Samlesbury Hall, descending the staircase, floating across the entrance hall and through the door
out into the grounds, where she is met by a handsome young knight who receives her on bended
knees, and then accompanies her on her ghostly walk.
She has been seen in the woods accompanied by this ghostly knight dressed in Elizabethan
garb. Some have said that at the end of their walk together the two phantom lovers embrace and
lie down in each other's arms under the great oak tree where they had met and embraced in their
lifetimes; and it is said that at this time the air is filled with mournful sighs of despair and
sorrowful whisperings among the branches above, where they eventually disappear together, still
clasped in each other's arms.
This very romantic and fanciful story received a certain confirmation about two hundred
years later when Samlesbury Hall fell upon bad times and was neglected, eventually becoming a
farmhouse. Later is was restored to its original condition, it being a unique example of the
ancient type of Lancashire manor-house of the late fourteenth century. Workmen re-enforcing a
wall near the old chapel came across a skeleton, and later two more skeletons were found. Local
opinion considered the finding of the three skeletons to be ample conformation of the basic facts
of the tragedy of Dorothy Southworth and her unfortunate lover.
Another romantic haunting came about as the result of the unfortunate love affair between
the Lady Arabella Stuart and Sir William Seymour, whose romance ended in imprisonment in the Tower and death from madness for the doomed Arabella, whose only crime was that she was born too near the throne.
Descended from Henry VII's eldest daughter, Margaret Stuart, the Countess of Lennox,
Arabella was next in succession to James VI of Scotland (James I of England), and she became
the subject of intrigues by those who would not accept James as Elizabeth's successor. When
Arabella was only ten, Elizabeth paraded her at her court as the heir to the throne, mainly to
provoke James, whom she regarded in the same odious light as she did Mary Queen of Scots, his
Lady Arabella had many requests for her hand, but all her suits, commoners and royal
princes alike, were repulsed by both Elizabeth and James whose policy was to keep her
unmarried, because the child of such a union would be a claimant to the throne which would
complicate the succession.
Arabella pretended that marriage did not interest her, for she was clever enough to realize
that any other policy would land her in trouble, so she devoted herself to literature, poetry, and
even theology, a subject more fashionable in those days than now, for theology was changing the
face of England in a way which we find it difficult to imagine.
When, upon Elizabeth's death, James was safely in possession of the throne, he acted
more liberally towards Arabella, allowing her apartments in the palace and settling an allowance
upon her. James's Queen, Anne of Denmark, liked Arabella and enjoyed her lively and
intelligent companionship, for Arabella was always ready to participate in the masques and
pageants which the Queen liked so much, and she became very popular at Court where she met
again an old childhood acquaintance, the handsome Sir William Seymour, son of Lord
Beauchamp, and their renewed attachment quickly turned into something more serious. They
were in love.