Monday, 24 January 2022

Ballyward Lodge


SIR WILLIAM LESLIE (c1400-67), 4th of Balquhain, having descended from a common ancestor with the Earls of Rothes, was knighted at the coronation of JAMES I.

He married firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Alexander Fraser of Lovat, and had issue,
Alexander, ancestor of the Leslies of Balquhain;
WILLIAM, of whom presently;
Sir William wedded secondly, Agnes, daughter of Alexander Irvine, of Drum, and by her was ancestor of the Leslie Baronets of Wardis; Leslie of New Leslie; Leslie of Kininvie; and Leslie, Viscount Balgownie.

He espoused thirdly, Euphemia, daughter of Sir William Lindsay, of Cairney, Fife, and by her was ancestor of Leslie of Pitcaple.

The younger son by his first marriage,

WILLIAM LESLIE, of Kincraigie, married Mary, daughter of Francis Ross, of Auchlossan, Aberdeenshire, and had an only son,

WILLIAM LESLIE, of Kincraigie, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Strachan, of Balhousie, Forfar, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, of whom presently;
Patrick, of Loch Tulloch, Aberdeenshire;
James, dsp;
The eldest son,

ALEXANDER LESLIE, of Kincraigie, espoused Margaret, daughter of George Gordon, of Halhead, Aberdeenshire, and had issue,
GEORGE, of whom presently;
John, of Durno;
The elder son,

GEORGE LESLIE, of Kincraigie, married Mary, daughter of Patrick Leith, of Edingarrock, and had issue,
PATRICK (Sir), of whom presently;
Isabella; Margaret; Elizabeth.
The eldest son,

SIR PATRICK LESLIE, Knight, of Kincraigie, Provost of Aberdeen, wedded Jane, daughter of John Leslie, 10th of Balquhain, and had issue,
George, of Kincraigie;
JOHN, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

JOHN LESLIE, of the city of Aberdeen, espoused Margery, daughter of William Strachan, of Tippartie, Banff, and had issue,
PATRICK, of whom presently;
William, settled & died in America;
Isabella; Margery.
The elder son,

PATRICK LESLIE, settling in Ulster, married Mary, daughter of John Forbes, of the city of Aberdeen, and had issue, a son,

JOHN LESLIE, of Kincraigy, County Donegal, and had issue (with a daughter, Margaret), a son,

CHARLES LESLIE, of Kincraigy, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of John Griffith, of Dublin, and had issue, a son,

THE VEN. DR CHARLES LESLIE, Archdeacon and Vicar-General of the Diocese of Raphoe, who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of James Grove, of Grove Hall, County Donegal, and had issue,
Charles, dsp;
John (Rev), of Kincraigy, died unmarried;
Robert Grove, died unmarried;
JANE, of whom presently.
The Archdeacon died in 1781, and was succeeded by his only daughter,

JANE LESLIE (c1764-1833), heiress in her issue to her brothers, who married, in 1795, William Beers, of Ballygorian and Ballyward, County Down, son of William Beers, and grandson of Philip Beers, by whom he had issue,
FRANCIS CHARLES, of whom presently;
William Philip, died in infancy;
William, JP, of Brook Cottage, Newcastle;
John, JP, of Leslie Hill, Co Donegal;
Philip Grove, died in New Zealand;
James Annesley (Rev), Rector of Drumballyroney;
The eldest son,

FRANCIS CHARLES BEERS (1796-1866), of Ballyward, County Down, and Kincraigy, County Donegal, assumed, in 1850, the surname and arms of LESLIE in lieu of his patronymic.

He wedded, in 1837, Hannah Theodosia, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Thompson, 27th Regiment, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
Harriet Jane.
The only son,

JOHN LESLIE (1839-), of Ballyward Lodge, Lieutenant, 5th Fusiliers, Captain, Donegal Militia, espoused, in 1862, Harriet Anne, daughter of Sir David William Barclay Bt, and had issue,

MAY FLORENCE DE RUNE LESLIE, who married, in 1888, Colonel Frank Robert Lowth CB, Lincolnshire Regiment, and had issue,
Francis Robert Leslie, b 1889;
John Leslie, b 1890;
Norman Charles Leslie, b 1891;
William Barclay Leslie, b 1893;
Doris May Leslie.
Photo Credit: David Byers

BALLYWARD LODGE, near Castlewellan, County Down, has been described as a "gentleman's cottage" of ca 1800.

This house, situated picturesquely beside a lake, was originally the residence of William Beers.

Ballyward comprises two storeys, the upper storey being partly in the attic; dormer gables; projecting single-storey porch.

There is a large, elegant fan-lighted doorway.

Several upstairs windows are pointed, with Georgian-Gothic astragals.

The library has a low ceiling, with columns which formerly graced Downhill Castle; and a spacious bedroom landing.

The formal garden to the south of the house is equally impressive, with statuary and urns.


Ballyward estate was purchased in 1954 by WING-COMMANDER JOHN SYDNEY HIGGINSON CBE JP DL RAF (1910-2000), Honorary ADC to His Excellency the Governor of Northern Ireland, 1952, who farmed it himself until 1985.

At that time the grounds comprised 134 acres, of which 63 were agricultural land, 3 acres were garden, and 68 acres were woodland and wetland.

Many improvements to the house and grounds were initiated by Wing-Commander Higginson.

Wing-Commander Higginson, scion of HIGGINSON of Ballinderry and Carnalea, died in 2000, when the estate devolved upon his nephew,

ANDREW HIGGINSON OBE, who sold Ballyward in 2001 for £1.15 million.


THE ESTATE today is spread over 300 acres, consisting of mature woodland, surrounded by sloping hills.

There are also significant wetlands thus attracting a wide variety of game.

Ballyward has established itself as a shooting estate.

First published in November, 2013.


Bill James said...

Kincraigie Estate ( later named Tonley ) was Aberdeenshire - not Fife. John Leslie of Kincraigy Donegal settled in Ulster mid 1600s - not 1705 - John Leslie died at Kincraigy Donegal in 1693.

Timothy Belmont said...

Bill James, many thanks for that information; duly amended.