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118. Sideboard, Tea-table and Punch-bowl.
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398 399 411 412
MOUNT VERNON AND ITS ASSOCIATIONS.
N many an ancient
volume in the lib.
rary at Mount Vernon, while the mansion remained in the possession of the Washington family, was the engraved book-plate of the illustrious proprietor, which displayed, as
usual, the name and $ ACTA PROBAT
armorial bearings of the owner. The language of heraldry learnedly describes
the family arms of Washington as “ argent, two bars gules in chief, three mullets of the second. Crest, a raven, with wings, indorsed proper, issuing out of a ducal coronet, or." All this may be ininterpreted, a white or silver shield, with two red bars across
it, and above them three spur rowels, the combination
ap pearing very much like the stripes and stars on our national ensign. The crest, a raven of natural color issuing out of a golden ducal coronet. The three mullets or star-figures indi. cated the filial distinction of the third son.
Back into the shadowy past six hundred years and more we may look, and find the name of Washington presented with "honorable mention” in several counties in England, on the records of the field, the church, and the state. They were generally first-class agriculturists, and eminently loyal men when their sovereigns were in trouble. In that trying time for England's monarch, a little more than two hundred years ago, when a republican army, under the authority of a revolutionary parliament, was hunting King Charles the First, Sir IIenry Washington, a nephew of the Duke of Buckingham, is observed as governor of Worcester, and its able defender during a siege of three months by the parliamentary troops under General Fairfax. And earlier than this, when Charles, as Prince Royal, was a suitor for the hand of the Infanta of Spain, we find a Washington attached to his person. The loyal Jaines Howell, who suffered long imprisonment in Fleet-street Jail because of his attachment to Charles, was in the train of the Prince while at Madrid; and from that city he wrote to his "noble friend, Sir John North,” in the sum. mer of 1623, saying:
“Mr. Washington, the Prince his page is lately dead of a Calenture, and I was at his buriall under a Figtree behind my Lord of Bristol's house. A little before his death one Ballard, an English Priest, went to tamper with him, and Sir Edmund Varney meeting him coming down the stairs out of Washington's chamber, they fell from words to blows: but they were parted. The business was like to gather very ill bloud, and com to a great hight, had not Count Gondamar quasht it, which I beleeve he could not have done, unless the times had bin favorable; for such is the reverence they bear to the Church here, and so holy a conceit they have of all Ecclesiastics, that the greatest Don in Spain will tremble to offer the meanest of them any outrage or affront."
From this loyal family came emigrants to America nine years after King Charles lost his head. These were two years the
brothers, true Cavaliers, who could not brook the rule of Cromwell, the self-styled Lord Protector of England. They left their beautiful residence of Cave Castle, north of the Humber, in Yorkshire, and sought more freedom of life in the virgin soil of the New World. And in later
representatives of the Washingtons and Fairfaxes, who were neighbors and friends in Virginia, found themselves, in political positions, opposed to those of their ancestors; that of the former being the great leader of a republican army, and of the latter a most loyal adherent of the crown.
The Washingtons who first came to America seem not to have been possessed of much wealth. They brought with them no family plate as evidences of it; for the heiress of the family had given her hand and fortune to an English baronet, the master of the fine estate of Studley Royal, where now the
eldest, son of the late Earl of Ripon
resides. It is believed that there is CW 16 only one relic of the old Washington
family in this country, and that is a small bronze mortar, having the letters “ C. W.” (the initials of CIMON WASHINGTON) and the date, “1664,"
cast upon it. That mortar is in Independence Hall, in Philadelphia.
The Northamptonshire family, from whom George Washington was descended, wore the motto seen upon his bookplate - EXITUS ACTA PROBAT: “The end justifies the means;" and it was borne and heeded by the line from generation to generation, until the most illustrious of them all had achieved the greatest ends by the most justifiable means.