Archive:The Descendants of John Whitney, page 14

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The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Chicago: 1895)

Transcribed by the Whitney Research Group, 1999.

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VALLEY OF THE WYE. It is the scenery on the banks of the Wye which has gained for it the name of the most beautiful river in England. Turbid and hurried in itself, i t runs through some of the most lovely landscape in England. The views are of the most beautiful description of perspective, arising from the mazy course of the stream and the loftiness of it's banks. A tiny steamer now and then forges up the river against the fierce current, or readily floats down on the top of it ; but the Wye may best be judged from it's banks; and as the Wye Valley Railway carries the tourist from point to point up the valley, the beauties of which occupy -- speaking within bounds-- a fair hundred miles. It is the extent of the sylvan and other beauties of the Wye which have made it so perfectly celebrated.From it's source, near the summit of Plinlimmon, to it's union with the lordly Severn, the Wye is continuously beautiful. In the midst of the Welsh hills it is exceedingly wild and singularly smooth and placid, and thence flows through Monmouthshire until it loses itself in the Severn. At Ross are to be found, in the parish church, the celebrated elms which sprang up through the floor of the pew once occupied by John KYRLE, Pope's celebrated "Man of Ross" Near Chepstow is the celebrated stretch of private property called Piercefield, which possess three miles of paths winding along the edges of the hundred feet above high water,the observer may see portions of seven English and two Welsh counties, and the river at this point winds through the landscape like a carelessly thrown river of silver. ___________________ VISIT TO WHITNEY-ON-THE-WYE. By HON. WILLIAM WHITNEY RICE. In the month of June 1892, I took a train, accompanied by my wife, from Here- ford to the parish of Whitney-on-the-Wye, seventeen miles distant, to see if per- chance I could learn anything there of our ancestors. There are none there now bearing the name of Whitney, but there are the manors of Whitney and of Clifford formerly owned by the Whitney family and not yet wholly alienated. Whitney is a section of beautiful country with an old stone church, stone cot- tage for the rector, and a somewhat modern manor house. We could get no pub- lic carriage for our conveyance. We found that we had an hour and a half before the departure of the next train for London, and we resolved to make the most of that time,with such directions as we could get from the station master, who was very accomodating and intelligent. He referred us to the rector. Rev. Henry DEW, as a gentleman who would receive us hospitably and furnish us all the information that there was to be had on the sub- ject of our inquiries. From the station the outlook over the surronding country embraced in the manors of Whitney and Clifford was as lovely as anything we had seen in England. The Wye flowed through the valley a few rods below the station while the broad fields and forests stretched away in the distance toward the Welsh mountains which were the principal features in the landscape. The rectory was quarter or half a mile distant. Going from the station we passed by the pretty little church. We entered the churchyard and searched for Whitney memorials. We found none, because, as we afterward learned, some time in the middle of the eighteenth century the Wye, in a freshet, swept away the old castle, the old church, and the monuments and graves of the Whitneys from the time that they settled in that place. The new church contains many of the old granite stones which were left from the ruins of old church. The old font, hollowed from a solid granite block, which was there before the freshet, probably from the original building of the church and in which the Whitney infants have been baptised

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