Thursday, 9 April 2020

Wodehouse Knighthood

A fellow National Trust volunteer of mine contacted me the other day, cognisant of my admiration for Jeeves, Bertie Wooster, and their creator, Sir P G Wodehouse, KBE.

Clck to Enlarge

Robin sent me a cutting from The Times newspaper concerning the recent death of the Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, GCB, CVO, a most distinguished civil servant who served as Principal Private Secretary to two Prime Ministers, viz. Harold Wilson and Edward Heath.

Lord Armstrong was also the Cabinet Secretary, from 1979 until 1987, during which period Margaret Thatcher served as Prime Minister.

While Wodehouse was in hospital in 1974, Armstrong, PPS to Harold Wilson at the time, persuaded the Prime Minister to 'fast-track' a knighthood for him.


In this case the honour was Knight Commander of the British Empire, KBE.

So in the New Year Honours List of 1975, P G Wodehouse was appointed KBE, a mere six weeks before his death.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

1st Earl of Thomond

This family (one of the few native houses to be found in the Peerage of Ireland) deduces its descent from the royal line of THOMOND, a race of princes which sprang from the celebrated Hibernian monarch, Brian Boru, who commenced his reign in 1002, and terminated it with his life at the battle of Clontarf in 1014.

The last of those princes,

CONNOR O'BRIEN, who was inaugurated King of Thomond in 1528, died in 1540, when his son was set aside and the principality usurped by his brother,

MURROUGH O'BRIEN, who surrendered his royalty to HENRY VIII, and was created in consequence by His Majesty, in 1543, EARL OF THOMOND, with remainder to his deposed nephew, Donough O'Brien, and BARON INCHIQUIN to his own male heirs; and for the better support of these honours, the King granted and confirmed to him and his male heirs all his lands, possessions, and patronages in Thomond beyond the River Shannon, bishoprics excepted.

His lordship died in 1551, when the Earldom devolved accordingly upon the said

DONOUGH O'BRIEN, who, on surrendering the patent to EDWARD VI, obtained a new grant of the dignities to himself and his male heirs, in 1552, and also possession of all the honours and lands which had fallen to the Crown by the death of his uncle.

From this nobleman the Earldom of Thomond passed in regular succession to

HENRY, 8th Earl, 1st Viscount Tadcaster (1688-1741); at whose decease, without male issue, it expired with his lordship's other honours.

The barony of Inchiquin was inherited by the 1st Earl's son and heir by Eleanor, daughter of Thomas FitzGerald,

DERMOD, 2nd Baron; to whom his father assigned the castle and lands of Inchiquin and other extensive territorial possessions.

His lordship wedded Margaret, eldest daughter of Donough, 2nd Earl of Thomond; and dying in 1557, was succeeded by his son,

MURROUGH, 3rd Baron (c1550-74), who espoused Mabel, eldest daughter of Christopher, 6th Baron Delvin, and was succeeded at his decease by his son,

MURROUGH, 4th Baron (1563-97), who married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Cusack, LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND, and was succeeded by his son,

DERMOD, 5th Baron (1594-1624), who wedded Ellen, eldest daughter of Sir Edmund FitzGerald, Knight, of Cloyne, and was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

MURROUGH, 6th Baron (1614-74), who was advanced, 1664, to the EARLDOM OF INCHIQUIN.

Murrough, 1st Earl of Inchiquin,  Photo Credit: Manchester Art Gallery
The 4th Earl was succeeded, in 1777, by his nephew and son-in-law,

MURROUGH (1726-1808), as 5th Earl; who was created, in 1800, MARQUESS OF THOMOND, and was enrolled amongst the peers of the United Kingdom, 1801, as Baron Thomond, of Taplow, Buckinghamshire.

Murrough, 1st Marquess of Thomond KP

His lordship had several children by his first consort, Mary, 3rd Countess of Orkney, none of whom lived, however, except MARY, who succeeded to the honours of her mother, as 4th Countess of Orkney, and wedded the Hon Thomas Fitzmaurice.

He espoused secondly, in 1762, Mary, eldest daughter of John Palmer, of Great Torrington, Devon, and niece of Sir Joshua Reynolds, but had no other issue.

The 1st Marquess was installed a Knight of the Order of St Patrick in 1783.

His lordship was thrown from his horse in Grosvenor Square, London, in 1808, and died in consequence of the fall, when the barony of THOMOND, of Taplow, expired; but the Irish honours devolved upon his nephew,

WILLIAM O'BRIEN (1765-1846), as 2nd Marquess, KP, who married, in 1799, Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of Thomas Trotter, of Duleek, County Meath, and had issue,
Susan Maria; Sarah; Mary; Elizabeth.
His lordship, who was installed a Knight of St Patrick in 1809, died without male issue, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

JAMES, 3rd Marquess (1769-1855), Admiral in the Royal Navy, who wedded firstly, in 1800, Eliza Bridgman, second daughter of James Willyams, of Carnanton, Cornwall; and secondly, in 1806, Jane, daughter of Thomas Ottley; and thirdly, in 1847 , Anne, sister of Sir Charles William Flint.

His lordship, however, left no issue, and the marquessate and earldom expired; the barony of Inchiquin, however, reverted to Sir Lucius O'Brien Bt, in 1855, as 13th Baron Inchiquin.


ROSTELLAN CASTLE, County Cork, was delightfully situated and presented a striking object to vessels entering Cork Harbour.

The ancient castle, from which it acquired its designation, was a residence of the FitzGeralds, built by Robert FitzStephen; and during the wars of 1645 it was twice assailed and captured.

The early Georgian mansion of 1721 was built on the site of the ancient pile, and was considerably enlarged and improved by at least two of its noble proprietors.

The castle was rebuilt at some stage prior to 1750, possibly by the 4th Earl (1700-77), who established the predecessor of the Royal Cork Yacht Club in 1720.

In 1777 the 5th Earl and 1st Marquess of Thomond extended and renovated Rostellan; and further alterations were undertaken by the 2nd Marquess.

Thereafter it comprised three storeys, with a five-bay front between two three-sided bows.

A side elevation consisted of four bays and a three-sided bow.

The house front had noticeable string courses and quoins.

The Chapel

A Gothic porch was added in the 19th century; and a substantial Gothic chapel wing with pinnacles and castellated round tower.

Facing the water-front, near the house, there was a battlemented terrace complete with canons, akin to a battery.

The 1st Marquess erected a tower in honour of Mrs Siddons, a house guest.

Following the decease of the 3rd and last Marquess in 1855, Rostellan was purchased by Dr Thomas Alexander Wise.

Sir John Pope-Hennessy, KCMG, formerly of Myrtle Grove, became the next owner; followed by Charles John Engledow MP.

Rostellan suffered the fate of many mansions, in 1944: demolition.

The demesne which surrounded it was exquisite in situation, and commanded an unequalled prospect of the animated, picturesque and grand harbour.

The grounds were well planted, displayed a profusion of luxuriant evergreens, and presented many delightful indications of the mildness of the climate, and the fertility of the soil.

First published in March, 2016.  Thomond arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Ballydugan House

THE KEOWN-BOYDS OWNED 4,191 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DOWN

This family descended maternally from BOYD, of Glastry, County Down, who claimed to be a branch of the Kilmarnock family.

RICHARD KEOWN, of Downpatrick, County Down (son of Richard and Margaret Keown, m 1768), married Mary (who assumed the name of BOYD, as heiress of the Boyds of Glastry and Portavogie), daughter of Henry Keown, and had issue,
John, JP, barrister;
Henry, a military officer;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
Mary, m William Beers;
Margaret;
Anne, m George Gulliver;
Isabella, m Dr R Boyd.
The third son,

WILLIAM KEOWN JP (1816-77), of Ballydugan House, County Down, High Sheriff of County Down, 1849, MP for Downpatrick, 1867-74, wedded, in 1845, Mary, eldest daughter of the Rev Robert Alexander, Prebendary of Aghadowey, County Londonderry, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Robert;
William;
John Maxwell;
Alfred Henry;
Edmund Walter;
Mary; Matilda Catherine; Hilda Margaret.
Mr Keown assumed the surname of BOYD in 1873, under the will of his grand-uncle, Major David Hamilton Boyd, of Glastry.

The eldest son,

RICHARD KEOWN-BOYD (1850-), of Ballydugan and Glastry, Lieutenant, Royal Navy, married, in 1875, Florence, fourth daughter of Charles Manners Lushington MP, and had a daughter,

SYLVIA IRONSIDE KEOWN-BOYD, who espoused, in 1927, Sir Denys Henry Harrington Grayson, 2nd Baronet.

They divorced in 1937.


BALLYDUGAN HOUSE, near Downpatrick, County Down, is a three storey, five bay, Georgian house of ca 1770.

The estate lies close to Ballydugan Lake and flour mill, and the disused railway line, one of my favourite places in the county.

A two-storey, bow-fronted wing was added about 1815.

The estate today comprises about 750 acres.

Ballydugan has changed ownership on several occasions.

Stephen Richard Nassau Perceval-Maxwell (whose ancestral home was Finnebrogue House) lived at Ballydugan House until about 1935.

It appears that it was subsequently purchased by the Brownlows of Ballywhite House.

In 1976, Captain James Christy Brownlow (1922-2006), High Sheriff of County Down, 1971,  lived at Ballydugan House.

Stuart Blakley has written a piece about Ballydugan here.


The demesne was established in the 18th century.

There are mature shelter trees and woodland.

The walled garden is not cultivated but there is a very large English yew flourishing in the centre.

A maintained ornamental and productive garden is near the house.

The gate lodges have gone.

This site lies to the south of a much larger demesne, Hollymount, which has completely gone.

There are remnants of a fine oak wood on the east side, amongst forest planting.

The Keown-Boyd mausoleum of ca 1825 remains in very good condition.

First published in March, 2016.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Dunmore House

THE McCLINTOCKS OF DUNMORE OWNED 1,977 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DONEGAL


ALEXANDER McCLINTOCK (1622-70), of Trinta, County Donegal (only son of Alexander McClintock, who came from Argyllshire and purchased in 1597 the estates in Donegal) wedded, in 1648, Agnes Stenson, daughter of Donald Maclean, and had issue,
JOHN, of Trinta, ancestor of the BARONS RATHDONNELL;
WILLIAM, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

WILLIAM McCLINTOCK (1657-1724), of Dunmore, County Donegal, wedded, in 1685, Elizabeth, only daughter of David Harvey, of Dunmore, County Donegal, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Mary; Elizabeth (m 1st EARL OF CALEDON); Margaret; Jane.
The son and heir,

JOHN McCLINTOCK, of Dunmore, held the commissions of Captain in the Militia of Donegal Militia and Tyrone, bearing date respectively of 27 and 30 December, 1745.

Captain McClintock espoused, in 1728, Rebecca, daughter of Robert McCausland, of Fruit Hill (Drenagh), County Londonderry, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
William;
Hannah; Lydia; Elizabeth; Jane.
The eldest son,

ROBERT McCLINTOCK JP, of Dunmore, Captain, Donegal and Tyrone Militias, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1759, Donegal, 1764, married, in 1760, Alice, daughter and heiress of Andrew Patton, of Springfield, County Donegal, and had issue,
John, died unmarried;
Andrew (Rev), Rector of Kanturk and Newmarket;
WILLIAM, of whom presently;
Thomas;
Alicia Anne.
The third son,

WILLIAM McCLINTOCK (1773-1825), wedded, in 1802, Catherine, daughter and heiress of Benjamin Ramage, of Cloghole, County Londonderry, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Benjamin;
Margaret.
The eldest son,

ROBERT McCLINTOCK JP DL (1804-59), High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1835, espoused, in 1833, Margaret, third daughter of Robert Macan, of Ballynahome House, County Armagh, and had issue,
ROBERT, late of Dunmore;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
Benjamin;
Charles;
Letitia; Alice; Margaret Elizabeth; Emma; Anna Mary; Isabel.
The eldest son,

ROBERT McCLINTOCK JP DL (1838-99), of Dunmore, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1878, married, in 1881, Jessie Macleod, daughter of C W W Alexander, and had issue,
Hilda Margaret; Vera; Madeline (twin with Vera).
Mr McClintock died without male issue, and was succeeded by his next brother,

WILLIAM McCLINTOCK JP (1841-), of Dunmore, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1903, Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Artillery, Superintendent, Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills, 1892-4, wedded firstly, in 1873, Elizabeth Esther, daughter of Samuel Lyle, of Oaks Lodge, Londonderry, and had issue,
ROBERT LYLE.
He espoused secondly, in 1877, Isabella, fourth daughter of George FitzMaurice.

Colonel McClintock's son and heir,

ROBERT LYLE McCLINTOCK CMG DSO (1874-1943), Captain and Brevet Major, Royal Engineers, married, in 1908, Jennie Margaret, daughter of Sir George Casson Walker KCSI.

Robert and Jennie had one son, Lieutenant William McClintock, Royal Artillery, born in 1913 who was paralysed in a riding accident in the 1930s.

Tragically Jennie shot William dead in the walled garden at Dunmore and then shot herself.

When William's fiancée, Helen Macworth, came upon the bodies, she too shot herself.

Colonel Robert McClintock died in 1943 and with him the male line of this branch died out.


DUNMORE HOUSE, near Carrigans, County Donegal, is said to have been built in 1742.

It is aptly described by Mark Bence-Jones in Burke’s Guide to Country Houses, 1978, as
A gable-ended, mid- 18th century house which Dr Craig considers may be by Michael Priestly. 
Two- storey, with an attic lit by windows in the gable ends, five-bay front with central venetian window above tripartite doorway later obscured by a porch. Lower two-storey wing added later. 
Staircase extending into central projection at the back of house.
Following Robert McClintock's death in 1943, Dunmore was sold to Sir Basil McFarland Bt.

Sir Basil's son, Sir John, the 3rd and present Baronet, continues to live at Dunmore with his family.

Amelia McFarland manages the Gardens for weddings and other functions.

Family History

Despite what some readers might think, or any impression that I may inadvertently have given, I'm not a professional genealogist!

Nor do I have the time to undertake personal family research.

I obtain most of my information pertaining to family lineage from the Internet, specifically Victorian editions of peerages.

I'm well aware that these publications are not infallible, and information from readers of the blog about errors is welcome.

I say this because I'm receiving an increasing number of messages from people inquiring about their family history, or why their surnames have extra letters.

I'm cognisant that this revelation may come as a disappointment to those who have emailed me, and can only suggest that they contact an organization like the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the Ulster Historical Foundation, or some such body that might have lists of genealogists.

Nevertheless, it's a fascinating pastime, particularly at the moment when many have spare time on their hands, so I wish those budding family historians the best of luck!

Monday, 6 April 2020

Crawfordsburn Park

THE SHARMAN-CRAWFORDS OWNED 5,748 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DOWN


ANDREW CRAWFORD, of Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, one of fifty Scottish undertakers of the plantation, was granted 1,000 acres of land in County Tyrone.

Although he sold this property within ten years, many of the kinsmen he brought over from Scotland remained.

In 1625, Crawford, as a tenant of Sir James Hamilton, was in possession of a mill and lands in County Down.

His descendant,

WILLIAM CRAWFORD, purchased the estate of Crawfordsburn, County Down, from Henry, 2nd Earl of Clanbrassil, about 1670, and was succeeded therein by his son,

JOHN CRAWFORD, of Crawfordsburn, who married Jane, daughter of Crawford, of Rocksavage, County Antrim, and was father of

JAMES CRAWFORD, of Crawfordsburn, who wedded Mabel, daughter of Hugh Johnston, of Rademon, County Down, and heiress of Arthur Johnston (1721-1814), of Rademon, MP for Killyleagh, 1769-76, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Arthur;
James;
William;
Jane;
Anne, m James, 1st Earl of Caledon;
Mary, m David Gordon, of Florida Manor.
Mr Crawford died in 1777, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN CRAWFORD JP (1745-1827), of Crawfordsburn, married, in 1774, Mary, daughter of John Kennedy, of Cultra, County Down, and had issue,
Arthur Johnston, MP, of Rademon, dvp unmarried;
MABEL FRIDESWIDE, of whom hereafter.
The only daughter,


MABEL FRIDESWIDE CRAWFORD (1785-1844), of Crawfordsburn, eventually sole heiress, espoused, in 1805, WILLIAM SHARMAN, who took the additional surname and arms of CRAWFORD, and had issue,
John, his heir;
ARTHUR JOHNSTON, successor to his brother;
James, of Rademon House, MP;
Frederick;
Charles;
William;
Henry;
Maria; Arminella; Mabel; Eleanor Frideswide.
William Sharman-Crawford assumed the latter surname in 1827, in addition to his paternal one of SHARMAN, in compliance with the will of John Crawford.

He was the eldest son of William Sharman, of Moira Castle, County Down, by Arminella his wife, daughter of Hill Wilson, of Purdysburn, County Down.

William Sharman-Crawford (1781-1861), Photo Credit: Ulster Museum

Mr Sharman-Crawford died at Crawfordsburn and was buried in the family vault at Kilmore, County Down, where there is a monumental inscription.

A great stone obelisk was erected in his memory on a hill at Rademon Estate, near Crossgar, County Down.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN SHARMAN-CRAWFORD JP DL (1809-84), of Crawfordsburn, Major, North Down Militia, High Sheriff of County Down, 1839, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

ARTHUR JOHNSTON SHARMAN-CRAWFORD JP DL (1811-91), of Crawfordsburn, High Sheriff of County Down, 1888, Barrister, Director, Belfast Banking Company, who married, in 1846, Louisa Alicia, daughter of William Crawford, of Lakelands, County Cork, and had issue,
William Henry;
Arthur Johnston (1850-62);
ROBERT GORDON, of Crawfordsburn;
Arthur Frederick;
Mary Elizabeth; Louisa Mabel; Alice Aimée.
Mr Sharman-Crawford was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

THE RT HON ROBERT GORDON SHARMAN-CRAWFORD JP DL (1853-1934), of Crawfordsburn, High Sheriff of County Down, 1895, Colonel Commanding, 3rd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, 15th Hussars, 16th Lancers, who wedded, in 1882, Annie Helen, eldest daughter of Ernest Arbouin, of Brighton, and had issue,
TERENCE (1892-1913), d unmHelen Mary.

LINEAGE OF SHARMAN

JOHN SHARMAN, of Grange, County Antrim (elder brother of Captain William Sharman, MP for Randalstown 1749-60, who married, in 1740, Anne, daughter of John O'Neill, of Shane's Castle), had issue, two sons and three daughters,
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
Richard;
Letitia; Anne; Sarah.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM SHARMAN (1731-1803), of Moira Castle, County Down, Barrister, Colonel, the Union Volunteers, MP for Lisburn, 1783, married, in 1773, Arminella, daughter of Hill Wilson, of Purdysburn, County Down, and had issue,
WILLIAM, assumed surname of CRAWFORD, as stated above;
John Hill;
Eleanor, m, in 1884, Hill Wilson, of Rosebrook, Co Antrim.
Crawfordsburn House

CRAWFORDSBURN HOUSE, near Bangor, County Down, was built in 1906 to designs by Vincent Craig, at an estimated cost of £20,000 (about £2.2 million in today's money).

The Irish Builder publication in 1904 invited tenders for the
...erection of a new house at Crawfordsburn Co Down for Colonel Sharman Crawford D.L....This will do away with the rather historic, if excessively ugly old mansion on the shores, at the entrance of Belfast Lough.
The present house replaced an earlier "excessively ugly" building (below) of ca 1820, situated to the west, which itself replaced a house of about 1780.

The Irish Builder was surely suffering from an unfortunate dose of myopia or sycophancy, or had not seen the prosaic Edwardian pile before its Georgian predecessor was demolished.

Crawfordsburn House ca 1820-1905, prior to demolition. Click to enlarge.

The first occupant of the new house was the Rt Hon Robert Gordon Sharman-Crawford.


In 1933, a valuer described the building as
a well built modern mansion occupying attractive site on shore of Lough. Built about 30 years ago cost £20,000 + extras also large sums spent on cottages and offices. Well planned house with good approach by drives from both C’burn and Helen’s Bay Roads. 
Extensive lawns, ornamental gardens, kitchen garden (walled in), conservatories and well built offices (none of which are used for agricultural purposes) including garages, carriage and coach ho, stabling for hunters &c. Ho[use] and offices have been well maintained and are in good general condition. 
Own water supply pumped from wells to service tank. Central heating. Lighting from own acetylene gas plant. Drainage to septic tank. House and offices are now somewhat larger than required by occupier.
The accommodation at this time comprised, on the ground floor, an outer hall and porch, a lounge hall, 6 rooms, two cloak rooms (lavatory and basins), a safe room, butler’s pantry, butler’s room and safe, brushing room, lavatory and cloakrooms, servant’s hall, housekeeper’s room, store room, flower room, kitchen, scullery larder, boots and lavatory, dairy, wood stores and coal hole.

On the first floor there was a boudoir, minstrels gallery, 10 principal bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 lavatories, a house maids’ pantry, linen room and sewing-room.

On the second floor there were 8 principal bedrooms, six maids’ rooms, three bathrooms, and two lavatories.

A wine cellar, store and safe were in the basement and cottages for the coachman and gardener in the grounds.

An estate agent’s pamphlet of this period describes the house as having a thoroughly modern interior with 9 reception rooms, 25 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.

It was thought that the house might have been be used as a private residence, ‘a Country Club, Hotel or Central Headquarters for a Holiday Camp’.

In 1935, that the house was let to W J Stewart, after Crawford’s death.

William John Stewart, MP for South Belfast, 1929-46, was head of the building firm, Stewart & Partners, which built the parliament buildings at Stormont in 1932.

Colonel Crawford’s representatives were obliged to spend ‘over £1,250’ on improvements before the house could be let, including the installation of electric light and extra bathrooms with improved fittings.

Crawfordsburn House was sold in 1948 to the Northern Ireland Tuberculosis Authority.

A nurses home, recreation and school room were to the site in the same year.

In 1959, the Northern Ireland Hospitals Authority took over, using the house as a geriatric hospital.

In the early 1980s it passed into private ownership; and in 2000, was redeveloped to designs by MacRae Hanlon Spence Partnership, who converted the building into thirty-eight apartments with an additional twenty-two apartments in a new courtyard development.

*****

SUBSEQUENTLY a great deal of planting was undertaken, so that today the area is well wooded.

There is extensive woodland and glen-side planting, shelter belts and two fine, twisting approach avenues.

An ornamental garden, known as Mrs Crawford’s Garden was added in the 1880s.

A rockery and pond remain, with some now outsize plants, but it is not maintained.

The walled garden is part used for a tree nursery and not otherwise cultivated. The gardens were probably at their peak at the turn of the century.

Banim says, in 1892, it had,
luxuriant growth of tree … masses of crimson rhododendrons lend rich colour.
Robinson commented in the Garden Annual and Almanac in 1908 and the head gardener, John Whytock, had a regular column in Irish Gardening at that period.

Since the 1970s replanting for the country park has improved the site.

There is a waterfall, numerous bridges, including a stone viaduct by Lanyon and modern buildings and landscaping associated with the park.

The ‘Crawfordsburn Fern’ was discovered here. It is thought to be extinct.

The gates lodges are notable and are all listed: Burn Lodge, of ca 1812, is thought to be by Nash for the first house; Helen’s Bay Lodge of ca 1870; and Home Farm Lodge of ca 1900.

*****

Crawfordsburn’s heyday, like many of Ulster's stately homes, was during the 18th and 19th centuries.

It was then that much of the estate was planted, including the coastal headlands (with Scots Pine, Beech, Beach, Sycamore and Elm) and the Glen (many exotic trees Monterey Cypress, Red Cedar, Californian Redwood as well as Rhodendrons, Beach and Laurel.

Crawfordsburn is now a Country Park.

Crawfordsburn House has been converted into opulent apartments and re-named Crawford House, Sharman Estate.

First published in July, 2010.

Ernest Sandford, 1913-2006

'ERNIE SANDFORD: A TRIBUTE TO A DISTINGUISHED PORTRUSH JOURNALIST',
from Coleraine Today


Ernie Sandford, known to many friends as Sandy, was born in Portrush, County Antrim, in 1913 where he was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution.

He proceeded to Queen’s University, Belfast, and after graduation he joined the Northern Constitution as a reporter.

The younger son of local grocer, Joseph Sandford, Ernie ‘had a distinguished career spanning from local reporter in Coleraine to Reuter’s office in Paris culminating in his appointment as head of press and publicity at the NI Tourist Board’.

During this career he wrote articles on local history, was a member of the amateur dramatic society – Portrush Players and at a stage secretary of the Portrush hockey club.

In the late 1930s Ernie left Coleraine and went on to work for the Belfast Newsletter, followed by a move to Fleet Street as sub-editor on the Daily Telegraph.

He was appointed the Press Association’s first war correspondent and after the War, returned to Fleet Street as chief reporter of the Sunday Chronicle.

Ernie, who was 'recognised as one of the most distinguished journalists Northern Ireland has produced’, resigned and moved to France in 1946 where he taught English for two years in a small college on the outskirts of Paris.

During his time there, he studied French language & civilisation at the Sorbonne and wrote his first book about a canoe trip from Mâcon to Lyons.

Following this he joined Reuters as head of their Paris office before going on to become information officer for the Marshall Plan (one such assignment meant that he was present at the historical singing of the Treaty of Rome).

In 1959, Ernie joined the Northern Ireland Government's London Office as publicity officer to the Ministry of Commerce and the Northern Ireland Development Council.


Some ten years later, he returned home for his appointment as Publicity Officer to the Tourist Board.

Although Ernie retired in 1978, he continued to write the guide book Discover Northern Ireland and had articles published in the Coleraine Old Boys’ Association and the Bann Disc (journal of the Coleraine Historical Society).

Ernie is survived by his wife Joyce [died 16th January, 2019], daughter Christine and son Patrick.

Do any readers possess a better image of Mr Sandford?