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Many's the time I've scampered down the glade,
To ask the promised ditty from the maid,
Which well she loved, as well she knew to sing,
While we around her form'd a little ring:
She told of innocence fore-doom'd to bleed,
Of wicked guardians bent on bloody_deed,
Or little children murder'd as they slept;
While at each pause we wrung our hands and wept.
Beloved moment! then 'twas first I caught
The first foundation of romantic thought;
Then first I shed bold Fancy's thrilling tear,
Then first that Poesy charm'd mine infant ear.
Soon stored with much of legendary lore,
The sports of childhood charm'd my soul no more.
Far from the scene of gaiety and noise,
Far, far from turbulent and empty joys,
I hied me to the thick o'er-arching shade,
And, there, on mossy carpet, listless laid,
While at my feet the rippling runnel ran,
The days of wild romance antique I'd scan;
Soar on the wings of fancy through the air,
To realms of light, and pierce the radiance there.

So powerful indeed is the influence of legendary poetry on the mind that we seem to have a personal interest in the scenes and localities with which it is connected; and visit those cherished spots, with some of that heart felt devotion which the poetic pilgrim pays to the lowly Home at Stratford upon Avon or the proud castle of Penshurst,

The village of Otterburn, renowned in border Raid and border Minstrelsy, has its name from its situation on the burn called the Otter. It basks finely under the shelter of higher grounds on the north and east. Trees of every common variety thrive well about it; and the Otter rising in the moors to the north, and coming through the lands of Davyshiel, has its steep sides covered with wood as it approaches the village; and after passing it, and turning the wheel of an ancient fuller's mill, winds through rich houghs, and soon joins the Rede.

The Castle is a modern edifice, with the initials of "John Hall" over one of its doors. Some part of the ancient building can be traced in it. In 1245, the demesne lands of the manor of Otterburn consisted of 168 acres of arable, and 43 of meadow ground; to which were attached a mill, and cottages and lands for ten bondagers. In 1308, it had a capitai messuage upon it, besides a park stocked with wild beast, and nearly a league in circuit. Froissart describes the castle as tolerably strong; and says that the Scots, before the English came up with them to fight the field of Otterburne, "attacked it so long, and so unsuccessfully, that they were fatigued, and therefore sounded a retreat." In the old list of castles and towers, it is called the Tower of Otterburne, and said to belong to Sir Robert Umfreville, who died in 1436. It seems probable that the Umfrevilles frequently came here to indulge in sporting; for though Leland says, "in Ridesdale no plenty is of wood," yet it had both its game and its covers; for the old song of the battle of Otterburne tells us that

"The roe full reckless there she runs
To make thee game and glee;
The falcon and the pheasant both
Among the holts on 'hee.'"

Lord Dacre, in a letter to Henry the Eighth, mentions his brother Christopher lying all night" at the tower of Otterburne," on his return from a destructive raid in Scotland in 1513. After this time the family of Hall are mentioned as domicilated at this place; but how they became possessed of the castle we have met with no account.* That they were anciently seated in Redesdale is plain, from their clan being the "greatest, and of most reputation of any" in it, in Henry the Eighth's time. The records of the courts of the franchise prior to that time have, we apprehend, been all lost; and with them the names and history of its thanes and public men have perished. But, about the year 1540, "John Hall, of Otterburne," occurs in the company of the Greys, Ogles, Widdringtons, and other great country names, as a pensioner of the crown for services under the deputy warden of the Middle Marches. He was also in the commission for inclosures in 1552. In 1568, Richard Hall had lands in Otterburne, Daveyshielhope, and other adjoining places; and John Hall, of Otterburne, gentleman, 4th of August, 1630, purchased Tallowlees, of Robert Ogle, Knight, Lord Ogle. One of the same name and place was a sequestration under Cromwell; but the advantages which this family are supposed to have reaped from the commonwealth were not permitted to remain with many generations of their descendants, who were banished from their ancient seat, and had their property confiscated, by an ill-fated attachment to the house of Stuart. In 1715, John Hall, of Otterburne, a magistrate of the county, and a man of daring and pertinacious spirit, engaged in the rebellion of that year. A bill for high treason was found against him, on the 7th of April, and on the 16th of May, 1716, after a trial at the Exchequer Bar, he was sentenced to die as a traitor.

"God's will be done," was the unhappy man's only exclamation on judgment being past. There seemed a disposition in government to save him, for he was five times reprieved; but his zeal for the justice and confidence in the eventual success of his own cause, so overcame his prudence as to make him boast that his dying speech would turn the hearts of the kingdom" to his lawful sovereign King James the Third." At midnight, on the 12th of July, there was a great shout in the prison for joy, that a reprieve came down for all but Parson Paul and Justice Hall, who on the following day, were drawn upon a sledge, from Newgate to Tyburn, and there executed. The son of this luckless Jacobite, John Hall, had the offer of a commission in the army, but he rejected the favour of government with the true spirit of a cavalier. He appears to have died unmarried. On his father's attainder, Otterburn was sold to Gabriel Hall, Esq. of Catcleugh, from whose son Reynald the estate passed, by testamentary devise, to Robert Ellison, Esq. of Newcastle. That gentleman's son and successor, Henry Ellison, a merchant at Whitehaven, served as High Sheriff of Cumberland, in 1764, but subsequently sold Otterburn to James Storey, Esq. at whose death, it again devolved, by purchase, on JAMES ELLIS, Esq.

* Hodgson's Northumberland.

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A Correspondent enquires as to the state of this


It was conferred by patent in 1679 on George 14th Lord Berkeley, of Berkeley Castle, co. Gloucester, and has remained unassumed since the decease of Frederick Augustus, 5th Earl, in 1810. Shortly after that event, the present Earl Fitzhardinge, who then bore the courtesy title of Lord Dursley, and had a seat, under that designation, in the Lower House of Parliament, presented a petition to the crown for a writ of summons, as Earl Berkeley; but, some doubts having arisen touching the marriage upon which the Petitioner's right to the peerage rested, the Prince Regent was pleased to refer the petition to the consideration of the Lords, and a decision was come to adverse to the claimant. By that judgment, the alleged marriage of the deceased Lord in 1785 was disallowed, and the inheritance to the title opened to the eldest son, born after the nuptials of 1796, which the decision of the Peers confirmed-viz. the Hon. Thomas Morton Fitzhardinge Berkeley, who is, de jure, EARL of BERKELEY, but does not assume the title. As he has no child, being in fact unmarried, his next younger brother the Hon. G. C. Grantley F. Berkeley is heir presumptive to the Honours. By the will of the late Earl, (in which the marriage of 1785 is solemnly declared to have taken place), Berkeley Castle and all the broad demesnes of the family are bequeathed to his eldest son, the present Lord Fitzhardinge, and an annuity of £700 a year is bequeathed to each of his younger sons, the estates being strictly entailed (after the death of the present possessor, Earl Fitzhardinge and his male heirs of his body,) on each in succession, but a proviso forbids the as sumption of the title by any one of them under penalty of a forfeiture of all benefit to be derived from the testamentary bequest.

The deceased Earl's public marriage as confirmed by the Lords' decision, took place, as we have already mentioned in 1796: prior, however, to this date, four of his Lordship's children, by the same lady, were born; but the Earl declared that he had been privately married to the Countess, in Berkeley Church, 30th March, 1785, assigning, as a reason for the second nuptials, that the witnesses to the first were all dead and the vouchers to establish all destroyed, in consequence of the great secrecy observed; and he confirmed that assertion in his last will and testament.


THERE is no doubt that great alliances have been productive of the happiest results to families of distinction in times of arbitrary government and great political changes, and even now they have their advantages, although of a totally different character, in cementing those friendships amongst the aristocracy and upper classes of society which form an impenetrable barrier to the visionary principles of republicanism, while they maintain those sacred

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