Thursday, 29 June 2017

Meenglass House

THE VISCOUNTS LIFFORD OWNED 11,000 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DONEGAL

THE RT HON JAMES HEWITT (1709-89), having attained great eminence at the English bar, and filled successively the offices of King's First Sergeant and judge of the Court of King's Bench, was appointed, in 1767, LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND, and elevated to the peerage, in 1768, as Baron Lifford, of Lifford, County Donegal.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1781, as VISCOUNT LIFFORD.

He married firstly, in 1749,  Mary, only daughter and co-heiress of the Venerable Dr Rice Williams, Archdeacon of Carmarthen, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
William Williams;
Joseph, a judge;
John, in holy orders.
His lordship wedded secondly, Ambrosia, daughter of the Rev Charles Bayley, of Knavestock, in Essex, and by that lady had George, Ambrosia, and Elizabeth, all who died unmarried.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE VERY REV JAMES, 2nd Viscount (1751-1830), Dean of Armagh, who wedded firstly, in 1776, Henrietta Judith, eldest daughter of Arthur, 1st Viscount Harberton, but by that lady had no issue.

He espoused secondly, in 1781, Alicia, eldest daughter of the Ven John Oliver, Archdeacon of Ardagh, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
John Pratt, in holy orders.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, 3rd Viscount (1783-1855), who married, in 1809, Mary Anne Maria, 8th daughter of Cornwallis, 1st Viscount Hawarden, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
John James;
Alicia Anne; Susan; Anne Georgiana.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, 4th Viscount (1811-87), DL, who espoused, in 1835, the Lady Mary Acheson, eldest daughter of Archibald, 2nd Earl of Gosford, and had numerous issue, including
JAMES WILFRED, his successor;
Evelyn John;
Archibald Robert, succeeded his brother;
Mary Anne.
ARCHIBALD ROBERT,  6th Viscount (1844-1925), was a captain in the Royal Navy.

His son,

EVELYN JAMES (1880-1954), 7th Viscount, DSO, fought in both the Second Boer War and the First World War.

He was succeeded by his cousin,

ALAN WILLIAM WINGFIELD, 8th Viscount, who was the son of the Hon George Wyldbore Hewitt, 7th son of the 4th Viscount.

As of 2010 the titles are held by his son, Edward James Wingfield, 9th Viscount (b 1949).


MEENGLASS HOUSE, sometimes spelt Meenglas, near Stranorlar, County Donegal, was a Victorian house in a simple Tudor-Revival style with steep roofs and gables; mullioned windows, relatively small for the size of the house.

It had a three-sided bow; and a dormer window with tracery; a slender, square turret at the junction of the main block and service wing, with a sprocketed pyramidal roof.

The 1st Viscount resided at Santry House, Dublin, for a period.

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

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Castle Martyr

THE EARLS OF SHANNON OWNED 11,232 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY CORK

This is a branch of the noble house of BOYLE, Earls of Cork and Orrery, springing from 

THE HON HENRY BOYLE (1682-1764), second son of Roger, 1st Earl of Orrery, whose son, by the Lady Mary O'Brien, daughter of Murrough, 1st Earl of Inchiquin,

HENRY BOYLE, of Castle Martyr, being sworn of the Privy Council in Ireland, filled some of the highest political offices in that kingdom (Speaker of the house of commons, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Justice etc).


He was elevated to the peerage, in 1756, as Baron Castle Martyr, Viscount Boyle, and EARL OF SHANNON.

His lordship married firstly, in 1715, Catherine, daughter of Chidley Coote, of Killester, by whom he had no issue; and secondly, in 1726, the Lady Henrietta Boyle, youngest daughter of Charles, 3rd Earl of Cork, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
Henry;
William;
Charles;
Robert;
Juliana.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD, 2nd Earl (1728-1807), KP, PC, who, having filled some high political offices, and being sworn of the Privy Council, was enrolled amongst the peers of Great Britain, in 1786, as Baron Carleton, of Carleton, Yorkshire.

His lordship was a Knight Founder of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, 1783.

He wedded, in 1763, Catherine, eldest daughter of Mr Speaker Ponsonby, of the Irish house of commons, and had issue,
HENRY, his successor;
Catherine Henrietta.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

HENRY, 3rd Earl (1771-1842), KP, PC, who espoused, in 1798, Sarah, fourth daughter of John Hyde, of Castle Hyde, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
Henry Charles;
Robert Francis;
Catherine; Sarah; Louisa Grace; Jane; Elizabeth; Charlotte Anne.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,
The heir presumptive is the present holder's second cousin, Robert Francis Boyle.

CASTLE MARTYR, County Cork, was built in the early 18th century by Henry Boyle, Speaker of the Irish house of commons, afterwards 1st Earl of Shannon.

The house was substantially enlarged by the 2nd Earl between 1764-71; and further re-modelled in the late Georgian period.

The entrance front is of two storeys and seventeen bays, comprising a five-bay recessed centre and giant pedimented portico between projecting wings.


The entrance front of the house overlooks a sheet of water which is part of the remarkable artificial river made before 1750 by the 1st Earl.

Castle Martyr was sold early in the 20th century to the Arnott family; then became a Carmelite college.


It now forms the nucleus of a luxury hotel resort.

Former town residence ~ 7 Connaught Place, London.

First published in July, 2013.   Shannon arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Lanesborough Lodge

THE EARLS OF LANESBOROUGH OWNED 7,946 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY CAVAN

This family is not sprung from any of the ancient Irish houses of Butler; but from George Butler, of Fenny Drayton, in Cambridgeshire, and of Tewin, in Hertfordshire.

This George, living in 1575, son of Edward Butler, was said to be descended from John Butler, living at Waresley, Huntingdonshire, in 1376.

SIR STEPHEN BUTLER, Knight (descended from John Butler, of Waresley, Huntingdonshire, living in 1376), settled in Ireland in the reign of JAMES I, being an undertaker in the plantation of Ulster, and having obtained a grant of 2,000 acres of land in County Cavan, erected a baronial castle of great strength.

He and his co-undertakers of the precinct of Loughtee commenced, according to their agreement, the plantation of a town at Belturbet; and in his time thirty-five houses were erected, all inhabited by British tenants, most of whom were tradesmen, each having a house and garden plot, with four acres of land, and commons for a certain number of cattle.

Sir Stephen married Mary, daughter and co-heir of Gervais Brinsley, of Brinsley, in Nottinghamshire; and dying in 1639, was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES BUTLER, of Belturbet; at whose decease, without issue, the estates devolved upon his brother,

STEPHEN BUTLER, MP for Belturbet, who wedded Anne, daughter of Sir James Barry, 1st Baron Barry of Santry, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1662, by his eldest son,

FRANCIS BUTLER, MP for Belturbet.

This gentleman bore arms in the royal cause during the civil wars.

He married Judith, daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Theophilus Jones, of Osberstown, County Kildare, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1792, by his eldest son,

THE RT HON THEOPHILUS BUTLER (c1669-1723), of Belturbet, County Cavan, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1715, as Baron Newtownbutler, with remainder, in default of male issue, to the male descendants of his father, having previously represented County Cavan in parliament and being called to the Privy Council.

His lordship espoused Emilia, elder daughter and co-heir of James Stopford, of Tara, County Meath; but leaving no issue at his decease, the title devolved upon his brother,

BRINSLEY, 2nd Baron (1670-1735), Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, Colonel of the Battle-axe guards, who was created Viscount Lanesborough in 1728.

His lordship married Catherine, daughter and co-heir of Neville Pooley, of the city of Dublin, by whom he had no less than twenty-three children, five only of whom, however, survived infancy, namely,
HUMPHREY, his successor;
Thomas, Governor of Limerick;
Robert, MP, Captain, Battle-axe Guards;
John, MP for Newcastle;
Judith, m to B J Cramer.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUMPHREY, 2nd Viscount (1700-68), who wedded, in 1726, Mary, daughter and heir of Richard Berry, of Wardenstown, County Westmeath, by whom he had an only son.


His lordship was created EARL OF LANESBOROUGH in 1756, and was succeeded by his son,


BRINSLEY, 2nd Earl (1728-79), who wedded, in 1754, Jane, only daughter of Robert, 1st Earl of Belvedere, and had issue,
ROBERT HERBERT, his successor;
Augustus Richard;
Mary; Catherine; Charlotte; Caroline; Sophia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT HERBERT, 3rd Earl (1759-1806), who married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon David La Touche, by whom he had two sons,
BRINSLEY, his heir;
David.
The titles expired following the decease of the 9th Earl in 1998


LANESBOROUGH LODGE, County Cavan (also known as Quivvy Lodge), stood very close to the border with County Fermanagh.

It was adjacent to Lord Erne's land at Crom estate.

The Lodge was a two-storey Tudor-Revival house of ca 1810, comprising a main block and a lower, two-storey service wing.

It was extended to the rear in 1846.


There were gables, mullioned windows, and a corbelled oriel.


The house is now derelict and ruinous, having been burnt in the 1920s.

The importance and scale of the estate is indicated on historic maps by the related structures that are marked, including a yacht house, boat house, boat slips, a landing place, an engine house, various outbuildings, ice-house, and a walled garden.

Though now ruinous, Lanesborough Lodge retains much of its historic character and form.



I have unearthed this entry from a publication of 1852:
Since this justly admired nobleman and his amiable Countess returned to their estates in Cavan, the tenantry have had one unbroken scene of rejoicing. 
Today a large party, numbering uupwards of 1,000, dined at Lanesborough Lodge, Belturbet, on the invitation of the Earl and Countess. We will give the particulars in our next. 
It is to be regretted that these reunions are not more frequent generally, as they would tend to break down prejudices and unite landlords and tenants in all struggles for their mutual advantage and the benefit of the common weal. 
There is an old estate school on the way to the Lodge and beyond are the remains of a laundry and the steward's house.


The family also owned Inish Rath Island on Upper Lough Erne, County Fermanagh.

The island is located north-west of Crom estate.

The Victorian-Tudor style house on the island (above) was built in 1854 by the Hon Henry Cavendish Butler-Danvers (1811-91), a half-brother of the 5th Earl of Lanesborough.

It was subsequently purchased by the Earl of Erne for use as a hunting lodge.

During the early 20th century, the house was used for boating parties etc.

The island went through continuous change of ownership for about thirty years, when it was bought and sold.

At the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles, in 1982, property prices slumped in this border area.

A group of Hare Krishna monks, led by a German follower, Prithu Das, pooled their resources and took out a bank loan to buy Inish Rath, a perfect setting for a Hare Krishna centre.

The Hare Krishna temple was established in the west wing of the house with a magnificent gold altar at one end of the long room and a life size representation of Swami Prabhupada at the other.

Oriental arches frame the windows and polished pine floors add to the overall feeling of light and space.
SWITHLAND HALL, Leicestershire, was held by the family of Danvers until 1796, but after the death of Sir John Danvers (the last male of his line) it passed to his son-in-law, Augustus Richard Butler, 2nd son of the 2nd Earl of Lanesborough, who adopted the surname of Danvers-Butler. The current hall was partially completed in 1834 and finished in 1852 by the 6th Earl. 
The Lanesboroughs owned the following residences:

Other seats ~ Lanesborough Lodge, County Fermanagh; Swithland Hall, Leicestershire.
Town residence ~ 8 Great Stanhope Street, London.

First published in July, 2013.   Lanesborough arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Anne's Point Acquisition

SELECTIVE ACQUISITIONS IN NORTHERN IRELAND


PROPERTY: Anne's Point, near Mount Stewart Estate, County Down

DATE: 1988

EXTENT: 14.61 acres

DONOR: S & K Hamilton

First published in January, 2015.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Lisnavagh House

THE BARONS RATHDONNELL OWNED 4,960 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY CARLOW

ALEXANDER McCLINTOCK, of Trinta, County Donegal (only son of Alexander McClintock, who came from Argyllshire and purchased in 1597 the estates in Donegal) wedded, in 1648, Agnes Stenson, daughter of Donald Maclean.

He died in 1670, leaving issue,
JOHN, his heir;
WILLIAM, ancestor of McClintock of Dunmore.
The elder son,

JOHN McCLINTOCK (1649-1707), of Trinta, married, in 1687, Janet, fourth daughter of John Lowry, of Ahenis, County Tyrone, and had issue,
John, died young;
Alexander, of Drumcar;
JOHN, of whom presently;
Robert.
The third son,

JOHN McCLINTOCK (1698-), married Susannah Maria, second daughter of William Chambers, of Rock Hall, County Donegal, and had issue,
William;
James;
JOHN, succeeded his uncle at Drumcar;
ALEXANDER, of Newtown, Co Louth;
Francelina; Rebecca; Catherine; Anne.
The third son,

JOHN McCLINTOCK (1742-99), of Drumcar, County Louth, MP for Enniskillen, 1783-90, and for Belturbet, 1790-7, espoused, in 1766, Patience, daughter of William Foster MP, of Rosy Park, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Alexander (Rev);
William Foster;
Henry;
Mary Anne; Elizabeth; Rebecca; Fanny.
The eldest son,

JOHN McCLINTOCK (1770-1855), of Drumcar, 'Bumper Jack' McClintock, MP, commissioned the building of Drumcar House, near Dunleer, in 1777.

His mother was Patience, daughter of William Foster, MP for County Louth and first cousin to John Foster, 1st Baron Oriel. His paternal grandfather was Alexander McClintock (d 1775).

Mr McClintock married firstly, in 1797, Jane, only daughter of William Bunbury, of Moyle, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
William Bunbury, of Lisnavagh, father of 2nd Baron;
Catherine.
Mr John McClintock wedded, secondly in 1805, the Lady Elizabeth Trench, daughter of William, 1st Earl of Clancarty, and had issue,
Frederick William Pitt;
Charles Alexander;
Robert Le Poer (Rev);
Henry Stanley, of Kilwarlin House, Co Down;
George Augustus Jocelyn;
Anne Florence; Harriette Elizabeth; Emily Selina Frances.
Mr John Clintock was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 1ST BARON RATHDONNELL (1798-1879), High Sheriff of Louth, 1840, MP for County Louth, 1857-59, Lord-Lieutenant of County Louth, 1867-79.

Mr McClintock was elevated to the peerage, in 1868, as BARON RATHDONNELL, of Rathdonnell, County Donegal, with remainder to the male issue of his deceased younger brother, Captain William McClintock-Bunbury.

His lordship married Anne, sister of Sir John Henry Lefroy, and they lived between Drumcar, County Louth. Their London home was at 80 Chester Square. The marriage was childless.

Lord Rathdonnell was succeeded in the barony, according to the special remainder, by his nephew,

THOMAS KANE, 2nd Baron (1848-1929), who wedded, in 1874, Katharine Anne, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Henry Bruen, of Oak Park, County Carlow, by his wife Mary Margaret Conolly, third daughter of Lt-Col Edward Michael Conolly, of Castletown, County Kildare.
Lieutenant, Scots Greys; Captain, Leicestershire Yeomanry; Honorary Colonel, 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, 1896-1929; Sheriff of County Carlow, 1876; Lord-Lieutenant of County Carlow; President, Royal Dublin Society 1918-29.
The 2nd Baron was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Carlow, from 1890 until 1922.

His lordship was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS LEOPOLD, 3rd Baron (1881-1937), MBE, who married, in 1912, Ethel Synge, second daughter of Robert Wilson Jevers CMG, Sheriff of County Carlow, 1909.

His son,

WILLIAM ROBERT, 4th Baron, MC (1914-59), who married and was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS BENJAMIN, 5th and present Baron, born in 1938; married, in 1965, Jessica Harriet, only daughter of George Gilbert Butler, of Scatorish, Bennetsbridge, County Kilkenny.


LISNAVAGH HOUSE, near Rathvilly, County Carlow, is a large, rambling, granite ashlar Tudor-Revival mansion, built in 1847 for William McClintock-Bunbury MP, brother of the 1st Baron Rathdonnell.

It's on an irregular plan with porte-cochere, bay windows and gables; designed by Daniel Robertson; truncated and re-ordered about 1953; Stable building and walled garden to rear.


Lisnavagh House was substantially reduced in size about 1953 by the 4th Baron; that section of which contained the principal rooms being demolished; while the service wing was adapted to provide requisite accommodation.

The estate has been a family home for eleven generations and covers hundreds of acres.

The estate includes Lisnavagh House, several cottages, excellent grazing for cattle & tillage land for maize, barley and wheat.

Over 250 acres of mainly hardwood woodland sees Beech, Oak and Ash and other native woodland species thrive allowing a healthy biodiversity of flora and wildlife to exist in its surrounds.

This woodland is now managed and protected and naturally fallen timbers are recycled into the now highly sought after exclusive wooden Bunbury chopping Boards.

Lisnavagh Estate and House are available for private hire for exclusive weddings, yoga sleep retreats, annual community and social events.

Also available to guests are short term rental of 4 self catering cottages on the grounds.

First published in June, 2013.   Rathdonnell arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Lough Cutra Castle

WILLIAM SMYTH, of Rossdale, Yorkshire, passed over into Ulster in the reign of CHARLES I, and settling at Dundrum, County Down, became ancestor of the family which we are treating, and of the Smyths of Drumcree, Gaybrook, etc.

His son,

WILLIAM SMYTH, of Dundrum, married Mary, daughter of Thomas Dewdall, and by her had two sons, viz.
THOMAS, his heir;
James.
The elder son,

THE RT REV THOMAS SMYTH (1650-1725), was, for his great piety and learning, at the recommendation of Dr Tennison, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, promoted to the see of Limerick in 1696.

His lordship married Dorothea, daughter of the Rt Rev Ulysses Burgh, Lord Bishop of Ardagh, and had issue,
William (Very Rev), Dean of Ardfert, dsp;
CHARLES, of whom presently;
John;
Michael;
Henry;
Thomas;
George;
Arthur;
Edward;
James;
Mary; Dorothea; Elizabeth.
The second and eldest surviving son,

CHARLES SMYTH (1694-1784), who succeeded to the estates of his father, represented the city of Limerick in parliament for 45 years.

He espoused Elizabeth, sister and heir of Sir Thomas Prendergast, last baronet of that name, and widow of John Dixon Haman, and had issue,
Thomas, MP, dsp;
JOHN PRENDERGAST, of whom we treat;
Charles Lennox;
Juliana, mother of CHARLES, 2nd Viscount.
The second son,

JOHN PRENDERGAST-SMYTH, was elevated to the peerage, in 1810, as Baron Kiltarton, with remainder to his nephew, Charles Vereker, the son of his sister Juliana.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1816, as VISCOUNT GORT, of Gort, County Galway.

The 1st Viscount died a bachelor, 1817, when the family honours devolved upon his nephew,

CHARLES, 2nd Viscount, PC (1768-1842), Constable of the City of Limerick, Colonel of its Militia, and Privy Counsellor.

His lordship married firstly, in 1789, Jane, widow of William Stamer, and had issue,
JOHN PRENDERGAST, his successor;
Juliana; Georgiana.
He wedded secondly, in 1810, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Palliser, by whom he had a son,
Charles, born in 1818.
His eldest son,

JOHN PRENDERGAST, 3rd Viscount (1790-1865), sold the family seat, Lough Cutra Castle.



LOUGH CUTRA CASTLE, once known as Loughcooter Castle, is near Gort in County Galway.

It was designed by John Nash and is located in a romantic setting above a lough.

The Castle was built from 1811 for the 2nd Viscount Gort, who had an admiration for East Cowes Castle on the Isle of Wight and stipulated that his new home should be similar in design.

Lough Cutra Castle is battlemented with machiolations.


The 3rd Viscount suffered ruinous financial losses as a result of the Irish famine, since he refused to collect any rents and donated large sums to charity.

Consequently, Lough Cutra was sold by the Encumbered Estates Court in 1851.

The Gort family subsequently moved to the Isle of Wight, where they, somewhat ironically, acquired East Cowes Castle.

Lough Cutra was purchased in 1854 by Field-Marshal the Viscount Gough, who added a wing and clock-tower two years later.

During the Victorian era, the estate comprised 6,628 acres.

Interestingly, Lord Gough commissioned wallpaper by Cole & Son for a design featuring Union Flags and coronets.

The Castle was sold by the Gough family later in the 19th century and remained empty for many years; until it was bought back post-1945 by the 7th Viscount Gort for his great-niece, Elizabeth Sidney.

Thereafter the Castle was sold again and is now privately owned.

In May, 2015, TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Lough Cutra Castle.

First published in May, 2015.  Gort arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Coollattin Park

THE EARLS FITZWILLIAM WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WICKLOW, WITH 89,981 ACRES

In 1565, HUGH FITZWILLIAM (c1534-c1576), of Emley, Sprotbrough, and Haddlesey, Yorkshire, collected the records of his family, and from these records the following particulars are partly deduced:

SIR WILLIAM FITZ GODRIC, cousin to EDWARD THE CONFESSOR, left a son and heir,

SIR WILLIAM FITZWILLIAMwho, being ambassador at the court of WILLIAM, Duke of Normandy, attended that prince in his victorious expedition against England, as marshal of the army, in 1066; and for his valour at the battle of Hastings, THE CONQUEROR presented him with a scarf from his own arm.

This Sir William was father of

SIR WILLIAM FITZWILLIAM, Knight, who wedded Eleanor, daughter and heiress of Sir John Emley, of Emley and Sprotbrough, by which marriage the Fitzwilliams obtained the lordships of Emley and Sprotbrough, which continued with them until the reign of HENRY VIII, when those lordships were carried, by co-heirs, into the families of Suthill and Copley.

Sir William was succeeded by his son,

SIR WILLIAM FITZWILLIAM, Lord of Emley and Sprotbrough, living in 1117, as appears from a grant made by him of a piece of the wood in Emley to the monks of Byland.

To this grant, in a round seal, is represented a man on horseback, completely armed and circumscribed S. Willmi Filij Willmi Dni de Emmalaia; and on the reverse, the arms of FITZWILLIAM, viz. Lozenge.

This Sir William, or one of his descendants, caused a cross to be set up in the high street of Sprotbrough; which cross was pulled down in 1520.

From this Sir William we pass to his descendant,

SIR JOHN FITZWILLIAM, who founded, in 1372, the Chantry of St Edward in the church of Sprotbrough; and having married Elizabeth, daughter of William de Clinton, 1st Earl of Huntingdon, had three sons, the eldest of whom,

SIR WILLIAM FITZWILLIAM, married Maud, daughter of Ralph, 3rd Lord Cromwell, of Tattershall, and co-heir of the Lord Treasurer Cromwell, by whom he had one son and two daughters.

He was succeeded by his son,

SIR JOHN FITZWILLIAM, who wedded Eleanor, daughter of Sir Henry Green, of Drayton, and had six sons.

The youngest son,

JOHN FITZWILLIAM, of Milton Hall and Greens Norton, in Northamptonshire, espoused Eleanor, daughter of William Villiers, of Brooksby, Leicestershire, by whom he had three sons and two daughters, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR WILLIAM FITZWILLIAM (c1460-1534), Knight, of Milton and Gaynes Park, Essex, and also of the city of London, of which he was sheriff in 1506.

Sir William married firstly, Anne, daughter of Sir John Hawes, Knight, of the city of London, and had,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Richard;
Elizabeth; Anne.
He wedded secondly, Mildred, daughter of Richard Sackville, of Withyham, Sussex, and had three sons and two daughters,
Christopher;
Francis;
Thomas;
Eleanor; Mary.
Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM FITZWILLIAM, Knight, who espoused Anne, daughter of Sir Richard Sapcote, of Elton, Huntingdonshire; and was succeeded by his son and heir,

SIR WILLIAM FITZWILLIAM (1526-99), Lord Deputy of Ireland and Lord Justice, who wedded Anne, daughter of Sir William Sydney, and aunt of the 1st Earl of Leicester, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
John;
Mary; Philippa; Margaret.
Sir William was succeeded by his son,

SIR WILLIAM FITZWILLIAM, Knight, of Milton and Gaynes Park Hall, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1620, by the title Baron Fitzwilliam, of Lifford, County Donegal.

His lordship wedded Catherine, daughter of William Hyde, of Denchworth, Berkshire; and dying in 1644, was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM, 2nd Baron (c1609-58), who espoused, in 1638, Jane, daughter and co-heir of Alderman Hugh Perry, of London, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Charles;
Jane, m Sir Christopher Wren, the celebrated architect.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

WILLIAM, 3rd Baron (1643-1719), who was advanced to a viscountcy and earldom, in 1716, as Viscount Milton, County Westmeath, and EARL FITZWILLIAM, of County Tyrone.

His lordship married Anne, daughter and sole heir of Edmund Cremor, of West Winch, Norfolk, by whom he had four sons and six daughters.

He was succeeded by his third, but eldest surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Earl (1681-1728), who wedded Anne, daughter and sole heir of John Stringer, of Sutton-cum-Lound, Nottinghamshire, and left, with three daughters, a son and successor,

WILLIAM, 3rd Earl (1719-56), then a minor, who was, in 1742, enrolled amongst the peers of Great Britain, by GEORGE II, by the style and title of Lord Fitzwilliam, Baron Milton, in Northamptonshire.

In 1746, this nobleman was advanced to an English viscountcy and earldom, as EARL FITZWILLIAM, in the same county.

His lordship espoused, in 1744, the Lady Anne Watson-Wentworth, eldest daughter of Thomas, Marquess of Rockingham, and sister and co-heir of Charles, 2nd Marquess, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Charlotte; Frances Henrietta.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 4th Earl (1748-1833), Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for a very short period, in 1795, who married firstly, in 1770, the Lady Charlotte Ponsonby, second daughter of William, 2nd Earl of Bessborough, by whom he had an only child, CHARLES WILLIAM WENTWORTH, his heir.
Charles William, 5th Earl (1786-1857);
William Charles, Viscount Milton (1812-35);
William Thomas Spencer, 6th Earl (1815-1902);
William, Viscount Milton (1839-77);
William Charles de Meuron, 7th Earl (1872-1943);
(William Henry Lawrence) Peter, 8th Earl (1910-48);
Eric Spencer, 9th Earl (1883-1952);
William Thomas George, 10th Earl (1904-79). 
The titles expired following the decease of the 10th and last Earl.


COOLLATTIN PARK, is near Shillelagh in County Wicklow.

The history of the Wentworth/Fitzwilliam families has been well documented, but what is less well known is the influence they had on the history of the kingdom of Ireland.

As well as the family seat of Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire (where they owned 22,000 acres in 1870), the Earls Fitzwilliam also resided at Malton House (later Coollattin House) in County Wicklow, from where they managed their vast estate.

Coollattin is now a golf club.

The 4th Earl  built Coollattin House (it was originally called Malton, one of his grandfather’s titles as Earl of Malton). 

The house was designed by the leading architect John Carr, who was also responsible for the grandiose “stable block” at Wentworth Woodhouse as well as the Keppel’s Column and Mausoleum monuments near Wentworth.

The building was started around 1794 but before completion it was burned down in a rebellion in 1798 (along with 160 other houses in the nearby village of Carnew and several Catholic churches).

Work resumed again in 1800 and the house was completed in 1807.

As well as rebuilding their house and the village, the Fitzwilliams contributed to the repairs of the Catholic churches and gave land for other churches (whilst other landlords would not even allow a Catholic church on their estate).

Throughout the family’s time in Ireland they did not take sides in the various Irish struggles through the centuries, and perhaps as a consequence their house was left untouched in the last dash for independence.



As well as undertaking building and agricultural projects, the 4th Earl was also the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for a short time in 1795.

In 2003, The Times newspaper wrote: 

When the 10th and last Earl died in 1979 the remnants of the huge Coollattin estate, for centuries the Irish seat of the Earls of Fitzwilliam, was sold by the last Earl’s widow, Lady Juliet De Chairoff, and in the following years, it was broken up and sold on bit by bit.

In 1983, the sprawling Coollattin House, with its vast lands attached, was resold for €128,000. When the farm land value was removed, this amounted to just £8,000 for the house itself — which, with its 120-plus rooms, is still among the largest private houses in the country. In the same year the average price of a standard new home in Dublin was more than four times that, at £35,000.

In living memory, the once-grand Coollattin estate had spanned 88,000 acres, had 20,000 tenants and comprised one quarter of Co Wicklow. There has long been a rumour that the estate harboured a vast tunnel used by inhabitants of the house to escape to the lodge.

The estate began falling apart in 1948 when the last earl, Peter Fitzwilliam, was killed in a plane crash with JFK’s sister, Kathleen (Kick) Kennedy, with whom, it was speculated, he had been having an affair.

His estate tenants genuinely grieved. The Fitzwilliams had a history of being among the most liberal landlords in Ireland. They had paid tenants more, invested in their education and had worked hard to ensure that the built environment in their towns was above average.

When the Great Famine came, the Fitzwilliam family were at least decent enough to ship their excess tenants to America rather than simply turn them off the land as many landlords did. Thousands were sent abroad to start new lives in this manner.

Perhaps this was the reason Coollattin House survived the great burning sprees that erupted through and after the war of independence, when working classes took their revenge on the less benevolent owners of big house.

TODAY, the house is owned by Anne Agnew, who restored it from a decrepit state.

Now that she is selling, Agnew has thrown light on the mystery of the tunnel, that has puzzled generations of people:
There has always been a belief that the Fitzwilliams had a massive escape tunnel which locals believed connected Coollattin House to Coollattin Lodge.

They say that the hidden tunnel is wide and high enough to drive a carriage and four through it. In fact, I can confirm that we did find a hidden tunnel. It was in the yard at the back of the lodge and hidden under scrub.

My son found a rotted wooden cover and under it was a hole which fell down 10ft before running away underground. It’s 5ft high, 5ft wide and stone-lined with a rounded, vaulted ceiling.

He climbed into it one day with the help of a ladder and followed it for about a quarter of a mile before an old iron grid stopped him going any further.

So yes, there is a tunnel here, and we don’t know where it goes, but it doesn’t run towards Coollattin House — it runs the other way".

Former seats ~ Coollattin Park, County Wicklow; Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire; Milton Hall, Cambridgeshire.

Former town residence ~ 4 Grosvenor Square, London.

First published in July, 2011.  Fitzwilliam arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Mount Charles Hall

THE MARQUESSES CONYNGHAM WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY DONEGAL, WITH 122,230 ACRES

The family of CONYNGHAM was originally of Scottish descent, and of very great antiquity in that part of the United Kingdom.

WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM, Bishop of Argyll, a younger son of William, 4th Earl of Glencairn, in 1539, left a son,

WILLIAM CONYNGHAM, of Cunninghamhead, Ayrshire, who had two sons, WILLIAM, who succeeded at Cuninghamhead, and was created a baronet; and

ALEXANDER CONYNGHAM, who, entering into Holy Orders, and removing into Ireland, was appointed, in 1611, the first Protestant minister of Enver and Killymard, County Donegal.

Mr Conyngham was appointed to the deanery of Raphoe on the consecration of Dean Adair as Lord Bishop of Killaloe, in 1630.
Dean Conyngham settled at Mount Charles, County Donegal, which estate he held, by lease, from the Earl of Annandale, and wedded Marion, daughter of John Murray, of Broughton, by whom he had no less than 27 children, of which four sons and five daughters survived infancy.
He died in 1660, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR ALBERT CONYNGHAM, Knight, who was appointed, in 1660, Lieutenant-General of the ordnance in Ireland.
This officer fought on the side of WILLIAM III at the Boyne, Limerick etc, and fell in a rencounter with the Rapparees, near Colooney in County Sligo.
He espoused Mary, daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Leslie, Lord Bishop of Raphoe, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

MAJOR-GENERAL HENRY CONYNGHAM, of Slane Castle, MP for Coleraine, and for Donegal, who served during the reign of JAMES II as a captain in Mountjoy's Regiment.
When JAMES II desired his army to shift for itself, Conyngham prevailed upon 500 of his regiment to remain united, and with them offered his services to WILLIAM III. He became subsequently a major-general, and fell, in 1705-6, at St Estevan's, in Spain.
He wedded Mary, daughter of Sir John Williams Bt, of Minster Court, Kent, and widow of Charles, Lord Shelburne, by whom he got a very considerable property, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Henry;
Mary.
General Conyngham was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM CONYNGHAM, of Slane (an estate forfeited, in 1641, by Lord Slane), who was succeeded at his decease by his brother,

THE RT HON HENRY CONYNGHAM (1705-81), captain of horse on the Irish establishment, and MP from 1727 until raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Conyngham, of Mount Charles, in 1753.
His lordship was created Viscount Conyngham, in 1756; and Earl Conyngham, in 1781, the barony to descend, in case of failure of issue, to Francis Pierpoint Burton, the eldest son of his sister Mary, by Francis Burton.
His lordship married, in 1774, Ellen, only daughter and heir of Solomon Merret; but dying without an heir, in 1781, all his honours became extinct, except the barony of Conyngham, which devolved, according to the limitation, upon the above-mentioned

FRANCIS PIERPOINT BURTON, as 2nd Baron.

This nobleman wedded, in 1750, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Nathaniel Clements, and sister of Robert, Earl of Leitrim, by whom he had issue,
HENRY, his successor;
Francis Nathaniel (Sir), GCH;
Catherine; Ellena; Henrietta.
His lordship, on inheriting the title and estates of his uncle, assumed the surname and arms of CONYNGHAM.

He died in 1787, ans was succeeded by his son,

HENRY, 3rd Baron, who, in 1787, was created Viscount Conyngham, of Slane, County Meath.

He was also created Viscount Mount Charles, of Mount Charles, County Donegal; and Earl Conyngham, in 1797.
In 1801, Lord Conyngham was appointed a Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. In 1803, he was appointed Governor of County Donegal, a post he held until 1831, and Custos Rotulorum of County Clare in 1808, which he remained until his death.
In 1816, he was created Viscount Slane, Earl of Mount Charles, and further advanced to the dignity of
a marquessate, as MARQUESS CONYNGHAM.

In 1821, he was created Baron Minster, of Minster Abbey, Kent; and sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Lord Steward, a post he retained until 1830.

From 1829 until his death in 1832 he served as Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Alexander Burton Conyngham, styled Earl of Mount Charles.

The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son Rory Nicholas Burton Conyngham, styled Viscount Slane.

The Marquesses Conyngham were seated at The Hall, Mount Charles, County Donegal, now thought to be unoccupied.

The Hall is an early to mid-18th century double, gable-ended house of three storeys and five bays.

It has a pedimented door-case, bold quoins and a solid parapet concealing the roof and end gables.

At one end of the house there is a conservatory porch with astrigals and round-headed windows.



A salt works (also in the grounds of the former Conyngham estate) provided employment to local people during the 18th century.

8th Marquess Conyngham

The present Lord and Lady Conyngham continue to live at the ancestral seat, Slane Castle, County Meath. 

First published in April, 2011.  Conyngham arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Glanomera House

THE ARTHURS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY CLARE, WITH 10,534 ACRES

The Arthurs are stated to have been originally "Artureighs", and to derive their descent from a common ancestor with the O'Briens, viz. Cormac Cas, King of Munster.

The name, it is further asserted, was anglicised, in common with many others, on the invasion of Ireland by HENRY II, who is stated to have conferred honours and grants of land on one of that name in 1178.

In the records of Limerick, the name of ARTHUR frequently occurs from the earliest period down to the time of CHARLES I, when the family estates in County Limerick were confiscated by the usurper CROMWELL for loyalty to the royal cause.

The Arthurs subsequently removed to County Clare, and became seated at Glenomera.

On the municipal roll of the city of Limerick are given the names of no less than forty-eight ARTHURS as mayors etc of that city.

From John Arthur, Mayor of Limerick in 1340, and Sir Dominick Arthur, also mayor of that city, we pass to Sir Nicholas Arthur, Knight, mayor in 1591.

Thomas Arthur was Bishop of Limerick in 1470; and Richard Arthur was RC Bishop, 1643.

The Rev Geoffrey Arthur, of the Church of Rome, Treasurer of Limerick Cathedral, died in 1519, and was buried there, where his monument, with a curious Latin inscription, may still be seen.

Edward Arthur was MP for the city of Limerick, 1599; and Thomas Arthur, MP in 1585.

THOMAS ARTHUR, of Glanomera, son of Piers Arthur, wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Captain John Butler, heiress of the BUTLERS of Kilmoyler, County Tipperary, descended from the 9th Earl of Ormonde and the 11th Earl of Desmond; and was father of

THOMAS ARTHUR DL, of Glanomera, who wedded Lucy, fourth daughter of Sir Edward O'Brien Bt, of Dromoland, and left by her at his decease, 1803 (with a daughter, Mary), an only son and successor, 

THOMAS ARTHUR DL (1778-1845), of Glanomera, who espoused, in 1803, Harriet, second daughter and co-heir (with her only sister, Charlotte, wife of Sir Edward O'Brien Bt, of Dromoland) of William Smith, of Cahermoyle, County Limerick, and had (with nine daughters) seven sons,
THOMAS, his heir;
William Smith;
LUCIUS (Rev);
Edward;
Augustus;
Henry;
Frederick Brian Boru (Rev).
Mr Arthur was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS ARTHUR, of Glanomera (1806-84), who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Captain John Butler, of Kilmoyler, descended from Piers, 7th son of James, 9th Earl of Ormonde.

He was succeeded by his brother,

THE REV LUCIUS ARTHUR (1810-87), of Glanomera, who married, in 1840, Caroline Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of John Haycock Jervis, of Moseley, Warwickshire, having by her had issue,
THOMAS LUCIUS JERVIS, his heir;
Edward Henry Frederick;
Charles William Augustus;
Harriet Elizabeth Augusta; Ellen Lucy Julia; Maria Anne Florence;
Charlotte Katherine Susan; Grace Caroline Frances.
The eldest son,

THOMAS LUCIUS JERVIS ARTHUR JP (1847-88), of Glanomera, Captain, 6th R V Regiment, married, in 1881, Constance Helen, daughter of William Steele Studdert, of Clonboy, County Clare, by Constance his wife, daughter of Robert George Massy.

Mr Arthur had issue,
CHARLES WILLIAM AUGUSTUS, his heir;
Desmond Phelps Pery Lucius Studdert, b 1884.
His elder son, 

CHARLES WILLIAM AUGUSTUS ARTHUR, of Glanomera, County Clare, born in 1882, wedded, in 1904, Rose Violet, daughter of John Joseph Roche-Kelly, of Rockstown Castle and Islandmore, County Limerick, and had issue,
Charles Augustus, died in infancy;
LUCIUS, of whom hereafter.
His second son, 

LUCIUS ARTHUR, born in 1913, was the grandfather of the surviving members of that line.

Photo credit: Limerick City Museum; Michael Kelly; Paul Kelly

GLANOMERA HOUSE, County Clare, was burnt in 1905.

First published in March, 2013.