Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Leinster Ape

THOMAS, 2nd Baron Desmond, was nicknamed the APE, a surname thus acquired ~ being only nine months old when his father and grandfather fell at Callann, his attendants rushing out at the first astonishment excited by the intelligence, left the child alone in its cradle, when a baboon, kept in the family, took him up, and carried him to the top of the steeple of Tralee Abbey;

whence, after conveying him round the battlements, and exhibiting him to the appalled spectators, he brought him down safely, and laid him in his cradle.

From this tradition the supporters of the house of LEINSTER are said to have been adopted.

This thomas was constituted a Lord Justice of Ireland, and captain of all Desmond, in 1295; and being of so much power, was generally styled Prince and Ruler of Munster.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Londonderry House Ball




THE NEXT NIGHT, a starlit night, was also a gay one in Park Lane when Lady Mairi Bury had a coming-out dance for her petite, blonde daughter, the Hon Elizabeth Keppel.

Lady Mairi, in tangerine paper-taffeta and fabulous tiara and necklace of square-cut diamonds and emeralds, stood at the top of the imposing staircase of Londonderry House - her childhood home - to receive her guests.

It was a wonderful setting for a ball, though Lady Mairi told me that she thought Elizabeth might well be the last of the Londonderry family to have a coming-out there.

In the gold-and-white ballroom the gay colours of dresses glowed softly under the chandeliers.

The young men, the Earl of Portarlington, Mr Alexander Cadogan, Mr William Lindsay-Hogg, Mr Paul Channon MP, and the Hon John Jolliffe, found that they had only to walk a few yards from the dance-floor to sit out in rooms hung with fine old paintings.

As Elizabeth is the eldest of her branch of the family, there were many relatives present:-

Her father, Viscount Bury; the Earl & Countess of Albemarle, her cousin the Hon Camilla Jessel, the Dowager Viscountess Chaplin and the Hon Walter & Mrs Keppel.

For the older generation it was an evening of memories - memories of some of the greatest pre-war parties when Prime Ministers and future Prime Ministers argued long after dinner.

The hostess on these occasions was Lady Mairi's mother, the late Dowager Marchioness of Londonderry.

  • Hon Elizabeth Anson 
  • Elizabeth Blakiston-Houston 
  • Hon Sarah Boyle 
  • Lady Elizabeth Charteris 
  • Lady Rose Chetwynd-Talbot 
  • Lady Carey Coke 
  • Lady Diana Douglas-Home 
  • Lady Anne, Lady Mary & Lady Sarah Fitzalan-Howard 
  • Belinda Guinness
    The Hon Lucinda Lambton
  • The Duke & Duchess of Abercorn 
  • The Viscount & Viscountess Allendale 
  • Lord Annaly 
  • The Earl & Countess of Antrim 
  • Mr Mark & Lady Annabel Birley 
  • Lady Perdita Blackwood 
  • Viscount Bury 
  • Marquess of Clydesdale 
  • The Earl of Dudley MC 
  • The Marchioness of Dufferin & Ava 
  • The Lord & Lady Glentoran 
  • Colonel & the Hon Mrs Grosvenor 
  • Lt-Cdr & Hon Mrs O King 
  • Raffaele, Duchess of Leinster 
  • Mr & Mrs John Profumo 
  • The Duke & Duchess of Sutherland 
  • The Lord Talbot de Malahide 
  • The Lord & Lady Wakehurst 
  • The Hon Helen Ward 
  • The Dean of Windsor & Mrs Hamilton 
  • Viscount Anson 
  • Paul Channon MP 
  • Viscount Chelsea 
  • The Marquess of Dufferin & Ava 
  • The Lord Dunleath 
  • Viscount Dunluce 
  • The Earl of Gowrie 
  • Marquess of Hamilton 
  • Lord Anthony Hamilton 
  • Viscount Jocelyn 
  • The Lord O'Neill 
  • Andrew & Gavin Perceval-Maxwell 
  • Lord Sudeley 
  • The Viscount Sudeley 
  • The Earl of Suffolk

 Londonderry arms courtesy of European Heraldry. First published in December, 2011.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Mount Charles Hall


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

WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM, Bishop of Argyll, a younger son of William, 4th Earl of Glencairn, in 1539, left a son,

WILLIAM CONYNGHAM, of Cunninghamhead, Ayrshire, who had two sons, WILLIAM, who succeeded at Cuninghamhead, and was created a baronet; and

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

Mr Conyngham was appointed to the deanery of Raphoe on the consecration of Dean Adair as Lord Bishop of Killaloe, in 1630.
Dean Conyngham settled at Mount Charles, County Donegal, which estate he held, by lease, from the Earl of Annandale, and wedded Marion, daughter of John Murray, of Broughton, by whom he had no less than 27 children, of which four sons and five daughters survived infancy.
He died in 1660, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR ALBERT CONYNGHAM, Knight, who was appointed, in 1660, Lieutenant-General of the ordnance in Ireland.
This officer fought on the side of WILLIAM III at the Boyne, Limerick etc, and fell in a rencounter with the Rapparees, near Colooney in County Sligo.
He espoused Mary, daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Leslie, Lord Bishop of Raphoe, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

MAJOR-GENERAL HENRY CONYNGHAM, of Slane Castle, MP for Coleraine, and for Donegal, who served during the reign of JAMES II as a captain in Mountjoy's Regiment.
When King JAMES II desired his army to shift for itself, Conyngham prevailed upon 500 of his regiment to remain united, and with them offered his services to WILLIAM III. He became subsequently a major-general, and fell, in 1705-6, at St Estevan's, in Spain.
He wedded Mary, daughter of Sir John Williams Bt, of Minster Court, Kent, and widow of Charles, Lord Shelburne, by whom he got a very considerable property, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
General Conyngham was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM CONYNGHAM, of Slane (an estate forfeited, in 1641, by Lord Slane), who was succeeded at his decease by his brother,

THE RT HON HENRY CONYNGHAM (1705-81), captain of horse on the Irish establishment, and MP from 1727 until raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Conyngham, of Mount Charles, in 1753.
His lordship was created Viscount Conyngham, in 1756; and Earl Conyngham, in 1781, the barony to descend, in case of failure of issue, to Francis Pierpoint Burton, the eldest son of his sister Mary, by Francis Burton.
His lordship married, in 1774, Ellen, only daughter and heir of Solomon Merret; but dying without an heir, in 1781, all his honours became extinct, except the barony of Conyngham, which devolved, according to the limitation, upon the above-mentioned


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

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

He was also created Viscount Mount Charles, of Mount Charles, County Donegal; and Earl Conyngham, in 1797.
In 1801, Lord Conyngham was appointed a Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. In 1803, he was appointed Governor of County Donegal, a post he held until 1831, and Custos Rotulorum of County Clare in 1808, which he remained until his death.
In 1816, he was created Viscount Slane, Earl of Mount Charles, and further advanced to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS CONYNGHAM.

In 1821, he was created Baron Minster, of Minster Abbey, Kent; and sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Lord Steward, a post he retained until 1830.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8th Marquess Conyngham

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

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

Edgcumbe House

Edgcumbe House, Strandtown, Belfast, was originally built in 1837 for John Wallace, a solicitor.

This early Victorian, two-storey residence comprised five bays, the central bay projecting by one bay, with a pediment and pillared Ionic porch.

There was a dentil cornice and quoining.

Ground-floor windows on the entrance front had crossettes and were pedimented.

One three-bay side elevation was widely bowed and extended to posibly another six bays further back, with a three-bay pediment.

In 1854, Edgecumbe was acquired by John Workman, proprietor of John Workman & Son, Manufacturers, of 5 Bedford Street, Belfast.

Mr Workman enlarged and refaced the house in neoclassical style, possibly to designs by Young & Mackenzie.

The grounds extended to 26 acres

It is believed that the Lemons and Workmans were connected through marriage.

Edgcumbe later became the home of Archibald Dunlap Lemon JP (d 1922), a director of James Lemon & Sons and the Ulster Steamship Company.

One of his sons was killed in action:-

Lt Archibald Lemon, RIR

NAME; Lemon, Archibald D
RANK; Lieutenant
UNIT/SERVICE; Royal Irish Rifles
REGIMENT; 12th Battalion
BORN; Castlereagh 2nd April 1875
LIVED; 38 Scotch Quarter, Carrickfergus
ENLISTED; Carrickfergus 1915
FATE; Killed in action at the Somme 1st July 1916 aged 41
CEMETERY; Body never recovered
MEMORIAL; Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15A and 15B
REMARKS: _______

Archie Lemon was the son of Archibald Dunlap Lemon and Ellen Workman of Edgcumbe House, Strandtown, Belfast. He had two sisters, Ellen and Marie and one brother Edward.

He was educated at Methody College Belfast and was an active member of the County Antrim Yacht Club. Before joining up with the 12th Royal Irish Rifles he lived in 38 Scotch Quarter, Carrickfergus and worked as a flax spinning manager at Barn Mills.

The details of his death are well documented in the 12th Battalion war diary and with eye witness accounts.  The following extract comes from eye witness accounts:

No.6 Platoon, 12th R.I.R ~ This Platoon was under Lieut. Lemon and was made responsible for the RAILWAY SAP.

The Platoon left our own trenches before Zero at the same tine and on the right of the 9th Royal Ir. Fus. but before reaching the RAVINE the whole Platoon with the exception of Lieut. Lemon and twelve men were all casualties.

On reaching the RAVINE Lt. Lemon looked for some supports, but as none were available he advanced with his twelve men to enter the Sap. When he reached. the Sap he had only nine men left, but he entered the Sap at the Railway bank.

L.Sergt. Millar and three men moved to the right to bomb down the Sap, but, these were soon all casualties. Lieut. Lemon and the remainder of the men advanced up the main Sap. The thick wires running into the first large tunnel was cut by Rfmn. Gamble who was the first bayonet man.

There was a Machine-gun firing across the sap from the small tunnel. Lieut. Lemon, however, climbed above the small tunnel with some bombs in order to catch any Germans who might come out and sent the men on.

Lieut. Lemon was then shot by two German Officers who fired their rifles at him from the top of a dug out which apparently led into the tunnel. The two German officers were afterwards killed by a bomb which exploded right at their feet.

The remaining men got cut off between the 1st and 2nd German line and only two of them escaped.
Edward Lemon, the last member of the family to live at Edgcumbe, continued to reside there until about 1940, when it was requisitioned by HM Government during the 2nd World War.

Thereafter, the Lemons never returned to live at Edgcumbe.

About 1950, it was purchased by the Northern Ireland Government.

Edgcumbe had two gate-lodges, one being at Holywood Road, close to St Mark's Church.

Prior the the "Edgcumbe" housing development, the main entrance was at 249 Holywood Road, Belfast.

In the early 1950s, Edgcumbe House was acquired by Belfast Corporation (City Council) for use as a nursing and residential home for older people.

The Corporation paid £6,000 for the house and grounds, about £150,000 in today's money.

They spent a further £15,500 on alterations and furnishings.

Edgcumbe was officially opened by the Rt Hon Dame Dehra Parker GBE, NI Health Minister, 1949-57.

In 1957, a new wing was officially opened by the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Sir Robert Harcourt JP.

Edgcumbe House was finally demolished ca 1993.

A new purpose-built building was constructed and officially opened in 1996 by Lady Mayhew, wife of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Edgcumbe now serves the community as an assessment & therapy unit.

First published in April, 2013.  I wish to thank Gary Kinkade for his help in compiling this article. 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Fardross House


This family, of Scottish extraction, was long settled at Fardross.

In 1688, CAPTAIN JAMES GLEDSTANES equipped at his own expense a body of yeomen, and led them to the relief of Londonderry, for which he received a certificate, and the thanks of Governor Walker.

His eldest son,

JAMES GLEDSTANES, of Fardross, married Miss Graham, of Hockley, near Armagh, and left issue,
Mary, m A Johnston MP, of Rademon;
MARGARET, of whom presently;
Katherine, m C King MP, of St Angelo, Co Fermanagh.
The third daughter and eventually co-heir, 

MARGARET GLEDSTANES, wedded, in 1767, AMBROSE UPTON, a major in the 13th Dragoons, of Hermitage, County Dublin.

They both died in 1804, leaving a son and daughter,

WHITNEY UPTON, who took the name of GLEDSTANES, and married firstly, Isabella, daughter of the Rev Ancketell Moutray, of Favour Royal, County Tyrone; and secondly, in 1799, Emily, daughter of Michael Aylmer, of Courtown, County Kildare; and by her had an only son,
AMBROSE, of whom presently.
who espoused, in 1793, John Corry Moutray DL, of Favour Royal, County Tyrone, who died in 1859, leaving issue, six sons and three daughters; of whom the youngest daughter, Sophia, wedded, in 1838, Robert Hornidge, who assumed, in 1871, the name and arms of GLEDSTANES. He was the second son of Richard Hornidge DL, of Tulfarris, County Wicklow.
She died in 1848, leaving issue,
MOUTRAY, of Fardross;
Cecilia; Marion.
He wedded secondly, in 1855, Mary, daughter of Mervyn Stewart, of Martray, County Tyrone, by whom he had issue. He died in 1876.

The only surviving son of Mr Upton Gledstanes, 

AMBROSE UPTON GLEDSTANES JP DL (1802-71), High Sheriff, 1829, wedded, in 1828, Cecilia, daughter of Richard Hornidge DL, of Tulfarris, County Wicklow, and Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of Hugh Henry, of Lodge Park, County Kildare, but by her had no issue.

He died in 1871, and was succeeded by his cousin,

MOUTRAY GLEDSTANES JP (1845-1917), of Fardross, County Tyrone, captain, Royal Tyrone Fusiliers, who married, in 1874, Helen Catherine, daughter of John James Verschoyle, of Tassagart, County Dublin, by Catherine Helen his wife, daughter of the Rev W H Foster, and granddaughter of the Rt Rev William Foster DD, Lord Bishop of Clogher, and had issue,
AMBROSE UPTON, of whom hereafter;
Helen Margaret Catherine;
Sophia Cecilia Marion.
His only son, 

AMBROSE UPTON GLEDSTANES (1876-1957), lieutenant-colonel, 30th Lancers, Indian Army, married, in 1909, Adelaide Isabella, daughter of Major Robert Tankerville Webber (Welsh Fusiliers), and Isabella his wife, daughter of the Hon and Rev W Wingfield, rector of Abbeyleix, Queen's County.

FARDROSS HOUSE, near Clogher, County Tyrone, was built pre-1835 for Ambrose Upton Gledstanes.

It was considerably more modest originally.

Mr Gledstane's father-in-law, Richard Hornidge, acquired Fardross, which was in a dilapidated state, not long afterwards, renovating and refurbishing the house; and adding a gate lodge.

The present house, with six bedrooms, sits in 300 acres. There is a courtyard.

This is a rural demesne, dating from the 17th century on the River Blackwater, set in parkland, with fine mature trees, including some exotics.

There is no evidence of an ornamental garden and the walled garden is not planted.

The area is intensively farmed and private.

Fardross Forest is adjacent with public access.

First published in April, 2013.

Fellows Hall


EDWARD ARMSTRONG, son of William Armstrong, by Jane Garver his wife, married, in 1760, Grace Jones, and had two sons,
The elder,

THE REV WILLIAM JONES ARMSTRONG, rector of Termonfeckin, County Louth, wedded, in 1786, Margaret, third daughter of Alderman John Tew, Lord Mayor of Dublin (and Margaret Maxwell his wife, grandniece of John, 1st Lord Farnham), and granddaughter of Alderman David Tew, Lord Mayor of the same city in 1752, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM JONES, his heir;
John Tew;
Thomas Knox, of Fellow's Hall, JP;
Helen; Anne; Diana Jane.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM JONES ARMSTRONG JP DL (1794-1872), of Killylea, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1840, espoused, in 1842, Frances Elizabeth, widow of Colonel Sir Michael McCreagh CB KCH, and only daughter of Captain Christopher Wilson, of the 22nd Foot, and by her had issue,
WILLIAM FORTESCUE, 7th Hussars (1843-71);
HENRY BRUCE, of whom hereafter.
Mr Armstrong assumed, in 1868, the name and arms of WRIGHT under the will of Lady (Frances Elizabeth) Wright-Wilson.

His younger son,

THE RT HON HENRY BRUCE WRIGHT-ARMSTRONG JP DL (1844-1943), of Killylea, and Dean's Hill, both in County Armagh, High Sheriff for that county in 1875, and High Sheriff of County Longford, 1894, married, in 1883, Margaret, daughter of William Leader, of Rossnalee, County Cork, and had issue,
Michael Richard Leader;
Henry Maxwell;
James Robert Bargrave;
Frances Margaret Alice;
Dorothea Gertrude; 
Margaret Helen Elizabeth.
Phoro credit:

FELLOWS HALL, Killylea, County Armagh, is a Victorian-Italianate reconstruction of a house of 1762 (which itself was rebuilt in 1752).

It comprises two storeys over a basement, with a five-bay front.

Round-headed windows conatin keystones in the upper storey.

The doorway is tripartite, with a triple window above.

The Hall passed through marriage from the Maxwell family to the Armstrong and Stronge families; thence to the family of McClintock.

The Armstrong Papers are held at PRONI.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Thomas A Hope


JOHN HOPE, of Hopefold, Astley Green, Lancashire, was father of

PETER HOPE (1671-1741), who married Hannah Kirkman, leaving a son,

SAMUEL HOPE (1709-81), who wedded firstly, Amy Venables; and secondly, Martha Hepworth; having had issue by his second wife, a son,

WILLIAM HOPE (1751-1827), of Liverpool, who wedded, in 1779, Mary, daughter of Robert Jones, of Liverpool; both of whom were buried at the Necropolis, Liverpool, and had issue,
SAMUEL, of whom presently;
Joseph Walley;
The second son,

SAMUEL HOPE JP (1781-1837), of Liverpool, a banker, who married, in 1816, Rebekah, daughter of Thomas Bateman, of Middleton Hall, Derbyshire, high sheriff, 1823.

He was also buried at the Necropolis, Liverpool, having had issue,
THOMAS ARTHUR, of whom presently;
William Carey;
Samuel Pearce.
The eldest son,

THOMAS ARTHUR HOPE JP, of 14 Airlie Gardens, Kensington, formerly of Stanton, Bebington, Cheshire, born in 1817.

Mr Hope married, in 1839, Emily, youngest daughter of Christopher Hird Jones, of Liverpool, and by her had issue, a numerous family.


THE HOPES were a large, wealthy and well connected family of Liverpool bankers and landowners.

Samuel Hope was a Liberal non-conformist, noted for his philanthropic work in the city.

His son, Thomas Arthur Hope, and his wife, Emily Hird Jonesh had thirteen children.

The family owned land in Cheshire, Flintshire and County Tyrone.

They lived in a succession of properties in Liverpool, the Wirral and London.

They are known to have associated with other prominent Liberal families including the Rathbones of Liverpool and the Gregs of Styal in Cheshire. 

The famous Hope Collection can be seen at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Liverpool. The Hopes were wealthy bankers: Thomas Hope, born in 1769.
The Rt Hon Sir Alexander James Beresford Hope was married to the Hon Louisa Beresford, daughter of William, 1st Lord Decies (3rd son of 1st Earl of Tyrone).

First published in December, 2009.