Monday, 14 August 2017

Babington of Creevagh

THE BABINGTONS OWNED 1,540 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY LONDONDERRY

The family of BABINGTON, of Creevagh, traces its descent from a younger brother of Bebington, of Bebington, Wirral, Cheshire.

He married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Croxton, of Ravenscroft, Cheshire, and had, with other issue, a son,

RICHARD BABINGTON, who had seven sons, of whom five were slain with their uncle Randal at Flodden Field, 1513, viz. William, Randal, James, John, and Charles.

The two surviving sons were,
RICHARD, of whom presently;
Thomas, ancestor of BABINGTON OF CHORLEY.
The elder son,

RICHARD BABINGTON, of Nantwich, Cheshire, wedded, in 1555, Ann, daughter of Richard Starkey, of the same place, and had issue,
BRUTUS, his heir;
Eldred, of Nantwich;
Randal, of Nantwich;
William, of Nantwich;
Ury (or Uriah).
Mr Babington was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT REV BRUTUS BABINGTON (1558-1611), Rector of Tatenhill, Staffordshire, and Thurcaston, Leicestershire, who was appointed, 1610, to the bishopric of Derry, and consecrated at Drogheda, County Louth, by the Most Rev Henry Ussher, Lord Archbishop of Armagh.

His lordship had issue, by Joan his wife,
RICHARD, his heir;
Edwin, of Creduff, Co Tyrone;
Bryan.
The Bishop was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD BABINGTON, who obtained from his father in 1610 a grant of the Urney estate, County Tyrone.

He had issue, a son,

MATTHEW BABINGTON, of Urney and Doe Castle, County Donegal, living in 1663, was attainted, 1689, by the Dublin parliament.

He is supposed to have wedded a daughter of Colonel James Galbraith, and died soon after 1689, having had issue,
William, of Urney and Doe Castle;
RICHARD, of whom we treat;
Thomas.
The second son,

RICHARD BABINGTON, of Daisy Hill (otherwise Roe Park), near Limavady, County Londonderry, married Isabella, fourth daughter of William Wray, of Castle Wray and Ards, County Donegal, and had issue (with three daughters),
William, of Urney and Doe Castle;
Humphrey (Rev), of Portglenone;
Richard (Rev);
GEORGE, of whom hereafter.
The youngest son,

GEORGE BABINGTON, of Londonderry, merchant, married, before 1763, Mary, daughter of Edmund Stafford, of County Antrim, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Anthony;
George;
Isabella; Dorothea; Mary; Angel; Margaret.
Mr Babington was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE REV RICHARD BABINGTON (1765-1831), Rector of Longfield, County Tyrone, 1803, and Termonamongan, 1812, wedded Mary Boyle, of Dungiven, and had issue (with two daughters, Anne and Angel), nine sons,
Anthony, of Creevagh;
Thomas Henderson;
George;
Richard;
Henry;
William;
James;
David;
HUME, of whom we treat.
The youngest son,

THE REV HUME BABINGTON (1804-78), Rector of Moviddy, County Cork, married, in 1836, Esther, daughter of Richard Nevill Nettles, and had issue,
Richard, his heir;
HUME, of whom hereafter;
James Boyle;
David Robert;
Angel; Anne.
The second son,

HUME BABINGTON (1848-1925), of Creevagh House, Londonderry. wedded Hester, daughter of Samuel Watt, and had issue,
ANTHONY BRUTUS;
Hume (1880-1963), CBE;
Aileen Frances.
The elder son,

THE RT HON SIR ANTHONY BRUTUS BABINGTON QC MP (1877-1972), Attorney-General for Northern Ireland, married, in 1907, Ethel Vaughan, daughter of George Vaughan Hart, and had issue,
EMERSON;
Mary Hume; Ruth.
The only son,

EMERSON BABINGTON (1910-89), Crown Solicitor for the City and County of Londonderry, married Judith Evans, and had issue,
Anthony Brutus, b 1947;
Andrew Hume, b 1949;
Kate, b 1951.
Photo credit: Stonedatabase

CREEVAGH HOUSE, Londonderry, is a two-storey, five-bay house over a basement.

There is a canted porch in the centre which incorporates a square-topped doorway and fanlight.

The present house replaced a previous dwelling, believed to have been constructed ca 1780.

According to Curl and Rowan the gentleman’s mansion was erected in the 1780s by the Babington family.

It is likely that Anthony Babington demolished his original dwelling shortly after 1830 and replaced it with the current two-storey mansion which is late-Georgian in appearance, suggesting an early build date of ca 1830-40.

Anthony Babington was the Distributor for Londonderry’s Stamp Office located on Pump Street and leased his land in Upper Creevagh from The Honourable The Irish Society.

He added an extensive complex of farm buildings to the north of his dwelling.

These outbuildings were arranged around a courtyard and included a ‘thrashing machine.’

In the same period the current 1½ storey gate lodge was installed at the south-east entrance of the estate.

The map shows that Creevagh House was originally constructed as a rectangular-shaped building.

The two-storey rear return and side porch were not added until the late-19th century.

Anthony Babington resided at Creevagh House until his death in 1869.

He bequeathed his estate at Upper Creevagh to his nephew, Hume Babington, third son of the Rev Hume Babington.

The 1911 census described Babington’s house as a first class dwelling that consisted of 27 rooms and possessed an extensive number of farm buildings including a stable, cow house, dairy, boiling house and potato house which were located at the outbuildings to the north.

Hume Babington vacated Creevagh House shortly before his death in 1925.

John E Morrison took possession of the house and its farm buildings in 1926.

The Morrison family resided at Creevagh House until at least the 1970s.

Creevagh House was listed in 1979.

In that year Rowan described the dwelling in the following terms:
"Shrouded in woodlands. A large, plain late-Georgian house built by the Babington family ca 1780. 
The usual five-bay, two-storey block enhanced by a freestone ashlar front with corner quoins and Gibbs surrounds to the windows. 
Inside is a delightful cantilevered oval stair, small in scale, lit by a half-landing window and roofed by a deeply coffered dome. The entire basement of the house is finely vaulted in brick."
Creevagh House was re-roofed in 1999 during a renovation that also included repair work being carried out to its side entrance porch.

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