Monday, 24 August 2015

Huntley House

THE FAMILY OF CHARLEY OWNED 348 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM

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. 

HUNTLEY, Dunmurry, originally known as Huntley Lodge, was built ca 1830 by William Hunter (1777-1856), of Dunmurry House, on land leased by the Stewarts of Ballydrain from the Donegall Estate.

His son William (1806-90) lived in Huntley for a time and brought up his family.

In the mid 1850s, he moved with his family to the Isle of Man.

The house was then left by his father William (1777-1856) to his widowed sister, Mrs Isabella Charley (1800-82).

Isabella's husband, William Charley of Seymour Hill, had died in 1838 and she lived at Seymour Hill until her eldest son William was married in 1856.

Isabella then moved to Huntley, where she was joined by her late husband's sisters Mary (1820-86) and Anne Jane Stevenson (1822-1904), whose husband had died in 1855, and Emily (1837-1917).

The ladies at Huntley were talented artists, did embroidery and kept beautiful scrapbooks.

They supported many charities and gave generously to local churches, schools and church halls.

They founded the Charley Memorial School at Drumbeg in 1892 in memory of their brother William Charley (1826-90) of Seymour Hill; and also established the Stevenson Memorial School, Dunmurry.

They built the church hall in Dunmurry on the condition that a service must be held there every Sunday afternoon.

Huntley remained in the possession of the Charley family until 1932, when Edward Charley, of Seymour Hill, died.

Huntley was sold to Mr George Bryson, who had been a tenant there since just after the 1st World War.

First published in March, 2011.

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