Thursday, 31 August 2017

Kilmore Palace

THE bishopric of Kilmore was established in the 13th century, and in the 15th century changed its ancient name of Breffny into that of Kilmore.

It lies parallel to, and south of the diocese of Clogher, extending fifty-eight miles in length and between ten and twenty in breadth, through four counties, viz. Cavan, Leitrim, Meath, and Fermanagh in Northern Ireland.

The See House, Kilmore, County Cavan, was built by the Right Rev George de la Poer Beresford, Lord Bishop of Kilmore, 1802-39, and of Kilmore and Ardagh, 1839-41.

It was occupied by a further sixteen prelates.

It is believed that the last bishop to reside at the palace was the Right Rev Michael Mayes, Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh from 1993-2000.

See House, Kilmore, built in 2013

A new see house was built at a different location closer to the cathedral and parish hall in 2013.

THE SEE HOUSE, Kilmore, County Cavan, is a Grecian-Revival mansion of three storeys over a basement.

It was built between 1835-7.

This former episcopal palace, attributed to William Farrell, comprises a three-bay entrance front.

There is an irregular five-bay rear elevation with pilasters flanking wide east bay, and a shallow bow to central bays.

The roof is concealed by a parapet.

The house is rendered over squared rubble stone walls.

An ashlar pediment, and tympanum with episcopal coat-of-arms.

The ashlar portico has paired Doric pilasters.

This is an impressive classical-revival house in an austere Grecian style.

The former bishop's palace is substantially intact, retaining its original character and form, and its setting on a wooded hill surrounded by meadow, near the Cathedral.

The architectural form of the house is enriched by many original features and materials, such as cut stone details, timber sashes with historic glass, and panelled doors.

The old see house has a long ecclesiastical association, having replaced an earlier episcopal palace to the north of the former cathedral and the later 19th-century Kilmore Cathedral.

The old see house forms the centrepiece of an architectural group consisting of fine outbuildings, gate lodge, and entrance gates, and forms part of the significant ecclesiastical complex of Kilmore Cathedral, the old Cathedral, and nearby graveyard.

First published in September, 2015.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Bateson Baronetcy


This family is descended from

THOMAS BATESON, who resided upon his family estates in Garstang, Lancashire.

He died in 1603, leaving two sons, Robert and Gilbert, and a daughter, Margaret.

The eldest son,

ROBERT BATESON, died in 1663, and was succeeded by his only son,

ROBERT BATESON, who had two sons,
THOMASof whom presently;
Richard, ancestor of the BATESON-HARVEY BARONETS.
THOMAS BATESON (1705-91) succeeded his father in the Lancashire estates, but disposing soon afterwards of those, he removed to Ulster, and settled at Orangefield House, Knockbreda, County Down.

He also purchased the Salters' Estate, Magherafelt, County Londonderry, and Moira Demesne.

Thomas Bateson was a partner in the firm Mussenden, Bateson and Company, wine merchants, in Winecellar Court, Belfast, with trading links to the West Indies.

His firm imported wine and rum. Benn (1880) also notes that, in 1752, Bateson was one of three founding partners of Belfast’s first bank, Mussenden, Adair and Bateson. Like many successful merchants, he invested in land, acquiring property at Magherafelt and Moira.

Bateson acquired a leasehold interest in Orangefield, in the parish of Knockbreda, for the term of twenty-one years, where he lived.
Mr Bateson wedded, in 1747, Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of of Mr White, of White Hall, County Antrim, and widow of William Hartley, of Dublin, and had issue,
THOMASof whom we treat;
Richard, died unmarried;
William, died unmarried;
Janein 1782, J Dunne, KC;
Francesin 1805, Hans Mark Hamill, of Co Down.
Mr Bateson was succeeded by his eldest son, 

THOMAS BATESON (1752-1811), who married Elizabeth, youngest daughter of  George Lloyd FRS, of Hulme Hall, Lancashire, by Susanna, sister of Sir William Horton Bt, of Chadderton, Lancashire, and had an only son,

ROBERT BATESON (1782-1863), of Belvoir Park and Moira Park, both in County Down, who succeeded to the family estates at the demise of his father, in 1811.

Mr Bateson was created a baronet in 1818, denominated of Belvoir Park, County Down.

He married, in 1811, Catherine, youngest daughter of Samuel Dickinson, of Ballynaguile, County Limerick, and had issue,
ROBERT, MP, (1816-43);
THOMAS, his successor;
Maria Catherine; Elizabeth Honoria.
Sir Robert was succeeded by his second son,

SIR THOMAS (1819-90), 2nd Baronet, DL, MP for Londonderry, 1844-57, who wedded, in 1849, Caroline Elizabeth Anne, second daughter and co-heiress of George, 4th Baron Dynevor, and had issue,
Eva Frances Caroline, to D A Kerr, of Montalto;
Kathleen Mary, to W A Farquhar.
Sir Thomas was elevated to the peerage, in 1885, by the title of BARON DERAMORE, of Belvoir, County Down.

His lordship died without male issue, when the titles devolved upon his surviving brother,

GEORGE WILLIAM, 2nd Baron (1823-93), who married Mary Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of George John de Yarburgh, of Heslington Hall, Yorkshire, and assumed in 1876, by Royal licence, the additional surname of DE YARBURGH.

His lordship assumed, in 1892, the surname of BATESON after, instead of before, that of DE YARBURGH.

By his wife he had issue,
ROBERT WILFRED, his successor;
GEORGE NICHOLAS, succeeded his brother as 4th Baron;
Mary; Katherine Hylda.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT WILFRID, 3rd Baron (1865-1936), Lord-Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire, 1924-36, who espoused firstly, in 1897, Caroline Lucy, eldest daughter of Henry William Fife, of Lee Hall, Northumberland, by whom he had an only child,
Moira Faith Lilian.
He married secondly, in 1907, Blanche Violet, eldest daughter of Colonel Philip Saltmarshe, of Daresbury House, Yorkshire.

His lordship died without male issue, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

GEORGE NICHOLAS, 4th Baron (1870-1943), who wedded, in 1900, Muriel Katherine, third daughter and co-heiress of Arthur Duncombe, MP, and had issue,
STEPHEN NICHOLAS, his successor;
Richard Arthur;
Judith Katherine.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

STEPHEN NICHOLAS (1903-64), 5th Baron, who wedded, in 1929, Nina Marion, eldest daughter of Alistair Macpherson-Grant, and by her had an only child,
Jane Faith.
His lordship died without male issue, and was succeeded by his brother,

RICHARD ARTHUR (1911-2006), 6th Baron, who espoused, in 1948, Janet Mary, daughter of Dr John Ware, and by her had an only child,

THE HON ANNE KATHERINE DE YARBURGH-BATESON, who married, in 1982, Jonathan Henry Maconchy Peel, of Buckinghamshire, and has issue.

The titles expired following the death of the 6th Baron in 2006.

I have written about Belvoir House and Moira Castle elsewhere on this blog.

By kind permission of the Royal Irish Academy © RIA. Click to enlarge

In 1800, the Moira Demesne was purchased by the family of Sir Robert Bateson. Bateson was MP for County Londonderry.

Since the Batsons resided at Belvoir, it is likely that Moira Castle was a ruin by this time.

The Bateson family built Moira's Market House in 1810 and their crest (top) is prominent on the building.

The Salters' Company's Irish estate, also known as the 'Manor of Sal', was originally granted in 1618.

It consisted of 23,250 acres (55 townlands) bordered in the east by Lough Neagh, in the south by County Tyrone, and in the north and west by the lands of the Vintners' and the Drapers' Companies respectively.

It was the most densely forested of all the proportions.

In 1744, the lease was bought by the Belfast merchant, Thomas Bateson, who hoped to foster the spread of the linen industry throughout the Magherafelt area. 

The tide of emigration to America coupled with the fact that he was unable to grant long leases to tenants, however, meant that these plans were never completely fulfilled. 

After 1786, Bateson held the lease in partnership with Robert Stewart (later Lord Londonderry), and together they initiated various improvements to the estate including the drainage of land and the construction of new public buildings.

Belvoir House: West Front

The Batesons' main family seat became Belvoir Park, Newtownbreda, in County Down, having moved from the neighbouring Orangefield demesne. 

Robert Bateson paid £39,000 for the property in 1811, equivalent to almost £2.4 million in today's money. Prior to this they had resided at Orangefield House, also near Belfast. 

The Family of Thomas Bateson (1705-91); photo credit: National Museums Northern Ireland

There is an oil-painting of the Bateson family posing in their drawing-room at Orangefield House in the Ulster Museum.

The family association with Belvoir remained from ca 1811 until the 1st Baron's death in 1890 by which time the de Yarburgh-Batesons had removed to Heslington Hall.

In 1876 the Belvoir Estate comprised 6,348 acres. 

First published in November, 2010.

Annestown House


This family paternally descends from that of BURY, Earl of Charleville, extinct, and is now the male representative of that family.

JOHN BURY, nephew of WILLIAM BURY, the grandfather of the 1st Earl of Charleville of the second creation, assumed the surname of PALLISER, upon succeeding to the estates of his maternal grandmother.

JOHN PALLISER (1550-1623), of Newby Wiske, Yorkshire, married Anne, daughter of Michael Meeke, leaving issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Anne; Jane; Elizabeth; Mary.
Mr Palliser was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS PALLISER (1606-), of Newby Wiske, who wedded Joan, daughter of Richard Frankland, of Blobberhouse, Yorkshire, and had issue,
WILLIAM (Most Rev), of whom hereafter;
Mr Palliser was still living in 1665. His second son,

THE MOST REV WILLIAM PALLISER (1646-1726), Lord Archbishop of Cashel, espoused Elizabeth Hoye, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Jane, mother of
His Grace was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM PALLISER (1695-1768), of Rathfarnham, who married, in 1728, Mary, daughter of Matthew Pennefather, of Cashel, Comptroller and Accountant-General for Ireland, and sister of Elizabeth, wife of Alexander, 5th Earl of Antrim, by whom he had no issue.

He was succeeded by his nephew,

JOHN PALLISER (formerly BURY), of Comeragh, County Waterford, who assumed the name of PALLISER, and wedded, in 1762, a daughter of Richard Taylor, of Cork.

He died in 1769, and was succeeded by his son,

WRAY PALLISER, of Derryluskan, who wedded Mary, daughter of the Ven Richard Chaloner, Archdeacon of Cashel, and was father of

JOHN PALLISER (1760-1833), of Derryluskan, who married, in 1784, Grace, eldest daughter of William Barton, of Grove, County Tipperary, and had issue,
WRAY, father of Sir W Palliser CB & John Palliser CMG;
Richard Bury;
Elizabeth; Margaret; Grace; Anna.
Mr Palliser's second son,

THE REV JOHN BURY PALLISER (1791-1864), of Annestown, rector of Clonmel, wedded, in 1830, Julia, daughter of Captain John Howe, East India Company, and had issue,
John Richard.
The elder son,

CAPTAIN WRAY BURY PALLISER JP DL (1831-1906), of Annestown, espoused, in 1861, Maria Victoria Josephine, youngest daughter of Joseph Gubbins, of County Limerick, and had issue,
Alice Grace (1863-78).


MRS MARY JANE SYBIL GALLOWAY (1874-1940), daughter of Major Sir William Palliser CB, married, in 1908, Captain Harold Bessemer Galloway, of Blervie, Morayshire, and had issue,
Sybil Evelyn, born 1909.

ANNESTOWN HOUSE, Annestown, County Waterford, has been a seat of the Palliser family and their descendants since about 1830.

This is a rambling, three-storey house, at right-angles to the street in the village of Annestown.

It is actually two houses joined together. The main front faces the sea, though the gable end is on the street.

The rooms have low ceilings, though they are commodious.

The long drawing-room is divided by an arch with plain Victorian plasterwork; while a large library is approached along a passage.

Annestown House was owned at the beginning of the 19th century by Henry St George Cole; bought about 1830 by the Pallisers, from whom it was inherited by the Galloways.

It remained with the Galloway family until 2008.

COMERAGH HOUSE (above) was another seat of the Pallisers; as was Blervie, Morayshire.

First published in June, 2013.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Anderson Baronetcy


ROBERT ANDERSON JP (1837-1921), son of James Anderson, of Corbofin, County Monaghan, married, in 1890, Wilhelmina, daughter of the Rev Andrew Long, of Monreagh, County Donegal.

Photo Credit: Belfast City Hall

Mr Anderson, High Sheriff of Belfast, 1903, Lord Mayor of Belfast, 1908-09, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1911, was created a baronet in 1911, designated of Parkmount, City of Belfast, and of Mullaghmore, County Monaghan.

Parkmount House

The Andersons lived at Parkmount House, Greencastle, County Antrim, which Sir Robert purchased from the McNeill family in 1905.
In 1666 Parkmount was a lodge or occasional residence of Lord Donegall, and it afterwards passed into possession of the Ludford, Cairns and McNeill families.
Sir Robert also had a home at Mullaghmore House, County Monaghan; and Meadowlands, Balmoral, Belfast.

Sir Robert was the proprietor of Anderson & McAuley, a well-known department store at 1, Donegall Place, Belfast.

He was also a director of several other companies, including Arnott's.
IN 1861, two brothers, Robert and Alexander Anderson, went into partnership with John McAuley and established a shop at the corner of Donegall Place and Castle Street. However, the first firm did not prosper, the partnership between the brothers dissolved, and McAuley died in 1888.

Robert Anderson continued in the retail business, assisted by George Williams of Hitchcock, Williams and Company, London. By 1895, the firm had become so successful that it moved to a larger, purpose built store. Anderson and McAuley prided itself on a family atmosphere with a business-like approach. It claimed that the secret of its success was ‘courtesy and honest value’.

In 1927, it published the Anderley Gazette as a ‘guide to this house of repute’, which declared that ‘all roads lead to Anderson and McAuley’s, the shopping Centre of Ulster.’ Anderson and McAuley’s were very careful in the selection of their shop assistants, and in the 1930s a position at the store was highly coveted. New female assistants were issued with a standard black dress with snow white collar and advised that ‘scarlet nails and lips plastered with rouge are not an asset to a girl in business.’

Male employees were told that ‘long hair and dirty nails keep many men unemployed.’ In 1953, the first female member of staff was allowed to remain with the company after her marriage. In 1956, the store was one of the first in Northern Ireland to install escalators and people visited the store just to see and experience them. For over a century, shares in the store were held by members of the Anderson family. After Sir Robert’s death in 1921, his nephew James became managing director.

His place was taken by Lady Anderson until her death in 1949; then filled by W H Anderson Esq. In 1979, Anderson and McAuley was one of 200 members of the Association of Independent Stores. It had 374 staff and several stores within the store, including concession departments such as The Ormeau Coffee Shop, Revlon, Windsmoor, Slumberdown, the Minit Heel Bar, and Christy’s towel shop.

After a lengthy market research programme, a major expansion of the store took place in 1989. Customers had criticised Anderson and McAuley’s for being ‘too claustrophobic’. Floor space was increased by 20,000 square feet and six new escalators served every floor. However, the expected raise in sales did not materialise, while high interest rates on the borrowed money for the expansion contributed to the company’s financial difficulties.

Competition from Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and out of town shopping centres ate into the store’s sales. In March, 1994, the last survivor of Belfast’s family owned businesses finally closed its doors. Some 300 members of staff lost their jobs and its valuable stockpile of fixtures and fittings were auctioned.

The closure was seen as marking the end of an era in Belfast’s shopping culture. Today the premises is known as McAuley House and is used by Clarks, The Disney Store, Monsoon and Zara.
Following Sir Robert's death in 1921, the baronetcy became extinct.

Sir Robert and Lady Anderson are both buried at Belfast City Cemetery.

First published in August, 2010.

Hamilton-Stubber of Aughentaine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE REV ALEXANDER CHETWOOD HAMILTON, Rector of Thomastown, County Kilkenny (who assumed, in 1824, the surname of STUBBER in lieu of Hamilton, and the arms of Stubber only), married, in 1801, Eleanor, daughter and co-heir of THE REV SEWELL STUBBER, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Sewell (Rev);
William, of Roundwood, father of 
Alexander Chetwood;
Richard Hugh (Rev);
Hester Maria; Harriet Anne; Sophia Elizabeth; Anne Matilda.
The Rev Alexander Chetwood Hamilton died in 1830, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

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

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

Mr Hamilton-Stubber, who sold the Moyne estate to his cousin, was succeeded by his son and heir,

MAJOR ROBERT HAMILTON-STUBBER DSO (1879-1963), who married, in 1920, the Lady Mabel Florence Mary Crichton, daughter of John Henry, 4th Earl of Erne, and had issue,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JOHN HENRY HAMILTON-STUBBER (1921-), of Aughentaine, County Tyrone, Captain, Coldstream Guards, Major, Ulster Defence Regiment, who wedded, in 1953, Fiona Patricia, daughter of Geoffrey Wyndham Breitmeyer, and had issue,
James Robert, b 1954;
Richard John, b 1955;
Charles Geoffrey, b 1960;
David Hugh, b 1962.
Colonel Hamilton-Stubber's eldest son,

JAMES ROBERT HAMILTON-STUBBER DL, Lieutenant, the Life Guards, married Carola E A Savill, and had issue,
Henry James, b 1984.


Mr SEWELL, a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to CHARLES II, married Miss Ryves, daughter of the Very Rev Dr Bruno Ryves, Dean of Windsor, and had a son,

MAJOR SEWELL, who espoused Miss Stubber, an heiress, and assumed the name and arms of STUBBER.

He was father (with two daughters) of

SEWELL STUBBER, who wedded Miss Finn, daughter of Major William Finn, of Coolfin, Queen's County, by Eleanor Whitshed, and had issue,
SEWELL, of whom hereafter;
Mary; Eleanor; Sarah.
The third son,

THE REV SEWELL STUBBER (1755-1824), Rector of Ballinakill, married Miss Flood, of Middlemount, Queen's County, and had three daughters,
ELEANOR, of whom we treat;
the second daughter,

ELEANOR STUBBER, wedded, in 1801, the Rev Alexander Chetwood Hamilton, Rector of Thomastown, County Kilkenny, elder son of Robert Hamilton, of Dublin, by his wife, a daughter of the Chetwood family, and grandson of Alexander Hamilton, of Knock, County Dublin.

By this lady the Rev Alexander Hamilton (who assumed, 1824, the surname and arms of STUBBER on succeeding to his wife's property) had issue,
ROBERT, of Moyne;
Alexander Chetwood;
Richard Hugh;
Hester Maria; Harriet Anne; Sophia Elizabeth; Anna Matilda.
The eldest son,

ROBERT HAMILTON-STUBBER JP DL (1803-63), of Moyne, Queen's County, married, in 1840, Olivia Lucas, of the Castle Shane family, and had issue,
Olivia Harriet Florence Hamilton; Eleanor Fanny Beatrix Hamilton.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Bishopscourt House



THOMAS SCOTT, a captain in the army of WILLIAM III, fell in the field, charging the enemy at the head of his troops.

This Thomas wedded Margaret, daughter and heir of Henry Ormsby, of Tubbervady, County Roscommon, and had issue, a son,

MICHAEL SCOTT, who married Miss Purcell, of the ancient family of Purcell, titular Barons of Loughmoe, and had issue, Thomas, of Mohubber, deceased; and

JOHN SCOTT (1739-98), who, being bred to the bar, arrived at the high legal offices of Solicitor-General, Attorney-General, and Prime Sergeant-at-Law of Ireland, 1774-83.

In 1784, he was appointed Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench; and in the same year was elevated to the peerage as Baron Earlsfort.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, 1789, as Viscount Clonmell; and further advanced, in 1793, to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF CLONMELL.

He married firstly, in 1768, Catharine Anna Maria, daughter of Thomas Mathew, of Thomastown Castle, County Tipperary, and sister of the 1st Earl of Landaff, by whom he had an only son, who died in infancy.

His lordship wedded secondly, in 1779, Margaret, only daughter and heir of Patrick Lawless, of Dublin (by Mary, sister of 1st Lord Cloncurry), and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Charlotte, m 3rd Earl Beauchamp.
He was succeeded by his only son,

THOMAS, 2nd Earl (1783-1838), who espoused, in 1805, Henrietta Greville, second daughter of George, 2nd Earl of Warwick, and had issue,
JOHN HENRY, his successor;
Charles Grantham;
Harriett; Louisa Augusta; Charlotte Rachael; Caroline Sophia;
Frances Mary; Sophia Louisa; Augusta Anne; Georgiana Gertrude.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN HENRY, 3rd Earl (1817-66), of Lisson Earl, County Tipperary, who married, in 1838, Anne, daughter of Ulysses, 2nd Baron Downes of Aghanville, and had issue,

JOHN HENRY REGINALD, 4th Earl (1839-91), of Birt House, Naas, County Kildare, who died a bachelor, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

THOMAS CHARLES, 5th Earl (1840-96), who married, in 1875, Agnes Arabella, daughter of Robert Godfrey Day.

His lordship died without issue at Bishop's Court, County Kildare, from typhoid fever, and was succeeded by his first cousin,

BEAUCHAMP HENRY JOHN, 6th Earl (1847-98), eldest son of Colonel the Hon Charles Grantham Scott, second son of the 2nd Earl; on whose decease the titles passed to his son,

RUPERT CHARLES, 7th Earl (1877-1928), who died without male issue, when the titles reverted to his uncle,

DUDLEY ALEXANDER CHARLES, 8th Earl (1853-1935), whose marriage was without issue.

On his death, at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, the titles became extinct.

BISHOPSCOURT, Straffan, County Kildare, is a large classical house built ca 1780-90 for the Rt Hon John Ponsonby, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.

It has a four-bay entrance front with a pedimented portico of four huge Ionic columns.

The outer bays have pedimented gorund-floor windows and circular plaques instead of windows in the upper storey.

The side elevation has a recessed centre and three-bay projection at either side, joined by a veranda of slender columns with a iron balcony.

There is a curved bow on either side of the House; and an imperial staircase.

In 1838, Bishopscourt was sold by Frederick Ponsonby to John, 3rd Earl of Clonmell.

In 1914, the house was sold on to Edward Kennedy from Baronrath, at the time the most famous breeder of racehorses in Ireland.
Kennedy’s stallion The Tetrarch, standing at Bishopscourt, is confirmed as the most successful sire in the world in 1919.
In 1938, Bishopscourt passed to Edward’s daughter Patricia (Tiggie) Kennedy and her husband, Dermot McGillycuddy, heir to Senator McGillycuddy of the Reeks, an ancient clan chiefdom from County Kerry.
Edward Kennedy's son, Major D M (John) Kennedy, won a Military Cross at Anzio whilst serving with 1st Battalion Irish Guards and was later killed at Terporten Castle in Germany in February 1945.
Bishopscourt House is now home to the Farrell family.
The 3rd Earl held land in the parish of Doon, barony of Coonagh, County Limerick, in the mid 19th century.

His county Tipperary estate was located in the parishes of Newcastle, barony of Iffa and Offa West, Carrick, Kilmurry, Kilsheelan, barony of Iffa and Offa East, Ballingarry, Cloneen, Crohane, Fennor, Kilcooly and Lismalin, barony of Slievardagh, Knockgraffon, barony of Middlethird, Glenkeen, barony of Kilnamanagh Upper, Inch, barony of Eliogarty.
Former seat ~ Eathorpe Hall, Warwickshire.
Former town residence ~ 41 Upper Brook Street, London.

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

Clanabogan House


JOHN GALBRAITH settled at Roscavey, County Tyrone, and died in 1668, leaving a son and successor,

CAPTAIN JAMES GALBRAITH, of Roscavey, who marred Mary, widow of Captain James Gledstanes, of Fardross, County Tyrone, and left an only son,

JOHN GALBRAITH (c1670-1742), of Roscavey, who wedded Anne Maria, eldest daughter of the Rev Richard Forbes, Rector of Ballinderry, and had issue,

JOHN GALBRAITH (c1711-51), of Roscavey, Barrister, who espoused Katherine, daughter of Samuel Perry, of Mullaghmore, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
George (Rev);
John Forbes;
Samuel, of Greenmount and Omagh;
Katherine; Mary; Anne.
Mr Galbraith was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES GALBRAITH JP, of Roscavey, Deputy Governor of Tyrone, who married, in 1762, Mary, third daughter of Brabazon Noble, of Donaghmoyne, County Monaghan, and had issue, two sons and five daughters, who all died unmarried except the second son,

JAMES GALBRAITH, of Roscavey, who wedded his cousin Katherine, daughter and eventually heiress of Samuel Galbraith, of Greenmount and Omagh, and had issue,
James, died unmarried;
John, of Greenmount and Roscavey;
SAMUEL, of whom we treat.
Mr Galbraith died in 1800, and was succeeded by his youngest son,

SAMUEL GALBRAITH, of Clanabogan and Riverstown, County Tyrone, and of Crowdrumin, County Longford, who succeeded to the entailed estates of his uncle, Arthur Lowry Galbraith, in 1819, and to those of his mother in 1832.

He espoused, in 1824, Susanna Jane, second daughter of the Rev Dr Robert Handcock, and had issue,
JOHN SAMUEL, his heir;
GEORGE (Very Rev), of Clanabogan;
William Arthur;
Jane; Katherine.
Mr Galbraith, a Magistrate and High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1833, County Longford, 1840, died in 1864, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN SAMUEL GALBRAITH JP DL (1828-1903), of Clanabogan and Riverstown, and Crowdrumin, High Sheriff of County Longford, 1874, Tyrone, 1875, died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

THE VERY REV GEORGE GALBRAITH (1829-1911), of Clanabogan, Dean of Derry, who married, in 1874, Florence, youngest daughter of Acheson Lyle, of The Oaks, County Londonderry, and had issue,
James Ponsonby;
Eleanor Georgina Susannah.
The Dean was succeeded by his elder son,

SAMUEL HAROLD LYLE GALBRAITH (1876-1922), of Clanabogan, Captain, Royal Irish Regiment.

CLANABOGAN HOUSE, near Omagh, County Tyrone, is a two-storey, three-bay, 18th-century rendered house, built ca 1750, developed during the 19th century and largely remodelled in the early 20th century.

It is asymmetrical, with Georgian detailing that has an elaborate spatial arrangement indicative of the differing periods of ownership and occupation.

Clanabogan is well preserved in its various phases.

It remains a fine example of an evolved eighteenth century residence.

Alistair Rowan describes Clanabogan as
‘... a typical gentleman’s estate in mid Victorian Ulster, created by Samuel Galbraith Esquire, with house, family church for a specially created curacy , and a modern rectory ... large, plain double pile house... mid-18th century ... inherited by Samuel Galbraith from his uncle in 1819."
The main double-pile block has thick internal wall construction and its proportions are indicative of a mid-18th century date.

There is evidence of at least two distinct periods of remodelling.

The plasterwork in the parlour appears to be Victorian in character; while the oak staircase is of early 20th-century appearance.

It is thought that major remodelling occurred in the early 20th century.

The present owner, who purchased Clanabogan in 1994, believes that part of the house was occupied by evacuated families during the 2nd World War, hence the division of the house, with separate stairwells leading to the first floor.

Clanabogan was converted to bed & breakfast accommodation in 2002.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

1st Duke of Cleveland


SIR HENRY VANE, who was knighted for his valiant achievements at the battle of Poitiers, France, in 1356, married Grace, daughter and heir of Sir Stephen de Leeke, and left a son,

JOHN VANE, who wedded Isabel, daughter and co-heir of Martin St Owen.

The grandson of this marriage,

HENRY VANE, of Hilden, Kent, espoused Isabel, daughter and co-heir of Humphrey Peshall; and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN VANE, of Hilden, who, in the reign of HENRY VI, had a grant of the manor of Hadlow, in Kent.

He married Isabel, daughter of John Darrell, and had, with other issue,
JOHN, of whom presently.
This John Vane, senior, appears the first to have changed his name to FANE, for thus he writes himself in his will, bearing date, 1488.

His second surviving son,

JOHN FANE, of Hadlow, wedded Joan, daughter and co-heir of Edward Haute, of Petham, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY FANE (c1521-80), of Hadlow, who was involved in Sir Thomas Wyatt's insurrection, and committed to the Tower; but, owing to his youth, experienced the royal clemency.

He subsequently represented Winchelsea in Parliament, and and became an eloquent and distinguished politician.

Mr Fane married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry White, of Christchurch, Hampshire, and had an only son,

HENRY FANE (1560-96), of Hadlow, who espoused firstly, Mary, only daughter and heir of Thomas Fane, but by her had no issue.

He wedded secondly, Margaret, daughter of Roger Twysden, of East Peckham, Kent, and was succeeded by his son,

SIR HENRY (who resumed the original surname of his ancestors) VANE (1589-1655), of Raby Castle, County Durham, his main residence.

This gentleman was a distinguished politician, and stood high in the favour of JAMES I and CHARLES I.

He wedded Frances, daughter of Thomas Darcy, of Essex, and had, besides daughters, two surviving sons,
HENRY, his successor;
Sir Henry was succeeded by his elder son,

HENRY VANE (1613-62), who married Frances, daughter of Sir Christopher Wray Bt, of Ashby, and was succeeded by the youngest and only surviving son,

SIR CHRISTOPHER VANE (1653-1723), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1699, as Baron Barnard, of Barnard Castle.

His lordship espoused Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Gilbert Holles, Earl of Clare, and sister and co-heir of John, Duke of Newcastle, by whom he had two surviving sons,
GILBERT, his successor;
William, cr Baron Duncannon and Viscount Vane.
The 1st Baron was succeeded by his elder son,

GILBERT, 2nd Baron (1678-1753), who married Mary, daughter of Morgan Randle, of Chilworth, Surrey, and had issue,
HENRY, his successor;
Anne; Elizabeth; Jane.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY, 3rd Baron (c1705-58), who wedded, in 1725, the Lady Grace Fitzroy, daughter of Charles, 2nd Duke of Cleveland, and had issue,
HENRY, his successor;
Anne; Mary; Henrietta.
His lordship having filled some high official employments, was created, in 1754, Viscount Barnard and Earl of Darlington.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY, 2nd Earl (1726-92), who espoused, in 1757, Margaret, sister of James, 1st Earl of Lonsdale, by whom he had WILLIAM HENRY, his successor, and two daughters who both died young.

His lordship was Lord-Lieutenant and Vice-Admiral of the County Palatine of Durham, Master of the Jewel Office, and Governor of Carlisle.

He was an alderman of the city of Durham, and Colonel of the Durham Militia.

The 2nd Earl was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM HENRY, 3rd Earl (1766-1842); Lord-Lieutenant and Vice-Admiral of Durham, and Colonel of the Durham Militia.

His lordship was created Marquess of Cleveland in 1827; and advanced to the dignity of a dukedom, in 1833, as DUKE OF CLEVELAND.

His Grace wedded firstly, in 1787, the Lady Catherine Powlett, second daughter and co-heir of Harry, 6th and last Duke of Bolton, and had issue,
HENRY, his successor;
William John Frederick;
Harry George;
Louisa Catherine Barbara; Augusta Henrietta; Laura; Arabella.
The 1st Duke married secondly, in 1813, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Russell, of Newton House, Yorkshire.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY, 2nd Duke, KG (1788-1864), who wedded firstly, Mary, only daughter and heir of Sir Henry Wood Bt; and secondly, in 1694, Anne, daughter of Sir William Pulteney, and had issue,
Barbara; Grace; Anne.
His Grace was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM JOHN FREDERICK, 3rd Duke (1792-1864), who espoused, in 1815, Grace Caroline, daughter of William, 1st Earl of Lonsdale, though the marriage was without issue.

His Grace was succeeded in the family honours by his younger brother,

HENRY GEORGE, 4th Duke (1803-91), KG, who married, in 1854, Wilhelmina, Lady Dalmeny, daughter of Philip Henry, 4th Earl of Stanhope, though the marriage was without issue.

Following the decease of the 4th Duke, the barony of Barnard passed to his kinsman, Henry de Vere Vane, who succeeded as 9th Baron Barnard.

The other titles expired.

Former seats ~ Raby Castle, County Durham; Bridges Cottons, Darlington; Newton House, Yorkshire.

Former town residence ~ Cleveland House, London.

Cleveland arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Friday, 25 August 2017


By the Grace of God, Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc.

First published in September, 2013.

French Park


The family of FRENCH, originally DE FREIGNE, or De Fraxinis, is of great antiquity, and was established in England by one of the companions in arms of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

In 1254, Will de Fraxinis was sent ambassador from HENRY III to Pope INNOCENT IV.

SIR HERBERT or HUMPHREY DE FREYNE, who accompanied Strongbow in his expedition against Ireland, acquired large possessions in the province of Leinster, and settled in Ballymacoonoge, County Wexford.

He had two sons, Patrick and Nicholas, whose descendants gained early distinction, and ranked amongst the most powerful of the Anglo-Norman barons.

Fulke de Freyne, the descendant of Sir Humphrey, settled his manor of Ballymacoonoge, with remainder to his heirs, with various other remainders, in 1329.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Patrick, who died without male issue, leaving two daughters; the eldest, Ellen, with whom the moiety of the said manor went out of the family to her husband, Richard de Camelford.

The other estates went by another settlement to his second son, Oliver de Freyne, who was Senescal of Kilkenny, 1336, and was father of

SIR ROBERT FREYNE, who died leaving three sons, the third of whom,

JAMES FFRENCH, was chosen to represent Wexford in the parliament of Westminster, in 1376.

He had a son,

OLIVER FRENCH, father of

PATRICK FRENCH, who was sent as a judge into Connaught.

He wedded Mary, daughter of John D'Athi, a family of great antiquity long settled in that province, and was ancestor of

JOHN FRENCH, of Galway, born in 1489, a man great wealth and unbounded liberality and a great benefactor of the Church.

He married Mary, daughter of John D'Athi, a family of great antiquity long settled in that province, and was ancestor of

JOHN FRENCH, of Galway, born in 1489, a man of great wealth and unbounded liberality, and a munificent benefactor to the Church.

It is stated in the annals of Galway that he built, at his own expense, the north aisle of St Nicholas' Church, in that town, from the north pinnacle of the chapel of the Holy Sacrament; and also the great chapel on the south side of St Francis's Abbey, with the building which stands on the river-side, which has ever since borne his name, and is called "John French's Chamber".

In this church, the French family, with two others, are alone entitled to the right of burial.

His son and successor,

PETER FRENCH, Mayor of Galway, 1576, married Mary, sister of William Martin, and had five sons.

The sum of £5,000 was expended on his monument, which adorned the church there, until destroyed in CROMWELL's time, by Colonel Stubber, then Governor of the town.

The monument was executed in Italy, and is described in the annals of Galway to have been of "rayre sculpture and guilded with golde".

His son,

FRANCIS FRENCH, of Gortrassy and Sessueman Castle, in County Sligo, wedded Una O'Conor, of the ancient race of O'Conor in Sligo; and dying in 1624, left a son,

STEPHEN FRENCH, to whom Sir Donogh O'Conor of Sligo made a device in his will, and Sir Charles O'Conor of Sligo made a grant of the lands of Rathborney, Ardueglass etc, dated 1622.

This Stephen married Marian Lynch, of the family of Le Petit, barons palatine of Mullingar, and was succeeded by his son,

PATRICK FRENCH, of Dungar, otherwise French Park, County Roscommon, whose great estates in County Sligo were seized by the Earl of Strafford, and partitioned amongst Sir Thomas Radcliffe, Sir Philip Perceval, etc.

They were, however, subsequently restored by order of Parliament, but CROMWELL again dispossessed them.

He wedded a daughter of Martin, of Dangan, in County Galway; and dying at Dungar, was succeeded by his son,

DOMINICK FRENCH, of French Park, and of Boyle, who wedded Anne, daughter of the Rt Rev Dr Edward King, Lord Bishop of Elphin, by whom he had by three sons and four daughters,
JOHN, his heir;
Mary, Margaret; Sarah; Anne.
Mr French was buried in Elphin Cathedral, where his monument is still to be seen.

He was succeeded by his son,

JOHN FRENCH (1662-1734), of French Park, called Tierna More, a colonel in the army who commanded a troop in the Enniskillen Dragoons at the battle of Aughrim, and was attainted on account of his Whig principles by the parliament held by JAMES II at Dublin, 1690.

Mr French, MP for Carrick, 1695-9 and 1713-14, County Galway, 1703-13, Tulsk, 1715-27, wedded Anne, daughter of Sir Arthur Gore Bt, of Newtown, ancestor of the Earls of Arran, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Mary; Olivia; Catherine; Sarah.
Mr French died in 1734, leaving £1,000 to be expended on his funeral.

His body was laid in state in the park for three days and nights, and the county were feasted round it.

He was succeeded by his son, 

ARTHUR FRENCH (1690-1761), of French Park, MP for Tulsk, 1714, County Roscommon, 1721-7, Boyle, 1727-60, espoused Jane, daughter of John Percival, of Knightsbrook, County Meath, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
ARTHUR, successor to his brother;
Mr French was succeeded by his eldest son, 

JOHN FRENCH (1723-75), of French Park, MP for County Roscommon, 1745-95, until the time of his death in 1755, in which year he was drowned, together with his brother, Robert, on his passage from Dublin to Parkgate.

He was to have been called to the house of peers as Baron Dungar.

Mr French wedded Alicia, daughter of Ralph Crawford, of Snowhill, County Fermanagh; but having no issue, was succeeded by his brother,

ARTHUR FRENCH (1728–99), Colonel of the French Park and Castlemaine Volunteers, who refused to accept the peerage promised to his brother.

Mr French married, in 1763, Alicia, daughter of Richard Magennis, of Dublin, of the house of IVEAGH, by whom he had issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
John, in holy orders;
Robert Henry;
St George;
Jane; Alicia; Anne; Frances.
Mr French was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR FRENCH (1765-1820), MP for County Roscommon, 1785-1820, who wedded, ca 1784, Margaret, daughter of Edmund Costello, the representative of the Nangles, Lord McCostello, County Mayo, by Mary his wife, daughter of Francis, 21st Baron Athenry, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
John, in holy orders;
CHARLES, 3rd Baron de Freyne;
Mary; Louisa; Harriet; Elizabeth.
Mr French, who refused successively an earldom and a barony, was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR FRENCH (1786-1856), of French Park, MP for County Roscommon for several years, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1839, in the dignity of BARON DE FREYNE, of Artagh, County Roscommon.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, the Hon Alexander James Charles French (b 1988).
Fulke Charles Arthur John, 8th and present Baron, lives in London. 

FRENCH PARK, near Boyle, in County Roscommon, was formerly the ancestral seat of the Barons de Freyne.

The house, originally built in the mid-17th century before being rebuilt in the Georgian style in the 18th century, was demolished after the sale of the estate by the French family to the Irish Land Commission in 1952.

The Commission removed the roof of the buildings in 1953 and eventually demolished the remaining structures in ca 1975.

French Park was an early Palladian winged house of red brick, of three storeys with a seven-bay centre block (above).

Two-storey wings, five bays long and four deep, were joined to the main block by curved sweeps.

In 1952 Lord de Freyne sold French Park.

The great house and demesne had been in the French family since 5,000 acres were granted to Dominick French in 1666; prior to its dissemination during the Irish land acts, the estate comprised 36,000 acres.

Having sold the estate, the de Freynes moved to Oxfordshire.

The present and 8th Lord de Freyne now lives in London.

The once-great mansion is now a roofless ruin.

First published in July, 2011.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Ellison-Macartney of Mountjoy Grange


Towards the end of the reign of JAMES I, THOMAS ELLISON, a younger son of an eminent merchant of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, went over to Ireland, and settled in the north-west part of that country.

He had issue a son,

THOMAS ELLISON, of Castletown, County Mayo, who had issue, a son,

THE REV THOMAS ELLISON, who married, in 1731, Mildred, daughter of Nathaniel Cooper, of Cappagh, and Old Grange, County Kilkenny, by whom he had issue,
William, dsp;
JOHN, of whom presently;
Thomas (Rev), Rector of Castlebar;
The second son,

THE REV DR JOHN ELLISON, Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, Rector of Cleenish, diocese of Clogher, and afterwards Rector of Conwall, diocese of Raphoe, wedded, in 1776, Anne, daughter of John Olphert, of Ballyconnell, County Donegal, and had issue,
John (Rev);
The eldest son,

THE REV THOMAS ELLISON, Prebendary of Killamery, diocese of Ossory, espoused firstly, in 1803, Mrs Elizabeth Cox, widow, by whom he had a daughter, Martha; and secondly, in 1815, Catherine, second daughter of ARTHUR CHICHESTER MACARTNEY, by whom he had issue,
JOHN WILLIAM, who assumed the additional name and arms of MACARTNEY;
Annette Anna Maria; Eleanor.
The elder son,

JOHN WILLIAM ELLISON-MACARTNEY JP DL (1818-1904), of Mountjoy Grange, MP for County Tyrone, 1874-85, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1870, married, in 1851, Elizbeth Phœbe, eldest surviving daughter of the Rev John Grey Porter, of Kilskeery, County Tyrone, Belle Isle, County Fermanagh, and Clogher Park, County Tyrone (eldest son of the Rt Rev John Porter, Lord Bishop of Clogher), by his wife, Margaret Lavinia, daughter of Thomas Lindsey, of Hollymount House, County Mayo, and of Lady Margaret Eleanor Lindsey, daughter of Charles, 1st Earl of Lucan, and had issue,
WILLIAM GREY, his heir;
Thomas Stewart Porter, of Clogher Park;
Arthur Hubert, of Kenwood, California, USA;
Henry John.
Mr Ellison assumed, by royal licence, 1859, the additional surname and arms of MACARTNEY, on the death of his maternal uncle, the Rev W G Macartney.

His eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR WILLIAM GREY ELLISON-MACARTNEY KCMG (1852-1924), of Ballydownfine, County Antrim, and Mountjoy Grange, County Tyrone, MP for South Antrim, 1885-1903, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1908, wedded, in 1897, Ettie Myers, eldest daughter of John Edward Scott, of Outlands and Devonport, and had issue,
John Arthur Mowbray, Lt-Col (1903-85);
Phœbe Katherine; Mildred Esther.
MOUNTJOY GRANGE, otherwise called Old Mountjoy, County Tyrone, is a long, low, irregular, battlemented house of ca 1780.

It has hood mouldings over the windows and a small square tower at one end.

The Northern Ireland Department of the Environment register describes it thus:
An asymmetrical two- and three-storey multi-bay castellated country house, built ca 1780, remodelled ca 1820. Built in Mountjoy Forest by the first Lord Mountjoy or his father, the MP for Taghmon in County Wexford, this was originally a modest five-bay two-storey dwelling. 
This complicated house was further developed by the Earl of Blessington and displays a multitude of accretions embellished with decorative features dating from the early nineteenth century. 
It is this rather complicated composition that remains to the present and retains most of its early nineteenth century features including, crenellated parapets, decorative chimneystacks, arched and mullioned sash windows and its irregular staggered layout. 
While some windows have been replaced with uPVC, the overall impression remains intact within its picturesque landscaped setting. 
It is a significant example of a large property that has developed according to fashion and was associated with a family of important landowners and public figures.
In 1876, the house became the seat of Sir William Ellison-Macartney, formerly Governor of Tasmania and Western Australia, and MP for Tyrone.

Mr Dickie acquired the property from the Macartney family in 1918.

First published in August, 2015.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Markree Castle


EDWARD COOPER (c1616-76), a cornet in Richard, Lord Collooney's regiment of dragoons, settling in Ireland, became possessed of a great estate in that kingdom.
Cornet Cooper was serving under Cromwell when his army defeated the mighty O’Brien Clan. O’Brien himself lost his life in this battle and Edward married his widow, Máire Rua (Red Mary). With her and her two sons he went to live at Luimneach Castle in Limerick, which is now a ruin. She had her two sons take the name of Cooper as protection from the English invaders.
Cromwell’s army marched on, further northwards in spite of the fact that he did not have the means to pay his officers. Instead, he gave them large pieces of land. Thus, he gave Markree Castle, near Collooney in County Sligo, and the surrounding grounds to Edward Cooper.
By Margaret his wife, daughter of Nicholas Mahon, of Ballinamulty, County Roscommon, he had issue,
Edward, dsp;
ARTHUR, his heir;
Mary; Margaret.
The second son,

ARTHUR COOPER (1667-93), of Markree, County Sligo, heir to his brother Edward, married, ca 1693, Mary, daughter of Sir Joshua Allen, Knight, father of John, 1st Viscount Allen, and had issue,
JOSHUA, his heir;
Richard, dsp;
Mary; Elizabeth; Anne; Eleanor; Margaret.
The eldest son,

JOSHUA COOPER (c1696-1757), of Markree, wedded, ca 1729, Mary, daughter of Richard Bingham, of Newbrook, County Mayo, and left two sons; the younger, Richard, of Bath; and the elder,

THE RT HON JOSHUA COOPER, of Markree, MP for County Sligo, Privy Counsellor, who married Alicia, only daughter and heir of the Rt Rev Dr Edward Synge, Lord Bishop of Elphin, and had issue,
Edward Synge, father of EDWARD JOSHUA;
Richard, dsp;
Jane, died unmarried.
Mr Cooper was succeeded by his grandson,

EDWARD JOSHUA COOPER, of Markree, MP for County Sligo, who married twice, without male issue, and was succeeded by his nephew,

THE RT HON EDWARD HENRY COOPER JP, of Markree Castle, High Sheriff, 1871, Lieutenant-Colonel, Grenadier Guards, MP for County Sligo, 1865-68, who married firstly, Sophia, third daughter of Henry P L'Estrange, of Moyestown, King's County, which lady dsp.

He married, secondly, Sarah Frances, daughter of Owen Wynne, of Haslewood, County Sligo, and had issue,
Laura Frances; Charlotte Sophie; Emma Marie; Selina Elizabeth; Cicely Florence.
Mr Cooper died in 1863, and was succeeded by his nephew,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL THE RT HON EDWARD HENRY COOPER JP DL (1827-1902), of Markree Castle, who wedded, in 1858, Charlotte Maria, only child of Edward W Mills, of Hampshire, and had issue,
Francis Edward, father of BRYAN RICCO;
Richard Joshua, CVO;
Arthur Charles;
Kathleen Emily; Florence Lucy; Venetia Helen.
Colonel Cooper was succeeded by his grandson,

BRYAN RICCO COOPER TD JP DL (1884-1930), of Markree Castle, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1908, MP for Dublin County, 1910, who espoused, in 1910, Marion Dorothy, elder daughter of Edward Stanley Handcock, of Fulmer, Buckinghamshire, and had issue, his eldest son,

LIEUTENANT-COMMANDER EDWARD FRANCIS PATRICK COOPER RN, of Markree Castle (1912-), who married, in 1937, Elizabeth Mary, daughter of the Ven Charles Philip Stuart Clarke; educated at Royal Naval College, Dartmouth; fought in 2nd World War; retired from the Navy in 1945.

His youngest son,

CHARLES PHILIP COOPER, of Markree Castle (b 1948), educated at St. Columba's College, Dublin, lived in 1976 at Newport, County Mayo; formerly in hotel management.

MARKREE CASTLE, Collooney, County Sligo, originally a 17th century house, was rebuilt a century later; and, in 1802, Joshua Cooper commissioned Francis Johnston to enlarge this house and transform it into a castellated mansion.

The Castle was completely transformed and greatly extended with a new garden front and tower.

In 1866, the Castle was further enlarged again by Lt-Col E H Cooper MP, who added a massive, battlemented tower, increasing the size of the dining-room. A Gothic chapel was built.

The interior has a straight flight of stone stairs which lead up to the main floor under the porte-cochere, beneath a vaulted ceiling.

Beyond is a vast, Victorian double-staircase of oak, lit by a heraldic stained-glass window illustrating the Cooper family tree, with ancestors and Monarchs.

The large drawing-room was re-decorated in the mid-1800s in an ornate Louis Quatorze style, with abundant gilding and portly putti in high-relief supporting cartouches and trailing swags of fruit and flowers.

Brief Family History

Times remained turbulent and during an attempt by JAMES I to regain the throne, Markree Castle was occupied by the Catholic army and the Coopers had to flee.

After the battle of the Boyne in 1690, they returned and have been resident here ever since, except for a brief period during the Irish Civil War in the 1920s when Markree was again occupied, this time by the Irish Free State army.

The family was always politically involved and several ancestors represented the county at Westminster.

They did not always follow party policy (maybe because they were descended from the O’Briens) and opposed the Act of Union, which sought to dissolve the parliament in Dublin and centralise power in London, in 1802.

The Coopers’ opposition to the Act of Union cost them the peerage that they had been promised and it is for this reason that Markree is one of the very few castles in Ireland that is not owned by a titled family.

In 1922, the grandfather of the current owner, Charles Cooper, was one of the two members of the Westminster Parliament who were also elected as a TD to the first Irish Parliament after independence.

After the 2nd World War, Markree Castle fell on hard times and it stood empty and derelict for many years.

In the early 1980s it appeared on the front cover of a book entitled Vanishing Houses of Ireland, a testament to the sad state of decay in which many of Ireland’s great houses found themselves.

In 1989, Charles Cooper, having worked in the hotel business all his life, came back to Markree to renovate the castle and run it as a hotel.

Each generation left its mark on the estate, but the castle, as we can see it today, dates from 1802 with some changes made, mainly to the interior, in 1896.

Walking around the outside of the Castle you can see dates of completion carved in stone on the walls.

The stained glass window in the hall traces the Cooper family tree from Victorian times back to the time of King John.

The restaurant is an architectural masterpiece designed by Francis Johnston and executed by Italian craftsmen.

A conservation area, the estate holds an array of wild life from red squirrels, to otters, to kingfishers. It has proved inspirational and the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful was written here in the 1800s.

At the heart of Yeats’ Country, the poet W.B. Yeats was a guest here when the Castle was still a private residence.

More recently, the singer-songwriter Johnny Cash and the golfer Tom Watson have stayed there.

In June, 2015, the 300-acre Markree Castle estate was acquired by the Corscadden family for an undisclosed sum.

The hotel will undergo a €5 million restoration prior to re-opening in the spring of 2016.

First published in June, 2011.