The Natural History of Wiltshire eBook

John Aubrey
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Natural History of Wiltshire.

The Scropes of Castle-Comb have been there ever since the time of King Richard the Second.  The Lord Chancellor Scrope gave this mannour to his third son; they have continued there ever since, and enjoy the old land (about 800li per annum), and the estate is neither augmented nor diminished all this time, neither doth the family spred.

The Powers of Stanton St. Quintin had that farme in lease about three hundred yeares.  It did belong to the abbey of Cyrencester.

The Lytes had Easton Piers in lease and in inheritance 249 yeares; sc. from Henry 6th.  About 1572 Mr. Th.  Lyte, my mother’s grandfather, purchased the inheritance of the greatest part of this place, a part whereof descended to me by my mother Debora, the daughter and heire of Mr. Isaac Lyte.  I sold it in 1669 to Francis Hill, who sold it to Mr. Sherwin, who hath left it to a daughter and heir.  Thos.  Lyte’s father had 800li. per annum in leases:  viz. all Easton, except Cromwell’s farm (20li), and the farmes of Dedmerton and Sopworth.

The Longs are now the most flourishing and numerous family in this county, and next to them the Ashes; but the latter are strangers, and came in but about 1642, or since.

Contrarywise there are severall places unlucky to the possessors.  Easton Piers hath had six owners since the reigne of Henry 7th, where I myself had a share to act my part; and one part of it called Lyte’s Kitchin hath been sold four times over since 1630.

’Tis certain that there are some houses lucky and some that are unlucky; e.g. a handsome brick house on the south side of Clarkenwell churchyard hath been so unlucky for at least these forty yeares that it is seldom tenanted; nobody at last would adventure to take it.  Also a handsome house in Holbourne that looked into the fields, the tenants of it did not prosper; about six, one after another.



["Accidents” was a term used in astrology, in the general sense of remarkable events or occurrences.  From a curious collection of Aubrey’s memoranda I have selected a few of the most interesting and most apposite to Wiltshire.  Several of the anecdotes in this chapter will be found in Aubrey’s Miscellanies, 12mo. 1696.  J. B.]

In the reigne of King James 1st, as boyes were at play in Amesbury-street, it thundred and lightened.  One of the boyes wore a little dagger by his side, which was melted in the scabbard, and the scabbard not hurt.  This dagger Edward Earle of Hertford kept amongst his rarities.  I have forgott if the boy was killed. (From old Mr. Bowman and Mr. Gauntlett)

The long street, Marleborough, was burned down to the ground in five houres, and the greatnesse of the fire encreased the wind.  This was in 165-.  This account I had from Thomas Henshaw, Esq. who was an eye-witness as he was on his journey to London.

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The Natural History of Wiltshire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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