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It does not appear at what period the crown again resumed possession of Stokesay, but early in the reign of Edward I., "Lawrence de Ludlo tenet villa de Stoke-Say for one knight's fee of John de Grey, and the said John de Grey holds it of the king in capite." Lawrence was the son of William de Ludelow, of a family who had their origin in the town of that name, and from which the Parliamentary General descended. The Patent Rolls show that, in the 19th of Edward I., he obtained a license "quod ipse Mansuum de Stok-Say in comitatu Salop, muro de petra et calce firmare, et kernellare, tenere posuit sibi et heredibus suis in perpetuum."
It remained in this family for many generations, till on the death, in 1498, of Sir Richard Ludlowe, whose wife was the daughter of Edward Grey Lord of Powys, it passed to his son John, who left two daughters, who both married sons of Sir Henry Vernon, of Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, and of Tonge, in Shropshire; and the youngest, Anne, with her husband, Thomas Vernon, took up their residence at Stokesay. They were living there when Leland visited Shropshire, by whom it is twice noticed in his Itinerary:—" Aboot V miles owt of Ludlo, betwixt Ludlo and Bishop Castle, Stoke Say belonging some time to the Ludlo's, now to the Vernons, builded like a Castell—V miles owt of Ludo." Again he says on his way to Bishop Castle,—" There is alsoe a bridge at Whister of Stone near Oney, above Mr. Vernon hath a place, not far from Oney."
The son and grandson of Mr. Vernon made Stoke their residence; the latter styled himself Lord Powys, as the direct maternal descendant of Edward Grey Lord Powis; he died in 1607, leaving his estates to his sister Aleonora, wife to Francis Curzan of Keddleston, county Derby, but he had previously sold Stokesay to Sir George and Sir Arthur Mainwaring, by whom in 1616 it was conveyed in some family settlement to Richard Brooke, Sir Thomas Baker, and Sir Richard Francis. Four years later it was resold, together with other adjoining estates, to Dame Elizabeth Craven (widow of Sir William Craven, citizen and alderman of London), and Sir William Craven her son, and it has continued in the possession of their descendants to the present time.
Stokesay has never been occupied by them as a residence, but was let on a long lease by the first Lord Craven to Charles Baldwin, of Elsich, county Salop, and his heirs. During the civil wars it was inhabited by Sir Samuel Baldwin, serjeant-atlaw, and was garrisoned for the king, both Lord Craven and the Baldwins being staunch loyalists, and in consequence were heavily fined by the Long Parliament.
The following account of the taking of Stoke, by a party sent out by the parliamentary committee at Shrewsbury, is copied from a quaint old work, entitled The Burning Bush not Consumed, by John Vickare:—
"There was drawn out of this garrison (Shrewsbury) by order from the Committee 500 foot, & 300 horse, being part of Col: Mackworth's regiment, & part of Col: Lloyds regt—Our forces marched within 5 miles of Ludlow, the design being to reduce that part of the Country, & to secure it, by placing garrisons there to block up Ludlow. With a party of horse they viewed Holgate & Braincroft Castles both of which the enemy had demolished, notwithstanding they placed the Lord Colvine in Braincroft (Broncroft) Castle, & fell to repaire & fortify it. In the interim they sent Lieut. Riveling to view Stoke-say, a garrison of the enemy. The place was considerable, therefore the next morning wee drew up to it, & summoned it, but the Governor Capt. Daurett refused: whereupon we prepared for a storm, and being ready to fall on, we gave a second summons, which was hearkened unto, a party admitted, and it is now garrisoned for us. One of these castles commands Cowe Dale, a rich & varied Country; the other secures Stretton Dale, so that Ludlow is now blockt up on this side, & hath only Hereford to rainge in.
"Continuing in these parts for the securing of the Garrisons—
"Sir Michael Woodhouse, one that cometh out of Ireland, & Governor of Ludlow, procured all the Garrisons for 20 miles round to turn out for his relief. Col: Lunsford from Monmouth, Col: Sandys from Worcester, Col: Scudamere from Hereford, Sir Michael Woodhouse from Ludlow, forces from Hartlebury & other Garrisons, all of which made a body of about 200 horse & foot, which marched up near Braincroft (Broncroft) Castle, & being too weak to encounter with them, marched to Wistanstow, within a mile of Stoak, the better to enforce ourselves from Shrewsbury & Montgomery, whither we sent for forces (but came not in time enough). The enemy contrary to our expectations judging Stoak of more consequence made haste thither to besiege it, of whose approach the Col: having intelligence, with the advice of the field Officers resolving to fight, our horse made what haste they could to fight in Capt. Ffowkes troop, to which were joined some reformadirs, fell upon a body of the enemys horse, being 200, and routed them; the foot marched on with gallant resolution, beat up all their ambuscades in the hedges for a mile together, untill they came to the main body, which after an hours fight was routed & dispersed.
"In this business Col: Riveling deserves much honour, as much as a man could do, and also the other Col* did very gallantly.
"We slew near to 100 on the place, took above 300 common soldiers, about 60 officers & gentlemen, & all their Ordnance, bag & baggage, 4 barrels of powder, a good quantity of match & bullets, 100 horse. Some gentlemen of quality were slaine, these being most of the gallantry of Herefordshire.
ARCH. CAMB., NEW SERIES, VOL. IV. G
"In the action Sir Will"1 Croft, the best head piece and activest man in that County, was slaine on the place, the Govr of Monmouth & Ludlow hardly escaped, Sir Michael Woodhouse, his horse being taken.
"The glory of this great action belongs only to God, who was pleased to make weak means instruments to do so great a work.
"Major Fenwick who behaved himself gallantly is wounded, but wee hope not mortally.
"These were taken in the fight. Col: Tho* Broughton—Capt. Walter Neale—Capt. George Wright—Capt. Tho5 Stot—Capt. Leinton Synge—9 Quarter Masters—7 Corporals—5 Waggons—3 Mattrasses, Mr. Richard Richardson, Chirurgeon, & many others."
This engagement seems to have been of one of some importance, as it is noticed in most of the newspapers of the day, with great incorrectness both as to the site of the battle and the glory of it.
In 1647, when nearly every place of strength had been wrested from the king, an order was issued by the Parliament that Stokesay, together with several other castles in Shropshire, should be slighted.
A letter from Sir Symon Archer to Sir William Dugdale is published in the Diary of the latter, mentioning a visit his "sonne Young" had paid to Mr. Baldwin at Stoke Castle, "as he rod the circuit," two years afterwards, which proves that the slighting had not so far dilapidated the mansion as to have prevented Mr. Baldwin residing there, and unless the top of the north tower may have been dismantled at that time, there is nothing to indicate that any extensive repairs were made soon after.
Charles Baldwin, who died in 1706, was the last inhabitant of the castle, for having married the heiress of Agualate in Staffordshire, his son settled on his maternal estate, and from that period Stokesay has been miserably neglected, and only used as out-buildings to an adjacent farmhouse.
Should this slight sketch ever meet the eye of its present worthy possessor and make him aware of the lively admiration and deep interest expressed for this beautiful and unique specimen of the domestic architecture of the thirteenth century, by the members of the Cambrian Archaeological Association on the occasion of their late visit to it, he might perhaps be induced to appropriate a portion of the liberal expenditure he allows for the benefit of his Shropshire tenantry for the gratification of antiquaries and lovers of the picturesque, in averting from Stoke, by a few repairs, the destruction that surely awaits it, if much longer neglected.
THE POEMS OF TALIES1N.
The subject of this poem, and that treated of in our last paper, is Gwallawg, or Gwallog ab Lleenog, a prominent personage in the history and bardic poetry of the sixth century.
Lleenog, his father, is a personage but little known, and what little is known respecting him is scattered and appropriated to other suppositious persons, so that a superficial reader is led to imagine the information to be more scanty than it really is. In the Iolo MSS. we have the following verses among Chwedlau'r Doethion, or Sayings of the Wise :—
"A glywaist ti chwedl Lleynawg
Iolo MSS. p. 253.
This has been thus translated:—
Hast thou heard the saying of Lleynawg,
The honoured and exalted warrior?
Better a grave than a needy life.—Iolo MSS. p. 653.
The Myvyrian Archaiology (vol. i. p. 174) contains a copy of the same verses among Englynion y Clywed, but with a variation which furnishes a clue to further intelligence :—
"A glyweisti a gant Llenllyauc
This is evidently the oldest of the two copies, and is supposed to be as old as the tenth century, because portions of two verses contained in the collection are quoted by Giraldus about 1188 A.d.; but with reference to the point under consideration, I believe it to be most inaccurate. This verse may be thus translated:—
Hast thou heard the saying of Llenllyawg,
The honoured gold-torque-wearing Gwyddelian?
A grave is better than a needy life.
Here we have the same sentiment attributed to Lleynawg or Lleenog and Llen-Llyawc; and the question naturally arises, is this a case of one name in two forms? A little inquiry will enable us to furnish an affirmative reply. In the poem which forms the text of this article, we have the following lines:—
"Bint bydi derwy y bryt haf pryt mab
Here we have the elements from which Llenllyauc has been formed; and a single glance will suffice to show that Llenllyauc is only a corruption of Lleen(awg)lliawg, in this passage. This is the name under which Lleenog is generally spoken of; and it becomes of importance to ascertain whether lliawg in these lines is predicated of Gwallog the son, or of Lleenog the father. In favour of the latter hypothesis, we have the fact that in romances and other late documents, we have the name Llenllyauc; and in favour of the former, we have the more conclusive fact that Gwallog is always called the son of Lleenog, and never the son of Llenllyauc The solution of the question, to the best of my judgment, is this:—First,— That the name Llenllyauc has sprung from, and is, a corruption of this passage. Second,—That the romances have followed the Englynion y Clywed and not the uncorrupted original. Third,—That the epithet lliawg, flood-like, is predicated of Gwallog, and not of his father; and Fourth, —That the proper name is Lleenog and not Llenllyawg. It appears from these notices, Lleenog was a man of Gwyddelian extraction; that he was entitled to the mark of British nobility, the wearing of golden torque, and was a distinguished warrior. It would further seem from Taliesin's former poem that Lleenog turned saint in his latter days, and that he had a church named Llan Lleenog; but whether that was Anhunog as suggested before, Llanllugon in Montgomeryshire, or