Friday, 13 January 2017

Lyons of Old Park

THE LYONS FAMILY OWNED 1,491 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM


This family was originally of Scottish extraction.

DAVID LYONS (1624-1717), of Belfast (son of THOMAS LYONS, who died in 1693, and was buried at Shankill, Belfast), had issue, by Kate his wife,
DAVID, of whom presently;
Anne, m Thomas Foster.
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his only son,

DAVID LYONS (1701-72), of Old Park, Belfast, who wedded firstly, Mary, daughter of Elias Boyd, and had issue.

By his second wife, Jane, he had issue,
THOMAS, of whom presently;
Henry;
William;
Mary; Anne; Eleanor; Elizabeth; Jane; Sarah.
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS LYONS, of Old Park (1747-1806), who espoused, in 1778, Sarah, daughter of Andrew Armstrong, of Clara, King's County, and Dublin, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
WILLIAM HOLMES, successor to his brother;
Edward Forbes;
Eliza; Juliana.
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY LYONS (1779-1839), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

WILLIAM HOLMES LYONS (1781-1849), of Old Park, who wedded, in 1810, Anne, daughter of the Rev William Bristow, Vicar of Belfast, and Sovereign of Belfast, by Rose, his wife, daughter of George Cary, of Redcastle, County Donegal, and had issue,
WILLIAM THOMAS BRISTOW, his heir;
Sarah (1818-1905).
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM THOMAS BRISTOW LYONS JP DL (1812-87), of Old Park, Belfast, and Brookhill, Lisburn, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1866, who married, in 1840, Julia Maria, daughter of James Jones, of Mount Edward, County Sligo, and had issue,
WILLIAM HENRY HOLMES, his heir;
Robert Colvill Jones, of Lime Hill house, Tunbridge Wells;
Henry Kenneth Thomas, of Denver, USA;
James Bristow;
Clarence Edward;
Eliza; Julia Maria; Dorinda Anna Henrietta; Edith Arabella Louisa Florence;
Constance Adela Hastings; Julie Marie Louise.
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON WILLIAM HENRY HOLMES LYONS JP DL (1843-1924), of Brookhill, Lisburn, Old Park, Belfast, and Richmond Lodge, County Down, High Sheriff, 1904, Grand Master, Orange Lodge of Ireland, who espoused, in 1888, Mary Eliza (Lily), eldest daughter of George Evans, of Gortmerron House, County Tyrone, and had issue, 
WILLIAM HOLMES ST JOHN, his heir;
Vera Patricia Mabel; Evyleen Sara Evans; Lily Eileen.
Mr Lyons was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM HOLMES ST JOHN LYONS (1888-1918), Lieutenant, Middlesex Regiment, who married, in 1907, Doris Margaret, youngest daughter of George A Walpole FRCS, of Gormanston, Tasmania.

Lieutenant Lyons was killed in action on the 1st November, 1918.

Lyons plot at Knockbreda Churchyard

OLD PARK HOUSE, Belfast, would appear to have been mid-Georgian.

It was built for David Lyons, who also owned a bleach-yard in the Oldpark area of Belfast in the 1750s.

His wife, Mary, had her name recorded at Shankill graveyard in 1739, presumably before he took over or built the bleach-yard.

There is an image of the house here.

George Benn, the celebrated Belfast historian, described Old Park thus in 1877:

A beautiful rural home, with fine gardens and trees, and a convenient distance from the "madding crowd". Now, in our time, the 42 acres of which the demesne consists are advertised to be let in lots for villas or streets, which will doubtless be the case in due time.

Old Park demesne remained in the Lyons family until about 1868, when Thomas Lyons moved to Brookhill, near Lisburn, the Belfast boundaries having surpassed the Old­park area.

Old Park House subsequently became the property of William Robertson, of Hawkins, Robertson & Ferguson, drapers, of the Bank Buildings, Belfast.

A plaque in the ambulatory of the Cathedral Church of St Anne, Belfast, recording that Mr Lyons lived for some time at Brookhill, Lisburn, County Antrim, was placed in his memory by his mother, Anne.

The plaque was originally in the old parish church.

First published in January, 2013.

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