button to main menu  Clarke's Survey of the Lakes, 1787

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Page 94:-
"essent, si haeredes illorum militarent, nec unquam ad privatos pertinerent existimans attentius eos militaturos, si etiam sua rura defenderent."
"When the Emperor Alexander Severus had given the lands he took from his enemies to his captains and soldiers of the border, with a design that they should always be present to observe the natives lest they should take arms, he made this condition, that these lands were never to be put into the hands of those from whom they had been taken; as he imagined that they would fight the more obstinately if they had their own country to defend."
Ranulph gave to his brother, William Meschiens, Copeland and Derwent-Fells, which included all the lands West from hence to the sea, beginning near Ravenglass, from thence proceeding to Borrowdale-head, where the river Derwent has its source, which then flows and continues its name past Ouzebridge and Cockermouth, until it falls into the sea at Workington. This William Meschiens built a house near the middle of this estate, upon a hill near to a little rivulet called Egre* or Egen, which was called Egre-Castle or Egremont-Castle; its situation commands a view of a great part of the Irish Channel, and he made choice of it, perhaps the better to observe the Irish and Scots invaders, expecting his brother would take care of the other side. William likewise granted several mesne manors to his vassals, to be holden of him as of his castle of Egremont. The inheritance of Copeland, after a few descents, came to the Lucys, and by marriage was often divided and often united, (for a more particular account of which see Nicholson and Burn's Cumberland.) From the Lucys it came to the Percys Earls of Northumberland, by the marriage of Henry the first Earl and Matilda Lucy, the heiress of this estate: though she had no children by him, she gave him the whole estate, upon condition of his quartering the arms of Lucy with that of the Percys. Cambden p.522.
It continued in the family of the Earls of Northumberland till the Lady Elizabeth Percy, sole daughter and heiress of Joceline Percy, the eleventh Earl of Northumberland, married Charles Seymour Duke of Somerset. He had a son who succeeded him, viz. Algernon Duke of Somerset, who in 1749 was created Baron of Cockermouth and Earl of Egremont, with remainder to his nephew Sir Charles Wyndham, unto whom the Cumberland estate came. On the death of Algernon Duke of Somerset in 1750, the said Sir Charles Wyndham succeeded as Earl of Egremont and Baron of Cockermouth; on the death of Charles George Wyndham the present Earl of Egremont succeeded.
  Ouse Bridge
The inn at Ouzebridge is a convenient place to call at, and is pleasantly situated on the edge of the Lake: It is a very good new building, erected purposely for the convenience of travellers by the late Mr Spedding of Armathwaite; there is a very good dining-room and parlour, with a bow-window, which has a pretty look out, and very good stables, but hath been unfortunate in its tenants, (changing them often.) Here used to be held several meetings every year of the Justices of the Peace, for their private sessions; also county-courts, &c. Here also was held the first regatta in 1780, at which their was one species of entertainment not since made use of at those public diversions, viz. a prize to swim horses for: they were taken in a boat as near as possible to the middle of the Lake, and at as near equal distances from the shore on any side as could possibly be guessed; they were then turned out, and the horse which landed first on any shore was the winner; no horse or mare was allowed to start that had been kept within four miles of the place. Three started, and it was won by a horse belonging to Thomas Storey, Esq.; Earl of Surrey's was second; William Dacre's, Esq; of Mell, the third. A duck was also let go upon the Lake, and a number of water spaniels set in chace of her, which afforded excellent diversion.
* Horsley.
gazetteer links
button -- "Barony of Copeland and Derwent Fells" -- (Barony of Copeland, Cumberland (CL13inc)2)
button -- (Bassenthwaite Lake: regatta 1780)
button -- "Egre Castle" -- Egremont Castle
button -- "Egre, River" -- Ehen, River
button -- (Ouse Bridge Inn, Blindcrake)
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