Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Island Taggart Trip

I've spent the day with seven other National Trust volunteers on Island Taggart, one of the largest islands on Strangford Lough, County Down.

We met in Killyleagh and took the little boat from an old quay across to Taggart.

Today we were mainly gathering gorse and brambles for burning.

We have a new trolley cart. It is black, with collapsible sides, and can carry up to about 300 kilogrammes.

This cart, which has four pneumatic tyres, proved useful for the logs and tools.

I lunched on tuna and sweetcorn sandwiches today.

1st Earl of Mar and Kellie


This is a branch of the noble family of Erskine, Earls of Mar, springing from

THE RT HON SIR ALEXANDER ERSKINE OF GOGAR, knight, third son of John, 5th Lord Erskine and 16th Earl of Mar de jure, by Lady Margaret Campbell, daughter of Archibald, 2nd Earl of Argyll.
The house of Erskine, Earls and Countesses of Mar, is one of the most ancient families in the Scottish peerage; so old, indeed, that the date of the creation of its honours is lost in its antiquity.
This Alexander was sworn, in 1578, of His Majesty's privy council, nominated Governor of Edinburgh Castle, and constituted Vice-Chamberlain of Scotland.

He married Margaret, daughter of Lord Home, by whom he had three sons and three daughters. The eldest son, Sir Alexander, fell at the surprise of Stirling Castle, in 1578, and the second,

SIR THOMAS ERSKINE, born in the same year with JAMES I, and educated with that monarch, having accompanied His Majesty to England, was created, in 1606, Baron Dirletoun and Viscount Fenton (the first viscountcy of Scotland).

His lordship was advanced to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF KELLIE, in 1619, installed as a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and sworn of the privy councils of England and Scotland.

He married Anne, daughter of Sir Gilbert Ogilvie, of Powrie, by whom he had a daughter, and a son, Alexander, Viscount Fenton, who wedded Lady Anne, daughter of Alexander, 1st Earl of Dunfermline, by whom he left three sons:
ALEXANDER, the 2nd son, became 3rd Earl;
THOMAS, the eldest.
THOMAS succeeded his grandfather in 1639, and dying himself unmarried, in 1643, the family honours devolved upon his brother,

ALEXANDER, 3rd Earl, who was succeeded, in 1657, by his only son,

ALEXANDER, 4th Earl, who was also succeeded (in 1710) by an only son,

ALEXANDER, 5th Earl. This nobleman married twice and was succeeded on his demise, in 1756, by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 6th Earl, who died unmarried, in 1781, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

ARCHIBALD, 7th Earl. This nobleman died, also unmarried, in 1797, when the peerage reverted to his kinsman,

SIR CHARLES ERSKINE, baronet, of Cambo, the direct descendant of Charles Erskine (who was created a baronet in 1666), youngest son of Alexander, Viscount Fenton, eldest son of Thomas, 1st Earl of Kellie.

His lordship dying, unmarried, in 1799, the family honours reverted to his uncle,

THOMAS, 9th Earl.
The heir presumptive is Lord Mar's brother, the Hon Alexander David Erskine, Master of Mar (b. 1952). It is known that the lineage survived in the Erskine-Kellies, with the current heir Andrew Erskine (b. 1998) estimated as the 17th Earl of Mar and 19th Earl of Kellie.

CAMBO HOUSE, near Kingsbarns, in Fife, was built between 1879-84, to designs by the architects Wardrop & Reid.
The estate of Cambo was granted to Robert de Newenham by a charter of King William the Lion. His descendents took the name "de Cambhou", and had settled in Fife by the early 14th century. In 1599, the estate was granted to Thomas Myretoun.
In 1668, Sir Charles Erskine Bt (d. 1677), the Lord Lyon King of Arms and brother of the 3rd Earl of Kellie, purchased the property from the creditors of Patrick Merton.

The estate passed through the Erskine family to the 5th Earl of Kellie, who forfeited his lands after supporting the Jacobite rising of 1745.

In 1759, Cambo was sold to the Charteris family, who bought it for their son who was studying at St Andrews University.

Thomas Erskine, 9th Earl of Kellie, bought the estate back in the 1790s. A successful merchant in Sweden, he invested heavily in improving the estate, building the picturesque Georgian estate farms, and carrying out extensive land drainage.

The 9th Earl commissioned the architect Robert Balfour to remodel the house in 1795.

His descendents continued the improvement of the estate through the 19th century, laying out ornamental gardens, with a series of early cast iron bridges.
The old house comprised a tower house with numerous additions, including a first-floor conservatory. It was destroyed by fire in 1878, after a staff party when the Erskine family was away.
The present house was built on the same site between 1879-84, to designs by the architects Wardrop & Reid.

The house is operated as self-catering and bed & breakfast accommodation, while the walled garden and woodland gardens are open to the public year-round. The estate woodlands have a significant collection of snowdrops, including over 300 varieties of Galanthus species.

The estate was awarded National Collection status by the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens.

Kingsbarns Golf Links was laid out in 2000 to designs by American golf course architects Kyle Phillips and Mark Parsinen.

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, an annual pro-am golf tournament, is played in October at Kingsbarns, St Andrews Old Course, and Carnoustie.

ERSKINE HOUSE, Glasgow,  was designed by Sir Robert Smirke, the architect of the British Museum.

During the 1st World War it became the Princess Louise Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers.

It is now the Mar Hall Hotel, its name recalling the estate’s former ownership by the Earl of Mar.
During the early 18th century, the Mar estate and old Erskine House came into the ownership of the Lords Blantyre. In 1828 Major General Robert W Stuart, the 11th Lord Blantyre and a distinguished veteran of the Wellington’s Peninsular campaigns during the Napoleonic Wars, commissioned the present house.
His architect, Sir Robert Smirke (1781-1867) was still engaged in designing the British Museum. That, however, is a very classical design whereas Erskine House is more Gothic with touches of Tudor, in the small turrets and pointed arches in the principal windows and entrance porch.

The stone was quarried locally. Sir Charles Barry produced designs for the gardens.

The house was completed only in 1845. The final cost was £50,000, about £2.5m today.

When the Blantyre line became extinct in 1900, the house was left derelict but in 1916 it re-opened as the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital of Limbless Sailors and Soldiers.

In recent years £15m has been invested in the refurbishment of the house and the restoration of its many original features as the Mar Hall Hotel.

First published in November, 2013.   Kellie arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Waring of Waringstown


This branch of the ancient family of WARING of Lancashire, whose patriarch, MILES DE GUARIN, came to England with WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, was established in Ulster during the reign of Queen MARY, when its ancestor fled to that province to avoid the persecution of the Lollards.
In the reign of JAMES II, the Warings of Waringstown suffered outlawry, and their home was taken possession of by the Irish at the period of the revolution, and most of their family records destroyed. 
JOHN WARING settled within the civil parish of Toome, County Antrim, and married Mary, daughter of the Rev Thomas Pierse, vicar of Derriaghy, in that county, by whom he had three sons and several daughters.
One of Mr Waring's sons, Thomas, carried on the family tradition of tanning, having settled in Belfast about 1640. Since he was English and not Presbyterian, he had no difficulty in dealing with the Cromwellian regime.

Having become one of its most prosperous citizens, Thomas Waring was appointed Sovereign (mayor) of Belfast, 1652-55. He lived in Waring Street.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM WARING, of Waringstown, County Down, who served as high sheriff of that county during the reign of CHARLES II, married Miss Close, and had (with four daughters, the eldest of whom wedded Richard Close; the second, Maxwell, of Falkland, County Monaghan; a third, Mr Houston; and a fourth, Montgomery of Convoy) five sons,
John, Richard, and Henry.
The eldest,

SAMUEL WARING, of Waringstown, MP for Hillsborough, married Grace, daughter of the Rev Samuel Holt, of County Meath, and had issue, his eldest son,

SAMUEL WARING, of Waringstown; High Sheriff of Downshire [sic], 1732.

Dying unmarried, in 1793, he was succeeded by his nephew,

THE VERY REV HOLT WARING (1766-1830), of Waringstown, Dean of Dromore, who wedded, in 1793, Elizabeth Mary, daughter of the Rev Averell Daniel, rector of Lifford, County Tyrone.

This gentleman died without male issue and was succeeded by his cousin and son-in-law,

HENRY WARING JP (1795-1866), of Waringstown; a major in the army, married, in 1824, Frances Grace (4th daughter of the Very Rev Holt Waring), and by her had issue,

THOMAS WARING JP (1828-98), of Waringstown; MP for Northern Division, County Down; Honorary Colonel, 5th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles; High Sheriff, 1868-9; married and had issue,

HOLT WARING JP DL (1877-1918), who married, in 1914, Margaret Alicia (1887–1968), youngest daughter of Joseph Charlton Parr, of Grappenhall Heyes, Warrington, Cheshire,  banker, industrialist, and landowner.

They had no children.


When her husband was killed in action at Kemmel Hill, France, she chose to remain at the Waring family's 17th century home, Waringstown House, and became active within the local community.
Mrs Waring took a keen interest in Orangeism, serving as deputy grand mistress of Ireland, county grand mistress of Down, and district mistress of Down lodge no. 4 in the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland in 1929.
In 1929, she was elected to the Northern Ireland parliament as the official Unionist candidate for the single-seat constituency of Iveagh in County Down.

She was one of only two women standing for election and, as the only one to be elected, became the third female member of the Northern Ireland parliament (her two predecessors being Dehra Parker and Julia McMordie).

In 1933, she was appointed CBE for ‘political, philanthropic, and public services’.

Following her retirement from parliament, Mrs Waring continued to participate in public affairs.

From the mid-1930s, she was a member of the Northern Ireland war pensions committee, and in 1934 became a member of the Northern Ireland unemployment assistance board.

A longstanding enthusiast for cricket, in 1923 she was the first woman elected onto the committee of the Northern [Ireland] Cricket Union, and in 1954 became its president.

Failing health in later life having caused her to withdraw from wider public activities.

Mrs Waring died at Waringstown House, Waringstown, County Down, on the 9th May, 1968.

The Waringstown estate was inherited by her nephew, Michael Harnett, his wife Anne, and their children, Jane and William.

First published in November, 2013.

1st Marquess Conyngham


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

WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM, Bishop of Argyll, a younger son of William, 4th Earl of Glencairn, in 1539, 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 27 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 Coleraine, and for Donegal, who served during the reign of JAMES II as a captain in Mountjoy's Regiment.
When King 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 1705-6, at St Estevan's, in Spain.
He 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,
WILLIAMhis successor;
General Conyngham 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), captain of horse on the Irish establishment, and MP from 1727 until raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Conyngham, of Mount Charles, in 1753.
His lordship was created Viscount Conyngham, in 1756; and Earl Conyngham, in 1781, the barony to descend, in case of failure of issue, to Francis Pierpoint Burton, the eldest son of his sister Mary, by Francis Burton.
His lordship 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


This nobleman wedded, in 1750, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Nathaniel Clements, and sister of Robert, Earl of Leitrim, by whom he had issue,
HENRYhis 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 died in 1787, ans was succeeded by his son,

HENRY, 3rd Baron, who, in 1787, was created Viscount Conyngham, of Slane, County Meath.

He was also created Viscount Mount Charles, of Mount Charles, County Donegal; and Earl Conyngham, in 1797.
In 1801, Lord Conyngham was appointed a Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. 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.
In 1816, he was created Viscount SlaneEarl 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; and sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Lord Steward, a post he retained until 1830.

From 1829 until his death in 1832 he served as Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Alexander Burton Conyngham, styled Earl of Mount Charles.

The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son Rory Nicholas Burton Conyngham, styled Viscount Slane.

The Marquesses Conyngham were seated at The Hall, Mount Charles, County Donegal, now thought to be unoccupied.

The Hall is an early to mid-18th century double, gable-ended house of three storeys and five bays.

It has a pedimented door-case, bold quoins and a solid parapet concealing the roof and end gables.

At one end of the house there is a conservatory porch with astrigals and round-headed windows.

A salt works (also in the grounds of the former Conyngham estate) provided employment to local people during the 18th century.

8th Marquess Conyngham

The present Lord and Lady Conyngham continue to live at the ancestral seat, Slane Castle, County Meath.

Buncraggy House

BUNCRAGGY HOUSE, one of several notable houses on the Conyngham Estate, was home of the Burton family for most of the 18th century.

The house remained in the possession of the O'Gorman family until the end of the 19th century, when it became the property of the Caher family.

The house is still occupied and the yard buildings are the centre of a farming enterprise.

Other properties included Islandmagrath, Burtonhill House,Summerhill and Meelick House.

First published in November, 2011.  Conyngham arms courtesy of European Heraldry. 

Monday, 23 November 2015

Judicial Damehoods

THE QUEEN has been pleased to approve that the honour of Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) be conferred on Siobhan Roisin Keegan QC and Denise Anne McBride QC, following their appointment as Justices of the High Court. 

The Hon Mrs Justice Keegan was called to the Bar in 1994 and took Silk in 2006. She was elected vice-chairman of the Bar Council of Northern Ireland, 2014.

The Hon Madam Justice McBride was called to the Bar in 1989 and took Silk in 2011. She was vice-chairman of the Bar Council of Northern Ireland, 2012-14.

Glenarm Castle


JOHN MacDONALD, also called John Mor, styled in 1472 "heir apparent to his father", was in treaty with EDWARD IV.

He married Sabina, daughter of Phelim O'Neill, surnamed Bacach, or the Lame, by whom he had a son,

SIR JOHN MacDONALD, surnamed Cathanach, from being fostered by the O'Cathans in Ulster.

In 1493 he was at the head of the clan Iain Mhòr, when the Lordship of the Isles was finally forfeited.

He married Cecelia, daughter of Robert Savage, Lord of the Ardes, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, of whom hereafter;
John Mor, executed 1499;
John Og, executed 1499;
Donald Balloch, executed 1499;
Angus Ileach, fled to Ireland;
The eldest son,

ALEXANDER (c1480-1536), fled to Ireland with his surviving brother, Angus Ileach, after the execution of their father and brothers.
In 1517 he supported Sir Donald MacDonald, of Lochalsh, who was in rebellion against the government, and in 1529 he was again in rebellion, and ravaged the lands of the Campbells with fire and sword, but obtained a pardon for himself and his followers in 1531, and a grant of lands in the South Isles and Kintyre. 
The next year he was sent with 8,000 men to assist the Scots of Ulster, then at war with England.
He married Catherine, daughter of John MacDonald, of Ardnamurchan, and had, with three daughters (Alice married Sir Moses Hill),
Donald, born blind;
Brian Carrach;
Maeve; Mary; Alice.
The fifth son,

SORLEY BOY MacDONNELL (c1505-90), was appointed by his eldest brother Lord of the Route, County Antrim, in 1558.
On his brother's death, he seized on the Ulster estates of his family, and after various conflicts with the native Irish and the English forces, he became a faithful subject of ELIZABETH I, and being of Scottish birth was made a free denizen of Ireland in 1573.
He wedded Mary, daughter of Conn O'Neill, 1st Earl of Tyrone, and had, among other issue,
Alaster, dsp;
James MacSorley (Sir), dsp;
Sorley Boy died at Dunaneeny Castle, near Ballycastle, County Antrim.

His eldest surviving son,

SIR RANDAL MacSORLEY MacDONNELL KBof Dunluce, County Antrim, having zealously promoted the English interest in Ireland in the reigns of ELIZABETH I and JAMES I, was created by the latter, in 1618, Viscount Dunluce.

His lordship was advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1620, as EARL OF ANTRIM.

He was also sworn of the Privy Council and appointed to the command of a regiment.

His lordship married Alice, daughter of Hugh O'Neill, and sister of Hugh, the last Earl of Tyrone.

Dying in 1636, he was succeeded by his elder son,

RANDAL, 2nd Earl (1609-82).

This nobleman, for the many essential services he had rendered to the Crown, was advanced to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS OF ANTRIM, by CHARLES I, in 1644.

His lordship wedded firstly, in 1635, Lady Katherine Manners, daughter and heir of Francis, 6th Earl of Rutland, and widow of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.

He espoused secondly, Rose, daughter of Sir Henry O'Neill, Knight, of Shane's Castle, County Antrim, but had no issue.

When his lordship died in 1683 the marquessate expired, but the other honours devolved upon his brother,

ALEXANDER, 3rd Earl (1615-99), who, actively espousing King JAMES II in Ireland, in the war of the Revolution, was attainted of high treason; but, being subsequently included in the treaty of Limerick, his lands and honours were restored.

His lordship espoused firstly, Lady Elizabeth Annesley, second daughter of Arthur, 1st Earl of Anglesey, by whom, who died in 1669, he had no issue.

He married secondly, Helena, third daughter of Sir John Burke, Knight, of Derrymaclachtney, County Galway.

The 3rd Earl was succeeded by his only son,

RANDAL, 4th Earl (1680-1721), who wedded Rachael, eldest daughter of Clotworthy, Viscount Massereene, and was succeeded by his only son,

ALEXANDER, 5th Earl (1713-55), who, being in minority at his father's decease, was left under the guardianship of the Dowager Lady Massereene and Lord Massereene, who brought him up in the reformed religion (his predecessors had previously adhered to the church of Rome).

His lordship espoused firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Matthew Pennefather, Comptroller and Accountant-general of Ireland, but by her had no surviving issue.

He married secondly, in 1739, Anne, eldest daughter and heir of Charles Patrick Plunket MP, of Dillonstown, County Louth, by whom he had one son and two daughters.

He wedded thirdly, Catherine, youngest daughter of Thomas Meredyth, of Newtown, County Meath, without issue.

He died in 1755, and was succeeded by his son,

RANDAL WILLIAM, 6th Earl (1749-91), who espoused firstly, in 1774, Letitia, eldest daughter of Harvey, 1st Viscount Mountmorres, and widow of the Hon Arthur Trevor, only son of Arthur, Viscount Dungannon, by whom he had issue,
ANNE CATHERINE, his successor;
CHARLOTTE, late Countess.
The 6th Earl, having no male issue, obtained a new patent, dated 1785, creating him Viscount Dunluce and EARL OF ANTRIM, with remainder to his daughters primogeniturely.

In 1789, his lordship was advanced to a marquessate, as MARQUESS OF ANTRIM (2nd creation), but without any special reversionary grant.

When he died in 1791, all the honours ceased, except the patent of 1785, which devolved, according to the special limitation, upon his elder daughter,

ANNE CATHERINE,  as COUNTESS OF ANTRIM in her own right (1775-1834).

Her ladyship married firstly, in 1799, Sir Henry Vane-Tempest Bt, of Wynyard, County Durham, and by him had an only daughter, LADY FRANCES ANNE EMILY VANE, who inherited her father's great estates, and wedded Charles William, Marquess of Londonderry.

Lady Antrim wedded secondly, in 1817, Edmund Phelps, who assumed the surname of MacDonnell.

Her ladyship was succeeded by her sister,

CHARLOTTE KERR, as Countess of Antrim; who espoused, in 1799, Vice-Admiral Lord Mark Robert Kerr, third son of William, 5th Marquess of Lothian, and had surviving issue,
HUGH SEYMOUR, her successor;
Arthur Schomberg;
Georgiana Emily Jane; Caroline Mary;
Charlotte Elizabeth; Fanny.
Her ladyship was succeeded by her eldest son,

HUGH SEYMOUR, 9th Earl (1812-55);

The heir apparent is the present holder's son Randal Alexander St John McDonnell, styled Viscount Dunluce (b 1967).

The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son the Hon Alexander David Somerled McDonnell (b 2006).

THE EARL OF ANTRIM'S estates were vast, comprising in excess of 330,000 acres (the four northern baronies of County Antrim) in the early 17th century.

A hundred years later the estates had shrunk to 152,000 acres.

The detailed history of the McDonnells, Earls of Antrim, is held at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Their history is complex, with several extinct marquessates.

The 1st Earl of Antrim was the son of Sorley Boy MacDonnell, ELIZABETH I's strongest Irish foe after the great Earl of Tyrone.

The 1st Earl (Sir Randal MacDonnell) originally built a castle at Glenarm, a charming village on the coast of County Antrim, in 1603 as a hunting lodge or secondary residence.

THE CASTLE, Glenarm, County Antrim, became the principal seat of the family after Dunluce Castle was abandoned.

The mansion house was rebuilt ca 1750 as a 3-storey double gable-ended block, joined by pavilions with high roofs and cupolas.

The main block had a pedimented breakfront with three windows in the top storey, a Venetian window below and a tripartite doorway below again, flanked on either side by a Venetian window in each of the two lower storeys and a triple window above.

The interior remained Classical though, in 1929, the Castle was virtually gutted by fire.

Subsequently, the pointed and mullioned windows were replaced with rectangular Georgian sashes. so the interior now dates largely from the post-fire rebuilding.

Some of the rooms have ceilings painted by the present Lady Antrim. The service wing was reconstructed after yet another fire in 1967.

This is a remarkable demesne, noted for its great beauty and large extent, occupying much of the lower reaches of the picturesque valley of the River Glenarm, extending some five miles from the sea and about half a mile wide.

The original castle, built by the Bysets in the 13th century, was broken down in 1597 and a new castle was begun by Sir Randal ‘Arranach’ MacDonnell, later 1st Earl of Antrim, from 1603 on the opposite bank of the river, away from the village.

The building was enlarged into a double pile house in 1636 but, in 1642, ‘Lord Antrim’s pleasant house’ was destroyed by invading Scots armies.

It remained a gutted ruin for over a century, but the demesne continued to be used by the family, particularly during the hunting season.

In the 1660s Alexander, later 3rd Earl of Antrim, added a wing to the ruined house to accommodate the family, while at this period created two enclosed deer parks, namely the Small Deer Park and the Grand Deer Park, the latter occupying much of the present demesne and large enough to accommodate deer hunting.

In 1682, a ‘handsome stone bridge’ was erected over the river to carry the public road and, a year later, Richard Dobbs visited Glenarm and noted the glen was ‘clad with underwood’ and the village contained ‘all thatched houses, except the earl of Antrim’s, the Church and one more’.

In the 1740s Alexander, 5th Earl, then living at Ballymagarry, near Dunluce, carried out improvements at Glenarm, including tree planting, the building of a ‘horse course’, a stable for race horses, a hexagonal gazebo lying close to the river and a grotto ‘in which there are a great number of fine & curious Shells, & many of the pinna, which are found off the north east point of Ireland’.

In 1750, Ballymagarry was burnt ‘by the carelessness of servants’ and the 5th Earl resolved to move to Glenarm. An engineer from Cumbria, Christopher Myers, was engaged to rebuild the house, the old walls of which were ‘entire and for the most part sound’ in 1740.

The house was re-fashioned in 1756 with a fusion of Baroque and Palladian styles, its front fenestration being punctured by rows of Venetian windows and joined by curving colonnades to pavilions with pyramidal roofs (that closest to the river contained a banqueting house).

The new house and its surrounding demesne were depicted on two panoramic oil paintings of ca 1770, presently in the house.

At this time the formal demesne extended up the hillside, while around the building lay a network of walled courts and gardens, including a circular grass sweep in front of the house with a ‘statue of Hercules of esteemed workmanship’ in the centre [as described by Milton] and a walled garden to the north of the house with espaliers on the walls and a glasshouse in the centre.

A number of houses of the village, including a mill, still occupied an area south of the house, while the public road crossed over the 1682 bridge and around the house to Ballymena.

In 1775 Randal, 6th Earl, succeeded to the property and, although he spent most of his time in Dublin, started creating a landscape park to the south of the house, complete with a cottage orné (the Rustic Cottage), and carried out alterations to the house roof, castellating the rear parapets and altering the upper front windows.

These changes to the house were depicted by James Nixon (c.1785) and by Milton (published 1793), the latter described the demesne as then consisting ‘of several hundred acres of meadow well improved.

The flower, fruit and kitchen gardens have suitable hot houses and are near a mile in circumference
… The house from the rear commands a fine view of the sea … the front looks to the glen or Great Park, 13 miles extremely romantic and beautiful; consisting of woods, and broken rock; with several waterfalls, and salmon leaps, formed by a large serpentine river, winding through the grounds, its banks adorned with various evergreens, myrtles and the arbutus, or strawberry tree, almost continuously in blossom...’.
In 1803-07 a programme of modernisation was carried out on the house by Anne Katherine, 2nd Countess of Antrim in her own right; she gothicized the lower windows, altered the interior, remodelled the wing, and removed the pavilions and colonnades.

At the same time the leases of the remaining village houses were bought up and the landscape park allowed to extend up to the house windows.

However, this period also witnessed extensive tree felling in the Great Deer Park, presumably in support of the war effort.

Between 1823-32, Richard Morrison remodelled the exterior of the main house, transforming it into a romantic neo-Jacobean residence with a forest of lofty cupolas, gilded vanes, tall chimneys and finials.

Morrison also designed the barbican gate, completed in 1825, together with its associated river walls and towers, behind which was planted a fine beech walk.

He also added buildings to the demesne, notably a gate lodge and The Deer Park Cottage, subsequently remodelled.

The present walled kitchen garden was added in the 1820s complete with its potting houses; the adjacent frame yard was added in the 1840s and the gardener’s house in the 1850s.

It was around this time that a lean-to glasshouse was built, later rebuilt ca 1870.

Also during the 1840s or early 1850s the lawn area immediately north of the house, once occupied by the old 18th century kitchen garden, was transformed with a network of radiating paths and numerous flower beds.

The mansion was burnt in 1929, later rebuilt by Imrie and Angell of London, while in 1967 a fire destroyed the wing of the house, much of which was subsequently reconstructed in much reduced form by Donald Insall.

Since 1993 Lord Dunluce and his family have lived in the Castle.

He has embarked on improvements to the house and parkland, including the walled garden, which is now open to the public in the summer months and has a tea-room.

The Barbican gate lodge has recently been restored by the Landmark Trust and is used as a holiday house.

I have already written articles about the present Lord Antrim and Lord Dunluce.

The Antrim Estates now comprise some 1,300 acres.

Glenarm Castle is still one of Northern Ireland’s oldest estates.

Today visitors can enjoy Glenarm Castle’s historic Walled Garden, open to the public between May and September and the charming Tea Room, open from Easter until mid October.

The Walled Garden is also open for events at Christmas and at other times throughout the year.

I am grateful to Lord Dunluce, who has provided me with the following information:
  • The demesne is not administered by the Department of Agriculture - the land remains in hand;
  • The farm has converted to organic status and in the process of building up a pedigree herd of beef short-horn cattle;
  • Lord Dunluce is at Sarasin & Partners (not Sarasin Chiswell since 2008); chairman of Northern Salmon Company; a Trustee of Clan Donald Lands Trust;
  • Lord & Lady Dunluce also have a daughter called Helena (b 2008). 
First published in 2009.  Antrim arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Hogg Baronets


WILLIAM HOGG (ca 1658-1715), of Portglenone, County Antrim, moved to Ulster from Scotland or northern England during the late 17th century and settled near Lisburn, County Antrim.

He wedded firstly, Mary Podefield, in 1677; and secondly, Elizabeth Wilson, in 1686. His eldest son and namesake,

WILLIAM HOGG, married Abilgail Higginbothom in 1718. He died in 1726. The youngest son,

EDWARD HOGG (1722-1809), wedded Rose, daughter of the Rev John O'Neill, in 1752. His eldest son, 

WILLIAM HOGG (1754-1824), of Belmont, and his wife Mary, daughter of James Dickey, of County Antrim. His eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR JAMES WEIR HOGG, 1ST BARONET (1790-1876), was a lawyer and MP. He was born at Stoneyford, near Lisburn, the eldest son of William Hogg and his wife Mary, née Dickey.:
educated at Dr Bruce's Academy, Belfast, and later at Trinity College Dublin. Hogg was barrister, Registrar Supreme Court and Vice-Admiralty Court, Calcutta; MP (C) for Beverley 1834–47; and for Honiton 1847; Director, HEIC Sept 1839 (twice chairman); member, Indian Council in 1815; and appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1872. 
Sir James MacNaghten McGarel-Hogg, 2nd Baronet, KCB, (1823-90) was created BARON MAGHERAMORNE in 1887.
The 1st Baron was born in Calcutta. His surname at birth was Hogg, but he added the surname McGarel in 1877 on inheriting the estates of Charles McGarel, his brother-in-law. Lord Magheramorne's seat was Magheramorne House in County Antrim.
JAMES DOUGLAS, 2nd Baron (1861-1903),
Born in London and was a captain in the Life Guards. He married Lady Evelyn Ashley-Cooper one year before succeeding to the titles. Seemingly the 2nd Baron lived a dissolute life, and was unsuccessful in business. He was declared bankrupt in 1900 in Dublin and died just over two years later in Paris. 
The 2nd Baron was succeeded in the family honours by his brother,

DUDLEY STUART, 3rd Baron (1863-1946), 2nd son of the 1st Baron. In later life he retired to Bournemouth and was living in a nursing home in Surrey at the time of his death.

The family honours devolved upon his brother,

RONALD TRACY, 4th Baron (1863-1957), who died in 1957 aged 93 and was unmarried, when the barony became extinct, though the baronetcy remains extant.
As of 2006, the presumed 9th Hogg Baronet has not successfully proven his succession, and is consequently not on the Official Roll of the Baronetage. However, the succession is under review by the Registrar of the Baronetage.
The merchant and philanthropist Quintin Hogg, 7th son of the 1st Hogg Baronet, was the father of Douglas Hogg, 1st Viscount Hailsham, twice Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom. 

First published in October, 2010.