Near South Molton, Devonshire.—Earl Fortescue.
I quote the following from one of the printed accounts of the place:—“Castle Hill, about three miles from South Molton, but in the parish of Filleigh, is the splendid seat of Earl Fortescue, whose ancestor, Martin Fortescue, Esq., (son of the Chief Justice of that name), obtained the manor by his marriage with an heiress of the Deynsells. The grounds were laid out in a somewhat formal style, about the year 1740, by the first Earl Foi-tescue, then Baron Clinton, but numerous improvements have since been made in accordance with the modern style of landscape gardening. The mansion is seated on the acclivity of a finely wooded eminence, commanding an extensive prospect; and several pleasing slopes descend from the terrace to a sheet of water, beyond which the ground again rises. Various ornamental buildings are raised in different parts of the park. The shrubbery includes some Portugal laurels of remarkable size, the trunk of the largest of which is between nine and ten feet in circumference; and in the kitchen garden is a peach tree of luxuriant growth, reaching to the top of a sixteen-feet wall, and extending its branches nearly fourteen yards.”
“Venerable and almost uniform tradition” derives this house from
Richard le Fort, Cup-bearer to the Norman William, and who saved the life of the Duke, who had three horses killed under him, by protecting him with his shield, and so thenceforward became known as Fort-escu, or “the strong shield.” His son was
Sir Adam Fortescue, Knight. Descended from him is stated to have been
William Fortescue, of Winston, living in 1406, who married Elizabeth, sister and coheiress of Thomas Beauchamp, of Byrne, Dorsetshire, and widow of Richard Branscomb. The descents after him were as follows:—His second son,
Sir John Fortescue, Governor of Meaux under Henry V., married to Eleanor, daughter and heiress of William Norreis.
Sir John Fortescue, Lord Chief Justice of England. He married Isabella, daughter of John Jamys, Esq.
Martin Fortescue, Esq., who died in 1472. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Richard Deynsell, of Filleigh and Wear Grifford.
John Fortescue, Esq., of Filleigh and Wear Gifford, born in 1460, married, in 1480, to Jacquet, daughter of Ralph St. Leger, of Anuery.
Bartholomew Fortescue, Esq., of Filleigh and Wear Gifford, who married Ellen, daughter of Maurice Moore, Esq., of Moore Hays.
Richard Fortescue, Esq., of Filleigh, married Joan Moreton, and died in 1570.
Hugh Fortescue, Esq., married to Elizabeth, sister of Sir Arthur Chichester, Lord Deputy of Ireland.
John Fortescue, Esq., married Mary, daughter of Humphrey Speccott, and died in 1605.
Hugh Fortescce, Esq., married Mary, daughter of Robert Rolle, Esq., and died in 1661.
Arthur Fortescue, Esq., married Barbara, daughter of John Elford, Esq.
Hugh Fortescue, Esq., of Filleigh and Wear Gifford, man-ied to Bridget, only daughter and heiress of Hugh Boscawen, Esq., of Tregothnan, Cornwall.
Sir Hugh Fortescue, K.B., summoned to Parliament March 16th., 1721, as Lord Clinton, in right of his maternal grandfather, and created Baron Fortescue, of Castle Hill, Devonshire, July 5th., 1746, and Earl of Clinton, the Barony to revert, in default of male issue, to his half brother, which it did; namely, to
Matthew Fortescue, Esq., who succeeded as second Baron Fortescue. He married, June 8th., 1752, Anne, second daughter of John Campbell, Esq., of Cawdor Castle, Nairnshire, and died in 1785.
Hugh Fortescue, third Baron Fortescue, F.S.A. and D.C.L., born March 12th., 1753, who was created, September 1st., 1789, Viscount Ebrington and Earl Fortescue. He married, May 10th., 1782, Hester, daughter of the Right Honourable George Grenville, and died June 16th., 1841. His elder son,
Hugh Fortescue, second Earl Fortescue, K.G., LL.D., F.R.S., born February 13th., 1783, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from April, 1839, to September, 1841, summoned to the House of Peers in his father’s Barony of Fortescue, February 28th., 1839, married, first, July 4th., 1817, Lady Susan Ryder, daughter of Dudley, first Earl of Harrowby, and had, with other children,—he died September 14th., 1861,—
Hugh Fortescue, third Earl Fortescue, Viscount Ebrington of Gloucestershire, and Baron Fortescue, of Castle Hill, Devonshire, born April 4th., 1818, who was summoned to the House of Peers in his father’s Barony of Castle Hill, December 5th., 1859. He married, March 11th., 181–7, Georgiana Augusta Charlotte Caroline, eldest daughter of the Right Honourable Lieutenant Colonel George Lionel Dawson Damer, and had, with other children,
Hugh Fortescue, Viscount Ebrington, an officer in the Royal North Devon Militia, born April 16th., 1854.
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