Friday, 9 April 2021

The Ferguson Baronetcy

This family formerly resided in Scotland, but settled in the late 17th century at Burt, a parish in the barony of Inishowen, County Donegal (Burt is six miles from Derry).

THE REV ANDREW FERGUSON (1655-1725), of Burt House, a Presbyterian minister, established himself in Ulster, and left issue by his wife Sarah,
John, his heir;
Victor (Rev);
ANDREW (Rev), of Burt;
Thomas;
Dorcas; Ann; a daughter.
The third son, 

THE REV ANDREW FERGUSON (c1699-1787), married and had issue,

JOHN FERGUSON (1730-95), of Londonderry, who wedded Sarah Harvey and had issue,
Robert;
ANDREW, of whom presently;
Harvey;
David;
Mary; Anne.
It is said that Mr Ferguson was "a poor Londonderry surgeon or apothecary who, according to a later election squib, "had the shop in the whole of the wal [hole in the wall?] with three shillings worth of medicine."

The second son,

ANDREW FERGUSON (1761-1808), banker, of The Farm, Derry, Mayor of Londonderry, 1796-98, MP for Londonderry City (in the Caledon interest), 1798-1800.

Mr Ferguson was created a baronet in 1801, designated of The Farm, County Londonderry.

The hereditary baronetcy was perhaps in compensation for the loss of his seat (which went briefly to his brother-in-law Henry Alexander) following the Act of Union.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Alexander, of Boomhall (niece of the 1st Earl of Caledon), and had issue,
John, died young;
ROBERT ALEXANDER, his heir;
Harvey, dsp;
Anne, m Lt-Col Wm Blacker;
Jane, m  John Montgomery, of Benvarden;
Sarah, m Rev W Knox (son of Bishop Knox);
Eliza, m J G Smyly.
Sir Andrew died in an accident caused by his driving ‘with incautious rapidity over a bridge wanting some repairs’ in 1808, when his younger son Harvey (1824) survived unharmed.

He was succeeded by his only surviving son,

SIR ROBERT ALEXANDER FERGUSON, 2nd Baronet (1796-1860), of The Farm, and Castlederg, County Tyrone, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1818, County Tyrone, 1825, MP for Londonderry City, 1831-60, Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry, 1840-60.

Sir Robert died unmarried, in 1860, when the title expired.

Statue of 2nd Baronet in Brooke Park, Derry

There is a stained glass window in St Columb's Cathedral in memory of Sir Robert.


The Farm (Image: Boomhall Trust)

THE FARM was located at Culmore Road in Derry, adjacent to Boomhall.

It was subsequently acquired by the McFarlands prior to demolition for a housing development.

Prospect of The Farm from the Foyle (Image: Boomhall Trust)

J A K Dean, in his indispensable Gate Lodges of Ulster gazetteer, describes it thus: 
For many years the residence of Sir Robert Ferguson, long-standing MP for the city. His lodge, square Georgian house with noble Grecian portico, and "adjacent Pleasure ground, tout ensemble of the home view" have all been overrun by city sprawl.

The Farm, adjacent to Boomhall, features in J A K Dean's 2020 publication The Plight of the Big House in Northern Ireland

I am particularly grateful to Bart of the Boomhall Trust for the receipt of images of The Farm.

First published in 2013.

3 comments :

Northern Scrivener said...

Prior to its demolition in the 1960's, "The Farm," and surrounding lands were owned by the McFarland family of, "Aberfoyle," Londonderry. (Your post of 9/8/2011 refers.) Certain fields were used to grow cut flowers in connection with Aberfoyle Nurseries.

Anonymous said...

Ronald Ferguson, Fergie's late father, is supposed to be related to this family - she walked down the aisle with a bee embroidered on her wedding dress which was part of the Ferguson of Derry's emblem.

Andrew said...

I think Colonel John Ferguson, Ronald's great grandfather was born in Belfast.