Sunday, 26 November 2017

Ballinderry Park

THE COMYNS OF BALLINDERRY OWNED 1,473 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY GALWAY

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,
NICHOLAS O'CONNELL, his heir;
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,
ANDREW FRANCIS MICHAEL O'CONNELL;
Nugent Gerald Ward;
Arthur;
Reginald;
Frederick;
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.

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: 

GCVO

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.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Hamwood House

THE HAMILTONS OF HAMWOOD OWNED 352 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY MEATH

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;
Henrietta.
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,
CHARLES WILLIAM, his heir;
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,
CHARLES ROBERT, his heir;
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,
CHARLES ROBERT FRANCIS, his heir;
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,
CHARLES RALPH, b 1960;
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.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Slane Castle

THE MARQUESSES CONYNGHAM OWNED 7,060 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY MEATH

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;
Henry;
Mary.
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.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Keppel Association Tour

THE KEPPEL ASSOCIATION was founded in 2003. Its Honorary Life Member is Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. The Earl of Albemarle and Viscount Bury are Presidents.

Members of the Keppel Association visited Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland from the 8th-12th May, 2017.

The Association was surprised to discover many Keppel connections and relationships within the Province and even more so south of the border.

The idea of arranging an Irish tour for the membership of the Association stemmed originally from a generous offer by the Lady Rose and Peter Lauritzen to entertain a group of members at Mount Stewart, County Down, former seat of the Marquess of Londonderry.

Mount Stewart was bequeathed to Lady Rose's father, Lord Bury, and her mother, the Lady Mairi Bury (née Vane-Tempest-Stewart) and consequently became a Keppel seat.

As soon as the National Trust completed their work of restoration of Mount Stewart House (which lasted for over three years), the Association started to plan a tour, the centrepiece of which would be a complete day spent visiting the house and gardens; with another day spent driving into the Irish Republic, to the Battle of the Boyne site where it is believed that Arnold Joost van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albemarle, KG, already highly favoured by WILLIAM III, played a role.

The group assembled at the Londonderry Arms Hotel in Carnlough, County Antrim, which was to be their base for the next four days.

The next morning they set forth to Glenarm Castle, County Antrim, seat of the McDonnells, Earls of Antrim, where they met Patricia Mackean, who lives in Northern Ireland, and her sister, Diana von Halle, two members of the group who described themselves as the "day girls" because they did not stay with the rest of the group at the Londonderry Arms hotel, nor for the whole tour.

The members were then conducted by the family butler round Glenarm Castle, which also has connections with the Vane-Tempest family through the marriage in 1799 of Anne, Countess of Antrim in her own right, to Sir Harry Vane-Tempest, father of Frances Anne, Marchioness of Londonderry.

Afterwards the group toured the enormous and immaculately maintained 18th century walled garden with its abundant tulip beds., many of which were in full bloom.

After a light lunch in the tearoom, located in the former mushroom-house, the members drove to the Giant's Causeway, where they made a brief stop at Dunluce Castle, a former seat of the Earls of Antrim.

The following day, the group set out on the long drive to the battle of the Boyne site, stopping en route at Castle Ward, ancestral seat of the Viscounts Bangor, where they were hospitably received by the National Trust caretaker, Andrea Hutton.

1st Countess of Albemarle, by Sir Godfrey Kneller. © National Trust, Mount Stewart

Thence the group continued their journey to the Boyne, where John Villiers gave a short talk on the background to the Glorious Revolution and the battle; and Charles Villiers gave an account of his recent researches into the history of the Irish properties owned by the Keppel family in the 18th and 19th centuries.


At the visitor centre the members met up again with the two "day girls" and admired an excellent exhibition comprising the weapons used at the battle and models of the principal characters involved.

On the return journey back to base the group drove to Slane Castle, County Meath, seat of the Marquess Conyngham, though, unfortunately, the main entrance was obstructed by building works and, as a consequence, the house was closed by the time they arrived.


The whole of the third day of the tour was devoted to Mount Stewart, which was, as intended, the climax of the Keppel Association's visit to Northern Ireland.

The group was first taken on an extended tour of the magnificent reception rooms, guided by Peter Lauritzen; his impressive knowledge of the history of the Londonderry family and the unimpeachable scholarship and ready wit that imbued everything he had to say about every picture, piece of furniture and objet d'art in every room made the tour a splendid example of learning worn lightly.

The Keppel Association group with their hosts outside the garden front of Mount Stewart

After a delicious luncheon served in Rose and Peter's private apartments (during which many of the group spilled out into the Italian Garden), they were taken on a tour of all the gardens by the head gardener, Neil Porteous, who proved to be as erudite and entertaining a horticulturalist and dendrologist as Peter was a historian and art historian.

This memorably enjoyable day was ended at the Londonderry Arms Hotel, where a copious, farewell dinner had been prepared.

On the final day in Northern Ireland, after a photo-call in front of the hotel, the members departed for Belfast, where they visited the Ulster Museum.

Through the good offices of William Montgomery, of Greyabbey House, the group was met by the chief curator, Kim Mawhinney.

The members admired a dozen or so pieces of Williamite glassware from the museum's collection (not on public display presently).

So ended a tour that, although the connection with the Keppels was somewhat tenuous, if not non-existent, had enough intrinsic interest to keep all the members of the Keppel Association group fully engaged; and it was greatly enhanced by the superb weather enjoyed throughout and the warm hospitality which was shown everywhere the group went.

Monday, 6 November 2017

New Twitter Address

I have changed my Twitter address and display name to @timothyferres . 

Everything else is the same and business as usual.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Duke of Gloucester in Belfast

The Duke of Gloucester this afternoon opened the extension of the Somme Nursing Home, 121 Circular Road, Belfast, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast (Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE).

His Royal Highness later visited Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, and was received by Colonel Mark Campbell CBE DL (Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast).

Prince Richard this evening attended the Festival of Remembrance Service at Waterfront Hall, 2 Lanyon Place, Belfast.