Bourne Archive: Civil War: Edward Lake

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web page ©2008 R.J.PENHEY        From a copy in the Willoughby Memorial Library, with thanks to the trustees.

The Bourne Archive

Memorials of Sir Edward Lake,

a paper read to the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, at Lincoln, by Samuel Blois Turner, 1848.

Sir Edward Lake was the eldest son of Richard Lake, Esq., of Erby1, in the county of Lincoln, by Anne, youngest daughter and heiress of Edward Wardell, Esq., of Realby2, in the same county. From an early period the family were seated at Normanton3, in the county of York, and resided on the estates which passed into the Lake family by the marriage of John Lake to Jeannett, daughter and heiress of William Cayley, Esq. 4, of Normanton.

Sir Edward Lake embraced the profession of the law, and became Chancellor of the Diocese of Lincoln.

From a love of his sovereign, and full conviction of the justness of his cause, Dr. Lake laying aside the gown, took up the sword, and followed his royal master to the battle of Edge-hill. In this engagement he received sixteen wounds; and having lost the use of his left hand by a shot, he placed his horse’s bridle between his teeth5, and held out the combat, fighting with his sword in his right hand, till the armies parted by the coming of the night. The friendly and affectionate part taken by the amiable and unfortunate monarch, in the concerns of this loyal subject, is set forth in an original MS. in Sir Edward Lake’s own handwriting, of which the following is a copy:-

“After I had made my escape from my imprisonment at Mr. Bents at Corsby6, where I was kept seven weeks after the battle at Edge-hill, I went to Bangor in Caernarvonshire, in Christmas, 16427; there I writ to Dr. Steward*1, the Clerk of the Closet8, at Oxford9, certifying in what condition I was, and of he hurts I received at Edge-hill, and he sent me back an answer, desiring me to send up the certificate thereof, under the surgeon’s hand, which afterwards I did, under the hands of Mr. John Angel, the physician, and Mr. Edward Loffman, the surgeon, both of Leicester, who were employed upon my cure. The next year, about a fortnight after Michaelmas, I went out of Wales towards Oxford, where I came about the 20th of October, 1643: Dr. Steward wished me not to come into the King’s presence till the 23rd day of that month, the anniversary day of Edge-hill, which he, the said King, intended to keep solemnly, with public thanksgiving for the victory on that day; and upon that day, a little before dinner, in the presence-chamber at Christ Church10, I kissed his Majesty’s hand11, Dr. Steward being with me, who said to his Majesty, as I was going to kiss his hand, - ‘Sir, this day twelve-months, the Doctor was in another case,’ (Dr. Steward having formerly, as he told me, showed his Majesty that certificate of my hurts, received at the battle of Edge-hill). His Majesty, looking upon me, said, ‘It is true you lost a great deal of blood for me that day, and I shall not forget it, but you shall be remembered for it both by way of armory12 and otherwise.’ Then looking upon Dr. Steward and others, standing by , said, ‘ For a lawyer, a professed lawyer , to throw off his gown, and fight so heartily for me, I must needs think very well of it.’ I humbly thanked his Majesty for his gracious acceptance of my poor endeavours to serve him, and praised God for preserving me for further service to his Majesty, to the best of my power, and according to my bounden duties. ‘And, Doctor, (said the King, bending his head a little towards me) I have reason to believe it;’ and so went into the privy-chamber. “Above two months after, his Majesty sent me to Worcester, then garrisoned by Sir Gilbert Gerard, the King’s governor there, to whom his Majesty writ: which letter signified to him the loss of my estate in England and Ireland, by the rebellion, and sixteen wounds which I received at the battle of Edge-hill. With this letter, about the beginning of Christmas13, I went down to Worcester, and taking my leave of Dr. Steward, he (whether his Majesty had when he signed that letter or at any other time spoken to him thereof, I know not, but most probably he had,) asked me, whether I had drawn up that note, touching and addition in armory, which the King said he would give me, when I kissed hands on the anniversary day of Edge-hill. I told him I had done nothing therein. He bade me advise14 with some herald thereupon, and draw up a note, to that purpose, for the King to sign, and to leave it with him.

“I did thereupon advise with Sir William Le Neve15, but did not acquaint him with the King’s word touching armory, and after I had talked with  him, I drew up such a note for his Majesty’s signature, mentioning only that coat of augmentation (without any mention of one of the lions of England,) and the crest. This note I left with Dr. Steward, and the next summer, his Majesty coming to Worcester, and Dr. Steward with him, the Doctor gave me this docquet signed by his majesty, and attested by the Doctor, touching the baronetship16 and arms.*2

The Docquet17 copied from Sir Edward Lake’s own handwriting.

          Signed, Charles Rex.

Whereas, our Trusty and well-beloved Edward Lake, Dr. of Laws, and Advocate General for our Kingdom of Ireland, in all causes Ecclesiastical, Civil and Maritime; and by the . . . . . 18 with the Loss of his Estate and Employment, and also in England, more especially at the Battle of Edge-hill, receiving sixteen Wounds, to the extreme danger of his life ever since, - being deprived of his estate here, we cannot but look upon him as a subject well deserving of us; and whom, when God shall enable us, we intend to repair in his Estate, and otherwise to reward him; and in he mean time, we do hereby create him an Baronet, and do give him the making of a Baronet, not doubting that he will recommend and Person for that dignity, but such a one , who for his Condition and Quality, shall be fit for the same; and for his further Encouragement, and as a Mark of our Especial Favour towards him, Whereas in the Battle of Edge-hill, he received sixteen Wounds, and his left Arm being by a Shot wounded, he was disabled, he held his Bridle in his Teeth, fighting with his right Hand; Therefore we do hereby give him for a Coat of Augmentation19, to be borne before his own, in a Field Gules, a right Arm, arm’d, carrying upon a Sword a Banner Argent, charged with a Cross, betwixt sixteen Shields, four in each Quarter .  .  .  .  . of the First, and in the  .  .  .  . Point, one of our own lions of England; and for a Crest to the same Coat of Augmentation, a Chevalier in a fighting Posture, his left Arm hanging down Useless, and holding a Bridle in his Teeth; his Scarf Red, his Sword and Horse Cruentated20: To have and to hold the said Dignity of a Baronet to the said Edward Lake, and his Heirs Male of his Body begotten, or to be begotten, for ever, and for want of such Heirs Male, then, to the Heirs Male of the same Edward for ever, and to have and to hold the same Coat of Augmentation with the Crest aforesaid, to him the said Edward and his Heirs, and all descending from him and them for ever; all this to be put in form into his Patent.

Given at our Court at Oxford the .  .  .  Day of December in the Year, 1643.*3

          To all the Officers and Ministers, whomsoever, whom under these Presents shall any ways concern.

“Of the addition of one of the lions of England in the coat of augmentation, (in which, the eight points, four in each quarter, are memorial of the sixteen wounds he received; the lion of England being placed in the centre of the standard, in the additional crest,) and besides to have the nomination of a baronet, and to be a baronet myself being altogether beyond my expectation, I asked the Doctor the reason thereof. He told me, that presently on my going to Worcester from Oxford, he showed his Majesty that note for the coat of augmentation which I left with him; his Majesty read it and said, ‘I deserved more, and should have more; I should have one of his own lions too, and I should have the making of a baronet, and that I should be a baronet myself;’  and his Majesty himself, with his own hand, interlined some words touching the bearing of that lion, and for the nomination of a baronet, and the creation of me to be a baronet, and bad the Doctor bring it to him, written more at large; whereupon the Doctor, within a day or two after, brought it written, as it is here, to his Majesty, which he signed, and said to him, ‘Doctor, you shall be secretary for this business; set your hand to it, and witness my signature, and tell Dr. Lake, that he may keep this awhile by him, and not to take out the patent, till I shall better provide for hi;’ and the same day, at Worcester, as before, when Dr. Steward had told me this, which was at the Lord Bishop’s Palace at Worcester, I went with him into the presence, and there kissed his Majesty’s hand, who said to me thus, - ‘ The Doctor there (looking at Dr. Steward) I suppose has told you my mind.’ I said, ‘Yes, sir,’ and most humbly I thanked his Majesty for his exceeding favours to me. Then his Majesty being, as it seemed, in haste upon business, went out of the presence; and as he was going, looked back towards me, and beckoned to me, and I made my address to him, who said thus to me, ‘Doctor, if you will, you may keep that awhile by you, (meaning the aforesaid docquet) and not take out the patent, till I shall better provide for you, which I hope I shall do ere long,’ and so he went away, and I kept this by me as thou seest.”21

Sir Edward Lake married Ann, eldest daughter and co-heiress or Simon Bibye, Esq., of Buckden, Huntingdonshire, and appears to have resided at Bishop’s Wooton, in the county of Lincoln. On his dying without issue22, in 1674, the property fell to his brother, Thomas, from whom it passed to his son Thomas, who was at the bar, and a member of the Middle Temple. Notwithstanding the above mentioned docquet, the brother and nephew seem to have suffered the matter to lie dormant. But, in 1711, soon after the death of the last mentioned Thomas Bibye Lake, by his son (it is presumed) laid the docquet before the Earl of Oxford, who stated that, through the great hurry of affairs the grant was lost. However, her Majesty, Queen Anne, being well satisfied of the services of Sir Edward Lake, made Bibye Lake a grant by letters patent, dated 17th October, 1711, though with precedency only from the date thereof.

Sir Edward Lake was buried in the Cathedral at Lincoln, and in one of the chapels on the south side of the choir, known as Bishop Russell’s chantry23, are still to be seen24 the remains of his monument, exhibiting his arms as follows:

Quarterly, 1st, for a Coat of Augmentation, gules, a dexter arm embowed, in armour, issuing from the sinister side of the shield, holding in the hand a sword erect, all proper; thereto affixed a banner argent, charged with a cross between sixteen escutcheons of the first; on the cross a lion passant, guardant, or.

2nd. Sable, on a bend between six crosses crosslet, argent, a mullet for difference. Lake.

3rd. Quarterly, argent and sable, on a bend, gules, three mullets of the first. Cayley.

4th. Argent, a chevron between three lions’ heads couped, sable. on a chief vert as many bezants. Wardell.

Crests, - 1st, A chevalier in complete armour, on a horse courant argent, bridle and trappings all proper, in the dexter hand a sword, embrued gules, holding the bridle in his mouth, the sinister arm hanging down useless. Round his body a scarf in bend of the last.

2nd. A sea-horse’s head argent, pinned or, gorged with three bars gules.

All inquiries have been in vain in the endeavour to ascertain at what period, or for what cause, the removal and destruction of the memorial to Sir Edward Lake was permitted. Mr. Wilson, who has been many years engaged in the careful investigation of all details connected with the Minster and its monumental antiquities, supposes that this reckless act of desecration may have taken place about 1727, when the arch near the western end of the Minster was built, - subsequently removed by Essex25. He has been inclined to think it probable that the memorial to Sir Edward Lake occupied a portion of the nave near the western extremity, and adjoining the Consistory Court, in which Sir Edward had presided, and wherein a scutcheon of his arms still remains. He was the Bishop’s Chancellor, an office distinct from that of the Chancellor of the Cathedral.

To this moment was formerly attached a Latin inscription, which has not been given by Browne Willis  in his Survey of the cathedral, published in 1730, nor is it found in any work relating to that structure and its sepulchral memorials. It will, therefore, not appear inappropriate to give here a copy of an inscription of no slight local interest, in connexion with the history of this loyal gentleman of the county of Lincoln:

Dpositum D. Edri Lake, de Norton Episc. in Agro Lincoln. Barti L.L.D. Dioces. Linc. Cancellar. Reginæ Majestat. p. Rno suo Hiberniæ Advocati General. ex antiqua familia ejusdem Cognomin. Normantoniæ juxta Pontefract, in Agro Eboracensi, hic subtus jacet. Qui Deo, Eccli'æ, Regi et Patriæ suæ, Pacis et Belli tempore, fideliter inservijt. Honor inde adeptum Cristæ & Insignior. Augmentatio honoraria demonstrat. Ad Annum Ætat. sue .  .  .  p’vectus .  .  .  Die . . . Anno a Partu Virgineo 16 .  .  .  Animam Deo reddidit. In Uxor. habuit hic juxta contumulatam Annam Filiam Natu maximam & Cohæredem Simon. Bibye, Armigeri, Fœminam lectissimam, pijssimam, Fortunæ Conjugalis, Temporibus durissimis Comitem, Participem, patientem, constantem, fidelem maxime.

Un Dieu, un Roy, un Cœr.

Patruo suo charissmo Thomas Lake posuit.

Thomas Lake, nephew and heir of Sir Edward, who erected this monument to his memory, was a barrister of the Middle Temple, and, dying in 1711, was buried in the Temple Church. His monument, originally near the north corner of the middle east window, has been removed during recent alterations, and may now be seen in the triforium. Collins gives the inscription to his memory. It may deserve notice that in the coat of Augmentation, twice introduced upon this monument, the banner has a bordure gobonée, sable and argent26, not mentioned in the description as stated in the docquet.

Blois Turner’s Footnotes:

*1.   Richard Steuart was born at Pateshull, Northampton. He was a fellow of All Souls, Oxford, 1613; Prebendary of Worcester, 1628; Prebendary of Salisbury, 1629; Dean of Chichester, 1634; a Clerk of the Closet; Prebendary of Westminster, 1638; Provost of Eton; Dean of St. Paul’s, 1641; Dean of Westminster, 1644. He died at Paris, Nov. 14, 1651, aged 68, and lies buried at St. Germains. – Granger, vol. ii., p. 348.

*2.  This interesting document was printed by Collins, in the “English Baronetage” (vol. iv. p. 134. ed. 1741), but the text there given varies considerably from that of the Docquet, as above, from sir Edward’s own writing.

*3.  In the copy, as given by Collins, the date is thus stated, - The 30th of December, the 19th year of our reign.


1.^   This would be hard to trace but for the DNB (Sir Edward Lake) which says Irby-le-Marsh. That village is at TF4763, 10km inland from Skegness. The OS (Landranger sheet 122) calls it Irby in the Marsh. ‘The Marsh’ is the North Sea coastal region of the Lindsey Parts of Lincolnshire.

2.    The DNB gives Keelby.

3.    Unlike the other two places, there is a Normanton in Lincolnshire but we are told that this one is in Yorkshire.

4.    It seems that he may have been an earlier member of the family of a pioneer aviator and general inventor, George Cayley, of a mathematician, Arthur Cayley and of a linguist, Charles Bagot Cayley.

5.^   The part of the bridle in question will of course, have been the rein.

6.    DNB says Great Crosby, in Lancashire.

7.    This was well back within the area of Royalist control.

8.    A king’s private apartments. The clerk of the closet will have been the man who dealt with the King’s private correspondence and diary.

9.    Once the king had been excluded from London, the court was held at Oxford. The outcome of Edge Hill may have been an opportunity to have taken control in London but if the chance existed, Charles did not take it.

10.^ The Cathedral Church of Oxford and Christ Church College, then serving as the site of the King’s court.

11.   This was part of the formalities rather than a special form of intimacy.

12.   Coat of arms.

13.   1643.

14.   Take advice from.

15.^ In 1634-5, he had been Norroy King of Arms.

16.   A baronetcy. The rank of Baronet was introduced by Charles’ father, James I of England. A baronet is an hereditary knight but is not per se, a member of an order of knighthood..

17.   Usually nowadays, spelled ‘docket’. The abstract of the contents of a proposed Letter-patent, written upon the King’s bill which authorized the preparation of a letter-patent OED (Docket, n.1 3.).

18.   The dots represent what is known as a lacuna, a place where the words of the document which Blois Turner was transcribing were no longer legible.

19.   Augmentation of Honour.

20.^ Blood-stained.

21.   This is Lake writing. It is easy to see why he should feel excited. Apart from a private audience with the king, his efforts have been recognized, he sees himself going up socially and he has the promise of more, in the enigmatic ‘better’. However, these were heady days in which a tendency toward hysteria might be expected. See the Civil War chronologies, National and Lincolnshire, for the context. After patience and persistence on Lake’s part, some of the promise was fulfilled but it landed him in what seems to have been an unfulfilling job at Lincoln, rather than the Mastership of the Rolls in Ireland (DNB).

22.   They had at least one son, Edward but he was dead by 1666 (DNB).

23.   This commemorates John Russell who was bishop of Lincoln from 1480 to 1494 and is the easternmost chapel on the south side of the Angel Choir. It is dedicated to St Blaise and is now decorated by the mural painting made by Duncan Grant.

24.   In 1848.

25.^ Essex (1722–1784) was working in the Cathedral in the latter half of the eighteenth century. The 1890s guide book mentions him but gives only a little more information. These are links to bookmarks on his name there. Essex 1: Essex 2. More detail is available from DNB: James Essex. His writings are discussed on Yvonne Jerrold’s site.

26.   Composed of Metal and Colour alternately. Metal is white (representing silver, argent) or yellow (representing gold, or) and colour is another plain colour (OED gobony, a. quot. 1882). Sable is black.

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