest his unostentatious benevolence and hospitality, and the effusions of the bards record the virtues of his character. At Belanagare, it was that Carolan composed the most impassioned of his melodies, and felt the true poetic inspiration. "I think," said the bard on one occasion, "that when I am among the O'Conors, the harp has the old sound in it.” Denis O'Conor's son and successor, CHARLES O'CONOR, of Belanagare, a learned antiquary, early devoted his attention to elucidating the history of his country, and unfolding the long neglected records of her people; and collected, with indefatigable research and labour, the most valuable information regarding the annals and antiquities of Ireland. He also took a prominent place amongst those who first struggled for Catholic Emancipation. Of his grandsons, the eldest OWEN O'CONOR, of Belanagare, succeeded to the title of Don as head of the family at the decease of his kinsman Alex
ander, O'Conor Don in 1820; and the second, Charles O'Conor, D.D., chaplain at Stowe, was the erudite author of "Rerum Hibernicarum Scriptores," "Columbanus's Letters," &c. The former, Owen O'Conor Don, was father of the respected gentleman, whose decease has given rise to the foregoing remarks.
EDWARD SIXTH LORD DIGBY.
Oh! Charity! our helpless nature's pride,
The azure heaven, or purple lights of morn?
Among the many illustrious families of which our nobility is composed, that of Digby deserves a prominent position. In the reign of the first Charles, one of its descendants, the renowned Sir Kenelm, "the ornament of England," rendered the name famous throughout the Christian world, and, at all times, we may trace, in the pages of history, honourable mention of this eminent house. Edward, sixth Lord Digby, to whom the following interesting narrative refers, was son of the Hon. Edward Digby by Charlotte, his wife, sister of Henry, Lord Holland, (father of Charles James Fox), and succeeded to the peerage at the decease of his grandfather in 1752, being then just of age. The excellence of his disposition and the kindness of his heart won for him universal esteem; and few events were more deeply deplored than his untimely death. Of his active benevolence, a gentleman, who enjoyed his lordship's regard and friendship, has left the following anecdote on record :
"Lord Digby came often to Parliament Street, and I could not help remarking a a singular alteration in his dress and demeanour, which took place during the great festivals. At Christmas and Easter he was more than usually grave, and then always had on an old shabby blue coat. I was led, as well as many others, to conclude that it was some affair of the heart which caused this periodical singularity. Mr. Fox, his uncle, who had great curiosity, wished much to find out his nephew's motive for appearing at times in this manner, as in general he was esteemed more than a well dressed man. On his expressing an inclination for this purpose, Major Vaughan and another gentleman undertook to watch his lordship's motions. They accordingly set out; and observing him to go to St. George's Fields, they followed him at a distance, till they lost sight of him near the Marshalsea Prison. Wondering what could carry a person of his lordship's rank and fortune to such a place, they enquired of the turnkey if such a gentleman (describing Lord D.) had not entered the prison? Yes, Masters," exclaimed the fellow, with an oath, "but he is not a man, he is an angel;
for he comes here twice a year, sometimes oftener, and sets a number of prisoners free. And he not only does this, but he gives them sufficient to support themselves and their families till they can find employment. "This," continued the man, "is one of his extraordinary visits. He has but a few to take out to day." Do you know who the gentleman is ?" enquired the major. "We none of us know him by any other marks,” replied the man, "but by his humanity and his blue coat."
One of the gentleman could not resist the desire of making some further enquiries relative to the occurrence from which he reaped so much satisfaction. The next time, accordingly, his lordship had his alms-giving coat on, he asked him what occasioned his wearing that singular dress? With a smile of great sweetness, his lordship told him that his curiosity should soon be gratified, for as they were congenial souls, he would take him with him when he next visited the place to which his coat was adapted. One morning shortly after, his lordship accordingly requested the gentleman to accompany him on a visit to that receptacle of misery which his lordship had so often explored, to the consolation of its inhabitants. His lordship would not uffer his companion to enter the gate, lest the hideousness of the place should prove disagreeable to him; but he ordered the coachman to drive to the George Inn in the Borough, where a dinner was ordered for the happy individuals he was about to liberate. Here the gentleman had the pleasure of seeing nearly thirty persons rescued from the jaws of a loathsome prison, at the inclement season of the year, being in the midst of winter, and not only released from their confinement, but restored to their families and friends, with some provision from his lordship's bounty for their immediate support.
Lord Digby went, some few months after these beneficent acts, to visit his estates in Ireland, where he caught a putrid fever, of which he died in the dawn of life, November 30, 1757.
Well may we add with the poet ;
His Lordship died unmarried and was succeeded in his honour and estates by his brother Henry, father of the present Earl Digby.
THE VEIL OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.
THIS Veil, said to be that with which the unfortunate Mary covered her head on the scaffold, after the executioner-whether from awkwardness or confusion is uncertain-had wounded the unhappy victim in the shoulder by a false blow still exists; and is still, we believe, in the possession of Sir John Stuart Hippisley, Bart., whose father, Sir John Cox Hippisley, had an engraving made from it, by Matteo Dioltavi, in Rome, 1818, and gave copies to his friends.
The Veil is embroidered with gold spangles by (as it is said) the Queen's own hand, in regular rows, crossing each other, so as to form small squares,