Monday, 27 July 2015

Howth Castle


The family of ST LAWRENCE has been very ancient in Ireland, having been settled at the seat at Howth from very early times; and were originally barons by tenure, from the reign of HENRY II, and subsequently confirmed by King JOHN.

The original surname of this very ancient family was Tristram, and it is said to have been exchanged for the present one, of ST LAWRENCE, under the following circumstances:-
A member of the house of TRISTRAM having the command of an army against the invaders of his native soil, attacked and totally routed them on St Lawrence's Day, near Clontarf, and assumed, in consequence of a vow made previously to the battle, the name of the saint, which his descendants have ever since borne. 
The sword with which this warrior fought and vanquished still hangs in the hall of Howth, where the family has resided since its first arrival in Ireland, a period of seven centuries at least.
SIR ALMERIC TRISTRAM, 1st feudal Lord of Howth,
brother-in-law and companion-in-arms of Sir John de Courcy, having, in 1177, effected a landing at Howth, defeated the Irish in a pitched battle, at Evora bridge, and obtained the lands and barony of Howth, as a reward for his distinguished valour during the conflict. 
After this successful commencement, Sir Almeric, with his brother-in-law, Sir John de Courcy, reduced the whole province of Ulster; but in 1189, when Sir John was removed from the government of Ireland by RICHARD I, Sir Almeric, who was then in Connaught, being attacked by O'Connor, the king of that province, and overwhelmed by numbers, himself and his whole party, consisting of thirty knights and 200 infantrymen, perished to a man.
By the sister of Sir John de Courcy, Earl of Ulster, Sir Almeric left three sons, the two younger of whom were slain on Good Friday, 1203, in assisting their Uncle John against de Lacy's men in the churchyard of Downpatrick, County Down; and the eldest,

SIR NICHOLAS FITZ ALMERIC, was obliged to content himself with the lands of Howth, and relinquished to religious houses the conquests of his father in Ulster.

From this Sir Nicholas the barony descended uninterruptedly to

CHRISTOPHER, 2nd Baron, son of Christopher (or Stephen) St Lawrence, 1st Baron Howth, who married, before 1435, Anne Plunkett, a relation the 1st Baron Killeen, by whom he had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
William, an admiral;
Almeric, clerk of the rolls;
Lionel, precentor of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin;
Walter, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer.
Christopher St Lawrence died between 1462-5, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT (c1435-c1485), 3rd Baron; who was appointed, in 1478, Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland; and constituted, in 1483, LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND.

His lordship married, in 1478, Joan, second daughter of Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, by whom he had four sons and two daughters.
By this marriage Lord Howth's descendants derived descent from EDWARD III, and became inheritors of the blood royal. 
The second son, Thomas, was appointed, in 1532, Attorney-General for Ireland; and in 1535 Second Justice of the Court of King's Bench.
Sir Robert was succeeded by his eldest son,

NICHOLAS, 4th Baron (c1460-1526). This nobleman, for his fidelity to HENRY VII in the affair of Lambert Simnel, was presented by that monarch with 300 pieces of gold, and confirmed by charter, dated 1489, in the lands of Howth etc.

He subsequently attended Gerald, 8th Earl of Kildare, Lord Deputy of Ireland, at the famous battle of Knockdoe, in Connaught, fought against the Irish in 1504, where his lordship headed the billmen on foot.

His lordship was appointed LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND in 1509; and dying in 1526 was succeeded by his eldest son by his first wife Genet, only daughter of Sir Christopher Plunkett, 3rd Baron Killeen,

CHRISTOPHER, 5th Baron (c1485-1542), who was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD, 6th Baron (1508-49), who died without male issue and was succeeded by his brother,

RICHARD, 7th Baron (c1510-58),
at whose decease, without issue, the lineal heirship of whatever honours accrued to the family of ROBERT'S intermarriage, as above, with Joan, one of the co-heirs of Edmund, 2nd Duke of Somerset, devolved upon his lordship's two sisters, ANNE and ALISON; while the Irish barony of Howth passed over undisputedly to the nearest heir male of the family, according to the usual course.
This happened to be his brother,

CHRISTOPHER, 8th Baron, generally called the "Blind Lord", who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Plunket, of Beaulieu; and was succeeded at his decease, in 1589, by his eldest son,

NICHOLAS, 9th Baron (c1550-1607), who espoused firstly, Margaret, daughter of Sir Christopher Barnewall; and secondly, Mary, daughter of Sir Nicholas White, of Leixlip, Master of the Rolls in Ireland.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son by his first marriage,

CHRISTOPHER, 10th Baron (c1568-1619).
This nobleman, who was a colonel of infantry, commanded the rear of the vanguard at the battle of Carlingford, in 1600, under Lord Deputy Mountjoy, against Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone.
His lordship wedded Elizabeth, daughter of John Wentworth, of Little Horkesley, Yorkshire, and had two sons, NICHOLAS and Thomas, and one daughter, Margaret.

He was succeeded by his elder son,

NICHOLAS, 11th Baron (1597-1643), who married, in 1615, Jane, only surviving daughter and heir of the Rt Rev George Montgomery, Lord Bishop of Derry, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Susanna; Frances; Elizabeth; Margaret.
His lordship was succeeded by his only surviving son,

WILLIAM, 12th Baron (1628-71), who wedded Elizabeth, widow of Colonel Ftizwilliam, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Mary, m Henry, 3rd Earl of Mount Alexander;
Martha, m Hugh, son of Sir Bryan O'Neill Bt.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

THOMAS, 13th Baron (1659-1727).
This peer sat in JAMES II's parliament of 1689, as he did in 1692, the first parliament after the Revolution, and signed the association and declaration, in 1697, in defence of the person and government of WILLIAM III, and the succession as settled by act of parliament.
He wedded, in 1687, Mary, eldest daughter of 2nd Viscount Barnewall of Kingsland, and had, with several sons, a daughter, Elizabeth.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 14th Baron (1688-1748), who espoused, in 1729, Lucy, younger daughter of Lieutenant-General Richard Gorges, and by her had a daughter, Mary, and two sons.

The elder son,

THOMAS, 15th Baron (1730-1801), was created, in 1767, Viscount St Lawrence and EARL OF HOWTH.

His lordship was sworn, in the following year, of His Majesty's privy council in Ireland; and in consideration of his own and his ancestors' services, obtained, in 1776, a pension of £500 a year.

He wedded, in 1750, Isabella, daughter of Sir Edward King Bt, and sister of Edward, 1st Earl of Kingston, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM, of whom we treat;
Thomas (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Cork and Ross;
Isabella; Elizabeth; Frances 
The 1st Earl was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 2nd Earl (1752-1822), who married firstly, in 1777, Mary, 2nd daughter and co-heiress of Thomas, Earl of Louth, by whom he had issue,
Harriet; Isabella; Matilda; Mary.
His lordship wedded secondly, Margaret, daughter of William Burke, of Glinsk, County Galway, by whom he left
THOMAS, his successor;
Catherine; Elizabeth.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

THOMAS, 3rd Earl (1803-74), Knight of St Patrick, 1835, Vice-Admiral of the Province of Leinster, Lord-Lieutenant of County Dublin, 1851-74, who espoused, in 1826, Lady Emily de Burgh, daughter of the 1st Marquess of Clanricarde KP, and had issue,
Emily; Catherine Elizabeth; Mary.
His lordship's only son and heir,

WILLIAM ULICK TRISTRAM, 4th Earl (1827-1909), KP,
Captain, 7th Hussars 1847-50; High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1854; State Steward to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1855-58 and 1859-66; MP for Galway Borough, 1868-74; Vice-Admiral of the Province of Leinster; Knight of St Patrick, 1884.
The 4th Earl died without male issue, in 1909, when the earldom and subsidiary titles expired.

HOWTH CASTLE, County Dublin, has been the stronghold of the St Lawrence family for hundreds of years.

Initially a timber fort was built on Tower Hill before a permanent stone-walled Norman castle was constructed.

The residence gradually evolved over the centuries into a palatial mansion.

The architect Sir Edwin Lutyens restyled the current castle built in 1464.

Howth Castle is possibly the oldest family home in Ireland.

During the period when many of the remaining castles and houses of the Anglo-Irish landed families were destroyed by republicans, Howth Castle remained untouched. 
In 1576, it is said that after the pirate Grace O'Malley was refused entry to Howth Castle, she captured the Earl of Howth's grandson. He was released on condition that in future, unexpected visitors would be recieved at Howth Castle. The St Lawrence family proudly continued this tradition for centuries. 
Burke's describes Howth Castle as being a rambling and romantic castle on the Hill of Howth, which forms part of the northern side of Dublin Bay.

It is basically a massive medieval keep, with corner towers crenellated in the Irish "crow-step" fashion, to which additions have been made through its 800 years.


Almeric built his castle of wood above the harbour but it is evident from a deed that by 1235 a new castle had been built on the present site in the middle of the fertile land.

This again would have been built in wood.

The earliest extant parts of the present structure date from the mid-fifteenth century.

The house has been extensively altered by succeeding generations to adapt it to their times, most notably in 1738, when the house took on its current appearance and again in 1911 when Sir Edwin Lutyens renovated and added to the house.

It is still possible to see evidence of the alterations that have been made and infer what was there before. This gives a remarkable insight into how historic houses evolved in Ireland over the centuries.

The current building is not the original Howth Castle, which was on the high slopes by the village and the sea.

The English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens restyled a 14th century castle built here, overlooking Dublin Bay.

Parts of the original bawn and towers survive though mainly encased in later additions – the large gateway tower is illustrated here.

During 1910-11 he added or renovated the tower, loggia, corridors, library, and a chapel.

He added a three-bay two-storey library block, built 1910 in tower house form, with basement and dormer attic.

Square plan corner turrets to south-west and north-east facades. Incorporating fabric of earlier structures, 1738 and ca 1840.

Over the previous hundred years or so, the list of architects who have worked on the castle or proposed alterations included: Richard Morrison (1810) for a Gothic gateway, for William St Lawrence, 2nd Earl; Francis Johnston proposed alterations in 1825, as did James Pain; Francis Bindon proposed alterations in 1838.

Richard Morrison partly executed his planned alterations of around 1840 including gothicization of the stables.

Principal rooms of note include the dining-room, the library and the chapel.


Howth Castle remains the private residence of the Gaisford-St Lawrence family.

The house is not normally open to the public, but the family recognises that there is an understandable interest in it and its contents.

The fact that the house has been home to the same family for so long is what makes it unique.

Unlike many other houses of its size it is not a museum or a hotel but a home.

The Kitchen in the Castle Cookery School, which operates from the original Georgian kitchen in the house gives a wide range of courses and demonstrations through the year.


In 1892, Rosa Mulholland referred to the grounds thus:
“Back on the lower land you must visit the ancient demesne of the Earl of Howth, where a quaint old castle stands in a prim garden with swan-inhabited pond, and plashing fountain, encircled by dark beautiful woods full of lofty cathedral-like aisles, moss carpeted, and echoing with the cawing of rooks."
In recent years, the 17th classical landscape was totally obliterated to make for a golf course.

The grounds are noted for the wild rhododendron gardens, which are open to the public in summer and some of the oldest, planted in 1710, beech hedges.

The castle itself is not open to the public. The "Kitchen in the Castle Cookery School" is based in the restored Georgian kitchens of Howth Castle.

The National Transport Museum of Ireland is located in the grounds of the castle. It features lorries, trucks, fire engines and tractors.

Also within the grounds are the Deer Park Hotel and its associated golf courses.

First published in August, 2011.  Howth arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

The Royal Train

The Queen's Bedroom

The Royal Train  is used regularly throughout England, Scotland and Wales to carry senior members of our Royal Family.

It has been said that The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales all have Roberts radios in their saloons, usually tuned to BBC Radio Four, as they like to wake up in the morning to the Today programme.

The Prince of Wales's Study

The joys of awakening from one's slumber by the mellifluous tones of Mr John Humphrys!



First published in October, 2008.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Mulroy House


This family is originally from France, where Albert Clements is said to have been a Marshal in 1183.

This family settled in Ireland some time during the reign of JAMES I.

DANIEL CLEMENTS JP (c1624-80), son of Robert Clements, went over to Ireland with Oliver Cromwell.

He was a cornet in the New Model Army, probably in Colonel Thomas Coote's regiment.
It is thought that this family came from Leicestershire. About 1657, Daniel Clements received a grant of land at Rathkenny, County Cavan. He was High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1674; JP, 1675. 
His son,

ROBERT CLEMENTS (1664-1722), Deputy Vice-Treasurer for Ireland, wedded Mary, eldest daughter of Theophilus Sandford, an ancestor of the Lords Mount Sandford, by whom he had three sons,
THEOPHILUS, his heir;
NATHANIEL, succeeded his brother.
This Robert was attainted by the Irish parliament convoked by King JAMES II in 1689, but was restored to his states in Cavan on the establishment of the government of WILLIAM III, and appointed Deputy Vice-Treasurer of Ireland. 

He sat as MP for Carrickfergus, 1692, and for Newry, 1715-22; High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1694; Teller of the Irish Exchequer and Deputy Vice-Treasurer of Ireland.

Mr Robert Clements was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON THEOPHILUS CLEMENTS, also one of the Tellers of the Exchequer, married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Francis Burton, of Duncraggy, County Clare; but dying without issue, was succeeded by his next brother,

THE RT HON NATHANIEL CLEMENTS (1705-77), MP, also one of the tellers of the Irish Exchequer; and upon the decease of the Rt Hon Luke Gardiner, Deputy Vice-Treasurer of Ireland.

This gentleman espoused, in 1729, Hannah, eldest daughter of the Very Rev William Gore, Dean of Down, and had issue,
Henry Theophilus;
Elizabeth, m to Lord Conyngham;
Hannah, m to Sir George Montgomery Bt;
Catherine, m to Eyre, Lord Clarina;
Alicia, m to Ralph Gore, Earl of Ross.
Mr Clements was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

ROBERT CLEMENTS (1732-1804), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1783, as Baron Leitrim, of Manor Hamilton, County Leitrim, in 1783.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, as Viscount Leitrim, in 1793; and further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF LEITRIM, in 1795.

He wedded, in 1765, Elizabeth, daughter of Clotworthy, 1st Earl of Massereene, and by her had issue,
NATHANIEL, his successor;
Robert Clotworthy;
Louisa; Caroline.
Robert, 1st Earl (1732–1804)
Nathaniel, 2nd Earl (1768–1854)
Robert Bermingham, Viscount Clements (1805-39)
William Sydney, 3rd Earl (1806-78)
Robert Bermingham, 4th Earl (1847-92) 

Another residence of the Earls of Leitrim was Lough Rynn Castle, near Mohill, County Leitrim.

The 4th and 5th Earls, however, mainly used Mulroy House, near Letterkenny, County Donegal, as their residence.

MULROY HOUSE is a large two-storey Tudor-Revival stone house, ca 1865, possibly by William Burn, with fine views over Mulroy Bay, in good condition.

Austere externally but commodious inside and maintained as a dwelling, wings added in 1890s.

Important plant collection begun by the 5th Earl and Countess; later the residence of the Hon Hedley Strutt, Lord Leitrim's nephew.

Extensive and important planting, by the 5th Earl and Countess, of rhododendron, magnolia, eucryphia and other species put in from 1936, mainly along the drives and sheltered by pre-existing shelter belts from the 1860s; a great deal of the latter suffered during Hurricane Debbie in the 1960s.

Lady O'Neill (in an article pre-1985) refers to huge specimens in 'first class condition' but noted that they were very overgrown with lesser material.

Now even more overgrown, but the collection is supervised by Uel Henderson. Said to be a site for the rare Killarney fern. (Lamb & Bowe).

The village of Carrigart originally formed part of the Leitrim estates, near Mulroy House.


THE THIRD EARL was murdered in nearby Cratlagh wood, in 1878, by men from the neighbouring peninsula.

It has been claimed that the 3rd Earl's "overbearing behaviour as a landlord brought him much hatred from his tenants, Roman Catholic and Protestant alike, whom he evicted with equal enthusiasm".

Former town residence ~ 44 Grosvenor Gardens, London.

First published in August, 2011.  Leitrim arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Castle Bernard


The noble family of BERNARD, of Castle Bernard, derives, according to Thomas Hawley, King of Arms during the reign of HENRY VIII, from
Sir Theophilus, a valiant knight of German descent, who in 1066, accompanied WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR to England. Subsequently the Bernards were found to be flourishing in the counties of Westmorland, Yorkshire  and Northamptonshire. 
SIR THEOPHILUS, who was son of Sir Egerette, was succeeded by

SIR DORBARD, the first surnamed BERNARD, or FitzBernard.
His descendants settled at Acornbank in Westmorland (according to the authority already quoted) and appear to have continued in that county for many succeeding generations.
It can also be deduced from written annals that, when HENRY II landed in Ireland in 1172, he was accompanied by William FitzAdelm, Humfrey de Bohun, Hugh de Lacy, and ROBERT FITZBERNARD; and on departure of the King from Ireland, Wexford and Waterford were entrusted to FitzBernard's custody.
SIR FRANCIS BERNARD, Knight, of Acornbank, in Westmorland, the lineal descendant of Sir Dorbard, married Hannah, daughter of Sir John Pilkington, and was grandfather of

SIR HENRY BERNARD, Knight, who married Anne, daughter of Sir John Dawson, of Westmorland, and had four sons, ROBERT, William, Francis, and Charles.

FRANCIS BERNARD, the third son, removed to Ireland during ELIZABETH I's reign and purchased considerable estates.

He died leaving issue, besides two daughters, a son, 

FRANCIS BERNARD, Lord of the manor of Castle Bernard, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Arthur Freke, of Rathbarry Castle (ancestor of Lord Carbery).

Mr Bernard was killed while defending his castle from an attack of the rebel forces, and left issue, with four daughters, all married, two sons,
FRANCIS, of whom presently;
Arthur, born in 1666.
The eldest son,

FRANCIS BERNARD (1663-1731), was attainted by King JAMES II’s parliament, but was restored to his estates by WILLIAM and MARY.

He was appointed Solicitor-General for Ireland by QUEEN ANNE, Prime Sergeant, and a judge of the Court of Common Pleas.

Mr Bernard represented Bandon and Clonakilty in parliament.

He wedded, in 1697, Alice, daughter of Stephen Ludlow, ancestor of the Earls Ludlow, and grandson of Sir Henry Ludlow, of Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire (whose eldest son was the famous General Ludlow); and by her he left at his decease,
FRANCIS, his heir;
Stephen, of Prospect Hall;
North Ludlow, father of JAMES BERNARD;
Elizabeth, m 3rd Viscount Charlemont.
The eldest son,

FRANCIS BERNARD MP (1698-1783), of Castle Bernard, and Bassingbourne Hall, Essex, espoused, in 1722, Lady Anne Petty, only daughter of Henry, Earl of Shelburne; but died without surviving issue, when he was succeeded by his nephew,

JAMES BERNARD (1729-90), of Castle Bernard, son of North Ludlow Bernard, Member in several parliaments for County Cork, who married, in 1752, Esther, daughter of Percy Smyth, and heiress of her brother, William Smyth, of Headborough, and widow of Robert Gookin.

He died in 1790, having had issue,
Rose; Esther; Mary; Charlotte; Elizabeth.
The son and heir,

FRANCIS BERNARD, was elevated to the peerage, in 1793, as Baron Bandon; and created Viscount Bandon in 1795.

His lordship was further advanced, in 1800, to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF BANDON, and Viscount Bernard

CASTLE BERNARD, near Bandon, County Cork, was re-modelled by Francis Bernard, 1st Viscount Bandon and afterwards 1st Earl of Bandon.

He pulled down the two early 18th century fronts in 1798 and began building a new house alongside the old O'Mahony castle, which was joined by a corridor.

It was of two storeys with a nine-bay entrance front overlooking the River Bandon; and a garden front of three bays on either side of a deep curved central bow. 

It was altered and enlarged in Gothic style in the mid-19th century.

Castle Bernard became known as one of the most hospitable houses in Ireland and the house parties held by the 4th Earl and Countess were said to have been legendary.

In an early morning raid on the 21st June, 1921, an IRA gang, under Sean Hales, called at the Castle.

They intended to kidnap Lord Bandon, but "Buckshot" Bandon and his staff had taken refuge in the cellars.

Apparently disappointed in the first object of their call, the IRA decided to burn the house.

Hales was heard to say, "well the bird has flown, so we'll burn the nest".

At that, Lord Bandon and his party appeared from the cellars but it was too late, the fire had started. 

Ironically the IRA carefully took out all the furniture and piled it on the lawn before setting the building on fire.

Lady Bandon had to sit and watch the flames for some hours.

When the flames were at their height, she suddenly stood up in her nightgown and sang God Save the King as loudly as possible, which disconcerted the incendiaries, but while they may not have stood to attention, they let her have her say and did nothing about it.

Lord Bandon was then kidnapped by a local IRA gang and held hostage for three weeks, being released on 12th July.

The IRA threatened to have him executed if the authorities went ahead with executing IRA prisoners of war.

During his captivity, Bandon coolly played cards with his captors, who treated him well.

Tom Barry later stated he believed the kidnapping helped move HM Government towards the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the cessation of hostilities.

The elderly Lord Bandon never recovered from the experience and died in 1924.

Some years later, when the last of the IRA burning party died, the 4th Earl was asked to go to the funeral, which he did - in full funeral regalia of top hat and morning coat.

Castle Bernard continued to be the home of the 5th Earl and Countess: they built a small house within the Castle boundary walls.

The 5th Earl died in 1979 and, as he had no heir, the titles became extinct. Lady Bandon died in 1999, aged 102. 

Lady Jennifer Bernard, who inherited the property, lived on the grounds of the castle until she died in 2010.

A modern house was built a short distance from the ruin by the 5th Earl in the 1960s and the uncontrolled growth of trees and ivy gives the building its romantic character. 

There is a huge high window in the curved stairwell which would have been a magnificent feature in its day. Above the grand doorway and grass covered steps are a fine carved crest and standards. 

Several of the attractive stone window frames are still more or less intact which adds to the appeal of this splendid ruin.

Percy, 5th Earl, GBE CB CVO DSO, Air Chief Marshal, was one of the most senior officers in the RAF. 

In his retirement the 5th Earl discovered the pleasures of fishing, particularly in the River Bandon which was well stocked with salmon, and in shooting, snipe and woodcock found in large numbers near Castle Bernard.

He was also developing an enthusiastic skill as a gardener with a particular knowledge of rhododendrons.

The 5th Earl died on 8 February 1979 at Bon Secours Hospital in County Cork aged 74 and without male issue.

Consequently on his death all the titles became extinct.

He was survived by Lois, Lady Bandon and the two daughters from his first marriage, Lady Jennifer Jane Bernard, of Castle Bernard (b 1935) and Lady Frances Elizabeth Bernard (b 1943).

A portrait in oils (painted 1969) of Lord Bandon, in his uniform as an Air Chief Marshal together with his robes as a peer of the realm, hangs in the main dining hall at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell.

First published in August, 2011.  Bandon arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Kilrush House


GILES VANDELEUR settled at Rathlahine, County Clare, in 1660, and was one of the commissioners for allotting quit-rents in Ireland.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Sir John Jephson MP, of Mallow, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Francis, 1st Viscount Shannon (4th son of Richard, 1st Earl of Cork), and had issue,
James, of Blane, who left issue;
JOHN, of whom presently;
The second son,

THE REV JOHN VANDELEUR, of Cragg, County Clare, rector of Kilrush, County Clare, seating himself  at Kilrush in 1687, wedded Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Crofton, of Inchirourke, County Limerick, by whom he left, besides a younger son, Thomas, an elder son,

JOHN VANDELEUR, of Kilrush, who married Frances, daughter of John Ormsby, of Cloghans, County Mayo; and dying in 1754, left issue,
CROFTON, his heir;
John Ormsby, of Maddenstown;
Richard, of Rutland, father of Gen Sir J O Vandeleur GCB;
His eldest son,

CROFTON VANDELEUR, of Kilrush, wedded, in 1765, Alice, daughter of Thomas Burton (uncle of Francis P Burton, 2nd Lord Conyngham), of Buncraggy, by Dorothy his wife, daughter of the Rt Hon John Forster, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas for Ireland, and by her had issue,
JOHN ORMSBY, his heir;
Thomas Burton, a judge;
Crofton, major-general;
Richard, army major;
Frederick, army captain;
William Richard (Rev);
Dorothy; Alice; Emily; Frances.
The eldest son,

THE RT HON JOHN ORMSBY VANDELEUR (1765-1828), Commissioner of the Customs for Ireland, MP for Ennis, 1802; married Lady Frances, daughter of Charles, 1st Marquess of Drogheda, and by her had issue,
CROFTON MOORE, his heir;
Henry Seymour Moore;
Anna Frances; Alice.
The Rt Hon J O Vandeleur was succeeded by his elder son,

CROFTON MOORE VANDELEUR JP DL (1808-81), of Kilrush House, Colonel of the Clare Regiment of Militia, High Sheriff, 1832, MP for Clare, 1859-74.

He married, in 1832, Lady Grace Graham-Toler, second daughter of Hector John, 2nd Earl of Norbury, and by her had issue,
Crofton Toler;
John Ormsby Moore;
Elizabeth Frances; Frances Letitia;
Grace Dorothea.
Colonel Vandeleur was succeeded by his eldest son,

HECTOR STEWART VANDELEUR (1836-1909), of Kilrush House, Lord-Lieutenant of County Clare, High Sheriff, 1873, who married, in 1867, Charlotte, eldest daughter of William Orme Foster MP, of Apsley Park, Shropshire, and by her had issue,
Cecil Foster Seymour, DSO (1869-1901), k/a;
Isabel Grace; Evelyn Norah.
His only surviving son,

ALEXANDER MOORE VANDELEUR JP (1883-1914), of Kilrush, and Cahiracon, captain, The Life Guards, espoused, in 1910, the Hon Violet Ethel Meysey-Thompson, eldest daughter of Henry Meysey, 1st Lord Knaresborough.

Captain Vandeleur was killed in action, aged 30, during the 1st World War.

He left issue,


KILRUSH HOUSE, County Clare, was an early Georgian house of 1808.

From 1881 until Kilrush House was burnt in 1897, Hector Stewart Vandeleur lived mainly in London and only spent short periods each year in Kilrush.

Indeed during the years 1886-90, which coincided with the period of the greatest number of evictions from the Vandeleur estate, he does not appear to have visited Kilrush.

In 1889, Hector bought Cahircon House and then it was only a matter of time before the Vandeleurs moved to Cahircon as, in 1896, they were organising shooting parties at Kilrush House and also at the Cahircon demesne. 

Hector Stewart Vandeleur was the last of the Vandeleurs to be buried at Kilrush in the family mausoleum.

Cahircon House was sold in 1920, ending the Kilrush Vandeleurs' direct association with County Clare.
Hector Vandeleur had, by 1908, agreed to sell the Vandeleur estate to the tenants for approximately twenty years' rent, and the majority of the estate was purchased by these tenants.


THE VANDELEURS, as landlords, lost lands during the Land Acts and the family moved to Cahircon, near Kildysart.

In 1897, Kilrush House was badly damaged by fire.

During the Irish Land Commission of the 1920s, the Department of Forestry took over the estate, planted trees in the demesne and under their direction the remains of the house were removed in 1973, following an accident in the ruins.

Today the top car park is laid over the site of the house.

Vandeleur Walled Garden now forms a small part of the former Kilrush demesne.

The Kilrush demesne was purchased by the Irish Department of Agriculture as trustee under the Irish Land Acts solely for the purpose of forestry.

The Kilrush Committee for Urban Affairs purchased the Fair Green and Market House.
The demesne, now Kilrush Wood, lies to the east of the town.

The remains of Kilrush House were demolished in 1973.

The site is now a car park and picnic area and all the original stones from the house are now underneath this area.
A number of street names in the town of Kilrush are named after the Vandeleurs: Frances Street after Lady Frances, wife of Hon John Ormsby Vandeleur; Grace Street after Lady Grace Vandeleur; Hector Street after Hector Stewart, son of Crofton Moore; Moore Street after a common family name of the Vandeleurs, probably after Lady Frances Moore, wife of John Ormsby Vandeleur; Burton Street after Thomas Burton Vandeleur.
Former town residence ~ 50 Rutland Gate, London.

First published in July, 2011.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Armagh: III

Primate's chapel at Armagh Palace

I paid a visit to the City of Armagh in May, 2013.

Arriving at the main entrance to St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral in the city of Armagh, I strode up the steep hill where, at the summit, there stands augustly and loftily that great cathedral church with its twin spires, seat of many Cardinal Archbishops of Armagh.

There was a wedding taking place inside, so I bided my time by wandering round the cathedral, past Ara Coeli, the official residence of the Catholic Primate.

Ara Coeli is Latin, incidentally.

When the wedding ceremony ended, I walked in to the cathedral, an impressive church dating from about 1840, though not completed until the first years of the 20th century.

Former cardinals' galeros are suspended from the ceiling in the aisles.

THENCE I ambled on to English Street, past the Charlemont Arms Hotel and, a mere few yards further along, the De Averell guest-house.

Back at The Mall, where I'd parked the two-seater, I stopped to look at the court-house.

The old entrance posts of The Pavilion, erstwhile home of the Lord Armaghdale, still exist.

The Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum, located at the Sovereign's House, was open; so I spent about thirty minutes there.

They have two Victoria Crosses and Field-Marshal Sir Gerald Templer's uniform is on display, as Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment.

I drove to the Palace Demesne, well worth a visit.

I've already written about the Palace, official residence of the Church of Ireland Archbishops of Armagh and Primates of All Ireland from 1770 until 1975.

The archiepiscopal arms of Primate Robinson (later 1st Baron Rokeby) adorn the entrance front, above the porch.

The private primatial chapel is somewhat dwarfed by its close proximity to the Palace, though this wasn't always the case, since the Palace was originally two storeys in height.

These edifices are austere, though stately, noble and dignified; apt descriptions for archiepiscopal properties.

That concluded my visit to the city of Armagh, though I hope to revisit the city and county during the summer.

First published in May, 2013.

Virginia Park



THOMAS TAYLOR, of Ringmer, Sussex, died in 1629, and was succeeded by his son,

JOHN TAYLOR, of Battle, Sussex, who died in 1638, leaving an only son,

THOMAS TAYLOR, who removed to Ireland, in 1653, in the train of Sir William Petty, in order to undertake the Down Survey,
in which kingdom, he purchased lands in 1660, of which the town and townlands of Kells formed a portion, having disposed of his estates in England. After the Restoration, Mr Taylor was appointed one of the sub-commissioners of the court of claims.
In 1669-70, he was deputy receiver-general under Sir George Carteret, and immediately before his death he officiated as vice-treasurer and treasurer-at-war.

Mr Taylor married, in 1658, Anne, daughter of William Axtell, of Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, and had one surviving son, THOMAS, his heir, and one daughter, Anne, married to Sir Nicholas Acheson Bt.

Mr Taylor died in 1682, was succeeded by his son,

THE RT HON THOMAS TAYLOR (1662-1736), who was created a baronet, in 1704, and sworn of the Privy Council in 1726.

Sir Thomas wedded Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Cotton Bt, of Combermere, and had issue,
THOMAShis heir;
Robert, Dean of Clonfert;
Henrietta; Salisbury; Anne.
Sir Thomas died in 1736 was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR THOMAS TAYLOR (1657-96), 2nd Baronet, MP and a privy counsellor, who married Mary, daughter of John Graham, of Platten, County Meath, and left, with a daughter, Henrietta, an only son, 

SIR THOMAS TAYLOR, 3rd Baronet, KP, PC, MP, born in 1724, who wedded, in 1754, Jane, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Hercules Langford Rowley, by Elizabeth, Viscountess Langford, by whom he had issue,
Robert, a general in the army;
Clotworthy, created Baron Langford;
Henry Edward, in holy orders;
Sir Thomas was elevated to the peerage, in 1760, as Baron Headfort; advanced to a viscountcy, in 1762, as Viscount Headfort; and further advanced, to the dignity of an earldom, in 1766, as Earl of Bective.

Lord Bective was installed, in 1783, a Founder Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (KP), and sworn of the Privy Council of Ireland.

He died in 1795, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 2nd Earl, born in 1757, who assumed the surname of TAYLOUR from his patronymic.

His lordship was created MARQUESS OF HEADFORT, in 1800.

Dying in 1828, he was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 2nd Marquess, KP (1787-1870),
MP for co Meath, 1812-29; Lord Lieutenant of Cavan, 1831-70; Privy Counsellor, 1835; a Lord of the Bedchamber, 1835-37; a Lord-in-Waiting, 1837-41; Knight of St Patrick, 1839.
THOMAS, 3rd Marquess, KP, PC,(1822-94),
High Sheriff of Meath, 1844; and of Cavan, 1846; State Steward to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1852-3; High Sheriff of Westmorland, 1853; MP for Westmorland, 1854-70; Lord Lieutenant of Meath, 1876-94; Privy Counsellor, 1879; Knight of St Patrick 1885.
GEOFFREY THOMAS, 4th Marquess, Senator of the Irish Free State, 1922-28.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Thomas Rupert Charles Christopher Taylour, styled Earl of Bective (b 1989).
The Taylour family became very much involved in the political life of the locality, and several members of the family served as MPs for Kells and the county of Meath.

They were also a "Patrick Family", the 1st Earl, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marquesses all having been appointed Knights of St Patrick.

His seat, Headfort House, in County Meath, was the only Adam house in Ireland.

In 1901 the 4th Marquess, an eminent horticulturist, caused a sensation when he converted to Rome to marry a showgirl called Rosie Boote.

A figure of great dignity, she remained the dominant personality in the family during young Michael's youth and early adult life.

Virginia, in the county of Cavan, was named after ELIZABETH I, "the Virgin Queen". It owes its origin to the plantation of Ulster in 1609.

The lands eventually passed into the possession of Lucas Plunkett, Earl of Bective, a Roman Catholic, who was later created Earl of Fingall.

It can also be said that Lucas Plunkett, along with his son Christopher, frustrated the plans of the Government to proceed with the development of the town and its incorporation during his tenure.

He was sympathetic to the rebel Irish and sided with them against the planters during the 1641 Rebellion and the Williamite Wars of 1688-91, earning him the label of 'traitor'.

Consequently it fell to Thomas, 1st Marquess of Headfort, and his successors, to fulfil the patent in relation to the development of the town in the second half of the 18th century and 19th century - the patent which was originally granted to Captain Ridgeway in 1612.

Lord Headfort maintained a beautiful park beside lough Ramor, where he had a hunting lodge (above) in plain, rambling, Picturesque cottage style; a two-storey house with a three-bay centre and single-storey, three-bay wings.

The family often stayed here during the summer or autumn months, between 1750 and 1939.

The former hunting lodge is now a hotel, located on the shores of Lough Ramor.

The Headforts also owned 12,851 acres in Westmorland and 7,544 acres in County Meath.

First published in July, 2011.  Headfort arms courtesy of European Heraldry.