What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
Rye House, Broxbourne
=How to get there.=–Train from Liverpool Street. Great Eastern Rly. =Nearest Station.=–Broxbourne (quite close to Rye House). =Distance from London.=–17 miles. =Average Time.=–50 minutes. Quickest train, 39 minutes.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 3s. 3d. 2s. 3d. 1s. 6d. } reduced during Return 4s. 9d. 3s. 6d. 2s. 6d. } summer months.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–Rye House has been converted into an hotel.
Rye House stands close to the banks of the river Lea, and is now perhaps more of a resort than some would wish it to be, for it has been altered from a manor-house into an hotel. It has not, however, quite lost its picturesqueness, as one will see from the illustration given here, and within one may see the fine old dining-hall and the famous “Great bed of Ware,” large enough, it is said, to contain twelve people! The historical interest which attaches itself to Rye House, though well known, may be briefly given here. It was in 1683 the scene of a plot, in Charles II.’s reign, to assassinate the king and his brother the Duke of York, afterwards James II., on their way to London from Newmarket. Charles, though restored to the throne, was giving great dissatisfaction to many in the country. Though professedly a Protestant, it was well known that his leanings were towards Roman Catholicism, and his brother the Duke of York was an avowed Catholic. Then it was discovered that Charles had been receiving a pension from Louis XIV. of France, on condition that this country did not go to war with the French, an arrangement which was most humiliating to the English people. The nation was thoroughly alarmed, and at the next meeting of Parliament the Commons brought in a bill to exclude the Duke of York from ever coming to the throne. Many of the leading Whigs, including Lord William Russell, Algernon Sidney, and the Earl of Essex, formed a confederacy. It has never been proved that they ever meant the country to rise against the king, but unfortunately, just at the same time, some bolder and fiercer spirits of the Whig party determined to kill both Charles and James at the lonely Rye House belonging to Rumbolt. The plot failed from the fact that the house which the king occupied at Newmarket accidentally caught fire, and Charles was obliged to leave Newmarket a week sooner than was expected. This conspiracy as well as the meetings of the Whig party were betrayed to the king’s ministers. Russell was beheaded in 1683, and Sidney shared the same fate.
[Illustration: RYE HOUSE.
The scene of the famous Rye House Plot in 1683.]