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

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Page 8:-
Sir John Lowther Baronet, (the seventeenth of the line,) was (A.D. 1696,) advanced to the dignity of Viscount and Baron, by the title of Baron Lowther of Lowther, and Viscount Lonsdale. In 1699 he was made Lord Privy seal, and was one of the Lords Justices for the government of the kingdom during the King's absence. He died in 1700 [1720], at the early age of 45.
Sir James Lowther, (the twentieth of the line,) married Lady Mary Stewart, daughter of John Earl of Bute, but had no issue [hath no issue]. In the 23d year of George the III. he was created Earl of Lonsdale, by the stile and title of the Right Honourable James Earl of Lonsdale, Viscount Lonsdale in the County of Westmorland, and County-Palatine of Lancaster, Viscount Lowther of Lowther in the said county of Westmorland, Baron Kendal of Kendal in the said County, and Baron Burgh of Burgh in the County of Cumberland.
  Arthur's Round Table
  King Arthur

About three hundred yards from Lowther Bridge, by the road-side, is a monument of antiquity, called by some Arthur's Round Table, by others simply the Round Table. Authors differ widely as to the origin and use of this place; but there cannot, I think, be a doubt, that it hath been a place for the exercise of arms. It is round, about an hundred and twenty feet diameter, surrounded by a broad ditch, (two openings excepted, which are diametrically opposite to each other,) and all round is a sloping bank of earth, seemingly intended for the accommodation of spectators.
If we allow this to have been a place for the exercise of chivalry, the name of Arthur's Round Table may not improbably be esteemed the genuine one. King Arthur is said to have lived much at Carlisle, and most of the old songs and poems concerning him and his knights have their scene laid in this country, and with these the popular traditions accurately agree, as we shall see hereafter: it is farther remarkable, that the old songs were lost in English, but were afterwards translated from the French, in which language they had been preserved almost entire.
The History of the Order of the Round Table is briefly this: King Arthur observing many quarrels about precedency among his knights, about the year 516 caused a Round Table to be made, at which all the Order, the Sovereign himself not excepted, took their seats promiscuously: To this Table none were admitted but those who had given sufficient proof of their valour and dexterity in the use of arms. As there are some who even deny the existence of King Arthur, I shall not insist farther on this subject, but refer them to other authors, whose province it is more particularly to inquire into these affairs: I shall, however, add from Favine, (lib.5. p.97.) a list of the first table of these knights.
ARTHUR, King of Great Britain.
Galaad. / Percival. / Lancelot. / Gawaine. / Boors. / Lyonnel. / Helias le Blanc. / King Baudomages. / King Ydiir. / King Rions. / King Karadoc of Wales. / The King of Clare. / The Duke of Clarence. / Hector de Marests. / Blioberis. / Gueriot. / Keux de Seneschal. / Yrien the Son of King Vrian. / Brunor the Black. / Bedonier the Constable. / Agloual. / Securades, and / Patrides.
Caxton's old book exhibits a greater number, with the distinguishing epithet of each; but this seems to come nearest the truth, or rather the ancient story.
The road from hence to Emont Bridge contains nothing remarkable or picturesque: I shall therefore say a few words concerning the county of Westmorland in general.
Westmorland contains only one borough, namely Appleby, and sends four mem-
erratum from p.194
for 1700, read 1720.
for had no issue, read hath no issue.
gazetteer links
button -- "Arthur's Round Table" -- Arthur's Round Table
button -- "Lowther Hall" -- (Lowther Castle, Lowther (CL13inc)2)
button -- Westmorland
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