Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/234

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The family of Drawne was not distinguished till the time of the Reformation, when one Richard Drawne was rewarded for his holy zeal in the suppression of monasteries, by a large grant of confiscated church property, including the Abbey of St. Wilfred, with the manor-house, monastery and demesne lands of the same, amounting to four thousand three hundred acres. He did not live long to enjoy his honours, but died of a fever, leaving his daughter, Anne, sole heiress. In the reign of Edward VI. this lady married the Earl of Warbeck, and thus brought her great wealth to that ancient house which had become sadly impoverished for various but uninteresting causes. The heiress, however, was very tenacious of her female right, and left no legal loopholes by which her property could become one with the Warbeck peerage: the Drawne acres were an inheritance past comparison with any empty earldom. But during three centuries of struggle and change which followed, male heirs in direct succession never failed, and the Earls of Warbeck, by innocently anticipating the miraculous policy of the Vicar of Bray, not only held their possessions, but escaped the inconvenient glories of persecution and martyrdom.

At the time of our story, Henry Fitzgerald George