Tuesday, 19 June 2018

KG Appointment


It was most gratifying to see the Viscount Brookeborough installed by Her Majesty The Queen as a Knight of the Garter at St George's Chapel, Windsor, on Monday, the 18th June, 2018.

Lord Brookeborough's grandfather, the 1st Viscount (the third Prime Minister of Northern Ireland), was himself appointed a Knight of the Garter in 1965.

In 1997, Her Majesty appointed Lord Brookeborough a Lord-in-Waiting.

The family seat is Colebrooke Park, County Fermanagh.

The only other Knight of the Garter living in Northern Ireland is His Grace the Duke of Abercorn.

House of O'Neill

THE BARONS O'NEILL WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY ANTRIM, WITH 64,163 ACRES
The house of O'Neill boasts of royal descent, and deduces its pedigree from CONN O'NEILL, Prince of Tyrone, who, upon relinquishing his royalty, was created EARL OF TYRONE, by HENRY VIII, in 1542. 
PHELIM O'NEILL, Lord of Clanaboy, son of Niall Mor, dying in 1533, left two sons, of whom the eldest son, 

(SIR) BRYAN O'NEILL, married Amy, daughter of Brian Carrach MacDonnell (he married an unnamed Scotswoman in 1568).
Sir Bryan, Captain or Lord of Clanaboy, was later obliged to repulse an invasion by Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex, who crossed the ford of Belfast and, though welcomed by Sir Bryan as a guest, arranged the massacre of 200 of Sir Bryan's people and took him and his wife in 1573.
He died in 1574, and was succeeded by his son,

SHANE McBRYAN O'NEILL, of Shane's Castle, LAST LORD OF CLANABOY, who joined Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, in the war against ELIZABETH I, burned Carrickfergus, and submitted in 1586.

He married firstly, Rose, daughter of Sir Arthur Magennis, 1st Viscount Iveagh, and had issue, a son, HENRY, his heir; and secondly, Anne, daughter of Brian Carrach O'Neill, of Loughinsholin, by whom he had numerous issue.

He died ca 1616, he was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR HENRY O'NEILL, Knight (c1600-38), of Shane's Castle, Lord of Clanaboy, and chief of his name, who married Martha, daughter of Sir Francis Stafford, governor of Ulster, and had issue, ROSE.

The present Lord O'Neill with a portrait of Rose, Marchioness of Antrim


Sir Henry was succeeded by his only daughter,

ROSE O'NEILL, of Shane's Castle, who espoused Randal, 1st Marquess of Antrim.

Lady Antrim died without issue in 1695, leaving her cousin, Colonel Con MacBryan O'Neill, of The Feeva, her heir male; but the estates devolved under the will of her father on her cousin, Colonel Cormac O'Neill, at whose death, without issue, 1707, they passed to his nephew,

COLONEL CHARLES O'NEILL, of Shane's Castle, who wedded the Lady Mary Paulet, eldest daughter of Charles, Duke of Bolton; but dying without issue in 1716, they came into the possession of

JOHN O'NEILL, "French John", of Shane's Castle, previously of Dunmore and Gortgole, son of Bryan, and grandson of Phelim Duff, half-brother to Sir Henry O'Neill.

He married Charity, daughter of Sir Richard Dixon, Knight, and had issue,
HENRY;
CHARLES;
Clotworthy;
Catharine, m 7th Viscount Mountgarret;
Rachael; Eleanor; Rose; Anne; Mary.
HENRY O'NEILL, of Shane's Castle, eldest son and heir, wedded Mary, widow of Captain John Bickerstaffe JP, of Rosegift in the Largy, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1682; but dying, 1721, in his father's lifetime, left MARY, an only child and heir, who espoused the REV ARTHUR CHICHESTER, Vicar of Drumaul, Randalstown, and had issue, of whom hereafter.

French John O'Neill died in 1739, and was succeeded by his second son,

CHARLES O'NEILL, of Shane's Castle, who acquired the estates, under settlement, executed by his father on his marriage, in 1736.

He married Catherine, daughter of the Rt Hon St John Brodrick (eldest son of Alan, 1st Viscount Midleton, Lord Chancellor of Ireland) by Anne, only sister of Trevor, Viscount Hillsborough, father of 1st Marquess of Downshire.

Mr O'Neill died in 1769, having left issue by her,
JOHN, his heir;
St John;
Anne, Rt Hon R Jackson.
The eldest son,

THE RT HON JOHN O'NEILL (1740-98), of Shane's Castle, wedded the Hon Henrietta Boyle, daughter of Charles, Viscount Dungarvan, in 1777.

Mr O'Neill, Privy Counsellor, MP for Randalstown, 1760-83, MP for County Antrim, 1783-93, was elevated to the peerage, in 1793, as Baron O'Neill, of Shane's Castle; and advanced to a viscountcy, 1795, as Viscount O'Neill, of Shane's Castle.

His lordship, Governor of Antrim at the outbreak of an uprising, was mortally wounded by an assailant in 1798, having received wounds from insurgent pikemen previously.

By his wife he had issue,


CHARLES HENRY ST JOHN, his successor;
John Bruce Richard, MP, Major-General, Constable of Dublin Castle.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

CHARLES HENRY ST JOHN(1779-1841), 2nd Viscount, KP, PC, of Shane's Castle; who was further advanced, in 1800, to the dignities of Viscount Raymond and EARL O'NEILL.
Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, 1831–41; Colonel, Antrim Militia; Vice-Admiral of Ulster; Grand Master, Orange Order, 1801; Knight, Order of St. Patrick (KP), 1809; Privy Counsellor, 1809.
When the 1st Earl died in 1855, unmarried, from a complication of gout and influenza at Shane's Castle, the earldom of O'Neill became extinct, though the viscountcy passed to his brother, 

JOHN BRUCE RICHARD (1780-1855), 3rd Viscount; MP for Antrim, 1802-41; Ensign Coldstream Captain, 1800; Captain, 18th Light Dragoons 1804; Major, 19th Light Dragoons 1807; Lt-Col, Chasseurs Britanniques, 1808; 19th Light Dragoons, 1810; and Coldstream Guards, 1816; Colonel, 1814; Major-General, 1825; Lieutenant-General, 1838.

The 3rd Viscount died unmarried, in 1855, when the titles expired.

In 1868, however, the family honours reverted to his second cousin twice removed, the Rev William Chichester, later O'Neill, who was created BARON O'NEILL.



SHANE'S CASTLE demesne lies at Lough Neagh, between the towns of Antrim and Randalstown in County Antrim.

The original Shane's Castle took its name from Shane McBrian O'Neill, last captain or lord of Clanaboy.

There were two principal branches of the House of O'Neill: Tyrone and Clanaboy.

After a long and turbulent history, JAMES I finally settled the O'Neill estates, in excess of 120,000 acres, on Shane McBrian O'Neill, who had made his peace with the Crown.

After passing through several cousins, the O'Neill estates were eventually inherited by Charles O'Neill (d 1769), who built Tullymore Lodge in Broughshane, the dower house of the O'Neills till the 1930s.

Charles also built Cleggan Lodge, originally a shooting lodge until taken over by Sir Hugh O'Neill, 1st Baron Rathcavan, in the early 1900s.

Charles's son John, 1st Viscount O'Neill (1740-98) was a highly respected parliamentarian and was tragically killed at the Battle of Antrim in 1798.

Charles Henry St John, 2nd Viscount, was further elevated to become 1st Earl O'Neill and Viscount Raymond (1779-1841), continued his father's tradition as a distinguished parliamentarian and, for his support of the Act of Union, was granted the earldom.

The 1st Earl's younger brother, John 1780-1855), succeeded to the titles as 2nd and last Earl O'Neill when the earldom became extinct.

However, his estates were inherited by his cousin, the Rev William Chichester, who assumed the surname of O'Neill in lieu of Chichester the same year.

In 1868, the barony was revived, when the Rev William was created 1st Baron O'Neill, of Shane's Castle in the County of Antrim.

This title is still extant today.

The 1st Baron was the great-great-great-grandson of John Chichester, younger brother of Arthur Chichester, 2nd Earl of Donegall. The latter two were both nephews of Arthur Chichester, 1st Earl of Donegall, and grandsons of Edward Chichester, 1st Viscount Chichester..

Lord O'Neill was succeeded by his eldest son, the 2nd Baron, who sat as MP for Antrim.

His eldest son and heir apparent, the Hon Arthur O'Neill, was Mid-Antrim MP from 1910 until 1914, when he was killed in action during the First World War the first MP to die in the conflict.

The 2nd Baron was consequently succeeded by his grandson, the 3rd Baron (the son of the Hon Arthur O'Neill), who was killed in action in Italy during the Second World War.

As of 2010 the title is held by his son, 4th and present Baron, who succeeded in 1944.
As a descendant of the 1st Viscount Chichester, he is in remainder to the barony and viscountcy of Chichester and, according to a special patent in the letters patent, the earldom of Donegall, titles held by his kinsman, the present Marquess of Donegall.
Two other members of the O'Neill family have been elevated to the peerage: Hugh O'Neill, 1st Baron Rathcavan, youngest son of 2nd Baron O'Neill; and Terence O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of the Maine, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, youngest brother of 3rd Baron.

The barony of the present creation really descends through marriage from the Chichester family, Earls and Marquesses of Donegall.

Shane's Castle remains one of the largest and finest private demesnes in Northern Ireland, extending to 2,700 acres.

It lies in a particularly scenic, not to say strategic, position on the north-east shore of Lough Neagh between Antrim and Randalstown.

Part of the Estate is a nature reserve.

The O'Neill family has had a hapless history with regard to the fate of their houses: the first Shane's Castle dated from the early 1600s and was utterly destroyed by an accidental fire in 1816.

The family moved to a small house adjoining the stables.


That house was replaced in 1865 by a larger, Victorian-Gothic castle which, tragically, was maliciously burnt in 1922 (as was the nearby Antrim Castle).


Its ruin was subsequently cleared away, and for the next 40 or so years the family lived once again in the stables.

The extensive and fine walled Shane's Castle demesne lies on the north shores of Lough Neagh.

It was established in the 17th century and surrounds a succession of houses on different sites.

There are ruins of the original dwelling on the shores of Lough Neagh and the 18th century house, with a lake-side terrace and a vault of 1722.

The attached and surviving camellia house, also by Nash, of 1815 is full of plants.

The present house (above) was built in 1958 in a pleasant spot to the north-west of the earlier house and south-west of the intermediate 1860s house (by Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon), which was burnt by the IRA in the 1920s.

It is classical, well-proportioned, with a handsome fanlighted doorway.

The parkland is beautiful and contains many well distributed venerable trees.

There are substantial shelter belts, which once accommodated walks and rides. Clumps and plantations also grace the fields.

There has been a long history of ornamental gardens and productive gardens on the site.

It was visited, depicted and remarked upon by various commentators of the 18th and 19th centuries.

A portrait of the landscape gardener John Sutherland by Martin Creggan (1822), hangs in the house.

Early 20th century photographs show well maintained acres in the days when many gardeners were employed to keep up a high standard commensurate with the size of the demesne.

In 1933 the surroundings were described as, 
‘… exceedingly pretty, with old oaks, lovely flowers and enchanting vistas of both river and lake, and with rockeries, water-lily ponds and ferneries in profusion.’  

A large and impressive mid- 19th century rockery built in a quarry near the lough shores is not planted up but is kept clear.

At the present time there are beautifully maintained contemporary gardens at the house and adaptations of the walled garden planting for modern use.

Glasshouses have been removed.

The arboretum is being reinforced and much new planting has been added in the vicinity of the house.

There is a family graveyard, with a statue of a harpist by Victor Segoffin of 1923.

There are many well maintained and listed estate buildings such as Ballealy Cottage of  ca 1835.

The surviving gate lodges by James Sands are very fine: Dunmore Lodge, ca 1850; Antrim Lodge, ca 1848; White or Ballygrooby Lodge, ca 1848; and Randalstown Gate Lodge, ca 1848, all listed.
The latter lodges belong to a period of enhancement on the demesne.

Two pre-1829 bridges are Dunmore Bridge and Deerpark Bridge.

The deer-park, on the western side of the River Maine, was sold to the Department of Agriculture before the last war and is known as Randalstown Forest. 

First published in May, 2010.   O'Neill arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Mount Stewart Memories: II


CHARLES VILLIERS, A GRANDSON OF THE LATE LADY MAIRI BURY AND GREAT-GRANDSON OF THE 7TH MARQUESS AND MARCHIONESS OF LONDONDERRY, REMINISCES ABOUT MOUNT STEWART, COUNTY DOWN,  DURING THE 1960s AND 1970s

An interesting facet was that while the gardens were open via the National Trust, the house itself was my grandmother's totally private residence until I was about 13, complete with butler and quite a lot of staff.

There were still some large house parties: At Christmas and New Year, 1973-74, I remember that every one of the 26 or so bedrooms had at least one guest staying in them.

At that time, the extensive attics were piled to the ceilings with an enormous quantity of surplus furniture for which there was no space in the rest of the house.

Those attics were cleared in a big furniture sale in 1975.

I must have been a very precocious 12 year-old because I wanted to use some modest Post Office savings to buy two dusty paintings of an attractive-looking lady, one with an elbow-sized hole in the canvas, clearly signed "B West" in black paint, and dated in the late eighteenth century, which I knew of from my "boy's den" in one of the attics before they were brought down for the sale.

I was told by my parents that I could not use my Post Office account for the purpose of the paintings of the beautiful lady.

In the event the portraits sold for relative buttons in the auction in the stable yard at Mount Stewart, were cleaned up by the Bond Street dealer who flew over from London and back the same day to buy them; then declared them to be by the famous American painter Benjamin West; cleaned; and identified as two portraits of Foreign Secretary Lord Castlereagh's mother-in-law; and were each quickly re-sold for large sums to two museums in the United States where they currently reside now.

There is no doubt that I would have been outbid by the dealer, but I'd have liked him to have had to cough up a bit more cash than he did.

I could go on with reams of other recollections.

My memories of Mount Stewart are, above all, of the happiest loving kind when it comes to my grandmother [Lady Mairi] who was the most wonderful grandparent anyone could have had, and we were all so lucky to have her for so long.

First published in November, 2010.

Gormanston Castle

THE VISCOUNTS GORMANSTON WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MEATH, WITH 9,657 ACRES

The first member of this very ancient and distinguished family which is found upon record in Ireland is

PHILIP DE PRESTON, whose grandson,

ROGER DE PRESTON, was justice of the court of Common Pleas in the first year of EDWARD III; and in 1331, one of the justices of the Court of King's Bench.

The son and heir of this learned person, 

SIR ROBERT PRESTON, who was knighted in the field, in 1361, by Lionel, Duke of Clarence, and obtained a grant forever of the manor of Gormanston, in counties Dublin and Meath, was Lord Preston in Lancashire, and filled the office of LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND.

Being possessed of Carbury in County Kildare, he made that the chief place of his residence.

This gentleman was elevated to the peerage some time between 1365-70 as Baron Gormanston.

His lordship married Margaret, daughter and heir of Walter de Bermingham, and dying in 1396, was succeeded by his only son,

CHRISTOPHER (c1354-1422), 2nd Baron, who was imprisoned in the castle of Trim for corresponding with the prior of Kilmainham.

He wedded Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of William de Londres, feudal baron of Naas in right of his mother, Emma, daughter of William FitzMaurice, 1st Baron of Naas (so created by HENRY II), and his wife, Helen, sister of Richard, Earl of Pembroke (by which marriage the Prestons obtained the barony of Naas).

His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

CHRISTOPHER, 3rd Baron, who espoused Jane, daughter of Sir Jenico d'Artois, Knight, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT (1435-1503), 4th Baron, who was appointed deputy to Sir John Dynham, Lord Chancellor of Ireland; and Richard, Duke of York, youngest son of EDWARD IV, being constituted Lord Deputy of Ireland, in 1478, Sir Robert was appointed that prince's deputy (he being a minor), with power to elect a deputy to himself.

In 1478, his lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, by the title of VISCOUNT GORMANSTON.

His lordship sat in the parliament of 1490, and in that of 1493.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 2nd Viscount, who filled the office of deputy to Sir James Ormonde, Lord Treasurer of Ireland in 1493.

In 1504, his lordship attended the Earl of Kildare, the Lord Deputy, to the famous battle of Knocktough, in the province of Connaught, where, with Lord Killeen, he led the wings of the bowmen; and in 1525, he was appointed Lord Justice of Ireland.

His lordship died in 1532, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JENICO, 3rd Viscount (1502-69), who was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHRISTOPHER, 4th Viscount (1546-99), who left, with several daughters, three sons, namely,
JENICO, his heir;
Thomas, created Viscount Tara;
William.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JENICO, 5th Viscount (1584-1630), who left (with a daughter) a son and successor,

NICHOLAS, 6th Viscount (1608-43), who wedded Mary, daughter of Nicholas, 1st Viscount Kingsland, and had issue,
JENICO, his successor;
Nicholas, father of 8th and 9th Viscounts.
This nobleman sided with the rebel Irish Roman Catholics, 1641-42, and acted as their General-in-Chief; for this he was outlawed after his death and posthumously exempted from Cromwell's pardon, 1652.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JENICO, 7th Viscount, who having adhered to his legitimate sovereign, JAMES II, was indicted for high treason, and outlawed upon that indictment in 1691.

His lordship dying, however, in 1691, without male issue, was succeeded by his nephew,

JENICO, de jure 8th Viscount (1640-1700); but the title was not acknowledged, although borne by his lordship and his three immediate successors.

He was succeeded by his brother,

ANTHONY, de jure 9th Viscount, who espoused, in 1700, Mary, only child of his uncle, Jenico, 7th Viscount, and was succeeded by his only son,

JENICO, de jure 10th Viscount (1707-57), who wedded, in 1729, Thomasine, eldest daughter of John, 11th Baron Trimlestown, and had, with other issue,
ANTHONY, his successor;
James;
Jenico;
John;
Catherine; Frances; Bridget; Elizabeth Margaret.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANTHONY, de jure 11th Viscount, who espoused Henrietta, daughter of John Robinson, of Denston Hall, Suffolk; and dying in 1786, left issue by her,

JENICO, 12th Viscount (1775-1860), who, in 1800, obtained the removal of the outlawry of his predecessors and had a writ of summons to take his seat in the Irish House of Lords, but owing to the final prorogation of that House he did not have the opportunity to do so, took an active part in the cause of Catholic Emancipation.

His lordship wedded, in 1794, Margaret, eldest daughter of Thomas, 2nd Viscount Southwell, by whom he had issue,
EDWARD ANTHONY JOHN, his successor;
Arthur Anthony;
Jenico Charles;
Robert;
Charles;
Edmund;
Matilda.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD ANTHONY JOHN, 13th Viscount (1796-1876), High Sheriff of County Meath, 1831, High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1845, who married, in 1836, Lucretia, daughter of William Charles Jerningham, and had issue,
JENICO WILLIAM JOSEPH, his successor;
Edward Francis John;
Margaret Frances Agnes; Lucretia Pauline Mary; Charlotte Agnes Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JENICO WILLIAM JOSEPH, 14th Viscount (1837-1907), GCMG JP DL, High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1865, who espoused firstly, in 1861, Ismay Louise Ursula, daughter of Patrick, 1st Baron Bellew, though the marriage was without issue.

He married secondly, in 1878, Georgina Jane, daughter of Peter Connelan, and had issue,
JENICO EDWARD JOSEPH, his successor;
Richard Martin Peter;
Hubert Anthony John;
Ismay Lucretia Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JENICO EDWARD JOSEPH, 15th Viscount (1879-1925), JP DL, who wedded, in 1911, Eileen, daughter of Lieutenant-General the Rt Hon Sir William Butler, of Bansha Castle, County Tipperary, and had issue,
JENICO WILLIAM RICHARD, his successor;
Robert Francis Hubert;
Stephen Edward Thomas;
Eileen Antionette Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JENICO WILLIAM RICHARD, 16th Viscount (1914-40), 2nd Lieutenant, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who espoused, in 1939, Pamela, daughter of Captain Edward Dudley Hanly, and had issue, an only child,
JENICO NICHOLAS DUDLEY, his successor.
His lordship was killed in action, aged 25, in France.

He was succeeded by his only son,

JENICO NICHOLAS DUDLEY, 17th Viscount (1939-), who is married with issue and lives in London.

The Viscounts Gormanston are the premier viscounts of Ireland.


GORMANSTON CASTLE, Balbriggan, County Meath, is situated near Drogheda, about sixteen miles north of Dublin.

Mark Bence-Jones states that the old Manor at Gormanston was low and gabled, adjoined to a chapel where Mass was said all through the Penal times.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the 12th Viscount rebuilt the house in the Gothic-Revival style.


Gormanston Castle is an impressive castellated building with a quadrangular plan with a tower at each corner except the north-west corner. The main building is three storeys.

The central part of the frontage is flanked by two narrow castellated towers on either side of the entrance.

The 12th Viscount intended the Castle to be much larger, though building work ceased when his wife died in 1820.

Gormanston is renowned for the foxes which are said to collect at the Castle when the head of the family is dying or has died; indeed the family crest is a fox.

Foxes are claimed to have gathered followed the deaths of the 12th and 14th Viscounts.


The author Evelyn Waugh was interested in purchasing the estate in 1946 and even bid for it.

He described it as "A fine, solid, grim, square, half-finished block with tower and turrets".

On learning that Butlins were opening a holiday camp in the vicinity, he promptly changed his mind.

The castle grounds were developed in the 1950s with the building of a boys' secondary school adjacent to the Castle.

The Franciscans have been in Gormanston since 1947, when they purchased Gormanston Castle, the ancestral home of the Preston Family since ca 1300.

In 1954 a Preparatory School for the College in Multyfarnham was opened in the Castle.

New plans resulted in the building of a new college and the transfer of the Multyfarnham College to this new location.

Gormanston College today is a thriving secondary school, with 500 students.

Gormanston arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in January, 2012.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Mount Stewart Memories: I

CHARLES VILLIERS, A GRANDSON OF THE LATE LADY MAIRI BURY AND GREAT-GRANDSON OF THE 7TH MARQUESS AND MARCHIONESS OF LONDONDERRY, REMINISCES ABOUT MOUNT STEWART, COUNTY DOWN,  DURING THE 1960s AND 1970s


The swimming-pool at Mount Stewart was such a fun place for children.

My sister Charlotte and I loved every minute of going there.

I have virtually an album full of photographs of enjoyable times on hot days at the swimming pool.

As I remember, the last summer we used the pool daily, as opposed to intermittently thereafter, was 1977. 

I was born at Newtownards in 1963 and, my parents having married whilst my father was an undergraduate at Oxford, had no proper home at first so, my mother having returned to Northern Ireland for me to be born, they then left me with my grandmother [Lady Mairi] for the first six months of my life.

Thereafter, during all my childhood and school-days, we spent huge amounts of the holidays at Mount Stewart - pretty well every Christmas and New Year, a month every summer (much spent at the pool), and occasional Easters.

My wonderful grandmother gave me my driving lessons in her lime green Rover (with bright orange interior) on the estate roads. 

Curiously enough I was always back at boarding school by the time the rhododendrons were in full flower so it was only in the 1990s when we now stayed with my grandmother in May most years that I saw them for the first time in all their glory.

First published in November, 2010.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

State Coach


The  magnificent Londonderry State Coach, now restored by the National Trust, is usually on display at Mount Stewart in County Down.

The colours of the coach are of significance, since the heraldic colours sable (black) and or (yellow or gold) feature in the Londonderry coat-of-arms.

This coach, which dates back to 1880s, was used by the Londonderry family to travel to the coronations of EDWARD VII, GEORGE V, GEORGE VI, as well as royal weddings and great state occasions in London.


Several years ago the National Trust approached the 9th Marquess, who owned the coach, with the aim of restoring and conserving this historically important artefact.

Now, after months of restoration by National Trust experts and with an project investment of around £100,000, the coach is displayed in all its sumptuous glory at Mount Stewart.


In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Londonderry family had several homes across the UK, including Mount Stewart , travelling frequently between them with several carriages kept at each residence, suitable for a variety of uses.


This particular coach would have only ever been used for state occasions and is now in Northern Ireland for the first time where previously it remained at the family’s London home, Londonderry House, in Park Lane.

Londonderry House, Park Lane

Very few state coaches now survive and the National Trust has four examples of such carriages which can be seen at Powis Castle, Wales; Tatton Park, Cheshire; Arlington Court, Devon; and Mount Stewart, County Down.

Frances Bailey, the National Trust Curator, commented:
“As a conservation charity, we are very fortunate to have had the opportunity to invest in the restoration of the Londonderry State Coach. We have gathered really interesting stories, coronation footage, old images of the coach and the people associated with it; to give visitors a strong sense of what this grand vehicle would have been used for and of the important aristocratic family it belongs to."

The late Lady Mairi Bury remembered the coach well, recalling the time when her parents, the 7th Marquess and Marchioness, attended the coronation of King George VI in 1937 whilst wearing their coronation robes and coronets.

This was also the last time the coach was ever used.

Lady Mairi was a keen photographer at that time and took some snaps of her parents on their procession to Westminster Abbey for the great event.

The images portray the excitement of the day and show the crowd that had gathered outside their London home to see the carriage set off.

These photographs, other stories and the splendid coach can be viewed at Mount Stewart.

Visitors can learn about the coach, the Londonderry family, as well as the staffing of stately homes.

First published in March, 2010.

Friday, 15 June 2018

1st Baron Trimlestown

THE BARONS TRIMLESTOWN OWNED 3,025 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY MEATH

This family, whose surname was anciently written De Barneval and Barnewall, deduces its lineage from remote antiquity, and claims, among its earliest progenitors, personages of the most eminent renown.

It is the parent stock whence the noble houses of BARNEWALL and TRIMLESTOWN branched.

The name of its patriarch is to be found, with the other companions in arms of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, in the roll of Battle Abbey.

In Ireland, the Barnewalls came under the denomination of "Strongbowians", having established themselves there in 1172, under the banner of Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, commonly known as Strongbow.

SIR MICHAEL DE BERNEVAL, Knight, the first settler, joined the English expedition, with three armed ships, and effected a descent upon Berehaven, County Cork, previous to the landing of his chief, the Earl of Pembroke, in the province of Leinster.

Sir Michael is mentioned in the records at the Tower of London as one of the leading captains in the enterprise; and in the reigns of HENRY II and RICHARD I, he was lord, by tenure, of Berehaven and Bantry.

From this gallant and successful soldier we pass to

SIR ULPHRAM DE BERNEVAL, Knight, the tenth in descent, first possessor of Crickstown Castle and estate, and the founder of what was termed the "Crickstown Branch" of the family.

The great-grandson of this Sir Ulphram,

NICHOLAS DE BERNEVALL (fourth of the same Christian name), married a daughter of the Lord Furnivall, and left three sons,
Christopher (Sir), father of 1st Baron Trimlestown;
John, ancestor of the Barons Kingsland;
Barnaby (Sir), an eminent lawyer.
The eldest son,

SIR CHRISTOPHER BERNEVALL (1370-1446), as the name began to be spelt, succeeded to the patrimonial estate of Crickstown; and was, in 1445 and 1446, Vice-Treasurer of Ireland and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland.

He married Matilda, daughter of Sir _____ Drake, of Drakerath, and had two sons, of whom the younger,

SIR ROBERT BARNEWALL, Knight, was elevated to the peerage by EDWARD IV, in 1461, as BARON TRIMLESTOWN, of Trimlestown, County Meath.

"The next patent of creation that occurs" said the historian, William Lynch, in his work on Feudal Dignities, "is one of considerable importance, as being the first grant (in Ireland) of any description of peerage conveying, by express words, the dignity of a baron of parliament."
The patent was dated in the second year of EDWARD IV's reign, and thereby the King ordained and constituted Sir Robert Barnewall, Knight, for his good services to His Majesty's father when in Ireland, as essendum unum baronum parliamenti nostri infra terram nostram pr├Ždictam, to hold to him and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten, and to be called by the name of Domini et Baronis de Trymleteston, etc;
And also that the said Sir Robert should be one of his, the King's, Council within the said land during his life, with the fee of £10 yearly, payable out of the fee-farm of Salmon Leap and Chapelizod etc.

His lordship wedded firstly, Elizabeth Broune, by whom he acquired a considerable estate, and had two sons,
CHRISTOPHER (Sir), his heir;
Thomas.
He espoused secondly, Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Plunkett, but had no other issue.

His lordship was succeeded at his decease in 1470 by his elder son,

CHRISTOPHER, 2nd Baron; who obtained a pardon for his participation in the treason of Lambert Simnel.

His lordship married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Plunkett, of Rathmore, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Robert;
Ismay;
a daughter;
Alison.
His lordship died ca 1513, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 3rd Baron, an eminent judge and politician, who wedded no less than four times, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1538, by the only son of his first wife, Janet, daughter of John Bellew, of Bellewstown,

PATRICK, 4th Baron, who espoused Catherine, daughter of Richard Taylor, of Swords, County Dublin, and widow of Richard Delahyde, Recorder of Drogheda.

His lordship died in 1562, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 5th Baron, who married Anne, only daughter of Alderman Richard Fyan, Mayor of Dublin; but dying issueless, in 1573, the barony devolved upon his brother,

PETER, 6th Baron. This nobleman dying in 1598, was succeeded by his only son, by Catherine, daughter of the Hon Sir Christopher Nugent, and granddaughter of Richard, 11th Baron Delvin,

ROBERT, 7th Baron (c1574-1639), who wedded Genet, daughter of Thomas Talbot, of Dardistown, County Meath, by whom he had issue,
Christopher, father of MATTHIAS, 8th Baron;
John;
Patrick;
Richard;
Matthew;
Mary; Catherine; Ismay.
His lordship had a memorable dispute with the Lord Dunsany regarding precedency, which was decided in favour of Lord Trimlestown by the Privy Council in 1634.

He was succeeded by his grandson,

MATTHIAS, 8th Baron (1614-67), eldest son of the Hon Christopher Barnewall, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward FitzGerald, Knight.

This nobleman serving against the usurper CROMWELL was excepted from pardon for life, and had his estates sequestered; but surviving the season of rebellion and rapacity, he regained a considerable portion of his lands.

His lordship espoused, in 1641, Jane, daughter of Nicholas, 1st Viscount Netterville, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

ROBERT, 9th Baron, who married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Dungan Bt, and niece of William, Earl of Limerick, by whom he had two sons and five daughters,
MATTHIAS, 10th Baron;
JOHN, 11th Baron;
Jane; Bridget; Dymna; Catharine; Mary.
His lordship sat in JAMES II's parliament in 1689, and dying in June that year, was succeeded by his eldest son,

MATTHIAS, 10th Baron, who had a commission in the 1st Troop of King James's guards under the Duke of Berwick, and fell in action against the Germans in 1692, when the barony devolved upon his brother,

JOHN, 11th Baron (1672-1746). The 10th Baron having been attainted by WILLIAM III, that monarch granted the family estates to Henry Sydney, 1st Earl of Romney; but those estates were subsequently recovered at law, and were enjoyed by the house of Trimlestown.

His lordship wedded Mary, only daughter of Sir John Barnewall, Knight, second son of Sir Patrick Barnewall Bt, of Crickstown, by whom he six sons and four daughters,
ROBERT, his heir;
John;
Richard;
Thomas;
James;
Anthony;
Thomasine; Margaret; Bridget; Catharine.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 12th Baron (c1704-79); who lived for many years in France, and pursued the study of medicine with great success.

After his return to Ireland he resided at Trimlestown, and gratuitously and freely communicated his advice to all who applied for it.

His lordship was succeeded at his decease by his eldest surviving son,

THOMAS, 13th Baron, a Knight of Malta, who conformed to the established church, and had a confirmation of the dignity (which, although adopted, was unacknowledged from the time of CROMWELL), in 1795.

His lordship dying unmarried, the title reverted to his cousin,

NICHOLAS, 14th Baron (1726-1813), who espoused firstly, in 1768, Martha Henrietta, only daughter of Monsieur Joseph D'Aquin, president of the parliament of Toulouse, by whom he had issue,
JOHN THOMAS, his heir;
Rosalia.
He married secondly, in 1797, Alicia, second daughter of Major-General Charles Eustace.

His lordship was succeeded by his son,

JOHN THOMAS, 15th Baron (1773-1839), who wedded, in 1794, Maria Theresa, daughter of Richard Kirwan, of Gregg, County Galway, and had issue,
THOMAS;
Martha Henrietta.
His lordship was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS, 16th Baron (1796-1879), who espoused, in 1836, Margaret Randalina, eldest daughter of Philip Roche, of Donore, County Kildare, and had issue,
THOMAS, died in infancy;
Anna Maria Louisa.
His lordship died without surviving male issue, when the barony became dormant.

In 1891, however, the peerage was was claimed by

CHRISTOPHER PATRICK MARYde jure 17th Baron (1846-91), a descendant of the Hon Patrick Barnewall, second son of the 7th Baron.

The 17th Baron died before he had fully established his claim; but in 1893, his younger brother,

CHARLES ALOYSIUS, 18th Baron (1861-1937), was confirmed in the title by the Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords.

His lordship married, in 1889, Margaret Theresa, daughter of Richard John Stephens, of Brisbane, Australia, and had issue,
Reginald Nicholas Francis (1897-1918), killed in action;
CHARLES ALOYSIUS, of whom presently;
Ivy Esmay; Marcella Hilda Charlotte; Letitia Anne Margaret; Geraldine Christia Marjory.
He wedded secondly, in 1907, Mabel Florence, daughter of William Robert Shuff, of Torquay, Devon; and thirdly, in 1930, Josephine Francesca, fourth but second surviving daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Christopher John Nixon Bt, of Roebuck Grove, Milltown, County Dublin.

His lordship was succeeded by his second son,

CHARLES ALOYSIUS, 19th Baron (1899-1990), who espoused, in 1926, Muriel, only child of Edward Oskar Schneider, of Mansfield Lodge, Manchester, and had issue,
ANTHONY EDWARD, 20th Baron;
RAYMOND CHARLES, 21st Baron;
Diane.
He married secondly, in 1952, Freda Kathleen, daughter of Alfred Allen Atkins, of Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANTHONY EDWARD, 20th Baron (1928-97), who wedded firstly, in 1963, Lorna Margaret Marion, daughter of Charles Douglas Ramsay; and secondly, in 1977, Mary Wonderly, eldest daughter of Judge Thomas Francis McAllister, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

His lordship died without issue, when the honours devolved upon his brother,

RAYMOND CHARLES, 21st Baron, born in 1930, of Chiddingfold, Surrey.

There is no obvious heir presumptive to the Barony of Trimlestown.

An heir presumptive may be found amongst the descendants, if any, of Thomas Barnewall, of Bloomsbury, London, a cousin of the 17th and 18th Barons Trimlestown.



TURVEY HOUSE, Donabate, County Dublin, was a late 17th century mansion comprising two storeys below a gabled attic storey.

The upper storey has three distinctive lunette windows added between 1725-50.

The house has nine bays and lofty, narrow windows grouped in threes.

This was once the seat of the extinct Viscounts Barnewall (of Kingsland); though subsequently it passed to a kinsman, the 13th Baron Trimlestown.


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TRIMLESTOWN CASTLE, Kildalkey, County Meath, is a medieval tower-house with an 18th century house attached.

In the 19th century, the castle was adorned with ornamental towers, an embattled parapet, and other marks of the style which prevailed in the latter part of the 16th century.



Shortly afterwards, however, the family abandoned the castle and it became ruinous.

First published in December, 2015.  Trimlestown arms courtesy of European Heraldry.