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Lord's Island, Derwent Water
Lord's Island
Crow Island
site name:-   Derwent Water
civil parish:-   Borrowdale (formerly Cumberland)
county:-   Cumbria
locality type:-   island
coordinates:-   NY26542189
1Km square:-   NY2621
10Km square:-   NY22

BPQ01.jpg (taken 24.8.2008)  
BRA65.jpg  Coat of arms on Lord Derwentwater's Chair; ?wrongly said to have belonged to Sir John Radcliffe, Lord's Island, died 1529. The arms are NOT the Radcliffe Family arms.
(taken 24.8.2008)  courtesy of Keswick Museum

evidence:-   old map:- OS County Series (Cmd 64 10) 
placename:-  Lords Island
source data:-   Maps, County Series maps of Great Britain, scales 6 and 25 inches to 1 mile, published by the Ordnance Survey, Southampton, Hampshire, from about 1863 to 1948.

evidence:-   descriptive text:- Simpson 1746
source data:-   Atlas, three volumes of maps and descriptive text published as 'The Agreeable Historian, or the Compleat English Traveller ...', by Samuel Simpson, 1746.
image SMP4P183, button  goto source
"... in which [Derwent Water] there are three Islands, ... and the third has of late Years, had the Honour to be the Seat of the famous Family of Radcliffs, Knights, called from hence, for Distinction Sake, the Radcliffs of Derwentwater; the last of which Family was the late unhappy James, Earl of Derwentwater, who joining in a Rebellion against his Majesty King George I. was taken at the Battle of Preston in Lancashire, and beheaded on Tower Hill the 24th of February, 1716."

evidence:-   old text:- Gents Mag
placename:-  Lady Island
source data:-   Magazine, The Gentleman's Magazine or Monthly Intelligencer or Historical Chronicle, published by Edward Cave under the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban, and by other publishers, London, monthly from 1731 to 1922.
image G7510052, button  goto source
Gentleman's Magazine 1751 p.52  "... one of these, called Lady Island, Ld Derwentwater had formerly a castle, now in ruins, intended to prevent the depredations which were frequently committed by the Scots before the union."

evidence:-   old map:- Gents Mag 1751
placename:-  Lady Island
source data:-   Map, uncoloured engraving, Map of the Black Lead Mines in Cumberland, and area, scale about 2 miles to 1 inch, by George Smith, published in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1751.
"Lady I"
item:-  JandMN : 114
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old map:- Bowen and Kitchin 1760
source data:-   Map, hand coloured engraving, A New Map of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland Divided into their Respective Wards, scale about 4 miles to 1 inch, by Emanuel Bowen and Thomas Kitchin et al, published by T Bowles, Robert Sayer, and John Bowles, London, 1760.
in Derwent Water; the Royal Mines label belongs with the northerly island. 
item:-  Armitt Library : 2008.14.10
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old map:- Donald 1774 (Cmd) 
source data:-   Map, hand coloured engraving, 3x2 sheets, The County of Cumberland, scale about 1 inch to 1 mile, by Thomas Donald, engraved and published by Joseph Hodskinson, 29 Arundel Street, Strand, London, 1774.
island in Derwent Water 
item:-  Carlisle Library : Map 2
Image © Carlisle Library

evidence:-   descriptive text:- West 1778 (11th edn 1821) 
placename:-  Lords Island
source data:-   Guide book, A Guide to the Lakes, by Thomas West, published by William Pennington, Kendal, Cumbria once Westmorland, and in London, 1778 to 1821.
image WS21P090, button  goto source
Page 90:-  "[Derwent water] ... Lords-island, richly dressed in wood."
image WS21P115, button  goto source
Page 115:-  "[Mr Pennant's description] '... The isles that decorate this water are finely disposed, and very distinct, rise with gentle and regular curvatures above the surface, consist of verdant turf, or are planted with various trees. The principal is Lord's-island, above five acres, where the Ratcliff family had some time its residence, and, from this lake, took the title of Derwent-water. ...'"

evidence:-   old map:- Crosthwaite 1783-94 (Der) 
placename:-  Lord's Island
source data:-   Map, uncoloured engraving, An Accurate Map of the Matchless Lake of Derwent, ie Derwent Water, scale about 3 inches to 1 mile, by Peter Crosthwaite, Keswick, Cumberland, 1783, version published 1800.
"Lord's Isld."
In the map title:-  "Lord's Island, formerly Ld. Derwentwater's"
item:-  Armitt Library : 1959.191.3
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   probably old map:- West 1784 map
source data:-   Map, hand coloured engraving, A Map of the Lakes in Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire, scale about 3.5 miles to 1 inch, engraved by Paas, 53 Holborn, London, about 1784.
item:-  Armitt Library : A1221.1
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old sketch map:- Gilpin 1786
placename:-  Lords Island
source data:-   Sketch map, Keswick Lake ie Derwent Water, Cumberland, by William Gilpin, 1772-74
image GLP4E012, button  goto source
image  click to enlarge
Plate vol 1 opposite p.179 in Observations on Picturesque Beauty published by T Cadell and W Davies, Strand, London, 1808. 
caption from the list of plates:-  "This plan of Keswick-lake means only to express the general shape of it; and the relative situation of it's several parts."
item:-  Armitt Library : A918.12
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old text:- Gilpin 1786
placename:-  Lords Island
source data:-   Book, Observations, Relative Chiefly to Picturesque Beauty, Made in the Year 1772, on Several Parts of England, Particularly the Mountains, and Lakes of Cumberland Westmoreland, by Rev William Gilpin, 1772-74; published 1786-1808.
image GLP4p180, button  goto source
vol.1 p.180  "The lake of Derwent, or Keswick-lake, as it is generally called, is contained within a circumference of about ten miles; presenting itself in a circular form, tho in fact it is rather oblong. It's area is interspersed with four or five islands; three of which only are of consequence, Lord's island, Vicar's island, and St. Herbert's island: but none of them is comparable to the island on Windermere, in point either of size, or beauty."
image GLP4p181, button  goto source
vol.1 p.181  "Lord's island has it's name from being the place, where once stood a pleasure-house, belonging to the unfortunate family of Derwent-water, which took it's title from this lake. The ancient manor-house stood on Castle-hill above Keswick; where the antiquarian traces also the vestiges of a Roman fort. But an heiress of Derwent-water marrying into the family of the Ratcliffs; the family-seat was removed from Keswick to Dilston in Northumberland."
image GLP4p184, button  goto source
vol.1 p.184  "..."
"To the formality of it's shores may be added the formality of it's islands. They are round, regular, and similar spots, as they appear from most points of view; formal in their situation, as well as in their shape; and of little advantage to the scene. ..."

evidence:-   old text:- Clarke 1787
placename:-  Lord's Island
item:-  Scots firmousecat
source data:-   Guide book, A Survey of the Lakes of Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire, written and published by James Clarke, Penrith, Cumberland, and in London etc, 1787; published 1787-93.
image CL13P070, button  goto source
Page 70:-  "..."
"Upon Lord's Island, the Radcliffs, Earls of Derwentwater, formerly had a seat, which, according to Nicholson and Burn, was built of stones that came from a castle founded by the Romans upon Castrigg, or Castle-Rigg. I do not believe the story, which I shall endeavour to prove when we pass it. There are some remains of the building upon the island to be seen, but the whole is now covered with wood."
"This once-flourishing family lost their estates in the year 1715, which were given by his Majesty King George I. to Greenwich Hospital. There is nothing upon this island worth landing for, except the refreshing shade upon a very hot day. It is planted with Scots firs, about twenty-seven years standing; amongst which there is room to walk, and seldom wants a fine cooling breeze. At the first planting of these trees, the island was so much infested with vermin, particularly mice, that they totally defeated all labours of the planters. So numerous and mischievous were these vermin, that after the trees had been planted three or four years, they were almost entirely destroyed by them: some, (particularly the firs,) were totally gnawed through a little above the ground; and others stripped of their bark, and thereby deprived of nutriment. Upon this, Mr Nicholson, who was Agent and Bailiff for Greenwich Hospital, collected several cats, whom he turned loose upon the island, and who soon overcame the mice. Afterwards some of the cats boldly swam to shore, and run wild amongst the woods; others perished with hunger, and some remained for several years."

evidence:-   old map:- Clarke 1787 map (Der) 
placename:-  Lord's Island
source data:-   Map, uncoloured engraving, Map of Derwentwater and its Environs, scale about 13 ins to 1 mile, by James Clarke, engraved by S J Neele, published by James Clarke, Penrith, Cumberland and in London etc, 1787.
"LORD'S ISLAND / Hospital"
wooded island 
item:-  private collection : 169
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old text:- Camden 1789 (Gough Additions) 
item:-  1715 RebellionGreenwich Hospitaloaktree
source data:-   Book, Britannia, or A Chorographical Description of the Flourishing Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by William Camden, 1586, translated from the 1607 Latin edition by Richard Gough, published London, 1789.
image CAM2P181, button  goto source
Page 181:-  "..."
"The Derwentwater family took their name from the place where they were seated from the reign of Edward I. Sir Nicholas Radcliffe of Dilston c. Northumberland, knt. married the heiress of the family in the reign of Henry VI. and his descendant Francis was created by James II. baron of Dilston, viscount Langley and Radcliff, and earl of Derwentwater; all which titles were forfeited with his estate and life by his son James, beheaded on Tower-hill 1716 for engaging in the rebellion. The estate amounted to £.20,000. a year, including the mines, was vested in trustees for the support of Greenwich hospital, but restored on the reversal of the attainder 177[ ]."
"... Castlerigg was the antient seat of the Derwentwater family, but after the marriage with the Radcliffs went to ruin, and with the materials the Radcliffs built a pleasure-house in one of the islands in Derwentwater. The large and stately oaks were felled by the trustees of Greenwich hospital, who lately replaced them by some small plantations. ..."

evidence:-   old print:- Green 1810 (plate 31) 
source data:-   Print, soft ground etching, Islands on Derwent Water from Castlerigg, Keswick, Cumberland, by William Green, Ambleside, Westmorland, 1810.
image  click to enlarge
From near right to far - Derwent Isle, Lord's Island, St Herbert's Island? 
Plate 31 in Sixty Studies from Nature, 1810. 
printed at top right:-  "31"
printed at bottom:-  "ISLANDS ON DERWENT WATER FROM CASTLERIGG. / Drawn and Engraved by William Green, and Published at Ambleside, June 24, 1810."
watermark:-  "J WHATMAN / 1813"
item:-  Armitt Library : A6641.31
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old text:- Farington 1816
placename:-  Lord's Island
source data:-   Descriptive text:-  "... Much of the beauty of this Lake [Derwent Water] is derived from the islands, four or five in number, which are interspersed in it: the principal of these are, Lord's Island and that of St. Herbert. The former is situated near the north-eastern side of the Lake, and contains about five acres: it was once possessed by the Ratcliffe family, who had a residence here and took the title of Derwentwater from the Lake itself. In consequence of the activity of the last Earl, in the rebellion of 1715, it became forfeited, together with the other estates of that family in the neighbourhood; and the whole is now vested in Trustees for the benefit of Greenwich Hospital. ..."
item:-  Armitt Library : A6666.15
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   descriptive text:- Otley 1823 (5th edn 1834) 
placename:-  Lord's Isle
source data:-   Guide book, A Concise Description of the English Lakes, the mountains in their vicinity, and the roads by which they may be visited, with remarks on the mineralogy and geology of the district, by Jonathan Otley, published by the author, Keswick, Cumberland now Cumbria, by J Richardson, London, and by Arthur Foster, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria, 1823; published 1823-49, latterly as the Descriptive Guide to the English Lakes.
image OT01P017, button  goto source
Page 17:-  "... Lord's Isle, contains about six acres and a half, and is covered with stately trees, forming a fine rookery. It is situated near the shore, on which account, probably, it was selected for the residence of the family of Derwentwater; but the house has long been in ruins, and nothing now remains but the foundation. This, and the smaller island called Rampsholm, form part of the late Earl of Derwentwater's sequestrated estate, which has been purchased from Greenwich Hospital in 1832, by John Marshall, Esq. of Leeds."
image OT01P118, button  goto source
Page 118:-  "... Lord's Island, near the shore, was once the residence of the family [of Derwentwater.]"

evidence:-   descriptive text:- Ford 1839 (3rd edn 1843) 
placename:-  Lord's Island
source data:-   Guide book, A Description of Scenery in the Lake District, by Rev William Ford, published by Charles Thurnam, Carlisle, by W Edwards, 12 Ave Maria Lane, Charles Tilt, Fleet Street, William Smith, 113 Fleet Street, London, by Currie and Bowman, Newcastle, by Bancks and Co, Manchester, by Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, and by Sinclair, Dumfries, 1839.
image FD01P054, button  goto source
Page 54:-  "... Lord's Island, six acres in extent, once the residence of the unfortunate Radcliffes, is now entirely covered with wood: it is, along with Rampsholm, the property of W. Marshall, Esq. who purchased the Greenwich Hospital estates in this district. ..."

evidence:-   old text:- Martineau 1855
item:-  aurora borealisLord Derwentwater's lights
source data:-   Guide book, A Complete Guide to the English Lakes, by Harriet Martineau, published by John Garnett, Windermere, Westmorland, and by Whittaker and Co, London, 1855; published 1855-76.
image MNU1P074, button  goto source
Page 74:-  "... The Ratcliffes also possessed Lord's Island, the largest on the lake, where their mansion is said to have been built, from the stones of the old one on Castlehead. ..."
image MNU1P075, button  goto source
Page 75:-  "... Lord's Isle was once a part of the mainland. The Ratcliffes cut a fosse, in the feudal times, and set up a drawbridge. ... ... Every where are there traces of the unhappy family; even in the sky, where the aurora borealis is sometimes called, to this day, Lord Derwentwater's lights, because it was particularly brilliant the night after his execution."

evidence:-   old print:- Gresham Publishing 1900s
source data:-   Print, colour halftone, Derwentwater from Friars Crag, Cumberland, by Ernest W Haslehurst, published by The Gresham Publishing Co, 66 Chandos Street, London, 1900s?
image  click to enlarge
Tipped in opposite p.40 of The English Lakes section of a volume of Our Beautiful Homeland. 
printed at bottom:-  "DERWENTWATER FROM FRIARS CRAG"
printed at lower left:-  "E. W. HASLEHURST"
item:-  JandMN : 381.9
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   outline view:- Black 1856 (23rd edn 1900) 
placename:-  Lord's Isle
source data:-   Print, lithograph, Outline Views, Skiddaw and Derwent Water - Mountains as seen at Lodore Hotel, and Mountains as seen at the Third Gate on Ascending Latrigg on the Way to Skiddaw, by J Flintoft, Keswick, Cumberland, engraved by R Mason, Edinburgh, Lothian, about 1900.
image  click to enlarge
"... Lord's Isle ..."
item:-  JandMN : 37.14
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old print:- Pyne 1853
source data:-   Drawn by James Barker Pyne, 1848-1853, lithographed by T Picken, 1859.
image  click to enlarge
item:-  JandMN : 97.19
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   outline view:- Black 1841 (3rd edn 1846) 
placename:-  Lord's Isle
source data:-   Print, engraving, outline view, Mountains as seen at Lowdore Inn, and Mountains as seen at the Third Gate on Ascending Latrigg on the Way to Skiddaw, by J Flintoft, Keswick, Cumberland, engraved by R Mason, Edinburgh, Lothian, about 1846.
image  click to enlarge
"... Lord's Isle ..."
item:-  JandMN : 32.7
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   old print:- Tattersall 1836 (version 1869) 
placename:-  outline view
source data:-   Print, hand coloured, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lakes, from the road to Watendlath, Cumberland, drawn by George Tattersall, 1836, engraved by W F Topham, published by T J Allman, 463 Oxford Street, London, 1869.
image  click to enlarge
Included in The Lakes of England, by W F Topham. 
printed at bottom:-  "DERWENTWATER and BASSENTHWAITE LAKES, / from the road to Watendlath."
printed at bottom:-  "Swinside. / Lord's Seat. / Barff. / St. Herbert's I. / Bassenthwaite L. / Ramps I. / Vicar's I. / Lord's I. / Skiddaw Dodd. / Castle Hill. / Keswick. / Skiddaw. / Latrigg. / Falcon Crag."
item:-  Armitt Library : A1067.12
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   outline view:- Tattersall 1836
placename:-  Lord's Isle
source data:-   Print, engraving, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lakes, from the road to Watenflath, Cumberland, drawn by George Tattersall, engraved by W F Topham, published by Sherwood and Co, Paternoster Row, London, about 1836.
image  click to enlarge
The print is captioned with mountain names and acts as an outline view. 
Tipped in opposite p.77 of The Lakes of England, by George Tattersall. 
printed at bottom:-  "DERWENTWATER and BASSENTHWAITE LAKES, / from the road to Watendlath."
printed at bottom left to right:-  "Swinside. / Lord's Seat. / Barff. / St. Herbert's I. / Bassenthwaite L. / Ramp's I. / Vicar's I. / Lord's I. / Skiddaw Dodd. / Castle Hill. / Keswick. / Skiddaw. / Latrigg. / Falcon Crag."
item:-  Armitt Library : A1204.31
Image © see bottom of page

evidence:-   outline view:- 
placename:-  Lord's Island
source data:-   Print, uncoloured engraving, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lakes from the Road to Watendlath, Cumberland, published by Sherwood and Co, London, 1836?
image  click to enlarge
The view is from just above Ashness Bridge. Objects in the view are identified by a caption at the bottom (unfortunately the print is pale, so some objects are unclear, and the caption seems to be a little misaligned) - Swinside, Lord's Seat, Barff, St. Herbert's I., Bassenthwaite L., Ramp's I., Vicar's I., Lord's I., Skiddaw Dodd, Castle Hill, Keswick, Skiddaw, Latrigg, Falcon Crag. 
printed at bottom:-  "DERWENTWATER and BASSENTHWAITE LAKES. / from the Road to Watendlath."
item:-  Dove Cottage : 2008.107.370
Image © see bottom of page

The roman catholic family supported the Stuart cause in the rebellion of 1715, following which Sir James Radcliffe, Lord Derwentwater, was captured and beheaded on Tower Hill, London, 1716. That night there was a display of the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis, which came to be known as Derwentwater's Lights.
The family home was Dilston Hall, Northumberland, and there is a song about Lord Derwentwater's death (from memory):-
"Farewell alas to Dilston Hall, my father's ancient seat,
A stranger now must call thee his, which gars my heart to greet
Farewell each friendly well known face, that I have known so well
My tenants now must leave their lands or live their lves in fear."
"Farewell to you my bonny grey steed, which carried me aye so free;
I wish I'd been sleepin' in my bed last time I mounted thee.
Farewell, farewell, my lady dear, ill, ill thou counsell'd me
No more again I'll see the babe that smiles upon your knee."
"The warning bell now bids me cease, my troubles will soon be o'er
Yon sun that rises out the sea shall rise on me no more.
Although that here in London town, I fated am to die,
O, carry me to Northumberland, in my father's tomb to lie."

James Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Derwentwater, married Anna Maria, daughter of Sir John Webb, Canford, Dorset, 1712. The earl was a friend of The Pretender, and on the rising of the 1715 Rebellion, a warrant was issued for his arrest. He went into hiding, but the taunts of his wife persuaded him to active support for the rebellion. He was surrounded at Preston, 14 October 1715, caught, sent to the Tower, beheaded 1716. Lady Derwentwater visited the estate before retiring to Canford. She was blamed for her husband's death and to escape the threats of the local population, she took refuge in a hollow on Walla Crga, since known as Lady's Rake.

During the Civil War, Sir Francis Radcliffe fled from Northumberland to the island to escape the Parliamentary forces, but his home on the island was destroyed in 1604 nevertheless.
Stone from the ruins is said to have been used to build Keswick's town hall.

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