Thursday, 28 January 2021

The Nugent Baronetcy


The very ancient Anglo-Norman house of SAVAGE was settled at Portaferry, County Down, since the time of the first conquest of Ireland by John de Courcy, Earl of Ulster, in 1177.

Under that famous warrior, the original ancestor in Ireland established himself in County Down; and by a written document, dated 1205, in the Tower of London, we find Robin, son of William Savage, named as one of de Courcy's hostages for his appearance before KING JOHN.

The present barony of Lecale was anciently termed the Territory of the Savages, wherein, at Ardglass, they and their dependants erected seven castles, the ruins of which are still extant.

It appears, also, that a stately monastery of Dominicans was founded at Newtownards, in 1244, by the Savages, "gentlemen of English extraction".

From the extreme scarcity of records in Ireland, it is impossible, at this remote period, to determine, without liability to error, which is the senior branch of the family, that of PORTAFERRY or ARDKEEN CASTLE.

In 1400, HENRY IV granted to Robert FitzJordan Savage the office of sheriff of the Ards; and it appears, by an indenture dated 1538, that Raymond [Savage] should have the chieftainship and superiority of his sept in the Territory of the Savages, otherwise called Lecale.

However, in 1559, the Lord Deputy, Sir William FitzWilliam, made a division between Roland and Raymond Savage of several towns and territories in the Ards.

By pedigree annexed, Roland, in 1572, was in possession of Portaferry Castle, and styled himself "Lord of the Little Ards"; and Lord Deputy Chichester, some years afterwards, addressed him as such by letter.

The Ardkeen family had some territories in the barony of Lecale, and also in County Antrim, that family always being sore enemies of the O'Neills. 

ROWLAND SAVAGE, Lord of the Little Ards, County Down, representative of the family in the middle of the 16th century, died at Portaferry in 1572, leaving issue, 
PATRICK, his heir;
Edmund; Richard; James.
The eldest son,

PATRICK SAVAGE (1535-c1604), Lord of the Little Ards, wedded Anne Plunket, and left two sons, of whom the elder,

ROWLAND SAVAGE, Lord of the Little Ards, succeeded his father and married Rose, daughter of Russel of Rathmullan, County Down.

Mr Savage was, however succeeded by his brother, 

PATRICK SAVAGE,  of Portaferry, who wedded, in 1623, Jean, only daughter of Hugh, 1st Viscount Montgomery, and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
ELIZABETH, co-heir to her brother;
SARAH, co-heir to her brother.
Mr Savage died in 1644, and was succeeded by his son, 

HUGH SAVAGE, of Portaferry, who died unmarried, 1683, and was succeeded in the representation of the family by his cousin, 

PATRICK SAVAGE, of Derry of the Little Ards, and afterwards of Portaferry, who, by his wife Anne Hall, of Narrow Water, was father of

EDWARD SAVAGE, of Portaferry, who died unmarried in 1725, was buried at Portaferry.

His uncle and successor, 

JAMES SAVAGE, of Portaferry, wedded Mabel, daughter of Edmund Magee, of Lisburn, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
ANDREW, of whom hereafter;
Margaret; Elizabeth.
The eldest son,

JOHN SAVAGE, wedded Catherine, daughter of ___ Savage, and had a son, James, who died young.

At his decease he was succeeded by his brother,

ANDREW SAVAGE, of Portaferry, who espoused Margaret, sister and co-heir of Governor Nugent (of Tortola), and daughter of Andrew Nugent, of Dysart, County Westmeath, by his wife, the Lady Catherine Nugent, daughter and co-heir of Thomas, Earl of Westmeath, and had a son and heir,

PATRICK SAVAGE, of Portaferry, who married, in 1765, Anne, daughter of Roger Hall, of Narrow Water, and had issue,
ANDREW, of whom presently;
Patrick Nugent, m Hariett, daughter of Rev Henry Sandford;
Roger Hall, Captain RN, d unmarried;
John Levallin, d unmarried;
William, in holy orders;
Barbara; Dorcas Sophia.
Mr Savage died in 1797, and was succeeded by his eldest son (who assumed the surname of NUGENT and became co-heir of the barony of Delvin),

ANDREW NUGENT JP DL (1770-1846), of Portaferry House, Lieutenant-Colonel, North Down Militia, High Sheriff of County Down, 1808.

Colonel Nugent succeeded his father in 1797, and assumed his present surname, on succeeding to a portion of the estate of his maternal great-uncle, Governor Nugent, in 1812.

He wedded, in 1800, Selina, youngest daughter of Thomas, 1st Viscount de Vesci, and had issue,
PATRICK JOHN, of whom presently;
Thomas Vesey, m Frances, dau. of Sir J Stronge Bt; father of
Andrew Savage, m Harriet, Viscountess Bangor;
Arthur, m Charlotte, daughter of Maj. Brooke, of Colebrooke;
Charles Lavallin, major-general in the army;
Selina, m James, eldest son of Sir James Stronge Bt;
Colonel Nugent was succeeded by his eldest son,

PATRICK JOHN NUGENT (1804-57), of Portaferry House, Lieutenant-Colonel, North Down Militia, High Sheriff of County Down, 1843, who married, in 1833, his cousin Catherine, daughter of John, 2nd Viscount de Vesci, and had issue,
JOHN VESEY, lieutenant-colonel in the army;
Arthur Vesey;
Frances Isabella.
Colonel Nugent was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANDREW NUGENT JP DL (1834-1905), of Portaferry House, High Sheriff of County Down, 1882, Colonel, Royal Scots Greys, who died unmarried and was succeeded by his brother, 

JOHN VESEY NUGENT JP DL (1837-1914), of Portaferry House, Lieutenant-Colonel, 51st King's Own Yorkshire light Infantry, who married, in 1886, Emily Georgiana, daughter of Herbert Langham.

Colonel Nugent died without issue, and was succeeded by his cousin, 

EDMOND HENRY STUART NUGENT JP DL (1849-1935), who wedded, in 1885, Grace Mary, daughter of Edward Nathaniel Conant, and had issue,

ROLAND THOMAS NUGENT JP DL (1886-1962), Northern Ireland politician. 
He entered the diplomatic service in 1910 and served with the Grenadier Guards in 1918; and again in 1940-43; was a Director of the Federation of British Industries, 1916-17 and 1919-32; and was knighted in 1929.
In 1944, Sir Roland Thomas Nugent entered Northern Ireland politics, serving as Leader of the Senate, 1944-50; Minister without Portfolio in the Northern Ireland Government, 1944-45; Minister of Commerce, 1945-49; Minister in the Senate, 1949; and Speaker of the Senate, 1950-61. 
On his retirement from that post, in 1951, he was created a baronet, denominated of Portaferry, County Down.

Sir Roland died the following year, when the baronetcy became extinct.

Sir Roland married, in 1917, Cynthia Maud Ramsden, daughter of Captain Frederick William Ramsden and the Lady Elizabeth Maud Conyngham, daughter of the 3rd Marquess Conyngham.

The couple had three children, of whom their two sons were both tragically killed in action during the 2nd World War.

The Nugent Papers are available at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

PORTAFERRY HOUSE, Portaferry, County Down, is a large, three-storey, country mansion in a restrained classical style, built ca 1750, and extended about 1790.

It took its present form in 1818-20, when the front façade was remodelled, the grand stairwell added, and the east wing largely rebuilt, all to designs by William Farrell.

The centre of the entrance front has five bays with a Wyatt window in each of the two upper storeys.

The porch has paired Ionic columns and Ionic end piers.

On both sides of the centre block are wide, three-sided bows of two storeys (though the same height as the main block).

The hall, too, affords Ionic columns and good plasterwork.

The original (central) block of Portaferry House was constructed ca 1750 by Andrew Savage on land granted to his ancestor, Patrick, by CHARLES I in 1628.

This original section, which comprises the central and eastern portion of main block of the present house, was a fairly plain, three-storey building.

In 1789, with money reputedly won in a bet with Robert Stewart of Mount Stewart, Patrick Savage had plans drawn up by the Dublin architect, Charles Lilly, for extensions and improvements to the house.

These plans included the addition of a west wing, the three-sided outer bays, and changes to the rear.

In 1814, due to the proceeds of the will of his great-uncle (Nugent of Dysart), Andrew Savage (who was required to change the family name to Nugent in accordance with the same will), employed William Farrell to draw up new plans for further extending and remodelling the house.

Work commenced in 1818.

The east wing was mostly remodelled to include reception rooms to the front, a servants' wing (with classroom) to the rear, and an extended basement floor.

Bays were added to both wings.

In the centre of the house the old staircase was removed, and what had been the old stairwell, hall and drawing room were combined to form a large reception hall.

A new, grander staircase was built to the north of the new hall and extensive plumbing work (including the addition of a new water closet) was carried out to the entire building.

At this period the farmyard was also enlarged and kennels were built to the north side of the demesne.

A threshing mill and horse walk was built to the north-east of farmyard.

The work to the house was completed in 1820 at a total cost of £7,140 (about £622,000 in 2015).

Portaferry House remained in the Nugent family until the 1980s, by which time sections of it had fallen into disrepair.

The present owner has done much to restore the building.


THE DEMESNE is laid out as a fine landscape park for the 1760 house, enlarged in the early 1820s after additions and alterations were made to the house by Andrew Nugent.

It is placed in a splendid position overlooking lawns, pleasure grounds, a series of small lakes and parkland to Strangford Lough.

The original 18th century house was built by Andrew Savage, a former officer in the Spanish army, on a site chosen because it was near ‘a beautiful well-spring up to which from the old castle’.

The Savages changed their name to Nugent: Seemingly the Portaferry House branch of this Anglo-Norman family, Savage of the Ards, changed its name to Nugent in 1812, following the succession of Andrew Savage of Portaferry to certain estates.

Portaferry Castle was probably built in the 16th century by a member of the Savage family. In 1635, Patrick Savage's brother-in-law, Sir James Montgomery, of Rosemount,  repaired the castle by roofing and flooring it so that his sister could live in greater comfort there.

The parkland incorporates extensive woodland blocks, screens and isolated park trees.

Nugent’s Wood, alongside the shore, belongs to the National Trust.

The pleasure grounds, to the south of the house, are not maintained.

However, there are banks of rhododendrons that give colour.

A folly tower, which resembles a windmill stump, has far-reaching views from the top.

The walled garden, near the town, which belongs to the local borough council, has an interesting ziggurat wall to allow maximum heat for wall fruit.

It is adjacent to the 16th century tower house, Portaferry Castle.

There are listed farm buildings and three gate lodges built in 1830.

Portaferry House is now owned by the Beverland family.

First published in  May, 2010.

Mitchelstown Castle


The family of KING was originally of Feathercock Hall, near Northallerton, Yorkshire, and the first of its members we find upon record in Ireland is

SIR JOHN KING, Knight, who obtained from ELIZABETH I, in requital of his military services, a lease of Boyle Abbey, County Roscommon; and, from JAMES I, numerous valuable territorial grants, and several of the highest and most lucrative political employments.

He married Catherine, daughter of Robert Drury, and grand-niece of the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir William Drury, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Dorothy; Mary.
Sir John died in 1637, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ROBERT KING, Knight, muster master-general of Ireland, who wedded firstly, Frances, daughter of Sir Henry Folliott, 1st Baron Folliott, of Ballyshannon, and had, with other children,
JOHN, his successor;
ROBERT, created a Baronet.
Sir Robert died in 1657, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN KING, who received the honour of knighthood and, although an active Cromwellian, was elevated to the peerage, 1660, by CHARLES II, for his zeal in inspiring the monarchy, in the dignity of Baron Kingston, of Kingston, County Dublin.

His lordship married Catherine, daughter of Sir William Fenton, of Mitchelstown, County Cork, and granddaughter of Sir Geoffrey Fenton, principal secretary of state, and had issue,
ROBERT, his successor;
JOHN, 3rd Baron.
By this lady his family acquired the estate of Mitchelstown.

His lordship died in 1676, and was succeeded by his elder son,

ROBERT, 2nd Baron, who dsp 1693, having settled his estates to his uncle, Sir Robert King, in consequence of his brother, and the inheritor of his honours,

JOHN, 3rd Baron (c1664-1728), having conformed to the church of Rome; but this nobleman appears afterwards to have enjoyed the estates.

He was appointed a gentleman of the privy chamber to JAMES II, and following the fortunes of his master into France, was outlawed; but after his father's death, returning into Ireland, he had a pardon from the crown.

His lordship wedded, in 1683, Margaret, daughter of Florence O'Cahan, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
Catherine; Sophia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

Portrait of a man, possibly James, 4th Baron Kingston
(Image: Ulster Museum)

, 4th Baron (1693-1761), who married twice; but dying without male issue, in 1761, the BARONY EXPIRED, while an estate of £6,000 a year, and a large personal fortune, devolved upon his only surviving daughter, MARGARET.

Sir Robert King's youngest son,

THE RT HON ROBERT KING (c1625-1707), of Rockingham, County Roscommon, MP for County Roscommon, 1692-9, MP for Boyle, 1703-7, Privy Counsellor, was created a baronet in 1682, designated of Boyle Abbey, County Roscommon.

Sir Robert wedded, ca 1670, Frances, daughter and co-heir of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Gore, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
HENRY, 3rd Baronet;
two other sons and three other daughters.
Sir Robert was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN KING, 2nd Baronet (1673-1720), MP for Boyle, 1695-1714, County Roscommon, 1715-20, who dsp 1720, when the title devolved upon his brother,

THE RT HON SIR HENRY KING, 3rd Baronet (1680-1740), MP for Boyle, 1707-27, County Roscommon, 1727-40, Privy Counsellor, who espoused, in 1722, Isabella, sister of Richard, Viscount Powerscourt, and had issue,
Anne; Elinor; Frances; Isabella.
Sir Henry was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ROBERT KING, 4th Baronet (1724-55), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1748, in the dignity of Baron Kingsborough; but died unmarried, when that dignity expired, and the baronetcy devolved upon his lordship's brother,

SIR EDWARD KING, 5th Baronet (1726-97), who was created, in 1764, Baron Kingston, of Rockingham; and, in 1766, Viscount Kingsborough, 1766.

His lordship was further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1768, as EARL OF KINGSTON.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Charles Avery Edward King-Tenison, styled Viscount Kingsborough (b 2000).

MITCHELSTOWN CASTLE was the ancestral seat of the Earls of Kingston.

It was one of the largest Gothic-Revival houses in Ireland, a noble and sumptuous structure of hewn stone, in the castellated style, erected after a design by Mr Pain, of Cork, at an expense of more than £100,000.

Mitchelstown is about thirty miles north of the city of Cork.

The buildings occupied three sides of a quadrangle, the fourth being occupied by a terrace, under which are various offices.

The principal entrance, on the eastern range, was flanked by two lofty square towers rising to the height of 106 feet, one of which was called the White Knight's tower, from its being built on the site of the tower of that name which formed part of the old mansion.

At the northern extremity of the same range were two octagonal towers of lofty elevation.

The entrance hall opened into a stately hall or gallery, eighty feet in length, with an elaborately groined roof, richly ornamented with fine tracery, and furnished with elegant stoves of bronze, and with figures of warriors armed cap-a-pie; at the further extremity was the grand staircase.


Parallel with the gallery, and forming the south front and principal range, were the dining and drawing-rooms, both noble apartments superbly fitted up and opening into the library, which was between them.

Entrance Hall

The whole pile had a character of stately baronial magnificence, and from its great extent and elevation formed a conspicuous feature in the surrounding scenery.

Near the Castle was a large fish-pond, and from a small tower on its margin, water was conveyed to the baths and to the upper apartments of the castle, and across the demesne to the gardens, by machinery of superior construction.

The gardens were spacious and tastefully laid out, the conservatory 100 feet in length and ornamented with a range of beautiful Ionic pilasters.

The parkland, which comprised 1,300 acres, was embellished with luxuriant plantations, and included a farming establishment on an extensive scale, with buildings and offices of a superior description, on the erection of which more than £40,000 was expended.

It was estimated that the castle, with the conservatories, farm, and the general improvement of the demesne, cost its noble proprietor little less, if not more, than £200,000 (£8.3 million today).

"Big George", the 3rd Earl, was renowned for his extravagant hospitality.

The 4th Earl continued to entertain his visitors regally at Mitchelstown.

One of the under-cooks  was a young man called Claridge.

Lord Kingston suffered a financial downfall: His lordship - and house guests - locked the doors against the bailiffs and were besieged therein for a fortnight, until finally the Castle was possessed, creditors satisfied and much of the estate was sold.

What remained of the estate was inherited by the 5th Earl's widow. Thereafter, Economy reigned.

The house was looted and burned in 1922 by the IRA, which had occupied it for the previous six weeks.

The order to burn the building, to prevent the newly established Irish Free State army from having use of it, was made by a local Republican commandant, Patrick Luddy, with the approval of General Liam Lynch.

It is clear that one of the motivations for the burning was to try to cover up the looting of the castle's contents, including large amounts of furniture, a grand piano, paintings by Conrad, Beechy and Gainsborough.

Many of these objects have come up for sale in recent years and some, such as the piano, are still kept locally.

The Castle was severely damaged by the fire.

However, it is clear from documents in the National Archives of Ireland that, for example, in places where the fire had not reached, 'mantelpieces had been forcibly wrenched from the walls and carted.'

As this episode took place at the height of the Irish Civil War, there was no appetite afterwards to prosecute anyone for their role in the looting and burning.

The ashlar limestone of the castle was later removed to build the new Cistercian abbey at Mount Melleray, County Water.

The site of the building is now occupied by a milk powder processing plant and the surrounding 1,214 acre demesne (private park) of the castle has been destroyed.

Lord Kingston's town residence between 1826-32 was 3 Whitehall Place, London, now part of the Department of Energy & Climate Change.

Kingston Arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in February, 2012.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Patrick Revival


One of the three great national Orders of Chivalry, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (KP), has lain dormant since the investiture of the last Knight, HRH The Duke of York (later George VI), in 1936.

The last surviving Knight was another son of  King George V, HRH The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster.

He died in 1974.

I have read about and studied the history of the Order, its constitution and establishment at length.

Since the partition of Ireland, in 1922, there have been no non-royal conferrals.

The 3rd Duke of Abercorn, first Governor of Northern Ireland, was the very last non-royal conferral, in 1922.

Serious and sustained attempts were made to keep the Order alive (hence King George V appointing his sons).

The continuance of the great Order was discussed for many years, including how it could continue; and after a period, be revived.

Lords Craigavon  and Brookeborough were both most desirous that the Order be revived for Northern Ireland, as a national Order ~ like the Garter in England and the Thistle in Scotland.

Despite the fact that, technically, the Order remains on the statute book (it’s still on the royal family website), it has been allowed to wither and hibernate.

Sir Winston Churchill was the last statesman to endeavour to revive the Order

Having read some documents, it is my belief that the key players in the Order’s revival today would be:-
  • The Prime Minister
  • The Foreign Secretary
  • The Northern Ireland Secretary
  • The First Minister of Northern Ireland
  • The Northern Ireland Assembly
  • The Sovereign
I have to mention the Irish Government because the government of the then Irish Free State was instrumental in its resistance to keeping the Patrick alive, or extant.

However, to my knowledge, the Garter and the Thistle are in the personal gift of the Sovereign, so I wonder whether the revival of the Patrick should really be "politicised" at all.

It need merely be reconstituted, with new statutes, officers and chapel.

The Order of St Patrick would need to be reconstituted; new and more appropriate Statutes drawn; and probably a new Chapel found for the banners, hatchments etc of the new Knights.

It was suggested in the 20th century that the Great Hall at Stormont would be fitting as a chamber for the banners.

A former Archbishop of Armagh offered St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, as the Chapel of the Order.

The insignia of the Order remains, including at least 22 chains, stars, mantles and sashes; as does the Sovereign’s regalia and the Grand Master’s insignia.

All of the insignia still exists at the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, I believe.

I respectfully and humbly call on Her Majesty’s Government to consider the revival of our great Order of St Patrick, as a gesture of goodwill towards the people of Northern Ireland.

Like the Garter and the Thistle, it should be restricted to a few dozen.

It should remain the personal gift of the Sovereign.

I have been using my website to give exposure to the Patrick for a number of years and will continue so to do.

The Rev Professor Peter Galloway, LVO, OBE, JP, has written a book about the Order, entitled The Most Illustrious Order: The Order of Saint Patrick and its Knights, by Unicorn Press.

1st Baron Glanusk

21,979 ACRES

JOHN or JOSEPH BAILEY (1747-1813), of Wakefield, Yorkshire (son of John Bailey, of Great Wenham, Suffolk), married, in 1774, Susannah, sister of Richard Crawshay, and had issue,
JOSEPH, his heir;
The elder son,

JOSEPH BAILEY (1783-1858), MP, High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, 1826, wedded firstly, in 1810, Maria, daughter of Joseph Latham, and had issue,
JOSEPH, his heir;
John Crawshay;
William Latham;
Maria Susan; Margaret; Jane.
He espoused secondly, in 1830, Mary Ann, daughter of John Thomas Hendry Hopper, and had a daughter,
Mary Anne Bertha.
Mr Bailey was created a baronet in 1852, designated of Glanusk Park, Brecknockshire.

Sir Joseph's eldest son,

JOSEPH BAILEY (1812-50), of Easton Court, Herefordshire, MP for Herefordshire, 1841-50, married, in 1839, Elizabeth Mary, daughter of William Congreve Russell, and had issue,
JOSEPH RUSSELL, of whom hereafter;
Henry James;
John Franklen;
Richard Crawshay;
Mr Bailey predeceased his father, and the baronetcy devolved upon his eldest son,

SIR JOSEPH RUSSELL BAILEY, 2nd Baronet (1840-1906), VD JP MP, of Glanusk Park, High Sheriff of Brecknockshire, 1864, who espoused, in 1861, Mary Ann, daughter of Henry Lucas, and had issue,
William Russell, died in infancy;
JOSEPH HENRY RUSSELL, his successor;
Herbert Crawshay, father of the 4th Baron;
John Lancelot;
Elizabeth Mabel; Edith; Cecile Mary; Margaret Elinor; Gwladys Mary.
Sir Joseph was elevated to the peerage, in 1899, in the dignity of BARON GLANUSK, of Glanusk Park, Brecknockshire.

1st Baron Glanusk (Image: Brecknock Museum & Art Gallery)

JOSEPH HENRY RUSSELL, 2nd Baron (1864-1928), CB CBE DSO, Lord-Lieutenant of Brecknockshire, 1905, who married, in 1890, Editha Elma, daughter of Major Warden Sergison, and had issue,
WILFRED RUSSELL, his successor;
Gerald Sergison;
Bernard Michael;
Dulcie Editha.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILFRED RUSSELL, 3rd Baron (1891-1948), DSO, Lieutenant-Colonel, Welsh Guards, who wedded firstly, in 1919, Victoria Mary Enid Ann, daughter of Colonel Frank Dugdale; and secondly, in 1942, Margaret Eldrydd, daughter of Major-General Thomas Herbert Shoubridge, by whom he had issue,
His lordship died without male issue, when the titles devolved upon his cousin,

DAVID RUSSELL, 4th Baron (1917-97), son of the Hon Herbert Crawshay, who wedded, in 1941, Lorna Dorothy, daughter of Captain Ernest Courtenay Harold Norman Andrews, and had issue,
Susan Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL, 5th Baron (1942-), who married, in 1974, Frances Elizabeth, daughter of Air Chief Marshal Sir Douglas Charles Lowe GCB DFC AFC, and has issue,
Rosemary Elizabeth.
Glanusk Park House (Image: The Glanusk Estate Website)

GLANUSK PARK HOUSE was built for the ironmaster Sir Joseph Bailey, 1st Baronet, on land he bought in 1825.

Glanusk became one of the most important houses of south Wales, entertaining royalty and society.

The mansion house faced north-east, towards the river Usk, and stood on an elevated terrace above a particularly ornamental parterre garden.

It was an extensive, foursquare, three-storey house in Tudor-Gothic style with four octagonal ogee turrets, one in each corner.

Glanusk's skyline was characterised by many pinnacles and small towers.

A porte-cochere stood on the east of the south front, and a billiards-room was added in the 1840s.

It is believed that this was the second house to be built on the site.

Glanusk Park was recorded by Henri Gastineau as having been the seat of Sir David Wilkins prior to its purchase by the Baileys.

However, no other details of this earlier house have been found, there is no known record of its appearance or that of the grounds immediately surrounding it.

The Baileys' house was designed and built by Robert Lugar between 1825-30.

Construction was suspended in 1827 following the death of Joseph Bailey's first wife.

Lugar also designed most of the buildings in the park, creating a set piece.

The house was set at the top of a sloping lawn which was replaced from about 1860 by formal terraced gardens designed by Markham Nesfield.

In 1939 Glanusk Park House was requisitioned by the army and was subsequently badly damaged.

The 3rd Baron Glanusk died in 1948, and his widow later married the Viscount De L'Isle.

Lady De L'Isle took the decision in 1952 to demolish the house as the cost of repair and upkeep was thought to be prohibitive.

Demolition (by explosives) was complete by 1954.

The Glanusk estate was inherited by the 3rd Baron's daughter, the Hon Dame Shân Legge-Bourke DCVO, whose family continues to live there today.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

The McCullagh Baronetcy

ALEXANDER McCULLAGH (1798-1872), of Dinnahorra, County Armagh, married Sarah West, and had issue,
Alexander John;
Samuel James;
Thomas West;
William Douglas;
ROBERT, of whom hereafter;
David George;
Amelia; Agnes; Sarah Jane.
The fifth son,

ROBERT McCULLAGH, of Dinnahorra, County Armagh, married Nancy Crawford and was father of

ROBERT McCLAVE McCULLAGH (1822-78), of Dinnahorra, County Armagh, who wedded Mary Jane Hawthorne, and had issue,
Samuel (1866-94);
CRAWFORD, of whom hereafter;
Anna Margaret; Jemima; Eliza Jane; Selina.
The younger son,

CRAWFORD McCULLAGH JP (1868-1948), of Lismara, County Antrim, married, in 1896, Margaret Craig, daughter of William Brodie, of Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire.

Mr McCullagh, Lord Mayor of Belfast, 1914-17, 1931-42 and 1943-46, received the honour of knighthood in 1915.

Sir Crawford was created a baronet in 1935, designated of Lismara:
Whitehall, July 11, 1935: Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the Realm granting the dignity of a Baronet of the United Kingdom to the under-mentioned gentlemen, and the heirs male of their respective bodies lawfully begotten:- Sir Crawford McCullagh, of Lismara in the parish of Carnmoney in the County of Antrim, Knight... 
In 1938, Sir Crawford negotiated the donation of Belfast Castle and its 200-acre demesne (bordering on Hazelwood and Bellevue pleasure grounds) with Lord Shaftesbury.

He also officially opened the Floral Hall.

Sir Crawford was a director of several businesses in Belfast, including Maguire and Patterson (Vespa matches); the Classic Cinema, Castle Place; and McCullagh and Co., silk mercers, milliners and fancy draperies, taken over by Styles and Mantles in 1927.
  • Company director and businessman; 
  • Lord Mayor of Belfast, 1914-17, 1931-42 and 1943-46; 
  • High Sheriff of Belfast, 1911; 
  • MP for Belfast South, 1921-25; 
  • Member, NI Senate; 
  • Privy Counsellor, NI. 

Sir Crawford's great-granddaughter, Susie Cunningham, has written a book about him.

The McCullaghs resided at Lismara House (above), Carnmoney, near Belfast.

General Eisenhower is said to have been Lismara'a most famous visitor, in 1945.

Now known as Abbeydene, it is a guest-house.

Lismara House was built by Sir Charles Lanyon in 1850 for John Finlay, who was a flax merchant.

Side Elevation

Lismara acted as General Eisenhower’s County Antrim GHQ during the 2nd World War.

Eisenhower visited the house in 1945, which was then owned by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Sir Crawford McCullagh (who had been awarded the Civic Award at Belfast City Hall earlier in the day).

Sir Charles Brett remarked that it was renamed Abbeydene by Sir Crawford's son after his father's death in 1948.

Abbeydene was renovated by Frazer Homes ca 1993, replacing all plasterwork and most of the sash windows in the house.

At the time the house was owned by Moore Homes, and it was used as an administration block for the surrounding residential care home.

The house was opened by the current owner in 2007 as a guesthouse.

The house is made from golden sandstone, and has a grand front entrance with a tall wooden door and several sandstone pillars.

The grounds formerly extended to 19 acres.

From 1895 until 1915 Edward Robinson, of Robinson and Cleaver's department store, lived there. 

Sir Crawford's son,

SIR JOSEPH McCULLAGH, 2nd Baronet (1907-74), was probably the foremost authority on ornithology in Northern Ireland in the years preceding his death.

He was Patron of the Northern Ireland Ornithology Club.

Sir Joseph died in 1974, when the title became extinct; by which time his widow Elizabeth, Lady McCullagh, lived at 104 Knock Road, Belfast.

First published in June, 2010.

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 CUNNINGHAM, of Cunninghamhead, Ayrshire, who had two sons,

WILLIAM, who succeeded at Cuninghamhead, and was created a baronet in 1627, designated of Cunninghamhead, Ayr; and

THE REV ALEXANDER CUNNINGHAM or CONYNGHAM, who, entering into Holy Orders and removing into Ireland, was appointed, in 1611, the first protestant minister of Enver and Killymard, County Donegal.

He was appointed to the deanery of Raphoe, in 1630, on the consecration of Dean Adair as Lord Bishop of Killaloe.
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.
The Dean died in 1660, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR ALBERT CUNNINGHAM or CONYNGHAM, Knight,  Colonel, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, who was appointed, in 1660, Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance in Ireland.

Sir Albert 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, on his decease, 1691, by his only surviving son,

MAJOR-GENERAL HENRY CONYNGHAM, of Slane Castle, MP for Killybegs, 1692-3, County Donegal, 1695-1706, who served during the reign of JAMES II as captain in Mountjoy's Regiment.

When 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 Major-General, and fell, 1706, at St Estevan's, in Spain.

General Conyngham 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,
WILLIAM, his successor;
He 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, MP for Killybegs, 1727-53, when he was elevated to the peerage, in 1753, in the dignity of Baron Conyngham, of Mount Charles, County Donegal.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1756, as Viscount Conyngham; and further advanced, in 1781, as Earl Conyngham, 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

FRANCIS PIERPOINT BURTON as 2nd Baron (c1725-87), who wedded, in 1750, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Nathaniel Clements, and sister of Robert, Earl of Leitrim, and had issue,
HENRY, his 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 was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY, 3rd Baron (1766-1832), who, in 1787, was created Viscount Conyngham, of Slane, County Meath; Viscount Mount Charles, of Mount Charles, County Donegal; and, in 1797, Earl Conyngham.
In 1801, Lord Conyngham was appointed a Knight 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.
His lordship was created, in 1816, Viscount SlaneEarl of Mount Charles, and MARQUESS CONYNGHAM.

In 1821, he was created Baron Minster, of Minster Abbey, Kent, 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, 25 January 2021

Richhill Castle


The family of RICHARDSON is descended from

WILLIAM RICHARDSON, stated by William Roberts, Ulster King of Arms, in a confirmation of arms dated 1647, to be descended from the ancient family of RICHARDSON of Pershore, Worcestershire.

His second son,

MAJOR EDWARD RICHARDSON, of Legacorry, alias Richhill, County Armagh, MP for Armagh County, 1661, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1665, wedded Anne, only child and heir of Francis Sacheverell, of Legacorry, and Dorothy his wife (daughter and co-heir of Sir John Blennerhassett, Knight, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer).

Mr Francis Sacheverell was son of Francis Sacheverell, of Rearsby, Leicestershire, who had a grant of Legacorry during the reign of JAMES I.

By Anne his wife Major Richardson (who died in 1690) had issue,
William, of Legacorry (1656-1727), dsp;
JOHN, of whom presently.
The younger son,

JOHN RICHARDSON (1663-c1744), of Legacorry, alias Rich Hill, an army officer, espoused, in 1707-8, Anne, daughter of William Beckett, Prime Sergeant-at-Law, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
HENRY, of whom hereafter;
Hester, m Rev J Lowry, of Pomeroy;
Mary, m Archibald, 1st Baron Gosford.
Mr Richardson was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM RICHARDSON (1749-1822), of Rich Hill, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1777, MP for County Armagh, 1807-20, who married firstly, in 1775, Dorothea, daughter of Henry Monroe, of Roes Hall, Tullylish, by whom he had no issue.

He wedded secondly, Louisa Magennis, of Waringstown, and had issue, three daughters,
Elizabeth, died unmarried 1859;
Isabella, died unmarried 1860;
The youngest daughter,

LOUISA RICHARDSON (-1881), of Richhill, who espoused, in 1832, Edward Bacon, eldest son of Sir Edmund Bacon, 10th Baronet, though the marriage was without issue.

Mr John Richardson's second son,

HENRY RICHARDSON, of Rossfad, Lieutenant-Colonel, 29th Regiment (entered the army as a cornet in the 8th Horse, Ligonier's, 1743), wedded firstly, Catherine, eldest daughter of Samuel Perry, of County Tyrone, which lady died dsp 1765.

He married secondly, in 1766, Jane, daughter and co-heir of Guy Carleton, of Rossfad, County Fermanagh.

Colonel Richardson died about 1794, having had issue, a son,

JOHN RICHARDSON (1768-1841), of Rossfad, Major, Tyrone Militia, who wedded, in 1807, Angel, daughter of Mervyn Archdall MP, of Castle Archdale, by whom he had an only son, 

HENRY MERVYN RICHARDSON DL (1808-82), of Rossfad, County Fermanagh, who espoused, in 1834, Mary Jane, widow of John Johnston, of Crocknacrieve, County Fermanagh, second daughter of Dr Charles Ovenden, of Enniskillen, and Mayfield, Sussex, and had issue,
Charles William Henry (1840-88);
Jane Angel; Angel Catherine Charlotte; Emilie Margaret; Henrietta M Mervyn.
Mr Richardson succeeded on the death of his cousin Louisa, Mrs Bacon, in 1881, to two-thirds of the Richhill estate.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN MERVYN ARCHDALL CARLETON RICHARDSON JP DL (1836-1912), of Rossfad, County Fermanagh, Colonel, 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1885, County Fermanagh, 1888, who married, in 1880, Mildred Harriet, third daughter of Gartside Tipping, of Rossferry, County Fermanagh, and Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire, and had issue,
Guy Carleton, b 1885;
Jane Mary; Mildred Cicely Carleton.
The eldest son,


THE CASTLE, Richhill, County Armagh, was built between 1664-90 by Major Edward Richardson MP.

It comprises two storeys, with a gabled attic in a high-pitched roof.

The house is U-shaped, the entrance front having projecting wings which form a three-sided court.

The centre range has five bays, with one bay at the end of each wing.

There are pedimented Dutch-style gables at the ends of the wings.

Chimney-stacks are lofty and prominent.

The doorway boasts Doric columns, pediment and entablature.

The Castle stands on the site of an earlier dwelling erected by Francis Sacheverall, a planter from Rossbye, Leicestershire, in 1611.
In 1610, Sacheverall had received two portions of land, 1,000 acres each, called Mullalelish and Legacorry, and decided to live on the latter. He declared himself to be worth £300 a year and brought over three masons, a carpenter, a smithy, nine labourers, two women, four horses and a cart. Before his death in 1649, Sacheverall had sold the Mullalelish portion to Sir William Alexander, a Scottish speculator who was later honoured with the earldom of Stirling.

Francis Sacheverall's son and heir, also called Francis, and his wife, Dorothy, had an only daughter, Anne, who married Major Edward Richardson in 1654.

Through this marriage, Legacorry became the property of the Richardson family and the present castle was built.

Louisa Richardson married Edward Bacon, High Sheriff of Armagh and, as she had no family, the estate passed to the Rossfad branch of the Richardsons after her death in 1881.

In the early part of this century the castle was the residence of Major Robert Gordon Berry.

There are some stories surrounding him involving secret passages, skeletons and a grave in the castle grounds.

After the establishment of the Government of Northern Ireland in 1920, the castle became the property of the NI Education Authority.

During the 1930s it was occupied by Sam Hewitt, whose main claim to fame was the invention of an egg-washing machine.


The elaborate gates of Richhill Castle were constructed by the Thornberry Brothers of Armagh in 1745. 

They were 18-20 feet high and topped with the Richardson coat-of-arms.

In 1936, the gates were removed during the night to Hillsborough Castle, then the residence of the Governor of Northern Ireland, which was being renovated after a fire in 1934.

In spite of a storm of protest from local councillors and villagers, the gates were never returned.

The Richardson family crest adorns the top of the gates.

Villagers are seeking the return of the gates to the Castle.
According to villagers, the gates were taken from Richhill in the late 1930s as part of the 2nd World War effort, when gates and railings all over the UK were seized by the Government to melt down and turn into guns and tanks to fight the Nazis.
But the former Richhill Castle gates, considered too ornate to waste on Hitler, were stashed away during the hostilities. They turned up in Hillsborough to adorn the castle at the top of the town's main street.

Clamours for the gates' return built up a head of steam during 2009, but the death of Gordon Lyttle, the incumbent of Richhill Castle, held things back:

Dr Alan Turtle, chairman of the Richhill Improvements Association:
"But now that the seemingly impossible has happened with the political agreement. It would seem appropriate to give us back our gates.

We are in the process of spending £747,000 donated by the Heritage Lottery Fund on a major scheme in Richhill, and the least the government can do is give us back the gates that were taken, supposedly temporarily, but seem to have a permanent home at Hillsborough.

It's our long-term ambition to buy the castle and turn it into a hotel and conference centre, so we'll be stepping up the gates campaign."
Ca 1681-82, permission was granted for Major Edward Richardson to hold a Saturday market and three fairs per annum.

The fairs were held on Shrove Tuesday, St Swithin's Day and St Francis's Day. New orchards were being planted at this time and houses were springing up along the road sides.
A market-house was built in the Square by William Richardson in 1753, which became a very important centre of the brown linen trade where, in 1804, sales averaged at least £500 per week, despite rival markets in both Armagh and Portadown.

The construction of a new road from Armagh to Belfast, which by-passed Richhill, triggered the decline of the weekly market and the three fairs; thus the market-house was converted into the present parish church in 1837.

It is notable that, in a census in 1814, Richhill had 161 dwellings, six more than Portadown.

Occupations included hand-loom weaving, straw plate-making, shuttle-making, wood-turning and spade-making.

By 1835, the three Misses Richardson, who now owned the estate - and were described as excellent landlords - had built many new country schools on the estate, Mulladry and Derryhale being two examples.

First published in August, 2010.