Sunday, 19 January 2020

House of Canning

The name of CANNING is derived from the Manor of Bishops Cannings, in Wiltshire, where the family was originally seated, and where the senior line continued until it terminated in co-heiresses in the time of HENRY VII.

A younger son settled in Bristol in the reign of EDWARD II, and the branch founded by him formed the most eminent family of that city during the 14th and 15th centuries.

WILLIAM CANYNGES represented Bristol in several successive parliaments, and was six times Mayor between 1360 and 1390.

He died in 1396, leaving, with other issue, JOHN CANYNGES, his son and heir, who was MP for Bristol, and also, in 1392 and 1398, Mayor.

This John Canynges died in 1405, leaving three sons and three daughters, all then under age: Thomas, his second son, was Lord Mayor of London, 1456-7; and William, his third son, was the celebrated Mayor of Bristol.

JOHN CANNINGES, the eldest son of John, was the father of THOMAS CANNINGES, who acquired the estate of Foxcote, by his marriage with Agnes, eldest daughter and co-heir of John Salmon.

Richard Canning, of Foxcote, the son and heir of Thomas and Agnes, was the grandfather of

RICHARD CANNINGE, of Foxcote, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Petty, of Ilmington, and had, with several other children, RICHARD, his heir; and GEORGE, ancestor of the BARONS GARVAGH and of the EARL CANNING.

The branch, of which the BARONS GARVAGH are members, removed into Ulster in the reign of ELIZABETH I, when

GEORGE CANNING, of Barton, Warwickshire (a military officer, it was presumed), youngest son of Richard Canning, of Foxcote, Warwickshire, agent of the Ironmongers' Company of London, married Anne, daughter of Gilbert Walker, and had issue,
WILLIAM, of whom we treat;
Edward (Rev);
Mary; Anne; Jane; Frances; Elizabeth.
Mr Canning obtained a grant of the manor of Garvagh, County Londonderry, from ELIZABETH I, and settled there.

He died about 1646, and was succeeded by his second son,

WILLIAM CANNING, of Garvagh, who was succeeded by his son,

GEORGE CANNING, of Garvagh, Lieutenant-Colonel, Londonderry Militia, who married Abigail, fourth daughter of Robert Stratford, MP for County Wicklow, 1662, and aunt of John, 1st Earl of Aldborough.

Mr Cannning died in 1711, and was succeeded by his only son,

STRATFORD CANNING (1703-75), of Garvagh, who married Letitia, daughter and heir of Obadiah Newburgh, of County Cavan, and had issue, 
PAUL, who succeeded at Garvagh;
Stratford, a London merchant; father of STRATFORD CANNING;
Mary; Jane Elizabeth; Frances; Letitia.
Mr Canning was succeeded by his second son,

PAUL CANNING (c1736-1784), of Garvagh, Colonel, Londonderry Militia, espoused, in 1776, Jane Charlotte, daughter of Conway Spencer, of County Antrim, and was succeeded by his only son,

GEORGE CANNING (1778-1840), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1818, by the title of BARON GARVAGH, of Garvagh, County Londonderry.

His lordship wedded, in 1803, Georgiana (d 1804), fourth daughter of Robert, 1st Marquess of Londonderry, by whom he had no issue.

He married secondly, in 1824, Rosabelle Charlotte Isabella, daughter of Henry Bonham MP, of Titness Park, Berkshire, and had issue,
Albert Stratford George;
Emmaline Rosabelle.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES HENRY SPENCER GEORGE, 2nd Baron, JP, DL (1826-71), who wedded, in 1851, Cecelia Susannah, daughter of John Ruggles-Brise, and had issue,
CHARLES JOHN SPENCER GEORGE, his successor;Conway Stratford George.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

CHARLES JOHN SPENCER GEORGE, 3rd Baron (1852-1915), JP DL, who espoused, in 1877, Florence Alice, daughter of Baron Joseph de Bretton, and had issue, an only child,

LEOPOLD ERNEST STRATFORD GEORGE, 4th Baron (1878-1956), JP DL, Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps, who married firstly, in 1904, Caroline Grace Elizabeth, daughter of Charles Ernest Rube; and secondly, in 1919, Dora, daughter of Bayley Parker, by whom he had issue,
ALEXANDER LEOPOLD IVOR GEORGE, his successor;Victor Stratford de Redcliffe;Dora Valerie Patricia; Daphne Rose.
4th Baron Garvagh,
Photo Credit: RAF Museum

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

(ALEXANDER LEOPOLD IVOR) GEORGE, 5th Baron (1920-2013), 
  • (Alexander Leopold Ivor) George Canning, 5th Baron (1920-2013);
  • Spencer George Stratford de Redcliffe Canning, 6th Baron (b 1953).
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, the Hon Stratford George Edward de Redcliffe Canning (b 1990).
© Garvagh House, The Sam Henry Collection, courtesy of the Craig Family

GARVAGH HOUSE is claimed to have been first built in the early 17th century and enlarged twice since then.

The house eventually evolved a late Georgian appearance, with a front of three bays between two, three-sided bows and an eaved roof on a bracket cornice.

There was a long enfilade of reception rooms, one having a modillion cornice and a Georgian bow; another with a broken pediment of a 19th century appearance over its door-case.

Garvagh Coat-of-arms
When the Canning family sold Garvagh House, it was used as flats for single female teachers, and some classrooms.

The house had fallen into disrepair over the years, suffering from wet and dry rot, and vermin infestation.

County Londonderry Education Committee decided to demolish Garvagh House and to build a new primary school on its site.

This was duly done and Garvagh Primary School opened in 1965.

The village of Garvagh is unique in that, unlike other villages in the county, it was not developed by the Irish Society, nor was it an ancient settlement.

It is, in fact, a private plantation; that is, a town set up over a period of nearly 300 years and developed by the local Lords of the Manor, the Cannings.

The family association with the Garvagh area began in 1615 when George Canning, of Foxcote in Warwickshire, was appointed the Agent for the Ironmongers' Company of London, a company actively involved in JAMES I's Plantation of Ulster. 

To begin with, the townland of Garvagh was not part of the Ulster Plantation, as it had been granted to Manus O'Cahan, the local Irish chief, as a native freehold. After the Great Irish Rebellion of 1641 the situation changed, when O'Cahan joined forces with Sir Phelim Roe O'Neill in the insurrection and, as a result, he lost the freehold.

In 1649, one of George Canning's sons, Paul Canning, acquired the townland of Garvagh and began to develop it, by first building St Paul's parish church, which initially was intended as a private chapel for him and his family. 

The Canning family continued to play an active part in the development of Garvagh until 1920 when they sold the estate and moved to England, exactly three centuries after they had established the first village.

The Garvagh Estate formerly extended to 8,427 acres.

Garvagh lies between Coleraine and Maghera.

There is a museum and heritage centre in the village.

Covering over 550 acres, Garvagh Forest is situated on the Western outskirts of the village, with trees from over 80 years old to those only planted at the turn of the century.

The final unusual habitat in Garvagh Forest is the Garvagh Pyramid, created as a burial chamber for Lord Garvagh in the 19th Century.

Unfortunately the pyramid was never allowed to fulfil the task it was designed for and was sealed shut, with no incumbent, a number of years ago.

First published in February, 2010.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Freemen of Belfast: 1940-50


44  Dr James Dunlop Williamson JP DL ~ 1942

45  The Rt Hon Bernard Law Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG GCB DSO PC ~ 1944

46  General Dwight D Eisenhower ~ 1945

47  The Rt Hon Harold Rupert Leofric George Earl Alexander of Tunis, KG GCB OM GCMG CSI DSO MC CD PC ~ 1945

48  The Rt Hon Alan Francis Viscount Alanbrooke, KG GCB OM GCVO DSO ~ 1945

49  HRH The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh [HM The Queen] ~ 1949

50  HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh ~ 1949

51  Sir William Frederick Neill JP DL ~ 1949

52  Lady Neill ~ 1949

53  The Rt Hon Basil Stanlake Viscount Brookeborough, KG CBE MC PC ~ 1950

54  The Rt Hon Cynthia Mary Viscountess Brookeborough, DBE ~ 1950

First published in 2012.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Howth Castle


The family of ST LAWRENCE has been very ancient in Ireland, having been settled at the seat at Howth from very early times; and were originally barons by tenure, from the reign of HENRY II, and subsequently confirmed by King JOHN.

The original surname of this very ancient family was Tristram, and it is said to have been exchanged for the present one, of ST LAWRENCE, under the following circumstances:-

A MEMBER of the house of TRISTRAM having the command of an army against the invaders of his native soil, attacked and totally routed them on St Lawrence's Day, near Clontarf, and assumed, in consequence of a vow made previously to the battle, the name of the saint, which his descendants have ever since borne.

The sword with which this warrior fought and vanquished still hangs in the hall of Howth, where the family has resided since its first arrival in Ireland, a period of seven centuries at least.

SIR ALMERIC TRISTRAM, first feudal Lord of Howth, brother-in-law and companion-in-arms of Sir John de Courcy, having, in 1177, effected a landing at Howth, defeated the Irish in a pitched battle, at Evora bridge, and obtained the lands and barony of Howth, as a reward for his distinguished valour during the conflict.

After this successful commencement, Sir Almeric, with his brother-in-law, Sir John de Courcy, reduced the whole province of Ulster; but in 1189, when Sir John was removed from the government of Ireland by RICHARD I, Sir Almeric, who was then in Connaught, being attacked by O'Connor, the king of that province, and overwhelmed by numbers, himself and his whole party, consisting of thirty knights and 200 infantrymen, perished to a man.

By the sister of Sir John de Courcy, Earl of Ulster, Sir Almeric left three sons, the two younger of whom were slain on Good Friday, 1203, in assisting their Uncle John against de Lacy's men in the churchyard of Downpatrick, County Down; and the eldest,

SIR NICHOLAS FITZ ALMERIC, was obliged to content himself with the lands of Howth, and relinquished to religious houses the conquests of his father in Ulster.

From this Sir Nicholas the Barony descended uninterruptedly to

CHRISTOPHER, 2nd Baron, son of Christopher (or Stephen) St Lawrence, 1st Baron Howth, who married, before 1435, Anne Plunkett, a relation the 1st Baron Killeen, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
William, an admiral;
Almeric, clerk of the rolls;
Lionel, precentor of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin;
Walter, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer.
Christopher St Lawrence died between 1462-5, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT (c1435-c1485), 3rd Baron; who was appointed, in 1478, Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland; and constituted, in 1483, LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND.

His lordship married, in 1478, Joan, second daughter of Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, by whom he had four sons and two daughters.

By this marriage Lord Howth's descendants derived descent from EDWARD III, and became inheritors of the blood royal.

The second son, Thomas, was appointed, in 1532, Attorney-General for Ireland; and, in 1535, Second Justice of the Court of King's Bench.

Sir Robert was succeeded by his eldest son,

NICHOLAS, 4th Baron (c1460-1526); who, for his fidelity to HENRY VII in the affair of Lambert Simnel, was presented by that monarch with 300 pieces of gold, and confirmed by charter, dated 1489, in the lands of Howth etc.

He subsequently attended Gerald, 8th Earl of Kildare, Lord Deputy of Ireland, at the famous battle of Knockdoe, in Connaught, fought against the Irish in 1504, where his lordship headed the billmen on foot.

His lordship was appointed LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND in 1509; and dying in 1526, was succeeded by his eldest son by his first wife Genet, only daughter of Sir Christopher Plunkett, 3rd Baron Killeen,

CHRISTOPHER, 5th Baron (c1485-1542), who was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD, 6th Baron (1508-49), who died without male issue and was succeeded by his brother,

RICHARD, 7th Baron (c1510-58), at whose decease, without issue, the lineal heirship of whatever honours accrued to the family of ROBERT'S intermarriage, as above, with Joan, one of the co-heirs of Edmund, 2nd Duke of Somerset, devolved upon his lordship's two sisters, ANNE and ALISON; while the Irish barony of Howth passed over undisputedly to the nearest heir male of the family, according to the usual course.

This happened to be his brother,

CHRISTOPHER, 8th Baron, generally called the "Blind Lord", who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Plunket, of Beaulieu, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1589, by his eldest son,

NICHOLAS, 9th Baron (c1550-1607), who espoused firstly, Margaret, daughter of Sir Christopher Barnewall; and secondly, Mary, daughter of Sir Nicholas White, of Leixlip, Master of the Rolls in Ireland.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son by his first marriage,

CHRISTOPHER, 10th Baron (c1568-1619), a colonel of infantry who commanded the rear of the vanguard at the battle of Carlingford, in 1600, under Lord Deputy Mountjoy, against Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone.

His lordship wedded Elizabeth, daughter of John Wentworth, of Little Horkesley, Yorkshire, and had two sons, NICHOLAS and Thomas, and one daughter, Margaret.

He was succeeded by his elder son,

NICHOLAS, 11th Baron (1597-1643), who married, in 1615, Jane, only surviving daughter and heir of the Rt Rev George Montgomery, Lord Bishop of Derry, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Susanna; Frances; Elizabeth; Margaret.
His lordship was succeeded by his only surviving son,

WILLIAM, 12th Baron (1628-71), who wedded Elizabeth, widow of Colonel Ftizwilliam, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Mary, m Henry, 3rd Earl of Mount Alexander;
Martha, m Hugh, son of Sir Bryan O'Neill Bt.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

THOMAS, 13th Baron (1659-1727), who sat in JAMES II's parliament of 1689, as he did in 1692, the first parliament after the Revolution, and signed the association and declaration, in 1697, in defence of the person and government of WILLIAM III, and the succession as settled by act of parliament.

He wedded, in 1687, Mary, eldest daughter of 2nd Viscount Barnewall of Kingsland, and had, with several sons, a daughter, Elizabeth.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 14th Baron (1688-1748), who espoused, in 1729, Lucy, younger daughter of Lieutenant-General Richard Gorges, and by her had a daughter, Mary, and two sons.

The elder son,

THOMAS, 15th Baron (1730-1801), was created, in 1767, Viscount St Lawrence and EARL OF HOWTH.

His lordship was sworn, in the following year, of His Majesty's privy council in Ireland; and in consideration of his own and his ancestors' services, obtained, in 1776, a pension of £500 a year.

He wedded, in 1750, Isabella, daughter of Sir Edward King Bt, and sister of Edward, 1st Earl of Kingston, and had issue,
WILLIAM, of whom we treat;
Thomas (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Cork and Ross;
Isabella; Elizabeth; Frances 
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 2nd Earl (1752-1822), who married firstly, in 1777, Mary, 2nd daughter and co-heiress of Thomas, Earl of Louth, and had issue,
Harriet; Isabella; Matilda; Mary.
His lordship wedded secondly, Margaret, daughter of William Burke, of Glinsk, County Galway, by whom he left
THOMAS, his successor;
Catherine; Elizabeth.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

THOMAS, 3rd Earl (1803-74), Knight of St Patrick, 1835, Vice-Admiral of the Province of Leinster, Lord-Lieutenant of County Dublin, 1851-74, who espoused, in 1826, the Lady Emily de Burgh, daughter of the 1st Marquess of Clanricarde KP, and had issue,
Emily; Catherine Elizabeth; Mary.
His lordship's only son and heir,

WILLIAM ULICK TRISTRAM, 4th Earl (1827-1909), KP,
Captain, 7th Hussars 1847-50; High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1854; State Steward to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1855-58 and 1859-66; MP for Galway Borough, 1868-74; Vice-Admiral of the Province of Leinster; Knight of St Patrick, 1884.
The 4th Earl died without male issue, in 1909, when the titles expired.

HOWTH CASTLE, County Dublin, has been the stronghold of the St Lawrence family for hundreds of years.

Initially a timber fort was built on Tower Hill before a permanent stone-walled Norman castle was constructed.

The residence gradually evolved over the centuries into a palatial mansion.

The architect Sir Edwin Lutyens restyled the current castle built in 1464.

Howth Castle is possibly the oldest family home in Ireland.

During the period when many of the remaining castles and houses of the Anglo-Irish landed families were destroyed by republicans, Howth Castle remained untouched. 
In 1576, it is said that after the pirate Grace O'Malley was refused entry to Howth Castle, she captured the Earl of Howth's grandson. He was released on condition that in future, unexpected visitors would be recieved at Howth Castle. The St Lawrence family proudly continued this tradition for centuries. 
Burke's describes Howth Castle as being a rambling and romantic castle on the Hill of Howth, which forms part of the northern side of Dublin Bay.

It is basically a massive medieval keep, with corner towers crenellated in the Irish "crow-step" fashion, to which additions have been made through its 800 years.


Almeric built his castle of wood above the harbour but it is evident from a deed that by 1235 a new castle had been built on the present site in the middle of the fertile land.

This again would have been built in wood.

The earliest extant parts of the present structure date from the mid-fifteenth century.

The house has been extensively altered by succeeding generations to adapt it to their times, most notably in 1738, when the house took on its current appearance and again in 1911 when Sir Edwin Lutyens renovated and added to the house.

It is still possible to see evidence of the alterations that have been made and infer what was there before. This gives a remarkable insight into how historic houses evolved in Ireland over the centuries.

The current building is not the original Howth Castle, which was on the high slopes by the village and the sea.

The English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens restyled a 14th century castle built here, overlooking Dublin Bay.

Parts of the original bawn and towers survive though mainly encased in later additions – the large gateway tower is illustrated here.

During 1910-11 he added or renovated the tower, loggia, corridors, library, and a chapel.

He added a three-bay two-storey library block, built 1910 in tower house form, with basement and dormer attic.

Square plan corner turrets to south-west and north-east facades. Incorporating fabric of earlier structures, 1738 and ca 1840.

Over the previous hundred years or so, the list of architects who have worked on the castle or proposed alterations included: Richard Morrison (1810) for a Gothic gateway, for William St Lawrence, 2nd Earl; Francis Johnston proposed alterations in 1825, as did James Pain; Francis Bindon proposed alterations in 1838.

Richard Morrison partly executed his planned alterations of around 1840 including gothicization of the stables.

Principal rooms of note include the dining-room, the library and the chapel.


Howth Castle remains the private residence of the Gaisford-St Lawrence family.

The house is not normally open to the public, but the family recognises that there is an understandable interest in it and its contents.

The fact that the house has been home to the same family for so long is what makes it unique.

Unlike many other houses of its size it is not a museum or a hotel but a home.

The Kitchen in the Castle Cookery School, which operates from the original Georgian kitchen in the house gives a wide range of courses and demonstrations through the year.


In 1892, Rosa Mulholland referred to the grounds thus:
“Back on the lower land you must visit the ancient demesne of the Earl of Howth, where a quaint old castle stands in a prim garden with swan-inhabited pond, and plashing fountain, encircled by dark beautiful woods full of lofty cathedral-like aisles, moss carpeted, and echoing with the cawing of rooks."
In recent years, the 17th classical landscape was totally obliterated to make for a golf course.

The grounds are noted for the wild rhododendron gardens, which are open to the public in summer and some of the oldest, planted in 1710, beech hedges.

The castle itself is not open to the public.

The "Kitchen in the Castle Cookery School" is based in the restored Georgian kitchens of Howth Castle.

The National Transport Museum of Ireland is located in the grounds of the castle. It features lorries, trucks, fire engines and tractors.

Also within the grounds are the Deer Park Hotel and its associated golf courses.

First published in August, 2011.  Howth arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Princess Royal in NI

THE PRINCESS ROYAL is spending two days in Northern Ireland.

Her Royal Highness, Colonel-in-Chief, the Royal Logistic Corps, visited 152 (North Irish) Regiment at Palace Barracks, Holywood, County Down.

On Thursday afternoon Her Royal Highness visited HMP Maghaberry, near Lisburn, County Antrim, in her role as Patron of the Butler Trust, and was received by the Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell.

HRH was shown the new Davis House facility.

Princess Anne later visited the SlurryKat slurry equipment company in Waringstown, County Down, and was received by Dr Robert Logan DL.

I don't subscribe to any newspapers so, like everybody else, I'm reliant on others to keep me apprised of royal visits.

In this instance the Antrim Lieutenancy most helpfully issued a blog post this morning.

I scanned the BBC Northern Ireland news website this morning (at 07:52) and there was no mention of the Princess Royal's visit.

Riversdale House


The earliest reference to the Archdale family relates to Sir Edward Archdale, of Norsom, Norfolk, and Macclesfield, Cheshire, who lived during the reigns of HENRY IV and HENRY V, and fought at the battle of Agincourt, 1415.

The first of the family to settle in Ulster, during the reign of ELIZABETH I, was 

JOHN ARCHDALE (1578-1621), of Darsham, Suffolk, who married Katherine, eldest daughter of Sir William Temple, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin.

In 1612, John Archdale was granted 1,000 acres of land in County Fermanagh as part of the plantation of Ulster.

This gentleman, by the inscription over the gateway in the ruinous castle, appears to have erected the old mansion house of Archdale.

By his wife he had issue, two sons,
EDWARD, his heir;
John, Vicar of Luske.
Mr Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD ARCHDALE, who espoused Angel, daughter of Sir Paul Gore Bt (ancestor of the Gores, Earls of Ross etc) and had issue, WILLIAM.

During his time, the castle which his father had erected was taken and burned by the rebels under Sir Phelim O'Neill, in 1641, and only two children of a numerous family survived.

One, a daughter, who was absent and married; the other, an infant son, WILLIAM, preserved by the fidelity of his nurse, an Irish Roman Catholic, which

WILLIAM ARCHDALE JP, of old Castle Archdale, after succeeding to the estates, married, in 1677, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Mervyn, of Omagh Castle and Trillick, both in County Tyrone, and had issue,
MERVYN, his heir;
EDWARD, heir to his brother;
ANGEL, heiress to her brother.
He was succeeded by his elder son,

MERVYN ARCHDALE (1685-1726), of Castle Archdale, who died unmarried in 1726 and was succeeded by his brother,

EDWARD ARCHDALE (1694-1728), of Castle Archdale, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1722,  a captain in Sir Gustavus Hume's Regiment of Dragoons, who married firstly, in 1728, Frances, daughter of Sir John Caldwell Bt; and secondly, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Cole, of Florence Court.

Dying without issue, however, the estates devolved upon his only sister,

ANGEL ARCHDALE (c1688-1745), of Castle Archdale, who thus became heiress and representative of the family.

Miss Archdale espoused NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY, of Derrygonnelly, County Fermanagh, MP for Fermanagh, 1731, who assumed the surname and arms of ARCHDALE, and left, at her decease, an only son,

MERVYN ARCHDALE JP (c1724-1813), of Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh, and Trillick, County Tyrone, MP for Fermanagh, 1761-1800, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1773, who married, in 1762, Mary, daughter of William Henry, 1st Viscount Carlow, and sister of John, 1st Earl of Portarlington, by whom he had issue,
MERVYN, his heir;
Edward, father of
Mary; Angel; Elizabeth; Sidney.
Mr Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,

GENERAL MERVYN ARCHDALE (1763-1839), of Castle Archdale, and Trillick, County Tyrone, MP for County Fermanagh, 1802-34, who wedded, in 1805, Jane, daughter of Gustavus Rochfort MP, of Rochfort, County Westmeath.

General Archdale was returned for the tenth time for Fermanagh at the general election of 1832.

He resigned on account of ill-health in 1834; and died of a stroke in 1839, when he was remembered as ‘a gallant soldier, a good landlord, a kind friend and a staunch Conservative’.

By his will, dated 1829, he made provision for his relations, including his ‘reputed’ children Henry and Jane Grey, but left his residual estate to his brother Colonel William Archdale (1768-1857).

He, in turn, was succeeded to Castle Archdale by his nephews (Edward’s sons) Mervyn Edward (1812-95) and William Humphrys (1813-99), Conservative MPs for Fermanagh, 1834-74 and 1874-85, respectively.

Five members of the family, over four generations, therefore provided representatives for the county in an unbroken run of 154 years.

General Archdale's brother,

EDWARD ARCHDALE JP DL (1775-1864), of Riversdale, County Fermanagh, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1813, espoused, in 1809, Matilda, daughter of William Humphrys, and had issue,
Mervyn Edward;
William Humphrys Mervyn;
Henry Montgomery;
NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY, of whom hereafter;
Hugh Montgomery;
Audley Mervyn;
James Mervyn;
Richmal Magnall;
Mary; Letitia Jane; Matilda.
The fifth son,

NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY ARCHDALE JP DL (1820-77), of Riversdale and Crocknacrieve, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1861, married, in 1852, Adelaide Mary, daughter of Rev John Grey Porter, and had issue,
EDWARD MERVYN, his heir;
John Porter;
William Henry;
Henry Butler;
Nicholas Francis;
Theodore Montgomery;
Margaret Eleanor; Matilda Lavinia.
Mr Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR EDWARD MERVYN ARCHDALE, 1ST BARONET, JP DL (1853-1943), who married, in 1880, Alicia Bland, daughter of Quintin Fleming;
High Sheriff of Fermanagh, 1884; MP for North Fermanagh, 1898-1903 and 1916-22; Lieutenant-Commander, Royal Navy; Privy Counsellor [Ireland] in 1921; MP for Tyrone and Fermanagh,1921-1929; NI Minister of Agriculture, 1921 and 1933; Privy Counsellor, Northern Ireland, 1922; MP for Enniskillen, 1929-43.
Sir Edward Archdale Bt, Photo Credit: Ulster Museum

Mr Archdale was created a baronet in 1928, designated of Riversdale, County Fermanagh.

His eldest son,

VICE-ADMIRAL SIR NICHOLAS EDWARD ARCHDALE, 2nd Baronet (1881-1955), CBE, married, in 1920, Gerda Henriette, daughter of Frederik Christian Sievers;
fought in the 1st World War, with the submarine flotillas; Aide-de-Camp to GEORGE V in 1929; General Inspector, NI Ministry of Home Affairs, 1931-46. Sir Edward distinguished himself in the Royal Navy.
His eldest son,

CAPTAIN SIR EDWARD (Ted) FOLMER ARCHDALE (1921-2009), 3rd Baronet, DSC, RN, married, in 1954, Elizabeth Ann Stewart, daughter of Maj-Gen Wilfred Boyd Fellowes Lukis; divorced 1978.

He was educated at Copthorne School, Copthorne, Sussex, and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth; awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1943; fought in the 2nd World War, where he was mentioned in despatches; Captain, Royal Navy.

Sir Edward distinguished himself in the Royal Navy , serving as aide-de-camp to HM The Queen prior to his retirement in 1971. He lived at Comber, County Down.

Sir Nicholas Edward Archdale, 4th and present Baronet, was born in 1965.

RIVERSDALE HOUSE, near Ballycassidy, County Fermanagh, a Georgian mansion of pre-1833, was the seat of the Archdale Baronets,  scions of the Archdales of Castle Archdale.

The Northern Ireland forest service afforested the grounds and demolished Riversdale and its two gate lodges in 1960.

I have received the following information from Peter Archdale, a great-grandson of the 1st Baronet:
As far as I know, Riversdale was built sometime between 1800 and 1817 by Edward Archdale (above), 3rd son of Mervyn Archdall and the Hon Mary Dawson.

He died in 1864, when the property passed to his second son William Humphrys Mervyn Archdall. The latter died without an heir in 1889, so the house and land passed to his nephew, my great-grandfather Edward Mervyn Archdale.

Attached is a photo (bottom) of his family taken in 1932. Edward Mervyn Archdale farmed Riversdale and also had large farms at Rossahilly and Crocknacrieve - almost 1,000 acres.

"His original estate was 5,300 acres and he was one of the first landlords to sell to his tenants.

He moved to his late uncle's house at Riversdale in 1897, but during the five years 1898-1903 while he represented North Fermanagh, he rented a house in Warwick Square for his family."

"During his later service as an MP, he also maintained a house in 36 Belgrave Road, SW. He sold Crocknacrieve and about 250 acres of land to John West, uncle of Harry West, for £2000 who in turn sold it to the Loanes in 1921.

"John West then bought Rossahilly."

"He became a Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant for Fermanagh, was High Sheriff of the county in 1884."

"He sat in Parliament for North Fermanagh, as a Unionist, from Apr 1897 to 1903 and again from 1916-1922, for the same county, being made a Privy Councillor on 7 Mar 1921, and Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Commerce in the Ulster Parliament in 1921-33."

"...Imperial Grand Master of the Loyal Orange Institution from 1926 to 1937 and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland from 1924 to 1940."

"President of Belfast Chamber of Commerce 1929. In 1926 Queen's University Belfast awarded him the honorary degree of LL.D. Created Baronet 25 June 1928."

"On Edward Mervyn Archdale’s death in 1943 the estate passed to his son, Vice-Admiral Nicholas Edward Archdale (above), who felt he was unable to maintain the property and so sold it to the NI Ministry of Agriculture in 1947, who subsequently pulled down the house in the 1960s, but kept the stables for offices and general storage."

I am grateful to Peter Archdale, who sent me the pictures of Riversdale House and the Archdale family.   First published in January, 2012.

The Blackwood Baronets (1814)


SIR JOHN BLACKWOOD, BARONET (1721-99), of Ballyleidy, County Down, married Dorcas, eldest daughter and heiress of James Stevenson, of Killyleagh (by Anne, youngest daughter of Lieutenant-General Nicholas Price, of Hollymount), which lady was created a peeress in 1800, after his decease, in the dignity of BARONESS DUFFERIN AND CLANEBOYE, of Ballyleidy and Killyleagh, County Down.

He had issue,
Robert, MP for Killyleagh, 1776-86; died unmarried;
James Stevenson, 2nd Baron Dufferin and Claneboye;
John (Rev), in holy orders;
Hans, 3rd Baron Dufferin and Claneboye;
HENRY, of whom we treat;
Anne; Sophia; Dorcas; Catherine.
The youngest son,

VICE-ADMIRAL THE HON SIR HENRY BLACKWOOD KCB GCH (1770-1832), of Blackwood House, 7, Cornwall Terrace, Regent's Park, London, who, having attained high rank in the Royal Navy, was created a baronet in 1814, designated of the Navy.

Sir Henry married firstly, in 1795, Jane Mary, second daughter of Launcelot Crosbie, of Tubrid, and was left a widower, in 1798, without issue.

His second wife was Eliza, fourth daughter of Captain Martin Waghorn RN, by whom he had an only son,
HENRY MARTIN, his successor.
Sir Henry wedded thirdly, in 1808, Harriet, daughter of Francis Gore, and had further issue,
Arthur Johnstone;
Francis Price, Commander RN;
Cornwall Terrace, Regent's Park, London

There is a white marble tablet to Sir Henry in Westminster Abbey:-
Sacred to the memory of Vice Admiral the Honourable Sir Henry Blackwood, Bart. [Baronet], K.C.B., G.C.H. who died Decr. the 13th 1832 aged sixty three years, fifty one of which he had spent in the active service of his profession, distinguished by his energy, promptitude and bravery, qualities which derived additional lustre from the virtues which adorned his personal character; 
With valour combining a strong sense of religion and the elevation of an upright noble mind with all the endearing feelings of a manly, generous and benevolent heart. 
This tribute of sorrow and affection to the memory of one so justly honored and beloved is offered by his deeply afflicted widow and his surviving children.
Admiral Blackwood was buried in the family vault at Killyleagh parish church.

Sir Henry, bearer of the dispatches announcing the decisive victory of Trafalgar, was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR HENRY MARTIN BLACKWOOD, 2nd Baronet (1801-51), Captain, Royal Navy, who married, in 1826, Harriet Louisa, youngest daughter of John Matthew Bulkeley, and had issue, with three other daughters,
HENRY, 3rd Baronet;
FRANCIS, 4th Baronet;
Georgina Louisa.
His eldest son,

SIR HENRY BLACKWOOD, 3rd Baronet (1828-54), Lieutenant, Royal Navy, died unmarried and was succeeded by his brother,

SIR FRANCIS BLACKWOOD, 4th Baronet (1838–1924), Captain, Royal Navy, who espoused firstly, in 1861, Laura Olivia, daughter of Robert Samuel Palmer, and had issue,
HENRY ROBERT TEMPLE (1862-1910), father of 5th and 6th Baronets;
Laura Gwendolene.
He wedded secondly, in 1871, Dorothea Frances, daughter of the Rev Henry Quicke, and had further issue,
Francis Edward;
Maurice Baldwin Raymond;
Neville Foster;
Ida Dorothy.
Sir Francis was succeeded by his grandson,

SIR HENRY PALMER TEMPLE BLACKWOOD, 5th Baronet (1896–1948), who fought in the 1st World War with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and was succeeded by his brother,

SIR FRANCIS ELLIOT TEMPLE BLACKWOOD, 6th Baronet (1901-79), Assistant Vice-President of Crocker-Citizens' National Bank, Sacramento, California, USA.

He died without male issue.

Sir Francis George Blackwood, 7th Baronet (1916-91) succeeded as the Baron Dufferin and Claneboye in 1988.

After the extinction of the male line of 4th Baron Dufferin and Claneboye (and the entirety of the Marquessate of Dufferin and Ava), the barony of Dufferin and Claneboye reverted to the male line of the youngest son of the first baroness, viz. the Blackwood Baronets of the Navy.

The 11th Baron Dufferin and Claneboye, who lives in Australia, is the 8th Baronet.

First published in November, 2010.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Meenglass House


THE RT HON JAMES HEWITT (1709-89), having attained great eminence at the English bar, and filled successively the offices of King's First Sergeant and judge of the Court of King's Bench, was appointed, in 1767, LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND, and elevated to the peerage, in 1768, in the dignity of Baron Lifford, of Lifford, County Donegal.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1781, as VISCOUNT LIFFORD.

He married firstly, in 1749,  Mary, only daughter and co-heiress of the Venerable Dr Rice Williams, Archdeacon of Carmarthen, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
William Williams;
Joseph, a judge;
John, in holy orders.
His lordship wedded secondly, Ambrosia, daughter of the Rev Charles Bayley, of Knavestock, in Essex, and by that lady had George, Ambrosia, and Elizabeth, all who died unmarried.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE VERY REV JAMES, 2nd Viscount (1751-1830), Dean of Armagh, who wedded firstly, in 1776, Henrietta Judith, eldest daughter of Arthur, 1st Viscount Harberton, but by that lady had no issue.

He espoused secondly, in 1781, Alicia, eldest daughter of the Ven John Oliver, Archdeacon of Ardagh, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
John Pratt, in holy orders.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, 3rd Viscount (1783-1855), who married, in 1809, Mary Anne Maria, 8th daughter of Cornwallis, 1st Viscount Hawarden, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
John James;
Alicia Anne; Susan; Anne Georgiana.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, 4th Viscount (1811-87), DL, who espoused, in 1835, the Lady Mary Acheson, eldest daughter of Archibald, 2nd Earl of Gosford, and had numerous issue, including
JAMES WILFRED, his successor;
Evelyn John;
Archibald Robert, succeeded his brother;
Mary Anne.
ARCHIBALD ROBERT,  6th Viscount (1844-1925), Captain, Royal Navy.

His son,

EVELYN JAMES, 7th Viscount (1880-1954), DSO, fought in both the Second Boer War and the First World War.

He was succeeded by his cousin,

ALAN WILLIAM WINGFIELD, 8th Viscount, son of the Hon George Wyldbore Hewitt, seventh son of the 4th Viscount.

As of 2010 the titles are held by his son, Edward James Wingfield, 9th Viscount (b 1949).

MEENGLASS HOUSE, sometimes spelt Meenglas, near Stranorlar, County Donegal, was a Victorian house in a simple Tudor-Revival style with steep roofs and gables; mullioned windows, relatively small for the size of the house.

It had a three-sided bow; and a dormer window with tracery; a slender, square turret at the junction of the main block and service wing, with a sprocketed pyramidal roof.

The 1st Viscount resided at Santry House, Dublin, for a period.

First published in May, 2013.   Lifford arms courtesy of European Heraldry.