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AGBICCLTCBAL NOTES.

* FARM SPBING WORK.

TENANT FARMERS AND THEIR .…

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OUR LONDON LET

OUR OLD MOBILITY.

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OUR OLD MOBILITY. THE bOMERSETS. His Grace the Duke of Beaufort owna in- Gloucestershire 16,610 acres. Monmouth 27,299 „ Brecon 4,019 Wilts 1,939 Glamorgan 1,215 „ 51.082 with a rental of £ 56,209. The Gloucestershire eetates were partly acquired by purchase. The far-famed seat at Badminton, which has a park 10 miles in circumference, was purchased of the Botelers in 160s by a younger son of the head of the house of Somerset, and was bequeathed by his only daughter to the Somerset who was after- wards,created the first Duke of Beaufort, by whom the mansion was erected in 1682. Other manors in Gloucestershire appear to have been acquired by purchase still more recently. But it is in the counties on the Welsh border that I am more particularly interested. Monmouthshire returns two Conservatives, one of whom is the son of the duke; Brecon returns/ a Liberal, Glamorgan, one Conservative, and one Liberal. That the t overwhelming majority of county electors in South Wales are Liberals I presume that no one < who knows anything of the district would doubt for a moment. Nowhere is Nonconformity more staunchly Liberal thaa in Sooth Wales, and no. where does Nonconformity appear in such strength, It is the territorial tradition alone that makes the return of a Conservative in either of these counties possible. That evil tradition has been recently broken in Brecon, for which the Liberal candidate, who in 1874 was de- feated by a majority of 558, now sits as member. That which is possible in Brecon a possible in Monmouth and Glamorgan; but the tenantry of the Duke of Beaufort and other territorial magnates have yet to learn that when they have paid their rents they have discharged their obligations in full. The Somer- aets are Plantagenets; and the Herberts, from whom they derived most of their Welsh property, were Normana, Old John of Gaunt, time. honoured Lancaster," third Bon of Edward III., had a family by his first wife, from whom Henry VII. and subsequent English monarchs are descended; by Catherine Swinford, whom he afterwards married, he had three sons and a daughter who took the name of Beaufort from a castle in France where they were born. The second of these sons was the Cardinal Beaufort of Shakspeare, the eldest was created Marquess of Somerset and Dorset. The son of the latter was created Duke of Somerset, and had an only daughter, who was married to Edmond Tudor, Earl of Richmond, and became mother of Henry VII. He also left an ille- eitimate son, Charles, who took his father's title as a patronymic. Charles Somerset was therefore the half-brother of the mother of Henry V II., and as was to be expected, he shared in the spoils of the final victory of the House of Lan- caster. He obtained a number of employments from Henry, but what was of far greater impor- tance to the fortunes of his descendants, he became a great lord of the soil by his marriage with the daughter and heiress of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke and Huntingdon, through whom he acquired the larger part of that noble. man's estates. He was Lord Chamberlain to Henry VII. and Henry VIII.; in the reign of the former monarch he was known in right of his wife's possessions as Baron Herbert; by the latter monarch he was created Earl of Worces- ter. We must now return to the Herberts, whose early history is somewhat obscure. It is not quite clear who the original Herbert was. As a simple knight he distinguished himself As a simple knight he distinguished himself in the French campaigns of Henry V., but his fortune was made by espousing the Yorkist cause. The bloody fight at Towton was followed by enormous confiscations, and one of the ohief gainers thereby was Herbert, who obtained im. mense grants of lands in South Wales. For instance, I find in Jones's History of Breck- nockshire that Edward IV. very early in hia reign granted the castle, town, manor, and lord. ship of Crickhowel, Ystiadw-isaf, and Tretower, with other large possessions in Wales, to Sir Wil- liam Herbert. Pembroke, Haverfordwest, Tenby, and aeveral other places in Pembrokeshire, were acquired tn like manner, as also several estates in Glamorgan and elsewhere. The right of the Tory Duke of Beaufort to compel Liberal Welshmen to vote aa he pleases rests upon a grant of estates confiscated by Edward IV. because their former owners supported the King whose father Herbert had served as a soldier. We may trace the Monmouthshire estates most easily by meana of the ancient buildings; the possession of a castle usually indicates the ownership of much of the surrounding property. Monmouth Castle -the birthplace of Henry V., who was hence called Henry of Monmouth-was granted by Henry III. to one of his younger sons, whose de. scendant, Blanch, married John of Gaunt. Raglan Castle, one of the principal seats gf .the Somersets till it was deposited in the time of the Civil War, was held by several Norman families in succession, and was probably derived by the Herberts from one of them by marriage. Chepstow Castle, where Henry Marten, the regicide, was immured for several years, appears to have been purchased by the Earl of Pembroke, Tintem Abbey was granted to the Earl of Worcester in the reign of Edward VI. I presume, but am not able to state with certainty, that the Glamorganshire property of the Somersets at Oystermouth, near Swansea, and elsewhere, was formerly part of the Herbert estates, and obtained in like manner with the rest. Of the subsequent history of the Somersets there is little of interest to record. The fourth Earl of Worcester, who had been Master of the Horse to Elizabeth, was made Lord Privy Seal to James I., with an annual salary of iCl,500 for life. The fifth earl is said to have expended .£300,000 in the cause of kingly despotism, and he and his son used their great influence to waste the lives of Welshmen in the battles of Charles I., as their ancestors had done during the wars of the Roaes. Clarendon speaks ef the Earl of Worcester as the richest man in the kingdom, and in the time of the Common- wealth the estates were worth no less than £ 20,000 per annum. Early in the Civil War Charles 1. created the Earl of Worcester a marquess. The second marquess was a dabbler ia science, and published A Century of Inventions," from one of which the idea of the steam-engine is said to have been derived. The third marquess was created Duke of Beaufort by Charles II.; he made an ineffectual effort against the Prince of Orange, but subsequently took the oath of allegi. ance. For the next generation or two the Somer. sets were regarded as timid Jacobites, without the courage of their opinions. During the pre. sent century I count no less than five Somersets in the Church (the Duke has 24 livings in his gift). and 12 in the army. Most of the latter, of course, rose to a high position. The most distinguished of them was Lord Fitzroy Somerset, who served through the Peninsular War, lost an arm at Waterloo, subsequently held Several lucrative military offices, and waa created Lord Raglan. At the outbreak of the Crimean War he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British army, which post he held when the victories of Alma and Inkerman were won. Me died in the Crimea during the siege of Sebastopol.—" Noblesse Oblige in the Echo.

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