Tuesday, 28 November 2017

1st Viscount Dillon


This family is said to derive from LOGAN, or the Valiant (third son of O'Neal, monarch of Ireland, of the blood royal of Heremon), who fled his country in consequence of slaying, in single combat, about AD 595, his father's nephew, Coleman, King of Timoria, in Hibernia; and subsequently passing over into France, and marrying the daughter and heir of the Duke of Aquitaine, himself and his descendants became, for several generations, sovereign princes of that dukedom.

From these princes descended

SIR HENRY DE LEON (son of Thomas, Duke of Aquitaine), who was brought into England with his brother Thomas, when an infant, by HENRY II, the deposer of his father; and accompanying the Earl of Moreton (afterwards King JOHN) into Ireland, in 1185, obtained those extensive territorial grants in the counties of Longford and Westmeath then denominated Dillon's Country, but altered by statute, in the reign of HENRY VIII, to the Barony of Kilkenny West.

Sir Henry married a daughter of John de Courcy, Earl of Ulster, and was afterwards styled "Premier Dillon, Lord Drumraney".

From this feudal lord lineally sprang

GERALD DILLON, of Drumraney, County Westmeath, chief of the family of Dillon towards the end of the 14th century, left two sons, the elder of whom, SIR MAURICE, was ancestor of the Viscounts Dillon; and the younger, SIR JAMES, of the Earls of Roscommon.

Sixth in descent from Sir Maurice was

SIR THEOBALD DILLON, Knight, of Costello-Gallen, County Mayo, who was created VISCOUNT DILLON in 1622.

His lordship married Eleanor, daughter of Sir Edward Tuite, of Tuitestown, County Westmeath, and sister of William Tuite, of Tuitestown, County Westmeath.

He died at an advanced period of life, in 1624, leaving so numerous a progeny that he assembled, at one time, in his house at Killenfaghny, more than one hundred of his descendants.

He was succeeded by his grandson,

LUCAS, 2nd Viscount (1610-29), who wedded, in 1625, but when fifteen years of age, the Lady Mary MacDonnell, second daughter of Randal, 1st Earl of Antrim; by whom he left at his decease an only son, his successor,

THEOBALD, 3rd Viscount (1629-30); who died in infancy, when the title reverted to his uncle,

THOMAS, 4th Viscount (1615-72), who espoused Frances, daughter of Nicholas White, of Leixlip; and was succeeded at his decease by his by his eldest surviving son,

THOMAS, 5th Viscount, who married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir John Burke, Knight, of County Galway; but left no issue.

His lordship died in 1674, when the title reverted to his kinsman,

LUCAS, 6th Viscount, great-grandson of the 1st Viscount, being the eldest son of Theobald Dillon, third son of his lordship's eldest son, Sir Christopher Dillon, Knight.

This nobleman dying without issue, in 1682, the title devolved upon

THEOBALD DILLON, of Kilmore, as 7th Viscount (refer to Sir Lucas Dillon, 2nd son of 1st Viscount).

This nobleman, an officer in the army, attached himself to the falling fortunes of JAMES II, and was outlawed in 1690.

His lordship wedded Mary, daughter of Sir Henry Talbot, of Templeoge, County Dublin, and had, with other issue,
HENRY, his successor;
Arthur, father of 10th and 11th Viscounts.
After the decease of his lordship, in 1691, the outlawry was reversed in favour of his son and successor,

HENRY, 8th Viscount, who espoused Frances, second daughter of George, Count Hamilton, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1713, by his son,

RICHARD, 9th Viscount (1688-1737), who married the Lady Bridget Burke, second daughter of John, 9th Earl of Clanricarde, by whom he left at his decease an only daughter, Frances, who wedded her first cousin, and his lordship's successor,

CHARLES, 10th Viscount (1701-41), who died without issue and was succeeded by his brother,

HENRY, 11th Viscount (1705-87), a colonel in the French service, who espoused, in 1744, the Lady Charlotte Lee, eldest daughter of George Henry, 2nd Earl of Lichfield, of Ditchley Park, Oxfordshire, and had issue,
CHARLES, his successor;
Arthur, a general in the French service;
Frances; Catherine; Laura; Charlotte.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES, 12th Viscount (1745-1813), who conformed to the established church in 1767, and claimed, and was allowed, the viscountcy, as 12th Viscount, by the Irish House of Lords in 1778.

His lordship married firstly, in 1776, Henrietta Maria Phipps, only daughter of Constantine, 1st Lord Mulgrave, and had issue,
HENRY AUGUSTUS, his successor;
Frances Charlotte.
His lordship wedded secondly, a French lady, and by her, who died in 1833, he had a daughter, Charlotte, married in 1813 to Lord Frederick Beauclerk.

He was succeeded by his son,

HENRY AUGUSTUS, 13th Viscount (1777-1832), who espoused, in 1807, Henrietta, eldest daughter of Dominick Geoffrey Browne MP, and had issue,
CHARLES HENRY, his successor;
Theobald Dominick Geoffrey;
Arthur Edmund Denis;
Constantine Augustus;
Gerald Normanby;
Henrietta Maria; Margaret Frances Florence; Louisa Anne Rose; Helena Matilda.
This nobleman, assuming the additional surname and arms of LEE, was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES HENRY, 14th Viscount (1810-65).
  • Charles Henry Robert Dillon, 21st Viscount (1945–82);
  • Henry Benedict Charles Dillon, 22nd Viscount (b 1973);
The heir is his cousin, Thomas Arthur Lee Dillon (b 1983), the son of his uncle, the Hon Richard Arthur Louis Dillon (1948–2014).

LOUGHGLYNN HOUSE, County Roscommon, is a five-bay, two-storey mansion house, built ca 1715.

Although Loughglynn is in County Roscommon, the vast majority of the Dillon estate straddled the border with County Mayo.

A third attic storey was built in the 1820s, though suffered a disastrous fire in 1904, when the top storey was not replaced, nor the end bays on the garden front which were reduced to a single storey.

There are ashlar limestone walls with quoins and a with roughly tooled limestone basement.

The entrance front has a pediment and a pedimented Doric doorcase.

In 1903, Loughglynn was sold to the Catholic Bishop of Elphin, who invited the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary to establish a convent.

The sisters established a dairy, and Loughglynn butter and cheese was famous all over the world until they ceased this activity in the 1960s.

They subsequently opened a nursing home.
In 2003, the property developer Gerry Gannon bought the convent for under €2m, intending to turn it into a hotel.
In 2009, it was transferred to his wife's name.
THE DILLON FAMILY lived mainly at their Oxfordshire seat, Ditchley Park.
Dillon arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Ballinderry Park


ANDREW COMYN, of Ryefield, County Roscommon, married, in 1786, the sister and heir of Lewis Ward, of Ballymacward and Ballinderry, County Galway, and had an eldest son,

NICHOLAS COMYN (1787-1843), of Ballinderry and Ryefield, who wedded, in 1830, Sabina, daughter of John Joyes, of Woodquay, County Galway, and had issue,
ANDREW NUGENT, his heir;
John Ward;
Mary Ellen; Sabina; Elizabeth.
Mr Comyn was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANDREW NUGENT COMYN JP (1831-1917), of Ballinderry and Ryefield, who married, in 1867, Mary, second daughter of John O'Connell MP, and granddaughter of Daniel O'Connell, of Derrynane, and had issue,
Andrew Daniel;
Lewis James;
Elizabeth Mary; Geraldine Mary; Eily Mary.
The eldest son,

NICHOLAS O'CONNELL COMYN JP (1869-1945), of Ballinderry, High Sheriff of County Galway, 1917, wedded, in 1911, Mary Cecilia Hyacinth, daughter of Francis Walter Mahony, of St Helen's, Blarney, County Cork, and had issue,
Nugent Gerald Ward;
Marguerite Mary Cecilia; Maureen; Veronica Joan Mary.

BALLINDERRY PARK, Kilconnell, Ballinasloe, County Galway, is a plain Georgian house of ca 1740, rising from the plans of east County Galway.

Ballinderry originally belonged to nearby Kilconnell Friary, a Franciscan foundation of 1280.

In the late 17th century the land passed to the Diocese of Clonfert and was leased to Henry Stanford, who shortly afterwards leased his house to Lawrence Ward, from an family long resident in the locality.

His tenancy was inherited by his sister and passed to her son, Nicholas Comyn.

Nicholas Comyn's descendants farmed this small property, sandwiched between some of County Galway’s largest estates, where they were closely involved with horses and hunting.

They purchased the freehold from the Church of Ireland following its disestablishment in 1871.

Nicholas’s son Andrew married Mary, granddaughter of Daniel O’Connell ‘The Liberator’.

Nicholas O'Connell Comyn was the last of the family to live at Ballinderry and when he died, in 1945, the estate was acquired by the Irish Land Commission, which subdivided the property.

The house thereafter became derelict.

George and Susie Gossip bought Ballinderry in 2000 and began a careful restoration.

They reversed some Victorian changes to the façade and, by 2005, work had progressed sufficiently to allow them move in.

The hall, staircase and landings, which take up a third of the house, have been authentically restored; while the principal rooms have been panelled in the early 18th century style and given early chimney-pieces.

George and Susie have filled the house with their collection of furniture, pictures, porcelain and objects.

Much of this was passed down from Susie’s ancestors, the Dillon family from nearby Clonbrock, so that it is, in effect, returning home.

Ballinderry is surrounded by fine specimen trees, including a large and remarkable London plane tree, rarely, seldom found in a parkland setting.

Select bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Lord Archbishop of Cashel

Ruby, two keys in saltire, topaz

The last Anglican Lord Archbishop of Cashel and Primate of Munster was the Most Rev and Rt Hon Dr Richard Laurence (1760-1838).

The archiepiscopal palace was at Cashel, County Tipperary.

THE PALACE, Cashel (now the Cashel Palace Hotel) was built between 1730-32 by Archbishop Bolton, and designed by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce.

It comprises two storeys over a basement, with a dormered attic in the high-pitched roof.

The Palladian entrance front, of rose-coloured brick with stone facings, stands back from the town's main street.

The entrance front is of seven bays, with a three-bay central breakfront.
There is a large, panelled hall, with a screen of fluted Corinthian columns and pilasters, a pair of black marble chimney-pieces which face each other on either side; arched door-cases embellished with scrolls; and a modillion cornice.
A fine wooden staircase stands in the staircase hall at the side.

Garden front

The three principal reception rooms in the garden front, which face towards the Rock of Cashel, were redecorated in the early 19th century by Archbishop Agar, afterwards Lord Archbishop of Dublin and 1st Earl of Normanton.

The Palace suffered damage in the Irish rebellion of 1798.

A long room at one side of the forecourt once contained Archbishop Bolton's splendid library.

In 1839, when the archbishopric of Cashel was merged with the diocese of Waterford, the Palace was partly used by the Deans of Cashel, till the 1950s.

The decision was made by the Church of Ireland to sell the property in 1959.

In 1962, it was first opened as a hotel by 2nd Lord Brocket (who also owned the Wicklow Hotel in Dublin and Benner’s Hotel in Tralee at that time).

To the rear of the Palace are fine gardens, which include two ancient Mulberry Trees planted in 1702 to commemorate the coronation of Queen ANNE.

The garden also contains a private walk (The Bishop's Walk) to the Rock of Cashel, the 13th Century Cathedral, and the ancient seat of the Kings of Munster. 

first published in September, 2014.    

Friday, 24 November 2017

Lord Archbishop of Tuam

Sapphire, three persons erect, under as many canopies of stalls, their faces, arms, and legs, proper: The first represents an archbishop, habited in his pontificals, holding a crozier in his left hand; the second, the Virgin Mary, crowned, with our Saviour on her left arm; and the third, an Angel having his right arm elevated, and a lamb on his left arm, all topaz.
The last Anglican Archbishop of Tuam and Primate of Connaught was the Most Rev and Hon Dr Power le Poer Trench (1770-1839).

The archiepiscopal Palace, at Bishop Street, Tuam, County Galway, was built between 1716-41, by Archbishop Synge.

In 1837 the palace was described as being "large and handsomely built, though not possessing much architectural embellishment."

The old palace is now a supermarket and restaurant.

First published in August, 2014.

Mount Ievers Court


This family is descended from HENRY IVERS, who settled in County Clare in 1643.

He was Clerk to the King's Commissioners for settling the quit rents, and afterwards became the Deputy Receiver.

Mr Ivers was a magistrate and High Sheriff of that county, in which he held considerable landed property.

Further lucrative positions followed after the Restoration and, in 1680, Thomas Dinely estimated his income at £2,600 a year, which allowed him to amass a considerable fortune and some 12,000 acres before his death in 1691.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Captain Stephens, of Ballysheen, and had issue,
GEORGE, of whom we treat;
The sixth son,

GEORGE IEVERS, wedded a daughter of _____ Seward, of County Cork, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
The eldest son,

ROBERT IEVERS, espoused Mary, daughter of ______ Parsons, of County Limerick, and died in 1783, having had issue,
John Henry;
GEORGE, of whom presently;
Mary; Anne; Frances.
The youngest son,

GEORGE IEVERS, married, in 1783, Eleanor, daughter of James Butler, of Castle Crine, County Clare, and died in 1808, having had issue,
EYRE, of whom hereafter;
Mary; Elizabeth; Jane.
The youngest son,

EYRE IEVERS JP (1797-1860), of Mount Ievers, wedded, in 1842, Mildred, daughter of Maurice Newnan, and had issue,
JAMES BUTLER, his heir;
George Maurice;
Philip Glover;
Mary Shinkwin; Mildred; Elizabeth Anne.
Mr Ievers was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES BUTLER IEVERS JP (1844-1915), of Mount Ievers, and Quinville Abbey, County Clare, who espoused firstly, in 1866, Elizabeth Buchanan, second daughter of Robert Blackwell, of The Prairie, County Down, and had issue,
EYRE HERBERT, his heir;
He married secondly, in 1899, Ernesta Carlotta Nina, younger daughter of Surgeon General George Whitla.

Mr Ievers was succeeded by his son,

EYRE HERBERT IEVERS JP (1867-1922), of Mount Ievers, and Glenduff Castle, County Limerick, Captain, 5th Battalion, RM Fusiliers, who wedded, in 1902, Frances Hetty Webb, only daughter of Herbert Webb Gillman, and had issue,
EYRE HERBERT, his heir;
James Henry Gillman, b 1910;
Mildred Vivian; Annie Muriel Elizabeth.
The elder son,

COLONEL EYRE HERBERT IEVERS (1904-), wedded, in 1934, Moirin, third daughter of the Very Rev Dr Henry John Gillespie, Dean of Killaloe, and had issue,
Nial (1946-64);
Fiona, b 1948.

MOUNT IEVERS COURT, near Sixmilebridge, County Clare, was built in 1738 by Colonel Henry Ievers to the design of John Rothery.

It replaced an older tower house, shown in Dinely’s drawing, which Henry Ievers may actually have built, since a chimney-piece re-used in the house bears the date 1648.

His eldest son was disinherited for marrying “a person of noe fortune” and the estate was inherited by the second son, Colonel Thomas Ivers, MP for County Clare, who changed the family name to Ievers.

Henry’s grandson, another Henry, inherited in 1731.

Within two years he had begun the construction of a new house, Mount Ievers Court, completed in 1738 at a cost of £1,478 7s. 9d. (about £316,000 in today's money), plus the value of two horses, two mules and various other expenses.

The house was built of red brick, which became fashionable for Irish country houses in the 1730s, and has faded to a wonderful rose pink, the plan derives from Inigo Jones’s Chevening in Kent, although the facades are both simpler and more accomplished, diminishing subtly as they rise to the bold cornice.

There are two formal fronts: the south front is of cut limestone, and the north front, originally the entrance front, of brick “exquisitely disciplined by the limestone of coigns, strings and cornice”.

The builder, John Rothery, who hailed from a prominent family of architects and builders in counties Limerick and Cork, died during construction.

In the words of the architectural historian Maurice Craig, “Superlatives have been used about out this house, and with good reason” though he also admits that the building was not in the forefront of fashion since “in style and spirit there is nothing about it which could not be of 1710,” an impression heightened by the combination of heavy glazing bars, small panes and sashes four panes wide.

Set above a high basement the interior is plain but grand, with a profusion of plaster panelling, elaborate cornices, simple compartmented ceilings, unusually generous doors with robust joinery, and a splendidly carved staircase with alternating barley-sugar and fluted balusters.

The topmost floor contains a long, barrel-vaulted gallery which stretches across the full length of the building, a feature of other Rothery houses such as the long-demolished Bowen’s Court, where it was used for dancing and exercise on wet days.

A Naïf painting, used as an overmantel in one ground floor room, shows a faithful reproduction of the present garden front with a splendidly baroque double-curved perron, instead of the present arrangement of steps, all set in an elaborate formal layout that has either largely disappeared or may never have been fully completed.

The Ievers family’s prominence in local affairs faded over the years and much of the estate was lost in the 19th and 20th centuries before the house was sold to a cousin, Squadron-Leader Norman Ievers (1912-93), in 1939.

Returning at the end of the 2nd World War in 1945, after his retirement from the Royal Air Force, Squadron-Leader Norman Ievers was able to re-purchase the house from his cousin’s daughter and set about a sympathetic and sensitive restoration with his wife.

Today the house is owned by their son, Norman Eyre Ievers (b 1973), together with his wife and family.

Select bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava

When the 5th and last Marquess of Dufferin and Ava died in 1988 without issue, Clandeboye estate passed to his widow Serena Belinda (Lindy) Rosemary, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava.

The marquessate itself is now, sadly, extinct.

Lady Dufferin inherited a considerable fortune at the time, not least due to the Guinness connection.

She also inherited the beautiful Clandeboye Estate, near Bangor, County Down, and a London residence in Holland Park.

Clandeboye Estate comprises about 2,000 acres of prime Ulster woodland and gardens, making it one of the finest private country estates in Northern Ireland.

Lady Dufferin has a continuing interest in the Arts, painting and conservation.

Clandeboye Golf Club has now become an integral part of the estate.

There is a memorial to the 1st Marquess in the grounds of Belfast City Hall.

I have written an article in April, 2009, entitled The Four Great Ulster Marquessates.

First published in August, 2009.  Dufferin arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Royal GCVO

20th November, 2017

The Queen has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following promotion in the Royal Victorian Order: 


To be a Knight Grand Cross:

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GCVO GBE

For Services to the Sovereign.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Luttrellstown Castle


HENRY WHITE (1791-1873), of Woodlands (otherwise Luttrellstown), County Dublin, and subsequently of Rathcline, County Longford, was the fourth, but only surviving son of Luke White, bookseller, of Woodlands.

He served in the 14th Light Dragoons during the Peninsular War; was MP for County Dublin, 1823-32, County Longford, 1837-47 and 1857-61; Lord-Lieutenant of County Longford, 1841-73.

Having succeeded to the Longford estates of his next elder brother, Luke White, in 1854, he was elevated to the peerage, in 1863, in the dignity of BARON ANNALY, of Annaly and Rathcline, County Longford.

His lordship married, in 1828, Ellen, daughter of William Soper Dempster, by Hannah, only daughter and heir of John Hamilton Dempster, of Skibo Castle, Sutherland, and had issue,
LUKE, his successor;
George Frederick;
Francis Samuel;
Charles William;
Eleanor Eliza; Emily Beaujolais.
He died at Sunbury Park, Middlesex, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

LUKE, 2nd Baron (1829-88), KP, who wedded, in 1853, Emily, daughter of James Stuart, and by her had issue, five sons and three daughters.

LUTTRELLSTOWN CASTLE, Clonsilla, County Dublin, dates from the early 15th century (ca 1420).

It has been owned variously by the eponymous and notorious Luttrell family; the bookseller Luke White his descendants the Lords Annaly; the Guinnesses; the Primwest Group; and, since 2006, JP McManus, John Magnier and Aidan Brooks.

The Castle has hosted visits by Queen Victoria in 1844 and 1900, and its media profile was raised when the Beckhams were married there in 1999.

Luttrellstown and its remaining 560-acre demesne currently form a 5-star resort. 

Henry Lawes Luttrell, 2nd Earl of Carhampton, sold Luttrellstown Castle to the publisher Luke White, described as one of the most remarkable men in Ireland.

Luke White changed its name to Woodlands, but his great-grandson, the 3rd Lord Annaly, reverted to Luttrellstown Castle.

In 1778, Luke White started as an impecunious book dealer, buying in Dublin and reselling around the country.

By 1798, during the rebellion, he helped the Irish government with a loan of £1 million (at £65 per £100 share at 5%).

He became MP for Leitrim, and died in 1824 leaving properties worth £175,000 per annum.

An extract from The illustrated London News of 1864 describes a series of festivities at Woodlands, "the beautiful seat of the Rt Hon. Henry White, the newly created Lord Annaly".

These festivities consisted of theatrical and social entertainments.

A new theatre was built especially for the occasion and the festivities lasted for a fort­night.

The plays `Still Waters Run Deep' and `Samuel in Search of Him­self' were performed, and a ball to which `most of the principal families of Dublin and the neighbourhood received invitations', concluded the festivities.

Queen Victoria paid two visits to Luttrellstown: Firstly in 1844, as Her Majesty passed through to visit the Duke of Leinster at Carton; secondly in 1900, when The Queen stayed at Viceregal Lodge.

To commemorate these visits, Lord Annaly erected an obelisk made of six blocks of granite from the Dublin mountains, which together measure 8 feet, 6 inches in height.

It is at the head of the Glen, near the Waterfall, where Her Majesty drank some tea.

Prince von Puckler-Muskau (c1820) remarked,
"The entrance to the demesne is indeed the most delightful in its kind that can be imagined. Scenery, by nature most beautiful, is improved by art to the highest degree of its capability, and, without destroying its free and wild character, a variety and richness of vegetation is produced which enchants the eye. 
Gay shrubs and wild flowers, the softest turf and giant trees, festooned with creeping plants, fill the narrow glen through which the path winds, by the side of the clear, dancing brook, which, falling in little cataracts, flows on, sometimes hidden in the thicket, sometimes resting like liquid silver in an emerald cup, or rushing under overhanging arches of rock, which nature seems to have hung there as triumphal gates for the beneficent Naiad of the valley to pass through."

In the dining-room (above) the architect, Mr Harbord, used the same eagles at Oving House, near Aylesbury, that he incorporated in the plasterwork here.

As a room it succeeds brilliantly. The ceiling is painted by de Wit.

The entrance hall (above) retains its Gothic character of about 1800, but the mantel and black-and- white floor are recent improvements.

It leads on to the staircase hall, which was transformed by Mr Harbord in 1963 when a magnificent painted ceiling by Thornhill, from a house in Suffolk now demolished, was inserted; the staircase and window were altered at the same time.

The far end of the Ballroom opens into the Grisaille Room (above), created to rake the series of nine Grisaille paintings by Peter de Gree, one of which, signed and dated 1788, represents Irish trade and commerce.

The library, in the centre of the south front, was originally the entrance hall and it has an unusual eighteenth century plaster ceiling with bow and arrow in full relief.

he chief glory of the house is the ballroom, which has plaster decoration that could be eighteenth century, but was most likely done for Luke White at the time of his purchase.

The design is unusual and original, and does not fit easily into any particular category of plasterwork; it was probably done by local stuccodores working in a somewhat outdated manner.

It blends in admirably with the Adamesque Grisaille room, and the magnificent dining room, with its plaster birds and painted ceiling.

The Whites were also major landowners in County Longford, with 12,560 acres.

First published in September, 2011.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Hamwood House


CHARLES HAMILTON, youngest son of Alexander Hamilton, of Knock, MP for Belfast, 1798, by Isabella, daughter of Robert Maxwell, of Finnebrogue, married Elizabeth, daughter of Crewe Chetwood, of Woodbrook, Queen's County, and had issue,
CHARLES, his heir;
Robert, of Liverpool;
George, of Quebec, and Hawkesbury, Canada;
William Henry;
John, of Liverpool;
Mr Hamilton died in 1818, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES HAMILTON (1772-1857), of Hamwood, County Meath, who wedded, in 1801, Marianne Caroline, daughter of William Tighe MP, of Rossana, County Wicklow, by Sarah his wife, only child of Sir William Fownes Bt, of Woodstock, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
William Tighe;
Frederick John Henry Fownes;
Sarah; Mary; Caroline Elizabeth.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES WILLIAM HAMILTON JP (1802-80), of Hamwood, who espoused, in 1841, Letitia Charlotte, eldest daughter of William Henry Armstrong MP, of Mount Heaton, King's County, and had issue,
Edward Chetwood;
Arthur, of Hollybrook.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES ROBERT HAMILTON JP (1846-1913), of Hamwood, who married, in 1874, Louisa Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Richard Brooke, of Somerton, County Dublin, by his wife, the Hon Henrietta Monck, eldest daughter of 3rd Viscount Monck, and had issue,
Charles George (1875-77);
GERALD FRANCIS CHARLES, of whom hereafter;
Frederick Arthur (1880-1962);
Henry John;
Eva Henrietta; Letitia Marion; Amy Kathleen; Ethel Grace; Constance Louisa; Lilian Mary.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

GERALD FRANCIS CHARLES HAMILTON JP (1877-1961), of Hamwood, who wedded firstly, in 1911, Violet Travers, daughter of Robert Craigie Hamilton, and had issue,
Esme Violet; Elizabeth Mary.
He married secondly, in 1949, Rosamund Mary, daughter of Maurice Bauer.

Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his son,

MAJOR CHARLES ROBERT FRANCIS HAMILTON (1918-2005), of Hamwood, who wedded, in 1958, Margaret Anne Lanfear, daughter of Captain Simon Ralph Fane Spicer, and had issue,
Annabel Honor, b 1959.

HAMWOOD HOUSE, Dunboyne, County Meath, is a small Palladian house of the 1764, with a central block joined to little octagonal ‘pepper-pot’ wings by elegantly curved sweeps.

Unusually, one wing contains the main entrance, since the house (as originally built) was reputedly so cold that the family decided to place the hall door as far away from the main rooms as possible.

The removal of the front entrance from the main block creates an interesting internal arrangement with a double drawing-room, unusual in a house of this size.

There is good late-18th century decoration and an interesting family collection, including the intriguing drawings and paintings of Caroline Hamilton.

Hamwood’s builder, Charles Hamilton, acted as land agent for the Dukes of Leinster whose principal seat, Carton, is nearby; and the Duke generously gave the Hamiltons a present of the impressive fights of granite steps leading to the doors in the end pavilions.

Successive generations of the family acted as the Leinsters' agents until the present owner's husband, Charles Hamilton (1918-2005), retired in the 1970s.


MRS ANNE HAMILTON, Major Charles Hamilton's widow, died suddenly on the 4th December, 2013.

She represented the family at a function in Farmleigh House in 2012 honouring the Irish team at the 1948 Olympics in London.

A relative, Letitia Hamilton, was the only Irish medal-winner at those Games, for her painting of a scene at the Meath Hunt Point-to-Point races. 

Anne Hamilton was born Anne Spicer in Wiltshire, England. Her father, Ralph Spicer, had married Mary Graham, whose family lived at Spye Park, near Bromham, Wiltshire, since 1855.

The Grahams were originally from Lisburn in Northern Ireland, involved in the linen industry.

Anne and her siblings holidays at their grandparents’ place at Sallins every summer, and to escape the rationing and austerity England in the years following the 2nd World War, her mother moved them to Carnew in County Wicklow.

In 1958, Anne married Charles Hamilton, who had served in the 2nd World War.

He was a farm estate manager and they lived in County Galway for a period before returning to Hamwood in 1963, following the death of Charles’ father, who was the land agent at Carton House.

Charles also managed the Slane Castle estate for a period.

At Hamwood, they were involved in bloodstock breeding and a pure-bred Charolais herd.

The gardens were also a great treasure and open to the public.

In an interview for the Irish Life and Lore Collection at South Dublin Libraries, Mrs Hamilton was critical of how the Irish Land Commission had broken up large estates and the manner in which they allowed fine houses to decay.

In recent years, she continued to open the gardens and house at Dunboyne to the public.

Mrs Hamilton was survived by her son, Charles, of London, and Annabel, of Paris, and her sister in County Cork.

Her funeral service took place at St Peter’s parish church, Dunboyne, County Meath, followed by burial in the adjoining graveyard.

Select bibliography: Irish historic Houses Association.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Lambay Castle

JOHANN BARING (1697-1748), of Larkbeer, Devon (son of Franz Baring, minister of the Lutheran Church at Bremen, Germany), married Elizabeth, daughter of John Vowler, of Exeter, and had issue,
John (1730-1816);
FRANCIS, of whom hereafter;
Elizabeth, m John Dunning, created BARON ASHBURTON.
The third son, who founded the London branch of the family,

FRANCIS BARING (1740-1810), an eminent London merchant, was created a baronet in 1793, designated of Larkbeer, Devon.

He married, in 1767, Harriet, daughter of William Herring, of Croydon, cousin and co-heir of the Most Rev Thomas Herring, Archbishop of Canterbury, and had issue,
Thomas, his successor;
Alexander, created BARON ASHBURTON (2nd creation);
HENRY, of whom we treat;
Harriet; Maria; Dorothy Elizabeth; Frances; Lydia.
Sir Francis's third son,

HENRY BARING (1777-1848), of Cromer Hall, Norfolk, founder of Baring's Bank, espoused firstly, in 1802, Maria Matilda, daughter of William Bingham, and had issue,
Henry Bingham;
William Drummond;
Anna Maria; Frances Emily.
He married secondly, Cecilia Anne, eldest daughter of Vice-Admiral William Lukin Windham, and had further issue,
William Windham (1826-76);
EDWARD CHARLES, of whom we treat;
Evelyn, created EARL OF CROMER;
The second son by Mr Baring's second marriage,

EDWARD CHARLES BARING (1828-97), of Membland Hall, and Revelstoke Manor, both in Devon, espoused, in 1861, Louisa Emily Charlotte, daughter of John Crocker Bulteel, by his wife, the Lady Elizabeth Grey, daughter of Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, and had issue,
Arthur, died in infancy;
JOHN, 2nd Baron;
CECIL, 3rd Baron;
Elizabeth; Margaret; Susan.
Mr Baring was elevated to the peerage, in 1885, in the dignity of BARON REVELSTOKE, of Membland, Devon.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Baron (1863-1929), GCVO PC, Lord-Lieutenant of Middlesex, 1926, who died unmarried, when the title devolved upon his brother,

CECIL, 3rd Baron (1864-1934), who wedded, in 1902, Maude Louise, daughter of Pierre Lorillard IV, and had issue,
RUPERT, his successor;
Daphne; Capypso.
His lordship was succeeded by his son,

RUPERT, 4th Baron (1911-94), 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Armoured Corps (during the 2nd World War), who espoused, in 1934, Flora Breckenridge, daughter of Thomas, 1st Baron Hesketh, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
JAMES CECIL, 6th Baron.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

JOHN, 5th Baron (1934-2003), who died unmarried, when the title devolved upon his brother,

JAMES CECIL, 6th Baron (1938-2012), who married firstly, in 1968, Aleta Laline Dennis, daughter of Erskine Arthur Hamilton Fisher, and had issue,
ALEXANDER RUPERT, his successor;
Thomas James, b 1971.
He wedded secondly, in 1983, Sarah, daughter of William Edward Stubbs, and had further issue,
Flora Aksinia, b 1983;
Miranda Louise, b 1987.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER RUPERT, 7th Baron (1970-), of Lambay Castle.

LAMBAY CASTLE, Lambay Island, Rush, County Dublin, is a small, late-16th century fort with castellated gables, on Lambay Island, a square mile in extent, less than three miles off the coast of north County Dublin and inhabited since ancient times.

Shortly after the Anglo-Norman invasion, Lambay Island was granted to the archbishops of Dublin.

The large broad-ditch enclosure, still visible on the landscape today, was constructed in the medieval period.

In 1467, the island was given to John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, Lord Deputy of Ireland, thus enabling him to build a fortress to prevent pirates harbouring there, and plundering traffic between Ireland and England.

This fortress, with its four projecting corner bastions added in Tudor times, was later incorporated by Edwin Lutyens as an essential part of his design for the present castle.

The island was granted to John Challoner, Mayor of Dublin and Secretary of State for Ireland in 1560.

Challoner was ordered to build a fortified place of refuge and to re-establish a colony to guard against smugglers and pirates.

Challoner still owned Lambay in Elizabethan times, but in 1611 the island was granted to Sir William Ussher and his heirs.

Dr James Ussher (1581-1656), Lord Archbishop of Armagh, lived on Lambay in 1626, but by 1650 he was resident in London.

His Grace was highly respected by Cromwell and is interred in Westminster Abbey.

The Ussher family held the Island for 200 years.

In the early years of the 17th century, Dirrick Huiberts Verveer, a wealthy Dublin merchant and shipowner, was granted a licence to keep taverns and to sell wine and spirits in the Skerries area and on Lambay.

Petty’s census of 1659 recorded a population of just nine islanders.

During the Williamite war, the island was used as an internment camp for 780 Irish soldiers and 260 rapparees.

In 1805, Lambay passed to Sir William Wolseley, an Ussher descendent.

In 1814, Margaret Talbot, widow of Richard Talbot (1735-1788), and then living in Eccles Street, agreed to purchase the island and the fishing rights from Wolseley for £6,500.

during the mid-19th century the island population rose to 100.

Richard, 5th Baron Talbot de Malahide (at his own expense but at the instigation of a Father Henry Young), built a two-roomed, mud-walled thatched school in 1834.

Nothing, however, remains of the thatched school nowadays.

Throughout much of the second half of the 19th century the island was a popular destination for steamer excursions.

James Considine, of Portrane House (brother of the late Heffernan Considine DL), purchased Lambay in 1888.

Count Considine set about developing the island as a hunting estate and was the first man to introduce deer onto the island.

Cecil, 3rd Baron Revelstoke, purchased Lambay in 1904.

While working in America he fell in love with Maud, daughter of the tobacco millionaire Pierre Lorillard.

She divorced her husband, the couple married and together they chose Lambay as their refuge from the world.

From 1907 onwards they restored and enlarged the small ruined fort as their principal residence, transforming the building “into a romantic castle” and placing it in the centre of a majestic circular enclosure beneath a canopy of Sycamore trees.

Lutyens Wing

The result is one of the few important Edwardian country houses in Ireland and the only Irish country house by the distinguished architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.

The three-bay centre of the northwest front, which faces a bastioned gateway in the Rampart Wall, is flanked by two full-height projecting bays, each with crow-stepped gables and tall chimneys.

Lutyens attached a wing to provide guest accommodation at the northeastern corner and "regarded the link between the two buildings as one of his most brilliant architectural coups" since the castle, which appears single storied on this front, continues to dominate the two-storey wing.

Along with the enlarged garden and farm buildings these additions were built in grey-green Lambay stone with grey pantile roofs to form a sequence of courts, walled gardens and enclosed yards that give the impression of a small hamlet nestling for protection beneath the castle’s walls.

Lambay is exposed to the elements and the castle is “constructed with small doors and small casements so that the inhabitants seem, on rough days, to be sheltering like monks.”

The interior has vaulted ceilings, stone fireplaces and a curved stone staircase, while much of the furniture and fittings chosen by Lutyens is still arranged just as he intended.

He also adapted and enlarged a number of other early structures and integrated them into an ingenious layout for the whole island estate, including the farm, gardens and plantations, all designed in collaboration with the horticulturalist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.

The walled kitchen garden pierces the Rampart Wall to the south with the mausoleum in memory of the Revelstokes, designed by Lutyens in 1930, on the opposite side of the enclosure.

He also designed The White House, overlooking the harbour on the western shores of the island, as a holiday home for the couple’s two daughters.

Alongside is a row of old Coastguard cottages and an open-air Real Tennis court, one of only two still in existence.

In the mid 1900s Lambay was home to more than eighty islanders, but today it is maintained by a handful of hardy individuals.

Cecil and Maud’s numerous descendants still own the island where their great-grandson Alex, 7th Lord Revelstoke, is the resident guardian and curator, making this the only one of Lutyens’ and Jekyll’s joint collaborations that still belongs to the family that first commissioned the work.

Lambay Island is a haven for wildlife and a National Bird Sanctuary.

Resident fauna includes a herd of fallow deer, a thriving colony of Atlantic grey seals, which pup on Lambay’s sheltered beaches, and, most unusually, a troop of wild wallabies.

The diverse bird life is of far greater significance, for this is an important seabird colony and their cries can be heard throughout the island.

Nesting birds include Fulmars, Guillemots, Herring Gulls, Kittiwakes, Manx Shearwaters and Puffins, while Greylag Geese are common winter visitors.

Revelstoke arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Slane Castle


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

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

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

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

Mr Conyngham was appointed to the deanery of Raphoe on the consecration of Dean Adair as Lord Bishop of Killaloe in 1630.

Dean Conyngham settled at Mount Charles, County Donegal, which estate he held, by lease, from the Earl of Annandale, and wedded Marion, daughter of John Murray, of Broughton, by whom he had no less than twenty-seven children, of which four sons and five daughters survived infancy.

He died in 1660, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR ALBERT CONYNGHAM, Knight, who was appointed, in 1660, Lieutenant-General of the ordnance in Ireland.

This officer fought on the side of WILLIAM III at the Boyne, Limerick etc, and fell in a rencounter with the Rapparees, near Colooney in County Sligo.

He espoused Mary, daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Leslie, Lord Bishop of Raphoe, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

MAJOR-GENERAL HENRY CONYNGHAM, of Slane Castle, MP for Coleraine, and for Donegal, who served during the reign of JAMES II as a captain in Mountjoy's Regiment.

When JAMES II desired his army to shift for itself, Conyngham prevailed upon 500 of his regiment to remain united, and with them offered his services to WILLIAM III.

He became subsequently a major-general, and fell, in 1705-6, at St Estevan's, in Spain.

General Conyngham wedded Mary, daughter of Sir John Williams Bt, of Minster Court, Kent, and widow of Charles, Lord Shelburne, by whom he got a very considerable property, and had issue,
WILLIAMhis successor;
He was succeeded by his elder son,

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

THE RT HON HENRY CONYNGHAM (1705-81), captain of horse on the Irish establishment, and MP from 1727 until raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Conyngham, of Mount Charles, in 1753.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1756, as Viscount Conyngham; and further advanced, in 1781, to the dignity of an earldom, as Earl Conyngham; the barony to descend, in case of failure of issue, to Francis Pierpoint Burton, the eldest son of his sister Mary, by Francis Burton.

The 1st Earl married, in 1774, Ellen, only daughter and heir of Solomon Merret; but dying without an heir, in 1781, all his honours became extinct, except the barony of Conyngham, which devolved, according to the limitation, upon the above-mentioned

FRANCIS PIERPOINT BURTON (c1725-87), as 2nd Baron; who wedded, in 1750, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Nathaniel Clements, and sister of Robert, Earl of Leitrim, by whom he had issue,
HENRYhis successor;
Francis Nathaniel (Sir), GCH;
Catherine; Ellena; Henrietta.
His lordship, on inheriting the title and estates of his uncle, assumed the surname and arms of CONYNGHAM.

He was succeeded by his son,

HENRY, 3rd Baron (1766-1832), who, in 1787, was created Viscount Conyngham, of Slane, County Meath.

He was also created, in 1797, Viscount Mount Charles, of Mount Charles, County Donegal; and Earl Conyngham.

Lord Conyngham was appointed a Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick in 1801.

In 1803, he was appointed Governor of County Donegal, a post he held until 1831, and Custos Rotulorum of County Clare in 1808, which he remained until his death.

His lordship was created, in 1816, Viscount Slane and Earl of Mount Charles; and further advanced to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS CONYNGHAM.

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

From 1829 until his death in 1832, the 1st Marquess served as Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Alexander Burton Conyngham, styled Earl of Mount Charles.

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

SLANE CASTLE, Slane, County Meath, stands augustly above the River Boyne in County Meath.

During Victorian times Lord Conyngham owned about 7,060 acres in County Meath.

His lordship was, however, the greatest landowner in County Donegal, where he owned 122,230 acres.

It has been the principal seat of the Marquesses Conyngham since it was built in 1785 by Francis, 2nd Baron Conyngham, to the designs of Francis Johnston.

The Castle was completed by his son Henry, 3rd Baron and 1st Marquess Conyngham.

It is said that "Capability" Brown, James Gandon, Thomas Hopper and other architects were consulted at the time.

Slane Castle comprises three storeys over a basement, which serves as a lower ground floor at the river, where the ground falls away quite steeply.

There is a bow in the centre of the river front, elevated to form a massive round tower.

With the exception of this round tower and lesser square towers at each corner, the house is essentially a battlemented Georgian block.

The interior is Classical in style.

The hall boasts Tuscan columns; while the drawing-room has a frieze of late-Georgian plasterwork, terminating in a kind of apse.

The great circular library or ballroom encompasses two lower storeys of the round tower and is reputed to be the finest of its kind in Ireland, with its exquisite and delicate Gothic plasterwork.

The upper storey of the round tower is divided into three bedrooms.

The floor below, however, contains the two grandest bedrooms in the house, which were designed for King George IV and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

His Majesty stayed at Slane as Prince of Wales and again as the Sovereign in 1821.

The 1st Marquess's wife was a favourite of the King; even the straight road from Dublin to Slane is said to have been specially made for him.

This approach affords elaborate Gothic entrance gates; though the entrance from the north, through the village, is particularly striking.

Conyngham arms courtesy of European Heraldry.