Thursday, 30 March 2017

1974: Barristers

My old street directory has a section entitled Barristers-at-Law.

This selective list includes judges.

  • R Appleton QC, 12 Waterloo Park South, Belfast
  • R D Carswell QC, 40 Massey Avenue, Belfast
  • His Honour Judge Conaghan, 17 Beechlands, Belfast
  • The Rt Hon Lord Justice Curran, 19 Deramore Park, Belfast
  • The Rt Hon Lord Justice Gibson, 13 Broomhill Park, Belfast
  • F P Girvan, 11 Waterloo Park, Belfast
  • A R Hart, 94 Old Holywood Road, Belfast
  • His Honour Judge Higgins, 2 Waterloo Park, Belfast
  • J B E Hutton, 9 North Circular Road, Belfast
  • His Honour Judge Johnson, 69 Somerton Road, Belfast
  • The Rt Hon Lord Justice Jones, 10 Kincora Avenue, Belfast
  • Brian F Kerr, 23 Ailesbury Road, Belfast
  • C M Lavery QC, 120 Harberton Park, Belfast
  • R L McCartney QC, 35 Malone Park, Belfast
  • L P McCollum, 24 Adelaide Park, Belfast
  • His Honour Judge McGonigal, 16 Hawthornden Road, Belfast
  • Wm B McIvor QC MP, 2 Cherryvalley Park, Belfast
  • John McKee, 40 Malone Heights, Belfast
  • J D McSparran QC, 10 Malone Park, Belfast
  • The Rt Hon Lord Justice McVeigh, 12 Annadale Avenue, Belfast
  • The Hon Mr Justice O'Donnell, 155 Glen Road, Falls, Belfast
  • His Honour Judge Sir Robert Porter PC QC, 86 Marlborough Park North, Belfast
  • J K Pringle, 10 Harberton Avenue, Belfast
  • His Honour Judge Watt, 12 Deramore Drive, Belfast
I wonder if any of them are still practising?

First published in May, 2010.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Castle Ward Visit

Victorian sketch of the Yew Tree Walk

Eager to see the National Trust's admirable and worthy Temple Water project, I motored down to Castle Ward on Sunday, 26th March, 2017.

Castle Ward, ancestral seat of the Viscounts Bangor, is located near Strangford, County Down.

I drove to the farmyard, though there no longer seems to be visitor parking there; so, instead, I parked at the relatively new Shore Car Park at Strangford Bay.

Thence I walked towards the Temple Water, a man-made lake on an axis with Audley's Castle.

It's also beside the old walled garden and overlooked by The Temple, a Georgian summer-house on the top of the hill with a splendid, panoramic prospect of the landscape.


The National Trust has ambitious plans for this part of the demesne, viz. to restore the Georgian parkland and the Temple Water itself.

I walked up to the Temple; down and along the lake; and past the Green row of terraced cottages which overlook Audley's Castle.

Victorian sketch of the Temple Water

Eventually I walked back to the Shore car-park.

I took my packed-lunch up to the stable-yard, where I enjoyed the Spring sunshine on a bench.

At the shop, I purchased a "sit mat"; and across the stable-yard I bought a few books in the excellent second-hand bookshop (Ballywalter Park, UAHS, and St Patrick's (anglican) Cathedral, Armagh).

I had made myself fresh egg and onion sandwiches (County Fermanagh egg, red onion, mustard, cream cheese, granary wholemeal bread).


After lunch I made a beeline for the mansion-house, where I took a tour.

My afternoon concluded in Strangford, about a mile from Castle Ward, where I had a stroll round the village.

The Lobster Pot is back in business, across the Square from The Cuan restaurant and guest-house.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Coolcarrigan House

THE WILSON-WRIGHTS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KILDARE, WITH 5,432 ACRES


The first member of the Wright family to settle in Ireland was

CAPTAIN JAMES WRIGHT (1615-1700), of Royston, Yorkshire, son of John Wright and Margaret, daughter of Richard Ratcliffe.

Captain Wright, an officer in Cromwell's army, landed at Dublin, 1649.

In 1661, he was granted lands at Golagh in County Monaghan.

Captain wright was, however, attainted by JAMES II's parliament, 1688.

His son,

JOSEPH WRIGHT (1652-1731), of Golagh, married, in 1708, Mary, daughter of Edward Own of Kilmore, County Monaghan, and was father of

JOSEPH WRIGHT, of Golagh, who married, in 1744, Eleanor Martyn, of Clogher and Dumbartagh, County Cavan.

The second son,

JOSEPH WRIGHT JP, of Carrachor Hall, Rector of Killencoole, Lurgan Green and Harristown, County Louth, married Mary Montgomery and had four sons.

His second son,

RICHARD WRIGHT, of Fortfield, Belfast, and Craigavad House, County Down, married Catherine, daughter of George Dowdall.

He died in 1788, leaving issue five sons and two daughters.

The third son,

EDWARD THOMAS WRIGHT (1810-81), of Donnybrook, County Dublin, Barrister, married, in 1832, his cousin Charlotte, daughter of Joseph Wright, of Beech Hill, Donnybrook, County Dublin.

The eldest son,

EDWARD PERCIVAL WRIGHT (1834-1910), Professor of Botany, Dublin University, married Emily, daughter of Colonel Ponsonby Shaw of the Indian Army.

His second son,

THE REV CHARLES HENRY HAMILTON WRIGHT (1836-1909), married, in 1859, Ebba Johanna, daughter of Nils Wilhelm Almroth (Director of the Royal Mint in Stockholm and a Knight of the Northern Star of Sweden).

His second son,

SIR ALMROTH EDWARD WRIGHT KBE CB (1861-1947), married, in 1889, Jane Georgina, daughter of Robert Mackay Wilson, of Coolcarrigan, County Kildare.

His second son,

LEONARD ALMROTH WILSON-WRIGHT JP, of Coolcarrigan, High Sheriff of County Kildare, 1921, who married, in 1925, Florence, eldest daughter of James Ivory JP, of Brewlands, Glenisla, Forfarshire, and had issue, an only son,

JOCK WILSON-WRIGHT (1928-), who married, in 1953, Sheila Gwendolyn Yate, only daughter of Colonel Henry Patrick Blosse-Lynch, of Partry, Claremorris, County Mayo, and had issue,
Robert (b 1956);
Jane Sheila (b 1958);
Janet, (b 1951) who married Sir Richard La Touche Colthurst, 9th Baronet, of Ardrum, County Cork, and had issue two sons, Charles (b 1955) and James (b 1957).
***** 

THE WILSONS descend from John Wilson, of Rahee, County Antrim, said to have landed in Carrickfergus in the suite of WILLIAM III.

Robert Mackay Wilson's great-grandfather Hugh Wilson (d 1822) also lived at Rashee.

Robert Mackay Wilson's grandfather William Wilson, of Daramona House, County Westmeath, and Larkhill, County Dublin, was born in 1787 and married, in 1815, Rebecca Dupre (d 1846), daughter of John Mackay of Elagh, County Tyrone, and Prospect, County Londonderry.

Robert's elder brother John (1826-1906) succeeded to Daramona House and was sometime High Sheriff for counties Westmeath and Longford.

Robert Mackay Wilson JP (b1829), High Sheriff of Kildare, 1887, married, in 1858, Elizabeth, daughter of Murray Suffern, of Belfast.

Mr Wilson purchased Coolcarrigan.

Coolcarrigan passed to his only surviving child,

Jane Georgina Wilson (1860-1926) who married Sir Almroth Wright.


COOLCARRIGAN HOUSE, near Naas, County Kildare, is a mansion of three bays and two storeys in the Georgian style, built in the 1830s by Robert Mackay Wilson to the designs of an unknown architect.

The fa├žade has hooded moldings over the upper windows, a simple parapet and a typical late-Georgian door with fanlight and sidelights, while the central bay is treated as a breakfront by the addition of a pair of pilasters.


Two later curved screen walls, ending in tall piers, project outwards to either side of the entrance front and disguise the fact that the house has been considerably enlarged at the rear.

These additions make Coolcarrigan a very comfortable family home.


There is a beautiful family chapel in the grounds:

Consecrated in 1885 by the Most Rev William Plunket, Lord Archbishop of Dublin and later 4th Baron Plunket, the chapel was built in the Hiberno-Romanesque Revival style, with a Round Tower and a High Cross.

It derives from the 12th century Temple Finghin at Clonmacnoise on the River Shannon.

This tiny complex, surrounded by trees and a dry moat, is the most complete example of the Celtic Revival style in Ireland and makes an attractive view from the house.

The church interior has frescoes in Gaelic script, specially chosen by Douglas Hyde, the first Irish President and a close family friend; while the very good stained glass windows, dedicated to various members of the family, are also in the Celtic Revival style.

The main avenue has a splendid display of spring bulbs while the superb twenty-acre garden has a wonderful collection of rare and unusual trees and shrubs inspired by Sir Harold Hillier, the great 20th century plants-man and collector.

An elaborate 1900s greenhouse in the walled garden has just been authentically restored.

Robert Wilson's daughter Georgina married Sir Almroth Wright, and inherited Coolcarrigan.

Her husband was an eminent physician and a colleague of Alexander Fleming, who worked on the development of vaccination and discovered the cure for typhoid.

Among his friends was the playwright George Bernard Shaw, whose play The Doctor’s Dilemma is based upon Sir Almroth.

Their descendants, the Wilson-Wright family, still live at Coolcarrigan, the fifth generation to live in the house.

First published in March, 2013.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Best Veggie Bangers


For the benefit of those of you who don't follow me regularly, I happened to be digging and shovelling at a little wood beside Greyabbey, County Down, during the week.

This wood is owned by the National Trust.

I was chatting with a fellow volunteer about a favourite topic, viz. food, and he apprised me of a certain brand of vegetarian sausages.

Geoff's wife and daughter are both vegetarian, though he is not.

However, he recommended Tesco Meat-Free Lincolnshire-style Sausages.

They are in the freezer section and are sold in packs of six.

Dear readers, I am not vegetarian.

I had a home-made rump steak burger several days ago.

However, I am not averse to trying healthy alternatives to pork sausages.

Accordingly, I purchased a packet of the said sausages.

I fried them gently in butter, fried a finely-chopped red onion, and boiled a few potatoes.

I had these veggie sausages with onion mash, tomato, and my home-made coleslaw.

I will understand if some of you are sceptical when I tell you that these veggie sausages are as close in texture and flavour to the real thing.

It is true, though.

I have consumed Quorn sausages, and the Tesco Lincolnshire-style ones are considerably better.

I am convinced that I could fool a few pals if I presented these bangers to them in a blind tasting.

In conclusion, readers, you must try them for yourselves and please do let me know what you think.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Conservative Support

My pal Charles Villiers has sent me a photograph of himself and Craig Whittaker MP, who has represented Calder Valley since 2010.

They are standing outside Mount Stewart House, near Newtownards, County Down, the ancestral seat of the Marquesses of Londonderry.

Charles is grandson of the late Lady Mairi Bury and great-grandson of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness.

Charles and Craig were on the Conservative campaign trail in the constituency of Strangford and, indeed, lunched at Mount Stewart in between canvassing in Comber and Newtownards.

Most of the Londonderrys (namely 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th Marquesses) were Conservative & Unionist Members of Parliament.

Craig Whittaker was in Northern Ireland for about a week.

The Northern Ireland Assembly election will be held on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017.