Saturday, 22 August 2015

Mossvale House


The family of Charley, or Chorley, passing over from the north of England, settled in Ulster in the 17th century, firstly at Belfast, where they were owners of house property for two hundred years; and afterwards at Finaghy, County Antrim, where  

RALPH CHARLEY (1664-1746), of Finaghy House, had a son,  

JOHN CHARLEY (1712-93), of Finaghy, who left a son and successor,

JOHN CHARLEY (1744-1812), of Finaghy House, who married, in 1783, Anne Jane, daughter of Richard Wolfenden, of Harmony Hill, County Down, and had issue,

JOHN, of Finaghy House 1784-1844, died unm;
MATTHEW, of Finaghy House;
WILLIAM, of Seymour Hill.
The third son,

WILLIAM CHARLEY, of Seymour Hill, Dunmurry, married, in 1817, Isabella, eldest daughter of William Hunter JP, of Dunmurry, and died in 1838, having had issue,
JOHN, of Seymour Hill;
WILLIAM, succeeded his brother;
Edward, of Conway House;
Mary; Anne Jane; Eliza; Isabella; Emily.
The eldest son,

JOHN CHARLEY, of Seymour Hill, died unmarried in 1843, aged 25, and was succeeded by his brother, 

WILLIAM CHARLEY JP DL (1826-1904), of Seymour Hill, who married, in 1856, Ellen Anna Matilda, daughter of Edward Johnson JP, of Ballymacash, near Lisburn, and granddaughter of Rev Philip Johnson JP DL, and had issue,

William, 1857-1904;
EDWARD JOHNSON, of Seymour Hill;
John George Stewart, 1863-86;
Thomas Henry FitzWilliam, 1866-85;
Arthur Frederick, of Mossvale, b 1870;
Harold Richard;
Ellen Frances Isabella; Elizabeth Mary Florence;
Emily Constance Jane; Wilhelmina Maud Isabel.
The second son,

EDWARD JOHNSON CHARLEY (1859-1932), of Seymour Hill, was succeeded by his sixth son, 

COLONEL HAROLD RICHARD CHARLEY CBE DL (1875-1956), of Seymour Hill, 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles; fought in the Boer War and First World War, with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, and was wounded and became a PoW. 

In 1916 he started workshops for interned British servicemen at Murren. He was Officer-in-Charge for Technical Instruction for servicemen interned in Switzerland in 1917; Commissioner of British Red Cross Society, Switzerland, 1918; commander of the 1st Royal Ulster Rifles, 1919-23.

Appointed CBE, 1920; City Commandant, Ulster Special Constabulary, 1924-52; originator of the British Legion Car Park Attendants scheme (adopted throughout Great Britain); Honorary Colonel, 1938, Antrim Coast Regiment (Territorial Army).
His eldest son, 

COLONEL WILLIAM ROBERT (Robin) HUNTER CHARLEY OBE, born in 1924, married Catherine Janet, daughter of William Sinclair Kingan, in 1960. 

In 1943 he was enlisted in the Royal Ulster Rifles; fought in 2nd World War, and the Korean War; Commanding Officer, OTC Queen's University, Belfast, 1965-68; Officer, Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. 

He retired from the army in 1971; was on Staff in 1972 at Northern Ireland Polytechnic; lived in 1976 at Seymour Lodge, Larch Hill, Craigavad, County Down.

Colonel Charley was appointed OBE (civil) in 1989, for services to The Forces Help Society and Lord Roberts' Workshops.

Mossvale House was adjacent to the Lagan Canal and originally belonged to the owners of the local mill.

It was acquired by the Charley family in 1820, when the mill and bleach works were purchased by William Charley (1790-1838) from Robert Johnstone.

Mossvale was encircled by trees and had stabling for ten horses.

Captain Arthur Charley (1870-1944) lived here with his wife for several years after the Great War before moving into The Lodge at Dunmurry.

In 1936, Mossvale was rented out though sadly destroyed by arson.

The land and ruins remained in the family for another fifty years until it was sold in the 1980s.

A new house has been built on the site.

First published in March, 2011.

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