Monday, 31 October 2016

Search Box

A reminder to new readers that any key word, name or place can be entered in the Search box - a white box - at the top left-hand corner of the Blog.

This is a useful feature.

There are lots of categories on the blog, too, if you scroll down the left-hand side of the page.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Gurteen Le Poer


SIR ROGER LE POER, knight, came over to Ireland with Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, and accompanied him in his expedition to regain the kingdom of Leinster for Dermot MacMurrough, and also assisted John de Courcy in the reduction of Ulster.

For his services, Sir Roger obtained considerable territorial grants in Ireland.

Sir Roger wedded the niece of Sir Armoricus Tristram, otherwise St Lawrence, the ancestor of the Earls of Howth; and being murdered in 1189, he left issue by her,
His youngest son,

SIR EUSTACE LE POER, who sat in a parliament held in 1295, died in 1311, leaving issue,

In 1309, this Lord Arnold slew Sir John de Bonneville in single combat, and was acquitted of that act in a parliament held at Kildare in 1310, it being proved to be done in his own defence. He was one of EDWARD I's commanders in the army which opposed Edward Bruce in 1315.
In 1325, EDWARD II appointed this Lord Arnold seneschal of the county and city of Kilkenny. In 1327, Lord Arnold was the cause of a great war between the noblemen of Ireland, by calling the Earl of Desmond.
In 1328, Lord Arnold was arrested and accused of heresy by the Rt Rev Richard Ledred, Bishop of Ossory, and confined in Dublin Castle, where he died before he could be tried.
He left issue,

MATTHEW LE POER, living during the reign of EDWARD III, in 1349; and by Avicia his wife had issue,

JOHN LE POER, who left issue, by Joan his wife,

RICHARD LE POER, who died in 1371, leaving issue,

NICHOLAS LE POER, his son and heir, who was summoned to parliament, in 1375, as BARON LE POER in the reign of EDWARD III.

He lived to a very advanced age, and died leaving issue,  his son,

SIR RICHARD POWER, knight, of Curraghmore, County Waterford,
sheriff of the county in 1535, whose ancestors had been summoned to attend Parlimant as Feudal Barons, was created by patent, in 1535, in the reign of HENRY VIII, BARON POER or POWER, of Curraghmore.
Lord Power married Lady Katherine Butler, daughter of Piers, 8th Earl of Ormonde, by whom he had issue,
PIERS, his successor;
JOHN, 3rd Baron.
Lord Power died in 1551, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR PIERS, 2nd Baron, born in 1522,
a minor at his father's death, and granted in ward to James, 9th Earl of Ormonde, in 1540. He took part in the siege of Boulogne, and died of his wounds at Calais, unmarried, in 1545.
This nobleman was succeeded by his brother,

SIR JOHN, 3rd Baron, who was then a minor.

He married Lady Elinor FitzGerald, daughter of James, 15th Earl of Desmond, and had, with three younger sons,
RICHARD, his successor, 4th Baron;
Lord Power died in 1592, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD, 4th Lord Power, born in 1550, who espoused the Hon Katherine Barry, daughter of James, Viscount Buttevant, and had issue,
JOHN, killed by "The White Knight";
Lord Power died in 1607, and was succeeded by his grandson,

JOHN, 5th Baron (c1599-1661), who had livery of his grandfather's lands in 1639.

He wedded Ruth, daughter of Robert Phypoe, of St Mary's Abbey, Dublin, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor, 6th Baron;
Lord Power was excused from transplantation at the hands of OLIVER CROMWELL, as he was bereft of reason, and had been so for twenty years, in 1654.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD, 6th Baron (1630-90), who was created, in 1673, Viscount Decies and EARL OF TYRONE.

He married, in 1654, Lady Dorothy Annesley, daughter of Arthur, 1st Earl of Anglesey, by whom (who was buried in Waterford Cathedral) he had issue,
JOHN, his successor, 7th Baron & 2nd Earl;
JAMES, 8th Baron & 3rd Earl.
Lord Power, 1st Earl of Tyrone, was imprisoned in the Tower of London, as a Jacobite, where he died in 1690, and was buried at Farnborough, Hampshire, when he was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN (c1665-93), 7th Baron and 2nd Earl, who died unmarried in Dublin, in 1693, and who was buried at Carrick-on-Suir, when he was succeeded by his brother,

JAMES, 8th Baron and 3rd Earl (1667-1704), who wedded Anne, daughter of Andrew Rickards, of Dangan Spidoge, County Kilkenny, by whom he had an only daughter,

LADY KATHERINE POWER, who espoused, in 1717, Sir Marcus Beresford Bt, of Coleraine, and brought her husband the Curraghmore estates.

She died in 1769.

Sir Marcus (1694-1763) was created, in 1746, EARL OF TYRONE, and was ancestor of the Marquess of Waterford.

Lord Power, 3rd Earl of Tyrone, died without male issue in 1704, when his earldom and viscountcy became extinct; but his barony of POWER, of Curraghmore, reverted to his heir male,

JOHN, 9th Baron Power,
de jure, who, being a colonel in the army of King JAMES II, and attainted and outlawed on account of the rebellion in 1688, could not take his seat, but he was allowed a pension of £300 per annum by the Crown.
He died in Paris, in 1725, and left, with two daughters, Charlotte and Clare, an only son,

HENRY, 10th Baron, but for the attainters of his father and grandfather.
He took out administration to his father in 1725, and petitioned the Duke of Bolton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, for the Curraghmore estate, as heir male, upon which petition the Lords Stanhope and Harrington made a favourable report to His Grace, but the petition never came to a hearing.
Lord Power died intestate and unmarried in 1742, and was buried at St Matthew's Church, Irishtown, Dublin.

Administration was granted to his sisters in 1743.

Upon his death the whole male descendants of Richard, 4th Baron, became extinct, and the representation of the 1st Baron Power devolved on the heir male of Piers Power, of Rathgormuck, the brother of the 4th Baron,

JOHN POWER, of Gurteen, County Waterford, and of Grange, County Galway.
He served in France under his maternal uncle, Colonel John Power, 9th Baron Power, and on his return to Ireland he wedded, in 1703, Mary, daughter and co-heir of Richard Power, of Ballydrimney, County Galway, at the request of his kinsman, he being the next relation in blood of the male line.
By this lady he had five daughters,
Mr Power died at Grange in 1743, and was succeeded by his brother,

WILLIAM POWER (FitzEdmond), of Gurteen, who died without an heir at Gurteen in 1755, and was buried at Kilsheelan.

He was succeeded by his nephew,

EDMOND POWER, of Gurteen, who espoused, in 1739, his cousin Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of John Power (FitzEdmond), of Gurteen, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Mr Power was succeeded by his son and heir,

WILLIAM POWER (1745-1813), of Gurteen, who married Mary, daughter of Captain Walter Delamar, in 1765.


JAMES, succeeded as 13th Baron La Poer in 1755, de jure. His great-grandson,

EDMOND, 16th Baron (1775-1830), of Gurteen; 8th Light Dragoons (later 8th Hussars); fought in the Flanders Campaign, under the Duke of York. His 2nd son,

JOHN WILLIAM, 17th Baron, JP, DL (1816-51); MP for County Waterford, 1837-40; MP for Dungarvan, 1837; High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1841. His eldest son,

EDMOND JAMES, 18th Baron, JP (1841-1915); MP for Waterford, 1866-73.

The 18th Baron was created 1st Count de la Poer [Papal States] in 1864.

The Count was High Sheriff of County Waterford in 1879; Private Chamberlain to HH Pope Pius IX; HM Lord-Lieutenant for the County and city of Waterford, 1909.

His second son,

JOHN WILLIAM RIVALLON, JP, 19th Baron and 2nd Count (1882-1939); 4th Battalion, Leinster Regiment; High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1913.

In 1922, he claimed the barony of Le Poer and Coroghmore, and Committee of Privileges of House of Lords decided that but for the attainder of John Power in 1691, the claim had been established.

Mr de la Poer was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Waterford, from 1915 until 1922.

His eldest son,

EDMOND ROBERT ARNOLD, TD, 20th Baron and 3rd Count; was commissioned, in 1936, in the London Irish Rifles; fought in the Second World War.

He succeeded to the title of 20th Baron le Power and Coroghmore in 1939; Captain, the Royal Ulster Rifles; awarded the Territorial Decoration; was an engineer. He lived in 1976 at Gurteen.

In 1998, the world-renowned artist, painter and photographer Gottfried Helnwein purchased Gurteen House, where he lives with his family.

GURTEEN LE POER, near Kilsheelan, County Waterford, is a large Tudor-Baronial house of great importance, which retains its original form and massing together with important salient features and materials, both to the exterior and to the interior.

Built in 1866 to designs prepared by Samuel Roberts for Edmond, 1st Count de la Poer, the architectural quality of the house is enhanced by the complex arrangement of gables, towers and turrets, all of which enliven the skyline.

The construction in limestone ashlar attests to high quality stone work, which is particularly evident in the fine detailing throughout.

A group of gateways to the grounds enhances the artistic design quality of the site, while a garden turret contributes to ornamental quality of the battlemented enclosure, itself augmenting the medieval tone of the grounds.

The house is of additional importance in the locality on account of its associations with the de la Poer family.

The main block is massive, with a lower service wing to one side.

The garden front has the same grouping of gables and three-sided bows, with a great tower in the entrance front.

The interior of Gurteen is commodious and agreeable, the centre boasting a galleried top-lit great hall, divided by a screen of Gothic arches.

Perhaps one of the most notable rooms in the house is the dining-room, said to contain one of the most perfect Victorian-Baronial interiors in Ireland.

The chimney-piece, of carved oak, is most exquisite with its heraldic angels holdings shields of the family arms, and its head of St Hubert's Stag - the family crest - complete with antlers and crucifix, mounted atop the mantel-shelf like a trophy.

First published in November, 2012.   Colour photos by kind permission of Gottfried Helnwein.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Dundrum House


The family of MAUDE deduces its descent from

EUSTACE DE MONTE ALTO (c1045-1112), styled The Norman Hunter, who came to the assistance of Hugh Lupus, 1st Earl of Chester, at the period of the Conquest; and having participated in the glory of that great event, shared in the spoil, and obtained, amongst other considerable grants, the castle, lordship, and manor of Hawarden, Flintshire.

Eustace was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH DE MONTE ALTO, the second baron under Hugh Lupus, who gave a large portion of his possessions to the monks.

He was succeeded by his brother,

ROGER DE MONTE ALTO, 3rd Baron, to whom succeeded his son,

RALPH DE MONTALT, 4th Baron, sewer to Ranulf, 6th Earl of Chester, who had two sons and a daughter, viz.
ROBERT, his heir;
The elder son,

ROBERT DE MONTALT, first baron by tenure, erected, during the reign of HENRY II, Mold Castle, in Flintshire.

This Robert, who was steward of the Palatine of Chester, espoused Emma, daughter of Sir Robert Delaval, and had issue,
ROBERT, 2nd Baron by tenure;
William, in holy orders;
The lineal descendant of this gentleman,

CHRISTOPHER MAUDE, of Holling Hall and Woodhouse, patron of Ilkley, 1554, had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
John, of Stainland;
The elder son,

THOMAS MAUDE, of West Riddlesden, died in 1633. His grandson,

ROBERT MAUDE, of West Riddlesden and Ripon, Yorkshire, patron of Ilkley in 1640, disposed of his English estates, and purchased others in counties Kilkenny and Tipperary, whither he removed.

Dying in 1685, he was succeeded by his only son,

ANTHONY MAUDE, of Dundrum, high sheriff of Tipperary, 1686; MP for Cashel, 1695; who was succeeded by his only son and successor,

ROBERT MAUDE MP, who was created a baronet in 1705.

Sir Robert wedded Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Francis Cornwallis, of Abermarles, Carmarthenshire, by whom he had several children.

He died in 1750, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR THOMAS MAUDE, 2nd Baronet; MP for Tipperary, 1761-76; privy counsellor, 1768.

Sir Thomas was elevated to the peerage, in 1776, as BARON DE MONTALT; but dying without issue, in 1777, the barony ceased, while the baronetcy devolved upon his brother,

SIR CORNWALLIS MAUDE (1729-1803).This gentleman represented the borough of Roscommon in parliament, and was elevated to the peerage, as VISCOUNT HAWARDEN, in 1793.

His lordship married firstly, in 1756, Letitia, daughter of Thomas Vernon, of Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire, by whom he had one daughter, Elizabeth Letitia.

He espoused secondly, in 1766, Mary, daughter of Philip Allen, and niece of Ralph Allen, of Prior Park, Somerset, by whom he had,
THOMAS RALPH, his successor;
Sophia Maria;
His lordship wedded thirdly, Anne Isabella, daughter of Thomas Monck, barrister, and niece of the Viscount Monck, by whom he had issue,
CORNWALLIS, of whom hereafter;
Robert William Henry, Dean of Clogher, and Archdeacon of Dublin;
James Ashley (Sir), captain RN; KCH, CB;
John Charles, in holy orders;
Francis, commander RN; CB;
Isabella Elizabeth; Georgiana;
Alicia; Charlotte; Mary Anne;
Emily; Catherine.
His lordship died in 1803, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS RALPH (1767-1807), 2nd Viscount, who espoused Lady Frances Anne Agar, only daughter of His Grace Charles, Earl of Normanton, Lord Archbishop of Dublin; but dying without issue, the honours devolved upon his half-brother,

CORNWALLIS, 3rd Viscount (1780-1856).


CORNWALLIS [MAUDE] (1817-1905), 4th Viscount,
Captain, 2nd Life Guards, 1849-53; a Representative Peer for Ireland (Conservative), 1862-1905; Lord in Waiting, 1866-68, 1874-80 and 1885-86; Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, 1882; Lord-Lieutenant of Tipperary, 1885-1905.
In 1886, Lord Hawarden was advanced to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL DE MONTALT.

Lord de Montalt was the last of the family to live at Dundrum House.

On Lord de Montalt's death, the earldom became extinct.

The other titles, however, devolved upon his cousin, Robert Henry [Maude], 5th Viscount.

The 9th and present Viscount lives in Kent.

DUNDRUM HOUSE, near Cashel, County Tipperary, was built about 1730, the nucleus of a fine estate once owned by the the O'Dwyers of Kilnamanagh.

The O'Dwyer estate was subsequently confiscated and Robert Maude was given all of the O'Dwyer land, including the O'Dwyer manor and castle of Dundrum.

This is a Palladian mansion, comprising a centre block of two storeys over a high basement, joined by short links to flanking pavilions.

The entrance front has seven bays, with a three-bay, pedimented breakfront.

There is an impressive, double-pedimented stable block at right-angles to the entrance front.

An additional storey, treated as an attic above the cornice, was added to the main block about 1890 by the 4th Viscount Hawarden (later 1st and last Earl de Montalt).

In 1909, when Dundrum House demesne was for sale, it was acquired by a religious order, who later established a Domestic Science College.

Until recently the mansion house was used as a retreat.

Having been acquired by Austin and Mary Crowe in 1978, with extensive renovation and restoration, Dundrum House was opened as a hotel in 1981.

First published in November, 2012.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Lisheen House


The earliest record of this family is found in a list of names of subscribers to a loan raised in 1589, during the reign of ELIZABETH I, to defray expenses incurred during the arming of the country at the time of the threatened Spanish Armada.

The name there appears as PHILLIPS, as it also does in the official list of High Sheriffs for County Sligo, as late as 1716, where Matthew Phibbs, of Templevaney, is styled Matthew Phillips.

Of this family two brothers came over to Ireland, as soldiers, about 1590.

From records now existing in Trinity College, Dublin, they are found on half-pay, in 1616 and 1619, under the name of PHIPPS, a name that some of the younger branches of the family resumed about 1765.

Of these two, William settled in County Cork, in the south-west of which county the name existed as ffibbs.

The elder of the two,

RICHARD PHIPPS, who served under Sir Tobias Caulfeild, and was pensioned as a maimed soldier in 1619, settled at Kilmainham, Dublin, where he died in 1629, and was buried at St James's Church.

He had issue,
RICHARD, of whom presently;
John, living in Co Sligo, 1663;
Hester; Jane; Sarah; Rebecca.
The eldest son,

RICHARD PHIBBS or FFIBS, of Coote's Horse, who was granted land in County Sligo, 1659, and served in Captain Francis King's troop of horse in Lord Collooney's regiment.

He died in 1670, and was interred in St John's Church, Dublin, having had issue,
MATTHEW, of Templevaney;
William, of Grange.
The elder son,

MATTHEW PHIBBS, of Templevaney, afterwards of Rockbrook, County Sligo, was High Sheriff in 1716, and died in 1738.

He had issue, four sons and two daughters,
WILLIAM, of Rathbrook and Rathmullen;
Anne; Margaret.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM PHIPPS or PHIBBS (1696-1775), of Rockbrook and Rathmullen, married, in 1717, Mary, only daughter of John Harloe, of Rathmullen, by whom he had twenty-one children, of whom
WILLIAM, of whom presently;
Mary; Anne; Joanna; Rebecca; Eleanor.
The second surviving son,

WILLIAM PHIBBS (1738-1801), of Hollybrook, High Sheriff, 1781, wedded, in 1768, Jane, daughter of Owen Lloyd, of Rockville, County Roscommon, and by her had ten children, of whom
William, 1771-2;
William, 1773-97;
OWEN, of whom presently;
Susan; Mary.
Mr Phibbs was succeeded by his only surviving son,

OWEN PHIBBS (1776-1829), of Merrion Square, Dublin, High Sheriff, 1804, who espoused, in 1798, Anne, daughter of Thomas Ormsby, of Ballimamore, County Mayo, and had issue,
WILLIAM, of Seafield;
Elizabeth; Jane; Maria.
Mr Phibbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM PHIBBS (1803-81), of Seafield, County Sligo, High Sheriff, 1833, 11th Light Dragoons, who married, in 1840, Catherine, daughter of George Meares Maunsell, of Ballywilliam, county Limerick, and had issue,
OWEN, his heir;
Catherine; Anne; Edythe Frances.
Mr Phibbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

OWEN PHIBBS JP DL (1842-1914), of Lisheen (name changed in 1904), High Sheriff, 1884, Lieutenant, 6th Dragoon Guards, who wedded, in 1866, Susan, daughter of William Talbot-Crosbie, of Ardfert Abbey, County Kerry, and had issue,
BASIL, his heir;
William Talbot;
Mr Phibbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

BASIL PHIBBS, (1867-1938), of Corradoo, Boyle, and Lisheen, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1905, who married, in 1899, Rebekah Wilbraham, youngest daughter of Herbert Wilbraham Taylor, of Hadley Bourne, Hertfordshire, and had issue,
Denis William;
Richard Owen Neil;
Catherine Meave.
Mr Phibbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEOFFREY BASIL PHIBBS (1900-56), of Lisheen,
Born in Norfolk; Irish Guards; worked variously as demonstrator in College of Science; librarian; factory-worker in London and school-teacher in Cairo;worked with Nancy Nicholson at the Poulk (Hogarth) Press.
Mr Phibbs married Norah McGuinness in London.

He subsequently changed his name to TAYLOR, following his father’s refusal to "allow his wife over the threshold".

He lived in a Georgian house in Tallaght, County Dublin.

Denis William Phibbs inherited the house and some of the lands, which he sold to Isaac Beckett of Ballina for £1,400 ~ less than one third of the original construction price.

Beckett later sold the house to a builder, John Sisk.

In 1944, the Becketts sold the lands they owned to George Lindsay.

Other lands on the Phibbs estate were bought by the Lindsay and McDermott families.

LISHEEN HOUSE (formerly Seafield), near Ballysadare, County Sligo, although now in a ruinous state, casts an impressive presence on the landscape.

Many clues as to its original state survive, including some fine stonework to the facades, chimneys, and openings.

This was clearly a house rich in history and skillfully designed.

The Sligo architect John Benson, who designed the house, was knighted for designing the building at the Dublin Exhibition of 1853.

Lisheen is a two-storey rendered house, built ca 1842, now ruinous.

Symmetrical main elevations, extensive vegetation growth internally and externally; roof collapsed; remains of chimney-stacks survive; section of moulded eaves cornice survives.

Painted smooth-rendered walling, horizontal banding between floors, plain pilasters to corners, moulded dado, ashlar limestone plinth.

Square-headed full-height window openings, moulded architraves, entablatures supported on console brackets, all evidence of timber windows missing.

No evidence of entrance doors survive; all internal finishes and features removed; remote location in fields.

First published in November, 2012.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Brackenber In The 1950s

A fellow Old Brackenbrian, Tom Graham, has kindly sent me three photographs of staff and pupils at Brackenber House prep school, Belfast, during the mid-fifties.

Many thanks, Tom, for such a wonderful contribution. If you click on the image below, it ought to enlarge.

Tom describes these pictures in his own words:-

"Above is a school photo from about 1956/57. So few pupils, so many teachers!. A student/teacher ratio which would bring a tear to the eye of any modern educator.

On Mr Craig's left is the famous Miss Rankin. I can't name any of the young women to her left.

To his right is Mr Henry, Deputy Principal .

He left to become an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon; then Mr Hunter, next, I believe is the Sport/PE master, whose name escapes me".

"Mr Ferguson and two unknown trainee teachers complete the line-up.

They were all good teachers. Their skills greatly eased the transition to Secondary education".

The photo above suggests that not all reds are equal.

Substantial differences in the blazers are clearly visible. The BHS monogram is missing from many pockets.

My guess is that many families must have struggled financially, and economised by not buying blazers from the approved supplier".

"My parents managed to outfit my brother as well as myself from the approved supplier, but only just, I suspect.

The parents at my daughter's private school ran a thriving a second hand uniform shop. I can't remember any such thing at Brackenber.

I do not recall an overcoat being part of the uniform. It's cost might have been the final straw which would have deterred some parents".

PS That's me, Tom, in the top left corner!

"Above is the football team from 1956/57. We tried hard, but rarely succeeded. The school was small,  so the talent pool was shallow.

We played against Rockport and Cabin Hill, but not against nearby Inchmarlo. The school supplied the shirts, but not the socks, shorts,or boots.

As you can see, the sports budget did not stretch to providing more than one size of shirt! For away matches, Mr Craig took all 12 of us in his car!"

First published in 2009.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Castlecoote House


This is the parent stock, whence the noble houses of COOTE, Earls of Mountrath, and COOTE, Barons Castle Coote, both now extinct, emanated.
The first settler of the Cootes in Ireland, descended from a very ancient English family, was Sir Charles Coote, 1st Baronet, Knight, who served in the wars against O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, at the head, as captain, of 100 foot-soldiers, with which he was at the siege of Kinsale.
Sir Charles was appointed, by JAMES I, provost-marshal of the province of Connaught for life.

In 1620, he was constituted vice-president of the same province; and created, in 1621, a baronet.

Sir Charles distinguished himself, subsequently, by many gallant exploits; but the most celebrated was the relief of Birr, in 1642.
The surprising passage through Mountrath woods justly caused the title of Mountrath to be conferred upon his son; and the Coote Baronetcy, of Castle Cuffe, Queen's County, one of the oldest creations (1621) in the Baronetage.
Sir Charles Coote, 1st Baronet, Provost-Marshal and Vice-President of the Province of Connaught, greatly distinguished himself at the relief of Birr, 1642.

The 2nd Baronet, also called Sir Charles, was created, in 1661, Earl of Mountrath, when the baronetcy merged in the peerage.

The 7th Earl and 8th Baronet, having no heir, obtained, in 1800, a new creation, that of Baron Castle Coote

This title became extinct in 1827, when the baronetcy reverted to the great-great-grandson of the 2nd son of the 1st Baronet.

The 14th Baronet, Rear-Admiral Sir John Coote CB CBE DSC, was Director of Naval Ordnance, 1955-58.

CASTLECOOTE HOUSE, near Castlecoote, County Roscommon, is situated on the site of a medieval castle, thought to have been built between 1570 and 1616.

It was a strategic site, and may have been the base of the Chieftains of Fuerty, the MacGeraghty clan. 

In 1616, it fell into the hands of Sir Charles Coote, who improved and re-fortified the castle.

The castle was attacked three times by the confederate forces in the 1640s.

Castlecoote House was built in the second half of the 17th century, within the enclosure of the old castle, which had by now fallen into ruins.

In the basement tower rooms, musket chambers still overlook the entrance steps.

In the 18th century the property passed into the ownership of the Gunnings, rumoured to have won it in a poker game.
The two Gunning sisters (one of whom was later to become Duchess of Hamilton and then Duchess of Argyll) were renowned for their beauty. Their portraits, painted by Joshua Reynolds, can be viewed in the main hall.
In the 20th century, the house was owned by Henry Strevens, a noted equestrian.

The present owner bought Castlecoote House in 1997,
The house was a cavernous ruin, with no floors, no ceilings, no stairs, no windows and crumbling interior walls. The entire basement was submerged beneath the earth and the main entrance steps had collapsed.
The restoration work took five years to complete, and included underpinning the foundations, consolidating the castle towers, rebuilding the mill race walls, landscaping the grounds and restoring the ceilings and ballroom to their former splendour.
First published in October, 2012.

Brackenber Memorabilia

A fellow Old Brackenbrian has kindly conveyed several nostalgic illustrations which, I hope, are of considerable interest to others.

I have sought old photographs of the School for some time, so it gives me great pleasure to share these illustrations with readers.

Brackenber House Preparatory School (above) was located at Cleaver Avenue in Belfast.

The scarlet cap and striped tie are on the right. 

First published in June, 2009.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Post Tardiness

Fret not, dear readers. The posting this morning was later than usual because I'm not using my normal BT connection.

The wifi where I happen to be can be, shall we say, hit or miss.

I shall try to post articles during the evening, when I tend to have a more reliable connection.

I dined at an old favourite earlier: Avenida Restaurant, Corralejo, Fuerteventura.

The food is relatively simple and unpretentious, as is the restaurant.

The standards, however, are first-rate.

My chicken escalope, served with crisp and dry chips, lettuce and tomato slice, was as enjoyable as ever.

Always order a half portion, lest you have the appetite of a hippopotamus.

One is brought a complimentary basket of fresh bread and strong alioli (my preference).

The bill came to a mere €5.90: a bargain.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Castle Durrow


The family of FLORE, or FLOWER, formerly seated at Oakham, Rutland, represented that county in parliament during the reign of RICHARD II, in the person of ROGER FLORE MP, speaker of the House of Commons during the time of HENRY VI, who died in 1427.

The Irish branch was founded by

SIR GEORGE FLOWER, Knight, who, in ELIZABETH I's reign, embracing a military life, was a very active and brave officer against the rebels in Ireland, having command of 100 foot-soldiers in the old army.

In 1601, he was sergeant-major of Her Majesty's army; and thereafter was knighted and appointed governor and constable of Waterford Fort, in 1627; and soon after died.

Sir George was succeeded by his eldest son, 

SIR WILLIAM FLOWER, Knight,  also a military man in service under Lieutenant-General Michael Jones, governor of Dublin, during the Irish rebellion in 1641, and subsequently one of the Privy Council of CHARLES II.

Sir William was born at Whitwell, Rutland, in 1600. During the Irish rebellion, he was seized, in 1648, with other officers, on suspicion of affection to the Marquess of Ormonde (Lord Ormonde was their former general at that time, upon his return to the Kingdom), where they were sent prisoners to England. 

Sir William lived to see the restoration of CHARLES II, to whose first Parliament, In 1661, he was returned as member for Irishtown.

He was made captain of a company of foot and afterwards lieutenant-colonel to GEORGE II's Regiment of Guards, in Ireland.

He was appointed, in 1662, one of the trustees for "Satisfying the Arrears of the Commissioned Officers" who served His Majesty in Ireland before the 5th June, 1649.

He wedded Frances, daughter of Walter Weldon, of St John's Bower, County Kildare, and widow of William Savage, and as succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS FLOWER, of Durrow, County Kilkenny, who married, firstly, in 1683, Mary, fourth daughter of Sir John Temple, attorney-general for Ireland, by whom he had one son, WILLIAM; and secondly, Miss Jeffries, by whom he had two other children, Jeffreys and Catherine.

He was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM FLOWER (1685-1746), of Durrow, who represented County Kilkenny in parliament until elevated to the peerage, as Baron Castle Durrow.

His lordship espoused Edith, daughter of the Hon Toby Caulfeild, and had two sons and two daughters.

He was succeeded by his only surviving son,

HENRY, 2nd Baron, who was created VISCOUNT ASHBROOK in 1751.

His lordship married Elizabeth, daughter of Lieutenant-General William Tatton, and dying in 1752, left, with two daughters, a son and successor,

WILLIAM, 2nd Viscount (1744-80), who wedded, in 1766, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Ridge, by whom he had two sons and four daughters,
WILLIAM, his successor;
HENRY JEFFREY, 4th Viscount;
Harriet; Caroline; Sophia; Elizabeth.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM, 3rd Viscount (1767-1802), at whose decease, unmarried, the honours devolved upon his brother,

HENRY JEFFREY, 4th Viscount (1776-1847), who espoused firstly, in 1802, Susannah, only daughter and heiress of the Rev William Maximilian Freind, and granddaughter and heiress of THOMAS WALKER, of Woodstock, by whom he had issue,
HENRY, his successor;
Caroline; Susannah Sophia.
He married secondly, in 1812, Emily Theophila, daughter of Sir Thomas Metcalfe Bt, and had, by that lady, one surviving daughter, Charlotte Augusta.

Henry Jeffrey Flower, 4th Viscount (1776–1847);
Henry Jeffrey Flower, 5th Viscount (1806–71);
Henry Jeffrey Flower, 6th Viscount (1829–82);
William Spencer Flower, 7th Viscount (1830–1906);
Robert Thomas Flower, 8th Viscount (1836–1919);
Llowarch Robert Flower, 9th Viscount (1870–1936);
Desmond Llowarch Edward Flower, 10th Viscount (1905–95);
Michael Llowarch Warburton Flower, 11th Viscount (b 1935).
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, the Hon Rowland Francis Warburton Flower (b 1975).
The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son Benjamin Warburton Flower (b 2006).

CASTLE DURROW, near Durrow, County Laois, is an early 18th century mansion, with a high-pitched roof and tall chimney-stacks.

It was constructed by Colonel William Flower MP, later 1st Lord Castle Durrow. Colonel Flower commenced with the construction of the manor in 1712.

The Flower family assumed residency of Castle Durrow in 1716.

The house consists of two storeys with a dormered attic in the roof; nine bays, of which the front is divided into three groups of three bays by huge Doric pilasters, formerly crowned with urns (now erected on the porch).

Later generations of the Ashbrooks adorned the house with 18th century plasterwork and 19th century stained-glass.

There is a notable castellated entrance gate in the square of the town of Durrow.

Castle Durrow was sold by the 9th Viscount in 1922.

Subsequently, the property was sold to a Mr Maher of Freshford, County Kilkenny, who was primarily interested in the rich timber reserves of the estate.

By 1928 the old hard wood forests of Durrow were scarce.

Eventually the Irish Land Commission divided up the arable portions of the property, and the forestry department took over many of the woods for further plantation.

During this time Castle Durrow was vacant for a few years.

In 1929, with the Bishop’s approval, the parish of Durrow acquired the estate for the purchase price of £1,800 and Castle Durrow was transformed into a school, St Fintan’s College and Convent.

Peter and Shelley Stokes bought the castle in 1998 and transformed it into a hotel.

Other former seat ~ Beaumont Lodge, Old Windsor, Berkshire.
Present seat ~ Arley Hall, Cheshire.

First published in October, 2012.   Ashbrook arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Barretstown Castle


This family derives (as proved by the patent from Sir William Roberts, Ulster King-of-Arms, granting an augmentation to the arms of Sir Erasmus, 1st Baronet) from a scion of the ancient house of DE BURGH, for centuries so eminent, both in England and Ireland, under the names of Burgh, Bourke, Burke, and Borough. 

HENRY BORROWES, who settled in Ireland during the reign of ELIZABETH I, married firstly, Jane, daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Arthur Savage MP, of Rheban, County Kildare; and secondly, in 1585, Catherine Eustace, of Gilltown.

He was succeeded by his son, 


This gentleman, who was high sheriff of County Kildare, at the breaking out of the rebellion in 1641, testified, upon oath, that he was unable to resist the Irish by the Posse Comitatus; and that he had lost in goods, corn, and cattle, at his several houses of Grangemellan, Gilltown, and Carbally, £9,396; in debts, £11,932; besides a yearly income of £1,200, or thereabouts; in consideration whereof, and of his goods and rightful services, CHARLES I, in 1646, created him a baronet.

Sir Erasmus married Sarah, daughter of Walter Weldon MP, of Woodstock Castle, and granddaughter maternally of the Rt Rev John Ryder, Lord Bishop of Killaloe, by whom he had, with a daughter, two sons, by the survivor of whom he was succeeded, viz.

SIR WALTER BORROWES, 2nd Baronet (c1620-85), who wedded firstly, in 1656 (the ceremony being performed with great pomp, before the Rt Hon Ridgeway Hatfield, Lord Mayor of Dublin), the Lady Eleanor FitzGerald, third daughter of George, 16th Earl of Kildare.

He married secondly, Margaret, fifth daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Adam Loftus MP, of Rathfarnham.

By the former he had, with a daughter, an only son, his successor,

SIR KILDARE BORROWES, 3rd Baronet, MP (c1660-1709), who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Dixon, and sister of Robert Dixon, by whom he had two sons and three daughters.

Sir Kildare, who represented County Kildare in parliament for nine years, was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR WALTER DIXON BORROWES, 4th Baronet (1691-1741), MP for the borough of Athy, who inherited the estates of his maternal uncle, Robert Dixon, already mentioned, in 1725.

He married, in 1720,  Mary, daughter and co-heir of Captain Edward Pottinger, by whom he had three sons; the second and third died unmarried, and the eldest succeeded to the baronetcy, and became, 

SIR KILDARE DIXON BORROWES, 5th Baronet (1722-90), High Sheriff of County Kildare, 1751, for which county he had been some years before (1745) returned to parliament.

He married firstly, in 1759, Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of John Short, of Grange, Queen's County, by whom he had three sons and one daughter; and secondly, in 1769,  Jane, daughter of Joseph Higginson, of Mount Ophaley, County Kildare, by whom he had four sons and two daughters.

Sir Kildare was succeeded by his eldest son, 

SIR ERASMUS DIXON BORROWES, 6th Baronet (1759-1814), who wedded, in 1783, Harriet, youngest daughter of the Very Rev Arthur Champagné, Dean of Clonmacnoise, and great-granddaughter (maternally) of Arthur, 2nd Earl of Granard, and had issue,
WALTER DIXON, his successor;
ERASMUS, 8th Baronet;
Marianne; Harriet; Elizabeth.
Sir Erasmus was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WALTER DIXON BORROWES, 7th Baronet (1789-1834), who, dying a bachelor, was succeeded by his only surviving brother, 

THE REV SIR ERASMUS DIXON BORROWES, 8th Baronet (1799-1866), Rector of Ballyroan, Queen's County, who married, in 1825, Harriet, daughter of Henry Hamilton, and niece of Hans Hamilton, MP for County Dublin, and had issue,
Kildare (1828-37);
Walter Joseph;
Henrietta Mary; Adelaide Charlotte Marianne; Eleanor Caroline.
Sir Erasmus was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, 

SIR ERASMUS DIXON BORROWES, 9th Baronet (1831-98), of Barretstown Castle, High Sheriff of County Kildare, 1873, and of the Queen's County, 1880, who espoused firstly, in 1851, Frederica Eaten, daughter of Brigadier-General George Hutcheson, and had issue, a son,
KILDARE, his successor.
He married secondly, in 1887, Florence Elizabeth, daughter of William Ruxton, and had issue,
Walter (1892-1915);
Mary Adelaide Vernon.
Sir Erasmus was succeeded by his son,

SIR KILDARE BORROWES, 10th Baronet (1852-1924), who married, in 1886, Julia, daughter of William Holden, by whom he had no issue.
Sir Kildare was Captain in the 11th Hussars and aide-de-camp to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He retired from the army with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.
The baronetcy expired on the death of Sir Eustace Dixon Borrowes, 11th baronet, in 1939.

BARRETSTOWN CASTLE, Ballymore Eustace, Naas, County Kildare, is an old tower-house with a two-storey, Gothic-Victorian addition.

The latter has rectangular, pointed and segmental-pointed plate glass windows.

One side of the front has a four-storey tower with a stepped gable.

The first historical mention of the place is in a 1547 inquisition held after the dissolution of the monasteries, when Barretstown Castle was listed as the property of the Lord Archbishop of Dublin, from whom it was promptly confiscated by the Crown.

Thereafter the Castle was held by the Eustace family on a series of "permanent leases."

In the 17th century, Sir Walter Borrowes married a daughter of the Earl of Kildare and acquired the estate, and the family retained possession for over two centuries.

Members of the family, such as Sir Kildare Borrowes, 5th Baronet, represented Kildare County and Harristown in the former Irish Parliament.

Unlike the Eustace Baronets of the 16th and 17th centuries, the five Borrowes Baronets, who spanned the 19th century, played no part in public life.

Sir Kildare, 10th Baronet (1852–1924), whose father, the Rev Sir Erasmus, 8th Baronet, had significantly modified the residence in a medieval, romantic, asymmetrical style, was the last of the family to live at Barretstown.

In 1918, the Borrowes family left Ireland and Barretstown was purchased by Sir George Sheppard Murray, a Scotsman who converted the estate into a fine stud farm, and planted many of the exotic trees that dominate the landscape.

In 1962, Elizabeth Arden acquired the castle from the Murray family. Over five years, Arden extensively reconstructed, redecorated, and refurnished the castle.

Her influence dominates the look of the house to this day.

The door of the castle is reputed to have been painted red after her famous brand of perfume Red Door, and remains so to this day.

After Arden's death in 1967, the billionnaire Garfield Weston took up residence.

Under his ownership the grounds were significantly improved, particularly through the addition of a magnificent lake in front of the castle.
The Weston family, which owns Dublin's famous Brown Thomas department store, presented the estate to the Irish government in 1977, during which time it was used for national and international conferences and seminars, as well as being used as a part of the Irish National Stud.
The Irish government has leased the castle and its grounds to the Barretstown Gang Camp Fund for the next 90 years.

First published in September, 2012.

Gelston's Corner

 2-4, BELMONT ROAD, BELFAST (also known as Strandtown Hall), is a four-bay, two-storey, red-brick corner building with curved entrance facade facing west.

It was built ca 1902.

There is an elaborate entrance with pillars, sculpted pediment, clock, open-work balustrade to a parapet with hipped roof behind.

The building is located on the northern corner of the junction of the Belmont Road and Holywood Road, known locally as Gelston's Corner.

It has a hipped, natural slate roof with terracotta ridge, hips and finials at each end; and cast-iron ogee guttering.

The main entrance is curved and faces west.

Pairs of Corinthian-style marble pilasters frame either side of the shop front, with curved bay plate-glass windows, and timber frames supported on splayed marble stall-riser to north and south of the entrance doors, rendered and painted fascia.

Prior to the erection of the current building, the corner site was occupied by a local post office.

When the Belfast Corporation Bill was passed in 1896, Belfast’s municipal boundary was extended to include a number of townlands in east Belfast such as Ballyhackamore, Ballycloghan and Strandtown.

2-4 Belmont Road was constructed at Gelston’s Corner on land leased by Braithwaite & McCann, spirit dealers who owned one of the largest chain of public houses in the city.

Belmont Road ca 1916

The building cost £1,500 to erect (about £166,000 today).

The local historian Keith Haines states that Braithwaite & McCann originally intended to use the building as a hotel, though it remained vacant from about 1902 until the 1st World War.

The building was simply described as ‘new shop – vacant’ by the Ulster Town Directories during this period.

It was not until during the 1st World War that ownership of 2-4 Belmont Road passed to Greenhill & Craig, electrical engineers, who leased the building out to its first occupants.

In 1915 the building was divided between W J Balmer, a local pharmacist who established his business on the ground floor.

Strandtown & District Unionist Club, whose club rooms were located on the floor over Balmer’s pharmacy (No 4) were accessed by the ground floor entrance on the Belmont Road (located next to the war memorial).

A contemporary photograph of 2-4 Belmont Road (dated ca 1918) depicts the building along its current layout and shows that few major structural changes have been made to the building since the end of the 1st World War.

The Portland stone war memorial was installed adjacent to the building in the aftermath of the conflict as a memorial to the residents of Strandtown who gave their lives during the war.

The memorial, which is 10ft 6in in height and 4ft 6in in width, was commissioned by the Strandtown & District Unionist Club (the name of the organisation was carved in the ribbon at the top).

Throughout this period the building continued to be occupied by Balmer’s pharmacy and as club rooms for the Strandtown & District Unionist Club.

Balmer vacated the ground floor of the building in the late-20th century when the ground floor retail unit became a bicycle shop.

The Holywood Road side was occupied by the dental surgeon, James McIlroy.

The offices located on the upper floor of the building continued to be utilised by Victoria Unionist Association.

In 2008 the Ulster Unionist Party established its headquarters at the former club-rooms which are also occupied by the Victoria Ulster Unionist Association.

The Belmont Road side is occupied today by the restaurant Bennetts on Belmont.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Prince Edward In NI

The Earl of Wessex, Trustee, yesterday carried out engagements in Northern Ireland to celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim (Mrs. Joan Christie OBE).

His Royal Highness met young people participating in the Grass Roots Challenge, at Hillsborough Castle, County Down.

The Earl of Wessex visited a Probation Board Project at the Book Reserve, 407 Lisburn Road, Belfast.

His Royal Highness afterwards visited Belfast Activity Centre, Barnett's Stable Yard, Barnett's Demesne, Malone Road, Belfast, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast (Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE).

HRH later visited Strangford Integrated College, Abbey Road, Carrowdore, Newtownards, County Down,and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Down (Mr. David Lindsay).

His Royal Highness yesterday evening attended a Dinner in County Down.

TODAY His Royal Highness visited Ballyclare High School, Ballyclare, County Antrim.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Derryquin Castle



This family were 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, and 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 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.