Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Armagh Palace

DEDICATED TO THE MOST REV DR RICHARD LIONEL CLARKE, 105TH LORD ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH, PRIMATE OF ALL IRELAND AND METROPOLITAN, DURING WHOSE PERIOD IN OFFICE THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN


Archbishops of Armagh resided mainly in Drogheda or Dublin (where they sat in the Irish House of Lords) and stayed at Armagh only when necessary.

Archbishop Robinson, however, determined to live as often as possible in Armagh.

His Grace, however, disliked the Lord Primates' official residence at the time.

Despite renovations, it still did not meet the Archbishop's expectations.

He therefore decided to have a new palace built on 300 acres of church land to the south of the city.


The Palace, Armagh, was erected by Primate Robinson in 1770.

This is an elegant, though chaste and unostentatious structure.

It is ninety feet in length, sixty feet wide, and forty feet in height.

It is of nine bays, the side elevation being five bays.


The Palace originally comprised two storeys over a high, rusticated basement.


It was erected to the design of Thomas Cooley, by Archbishop Robinson, afterwards elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Rokeby.

Garden Front

A third storey was added in 1786.

Some time later, a substantial enclosed porch was added, with pairs of Ionic columns set at an angle to the front.


Adjacent to the entrance front is the handsome Primatial Chapel, in the style of an Ionic temple.

Its exterior, also by Cooley, is of 1770; though the interior was fitted out three years later, in 1784, by Francis Johnston.


The chapel's interior is said to be one of the most beautiful surviving Irish ecclesiastical interiors, boasting a coffered, barrel-vaulted ceiling; a delicate frieze; Corinthian pilasters; a gallery; magnificent panelling; and pews.

*****

UNTIL tenure in office of Primate Robinson, archbishops of Armagh were not provided with a place of residence in keeping with the revenues of the office.

During less peaceful times, when nothing was left of either city or churches, a precedent was formed for living elsewhere in the diocese, and for a considerable space the Lord Primates had palaces at Drogheda and Termonfeckin, County Louth.

During St Patrick 's time, the Primatial residence was situated on a part of the hill crowned by the Cathedral.

Bishopscourt, in Mullinure, north-northeast of the city, was a residence, and it is recorded that there were rooms for the Archbishop in the Culdee Priory.

When Dr Robinson was appointed Primate, the residence was in English Street.

Ninety-one numerous plantations then started in the splendid demesne, adding greatly to the beauty of the scenery surrounding the city.

Primate Stuart walled the demesne at a cost of £20,000, reserving for his successors in the archbishopric the privilege of sharing in this needful expenditure.

Lord John George Beresford, appointed to the primacy in 1822, raised the palace from three to four storeys, thereby greatly increasing the dignity of the structure.


At the upper end of the demesne, the ground ascends to a point called Knox 's Hill.

On this there is a marble obelisk, erected by Primate Robinson in 1783, to perpetuate the memory of his friendship with the 1st Duke of Northumberland (Lord Lieutenant of Ireland), through whose instrumentality he had been translated to Armagh from the bishopric of Kildare.

The obelisk is 113 feet in height, and it is due to Dr Robinson 's memory to say that its erection was suggested as a means of honourable employment for the people of Armagh during a time of severe distress.

The lands surrounding the palace became a demesne by Act of Council, dated 1769.

Until then, the residence of the archbishops had not been legally transferred from Drogheda.

Archbishop Knox, in order that the Palace may be available for residence by his successors, began a fund in 1888.

This was rendered necessary through changes arising out of the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland.

The Mall, before Primate Robinson tenure, was a swampy common and the road now surrounding it was a race-course.

By an Act of GEORGE III it was granted to the Lord Primate for useful purposes.

In 1797, Primate Newcombe, successor to Primate Robinson, leased it to the Sovereign and Burgesses of Armagh, for the purpose of being transformed into "a public walk for the people."

This was accomplished by subscription, in a creditable manner.

The Most Rev George Otto Simms was the last Primate to live at the palace.

Fourteen of the one hundred and four archbishops have resided at the palace.

The archiepiscopal palace is now the council offices of Armagh City Council.

The walled demesne referred to by Inglis in 1834 as, ‘… in excellent order … laid out with much taste …’ is largely parkland.

The ground undulates and the palace is on high ground, with fine views of the city and the Anglican cathedral.

The original planting set off the house and the vistas.

To the north it is now a public grassed area, with mature parkland trees (chiefly sycamore); and to the south it is grazing, with a stand of 19th century exotic trees near the house.

A belt of woodland on high ground to the west of the northern section of the parkland affords necessary protection.

A golf course now occupies the north-eastern section.

The walled garden is at the north end, with a garden house.

It is not cultivated though used by the rugby club.

There are modern ornamental gardens on the south side of the palace, and a 1990s garden on the west side, near the primatial chapel.

A fine 19th century glasshouse and ice house also lie to the west of the house and there is another ice house near the main entrance.

The stables and coach yard  have been converted for tourism.

The entrance gates were moved when the road was altered and this unfortunate development effectively cut the demesne off from the city, though the grounds are open to the general public.

The 18th century gate lodge has been demolished and only one of three remains.
UNTIL the early 19th century, the Primate's Castle, Termonfeckin, County Louth, was used for several centuries by archbishops of Armagh as an auxiliary residence to their archiepiscopal quarters in nearby Drogheda.
After the Reformation, several of the archbishops of the established church resided periodically at Termonfeckin. The castle's most famous occupant at that time was the Most Rev James Ussher, Lord Archbishop of Armagh from 1625-56.
He used the castle in Termonfeckin for much of his term until 1640, when he departed for England, never to return. The castle was damaged in the Irish rebellion of 1641 and was not repaired. It fell into disuse and was eventually demolished ca 1830.
First published in December, 2012.

Holyhill House

THE SINCLAIRS OWNED 2,152 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TYRONE


THE REV JOHN SINCLAIR, son of James Sinclair of the Caithness family, was the first of the family who settled at Holyhill, County Tyrone.

Mr Sinclair, Rector of Leckpatrick, 1665-6, was succeeded by JOHN his son, father of JOHN, whose son,

WILLIAM SINCLAIR, who died before his father, married Isabella, daughter of Thomas Young, of Lough Eske, County Donegal, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
Thomas;
Rebecca.
The eldest son,

JAMES SINCLAIR DL (1772-1865), of Holyhill, wedded, in 1805, Dorothea, daughter and heir of the Rev Samuel Law, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
James;
Alexander Montgomery;
Mary; Dorothea; Marion; Rebecca; Ann; Isabella; Caroline Elizabeth.
Mr Sinclair was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM SINCLAIR JP DL (1810-96), of Holyhill, County Tyrone, and Drumbeg, County Donegal, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1854, Barrister, who espoused, in 1830, Sarah, daughter of James Cranborne Strode, and had issue,
JAMES MONTGOMERY, his heir;
William Frederic;
William Frederic;
Donald Brooke;
Alfred Law, Lt-Col, DSO;
Jemima Sarah; Dorothea Mary.
Mr Sinclair was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES MONTGOMERY SINCLAIR JP (1841-99), of Holyhill and Bonnyglen, Inver, County Donegal, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1899, who married, in 1868, Mary Everina, youngest daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Barton, of The Waterfoot, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
WILLIAM HUGH MONTGOMERY, his heir;
Everina Mary Caroline; Rosabel.
Mr Sinclair was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM HUGH MONTGOMERY SINCLAIR (1868-1930), of Holyhill and Bonnyglen, called to the Irish Bar, 1897; Vice-Consul at Manilla, 1900-02; at Boston, 1902-4; Buenos Aires, 1904-7; Emden, 1907-9; Consul for the States of Bahia and Sergipe, 1909.

Mr Sinclair wedded, in 1924, Elizabeth Elliot (Bessie) Hayes, of Philadelphia, USA, though the marriage was without issue.


HOLYHILL HOUSE, near Strabane, County Tyrone, is a plain, three-storey, five-bay Georgian house.

The demesne and house, located in the townland of Hollyhill and the parish of Leckpatrick, date from the late 17th century.

Holyhill House, whitewashed, three-storey with five bays, seems be ca 1736, when William Starratt surveyed of the estate.

It was originally attached in front of an earlier house, which was removed in the early 19th century and replaced with the present building.

*****

William Hugh Montgomery Sinclar served from 1900 in the consular service in Manilla, Boston and Buenos Aires, during which time his mother sold off most of the estate to its tenants between 1904-05 under the terms of the 1903 Land Act.

William Sinclair married the American heiress Elizabeth Elliott Hayes.

Upon her death in 1957, the estate was left to a distant Sinclair relation, Major-General Sir Allan Adair Bt, who sold many of the heirlooms and burned a lot of the estate records.

Sir Allan sold the property in 1983 to Hamilton Thompson, a Strabane pharmacist.


During the Plantation of Ulster, the lands were held by the 1st Earl of Abercorn, who granted them sometime before 1611 to his younger brother, Sir George Hamilton, of Greenlaw, who built a timber house that year.

A document of ca 1680 records that
“Ballyburny alias Holihill” belonged to “James Hamilton Esq. a Minor Sonne to Sir George Hamilton ye Elder” before 1641 and was distributed to Sir George Hamilton afterwards. 
This first house was burned in 1641, and at some time thereafter the property was granted to the family’s agent in the Strabane barony, David Maghee, whose son, Captain George Magee, sold the house to the Rev John Sinclair, who came to Ulster from Caithness and was instituted in the parish of Leckpatrick (in which Holyhill is located), in 1665-66, and to Camus, 1668”.
The residence purchased was rebuilt after 1641, either by James Hamilton or one of his immediate descendants.

The Rev John Sinclair purchased Holyhill with incomes from two parishes: his 1703 memorial re-erected in Leckpatrick Parish Church lauds his staunch defence of the established church and persecution of dissenters.

The Abercorn Papers contain numerous letters about and between Lord Abercorn and Mr Sinclair going back as early as 1749.

In 1756, Lord Abercorn wrote to his agent, Nathaniel Nisbitt,
“When you chance to see Mr Sinclair of Hollyhill, tell him I have not the counterpart of his deed of Holyhill; and that I therefore desire he will give me a copy of it. If he seems to think his title called in question, you may say you know of no such thing, but that you believe I am desirous of having my privileges ascertained.”
On his retirement in 1757, Nisbitt recommended to Lord Abercorn that Sinclair take his place as he was “a rough honest man.

With income as Abercorn's agent, John expanded his demesne in the late 1760s.

He was succeeded at Holyhill by son George, who had been apprenticed to a linen merchant.

George Sinclair died in Limerick between 1803-04, with his body being buried in the old parish graveyard in 1804.

George was succeeded by his nephew, James, who later served as JP in counties Donegal and Tyrone, and took part in parliamentary inquiries in the 1830s and 1840s, including the Devon Commission and the inquiry into the Orange Order, which he held in very low regard, and spoke in favour of Catholic Emancipation at a public meeting of “the nobility, gentry, clergy and freeholders of the County of Tyrone”.

*****

The house is set in a maintained ornamental garden with herbaceous borders and lawns.

A water garden was added in the 1970s.

There are mature trees beyond, in what was described by Young in 1909 as a, ‘… richly wooded park.’

These form a shelter belt round this fine parkland, together with and stands of woodland.

The walled garden is partly cultivated and retains glasshouses.

First published in February, 2017.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Castle Gore

THE EARLS OF ARRAN WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MAYO, WITH 29,644 ACRES


This family deduces from

GERARD GORE (c1516-1607), citizen, Merchant Taylor, and Alderman of the City of London at the close of the 16th century, who married Helen, daughter of Ralph Davenant, of Davenant Land, Essex.

He died at the advanced age of 91, having had eight sons, of whom,
RICHARD, the eldest, MP for London, d leaving 7 daughters;
JOHN (Sir), 4th son, Lord Mayor of London, 1624;
PAUL (Sir), of whom presently.
The youngest son,

SIR PAUL GORE (1567-1629), captain of a troop of horse, went over to Ireland with his regiment in the reign of ELIZABETH I, and obtaining large grants of land, which he condensed into a manor, designated Manor Gore, settled there.

Captain Gore wedded Isabella, daughter of Francis Wickliffe, and niece of Thomas, Earl of Strafford, and had issue,
RALPH, ancestor of the extinct house of GORE, Earls of Ross;
ARTHUR, of whom we treat.
Sir Paul's second son,

ARTHUR GORE (c1640-97), of Newtown, County Mayo, was created a baronet in 1662, denominated of Newtown, County Mayo.

He wedded Eleanor, daughter of Sir George St George Bt, of Carrick, County Leitrim, and had (with seven daughters) four sons, viz.
PAUL, predeceased his father;
Arthur;
William, of Woodford, MP for Co Leitrim;
George, an eminent lawyer.
Sir Arthur was succeeded by his grandson (son of Paul), 

SIR ARTHUR GORE, 2nd Baronet (c1682-1741), MP for Ballynakill, 1703-13, Donegal Borough, 1714-14, County Mayo, 1715-42, who married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Maurice Annesley, of Little Rath, County Kildare, and had four sons and three daughters,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Paul Annesley;
William;
George;
Anne; Eleanor; Elizabeth.
Sir Arthur was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ARTHUR GORE, 3rd Baronet (1703-73), MP for Donegal Borough, 1727-58, who was created, in 1758, Baron Saunders, of Deeps, County Wexford, and Viscount Sudley, of Castle Gore.

His lordship was advanced to an earldom, in 1762, as EARL OF ARRAN, of the Arran Islands, County Galway.

He espoused Jane, heiress of Richard Saunders, of Saunders Court, and relict of William Worth.


6th Earl of Arran KP (1868-1958)

ARTHUR CHARLES JOCELYN CHARLES [GORE], 6th Earl, KP, PC; Knight of St Patrick, 1909; Privy Counsellor, 1917; Lord-Lieutenant of County Donegal, 1917-20.

The 6th Earl is pictured above, wearing the robe, sash and insignia of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. 

Address to 6th Earl and Countess of Arran on their marriage

"We, the Tenants on your Lordship's Mayo Estate, and their friends, have heard with the utmost pleasure of your Marriage, and in meeting assembled, unanimously and with sincere and cordial feelings have passed the following resolution ..."

The Earls of Arran were a "Patrick family", the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th Earls all having been appointed to the Order of St Patrick. 

The present Earl and Countess of Arran live at Castle Hill House, near Barnstaple, Devon.

*****

CASTLE GORE, or Deel Castle, near Crossmolina, County Mayo, is a 16th century tower house of the Bourkes.

It is close to the northern end of Lough Conn.

After Colonel Thomas Bourke had fought on the side of JAMES II in the Williamite War, the property was forfeited and given to the Gore family, afterwards Earls of Arran, who renamed it Castle Gore.

The tower-house had a large 18th century wing with a handsome rusticated doorway added to it, possibly incorporating a 17th century range.

They also acquired the manor of Belleek from the O'Haras, Barons Tyrawley, and owned estates in County Donegal.

The castle along with other lands was leased to James Cuff, Lord Tyrawley, towards the end of the 18th century; occupied by the Cuffs' steward for part of the 19th century.

James Cuff, Lord Tyrawley, built a house beside the Old Bourke Castle in 1791.

The house was burnt in 1922 when the Arrans removed to England. It was not rebuilt.

The old castle, which was still intact in the early 20th century, is now a ruin.

The Earls of Arran's London residence was The Pavilion, Hans Place.

First published in October, 2012.   Arran arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

The Archdale Baronets

THE ARCHDALE BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1928 FOR THE RT HON EDWARD MERVYN ARCHDALE

The first of the family of ARCHDALE, who settled in Ireland during the reign of ELIZABETH I, was

JOHN ARCHDALE, of Norsom or Norton Hall, in Norfolk.

In 1612 he 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.

He married and had two sons,
EDWARD, of whom we treat;
JOHN (Rev), Vicar of Luske, 1664.
John Archdale died in 1621, and was succeeded by his son,

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

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 ARCHDALEafter succeeding to the estates, married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Mervyn, of Omagh Castle and Trillick, both in County Tyrone, and had two sons and a daughter, viz.
MERVYN, his heir;
EDWARD, heir to his brother;
ANGEL.
He was succeeded by his elder son,

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

EDWARD ARCHDALE, of Castle Archdale, who wedded firstly, Frances, eldest daughter of Sir John Caldwell Bt; and secondly, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Cole, of Florence Court.

Dying without issue, however, before 1730,  the family estates devolved upon his only sister,

ANGEL ARCHDALE, who thus became heiress and representative of the family.

She espoused NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY MP, of Derrygonnelly, County Fermanagh, who assumed the surname and arms of ARCHDALE, and left, at her decease about 1742 or 1743, an only son,

MERVYN ARCHDALE MP, of Castle Archdale and Trillick, who espoused, in 1762, the Hon Mary Dawson, daughter of William Henry, Viscount Carlow, and sister of John, 1st Earl of Portarlington, and had issue, 
Mervyn, his heir;
William, an army officer;
EDWARD, of whom we treat;
Henry, an army officer;
Mary; Angel; Elizabeth; Sidney.
In 1773, this gentleman built the Manor House.

The third son, 

EDWARD ARCHDALE JP DL (1775-1864), of Riversdale, County Fermanagh, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1813, married, in 1809, Matilda, daughter of William Humphrys, and had issue,
Mervyn Edward, of Castle Archdale;
William Humphrys Mervyn, of Castle Archdale;
Edward, of Clifton Lodge, Lisnaskea;
Henry Montgomery (Rev), Rector of Trory;
NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY, of whom hereafter;
John;
Hugh Montgomery, of Drumadravy;
Audley Mervyn;
James Mervyn;
Mary; Letitia Jane; Richmal Magnall.
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, of Belleisle, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
EDWARD MERVYN, his heir;
John Porter, of Belleisle;
William Henry;
Henry Butler;
Nicholas Francis;
Theodore Montgomery;
Margaret Eleanor; Matilda Lavinia.
Mr Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON EDWARD MERVYN ARCHDALE JP DL (1853-1943), Privy Counsellor, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1884, Lieutenant-Commander RN, MP for North Fermanagh, 1898-1903 and 1916-22, MP for Enniskillen, 1929-43.

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

He married, in 1880, Alicia Bland, daughter of Quintin Fleming, and had issue,
NICHOLAS EDWARD, his successor;
William Porter Palgrave, CBE;
Audley Quintin, Lt-Col;
Dominick Mervyn;
Humphries, DSC, Captain RN;
Angel.
Sir Edward was succeeded by his eldest son,

VICE-ADMIRAL SIR NICHOLAS EDWARD ARCHDALE, 2nd Baronet (1881-1955), CBE, who married, in 1920, Gerda Henriette, daughter of Frederik Christian Sievers, and had issue,
EDWARD FOLMER, his successor;
Alice Gerda (1923-87).
Sir Edward fought in the 1st World War, with the submarine flotillas; was Aide-de-Camp to HM King George V, 1929; General Inspector, NI Ministry of Home Affairs, 1931-46.

Sir Edward distinguished himself in the Royal Navy.

He was succeeded by his only son,

CAPTAIN SIR EDWARD (Ted) FOLMER ARCHDALE, 3rd Baronet, (1921-2009), DSC, RN, who married, in 1954, Elizabeth Ann Stewart, daughter of Major-General Wilfred Boyd Fellowes Lukis, and had issue,
NICHOLAS EDWARD, his successor;
Lucinda Grace.
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 Edward, 3rd Baronet, was succeeded by his only son,

SIR NICHOLAS EDWARD ARCHDALE, 4th and present Baronet (1965-).

The heir presumptive is his cousin, Peter Mervyn Archadale (b 1953).

The heir presumptive's heir apparent is his son, Jonathan Talbot Archdale (b 1982).


CROCKNACRIEVE, near Enniskillen, is a Georgian house originally owned by the Richardsons of Rich Hill.

It was acquired by the Archdales through marriage by a cousin.

Sir Edward, 1st Baronet, sold the property in 1901.


RIVERSDALE HOUSE formed part of a 5,627 acre estate.

It is now the regional office for the NI Rivers Agency.

I have written about Castle Archdale here.

First published in June, 2010.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Cleggan Notes

LORD RATHCAVAN TELLS ME ABOUT CLEGGAN LODGE, COUNTY ANTRIM

"I believe Fisher was a Manchester merchant who was involved in the iron ore mining in North Antrim above the Glens.

Hence Fisher's Pond and the scutch mill which he also constructed, powered by the water from the Pond. 

I presume he rented from O'Hara and that, when he left after the iron ore mining failed, O'Hara sold.

I have a copy of the offer for sale in 1897 when my great-grandfather bought it, not for the Shane's Castle Estate but as a personal asset.

My great-grandmother née Cochrane considered living there and they added a top floor (very badly) and I think the double staircase.

But the idea was dropped with World War I and the death of their son in World War I.

It fell into disrepair until my grandfather bought Cleggan from his father in 1927.

Cleggan was always part of the medieval O'Neill Estate and was mortgaged to Lord Mount Cashel and became part of the disputed Estates Office in Dublin from whom the 1st and last Earl O'Neill rented it in 1820 after Shane's Castle was burnt in 1816. 

It was he who built this thatched Cottage Orné with eyebrow windows.

At the same time he built architecturally similar houses on Ram's Island.

Lough Beg and in the Shane's Castle deer park, where he and his brother (both bachelors) entertained women and gambled.

They also owned Tullymore Lodge near Broughshane and had a private racecourse there which is now the Ballymena Golf Club, whose freehold, I believe, is still owned by The Shane's Castle Estate.

First published in June,2010.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Leslie of Leslie Hill

THE LESLIES OWNED 7,428 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM


This family springs from

THE REV PETER LESLIE (1686-1773), born at Westminster, Rector of Ahoghill, County Antrim, who married, in 1718, Jane, daughter of the Rt Rev Anthony Dopping, Lord Bishop of Meath, and had issue,
HENRY (Rev),1719-1803;
EDMUND, of whom hereafter.
The younger son,

THE VEN EDMUND LESLIE (1735-90), appointed Archdeacon of Down, 1782, and also a prebendary of Connor, wedded firstly, Jane, daughter of John Macnaghten, of Benvarden, County Antrim, and had issue,
Peter, died in London;
Bartholomew, died in India;
JAMESof whom we treat;
Edmund, died in India;
Mary.
Archdeacon Leslie espoused secondly, Eleanor, daughter of George Portis, of London, and had issue,
George;
Henry (Very Rev), Dean of Connor;
Samuel, Rear-Admiral, of Donaghadee;
Ellen.
The Archdeacon's eldest surviving son, 

JAMES LESLIE JP DL (1768-1847), of Leslie House, County Antrim, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1799, succeeded to the estates on the demise of his uncle, James Leslie, in 1796.

He wedded, in 1795, Mary, daughter of Adam Cuppage, of Donaghcloney, County Down, by whom he had issue,
JAMES EDMUND;
Henry, JP, of Seaport Lodge, Portballintrae;
Frances Seymour, of the Home Office;
JOHN CHARLES WILLIAM (Rev);
Bartholdus George Albert (1812-15).
The eldest son,

JAMES EDMUND LESLIE JP DL (1800-81), of Leslie Hill and Seaport Lodge, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1854, wedded, in 1823, Sarah, youngest daughter of the Rt Rev Daniel Sandford DD, Bishop of Edinburgh, and by her had issue,
James Sandford, 1824-29;
Henry Erskine, 1825-29;
EDMUND DOUGLASof whom hereafter;
Daniel Sandford, died in infancy;
Seymour Montague, b 1835; father of JAMES GRAHAM;
Francis Macnaghten, b 1837; in the army;
Erskine Douglas, died in infancy;
Frances Mary; Mary Wilhelmina; Sarah Agnes; Jane Elizabeth.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL EDMUND DOUGLAS LESLIE was granted the honorary rank of Colonel in 1877. 

He was succeeded by his third son,

EDMUND DOUGLAS LESLIE JP DL (1828-1904), of Leslie Hill and Seaport Lodge, Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Colonel, 4th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, who died a bachelor, and was succeeded by his nephew,

JAMES GRAHAM LESLIE JP DL (1868-1949), of Leslie Hill and Seaport Lodge, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1907, Barrister, some time head of a department in the Office of the Crown Agents for the Colonies, who espoused, in 1901, Grace, only daughter of J Lamont Brodie, of Wimbledon, and had issue,
SEYMOUR ARGENT SANDFORD, b 1902;
Grace Margaret Hester, b 1905;
Mary Etheldritha (Audrey), b 1908.
*****

THE CREST of this family has traditionally been an angel, though a gryphon is sometimes used by some portions of the family. 

The motto, Grip Fast, has remained unchanged since the time of QUEEN MARGARET of Scotland, by whom it was given to Bartolf (Bartholomew), under the following circumstances:
In crossing a river swollen by floods, the Queen was thrown from her horse, and in danger of being drowned, when the knight, plunging into the stream, seized hold of Her Majesty's girdle; and as he brought her with difficulty towards the bank, she frequently exclaimed grip fast, and afterwards desired that he should retain the words as his motto, in remembrance of the occurrence.
LESLIE HILL, near Ballymoney, County Antrim, was built by James Leslie ca 1750, on the site of an older castle. 

The house originally consisted of a gable-ended main block of three storeys over a high basement, joined to two-storey office wings by single-storey links.

The principal block has a seven-bay front with a three-bay pedimented breakfront; doorway, with two Doric columns and a fanlight under a baseless pediment.


There is a lunette window in the pediment which lights the attic. The former wings were of three bays and the links of two.

There is a flagged hall with screen; principal rooms have modillion cornices and doors with shouldered architraves.


The attic room has a convex-coved ceiling and central roundel containing a portrait which may be of the James Leslie who built the House. 

Alas, the wings and connecting links were demolished in 1955.

The present owner is directly descended from the Rt Rev Henry Leslie (chaplain to CHARLES I, Bishop of Down & Connor, 1635) and the 4th Earl of Rothes, by his marriage to Agnes Somerville. 

Leslie Hill has been occupied continuously by the Leslie family for more than 350 years.

In 1778, while the United States was trying to retain the independence it had declared in 1776, the American frigate "Ranger", under John Paul Jones, opened fire on Carrickfergus Castle and attacked HMS Drake, putting it out of action.

This attack, and the fact that the French had allied themselves to the colonists in the American revolution, caused alarm in Ireland which, at that time, was practically bereft of Crown forces.

This led to a demand for the local volunteers, a citizen's militia, recruited mainly from the protestant middle class and led by the nobility, at their own expense, to defend the Irish coast and guard life and property.

Leslie Hill was used as a bivouac and for drilling purposes.

The estate was of considerable acreage, comprising 7,428 acres, with a progressive farm, but much of the land was sold to the tenants under the Land Act of 1903.

Not all the Leslies in Ulster remained there: in 1718 a James Leslie of the Coleraine area came to New England, USA, to settle with the Scots Presbyterians in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

Later in 1729, another James Leslie and his wife Margaret Sheerar, left Coleraine to settle in Topsfield, Massachusetts, he also is a lineal descendant of the 4th Earl of Rothes and his wife Agnes Somerville. 

There is a book published by the Essex Institute about the members of this family.

It is of significance that another James Leslie and his family left Ballymoney for the long voyage to America.

They left the linen mills of Balnamore, near Leslie Hill to join forces with the large working world of the great Amoskeag Cotton Mills of Manchester, New Hampshire.

James Seymour Leslie (1958-2009) was a NI politician, a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

His father owns Leslie Hill estate at Ballymoney. He was married with a daughter.

The Castle Leslie demesne, adjacent to Ballymoney, lies in a ridge above the Bann Valley. Continuous ownership of the Leslie family adds interest in the property.

The house of ca 1760 – now minus two wings – has landscaped parkland to the north, with fine trees and a small, artificial, late 19th century lake complete with island and boat-house.

ha-ha separates the south front lawns from parkland and exposes the fine distant views.

There are stands of mature trees and mixed woodland. A late 19th century, ‘Robinsonian’ garden is no longer distinguishable.

A small enclosed garden to the east of the house has two lily ponds constructed ca 1891 of unusual shape.

These are listed, together with the enclosing walls and a nearby ice house.

Ornamental shrubs and trees, with under-planting of wild flowers, decorate the access route to the walled gardens.

The walled garden has a rectangular western part, which is partially cultivated and under restoration to be attractive and productive for modern usage.

The Melon House has been restored. Remnants of other glasshouses are exposed.

The garden is divided into two by a brick wall and the smaller eastern part is uncultivated.

The outbuildings are notable, fully restored and open to view.

A disused gate lodge at the main entrance is of ca 1911 and replaced a pair removed when the road was realigned in the 1850s.

The house is private and grounds are private.

The family formerly had a marine residence, Seaport Lodge, at Portballintrae.

First published in January, 2012.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Ardnargle House

THE OGILBYS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY LONDONDERRY, WITH 9,735 ACRES


This branch settled in Ulster during the Plantation.

All the records of the family (originally Ogilvie) were destroyed by fire in Scotland, 1784.

The original residence was at Calhame, Aberdeenshire.

DR JOHN OGILVIE, of Aberdeen, who settled in Limavady, was a great friend of the celebrated Bishop Burnet.

He married Elizabeth Agnew, of the Scottish family of that name, who settled in County Antrim.

He was succeeded by his son,

ALEXANDER OGILBY, who changing the spelling of the name from Oglivie, married firstly, Ann Smith, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Mary Ann.
Mr Ogilby wedded secondly, Mary Campbell, and had issue,
George;
Robert (Dr), of Spring Hill, Limavady.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER OGILBY, who wedded Mary, eldest daughter of James Alexander, of Limavady (whose family came originally from Clackmannanshire in Scotland), by his wife Elizabeth Ross, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Alexander;
James, dsp;
William;
Robert, of Pellipar;
David (Sir), East India Company;
Lesley, of Strangmore;Ann; Elizabeth; Mary; Jane.
The fourth son, Robert Ogilby, of Pellipar House, Dungiven, purchased the entire Manor of Limavady from the Conolly family, also large properties in County Tyrone, and estates at Woolwich in Kent.

He was also lessee of the estates of the Skinners' Company in County Londonderry.

Mr Alexander Ogilby was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN OGILBY, of Ardnargle, who married Jane, daughter of James Simpson, of Armagh, and had issue,
Alexander, dsp;
John, dsp;
JAMES, his heir;
David, dsp;
Leonard;
ROBERT LESLIE, of whom presently;
William, of Kilcatten;
Ann; Jane; Mary.
Mr Ogilby was succeeded by his third son,

JAMES OGILBY, of Ardnargle, who wedded Bridget Rush, and dsp 1849. 

Mr Ogilby was succeeded by his brother,

ROBERT LESLIE OGILBY JP DL (1798-1872), of Ardnargle, High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1854, who espoused, in 1844, Elizabeth Matilda, daughter of Major William Henry Rainey, of the East India Company, and had issue,
ROBERT ALEXANDER, his heir;
John W H, dsp;
David Leslie;
Margaret Harriet; Jane Ann; Elizabeth; Mary Isabella.
Mr Ogilby was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT ALEXANDER OGILBY JP DL (1850-1902), of Ardnargle, and Pellipar House, High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1887, Captain, 4th King's Own Regiment, served in Zulu War.

Under the will of his great uncle, Robert Ogilby, he succeeded on the death of his cousin, James Ogilby, to the Limavady, Pellipar, Tyrone and Woolwich estates.

Mr Ogilby married, in 1875, Helen Sarah, second daughter of the Rev George Bomford Wheeler, Rector of Ballysax, County Kildare, and had issue,
ROBERT JAMES LESLIE, his heir;
Ethel Maude; Eileen Leslie; Mabel Norah; Esther Gladys; Mildred Constance.
Captain Ogilby was succeeded by his only son,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL ROBERT JAMES LESLIE OGILBY DSO JP DL (1880-1964), of Ardnargle and Pellipar, High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1911, who married, in 1936, Isabel Katherine, daughter of Captain P C J Webster, though the marriage was without issue.

*****

THE ogilbys were kinsmen of the Earl Alexander of Tunis and the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, through the line of the Alexanders of Limavady.

The Woolwich estate was bought at public auction in 1812 by Robert Ogilby (younger brother of John Ogilby), who also leased, in 1803, the Skinners estate at Dungiven and lived at Pellipar House.

Ardnargle was not strictly, therefore, a dower house for Pellipar, although it was used as such when R A Ogilby (1850-1902) inherited both properties from 1885 onwards.
The Ogilby family has had a proud military tradition: Major Robert Alexander Ogilby married Sarah Wheeler, daughter of Rev George Bomford Wheeler, a founder of the Irish Times, TCD classic scholar and contributor to Dickens' magazine, "All Year Round"; a DL for County Londonderry; captain 4th King's Own Regiment; and took part in the Zulu war (1879, medal). 
In 1902, Maurice Marcus McCausland, of Drenagh, married Eileen Leslie, daughter of R A Ogilby DL, of Pellipar.


Photo credit: Rohan Boyle

ARDNARGLE HOUSE, near Limavady, County Londonderry, was built by John Ogilby ca 1790.

It is a plain, two-storey, five bay house.

About 1854, a porch, three-sided bow, window surrounds with console brackets, and a modillion cornice were added by R L Ogilby.

John Ogilby purchased the farm from the Wilsons in 1781, built the house in 1790 and planted the trees.

Robert Leslie Ogilby extended it in 1840 and created the terrace.

Photo credit: http://northernireland-awealthofhistory.doomby.com/

The interior has classical Victorian plasterwork in the main reception rooms and hall.

First published in April, 2011.