Wednesday, 12 August 2020

1st Baron Altham

This family derives its surname from the lordship of Annesley, Nottinghamshire, where its patriarch,

RICHARD DE ANNESLEY, was seated at the time of the general survey in 1079.

From this Richard descended

SIR JOHN ANNESLEY, Knight, of Headington, Oxfordshire, MP for Nottinghamshire, 1377-88, who married Isabel, sister and co-heir of Sir John Chandos, one of the Knights of the Garter at the institution of that noble order, Viscount of Saint Sauveur in the Cotentin, Normandy, Seneschal of Poitou, Constable of Aquitaine, etc.

Sir John died in 1410, and was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS ANNESLEY, of Annesley, MP for Nottinghamshire, whose great-grandson,

WILLIAM ANNESLEY, of Rodington, had, with other children,

ROBERT ANNESLEY, of Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire; who died in 1553, and was succeeded by his son,

GEORGE ANNESLEY, of Newport Pagnell, whose eldest son,

ROBERT ANNESLEY, was a naval officer in the reign of ELIZABETH I, and also a captain in Her Majesty's army raised to suppress the Earl of Desmond's rebellion; after which he became an undertaker in the plantation of Munster.

Captain Annesley wedded Beatrice, daughter of John Cornwall, of Moor Park, Herefordshire, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR FRANCIS ANNESLEY (c1585-1660), Knight, who filled for forty years several of the highest situations in Ireland.

In 1612, he was constituted constable of Mountnorris Castle; and in 1614, Sir Francis represented County Armagh in parliament.

Sir Francis was a protagonist in the plantation of Ulster.

Upon the institution of the Order of Baronets of Ireland, Sir Francis was the second person upon whom that dignity was conferred, in 1620, designated of Mountnorris, County Armagh.

In 1621, he obtained a reversionary grant of the viscountcy of VALENTIA, at the decease of the then Viscount (first creation), Sir Henry Power.

He was put, however, into the more immediate possession of a peerage in the dignity of Baron Mountnorris, of Mountnorris, County Armagh.

His lordship married firstly, Dorothea, daughter of Sir John Philipps Bt, of Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire, by whom he had ARTHUR, his successor, and other children.

He wedded secondly, Jane, daughter of Sir John Stanhope, by whom he had several children, the eldest of whom, FRANCIS, espoused Deborah, daughter of the Most Rev Henry Jones, Lord Bishop of Meath, and was father of FRANCIS, of Thorganby, Yorkshire, who married and had issue,
FRANCIS, ancestor of the Annesleys of Bletchingdon;
Martin, in holy orders;
William, ancestor of the EARLS ANNESLEY.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR, 2nd Viscount (1614-86); who was enrolled amongst the peers of England, in 1661, as Baron Annesley, of Newport Pagnell, and EARL OF ANGLESEY.

His lordship, Treasurer of the Royal Navy, 1667, and Lord Privy Seal, 1673, married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Sir James Altham, of Oxhey, Hertfordshire, and had issue,
James, his successor;
ALTHAM, of whom hereafter;
RICHARD, 3rd Baron;
Dorothy; Elizabeth; Frances; Philippa; Anne.
His lordship's second son,

THE HON ALTHAM ANNESLEY (1650-99), espoused firstly, in 1678, Alicia, daughter of the Hon Charles Leigh; and secondly, in 1697, Ursula, daughter of Sir Robert Markham Bt, by whom he had issue, an only child,
Mr Annesley was elevated to the peerage in, 1681, in the dignity of BARON ALTHAM, of Altham, County Cork, with remainder to the issue male of his younger brothers (after his own).

He was succeeded by his only son,

JAMES GEORGE, 2nd Baron (1697-1700), who was succeeded by his uncle,

THE HON AND VERY REV DR RICHARD ANNESLEY (1655-1701), Dean of Exeter, as 3rd Baron, who married Dorothy, daughter of John Davy, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his successor;
Richard (1689-90);
RICHARD, 6th Earl of Anglesey, 5th Baron;
His lordship died in 1701, the year he inherited the peerage, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR, 4th Baron (1689-1727), who wedded firstly, in 1703, Phillips, daughter of John, 1st Baron Haversham; and secondly, in 1707, Mary Sheffield, natural daughter of John, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, by whom he had issue, an only child,

THE HON JAMES ANNESLEY (1715-60), who was kidnapped and transported by his uncle Richard, in 1728, to make room for his own accession to the honours and estates of the family.

The historian and television presenter, Dan Cruickshank, told the story of the unfortunate James Annesley in the BBC Four programme Kidnapped: A Georgian Adventure.

As a consequence of this action, the title reverted to the 4th Baron's uncle,

RICHARD (1694-1761), 6th Earl of Anglesey, as 5th Baron.
Richard Annesley, 6th Earl of Anglesey, 5th Baron Altham (1694–1761)
Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Mountnorris, 6th Baron Altham (1744–1816)
George Annesley, 2nd Earl of Mountnorris, 7th Baron Altham (1769–1844).
First published in August, 2018.  Altham arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Echlinville House


THE RT REV DR ROBERT ECHLIN (1576-1635), fourth or fifth son of Henry Echlin, of Pittadro, Fife, removed from Staffordshire into Ulster about the time of the Reformation.

Dr Echlin was consecrated Lord Bishop of Down & Connor in 1613, and made a free denizen of Ireland.

On the death without issue of his nephew, Captain Henry Echlin, Bishop Echlin became the head and representative of the Echlin family.

He married, in 1600, Jane, daughter of James Seaton, of Latrisk, in Scotland, and had issue,
Hugh (1606-41), m Magdalen, dau of R Cowell, Co Armagh;
JOHN, of whom hereafter;
Margaret, m Ven R Maxwell, ancestor of EARLS OF FARNHAM;
Isabel, m A Stewart, of Ballintoy;
Jane, m H Maxwell, of Finnebrogue.
The Bishop was brutally murdered at Balruddery, en route to Dublin, in 1635, and his widow and family immediately withdrew to England.

His eldest surviving son,

JOHN ECHLIN, of Ardquin, made a free denizen of Ireland in 1633, married Mary, daughter of Sir Francis Stafford, Knight, of Mount Stafford, County Antrim, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Francis, of Clonown, Co Antrim;
Jane; Elizabeth; Mary.
The elder son,

ROBERT ECHLIN (1628-57), of Ardquin, married Mary, daughter of Dr Henry Leslie, Lord Bishop of Meath, formerly of Down and Connor, having by her (who wedded secondly, Sir Robert Ward Bt) had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Henry, cr a baronet, 1721;
Robert, lieutenant-general;
His eldest son,

JOHN ECHLIN,  of Ardquin, married, in 1678, Hester, daughter and heir of William Godfrey, of Coleraine, and had, with other issue,
CHARLES, his heir;
ROBERT (Rev), s his brother;
Godfrey, of Marlfield;
James, of Echlinville;
Mary; Jane; Hester; Elizabeth; Rose.
The eldest son,

CHARLES ECHLIN (1682-1754), MP for Dungannon, 1727-54, espoused, in 1709, Ann, daughter of Thomas Knox, of Dungannon, and had an only son, THOMAS, who dsp.

Mr Echlin was succeeded by his brother,

THE REV ROBERT ECHLIN, of Ardquin, Incumbent of Newtownards, County Down, who wedded, in 1722, Jane, one of the daughters and co-heirs of James Manson, of Tynan, County Armagh, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Mr Echlin, whose will was proved in 1761, was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN ECHLIN (1723-89), of Thomastown, High Sheriff of County Down, 1758, who married his first cousin, Hester, daughter of Godfrey Echlin, of Marlfield, and had issue,
CHARLES, his heir;
Robert, died unmarried;
Godrey, died in infancy;
JOHN, successor to his brother;
James, died unmarried;
Jane, m G Matthews, of Springvale (Ballywalter Park).
John Echlin,  Photo Credit: Ulster Museum

Mr Echlin was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES ECHLIN, of Echlinville, County Down (which latter place he inherited from his great-uncle, James Echlin), High Sheriff of County Down, 1777, who married firstly, Miss Anne Newburgh, of Ballyhaise House, County Cavan, by whom he had issue, a daughter, Letitia, who died unmarried.

Mr Echlin wedded secondly, Miss Anne Graham, by whom he had issue, CHARLES GRAHAM, who died in infancy, and three daughters, all of whom died unmarried.

He died in 1817, and was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN ECHLIN (1757-1825), of Echlinville, who married, in 1786, Thomasine Hannah, daughter of George Fleming, of Dublin (of the family of the Barons Slane) and had a son, JOHN, his heir, and a daughter, Thomasine.

He was succeeded by his only son,

JOHN ECHLIN JP DL (1787-1842), of Echlinville, who wedded, in 1809, his cousin, Thomasine Margaret, daughter of John Armstrong JP, of Dublin, High Sheriff of County Down, 1827, and had issue,
JOHN ROBERT, his heir;
George Fleming;
Elizabeth; Hester; Thomasine Margaret; Jane; Margaretta; Harriet.
The elder son,

THE REV JOHN ROBERT ECHLIN JP (1811-91), of Eclinville and Ardquin, married firstly, in 1836, Jane, third daughter of James Pedder, of Ashton Lodge, Lancashire, and had issue,
John Pedder (1837-8).
He wedded secondly, in 1841, Mary Anne, daughter of Ford North, of The Oaks, Ambleside, Westmorland, and had further issue,
JOHN GODFREY, his heir;
Frederick, Captain RN;
Alfred Ford (Rev);
Edith Althea; Thomasine Mary.
Mr Echlin espoused thirdly, in 1878, Henriette Wilhelmine Louise Margarethe, eldest daughter of Richard Von Oertzen, of Upper Lusatia, Germany, but had no further issue.

The Rev J R Echlin was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN GODFREY ECHLIN (1843-), of Ardquin, who wedded, in 1870, Anna Medici, elder daughter and co-heir of the Rev John Wrixon, Vicar of Malone, County Antrim, youngest son of Captain John Wrixon, by his wife Anne Arabella, daughter and co-heiress of Rear-Admiral John Dawson, of Carrickfergus, and had issue,
Godfrey Cecil, Lieutenant RN;
Bertram Wrixon, RNR.
His eldest son,

JOHN STAFFORD ECHLIN (1872-1952), married, in 1906, Georgina Hedwig Ida, daughter of John Albert Faller, of Crefeldt, Germany, and widow of Charles James Heddon, of Aldbourne, Wiltshire.

His uncle,

CAPTAIN FREDERICK ECHLIN RN, of Echlinville House, Kircubbin, County Down, had an only son,

FREDERICK ST JOHN FORD NORTH ECHLIN (1889-1916), who was killed in action.

The deceased officer was in the Malay States on the break of the war, and came home and volunteered for service.

He married a daughter of Major Saumarez Dobree Ronceval, of Guernsey, and granddaughter of the Dean of Guernsey.
"ECHLIN - On the 26th Sept., FREDERICK ST JOHN FORD NORTH ECHLIN, 2nd Lieut., Royal Fusiliers, and Royal Flying Corps, only son of the late Capt. Frederick Echlin, RN., formerly of Echlinville, Co. Down, and of Mrs Echlin, Wellfield, Walton-on-Thames, and dearly-loved husband of Dorothy Echlin (nee Dobree'), of Guernsey, CI." 
JOHN GODFREY ECHLIN (1843-), of Ardquin, married, in 1870, Anna Medici, elder daughter and co-heir of the Rev John Wrixon MA, Vicar of Malone, had issue, 

JOHN STAFFORD ECHLIN, born in 1872, resided at Dunluskin, near Carrickfergus, County Antrim. 

ECHLINVILLE HOUSE, near Kircubbin, County Down, was built by Bishop Echlin before his decease in 1635, and was known as The Abbacy, which still stands in ruin at Ardquin in the upper Ards, where the family estates were largely concentrated.

The estate was bought by the Rev Hugh Maxwell in 1748 from Charles Echlin, great-great-grandson of the Bishop, in trust for his brother James, High Sheriff of County Down, 1742, who died in 1755.

The present house, near Kircubbin, County Down, is on the site of a late 17th century house, of which the late 18th library addition survives.

The present house dates from about 1850.

The library, a four-bay pavilion with Ionic pilasters and Gothic astragals in its windows, survives from the earlier house; inside is a vaulted ceiling with two floating domes.

Within the inner walls of Echlinville House lie sections of the fabric of a much older building of about 1725, which itself was probably constructed around a house of 17th century origin.

It remained in possession of this family until about 1848, when it appears to have been sold to a James Cleland who, ca 1850, rebuilt the house in the Italianate form we see today and renamed it "Rubane House" (the former name of the townland of Echlinville).

The old house was Jacobean-Queen Anne in style, with two two-storey ogee-gabled bays flanking the main entrance.

It was added to throughout the later 18th century.

Of these additions, the most significant was the library to the north-west, an element of the older structure which remained in place after the rebuilding of the main house.

Rubane House later passed into the hands of the Maxwell family; and, by 1880, was in possession of the Warnock family, relations of the Maxwells, who may have embellished the property.

During the first half of the 20th century the house played host to a number of different occupants, among them the Belfast timber merchant, J P Corry.

In 1950, Rubane and its accompanying lands were purchased by the De La Salle Brothers, and between this date and 1985, the house was run as a home and school for orphaned and special needs boys.

During this period extensive building work was carried out in the immediate grounds of the house with the construction of modern classrooms, gymnasiums, wood and metalworking rooms and chalets; playing fields and tennis courts laid out to the north and north-west.

A small section of the modern school buildings was occupied briefly by another religious order  about 1990, but for most of the late 1980s and early 1990s the entire site was left mainly vacant and Rubane House itself fell prey to vandals, who caused some minor damage.

The property was bought in 1992 by the present owner, who has subsequently demolished almost all trace of the modern classrooms etc. around the house and carried out extensive restoration work to the house itself.

This work is now virtually complete and much of the grounds to the south have been landscaped.

The stables to the north are to be restored.

The Eclinville Distillery operates on the estate.

The small garden pavilion of 1787 originally had open arches and Coade stone embellishments.

About 1800, with the building of the stable block to the north-east, walls were placed to the north-west and north-east of the pavilion, the arches blocked, a new entrance opened to the north-east.

As well as this an internal wall, fireplaces and, presumably, the small chimney stack, were installed.

Windows were also added to the south-east and north-west arches. 

Some distance away, at a stream, there are remains of the 1740s designed landscape; a stone bridge, retaining a Coade stone head and face.

Nearby is an unusual structure known as the Pebble House, which has a richly modelled front, niches, battlemented parapet and domed roof with lantern finial.

The garden's buildings formed part of an important Rococo-style layout of ca 1740, recorded in some detail in James Williamson's survey map of 1790.

It shows extensive ornamental planting, with sinuous woodland paths, a pond with island, artificial meandering 'rivers' and other landscape features.

Part of the early layout extended across the road to the east, where it incorporated a long canal, which still exists.

This was labelled 'fish pond' on the 1790 map.

Much of Echlinville's layout survived into the mid-20th century, but subsequently it lost a great deal of its tree planting.

Much, nonetheless, survives of this historically important landscape.

Echlin vault at Templecranny, Portaferry (Image: Mark Thompson)
First published in August, 2012.

The Molyneux Baronetcy


This is a junior branch of the family of MOLYNEUX, Earls of Sefton, springing immediately, it is supposed, from Sir Thomas Molyneux, second son of Sir William Molyneux, of Sefton, Lancashire, a celebrated warrior under the Black Prince; who added to his arms, in a distinction, the fleur-de-lis in the dexter chief still borne by the family.

Sir Thomas commanded the forces of Robert de Vere, Duke of Ireland, but was defeated and slain by the combined and insurgent lords at Radcot Bridge, near Faringdon, formerly in Berkshire, in 1388.

The genealogy, however, and the records of this branch of the Molyneux family, which resided at Calais, France, being destroyed during the sacking of that town by the Duke of Guise in 1588, a chasm, of necessity, occurs in the pedigree.

SIR THOMAS MOLYNEUX (1531-97), who was born at Calais, falling into the hands of the enemy on the capture of that place, above alluded to, was ransomed for 500 crowns.

He came to England in 1568, and was sent to Ireland, 1576, by ELIZABETH I, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he obtained, with extensive grants of land from Her Majesty, a lease for twenty-one years of the exports and imports of the city of Dublin (wines excepted), for the annual rent of £183.

Sir Thomas married Katherine, daughter of Ludovic Stabcort, Governor of Bruges, and and issue,
Samuel, MP for Mallow; died unmarried;
DANIEL, successor to his brother;
Katherine, m Sir R Newcomen Bt and had 21 children;
He was succeeded at his decease by his eldest surviving son,

DANIEL MOLYNEUX (1568-1632), who was appointed, in 1586, Ulster King-of-Arms, and his celebrated collection of Irish family history, now amongst the manuscripts of Trinity College Dublin, prove him to have been an accurate and very learned antiquary.

He wedded Jane, daughter of Sir William Usher, clerk of the privy council (by Isabella, daughter of Lord Chancellor Loftus, Lord Archbishop of Dublin), and had five sons and three daughters.

Mr Molyneux, MP for Strabane, 1613-15, was succeeded by his third, but eldest surviving son,

SAMUEL MOLYNEUX (1616-93), of Castle Dillon, County Armagh, Chief Engineer of Ireland, who espoused Anne, daughter and heir of William Dowdall, of Mounttown, County Meath.

Castle Dillon, County Armagh

My Molyneux was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM MOLYNEUX (1656-98), MP for Trinity College, Dublin, 1692-8, author of the celebrated "Case of Ireland", who married Lucy, daughter of Sir William Domvile Bt, Attorney-General of Ireland, and was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son, 

THE RT HON SAMUEL MOLYNEUX, a Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary to GEORGE II when Prince of Wales, who wedded, in 1717, the Lady Elizabeth Diana Capel, eldest daughter of Algernon, 2nd Earl of Essex; but dying without issue, in 1727, the estates reverted to his uncle,

Sir Thomas Molyneux, 1st Baronet (Image: Armagh County Museum)
THOMAS MOLYNEUX  (1661-1733), Lieutenant-General, Physician-General to the Army in Ireland, who was created a baronet in 1730, designated of Castle Dillon, County Armagh.

Sir Thomas married Catherine, daughter of Ralph Howard, of Shelton, County Wicklow (grandfather of the 1st Viscount Wicklow) and had (with four daughters) two sons,
DANIEL, his heir;
CAPEL, successor to his brother.
He was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR DANIEL MOLYNEUX, 2nd Baronet; at whose decease unmarried, in 1738, the title and estates devolved upon his brother,

THE RT HON SIR CAPEL MOLYNEUX, 3rd Baronet (1717-97), MP for Clogher, 1761-83, Trinity College, Dublin, 1768-76, who wedded firstly, in 1747, Elizabeth, daughter of William East, of Hall Place, Berkshire, and sister of Sir William East Bt, and had issue,
CAPEL, his successor;
George, MP for Granard;
Harriet; Anne.
The Molyneux Family (1758). Image: Armagh County Museum

Sir Capel espoused secondly, in 1766, Elizabeth, only daughter of Lieutenant-General John Aldercron, Commander-in-Chief in the East Indies, and had further issue,
THOMAS, succeeded his half-brother;
John, father of the 8th Baronet.
Sir Capel erected a fine obelisk near his park at Castle Dillon, to commemorate the revival of the Constitution of Ireland in 1782.

He was succeeded by his son,

SIR CAPEL MOLYNEUX, 4th Baronet (1750-1832), who married, in 1785, Margaret, eldest daughter of Sir Neil O'Donnel Bt, of Newport, County Mayo; but dsp in 1832, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR THOMAS MOLYNEUX, 5th Baronet (1767-1841), Lieutenant-General in the army, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Perrin.

Sir Thomas Molyneux, 5th Baronet (Image: Armagh County Museum)
His only legitimate child was

SIR GEORGE KING ALDERCRON MOLYNEUX, 6th Baronet (1813-48), who espoused, in 1837, Emma, daughter of _____ Green, and had issue,
CAPEL, his successor;
Elizabeth; Emily Catherine.
Sir George was succeeded by his son and heir,

SIR CAPEL MOLYNEUX, 7th Baronet (1841-79), DL, of Castle Dillon, who married, in 1863, Mary Emily Frances, daughter of Sir Peter George FitzGerald Bt, and had issue, an only daughter, JULIA ELIZABETH MARY MOLYNEUX.

Sir Capel Molyneux, 7th Baronet (Image: Armagh County Museum)

On Sir Capel's decease without male issue, the title reverted to his cousin,

THE REV SIR JOHN WILLIAM HENRY MOLYNEUX, 8th Baronet (1819-79), grandson of the 3rd Baronet, Vicar of Sudbury, who wedded, in 1842, Louisa Dorothy, daughter of Deemster John Christian, and had issue,
JOHN CHARLES, his successor;
Howard William;
Henry Stuart;
Capel Forbes;
Isabella Louisa.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE REV SIR JOHN CHARLES MOLYNEUX, 9th Baronet (1843-1928), of Castle Dillon, Vicar of Portesham, who espoused firstly, in 1873, Fanny, daughter of Edward Jackson, and had issue,
EDWARD CHARLES (1876-1922);
William Arthur (1877-1928);
John Howard (1878-1923);
Mary Gertrude Fanny; Emily Jane; Ethel Stuart.
Sir John wedded secondly, in 1895, Ada Isabel, daughter of the Rev A F Wynter.

Following Sir John's decease without surviving male issue, the title reverted to his cousin,

SIR ERNEST MOLYNEUX, 10th Baronet (1865-1940), great-grandson of the 3rd Baronet, who espoused, in 1934, Evelyn Margaret, daughter of the Rev Arthur Ellison Molineux, though the marriage was without issue.

The title expired on the decease of the 10th Baronet in 1940.

First published in February, 2011.

Monday, 10 August 2020

Slane Castle


The family of CONYNGHAM was originally of Scottish descent, and of very great antiquity in that part of the United Kingdom.

THE HON WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM, Bishop of Argyll in 1539, a younger son of William, 4th Earl of Glencairn, left a son,

WILLIAM CONYNGHAM, of Cunninghamhead, Ayrshire, who had two sons, WILLIAM, who succeeded at Cuninghamhead, and was created a baronet; and

ALEXANDER CONYNGHAM, who, entering into Holy Orders, and removing into Ireland, was appointed, in 1611, the first Protestant minister of Enver and Killymard, County Donegal.

Mr Conyngham was appointed to the deanery of Raphoe on the consecration of Dean Adair as Lord Bishop of Killaloe in 1630.

Dean Conyngham settled at Mount Charles, County Donegal, which estate he held, by lease, from the Earl of Annandale, and wedded Marion, daughter of John Murray, of Broughton, by whom he had no less than twenty-seven children, of which four sons and five daughters survived infancy.

He died in 1660, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR ALBERT CONYNGHAM, Knight, who was appointed, in 1660, Lieutenant-General of the ordnance in Ireland.

This officer fought on the side of WILLIAM III at the Boyne, Limerick etc, and fell in a rencounter with the Rapparees, near Colooney in County Sligo.

He espoused Mary, daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Leslie, Lord Bishop of Raphoe, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

MAJOR-GENERAL HENRY CONYNGHAM, of Slane Castle, MP for Killybegs, 1692-3, Donegal County, 1695-99, 1703-06, who served during the reign of JAMES II as a captain in Mountjoy's Regiment.

When JAMES II desired his army to shift for itself, Conyngham prevailed upon 500 of his regiment to remain united, and with them offered his services to WILLIAM III.

He became subsequently a major-general, and fell, in 1706, at St Estevan, in Spain.

General Conyngham wedded Mary, daughter of Sir John Williams Bt, of Minster Court, Kent, and widow of Charles, Lord Shelburne, by whom he got a very considerable property, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
He was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM CONYNGHAM, of Slane (an estate forfeited, in 1641, by Lord Slane), who was succeeded at his decease by his brother,

THE RT HON HENRY CONYNGHAM (1705-81), MP for Killybegs from 1727 until raised to the peerage, in 1753, in the dignity of Baron Conyngham, of Mount Charles.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1756, as Viscount Conyngham; and further advanced, in 1781, to the dignity of an earldom, as Earl Conyngham, the barony to descend, in case of failure of issue, to Francis Pierpoint Burton, the eldest son of his sister Mary, by Francis Burton.

The 1st Earl married, in 1774, Ellen, only daughter and heir of Solomon Merret; but dying without an heir, in 1781, all his honours became extinct, except the barony of Conyngham, which devolved, according to the limitation, upon the above-mentioned

FRANCIS PIERPOINT BURTON (c1725-87), as 2nd Baron; who wedded, in 1750, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Nathaniel Clements, and sister of Robert, Earl of Leitrim, and had issue,
HENRY,  his successor;
Francis Nathaniel (Sir), GCH;
Catherine; Ellena; Henrietta.
His lordship, on inheriting the title and estates of his uncle, assumed the surname and arms of CONYNGHAM.

He was succeeded by his son,

HENRY, 3rd Baron (1766-1832), who, in 1787, was created Viscount Conyngham, of Slane, County Meath.

He was also created, in 1797, Viscount Mount Charles, of Mount Charles, County Donegal, and Earl Conyngham.

Lord Conyngham was appointed a Knight of St Patrick in 1801.

In 1803, he was appointed Governor of County Donegal, a post he held until 1831, and Custos Rotulorum of County Clare in 1808, which he remained until his death.

His lordship was created, in 1816, Viscount Slane and Earl of Mount Charles; and further advanced to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS CONYNGHAM.

In 1821, he was created Baron Minster, of Minster Abbey, Kent, sworn of the Privy Council, and appointed Lord Steward, a post he retained until 1830.

From 1829 until his death in 1832, the 1st Marquess served as Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle.

His lordship married, in 1794, Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Denison, and had issue,
Henry Francis, Earl of Mount Charles (1795-1824);
FRANCIS NATHANIEL, of whom hereafter;
Albert Denison, created Baron Londesborough;
Elizabeth Henrietta; Maria Harriet.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

FRANCIS NATHANIEL, 2nd Marquess (1797-1876), KP GCH PC, a General in the army, Vice-Admiral of Ulster, 1849-76, who wedded, in 1824, the Lady Jane Paget, daughter of Henry William, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, and had issue,
GEORGE HENRY, his successor;
Francis Nathaniel;
Cecilia Augusta; Jane; Frances Caroline Maria; Elizabeth Georgiana.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE HENRY, 3rd Marquess (1825-82), a General in the army, Vice-Admiral of Ulster, who espoused, in 1854, the Lady Jane St Maur Blanche Stanhope, daughter of Charles, 4th Earl of Harrington, and had issue,
HENRY FRANCIS, his successor;
Charles Arthur;
Blanche; Constance Augusta; Jane Seymour; Elizabeth Maud; Florence.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY FRANCIS, 4th Marquess (1857-97), DL, who married, in 1882, Frances Elizabeth Sarah, daughter of Dayrolles Blakeney, 4th Baron Ventry, and had issue,
FREDERICK WILLIAM BURTON, succeeded his brother;
Blanche Frances; Mildred Martha; Hersey Constance Evelyn; Edina Dorothy Hope; Barbara Helen.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

VICTOR GEORGE HENRY FRANCIS, 5th Marquess (1883-1918), who died unmarried, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

FREDERICK WILLIAM BURTON, 6th Marquess (1890-1974), who wedded firstly, in 1914, Bessie Alice, daughter of William Andrew Tobin; and secondly, in 1922, Antoinette Winifred, daughter of John William Howard Thompson, by whom he had issue,
John Victor Albert Blosse;
Antionette Frederika Hersey Cecilia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

FREDERICK WILLIAM HENRY FRANCIS, 7th Marquess (1924-2009), of Ramsey, Isle of Man, Captain, Irish Guards, who espoused firstly, in 1950, Eileen Wren, daughter of Charles Wren Newsam, and had issue,
Simon Charles Eveleigh Wren;
Frederick William Patrick.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY VIVIEN PIERPONT, 8th Marquess (1951-), who wedded firstly, in 1971, Juliet Ann, daughter of Robert Richard Buller Kitson, and has issue,
ALEXANDER BURTON, his successor;
Henrietta Tamara Juliet.
He married secondly, in 1985, the Lady Iona Charlotte Grimston, daughter of John, 6th Earl of Verulam, and has further issue,
Tamara Jane (b 1991).
The 8th and present Marquess's only son,

ALEXANDER BURTON CONYNGHAM, styled Earl of Mount Charles, married Carina Suzanne, daughter of Nicholas George Bolton, and has issue,
Rory Nicholas Burton, styled Viscount Slane;

SLANE CASTLE, Slane, County Meath, stands augustly above the River Boyne in County Meath.

During Victorian times Lord Conyngham owned about 7,060 acres in County Meath.

His lordship was, however, the greatest landowner in County Donegal, where he owned 122,230 acres.

It has been the principal seat of the Marquesses Conyngham since it was built in 1785 by Francis, 2nd Baron Conyngham, to the designs of Francis Johnston.

The Castle was completed by his son Henry, 3rd Baron and 1st Marquess Conyngham.

It is said that "Capability" Brown, James Gandon, Thomas Hopper and other architects were consulted at the time.

Slane Castle comprises three storeys over a basement, which serves as a lower ground floor at the river, where the ground falls away quite steeply.

There is a bow in the centre of the river front, elevated to form a massive round tower.

With the exception of this round tower and lesser square towers at each corner, the house is essentially a battlemented Georgian block.

The interior is Classical in style.

The hall boasts Tuscan columns; while the drawing-room has a frieze of late-Georgian plasterwork, terminating in a kind of apse.

The great circular library or ballroom encompasses two lower storeys of the round tower and is reputed to be the finest of its kind in Ireland, with its exquisite and delicate Gothic plasterwork.

The upper storey of the round tower is divided into three bedrooms.

The floor below, however, contains the two grandest bedrooms in the house, which were designed for King George IV and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

His Majesty stayed at Slane as Prince of Wales and again as the Sovereign in 1821.

The 1st Marquess's wife was a favourite of the King; even the straight road from Dublin to Slane is said to have been specially made for him.

This approach affords elaborate Gothic entrance gates; though the entrance from the north, through the village, is particularly striking.

Conyngham arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

The Moat, Donaghadee

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020)

THE MOAT is a conspicuous landmark in the seaside town of Donaghadee, County Down.

I happened to be with friends for dinner at a well-known restaurant near the harbour one evening and, as we were walking back to their home, they pointed out this miniature castle to me.

Of course I’ve seen it many times before, having lived in Northern Ireland my entire life (I was born in Newtownards), though I’ve never visited it, nor known about the history of this little fortress.

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020)

It stands proudly on top of an ancient motte, affording spectacular views of the town and harbour.

Presumably the land once belonged to the De Lacherois family, of The Manor House, Donaghadee.

They were, after all, the landlords.

This building, akin to a folly, was built ca 1818-21, and comprises mainly two storeys.

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020)

The Moat was built to house the explosives for the blasting involved in the construction of the harbour; so it was really a rather grandiose gunpowder store.

It has two adjoined sections, with octagonal and square turrets and a small, castellated round tower.

(Image: William Alfred Green, 1870-1958)

There are castellated parapets around the building.

The Moat appears to be made of rubble masonry, with a rendered brick fa├žade and faux slit windows.

The round tower has a long flag-pole, which flies the Union Flag (frayed at the end at the time of writing).

This castellated round tower seems to be hollow, because I could see daylight through the window slit.

Perhaps merely the upper section is hollow.

Several sections of render have fallen off the little building, revealing the bare brickwork.

On the western side there is a marble plaque, recessed into the wall, which reads:-

(Image: Timothy Ferres, 2020)

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Ely Lodge Letter

I have unearthed a concise, though interesting letter dated the 8th February, 1977, from the Estate Office, Ely Lodge Estate, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.

It was written by Charles Plunket, His Grace's land agent at the time.

He wrote to me on behalf of the 5th Duke of Westminster.

Even in 1977 (when I was 17 years old) I was passionate about country houses and heritage.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

First published in August, 2018.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

1 High Street, Belfast

BELFAST'S old Market House stood at 1 High Street, at the corner of Cornmarket.

In his admirable Central Belfast: A Historical Gazetteer, Marcus Patton OBE remarks,
The 17th century Market House was built in 1639 of "small red bricks" with sandstone dressings, and extended to provide a proper courthouse on the first floor after 1663. This was the first public hall in the town. It had an arcaded ground floor and three-stage tower with ogival-roofed turret and weathercock, and a hanging clock.
An observer, John Smyth, once recalled that
the front of the Market House was seldom without a skeleton in chains; the corner of it never without a ghastly head rotting in the open air.
The tower had a peal of bells which were probably rung at the beginning and end of market days; and for the funerals of prominent citizens.

The Market House, a building of considerable importance to the civic and political development of Belfast between the 17th and 19th centuries, was leased by Adam McClean in 1802.

The late historian Sir Charles Brett remarked that McClean, a local landowner who possessed many plots and leases in the centre of Belfast, accumulated his holdings from the Donegall family in the 1820s; and "it appears he was one of those who sought to benefit from the second Marquess’s financial difficulty by acquiring good, long leases at low rents which he then built up".

McClean demolished the Market House in 1812 and constructed two houses in its place.

The site was acquired in the 1860s by the tea merchant, Mr Forster Green, of Derryvolgie House, Malone Road, Belfast, who built a new emporium (above left) with granite plinth, arcaded ground floor and stucco upper floors.

Robust chimneys and urns adorned the balustraded parapet.

This block was demolished in 1929-30, to be replaced by a purpose-built store for F W Woolworth & Co, which operated from the building 1915-2003.

The building was sold for £17.9m and subsequently underwent significant internal refurbishment.

The retail chain Dunnes Stores have occupied the building since late 2003.

First published in July, 2014.