Thursday, 8 September 2016

Rathlin Manor House

THE GAGE FAMILY OWNED 3,311 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM

This family claims to be a branch of GAGE of Firle.

The first of the family to settle in Ulster was

JOHN GAGE, son of Robert Gage, of Raunds, Northamptonshire, by his wife, Anne, married, before 1608, Jane, daughter of Richard Goodwin.
He was clerk of the peace for Northamptonshire, 1611-22. In 1635, he was confirmed in the Magilligan estates, County Londonderry. John Gage's younger brother, William, had purchased the lease of Magilligan in 1630 from the Lord Bishop of Derry, and was Mayor of Londonderry, 1631-2.
The fifth son,

JOHN GAGE (1610-75), of Raunds and Magilligan, wedded, in 1642, Elizabeth Smyth, and had issue,
Richard;
Charles;
William;
John;
ROBERT, of whom hereafter;
Jane; Anne; Alice; Florinda; Elizabeth; Margaret; Mary.
The youngest son,

THE REV ROBERT GAGE (c1659-1725), Chaplain to Queen ANNE, and to Lionel, Duke of Dorset, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, for many years Prebendary of Aghadowey, in the diocese of Derry, and in which he was succeeded by his son,

THE REV JOHN GAGE (1693-1763), Prebendary of Aghadowey, who wedded, in 1733, Susannah, daughter of the Rev John Johnston, Rector of Clondevadogue, in the Diocese of Raphoe, and had issue,
John, died unmarried;
Frederick, died unmarried;
ROBERT, his heir;
Barbara, m R Harvey, of Malin Hall;
Susan; Mary Anne.
The Rev John Gage, who purchased Rathlin Island in 1746, was succeeded by his third son,

ROBERT GAGE JP (1739-1801), of Rathlin Island, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1787, who married, in 1776, Barbara, daughter of the Rev John Richardson, of Somerset, near Coleraine, County Londonderry, and had issue,
John, died unmarried;
Frederick; RN; died unmarried;
ROBERT, his heir;
Barbara Frances; Susanna Maria; Elizabeth; Mary Anne;
Henrietta; Catherine; Jane; Elizabeth Harriet.
Mr Gage was succeeded by his third son,

THE REV ROBERT GAGE JP (1790-1862), of Rathlin Island, who wedded, in 1812, Catherine, daughter of Ezekiel Davis-Boyd, of Ballycastle, County Antrim, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
EZEKIEL, succeeded his brother;
John;
John;
Catherine; Barbara; Rosetta; Amelia; Susan; Elizabeth; Adelaide;
Dorothea, m HSH Prince Albrecht of Waldeck & Pyrmont.
Mr Gage was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT GAGE JP (1813-91), of Rathlin Island, who died a bachelor, and the family estates devolved upon his next brother,

MAJOR-GENERAL EZEKIEL GAGE (1819-1906), of Raghery House and Rathlin Island, who espoused, in 1848, Maria, daughter of John Dobbs, and had issue,
ROBERT CHARLES;
RICHARD STEWART;
FRANCIS (Dr);
ALEXANDER HUGH (Rev);
Marianne; Catherine; Amy Boyd.
General Gage devised Rathlin Island between his four sons.

His eldest son,

ROBERT CHARLES GAGE (1851-88), of Rathlin Island, espoused Georgina, daughter of William Braddell, and died leaving a son, ROBERT HARVEY, who married and had issue, one son and a daughter.

General Gage's second son,

RICHARD STEWART GAGE (1862-1909), of Rathlin Island, Captain, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, wedded, in 1895, Norah Lilian, daughter of O'Donnell Grimshaw, and had issue,
EZEKIEL HUGH;
RICHARD FRANCIS O'DONNELL.
Captain Gage's elder son,

EZEKIEL HUGH GAGE MC (1896-1931), Captain, Royal Horse Artillery, died unmarried, and the family estates devolved upon his only brother,

BRIGADIER RICHARD FRANCIS O'DONNELL (Rex) GAGE CBE MC (1897-1973), of Rathlin Island, who wedded, in 1931, Marjorie, daughter of Captain Conn Alexander, and had issue,
EZEKIEL CONN;
Patrick Richard, OBE, Commander RN;
Patricia Ruth.
Brigadier Gage was succeeded by his eldest son,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL EZEKIEL CONN GAGE (1933-), of Rathlin Island, who married, in 1965, Frances Elizabeth, daughter of Major Frederick George Bolam, and had issue,
Matthew James George, b 1967;
Victoria Louise, b 1968;
Alexander Richard, b 1972.

THE MANOR HOUSE, Rathlin Island, was home to the Gage family for over 200 years.

The last member of the family to live there was Brigadier Rex Gage, who died in 1973.

It is thought that the Gages left the manor-house in 1975, though still spend holidays on the island at the Old Glebe House.

The Manor House ca 1948

The Gages added a walled garden, other walled enclosures, a corn mill, boat-house and kelp store.

The Rev John Gage bought Rathlin Island from Lord Antrim in 1746 at a cost of £1,750 (£290,000 in today's money).

Mark Bence-Jones describes the Manor House thus:
a long, low range of buildings on the water-front of Church Bay; incorporating work-rooms for weavers which were built in the 1760s by Robert Gage, former cottages and a two-storey, six-bay late-Georgian house. The house is entered by a porch at one end - and at the extreme left-hand end of the whole long range - with a doorway of rusticated quoins surmounted by an oculus, or oeil de boeuf.
Various additions were made in 1816; a stone archway was built in 1819; and still further additions in 1831.

Some of the rooms have Victorian marble chimney-pieces.

After 1975, the manor-house lay vacant and derelict for a period till it was restored by the Rathlin Island Trust.

Following his rescue off the coast of Rathlin on his hot-air balloon in 1987, Sir Richard Branson generously donated £25,000 to the Rathlin Island Trust towards the restoration.

The National Trust acquired the Manor House in 1998 and it opened as a guest-house shortly thereafter.

The guest-house is leased from the Trust.

I still have a pamphlet about the guest-house dating from 1998 and a single, en suite bedroom cost £26 for bed and breakfast then.

The price, eleven years later, was £40.

First published in July, 2009.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Worth looking at www.adams.ie Country House Sale coming up at Slane Castle on 5th October to see example of Catherine Gage's Birds of Rathlin. Pity these could not be bought to decorate Manor House on Rathlin but at estimate of £10 -£15k they are expensive but there are 165 of them! N