Artist: Blore, Edward
Medium: Pencil on paper
Wilton Castle was the baronial residence of the Grey family in the 12th century before it was passed on to other owners. Standing on the banks of the River Wye, it was a stronghold in the struggle for English authority in Wales.
During the Civil War in the 1640s, Sir John Brydges, who then occupied the castle, professed his neutrality in the conflict, choosing neither to join the Royalists nor the Parliamentarians. Local Royalists, Sir Henry Lingen and Sir Barnabas Scudamore, having grown increasingly intolerant of this neutral stance, decided to teach their fellow nobleman a lesson. One Sunday morning, when the Brydges family were at church, they marched upon the castle and set it ablaze. In revenge for the destruction of his home, Brydges immediately aligned himself with the Parliamentarians and vowed to take Herefordshire for their cause. Joining forces with John Birch and Thomas Morgan, Brydges succeeded in his aim. Soon after however, he died of smallpox, aged not yet 30.