Sunday, 25 July 2021

Armagh: I

In May, 2013, I spent a memorable day in the primatial city of Armagh.

This was my first visit to the ecclesiastical capital for a number of years.

Incidentally, I urge readers to pay this beautiful, compact city a visit.

It is utterly fascinating.

I motored in a south-westerly direction and, given that it was such a fine day, kept the hood down the entire way.

I parked at The Mall, where my first port-of-call was the County Museum, a fairly modest establishment, though of considerable interest.

On the first floor many items were on display, including various uniforms and costumes.

One example (above) was the scarlet tunic and breeches ~ court dress ~ as worn by the 5th Earl of Caledon when he was a page-boy to EDWARD VII at His Majesty's coronation.

THENCE I admired the prospect from The Mall, which I crossed, ambling along several streets before I reached the old market-place, en route to Armagh (Anglican) Cathedral, on the hill.

This is a relatively small cathedral, certainly in comparison with its counterparts in England; though it is a veritable treasure-trove of ancient relics, statuary and stained-glass inside.

There are memorial plaques to many of the old county families, including LORD ARMAGHDALE, SIR THOMAS MOLYNEUX Bt (below), of Castle Dillon, and the BLACKERS OF CARRICKBLACKER.

I hadn't been aware of the Cathedral Gardens, which I walked through.

The new See House (above) replaced a residence of ca 1973.

It was built in 2011 as the official residence of the anglican Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.

The last archbishop to live at ARMAGH PALACE (now council offices) was the Most Rev Dr George Otto Simms.

First published in May, 2013.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Moira Castle

(Image: Royal Irish Academy)

Here is a rare painting of Moira Castle in County Down, former seat of the RAWDONS, EARLS OF MOIRA

Moira Castle, as described by Burke's, was
A large, three-storey, 18th century house with a nine-bay front, consisting of a five-bay centre and a two-bay extension, slightly higher than the centre, on either side.

Only the roof of the centre section was visible: The roofs of the side bays were either flat, or concealed by the massive cornices with which these bays were surmounted.

The mansion had a pedimented and rusticated doorway; curved end bows.

The front was prolonged by single-storey wings on either side, ending in piers with urns.
The Rawdons sold their Moira demesne to SIR ROBERT BATESON Bt in 1805 and moved to Montalto estate, near Ballynahinch, in the same county.

It is thought that Moira Castle was ruinous by the 1830s.


THE water-colour above is by Gabriel Beranger (1729-1817).

Beranger was born in 1729 at Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.

He moved to Dublin in 1750 to join other family members.

In 1756, he married his cousin Louise Beranger (d 1782), and shortly afterwards opened a print shop at St Stephen's Green.
Beranger became acquainted with several members of Dublin society who were then taking a great interest in Irish history and antiquities. In 1773 he and his antiquarian friends made the first of their tours through Ireland.
Beranger's wife died in April, 1782, and in June of that year, he married Elizabeth Mestayer.

In the early 1780s, he obtained a job as assistant ledger-keeper in the exchequer office.

In later years his circumstances were eased after he inherited part of a fortune amassed in India by his brother-in-law, Colonel Mestayer.

Gabriel Beranger died at a house in St Stephen's Green in 1817.

First published in March, 2011.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Lord O'Neill & Agent 007


Lord O'Neill is related to the James Bond creator, Ian Fleming; hence, 007 has an Ulster connection, in a sense.

Raymond O'Neill's late mother, Anne, married Ian Fleming in 1952 (Lady O'Neill's third marriage), so Lord O'Neill was Ian Fleming's stepson.

I think Fleming lived in Jamaica during the latter part of his life.

I wonder if Lord O'Neill ever visited them while his mother lived there ...

O'Neill arms courtesy of European Heraldry. First published in July, 2009.

1st Baron Deramore


THOMAS BATESON, who resided upon his family estates in Catterall, Lancashire, died in 1629, and left, with a younger son and daughter, Gilbert and Margaret, a son and heir,

ROBERT BATESON, who died in 1663, and was succeeded by his only son,

ROBERT BATESON, who had two sons,
THOMAS, of whom presently;
Richard, ancestor of the BATESON-HARVEY BARONETS.
THOMAS BATESON (1704-91) succeeded his father in the Lancashire estates, but disposing soon afterwards of those, he settled in Ulster and resided at ORANGEFIELD, Knockbreda, County Down.

The family of Thomas Bateson, Photo Credit: Ulster Museum

Mr Bateson also purchased the Salters' Estate, Magherafelt, County Londonderry, and Moira Demesne.
Thomas Bateson was a partner in the firm Mussenden, Bateson and Company, wine merchants, in Winecellar Court, Belfast, with trading links to the West Indies.

His firm imported wine and rum. Benn (1880) also notes that, in 1752, Bateson was one of three founding partners of Belfast’s first bank, Mussenden, Adair and Bateson. Like many successful merchants, he invested in land, acquiring property at Magherafelt and Moira.

Bateson acquired a leasehold interest in Orangefield, in the parish of Knockbreda, for the term of twenty-one years, where he lived.
He wedded, in 1747, Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of of Mr White, of WHITE HALL, County Antrim, and widow of William Hartley, of Dublin, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Richard, died unmarried;
William, died unmarried;
Jane, m in 1782, J Dunne, KC;
Frances, m in 1805, Hans Mark Hamill, of Co Down.
Mr Bateson was succeeded by his eldest son, 

THOMAS BATESON (1752-1811), who married Elizabeth, youngest daughter of  George Lloyd FRS, of Hulme Hall, Lancashire, by Susanna, sister of Sir William Horton Bt, of Chadderton, Lancashire, and had an only son,

ROBERT BATESON (1782-1863), of BELVOIR PARK and Moira Park, both in County Down, who succeeded to the family estates at the demise of his father, 1811.

Mr Bateson was created a baronet in 1818, designated of Belvoir Park, County Down.

He married, in 1811, Catherine, youngest daughter of Samuel Dickinson, of Ballynaguile, County Limerick, and had issue,
ROBERT, MP (1816-43);
THOMAS, his successor;
Maria Catherine; Elizabeth Honoria.
Sir Robert was succeeded by his second son,

SIR THOMAS BATESON, 2nd Baronet (1819-90), DL, MP for Londonderry, 1844, who married, in 1849, Caroline Elizabeth Anne, second daughter and co-heiress of George, 4th Baron Dynevor, and had issue,
Eva Frances Caroline, m D A KER, OF MONTALTO;
Kathleen Mary, m W A Farquhar.
Sir Thomas was elevated to the peerage, in 1885, in the dignity of BARON DERAMORE, of Belvoir, County Down.

He died without male issue, when the titles devolved upon his surviving brother,

GEORGE WILLIAM, 2nd Baron (1823-93), who married Mary Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of George John de Yarburgh, of Heslington Hall, Yorkshire.

In 1892, his lordship assumed the surname of BATESON after, instead of before, that of DE YARBURGH.

By his wife he had issue,
ROBERT WILFRED, his successor;
GEORGE NICHOLAS, succeeded his brother as 4th Baron;
Mary; Katherine Hylda.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT WILFRID, 3rd Baron (1865-1936), Lord-Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire, 1924-36, who espoused firstly, in 1897, Caroline Lucy, eldest daughter of Henry William Fife, of Lee Hall, Northumberland, by whom he had an only child,
Moira Faith Lilian.
He married secondly, in 1907, Blanche Violet, eldest daughter of Colonel Philip Saltmarshe, of Daresbury House, Yorkshire.

His lordship died without male issue, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

GEORGE NICHOLAS, 4th Baron (1870-1943), who wedded, in 1900, Muriel Katherine, third daughter and co-heiress of Arthur Duncombe, MP, and had issue,
STEPHEN NICHOLAS, his successor;
Richard Arthur;
Judith Katherine.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

STEPHEN NICHOLAS, 5th Baron (1903-64), who wedded, in 1929, Nina Marion, eldest daughter of Alistair Macpherson-Grant, by whom he had an only child,
Jane Faith.
The 5th Baron died without male issue, and was succeeded by his brother,

RICHARD ARTHUR, 6th Baron (1911-2006), who espoused, in 1948, Janet Mary, daughter of Dr John Ware, by whom he had an only child,

THE HON ANNE KATHERINE DE YARBURGH-BATESON, who married, in 1982, Jonathan Henry Maconchy Peel, of Buckinghamshire, and has issue.

The Barony and Baronetcy both expired following the death of the 6th Baron in 2006.

I have written about BELVOIR HOUSE and MOIRA CASTLE elsewhere on this blog.

First published in September, 2010.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Belfast in 1836: II

Castle Place, Belfast, ca 1890



THE COTTON-SPINNING INDUSTRY did not flourish in Ireland, nor did calico-printing, which my father attempted at Hydepark (so called after my mother, Anne Hyde).

The firm was Batt, Ewing & Co.

The Ewings, after leaving their house at Cotton-mount, resided in Donegall Street (where the premises of the Brookfield Linen Co. now stand).

Robert Ewing was married to a daughter of David Bigger, of the Trench, Molusk [Mallusk], who had, in conjunction with Moses and Aaron Staunton, started the Carnmoney Cotton Printing Works (now the Mossley Mills).

Robert Anderson, a poet who contributed many pieces to the Belfast News-Letter, was a designer in this firm, having been brought over from the North of England by them for this purpose.

Some specimens of these printed calicoes are still in the possession of one of the editors of this Journal, a grandson of David Bigger.

The old Belfast Bank was at the opposite corner of Donegall Street; where it now stands was the Assembly Rooms, where public balls were given and panoramas exhibited.

I saw one of the siege of Antwerp, at that time a recent exploit.

The Northern Bank was facing Castle Place, where the Bank Buildings now stand.

I was fond of seeing the machinery in the great factories on the Falls Road, but have a clearer recollection of a quaint garden there, where there were little ponds and islands, figures of Dr Syntax and other celebrities carved and painted, and a water-wheel, which, as it turned, made music on bells.

In those days watchmen cried the hours at night.

Postage was heavy, and "franks" from members of Parliament were in great request.

Our letters were folded square and sealed, without envelopes, and often crossed, making them hard to read, space was so valuable.

Small-pox was very common, and blind and marked people were met with everywhere.

I was not only vaccinated, but inoculated, by Moore, of Corn Market, who, I fear, broke the law to please my mother.

He was a most popular apothecary and practitioner, the husband of a Greek lady.

Beside Dr MacDonnell, Dr Purdon and Dr Thompson were the chief physicians in Belfast.

Typhus fever was often prevalent.

At Newtownards I ventured to take a house that had been used as a temporary fever hospital, and some of my friends were afraid to visit me, but this was later on.

I met Lord Dufferin there, fresh from college, and evidently full of talent.

Andrew Nichol, who drew many of the views in the Dublin Penny Journal, taught me drawing.

He excelled in his water-colour drawings of the coast scenery of Ireland. Sir J Emerson Tennent took him with him to Ceylon.

There was also a promising young artist named James Atkins, who died in Malta in 1835, where my aunt and other friends had sent him to study.

He copied the large picture, The Martyrdom of St Stephen, now in the Queen's College.

I recollect an exhibition of his paintings for his mother's benefit.

In religious matters we were all exceedingly "low church."

I was not confirmed till near my ordination by Bishop Mant, at his last ordination, at Hillsborough, in 1848.

The great controversies of the day were between the "old light" and the "new light" Presbyterians.

Dr Cooke was the leader of the old lights, and I have often been taken to hear him preach, and can remember his favourite text, Col. i. 19.

I liked better to go to the Parish Church, St Anne's, where a military band sometimes played, and the Sovereign sat in his stall.

I went to see a public disputation between Rev John Scott Porter, a Unitarian, and Dean Bagot, afterwards Vicar of Newry.

It ended, as usual, in both parties thinking their champion victorious.

Our own church was St George's, which our family helped to build.

It was a very dull Georgian building, with a huge "three-decker " pulpit in the midst.

The oak seats, however, were handsome in their way, and so was the beautiful Corinthian portico.

It was carved in Italy for Lord Bristol, the Volunteer Bishop of Derry, and, when his palace at Ballyscullion was demolished, Dr Alexander, Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore, purchased it for St George's.

The Rev R W Bland, late of Whiteabbey, was the incumbent; his curate, Rev William Laurenson, an Oxford graduate, was a popular preacher, and, though he preached extempore, was never too long.

It seems Mrs Laurenson, in the gallery, made a signal with her pocket-handkerchief when it was time to wind up the discourse.

As High Street was not always orderly in the evenings, the young ladies in our street went in a company to St George's for mutual protection, and took notes of the sermons.

Rev A C Macartney was Vicar of Belfast.

To Rev William Laurenson succeeded Rev William Macllwaine.

I heard him preach his first sermon as curate; he has told me that he unintentionally offended some of us by referring to "bats" as creatures unfriendly to the light, not knowing that there were Batts in the congregation.

He was a learned man, and tried to make St George's into a pro-cathedral, and did beautify it a good deal, brightening up the dull services; but the architecture of the church was too much against him.

There used to be a transparency in the East window of David playing the harp.

The National Board of Education was a great subject of dispute among religious people; but my uncles were from the first in its favour, and put their village schools under the National system.

I must not conclude without a few words about the mail coaches, by which we used to get, by day or night, in about twelve hours from Belfast to Dublin or Derry.
In fine weather an outside seat on the top of the Royal Mail was an exceedingly agreeable mode of travelling; we saw the country to much more advantage than from the railway, and, instead of skirting the dismal suburbs of the towns on the way, we dashed straight up the best streets to the chief hotel, where horses were changed, and a little crowd always collected to admire.
The inside, however, was always stuffy, and often crowded; and the outside dangerous and uncomfortable in cold and wet weather.

Besides, it was necessary to bespeak a place beforehand.

I have driven ten miles to Dromore for three successive mornings before I could get a seat in the Dublin coach.

The red-coated coachmen and guards were fine manly fellows, and very friendly with the passengers, who, to be sure, always tipped them.

The caravans, machines, and long cars that started from public-houses in Cromac Street, or in Ann Street at The Highlandman, to take us to Ballynahinch or Newtownards, were poor affairs.

Castle Place, looking towards the Bank Buildings, 1843

The Derry coach started from the Donegall Arms, Castle Place, and the Dublin coach from 10, Castle Street.

The Carrickfergus and Larne coaches stopped in Donegall Street and North Street.

NOTES: 1. Narcissus Batt was Founder of the Belfast Bank; 2. Narcissus and Thomas were members of the Corporation for preserving and improving the port and harbour of Belfast.

First published in June, 2013.

Killyfaddy Manor


FITZAMELINE MAXWELL ANKETELL JP (1825-1905), of Killyfaddy, County Tyrone, fourth son of William Ancketell JP DL, of ANKETELL GROVE, County Monaghan, by Sarah his wife, second daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel John C F Waring-Maxwell, of FINNEBROGUE, County Down, married, in 1859, Laura Valetta, second daughter and co-heiress of Henry Ranking, of Eaglehurst, Bathford, Somerset, and had issue,
REGINALD (1861-1937), died unmarried;
Henry (1803-4);
Charlemont Fitz-Ameline (1872-1947), died unmarried;
Maud Mary (1870-82).
Mr FitzAmeline Maxwell Anketell succeeded to the estate of his maternal uncle, Robert Waring-Maxwell JP, on the death of Mrs Waring-Maxwell in 1877.

KILLYFADDY MANOR, near Clogher, County Tyrone, was purchased in the late 18th century by Major-General Edward Maxwell, of Finnebrogue, County Down.

The family of Cairnes were titular Lords of the Manors of Killyfaddy and Cecil in County Tyrone.

The present manor house is was built ca 1827 in Classical-Georgian style for Robert Waring-Maxwell to designs of William Farrell.

It comprises two storeys over a basement, with a portico of four Ionic columns.

The entrance porch has a tripartite window above it;  other fenestration has straight, top sashes.

There are string and band coursed, demarcating floors; and a double hipped, slate roof.

The Northern Ireland Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest states that,
There are outbuildings set in parkland with mature trees. A document of 1833-35 declared that "It is surrounded by recent plantations, which the proprietor is constantly enlarging." 
The setting is very attractive, with the house set high above a man-made lake and backed by wooded hills. 
The modern garden at the house is well maintained. The walled garden is not kept and is used for stock. One disused gate lodge of three survives, the West Lodge ca 1830.
Killyfaddy Manor is now privately owned.

First published in July, 2015.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

The McFarland Baronets

JOHN McFARLAND JP (1848-1926), Mayor of Londonderry, High Sheriff of Londonderry City, 1904, married, in 1893, Annie, daughter of John Talbot.

Mr McFarland was created a baronet in 1914, designated of Aberfoyle, County Londonderry.

His only son,

SIR BASIL ALEXANDER TALBOT McFARLAND, 2nd Baronet, CBE ERD (1898-1986), of Aberfoyle,
High Sheriff of the City of Londonderry, 1930-38 and 1952; High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1952; Mayor of  Londonderry, 1939 and 1945-50; HM Lord-Lieutenant of the City of Londonderry, 1939-75. He served in 1918 with the Artists Rifles, and in the 2nd World War served overseas, mainly in North Africa, with the 9th Londonderry HAA Regiment and was mentioned in despatches.

Commanding Officer of the Londonderry City Battalion of the Home Guard; Chairman of the Territorial Army and Auxiliary Force Association (Co. Londonderry), 1947-62; member of its national council; Hon Colonel, 9th Londonderry HAA Regiment of the Royal Artillery (TA), and President of the NI TA and Volunteer Reserve Association, 1968-71; a Commissioner of Irish Lights; a member of the NI Air Advisory Council, 1946-65; Chairman of the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners, 1952-67; a member of the London Midland Area Board of the British Transport Commission, 1955-61; and a trustee of Magee University College, Londonderry, 1962-65.

His directorships and business interests included: directorships of the Belfast Banking Co. Ltd, 1930-70; the Belfast Bank Executors Trustee Co., and the Donegal Railways Co., a local directorship of the Commercial Union Assurance Co., and the chairmanship of Sir Alfred McAlpine & Son (Northern Ireland) Ltd; the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway Co;Lanes (Derry) Ltd; Lanes (Fuel Oils) Ltd; Lanes (Business Equipment) Ltd; John W. Corbett & Sons; R.C. Malseed & Co. Ltd; Alexander Thompson & Co. Ltd; and the Londonderry Gaslight Co.

Sir Basil's only son,

SIR JOHN TALBOT McFARLAND, 3rd Baronet (1927-2020), TD, formerly of Aberfoyle, married, in 1957, Mary, daughter of Dr William Scott-Watson, and had issue,
Stephen Andrew John, b 1968;
Shauna Jane; Fiona Kathleen.
Sir John was a former member, Management Ctee NW Group; Former director, Londonderry Gaslight, 1958–89; Donegal Holdings, 1970–86; G Kinnaird & Son, 1981–97; Windy Hills Ltd, 1994–95; Erinwind Ltd, 1994–; Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway, (1978–81); R C Malseed & County Hospitals, 1958.

He was was educated at Marlborough and Trinity College Oxford; Territorial Army (Captain, Royal Artillery and RASC), 1955; High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1958; and City of Londonderry, 1965-66; Commissioner of Londonderry Port and Harbour Board, 1969; in 1977, Chairman: Lanes (Business Equipment); McFarland Farms, 1980–; J T McFarland Holdings, 1984-2001.

Sir John's eldest son,

SIR ANTHONY BASIL SCOTT McFARLAND, 4th Baronet (1959-), married, in 1988, Anne Margaret, daughter of Thomas Kennedy Laidlaw, and has issue,
Max Anthony, b 1993;
Rory John, b 1996;
Amelia Elizabeth, b 1990.
Photo Credit: Martin Melaugh; © Cain

ABERFOYLE HOUSE, Northland Road, Londonderry, is a three-bay, two-storey, stucco-fronted mansion built ca 1845 for David Watt, a local distiller.

The stucco-fronted house is Italianate in style.

Aberfoyle was originally known as Richmond House.

It is situated on a steeply sloping site, now enclosed within the grounds of University of Ulster.

The mansion is used as offices and seminar rooms.

Aberfoyle was extensively remodelled ca 1876, giving it an Italianate appearance, for BARTHOLOMEW McCORKELL.

The exterior displays an orderly symmetry and simple detailing, enhanced by the elaborate cast-iron verandah and dwarf walls to the front.

Conversely the interior exhibits a wealth of decorative plaster and joinery detailing more commonly reserved for civic buildings of the time; particularly the unusual fretwork balustrade to the staircase.

Gate lodges mark the two original entrances, one south-east at Strand Road that has been substantially modernised and extended; and another at Northland Road.

A gate screen stands to the north-east, at Strand Road, with impressive square ashlar sandstone pillars having pyramidal caps flanked by rubble stone walling on S-plan with sandstone coping.

Aberfoyle House forms part of a many 19th-century structures dispersed throughout the university campus.

Sir Basil McFarland, 2nd Baronet, continued to live at Aberfoyle until his death in 1986.

It was sold to the city council in 1990, and was listed in the same year.

The building was acquired by the University of Ulster in 1998 and converted into modern classroom and seminar facilities for Magee’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

The former gate lodge on the Strand Road had fallen into a state of disrepair by 2000, when it was restored.

The renovation of the lodge in 2000-01, resulted in the loss of most of its original features; contemporary two and single-storey extensions were added to the west and east sides of the building.

Since September, 2001, the former gate lodge has been used as a holistic health centre.

Aberfoyle House and its former gate lodge were included in the Magee Conservation Area in 2006.

A good portion of the grounds for the house of 1873 remain planted up.

The site slopes towards the River Foyle.

The west end is mostly walled in with brick and is cultivated by the Centre for Environmental and Horticultural Studies.

There is a rose garden south of the house and shrubbery on either side of the twisting avenue to the eastern gate.

There is a rose garden south of the house and shrubbery on either side of the twisting avenue to the eastern gate.

The McFarland Papers are deposited at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

First published in July, 2010.