Monday, 20 August 2018

Terenure House


CAPTAIN WILLIAM SHAW (c1651-1734), of Hampshire, son of Captain William Shaw, fought at the battle of the Boyne, 1690, an officer in Colonel Michelburn's foot regiment, was father of

RICHARD SHAW (1673-1729), of Ballinderry, County Tipperary, who married, in 1696, Judith, daughter of Edward Briscoe, and was father of

ROBERT SHAW (1698-1758), of Sandpits, County Kilkenny, who wedded, in 1736, Mary, daughter of Bernard Markham, and had issue,
ROBERT, of whom presently;
The youngest son,

ROBERT SHAW (1749-96), of Terenure, County Dublin, espoused firstly, Mary, daughter of ______ Higgins, of Higginsbrook, County Meath, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Mary; Charlotte.
Mr Shaw married secondly, Priscilla Cecilia, daughter of Colonel Robert Armitage, and had further issue,
Caroline; Sylvia.
The eldest son,

ROBERT SHAW (1774-1849), of Bushy Park, County Dublin, High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1806, MP for Dublin City, 1804-26, Colonel, Royal Dublin Militia, wedded firstly, in 1796, Maria, daughter of Abraham Wilkinson, of Dublin, and had issue,
ROBERT, his successor;
FREDERICK, 3rd Baronet;
Beresford William;
George Augustus (Rev);
Charlotte; another daughter.
He espoused secondly, in 1834, Amelia, daughter of Dr Benjamin Spencer, of Bristol.

Mr Shaw was created a baronet in 1821, denominated of Bushy Park, County Dublin.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ROBERT SHAW, 2nd Baronet (1796-1869), DL, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his next brother,

THE RT HON SIR FREDERICK SHAW, 3rd Baronet (1799-1876), Privy Counsellor, MP for Dublin, 1830-32, Dublin University, 1832-48, Recorder of Dublin, who espoused, in 1819, Thomasine Emily, daughter of the Hon George Jocelyn, and had issue,
ROBERT, his successor;
George, Major-General;
Edward Wingfield;
Wilkinson Jocelyn;
Thomasine Harriot; two other daughters.
Sir Frederick was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ROBERT SHAW, 4th Baronet (1821-95), DL, High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1848, Lieutenant-Colonel, Dublin Militia, who married, in 1852, Catherine Grace, daughter of William Barton, and had issue, a son and successor,

SIR FREDERICK WILLIAM SHAW, 5th Baronet (1858-1927), DSO JP DL, of Bushy Park, Terenure, County Dublin, Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Irish Regiment, who wedded, in 1885, Eleanor Hester, daughter of Major Francis Horatio de Vere, and had issue,
ROBERT DE VERE, his successor;
Frederick Charleton;
Annie Kate; Mary Margaret; Grace Eleanor; Eily de Vere.
Sir Frederick was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ROBERT DE VERE SHAW, 6th Baronet (1890-1969), MC, who espoused, in 1923, Dorothy Joan, daughter of Thomas Cross, and had issue.

TERENURE HOUSE, County Dublin, is a noble 18th century house, comprising a five-bay front between two curved bows.

There are urns on the pediment.

There is a three-bay pedimented breakfront and a pillared porch.

In 1671, Major Joseph Deane, an officer in Cromwell’s army, purchased Terenure from Talbot for £4,000.

Major Deane, grandfather of the Rt Hon Joseph Deane MP, converted the castle into a mansion and his family held the property until 1789, when most of the land was sold to Abraham Wilkinson, of Bushy Park, County Dublin.

In 1785, Terenure House was leased to Robert Shaw, Accountant-General of the Post Office and a great-great uncle of George Bernard Shaw.

His son, Sir Robert Shaw, 1st Baronet, MP and Lord Mayor of Dublin, acquired the property, which was purchased for him by his father-in-law, Abraham Wilkinson, of Bushy Park, County Dublin.

Mr Wilkinson had already acquired much of the Terenure Estate in 1791.

He added almost 100 acres to the demesne and presented it, along with £10,000, to his only child Maria on her marriage to Robert Shaw, Junior.

Following the death of his father, Shaw came into possession of Terenure House and he sold it, about 1806, to Frederick Bourne, the proprietor of a stage coach business.

The Bournes occupied Terenure House until 1857, and during this period the estate was renowned for its magnificent landscaping, the planting in the grounds, and the extent and content of the glasshouses.

In 1860, the property was purchased by the Carmelite Order, which opened as a secondary school for boys.

From time to time extensions have been added and a fine Church was built in 1958.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Dawson of Castledawson

The family of DAWSON was established in Ulster in 1611 by

CHRISTOPHER DAWSON, of Acorn Bank, Westmorland, who was father of the Rt Rev Robert Dawson (1589-1643), Lord Bishop of Clonfert, and

THOMAS DAWSON, of Temple Sowerby, Westmorland, who purchased the lands at Castle Dawson, County Londonderry, during the reign of of CHARLES I, 1633, from George and Dudley Philips, and was father of

THOMAS DAWSON (c1630-83), Commissary of the Musters of the Army in Ireland, who had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
JOSHUA, succeeded his brother;
The second son,

THOMAS DAWSON (c1654-1732), of Castle Dawson, MP for Antrim, 1695-9, married Arabella Upton, of Castle Upton, and had issue, a son, THOMAS, who died in 1704 at the siege of Gibraltar.

He was succeeded by his brother,

JOSHUA DAWSON (1660-1725), of Castle Dawson, MP for Wicklow, 1705-14, who wedded, ca 1695, Anne, daughter of Thomas Carr, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Joseph (Rev);
Mary; Anne Elizabeth; Eleanor; Arabella.
Mr Dawson was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM DAWSON (-1779), of Castle Dawson, Surveyor-General of Munster, Collector of Dublin, who wedded, ca 1739, Sarah Mary, daughter of Thomas Newcomen, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Sarah Elizabeth.
The son and heir,

ARTHUR DAWSON (1745-1822), of Castle Dawson, MP for Newtownards, 1775-6, Carlow, 1776-83, Middleton, 1783-97, Banagher, 1798-1800, espoused, in 1775, Catherine, daughter of George Paul Monck by his wife, the Lady Aramintha Beresford, and had issue,
GEORGE ROBERT, his heir;
Henry Richard (Very Rev), Dean of St Patrick's;
Aramintha; Maria; Louisa; Isabella.
Mr Dawson was succeeded by his son,

THE RT HON GEORGE ROBERT DAWSON (1790-1856), of Castle Dawson, who married, in 1816, Mary, daughter of Sir Robert Peel Bt, of Drayton Manor, Staffordshire, and had issue,
ROBERT PEEL, his heir;
George Beresford;
Francis Alexander;
Mr Dawson was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT PEEL DAWSON JP MP (1818-77), of Moyola Park, High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1850, MP for County Londonderry, 1859-74, who wedded Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Charles, 1st Baron Lurgan, and had issue, a daughter,

MARY DAWSON, who married, in 1872, Lord Adolphus John Spencer Churchill Chichester, younger son of Edward, 4th Marquess of Donegall, and had issue,
Edward Brownlow Dawson;
Augustus John Bruce MacDonald Dawson.
The eldest son,

ROBERT PEEL DAWSON SPENCER CHICHESTER JP DL (1873-1921), of Moyola Park, married, in 1901, Dehra, daughter of James Ker-Fisher, and had issue,
Robert James Spencer (1902-20);
MARION CAROLINE DEHRA, of whom presently.
Mr Chichester's only daughter,

MARION CAROLINE DEHRA CHICHESTER (1904-76), of Moyola Park, espoused firstly, in 1922, Captain James Lenox-Conyngham Chichester-Clark, and had issue,
JAMES DAWSON, Baron Moyola;
Robert (Robin) (Sir);
She married secondly, in 1938, Charles Edward Brackenbury.

MOYOLA PARK, Castledawson, County Londonderry, is a noble, two-storey, 18th century house of coursed rubble with ashlar dressings.

It has a five-bay entrance front and a three-bay pedimented breakfront.

There is a three-sided bow in the side elevation; a solid roof parapet; flush quoins.

This is a well designed and attractively situated demesne parkland, through which the River Moyola flows.

There are good stands of mature trees in shelter belts and woodland.

Although extensively remodelled in the mid-19th century, the demesne has early 17th century origins.

The property was acquired by Thomas Dawson from Sir Thomas Phillips in 1622, and at some time afterwards a house was built close to the present chapel of Ease.

By 1835, little remained of this building 'but foundations of the walls and terraces'.

A second house, built by Joshua Dawson in 1694 and possibly remodelled in 1713, was located some distance to the north-east.
This had an associated formal landscape, including a straight lime avenue approach (still present) and avenues of Scotch firs; a Pinus sylvestris Scotia mentioned in Elwes & Henry, Trees of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. III (1908), as being 80ft high and 11ft in girth in 1906 may be part of the early 18th century landscape.
There are four of these original trees remaining.

South-east of the 1694 house there was also 'an ancient avenue three miles in length opening to a magnificence view of Lough Neagh to which it extends'.

The adjacent town seems to have been created in its present form from 1710-14; it was in 1710 that Joshua Dawson built the Mansion House in Dublin's Dawson Street.

The present house at Moyola, known originally as The Lodge, was built in 1768 for Arthur Dawson (1698-1774) on a new site north-west of the 1694 house.

The informal parkland was subsequently created as a setting for this house.

Planting by Arthur Dawson's nephew, Arthur Dawson (1745-1822), is referred to in the Register of Trees in County Londonderry 1768-1911, supplementing the exisiting ancient oak woodlands.

Paired yews on the riverside walk may belong to this period.

However, it was Arthur's son, the Rt Hon George Robert Dawson (1790-1856), brother-in-law to Sir Robert Peel, who remodelled both the house and the parkland and renamed it Moyola Park.

This work was largely undertaken during the 1840s and early 1850s.

Most of the parkland planting to the south and south east of the house belongs to this era, as does the suspension bridge and village gate lodge.

Exotic planting from this time includes a cryptomeria known to have been planted in 1851.

Additional gate lodges at the Hillhead entrance and at the Drumlamph entrance were added in the 1870s by Colonel Robert Dawson, from whom the property passed to the Chichester family through marriage.

In the 20th century, woodland areas and a disused quarry were cleared for ornamental gardens created from the 1960s to the north of the house.

These are fully maintained and often open to the public for charity.

A football playing field and an associated building occupies an area west of the lime avenue; while part of the southern portion of the park is now a golf course linked to the Gravend golf course west of the river.

First published in April, 2012. 

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Portglenone House


The elder branch of this family was ennobled, in 1663, by the title of EARL OF STIRLING, in the person of WILLIAM ALEXANDER, of Menstrie, Clackmannanshire. 

The name of ALEXANDER was assumed from the Christian name of its founder, Alexander Macdonald, of Menstrie.

This branch, on removing into Ireland, adopted into the family shield the Canton charged with the Harp of Ireland, and settled at Limavady, County Londonderry.

JOHN ALEXANDER, of Eridy, County Donegal, 1610, had issue,
ANDREW, his heir;
The eldest son, 

THE REV DR ANDREW ALEXANDER, of Eridy, married Dorothea, daughter of the Rev James Caulfeild, and had issue, 

CAPTAIN ANDREW ALEXANDER, of Londonderry, who wedded firstly, Miss Philips, daughter of Sir Thomas Philips, and had issue, JACOB.

He espoused secondly, Miss Hillhouse, daughter of the Laird of Hilles, and had another son,

JOHN ALEXANDER (c1670-1747), of Ballyclose, County Londonderry, and of Gunsland, County Donegal, who married Anne, daughter of John White, and had issue,
NATHANIEL, of whom hereafter;
The second son,

NATHANIEL ALEXANDER (1689-1761), of Gunsland, Alderman of Londonderry, 1755, who married Elizabeth, daughter of William McClintock, of Dunore, County Donegal, and had issue,
William, of London; barrister; d 1774;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
Mary Jane; Rebecca; Elizabeth; Ann; Jane.
The fourth surviving son, 

ROBERT ALEXANDER (1722-90), of Boom Hall, County Londonderry, wedded, in 1759, Anne, daughter of Henry McCullogh, and had issue,
NATHANIEL, his heir;
Henry, of Boom Hall;
William, Lieutenant-General;
Joseph Josias Du Pré;
Elizabeth; Jane; Anne; Rebecca; Dorothea.
Mr Alexander was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT REV AND RT HON NATHANIEL ALEXANDER (1760-1840), of Portglenone House, Lord Bishop of Meath, Privy Counsellor, who wedded, in 1785, Anne, daughter of the Rt Hon Richard Jackson MP, of Coleraine, and had issue,
Richard Jackson;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
William Stuart;
Anne; Elizabeth Rebecca; Henrietta Frances; Jane Mary.
His second son,

THE VEN DR ROBERT ALEXANDER (1788-1840), Archdeacon of Down, married firstly, in 1813, Catherine, daughter of Rt Hon John Staples and Hon Henrietta Molesworth, and had issue,
NATHANIEL, his heir;
John Staples;
George William;
Harriet Catherine; Alicia Anne; Louisa Maria; Mary Jane;
Grace Frances; Melosine Elizabeth Charlotte; Catherine Staples.
Dr Alexander married secondly, in 1837, Hester Helena, daughter of Colonel Alexander McManus, but had no further issue.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

NATHANIEL ALEXANDER (1815-53), of Portglenone House, MP for County Antrim, 1841-52, who espoused, in 1842, Florinda, daughter of Richard Boyle Bagley, and had issue,
JOHN STAPLES, succeeded his brother.
Mr Alexander was succeeded by his elder son,

ROBERT JACKSON ALEXANDER JP DL (1843-84), of Portglenone House, High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1870, and County Antrim, 1875, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN STAPLES ALEXANDER JP DL (1844-1901), of Portglenone House, Lieutenant RN, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his cousin,

MAJOR ROBERT CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER JP DL, of Portglenone House (1900-68), son of Robert Arthur Moloney Alexander, High Sheriff, 1938, who married, in 1933, Laura Ina Madeline, daughter of Edward Fraser Lenox-Conyngham.

Major Alexander died without issue.

Portglenone House comprises a square, late-Georgian block of three storeys over a basement.

It was built in 1823 by the Rt Rev Nathaniel Alexander.

The house has a three-bay front, the central bay being recessed.

There is a fine classical hall, with a screen of columns separating it from the corridor and stairs.

The columns, subtle mushroom pink marble with stone capitals of Adam's "Dioclesian" order, were originally at Ballyscullion, along with some the the house's chimney-pieces.

In 1850, a wing was added by Nathaniel Alexander MP, containing a new staircase lit by a stained-glass dome.

The entrance front was also given a large porch and Ionic porte-cochere.

The main rooms were enhanced with cornices and heavy moulded door-cases in the form of aedicules.

Portglenone House was sold by Major Alexander in 1948 and is now part of Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey, run as a guest-house.
The guest house provides for those who wish to make private retreats, and can cater for groups who seek to make days of recollection. As such, it does not function as a B&B, nor as a half-board hotel. Guests are encouraged to enter into the silence and solitude which characterize the monastic life in this place, and to take the opportunity for spiritual renewal which is offered.
Portglenone House is set in parkland by the River Bann.

An earlier house in the vicinity is recorded.

The present house now forms part of the Abbey, which also has further buildings added from 1962 in the grounds.

This includes the Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey ,which was built in 1948 to the designs of Patrick Murray.

Part of the gardens are private for the monks (the walled garden); parts are ornamental grounds for the Abbey; and parts are cultivated for organic vegetables.

There are mature trees in the remnants of former parkland, an ice house, the Bishop’s Well and two 19th century gate lodges.

Within the walls, part of the demesne is administered by the Department of Agriculture as a forest, which was planted from the 1950s.

There is public access and paths are laid out.

In a glade in the forest there is a commemorative plot to Augustine Henry, who was reputedly born nearby.

It was laid out in 1969 with examples of some of the plants that he discovered or introduced from the far east.

First published in August, 2012.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Emo Court


MARMADUKE D'OSSONE, the founder of the Dawson family in England, was amongst the soldiers of fortune in the train of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

From him lineally sprang,

RICHARD DAWSON, of Spaldington, Yorkshire (20th in descent), who married Anne, daughter of Sir Henry Lowther, Knight, of Lowther Hall, Westmorland, and from this marriage descended,

WILLIAM DAWSON, the first member of the family whom we find in Ireland.

This gentleman was collector of the revenue for the counties of Down and Antrim, and the port of Carrickfergus, in the reign of CHARLES II.

He wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Jardine, of the ancient family of Applegirth, in Scotland, and was father of

EPHRAIM DAWSON (c1683-1746), who having purchased Portarlington and other estates in the Queen's County (now known as Laois), took up his residence there, and represented Portarlington, 1713-14, and Queen's County, 1715-46, in the reigns of GEORGE I and GEORGE II.

He espoused Anne, daughter and heir of Samuel Preston, and granddaughter of John Preston, of Ardsallagh, County Meath, by whom he left an only surviving son,

WILLIAM HENRY DAWSON (1712-79), MP for Portarlington, 1733-70, and, after his father died, MP for Queen's County, 1761-8, who married, in 1737, Mary, eldest daughter of Joseph Damer, of Dorset, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
William (Rev);
Mary; Martha; Anne.
Mr Dawson was elevated to the peerage, in 1770, by the title of Baron Dawson, of Dawson's Court, Queen's County; and was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1776, as Viscount Carlow.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 2nd Viscount (1744-98), who was created, in 1785, EARL OF PORTARLINGTON.

His lordship wedded, in 1778, the Lady Caroline Stuart, daughter of John, 3rd Earl of Bute, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
George Lionel;
Lionel Charles;
Caroline Elizabeth; Louisa Mary; Harriet; Anna Maria.
  • John Dawson, 1st Earl (1744–1798);
  • George Lionel Henry Seymour Dawson-Damer, 5th Earl (1858–1900);
  • Lionel Arthur Henry Seymour Dawson-Damer, 6th Earl (1883–1959);
  • George Lionel Yuill Seymour Dawson-Damer, 7th Earl (b 1938).
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Charles George Yuill Seymour Dawson-Damer, styled Viscount Carlow (b 1965).
The heir apparent of the heir apparent is his son Henry Dawson-Damer (born 2009).


The building of Emo Court (also known as Emo Park) began ca 1790 for John Dawson, 1st Earl of Portarlington, whose name is recalled in Dawson Street in Dublin. 

The 1st Earl was interested in architecture, and invited James Gandon to come to Ireland, where he is best remembered for designing the Custom House and the Four Courts in Dublin. 

Emo Court was built to replace an earlier building on a nearby site known as Dawson’s Court, and is the only country house designed by Gandon.

The house is two storeys over a basement with attics forming end towers at each end of the building. 

The entrance front has a seven-bay centre with a pedimented Ionic portico. 

On each side on the end towers, there is a panel of Coade stone, on one side representing the Arts and on the other a pastoral scene.

In the Arts panel, James Gandon can be seen with the plans of Emo Court in his hand.

Heraldic tigers stand imposingly at the entrance steps.

The house had not been completed when the 1st Earl died in 1798, and the 2nd Earl was continually short of money, but managed, in 1834, to engage Louis Vulliamy, a fashionable London architect, to complete the dining room and garden front portico. 

However, the house was still unfinished when the 2nd Earl died in 1845. 

It was left to the 3rd Earl in 1860 to commission William Caldbeck, a Dublin architect, to finish the drawing-room, rotunda and library.

He added a detached bachelors’ wing which was joined to the house by a curved corridor.

The Portarlingtons used Emo less and less, till the 1st World War.

Thereafter, it stood empty for a decade, until 1930.
In 1930, the house was bought by the Jesuits to use as a seminary, and it underwent inevitable changes to adapt it to its new life: The wall and mahogany doors between the rotunda and drawing room were removed to provide a chapel; the library became the refectory; the dining-room became the conference room.
The marble columns in the library were dismantled and removed; statues and a marble Rococo chimney-piece were carefully put in storage in the basement; and other changes were made to turn the home into an institution.
In 1958, dry rot was discovered and the well-known Dublin architect Michael Scott suggested that the house be demolished to make way for a new building.

This did not happen, and repairs were made and central heating installed.

In 1969 the Jesuits left Emo, and the house was bought by 
Major Cholmeley Dering Cholmeley-Harrison RM (retd)

Major Cholmeley-Harrison had already employed the services of Sir Albert Richardson and Partners, the firm of architects, to restore his previous houses in London and Co Waterford, and at Emo they rose to the occasion.
Over a period of twenty years, Emo Court was restored to its former glory, even more glorious than before: The marble columns and chimney-piece, the magnificent doors, floors and walls were restored to a neo-Classical beauty; the entrance hall was painted in trompe-l’oeil to represent the plaster decoration that Gandon had planned but which was never carried out.
All of this was assisted by the discovery of Gandon’s original drawings for the house, which are now in the Irish Architectural Archive in Dublin. 

Major Cholmeley-Harrison presented Emo to the Irish state in 1994.

He continued to reside in the private apartments till he died, aged 99, in 2008.

Portarlington arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in 2012.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Mullaghmore House


THE RT REV CHARLES MAURICE STACK (1825-1914), Lord Bishop of Clogher, of Nedsherry, County Fermanagh, son of the Rev Edward Stack by his wife, Tempe, daughter of the Rev Walter Bagot, Rector of Monasterevin, County Kildare, wedded, in 1859, Margaret Jane Auchinleck, of Crevenagh, County Tyrone, and had issue,
Edward Churchill, of Ardess, Kesh;
CHARLES MAURICE, of whom hereafter;
Walter Auchinleck (Rev);
William Bagot (Rev);
Elizabeth Mary.
The second son,

THE REV CHARLES MAURICE STACK (1865-c1939), Vicar of Magheracloone, Kells, County Monaghan, married, in 1901, Anna Kathleen, daughter of the Rev T L F Stack, of Mullaghmore, County Tyrone, and had issue,
Marcia Elizabeth Margaret, b 1902;
Kathleen Tempe, b 1904;
Mary, b 1907;
Meta Dorothea, b 1910.

MULLAGHMORE HOUSE, near Omagh, County Tyrone, is a detached three-bay, two-storey, Georgian house, built ca 1750.

There is a two-storey return to the rear, with an extended lower two-storey addition; single-bay two-storey annex to east of return; lean-to two-storey addition to west of return, lean-to single-storey porch to north of extension.

The late-Georgian front pile may have been built ca 1800, but the rear is possibly older.

The Stack family owned Mullaghmore during the Victorian era.

According to the present owner, the orangery was re-built in 2002 on the site of an early 19th century predecessor that collapsed in the 1940s.

The interior was renovated in 1952, when many historic features were altered.

The house was restored between 2000-02 by the present owner.

Upon the removal of render during the most recent renovation, the front pile was discovered to be built of random rubble stone with very large quoins that likely came from a more substantial structure.

The owner believes that the re-used, tooled quoins may be late medieval.

The temporary removal of render also revealed several blocked low doors and diminished windows with deeply splayed embrasures.

Additionally, two low brick tunnels originating from the kitchen were discovered, one leading outside to east of the kitchen and the other running under the boiler room.

During that renovation, a toppled twelve-foot standing stone was discovered buried in front of the house.

The stone weighs several tons, is tooled and not indigenous to this area.

The present building, as it appears today, was in all probability built by the Stack family, who had connections to several properties in the area, and in England, and who also constructed the nearby Knock-na-moe Castle (1875), which was demolished ca 1990.

The Stack family donated stained-glass windows in St Columba's parish church, where one member, the Rev William Stack, had been curate.

Another family member, the Rev Richard Stack, was rector of Cappagh, 1807-12.

Mullaghmore House was later owned by the Scott family, who had many military connections and frequently rented out the house.

In 1922, Major-General Patrick Scott rented the house to the Gorman family.

The late Sir John Gorman was born here in 1923.
Sir John's father had been a Royal Irish Constabulary district inspector for County Tyrone, and during the partition, he along with several other former RIC members formed the Royal Ulster Constabulary in the house. The house served as the RUC headquarters for a number of weeks before the group moved to the more secure Seskinore House.
According to the owner, the present house was built in stages and the oldest section is likely to be the kitchen.

First published in August, 2014.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Princess Royal

Her Royal Highness THE PRINCESS ROYAL KG KT GCVO is 68 today.

The Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise was born at Clarence House, London.

HRH is married to Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence KCVO CB.

Princess Anne is a Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and an Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle.

Her Royal Highness is also Grand Master and Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Bovagh House

Vice-Admiral Sir Arthur Hezlet KBE CB DSO DSC


The family of HEZLET appears to have had a long connection with County Londonderry.

Some sources claim that the Hezlets derived from Haesluyt in Holland, a place name which means 'the hazel-lot.'

They are first recorded in Ulster during the early 17th century: Thomas Heslett [sic], of Artidillon, appeared in the Coleraine rent roll of 1620-41.

The Rev Robert Hezlet (d 1821) was Mayor of Coleraine in 1781, and rector of Killowen for forty years.

Robert Knox Hezlet, by Bassano, 3 March 1931 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London
Major-General Robert Hezlet ©National Portrait Gallery, London

Major-General Robert Knox Hezlet CB CBE DSO DL (1879-1963) lived at Bovagh House. His son,

Vice-Admiral Sir Arthur Richard Hezlet KBE CB DSO DSC, Legion of Merit (United States) (1914-2007), a distinguished Royal Navy officer and submariner, lived at Bovagh House.

Sir Arthur's honours included:- 
  • Knight Commander (Military Division) of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • Companion (Military Division) of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath
  • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and Bar
  • Distinguished Service Cross

He became the Royal Navy's youngest captain, aged 36, and its youngest admiral, aged 45.

Sir Arthur died at Bovagh in 2007, aged 93.

In my youth, I once stood beside Sir Arthur, then Area President of the Royal British Legion in Northern Ireland. My late father supervised the lighting in a voluntary capacity at the annual RBL Festival of Remembrance in Belfast.

In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the festival was held in the Ulster Hall, one week before the national Festival at the Royal Albert Hall.

About 1979, Sir Arthur - as Area President - recited "As We Grow Old" on the stage; and a young teenage army cadet, Timothy Collins (Colonel Timothy Collins OBE), also recited a poem.

What struck me was how Sir Arthur always made a point of going over to these young people, encouraging them and saying a few words, like "very well done".

BOVAGH HOUSE, near Aghadowey, County Londonderry, was formerly a land agent's house of the Beresfords, Marquesses of Waterford. It was built ca 1740.

The Beresfords were major landowners in the county and were seated at Bovaugh Castle in the vicinity. 

Theobald Jones MP (1790-1868), of Bovagh House, and of 54 Curzon Street, London, was a second cousin of the 3rd Marquess of Waterford.

The house has a small, high quality parkland with mature trees set on the southern banks of the Agivey river, having replaced an earlier house.

The main avenue, which meets the road near Bovagh Bridge to the west, contains the remains of a collection of exotics.

The walled garden, which lies to the south of the house, is not planted up.

There is a very pretty Victorian glasshouse immediately to the west of the house, with a small box parterre in front.

An area in the stable yard is kept up as a modern ornamental garden.

The gate lodge has been demolished.

The property is approached by a sweeping, tree-lined, pebbled driveway.

To the rear of the property there is also a walled courtyard with various outbuildings and garaging with large stone barns and former stables.

There is also an ancient woodland and an old orchard dotted with bluebells and wild flowers.

The grounds today extend to approximately 44 acres.

The lands which surround the house are laid out in three fields.

First published in August, 2012.