Holme Lacy, Herefordshire

Extract from Littlebury's Directory and Gazetteer of Herefordshire, 1876-7
with Private and Commercial Residents

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2004

HOLME LACY is a large parish and scattered village, situated on the western bank of the river Wye, and intersected by the Hereford, Ross, and Gloucester branch of the Great Western railway, on which line it has a neat station. It is distant 4¼ miles S.E. of Hereford (6 by road), 8 N.N.W. of Ross, and 12 S.W. of Ledbury; is in Webtree hundred, Hereford union, petty sessional division, and county court district, and Fownhope polling district. The population in 1861 was 307; in 1871, 304; inhabited houses, 68; families or separate occupiers, 85; area of parish, 3,192a. 2r. 38p.; annual rateable value, 15,177. Sir Henry Edwyn Chandos Scudamore-Stanhope, Bart., is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is loam with a substratum of clay; chief produce, wheat, barley, hops, roots, and excellent pasture. A handsome bridge crosses the Wye to the village of Fownbope, and there is a ferry about a mile below.

Holme Lacy is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Hereford and rural deanery of Archenfield; living, a vicarage; value, £540, with residence and 14 acres of glebe; patron, Sir Henry E.C. Scudamore-Stanhope, Bart.; vicar, Rev. William Pitt Scudamore-Stanhope, M.A., of Brasenose College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1872. The parish of Bolstone has been detached from this parish and united to Ballingham for ecclesiastical purposes (under 1 and 2 Vict., c.106): The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, is a fine Norman edifice of stone, with a substantial square tower containing a peal of eight bells. This ancient and interesting fabric consists of nave, chancel, north and south aisles, and contains some handsome monuments to the memory of the Scudamore family. The late Duchess of Norfolk lies interred here. It underwent restoration in 1854 at a cost of £536, and the north transept was restored in 1874 at a cost of £278. The earliest register is dated 1615.

There is a national school for boys and girls, with residence for the mistress attached. It was built by the late Sir Edwyn Scudamore-Stanhope, and is supported by voluntary subscriptions. The charities belonging to the parish are of £18 yearly value. Holme Lacy House is the venerable seat of Sir Henry Edwyn Chandos Scudamore-Stanhope, Bart., J.P., D.L. This mansion was for a long series of years the residence of the family of the Scudamores, whose ancestor, St. Scudamore, came into England with William the Conqueror. They settled first in Wiltshire, at Norton and Upton Scudamore, near Warminster, at the last of which are traces of their ancient mansion house, but removed to Holme Lacy in the reign of Edward III., after the marriage of Thomas, younger son of Sir Peter Scudamore, with Clarice, daughter of Lady Clara, of the family of the Lays, to whom this estate originally belonged, and from whom the place derived its name.

The Scudamores bear as their motto "Scutum Amoris Divini". It is one of the so-called "mottoes parlantes", the name Scudamore signifying "Scutum Amoris". The arms originally were the cross patée fitchee,, later the three stirrups. The first arms may have been given them in commemoration of some memorable action in defence of the Christian faith. Many of the Scudamores have been employed in distinguished offices, and some of them are recorded as eminent patrons of literature. Sir James Scudamore, father of the first Lord Scudamore, Viscount Sligo, in Ireland, is the legendary "Sir Scudamore", of Spenser, in the fourth book of "The Faery Queen". John, created Viscount Scudamore by Charles I., was highly respected for his piety and learning, and was, in the year 1634, sent ambassador to France; he was also a character as distinguished for his loyalty as for his benevolence and charity, and in the civil wars he took so decided a part in favour of the king, that, having been taken prisoner, his estates underwent a temporary sequestration, and he was himself deprived of liberty for a considerable period. He died in the year 1670.

The second Viscount Scudamore rebuilt the greater part of the present mansion about the commencement of the last century. He was grandson of the first Viscount, the eldest son of whom died in his father's lifetime. The surviving heiress of this ancient family was espoused, in second marriage, to Colonel Charles Fitzroy, by whom she had Frances, who married Charles, eleventh Duke of Norfolk, to whom she brought this and other large estates in this county and Gloucestershire. On the death of Frances, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, October 22nd, 1820, all the descendants of the first Lord Scudamore became extinct, and her estates devolved on Sir Edwyn Francis Scudamore-Stanhope, Bart.; John Parsons, Esq.; Mary, wife of Lieut.-General Burr; and Ann Susanna Davies - the former of whom is a lineal descendant of Mary, wife of Sir Giles Bridges, Bart., eldest daughter of Sir James Scudamore, Knight, and sister of the first Lord Scudamore; and the other three are lineal descendants of Frances, wife of John Higford, Esq., another daughter of Sir James Scudamore, Knight, and sister also of the first Lord Scudamore. This seat has been permitted to remain (internally) unaltered, as a perfect specimen of the style of building preferred by our immediate ancestors. We can still survey the apartments which Pope so frequently visited, and where he wrote his "Man of Ross", in the same state as they were formerly.

The family portraits, and the elaborate carvings by Grinling Gibbons, in birds, shellfish, fruit, flowers, &c., but little inferior to those of Petworth and Chatsworth, are still a part of their venerable ornaments. A mansion like this, preserved in a complete state from modern alterations, may be ranked among our national curiosities. In the saloon is a very conspicuous portrait of Sir James Scudamore, equipped for a tournament, that splendid and frequent diversion in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The apartments are decorated with many valuable paintings by Vandyck, Jansen, Holbein, and other eminent artists. The extensive grounds of this estate are very pleasant, and during the summer months are thrown open to the public by the kind permission of Sir Henry E.C. Scudamore-Stanhope, Bart. The old garden on the south front was formed on the model of Hampton court, in Middlesex, and displays a very spacious terrace.

The yew trees, which are disposed in straight lines, having been originally clipt into grotesque shapes, and for many years left to regain their foliage, very nearly resemble the cypresses of a Turkish cemetery. The situation of the mansion is quiet and retired, commanding a beautiful but confined view in the front. Near the vicarage house is a portion of a remarkable pear tree, which, according to records dated 1776, yielded from fourteen to sixteen hogsheads of perry, of 100 gallons each, and is accounted for as follows: a large branch having been broken by the wind, its head fell to the ground, the butt still adhering to the trunk; some time after, it appeared to have struck into the ground, taken root, and formed a scion. Willing to encourage this lusus naturæ, the incumbent gave orders for other layers to be made from the tree in a similar manner, which became rooted, and bore fruit.

POSTAL REGULATIONS.- Francis Ward, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive by messenger from Hereford at 8.50 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5 p.m. Fownhope is the nearest money order office. Hereford is the telegraph office and post town.
Parish Church (St. Andrew's).- Rev. William Pitt Scudamore-Stanhope, M.A., Vicar; Messrs. Richard H. Ridler and James W. Cousins, Churchwardens; Henry Gaines, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls).- Miss Margaret Corfield, Mistress.
Railway Station (Hereford, Ross, and Gloucester Railway).- Mr. Francis Charles Hayes, Station Master.
Assistant Overseer.- Mr. Henry Francis Froggatt, Bolstone court.
Scudamore-Stanhope Sir Henry Edwyn Chandos, Bart., J.P., D.L., B.A. (Oxon.), Holme Lacy house
Scudamore-Stanhope Edwyn Francis, Esq., J.P., D.L., Holme Lacy house
Scudamore-Stanhope Rev. William Pitt, M.A. (vicar), The Vicarage
Adams Thos., frmr., Lower Bog marsh fm.
Coleman Roynon, farmer and hop grower, The Tump farm
Cooper Elizabeth, shopkeeper
Cooper William, farmer, Little Bog marsh
Corfield Miss Margaret, schoolmistress
Cousins James Webster, farmer and hop grower, Billingsley
Elliott James Samuel, farmer and hop grower, Upper Bog marsh
Evans George, carpenter, Lower lodge
Froggatt Henry Francis, farmer and assistant overseer; res., Bolstone court
Gaines Henry, blacksmith & parish clerk
Hayes Francis Charles, station master, Holme Lacy railway station
Hillier Thomas, farmer, Hollanton
Hughes William, woodward
Jakeman Edward, head gamekeeper for Sir Henry Scudamore-Stanhope, Bart., J.P., D.L.
Millichamp Richard, farmer and coal merchant, Folly; depot at the Railway station
Powell George, farmer, Cannon dale
Ridler Richard Henry, farmer, The Bower
Roff William, carpenter
Smith John, farm bailiff to Sir Henry Edwyn Chandos Scudamore-Stanhope, Bart., J.P., D.L.
Ward Francis, wheelwright, grocer, and sub-postmaster

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in April 2004.

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