Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Armagh Lieutenancy

COUNTY OF ARMAGH


LORD-LIEUTENANT


CALEDON, Rt Hon the Earl of, KCVO



VICE LORD-LIEUTENANT


HAMILTON-STUBBER, Mr Richard, DL



DEPUTY LIEUTENANTS


REID, Colonel Arthur, OBE TD JP DL

RYAN, Mr Patrick Anthony, JP DL

BEATTIE, Mr William James, DL

SHAW, Mr James Derek, DL

DUNCAN, Mr Thomas, DL

MAGOWAN, Mr John C K, DL

ARMSTRONG, Mrs Jill, DL

MURPHY, Mr Thomas, DL

JACKSON, Mr Antony, DL

DONNELLY, Mr Raymond, DL

McALLISTER, Colonel Hubert, OBE TD DL 

DOUGAN, Mr Simon Thomas Alexander, DL

BRIGGS, Mr John, DL

McALINDEN, Dr Eileen, DL

REANEY, Mr David, DL

CONWAY, Dr Gareth, DL

WALSH, Mrs Georgina, DL

CASSELLS, Mr Simon, QVRM DL

WALKINGSHAW, Mr Terence David, DL

Please advise me of any retirements or deaths.

The Davis-Goff Baronets

THE DAVIS-GOFFS OWNED 2,576 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY WEXFORD

THE REV STEPHEN GOFFE or GOUGH, Rector of Bramber, West Sussex, 1603-5, and St Botolph's, 1605-6, married Deborah West, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
James;
Timothy;
Stephen (Rev);
John (Rev).
The eldest son,

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL WILLIAM GOFFE (c1605-c1679), wedded Frances, daughter of Major-General Edward Whalley, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Anne; Elizabeth; Frances.
The only son,

RICHARD GOFFE, of Waterford, County Waterford, espoused, in 1681, Hannah, daughter of Jonas Chamberlain, and had issue,
William;
Richard;
Jonas;
JACOB, of whom hereafter;
Mary; Hannah; Elizabeth.
The youngest son,

JACOB GOFF (1695-c1751), of Dublin, married, in 1721, Mary, daughter of John Fade, and had issue,
Joseph;
Fade;
JACOB, of whom we treat;
Hannah; Mary; Sarah; Elizabeth.
The third son,

JACOB GOFF (c1736-c1799), married Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin Wilson, and had issue,
Joseph Fade;
WILLIAM;
Anne; Dinah; Elizabeth.
The younger son,

WILLIAM GOFF (1762-1840), of Horetown House, County Wexford, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1807 and 1811, wedded, in 1784, Rebecca, daughter of Edward Deaves, and had issue,
Jacob William, dsp;
REBECCA, of whom hereafter;
Mary; Sally; Lucy Anne; Arabella; Elizabeth.
Mr Goff's eldest daughter,

MISS REBECCA GOFF, espoused, in 1809, Francis Davis, of Waterford, and had issue,
STRANGMAN;
Henry (1825-63).
Mrs Davis died in 1859, and was succeeded by her elder son,

STRANGMAN DAVIS JP (1810-72), of Horetown House, County Wexford, who married, in 1835, Susan Maxwell, daughter of Arthur Ussher, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Ussher;
Charles Edward;
Francis;
Margaretta Ussher; Julia Anna; Rebecca; Lucy Ussher.
Mr Davis added the additional name of GOFF in 1845, under the terms of his uncle's will.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM DAVIS-GOFF JP DL (1838-1918), of Glenville, County Waterford, High Sheriff of Waterford City, 1869, and of County Waterford, 1892, who wedded, in 1866, Anna Maria, daughter of Michael Dobbyn Hassard, and had issue,
HERBERT WILLIAM, his heir;
William Ernest.
Mr Davis-Goff was created a baronet in in 1905, denominated of Glenville, County Waterford.

He was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR HERBERT WILLIAM DAVIS-GOFF, 2nd Baronet (1870-1923), DL, High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1914, Captain, RASC, who espoused, in 1903, Margaret Aimée, daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Charles Stewart Scott GCB GCMG, and had issue,
ERNEST WILLIAM, his successor;
Charles Herbert;
Terence Richard;
Doreen Christian.
Sir Herbert was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ERNEST WILLIAM GOFF-DAVIS, 3rd Baronet (1904-80), who married, in 1941, Alice Cynthia Sainthill, daughter of Robert Woodhouse, and had issue,
ROBERT WILLIAM, his successor;
Annabel Claire; Julia Christian; Alice Maria.
Sir Ernest was succeeded by his only son,

SIR ROBERT WILLIAM DAVIS-GOFF (1955-), of Ballinacor, County Wicklow, and Lissen Hall, County Dublin, who wedded, in 1978, Nathalie Sheelagh, daughter of Terence Chadwick, of Lissen Hall, County Dublin, and has issue,
WILLIAM NATHANIEL (b 1980);
Henry Terence Chadwick;
James Sammy Chadwick;
Sarah Chadwick.
Residences ~ Ballinacor Estate, County Wicklow; Lissen Hall, Donabate, County Dublin; Eairy Moar Farm, Glen Helen, Isle of Man.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

County of Armagh

Armagh, the Orchard County, is an inland county of Ulster, extending from Lough Neagh to the northern boundary of the Irish Republic.

It is bounded, on the north-west, by County Tyrone; on the north, by Lough Neagh; on the east, by County Down; on the south by County Louth in the Irish Republic; and on the west by County Tyrone, and County Monaghan in the Irish Republic.

The boundary line, on the north-west, is the River Blackwater; on the north, is of course the shore of the greatest lake in the British Isles.

From Lough Neagh to Knockbride, a distance of about nine miles, is a series of well-defined enclosures through beautiful and highly improved countryside.

From Knockbride to the head of Carlingford Bay, or along much of the greater part of the east, is the Newry Canal.

Along most of the south is a series of water-sheds, streamlet courses, miserable enclosures and imaginary marches, aggregately ill-defined, and extending across so bleak, wild and barren a district as to afford small inducement for its being accurately ascertained.

Along the north-west and west, over a distance of about 20 miles, is retrogradely the River Fane and one of its tributaries; whereas over the next four miles, a chain of poor fences and naked ditches.

Along the remaining distance down towards Lough Neagh is an affluent of the River Blackwater to Caledon, and the Blackwater itself to Lough Neagh.

Its form is a parallelogram of 24 miles by 11, with a considerable triangular protrusion at the north-east corner, a smaller triangular protrusion at the south-east corner, and a large, curved expansion of 14 miles by 7 on the west side.

Its greatest length, from Maghery on Lough Neagh to the townland of Dromlece [sic], near Foxfield, is 25 miles.

Its greatest breadth is from Scarva on the Newry Canal to the boundary with County Monaghan near the village of Glaslough is upwards of 16 miles.

The county's circumference is about 80 miles; and its area about 300,000 acres.

Slieve Gullion, at a height of 1,880 feet, is the highest mountain.

Select bibliography ~ Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland, 1841.

Monday, 29 January 2018

1st Earl of Donoughmore

THE EARLS OF DONOUGHMORE OWNED 4,711 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TIPPERARY
AND 2,878 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY WATERFORD

THE RT HON JOHN HELY-HUTCHINSON (1724-94), an eminent lawyer and statesman of Ireland (son of Francis Hely, of Gortroe, County Cork, by a daughter of Christopher Earbury), married, in 1751, Christiana, daughter of Abraham Nickson, of Munny, County Wicklow, and niece and heir of Richard Hutchinson, of Knocklofty, County Tipperary (in consequence of which marriage he assumed the additional surname of HUTCHINSON), and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
JOHN, 2nd Earl;
Francis, of Lissen Hall; father of the 3rd Earl;
Augustus Abraham;
Christopher;
Lorenzo;
Christiana; Mary; Prudence; Margaret.
Mr Hely-Hutchinson obtained a peerage for his wife, CHRISTIANA, as Baroness Donoughmore, of Knocklofty, County Tipperary, in 1783.

Her ladyship died in 1788, and was succeeded in the barony by her eldest son,

RICHARD HELY (1756-1825), 2nd Baron; advanced to a viscountcy, as Viscount Donoughmore; and further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1800, as EARL OF DONOUGHMORE.

His lordship died unmarried, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

JOHN HELY (1757-1832), 2nd Earl, GCB, a general in the army, Governor of Stirling Castle, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Bath, died unmarried, while the honours he had inherited passed to his nephew,

JOHN (1787-1851), 3rd Earl, KP, who wedded firstly, in 1822, Margaret, daughter of Luke, 1st Viscount Mountjoy, and had issue,
RICHARD JOHN, his successor;
Margaret.
He espoused secondly, in 1827, Barbara, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel William Reynell, and had issue,
John William, b 1829;
Kathleen Alicia; Frances Margaret; Jane Louisa.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD JOHN (1823-66), 4th Earl, who married, in 1847, Thomasina Jocelyn, daughter of Walter Steele, and had issue,
JOHN LUKE GEORGE, his successor;
Walter Francis (Sir);
Patrick Maurice;
Granville William;
Margaret Frances; Mary Sophia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN LUKE GEORGE (1848-1900), 5th Earl, KCMG JP DL, who wedded, in 1874, Frances Isabella, daughter of General William Frazer Stephens, and had issue,
RICHARD WALTER JOHN, his successor;
Nina Blanche; Evelyn; Norah; Margarita Oonagh Isabella.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

RICHARD WALTER JOHN (1875-1948), 6th Earl, KP JP DL, who espoused, in 1901, Elena Maria, daughter of Michael Paul Grace, and had issue,
JOHN MICHAEL HENRY, his successor;
David Edward;
Doreen Clare.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN MICHAEL HENRY (1902-81), 7th Earl, Colonel, Royal Armoured Corps (TA), MP for Peterborough, 1943-5, who married, in 1925, Dorothy Jean, daughter of John Beaumont Hotham, and had issue,
RICHARD MICHAEL JOHN, his successor;
Mark;
Sara Elena.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD MICHAEL JOHN (1927-), 8th Earl, who sold Knocklofty Estate in 1985.


KNOCKLOFTY HOUSE, near Clonmel, County Tipperary, was the mansion of the Earls of Donoughmore.

The estate is almost four miles west-south-west of Clonmel.

The mansion stands on an extensive natural terrace on the left bank of the River Suir.

It commands a delightful prospect of the richly wooded slopes and highly adorned rising grounds of the Waterford side of the valley.

The demesne is - or was - extensive, containing some of the finest old elms and limes in the counties of Tipperary and Waterford.

The 18th century mansion comprises a three-storey central block, with two-storey, gable-ended wings projecting forward on the entrance front to form a three-sided court.

The centre block consists of seven bays, and the wings comprise two bays in their gable ends.


In the early 1800s a single-storey corridor was built along the front of the centre block, joining the wings, embellished with wreathes and Doric pilasters.


The central garden front, overlooking the River Suir, comprises five bays with an exceptionally long, two-storey service wing.

The demesne spreads across the River Suir into County Waterford, including Kilmanahan Castle, formerly a separate property.

The original, intricate gate piers are notable.

The 7th Earl and Countess were kidnapped from Knocklofty House in 1974 by an IRA gang and held captive for four days before being released in Phoenix Park, Dublin.

The family sold up several years later.

The estate was recently for sale.

Other residence ~ Palmerstown House, near Dublin.

Donoughmore arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

County of Antrim

A maritime county in the extreme north-east of Ulster, bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean; on the east by the North Channel; on the south-east and south by County Down; and, on the west by counties Tyrone and Londonderry.

Its boundary over all the south-east and south, excepting five miles adjacent to Lough Neagh, is formed by Belfast Lough and the River Lagan; and, over all the west, excepting seven miles adjacent to the ocean, is formed by Lough Neagh and Lough Beg, and the River Bann.

The county is thus clearly insulated between a sweep of the sea and an alternate chain and line of fresh water.

Its greatest length, from Bengore Head (near the Giant's Causeway) on the north to Spencer's Bridge on the south, is about 42 miles.

Its greatest breadth, from The Gobbins on the east to Toome on the west is about 24 miles.

Trostan, at 1,808 feet, is the highest mountain.

The county's area is approximately 745,000 acres.

Select bibliography ~ Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland. 1841.

Antrim Lieutenancy

COUNTY OF ANTRIM



LORD-LIEUTENANT       

McCORKELL, Mr David William



VICE LORD-LIEUTENANT

GORDON, Mrs Miranda Gay, DL



DEPUTY LIEUTENANTS 

                         
RATHCAVAN, Rt Hon the Lord, DL

CUNNINGHAM, Mrs Carol, DL

BROOKE, Hon Christopher A, DL

CASEMENT, Mr Patrick, OBE DL

FRAZER, Mr Andrew David, DL

HILLAN, Mrs Sheelagh Elizabeth, MBE DL

KINAHAN, Mr Danny de Burgh, DL

KELLY, Mr Liam Gerard, JP DL

MITCHELL, Mr Joseph, DL

MONTGOMERY, Mr Hugh Edward J, DL

RAINEY, Mr William Eric, CVO MBE DL

TISDALE, Mrs Miranda, DL

WALLACE, Mrs Patricia, DL

SHIRLEY, Mrs Julia, DL

DUNLUCE, Viscount, DL

SALISBURY, Colonel Neil, OBE DL

FITZGERALD, Dr S Peter, CBE DL

DOUGLAS, Colonel Stewart, OBE DL

O'NEILL, the Hon Shane Sebastian Clanaboy, DL

PERRY, Mr James Ernest, MBE DL

STEWART, Mrs Jackie, MBE DL

Please advise me of any retirements or deaths.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

New Tyrone DL

APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY LIEUTENANT

Mr Robert Scott OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, has been pleased to appoint:-

Mr Malachy Stephen McALEER
Omagh
County Tyrone

To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County, his Commission bearing date, the 30th day of December, 2017.

Signed: Lord Lieutenant of the County

Friday, 26 January 2018

Lismacue House

THE BAKERS OWNED 1,328 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TIPPERARY

THOMAS BAKER, the first of this family who settled at Lattinmore, County Tipperary, went over to Ireland with the Lord Deputy, the Earl of Sussex.

His widow, Anne Baker, who was living at Knockroid, Barony of Clanwilliam, 1642, put in her claim, and that of her son, Walter, as sufferers in 1641.

This son,

WALTER BAKER, entered Trinity College, Dublin, 1640, aged 17, as second son of Thomas Baker, of Lattin, born at Ballincallagh, 1623.

He obtained a re-grant from CHARLES II of the lands at Killenaliff, Lattinmore, and Lattinbeg, Yorticord and Kilpatrick, County Tipperary, containing 1,200 Irish acres.

This patent was enrolled in 1677, and it states that the lands were in Thomas Baker's possession "long before the Great Rebellion" of 1641.

He wedded Martha Osborne, and left issue, three sons and two daughters.

The second son,

RICHARD BAKER, of Lattinmore, County Tipperary, succeeded his father.

He married and left issue, a son,

WILLIAM BAKER, High Sheriff of County Tipperary, 1726, who purchased, in 1700 (from Colonel Blunt), the estate of Lismacue.

He espoused, in 1700, Margaret, eldest daughter of Hugh Massy, of Duntrileague, County Limerick, and had issue (with two daughters),
HUGH, his heir;
Charles;
Thomas;
Richard;
William;
Walter;
Godfrey.
The eldest son,

HUGH BAKER, of Lismacue, married, in 1730, Catherine, daughter of Robert Ryves, of Ryves Castle, Ballyskiddane, County Limerick, and died in 1772, having had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Thomas;
Hugh;
Walter;
Edward;
Kilner;
Elizabeth; Margaret; Catherine.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM BAKER, of Lisnacue, Colonel, Irish Volunteers, wedded Elizabeth, second daughter of the Very Rev Charles Massy, Dean of Limerick, and sister of Sir Hugh Dillon Massy, 1st Baronet, of Donass, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Hugh, father of HUGH;
Charles Massy;
Robert;
Elizabeth; Catherine; Grace; Margaret.
Mr Baker died in 1808, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM BAKER, of Lismacue, who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Roberts, 1st Baronet, of Britfieldstown, County Cork, but dsp.

Mr Baker was murdered in 1815, when he was succeeded by his nephew,

HUGH BAKER (1798-1868), of Lismacue, who married Marion, only child of Charles Conyers, of Castletown Conyers, County Limerick, and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
CHARLES CONYERS MASSY, of Lismacue, which he purchased from his brother's heirs;
William;
Augustine Fitzgerald (Sir);
Marion Elizabeth; Anne; Elizabeth Henrietta; Mary Rachel.
Mr Baker was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH BAKER (1845-87), of Lismacue, who wedded, in 1879, Frances Elizabeth, daughter of John Massy, of Kingswell, County Tipperary, and had issue,
HUGH, b 1880;
Alice Maud Massy, b 1883.
Mr Baker's brother,

CHARLES CONYERS MASSY BAKER JP (1847-1905), of Lismacue, espoused, in 1880, Harriet Booth, daughter of George Allen, of Oakdale, Surrey, and had issue,
ALLEN, his heir;
Conyers;
Massy;
Dennis;
Irene.
Mr Baker was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALLEN BAKER (1881-1969), of Lismacue, who married firstly, in 1910, Frances Violet, eldest daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel William Cooper-Chadwick, of Ballinard, County Tipperary, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Mary Rachel; Elizabeth Anne.
He wedded secondly, in 1935, Julia Dorothy, daughter of William Parry Evans.

Mr Baker was succeeded by his son and heir,

WILLIAM BAKER (1913-), of Lisnacue, who espoused, in 1950, Brenda Katherine, daughter of John Gillespie Aitken, and had issue, an only child,

KATHERINE (Kate) RACHEL BAKER (1952-), of Lismacue, who owns and manages the estate with her husband, James Nicholson.

Garden front

LISMACUE HOUSE, near Bansha, County Tipperary, was completed in 1813 to the design of William Robertson.

William Baker purchased Lismacue in 1705 from Charles Blount and the estate has been owned by his descendants ever since.

The house is two-storey building over a basement in a mildly Tudor-Gothic style that is far more restrained than his more exuberant later work.


The external walls are rendered with ‘eyebrows’ over the windows and restrained pinnacles and crenellations, including, most unusually, a single small battlemented pediment on each front.

The façade is three bays wide, with a single storied Gothick open porch supported on elegant square columns.

Its tripartite arrangement is echoed by the door-case behind.

Entrance front

The two other fronts are both five bays wide while the lower wing to the north, terminates in a gable, almost entirely filled with a single large window with robust Gothic tracery

The interior is classically late Georgian, covered with a thin Gothick layer.

The large rooms have good plasterwork, a fine wide staircase, and a wonderful set of mahogany doors on the ground floor.

Several rooms retain their early wallpaper, dating from the 1830s.

Outside is fine open parkland, with wonderful views of the Galtee Mountains and the Glen of Aherlow, and a superb (and unusually long) avenue of lime trees, dating from the 18th century.

The present owners are Jim Nicholson and his wife Kate, who inherited Lismacue from her father, William Baker.

Select bibliography ~ Irish Historic Houses Association.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

The Burns Supper

The old school pal, Dangerfield, invited me to a Burns Supper at the family home five years ago.

The weather conditions were poor, though I finally managed to reach his house, a mile or two outside Broughshane, County Antrim.

I'm apprised that they have a hundred and forty acres.

We had a terrific time.

As can be seen by the photograph - Dangerfield had lent me a Royal Irish Rangers caubeen with its green hackle - I was slightly the worse for wear; so I was glad to have a room for the night.


The grub was delicious: wholesome chicken or pheasant soup; venison stew with haggis; chocolate and Cranachan pudding; whisky; abundant wine.


Shortly after the proceedings the drone of the bagpipes could be heard and Gavin marched in.

He must have learnt to play them in the CCF band at Campbell.

One of the house guests, Michael, is an accomplished musician and played the piano for us all.

He's another Old Brackenbrian, so I hope see him at the next annual dinner in the Ulster Reform Club.


I retired to bed at some unearthly hour, perhaps three-thirty the next morning.

We breakfasted in the conservatory: venison sausages, rustic bread, mustard, marmalade, mushrooms, tea.

First published in January, 2013.

Blunden Villa

THE BLUNDEN BARONETS OWNED 1,846 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY KILKENNY

This family springs from

OVERINGTON BLUNDEN, of Southwark, London, who, in 1667, was granted Glenmore, "to be for ever called Blunden's Castle", and other lands in County Kilkenny, Queen's County and County Waterford.

This gentleman's grandson,

JOHN BLUNDEN (c1718-83), only surviving son of John Blunden, of Castle Blunden, MP for the City of Kilkenny, by Martha, daughter of Agmondesham Cuffe, and sister of John, 1st Baron Desart, was created a baronet in 1766, denominated of Blunden Castle, County Kilkenny.

Sir John was a distinguished member of the Irish bar, and represented the City of Kilkenny in Parliament.

He married, in 1755, his cousin Susanna, daughter of John, 1st Baron Desart, and had issue (with seven daughters) three sons, of whom,
JOHN, his successor;
William Pitt, father of JOHN, 3rd Baronet;
Overington, Lieutenant-General; MP.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN BLUNDEN, 2nd Baronet (1767-1818), High Sheriff of County Kilkenny, 1805 and 1813, who wedded firstly, Miss Hewitson (d 1808); and secondly, in 1812, Hester, daughter of John Helsham, of Leggetsrath, County Kilkenny, though the marriages were without issue, and the baronetcy reverted to his nephew,

SIR JOHN BLUNDEN, 3rd Baronet (1814-90), DL, High Sheriff of County Kilkenny, 1843, 44 and 47, Barrister, who wedded, in 1839, Elizabeth, daughter of Major John Knox, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
John Overington;
Edward Herbert;
Maurice Robert;
Arthur Henry;
Abraham;
Kate; Harriette; Nicola Sophia.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM BLUNDEN, 4th Baronet (1840-1923), High Sheriff of County Kilkenny, 1904, who espoused, in 1879, Florence Caroline, daughter of Henry Shuttleworth, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
Eric Overington;
Muriel.
Sir William was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR JOHN BLUNDEN, 5th Baronet (1880-1923), who married, in 1918, Phyllis Dorothy, daughter of Philip Crampton Creaghe, and had issue,
WILLIAM, 6th Baronet;
PHILIP OVERINGTON, 7th Baronet.
Sir John was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR WILLIAM BLUNDEN, 6th Baronet (1919-85), Lieutenant-Commander RN, who wedded, in 1945, Pamela Mary, daughter of John Purser, and had issue,
Sarah Vanessa; Griselda Jane; Caroline Susan;
Rowena Mary; Elizabeth Anne Gabrielle; Fiona Christine.
Sir William died without male issue, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR PHILIP OVERINGTON BLUNDEN, 7th Baronet (1922-2007), who wedded, in 1945, Jeanette Francesca Alexandra, daughter of Captain D Macdonald, and had issue,
HUBERT CHISHOLM, his successor;
John Maurice Patrick;
Marguerite Eugenie.
Sir Philip was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR HUBERT CHISHOLM BLUNDEN, 8th Baronet (1948-), who married, in 1975, Ellish O'Brien, and had issue,
Edmund, b 1982;
Amelia, b 1977.

BLUNDEN VILLA, Castle Blunden, County Kilkenny,

At the end of the 18th century Sir John Blunden built Blunden Villa near the gates of his family home, just outside the mediaeval city of Kilkenny.

By family tradition this elegant Georgian villa was built as a dower house for Sir John’s mother, the daughter of a neighbour, Lord Desart, to provide her with her own establishment when he married and brought home his heiress bride.

Blunden Villa is a delightful small Regency house with a high ground floor above a semi-basement.

The façade is of three bays, with the front door at the upper level approached by a wide flight of stone steps with contemporary iron railings.

The door is surmounted by a fanlight and has delicate Wyatt windows to either side.

The plan is very slightly over square, as the façade is marginally shorter than the width from front to back, while the interior has high ceilings and well-proportioned rooms.

For many years Blunden Villa was used as a gate lodge to the principal house, but in 2006 Jane and Caroline Blunden, twin daughters of the 6th baronet, decided to restore the building, which is now their Irish home.

Select bibliography ~ Irish Historic Houses Association

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Roe Park

SAMUEL MAXWELL ALEXANDER, OF ROE PARK, OWNED 5,229 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY LONDONDERRY

The elder branch of this family was ennobled, in 1663, by the title of EARL OF STIRLING, in the person of WILLIAM ALEXANDER, of Menstrie, Clackmannanshire. 

The name of ALEXANDER was assumed from the Christian name of its founder, Alexander Macdonald, of Menstrie. 

This branch, on removing into Ulster, adopted into the family shield the Canton charged with the Harp of Ireland, and settled at Limavady, County Londonderry.


JOHN ALEXANDER, of Eridy, County Donegal, 1610, had issue,
ANDREW, his heir;
John;
Archibald;
William;
Robert.
The eldest son,

THE REV DR ANDREW ALEXANDER, of Eridy, a Presbyterian minister, who married Dorothea, daughter of the Rev Dr James Caulfeild, and dying around 1641, left a son,

ANDREW ALEXANDER (1625-), of Ballyclose, Limavady, County Londonderry (attainted by JAMES II, 1689), who wedded firstly, Jessie, daughter of Sir Thomas Phillips, called Governor Phillips, and had a son and heir, JACOB.

He espoused secondly, a daughter of the Laird of Hillhouse, and had a son, JOHN, ancestor of the EARLS OF CALEDON.

The elder son,

JACOB ALEXANDER (1668-1710), of Limavady, married, in 1692, Margaret (or Jane), daughter and heiress of John Oliver, of The Lodge, Limavady, chief magistrate appointed to administer the oath of allegiance on the accession of WILLIAM & MARY, and had issue,

JAMES ALEXANDER (1694-1786), of Limavady, merchant, who wedded Elizabeth Ross, of Limavady, and had issue,

LESLEY ALEXANDER (1725-1820), of Limavady, who espoused Anna Simpson, of Armagh, and had issue,


JOHN, his heir;
James;
Lesley, of Foyle Park;
Alexander;
Thomas;
Louisa; Jane; Elizabeth.
The eldest son,

JOHN ALEXANDER, wedded, Margaret, daughter of Samuel Maxwell, and had issue,
Lesley, died unmarried;
Alexander, died unmarried;
SAMUEL MAXWELL, of whom hereafter;
John, of Limavady;
Anna; Jane.
The third son,

SAMUEL MAXWELL ALEXANDER JP DL (1834-86), of Roe Park, High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1858, espoused, in 1884, Henrietta Constance, daughter of Sir Frederick William Heygate, 2nd Baronet, though the marriage was without issue.



In 1697, Sir Thomas Phillips' holdings, which included Roe Park, were sold by his grandson to the Rt Hon William Conolly, who came to live in Phillips' new house in Limavady, County Londonderry.

When Speaker Conolly sold his estate to Marcus McCausland in 1743, the McCausland family greatly improved the house (and changed the name to Daisy Hill), by creating the five-bay structure which still forms the current frontage.

Roe Park House is a long, irregular, two-storey Georgian house of different periods, of which its nucleus seems to be a five-bay dwelling, built at the beginning of the 18th century by Speaker Conolly

Roe Park's principal features are a three-sided bow with a curved, pedimented and pillared door-case.

The drawing-room and dining-room have fine Victorian plasterwork.

There is a large and imposing pedimented stableyard.

In 1782, Marcus McCausland's son, Dominick, inherited the estate.

He added a fine dining-room and built substantial office buildings, which included a coach-house designed by Richard Castle in 1784.

This building still stands today and houses the Roe Park hotel's restaurant and golf shop.

Dominick McCausland also extended the estate by purchasing adjoining town lands on both sides of the river.

He proceeded to plant thousands of trees on his estate.

He also built a ten-foot wall to surround part of the estate - parts of which are still visible today - and a foot bridge (known locally as The Spring Bridge) so that he could service the well which supplied fresh water to the house known as Columba's Spring.

During this time, it's likely that the walled garden (now the golf driving-range) and gazebo were built.

This gazebo was slightly bigger than it is today and was the home of the estate's head gardener until the 1950s.

In 1817, Daisy Hill was sold to John Cromie, of Portstewart, who renamed the house Roe Park.

Mr Cromie, in turn, sold the estate to Sir Francis Workman-Macnaghten Bt for £11,500.

Sir Edmund, 2nd Baronet, sold the estate in 1847 to Archibald Rennie, of Inverness, for £12,000 
(about £1 million today).

Mr Rennie mortgaged the property to Harvey Nicholson, of Londonderry, who came into possession of the estate during 1850.

In 1872, the estate was bought by Samuel Maxwell Alexander for £12,150.

Mr Alexander, a distant cousin of the Earls of Caledon, married Henrietta Constance Heygate, daughter of Sir Frederick William Heygate Bt, in 1884.

As this gentleman brought extensive lands from his own estate, this extended Roe Park to 5,229 acres.

Mr Alexander died in 1886, but as he had no immediate family, the estate was left to his two nieces.


The part that included Roe Park was bequeathed to Elizabeth Jane Stanton who, in 1887, married John Edward Ritter; thus Roe Park came into ownership of the Ritter family.

Mr Ritter died in 1901 and the estate passed to his widow, who managed it until she died in 1926.

The estate then passed to her son, Major John Alexander Ritter, Royal Artillery.

Major Ritter continued to manage affairs until his death in 1931, followed by his widow, Mrs Ritter, until her death in 1951.

When Mrs Ritter died, the estate was sold again.

Alas, it was at this time that the estate was stripped of many of the fine trees planted by Dominick McCausland in the late 1700s.

Roe Park House was converted into a residential care home, which closed in the late 1980s, when the house and lands were purchased and developed into the current Roe Park Hotel.

First published in January, 2014.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Countess of Wessex in Belfast


THE COUNTESS OF WESSEX visited Belfast and County Down today.

Her Royal Highness, Patron, Royal Mencap Society, this morning visited Mencap Centre, 5 School Road, Newtownbreda, Belfast, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Down, (Mr David Lindsay).

HRH, Patron, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, this afternoon visited Laganside Courts, 45 Oxford Street, Belfast, and was received by Dr Philip McGarry DL (Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast).

The Countess of Wessex afterwards opened the Northern Ireland Hospice, 74 Somerton Road, Belfast, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast (Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE).

Her Royal Highness subsequently visited Risk Avoidance and Danger Awareness Resource, 26 Heron Road, Belfast, and was received by Mr Colin Russell DL (Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast).

HRH, Patron, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, this evening attended a Dinner at Harbour Office, Corporation Square, Belfast, and was received by Professor Martin Bradley DL (Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast).

Lissen Hall

THE HELY-HUTCHINSONS OWNED 766 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DUBLIN

THE RT HON JOHN HELY-HUTCHINSON (1724-94), an eminent lawyer and statesman of Ireland (son of Francis Hely, of Gortroe, County Cork, by the daughter of Christopher Earbury), married, in 1751, Christiana, daughter of Lorenzo Nickson, of Munny, County Wicklow, and niece and heir of Richard Hutchinson, of Knocklofty, County Tipperary (in consequence of which marriage he assumed the additional surname of HUTCHINSON), and had issue,
Richard Hely, cr EARL OF DONOUGHMORE ;
John, successor to his brother as 2nd Earl;
FRANCIS, of whom we treat;
Augustus Abraham;
Christopher;
Lorenzo;
Christiana; Mary; Prudence; Margaret.
The third son,

FRANCIS HELY-HUTCHINSON (1769-1827), MP for Dublin University, 1790-98, Naas, 1798-1801, wedded Frances Wilhelmina, daughter and heir of Henry Nixon, of Belmont, County Wexford, and had issue,
John, 3rd Earl;
Henry, Lieutenant-Colonel;
COOTE, of whom hereafter;
George;
Richard;
Anne Louisa; Catherine Henrietta; Charlotte Sophia; Louisa Frances.
The third son,

CAPTAIN THE HON COOTE HELY-HUTCHINSON, Royal Navy, espoused, in 1834, Sophia, youngest daughter of the Rev Sir Samuel Synge-Hutchinson Bt, and had issue,
Samuel, died in infancy;
JOHN, of whom we treat;
Francis Henry;
Sophia Dorothy.
Captain Hely-Hutchinson died in 1842.

His third son,

JOHN HELY-HUTCHINSON JP DL (1826-1919), of Seafield and Lissen Hall, County Dublin, High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1872, married, in 1865, Mary Louisa, eldest daughter of Robert Tottenham, of Annamult, second son of Charles Tottenham, of Ballycurry, County Wicklow, and had issue,
COOTE ROBERT, his heir;
Richard George, a military officer;
Ethel Mary; Cecil Frances Katharine; Eleanor Blanche.
The elder son,

COOTE ROBERT HELY-HUTCHINSON OBE (1870-1930), Lieutenant-Colonel, Reserve Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, wedded, in 1914, Julia Harriet Vere, daughter of William Clayton Browne-Clayton, and had issue,
JOHN;
Michael;
David Coote;
Mary Caroline; Julia Louisa.
The eldest son,

JOHN HELY-HUTCHINSON (1914-85), died unmarried.


LISSEN HALL, Donabate, County Dublin, was constructed in at least two different periods.

The original house was a long, plain, gable-ended dwelling of the late-17th or early 18th century.

Slightly later, though still in the first half of the 18th century, Lissen Hall was extensively remodelled and a new front built at right angles to the earlier house to form a large T-shaped building.

The new five-bay façade shows a typical mid-Georgian design, with a tripartite door-case and a Venetian window above.

The tripartite arrangement is repeated on the upper storey, where the central window is flanked by two blind sidelights.

There are projecting bows, with semi-conical roofs at either end, while the walls of the façade continue upwards without a cornice to form a parapet, adorned with urns and eagles.

These embellishments were clearly aimed at replicating Mantua, a neighbouring house now long demolished, which faced Lissen Hall across the tidal estuary of the Meadow Water.

Architectural drawings from 1765 can be seen in the house, which at that time was owned by John Hatch, MP for Swords in the old Irish Parliament before it voted itself out of existence in 1801.

Lissen Hall later passed to the politically influential Hely-Hutchinson family, of nearby Seafield House.

In the 1870s the grounds comprised 78 acres.

In 1950 Terence Chadwick purchased Lissen Hall from the Hely-Hutchinsons, and it was subsequently inherited by his daughter, Lady Davis-Goff, of Ballinacor.

As a result Lissen Hall has been sold only once in over two hundred and fifty years.

The Irish Times has published an interesting article about the Hely-Hutchinsons.

Donoughmore arms courtesy of European Heraldry.  Select bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Fort William House

THE GUMBLETONS OWNED 4,741 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY CORK
AND 2,239 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY WATERFORD

This family is supposed to have been originally from Kent, but the period of its settlement in Ireland is unknown.

Ballygarran Castle and Manor, beautifully situated on the River Blackwater, near Lismore, County Waterford, were purchased about 1695 by

RICHARD GUMBLETON, of Castle Richard, otherwise Ballygarran, County Waterford, High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1732, who married, in 1704, Anne Crook, daughter of Wallis Warren (ancestor of Sir Augustus Warren Bt, of Warren's Court), and had issue,
RICHARD JOSEPH, his heir;
Anne; Elizabeth; Susanna; Mary.
Mr Gumbleton died in 1757, and was succeeded by his only son,

RICHARD JOSEPH GUMBLETON (1721-76), of Castle Richard, High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1772, who wedded, in 1743, Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel Conner, of Bandon, and sister of William Conner, MP for Bandon, 1761-66, and had issue,
WILLIAM CONNER, his heir;
Henry Conner;
Richard, of Castle Richard;
George Conner;
ROBERT WARREN, succeeded his brother;
Anne; Susanna; Catherine; Sarah; Jane; Mary; Elizabeth.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM CONNER GUMBLETON (1750-1815), died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

ROBERT WARREN GUMBLETON (c1753-1834), of Glanatore, County Cork, who espoused, in 1787, Margaret, daughter of John Bowen, of Oakgrove, County Cork, and had issue,
Richard, his heir;
Robert, dsp;
JOHN BOWEN, of whom we treat;
George (Rev), of Belgrove; father of WILLIAM EDWARD GUMBLETON;
Diana; Margaret; Mary Anne; Frances Lavinia; Catherine; Jane; Eliza.
The third son,

JOHN BOWEN GUMBLETON (1796-1858), of Fort William, County Waterford, High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1845, married Ann, daughter of Henry Everard, and had issue,
Robert, dsp;
Henry Everard, died in infancy;
John Henry, died at sea; dsp;
Richard, died in infancy;
Mary; Margaret; Anne; Meliora;
FRANCES, of whom hereafter.
The youngest daughter,

MISS FRANCES GUMBLETON (1837-1914), was the last of the family to live at Fort William House.


FORT WILLIAM HOUSE, Glencairn, Lismore, County Waterford, was built in 1836 in the Tudor-Revival style.

About 1695 the Gumbleton family purchased the estate, beside the River Blackwater, a few miles upstream from Lismore.

William Conner Gumbleton inherited a portion of the estate and built a house named Fort William, following the example of his cousin, Robert Conner, who had called his house Fort Robert.

The estate passed to his nephew, John Bowen Gumbleton, who commissioned a new house by James and George Richard Pain, former apprentices of John Nash with a thriving architectural practice in Cork.

The present house is a regular building of two storeys in local sandstone with an abundance of gables, pinnacles and tall Elizabethan chimneys.

The interior is largely late-Georgian in style and Fort William is essentially a classical Georgian house with a profusion of mildly Gothic details.

Mr Gumbleton’s son, John Henry Gumbleton, died at sea, and his daughter Frances eventually leased the house to Colonel Richard Keane, brother of Sir John Keane from nearby Cappoquin House.

The Colonel was much annoyed when his car, reputedly fitted with a well-stocked cocktail cabinet, was commandeered by the IRA so he permitted Free State troops to occupy the servants’ wing at Fort William during the Irish Civil War, which may have influenced the terrorists' decision to burn his brother’s house in 1923.

Colonel Keane died in a shooting accident, the estate reverted to Frances Gumbleton’s nephew, John Currey, and was sold to a Mr Dunne who continued the tradition of letting the house.

His most notable tenant was Adele Astaire, sister of the famous dancer and film star Fred Astaire, who became the wife of Lord Charles Cavendish from nearby Lismore Castle.

In 1944 the Gumbleton family re-purchased Fort William but resold for £10,000 after just two years.

The new owner was Hugh, 2nd Duke of Westminster.

Fort William is in good hunting country with some fine beats on a major salmon river, which allowed the elderly Duke to claim he had purchased an Irish sporting base.

Its real purpose, however, was to facilitate his pursuit of Miss Nancy Sullivan, daughter of a retired general from Glanmire, near Cork, who soon became his fourth duchess.

His Grace made extensive alterations at Fort William, installing the fine gilded LOUIS XV boiseries in the drawing-room, removed from the ducal seat, Eaton Hall, in Cheshire, and fitting out the dining-room with panelling from one of his yachts.

The 2nd Duke died in 1953, but his widow survived for a further fifty years, outliving three of her husband's successors at Eaton Lodge in Cheshire.

Anne, Duchess of Westminster, was renowned as one of the foremost National Hunt owners of the day.

Her Grace's bay gelding, Arkle, won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on three successive occasions and is among the most famous steeplechasers of all time.

Fort William was briefly owned by the Drummond-Wolfe family before passing to an American, Murray Mitchell.

On his widow’s death it was purchased by Ian Agnew and his wife Sara, who undertook a sensitive restoration before he too died in 2009.

In 2013 the estate was purchased by David Evans-Bevan who lives at Fort William today with his family, farming and running the salmon fishery.

Select bibliography ~ Irish Historic Houses Association.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Clandeboye House Guest

Photo credit: Katybird
CELIA LYTTELON, IN A DAILY TELEGRAPH ARTICLE, SPENT SOME TIME WITH LADY DUFFERIN AT HER COUNTRY SEAT, CLANDEBOYE, COUNTY DOWN


CLANDEBOYE, County Down, home to the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, is filled with memorabilia collected by the 1st Marquess, a 19th-century diplomat, and provides a dramatic glimpse into his life.

As you pass between the cannons that flank its gates, Clandeboye seems to rise over the mist on the lake like a Chinese watercolour.

This romantic early-Georgian mansion and its 2,000-acre estate in County Down, Northern Ireland, is home to Lindy, the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, and is sustained by a series of enterprises.

'We are free of foundations and trusts,’ Lady Dufferin says proudly.

Helping to keep the estate self-sufficient is its golf course, the Ava art gallery, a banqueting hall used for weddings, a classical music festival and Clandeboye’s own brand of yogurt, courtesy of the estate’s award-winning herd of Holstein and Jersey cows.


The settlement dates from the 17th century, but the building we see today was built in the early 1800s by Robert Woodgate (formerly an engineer to Sir John Soane), who was commissioned by the politician Sir James Blackwood, 2nd Baron Dufferin and Clandeboye.

Incorporating elements of an earlier building, Woodgate created two wings at right angles to each other.

About 50 years later, it became home to Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, the 5th Baron and 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava (Lindy is the widow of the last Marquess, Sheridan; the title is now extinct).

The great-grandson of the playwright Richard Sheridan, Frederick travelled widely as Governor-General of Canada and then Viceroy of India, and put his own stamp on Clandeboye.

Like many of his generation he was a passionate collector, and the interior at Clandeboye (sometimes known by its original name, Bally­leidy) is a reflection of the countries he served.

The breadth of this passion is evident the moment one enters Clandeboye through its Doric portico.


In the outer hall the walls are decorated with symmetrical displays of weaponry: daggers, pistols and cutlasses presented to the 1st Marquess.

In the pistachio-green Long Gallery there are more surprises.

The grand staircase is flanked by a pair of narwhal tusks and on either side lie two ornate daybeds.

These belonged to King Tibor of Burma.

Frederick bought them when the contents of the palace at Mandalay were auctioned off after he annexed Upper Burma. 

Upstairs the names of the bedrooms recall the many places that he served as a diplomat: France, St Petersburg, Canada, Rome.

France is the most exquisite, decorated in neoclassical gilt motifs copied from a Pompeiian fresco.

The mythological Europa and the bull are pictured on the bed head.

The gilt empire furniture complements the theme.

The house was designed to take maximum advantage of the light: the south-facing corner of the L-shaped layout is made up of 16 bay windows.

Frederick also had a mania for glass roofing and skylights.

The Simla corridor on the upper floor – named after the hill station in India where the British went on holiday – illuminated by oculi, small hemispherical skylights.

'Clandeboye needs constant attention,’ Lady Dufferin, a successful artist who works using her maiden name, Lindy Guinness, says.

On the day I visited, the Rev Ian Paisley was scheduled to come and see a portrait she had painted of him.

'The studio is somewhere I feel safe,’ she says.

Several chiaroscuro black-and-white gouaches in the studio, destined for a show in Paris, are studies of light in the rooms at Clandeboye – a subject she returns to often.

Outside is a walled garden with its thousands of saplings.

It has been planted over the past 25 years by Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland, which has brought Protestant and Catholic communities together to work in tandem.

Deeper in the woods is Helen’s Tower, a turreted folly with views over the rolling parkland, immortalised in Tennyson’s poem of the same name.

Commissioned by Frederick and completed in 1861, it was designed by the Scottish architect William Burn, its name in honour of Dufferin’s mother.

Lady Dufferin and her late husband, who died in 1988, have worked tirelessly to restore Clandeboye to its former glory and have created a lasting memorial to Frederick’s unique vision.

It has been a major project, and the work continues.

'This is a real, living estate with no dead hand of institutional discipline,’ she says. 'I look upon Clandeboye as a gift.’
  
First published in November, 2011.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Temple House

THE PERCEVALS OWNED 7,821 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY SLIGO

GEORGE PERCEVAL (1635-75), youngest son of Sir Philip Perceval, Knight, the distinguished statesman (great-grandfather of John, 1st Earl of Egmont), by Catherine Ussher his wife, daughter of Arthur Ussher and granddaughter of Sir William Ussher, Clerk of the Council, was Registrar of the Prerogative Court, Dublin.

He married Mary, daughter and heir of William Crofton, of Temple House, County Sligo, and had issue,
PHILIP, his heir;
William, ancestor of PERCEVAL-MAXWELL of Finnebrogue;
Charles;
Catherine.
George Perceval was drowned near Holyhead on his voyage to England with the Earl of Meath and other persons of distinction.

His eldest son and heir,

PHILIP PERCEVAL (1670-1704), of Temple House, County Sligo, wedded, in 1691, Elizabeth, daughter of John D'Aberon, of Wandsworth, Surrey, and left, with other issue, a son and heir,

JOHN PERCEVAL (1700-54), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1727 and 1742, wedded, in 1722, Anne, daughter of Joshua Cooper, of Markree, County Sligo, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

PHILIP PERCEVAL (1723-87), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1775, who espoused Mary, daughter and co-heir of Guy Carleton, of Rossfad, County Fermanagh, and was succeeded by his son,

GUY CARLETON PERCEVAL, who dsp 1792, and was succeeded by his brother,

THE REV PHILIP PERCEVAL, of Temple House, who married, in 1783, Anne, daughter of Alexander Carroll, of Dublin, and had issue,
Philip, died unmarried;
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Guy, died unmarried;
Anne; Mary.
The second son,

ALEXANDER PERCEVAL JP (1787-1858), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1809, MP for County Sligo, 1831-41, wedded, in 1808, Jane Anne, eldest daughter of Colonel Henry Peisley L'Estrange, of Moystown, King's County, and had surviving issue,
PHILIP;
Henry (Rev);
ALEXANDER, of whom hereafter;
Charles George Guy;
Elizabeth Dora; Frances; Sophia; Georgina Sarah; Maria Frances; Emily Jane.
Colonel Perceval's third son,

ALEXANDER PERCEVAL (1821-66), of Temple House, Barrister, espoused, in 1858, Annie E, youngest daughter of George de Blois, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Robert Jardine;
Philip Dudley;
Jeannie; Sophie.
Mr Perceval was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER PERCEVAL JP DL (1859-87), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1882, who married, in 1881, Charlotte Jane, eldest daughter of Charles William O'Hara, of Annaghmore, County Sligo, and had issue,
ALEXANDER ASCELIN CHARLES PHILIP SPENCER, his heir;
Sibyl Annie (1882-84).
Mr Perceval was succeeded by his son and heir,

ALEXANDER ASCELIN CHARLES PHILIP SPENCER PERCEVAL DL (1885-1967), of Temple House,


TEMPLE HOUSE, Ballymote, County Sligo, takes its name from the Knights Templar, the wealthiest of the three military orders founded during the crusades.

Fierce warriors and able administrators, their power stretched across Europe where they operated as a separate sovereign administration within each independent state.

The knights reached Ireland with the Normans and quickly became established, building a castle at Temple House in County Sligo, their most westerly foundation, shortly after 1200.

In 1312 the Pope suppressed the order, citing their alleged heretical and blasphemous practises in justification.

In France, Templars were burnt at the stake and their land seized by the crown, but other countries adopted a more measured approach, transferring their property to the Knights Hospitallers, known today as the Knights of Malta.

As English influence waned in the remote west of Ireland, Temple House was reoccupied by the O’Haras, the principal sept in that region, who built a new castle in 1360.

In 1565 William Crofton was appointed Auditor and Escheator General, and used his position to amass extensive estates in Counties Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo.


These included Temple House, or Tagh-temple, which passed with his great-granddaughter Mary on her marriage to George Perceval, the younger son of another distinguished Irish administrator, and grandson of Richard Perceval, ‘confidential agent’ to Queen Elizabeth’s minister, Lord Burleigh, who correctly identified preparations for the Spanish Armada and was rewarded with Irish estates.

By the 1760s George and Mary’s descendants had replaced her parent’s thatched dwelling of ca 1630 and their new house was further extended in 1825.

Unfortunately the Irish famine ruined the family and the estate was sold to a Mr Hall-Dare along with the town of Ballymote.

Happily, a younger son, Alexander Perceval, went to seek his fortune in China and amassed vast riches in the development of Hong Kong as Tai-Pan for the great trading house, Jardine Matheson.


He returned to Ireland, repurchased the estate and tripled the size of the house in 1864, cladding it in cut-stone in a strict classical style, with three formal fronts and a porte-cochere, always a convenient feature in the wet West of Ireland.

The result is broadly symmetrical, with the Georgian house still clearly evident in the centre of the east front.

The interior has a superb suite of large, grand rooms, lit by serried ranks of vast plate-glass windows.

There are lofty ceilings, the vestibule rises to some thirty-two feet, and decoration of a very high order, reminiscent of the grander London clubs, while much of the furniture was specially commissioned for the house.

The house reputedly contains more than ninety rooms.

Alexander’s neighbours suggested he might be over-spending but he assured them of his imminent return to make an even larger fortune in Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, he caught sun-stroke fishing on Temple House Lake and died in 1866, leaving a widow with a large young family and rather less capital than his heirs would have liked to maintain their vast new home.

But they did survive and today the estate comprises 1,200 acres of pasture, woodland, lake and bog, and is home to Alexander’s great-great-great grandson Roderick, along with his wife Helena and their family, the thirteenth and fourteenth generations in almost continuous occupation since the late sixteenth century.

Select bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.