Saturday, 17 November 2018

The Cole Baronetcy

THE COLE BARONETCY, OF NEWLAND, COUNTY DUBLIN, WAS CREATED IN 1660 FOR JOHN COLE MP

By a deed of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, extant, it appears that the COLES were of the rank of barons, and were resident in Hampshire in that monarch's reign.

SIR WILLIAM COLE (c1585-1653), Knight, the first member of the Cole family who settled in Ulster, fixed his abode, early in the reign of JAMES I, in County Fermanagh, and becoming an undertaker in the Plantation, had an assignment, in 1611, of 1,000 acres of escheated lands in the county wherein he resided; to which, in 1612, were added 320 acres in the same county, whereof 80 acres were assigned for the town of Enniskillen, and that town was then incorporated by charter, consisting of a provost and twelve burgesses, Sir William Cole being the first provost (mayor).

Sir William was MP for County Fermanagh in 1634.

He raised a regiment, which he commanded against the rebels, in 1643, with important success.

Sir William married twice: Firstly, to Susannah, daughter and heir of John Croft, of Lancaster, by whom he had two daughters; and secondly, to Catherine, daughter of Sir Laurence Parsons, of Birr, second Baron of the Irish Exchequer, by whom he left, at his decease, in 1653, two sons, namely,
Michael, his successor, ancestor of the Earls of Enniskillen;
JOHN, of whom we treat.
The younger son, 

SIR JOHN COLE, of Newland, County Dublin, MP for Fermanagh, 1661, having distinguished himself during the rebellion, particularly in the relief of Enniskillen, of which he was governor, and being instrumental in promoting the restoration of CHARLES II, was created a baronet in 1660, denominated of Newland, County Dublin.

Sir John married Elizabeth, daughter of John Chichester, of Dungannon, County Tyrone, and was succeeded, following his decease, in 1691, by his eldest son,

SIR ARTHUR COLE, 2nd Baronet (c1664-1754), MP for Enniskillen, 1692-5, and for Roscommon, 1695-1703, who was raised to the peerage, in 1715, by GEORGE I, as BARON RANELAGH, of Ranelagh, County Wicklow, with limitation of the title, in default of his male issue, to the heirs male of his father.

His lordship died in 1754, without male issue, and the titles became extinct.

***** 

HAVING first served in the Low Countries, Cole came to Ireland to try his fortune in 1601, and served under Sir George Carew, 1st Earl of Totnes and Lord President of Munster.

In 1607 he was appointed Captain of the Longboats and Barges at Ballyshannon and Lough Erne.

His future was, however, uncertain until the Flight of the Earls and, particularly, that of Cuchonnacht Maguire of Enniskillen.

In 1609, Cole was made Constable or Governor of Enniskillen.

He was knighted in 1617 and became one of the principal promoters and implementers of the Plantation in County Fermanagh, receiving extensive grants of land in and around Enniskillen in 1610-12 and acquiring more by purchase.

When Enniskillen was incorporated as a parliamentary borough in 1613, Cole became its first Provost.

At this stage, Enniskillen was seen as very much the county town of Fermanagh, and its original corporation included influential settlers (mostly English) like Cole.

But in the period 1611-23, Cole obtained leases or grants, on increasingly advantageous terms, of the two-thirds of the island of Enniskillen which went with the castle and the one-third which was intended as an endowment of the town.

The building of the town was largely a Cole initiative (there were only an estimated 180 inhabitants ca 1630).

Soon, Enniskillen became what a parliamentary reformer of 1790 called
the private property of the Earl of Enniskillen, and the [provost and] twelve burgesses, its sole electors, . .. the confidential trustees of his appointment.
 According to Pynnar's highly critical survey in 1619 of the practical operation of the Plantation, Cole was not wholly rigorous in the observance of the terms of his grants, particularly in the matter of administering the oath of supremacy to his tenants; but he was praised in 1622 for enforcing on his tenants at Portora the prohibition against sub-letting to the Irish.

Re-grants were made to him at subsequent dates re-emphasising some of his obligations, permitting some leasing to the Irish, and doubling the rents payable by him to the crown.

In general, he seems to have been more scrupulous than most Plantation patentees. Later, he was described by a contemporary as 'a brave, forward and prudent gentleman'.

He was elected MP for Fermanagh in 1634 and again in 1639. In 1641 he had a narrow escape from a treacherous death on the outbreak of the rising.

He raised a regiment and fought at its head (in spite of advancing years) in the confused wars of the 1640s, espousing the Parliamentarian cause and successfully defending Enniskillen against the Maguires. He died in 1653.

He had two sons, Michael and John, the elder of whom predeceased him.

John, the younger son, who died ca 1691, was made Custos Rotulorum for County Fermanagh and a baronet in 1661, being then, in effect, the head of the Cole family, because Sir Michael Cole, Kt, son of Sir John's elder brother, Michael, did not come of age until probably about 1663.

Sir John Cole, 1st Baronet, was a figure of more than local significance, as he was one of the commissioners appointed to implement the acts of Settlement and Explanation (the Restoration land settlement in Ireland).

He lived at Newland [probably Newlands, Clondalkin], County Dublin.

Sir John had a number of sons and daughters, many of whom died young.

In 1671, one of these daughters, Elizabeth, married as his second wife, her cousin, Sir Michael Cole.

On the occasion of this marriage, Sir John Cole settled on his daughter's issue his estate at Montagh, barony of Clanawley, County Fermanagh (which he had purchased in 1658).

This estate 'marched' or was intermingled with Sir Michael's own patrimonial estate in the barony of Clanawley.

Montagh did not, as the 4th Earl of Belmore erroneously supposed, include the site of the future Florence Court; but its accession shifted the centre of gravity of Sir Michael Cole's estate southward of Enniskillen, and must have had a great bearing on the decision to build in that location.

Montagh never actually belonged to Sir Michael, but came into the possession of the eldest son of the marriage, John Cole, either at his coming of age in 1711 or at his mother's death in 1733.

Nevertheless, it continued to be recorded as a separate entity in the family rentals until well into the 19th century.

In 1754, at the death of Sir Arthur Cole, 2nd Baronet and 1st Baron Ranelagh, only surviving son of Sir John Cole, 1st Baronet, his great-nephew, John Cole, the future Lord Mount Florence, had an income of £2,220 a year, which doubled his rental and provided him with the means to begin building soon afterwards.

The stated extent of the inheritance seems much exaggerated (if John Cole had had an income of £4,400 (equivalent to £733,000 in 2011) in 1754, he would have been among the richest men in Ireland), and it is not clear where the figure comes from.

Probably the source is one of the updated editions of Thomas Prior's List of the Absentees of Ireland, first published in 1729, which gives figures which are usually inflated.

In the present instance, however, the figure is even more misleading because it is based on the assumption that all Lord Ranelagh's estates went to John Cole.

This was not so.

Lord Ranelagh had other great-nephews and nieces, including Sir Arthur Brooke, Bt, of Colebrooke, County Fermanagh, whose ancestor would hardly have called his house Colebrooke if he had not received a significant endowment when he married Lord Ranelagh's sister.

Sir Arthur himself inherited (probably in 1754) Lord Ranelagh's estates in Counties Tipperary and Clare.

The County Dublin and Dublin City property seems to have been divided between Sir Arthur and the aforementioned Henry Moore, another great-nephew (hence the proximity of Cole's Lane, Moore Street, etc, in the vicinity of the General Post Office).

Even the West Dean and East Grimstead estate, Wiltshire (as has already been noted), was not inherited by the Florence Court Coles until 1819, and even then was subject to various co-heir-ships.
Lord Ranelagh was the origin of the Coles' mysterious 12,000 acre estate in County Waterford; but as it does not feature in Cole deeds of settlement until the 1790s, it – like the East Grimstead estate - may have been subject to a life interest to Lady Ranelagh which did not expire until 1781, ten years after Florence Court was completed.
At the very least it would have been subject to its share of her jointure. Old men with younger wives and no other close relations, are likely to make sure that their widows are well provided for.

In other words, Florence Court may have been built on Ranelagh 'tick' (and paid for later out of the proceeds from the sale of the Waterford estate), but there is most unlikely to have been any great influx of cash in 1754.

In fact, the main windfalls of cash at this time came from the sale of the seats for the borough of Enniskillen: one was sold in 1761, and both at the general elections of 1768, 1776 and 1783.

The prices are unrecorded, but must have been between £1,500 and £2,000 per seat.

Lord Ranelagh died in 1754, aged 90, without issue when the baronetcy and barony both became extinct.

MUCH OF MY RESEARCH EMANATES FROM THE ENNISKILLEN PAPERS, WHICH ARE DEPOSITED AT THE PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE OF NORTHERN IRELAND.

First published in April, 2011.

Friday, 16 November 2018

1st Earl of Breadalbane and Holland

THE EARLS OF BREADALBANE AND HOLLAND WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN PERTHSHIRE, WITH 234,166 ACRES

This ancient family claims a common ancestor with the ducal house of ARGYLL, namely,

SIR DUNCAN CAMPBELL, of Lochawe, who was created Lord Campbell, of Argyll, by JAMES II of Scotland, in 1445.

His lordship wedded Lady Marjorie Stewart, daughter of Robert, Duke of Albany, and granddaughter of ROBERT II of Scotland, by whom he left two sons,

ARCHIBALD, his successor, from whom the house of ARGYLL derives; and

SIR COLIN CAMBELL, upon whom his father settled the estate of Glenorchy, which had come into the Campbell family in the time of DAVID II of Scotland, by the marriage of Margaret Glenorchy with John Campbell.
"Sir Colin" says Douglas, "was a man of high renown for military prowess, and for the virtues of social and domestic life. He was a stream of many tides against the foes of his people, but like the gale that moves the heath to those who sought his aid."
He married firstly, Mary, daughter of the Earl of Lennox, but by her had no issue.
He married secondly, Margaret, 2nd daughter and co-heir of John, Lord Lorne, with whom he got a third of that lordship, which still remains in the family, and Sir Colin quartered henceforward the GALLEY OF LORNE, with his paternal achievement.
By this marriage, his only son,

SIR DUNCAN CAMPBELL, who, in his father's lifetime, was designated of Glenorchy, by charter, dated 1480. The great-grandson of this gentleman,

SIR DUNCAN CAMPBELL, of Glenorchy,
being in high favour with JAMES VI, was made, by that monarch, in 1617, heritable keeper of the forests of Mamlorn, Bendaskerlie etc, with many valuable privileges; and created, in 1625, a baronet, and High Sheriff of Perthshire, for life.
Sir Duncan married twice, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1631, by the eldest son of his first wife, Jean, daughter of John, Earl of Atholl, Lord Chancellor of Scotland,

SIR COLIN CAMPBELL, 2nd Baronet, who died without issue in 1640, and was succeeded by his brother,

SIR ROBERT CAMPBELL, 3rd Baronet, whose eldest son,

SIR JOHN CAMPBELL (1635-1717), 4th Baronet,
being the chief creditor of George, 6th Earl of Caithness, obtained a disposition from that nobleman of his whole estate and earldom, with the hereditary jurisdictions and titles; and upon the demise of his lordship, in 1676, was created, by patent dated 1677, Earl of Caithness; but in a few years afterwards, that dignity being allowed by parliament to be vested in George Sinclair (who became, in consequence, 7th Earl of Caithness), Sir John Campbell obtained a new patent of nobility, dated 1681.
Sir John was created EARL OF BREADALBANE AND HOLLAND.

His lordship wedded firstly, Mary, daughter of Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland (which earl was beheaded in 1649), by whom he had two sons.

He married secondly, Mary, Dowager Countess of Caithness, 3rd daughter of Archibald, Marquess of Argyll; but by her had no surviving issue.

This nobleman married a third time, and had a daughter, Mary, who wedded Sir Archibald Cockburn of Langton Bt.
The 1st Earl is described, by John Macky, as having the gravity of a Spaniard, the cunning of a fox, the wisdom of a serpent, and the slipperiness of an eel.
His lordship died in 1716, and passing over his eldest son, Duncan Lord Ormelie, was succeeded by his 2nd son,

JOHN, 2nd Earl.
  • John Campbell, 3rd Earl (1692–1782)
    • Hon Henry Campbell (c. 1721-27)
    • Hon George Campbell (d 1744)
    • John Campbell, Lord Glenorchy (1738–71)

Marquesses of Breadalbane; First creation (1831)

Earls of Breadalbane and Holland (1681; Reverted)

  • John Alexander Gavin Campbell, 6th Earl (1824–71)
  • Gavin Campbell, 7th Earl (1851–1922) (created Marquess of Breadalbane in 1885).

Marquesses of Breadalbane; Second creation (1885)

Earls of Breadalbane and Holland (1681; Reverted)

  • Iain Edward Herbert Campbell, 8th Earl (1885–1923)
  • John Romer Boreland Campbell, 10th and last Earl (1919–95).

TAYMOUTH CASTLE, Perthshire, was the main seat of the Earls of Breadalbane and Holland until 1922.

Built in the neo-Gothic style on a lavish scale, no expense was spared on the castle's interior, which was decorated with extravagant sumptuousness incorporating carvings, plasterwork and murals.

Panels of medieval stained glass and Renaissance woodwork were incorporated into the scheme.

Much of this decor survives, though the castle has lost most of its original rich furnishings.

It has been empty since 1979, although plans have been put forward for its redevelopment as a luxury hotel.


In 1720, the 2nd Earl commissioned William Adam to remodel the house and lay out extensive formal gardens.

The 2nd Earl's son oversaw further changes in the 1750s, and by the 1780s the formal gardens had been replaced with a picturesque landscape.

The 4th Earl called upon Robert Mylne to prepare plans for a new "chateau" in 1789, though they were not carried out.

Ten years later the main block of the old house was demolished, to be replaced from 1806 by a Gothic building to the designs of the brothers James and Archibald Elliot.

The English-Italian Francis Bernasconi carried out the ornate plasterwork of the staircase and drawing rooms between 1809-12.

In 1818, the old east wing was pulled down and replaced by a two-storey wing designed by William Atkinson.

The 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane completed the improvements from 1838, by the remodelling of William Adam's west wing, which was enlarged and refaced to match the main block.

This time the architect was James Gillespie Graham, with interiors designed by A. W. N. Pugin.

The works were complete by 1842, in time for the first visit to Scotland of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, when they stayed at Taymouth for three days.

On the death of the 2nd Marquess, Taymouth passed to a distant cousin, along with the earldom of Breadalbane. The marquessate was re-created for his son Gavin Campbell in 1885.

The family estates were much reduced during his tenure, and on his death in 1922 Taymouth Castle was sold.

It was converted into a hotel, opening in 1929, with an 18-hole golf course designed by James Braid in the grounds.

It was used as a hospital for Polish troops during the 2nd World War; and between 1950-68 it housed the Civil Defence Corps training school for Scotland.

Taymouth was subsequently used by a boarding school for American children.

This closed in 1979 and the building has since lain empty, though the golf course has continued to be operated separately.

In 2004, it was reported that plans to redevelop the castle as a "six-star" hotel had been approved by Perth and Kinross Council.

By 2006, the buildings was weathertight, but work stopped in late 2006, and in 2009 the company restoring Taymouth Castle was declared insolvent.

Following the purchase of the estate by Meteor Asset Management, work re-commenced late in 2010 and, despite financial problems, the restoration was continuing in 2012.

First published in January, 2014.   Breadalbane arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Marley Grange

THE ROWLEYS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY DUBLIN, WITH 3,659 ACRES

The noble family of ROWLEY is of Saxon origin, and was seated at Kermincham, Cheshire, in the reign of EDWARD II, in the person of RANDOLFE DE ROWLEY.

This branch of the family settled in Ireland in the reign of JAMES I.

COLONEL THE HON HERCULES LANGFORD BOYLE ROWLEY JP DL (1828-1904), of Marley Grange, County Dublin, younger son of Hercules, 2nd Baron Langford, High Sheriff of County Meath, 1859, Honorary Colonel, 5th Battalion, Prince of Wales's Own Leinster Regiment, married, in 1857, Louisa Jane, sister of 1st Baron Blythswood, and had issue,
HERCULES DOUGLAS EDWARD, his heir;
Arthur Sholto, 8th BARON LANGFORD;
Armine Charlotte; Gladys Helen Louisa; Evelyn Augusta.
Colonel Rowley was succeeded by his eldest son,

HERCULES DOUGLAS EDWARD ROWLEY JP DL (1859-1945), of Marley Grange, Lieutenant, 5th Battalion, Leinster Regiment, who wedded, in 1884, Agnes Mary, only daughter of A Allen, of Devizes, Wiltshire, and had issue,
Ivy Mabel Armine Douglas, b 1889;
Monica Evelyn Douglas, b 1893.

MARLEY GRANGE, near Rathfarnham, County Dublin, is an important cut-stone two storey high-roofed Victorian house built in the Gothic style ca 1850 in a woodland setting.

The house has gables, dormer gables, plus a tower with a truncated pyramidal roof.

There is a two-storey gate lodge located at the entrance.


Marley Grange is approached through an impressive entrance, via a long tree lined avenue, that leads to a large gravelled forecourt to the front of the house.

The extensive are interspersed with specimen trees, two ornamental ponds, trellis covered sunken pathway enclosing a semi-circular formal garden on the south gable of the house.

There is also a paddock and extensive woodland.

The property is bounded to the east by Three Rock Rovers hockey grounds; to the west by Grange Golf Club; and is beside Marley Park.

The house and estate were sold by the former owners, the McGrane family, in 2000, to the British Embassy in Dublin for £6.4 million.

It was intended to replace the ambassador's residence at Glencairn House.

The house suffered a disastrous fire in 2010.

The estate agents Colliers apparently then agreed sale terms on the ten-bedroom house, which is acknowledged to be one of the few examples of late Victorian Gothic revival architecture in Ireland.

Colliers are understood to have settled for a price close to €2.5 million for the listed building and its 12.4 acres of woodland next to Marley Park, which are owned by the property developer and charity founder Niall Mellon.

The house was unoccupied and uninsured when it was set ablaze in July, 2010.

All that remain of the imposing cut-stone, two-storey, high-roofed structure dating from the 1870s are the walls.

However, because of its architectural and historical significance, the planners are anxious to have it restored to its former glory – a challenging project, which one expert says could cost anything from €1.5 million to €2 million.

Mellon bought Marley Grange from the British Embassy in 2008 after it dropped plans to use it as its ambassadorial residence.

The embassy had previously sold its long term residence Glencairn and its 34-acre grounds in Sandyford in 1999 for security reasons.

The entire property was acquired by Michael Cotter of Park Developments for €35.6 million.

The Foreign Office in London then wished to buy back Glencairn, without its substantial grounds.

Former town residence ~ 8 Cambridge Place, Kensington, London.

First published in May, 2012.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The Prince of Wales

THE PRINCE OF WALES is 70 today:

His Royal Highness The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, Earl of Carrick and Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Great Steward of Scotland, KG, KT, GCB, OM.

His Royal Highness is heir apparent and first in line to the Throne.

Born at Buckingham Palace on the 14th November, 1948, HRH was educated at Cheam School; Gordonstoun; and Trinity College, Cambridge.

His Royal Highness is Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy, Field Marshal in the Army, and Marshal of the Royal Air Force in the RAF.

These ranks are known as "Five Star" in the United States.

  • Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter 
  • Royal Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle 
  • Grand Master of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath 
  • Member of the Order of Merit.
His Royal Highness shall ascend the throne as CHARLES III.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

1st Earl of Wemyss

THE EARLS OF WEMYSS AND MARCH WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN PEEBLESSHIRE, WITH 41,247 ACRES

This ancient family traces its origin to John, baronial lord of Weems, whence the surname was probably derived, who was younger son of the celebrated Macduff, Thane of Fife, the vanquisher of the tyrant MACBETH.

SIR MICHAEL WEMYSS was sent, according to John of Fordun, in 1290, with Sir Michael Scott, to Norway, by the lords of the Regency in Scotland, to conduct the young Queen MARGARET to her dominions; but Her Majesty unfortunately died upon the journey, at the Orkneys.

Sir Michael swore fealty to EDWARD I in 1296, and he witnessed the act of settlement of the Crown of Scotland by ROBERT I of Scotland, at Ayr, in 1315.

From Sir Michael lineally descended

SIR JOHN WEMYSS, of Wemyss, who married firstly, in 1574, Margaret, eldest daughter of William, Earl of Morton, but by that lady had no issue; and secondly, in 1581, Anne, sister of James, Earl of Moray, by who he had, with other issue,

SIR JOHN WEMYSS, of Wemyss, who was created a baronet in 1625; and elevated to the peerage, as Baron Wemyss, in 1628.

His lordship was advanced, in 1633, to the dignities of EARL OF WEMYSS, Lord Elcho and Methel.

This nobleman, though indebted for his honours to CHARLES I, took part against his royal master, and sided with the parliamentarians.

He wedded, in 1610, Jane, daughter of Patrick, 7th Lord Gray, by whom he had six children, and was succeeded in 1649 by his only son,

DAVID, 2nd Earl (1610-79), who married thrice.

His lordship's third wife, Margaret, daughter of John, 6th Earl of Rothes, by whom he had an only surviving daughter, MARGARET, in whose favour his lordship, having resigned his peerage to the Crown, obtained, in 1672, a new patent, conferring the honours of the family, with the original precedency, upon her ladyship.

He died in 1680, when the baronetcy expired, but the other dignities descended, accordingly, to his daughter,

LADY MARGARET WEMYSS, as 3rd Countess of Wemyss.

Her ladyship espoused SIR JAMES WEMYSS, of Caskyerry, who was created, in 1672, for life, Lord Burntisland, having had previously a charter of Burntisland Castle. The issue of this marriage were,
DAVID, successor to the Countess's honours;
Anne, who wedded David, Earl of Leven and Melville;
Margaret, wedded to David, Earl of Northesk.
The Countess of Wemyss espoused secondly, George, 1st Earl of Cromarty, but had no issue by his lordship.

Lady Wemyss died in 1705, and was succeeded by her only son,

DAVID, 4th Earl.
This nobleman was appointed, by Queen ANNE, Lord High Admiral of Scotland, sworn of the Privy Council, and constituted one of the commissioners for concluding the Treaty of Union.
His lordship married firstly, in 1697, Lady Anne Douglas, daughter of William, 1st Duke of Queensberry, and sister of James, Duke of Queensberry and Dover, and of William, 1st Earl of March, by whom he had one surviving son,

JAMES, 5th Earl (1699-1756), who married, in 1720, Janet, only daughter and heiress of Colonel Francis Charteris, of Amisfield, in Haddingtonshire, by whom he had issue, his eldest son,

DAVID, Lord Elcho, having been involved in the rising of 1745, fled into France after the battle of Culloden, and was attainted.

The family honours remained, therefore, from the decease of the 5th Earl, during his lordship's life, under the influence of that penal statute; but at the soi disant 6th Earl's demise without issue, in 1787, they were revived, and inherited by his brother,

THE HON FRANCIS WEMYSS-CHARTERIS (1723-1808), 7th Earl, who wedded, in 1745, Lady Catherine Gordon, daughter of Alexander, 2nd Duke of Gordon, by whom he had issue,

FRANCIS, Lord Elcho (1749-1808).
The heir apparent is (Francis) Richard (Dick) Charteris, styled Lord Elcho (b 1984).

GOSFORD HOUSE, Longniddry, East Lothian, is the ancestral seat of the Earls of Wemyss and March.

It was built by the 7th Earl between 1790 and 1800.


Gosford House was designed by the architect Robert Adam, who died before the mansion was completed.

The 8th Earl knocked down the wings, and his grandson, the 10th Earl, rebuilt them in 1891 to designs by the architect William Young.

The south wing contains the marble hall.

Gosford is built in the neo-classical style.

During the 2nd World War, the Army occupied the house, and burnt out the main rooms of the central block.

It was re-roofed in 1987, and restoration of the central block is an ongoing process, which has been progressed in the last ten years by Shelagh, Countess of Wemyss and March.


The Marble Hall, in the south wing, is arguably the most arresting of Gosford's many fine interior features.

It was completed in 1891 by William Young for the 10th Earl, and rises to a height of three storeys, with a magnificent double staircase leading to a surrounding picture gallery.

The elaborate fireplace, alabaster colonnades and ornate plasterwork reflect the strong Italianate taste of the 10th Earl, while the Palladian screen of Venetian windows are reminiscent of Adam's original designs.

The ponds in the policies were recently restored by James, the 13th Earl.

Gosford can be seen from Edinburgh on a clear day. It is open to the public in the summer.

The grounds boast an unusual and rare example of a Scottish curling-house.

Neidpath Castle, near Peebles, is also owned by Lord Wemyss; as was Amisfield Park, Haddington, which was sold by the family to the local council in 1928.

First published in January, 2014.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Ards House

THE STEWARTS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY DONEGAL, WITH 39,306 ACRES

ALEXANDER STEWART (1746-1831), second son of Alexander Stewart MP, of Mount Stewart, County Down, and younger brother of Robert, 1st Marquess of Londonderry, purchased the estate of Ards from the Wray family, and settled there in 1782.

Mr Stewart, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1791, espoused, in 1791, the Lady Mary Moore, younger daughter of Charles, 1st Marquess of Drogheda, by the Lady Anne Seymour his wife, daughter of Francis, 1st Marquess of Hertford, and had issue (with other children, who died young),
ALEXANDER ROBERT, his heir;
Charles Moore (Rev);
John Vandeleur, of Rock Hill;
Maria Frances; Gertrude Elizabeth.
Mr Stewart was succeeded by his eldest son, 

ALEXANDER ROBERT STEWART JP DL (1795-1850), of Ards and Lawrencetown House, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1830, who wedded, in 1825, the Lady Caroline Anne Pratt, third daughter of John, 1st Marquess Camden, and had issue,

ALEXANDER JOHN ROBERT STEWART JP DL (1827-1904), of Ards and Lawrencetown House, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1853, County Down, 1861, who married, in 1851, the Lady Isabella Rebecca Graham-Toler, seventh daughter of Hector, 2nd Earl of Norbury, and had issue,
ALEXANDER GEORGE JOHN, his heir;
Charles Hector;
George Lawrence;
Henry Moore;
Cecil George Graham;
Caroline Helen Mary; Beatrice Charlotte Elizabeth; Ida Augusta Isabella.
Mr Stewart's eldest son,

ALEXANDER GEORGE JOHN STEWART (1852-97), a Barrister, wedded, in 1883, Julia Blanche, daughter of Charles Dingwall, of Knollys Croft, Surrey, and had issue, two daughters,
ENA DINGWALL TASCA;
Muriel Neara.
The elder daughter,

ENA DINGWALL TASCA, LADY STEWART-BAM, of Ards, wedded, in 1910, Sir Pieter Canzius van Blommestein Stewart-Bam JP, of Sea Point, Capetown (son the Johannes Andrew Bam), who assumed with his wife the prefix surname and arms of STEWART on his marriage.


ARDS HOUSE, Creeslough, County donegal, was formerly the seat of the Wray family.

In the 18th century, the last William Wray of Ards was "a celebrated figure, eccentric and autocratic, though kind and generous".

This gentleman resided at Ards in feudal state, constructing roads through mountains at his own expense; lavish in his hospitality to guests.

As a consequence of this extravagance, the Ards estate itself was purchased by Alexander Stewart Junior in 1782 (for £13,250 - probably money left to him by his father).

However, the Stewart family had a long association with the Londonderry/east Donegal area, and originally hailed from Ballylawn, County Donegal.

In the 19th century, following the falling-in of the Mercers' lease, probably in 1830, the Stewarts of Ards concentrated on Donegal, acquiring property at Doe Castle and Letterkenny, both in that county.


The Stewart, later Stewart-Bam, family, owned land mainly at Ards, Doe Castle, Dunfanaghy and Letterkenny, in County Donegal.

Ards House was rebuilt about 1830 by Mr Stewart, towards the end of his life.

The main front is of two storeys; good plasterwork in the hall; friezes in the drawing-room and dining-room.

The estate was sold in 1925.

It was acquired by the Franciscans in 1937, who demolished it about 1965. 

Ards Forest Park used to form part of the Stewart estates.

The last member of the Stewart family to own the estate was Ena, Lady Stewart-Bam, who inherited from her grandfather about 1904.
*****

LAWRENCETOWN HOUSE, near Gilford, County Down, was for sale in June, 2016.

Other former seat ~ Lawrencetown House, Gilford, County Down. Town residence ~ 5 Old Court Mansions, Kensington, London.

First published in May, 2012.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Sunday

FOR THE FALLEN: THE GLORIOUS DEAD


They went with songs to the battle,

They were young, straight of limb,
 
True of eyes, steady and aglow,
 
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
 
They fell with their faces to the foe,

 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,
 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
 
We will remember them.

LAURENCE BINYON, 1869-1943