Friday, 26 November 2021

Ballynegall House


This is a branch of SMYTH of Gaybrook, springing more immediately from SMYTH of Drumcree. 

THOMAS HUTCHINSON SMYTH (1765-1830), only son of Thomas Smyth, of Drumcree, by his third wife, Martha (daughter of the Ven Francis Hutchinson, Archdeacon of Down and Connor), served as High Sheriff of County Westmeath, 1792, being then described as of "Smythboro" or Coole.

He married, in 1796, Abigail, daughter of John Hamilton, of Belfast, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Francis, Captain RN;
John Stewart;
Edward, d 1857;
Arthur (Dr);
Hamilton, barrister (1813-59);
Anna; Emily.
Mr Smyth was succeeded by his eldest son, 

THE REV THOMAS SMYTH (1796-1874), who wedded, in 1832, Mary Anne, daughter of Adam Tate Gibbons, East India Company, and niece of James Gibbons, of Ballynegall, and had issue,
THOMAS JAMES, his heir;
James Gibbons, major in the army;
William Adam, major in the army;
Albert Edward, major in the army;
Elizabeth Abigail Mary Amelia; Mary Anne; Louisa Anna.
The Rev Thomas Smyth was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS JAMES SMYTH JP DL (1833-1912), of Ballynegall, High Sheriff of County Westmeath, 1858, Captain, Westmeath Rifles, who married, in 1864, Bessie, fourth daughter of Edward Anketell Jones, of Adelaide Crescent, Brighton, and had issue,
Ellinor Marion Hawkesworth; Maud Emily Abigail Hawkesworth.
Mr Smyth was succeeded by his only son,

THOMAS GIBBONS HAWKESWORTH SMYTH (1865-1953) of Ballynegall, High Sheriff of County Westmeath, 1917, who wedded, in 1895, Constance, younger daughter of Harry Corbyn Levinge, of Knockdrin Castle, Mullingar, and had issue,

BALLYNEGALL HOUSE, near Mullingar, is said to have been one of the greatest architectural losses in the county of Westmeath.

The designs for this elegant and refined Regency house have been traditionally attributed to Francis Johnston, one of the foremost architects of his day and a man with an international reputation.

The quality of the original design is still apparent, despite its derelict and overgrown appearance.

The house was originally constructed for James Gibbons at the enormous cost of £30,000, and was reputedly built using the fabric of an existing castle on site, known as Castle Reynell after the previous owners of the estate.

Ballynagall remained in the Gibbons Family until 1846, when ownership passed on to Mr James W M Berry.

In 1855, ownership later passed on to the Smyth family through marriage.

There is an interesting article here, written by one of the last of the Smyths to live at Ballynegall.

The house was abandoned in the early 1960s and all remaining internal fittings and fixtures were removed at this time.

The original Ionic portico was also removed in the 1960s and now stands at Straffan House, County Kildare.

The remains of a very fine iron conservatory, which has been attributed to Richard Turner (1798-1881), is itself a great loss to the heritage of the county.

Ballynagall House stands in picturesque, mature parkland.

The remains of the house form the centrepiece of one of the best collections of demesne-related structures in County Westmeath, along with the stable block to the north-west and the gate lodge and St Mary's church to the south-east.

First published in February, 2013.

Earl's Coronet

The coronet of an earl is a silver-gilt circlet with eight strawberry leaves alternating with eight silver balls (known as pearls) on raised spikes.

The coronet itself is chased as if in the form of jewels (like a royal crown) but is not actually jewelled.

It has a crimson cap (lined ermine) in real life and a purple one in heraldic representation.

there is a gold tassel on top.

The raised pearls on spikes distinguish it from other coronets.

It has also been described thus,
This coronet, which is one of the most striking, has, rising from a golden circlet, eight lofty rays of gold, each of which upon its point supports a small pearl, while between each pair of rays is a conventional leaf, the stalks of these leaves being connected with the rays and with each other so as to form a continuous wreath.
The coronet of a countess (below) is smaller in size and sits directly on top of the head, rather than around it.

Earls rank in the third degree of the hereditary peerage, being next below a marquess, and next above a viscount.

First published in June, 2010.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

The Corry Baronets

This family moved from Dumfriesshire to County Down early in the 17th century.

JOHN CORRY (1638-1708), of Tullynagardy, near Newtownards, County Down, Provost of Newtownards during the reign of JAMES I, had a son

ROBERT CORRY, of Tullynagardy, who married Mary Porter and had issue,

JOHN CORRY (1771-1851), of Tullynagardy, who wedded Susan White and had issue,

ROBERT CORRY (1800-69), of Tullynagardy, a timber merchant and quarry owner, who married, in 1825, Jane, daughter of Robert Porter, and had, with other issue,

JAMES PORTER CORRY (1826-91), who married, in 1849, Margaret, daughter of William Service, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Mr Corry, MP for Belfast, 1874-85, Mid-Armagh, 1885-91, was created a baronet in 1885, designated of Dunraven, County Antrim.

He died in 1891 at his home, Dunraven, Malone Road, Belfast.
The Cleaver development, off Malone Road, Belfast, began in 1937 following the demolition of the large Victorian residence of Dunraven (1870). 
Its extensive grounds were laid out for detached houses, and building work began in 1937 but was halted by the 2nd World War. Work re-commenced during the late 1940s on the construction of the remaining detached houses, finishing around the mid-late 1950s.
SIR WILLIAM CORRY, 2nd Baronet (1859-1926), of 118 Eaton Square, London, who wedded, in 1889, Charlotte Georgina Frances Catherine, daughter of J Collins, and had issue,
William Myles Fenton (1893-1958);
Myleta Fenton (1891-1966).
Sir William, a director of the Cunard Steamship Company, was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR JAMES PEROWNE IVO MYLES CORRY, 3rd Baronet (1892-1987), who espoused firstly, in 1921, Molly Irene, daughter of Major Otto Joseph Bell, and had issue,
WILLIAM JAMES, his successor;
Anne; Susan.
He married secondly, in 1946, Cynthia Marjorie Patricia, daughter of Captain Frederick Henry Mahony, and had issue,
Amanda Jane.
Sir James was succeeded  by his only son,

SIR WILLIAM JAMES CORRY, 4th Baronet (1924-2000), who married, in 1945, Diana Pamela Mary, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel James Burne Lapsley, and had issue,
JAMES MICHAEL, his heir;
Timothy William;
Nicholas John;
Simon Myles (Commander RN);
Jane Susanna; Patricia Diana.
Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JAMES MICHAEL CORRY (b 1946), 5th Baronet, BP plc, 1966-2001, who lived in 2003 in Somerset.

Robert Corry (1800-69), recognised the commercial potential of the Scrabo stone quarry at Newtownards, and leased part of the hill from Lord Londonderry in 1826.

Dunraven House was the 1st Baronet's residence on the Malone Road in Belfast, a large house of ca 1870 in the Italianate style by the architect, John Corry, for his brother.

The grounds extended to 16 acres.

The house and grounds were purchased by John Cleaver, a partner in Robinson & Cleaver, who died there in 1926.

Dunraven was demolished in 1937 for the "Cleaver" housing development.

J P Corry, Building Suppliers, are still in existence though it is not known whether any members of the Corry family still hold shares or directorships.

First published in September, 2010.

Moore Hall


The family of MOORE claimed descent from THE RT HON SIR THOMAS MORE, statesman and Lord Chancellor to HENRY VIII.

THOMAS MORE, born at Chilston, near Madley, in Herefordshire, married Mary, daughter of John ApAdam, of Flint, and had a son,

GEORGE MOORE, who settled at Ballina, County Mayo, Vice-Admiral of Connaught during the reign of WILLIAM III.

He wedded Catherine, daughter of Robert Maxwell, of Castle Tealing, Scotland, by Edith his wife, daughter of Sir John Dunbar, and was father of

GEORGE MOORE, of Ashbrook, County Mayo, living in 1717, who married Sarah, daughter of the Rev John Price, of Foxford, County Mayo, by his wife, Edith Machen, of the city of Gloucester, and by her had two sons,
George, of Cloongee;
JOHN, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

JOHN MOORE, of Ashbrook, County Mayo, born ca 1700, espoused Jane, daughter of Edmund Athy, and had issue,
Robert, dsp 1783;
GEORGE, of whom presently;
Edmund, of Moorbrook;
Sarah; Jane.
His second son,

GEORGE MOORE (1729-99), of Moore Hall, Ashbrook, and Alicante, Spain, married, ca 1765, Catherine, daughter of Dominick de Killikelly, of Lydacan Castle, County Galway, and had issue,
John, 1763-99;
GEORGE, of whom hereafter;
The second son,

GEORGE MOORE (1770-1840), of Moore Hall, wedded, in 1807, Louisa, daughter of the Hon John Browne, sixth son of John, 1st Earl of Altamont, and had issue,
GEORGE HENRY, his heir;
Arthur Augustus.
The eldest son,

GEORGE HENRY MOORE JP DL (1810-70), MP for County Mayo, 1847-57, 1868-70, High Sheriff of County Mayo, 1867, espoused, in 1851, Mary, eldest daughter of Maurice Blake, of Ballinafad, County Mayo, and had issue,
Maurice George, CB, Colonel, Connaught Rangers;
Augustus George Martin;
Henry Julian;
Nina Mary Louisa.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE AUGUSTUS MOORE (1852-1933), of Moore Hall and Ebury Street, London, High Sheriff of County Mayo, 1905, who died unmarried.

George Henry Moore (Image: Wikipedia)

THE MOORES had originally been an English Protestant settler family.

The father of George Moore (1729-99), John Moore, converted to catholicism when he married Jane Lynch Athy from one of the principal Catholic families in County Galway.

Using her connections among the "Wild Geese," Irish Jacobite exiles in Spain, Jane supported her son in getting established in the wine import business in Alicante, Spain.

He subsequently changed his religion, and married, in I765, Katherine de Kilikelly, an Irish Catholic raised in Spain.

George made his fortune and returned to erect Moore Hall in 1792, above the shore of Lough Carra.
"He thus solidified the shift of the family from being New English settlers of Protestant faith to their nineteenth-century identity as Irish Catholic landlords who had never been humbled by the "Penal Laws" — that set of regulations aimed at limiting the property and power of Irish Catholics, and put in force after William of Orange routed James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1688."

"The change in the confessional identity of the Moore family, like the circumstances of G H Moore's death, is important to the story of George Moore. These matters would one day be the occasion of a quarrel about family history that broke up the surviving Moore brothers, saw Moore Hall become vacant, and scattered the last generation of Moores abroad."

"Of the four sons of George Moore of Alicante, the eldest was John Moore (1763-99), a scapegrace trained in Paris and London for the law, and for a few days in 1798 the first President of the Republic of Connaught."

"Aided by French invaders at Killala, John Moore participated in the surprise victory of General Humbert over a British garrison at Castlebar on 27 August 1798, assumed nominal leadership of the rebels, then got captured after the rout of the small Irish forces."

"President Moore died while under house arrest in a Waterford tavern. The second son of Moore of Alicante was a mild-tempered man, also named George Moore. A gentleman scholar rarely out of his library, he wrote histories of the English and French revolution, something in the manner of Gibbon."

"Moore the historian had three sons by Louisa Browne, the first being George Henry Moore, the only one of the three not to die by a fall from a horse."
Moore Hall (Image: Robert French)

MOORE HALL, near Ballyglass, County Mayo, is a Georgian mansion built between 1792-6 by George Moore.

It comprises three storeys over a basement, with an entrance front of two bays on either side of a centre breakfront; including a triple window, and fluted pilasters on console brackets.

There is a Venetian window above the entrance doorway, beneath a single-storey Doric portico.

The house was burnt by the IRA in 1923, and is now a ruinous shell.

Colonel Maurice Moore, CB, had intended to rebuild the house, albeit on a smaller scale.

Moore Hall (Image: Comhar - Own work, Public Domain,

Colonel Moore's elder brother, George Augustus Moore, died in 1933, leaving  an estate valued at £70,000 (about £5.1 million in 2021).

His ashes were buried on Castle Island in Lough Carra.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Donegall House

DONEGALL HOUSE, built in 1785, was located at the corner of Donegall Place and Donegall Square North, directly opposite the present Robinson & Cleaver building.
In 1611, the Jacobean Belfast Castle was built upon the site of the former Castle, bounded by what's now Castle Place, Cornmarket and Castle Lane. 
It was surrounded with spacious gardens which extended from the river along to Cromac Woods and near Stranmillis. 
It is curious to read of hunting, hawking and other sports in the woods and meadows where now we have long streets of premises. 
The gardens, shady walks, orchards, bowling greens and cherry gardens are all gone, and nothing remains of the fish ponds. The stately home, once the centre of hospitality and culture, is now only a memory. 
WILLIAM III was received here in 1690. 
In 1708, Belfast Castle was burned to the ground. 
Three of Lady Donegall's daughters were burnt to death, and two servants also perished. 
The Castle was never rebuilt, and Lord Donegall lived for a time in Donegall House at the corner of Donegall Place.
It wasn't until almost 100 years later that the Donegalls returned to live in Belfast.

From ca 1802-20, Donegall House was the residence of the 2nd Marquess and Marchioness of Donegall.

Lord Donegall rented the house from John Brown, a Belfast banker.

This large town house comprised three storeys, was stuccoed, and had a central pediment.

The gable end and a small side garden were enclosed at Donegall Square North.

In the image, taken from the White Linen Hall (predecessor of City Hall) , Donegall House is the first building on the left.

From ca 1820-98, the house became the Royal Hotel, under the auspices of Charles Kerns, Lord Donegall's former butler.

Prior to its demise, the hotel's proprietor was Miss Sarah Doyle.

Donegall House was demolished ca 1967 for the present seven-storey commercial building.

First published in November, 2013.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

1st Duke of Schomberg


FRIEDRICH HERMANN VON SCHÖNBERG (1615-90), KG, son of Hans Meinard von Schönberg and Anne (daughter of Edward, 5th Baron Dudley), of Heidelberg, Germany, General in WILLIAM III's army, was created, in 1689, Baron Teyes and Earl of Brentford.

His lordship was advanced, in 1690, to the dignities of Marquess of Harwich and DUKE OF SCHOMBERG, by WILLIAM III, the younger son to succeed first.

This Frederick Schomberg came over with the Prince of Orange at the Revolution, and at the battle of the Boyne was unhappily slain by a musket ball from his own men, in the aforesaid year, 1690.

His Grace married firstly, in 1638, his cousin, the Countess Johanna Elizabeth von Schönberg, and had issue,
MEINHARDT, 3rd Duke;
CHARLES, 2nd Duke.
He wedded secondly, in 1669, Susanne, youngest daughter of Daniel d'Aumale, Seigneur de Harcourt.

The 1st Duke was installed a Knight of the Garter in 1689.

1st Duke of Schomberg KG

He was succeeded by his youngest son,

CHARLES (1645-93), 2nd Duke, who died, 1693, by a wound he received in the battle of Marsaglia, leaving no issue.

His Grace was succeeded by his elder brother,

MEINHARDT, 3rd Duke (1641-1719), KG, who wedded firstly, in 1667, Louisa, daughter of Giovanni Rizzi; and secondly, 1682, Raugräfin Karoline Elisabeth, daughter of Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine, and had issue,
CHARLES LOUIS, his successor;
Caroline; Frederica; Mary.
His Grace was created, in 1690, Baron Tara, Earl of Bangor, and Duke of Leinster.

He was installed a Knight of the Garter by QUEEN ANNE in 1703.

Following the decease of the 3rd Duke in 1719, without surviving male issue, the titles all expired.

Hillingdon House

Fomer seat ~ Hillingdon House, Middlesex.
London residence ~ Schomberg House.

First published in September, 2017.  Schomberg arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

The Craig Baronets


The first Baronet, later to become the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, was elevated to the peerage in 1927, in the dignity of VISCOUNT CRAIGAVON, of Stormont, County Down, when the baronetcy merged with the viscountcy.

I have written an article about the family HERE.

Born at Sydenham, a suburban district of Belfast, Craig was the youngest of six sons of James Craig JP, of Craigavon House, Circular Road, Belfast, and Tyrella, County Down, a prosperous whisky distiller and businessman in Belfast.

Educated at a private school in Holywood, County Down and afterwards at Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh, the younger Craig became a stockbroker.

1st Viscount Craigavon, by N Burn
(Image: Northern Ireland Assembly)

However, with the start of the Boer War in 1899 he ceased formally to be a member of the Belfast Stock Exchange and took a commission in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles.
Serving with distinction as a lieutenant with the Imperial Yeomanry, he was captured by the Boers but survived the barren conditions of a concentration camp and returned home with a firm and lasting conviction of the British way of life.
The 1st Viscount was still prime minister when he died peacefully at his home, Glencraig, County Down, in 1940.

He was buried at the Stormont Estate.

JAMES (1906-74), 2nd Baronet and 2nd Viscount, was educated at Eton.

He was a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and fought in the Second World War.

JANRIC FRASER (b 1944), 3rd Baronet and 3rd Viscount, was educated at Eton, and graduated from London University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts.

Lord Craigavon was invested as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and was an Elected Member of the House of Lords in 1999. He lives in London.

There is no heir to the viscountcy.

First published in July, 2010.