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Chapter 7
Crawley of Queen's Crawley
Among the most respected of the names beginning in C which the Court-Guide
contained, in the year 18--, was that of Crawley, Sir Pitt, Baronet, Great Gaunt Street, and
Queen's Crawley, Hants. This honourable name had figured constantly also in the
Parliamentary list for many years, in conjunction with that of a number of other worthy
gentlemen who sat in turns for the borough.
It is related, with regard to the borough of Queen's Crawley, that Queen Elizabeth in one
of her progresses, stopping at Crawley to breakfast, was so delighted with some
remarkably fine Hampshire beer which was then presented to her by the Crawley of the
day (a handsome gentleman with a trim beard and a good leg), that she forthwith erected
Crawley into a borough to send two members to Parliament; and the place, from the day
of that illustrious visit, took the name of Queen's Crawley, which it holds up to the
present moment. And though, by the lapse of time, and those mutations which age
produces in empires, cities, and boroughs, Queen's Crawley was no longer so populous a
place as it had been in Queen Bess's time-- nay, was come down to that condition of
borough which used to be denominated rotten--yet, as Sir Pitt Crawley would say with
perfect justice in his elegant way, "Rotten! be hanged--it produces me a good fifteen
hundred a year."
Sir Pitt Crawley (named after the great Commoner) was the son of Walpole Crawley, first
Baronet, of the Tape and Sealing-Wax Office in the reign of George II., when he was
impeached for peculation, as were a great number of other honest gentlemen of those
days; and Walpole Crawley was, as need scarcely be said, son of John Churchill Crawley,
named after the celebrated military commander of the reign of Queen Anne. The family
tree (which hangs up at Queen's Crawley) furthermore mentions Charles Stuart,
afterwards called Barebones Crawley, son of the Crawley of James the First's time; and
finally, Queen Elizabeth's Crawley, who is represented as the foreground of the picture in
his forked beard and armour. Out of his waistcoat, as usual, grows a tree, on the main
branches of which the above illustrious names are inscribed. Close by the name of Sir Pitt
Crawley, Baronet (the subject of the present memoir), are written that of his brother, the
Reverend Bute Crawley (the great Commoner was in disgrace when the reverend
gentleman was born), rector of Crawley-cum-Snailby, and of various other male and
female members of the Crawley family.
Sir Pitt was first married to Grizzel, sixth daughter of Mungo Binkie, Lord Binkie, and
cousin, in consequence, of Mr. Dundas. She brought him two sons: Pitt, named not so
much after his father as after the heaven-born minister; and Rawdon Crawley, from the
Prince of Wales's friend, whom his Majesty George IV forgot so completely. Many years
after her ladyship's demise, Sir Pitt led to the altar Rosa, daughter of Mr. G. Dawson, of
Mudbury, by whom he had two daughters, for whose benefit Miss Rebecca Sharp was
now engaged as governess. It will be seen that the young lady was come into a family of