Thursday, 16 May 2019

Derryquin Castle



This family was originally seated in Yorkshire.

The first who settled in Ireland was

THE VERY REV JAMES BLAND, Archdeacon of Limerick and Dean of Ardfert.

In a deed of sale registered in Wakefield, 1717, he is described as "of Killarney, County Kerry", and as disposing of his estates in Sedbergh, Yorkshire, to Richard Willen.

Dr Bland was the son of John Bland, of Sedbergh, as proved by the records of St John's College, Cambridge, where he was admitted in 1684.

He went to Ireland as Chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Henry Sydney, Earl of Romney, in 1692.

Dr Bland wedded Lucy, eldest daughter of Sir Francis Brewster, Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1674-5, by whom he had issue, and was father of the Rev Francis Bland (whose great-grandson, THE VEN NATHANIEL BLAND, Archdeacon of Aghadoe, was the head of the family); and of

NATHANIEL BLAND LL.D, Judge of the Prerogative Court of Dublin, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe, who married firstly, Diana, only daughter and heiress of Nicholas Kemeys, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
He wedded secondly, Lucy, daughter of Francis Heaton, and had further issue,
Lucy; Hester; Dorothea.
Dr Bland was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE REV JAMES BLAND, of Derryquin Castle, who espoused firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher Julian, and had issue,
Letitia; Diana; Maria; Elizabeth.
He married secondly, Barbara, daughter of _____ Nash.

The Rev James Bland was succeeded by his eldest son,

FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER BLAND, of Derryquin Castle, who wedded, in 1798, Lucinda, daughter of Arthur Bastable Herbert, of Brewstersfield, near Killarney, by his wife Barbara, daughter of Maurice FitzGerald, Knight of Kerry, and had issue,
Francis Christopher;
Elizabeth; Lucy; Frances Diana; Mary Matilda;
Christina Frances; Laetitia; Barbara; Laetitia; Clara Delinda.
Mr Bland died in 1838, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES FRANKLIN BLAND JP (1799-1863), of Derryquin Castle, High Sheriff, 1835, who espoused, in 1825, Emma, daughter of Major Joseph Taylor, of Dunkerron Castle, County Kerry, and had issue,
James Franklin;
Nathaniel Franklin;
Alice Phillis.
Mr Bland was succeeded by his eldest son,

FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER BLAND JP (1826-99), of Derryquin Castle, High Sheriff, 1859, who married, in 1849, Jane, daughter of the Rev Archibald Robert Hamilton, and had issue,
Archibald Robert Hamilton;
Francis Christpher Earle;
Richard Townsend Herbert;
Emma Alice; Jane Hamilton; Catherine Cotter;
Alice Phillis; Mary Evelyn.
Mr Bland was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES FRANKLIN BLAND (1850-1927),  late of Derryquin Castle, and of Drimina House, Sneem, County Kerry, who wedded, in 1873, Agnes Margaret, eldest daughter of Samuel Wilson Block, of 15, Talbot Square, Hyde Park, London, and had issue,
Archibald Franklin Wilson;
Godfrey Hamilton;
Agnes Emma; Evaleen Wilson; Ethel Hamilton.
Mr Bland was succeeded by his eldest son,

FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER CECIL BLAND (1875-1953), of Drimina House, who married, in 1904, Mary Green, daughter of Henry Albert Uprichard, and had issue,
Henry Archibald Forster.
Mr Bland was succeeded by his elder son,

JAMES FRANKLIN McMAHON BLAND (1905-84), of 14, Tullybrannigan Road, Newcastle, County Down, who married, in 1936, Jess Buchan, daughter of Major Harry Campbell Brodie, and had issue,
Godfrey Hamilton.
The elder son,


DERRYQUIN CASTLE, Sneem, County Kerry, was a Victorian pile of rough-hewn stone by James Franklin Fuller, built for the Bland family.

The main block was of three storeys, with a four-storey octagonal tower running through its centre.

The entrance door was at one end, flanked by a two-storey, part-curved wing.

There were rectangular, pointed and camber-headed windows; battlements, and machiolations.

The castle was eventually sold by the Blands to the Warden family.

In 1906, it was owned by Colonel Charles W Warden and valued at £70.

The Wardens resided there until it was burnt in 1922.

It was located in the grounds of what is now the Parknasilla Hotel, but the ruins were demolished in 1969.

In 1732, the Rev Dr Nathaniel Bland obtained his grant of the Parknasilla area, the grantors being described as 'Rt Hon Clotworthy, Lord Viscount Massareene, and Philip Doyne, with the consent of James Stopford.'

The link with these three gentlemen is Elizabeth Smyth.

Her father, the Rt Rev Edward Smyth, Lord Bishop of Down and Connor, married secondly, the Hon Mary Skeffington.

She was the daughter of Clothworthy, 3rd Viscount Massareene. Elizabeth married James Stopford in 1726.

In 1762, he was created Viscount Stopford and Earl of Courtown.

His sister, also Elizabeth Stopford, was the third wife of Philip Doyne.

The Rt Rev Richard Pococke, Lord Bishop of Ossory, visited the area in 1758.

He was an avid traveller who published accounts of his visits to the Middle East, Scotland and England.

The Bishop went in search of Dr Bland's house, which was a summer residence located between the Sneem River and the Owreagh River.

He found the house, known as 'The White House', abandoned by its owner, in favour of Parknasilla, a fine Georgian residence a little further east.

Nathaniel Bland's first wife Diana, was the daughter of Nicholas Kerneys or Kemis of County Wexford. They had two sons, John and Rev James.

It was to Rev James that Nathaniel left the bulk of his estate and we shall return to him presently.

John served in the army at Dettingen, Fontenoy and Clifton Moor.

Nathaniel's son Francis, by his second marriage, was a captain in the army and gave it up to become and actor in Thomas Sheridan's company in Dublin.

He fell in love with Grace Phillips, a Welsh actress, and married her in 1758.

They had several children. Grace was the daughter of the Rev Phillips of St. Thomas's Haverfordwest.

Nathaniel  died in 1760 just before the birth of Francis and Grace's child, a daughter, in 1761.

She was christened Dorothea and known as Dorothy, although she referred to herself as Dora and acquired a surfeit of names.

In 1774, Francis decided to leave Grace and his family and marry an heiress.

This time he chose the well-to-do Catherine Mahony from Kerry.

Dora became an actress and was also known by her stage name, Mrs Jordan. She was seduced by her actor manager in Dublin.

Shortly afterwards she became pregnant and fled to England and fell in love with Richard Ford , a handsome lawyer, who was knighted some years later.

She lived with Ford and had three children by him.

When he failed to do the decent thing and marry her, she left him.

She became mistress to William Henry, Duke of Clarence, 3rd son of George III in 1790. He became William IV upon the death of his brother George IV.

They lived together in Busy House in Teddington, near Hampton Court from 1797 until 1811, when he took a new mistress.

Their children, ten in total and all illegitimate, were known as the FitzClarences. The boys were ennobled, the eldest was created Earl of Munster.

The girls married well, viz. two earls, a viscount, the younger son of a duke and a general in the army.

The Duke pensioned Dora off. She was swindled out of money by a son-in-law.

When Nathaniel Bland died in 1760, his son, the Rev James Bland, inherited the estate. Derryquin Castle was probably built during his era.

His son, Francis Christopher Bland, married Lucinda Herbert in 1798.

His son, James Franklin Bland, was born in 1799. Under him the Derryquin estate witnessed its golden years and was self-supporting.

His sister Frances "Fanny" Diana married Thomas Harnett Fuller of Glasnacree and their son James Franklin Fuller was to become the architect of the new Parknasilla hotel in 1897.

James Franklin Bland was succeeded in turn by his son Francis Christopher.

This Francis Christopher joined the Plymouth Brethren.

He neglected his estate and devoted his energy to preaching.

Land agitation was rife in Ireland at this juncture and it was unfortunate that Bland decided to absent himself.

The estate inevitably went into rapid decline.

First published in September, 2012.


Anonymous said...

Christopher Bland married Jennifer May (Countess of Strafford), daughter of William May MP, from Holywood.


Teresa Stokes said...

Not quite true that James Franklin Fuller built Derryquin Castle, as it was already mentioned by Samuel Lewis in his 1837 "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" when Fuller was only two years old. He was responsible for many Gothic extravaganzas and may well have done some work on it though. James Franklin Fuller was my great great grandfather and Sir Christopher Bland is a distant (5th) cousin so I am very familiar with the story of Derryquin!

Timothy Belmont said...

Dear Teresa,

I love your photo! I possess a heavy woollen waistcoat of similar colour, which belonged to my father; though, alas, I stupidly put it in the washing-machine and the colour bled like heck!

Personally I blame Bence-Jones and Burke's Guide for naming Fuller as the creator of Derryquin!

Who did build it?


Teresa Stokes said...

Dear Tim, it is impossible to find out who built it - the earliest mention of the building is by Samuel Lewis 1837 when it was already there; he describes it not exactly as a real castle but as a seat, "partly castellated, situated in a finely wooded demesne on the bay of Kenmare". Fuller's mother, Frances Diana Bland, was born there. It is highly likely he made some additions and alterations to it, making it look more castle-like, and it certainly looks like his style.
In the photo of me I was on a bicycle "Tweed Run" in Harris Tweed and Hat and the whole works. Fuller would have approved as he wore tweed all his life and hated dressing up. My waistcoat is actually suede, I've not yet had to clean it and it will probably be quite a bother when I do.

Anonymous said...

Francis Christopher Bland (b. 1826) died in 1894 rather than 1899. See "The Morning Post", 6 Apr 1894, p. 1; Bernard Burke, "A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland", London 1912, p. 53.

Timothy Belmont said...

Anon, many thanks for that. I'm reliant on readers to point out any errors. I'm not infallible!


Messaging friends said...

Having spent a fair amount of time as a teenager, on the very grounds of "finely wooded demesne" as described by Teresa, I felt compelled to write in. I lived at the nearby Ring Fort hill, known as Dunkilla House. Teresa, have you gone to visit the area? Timothy, Anonymous? (btw I tried signing up as Anonymous, to no avail lol)..

Unknown said...

Does anyone know if Alexander Bland the Welsh rugby union player was related to the Blands of Derryquin?

Teresa Stokes said...

To "Messaging Friends" - No I have never been to Kerry where my ancestors came from, but I definitely will one day! I hope you see this message as I have only just come back to this blog again and found your comment. There doesn't seem to be any way to get notifications if someone makes a comment. And to Heather Imrie - I have on my family tree almost every single Bland descendant from the Blands of Derryqin, and he is definitely not one of ours.

Teresa Stokes said...

I have a small correction to the children of James Franklin Bland (1799-1863). With Emma Taylor he had three children, not four. You need to delete Nathaniel Franklin Bland. He was one of five children James Franklin Bland had with another woman, after the death of Emma Taylor in 1832. All five were born out of wedlock, hence they do not appear in Burke's Landed Gentry. Nathaniel Franklin Bland does appear on the Peerage website as a son of James and Emma, which I think is where you got him from, but he was put there by his descendant, my fourth cousin Roger Bland, who thought he was Emma's son. I have now written to Roger and explained the mistake.

Bob said...

To add a little more to your great blog....Bence-Jones was incorrect (unusually) but not too far off the mark – Fuller, after his return to Ireland from London, designed the two-storey range to the west of the castle (on RHS when facing the entrance front). He married in Hampstead on 28/8/1860 and was living in the Derryquin area for the birth of their first child in 1861. A late 1860’s date can be established by a comparison of various photographs of that period. The ‘Warden family’ who bought the estate (for £30,000 in June 1891 at a time of the Blands’ financial distress) was a widow, Mrs Agnes Warden and her two sons. She died in Dec.1902 and son William (a barrister) died two months later, the survivor being Colonel Charles Wallace Warden. He had retired in 1895 as Colonel of the Middlesex Regiment (previously known as the 57th) He had seen action in the Zulu War of 1879 and on his death on 9th March 1953 in his 98th year was its oldest survivor. He also fought with the Imperial Yeomanry in the Boer War. As landlord of Derryquin he was highly unpopular with tenants and neighbours alike, his behaviour regularly mentioned in Parliament. After the burning of Derryquin Castle he retired to Buckland-tout-Saints in Devon and acquired an estate there with his payment from the burning of Derryquin. That estate is now broken up and the house operates as the Buckland Tout-Saints Hotel.

Diana said...

We have both lived there! My father added another home on the property. Dunkilla Fort was always a mysterious place. Do you know the history?