Monday, 25 June 2018

Rokeby Hall

THE ROBINSON BARONETS OWNED 2,941 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY LOUTH

GRACE ROBINSON (1718-76), youngest daughter of Thomas Robinson, of Rokeby, Yorkshire, and sister of Sir Thomas Robinson, 1st Baronet,  and of the Most Rev Richard Robinson, Lord Archbishop of Armagh (created BARON ROKEBY), married, in 1739, the Very Rev Dr William Freind, of Whitney, Oxfordshire, Dean of Canterbury, and had, with other issue,
William Maximilian;
Robert;
JOHN, of whom we treat;
Grace.
The youngest son,

JOHN FREIND (1754-1832), who assumed, in 1793, his maternal surname of ROBINSON.

Mr Robinson was created a baronet in 1819, denominated of Rokeby Hall.

This gentleman wedded, in 1786, Mary Anne, second daughter of James Spencer, of Rathangan, County Kildare, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
William;
John;
Henry James;
Charles;
Robert Spencer (Admiral Sir), KCB;
Jane; Louisa; Charlotte; Mary Anne; Henrietta; Grace Alicia; Emily;
Caroline; Frances; Sophia; Selina; Isabella Esther.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD ROBINSON, 2nd Baronet (1787-1847), who espoused, in 1813, the Lady Eleanor Helena Moore, daughter of Stephen, 2nd Earl Mount Cashell, and had issue,
JOHN STEPHEN, his successor;
RICHARD HARCOURT, 5th Baronet;
Helena Esther Florence; Elizabeth Selina.
Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN STEPHEN ROBINSON, 3rd Baronet (1816-95), JP DL, High Sheriff of County Louth, 1849, who married, in 1841, Sarah, only daughter of Anthony Denny, of Barham Wood, Hertfordshire, and granddaughter of the celebrated Lord Collingwood, and had issue,
Richard Collingwood;
GERALD WILLIAM COLLINGWOOD, his successor;
Maud Helena Collingwood.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR GERALD WILLIAM COLLINGWOOD ROBINSON, 4th Baronet (1857-1903), who was succeeded by his nephew,

SIR RICHARD HARCOURT ROBINSON (1828-1910), Lieutenant-Colonel, 60th Rifles, who died without male issue, when the baronetcy expired.


ROKEBY HALL, Dunleer, County Louth, is a mansion built in the neo-classical style ca 1785 for the Most Rev Richard Robinson, Lord Archbishop of Armagh (later 1st Baron Rokeby).

The original design of the house was probably by Thomas Cooley.

Rokeby Hall comprises two storeys over a rusticated basement.


There are two bays on either side of the central pedimented feature, which is of three bays.


The pediment apex is adorned with Lord Rokeby's coat-of-arms.

This elegant and noble house is topped by a high roof parapet.

The front is constructed with a fine, crisp ashlar; and the steps leading up to the front door curve elegantly, too.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry

Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland © 2011
THE MOST HONOURABLE EDITH HELEN MARCHIONESS OF LONDONDERRY DBE (1878-1959)

Lady Londonderry, whose husband was the 7th Marquess, was the daughter of Henry, 1st Viscount Chaplin.

In the image above she wears the famed Londonderry Jewels, many of which are now on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The insignia of a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is worn. 

The photograph was taken in the drawing-room of Londonderry House, with, it is believed, the large portrait of Castlereagh behind her.

Lady Londonderry was preparing to leave for the 1948 State Opening of Parliament, the first full dress State Opening since the end of the 2nd World War. 

This was to be the last State Opening for Edith Londonderry, since her husband, the 7th Marquess, died several months later.

First published in November, 2011.  Charles Villiers, a grandson of the late Lady Mairi Bury and great-grandson of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Londonderry, has kindly provided this information from his archives.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

The Red Trail

The "Mark One" Hut in 2016

It's hard to believe that Mount Stewart's Red Trail opened two years ago.

I explored the trail on a glorious Sunday in May, 2016.

It was the warmest day of the year so far, sunny and pleasantly warm.

After lunch I got a few things together and motored down the Ards Peninsula to Mount Stewart estate, a property of the National Trust, though formerly the ancestral seat of the Stewarts, Marquesses of Londonderry.

The Red Trail runs on land to the south-east of the demesne.

Having ambled past the Lookout and had a look in the shop inside the mansion house, I donned the wellington boots, ensured that my camera was in the pocket, and began the walk.

The Red Trail starts at a quaint little shepherd's hut, a sort of information centre for greeting visitors.

I walked in and chatted for several minutes to the person on duty.


The trail thence cuts through woodland and we commence a gradual climb up Temple Hill to the Temple of the Winds, an octagonal building perched at the top of the hill, with a spectacular prospect of Strangford Lough.

The Temple was inspired by the Grand Tour the 1st Marquess took in his youth.


From here we begin a descent, walking on fairly level ground through truly enchanting woodland to the north-west of Patterson's Hill.

Eventually one emerges at a clearing, where there is a very large field at Cumming's Hill.

To my right, isolated and overgrown in demi-woodland, there's an old, derelict, stone lodge or cottage.

It was doubtless inhabited by an estate worker and his family, perhaps a woodsman or gardener.


It appears rather romantic now, with the creeping ivy and resident crows, a pair of which I disturbed.

The windows are open to the elements.

Perhaps, in time, this will be restored as a holiday cottage.

Downpatrick Lodge and North Lodge at Castle Ward were both once derelict for many years until they were restored, the former as a holiday cottage.

I continue my walk, northwards towards Bell's Hill.

The Glen Burn, a small river, runs alongside the Red Trail for part of the way.

Between Cumming's Hill and Bell's Hill there is a glen, where I made a short detour past picturesque little hump-back bridges to a sort of folly at the top of a hillock.

The Folly

It has the familiar Gothic window apertures seen, too, at the old schoolhouse; only the bare walls remain, though, and there is evidence of plasterwork on some of them.

This folly, as it is known, aroused my curiosity.

There's something particularly special about walking new trails and discovering unknown features for the very first time.

According to my old chart there are the ruins of an old chapel or church at the extreme north of the Glen; at the edge of the estate, in fact.

Continuing my walk I begin a slight climb, past Bell's Hill, to the old piggery; then through a handsome, new, wooden gate which leads to a small track.

This track winds its way up New Hill, though a carpet of bluebells and woodland. It is relatively steep.

New Hill descends towards sea-level and brings one back to the start of the trail again.

First published in May, 2016.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Castlerea House

THE BARONS MOUNT SANDFORD WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY ROSCOMMON, WITH 24,410 ACRES

THEOPHILUS SANDFORD, descended from a good family in Yorkshire, obtained grants of land in Ireland for his services during the civil wars, as a captain in Reynolds' regiment.

He settled at Castlerea, County Roscommon; and from him lineally descended

COLONEL HENRY SANDFORD, of Castlerea, MP for Roscommon, 1692-1713, who married, in 1692, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rt Hon Robert FitzGerald, and was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

ROBERT SANDFORD, MP for County Roscommon, 1768-76, who wedded, in 1717, Henrietta, second daughter of William, 3rd Earl of Inchiquin, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
Robert, major-general, Governor of Galway;
Henrietta.
Mr Sandford died in 1777, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY SANDFORD, MP for County Roscommon, 1745, who married, in 1750, Sarah, eldest daughter of Stephen, 1st Viscount Mount Cashell, and had issue,
HENRY MOORE, of whom we treat;
William (Rev); father of HENRY, 2nd Baron;
GEORGE, 3rd Baron;
Louisa.
Mr Sandford died in 1797, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

HENRY MOORE SANDFORD (1751-1814), MP for Roscommon, 1776, 1791-99 who was elevated to the peerage, in 1800, as BARON MOUNT SANDFORD, of Castlerea, County Roscommon, with remainder, in default of male issue, to his brothers and their male descendants.

His lordship espoused, in 1780, Catherine, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Silver Oliver, of Castle Oliver, County Limerick; but dying childless, in 1814, the barony devolved, according to the limitation, upon his nephew,

HENRY, 2nd Baron (1805-28), MP for Roscommon, 1745; who, being brutally slain in a riot at Windsor, and dying unmarried, 1828, the barony reverted to his uncle,

GEORGE, 3rd Baron (1756-1846), MP for Roscommon, 1783-97.

The title became extinct in 1846 following the death of the 3rd Baron.


CASTLEREA HOUSE, near Castlerea, County Roscommon, was a large 17th century (ca 1640) block of three storeys over a basement, with 19th century wings of two storeys over a basement.

The main block of seven bays was plain; while the wings had balustraded parapets.

The three-bay side of the left wing served as the entrance front.

The house is now demolished and the demesne serves as a public park.

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

House of Stewart


This branch of the noble house of STEWART claims a common ancestor with the Earls of Galloway; namely, Sir William Stewart, of Garlies, from whose second son, Sir Thomas Stewart, of Minto.

WILLIAM STEWART, of Ballylawn Castle, County Donegal (great-grandson of John Stewart, who had a grant from CHARLES I of Stewart's Court Manor, where he erected Ballylawn Castle), took an active part in Ulster affairs in order to prevent the subversion of the constitution, which JAMES II and his chief governor, the Earl of Tyrconnell, were attempting to effect.

He raised a troop of horse at his own expense when the city of Londonderry was occupied, and actively promoted the Protestant interest there by protecting those who were favourably disposed to WILLIAM III.

Mr Stewart was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the regiment commanded by Sir William Stewart, Viscount Mountjoy.

He married the daughter of William Stewart, of Fort Stewart, County Donegal (grandson of the Rt Hon Sir William Stewart Bt, whose descendant was created Baron Stewart of Ramelton and Viscount Mountjoy), and died leaving issue, a daughter,

MARTHA, who wedded John Kennedy, of Cultra, County Down; and two sons, of whom

THOMAS KENNEDY, the eldest, succeeded at Ballylawn Castle, and served as a captain in Lord Mountjoy's regiment.

He espoused Mary, second daughter of Bernard Ward (ancestor of the Viscounts Bangor), by Mary, sister of the Rt Rev Michael Ward, Lord Bishop of Derry; and dying without issue, 1740, was succeeded by his only brother,

ALEXANDER STEWART (1699-1781), who represented the city of Londonderry in parliament, and purchased the estate of MOUNT STEWART, County Down, from the Colville family.

He married, in 1737, his cousin Mary, only daughter of Alderman John Cowan, of Londonderry (by Anne Stewart, second daughter of Alexander Stewart, of Ballylawn Castle, and sister and sole heir of Sir Robert Cowan, Governor of Bombay), and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
William, died in infancy;
John, 1744-62;
Alexander;
Anne; Frances; Mary.
The eldest son,

ROBERT STEWART (1739-1821), of Ballylawn Castle, County Donegal, and of Mount Stewart, County Down, who, having represented the latter county in parliament, and having been sworn a member of the Privy Council, was elected to the Irish peerage, in 1789, as Baron Londonderry.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1795, as Viscount Castlereagh and, in 1796, Earl of Londonderry.

His lordship was further advanced, in 1816, to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY.

His lordship wedded firstly, in 1766, the Lady Sarah Frances Seymour-Conway, second daughter of Francis, 1st Marquess of Hertford, and had issue,
Alexander Francis, 1767-9;
ROBERT, his successor.
He wedded secondly, in 1775, the Lady Frances Pratt, eldest daughter of Charles, 1st Earl Camden, and had issue,
CHARLES WILLIAM, 3rd Marquess;
Alexander John, 1783-1800;
Thomas Henry, 1790-1810;
Frances Anne; Elizabeth Mary; Caroline; Georgiana;
Selina Sarah Juliana; Matilda Charlotte; Emily Jane; Catharine Octavia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 2nd Marquess (1769-1822), KG, GCH, PC.
The heir presumptive is his brother Lord Reginald Alexander Vane-Tempest-Stewart (b. 1977).
The heir presumptive's heir is his son Robin Gabriel Vane-Tempest-Stewart (b 2004).
Former seats ~ Mount Stewart, County Down; Wynyard Park, County Durham; Seaham Hall, near Stockton-on-Tees.

Former London residence ~ Londonderry House, Park Lane.

First published in March, 2012.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Donamon Castle

THE CAULFEILDS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY ROSCOMMON, WITH 6,632 ACRES

THE REV AND HON CHARLES CAULFEILD (1686-1768), Rector of Donaghenry, County Tyrone, second son of William, 2nd Viscount Charlemont, married Alice, daughter of John Houston, and had issue,
Charles;
JOHN, of whom we treat;
James.
The younger son,

COLONEL JOHN CAULFEILD, of Donamon Castle, County Roscommon, wedded Mary, daughter of Henry Irvine, and had issue,
ST GEORGE, his heir;
Harriet.
Colonel Caulfeild succeeded, in 1778, to the estates of his kinsman, ST GEORGE CAULFEILD, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, grandson of the Hon Thomas Caulfeild, of Donamon, youngest son of William, 2nd Baron Charlemont.

His only son and heir,

ST GEORGE CAULFEILD (1780-1810), of Donamon Castle, espoused, in 1802, Frances, daughter of Sir Edward Crofton, 2nd Baronet, and had issue,
FRANCIS ST GEORGE, his heir;
Harriet; Frances Henrietta.
The only son and heir,

FRANCIS ST GEORGE CAULFEILD JP (1806-96), married, in 1830, Susannah Anne, daughter of Sir Edward Crofton, 3rd Baronet, and had issue,
ST GEORGE FRANCIS ROBERT, his heir;
Alfred Henry;
Emily Susan; Fanny Florence.
Mr Caulfeild was succeeded by his eldest son,

ST GEORGE FRANCIS ROBERT CAULFEILD, who wedded Louisa Ann, daughter of Thomas Russell Crampton, and had issue, an only child,

ALGERNON THOMAS ST GEORGE CAULFEILD JP (1869-1933), of Donamon Castle, County Roscommon, High Sheriff of County Roscommon, 1899.


DONAMON CASTLE, Roscommon, County Roscommon, is a 15th century castle with a lofty arch between its towers, similar to that at Bunratty Castle.

It was enhanced towards the end of the 18th century with sash windows and Gothic-Georgian battlements.

The Castle was enlarged and altered again the in middle of the 19th century.

In 1939 the Divine Word Missionaries came to Ireland and purchased the castle from the Irish Land Commission.

The Missionary Society constructed several new buildings to create a campus for training people before they went into the field.

The Castle itself is still their home in Ireland.

The training campus is now managed by the Irish Wheelchair Association as a holiday centre.

The Hamilton Baronetcy (1781)

THE HAMILTON BARONETCY, OF DUNAMANAGH, COUNTY TYRONE, WAS CREATED IN 1781 FOR JOHN STUART HAMILTON, POLITICIAN

JOHN HAMILTON, of Dullerton, County Tyrone, and jure uxoris of Manor Elieston, married Sarah, daughter of Sir William Hamilton, of Manor Elieston, son of Sir Claud Hamilton, brother of James, 1st Earl of Abercorn, and son of Claud, 1st Lord Paisley.

Mr Hamilton's son,

JOHN HAMILTON, of Dunamanagh (Donemana), County Tyrone, had, with another daughter, wife of John Hamilton, of Hamilton's Grove, County Antrim, at least other three daughters and a son, viz.

WILLIAM HAMILTON (1708-62), of Dunamanagh, County Tyrone, MP for Strabane, 1733-62, married, in 1735, Catherine, daughter of the Rev Dr George Leslie, of Ballyconnell House, County Cavan, and had issue,

JOHN STUART HAMILTON (c1740-1802), MP for Strabane, 1763-97, who married Sarah, daughter of Frederick, 3rd Viscount Boyne.

Mr Hamilton was created a baronet in 1781, denominated of Dunamanagh, County Tyrone.
Sir John was a member of the Dublin Society, 1769-76. His membership lapsed in 1777 but was renewed more than twenty years later in 1798. He was listed by the Society as a member in 1802-03, and deleted ca 1804.
It is thought that the following statement alludes to the 1st Baronet, Sir John Stuart Hamilton:
"When he was but nineteen he was unanimously elected one of the representatives in Parliament for Strabane, in which high and honourable station he behaved for upwards of thirty years with a conduct suitable to the great confidence reposed in him:

To his immortal honour he was one of those heroic patriots of Fabrician fortitude, who signalized themselves in so conspicuous a manner in the successful defence of the pass, which in 1753 was strenuously attempted to be forced, in order to overthrow the parliamentary constitution of this country; for which they were distinguished from their opponents by their wearing gold medals in memory of that glorious epoch:

And so sensible were his constituents of his singular merit and invariable principles in favour of his country, that at the late general election they unanimously re-elected him
"to represent them in parliament; the goodness and benevolence of his heart endeared him to all, and render his death universally lamented. He is succeeded in his estate by John Hamilton, Esq., his eldest son and heir."
SIR JOHN CHARLES HAMILTON, 2nd Baronet, died in 1818, when the baronetcy expired. 

First published in January, 2011