Saturday, 30 September 2017

Freemen of Belfast: 1911-19

HONORARY BURGESSES OF THE CITY OF BELFAST
ELECTED AND ADMITTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BELFAST UNDER THE MUNICIPAL PRIVILEGE (IRELAND) ACT, 1875


14  Gustav Wilhelm Wolff ~ 1911

15  Sir Joseph Larmor Kt ~ 1912

16  Sir Almroth Edward Wright KBE CB ~ 1912

17  Sir James Henderson DL ~ 1912

18  Whitelaw Reid ~ 1912

19  Robert James McMordie QC ~ 1914

20  Mrs Julia McMordie CBE ~ 1914

21  The Rt Hon Edward Henry Baron Carson, PC ~ 1914

22  The Rt Hon Sir Crawford McCullagh Bt ~ 1917

23  Lady McCullagh ~ 1917

24  Henry Musgrave DL ~ 1917

25  Sir William Quartus Ewart Bt JP DL ~ 1917

26  The Rt Hon John Denton Pinkstone Earl of Ypres KP GCB OM GCVO KCMG PC ~ 1918

27  Sir Henry Hughes Wilson Bt GCB DSO ~ 1919

28  The Most Hon Charles Stewart Henry Marquess of Londonderry KG MVO PC ~ 1919

First published in August, 2012. 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Freemen of Belfast: 1900-10

HONORARY BURGESSES OF THE CITY OF BELFAST

ELECTED AND ADMITTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BELFAST UNDER THE MUNICIPAL PRIVILEGE (IRELAND) ACT, 1875


3  The Most Hon Frederick Temple Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, KP GCB GCSI GCMG GCIE PC ~ 1900

4  The Most Hon Charles Marquess of Londonderry, KG GCVO PC JP DL ~ 1900

5  Sir George Stuart White VC GCB OM GCSI GCMG GCIE GCVO ~ 1900

6  The Right Hon Frederick Sleigh Earl Roberts VC KG KP GCB OM GCSI GCIE PC ~ 1900

7  The Right Hon Sir Daniel Dixon Bt JP DL ~ 1904

8  The Right Hon Margaret Montgomery Viscountess Pirrie ~ 1904

9  Sir Donald Currie GCMG ~ 1906

10  The Right Hon Anthony Earl of Shaftesbury KP GCVO CBE PC ~ 1908

11  Sir Robert Hart Bt GCMG ~ 1908

12  Andrew Carnegie Esq ~ 1910

13 The Right Hon Sir John Newell Jordan GCMG GCIE KCB  ~ 1910

First published in August, 2012.

Mobile-Friendly Blog

Following a prompt from Google, I have amended the blog settings to enable a more mobile-friendly appearance on mobile phones.

I hope those readers who tend to follow me on their smartphones will notice a difference.

I’m grateful to Google for bringing this feature to my attention.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Freemen of Belfast: 1898-99

HONORARY BURGESSES OF THE CITY OF BELFAST

Elected and admitted by the Council of the City of Belfast under the municipal privilege (Ireland) Act, 1875:-

1898 The Right Hon William James, Viscount Pirrie KP PC

1899 Thomas Henry Ismay, Esq

First published in July, 2012.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Huntley House

THE CHARLEYS OWNED 348 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM

The family of Charley, or Chorley, passing over from the north of England, settled in Ulster in the 17th century, firstly at Belfast, where they were owners of house property for two hundred years; and afterwards at Finaghy, County Antrim, where  

RALPH CHARLEY (1664-1746), of Finaghy House, had a son,  

JOHN CHARLEY (1712-93), of Finaghy, who left a son and successor,

JOHN CHARLEY (1744-1812), of Finaghy House, who married, in 1783, Anne Jane, daughter of Richard Wolfenden, of Harmony Hill, County Down, and had issue,

JOHN, of Finaghy House 1784-1844, died unm;
MATTHEW, of Finaghy House;
WILLIAM, of Seymour Hill.
The third son,

WILLIAM CHARLEY, of Seymour Hill, Dunmurry, married, in 1817, Isabella, eldest daughter of William Hunter JP, of Dunmurry, and died in 1838, having had issue,
JOHN, of Seymour Hill;
WILLIAM, succeeded his brother;
Edward, of Conway House;
Mary; Anne Jane; Eliza; Isabella; Emily.
The eldest son,

JOHN CHARLEY, of Seymour Hill, died unmarried in 1843, aged 25, and was succeeded by his brother, 

WILLIAM CHARLEY JP DL (1826-1904), of Seymour Hill, who married, in 1856, Ellen Anna Matilda, daughter of Edward Johnson JP, of Ballymacash, near Lisburn, and granddaughter of Rev Philip Johnson JP DL, and had issue,

William, 1857-1904;
EDWARD JOHNSON, of Seymour Hill;
John George Stewart, 1863-86;
Thomas Henry FitzWilliam, 1866-85;
Arthur Frederick, of Mossvale, b 1870;
Harold Richard;
Ellen Frances Isabella; Elizabeth Mary Florence;
Emily Constance Jane; Wilhelmina Maud Isabel.
The second son,

EDWARD JOHNSON CHARLEY (1859-1932), of Seymour Hill, was succeeded by his sixth son, 

COLONEL HAROLD RICHARD CHARLEY CBE DL (1875-1956), of Seymour Hill, 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles; fought in the Boer War and First World War, with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, and was wounded and became a PoW. 

In 1916 he started workshops for interned British servicemen at Murren. He was Officer-in-Charge for Technical Instruction for servicemen interned in Switzerland in 1917; Commissioner of British Red Cross Society, Switzerland, 1918; commander of the 1st Royal Ulster Rifles, 1919-23.

Appointed CBE, 1920; City Commandant, Ulster Special Constabulary, 1924-52; originator of the British Legion Car Park Attendants scheme (adopted throughout Great Britain); Honorary Colonel, 1938, Antrim Coast Regiment (Territorial Army).
His eldest son, 

COLONEL WILLIAM ROBERT (Robin) HUNTER CHARLEY OBE, born in 1924, married Catherine Janet, daughter of William Sinclair Kingan, in 1960. 



HUNTLEY, Dunmurry, originally known as Huntley Lodge, was built ca 1830 by William Hunter (1777-1856), of Dunmurry House, on land leased by the Stewarts of Ballydrain from the Donegall Estate.

His son William (1806-90) lived in Huntley for a time and brought up his family.

In the mid 1850s, he moved with his family to the Isle of Man.

The house was then left by his father William (1777-1856) to his widowed sister, Mrs Isabella Charley (1800-82).



Isabella's husband, William Charley of Seymour Hill, had died in 1838 and she lived at Seymour Hill until her eldest son William was married in 1856.

Isabella then moved to Huntley, where she was joined by her late husband's sisters Mary (1820-86) and Anne Jane Stevenson (1822-1904), whose husband had died in 1855, and Emily (1837-1917).

The ladies at Huntley were talented artists, did embroidery and kept beautiful scrapbooks.

They supported many charities and gave generously to local churches, schools and church halls.

They founded the Charley Memorial School at Drumbeg in 1892 in memory of their brother William Charley (1826-90) of Seymour Hill; and also established the Stevenson Memorial School, Dunmurry.

They built the church hall in Dunmurry on the condition that a service must be held there every Sunday afternoon.

Huntley remained in the possession of the Charley family until 1932, when Edward Charley, of Seymour Hill, died.

The house was sold to Mr George Bryson, who had been a tenant there since just after the 1st World War.

Huntley now operates as bed & breakfast accommodation.

First published in March, 2011.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Drumboe Castle

THE HAYES BARONETS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY DONEGAL, WITH 22,285 ACRES


This family had been settled in Ireland from the period of the civil wars, during the reign of CHARLES I, when Edmund Hayes went over with Cromwell's party, and attained the rank of Colonel in his army; but whether he was English or Scots ancestry is uncertain.

CHALLIS HAYES, son of Challis Hayes, of Bridgwater, Somerset, Vice-Consul at Lisbon, married Miss Deborah Holditch, of Totnes, Devon.

Mr Hayes was murdered by his servant at Lisbon in 1737, and left an only surviving son,

SAMUEL HAYES, who married Mary, daughter and heiress of William Basil, of Drumboe Castle, County Donegal, and of Wilton Park, Buckinghamshire, and had issue,
SAMUEL, his heir;
Mary; Frances.
The only son,

SAMUEL HAYES (1737-1807), MP for Augher, 1783-90, married Mary, daughter of William Basil (previously Ball), of Wilton Park, Buckinghamshire, and Drumboe Castle.

Mr Hayes was created a baronet in 1789, denominated of Drumboe Castle, County Donegal.

Sir Samuel was succeeded by his son,

SIR SAMUEL HAYES, 2nd Baronet (1773-1827), of Drumboe Castle, who married, in 1803, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Lighton Bt, and had issue,
EDMUND SAMUEL, his heir;
Anne; Harriet; Mary.
Sir Samuel was succeeded by his only son,

SIR EDMUND SAMUEL HAYES, 3rd Baronet (1806-60), of Drumboe Castle, MP for County Donegal, 1831-60, founding member of the Carlton Club, who wedded, in 1837, Emily, daughter of Hon Hercules Robert Pakenham, son of Edward, 2nd Lord Longford.

His eldest son and heir,

SIR SAMUEL HERCULES HAYES, 4th Baronet (1840-1901), of Drumboe Castle, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1884-7, wedded, in 1878, Alice Anne, daughter of James, 4th Viscount Lifford and had issue, a daughter, Alice Emily Hayes.

Sir Samuel died without male issue, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR EDMUND FRANCIS HAYES, 5th and last baronet (1850-1912), of Drumboe Castle, who inherited the family estate in 1901 on the death of his brother, Sir Samuel, 4th Baronet.

He married Alice Isabella, daughter of Judge Wilkinson, of Sydney, Australia, in 1900.

Sir Edmund died at Drumboe Castle.

On his death the baronetcy became extinct.

Lady Hayes died in 1943 from injuries sustained after stepping in front of a tramcar, in 1943, in Sydney.



DRUMBOE CASTLE, near Stranorlar, County Donegal, was a Georgian house comprising a three-storey centre with a three-sided centre bow and pillared porch; and bow-ended wings.

There was a Wyatt window on either side of the centre bow.

In 1622, Robert Redington sold the estate at Ballybofey to Sir Ralph Bingley.

Bingley erected the original Drumboe Castle, which had four large towers.

Its location protected a ford across the river.

After the death of Sir Ralph, his widow, Jane, and Robert Harrington took charge until 1641, when it was granted to Sir William Bazil, Attorney-General for Ireland.

A descendent of Sir William Bazil was William Basil (formerly William Ball), who married Frances Dowdeswell ca 1736.

Their daughter, Mary Basil, married Sir Samuel Hayes Bt and through this marriage it became the home of the Hayes Baronets, of Drumboe Castle, from 1789 until 1912.


It became the General Headquarters for the forces of the Irish Free State in County Donegal during the Irish Civil War.

It is infamous for being the location of the Drumboe massacre during the Irish Civil War.

The house has been ruinous since 1945.

First published in July, 2013.

1st Marquess of Downshire

THE MARQUESSATE OF DOWNSHIRE WAS CREATED IN 1789 FOR WILLS, 1ST EARL OF HILLSBOROUGH

This family, of Norman extraction, was originally called de la Montagne.

In the reign of EDWARD III its members were styled "Hill, alias de la Montagne"; but in succeeding ages they were known by the name of HILL only.

SIR MOYSES HILL, Knight, descended from the family of HILL, of Devon (two members of which were judges of England in the beginning of the 15th century, and one Lord Mayor of London, 1484), went over to Ulster, as a military officer, with the Earl of Essex, in 1573, to suppress O'Neill's rebellion.

This Moyses was subsequently appointed governor of Olderfleet Castle, an important fortress at the period, as it protected Larne harbour from the Scots.

His first land purchase in County Down came in 1607, when he bought the Castlereagh estates of the hapless Conn O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone.

Thereafter Sir Moyses acquired the Kilwarlin estate - now Hillsborough - from the Magennises.

He represented County Antrim in parliament, 1613, and having distinguished himself during a long life, both as a soldier and a magistrate, Sir Moyses died in 1629-30, and was succeeded by his elder son,

PETER HILL; but we pass to his younger son, ARTHUR, who eventually inherited the estates, upon the demise of Peter's only son, Francis Hill, of Hill Hall, without male issue.

The said

ARTHUR HILL, of Hillsborough, was Colonel of a regiment in the service of CHARLES I, and he sat in parliament under the usurpation of CROMWELL, as well as after the Restoration, when he was sworn of the privy council.

Colonel Hill married firstly, Anne, daughter of Sir Richard Bolton, LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND, by whom he had, with other issue, Moyses, who wedded his cousin Anne, eldest daughter of Francis Hill, of Hill Hall, and left three daughters.

He espoused secondly, Mary, daughter of Sir William Parsons, one of the Lords Justices of Ireland, and had three other sons and a daughter, the eldest of whom,

WILLIAM HILL, succeeded to the estates at the decease of his half-brother, Moyses, without male issue.

This gentleman was of the privy council to CHARLES II, and JAMES II, and was MP for County Down.

He married firstly, Eleanor, daughter of the Most Rev Dr Michael Boyle, Lord Archbishop of Armagh, LORD CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND, by whom he had an only son, MICHAEL.

Mr Hill wedded secondly, Mary, eldest daughter of Sir Marcus Trevor, who was created Viscount Dungannon (1st creation) in 1662 for his signal gallantry in wounding OLIVER CROMWELL at Marston Moor, and had two other sons.

He died in 1693, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

MICHAEL HILL (1672-99), of Hillsborough, a member of the privy council, and of the parliaments of England and Ireland.

This gentleman espoused Anne, daughter and heir of Sir John Trevor, of Brynkinalt, Denbighshire, Master of the Rolls, Speaker of the House of Commons, and first Lord Commissioner of the Great Seal, and had two sons,
TREVOR, his heir;
Arthur, 1st Viscount Dungannon (2nd creation).
Mr Hill was succeeded by his elder son,

TREVOR HILL (1693-1742), of Hillsborough, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1717, as  Baron Hill, of Kilwarlin, and Viscount Hillsborough, of County Down.

His lordship wedded Mary, eldest daughter and co-heir of Anthony Rowe, of Muswell Hill, Middlesex; and left (with a daughter, Anne, wedded to John, 1st Earl of Moira) an only son, his successor,

WILLS, 2nd Viscount (1718-93), who was created Viscount Kilwarlin and Earl of Hillsborough, in 1751, with remainder, in default of male issue, to his uncle Arthur Hill; and enrolled amongst the peers of Great Britain, in 1756, as Baron Harwich, in Essex.

His lordship was advanced to an English viscountcy and earldom, in 1772, by the titles of Viscount Fairford and Earl of Hillsborough.

The 1st Earl was further advanced, in 1789, to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS OF DOWNSHIRE.

He married, in 1747, Margaretta, daughter of Robert, 19th Earl of Kildare, and sister of James, 1st Duke of Leinster, by whom he had surviving issue,
ARTHUR, his successor;
Mary Amelia, m to 1st Marquess of Salisbury;
Charlotte, m to 1st Earl Talbot.
His lordship wedded secondly, Mary, 1st Baroness Stawell, and widow of the Rt Hon Henry Bilson-Legge, son of the 1st Earl of Dartmouth, by whom he had no issue.

His lordship was succeeded by his son,

ARTHUR, 2nd Marquess (1753-1801), who espoused, in 1786, Mary, Baroness Sandys, daughter of the Hon Martyn Sandys, and his wife Mary, daughter of William Trumbull, of Easthampstead Park, Berkshire, and had issue,
ARTHUR BLUNDELL SANDYS TRUMBULL, his successor;
Arthur Moyses William;
Arthur Marcus Cecil, 3rd Baron Sandys;
Arthur Augustus Edwin;
George Augusta;
Charlotte; Mary.
The 2nd Marquess died in 1801, and the Marchioness having subsequently succeeded to the estates of her uncle, Edwin, 2nd Baron Sandys, was created, in 1802, BARONESS SANDYS, with remainder to her second and younger sons successively.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR BLUNDELL SANDYS TRUMBULL, 3rd Marquess (1788-1845), KP, who married, in 1811, the Lady Mary Windsor, eldest daughter of Other, 5th Earl of Portsmouth, and had issue,
ARTHUR WILLS BLUNDELL SANDYS TRUMBULL WINDSOR, his successor;
William Frederick Arthur Montagu;
Arthur Edwin;
Charlotte Augusta; Mary Penelope.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Edmund Robin Arthur Hill, styled Earl of Hillsborough.

The Downshire Papers are deposited at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

In 1870, Lord Downshire owned 115,000 acres, mainly in County Down; and a further 5,000 acres at Easthampstead Park in Berkshire.

These estates generated an income of £80,000 per annum, or £3.6 million in today's money.


The Downshires also maintained a grand residence in London, Downshire House (above) at 24 Belgrave Square, now part of the Spanish embassy, it is thought.

Their principal seat was Hillsborough Castle; and they also had a marine residence, Murlough House, near Dundrum, also in County Down.

The Hillsborough Castle Guards

Lord Downshire sold Hillsborough Castle to the Government in about 1921, I think; and Murlough remained with the family till the 1940s or 50s.

Easthampstead Park was sold after the 2nd World War.

Other seats included North Aston Hall, Oxfordshire; Timweston, Buckinghamshire; and Hill Park, Kent.

Today the Downshires live at Clifton Castle, near Ripon in North Yorkshire.

Downshire arms courtesy of European Heraldry. First published in July, 2009.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Castle Bernard

THE EARLS OF BANDON WERE THE SECOND LARGEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY CORK, WITH 40,941 ACRES
  

The house of BERNARD, Earls of Bandon, derives, according to Thomas Hawley, Norroy King of Arms, from SIR THEOPHILUS, a valiant knight of German descent who, in 1066, accompanied WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR into England.

This Theophilus was son of Sir Egerette, and father of

SIR DORBARD BERNARD, the first of his family surnamed BERNARD.

His descendants settled at Acornbank in Westmorland, and in the counties of Yorkshire and Northamptonshire.

Among these we find Robert FitzBernard, who accompanied HENRY II to Ireland, and who, on the King's departure, had Wexford and Waterford committed to his custody.

SIR FRANCIS BERNARD, of Acornbank (the lineal descendant of Sir Dorbard), married Hannah, daughter of Sir John Pilkington, and was grandfather of

SIR HENRY BERNARD, Knight, who married Anne, daughter of Sir John Dawson, of Westmorland, and had four sons, ROBERT, William, Francis, and Charles.

FRANCIS BERNARD, the third son, removed to Ireland during ELIZABETH I's reign and purchased considerable estates.

He died leaving issue, besides two daughters, a son, 

FRANCIS BERNARD, Lord of the manor of Castle Bernard, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Arthur Freke, of Rathbarry Castle (ancestor of Lord Carbery).

Mr Bernard was killed while defending his castle from an attack of the rebel forces, and left issue, with four daughters, all married, two sons,
FRANCIS, his heir;
Arthur, born in 1666.
The elder son,

FRANCIS BERNARD (1663-1731), was attainted by JAMES II’s parliament, but was restored to his estates by WILLIAM and MARY.

He was appointed Solicitor-General for Ireland by QUEEN ANNE, Prime Sergeant, and a judge of the Court of Common Pleas.

Mr Bernard represented Bandon and Clonakilty in parliament.

He wedded, in 1697, Alice, daughter of Stephen Ludlow, ancestor of the Earls Ludlow, and grandson of Sir Henry Ludlow, of Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire (whose eldest son was the famous General Ludlow), by whom he left at his decease,
FRANCIS, his heir;
Stephen, of Prospect Hall;
North Ludlow, father of JAMES BERNARD;
Arthur;
William;
John;
Elizabeth, m 3rd Viscount Charlemont.
The eldest son,

FRANCIS BERNARD MP (1698-1783), of Castle Bernard, and Bassingbourne Hall, Essex, espoused, in 1722, the Lady Anne Petty, only daughter of Henry, Earl of Shelburne; but died without surviving issue, when he was succeeded by his nephew,

JAMES BERNARD (1729-90), of Castle Bernard, son of North Ludlow Bernard, Member in several parliaments for County Cork, who married, in 1752, Esther, daughter of Percy Smyth, and heiress of her brother, William Smyth, of Headborough, and widow of Robert Gookin, and had issue,
FRANCIS, his heir;
Rose; Esther; Mary; Charlotte; Elizabeth.
The only son,

FRANCIS BERNARD, was elevated to the peerage, in 1793, as Baron Bandon; and advanced to a viscountcy, in 1795, as Viscount Bandon.

His lordship was further advanced, in 1800, to the dignities of Viscount Bernard and EARL OF BANDON.

He wedded, in 1784, Catherine Henrietta, only daughter of Richard, 2nd Earl of Shannon, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
Richard Boyle (Very Rev), Dean of Leighlin;
Francis;
William Smyth;
Henry Boyle;
Charles Ludlow;
Catherine Henrietta; Charlotte Esther; Louisa Anne.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, 2nd Earl (1785-1856), who married, in 1809, Mary Susan Albinia, eldest daughter of the Hon and Most Rev Dr Charles Brodrick, Lord Archbishop of Cashel, and had issue,
FRANCIS, his successor;
Charles Brodrick;
Henry Boyle;
Catherine Henrietta.
The 4th Earl was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Cork, from 1877 until 1922.


CASTLE BERNARD, near Bandon, County Cork, was re-modelled by Francis Bernard, 1st Viscount Bandon and afterwards 1st Earl of Bandon.

He pulled down the two early 18th century fronts in 1798 and began building a new house alongside the old O'Mahony castle, which was joined by a corridor.

It was of two storeys with a nine-bay entrance front overlooking the River Bandon; and a garden front of three bays on either side of a deep curved central bow. 

It was altered and enlarged in Gothic style in the mid-19th century.

Castle Bernard became known as one of the most hospitable houses in Ireland and the house parties held by the 4th Earl and Countess were said to have been legendary.


In an early morning raid on the 21st June, 1921, an IRA gang, under Sean Hales, called at the Castle.

They intended to kidnap Lord Bandon, but "Buckshot" Bandon and his staff had taken refuge in the cellars.


Apparently disappointed in the first object of their call, the IRA decided to burn the house.

Hales was heard to say, "well the bird has flown, so we'll burn the nest".

At that, Lord Bandon and his party appeared from the cellars but it was too late, the fire had started. 

Ironically the IRA carefully took out all the furniture and piled it on the lawn before setting the building on fire.

Lady Bandon had to sit and watch the flames for some hours.



When the flames were at their height, she suddenly stood up in her nightgown and sang God Save the King as loudly as possible, which disconcerted the incendiaries, but while they may not have stood to attention, they let her have her say and did nothing about it.

Lord Bandon was then kidnapped by a local IRA gang and held hostage for three weeks, being released on 12th July.

The IRA threatened to have him executed if the authorities went ahead with executing IRA prisoners of war.

During his captivity, Bandon coolly played cards with his captors, who treated him well.

Tom Barry later stated he believed the kidnapping helped move HM Government towards the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the cessation of hostilities.

The elderly Lord Bandon never recovered from the experience and died in 1924.

Some years later, when the last of the IRA burning party died, the 4th Earl was asked to go to the funeral, which he did - in full funeral attire of top hat and morning coat.

Castle Bernard continued to be the home of the 5th Earl and Countess: they built a small house within the Castle boundary walls.

The 5th Earl died in 1979 and, as he had no heir, the titles became extinct.

Lady Bandon died in 1999, aged 102. 

Lady Jennifer Bernard, who inherited the property, lived on the grounds of the castle until she died in 2010.

A modern house was built a short distance from the ruin by the 5th Earl in the 1960s and the uncontrolled growth of trees and ivy gives the building its romantic character. 

There is a huge high window in the curved stairwell which would have been a magnificent feature in its day.

Above the grand doorway and grass covered steps are a fine carved crest and standards. 

Several of the attractive stone window frames are still more or less intact which adds to the appeal of this splendid ruin.

Percy, 5th Earl, GBE CB CVO DSO, Air Chief Marshal, was one of the most senior officers in the RAF. 

In his retirement the 5th Earl discovered the pleasures of fishing, particularly in the River Bandon which was well stocked with salmon, and in shooting, snipe and woodcock found in large numbers near Castle Bernard.

He was also developing an enthusiastic skill as a gardener with a particular knowledge of rhododendrons.

The 5th Earl died on 8 February 1979 at Bon Secours Hospital in County Cork aged 74 and without male issue.

Consequently on his death all the titles became extinct.

He was survived by Lois, Lady Bandon and the two daughters from his first marriage, Lady Jennifer Jane Bernard, of Castle Bernard (b 1935) and Lady Frances Elizabeth Bernard (b 1943).

A portrait in oils (painted 1969) of Lord Bandon, in his uniform as an Air Chief Marshal together with his robes as a peer of the realm, hangs in the main dining hall at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell.

First published in August, 2011.  Bandon arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

1st Viscount Massereene

THE VISCOUNTS MASSEREENE AND FERRARD WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY ANTRIM, WITH 11,778 ACRES

SIR WILLIAM SKEFFINGTON (c1465-1535), Knight, who was appointed by HENRY VIII, in 1529, His Majesty's Commissioner to Ireland, arrived there in the August of that year, empowered to restrain the exactions of the soldiers, to call a parliament, and to provide that the possessions of the clergy might be subject to bear their part of the public expense.

Sir William was subsequently a very distinguished politician in Ireland, and died in the government of that kingdom as Lord Deputy, 1535.

His great-grandson,

JOHN SKEFFINGTON, of Fisherwick, Staffordshire, married Alice, seventh daughter of Sir Thomas Cave, of Stamford, and was father of

SIR WILLIAM SKEFFINGTON, Knight, of Fisherwick, who was created a baronet in 1627, denominated of Fisherwick, Staffordshire.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Dering, and had issue,
JOHN, 2nd Baronet, whose son WILLIAM, 3rd Baronet, dsp;
RICHARD, 4th Baronet;
Elizabeth; Cicely; Mary; Hesther; Lettice; Alice.
The second son,

SIR RICHARD SKEFFINGTON, was father of

SIR JOHN SKEFFINGTON, 5th Baronet, who wedded MARY, only daughter and heir of

SIR JOHN CLOTWORTHY, who, in reward for his valuable services in promoting the restoration of CHARLES II, was created, in 1660, Baron Loughneagh and VISCOUNT MASSEREENE, both in County Antrim; with remainder, on failure of his male issue, to his son-in-law, Sir John Skeffington, husband of his only daughter MARY, and his male issue by the said Mary, and failing such, to the heirs-general of Sir John Clotworthy.

His lordship died in 1665, and the honours devolved, according to the reversionary proviso, upon the said

SIR JOHN SKEFFINGTON, 2nd Viscount, who died in 1695 and was succeeded by his son,

CLOTWORTHY, 3rd Viscount (1660-1714), who married, in 1684, Rachael, daughter of Sir Edward Hungerford KB, of Farley Castle, Wiltshire, and had issue,
CLOTWORTHY, his successor;
Jane, m Sir Hans Hamilton Bt;
Rachael, m Randal, 4th Earl of Antrim;
Mary, m Rt Rev Edward Smyth, Lord Bishop of Down and Connor.
His lordship was succeeded by his son,

CLOTWORTHY, 4th Viscount, who wedded, in 1713, the Lady Catherine Chichester, eldest daughter of Arthur, 4th Earl of Donegall, and had issue,
CLOTWORTHY, his successor;
Arthur, MP for Co Antrim;
John, in holy orders;
Hungerford;
Hugh;
Catharine; Rachael.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

CLOTWORTHY, 5th Viscount (1715-57), who was, in 1756, advanced to an earldom as EARL OF MASSEREENE.

This nobleman wedded, in 1738, Anne, eldest daughter of the Very Rev Richard Daniel, Dean of Down; and secondly, in 1741, Elizabeth, only daughter and heir of Henry Eyre, of Rowter, Derbyshire, and had issue,
CLOTWORTHY, 2nd Earl;
HENRY, 3rd Earl;
William, Constable of Dublin Castle;
John;
CHICHESTER, 4th Earl;
Alexander;
Elizabeth, m Robert, 1st Earl of Leitrim;
Catharine, m Francis, 1st Earl of Landaff.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

CLOTWORTHY, 2nd Earl (1743-1805), who married, though having no male issue the family honours devolved upon his brother,

HENRY, 3rd Earl, Governor of the City of Cork, who died unmarried in 1811, and was succeeded by his only surviving brother,

CHICHESTER, 4th Earl, who wedded, in 1780, Harriet, eldest daughter of Robert, 1st Earl of Roden, and had issue,
HARRIET, VISCOUNTESS MASSEREENE.
The 4th Earl died in 1816, when the earldom expired; but the viscountcy of Massereene and barony of Loughneagh devolved upon his only daughter and sole heiress,

HARRIET, VISCOUNTESS MASSEREENE, who married, in 1810, Thomas Henry, Viscount Ferrard, by whom she had issue,

JOHN, VISCOUNT MASSEREENE AND FERRARD (1812-63).
The heir apparent is the present holder's son the Hon. Charles Clotworthy Whyte-Melville Foster Skeffington (born 1973).
Sir John Clotworthy took his title from the half barony of Massereene in County Antrim, where he established his estates.

In 1668, the Marrereenes owned about 45,000 acres in Ireland; however, by 1701, the land appears to have shrunk to 10,000 acres; and, by 1713, the County Antrim estates comprised 8,178 acres.

Land acquisiton through marriage etc meant that the land-holdings amounted to 11,778 acres in 1887.

In the 1600s the Massereenes possessed the lucrative fishing rights to Lough Neagh by means of a 99-year lease and they were also accorded the honour, Captains of Lough Neagh, for a period.

The Chichesters, Earls of Belfast, were Admirals of Lough Neagh.

Historical records also tell us that Lord Massereene had the right to maintain a “fighting fleet” on the Lough.

The 12th Viscount Massereene and Ferrard DSO, was the last of the Skeffingtons to live at Antrim Castle:
The 12th Viscount was educated at Winchester and Sandhurst; commissioned into the 17th Lancers in 1895; saw action throughout the South African War, 1899-1902; was wounded, mentioned in dispatches and awarded the DSO; and retired as a brevet major in 1907.

Lord Massereene became a TA major in the North Irish Horse later in that year. He later served in the early years of the First World War and is said to have found Lawrence of Arabia 'impossible'. In 1905 he married and succeeded to the title.

He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for County Antrim. Although his father-in-law was a Liberal MP and Home Ruler, Lord Massereene was a staunch Conservative and Unionist. Notwithstanding his position as a DL for County Antrim, he is supposed to have sat in his chauffeur-driven car, looking on with approval, as guns were run into Larne Harbour in 1912!

He was HM Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim from 1916-38. From 1921-29 he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and a member of the Northern Ireland Senate.
ANTRIM CASTLE stood at the side of the River Sixmilewater beside the town of Antrim.

It was originally built in 1613 by Sir Hugh Clotworthy and enlarged in 1662 by his son, the 1st Viscount Massereene.

THERE IS A COLLECTION OF WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CASTLE PRIOR TO DEMOLITION HERE.

The Castle was rebuilt in 1813 as a three-storey Georgian-Gothic castellated mansion, faced in Roman cement of an agreeable orange colour.
The original doorway, most elaborate and ornate and complete with Ionic pilasters, heraldry and a head of CHARLES I, became a central feature of the new 4-bay entrance front, with a long, adjoining front of 180 feet with 11 bays; mullioned oriels and a tall, octagonal turret were added in 1887 when the Castle was again enlarged.
The demesne boasts a remarkable 17th century formal garden and parterre with a long canal bordered with tall hedges; and another canal at right angles to it making a “T” shape.

There are abundant old trees, masses of yew and walls of rose-coloured brick.

An ancient motte stands beside the ruinous Castle.

The motte was transformed into a magnificent 'viewing mount' in the early 18th century with a corkscrew path lined on the outside with a yew hedge.


Lord and Lady Massereene and their family were hosting a house party in Antrim Castle when it was burnt down by an IRA gang in 1922.

Many items of historical importance were destroyed in the fire; but the presence of mind of Lord Massereene and his staff, and the length of time which it takes for a very large house to be consumed by a fire, saved much that would otherwise have been lost.


The daughter of the then Archbishop of Armagh, Dr D‘Arcy, who was staying at the time, jumped out of a window to save herself.

A 900-piece dinner service of Foster provenance was thrown from the drawing-room windows into the Sixmilewater river; however, very little of it survived intact.

A great deal of furniture, some of it large, was rescued.

More would have been rescued, except that the good townspeople of Antrim, who turned out in large numbers to help, thought that the most important thing to be saved was the billiards-table!

Thirty men managed to get it out of the castle.

Among the major survivals were the family portraits.

A comparison with the portraits itemised by C.H. O'Neill in 1860 and those surviving in family possession today, suggests a rescue operation of astonishing success (though it has to be remembered that many portraits and other important pieces were probably in the London town house in 1922, or with the Dowager Lady Massereene at her house in Hampshire).

The 13th Viscount, a small boy at the time, recalled the blaze vividly.

He remembered being trapped with his mother in a light well from which they narrowly escaped, and being told by her that they were going to die there.

He particularly recalled the hapless nursery cat with its fur alight.

I wonder if it survived?

Following the fire, Lord Massereene went to live in the nearby dower house, Skeffington Lodge (which subsequently became the Deer Park Hotel).

Further losses of family treasures – this time by sale, not by fire – now followed.

The family considered building a two-storey, Neo-Tudor house on the site of Antrim Castle but nothing came of this.

After the 2nd World War, Skeffington Lodge was abandoned.

The Antrim Castle stable block was converted for use as a family residence and was re-named Clotworthy House.

It was let for about ten years following the death of Lord Massereene in 1956.

Clotworthy was then acquired by Antrim Borough Council and was converted for use as an arts centre in 1992.

The present and 14th Viscount formerly lived with his family at Chilham Castle in Kent till it, too, was sold in 1996. 

First published in June, 2009.  Massereene arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Kilrush House

THE VANDELEURS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY CLARE, WITH 19,700 ACRES

GILES VANDELEUR settled at Rathlahine, County Clare, in 1660, and was one of the commissioners for allotting quit-rents in Ireland.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Sir John Jephson MP, of Mallow, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Francis, 1st Viscount Shannon (4th son of Richard, 1st Earl of Cork), and had issue,
James, of Blane, who left issue;
JOHN, of whom presently;
Boyle.
The second son,

THE REV JOHN VANDELEUR, of Cragg, County Clare, Rector of Kilrush, County Clare, seating himself at Kilrush in 1687, wedded Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Crofton, of Inchirourke, County Limerick, by whom he left, besides a younger son, Thomas, an elder son,

JOHN VANDELEUR, of Kilrush, who married Frances, daughter of John Ormsby, of Cloghans, County Mayo; and had issue,
CROFTON, his heir;
John Ormsby, of Maddenstown;
Richard, of Rutland, father of General Sir J O Vandeleur GCB;
Mary.
Mr Vandeleur died in 1754, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

CROFTON VANDELEUR, of Kilrush, who wedded, in 1765, Alice, daughter of Thomas Burton (uncle of Francis P Burton, 2nd Lord Conyngham), of Buncraggy, by Dorothy his wife, daughter of the Rt Hon John Forster, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas for Ireland, and had issue,
JOHN ORMSBY, his heir;
Thomas Burton, a judge;
Crofton, major-general;
Richard, army major;
Frederick, army captain;
William Richard (Rev);
Dorothy; Alice; Emily; Frances.
The eldest son,

THE RT HON JOHN ORMSBY VANDELEUR (1765-1828), Commissioner of the Customs for Ireland, MP for Ennis, 1802, married the Lady Frances Moore, daughter of Charles, 1st Marquess of Drogheda, and had issue,
CROFTON MOORE, his heir;
Henry Seymour Moore;
Anna Frances; Alice.
The Rt Hon J O Vandeleur was succeeded by his elder son,

CROFTON MOORE VANDELEUR JP DL (1808-81), of Kilrush House, Colonel, Clare Regiment of Militia, High Sheriff, 1832, MP for Clare, 1859-74, who married, in 1832, the Lady Grace Graham-Toler, second daughter of Hector John, 2nd Earl of Norbury, and had issue,
HECTOR STEWART, his heir;
Crofton Toler;
John Ormsby Moore;
Elizabeth Frances; Frances Letitia; Grace Dorothea.
Colonel Vandeleur was succeeded by his eldest son,

HECTOR STEWART VANDELEUR (1836-1909), of Kilrush House, Lord-Lieutenant of County Clare, High Sheriff, 1873, who married, in 1867, Charlotte, eldest daughter of William Orme Foster MP, of Apsley Park, Shropshire, and had issue,
Cecil Foster Seymour, DSO (1869-1901), k/a;
ALEXANDER MOORE, his heir;
Isabel Grace; Evelyn Norah.
His only surviving son,

ALEXANDER MOORE VANDELEUR JP (1883-1914), of Kilrush, and Cahiracon, Captain, The Life Guards, espoused, in 1910, Violet Ethel, eldest daughter of Henry Meysey, 1st Lord Knaresborough.

Captain Vandeleur was killed in action, aged 30, during the 1st World War.

He left issue,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GILES ALEXANDER MEYSEY VANDELEUR DSO (1911-78).


KILRUSH HOUSE, County Clare, was an early Georgian house of 1808.

From 1881 until Kilrush House was burnt in 1897, Hector Stewart Vandeleur lived mainly in London and only spent short periods each year in Kilrush.

Indeed during the years 1886-90, which coincided with the period of the greatest number of evictions from the Vandeleur estate, he does not appear to have visited Kilrush.


In 1889, Hector bought Cahircon House and then it was only a matter of time before the Vandeleurs moved to Cahircon as, in 1896, they were organising shooting parties at Kilrush House and also at the Cahircon demesne. 

Hector Stewart Vandeleur was the last of the Vandeleurs to be buried at Kilrush in the family mausoleum.

Cahircon House was sold in 1920, ending the Kilrush Vandeleurs' direct association with County Clare.

Hector Vandeleur had, by 1908, agreed to sell the Vandeleur estate to the tenants for approximately twenty years' rent, and the majority of the estate was purchased by these tenants.

************


THE VANDELEURS, as landlords, lost lands during the Land Acts and the family moved to Cahircon, near Kildysart.

In 1897, Kilrush House was badly damaged by fire.

During the Irish Land Commission of the 1920s, the Department of Forestry took over the estate, planted trees in the demesne and under their direction the remains of the house were removed in 1973, following an accident in the ruins.

Today the top car park is laid over the site of the house.

Vandeleur Walled Garden now forms a small part of the former Kilrush demesne.

The Kilrush demesne was purchased by the Irish Department of Agriculture as trustee under the Irish Land Acts solely for the purpose of forestry.

The Kilrush Committee for Urban Affairs purchased the Fair Green and Market House.
 
The demesne, now Kilrush Wood, lies to the east of the town.

The remains of Kilrush House were demolished in 1973.

The site is now a car park and picnic area and all the original stones from the house are now underneath this area.
A number of street names in the town of Kilrush are named after the Vandeleurs: Frances Street after Lady Frances, wife of Hon John Ormsby Vandeleur; Grace Street after Lady Grace Vandeleur; Hector Street after Hector Stewart, son of Crofton Moore; Moore Street after a common family name of the Vandeleurs, probably after Lady Frances Moore, wife of John Ormsby Vandeleur; Burton Street after Thomas Burton Vandeleur.
Former town residence ~ 50 Rutland Gate, London.

First published in July, 2011.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Mary Ward, 1827-69


My article about Downpatrick gate lodge, Castle Ward, County Down, reminded me of Mary Ward and her wonderful gift as a watercolourist.

I've seen a delightful painting of the lodge and its surroundings taken by her in the mid-19th century:
The steeply-raked roof, twin lofty chimneys,white-washed walls and decorative woodwork finials and valances in the Bangor family's shade of golden yellow, as seen on their coat-of-arms. 
The fine railings appear dark green and one of the gates is wide open. The lawns at each side are newly-mown.

Downpatrick gate lodge must have been built prior to Mary Ward's untimely death in 1869.

Mary, The Hon Mrs Henry Ward, was born in 1827 though, sadly, her life was cut short by a tragic motor accident in 1869.

Had she survived, Mary Ward would have become the 5th Viscountess Bangor.

Her husband, the Hon Henry Ward, went on to become the 5th Viscount; and her son, the Hon Maxwell Ward, eventually succeeded as the 6th Viscount.

First published in May, 2009

Saturday, 16 September 2017

ELIZABETH I

Her Majesty ELIZABETH I, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Virginia Park

THE MARQUESSES OF HEADFORT WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MEATH, WITH 7,544 ACRES

THEY OWNED A FURTHER 14,220 ACRES IN COUNTY CAVAN AND 12,851 ACRES IN WESTMORLAND


THOMAS TAYLOR, of Ringmer, Sussex, died in 1629, and was succeeded by his son,

JOHN TAYLOR, of Battle, Sussex, who died in 1638, leaving an only son,

THOMAS TAYLOR, who removed to Ireland, in 1653, in the train of Sir William Petty, in order to undertake the Down Survey, in which kingdom, he purchased lands in 1660, of which the town and townlands of Kells formed a portion, having disposed of his estates in England.

After the Restoration, he was appointed one of the sub-commissioners of the court of claims.

In 1669-70, he was deputy receiver-general under Sir George Carteret, and immediately before his death he officiated as vice-treasurer and treasurer-at-war.

Mr Taylor married, in 1658, Anne, daughter of William Axtell, of Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, and had one surviving son, THOMAS, his heir, and one daughter, Anne, married to Sir Nicholas Acheson Bt.

He died in 1682, and was succeeded by his son,

THE RT HON THOMAS TAYLOR (1662-1736), who was created a baronet, 1704, and sworn of the Privy Council in 1726.

Sir Thomas wedded Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Cotton Bt, of Combermere, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Robert (Very Rev), Dean of Clonfert;
Henry;
James;
Henrietta; Salisbury; Anne.
Sir Thomas was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR THOMAS TAYLOR (1657-96), 2nd Baronet, MP, Privy Counsellor, who married Mary, daughter of John Graham, of Platten, County Meath, and left, with a daughter, Henrietta, an only son, 

SIR THOMAS TAYLOR, 3rd Baronet (1724-95), KP, PC, MP, who wedded, in 1754, Jane, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Hercules Langford Rowley, by Elizabeth, Viscountess Langford, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Robert, a general in the army;
Clotworthy, created Baron Langford;
Henry Edward, in holy orders;
Henrietta.
Sir Thomas was elevated to the peerage, in 1760, as Baron Headfort; advanced to a viscountcy, in 1762, as Viscount Headfort; and further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1766, as Earl of Bective.

His lordship was installed, in 1783, a Founder Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick (KP), and sworn of the Privy Council of Ireland.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 2nd Earl (1757-1829), who espoused, in 1778, Mary, only daughter and heir of George Quin, of Quinsborough, County Clare, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
George;
Mary; Elizabeth Jane.
His lordship was created, in 1800, MARQUESS OF HEADFORT.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 2nd Marquess, KP (1787-1870), KP, MP for co Meath, 1812-29, Lord Lieutenant of County Cavan, 1831-70, who wedded firstly, in 1822, Olivia, daughter of Sir John Stevenson, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Robert;
John Henry;
Olivia; Mary Juliana; Virginia Frances Zerlina.
His lordship espoused secondly, in 1853, Frances, daughter of John Livingstone Martyn.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 3rd Marquess, KP PC (1822-94), High Sheriff of County Meath, 1844, and Cavan, 1846, who espoused firstly, in 1842, Amelia, only child of William Thompson MP, and had issue,
Thomas;
Evelyn Amelia; Madeline Olivia Susan; Adelaide Louisa Jane; Isabel Frances; Florence Jane.
His lordship married secondly, in 1875, Emily Constantia, daughter of the Hon Eustace John Wilson-Patten, and had issue,
GEOFFREY THOMAS, his successor;
Beatrix.
The 3rd Marquess was succeeded by his surviving son,

GEOFFREY THOMAS, 4th Marquess (1878-1943), Senator of the Irish Free State, 1922-28, who wedded, in 1901, Rose, daughter of Charles Boote, and had issue,
TERENCE GEOFFREY THOMAS, his successor;
William Desmond;
Millicent Olivia Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

TERENCE GEOFFREY THOMAS, 5th Marquess (1902-60),

The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Thomas Rupert Charles Christopher Taylour, styled Earl of Bective (b 1989).
The Taylour family became very much involved in the political life of the locality, and several members of the family served as MPs for Kells and the county of Meath.


They were also a "Patrick Family", the 1st Earl, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marquesses all having been appointed Knights of St Patrick.


His seat, Headfort House, in County Meath, was the only Adam house in Ireland.

In 1901 the 4th Marquess, an eminent horticulturist, caused a sensation when he converted to Rome to marry a showgirl called Rosie Boote.

A figure of great dignity, she remained the dominant personality in the family during young Michael's youth and early adult life.

Virginia, in the county of Cavan, was named after ELIZABETH I, "the Virgin Queen".

It owes its origin to the plantation of Ulster in 1609.

The lands eventually passed into the possession of Lucas Plunkett, Earl of Bective, a Roman Catholic, who was later created Earl of Fingall.

It can also be said that Lucas Plunkett, along with his son Christopher, frustrated the plans of the Government to proceed with the development of the town and its incorporation during his tenure.

He was sympathetic to the rebel Irish and sided with them against the planters during the 1641 Rebellion and the Williamite Wars of 1688-91, earning him the label of 'traitor'.

Consequently it fell to Thomas, 1st Marquess of Headfort, and his successors, to fulfil the patent in relation to the development of the town in the second half of the 18th century and 19th century - the patent which was originally granted to Captain Ridgeway in 1612.


Lord Headfort maintained a beautiful park beside Lough Ramor, where he had a hunting lodge (above) in plain, rambling, Picturesque cottage style; a two-storey house with a three-bay centre and single-storey, three-bay wings.

The family often stayed here during the summer or autumn months, between 1750 and 1939.

The former hunting lodge is now a hotel, located on the shores of Lough Ramor.

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