Saturday, 27 May 2017

Wheaten Bannock


I do enjoy wheaten bread.

It's particularly popular here in Ulster, though many wheaten loaves or bannocks sold in the supermarkets don't enthuse me at all.

I decided to make my own.

I have been experimenting with various recipes and I think I've found a good one.

For this recipe I use a greased (buttered) baking-sheet.

Heat the oven to 200º C.


  • 280g coarse wholemeal flour (the coarser the better)
  • 20g rolled jumbo oat flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 270ml buttermilk


Measure the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them.

Pour the treacle into the buttermilk and mix in another bowl or dish.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk and treacle.

Mix well with a wooden spoon.

With your hands make the mixture into a round and place carefully on to the baking-sheet.

Cut a deep cross on it.

Sprinkle the top with wholemeal flour (I often forget to do this).

Bake for about 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven, brush with melted butter and allow to cool on a cooling-rack.

Campbell Dinner

I had the most enjoyable evening last night. An old pal, NCS, picked me up at Belmont GHQ and took me the short distance to that venerable academic institution, Campbell College.

There were a couple of stinkers at Campbell during my time, though thankfully they weren't there last night.

It was such a glorious evening that some of the former staff and guests were standing in the quadrangle, drinking Pimm's.

I leapt out of NCJ's car and joined Keith and a few others.

The refreshing glass of Pimm's was duly collected at a side table.

A waiter offered delicious little canapés from a large tray.

It was truly a pleasure to meet my friend and teacher, Johnny Knox.

Johnny - Mr Knox as I knew him when I was a pupil - and his wife chatted with me in the warm sunshine.

After a while we all moved in to the Dining Hall.

Keith introduced me to the Headmaster, Robert Robinson MBE BSc. I can recall apprising him that my Number was "SIX ONE TWO EIGHT".

My name was on a place-card and I sat opposite Keith.

Johnny and Mrs Knox sat within roll-throwing distance.

This was a formal dinner, of course, and the meal was first-rate.

The main course comprised perfectly cooked salmon.

I wish I'd taken a few photographs: my camera was in my pocket, though I was enjoying myself so much that I was oblivious to it.

Keith very kindly gave me a lift home.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Prince Philip at Hillsborough

The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, attended Receptions at Hillsborough Castle, County Down, on Thursday, 25th May, 2017, for young people who have achieved the Gold Standard in the Award.

His Royal Highness was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast (Mrs. Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE).

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Ballinacor House

THE KEMMISES WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WICKLOW, WITH 8,041 ACRES 

WILLIAM KEMMIS (1777-1864), of Ballinacor, County Wicklow, and Killeen, Queen's County, Crown and Treasury Solicitor for Ireland (see KEMMIS of Shaen), espoused, in 1805, Ellen, second daughter of Nicholas Southcote Mansergh JP, of Greenane, County Tipperary, and had issue,
WILLIAM GILBERT;
Thomas;
George (Rev);
Richard;
James;
Elizabeth.
Mr Kemmis was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM GILBERT KEMMIS JP DL (1806-81), of Ballinacor and Ballycarroll, who died unmarried, when he was succeeded by his nephew,

WILLIAM KEMMIS JP DL (1836-1900), of Ballinacor and Ballycarroll, Colonel, Royal Artillery, who wedded, in 1862, Ellen Gertrude de Horne Christy, eldest daughter of George Steinman Steinman, FSA, of Sundridge, Kent, and had issue,
WILLIAM HENRY OLPHERT, his heir;
Marcus Steinman (Rev);
Lewis George Nicholas;
Edward Bernhard;
Gilbert (Rev).
Colonel Kemmis was succeeded by his eldest son, 

WILLIAM HENRY OLPHERT KEMMIS JP DL (1864-1939), of Ballinacor, High Sheriff of County Wicklow, 1904, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding, Wicklow Royal Garrison Artillery, who espoused, in 1888, Francis Maude, second daughter of the Rev Charles Beauclerk, Chaplain of Holy Trinity Church, Boulogne, France, and had issue,
WILLIAM DARRYL OLPHERT;
Thomas Steinman;
Karolie Kathleen.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM DARRYL OLPHERT KEMMIS MC (1892-1965), Captain, Inniskilling Dragoons.

When Captain Kemmis died in 1965, Ballinacor was inherited by his maternal cousin, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Lomer.



BALLINACOR HOUSE, Rathdrum, County Wicklow, is a two-storey, late 18th century house, enlarged, re-faced and re-roofed in the 19th century.

It has a three-bay entrance front with an Ionic portico.

The end elevation has six bays, three of which are in a shallow, curved bow.

There is a gabled office wing with an adjacent conservatory; an Italianate campanile at the junction of the main block and wing.

The clock has been said to keep time for the surrounding countryside.

The entrance hall is stone-flagged, with a plasterwork Victorian cornice; a large, top-lit, two-storey hall with oval lantern; oval gallery with iron balustrade.

The demesne is said to be magnificent, with wooded hills topped by high mountains; a mile-long oak walk; and a mile-long avenue from the front gate to the house, bordered by rhododendrons and firs.

There is a deer-park and the River Avonbeg flows by with abundant cascades and gorges.

*****

THE PRESENT owners, Sir Robert and Lady Davis-Goff, bought Ballinacor Estate in 2001 as a working farm and shoot.

The house underwent an extensive renovation and modernisation project, which was completed in 2009.

This renovation was sympathetic to the time in which the house was built and is furnished appropriately.

The estate has a strong tradition of driven shooting and has game records going back well over a century.

Grouse were previously shot on the estate, and it is hoped to revive the moor in future years.

First published in May, 2013.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Belfast Fishmongers

In 1974, there were no less than fifty-two merchants in Belfast who were classified as Fishmongers:
  1. Adams, T, 24 Bromley Street
  2. Bon-Accord, 169 Victoria Street
  3. Boyle, F, 169 Divis Street
  4. Campbell, T, 332 Woodstock Road
  5. Christie, J, 32 Belmont Road
  6. Christie, Walter, 94 York Road
  7. Coulter, J, 162 Crumlin Road
  8. Crawford, John, 34 Botanic Avenue
  9. Crawford, William, 239-241 Cliftonville Road
  10. Crawford's, 2-4 Westland Road
  11. Curran, J, 241 Grosvenor Road
  12. Davey, Robertina, 849 Crumlin Road
  13. Dickson, John, 122 Oldpark Road
  14. Donnelly, T, 62 Knockbreda Road
  15. Duffy, John, 43 Bradbury Place
  16. Dungannon Stores, 145 Upper Lisburn road
  17. Eagle, The, 233d North Queen Street & 171 Shankill Rd
  18. Ewing, J, 32 Gilnahirk Road
  19. Ewing, M & H, 124 Shankill Road
  20. Ewing, Walter, 11 Oldpark Road
  21. Ewing, William, 427 Lisburn road
  22. Fitzsimmons & Son, 261 Upper Newtownards Road
  23. Fitzsimmons, James, 431 Upper Newtownards Road
  24. Frizzell, 273 Shankill Road
  25. Gillespie, JH, 223 Woodstock Rd & 138 Ravenhill Rd
  26. Gillespie, W, 252 Newtownards Road
  27. Gilroy, George, 66-72 Ann Street
  28. Hanlon, Archer, 14 Woodvale Road
  29. James, H, 112 Albertbridge Road
  30. Johnston, James A, 23 Castlereagh Road
  31. Kingham, Thomas, 76 Shore Road
  32. Larmour, A, 249 North Queen Street
  33. Loughran, J & Sons, 137 Antrim Road
  34. Magill, Mrs M, 183 Newtownards Road
  35. Marquis, The, 91 Castle Street & 2 Marquis Street
  36. Mayne, N, 393 Ormeau Road
  37. Moss, R, 67 Ormeau Road
  38. McAreavy's, 242 Springfield Road
  39. McCrory, Edward, 146 Castlereagh Road
  40. McCusker, John, 295 Grosvenor Road
  41. McGonigle & Malcolm, 14 Upper Newtownards Road
  42. McNeill, FG, 5 Ardoyne Road
  43. Nightingale, Thomas, 79 Castlereagh Road
  44. McTeggart, Mrs C, 68-78 Oxford Street
  45. McVeigh, J, 83 Newtownards Road
  46. O'Connor, A, 374 Crumlin Road
  47. Quinn, Hugh, 68-78 Oxford Street
  48. Rogan, Patrick, 792 Shore Road
  49. Ross, John & Sons, 68-78 Oxford Street
  50. Sawers Ltd, 24-38 Castle Street & 15 Fountain Street
  51. Somerville, H, 112 Bloomfield Avenue
  52. Stewart, WH, 307 Springfield Road

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Killua Castle

THE CHAPMAN BARONETS, OF KILLUA CASTLE, WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WESTMEATH, WITH 9,516 ACRES

The parent stock of this family flourished through several generations, in and near the town of Hinckley, Leicestershire.

The branch settled in Ireland was established there by 

JOHN CHAPMAN and his brother WILLIAM, under the auspices of their first cousin, Sir Walter Raleigh; through whose influence John obtained grants of land in County Kerry, which, on the fall of his great patron, he was obliged, from pecuniary difficulties, to dispose of to the 1st Earl of Cork, receiving the large sum, in those days, of £26,400 (about £7 million in 2016) from his lordship.

He lived eight years after this transaction, leaving at his decease, his brother,

WILLIAM CHAPMAN, surviving, who lived for several years afterwards, and left at his decease, an only son, 

BENJAMIN CHAPMAN, who entered as a cornet into a cavalry regiment, raised by the Earl of Inchiquin; and obtained, from Cromwell, when Captain Chapman, a grant of a considerable estate in County Westmeath, at Killua, otherwise St Lucy's, formerly a preceptory, or cell, of the knights hospitallers, where he resided during the remainder of his life.

Captain Chapman wedded Anne, daughter of Robert Parkinson, of Ardee, and had two sons, of whom the younger, Thomas, settled in America; and the elder,

WILLIAM CHAPMAN, succeeded his father at Killua.

He married Ismay, daughter of Thomas Nugent; and dying in 1734, was succeeded by his eldest son,

BENJAMIN CHAPMAN, who wedded Anne, daughter of Robert Tighe, by whom he had three sons and two daughters.

He died in 1779, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

BENJAMIN CHAPMAN,  of Killua Castle, who was created a baronet in 1782, designated of Killua Castle, County Westmeath, with remainder in default of male issue, to the male descendants of his father.

Sir Benjamin married Miss Anne Lowther; but dying without an heir, in 1810, the title devolved upon his brother, 

SIR THOMAS CHAPMAN, 2nd Baronet (1756-1837), who had previously received the honour of Knighthood.

Sir Thomas married, in 1808, Margaret, daughter of James Fetherston, of Bracklin Castle, County Westmeath, and had issue,
MONTAGU LOWTHER, his heir;
Benjamin James;
William.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR MONTAGU LOWTHER CHAPMAN, 3rd Baronet (1808-1853), of Killua Castle, County Westmeath.
  • Sir Montagu Richard Chapman, 5th Baronet (1853–1907);
  • Sir Benjamin Rupert Chapman, 6th Baronet (1865–1914);
The 7th Baronet left his wife to live with his daughters' governess, Sarah Junner.

The couple did not marry.

Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence CB DSO

Sir Thomas and Sarah had five sons born out of wedlock, of whom Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence CB DSO, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, was the second-eldest.
Caroline Margaret, wife of Sir Montagu, the 5th Baronet, was sister of the 7th Baronet, Lawrence's father. She was the last Chapman to live in Killua until her death in 1920. She wrote a fascinating little booklet with the history of the house.

Lawrence did visit Killua once, but it was a few weeks before his death when Killua was already a golf club owned by Mr Hackett. The is a letter by Lawrence at the Imperial War Museum where he mentions his intention to buy the property back into the family. Alas, it was never meant to be. 



KILLUA CASTLE is situated near Clonmellon, County Westmeath.

The present mansion was built ca 1780 by Sir Benjamin Chapman, 1st Baronet, consisting of a hall, dining room, oval drawing room, breakfast parlour and front and back stairs.

There was also a stable yard, barn and haggard.

From here, the Chapmans administered the surrounding farm lands in the 18th century.

The Castle and its surrounding lands were granted around 1667 to Benjamin Chapman.

On his death the estate passed to his elder son, William; and on William's death in 1734 to his son Benjamin.

Sir Benjamin demolished the original castle.

It passed from him in 1810, by special remainder, to his brother Thomas who, in the early 1820s, commissioned the addition of a large round tower and several other towers, including a library tower, staircase tower and back door tower.

He also completed the castellation and erected the Raleigh obelisk nearby.

When Sir Montagu, 5th Baronet, died childless in 1907, his widow, a cousin, divided the estate between the four legitimate daughters of her brother Sir Thomas, 7th Baronet.

The house and the remaining 1,200 acres of land were sold in 1949.


Until recently, the Castle had become an ivy-clad roofless ruin.

Since 2010, however, Killua Castle has been purchased by a private owner and is undergoing major restoration.



THE OBELISK, erected in 1810 by Sir Thomas Chapman, 2nd Baronet, marks the position where Sir Walter Raleigh planted some of the first potatoes that he imported to Ireland.

The inscription on the obelisk currently reads 'Sir Walter G Raleigh', but there is no other evidence that Raleigh had a middle name, and the 'G' appears to be vandalism added after the original inscription.

The obelisk has been recently restored through a grant from the Irish Georgian Society.

First published in May, 2013.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Norwood Tower Appeal

I'm seeking photographs of Norwood Tower.

If any readers can help, or are in contact with the Hendersons or Musgraves, that could be useful.

I gather that a few members of the Musgrave family, including the present Baronet, live in Syros, Greece.

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Musgrave Connection

  Norwood Tower © 2011 Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland

It was assumed in 1934 that Norwood Tower, Strandtown, Belfast, or its dower house, Clonaver, would pass to Oscar Henderson when Miss Florence Elizabeth Henderson, his aunt, died.

However, she bequeathed both, together with a majority holding in Belfast News Letter shares, to Sir Christopher Musgrave Bt OBE, a distant cousin.

This was a bitter blow to Oscar, a distinguished naval officer, and his family.


They could do nothing about the houses, though they did succeed in buying back the News-Letter shares.
Commander Oscar Henderson DSO CVO CBE RN (1891-1969) served in a destroyer during the 1st World War. He was second in command of HMS Iris at the famous Battle of Zeebrugge, in 1918, when a British force blocked the Mole by sinking a ship across the entrance.

Commander Henderson took command when the ship's captain was killed. He was awarded the DSO for his part in this epic.

He became Comptroller and Private Secretary to the 3rd Duke of Abercorn, 1st Governor of Northern Ireland; and was awarded a CVO and CBE for his services. 

Commander Henderson was the father of Bill and Brum Henderson.

Since the James Henderson (b 1797) was Maria Barker's (née Henderson) father; and the aforesaid James Henderson was Florence Elizabeth Henderson's grandfather; it seems reasonable to conclude that James Henderson was Sir Christopher Musgrave's great-grandfather.

Therefore, Sir Christopher Musgrave was Florence Elizabeth Henderson's first cousin twice removed.

Miss Henderson bequeathed Norwood Tower to Sir Christopher Musgrave, whose grandmother was Maria Henderson:
Henderson, Florence Elizabeth of Norwood Tower Strandtown Belfast spinster died 24 March 1934 Probate Belfast 22 February to sir Christopher Norman Musgrave baronet and John Johnson solicitor. Effects £11027 11s [£615,000 in today's money].

Maria Barker (née Henderson) was, therefore, Florence Elizabeth Henderson's aunt, since James Henderson (Maria's father) was Florence's grandfather.

Maria Henderson (1839-1905) was the tenth child of James Henderson (1797-1863) and Anne Peacock, and she was born on the 26th December, 1839.

Maria lived with her brother, James Alexander Henderson, at Norwood Tower and she taught his younger children (most likely including Florence, the youngest).

This was where she met her future husband, Frank Const Barker. 
Frank Barker was one of James Alexander Henderson's business friends. All the Barker family used the middle name Const after a Mr Const of Piccadilly, London. Mr Const was a wealthy business friend of Frank's father, Richard Barker, and when he died he left the family a large sum of money.

Maria Henderson and Frank Barker were married on the 15th September, 1862, and lived at Sorrento House, Dalkey, County Dublin.

They had eight children, of whom their third child was Kathleen Const Barker who married James Musgrave and had four children.

The first child was (Sir) Christopher Norman Musgrave, later 6th Baronet (1892-1956).

First published in May, 2011.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Prince Edward Visit

THE EARL OF WESSEX, Patron, Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, attended Day Three of the Balmoral Show at Balmoral Park, Maze, County Down.


His Royal Highness was attended by the Lord-Lieutenant of County Down, Mr David Lindsay.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

TRH in Northern Ireland

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall yesterday morning attended the official opening of the Northern Ireland Police Memorial Garden, Knock Road, Belfast, and were received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast, Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE.

Their Royal Highnesses later visited the Market Square, Dromore, County Down, and were received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Down, Mr David Lindsay.

Her Royal Highness afterwards opened Dromore Central Primary School, Mossvale Road, Dromore.

This concluded Their Royal Highnesses' visit to Northern Ireland.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Royal Visit

THE PRINCE OF WALES and The Duchess of Cornwall this afternoon visited Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy, County Londonderry, and were received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry (Mr Denis Desmond CBE).

Their Royal Highnesses afterwards visited the North West Cancer Centre, Altnagelvin Area Hospital, Londonderry, and were received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Londonderry (Dr Angela Garvey).

His Royal Highness later met board members and staff of Historic Royal Palaces at Hillsborough Castle, County Down.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall later evening attended a Concert at Hillsborough Castle.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Mount Stewart Trip


I have spent a glorious morning at the National Trust's Mount Stewart estate on the Ards Peninsula, County Down.


Arriving about nine-thirty, I parked the two-seater in the grass car-park and went for a good walk through the heavily wooded grounds.

A new track has been opened, past "The Folly" and along the glen.

It was sunny and bone-dry.


Eventually I emerged at the old piggery, where I continued my walk uphill and onwards to the Temple of the Winds.

Place setting for Sir Winston Churchill

Back at the visitor reception area I reserved a guided tour of the mansion house at eleven-thirty, which gave me ample time to admire the formal gardens.


The house tour proved to be particularly interesting and informative.

We were, I gather, fortunate to see the private chapel, which seems to have seating for about eighty worshippers.


The walls are adorned with banners of Knights of the Garter, an honour bestowed upon several of the Marquesses of Londonderry.


Also on display, in a silverware room off the central hall, were insignia of various orders of chivalry including the star of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (KP).


I lunched in the tea-room and ate a very good prawn salad, with a pot of tea.