Waddington Hall

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  1. Ian Topham says:

    Re: Waddington Hall
    ‘Leland’s Collections, Vol. II’ (1770)
    In A.D. 1464, King Henry was taken yn Clitherwoode byside Bungerley Hippingstones in Lancastreshyre, by Thomas Talbot, Sunne and Heire to Syr Edmunde Talbot of Bashall and John Talbot, his cosyn of Colebry, which deceivid hym beyng at his Dyner at Wadington Haul and brought hym to London with his Legges bounde to the stiroppes.’ 

    ‘Whitaker’s History of Whalley’ (1800)
    Among the hereditary descendents of the House of Lancaster at Clitheroe the unfortunate Henry VI. sought a temporary refuge from his enemies, but his confidence was abused, and he was betrayed to Edward IV. by the Talbots of Bashall and Salesbury, for which good service there are no fewer than four patents from Edward and Richard III. extant, settling pensions on different persons of this family all expressed nearly in the same terms: "Pro bono servicio suo in captura magni nostri adversarii Henrici nuper de facto et non de jure Regis Angliae’

    Waddington is in the parish of Mitton. The parish of Mitton was surveyed in Domesday under the manor, of Grinleton, as it now forms a portion of that of Slaydburn, and it was always considered as a part of Bowland in the more extended sense of the word.’

    ‘It has been recorded by Christopher Townley, as a tradition of the neighbourhood in his time, that Henry VI., when betrayed by the Talbots, foretold nine generations of the family in succession consisting of a wife and a weak man by turns, after which the name should be lost.’
    ‘History of the County Palatine of Lancaster, Division Ninth, Blackburn Hundred’ (1831)
    Waddington Hall, in the Yorkshire part of this parish, afforded an asylum for twelve months to the unfortunate Henry VI after the Battle of Hexham, but at length his retreat was discovered by the prying eye of Sir James Harrington, aided by Thomas Talbot, the son of Sir Edmund Talbot, and his cousin, John. The Royal fugitive, when he found that he was betrayed, escaped across the Ribble, over Brungerley Hipping (Stepping) Stones, and sought concealment in Clitheroe Wood, but being hotly pursued he was taken, and ignominiously conveyed to London.
    ‘An Illustrated Itinerary of the County of Lancaster’ (1842)
    Our next object was Waddington Hall. For this indeed it was that we had paid the visit. And "to what base uses may we come!" such was our reflection as we went under a roof which had given shelter and hospitality to king. Meanness and dirt, cows and cowhouses, dogs and stables, with shattered implements of husbandry, alone saluted our sight; and even after we were within a part where human beings we thought might dwell, we still doubted if we were where we should find any one of our own species. Turning a little to the right, however, we found that it was "feeding time" for others besides the quadrupedal live stock. There, around a clothless table, and up and down a filthy room, sat or stood grandfather and his wife, master and his wife, a serving woman and several brawny lads, with one intelligent-looking girl, literally devouring fried fat bacon and boiled potatoes, with a gusto which an epicure could not fall to envy. The condition of their persons we pass, lest we should be charged with caricature. The character of the group was as singular as their appearance. We saluted them and received no reply. We put a question, and was answered by a simple "Yes" Another interrogatory brought forth a "No." Clearly were we defeated in our purpose of getting information. "Passive resistance," we thought, is no contemptible weapon of defence. In time, however, the old man’s muscles began to relax a little, the rather we suspect as he saw us give a gratuity to his grand-daughter, who was shewing signs of possessing some other faculty besides that of eating. And at length, having finished his meal and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, grandfather became communicative.

    The Hall—of which we here delineate the front-consists of a centre with two gables, could never have been very large, and is in a most dilapidated condition. Its sole interest is connected with one of the most pitiable of Kings. Henry VI. had the misfortune to come into possession of a throne while yet a minor. He was surrounded by wily relations, and served by ambitious and disquiet nobles. A war in France kept in nearly one unbroken course of failure, under the enthusiastic pressure and fervid onslaught of Joan of Arc. A jacquerie broke out at home. Not least among his evils, he married a queen who had a stout mind and an iron will, while Henry was the slenderest of reeds. Worst of all, there was a rival that claimed his crown. Civil wars broke out. The roses were dyed in blood. Henry was deposed. Under the auspices of the queen, fighting was more than once resumed, carried on with various issue, but always to the injury of the imbecile Henry. At last the king was obliged to lice for his life, and conceal himself wherever he could find a lurking place. The North afforded him friends. In the mountainous and thinly populated parts of Lancashire he was harboured with something like affection; but it is not to be supposed, whatever the fidelity of tried friends may have been, that even a king, whose distempered body inflicted maladies, and at times almost idiocy on his mind, could in any case have excited any strong feelings of respect; though it is not to be denied that Whitaker has conjectured from certain expressions in the records of the house, that Henry was sainted by the authorities of Whalley Abbey. He was however betrayed, July 1464, while sitting at dinner in Waddington Hall, by the servants of Sir James Harrington, who despatched him towards London. At Islington he was met by the Earl of Warwick, and lodged in the Tower, where either from pity or contempt he was allowed to live unmolested.

    On finding himself betrayed the king made his escape, which was facilitated by the structure of the house. The present occupant shewed us what is still called "the king’s room;" in our engraving it is that in the right gable, with the large window-and explained how the king got away down one staircase-the remains of it are seen pictured in the left angle-while his pursuers ascended another.

    We give also a back view of the hall, as it displays the window by which he got out of the house. His pursuers, however, were too numerous and too eager for him. He reached the Ribble, hoping to put that between himself and his enemies; he attempted to ford it, and was captured midway.

    The hall, as we have intimated, has lost all outward appearance of greatness. The king’s room, however, has an old oak floor, the walls are very thick, "Henry’s staircase" is narrow and winding, built of stone. The house, till within the last forty years, had a flat lead roof. A stone coffin stands at the back door, the rudeness of whose masonry not unaptly corresponds with the actual condition of this perishing edifice."