Deene had belonged to the Abbey of Westminster since before the Conquest. A rent of ?18.00 per year was payable, which had been in force since the reign of King John, and which continued to be paid until 1970!
SIR EDMUND BRUDENELL
1521 - 1585
Sir Edmund Brudenell came to live at Deene when his grandfather, Sir Robert, died in 1531. He too had enlarged his estates by marrying an heiress, Agnes Bussy, from Lincolnshire. He was twice High Sheriff of Northamptonshire and once of Rutland.
Sir Edmund was responsible for enlarging the Great Hall and providing the enormous fireplace decorated with coats of arms of him and his wife. He also supplied the Italianate porch and re-modelled part of the East side.
His diary remains in the library, in which he records the visit of Queen Elizabeth on 12th August 1566.
In 1569 he was given the crest of a seahorse, many of which can be seen throughout the House.
THE SALUSBURY FAMILY
An interesting family group by an unknown provincial artist attempting the fashionable style of Van Dyck.
Sir Thomas Salusbury of Lleweny with his wife Hester, daughter of Sir Edward Tyrell, and his children Thomas, John and Hester, a groom holding a horse and two greyhounds.
GEORGE, 3RD EARL OF CARDIGAN
1685 - 1732
When George succeeded his grandfather in 1703 he was living in Rome but came home in 1706 - his Jacobite father, Francis Lord Brudenell, had been imprisoned for four years for high treason and died in 1698. He converted to the Church of England, took his seat in the House of Lords and married Lady Elizabeth Bruce, daughter of the Earl of Ailesbury.
They left the house much as it was but modernized and redecorated the interior. He built the lantern over the Oak Staircase, repaired the Great Hall and converted the summer house into a billiard room (now the Chapel).
He died, aged 46, of a nosebleed.
GEORGE, 4TH EARL OF CARDIGAN
1712 - 1790
The eldest of the four sons of the 3rd Earl, he was only nineteen when he inherited in 1732, although he was already married to Lady Mary Montagu,daughter of the Duke of Montagu, his neighbour at Boughton. She inherited her father's estates and they lived in both houses as well as a house in London.
After some years he achieved his ambition and was created Duke of Montagu in 1766. Their only son, the Marquis of Monthermer, died unmarried in 1770 and their daughter Elizabeth married the Duke of Buccleuch & Queensberry in 1767.
He became Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle, a post which he retained all his life, and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1752.
JAMES BRUDENELL, 5TH EARL OF CARDIGAN
1725 - 1811
He was 65 when he succeeded his brother as the 5th Earl in 1790. He was Member of Parliament for 26 years, successively for Shaftesbury, Hastings and Marlborough until in 1780 he was created Lord Brudenell of Deene.
He was Master of the Robes to George III for 33 years and then Governor of Windsor Castle.
It is thought that he was responsible for building the Bow Room, Drawing Room and Dining Room.
Finally he built the White Hall and signed the staircase with his coat of arms.
ADELINE, COUNTESS OF CARDIGAN
by R. Buckner
1824 - 1915
The 7th Earl of Cardigan was sixty when he fell in love with Adeline Horsey de Horsey who was twenty-seven years younger. She was fast and beautiful and became his mistress. When his wife died in 1858 they sailed to Gibralter and were married there, well away from London society who were scandalized by their behaviour.
In spite of various infidelities they were very happy till he died in 1868. The following year she gave a banquet for three hundred people for the unveiling of the impressive monument to them both in the church.
She was to live another forty-six years, enjoying a merry widowhood at Deene and elsewhere in extravagant luxury.