Waddington Hall is famous for its link with Henry VI, who was held there following his capture in 1464.
The story of the King's capture is told in several works, and excerpts from these are shown below.
Extract from A Chronicle of the First Thirteen Years of the Reign of King Edward IV, by John Warkworth, D.D. Master of St Peter's College, Cambridge (A.D. 1473)
Also the same yere, and the yere of our Lord, m'cccclxiiij. Kynge Henry was takene bysyde a howse of religione in Lancaschyre, by the mene of a black monke of Abyngtone, in a wode called Cletherwode, besyde Brungerly Hyppyngstones, by Thomas Talbott, Sonne and heyre to Sere Edmunde Talbot of Basshalle and Jhon Talbott, his cosyne of Colebry, withe other moo, whiche disseyvide, beyngne at his dynere at Wadyngtone Hall~, and caryed to Londone on horse bake, and his lege bounde to the styrope, and so brought thrugh Londone to the Toure, where he was kepte longe tyme by two squyres and ii yomen of the crowne, and ther menne, and every manne was suifred to come and speke with hym, by licence of the kepers
Extract from Leland's Collections, Vol. II, page 500, published in 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.'
Extracts fromWhitaker's History of Whalley, published in 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.'
Extract from Baine's History of the County Palatine of Lancaster, Division Ninth, Blackburn Hundred, published in 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.
Extract from An Illustrated Itinerary of the County of Lancaster, published in 1842
(This is a continuation of the journey described in the entry for Waddington.)
"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."
|The front of Waddington Hall - from An Illustrated Itinerary of the County of Lancaster|
|The back of Waddington Hall - from An Illustrated Itinerary of the County of Lancaster|
|Waddington Hall in 1818|
Extracts from Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales their Legendary Lore and Popular History, by John Timbs and Alexander Gunn, published in 1872
THE OLD HALL AT WADDINGTON
CAPTURE OF HENRY VI
At Waddington in Mytton, West Yorkshire, stands a pile of buildings known as " the Old Hall," where for some time the unfortunate King Henry VI was concealed after the fatal Battle of Hexham in Northumberland. Quietly seated one day at dinner in company with Dr. Manning, Dean of Windsor, the King's enemies came upon him by surprise, but he privately escaped by a back-door and fled to Brungerley Stepping-stones, where he was taken prisoner, his legs tied together under the horse's belly, and thus disgracefully conveyed to the Tower of London. He was betrayed by a monk of Abingdon. The ancient house or hall is still in existence. It is also stated that the Talbots and some other parties in the neighbourhood formed plans for his apprehension, and arrested him on the first convenient opportunity, as he was crossing the ford across the river Ribble formed by the hyppyngstones at Brungerley. Both Sir John Tempest and Sir James Harrington of Brierley, near Barnsley, were concerned in the King's capture, and each received one hundred marks reward.
Extracts from The Rambler, a Record Of Ramble, Historical Facts, Legends, 1905,
by J.T. Fielding
||During the time of the Wars of the Roses, Henry VI happened
to be King of England. He was somewhat weak in body and mind and was
scarcely fitted to hold the reins of government in such troublous times.
Now came the Battle of Hexham in 1464, and the poor King had to take refuge in flight. Metaphorically speaking, he alighted upon Bolton Hall, and stayed in hiding there for twelve months. Hurriedly leaving, he then pitched upon Waddington Old Hall, and here commenced weaving a patch of history that had most important bearings later on.
He had not been in residence long before it leaked out that such personage was present, and the Talbots of Bashall Hall finished the rumour by unearthing the Monarch and capturing him at Brungerley Hipping Stones as he was escaping towards Clitheroe.
Thomas Talbot, who was the prime mover in the apprehension of the King, was son-in-law of Sir J. Tempest. For their share in giving up the Lancastrian Monarch to their rivals, the Yorkists, the Talbots received reward of Edward IV. In addition to receiving all their costs and charges, Sir Thomas Talbot received the sum of £100, and a yearly pension of £40. But now the old order ceaseth, and a great change has come over the old Hall. John Waddington, Esq., of Frant in Sussex, who claims decent from Wada, the Saxon leader, purchased the old fabric and. restored it to its, pristine beauty Not many words are needed to describe the change that has taken place, but several of the renowned spots have been preserved. For instance, there remaineth yet the King's room and the King’s stairs, and the rough axe-hewn beams of oak forming the roof of the many apartments testify to the strong desire of the owner to preserve the general old-time appearance of this historic relic. No expense has been accounted too great to accomplish the desires of the owner, and our photographs illustrate his undoubted success. Much as we should like to give full representations of all that has been done, space forbids us to attempt it, yet we do feel, impelled to produce, in a limited form, the adornments of the present interior of this mansion. Then step inside and accept the cordial welcome of its genial and generous owner to view and ponder.
"Now cease all this parlance about hills and dales;
None listen to thy tales of boyish frolic.
Fond dotard! with such tickled ears as thou dost;
Come to thy tale."
Away then to the top room, which still glories in the Royal title of the "King’s Room." By the sparse light that struggles through one little casement, we survey the objects within.
The centre is occupied by a massive bedstead, which is carved in elaborate style, and its date transports us into the dim depths of the middle ages. We have distorted the picture as such in order to show the canopy overhead, which we consider bears as much interest as the general framework. The other furniture is quite in touch and tone with this splendid sample of craftsman's art, and every object sets forth the care and design of the originator. Close by the bed is a portentous 'Kist' or huge box, so strangely decorated and clasped, that it almost whispers of containing most important documents of 'State and parchments relative to kingly life in concealment. The walls speak of war and tumult; as painted by a famous artist, they depict hosts of Warriors marching on to conflict. The very horses and heroes are so naturally portrayed that one can almost imagine them stepping forward in full military style.
Soldiers of whose renown the world yet rings in its sad story.
These have had their day of glory, and have passed like sounds away.
An old oak table bears its load of antique earthenware, One piece carries the figure of a burly watchman carrying his lantern, and beneath it is the suggestive enquiry-" Watch-man, what of the night ?" Quitting this room we proceed up the corridor, and enter the billiard-room. What can be more conducive to amusement and reflection than the picture of this ancient-cum-modern arrangement.? Walls that talk of insecurity and treachery, thick and impenetrable to a degree, surround modern tables, where the art of the cueist is practised by lovers of modern pleasure. The adornment of the walls is calculated to lead one’s thoughts into the mazes and tangles of a rigorous past, from which we escape by descending the King's stairs into the chambers beneath. Standing in the entrance hall we introduce ourselves to the Guards in Armour. They allow us without molestation, to view the ancient crockery, over which they hold dumb sway, though we feel at times a sneaking kind of covetousness stealing over us to outwit the vigilance of those visor-covered eyes, and transfer specimens, of the pottery to a place where we could view them oftener. But, no! We dare not touch; for there standeth the pot lion, in all his majesty on that royal shelf, surrounded by numerous earthenware prodigies of a remote period.
There he stands bedecked with a mane as petrified as himself, and showing as bold a front as any pot lion could. We nod our obeisance, and pass along into the dining room. Smell ye not the whole ox roasting over, this monster fire in this monster grate? Feel ye not the impulses of an appetite sharpened by a tour over Waddington Fells? Can ye not forcefully imagine the return of the warriors of. old, and the carousings in the good old days? Draw that masterly carved chair to the daintily-spread table, and feast your imagination on a piece of British History that finds no parallel in this part of the shire of many acres. See ye not Henricus VI. Rex seated at that table, when news is brought that betrayal has taken place, and traitors are advancing? The dinner is hurriedly forsaken and a rush made for the room above. All is confusion, as the King descends by the mullioned window into the fields behind, and slipping quietly away, he eludes his pursuers until Brungerley Hipping Stones are reached; there to succumb to the powers of his captors. Taken from thence to London, ignominiously dragged through the streets, then dethroned and murdered, the last act in this tragic drama is complete, and we can only recover our former selves by a pinching of some member of our imaginative being. We cannot view a scene like this, so overwhelmingly full of warlike enactments, without putting it on record, and passing it down to posterity. This is done in the form of a panel, which we think worthy of insertion here. The carver's tool tells in oaken figures, the story of how King Henry VI. yielded his sword to Talbot of Bashall, and passed for ever from the throne of war-stained Britain.
Now we bid adieu to the armour-plated men, and whisper to them as we pass -
"Watch! Some treason, masters,
Yet stand close."
Extract from the Halifax Antiquarian Society's Publication, 1929, by Tom Sutcliffe
WADDINGTON OLD HALL
The Waddingtons are a very ancient family, and trace their ancestry to a period prior to the Norman Conquest. Their principal seat was at Waddington, in the West Riding, near Clitheroe. At the Survey of Domesday Book, Waddington is represented as part of the lands of Roger of Poitou.
By a Survey dated 29 Edward I, 1301, it appears that Roger Tempest, by his marriage with the heiress of Walter de Waddington, held one caracute of the Earl of Lincoln, and he of the King.
It was at Waddington Hall - which lies back from the river on the Yorkshire side of the Ribble - where for some time the unfortunate King Henry VI was concealed after the fatal battle of Hexham, in Northumberland, 1464.
The particulars of the King's capture are related in Warkworth's Chronicles. Quietly seated one day at dinner, in company with Dr. Manning, Dean of Windsor, the King's enemies came upon him by surprise, but he escaped by a secret staircase and fled towards Brungerley, crossing into Lancashire by the stepping stones, where Brungerley Bridge now stands. Here he was arrested almost immediately, and on horseback, with his feet tied to the stirrups, was thus disgracefully conveyed to the Tower of London.
It was a black monk of Abingdon who betrayed him. The Talbots and some other parties in the neighbourhood formed plans for his apprehension and arrested him on the first convenient opportunity. At this time Waddington belonged to Sir John Tempest, of Bracewell, who was the father-in-law of Thomas Talbot. Both Sir John Tempest and Sir James Harrington, of Brierley, near Barnsley, were concerned in the King's capture, and each received 100 marks reward; but the fact of Sir Thomas Talbot being the chief actor is shown by his having received the larger reward of £100. The chief residence of the unhappy monarch during his retreat was at Bolton Hall, where his boots, his gloves, and a spoon, are still preserved.
During the time of the Wars of the Roses, Henry VI happened to be King of England. He was somewhat weak in body and mind, and was scarcely fitted to hold the reins of Government in such troublous times. He died in the Tower in May, '47', and left a valuable collection of books.
As we have seen, after the battle of Hexham, the poor King had to take refuge in flight and stayed in hiding at Bolton Hall for twelve months, and then pitched upon Waddington Old Hall.
A grant of lands was made by King Edward IV to Sir James Harrington "for his services in taking prisoner, and with holding as such in diligence and valour his enemy Henry, lately called King Henry VI." Mr. Henry Harrington states that the lands were afterwards lost to his family by the misfortune of Sir James and his brother being on the wrong side at Bosworth Field.
After Henry VI was deprived of his throne, he saw his friends cut off in the field, or on the scaffold; he suffered exile and a tedious imprisonment himself; and, as we have said, he died at last in confinement in the Tower. His death has usually been ascribed to violence, but it was more probably owing to grief at the capture of his wife and slaughter of his son at Tewkesbury shortly before.
But though Edward might silence the tongues, he could not control the thoughts or the pens of his subjects and the writers who lived under the next dynasty not only proclaim the murder, but attribute the black deed to the advice, if not the dagger, of the youngest of the Royal brothers, Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
"It is a curious fact," observes Miss Strickland, " that the weapon said to have been employed in the perpetration of this disputed murder was preserved, and long regarded in the neighbourhood of Reading as a relic."
"The warden of Caversham," wrote John London, "was accustomed to show many pretty relics, among which was the holy dagger that killed King Henry." His body was exposed in St. Paul's and then buried with little ceremony at Chertsey Abbey, but by Henry VII was removed to Windsor, and interred in St. George's Chapel, where he was worshipped by the name of "Holy King Henry," whose red hat of velvet was thought to heal the headache of such as put it on their heads.
Dr. Whitaker, in his history of Craven, speaks of Waddington Hall as being constructed of strong old masonry once stately, but now much despoiled of its beauty. This can no longer be said, as Mr. John Waddington, J.P. (High Sheriff of Sussex, 1909), who claims descent from Wada, the Saxon leader, purchased the old fabric and restored it to its pristine beauty, in a truly conservative spirit, and in one worthy of the deepest gratitude of all lovers of the historic past.
The gateway of the hall is surmounted by a hand carrying a lance and battle-axe, and underneath is the inscription
"I will raise up his ruins,
I will build it as in the days of old."
Mr. Waddington fulfilled the promise of these lines to the very letter, and Waddington Old Hall ranks as one of the choicest examples of restoration, executed without regard to expense, but with infinite care to recover and preserve the substance and spirit of the past.
Several of the renowned spots have been preserved. For instance, there remaineth yet the King's room and the King's stairs, and the rough axe-hewn beams of oak forming the roof of the many apartments.
The centre of the " King's Room " is occupied by a massive bedstead, which is carved in elaborate style, and its date transports us into the dim depths of the middle ages. The other furniture is quite in touch and tone with this splendid sample of craftsman's art. Close by the bed is a portentous "kist," so strangely decorated and clasped that it almost whispers of containing most important documents of State and parchments relative to kingly life in concealment. The walls speak of war and tumult, as, painted by a famous artist, they depict hosts of warriors marching on to conflict. An old oak table bears its load of antique earthenware. Quitting this room we proceed up the corridor and enter the billiard room. Walls that talk of insecurity and treachery, thick and impenetrable to a degree, surround modern tables, where the art of the cueist is practised by lovers of modern pleasure.
The adornment of the walls is calculated to lead one's thoughts into the mazes and tangles of a vigorous past, from which we escape by descending the King's stairs into the chambers beneath. Standing in the Entrance Hall, we introduce ourselves to the Guards in Armour. They allow us without molestation to view the ancient crockery, over which they hold dumb sway.
We pass along into the dining room and forcefully imagine the return of the warriors of old and the carousings in the good old days. Draw that masterly carved chair to the daintily-spread table and feast your imagination on a piece of British history that finds no parallel in this part of the shire of many acres. See ye not Henricus VI Rex seated at that table, when news is brought that betrayal has taken place, and traitors are advancing. The dinner is hurriedlv forsaken and a rush made for the room above. All is confusion, as the King descends by the mullioned window into the fields behind, and slipping quietly away, he eludes his pursuers until Brungerley Hipping Stones are reached, there to succumb to the powers of his captors.
We cannot view a scene like this, so overwhelmingly full of warlike enactments, without putting it on record, and passing it down to posterity. This is done in the form of a panel. The carver's tool tells, in oaken figures, the story of how King Henry VI yielded his sword to Talbot of Bashall, and passed for ever from the throne of war-stained Britain. The Hall consists of a centre with two gables, the furniture is richly carved and the gardens are beautifully designed.