Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Earl's Coronet

The coronet of an earl is a silver-gilt circlet with eight strawberry leaves alternating with eight silver balls (known as pearls) on raised spikes.

The coronet itself is chased as if in the form of jewels (like a royal crown) but is not actually jewelled.

It has a crimson cap (lined ermine) in real life and a purple one in heraldic representation.

there is a gold tassel on top.

The raised pearls on spikes distinguish it from other coronets.

It has also been described thus,
This coronet, which is one of the most striking, has, rising from a golden circlet, eight lofty rays of gold, each of which upon its point supports a small pearl, while between each pair of rays is a conventional leaf, the stalks of these leaves being connected with the rays and with each other so as to form a continuous wreath.
The coronet of a countess (below) is smaller in size and sits directly on top of the head, rather than around it.

Earls rank in the third degree of the hereditary peerage, being next below a marquess, and next above a viscount.

First published in June, 2010.

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).

Marquess's Coronet

THE coronet of a marquess is a silver-gilt circlet with four strawberry leaves around it, alternating with four silver balls, known as pearls, on points.

The coronet itself is chased as if in the form of jewels (like a royal crown) but is not actually jewelled.

It has a crimson cap (lined ermine) in real life and a purple one in heraldic representation, and a golden tassel on top.

The alternation of strawberry leaves and pearls is what distinguishes a marquess's coronet from those of other ranks.

Coronets are rarely worn nowadays, although they are customarily worn at coronations.

They can, however, still be seen depicted on peers' coats-of-arms as a badge of rank within the five degrees of the hereditary peerage.

The coronet of a marchioness sits on top of the head (instead of around it).

A marquess is a peer of the second degree in the peerage, ranking above an earl and below a duke.

First published in May, 2010.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

1st Baron Beresford



He was the second son of John, 4th Marquess of Waterford, and brother of John, 5th Marquess.

Lord Charles married, in 1878, Mina, daughter of Richard Gardner, in London.

He was educated at Bayford School, and Mr Foster's School, Stubbington, Hampshire.

His distinguished career is very well documented already.

Admiral Beresford was elevated to the peerage, in 1916, in the dignity of BARON BERESFORD, of Metemmeh and Curraghmore, County Waterford.

Lord Beresford died three years later, in 1919, when the barony became extinct.

He died at Langwell, Berriedale, Caithness, aged 73.

After a State funeral at St Paul's Cathedral,  Lord Beresford was buried at Putney Vale Cemetery in south London.

Lord Beresford inherited the County Cavan estate of his relation, the Most Rev Lord John Beresford.

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Lord John George de la Poer Beresford (1773-1862), Lord Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland, possessing great wealth, was known for his considerable largesse.

His patronage extended largely to Trinity College, Dublin; to the College of Saint Columba; and he restored Armagh Cathedral, at a cost of £30,000.

Furthermore, His Grace augmented the salaries of his clergy.

The bust of this distinguished prelate stands in the private chapel at Curraghmore, County Waterford.

He is interred in Armagh Cathedral.

The Archbishop bequeathed his County Cavan estate to Lord Charles Beresford.

Learmount Castle in County Londonderry, belonged to the same family through marriage.

First published in May, 2013. Beresford arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Oak Park


JAMES BRUEN, said to have been of Tarvin, Cheshire, went to Ireland in Cromwell's Army and settled at Abbeyboyle, County Roscommon.

He was administrator to his brother, Henry Bruen, of Dublin, in 1700.

His son,

MOSES BRUEN, of Boyle, County Roscommon, purchased land and property in counties Carlow and Wexford from the Beaucamp, Grogan and Whaley families.

Thereafter, the family settled at Oak Park, County Carlow, and Coolbawn, County Wexford.

This Moses, who died in 1757, left issue,
HENRY, of Oak Park;
Bridget; Mary; Elinor Catherine; Margaret; Elizabeth.
The second son,

COLONEL HENRY BRUEN MP (1741-95), of Oak Park, removed, about 1775, to estates which he purchased in County Carlow.

He married, in 1787, Harriette Dorothea, daughter of Francis Knox, of Rappa Castle, County Mayo, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
John, of Coolbawn;
Francis, of Coolbawn;
Maria; Margaret; Harriett.
The son and heir,

COLONEL HENRY BRUEN (1789-1852), of Oak Park, and Coolbawn, County Wexford, MP for Jamestown, 1783-90, County Carlow, 1790-95, married, in 1822, Anne Wandesforde, daughter of Thomas Kavanagh MP, of Borris House, County Carlow, by Lady Elizabeth his wife, daughter of John, 17th Earl of Ormonde, and had issue,
HENRY, of Oak Park;
Elizabeth; Harriet; Anne.
Colonel Bruen was succeeded by his only son,

THE RT HON HENRY BRUEN JP DL (1828-1912), of Oak Park and Coolbawn, MP for Carlow, 1857-80, High Sheriff of County Carlow, 1853, Privy Counsellor, who married, in 1854, Mary Margaret, third daughter of Colonel Edward M Conolly MP, of Castletown, County Kildare, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
Edward Francis, Captain RN;
John Richard;
Arthur Thomas;
Katherine Anne; Mary Susan; Elizabeth; Eleanor; Helen; Grace.
Mr Bruen was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY BRUEN (1856-1927), of Oak Park, and Coolbawn, Lieutenant, Royal Artillery, High Sheriff of County Carlow, 1886, Wexford, 1909, who wedded, in 1886, Agnes Mary, youngest daughter of the Rt Hon Arthur M Kavanagh, of Borris, County Carlow, and had issue,

HENRY ARTHUR BRUEN (1887-1954), of Oak Park, Captain, 15th Hussars, who wedded, in 1913, Jane Catherine Gladys, daughter of Arthur George Florence McClintock, and had issue,

GLADYS PATRICIA BREUN (1914-), of Oak Park, who married, in 1939, Mervyn Anthony Arthur Rudyerd Boyse, son of Major Henry Thomas Arthur Shapland Hunt Boyse. They had four sons.

She lived in 1976 at Maryvale, Church Road, Ballybrack, County Dublin.

OAK PARK, near Carlow town, is a large Victorian classical house by W V Morrison.

It has two storeys, the entrance front having a five-bay central block with a pedimented portico of four huge Ionic columns.

The main block is prolonged by wings of the same height, initially set back though returning forwards with Wyatt windows at their ends.

The garden front of thirteen bays is duller in appearance.

The interior has splendid plasterwork in the style of Morrison; while the Hall boasts giant, free-standing Ionic columns.

Part of the former Oak Park estate, once the home of the Bruen Family, from 1775 to 1957, is now the 127 acre Oak Park Forest Park.

The Oak Park demesne was bought by Colonel Henry Bruen in 1775, after making his fortune in the American Army.

He was the grandson of James Bruen, of Tarvin, Cheshire, who came to Ireland with Oliver Cromwell and received land at Abbeyboyle, County Roscommon.

The Bruens intermarried with the County Mayo families, Knox of Rappa and Ruttledge of Bloomfield.

HMS Drake, the wreck of which lies at Church Bay, Rathlin Island, was torpedoed in 1917. One of her Captains was Edward Bruen, son of the MP. He was Captain when the ship was flagship on the Australian station circa 1912/13.

The Senior Naval Officer in Australia at the time was Admiral King-Hall (Admiral Sir George Fowler King-Hall KCB CVO) who had a very strong Ulster connection. Captain Edward Bruen RN was married to Olga Ker, one of the Montalto and Portavo family.

Captain Bruen later went on to command HMS Bellerophon at the Battle of Jutland.

The Bruen estate was mainly in the counties of Carlow and Wexford where they had houses at Oakpark in Carlow and at Coolbawn, Enniscorthy.

Francis Bruen was married to Catherine Anne Nugent, daughter of the Earl of Westmeath.

Three townlands in the barony of Athenry were offered for sale in the Landed Estates court in 1866.

All this land gave the Bruen family political power and, in 1790, Henry Bruen was returned to Parliament, winning the seat of a neighbouring family, the Butlers.

However, the Butlers reclaimed their seat five years later with the sudden death of the Colonel in December, 1795.

This allowed his son, also called Henry, to assume control of the estate.

The Bruen estate in County Galway amounted to over 700 acres in the 1870s but was part of an estate of almost 25,000 acres in total.

Manuscripts in the Irish Genealogical Office would suggest that the family held lands at Boyle, County Roscommon, in the 18th century.

These lands seem to have been at the centre of a legal case between the Bruen family and Richard St George.

Henry Bruen attended Harrow School alongside the poet Lord Byron and Robert Peel, with whom he would later serve as a Conservative MP.

Peel was Home Secretary at the time of Catholic Emancipation, a Bill which Henry Bruen supported.

Bruen quickly amassed the land surrounding Oak Park.

In 1841, a survey of every Bruen farm revealed that the family's estates in County Carlow covered 20,089 acres.

In the 1841 election, Henry defeated the Liberal candidate, Daniel O'Connell, Jnr., son of “The Liberator”.
However, the Bruen hold on the seat lapsed with the death of Henry in 1852; but his son, also confusingly called Henry, returned to the House of Commons in 1857 and held his seat until 1880, which marked the end of the family's 90-year history of political involvement over three generations.
The current mansion house at Oak Park is the result of four periods of expansion and remodelling carried out between 1797 and 1902.

Twenty-two years after he arrived, Henry employed Michael Boylan to redecorate the house.

In 1832, the second Henry Bruen commissioned William Morrison to re-model the house and in 1876 Samuel Bolton, a builder, signed a contract for a major extension, which took three years to complete.

However, on 22nd February, 1902, the house was gutted by fire.

After eight hours of fighting the blaze, all that remained was the north wing. Fortunately, a large number of paintings, furniture and books were saved by the workers.

The house was rebuilt under the supervision of William Mitchell.

The last male Bruen, the fifth Henry, died in 1954.

By then, the estate had reduced in size to a relatively small 1,500 acres.

He left nothing to his estranged daughter Gladys, who had several years earlier married Prince Milo of Montenegro.

The remainder of the estate was bequeathed to a cousin in England, minus a weekly income for life of £6 to his daughter, Patricia.

In 1957, the estate was purchased at auction for £50,555 by Brownes Hill Estates, who already owned the nearby estate in which a Norfolk farmer was principal partner.

However, within three years the property was back on the market after fierce protest from smaller farmers in opposition to the purchase by the Norfolk farmer.

The estate was bought by the Irish Land Commission for £68,000, and seven hundred acres were divided up among small holders, while the house and the remaining land were taken over as a research centre for the Irish Agricultural Institute (Teagasc).

The last member of the Bruen family to be buried in the family's private burial ground at the Mausoleum was Gladys, the estranged wife of Henry (d 1969). 

First published in April, 2011.

I am grateful to Henry Woods and Robert Power for most of the information; further reading about the Bruens and Oak Park can be read here.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Baron's Coronet

The coronet of a baron is a circlet of silver-gilt, bordered with ermine, with six balls (known as pearls) set at equal distances.

It has a crimson cap with a a gold-threaded tassel on top.

The six large pearls distinguish the coronet of a baron (the lowest degree in the nobility) from the four other ranks of the peerage.

Like all coronets, it is customarily worn at coronations, though a baron is entitled to bear his coronet of rank on his armorial bearings, above the shield.

A smaller version, shown above, as worn by baronesses at coronations, sits on top of the head, rather than around it. 

First published in May, 2010.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Ballinacor House


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,
George (Rev);
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,

COLONEL WILLIAM KEMMIS JP DL (1836-1900), of Ballinacor and Ballycarroll, Royal Artillery, who wedded, in 1862, Ellen Gertrude de Horne Christy, eldest daughter of George Steinman Steinman, FSA, of Sundridge, Kent, and left issue,
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, 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,
Thomas Steinman;
Karolie Kathleen.
The eldest son,

CAPTAIN WILLIAM DARRYL OLPHERT KEMMIS MC (1892-1965), 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.

Prince of Wales's Coronet

The coronet of the Prince of Wales, or, more properly, the demi-crown of the Heir Apparent to the throne is composed of a circle of gold; on the edge, four crosses patée, between as many fleurs-de-lis; from the two centre crosses, an arch, surmounted with a mound and cross, the whole richly chased and adorned with pearls; within the coronet, a crimson cap, lined with white sarsnet, and turned up with ermine.

The original coronet of this design forms part of the crown jewels exhibited at the Tower of London.

The royal coronet made for Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1728, is a golden diadem, the band decorated with embossed jewel-like lozenges and ovals with foliate surrounds, on a matted ground, between rows of gold pearls.

Royal Collection © HM Queen Elizabeth II

Above the band are four gold crosses-pattée and four fleurs-de-lis, partly matted and chased.

The single arch dips deeply in the centre and supports a monde with gold pearls and a cross above, fitted with a purple velvet cap and ermine band.

The Investiture Coronet of the present Prince of Wales was designed by the architect and goldsmith Louis Osman (1914-96) and given to HM The Queen by the Goldsmith’s Company for His Royal Highness's Investiture at Carnarvon Castle, 1969.

It is 24 carat gold, with four crosses-pattée and four fleur-de-Lys made from a nugget of Welsh gold, reinforced with platinum and decorated with diamonds and emeralds. The orb mounted on the top of the arch was engraved by Malcolm Appleby with The Prince of Wales’s insignia.

This is surrounded by thirteen diamonds arranged as the constellation of Scorpio, The Prince of Wales’s star sign. The diamonds set horizontally represent the seven Gifts of God on one side and the seven deadly sins on the other.
First published in June, 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

Friday, 19 May 2017

Duke's Coronet

The coronet of a duke is a golden circlet with eight gold strawberry leaves around it (pointing upwards).

The coronet itself is chased as if in the form of jewels (like a royal crown) but is not actually jewelled.

It has a crimson cap (lined ermine) in real life and a purple one in heraldic representation.

There is a gold-threaded tassel on top.

The number of strawberry leaves and absence of pearls is what distinguishes a ducal coronet from those of other degrees of the peerage.

The ducal coronet has undergone several modifications in form since it was first introduced in 1337.

As now worn, it has eight golden leaves of a conventional type - the "strawberry leaves" so called - set erect upon a circlet of gold, and having their stalks so connected as to form a wreath.

Of late years this coronet has enclosed a cap of rich crimson velvet surmounted by a golden tassel and lined and "guarded" with ermine.


A smaller version, above, is worn by duchesses at coronations.

Peeresses' coronets sit on top of the head, rather than around it.

Non-royal dukes represent the highest degree in the hereditary peerage.

First published in April, 2010.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Viscount's Coronet

The coronet of a viscount is a silver-gilt circlet with sixteen silver balls (known as pearls) around it.

The coronet itself is chased and embossed as if in the form of jewels (like a royal crown) with alternating oval and square jewel-shaped bosses, but is not actually jewelled.

It has a crimson velvet cap with lined ermine trim (the cap being purple in heraldic representation).

There is a gold-threaded tassel on top.

The sixteen pearls are what distinguishes the coronet of a viscount from other degrees of the Peerage.

The coronet of a viscountess (above) is smaller in size and sits on top of the head, rather than around it.

Like all heraldic coronets, it is mostly worn at the coronation of a Sovereign, but a viscount is entitled to bear a likeness of it on his coat-of-arms, above the shield.

Viscounts are peers of the fourth degree of nobility, next in rank above a baron and below an earl.

First published in June, 2011.

Killua Castle


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, 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.

This gentleman married, in 1808, Margaret, daughter of James Fetherston, of Bracklin Castle, County Westmeath, and had issue,
Benjamin James;
Sir Thomas 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.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Leap Castle


JOHN DARBY, son of Edmund Darby, of Gaddesby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, was a captain of horse in the Earl of Sussex's army, at the siege of the O'Carroll stronghold of Leim O'Bannon (the Leap of O'Bannon). 

He died in 1608, and was succeeded by his grandson, 

JONATHAN DARBY, of Leap, King's County, High Sheriff, 1674, who left issue by Deborah his wife,
JONATHAN, his heir;
The eldest son,

JONATHAN DARBY, of Leap, living in 1708, left issue, one son and two daughters, viz.
Sarah; Mary.
The only son, 

JONATHAN DARBY JP, of Leap, espoused Anna Marie, daughter of Benjamin Frend, of Boskell, County Limerick, and had issue,
JONATHAN, his heir;
George, Vice-Admiral;
Damer, of Dublin;
Anne; Anne; Lucy.
The eldest son,

JONATHAN DARBY (1713-76), of Leap, wedded Susanna, daughter of Jonathan Lovett, of Dromoyle, King's County, and had issue,
Robert, 1747-64;
Henry D'Esterre (Sir), KCB, admiral, of Leap Castle;
JOHN, of whom presently;
William Lovett;
Christopher, a general in the army;
Edward Hawke;
The fourth son, 

JOHN DARBY (1751-1834), of Marklye, Sussex, and afterwards of Leap Castle, married, in 1784, Anne, daughter of Samuel Vaughan, and had issue,
Jonathan, b 1784, died unmarried;
WILLIAM HENRY, his heir;
Christopher Lovett (Rev);
George, MP for E Sussex;
Horatio D'Esterre;
John Nelson;
Susannah; Sarah; Letitia Lovett.
The eldest surviving son,

WILLIAM HENRY DARBY (1790-1880), of Leap Castle, married firstly, Laura Charlotte, daughter of Edward Jeremiah Curteis, of Windmill Hill, Sussex, and had issue,
Mary Charlotte.
He wedded secondly, in 1848, Elizabeth, daughter of W Drought, and had issue,
William Henry;
John Nelson;
Elizabeth Henrietta; Wilhelmina Katharine Anne; Laura Susan Eleanor;
Theodora Lovett; Laura Caroline; Monica Gertrude; Maude Mary; Anne Vaughan.
Mr W H Darby was succeeded by his grandson, 

JONATHAN CHARLES DARBY JP DL (1855-1943), of Leap Castle, High Sheriff, 1883, who wedded, in 1889, Mildred Henrietta Gordon, younger daughter of Dr Richard Dill, of Burgess Hill, and Brighton, both in Sussex, and had issue,
Jonathan, died in infancy, 1892;
Augusta; Cicily Mildred O'Carroll; Florence Patricia O'Carroll.
His only surviving son,

HORATIO GORDON O'CARROLL DARBY (1898-1971), of Shannon Vale, Dromineer, Nenagh, County Tipperary, wedded, in 1926, Celia Margaret, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Burton Henry Capel Philips, and had issue,
Jonathan Brian O'Carroll;
Christopher Henry D'Esterre O'Carroll.
The eldest son,

HORATIO ANTHONY FIONN O'CARROLL DARBY MBE (1927-), Controller of Electricity, Monserrat; lived, in 1973, in Australia.

LEAP CASTLE, near Rosscrea, County Offaly, passed to the Darby family through marriage.

It is a 16th century, three-storey tower house, with remains of a Jacobean house constructed to the north.

Leap Castle was altered and enlarged by the Darby Family ca 1760, to include flanking Neo-Gothic two-storey castellated blocks and door surround.

There are roughcast, rendered walls to the tower house with a castellated parapet with bartizans and machicolations.

The castle has a variety of window openings, including limestone pointed-arched twin lights to the tower house and pointed-arched window openings with sandstone sills to the 18th century flanking bays.

A pointed-arched door opening with flanking pointed-arched sidelights to front elevation has a "Batty Langley" style door surround comprising sandstone clustered colonnades and hood mouldings.

The tower-house and flanking bay to the south are in use as a private dwelling; whereas the two and three-storey castellated bays to the north of the tower-house are derelict.

The Darby Family remained at Leap Castle until 1922, when the castle was destroyed and the family moved from the estate.

The Castle lay in ruins until it was bought in the 1980s and it being restored at present.

To study the developments and phases on construction at Leap Castle and associated structures, including the gate lodge and stables, is to study the architectural history of Ireland.

It has been the site of practically continued occupancy since the 16th century with alterations and additions to the Castle during each century.

Leap Castle is a landmark building in the area and, in the past, played an important social and historic role in the region.

The tower-house contributes an archaeological significance to the site; while the striking door surround is of artistic interest.

Leap Castle and associated structures are important features in the architectural heritage of County Offaly.

First published in April, 2013.

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.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Anketell Grove


This family was of high station in Dorset at a very remote period (its name appearing in the Domesday Book).

As early as the reign of EDWARD I, several of its members represented the borough of Shaftesbury in Parliament.

The pedigree and history, as anciently of Ancketill's Place, near Shaftesbury, and east Aimer, near Sturminster Marshall, and more anciently of Lye, near Wimborne, and represented by Ancketill, of Ancketill's Grove, are given in the 3rd edition of Hutchins' History of Dorset, and there carried down to 1868; the pedigree extends to twenty-three generations, and shows intermarriages with the most distinguished of the old Dorset families.

The history shows the active part which this family took as Royalists in the time of CHARLES I in Dorset, and that its descendants and representatives in Ireland, when called upon, were not found wanting in devotion to what they considered the right cause.
The first ancestor of this line, 

CAPTAIN OLIVER ANCKETILL JP (1609-66), of County Monaghan, High Sheriff, 1662, son of William Ancketill, of Shaftesbury, Dorset, married Rebecca, probably of the family of Bullingbrooke, of Galway, and and issue,
MATTHEW, his heir;
Sarah, m 1660, James Corry, ancestor of the Earls of Belmore;
Captain Ancketill was succeeded by his eldest son,

MATTHEW ANCKETILL (1651-), of Ancketill's Grove, County Monaghan, to whom that estate was confirmed, by patent, in the reign of CHARLES II.

He was High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1682, but was attainted by JAMES II.

Mr Ancketill wedded Matilda, daughter of Robert Moore, of Ravella and Garvey, County Tyrone, and had (with other issue),
WILLIAM, his heir;
OLIVER, succeeded his brother;
Mr Ancketill was killed at the battle of Drumbanagher, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM ANCKETILL (1677-1709), of Ancketill's Grove, High Sheriff, 1707, who dsp 1709 and was succeeded by his next brother,

OLIVER ANCKETILL (1680-c1760), of Ancketill's Grove, MP for the borough of Monaghan, 1754-60, MA and LL.B Trinity College, Dublin, 1703; one of the original founders of the Royal Dublin Society; High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1703.

He married firstly, in 1716, the Hon Sarah Caulfeild, second daughter of William, 2nd Viscount Charlemont, by Anne Margetson, his wife, only daughter of the Most Rev James Margetson, Lord Archbishop of Armagh, and had issue (with three daughters),
WILLIAM (1724-56), father of CHARLES;
Mr Ancketill espoused secondly, when about 80 years of age, Anne Stephens (née Tuton), and died immediately after, and was succeeded by his grandson,

CHARLES ANKETELL (1754-1828), of Anketell Grove, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his nephew,

WILLIAM ANKETELL JP DL (1790-1851), of Anketell Grove, High Sheriff, 1830, who married, in 1809, Sarah, second daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel John Charles Frederick Waring Maxwell, of Finnebrogue, County Down, and had issue,
MATTHEW JOHN, his heir;
William Robert, of Quintin Castle, Portaferry;
Oliver Charles;
Fitz Ameline Maxwell, of Killyfaddy, Clogher;
Anne Dorothea; Maria; Matilda Jane.
Mr Anketell was succeeded by his eldest son,

MATTHEW JOHN ANKETELL JP DL (1812-70), of Anketell Grove, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1834, Major, Monaghan Militia, who married, in 1840, Catherine Frances Anne, eldest daughter of David Ker MP, of Portavo and Montalto, County Down, by the Lady Selina, his wife, daughter of the 1st Marquess of Londonderry, and had issue,
MATTHEW DAVID, his heir;
Oliver Frederick (1850-72);
WILLIAM, succeeded his brother;
Robert Waring Maxwell;
Selina Sarah; Ada; Frances Emmeline; Gertrude Madelina;
Bertha Grace Phœbe; Octavia Mary; Augusta.
Major Anketell was succeeded by his eldest son,

MATTHEW DAVID ANKETELL (1841-72), of Anketell Grove, who was killed by a fall from horseback; died unmarried, and was succeeded by his next surviving brother,

WILLIAM ANCKETILL DL (1851-1931), of Ancketill's Grove, Lieutenant, Royal Tyrone Fusiliers, who married, in 1875, Jean Laing, daughter of Robert Falkner, of Broughton Park, Lancashire, and had issue, an only child,

OLIVE MAUD ANCKETILL (1876-1909), who wedded firstly, in 1901, Reginald George Petre Wymer, only son of Reginald Augustus Wymer, and grandson of Sir Henry George Petre Wymer KCB, and had issue, a daughter, Lovice Vivian Petre.

She espoused secondly, in 1907, Michael Linning Henry Melville, Egyptian Civil Service, and had issue, a daughter,

Monica Agnes Ancketill, born in 1908.

ANKETELL GROVE, near Emyvale, County Monaghan, was originally built by Captain Oliver Ancketill about 1640, on low ground.

His grandson Oliver rebuilt the house on higher ground at the head of the copper beech avenue.

This house was demolished in 1781, when a third dwelling was erected on another site: A two-storey, five-bay, gable-ended main block with a small pediment, joined by curved sweeps to single-storey, two-bay wings.

There are Georgian-Gothic windows in the wings.

The house was extensively remodelled about 1840, boasting an central Italianate attic tower at the centre, which rises from ground level.

The estate was mortgaged by William Anketell, early in 1884, to the Scottish Provident Insurance Association. Mr Anketell had been, by that stage, in financial difficulties.

Scottish Provident began evictions almost at once: The estate was put up for sale in the Encumbered Estates Court in 1886 and the Scottish Provident became absolute owners of the whole estate, with the exception of Anketell Grove House, demesne and three townlands.

In 1899, Scottish Provident received £4,800 in advances from the Government for sales to sixty two tenants.

In 1901, William Anketell received £3,820 for sales to thirty-three tenants (Dublin Gazette, 26th July, 1901, pps 1045-6).

Some time thereafter the Anketells removed to Killyfaddy, near Clogher, County Tyrone. 

Anketell Grove was purchased from the Irish Land Commission in 1922 by Patrick McKenna, of Derryhee, nearby.

In 1970, Anketell Grove and ninety acres of land were purchased by Mr Laurence Clerkin, the present owner.


First published in April, 2013.