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an acre of open ground surrounding the house and the present pretty suburb of Wynnefield has sprung up about it. Thomas Wynne still sits in the gallery of Merion Meeting, as his ancestors have done before him, and takes an active interest in the concerns of the Society of Friends.
Descendants of Doctor Thomas Wynne are numbered among the families of Cook, Wister, Cadwalader, and Roberts, and the family name has been made widely known by Doctor S. Weir Mitchell's novel, “Hugh Wynne."
HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP, MONTGOMERY LEWIS—WILCOX-CRUICKSHANK-ROSS-BRINTON
N the year of grace 1682 Henry Lewis, a Welsh Quaker, established himself in Haverford Township, then Chester, now Delaware County, on the banks of Cobb's Creek near the city line and the present Old
Haverford Road, and named his estate Maen-Coch. He shortly built a substantial stone house that afterward became a part of Clifton Hall, as the estate was called by a subsequent owner and so styled until it received the title of the Grange in 1780. About seven miles from the old Court House at Second and Market Streets, this abode of Henry Lewis was then in the depths of the wilderness and even now after the lapse of more than two centuries it enjoys a measure of rural seclusion that is scarcely to be looked for in a place so near the city.
Under a succession of owners Maen-Coch, Clifton Hall, or the Grange, experienced many vicissitudes of addition and embellishment until in late Colonial times it became one of the most justly celebrated seats in the vicinity of Philadelphia and so remained until a very few years ago. Now, shorn of its former honours, deserted, dilapidated, overgrown, with rank weeds profanely encroaching on its once faultless walks and borders, and an unrestrained confusion of lawful growths jostling each other in unkempt array, the Grange yet maintains a cer
tain steadfast dignity of mien that, in its day of decadence, seems to bespeak a proud consciousness of its former high estate and a determination to preserve to the end an unruffled exterior, come what may, like a thing of truly gentle race enduring the buffetings of the storms of misfortune. Despite the alterations made after the Civil War, alterations that destroyed its Georgian aspect, on account of which in part no illustrations are given, it is unquestionably one of the great houses of the country, where from earliest Colonial times lavish hospitality was wont to be dispensed and the most honourable and notable men of their several generations were entertained.
The aforesaid Henry Lewis, being one of the most staid and straight-laced members of the Society of Friends, carefully eschewed all outward display and contented himself with an unpretentious dwelling of modest dimensions. He, and his son Henry after him, lived for many years in what is now the rear portion of the house. About the middle of the eighteenth century we find the estate in the possession of a Captain John Wilcox, who enlarged the house, adding all or nearly all of the front part, and changed the name to Clifton Hall. Tradition has it that Captain Wilcox surrounded his broad lands with a ditch of some depth which he caused to be digged by his negro slaves of whom he had a considerable number. It is said that he devised this scheme for keeping them employed and out of mischief when there was nothing else to be done. In the middle of the last century, traces of this ditch were still discernible.
About 1760 Captain Charles Cruickshank, a Scotch gentleman of wealth, came to America and in 1761. pur
chased Clifton Hall from Captain Wilcox. He indulged in various enlargements and modifications of the mansion, though in exactly what respects it is scarcely possible to say. He was a person of cultivated tastes and appears to have had a strong bent for gardening, for it was at this period that the terraced walks were cut, the greenhouses and hothouses established and the “natural beauties of the place developed by the appliances of art.” The landscape gardening begun by Captain Cruickshank and continued by succeeding owners has given the Grange a position in this respect unexcelled in all the surrounding country. Captain Cruickshank also added to the acres of Clifton Hall.
On December 8, 1768, John Ross, another Scotchman afterward extensively engaged in Philadelphia as an East India merchant and shipowner, married Clementina, the daughter of Captain Cruickshank, the wedding taking place at the Grange, or Clifton Hall as it was then called. During and after the Revolutionary War, John Ross was a prominent figure in the counsels of the infant nation and in the conduct of affairs. His devotion to the American cause cost him dear and very nearly ruined him, for in ready response to an order from Congress's Committee of Commerce in May, 1776, “ to procure cloths [sic], arms and powder for the use of the army,” he spent far more than the trifling and inadequate sum the commissioners were then able to put at his disposal. His outlay for the army on the guarantee of his personal responsibility amounted to twenty thousand pounds. This advance he could never fully recover and for a considerable time he was in sore straits. Eventually,
however, fortune shone upon him and his resources increased so that in 1783, when Captain Cruickshank returned to Scotland, he was able to buy the Grange, so rechristened in 1780 in honour of the Marquis de Lafayette, whose home in France bore that name.
Mr. Ross continued the adornment of the grounds begun by his father-in-law, enlarged the boundaries of the estate, and made sundry additions to the buildings. In the post-Revolutionary period the Grange was in the heyday of its magnificence. Miss Elizabeth Mifflin, a granddaughter of John Ross, left a manuscript account of the Grange and the manner of life there, based on the authority of her sister, an eye-witness. To quote in part, she says:
Nothing could be more picturesque, beautiful and elegant than this highly favoured spot. The gardens, the fountain, the Bath in a private garden with walks, skirted with boxwood and the trumpet creeper in rich luxuriance overhanging the door and gateways, where the water was so intensely cold that few entered in. The Green-houses and Hothouses, the Dairy, the extensive orchards of every variety of fruit; and then the long, dark walk 73's of a mile in extent, shaded by tall forest trees, and where the Tulip poplar abounded, and where the sun scarcely dared to penetrate. On one side a ravine through which a creek flowed gurgling and reflecting the sun beams shut out from the dark walk, with the sloping meadows beyond, all presenting a picture never to be forgotten. Near the beginning of this dark walk Mr. Ross had caused to be constructed, on a spot ten or twelve feet above the walk, a semi-circular seat capable of holding twenty persons and a place for a table. On the 4th of July and other warm days of summer he would take his friends there and iced