Recording Britain - Vol. 2

Recording Britain - Vol. 2

Recording Britain - Vol. 2

Recording Britain - Vol. 2

Excerpt

Of this Tudor mansion the Rev. Daniel Lysons ( Environs of London,. vol. i, pt. 2, 1811) observes: 'Eastbury House, an ancient and very spacious brick edifice, stands about a mile west of the town, on the road to Dagenham. . . . There is a tradition relating to this house, either, as some say, that the conspirators who concerted the gunpowder plot held their meetings here, or as others, that it was the residence of Lord Monteagle, when he received the letter which led to the discovery; both, perhaps, equally destitute of foundation.' If, by his concluding, comment, the reverend gentleman wished to imply that evidence was weak, he had justification; if he meant that it did not exist, his tone is a little lofty. Though Lord Monteagle was at his house in Hoxton when the anonymous warning reached him, he had also a house at Barking; and the whole story of Guy Fawkes is still so full of holes that even local rumours are worth preserving until they are finally disproved.

In.the passage quoted, 'west' of the town is a mistake for 'east'. When, three years later, in 1814, Elizabeth Ogborne published her History of Essex, she corrected this obvious slip and seemed to think that, in doing so, she entered the ranks of creative artists; for she lifted the whole paragraph and included it in her text unquoted, unacknowledged, and verbatim.

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