Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Cahir Park


This is a branch of the noble house of ORMONDE, springing from

JAMES, 3rd Earl of Ormond (c1359-1405); who, besides legitimate children, had two illegitimate sons, Thomas, Prior of Kilmainham and Lord Deputy of Ireland in the reigns of HENRY IV and HENRY V; and

JAMES LE BOTELLER or BUTLER, whose descendants, by the settlement of Thomas, the 10th Earl, were made next in remainder to the house of Ormonde after the family of Dunboyne.

From this James lineally descended

THOMAS BUTLER, of Cahir, who married Ellice, daughter of the Earl of Desmond, and was father of

THOMAS BUTLER, who wedded Catherine, daughter of Sir Piers Power, of County Waterford, by whom he had two sons; the younger of whom, Piers, was father of Theobald, 3rd Baron Cahir; and the elder,

THOMAS BUTLER, was elevated to the peerage, in 1543, as Baron Cahir.

His lordship espoused Eleanor, fifth daughter of Piers, 8th Earl of Ormond, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

EDMUND, 2nd Baron; who died without issue, when the barony expired, and his two half-sisters became his heirs

The dignity was, however, revived in 1583 by a new patent granted to his lordship's first cousin,

SIR THEOBALD BUTLER, Knight, who became thus 1st Baron Cahir of the second creation.

This nobleman married Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Cusack, of Cussington, County Meath, LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Ellen; Mary.
Lord Cahir died in 1596, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 2nd Baron, who died in 1627, and leaving an only daughter and heir, Margaret, who wedded Edmund, 3rd Lord Dunboyne, the barony devolved upon his nephew,

THOMAS, 3rd Baron, who espoused Eleanor, granddaughter of Lord Poer, by whom he had seven children, and was succeeded by his grandson,

PIERCE, 4th Baron; who died in 1676, when the family honours reverted to

THEOBALD, 5th Baron, son of Edmund (3rd son of the 1st Baron), who died in 1700, and was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS, 6th Baron; whose son,

JAMES, 7th Baron, succeeded in 1744, though died without issue, 1746, and was succeeded by his brother,

PIERCE, 8th Baron, at whose demise, unmarried, in 1788, the title reverted to his kinsman,

JAMES, 9th Baron, who was in India at the time of his predecessor's death and so never received the news of his elevation as he died a month later, in 1788.

RICHARD (1775–1819), 10th Baron (son of James Butler, of Fethard, County Tipperary, and grandson of Richard Butler, of Glengall, who was descended from Sir Theobald Butler, 1st Baron Cahir through his third son, the Hon Pierce Butler).

His lordship wedded, in 1793, Emily, youngest daughter of James St John Jefferyes, of Blarney Castle, County Cork, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
Harriet Anne, m George, 3rd Marquess of Donegall;
Charlotte Butler; Emily Georgina Arabella.
His lordship was advanced, in 1816, to the dignities of Viscount Cahir and EARL OF GLENGALL.

He was succeeded by his only son,

RICHARD, 2nd Earl (1794-1858), who espoused, in 1834, Margaret Lauretta, younger daughter and co-heir of William Mellish, of Woodford, Essex, and had issue, two daughters.

Having no male issue, the titles expired on his decease in 1858.
Harriet Anne, Countess of Belfast 

The 1st Earl's daughter, the Lady Harriet Anne Butler (above), married George, 3rd Marquess of Donegall, in 1822.

Glengall Street in Belfast is named after this marital union.

Richard, 2nd Earl of Glengall

One of his daughters, the Lady Margaret Butler, inherited her father's extensive estate at Cahir, County Tipperary, following his death in 1858.

In that year she married Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon Richard Charteris (1822-74), and built Cahir Park as the family home.

She was succeeded by her eldest son, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Butler Charteris (1866-1961), who continued to live at Caher until his death.

CAHIR CASTLE stands on an island in the River Suir by the town of Cahir.

It was built in the 13th century on a site of an earlier native fortification called a cathair (stone fort), which gave its name to the place.

The castle was built in two parts, with the side now by the street being built 200 years before the side now housing the audio-visual show.

Granted to the Butlers in the late 14th century, the castle was enlarged and remodelled between the 15th and 17th centuries.

It fell into ruin in the late 18th century, when the family ceased to live in it, though was partially restored in the 1840s. The Great Hall was partly rebuilt in 1840.

It is now a national monument, managed by the Irish state.

Instead, they built a house of three storeys and five bays, now the Cahir House Hotel, facing the main square of the town and backing on to the Castle park.

Swiss Cottage, a delightful cottage orné, was built in the early 1800s by the 1st Earl, it has been said, for a mistress, to a design by the famous Regency architect John Nash.

Its interior contains a graceful spiral staircase and some elegantly decorated rooms.

The wallpaper in the salon manufactured by the Dufour factory is one of the first commercially produced Parisian wallpapers. 

Cahir Park

Following the death of the 2nd Earl in 1858, his daughter, Lady Margaret Charteris, built the house known as Cahir Park, or Cahir Lodge, across the river from the ancient Castle.

This mansion served as the family seat from then on.

It was built about 1861, designed by Lanyon, Lynn & Lanyon; though, according by Bence-Jones, was neither "worthy of its architects, nor of its glorious setting".

It was said to be exceptionally dull and dour, quasi-Baronial, with steep gables, pointed plate-glass windows, and a turret with a pyramidal roof.

Its rooms were apparently "meanly proportioned", though redeemed with some French furniture.

During the 20th century, Colonel Charteris added a billiards-room-cum-library.

The house, somewhat ingloriously, was gutted by fire shortly after it had been sold following the Colonel's death, at the advanced age of 94, in 1961.

Former town residence ~ 54 Grosvenor Street, London.

First published in January, 2013.  Glengall arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Castle Ward Project

The National Trust has embarked on an ambitious conservation project at Castle Ward, Strangford, County Down, which will see a refurbishment of the Temple and the restoration of historic paths and vista points.

The man-made landscape of the Temple Water area, conceived by the Wards, Viscounts Bangor, is one of the most important late 17th and early 18th century gardens to survive in Northern Ireland.

The National Trust's general manager for South Down, Jonathan Clarke, remarked,
Over the years the design of the landscape has become obscured by self-seeded trees, poor drainage and other changes. 
As a conservation charity we are committed to protecting our special places for ever, for everyone and so we are restoring this hidden part of Castle Ward to enhance visitor enjoyment and understanding of the area. 
We anticipate the project will take three years and will include the repair of the Temple and improvements to the parkland that will open up views of both Audley’s Castle and Strangford Lough.
The lake at Castle Ward, known as Temple Water, will be central to the restoration project.

The Temple Water, Castle Ward

Features planned for restoration include the crumbling stone sides of the Temple Water which have been weakened by tree roots over the years.

The Temple will also be refurbished and the original paths will be reinstated, creating a picturesque route around the Temple with spectacular viewpoints.

Historic paths will be reinstated along Lime Tree Walk and visitors will be able to grace the reinstated historic steps on the Yew Tree Terraces.

The viewing mound and early 18th century Ward family home, the Green House, will both be revealed and interpreted.

The walled garden will be levelled and a planting design scheme started.

It will also be opened for public viewing.

The Temple

Improvements will also be made to access around the Temple Water by reinstating former pathways and steps; repairing drains; creating pockets of natural biodiversity; removing some inappropriate trees; pruning others, and planting new trees in locations based on early demesne maps. 

Enhanced interpretation will also be installed to enable everyone to share in the story of the Ward family and their grand designs.

Map of 1835 showing the Green House

A team of National Trust specialists including curators, archaeologists, historic gardens advisers and interpretation designers will be available to provide advice and work together to bring the Temple Water back to the late 17th early 18th century design.

The final picture will be a grand formal and unexpected statement in the midst of rolling landscape.

Bangor arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

The Clones Estate


The family of BARRETT-LENNARD originated in Essex.
The name was an amalgam of the Barrett and Lennard families, after Richard Barrett took the name LENNARD in consideration of the manor of Bell House (Belhus) in Essex, bequeathed to him by Edward, 1st Baron Barrett of Newburgh.
The surname was styled LENNARD-BARRETT until 1755, when Thomas, 17th Lord Dacre, transposed the order of the names.

The Barrett-Lennards were absentee landlords of the Clones Estate, which originated in confiscated church lands.

Prominent members of the family included Thomas Lennard, 1st Earl of Sussex, who, in 1674, married the thirteen-year-old Lady Anne FitzRoy (alias Palmer, the family name of the Earl of Castlemaine), natural daughter of CHARLES II and Lady Castlemaine, afterwards Duchess of Cleveland.

The King and her mother spent the first night of the Restoration together and she was born nine months later.

The King acknowledged her as his child and granted her the royal arms with the baton sinister.


ANNE, 16th Baroness Dacre (1684-1755), younger daughter of the 1st Earl of Sussex, married thrice.

By her first husband, Richard Lennard, who later assumed the surname BARRETT under the will of Sir Edward Barrett, she had an only son,

THOMAS, 17th Baron (1717-86), who took a great interest in the management of his estates, manifested by the very considerable number of letters which remain from both his Norfolk and his Irish agents, giving him full accounts of all the details of their management.

In 1740, Lord Dacre paid a visit to Ireland for the purpose of looking after his property.

Merely 23 years of age, and recently married, he was greatly interested in his intended visit, and anxious to show his new bride his town of Clones and the considerable estates which he owned surrounding it.

His lordship's agent, Todd, said that it contained
"only one parlour and three bedrooms with fireplaces, and three other little rooms without fireplaces or any furniture. In the cellar a hogshead of old French claret, very good, if not spoiled with this long frost."

THE CASTLE, Clones, County Monaghan, was re-discovered in 2016.

The Barrett-Lennard Papers are held at PRONI.

First published in January, 2013.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Headfort House



THOMAS TAYLOR, of Ringmer, Sussex, died in 1629, and was succeeded by his son,

JOHN TAYLOR, of Battle, Sussex, who died in 1638, leaving an only son,

THOMAS TAYLOR, who removed to Ireland, in 1653, in the train of Sir William Petty, in order to undertake the Down Survey, in which kingdom he purchased lands in 1660, of which the town and townlands of Kells formed a portion, having disposed of his estates in England.

After the Restoration, Mr Taylor was appointed one of the sub-commissioners of the court of claims.

In 1669-70, he was deputy receiver-general under Sir George Carteret, and immediately before his death he officiated as vice-treasurer and treasurer-at-war.

Mr Taylor married, in 1658, Anne, daughter of William Axtell, of Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, and had one surviving son, THOMAS, his heir, and one daughter, Anne, married to Sir Nicholas Acheson Bt.

He died in 1682, and was succeeded by his son,

THE RT HON THOMAS TAYLOR (1662-1736), who was created a baronet in 1704, and sworn of the Privy Council, 1726.

He wedded Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Cotton Bt, of Combermere, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Robert (Very Rev), Dean of Clonfert;
Henrietta; Salisbury; Anne.
Sir Thomas was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR THOMAS TAYLOR (1657-96), 2nd Baronet, MP and a privy counsellor, who married Mary, daughter of John Graham, of Platten, County Meath, and left, with a daughter, Henrietta, an only son, 

SIR THOMAS TAYLOR, 3rd Baronet, KP, PC, MP (1724-95), who wedded, in 1754, Jane, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Hercules Langford Rowley, by Elizabeth, Viscountess Langford, by whom he had issue,
Robert, a general in the army;
Clotworthy, created Baron Langford;
Henry Edward, in holy orders;
Sir Thomas was elevated to the peerage, in 1760, as Baron Headfort; advanced to a viscountcy, in 1762, as Viscount Headfort; and further advanced, to the dignity of an earldom, in 1766, as Earl of Bective.

Lord Bective was installed, in 1783, a Founder Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (KP), and sworn of the Privy Council of Ireland.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 2nd Earl (1757-1829), who espoused, in 1778, Mary, only daughter and heir of George Quin, of Quinsborough, County Clare, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Mary; Elizabeth Jane.
His lordship was created MARQUESS OF HEADFORT in 1800.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 2nd Marquess, KP (1787-1870), KP, MP for co Meath, 1812-29, Lord Lieutenant of County Cavan, 1831-70, who wedded firstly, in 1822, Olivia, daughter of Sir John Stevenson, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
John Henry;
Olivia; Mary Juliana; Virginia Frances Zerlina.
His lordship espoused secondly, in 1853, Frances, daughter of John Livingstone Martyn.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 3rd Marquess, KP PC (1822-94),
High Sheriff of Meath, 1844, and of Cavan, 1846, State Steward to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1852-3; High Sheriff of Westmorland, 1853; MP for Westmorland, 1854-70; Lord Lieutenant of Meath, 1876-94; Privy Counsellor, 1879; Knight of St Patrick 1885.
GEOFFREY THOMAS, 4th Marquess, Senator of the Irish Free State, 1922-28.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Thomas Rupert Charles Christopher Taylour, styled Earl of Bective (b 1989).
The Taylour family became very much involved in the political life of the locality, and several members of the family served as MPs for Kells and the county of Meath.

They were also a "Patrick Family", the 1st Earl, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marquesses all having been appointed Knights of St Patrick.

HEADFORT HOUSE, near Kells, County Meath, is a large, austere mansion, built in the early 1770s.

Sir Thomas Taylour, 1st Lord Headfort and afterwards 1st Earl of Bective, commissioned Irish architect George Semple to build the house.

It was designed in a severe, unadorned neo-classical style with an impressive scale and position.

The mansion house has three storeys, eleven bays and long, single-storey side wings.

The façade of the house is a severe, almost drab grey.

It is built of Ardbraccan limestone in an extremely plain style. The interiors were designed by the Scottish architect Robert Adam.

Much of the interior remains in very good condition, thanks mainly to Headfort School's occupancy.

In a previous era, there were three large estates surrounding the town.

Of these, Headfort was until recently the sole survivor.

The others had been split or large portions sold off in face of financial pressure.

In the 1980s, Lord Headfort sold Headfort House and estate to a Canadian multi-millionaire, B.J. Kruger. Mr Kruger's twin passions in life were shooting and fishing.

Headfort's 1,000 acres provided ample scope for the rearing of pheasant and duck.

Mr Kruger also undertook extensive renovation of the estate until his death.

Land was reclaimed, fencing replaced and the 8 miles of roadway were all resurfaced.

After Mr Kruger's death, the estate was split into three lots: a farm, the woodlands and the school and its environs.

The estate formerly stretched from Kells to Virginia.

The land found its way into the Headfort family as a result of the Down Survey, being granted to Thomas Taylour, 1st Earl of Bective, as a result of his helping Sir William Petty in that survey. Gradually the estate shrank is size and chunks were sold off to pay debts.

Most recently, Headfort Golf Club bought its course from Mr Kruger.

The present 7th Marquess is thought to live in the Far East and his son, Lord Bective, in the UK.

Headfort remained the private residence of the Taylour family until 1949, when the family removed to one wing and the central pavilion was leased to the newly formed Headfort School.

In 1996, ownership of the buildings was transferred to a building preservation trust, the Headfort Trust, and the buildings are currently leased back to Headfort School.

This relationship has saved the interiors from the fate of many similar sized properties which have suffered from alteration and over-repair.

The Headforts also had homes at Virginia Park Lodge, County Cavan, and Underley Hall, Lancashire.

First published in January, 2013.  Headfort arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Brackenber Dinner

Last night (Friday, 20th January, 2017) I attended the annual reunion dinner of the Old Brackenbrian Association at the Ulster Reform Club, Belfast.

Brackenber House, my old prep school, was at Cleaver Avenue in Belfast.

I was at Brackenber from about 1971 till 1973 or 74.

Our dinner last night was in the former billiards-room on the top floor.

The Reform Club is undoubtedly one of Belfast's most venerated institutions: heavy oak panelling; thick, opulent carpets; vaulted ceilings; decent plasterwork; leather armchairs.

This is the last remaining Victorian gentlemen's club in the city, though of course it's open to both genders now.

The Club used to have accommodation for members, though I think this ceased in the 1970s.

There were about 58 of us there last night, a good turnout given that the old school was demolished perhaps thirty years ago.

As usual the company was most enjoyable.

It's always great to see Johnny Knox there (he endeavoured to teach me French at Campbell) and Jeff Dudgeon, MBE.

I have never been disappointed yet by the dinners at the Reform Club, and last night was certainly no exception.

We had Gateau of Walter's Cured Salmon, Tomato & Prawns served with home-made horseradish mayonnaise and freshly-baked wheaten-bread.

Incidentally, for the benefit of readers, Walter Ewing is from the celebrated Ewing's fishmongers.

The main course was slow-braised daube of beef with a selection of fresh market vegetables.

Pudding, home-made apple pie with cinnamon cream.

All very traditional and appropriate for the occasion.

I happened to be seated beside Paul Bew (Lord Bew) and Ben Lowry of the Newsletter newspaper.

Our speaker was Mike Brown, MVO, the Commissioner of London Transport.

I had a good chat with him afterwards.

We are all indebted to the unsung organizers of the annual dinner, including Gordon Harvey and Robert Curran.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Castle Gore


This family deduces from

GERARD GORE (c1516-1607), citizen, Merchant Taylor, and alderman of the city of London at the close of the 16th century, who married Helen, daughter of Ralph Davenant, of Davenant Land, Essex.

He died at the advanced age of 91, having had eight sons, of whom,
RICHARD, the eldest, MP for London, d leaving 7 daughters;
JOHN (Sir), 4th son, Lord Mayor of London, 1624;
PAUL (Sir), of whom presently.
The youngest son,

SIR PAUL GORE (1567-1629), captain of a troop of horse, went over to Ireland with his regiment in the reign of ELIZABETH I, and obtaining large grants of land, which he condensed into a manor, designated Manor Gore, settled there.

Captain Gore wedded Isabella, daughter of Francis Wickliffe, and niece of Thomas, Earl of Strafford, and had issue,
RALPH, ancestor of the extinct house of Gore, Earls of Ross;
ARTHUR, of whom we treat.
Sir Paul's second son,

ARTHUR GORE (c1640-97), of Newtown, County Mayo, was created a baronet in 1662.

He wedded Eleanor, daughter of Sir George St George Bt, of Carrick, County Leitrim, and had (with seven daughters) four sons, viz.
PAUL, predeceased his father;
William, of Woodford, MP for Co Leitrim;
George, an eminent lawyer.
Sir Arthur was succeeded by his grandson (son of Paul), 

SIR ARTHUR GORE, 2nd Baronet, MP for County Longford, 1727, who married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Maurice Annesley, of Little Rath, County Kildare, and had four sons and three daughters,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Paul Annesley;
Anne; Eleanor; Elizabeth.
Sir Arthur died in 1741, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ARTHUR GORE, 3rd Baronet (1703-73), who was created, in 1758, Baron Saunders, of Deeps, County Wexford; and Viscount Sudley, of Castle Gore.

His lordship was advanced to an earldom, in 1762, as EARL OF ARRAN, of the Arran Islands, County Galway.

He espoused Jane, heiress of Richard Saunders, of Saunders Court, and relict of William Worth.

6th Earl of Arran KP (1868-1958)

ARTHUR CHARLES JOCELYN CHARLES [GORE], 6th Earl, KP, PC; Knight of St Patrick, 1909; Privy Counsellor, 1917; Lord-Lieutenant of County Donegal, 1917-20.

The 6th Earl is pictured above, wearing the robe, sash and insignia of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. 

Address to 6th Earl and Countess of Arran on their marriage

"We, the Tenants on your Lordship's Mayo Estate, and their friends, have heard with the utmost pleasure of your Marriage, and in meeting assembled, unanimously and with sincere and cordial feelings have passed the following resolution ..."

The Earls of Arran were a "Patrick family", the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th Earls all having been appointed to the Order of St Patrick. 

The present Earl and Countess of Arran live at Castle Hill House, near Barnstaple, Devon.

CASTLE GORE, or Deel Castle, near Crossmolina, County Mayo, is a 16th century tower house of the Bourkes.

It is close to the northern end of Lough Conn.

After Colonel Thomas Bourke had fought on the side of JAMES II in the Williamite War, the property was forfeited and given to the Gore family, afterwards Earls of Arran, who renamed it Castle Gore.

The tower-house had a large 18th century wing with a handsome rusticated doorway added to it, possibly incorporating a 17th century range.

They also acquired the manor of Belleek from the O'Haras, Barons Tyrawley, and owned estates in County Donegal.

The castle along with other lands was leased to James Cuff, Lord Tyrawley, towards the end of the 18th century; occupied by the Cuffs' steward for part of the 19th century.

James Cuff, Lord Tyrawley, built a house beside the Old Bourke Castle in 1791.

The house was burnt in 1922, when the Arrans removed to England. It was not rebuilt.

The old castle, which was still intact in the early 20th century, is now a ruin.

The Earls of Arran had a London home at The Pavilion, Hans Place.

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

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

1st Viscount Taaffe


The members of this noble family resided, for a series of years, in the Austrian dominions, and filled the highest and most confidential employments, civil and military, under the imperial government, doubtless from having been, from theretofore, as Roman Catholics, debarred the prouder gratification of serving their own.

The Taaffes were of great antiquity in the counties of Louth and Sligo, and produced, in ancient times, many distinguished and eminent persons; among whom was Sir Richard Taaffe, who flourished during the reign of EDWARD I, and died in 1287.

Contemporary with Sir Richard was the Lord (Nicholas) Taaffe, who died in 1288, leaving two sons: John Taaffe, Archbishop of Armagh, who died in 1306, and


RICHARD TAAFFE, was seated at Ballybraggan and Castle Lumpnagh.

This gentleman served the office of sheriff of County Louth in 1315, and to his custody was committed the person of Hugh de Lacy, the younger, Earl of Ulster, after his condemnation for high treason, in inciting the invasion of Ireland, by Edward Bruce, until the execution of that unfortunate nobleman at Drogheda.

From this Richard lineally descended

SIR WILLIAM TAAFFE, Knight, of Harleston, in Norfolk, who distinguished himself by his services to the Crown, during the Earl of Tyrone's rebellion, in 1597; and subsequently maintained his reputation against the Spanish force, which landed at Kinsale in 1601.

Sir William died in 1630, and was succeeded by his only son,

SIR JOHN TAAFFE, Knight, who was advanced to the Irish peerage, in 1628, by the title of Baron Ballymote and VISCOUNT TAAFFE, of Corren, both in County Sligo.

His lordship married Anne, daughter of Theobald, 1st Viscount Dillon, by whom he had (with other issue),
THEOBALD, his heir;
Lucas, major-general in the army;
Francis, colonel in the army;
Peter, in holy orders;
Jasper, slain in battle;
His lordship died in 1642, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THEOBALD, 2nd Viscount (c1603-77), who was advanced to an earldom, as EARL OF CARLINGFORD, in 1662.

This nobleman espoused zealously the royal cause during the civil wars, and had his estate sequestered by the Usurper.

After the Restoration, he obtained, however, a pension of £800 a year; and, upon being advanced in the peerage, received a grant of £4,000 a year, of the rents payable to the Crown, out of the retrenched lands of adventurers and soldiers, during such time as the same remained in the common stock of reprisals, and out of forfeited jointures, mortgages etc.

His lordship was succeeded at his decease by his eldest surviving son,

NICHOLAS, 2nd Earl and 3rd Viscount, who fell at the battle of the Boyne, in the command of a regiment of foot, under the banner of JAMES II; and, leaving no issue, the honours devolved upon his brother,

FRANCIS, 3rd Earl (1639-1704), the celebrated Count Taaffe, of the Germanic Empire.

This nobleman, who was sent in his youth to the city of Olmuts, to prosecute his studies, became, first, one of the pages of honour to the Emperor Ferdinand; and, soon after, obtained a captain's commission from CHARLES V, Duke of Lorraine, in his own regiment.

He was, subsequently, chamberlain to the emperor, a marshal of the empire, and counsellor of the state and cabinet.

His lordship was so highly esteemed by most of the crowned heads of Europe that, when he succeeded to his hereditary honours, he was exempted from forfeiture, by a special clause in the English act of parliament, during the reign of WILLIAM AND MARY.

His lordship died in 1704, and leaving no issue, the honours devolved upon his nephew,

THEOBALD, 4th Earl, son of Major the Hon John Taaffe, who fell before Londonderry, in the service of JAMES II, by the Lady Rose Lambart, daughter of Charles, 1st Earl of Cavan.

He married Amelia, youngest daughter of Luke, 3rd Earl of Fingal; but dying without issue, in 1738, the earldom expired, while the viscountcy and barony passed to his next heir male,

NICHOLAS, Count Taaffe (c1685-1769), of the Germanic Empire, as 6th Viscount.

This nobleman obtained the golden key, as chamberlain, from the Emperor CHARLES VI, as he did from His Imperial Majesty's successor, which mark of distinction both his sons enjoyed.

His lordship, as Count Taaffe, obtained great renown during the war with the Turks, in 1738, and achieved the victory of BELGRADE with high honour.

He married Mary Anne, daughter and heiress of Count Spendler, of Lintz, in Upper Austria, a lady of the bedchamber to Her Imperial and Hungarian Majesty, and had issue,
John, predeceased his father;
Francis, dsp.
His lordship was succeeded by his grandson,

RUDOLPH, Count Taaffe (1762-1830), 7th Viscount, who espoused, in 1787, the Countess Josephine Haugwitz, and had issue,
FRANCIS, his successor;
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

FRANCIS JOHN CHARLES JOSEPH RUDOLPH, Count Taaffe (1788-1849), 8th Viscount, who wedded, in 1811, the Countess Antonia Amade de Várkony, and had issue.

Successor to the claim

  • Richard Taaffe (1898–1967), entitled to petition for restoration of the viscountcy, but never did so.
Carlingford arms

Lord Taaffe was seated at Ellischau Castle, Bohemia.

Under the Titles Deprivation Act 1917, his name was removed from the roll of the Peers of Ireland by Order of the King in Council, 1919, for bearing arms against the United Kingdom in the 1st World War.

In 1919, he also lost his title as Count of the Holy Roman Empire, when the newly-established republic of Austria abolished the nobility and outlawed the use of noble titles.

Independent of the legal situation in the UK, the monarchy was abolished in Austria in 1918, and in 1919 the newly established republic of German Austria abolished all noble titles by law.

Heinrich, Count Taaffe, 12th Viscount Taaffe, thus lost both his titles and ended his life as plain Mr Taaffe.

He married, in 1897, in Vienna, Maria Magda Fuchs, and they had a son, Richard (1898–1967).

Upon the death of his first wife in 1918, he married, secondly, Aglaë Isescu,, in 1919, at Ellischau.

He died in Vienna in 1928, aged 56.

EDWARD CHARLES RICHARD TAAFFE (1898–1967) was an Austrian gemmologist who found the first cut and polished taaffeite in November 1945.

Mr Taaffe inherited neither the viscountcy nor the title of Count, as Austria had generally abolished titles of nobility in 1919.

With Richard Taaffe's death in 1967, no heirs to either title remained and both the Austrian and the UK titles became extinct.

Portions of the Taaffes'  County Sligo estate were offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates Court in 1852.

In 1866-67, John Taaffe offered for sale his estate at Gleneask and lands at Drumraine, in the barony of Corran.

In 1880 John West Pollock offered over 500 acres of the Taaffe estate in the barony of Corran for sale in the Land Judges' Court.

The Gleneask estate derived from an 1808 lease between Henry King and John Taaffe; while the Drumraine lease dated from the same period from the Parke estate.

The Taaffe family are also recorded as the owners of 833 acres in County Galway in the 1870s.

The family also held extensive properties in counties Louth and Meath.

The Congested Districts Board acquired over 5,000 acres of the Taaffe estate in the early 20th century.

SMARMORE CASTLE, near Ardee, County Louth, is claimed to be one of the longest continuously inhabited castles in Ireland.

Records show that William Taaffe was seated here in 1320, after his family arrived in Ireland from Wales at the turn of the 12th century.

Successive generations of Taaffes continued to make Smarmore Castle their main residence in Ireland until the mid 1980s, when the property was sold.

The castle is divided into three distinct sections comprising an early 14th century castle-keep with extensions on either side built ca 1720 and 1760 respectively.

The castle is built of local stone and its walls are eight feet thick.

The 18th century courtyard behind the castle was formerly the stables for the estate.

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

Monday, 16 January 2017

The Lord Caine

In November, 2016, I wrote an article about a visit to Mount Stewart, County Down, by Charles Villiers, Theresa Villiers and Jonathan Caine.

Jonathan Caine has subsequently been in touch to apprise me of his elevation to the House of Lords.

On the 20th October, 2016,
"Jonathan Michael Caine, Esquire, having been created Baron Caine, of Temple Newsam in the City of Leeds, was introduced and took the oath, supported by Lord Black of Brentwood and Lord Empey, and signed an undertaking to abide by the Code of Conduct."
Lord Caine has sent me two photographs of his introduction.

The Lord Empey, the Lord Caine, and the Lord Black of Brentwood

If we are being strictly precise, his formal style is "the Rt Hon the Lord Caine", informally "the Lord Caine"; or on legal documents "the Rt Hon Jonathan Michael Baron Caine".

These days it's generally abbreviated to "Lord Caine" without the definite article.

The style "Right Honourable" is accorded to all peers below the rank of marquess.

It doesn't imply membership of the Privy Council in these instances (in which case the letters "PC" would be added after the title).

Jonathan Caine read History at Leicester University, where his specialism was the Home Rule Crisis and the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

He joined the Conservative Research Department in 1987, working in the office next to David Cameron.

He joined the party's Northern Ireland desk in 1988, and between 1991-95 was a special adviser at the Northern Ireland Office - rejoining it in 2010.

In 2008, Lord Caine stated that he was a Director at Bell Pottinger Public Affairs.

In 2014, he worked as special adviser to the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, being described in the press as her "right-hand man".

Jonathan Caine had also worked for the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, and was described by him as "one of the foremost experts on Northern Ireland".

As of 2016, he had worked for no fewer than seven Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Mount Trenchard House


EDWARD RICE, of Dingle, County Kerry, during the reign of HENRY VIII, married Anne, daughter of John Wall, of County Limerick, and was father of

ROBERT RICE, of Dingle, who wedded Julia, daughter of Sir James Whyte, Knight, of Cashel, County Tipperary, and was father of

STEPHEN RICE, of Dingle, MP for Kerry, 1613, who made a deed of settlement of his estates, 1619, and died in 1623.

He espoused Helena, daughter of Thomas Trant, of Cahirtrant, County Kerry, and had two sons,

1. JAMES, MP for Dingle, 1635, from whom descended the RT HON THOMAS SPRING-RICE MP, of Mount Trenchard, 1st Baron Monteagle of Brandon; and

2. Dominick, MP for Dingle, 1635, who married Alice, daughter of James Hussey, Baron of Galtrim, from which marriage descended

THE RT HON SIR STEPHEN RICE (1637-1715), Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, and a supporter of JAMES II, who wedded Mary, daughter of Thomas FitzGerald, of County Limerick, and had issue,
EDWARD, of whom we treat.
Sir Stephen's elder son,

THOMAS RICE, of Mount Trenchard, wedded Mary, daughter of Maurice FitzGerald, 14th Knight of Kerry, and had issue, a son,

STEPHEN EDWARD RICE, of Mount Trenchard, who married, in 1785, Catherine, only child and heir of Thomas Spring, of Castlemaine, County Kerry, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Mary; Catherine Ann.
Mr Rice died in 1831, and was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS SPRING-RICE (1790-1866), of Brandon, County Kerry, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1835-39, who wedded firstly, in 1811, the Lady Theodosia Pery, second daughter of Edmund, 1st Earl of Limerick, and had issue,
STEPHEN EDMUND, his successor;
Charles William Thomas, father of SIR CECIL SPRING-RICE GCMG GCVO;
Edmund Henry;
Aubrey Richard;
William Cecil;
Mary Alicia Pery; Theodosia Alicia Ellen F Charlotte; Catherine Anne Lucy.
Mr Spring Rice was elevated to the peerage, in 1839, by the title of BARON MONTEAGLE OF BRANDON, of Brandon, County Kerry.

My his first wife he had issue,
STEPHEN EDMOND, his successor;
Charles William Thomas;
Edmond Henry Francis Louis;
Aubrey Richard;
William Cecil;
Theodosia Alicia Ellen F Charlotte; Mary Alicia Pery; Catherine Anne Lucy.
His lordship's eldest son,

THE HON STEPHEN EDMOND SPRING-RICE (1814-65), of Mount Trenchard, espoused, in 1839, Ellen Mary, daughter of William Frere, and had issue,
THOMAS, 2nd Baron;
FRANCIS, 4th Baron;
Aileen; Lucy; Theodosia; Mary; Alice; Frederica; Catherine Ellen; Amy.
The Hon Stephen Edmond Spring-Rice predeceased his father, and was succeeded by his elder son,

THOMAS, 2nd Baron (1849-1926), of Mount Trenchard, who married, in 1875, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Most Rev and Rt Hon Samuel Butcher, Lord Bishop of Meath, and had issue,
Stephen Edmond (1877-1900);
Mary Ellen (1880-1924), of Mount Trenchard.
Thomas Spring Rice, 2nd Baron (1849–1926);
Thomas Aubrey Spring Rice, 3rd Baron (1883–1934);
Francis Spring Rice, 4th Baron (1852–1937);
Charles Spring Rice, 5th Baron (1887–1946);
Gerald Spring Rice, 6th Baron (1926–2013);
Charles James Spring Rice, 7th Baron (b 1953).
The heir presumptive is the present holder's uncle, the Hon Michael Spring Rice (b 1935).
The heir presumptive's heir apparent is his son, Jonathan Spring Rice (b 1964).
The heir presumptive's heir apparent's heir apparent is his son, Jamie Alexander Spring Rice (b 2003).

MOUNT TRENCHARD HOUSE, near Foynes, County Limerick, is a late-Georgian house of three storeys over a basement, with two curved bows on its entrance front, which overlooks the River Shannon estuary.

There is a wide curved bow in the centre of its garden front, too.

One side of the house has a two-storey Victorian wing, which is almost as high as the main block; while the other side has a one bay, three storey addition and a lower two-storey wing.

Mount Trenchard was occupied by the Irish Army in 1944.

When the 5th Baron Monteagle of Brandon died in 1946, the estate was sold.

Lady Holland lived there for several years.

In 1954, the Sisters of Mercy acquired the estate and ran it as a private school for girls.

They extended the complex to include inter alia a large 1960s dormitory block, classrooms and a church.

Mount Trenchard House became the preserve of the nuns and continued in use as a dwelling.

Subsequent owners acquired the estate in 1996 and began restoring Mount Trenchard House for use as a centre for holistic medicine.

One aspect of the conservation plan was to restore the historic approach to the house which was originally from the south side (in the second half of the 19th century the house had been re-oriented to the north).

This involved changes to the present grounds and paths and woodlands, on the recommendation of the architects leading the project, the owners appointed me to advise them on the forestry and arboriculture aspects of the woodland, heritage, veteran/ancient and champion trees on the estate.

Mount Trenchard is currently used by an agency of the Irish government as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers.

First published in January, 2013.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Mohill Castle


JOHN CROFTON, of Mote, County Roscommon, auditor-general in the reign of ELIZABETH I (descended from the Croftons, of Crofton, Lancashire), married, ca 1565, Jane, sister of Sir Henry Duke, Knight, and had issue,
Edward, ancestor of the Barons Crofton;
The youngest son,

HENRY CROFTON, succeeded to his father's estate, 1607, from whom descended

THOMAS CROFTON, of Mohill, who wedded Bridget, daughter of Major Hugh Morgan, of Dublin, and was father of

HUGH CROFTON, who wedded Anne, daughter of George Crofton, of Lisburne, County Roscommon.

Mr Crofton died in 1767 and was succeeded by his son, 

MORGAN CROFTON (1733-1802), of Mohill, who was created a baronet in 1801, denominated of Mohill, County Leitrim.

He married Jane, youngest daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Henri D'Abzac, of the family of Count of Périgord, and had issue,
HUGH, of whom presently;
Henry, in holy orders;
Anne Magdalene; Jane.
Sir Morgan was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR HUGH CROFTON, 2nd Baronet (1763-1834), of Mohill Castle, who married, in 1787, Frances, youngest daughter of Ralph Smyth, of Barbarvilla, County Westmeath, and had issue,
MORGAN GEORGE, his heir;
Henry William;
Richard Maximilian;
Frances; Jane; Barbara; Anne Digby.
Sir Hugh was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR MORGAN GEORGE CROFTON (1850-1900), 3rd Baronet, who wedded Emily, daughter of the Rt Hon Denis Daly, of Dunsandle, County Galway, and had issue,
HUGH DENIS, his heir;
The heir presumptive is the present holder's brother, Edward Morgan Crofton (b 1945).

MOHILL CASTLE, Mohill, County Leitrim, was stated to have been a simple early house with tall gable ends, adjacent to the village of Mohill.

It was occupied for a period in the 19th century by the Kane family.

Unfortunately I have no images of Mohill Castle.

An 18th century house stands on the site of the castle.

This may be, or have been, known as Mohill House.

First published in December, 2012.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Moyne House


HUGH HAMILTON settled at Lisbane, County Down, during the reign of JAMES I, and was made a denizen of Ireland in 1616.

He died in 1655 and was buried at Bangor, County Down, leaving issue,
John, of Ballymenoch;
ALEXANDER, of whom presently;
The second son,

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, of Killyleagh, County Down, married Jean, daughter of John Hamilton, of Belfast, and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
Jane, m William Sloane, of Chelsea.
Mr Hamilton died in 1676, and was succeeded by his son,

HUGH HAMILTON, of Ballybrenagh, who wedded Mary, sister of Robert Ross, of Rostrevor, and daughter of George Ross, of Portavo, by Ursula his wife, daughter of Captain Hans Hamilton, of Carnesure, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
George, of Tyrella;
Mr Hamilton died in 1728, and was succeeded by his elder son,

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, of Knock, County Dublin, and of Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, MP for Killyleagh, 1730-61, espoused Isabella, daughter of Robert Maxwell, of Finnebrogue, County Down, by Jane, daughter of the Rev Simon Chichester, Vicar of Belfast (eldest son of Henry Chichester, of Marwood, by Jane, daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Maxwell, Lord Bishop of Kilmore).

He died in 1768, leaving four sons and three daughters, viz.
HUGH (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Ossory;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
Isabella; Anne; Elizabeth.
The second son,

ROBERT HAMILTON, of Gloucester Street, Dublin, married Hester, daughter of Crewe Chetwood, of Woodbrook, Queen's County, and had issue,
Mr Hamilton died in 1790, and was succeeded by his elder son,

THE REV ALEXANDER CHETWOOD HAMILTON, Rector of Thomastown, County Kilkenny, married, in 1801, Eleanor, daughter and co-heir of THE REV SEWELL STUBBER, and assumed, in 1824, the surname of STUBBER in lieu of Hamilton, and the arms of Stubber only.

By her he had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Sewell (Rev);
William, of Roundwood, father of
Alexander Chetwood;
Richard Hugh (Rev);
Hester Maria; Harriet Anne; Sophia Elizabeth; Anne Matilda.
The Rev Alexander Chetwood Hamilton died in 1830, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT HAMILTON STUBBER JP DL (1803-63), of Moyne, High Sheriff, 1831, who married, in 1840, Olivia, daughter of the Rev Edward Lucas, of the Castleshane family, and widow of Henry Smyth, of Mount Henry, Queen’s County, and had issue,
Olivia Harriet Florence Hamilton; Eleanor Frances Beatrice Hamilton.
Mr Hamilton-Stubber was succeeded by his son and heir,

ROBERT HAMILTON HAMILTON-STUBBER JP DL (1844-1916), of Moyne and Castle Fleming, Queen’s County, High Sheriff, Lieutenant, Royal Dragoons, who espoused firstly, in 1877, Adèle Grainger, daughter of Alexander Duncan, of Knossington Grange, Leicestershire, and had issue,
He wedded secondly, in 1885, Georgina Alice Mary, youngest daughter of George Power, sixth son of Sir John Power Bt, of Kilfane, County Kilkenny, and had issue, a daughter, Margery.

Mr Hamilton-Stubber sold the Moyne estate to his cousin,

CHARLES PAULET HAMILTON (1834-1907), grandson of the Rev A C Hamilton, who wedded, in 1878, Emily Louise, daughter of William Smyth-King, and had issue,
Maurice William Chetwode (1882-1955);
Elinor Frances; Kathleen Elizabeth; Alice Maude; Mary Beatrice.
Mr Hamilton's younger son,

HUBERT CHARLES HAMILTON DSO (1887-1946), of Moyne, Barrister-at-Law, wedded, in 1912, Honoria Eliza Sylvia Vera, daughter of Major Travers Robert Blackley, and had issue, an only child,

HUBERT CHARLES PAULET HAMILTON (1915-2007), of Moyne, Captain, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who married firstly, in 1941, Margaret Helen, daughter of Sir Owen Watkin Williams-Wynn Bt, and had issue,
He espoused secondly, in 1950, Katharine Frances, daughter of William Evelyn Joseph Dobbs, and had issue,
Hubert Kildare, b 1953;
Dominick Charles, b 1954;
Sophia Elinor, b 1960.

MOYNE HOUSE, near Durrow, County Laois, is a five-bay two-storey house with dormer attic, built ca 1730.

It has a pedimented central bay with a projecting porch.

Moyne was renovated and extended about 1880, with two-bay, two-storey wings and a dormer attic.

The house has a double-pitched and hipped slate roof, with rolled lead ridge tiles and limestone ashlar chimney-stacks.

The roof is gabled; rubble limestone walls; a Venetian-style window opening to entrance bay and oculus to pediment.

The house is set back from the main road in its own landscaped grounds.

It has a stable complex, including two-storey rubble stone ranges, one of which was renovated about 1970 to accommodate residential use.

Of its interior, the drawing-room is notable for its Adam-Revival ceiling; while the dining-room has a frieze of plasterwork in late 18th century style; and a carved wood chimney-piece in Elizabethan style. 

Moyne Polo Club, established in 1996, is affiliated to the Hurlingham Polo Association.

A Midsummer Ball and one-day tournament is held in June; a two-day tournament on the penultimate weekend in July; and a tournament in August with the emphasis on junior polo.

Moyne House became the Hamilton family home in the early part of the 19th century, when Robert Hamilton-Stubber (1803-63) moved there from Kilkenny.

The house then descended via Robert Hamilton-Stubber (1846-1916) to Major Robert Hamilton-Stubber DSO (d 1963), who sold Moyne to his cousin, Hubert Charles Hamilton, in the 1920s; from whom the present branch of the family is descended.

The Hamilton family still live at Moyne.

First published in December, 2012.