Friday, 17 February 2017

Mount Kennedy House

THE GUN-CUNINGHAME FAMILY WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WICKLOW, WITH 10,479 ACRES

The pedigree of this family with alliances is fully set out in NISBET'S Heraldry, with authorities down to 1800.

SIR ROBERT DE CUNNINGHAME, Laird of Kilmaurs, living in 1350, had two sons, Sir William, ancestor of the Cunninghames, Earls of Glencairn; and SIR ANDREW DE CUNINGHAME, of Polmaise, ancestor of Drumquhassle, to whom DAVID II gave a grant of the lands of Pitkennedy, and whose descendent in the third generation,

ALEXANDER CUNINGHAME, Laird of Drumquhassle, married Margaret, daughter and co-heir of William Park, of that ilk, by Margaret his wife, daughter of Allan, Lord Cathcart, and had issue,

JOHN CUNINGHAME, Laird of Drumquhassle, Master of the Household to JAMES VI, called the "Regent's Right Hand", as being the chief adviser of the Earl of Lennox.

He wedded Janet, eldest daughter and co-heir of James Cuninghame, of Polmaise, and had issue,
John, of Drumquhassle;
James, dsp;
ROBERT, of whom presently;
Janet; Margaret.
The third son,

ROBERT CUNINGHAME, of Drumbeg, served heir to his brother in 1644, espoused Elspeth, daughter of William Buchanan, of Ross and Portnellan, and had issue,
John;
WILLIAM.
The younger son,

WILLIAM CUNINGHAME, of Drumbeg, served heir to his brother, 1644, wedded Alice, daughter of John Buchanan, of Arnprior, and was father of

JOHN CUNINGHAME, of Bandalloch, who wedded Jean, daughter of William Weir, of the family of Blackwood, and had issue six sons, of whom the youngest,

DAVID CUNINGHAME, of Seabegs, Colonel in the army, Fort-Major of Stirling Castle, 1745, married Margaret, daughter of J Callander, of Craigforth, and had issue,
ROBERT, of whom presently;
James, Lt-Gen in the army, etc;
Jean; Elizabeth; Anne.
The elder son,

ROBERT CUNINGHAME (1726-1801), of Mount Kennedy, General in the Army, was elevated to the peerage, in 1796, in the dignity of BARON ROSSMORE, of Monaghan; and as he had no issue by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Murray, and co-heir of her mother, Mary, Dowager Lady Blayney, daughter and heir of Sir Alexander Cairnes Bt, the patent of creation contained a reversionary clause limiting the barony, at his lordship's decease, without male issue, to his wife's family: Firstly, to Henry A N Jones; secondly, to Warner William Westenra; and thirdly, to Henry Westenra.

Mr Jones and the Messrs Westenra were grandsons of the aforesaid Mary, Dowager Lady Blayney.

Lord Rossmore died in 1801, and Henry Alexander Nathaniel Jones having predeceased him unmarried, the title devolved upon

WARNER WILLIAM WESTENRA (1765-1842), as 2nd Baron; and his Wicklow estates, at the death of his widow, in 1825, on his niece, Jean Gordon, wife of George Gun, of Kilmorna, County Kerry, who having assumed the name and arms of CUNINGHAME by royal licence, in 1826 became

GEORGE GUN-CUNINGHAME, of Mount Kennedy. By Jean Gordon his wife he had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Anne; Matilda; Eliza; Henrietta; Jane; Georgiana Frances.
Mr Gun-Cuninghame died in 1827, and was succeeded by his only son,

ROBERT GUN-CUNINGHAME DL (1792-1877), of Mount Kennedy, who married, in 1817, Elizabeth Foulkes, of Birchamp House, Gloucestershire, and had issue,
ROBERT GEORGE ARCHIBALD HAMILTON, his heir;
George Philip Henry;
Philip Henry;
Elizabeth Jane; Adolphina Frederica; Jane; Mary Julia.
Mr Gun-Cuninghame wedded secondly, in 1832, Annabel Erina, eldest daughter of Viscount Glentworth, eldest son of the 1st Earl of Limerick, and had issue,
Edmund;
Albert Glentworth;
Cecil;
Glencairn Dunsmere Stuart;
Nina Augusta Erina; Eva Adelaide.
Mr Gun-Cuninghame was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT GEORGE ARCHIBALD HAMILTON GUN-CUNINGHAME DL (1818-80), of Mount Kennedy and Coolawinna, County Wicklow, Colonel, Wicklow Artillery, who wedded, in 1844, Isabella, only daughter of the Rt Rev Lord Robert Ponsonby Tottenham, Lord Bishop of Clogher (2nd son of 1st Marquess of Ely), by the Hon Alicia Maude, his wife, daughter of Cornwallis, 1st Viscount Hawarden, and had issue,
CORNWALLIS ROBERT DUCAREL, his heir;
Alicia; Elizabeth; Anne; Isabella; Emily Eleanor; Mary Isabella;
Lucy Phillippa; Augusta; Beatrice Elizabeth.
Mr Gun-Cuninghame was succeeded by his only son,

CORNWALLIS ROBERT DUCAREL GUN-CUNINGHAME JP DL (1857-1928), of Mount Kennedy, High Sheriff of County Wicklow, 1886, Captain and Honorary Major, 7th Brigade, N Irish division, Royal Artillery, who wedded firstly, in 1886, Isabella, youngest daughter of Richard Wingfield, and had issue,
ROBERT GEORGE ARTHUR, his heir;
Henry Maurice Benedict;
Dorothy Isabella.
He espoused secondly, in 1904, Constance Evelyn, youngest daughter of Edwin Joseph Vipan.

Mr Gun-Cuninghame was succeeded by his elder son,

ROBERT GEORGE ARTHUR GUN-CUNINGHAME (1896-1970), who married, in 1927, Emily Frances Grace, daughter of Cornelius Richard O'Callaghan, and had issue,
ROBERT HENRY RICHARD, of Finnebrogue, Co Down;
Jean Rosemary; Ruth Isabella Anne.
Captain Gun-Cununghame was succeeded by his only son,

ROBERT HENRY RICHARD GUN-CUNINGHAME, of Finnebrogue, Downpatrick, County Down, Major, Royal Irish Rangers, born in 1930, who espoused, in 1958, Selina Imogen Elizabeth Lorraine, daughter of Major John Robert Perceval-Maxwell, and had issue,
ROBERT PATRICK DUCAREL, b 1959;
Julian Arthur, b 1961;
Richard Benjamin, b 1965.


MOUNT KENNEDY HOUSE, Newtownmountkennedy, County Wicklow,  is a two-storey over basement mansion, to a design originally drawn up by James Wyatt in 1772.

The estate originally belonged to the Kennedys, who erected a large house here in 1670; burnt during the Williamite War.

The estate was purchased in 1769 by Lieutenant-General Robert Cuninghame, later Commander-in-Chief Ireland and 1st Baron Rossmore.

It was modified by the architect and builder, Thomas Cooley, who completed the commission in 1784-85.

Lord Rossmore died in 1801, when Mount Kennedy passed to his niece, Mrs Gun-Cuninghame.

It remained in the Gun-Cuninghames until 1928.

In 1938, the demesne was bought by Mr Ernest Hull, whose widow sold it about 1971.

It later became the home of Mr & Mrs Noel Griffin; and the present family acquired it in 1982.

Mount Kennedy's principal characteristic is the beautiful and delicate interior decoration, incorporating plasterwork by Michael Stapleton.


Exquisite work in the hall (above) and three main reception rooms is further complemented by intricately painted medallions in grisaille by Peter De Gree, a Belgian who came to Ireland in 1785, and whose other works are contained in Lucan House, Luttrellstown Castle and Marlay House.

Mount Kennedy has seven bedrooms, four reception rooms and four bathrooms.

It is set in 170 acres.

The property was sold to a private buyer in 2013.

First published in February, 2013.

2 comments :

Jack said...

Hello.

I have a portrait of Colonel Robert George Archibald Hamilton Gun Cuninghame hanging on my wall, do you know who lives in the house now or if any descendants are still alive?.

Regards Jack..

sumach_shed@hotmail.com

Lisa Gun Cuninghame said...

Hi Jack,

The descendants are still alive, but they do not live in the Mount Kennedy House. Do you happen to still have the portrait?

Best regards,

Lisa Gun Cuninghame