Sunday, 5 June 2016

Sir James Henderson, 1848-1914


A reader from New Zealand sent two photographs of Sir James Henderson and his family.

Sir James served the office of Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1898, and was also the first High Sheriff of the city.

He is credited with the establishment of City Hall, which stands in Donegall Square today.

James Henderson was born at Mountcollyer Park, Belfast, the home of his grandfather, Alexander Mackay.

Henderson read Law at Trinity College Dublin and was called to the Irish Bar in 1872.

He went on to become editor of the Newry Telegraph in 1873, retaining that position until 1883.


He became managing proprietor of the Belfast News Letter and Belfast Weekly News, and was appointed President of the Master Printers Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.

Sir James married Martha Pollock and they had five sons.

He was appointed a Freeman of the City of Belfast in 1912, and he received a knighthood from the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the 5th Earl Cadogan, at Viceregal Lodge, Phoenix Park, Dublin, in 1899.

Sir James lived at Oakley House, Windsor Park, Belfast.

The photograph above shows Martha Lady Henderson and her five sons.

It is believed that the eldest son died in the 1st World War, though little is known of the others. 

Any information would be welcome.   

The photographs had been sent out to New Zealand as the reader's grandfather emigrated there in 1881.

The Henderson family graves can be seen at Belfast City Cemetery.

First published in February, 2011.

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

Sir James Henderson looks like a very distinguished walrus. How sad that modern politicians do not look so remarkable. VC

Timothy Belmont said...

Indeed, quite a growth there!

Nelson McCausland said...

A really good post, especially with a North Belfast connection!

M said...

My Great Grandfather would have been James/John/Jack Henderson, son of James and Mary, who later moved to Glasgow.