Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/255

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197
LADY HOWARD

pleasure. Sir Richard Grenville went with his wife to Fitzford, and there in May, 1630, their first child was born, and christened Richard after his father. Sir Richard was mightily incensed when he discovered that he could not handle the revenues of the estates, and this led to incessant bickerings. Clarendon says:—

"He had nothing to depend upon but the fortune of his wife: which, though ample enough to have supported the expense a person of his quality ought to have made, was not large enough to satisfy his vanity and ambition. Nor so great as he, upon common reports, had promised himself by her. By not being enough pleased with her fortune, he grew less pleased with his wife; who, being a woman of a haughty and imperious nature, and of a wit far superior to his own, quickly resented the disrespect she received from him, and in no degree studied to make herself easy to him. After some years spent together in these domestic unsociable contestations, in which he possessed himself of all her estate, as the sole master of it, without allowing her out of her own any competency for herself, and indulging to himself all those licences in her own house which to women are most grievous, she found means to withdraw herself from him, and was with all kindness received into the family in which she had before married, and was always very much respected."

Before proceeding with the quotation from Clarendon, it will be well to give at once some illustrative touches as to the annoyances she underwent at the hands of Sir Richard, and as to her own conduct towards him. He confined her to a corner of her own house, Fitzford, excluded her from the government of the house, and installed his aunt, Mrs. Katherine Abbott, as his housekeeper, with control over the servants and the keeping of the keys.