Went with Mr. Bridgen, Col.
Smith,Mrs. Smith, to The Hide in
Essex, the Country Seat of Brand Hollis
Esqr. We breakfasted at Rumford, and turned
out of the Way to see the Seat of Lord Petre at
Thorndon.Mr. Hollis prefers the Architecture of this House to
Stow, because it is more conformable to Paladio, his Bible for
this kind of Knowledge. There are in the back Front six noble Corinthian
Pillars. There is a grand Saloon unfinished in which are many ancient Pictures,
one of Sir Thomas More, his Wife and two Daughters, with a Group of other
Figures. There is in another Appartment, a Picture
of the Cornaro Family by Titian. This House is vast, and the
Appartements are grand and the Prospects from the
Windows are extensive and agreable. The furniture
is rich and elegant. The Pictures of King James the 2d, of Lord Derwentwater who
was beheaded in 1715, as well as many others besides that of Sir Thomas More,
shew that the Family is Catholick. The Library shews
this more fully as the Books are generally of that kind, but the Chapel
furnishes full proof. The Library is semicircular, with Windows and Mahogany
Collonades, very elegant, but contrived more as
an ornamented Passage to the Chappell, than for
Study. There are two Stoves, but at neither of them could a Student be
comfortable in cold Weather. I might talk of Glades and Forrests, Groves and Clumps, with which this House is
surrounded like all other Palaces of the kind.
We dined at the Hide, with Mr. Brand Hollis and his
Sister Miss Brand. This is a curious Place. The House is the
Residence of an Antiquarian, as most of the Apartments as well as the great
Hall, sufficiently shew. I will perhaps take a List of
all the Antiques in this Hall. The most interesting to me is the Bust of my
Friend as well as Mr. Brands Friend, the late Thomas
Hollis Esq., in beautifull white
This House which is a decent handsome one was the Seat of Mr. Brands Father,
and the Chamber where We lodge, is hung round with the Portraits of the Family.
It is at the End of the House, and from two Windows in front and two others at
the End, We have a pleasant View of Lawns and Glades, Trees and Clumps and a
Piece of Water, full of Fish. The Borders, by the Walks, in the Pleasure
Grounds, are full of rare Shrubbs and Trees, to which
Collection America has furnished her full Share. I shall here have a good
Opportunity to take a List of these Trees, Shrubbs
and Flours. Larches, Cypruses, Laurells are here as they are every
where.Mr. Brand Hollis has, planted near the Walk from
his Door to the Road, a large and beautifull
Furr, in Honour of the
late Dr. Jebb his Friend. A Tall Cyprus in his Pleasure Grounds
he calls General Washington, and another his
Aid du Camp Col. Smith.
JULY 25 1786 TUESDAY.
Mr. Brand Hollis and Mr. [Editors of published
Vol. 3 state that "Mr." is a slip of the pen for
Brand,Mr. and Mrs.
Smith, and Mr. and Mrs. Adams, took a
Chelmsford, stopped at a Booksellers, the Printer of a Newspaper
in which Mr. B. Hollis had printed the late Act of Virginia in
of equal religious Liberty. We then
went to Moulsham Hall, built originally by Lord
Fitzwalter, but lately owned by Sir William
Mildmay, one of the Commissaries with Governor
Paris in 1754, for settling the Boundaries between the French
and English in
America. Lady Mildmay owns it, at
present, but is not yet come down from
London. Mr. B. Hollis admires the Architecture
of this House, because it is according to the Principles of Palladio. The
Apartments are all well proportioned in Length, Breadth and Height. There is
here a Landscape of Rembrandt. The Words Halls, Parlours
, Saloons and Drawing Rooms occur upon these
Occasions, but to describe them would be endless. We returned by another road
through the race grounds, to the Hide and after Dinner, made a Visit to the
House to see his Bees. He is Bee
mad,Mr. B. Hollis says. He has a number of Glass Hives, and
has a curious Invention to shut out the Drones. He has nailed thin and narrow
Laths at the Mouth of the Hive, and has left Spaces between them barely wide
enough for the small Bees to creep through. Here and there he has made a Notch
in the lath large enough for a Drone to pass, but this Notch he has covered
with a thin light clapper which turns easily upwards upon a Pivot. The Drone
easily lifts up the Clapper and comes out, but as soon as he is out, the
and excludes the Drone, who has neither Skill nor
Strength to raise it on the outside. Thus shut out from the Hive the
destroys them because he says they do
nothing but eat Honey. The Gardiner
who is a Son of
Liberty, and was always a Friend to
America, was delighted with this Visit. Dame says he to his
Wife, you have had the greatest honour
that you ever had in your Life. -- Mr.
B. Hollis says he is a proud Scotchman, but a very honest Man and
Servant. -- After Tea Mr. B.
Hollis and I took a circular Walk, round the Farm. He shew
Us a kind of Medallion, on which was curiously wrought a
Feast of all the Heathen Gods and Goddesses sitting round a Table. Jupiter
throws down upon the Middle of it, one of his Thunder bolts, flaming at each
End with Lightning, and lights his own Pipe at it, and all the others follow
his Example. Venus is whiffing like a Dutchman, so is Diana and Minerva, as
well as Mars, Bachus and Apollo.
Mr. B. Hollis is a great Admirer of Marcus Aurelius. He has
him in Busts, and many other Shapes. He observed to me, that all the Painters
of Italy, and from them most others, have taken the Face of Marcus Aurelius,
for a Model in painting Jesus Christ. He admires Julian too,
and has a great veneration for Dr. Hutchinson, the Moral Writer
who was his Tutor, or Instructor . He has a Number of Heads
of Hutchinson, of whom he always speaks with Affection and
Veneration. Ld. Shaftesbury too is another
favourite of his.
In the dining room are two Views of that Estate in
Dorsetshire, which the late Mr. Hollis gave
to Mr. Brand. There is only a Farm House upon it. Here are to
be seen Hollis Mede and Brand Pasture.
The Hide July 25.
In Hollis Mede, Mr. Hollis was buried, ten
feet deep, and then ploughed
over, a Whim to be sure.
But Singularity was his Characteristic. He was benevolent and beneficient,
however, throughout. -- In the Boudoir is a Dagger, made of the Sword which
killed Sir Edmunbury Godfrey. An Inscription -- Memento
Godfrey, Protomartyr, pro Religione Protestantium.
Mr. Hollis's Owl, Cap of Liberty and Dagger are to be seen
every where. In the Boudoir, a Silver cup with a
Cover, all in the shape of an Owl, with two rubies for Eyes. This piece of
Antiquity was dug up, at Canterbury, from ten feet depth. It was some monkish
Mr. B. Hollis, Miss Brand, Mrs.
Adams, Mrs. Smith, and I walked to Mill Green, or
Mill Hill the Seat of a Mr. Allen a Banker of
London. We walked over the Pleasure Grounds and Kitchen Garden
and down to Cocytus, a canal or Pond of Water surrounded with Wood in such a
Manner as to make the Place gloomy enough for the Name. This is a good Spot,
but Mr. Allen has, for want of Taste, spoiled it by new
Pickett Fences at a great Expence. He has filled up the Ditches and dug up the
Hedges and erected wooden Fences and brick Walls, a folly that I believe in
these days is unique. They are very good, civil People, but have no Taste.
JULY 28 [i.e. 27]. 1786. THURSDAY.
Went with Mrs. Adams to
Braintree about Eighteen miles from the Hide.
Objects were fresh Air, Exercise and the Gratification of Curiosity, I thought
We ought to make a little Excursion to the Town after which the Town in
New England where I was born and shall die was originally named.
The Country between
Braintree, is pleasant and fertile, tho
less magnificent in Buildings and Improvements than
many other Parts of England: but it is generally tillage Land and
covered with good Crops of Barley, Oats, Rye, Wheat and Buckwheat.
Braintree is a Markett
Fairs are held here at certain Seasons. I went to the Church, which stands in
the Middle of a triangular Piece of Ground, and there are parallell
to each Side of the Tryangle
, double Rows of handsome Lime Trees, which form
the Walks and Avenues to the Church. The Church is a very old Building of Flint
Stones. Workmen were repairing it, and I went all over it. It is not much
larger than [Mr]
Cleverleys Church at
New England. I examined all the Monuments and Grave Stones in
the Church and in the Church Yard, and found no one Name of Person or Family of
any Consequence, nor did I find any Name of any of our New
except Wilson and Joslyn,Hawkins,Griggs and Webb.
I am convinced that none of our Braintree Families came from this
Village, and that the Name was given it by Mr. Coddington in
Compliment to the Earl of Warwick, who in the
and Middle of the Seventeenth Century
had a Manor here, which however at his death about 1665 went out of his Family.
The Parish of Bocking has now more good Houses.
Braintre is at present the Residence only of very ordinary
People, manufacturers only of Bays's.
Chelmsford was probably named in Compliment to Mr.
Hooker who was once Minister of that Town in
Essex, but afterwards in
Holland, and after that Minister at "Newtown"
(Cambridge) and after that at New Haven
New England. We returned to Dinner, and spent the Evening in
examining the Curiosities of Mr. Thomas Brand Hollis's House.
His Library, his Miltonian Cabinet, his Pictures, Busts, Medals, Coins, Greek,
Roman, Carthaginian and Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, are a Selection of the
most rare, and valuable. It would be endless to go over the whole in
We have had, with Alderman Bridgen, an agreable
Tour and an exquisite Entertainment.
The Hide July 28. 1786. Thursday.
I should not omit Alderman Bridgens Nuns, and Verses. About 30 Years
ago Mr. Bridgen in the
Austrian Netherlands purchased a compleat Collection of the Portraits of all the orders of
Nuns, in small duodecimo Prints. These he lately sent as a Present
to the Hide, and Mr. Hollis has placed them in what
he calls his Boudoir, a little room between his Library and Drawing
Room.Mr. Bridgen carried down with him a Copy of Verses of his
own Composition, to be hung up with them. The Idea is that banished from
Germany by the Emperor they were taking an Asylum at the Hide,
in sight of the Druid, the Portico of Athens and the verable 4 Remains of
Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Carthaginian Antiquities.
29 [i.e. 28] 1786. FRYDAY.
Grosvenor Square to Dinner.