Monday, 27 March 2017

Belfast Steamship Company

Full steam ahead!

I couldn't resist posting this nostalgic advertisement placed the in the 1974 street directory.

We frequently sailed to Liverpool on these ships.

They were very popular in Northern Ireland.

I seem to recall that it took ages for the ferries to negotiate the series of docks at Liverpool!

Do any readers have memories of their voyages in the MV Ulster Prince or MV Ulster Queen?

I believe there was an MV Ulster Monarch, too.

First published in May, 2010.

Castle Ward Visit

Victorian sketch of the Yew Tree Walk

Eager to see the National Trust's admirable and worthy Temple Water project, I motored down to Castle Ward on Sunday, 26th March, 2017.

Castle Ward, ancestral seat of the Viscounts Bangor, is located near Strangford, County Down.

I drove to the farmyard, though there no longer seems to be visitor parking there; so, instead, I parked at the relatively new Shore Car Park at Strangford Bay.

Thence I walked towards the Temple Water, a man-made lake on an axis with Audley's Castle.

It's also beside the old walled garden and overlooked by The Temple, a Georgian summer-house on the top of the hill with a splendid, panoramic prospect of the landscape.


The National Trust has ambitious plans for this part of the demesne, viz. to restore the Georgian parkland and the Temple Water itself.

I walked up to the Temple; down and along the lake; and past the Green row of terraced cottages which overlook Audley's Castle.

Victorian sketch of the Temple Water

Eventually I walked back to the Shore car-park.

I took my packed-lunch up to the stable-yard, where I enjoyed the Spring sunshine on a bench.

At the shop, I purchased a "sit mat"; and across the stable-yard I bought a few books in the excellent second-hand bookshop (Ballywalter Park, UAHS, and St Patrick's (anglican) Cathedral, Armagh).

I had made myself fresh egg and onion sandwiches (County Fermanagh egg, red onion, mustard, cream cheese, granary wholemeal bread).


After lunch I made a beeline for the mansion-house, where I took a tour.

My afternoon concluded in Strangford, about a mile from Castle Ward, where I had a stroll round the village.

The Lobster Pot is back in business, across the Square from The Cuan restaurant and guest-house.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Desart Court

THE EARLS OF DESART WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KILKENNY, WITH 8,000 ACRES

This noble family was originally of the counties of Somerset and Northamptonshire.

Its founder in Ireland,

HUGH CUFFE, Secretary to the Earl of Essex, had a grant, during the reign of ELIZABETH I, of 6,000 acres of land in County Cork, and settled at Cuffe's Wood.

He left, at his decease, two daughters, his co-heirs; viz. Elizabeth, married to Sir Francis Slingsby; and Dorothea, to Sir Charles Coote.

The male line of the family was continued by his nephew,

MAURICE CUFFE, of Ennis, County Clare, merchant ; who died in 1638, leaving a large family, of which the sixth son,

JOSEPH CUFFE, having joined the army under Cromwell, in 1649, was rewarded for his services by considerable grants of lands.

He wedded Martha, daughter of Colonel Agmondesham Muschamp, by whom he had no less than twenty children.

The second son, Maurice, was of Cuffesborough, in Queen's County.

The eldest son,

AGMONDESHAM CUFFE, who was attainted by JAMES II's parliament, in 1689, and had his estates sequestered; but was restored by WILLIAM III.

He espoused Anne, daughter of Sir John Otway, of London, widow of John Warden, of Burnchurch, County Kilkenny; and dying in 1727, was succeeded by his eldest son,  

JOHN CUFFE, of Desart, County Kilkenny, MP,  who was elevated to the peerage, in 1733, by the title of Baron Desart.

His lordship married firstly, Margaret, only daughter and heir of James Hamilton, of Carnesure (descended from the Hamiltons, Earls of Clanbrassil), but had no issue.

He espoused secondly, Dorothea, eldest daughter of General Richard Gorges, of Kilbrew, County Meath, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
OTWAY, succeeded his brother as 3rd Baron;
Hamilton, in holy orders;
William;
Nichola Sophia; Lucy Susanna; Martha; Margaretta; Catherine.
His lordship died in 1749, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 2nd Baron (1730-67), who wedded, in 1752, Sophia, daughter and heir of Brettidge Badham, of Rockfield, County Cork, by whom he had three daughters,
Sophia;
Lucy;
Catherine.
His lordship died without male issue, and was succeeded by his brother,

OTWAY, 3rd Baron (1737-1804), who was advanced to a viscountcy, as Viscount Castle Cuffe in 1781; and further advanced, in 1793, to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF DESART.

His lordship wedded, in 1785, the Lady Anne Browne, eldest daughter of John, 2nd Earl of Altamont, and had issue (with two daughters), an only son,

JOHN OTWAY, 2nd Earl (1788-1820), MP for Bossiney, Cornwall, 1808-17, Mayor of Kilkenny, 1809-10, who espoused, in 1817, Catherine, daughter of Maurice O'Connor, and had issue, an only child,

JOHN OTWAY O'CONNOR, 3rd Earl (1818-65), who wedded, in 1842, the Lady Elizabeth Lucy Campbell, third daughter of John, 1st Earl Cawdor, and had issue,
WILLIAM ULICK O'CONNOR, his successor;
HAMILTON JOHN AGMONSESHAM, succeeded as 5th Earl;
Otway Seymour;
Alice Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM ULICK O'CONNOR, 4th Earl (1845-98), who married firstly, in 1871, Maria Emma Georgina, daughter of Captain Thomas Henry Preston, and had issue, an only daughter,
Kathleen Mary Alexina.
He wedded secondly, in 1881, Ellen Odette, daughter of Henri Louis Bischoffsheim, though had no further issue.

His lordship was succeeded by his brother,

HAMILTON JOHN AGMONDESHAM (1848-1934), 5th and last Earl, KP, KCB, PC.

In his early life he was a midshipman in the Royal Navy before becoming a barrister in 1872. In 1877, he was appointed as a secretary to the Judicature Committee and as a solicitor to The Treasury a year later.

In 1894, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath and as Treasury Solicitor that year, as well as Queen's Proctor and Director of Public Prosecutions.

On inheriting the earldom of Desart from his elder brother William (who died without heirs male) in 1898, he was promoted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.

In 1909, the 5th Earl was created Baron Desart in the Peerage of the UK, which enabled him to sit in the House of Lords.

In 1913, he was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed a Knight of St Patrick in 1919, one of the last appointees to the Order.
The 5th Earl was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Kilkenny, 1920-22.

Entrance front

DESART COURT, near Callan, County Kilkenny, was a Palladian house of two storeys over a basement, joined to two two-storey wings by curved sweeps.

It was built about 1733 by 1st Baron Desart.

The centre block had a seven-bay front, its main feature being four superimposed, engaged, Doric and Ionic columns and Doric entablature.

Garden front

The drawing-room, in the centre of the garden front, had a ceiling of rococo plasterwork, similar to the hall.

Desart Court was burnt in 1923, though was afterwards rebuilt by Lady Kathleen Milborne-Swinnerton-Pilkington, daughter of the 4th Earl.

In 1957, the house was sold and finally demolished.

First published in March, 2013. Desart arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Campbell College's Charter


CAMPBELL COLLEGE stands in its own grounds on the outskirts of east Belfast.

It is located on the site of what was once Belmont House, seat of Sir Thomas McClure Bt.



The 1st June, 1951, was a very special day for Campbell: The presentation of a Royal Charter by Her Majesty The Queen (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) on behalf of The King (GEORGE VI).

The Chairman of the Governors was the Rev J K L McKean; the Headmaster, Ronald Groves MA BSc.

Major Lytle was Commanding Officer of the Corps.

Among those presented to the Royal Party included:
  • Major R D Williams MC BA
    The Rev Canon L W Crooks MA
    The Rev R Hyndman DD BA
    W H Niall Nelson
    R Watts MC
    The Rt Hon the Lord MacDermott MC PC
    John Archer MA
    The Ven C I Peacocke TD MA
    Lieutenant-Colonel J R H Greeves TD BSc
    Dr James Boyd CBE MD BSc
    R S Brownell CBE (Permanent Secretary, Dept of Educ.)
    Mrs Dermot Campbell
    The Headmaster of Cabin Hill School & Mrs Sutton
    Major C A Bowen TD MA (Second Master)
    C B Mitchell MA (President, Old Campbellian Society)
    Major T B Dunn (Chairman, OC Council)
HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH The Princess Margaret

The weather was clement; the grounds were at their best; the College, "the warm red brick building [standing] out nobly against the background of the trees" (W V Thomas).



Guest began to arrive shortly after two o'clock; the Boys took up position along one side of the Quadrangle under the Masters' Common-room windows.

The Guard of Honour, drawn from the College's CCF, stood on the east side of the Quadrangle.



At three twenty-five, the Royal Standard of Her Majesty was broken over Campbell.

The Royal Party had arrived: HM The Queen; HRH The Princess Margaret; HE the Governor of Northern Ireland, the 4th Earl Granville; the Chairman of the Governors, the Rev JKL McKean; the Headmaster and Mrs Groves.





ADDRESS OF WELCOME BY THE HEAD PREFECT


It is with great pride that we welcome Your Majesty and Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret to Campbell College. Since its foundation in 1894, boys have gone forth from this school to serve the Empire and their generation in many and varied walks of life - in Church and State, the Armed Forces, the liberal professions, the commercial and industrial life of Northern Ireland, and in your Dominions at home and overseas ... in the two world wars 236 Old Boys laid down their lives for God, King and Country; it is with pride that we remember that two of these were awarded the Victoria Cross.
      
In many other ways its sons have enriched the Ulster heritage and helped to forge the link between Great Britain and Northern Ireland ... which will inspire us and those who follow to even greater efforts to serve Your Majesty and your people with equal loyalty in the future.


ADDRESS OF HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN TO CAMPBELL COLLEGE, BELFAST

The King has asked me to say how very sorry he is not to be able to be here today, as he had been looking forward to the opportunity which his visit to Northern Ireland afforded of coming to one of its most eminent schools, and of seeing some of the boys who will hold many important positions in the varied life of the country in the future ... the notable record to which you have referred prompted your Governors to propose the Campbell College should be given a Royal Charter. The King was very glad to approve this...
      
On His Majesty's behalf I now present this Charter of Incorporation to the Chairman of the Governors. The King would like to mark this occasion in a form which boys most readily understand and I would therefore ask your Headmaster to add a week to your summer holidays.

Thereafter the Chairman of the Governors replied with a brief word of gratitude.

The Head Boy, Stewart Johnston, came forward and was presented to The Queen.

 The Royal Party were shown the Central Hall and the War Memorials.




Afterwards, the Royal Party walked round the front of the Quadrangle; HM spoke to some of the masters and boys; HM and HRH kindly posed for the rows of boys with cameras; and, as the Royal Salute was played once more, and The Queen's Standard was hauled down, HM and HRH bade farewell.




So ended in every way a golden day in the history of Campbell College.

First published in June, 2011.

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Downhill Acquisition

SELECTIVE ACQUISITIONS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

PROPERTY: Mussenden Temple, Downhill Demesne, County Londonderry
DATE: 1949
EXTENT: 0.59 acres
DONOR: Frederick Smyth Esq

*****

PROPERTY: The Black Glen, Downhill Demesne
DATE: 1961
EXTENT: 17.7 acres
DONOR: Richard Morrison Esq

*****

PROPERTY: Downhill Ruin and Mausoleum
DATE: 1980
EXTENT: 3.1 acres
DONOR: Messrs Robert O'Neill and James Reid

*****

PROPERTY: Downhill
DATE: 2004
EXTENT: 5.98 acres
DONOR: Coleraine Borough Council

First published in December, 2014.

Coolcarrigan House

THE WILSON-WRIGHT FAMILY WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KILDARE, WITH 5,432 ACRES


The first member of the Wright family to settle in Ireland was

CAPTAIN JAMES WRIGHT (1615-1700), of Royston, Yorkshire, son of John Wright and Margaret, daughter of Richard Ratcliffe.

This soldier, an officer in Cromwell's army, landed at Dublin, 1649.

In 1661, Captain Wright was granted lands at Golagh in County Monaghan.

He was, however, attainted by JAMES II's parliament, 1688.

His son,

JOSEPH WRIGHT (1652-1731), of Golagh, married, in 1708, Mary, daughter of Edward Own of Kilmore, County Monaghan, and had a son,

JOSEPH WRIGHT, of Golagh, High Sheriff of Monaghan, married, in 1744, Eleanor Martyn, of Clogher and Dumbartagh, County Cavan.

The second son,

JOSEPH WRIGHT JP, of Carrachor Hall, Rector of Killencoole, Lurgan Green and Harristown, County Louth, married Mary Montgomery and had four sons.

His second son,

RICHARD WRIGHT, of Fortfield, Belfast, and Craigavad House, County Down, married Catherine, daughter of George Dowdall.

He died in 1788, leaving issue five sons and two daughters.

The third son,

EDWARD THOMAS WRIGHT (1810-81), of Donnybrook, County Dublin, Barrister, married, in 1832, his cousin Charlotte, daughter of Joseph Wright, of Beech Hill, Donnybrook, County Dublin.

The eldest son,

EDWARD PERCIVAL WRIGHT (1834-1910), Professor of Botany, Dublin University, married Emily, daughter of Colonel Ponsonby Shaw of the Indian Army.

His second son,

THE REV CHARLES HENRY HAMILTON WRIGHT (1836-1909), married, in 1859, Ebba Johanna, daughter of Nils Wilhelm Almroth (Director of the Royal Mint in Stockholm and a Knight of the Northern Star of Sweden).

His second son,

SIR ALMROTH EDWARD WRIGHT KBE CB (1861-1947), married, in 1889, Jane Georgina, daughter of Robert Mackay Wilson, of Coolcarrigan, County Kildare.

His second son,

LEONARD ALMROTH WILSON-WRIGHT JP, of Coolcarrigan, High Sheriff of County Kildare, 1921, who married, in 1925, Florence, eldest daughter of James Ivory JP, of Brewlands, Glenisla, Forfarshire, and had issue, an only son,

JOCK WILSON-WRIGHT (1928-), who married, in 1953, Sheila Gwendolyn Yate, only daughter of Colonel Henry Patrick Blosse-Lynch, of Partry, Claremorris, County Mayo, and had issue,
Robert (b 1956);
Jane Sheila (b 1958);
Janet, (b 1951) who married Sir Richard La Touche Colthurst, 9th Baronet, of Ardrum, County Cork, and had issue two sons, Charles (b 1955) and James (b 1957).
***** 

THE WILSONS descend from John Wilson, of Rahee, County Antrim, said to have landed in Carrickfergus in the suite of WILLIAM III.

Robert Mackay Wilson's great-grandfather Hugh Wilson (d 1822) also lived at Rashee.

Robert Mackay Wilson's grandfather William Wilson, of Daramona House, County Westmeath, and Larkhill, County Dublin, was born in 1787 and married, in 1815, Rebecca Dupre (d 1846), daughter of John Mackay of Elagh, County Tyrone, and Prospect, County Londonderry.

Robert's elder brother John (1826-1906) succeeded to Daramona House and was sometime High Sheriff for counties Westmeath and Longford.

Robert Mackay Wilson JP (b1829), High Sheriff of Kildare, 1887, married, in 1858, Elizabeth, daughter of Murray Suffern, of Belfast.

Mr Wilson purchased Coolcarrigan.

Coolcarrigan passed to his only surviving child,

Jane Georgina Wilson (1860-1926) who married Sir Almroth Wright.


COOLCARRIGAN HOUSE, near Naas, County Kildare, is a mansion of three bays and two storeys in the Georgian style, built in the 1830s by Robert Mackay Wilson to the designs of an unknown architect.

The fa├žade has hooded moldings over the upper windows, a simple parapet and a typical late-Georgian door with fanlight and sidelights, while the central bay is treated as a breakfront by the addition of a pair of pilasters.


Two later curved screen walls, ending in tall piers, project outwards to either side of the entrance front and disguise the fact that the house has been considerably enlarged at the rear.

These additions make Coolcarrigan a very comfortable family home.


There is a beautiful family chapel in the grounds:

Consecrated in 1885 by the Most Rev William Plunket, Lord Archbishop of Dublin and later 4th Baron Plunket, the chapel was built in the Hiberno-Romanesque Revival style, with a Round Tower and a High Cross.

It derives from the 12th century Temple Finghin at Clonmacnoise on the River Shannon.

This tiny complex, surrounded by trees and a dry moat, is the most complete example of the Celtic Revival style in Ireland and makes an attractive view from the house.

The church interior has frescoes in Gaelic script, specially chosen by Douglas Hyde, the first Irish President and a close family friend; while the very good stained glass windows, dedicated to various members of the family, are also in the Celtic Revival style.

The main avenue has a splendid display of spring bulbs while the superb twenty-acre garden has a wonderful collection of rare and unusual trees and shrubs inspired by Sir Harold Hillier, the great 20th century plants-man and collector.

An elaborate 1900s greenhouse in the walled garden has just been authentically restored.

Robert Wilson's daughter Georgina married Sir Almroth Wright, and inherited Coolcarrigan.

Her husband was an eminent physician and a colleague of Alexander Fleming, who worked on the development of vaccination and discovered the cure for typhoid.

Among his friends was the playwright George Bernard Shaw, whose play The Doctor’s Dilemma is based upon Sir Almroth.

Their descendants, the Wilson-Wright family, still live at Coolcarrigan, the fifth generation to live in the house.

First published in March, 2013.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Coates Baronets

THE COATES BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1921 FOR COUNCILLOR WILLIAM FREDERICK COATES JP DL

VICTOR COATS (1760-1822), of Snugville, Belfast, son of Israel Coats, of The Falls, in the same town, by his wife Grace, carried out business as a surgeon-barber and perfumer.

During the latter half of the 18th century, Mr Coats removed to Ballymacarrett and established the Coats Pottery,
Coats has for sale a good assortment of butter crocks and milk pans of different sizes. Also, flooring tiles of remarkable good quality, and chimney pots made to any shape.
About 1800, Mr Coats inherited a heavy engineering firm, which was to become one of the most successful in Belfast.

His son,

WILLIAM COATES JP (1798-1878), of Glentoran, Belfast, who married Mary, daughter of Thomas Lindsay, and had issue, a son,

DAVID LINDSAY COATES JP (1840-94), of Clonallon House, Strandtown, Belfast, who wedded, in 1864, Sara, daughter of George Mulligan, and had issue,
WILLIAM FREDERICK, his heir;
Harold Vivian Edmund;
Anna Maria.
Mr Coates was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM FREDERICK COATES JP DL (1866-1932), Lord Mayor of Belfast, 1920-22 and 1929-30, High Sheriff of Belfast, 1906, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1931.

Mr Coates established the stockbrokers William F Coates & Co.

He was created a baronet in 1921, denominated of Haypark, City of Belfast.

Sir William espoused, in 1907, Elsie Millicent, daughter of Colonel Frederick William Gregory, and had issue,
FREDERICK GREGORY LINDSAY, his successor;
Jean Ann Dorothy.

He hosted King George V and Queen Mary when they visited Belfast to open the new NI Parliament Buildings of which he was also a senator (both ex officio as Lord Mayor and as an elected member 1924-29).

The following entry was circulated in the London Gazette, 1921:-
The KING has been graciously pleased on the occasion of the opening by His Majesty of the Parliament of Northern Ireland to signify his intention of conferring a Baronetcy of the United Kingdom on the undermentioned: — William Frederick Coates, Esq., D.L. For two years successively Lord Mayor of Belfast. Has rendered conspicuous valuable service during very anxious times.

Clonallon House was a large Victorian villa in its own grounds, between Belmont Road and Sydenham Avenue.

The main entrance was probably at Belmont Road, where there may have been a gate lodge.


Sir William lived for a period at Glynn Park House (above), near Carrickfergus, County Antrim, which features in Dean's Gate Lodges of Ulster.


He was succeeded by his only son,

BRIGADIER SIR FREDERICK GREGORY LINDSAY COATES (1916-94), 2nd Baronet, who married, in 1940, Joan Nugent, daughter of Major-General Sir Charlton Watson Spinks, and had issue,
DAVID FREDERICK CHARLTON, his successor;
Elizabeth Sara Ann; Moira Louise.
Sir Frederick was succeeded by his only son,

SIR DAVID FREDERICK CHARLTON COATES (b 1948), 3rd Baronet, of Dorchester, Dorset, who wedded, in 1973, Christine Helen, daughter of Lewis F Marshall, and had issue,
JAMES GREGORY DAVID, b 1977;
Robert Lewis Edward, b 1980.
Sir David is vice-president of the Poole Maritime Trust.

First published in July, 2010.