James I and Lady Salisbury's death.

Hare's Journals, Dec 14 1872,

Lady Salisbury showed us the house. In the drawing-room, over the chimney-piece, is a huge statue of James I of bronze. It is not fixed, but supported by its own weight. A ball was once given in that room. In the midst of the dancing some one observed that the bronze statue was slowly nodding its head, and gave the alarm. The stampede was frightful. All the guests fled down the long gallery.

In the same room is a glorious portrait of Lord Salisbury's grandmother by Reynolds. It was this Lady Salisbury who was burnt to death in her old age. She came in from riding, and used to make her maid change her habit and dress her for dinner at once, as less fatiguing. Then she rested for two or three hours with lighted candles near her, and read or nodded in her chair. One evening, from the opposite wing of the house, the late Lord Salisbury saw the windows of the rooms near hers blazing with light, and gave the alarm, but before anybody could reach his mother's rooms they were entirely burnt - so entirely, that it would have been impossible to identify her ashes for burial but for a ruby which the present Lady Salisbury wears in a ring. A little heap of diamonds was found in one place, but that proved nothing, as all her jewels were burned with her, but the ruby her maid identified as having put on her finger when she dressed her, and the ashes of that particular spot were all gathered up and buried in a small urn. Her two favourite dogs were burnt with her, and they are probably buried with her.

In Oliver Twist, Bill Sykes is described as having seen the fire at Hatfield as he was escaping from London.

In Lady Salisbury's own room is a picture of Miss Pine, Lord Salisbury's other grandmother, by Sir Joshua; also the Earl and Countess of Westmoreland and their child by Vandyke; also a curios picture of a lady.

'She looks dull but good,' said Miss Palmer.

'She looks clever but bad,' said I.

'She was desperately wicked,' said lady Salisbury, 'and therefore it is quite unnecessary to say that she was very religious. She endowed almshouses - "Lady Anne's Almshouses," - they still exist, and she sent her son to Westminster with especial orders that he should be severely flogged, when he was seventeen, and so soured his temper for life and sent him to the bad entirely; and none but "a thoroughly highly-principled woman" could do such a villainous action as that. The son lived afterwards at Nuixwold, and led the most abominably wicked life there, and died a death as horrible as his life. He sold everything he could lay hands on, jewels and everything, all the old family plate except one very ugly old flat candlestick and six old sconces, which were painted over mahogany colour, and so were not known to be silver. His is the phantom coach which arrives and drives up the staircase and then disappears. Lord Salisbury heard it the other night when he was in his dressing-room, and dressed again, thinking it was visitors, and went down, but it was no one.'