Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Lighthouse Island: II

The Kitchen


On Saturday morning, most of us arose from the bunk-beds swiftly after seven o'clock.

There are sponge mattresses.

Bring your own sleeping-bag and pillow-case; abundant heavy blankets are provided.

It's wise to be self-sufficient here: Bring all food and drink, though there is a limited supply of fresh water from the well.

"Washing" water comes from a butt, and it is emphasised that this must not be used for consumption, even for boiling in a kettle.

So I got dressed and, armed with my wash-gear, found the male wash-room, which is outside in an old shed.

The stainless-steel sink is very large and, unfortunately, lacks a plug.

It has no running water, either; so you boil water and bring it from the kitchen to the wash-room outside.

There is no bath or shower in the wash-room.

Given that the island had not been occupied all week, the sink contained a few swallow droppings!

I decided not to avail of the facilities in the wash-room.

Instead, I boiled some water, poured it into a Pyrex bowl from the kitchen, took it outside to the front of the cottage, and washed myself in the open.

This was easier and less fuss.

I don't know what the others did.

Some, I suspect, didn't bother to wash at all!

Others let their beards grow.

The duty officer, I noticed, used an electric razor.

I made the mistake of believing that we, as a NT group, would all be sharing all our food.

I brought plenty of ingredients for an Ulster Fry, including twenty sausages, potato-bread and soda-bread; while others provided fresh eggs, bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms.

Phil generously supplied rump steaks, oven chips, vegetables, and red wine.

The kitchen is well equipped, with three cookers and an abundance of kitchen knives, forks, spoons, dishes, baking-trays and so on.

Next episode ... off to Heligoland!

First published in September, 2012.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Round the Coast of Northern Ireland

The Rev Canon Hugh Forde, sometime Rector of Tamlaghtfinlagan (Ballykelly), and a canon of St Columb's Cathedral, Londonderry, was author of Sketches of Olden Days in Northern Ireland and the book I am going to quote from, Round the Coast of Northern Ireland.

Canon Forde wrote the latter book in 1928, and the foreward was written by the Rt Hon Sir John Ross Bt, last Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

LORD ROSEBERY, speaking of the Scottish settlers in Ulster, at the Edinburgh Philosophical Institute in 1911, said of them:-
"We know that the term Ulster-Scot is generic, and simply means Scoto-Irish. 
I love the Highlanders and I love the Lowlanders, but when I come to the branch of our race that has been grated on the Ulster stem, I take off my hat with veneration and awe. 
They are, I believe, the toughest, the most dominant, the most irresistible race that exists in the universe at this moment."
The passage is quoted by Sir John Ross in his book Pilgrim Scrip.

"It is true that the people are dominant and irresistible.

On the terrible day of Thiepval, 1st July, 1916, they exhibited a gallantry and sacrifice that have never been surpassed.

In the early part of the 18th century the Anglican bishops most unwisely proceeded to enforce the Act of Uniformity, the result of which was that about 100,000 Ulstermen of the Scottish breed migrated to the country that afterwards became the United States of America.

Here they were planted on the Indian frontier, where massacres of the settlers were matters of frequent occurrence.

In spite of the tomahawk, and the scalping knife, the dour race held its ground till it had driven back the savage foes.

The dour race did not forget  how they had been treated  by England and the English Bishops.

When the War of Independence came on they formed the backbone of Washington's army.

FURTHER, there was a time when peace could easily have been effected between the mother country and the revolting States, but the Ulster men would hear of no compromise and insisted on independence.

"As separation was inevitable some time," Sir John goes on to say, "perhaps their persistence did real service to England itself. They have left their mark upon the United States to this day in the peculiar intonation of their accent and in the Puritanical character of their ideals."

Doneraile Court


The ancient family of ST LEGER is of French extraction, and derives from

SIR ROBERT SENT LEGERE, Knight, as the name was then written, one of the companions in arms of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR; and, according to a family tradition, the person who supported that prince with his arm when he quitted the ship to land in Sussex.

This Sir Robert, having overcome a pagan Dane who inhabited the manor of Ulcombe, in Kent, fixed his abode there; and in that place his posterity flourished for many generations.

The lineal descendant of Sir Robert, 

SIR ANTHONY ST LEGER KG (c1496-1559), of Ulcombe, Kent, went first into Ireland in 1537, being appointed by HENRY VIII one of the commissioners for letting the Crown lands there, and returning into England, was constituted Lord Deputy of Ireland, in 1540.

In 1543, he was recalled to inform the King of his administration of affairs, which gave His Majesty such satisfaction that he created him a Knight of the Garter, and sent him back as Lord Deputy; in which high office he continued until 1556, serving three sovereigns, when, being recalled by QUEEN MARY, he retired to his estate in Kent, and died there in 1559.

Sir Anthony married Agnes, daughter of Hugh Warham, and was succeeded by his second, but eldest surviving son, 


SIR WARHAM ST LEGER, who was appointed President of Munster in 1566, by Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland.

In 1580, he caused James of Desmond, who was denominated a notorious rebel, to be hanged under martial law at Cork.

Sir Warham was killed, 1600, in battle (in single combat), by Hugh Maguire, Lord of Fermanagh, who fell himself at the same time.

He wedded Ursula, youngest daughter of George, Lord Abergavenny, and was succeeded by his son,

THE RT HON SIR WILLIAM ST LEGER (1586-1642), Privy Counsellor, Lord President of Munster, 1627, MP for Cork County, 1634, who was appointed, in that year, Sergeant-Major-General in the Army.

Sir William was subsequently employed against the rebels in Ireland.

He married Gertrude de Vries, a Lady of Lower Germany, and left with other issue (from which descended the St Legers of Yorkshir, and General St Leger),
WILLIAM, his heir;
JOHN, successor to his brother;
The eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM ST LEGER, Knight, MP for Cork County, 1639, who fell at the battle of Newbury, 1644, was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN ST LEGER, of Doneraile, County Cork, who wedded the Lady Mary Chichester, elder daughter and co-heir of the 1st Earl of Donegall, and was succeeded by his son,

THE RT HON ARTHUR ST LEGERof Doneraile, who was elevated to the peerage, 1703, in the dignities of Baron Kilmayden and VISCOUNT DONERAILE.

His lordship espoused, in 1690, Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Hayes, of Winchilsea, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his successor;
He died in 1727, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

ARTHUR, 2nd Viscount (1694-1734), who wedded firstly, in 1717, Mary, only child of Charles, Lord Mohun (who lost his life in a duel with the Duke of Hamilton), and had an only son,


His lordship wedded secondly, in 1738, Catherine Sarah, daughter of Captain John Conyngham, but had no surviving issue.

He was succeeded by his only son,

ARTHUR MOHUN, 3rd Viscount (1718-50), who espoused firstly, in 1738, Mary, daughter of Anthony Shepherd, of Newcastle, County Longford; and secondly, in 1739, Catherine, eldest daughter of the Viscount Massereene; but died childless, when the honours reverted to his uncle, 

HAYES, 4th Viscount (1702-67), who married, in 1722, Elizabeth, eldest daughter and co-heir of Joseph Deane, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer; but dying without issue, when the titles became EXTINCT, and the family estates devolved upon his nephew,

ST LEGER ALDWORTHMP for Doneraile, 1749-76; and upon succeeding to the estates of his maternal ancestors, assumed the surname and arms of ST LEGER.

He was elevated to the peerage, in 1776, in the dignity of Baron Doneraile; and advanced to a viscountcy, in 1785, as VISCOUNT DONERAILE (second creation).

His lordship wedded Mary, eldest daughter of Redmond Barry, of Ballyclough, County Cork, by whom he had,
Richard, grandfather of the 5th and 6th Viscounts;
Barry Boyle;
Henrietta; Elizabeth; Mary; Louisa Anne; Caroline Catherine; Charlotte Theodosia; Georgiana.
His lordship died in 1787, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

HAYES, 2nd Viscount (1755-1819), MP for Doneraile, 1777-87, High Sheriff of County Cork, 1780, who espoused, in 1785, Charlotte, fourth daughter of James Bernard, of Castle Bernard, and sister of Francis, 1st Earl of Bandon, and had issue,
Charlotte; Harriet.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

HAYES, 3rd Viscount (1786-1854), High Sheriff of County Cork, 1812, who married, in 1816, his first cousin, the Lady Charlotte Esther Bernard, second daughter of Francis, 1st Earl of Bandon, and had issue, an only child,

HAYES, 4th Viscount (1818-87), DL, High Sheriff of County Cork, 1845, who wedded, in 1851, Mary Anne Grace Louisa, daughter of George Lenox-Conyngham, and had issue,
Hayes Warham, died in infancy;
Ursula Clara Emily; May.
His lordship was succeeded by his second cousin,

RICHARD ARTHUR, 5th Viscount (1825-91), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his nephew,

EDWARD, 6th Viscount (1866-1941), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

HUGH, 7th Viscount (1869-1956), who espoused, in 1919, Mary Isobel, daughter of Francis Morice, though died without issue, and was succeeded by his cousin,

ALGERNON EDWARD, 8th Viscount,
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, the Hon Nathaniel Warham Robert St John St Leger.

The 4th Viscount was one of the great Victorian hunting men, and his demise was both ironic and macabre: He kept a pet fox which was housed near the gate at the side of the Court.

The fox became rabid and bit its master.

Lord Doneraile contracted rabies, and was smothered with pillows by the housemaids to spare him suffering and prevent him spreading the disease to others.

DONERAILE COURT, Doneraile, County Cork, comprising three storeys and seven bays, dates from the early 18th century.

A cut-stone front was added ca 1730.

The house has a three-bay breakfront, blocked quoins, crisply-moulded window surrounds with scroll keystones in the two upper storeys, and a door-case with Ionic columns and a scroll pediment.

Later in the 18th century curved end bows were added; and later still, the side elevation was extended by a bow-fronted addition, thus becoming a garden front of three bays between two bows.

On the other side of the house, a wing containing a new dining-room was added in 1869 by the 4th Viscount of the 2nd creation, though this was demolished relatively recently.

During the Victorian era, ninety gardeners were employed to maintain the parkland.

The 7th Viscount died at Doneraile Court in 1956.

The estate and its 400 acres was bought by the Irish state in 1969 from the St Leger family, for the purpose of creating a wildlife preserve.

In 2011, there was a €10m  plan to turn the house and its extensive grounds into a major tourist attraction, focused on turning the historic Doneraile Court into a tourist mecca.

First published in December, 2012.   Doneraile arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Lighthouse Island: I

Lighthouse Island: East Jetty


THE COPELAND ISLANDS lie off the south side of the entrance of Belfast Lough, County Down.

They were the property of Ker of Portavo; they take their name, however, from a family who settled in Ards, in the 12th century, in the time of John de Courcy.

Lighthouse Island lies less than a mile north-northeast of Big Island, and comprises 40 acres of arable land, with a coastline of about a mile in circumference.

A lighthouse upon it had a square tower with walls seven feet in thickness, and seventy feet in height to the lantern.

Its light could distinctly be seen at Portpatrick and the Mull of Galloway in Scotland.

Timothy Belmont has been incommunicado for forty-eight hours, mainly due to the fact that I have spent that time at Lighthouse Island, one of the Copeland Islands, opposite Donaghadee, County Down.

I arrived at Donaghadee on Friday afternoon at about four-thirty, parked the car, and swiftly made a bee-line for Pier 36, a well-frequented establishment on the sea-front near the harbour.

At Pier 36, I seated myself up at the bar and ordered a little restorative, viz. a Tanqueray and tonic-water.

Rosie and Nick, two fellow National Trust volunteers, arrived soon afterwards.

We had another drink, then ordered a meal.

 I had the halibut with buttery mash and asparagus tips, which was simply delicious.

Craig and his party then arrived, and we proceeded to make for our ferry, MV Mermaid, which took about fifteen of us, including eight NT personnel, to Lighthouse Island.

This compact little island lies behind the main Copeland Island itself.

The journey took about forty-five minutes.

When we arrived at the small jetty, we disembarked and unloaded various provisions and tools for the weekend's task.

Wheelbarrows are used to take bulky items up the hill to the cottage, also known as Copeland Bird Observatory.

Having set up camp and having been told the basic house rules and regulations, I chose my bunk in the male dormitory, which sleeps nine.

Later that evening, we were all invited to join Davy, the duty officer, for the evening catching and ringing juvenile Manx Shearwaters, quite remarkable sea-birds which live in burrows and are not great on the feet.

Indeed, they are relatively easy to catch at night.

We also caught and ringed a fair number of swallows.

We were all given the opportunity to release them outside the ringing office.

When darkness fell, these wonderful little birds sat on the palm of my hand for a few minutes, before flying away.

Next episode ... ablutions and eating arrangements

Loughry Manor


The first of the family of LINDESAY who settled in Ulster, upon the confiscation of the O'Neills in that province, were two brothers, BERNARD LINDESAY, of Lough Hill, Haddington, Gentleman of the Bedchamber to JAMES VI, King of Scotland, and ROBERT LINDESAY, Chief Harbinger to that monarch, sons of THOMAS LINDESAY, of Kingswark, in Leith, which Thomas held several offices of high honour and trust, as well as emolument, under MARY, Queen of Scotland, and her son, JAMES VI, such as Searcher-General of Leith, in 1562, which he resigned in favour of his son, Bernard, in 1594.

The King provided, not only for him, but his family, by pensions, to his daughters, Agnes and Elizabeth, out of the rents and tithes of the abbey of North Berwick; also to his sons, Bernard, Thomas, and Robert, from other lands belonging to the friars of Linlithgow.

Thomas Lindesay, the Snawdoun Herald, and Searcher-General of Leith, was living in 1594.

His son, 

ROBERT LINDESAY, of Leith, Chief Harbinger and Comptroller of the Artillery to JAMES I in Scotland, obtained from that monarch a grant of the manor and lands of Tullyhogue, Loughry, etc, County Tyrone, by patent dated 1611.

He married Janet Acheson, and by her (who survived him, and was living in 1619) he had a son and successor,

ROBERT LINDESAY (c1604-74), of Loughry and Tullyhogue, who obtained a second patent of the said manor and lands of Loughry and Tullyhogue, described therein as Manor Lindesay, in the 14th year of the reign of CHARLES I, and who built the mansion house of Loughry in 1632, which was burnt by the rebels in 1641, and rebuilt by him in 1671.

Mr Lindesay, an officer in the royal army at the battle of Worcester, married Margaret, daughter of James Richardson, of Castle Hill, County Tyrone, and had issue (with three daughters),
ROBERT, of whom presently;
Alexander, of Cahoo;
The elder son, 

ROBERT LINDESAY, of Loughry and Tullyhogue, a refugee and defender in Londonderry during the celebrated siege, wedded Anne, daughter of John Morris, of Bellville, County Tyrone.

He died in 1691, leaving issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
JOHN, of whose line we treat.
The elder son,
JUDGE (ROBERT) LINDESAY (1679-1742), of Loughry and Tullyhogue, MP for County Tyrone, 1729-33, Judge of the Common Pleas, 1733, married, in 1707, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Singleton, of Drogheda (and sister of Henry Singleton, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland, and afterwards Master of the Rolls, in that kingdom), and had issue one son and one daughter: Robert, died an infant; Anne, died unmarried.

Judge Lindesay, a close friend of  the Very Rev Dr Jonathan Swift, the celebrated Dean of St Patrick’s, was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN LINDESAY (1686-1761), of Loughry and Tullyhogue, who married, in 1744, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev Bellingham Mauleverer, Rector of Maghera, County Londonderry, and granddaughter of the Most Rev William Nicolson, Lord Archbishop of Cashel.

He died in 1761, leaving a son and successor,

ROBERT LINDESAY (1747-1832), of Loughry and Tullyhogue, MP for Dundalk, 1781-3, a Deputy Governor of Tyrone, Assistant Barrister, County Tyrone, who married, in 1775, his second cousin, Jane, eldest daughter and co-heir of Thomas Mauleverer, of Arncliffe Hall, Yorkshire, and had issue,
John, father of JOHN LINDESAY;
Robert, died in infancy;
FREDERICK, of whom hereafter.
Mr Lindesay was succeeded by his eldest son,  

JOHN LINDESAY (1780-1826), Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Tyrone Militia, Mayor of Cashel, who wedded Mary Anne, daughter of Richard Pennefather, of New Park, County Tipperary, MP for Cashel, and had an only son,

JOHN LINDESAY DL (1808-48), Lieutenant, 7th Royal Fusiliers, High Sheriff of Tyrone, 1840, who succeeded to the family estate on the death of his grandfather, 1832.

Mr Lindesay married Harriott Hester, daughter of the Rt Hon Charles Watkin Williams-Wynn MP, of Llangedwin, brother to Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn Bt, MP, of Wynnstay, Denbighshire, though died without an heir, and was succeeded by his uncle, 

FREDERICK LINDESAY JP DL (1792-), of Loughry, Barrister, High Sheriff of Tyrone, 1859, who married firstly, in 1823, Agnes Cornish Bayntun, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Sir Edwin Bayntun Sandys Bt, of Miserden Park, Gloucestershire, and Hadlington Hall, Oxfordshire (who died in 1842), and had issue,
Robert Sandys, Capt. Royal Tyrone Fusilier Militia; d 1870;
Frederick John Sandys (1830-77), of Loughry, military officer;
Thomas Edward, 27th Bengal Native Infantry, killed in 1857;
Jane; Philippa Allen; Agnes Sarah.
The fourth son, 

JOSHUA EDWARD CHARLES COOPER LINDESAY JP DL (1843-93), of Loughry, Lieutenant-Colonel, 3rd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, late 50th Regiment, died unmarried, and was succeeded by his cousin,

HENRY RICHARD PONSONBY LINDESAY (1843-1903), of Loughry, and Donore, Ivybridge, Devon, Lieutenant-Colonel, Reserve of Officers, 60th Rifles and 20th Regiment, who wedded, in 1898, Frances Mary, daughter of the Rev J Irwin, Rector of Hurworth-on-Tees.

He dsp 1903.

LOUGHRY DEMESNE, near Cookstown, County Tyrone, dates from the early 17th century.

The origins of the demesne can be traced to 1611, when land in the area was granted by JAMES I to his Chief Harbinger, Robert Lindesay, who is thought to have built himself a timber residence on the southern side of the river Killymoon, close to the village of Tullahogue, "surrounded by a ditch with a high bank of Clay and a quick-thorn hedge".

Robert died ca 1629 and his lands passed to his son Robert, who built a new residence on the present site in 1632.

This house was destroyed in the 1641 rebellion and the site was abandoned until 1671, when a new dwelling was commenced.

This second house was finished in 1674, shortly after Robert's death, and survived until about 1750, when it, too, was destroyed by fire, although it is thought to have been accidental.

Although there appears to be no extant documentary evidence to prove it, the relatively steeply-pitched roof and simple symmetrical lines of the present building suggest that it is that built ca 1754 to replace the 17th century residence.

On this, the main two-storey, five openings-wide, gabled block to the south is shown, along with a rear return and the long wing to the north, an arrangement which is by and large repeated on the revised map of 1857, but with somewhat more extensive rear returns.

It is said that Frederick Lindesay added a "saw mill, steward's house offices and lodge" to the demesne in 1863, and that in the house itself was "improved" by his son, Frederick Lindesay, upon his coming into the estate in 1871-72.

Part of the latter improvements probably involved the addition of the section to the north end of the north wing, which is believed to have originally contained "a banqueting hall and musicians' gallery", as well as the porch, and the decorative mouldings around the window openings.

Frederick Lindesay led an extravagant lifestyle, and by the time of his death in 1877, he had amassed debts said to have been in excess of £42,000.

His younger brother and successor, Joshua Lindesay, attempted to rectify this by leading a frugal existence.

Consequently he appears to have vacated Loughry during the 1880s, living within the much more modest Rock Lodge, to the south of the estate.

Joshua died in 1893, leaving the family's financial problems unresolved, and shortly afterwards the house and estate were sold to Cookstown businessman, John Wilson Fleming.

According to a family historian, Ernest Godfrey, either before or just after the sale, a fire "destroyed the top storey of the mansion".

The extent of the damage caused by the fire, and the amount of rebuilding - if any- is uncertain.

In 1908, Mr Fleming sold the house and its demesne to the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in Ireland, which, in 1908, opened the Ulster Dairy School on the site.
Shortly afterwards, the school built a new front wing and, within the original building, converted the library to an office; the dining-room to a sewing-room; the small drawing room to a superintendent's room; the large drawing room to a school room; the blue bedroom to a staff sitting room; another bedroom to a small dormitory; the yellow room to a superintendent's room; Bachelor's Walk to a teachers' wing; and the banqueting hall and musicians' gallery to another dormitory.
In 1922, following the establishment of Northern Ireland, the school was handed over to the Northern Ireland Ministry of Agriculture.

In 1949 it became Loughry Agricultural College.


The Very Rev Jonathan Swift, Dean of St Patrick's, a close friend of Judge Lindesay, is thought to have written part of Gulliver’s Travels whilst staying at Loughry.

Dean Swift's Summer House, as it became known, perches precariously above the river Killymoon.

Both the summer house and Loughry Manor are listed.

The house has "1632" inscribed on a wall.

Modern planting and landscaping enhances the college buildings and the prospect to the planted top of Rockhead Hill has not been obscured.

There are mature trees in the parkland, in clumps and individual trees.

The river bank is heavily wooded throughout the demesne and old walk-ways survive.

Offices and stables for the manor house have been adapted for college use.

The walled garden contains a small collection of fruit trees, but is not otherwise cultivated.

First published in April, 2013.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

The Earls Cairns: II


WILLIAM CAIRNS became a merchant in Dublin, where he married firstly, in 1778, Sarah Hutchinson, of St James's parish; and secondly, in 1787, Margaret Keine, of St Mark's parish.

He died at Parkmount in 1819, leaving issue, besides one daughter who died young,

DANIEL CAIRNS, born 1784, became an officer in the 28th and afterwards in the 62nd Regiment, and died unmarried, at Jamaica, in 1802.

In the Belfast Newsletter of October 17, 1775, both William and his eldest son John appear in a list of subscribers to a testimonial to the Rev Matthew Garnett, Vicar of Carnmoney.

For my references to early Belfast newspapers and some of my information as to the Gregg family, I am indebted to Mr Isaac Ward, who is probably the greatest living authority on old Belfast History. 
The Gregg family settled in Belfast in the 17th century and became prosperous in business.

In 1700, three brothers, Nathan, Thomas and John Gregg, were merchants in Belfast.

Nathan died in 1705, leaving his sons John and Thomas, then under age.

Thomas had an eldest son, Nathan, and other children, of whom probably William, of Parkmount, was one.

Nathan Gregg mentions these children in his will; also his sisters, Elizabeth, wife of James Smith, of Belfast; and Agnes, wife of John Stevenson, of County Antrim.

Book of Grants of Licenses, Dublin, in the Public Record Office, Dublin
: In both these entries, Nathan is written "Nathaniel", but undoubtedly Nathan was the name.

In the first marriage Hutchinson is given as the wife's name, but in a family bible the name is recorded Hutchins.


WILLIAM CAIRNS, of Parkmount, born 1789,
entered the army and became a captain in the 47th Regiment. He married, when only seventeen, Rosanna, daughter of Hugh Johnston, merchant of Belfast. During his father's lifetime he lived at Rushpark, near Carrickfergus, and also had a house in Belfast, which stood on the grounds now occupied by the Robinson & Cleaver building.
Parkmount House

After his father's death, William moved to Parkmount House, which he shortly afterwards sold to John McNeill, a banker in Belfast.

He subsequently lived at Cultra, County Down.

He married secondly, Matilda, daughter of Francis Beggs, of The Grange, Malahide, and dying at Cultra in 1844, left issue, Nathan Daniel, born 1807, who married, in 1839, Mary, daughter of Thomas Miller, of Preston. 
McNeill, of Machrihanish, who came over to Ireland about 1625 with his relatives the MacNaghtens, obtained the lands of Killoquin, County Antrim, where he settled, marrying Rose Stewart of Garry, in that County, John McNeill of Parkmount, having succeeded to a large fortune as heir of his uncle General McNeill, purchased Parkmount and a considerable estate at Craigs, County Antrim, and became a private banker in Belfast, eventually forming, with others, what is now the Northern Bank. 
His grandson sold Parkmount, which, as Belfast extended, became a particularly desirable property.

The new owner of Parkmount was the prominent Belfast merchant Sir Robert Anderson Bt, DL, Lord Mayor and High Sheriff.

The Cairns family, since the Reformation, were all Presbyterian.

The 1st Earl's great-grandfather, or some members of his family at least, seem to have conformed to the established Church (of Ireland) shortly after their move to Parkmount.

In the Belfast News-Letter, dated about 1790, there is an advertisement inserted by John
Cairns, of Parkmount, offering a reward for the recovery of his watch, which he had lost the previous Sunday between Parkmount and Carnmoney Church.

As early as 1775,
both John and his father William appear on a list of subscribers to a testimonial to the Vicar of Carnmoney; however, the History of Belfast (supplement) records that two of John's sisters were members of Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church.

First published in February, 2011.  Cairns arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Friday, 26 April 2019

The Portstewart Strand Acquisition


PROPERTY: Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry

DATE: 1981

EXTENT: 225.82 acres

DONOR: Philip McIntyre

First published in ,January, 2015.

Castle Crine


This family is said to descend from the noble house of BUTLER, Viscounts Mountgarret.

WILLIAM BUTLER, of Rossroe Castle, County Clare, serving as High Sheriff of that county in 1712, left a daughter, Anne, wife of St John Bridgeman (of Woodfield), and two sons, viz.
HENRY, of Rossroe Castle;
THOMAS, of Castle Crine.
The second son,

THOMAS BUTLER, of Castle Crine, was father of 

WILLIAM BUTLER, of Castle Crine, who succeeded to the landed property of his cousin, Henry Butler, of O’Brien’s Castle, in 1791.

He wedded Anne D'Alton and had issue, a son,

JAMES BUTLER, of Castle Crine, who espoused Mary, daughter of Robert Ievers, of Mount Ievers, County Clare; and dying ca 1821, leaving issue.

The eldest son,

HENRY BUTLER JP DL, of Castle Crine, married Anna, daughter of Charles Dawson, of Charlesfort, County Wexford, and died in 1852 (buried at Bunratty), leaving,
JAMES, his heir;
Charles Eyre, 69th Regiment;
Henry, 90th Regiment;
William Dawson;
The eldest son,

JAMES BUTLER JP DL, of Castle Crine, wedded, in 1852, Sophia, daughter of Major Irvine, and by her (who married secondly, Major Graham), he left at his decease, in 1857, three daughters, of Castle Crine, his co-heiresses,
The second daughter,

Sophia Mary Butler, married the 5th Lord Clarina, though had no male issue, and on the marriage of her eldest daughter, the Hon Sophia (ZoĆ«) Butler-Massey to the Hon Eric Henderson, the Castle Crine estate was settled upon her, subject to the life interests of her mother and aunts.

Following the decease of Miss Anna Frances Butler in 1938, the last survivor, Mrs Butler-Henderson (who with her husband assumed the surname of BUTLER in addition to that of HENDERSON) succeeded to Castle Crine estate.

Her daughter, Mrs Wordsworth, resided there until 1951, when the estate was sold. 

CASTLE CRINE, near Sixmilebridge, County Clare, was a castellated late-Georgian house, comprising a two-storey block with two curved bows beside each other at one end; one with pointed Gothic windows and a three-storey tower.

Little battlements; corbelled turret on tower.

Castle Crine was demolished in 1955.

First published in November, 2012.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

The Earls Cairns: I


The disastrous ending to the insurrection of the elder Pretender in 1715 was the ultimate cause of momentous changes in the circumstances of a vast number of Scottish families. 

In many cases, where the family sentiment was clearly in sympathy with one side or the other, the head of the family, imbued with the caution characteristic of the race, refrained from taking active part with either side.

Where the owner of an estate kept rigidly aloof from joining either side, his property was fairly safe whichever side won. 

This commendable spirit of caution, however, was no hindrance to the cadets of families joining whichever side they desired without incriminating their chiefs. 

Whatever happened the individual cadet only could be held responsible.

When the insurrection was over and the day of reckoning came, many a younger son of the old Scottish families deemed it wiser to be out of Scotland.

In Ulster, where the people had little sympathy with the rising, the consequences of rebellion were not pursued to such an extent as was the case in Scotland.

Hence the Province became a harbour of refuge for a number of Scottish refugees.

Several families, now well known in Northern Ireland, descend from Scottish settlers who arrived in the years immediately following the uprising.

Among the Records at Hillsborough Castle, County Down, are the registers of leases and the rent rolls of the Kilwarlin estate.

Among the leases granted at this period is one for three lives to William Cairns, dated May, 1716.

It seems plausible he was one of the many who fled to Ulster from Scotland ca 1716 in order to escape the consequences of the rebellion.

We have been unable to ascertain with certainty to which of the Galloway Cairns' he belonged, but there are indications suggesting that he was a younger son of William Cairns, of Kipp, who died in 1711.

He certainly was a contemporary of the two sons of this William whose names are recorded.

The Christian names Hugh and William, so frequently encountered in the succeeding generations of the Kipp family prior to 1715, reappear with equal frequency among the descendants of this William Cairns.

In fact, the name Hugh in the Cairns family seems to have been almost entirely confined to the Kipp branch.


WILLIAM CAIRNS, a cadet of Cairnes, of Orchardton, obtained from the Marquess of Downshire a lease of the lands of Magheraconluce, County Down, in 1716.

His son,

WILLIAM CAIRNS, of Magheraconluce, left issue by his first wife, who died in 1754, with six daughters, who dsp, three sons,
John, of Parkmount, 1732-94;
Hugh, of Parkmount and Belfast, banker, 1735-1808;
William, of Magheraconluce, b 1737.
He wedded secondly, Agnes, daughter of William Gregg, of Parkmount, and died in 1775, having by her had issue,
NATHAN, ancestor of the Earls Cairns.
The second son,

Hugh Cairns, left several legacies in his will to his "kinsmen at Annahilt," and £600 to each of his six sisters.

He left Parkmount, which he acquired shortly after the death of William Gregg in 1782, to his half-brother Nathan, whose mother had been a daughter of Mr Gregg.

Mr Cairns stated in his will that "most of my property consists of money lent out at interest on security," from which it appears that he was one of Belfast's early private bankers, some of whom eventually amalgamated, thus founding what are now known as the Belfast, the Northern, and the Ulster Banks. 

William Cairns' third son, William, continued to appear as holder of the Magheraconluce property subsequent to his father's removal to Belfast after his second marriage.

It appears that he remained as tenant, and that Hugh Cairns' "kinsmen at Annahilt", to whom he left money, namely, William and Robert Cairns, were the sons of this William, and therefore nephews of Hugh.

Both appear as fathers of children baptised, in the Annahilt Register, one of the children being called Nathan, evidently after his grand-uncle.

The youngest son,

NATHAN CAIRNS, of Dublin, and Parkmount, merchant, born in 1759, of whom hereafter.

Parkmount House

Parkmount seems to have passed to Mr Gregg from the representatives of Thomas Lutford, who had a lease for three lives, renewable for ever, from the Marquesses of Donegall, in 1769. 

At some period after his marriage to Agnes Gregg, William Cairns seems to have moved with his family to Parkmount, or to a house in Carnmoney. 

After the termination of the Parkmount lease, Hugh Cairns obtained the renewal forever thereof. 

His father died in 1775, the widow Agnes Gregg surviving him, and dying in 1785.

Both are interred at Carnmoney church-yard. 

First published in February, 2011.   Cairns arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Bailieborough Castle


JOHN YOUNG (1497-1583), Burgess of Edinburgh, 1541, married Margaret Scrymgeour, the celebrated scholar, of the ancient and noble family of Scrymgoeur, and sister of Henry Scrymgeour, the celebrated scholar, professor of philosophy, and of civil law, at Geneva.

Their father was Scrymgeour of Glasswell, the descendant of an immediate branch of the Scrymgeours of Dudhope, who were created hereditary standard bearers of the Kings of Scotland, in 1057, by ALEXANDER I, and became afterwards Earls of Dundee.

John Young died at Dundee, aged 86; his wife died some years previously.

There appears to have been a family of that name settled in Forfarshire in the 14th century.

John Young had four sons and two daughters, viz.
John, Rector of Dysart;
PETER, of whom presently;
Isabella; Johanna.
The second son,

SIR PETER YOUNG (1544-1528), was born at Dundee.

In 1569, he was appointed assistant tutor, with George Buchanan, to JAMES VI.

He appears to have attracted the notice of WILLIAM CECIL early, as we find both him and Buchanan pensioners of ELIZABETH I.

In 1598, he was appointed one of the commissioners for visiting the universities of St Andrew's, Aberdeen, and Glasgow.

In 1586, he was sent ambassador to Denmark.

Sir Peter married, in 1577, Elizabeth, daughter of John Gibb, a Gentleman of the King's Bedchamber, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
Maria; Margaret; Frederica; Johanna; Anna.
His wife died in 1595, and he wedded secondly, Dame Joanna Murray, widow of Lord Torpichen.

This lady died six months after their marriage.

Sir Peter espoused thirdly, about 1600, Margery Nairne, daughter of Nairne of Sandford, Fife, by which marriage he had four daughters.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, afterwards SIR JAMES YOUNG, Knight, who married firstly, Isabella, daughter of Arbuthnot of Findownie, and had issue,
He wedded secondly, Jane Steward, by whom he had one daughter, ANNE.

Sir James was one of the Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to the King, and had a grant of 1,000 acres of land given him in County Longford.

He was succeeded by his second son,

PETER YOUNG, who was succeeded to the estate of his uncle, the Dean of Winchester.

He espoused Isabel, daughter of Ochterloney of Pittenweem, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Margaret; another daughter.
In 1620, Robert Young and his father, Peter Young, conjointly, sold the Easter Seaton Estate and other lands, and purchased part of the estates of Auldbar from Sir James Sinclair, completing the purchase in 1678.

Robert married Anne Graham, daughter of Sir William Graham, and sister of the celebrated Viscount Dundee, and had issue,
A younger son of David Young was living in Aberdeen in 1758.

Nothing more is known of this branch.

Alexander Young, Bishop of Edinburgh, translated to Ross, was one of the Seaton family: he died in 1644, a prelate of distinguished learning and piety.

John Young, also of this family, was elected Bishop of Argyll in 1661, but died before he was consecrated.

Of Sir Peter Young's younger sons, the third, Peter, was attached to the train of Lord Spencer; sent on a special mission, in 1628, to invest Gustavus Adolphus with the Order of the Garter, and was knighted by that monarch, who also granted him permission to quarter  the arms of Sweden with his own proper arms.

He was gentleman usher to CHARLES I, and died unmarried in 1661.

Patrick, the fifth son, was Librarian to JAMES I and CHARLES I, Rector of Hayes, Middlesex, and Lannerage, Denbighshire, and prebendary and treasurer of St Paul's.

John Young (1585-1654), the sixth son, after completing his education, entered the Church, and was afterwards Dean of Winchester.

Some of the descendants of this family settled in Ulster; and of these, the ancestor of the Young Baronets was

THE REV JOHN YOUNG, Rector of Urney, County Tyrone, a clergyman of the established church.

His mother, Isabella, was a sister of Sir Peter Young, of Easter Seaton, who married a kinsman and namesake.

In the reign of JAMES I, this Rev John Young wedded, in Scotland, Elspa Douglas, and went to Ulster, where they settled.

After some time, he obtained church preferment, and also considerable landed property, through the lady's father, by an exchange of lands in the counties of Donegal and Londonderry with Lord Abercorn, for an equivalent in Scotland, as a settlement on his daughter and her family.

Part of these lands were in the possession of Richard Young, of Coolkeeragh, near Eglinton, their lineal descendant.

The Rev John Young had a numerous family.

His eldest son,

JAMES YOUNG, resided in County Donegal, where he married and had several children, of whom nine were sons.

Being a man of good fortune, much attached to the protestant cause, he was not only an active partisan at the siege of Londonderry, but was enabled frequently to send aid to the besieged during their arduous struggle.

He was, in consequence, one of the citizens of Londonderry attainted by JAMES II.

JOHN YOUNG, of Coolkeeragh, the great-grandson of this James Young, wedded Catherine Knox, granddaughter of the Rt Rev Andrew Knox, the second Lord Bishop of Raphoe after the Reformation, who died in that See in 1633.

By this marriage, Lough Eske estate, County Donegal, came into the possession of Thomas, a younger son of John Young, to whom, while in infancy, it was willed by his uncle, Thomas Knox. This

THOMAS YOUNG, of Lough Eske, espoused, in 1740-41, Rebecca, daughter of Oliver Singleton, of Fort Singleton, County Monaghan, by Miss Anketel, of Anketel Grove, County Monaghan, and had issue (with four daughters),
JOHN, of whom presently;
The second son,

THE REV JOHN YOUNG, of Eden, County Armagh, married, in 1766, Anne, daughter of John McClintock, of Trinta, County Donegal, and had issue,
Thomas, drowned at sea;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
John (Rev), Rector of Killeeshil;
Alexander, an officer in the Royal Navy;
Susanna Maria; Rebecca; Anketell; Catherine.
The Rev John Young was succeeded by his second son,

WILLIAM YOUNG, who wedded, in 1806, Lucy, youngest daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Frederick, eldest son of Sir Charles Frederick KB, younger brother of Sir John Frederick, 4th Baronet, of Burwood Park, Surrey, and had issue,
Helenus Edward;
Anna; Lucy; Augusta Maria.
Mr Young, a director in the East India Company, was created a baronet in 1821, denominated of Bailieborough, County Cavan.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR JOHN YOUNG, 2nd Baronet, GCB GCMG (1807-76), Governor-General of Canada, Governor of New South Wales, Chief Secretary for Ireland; was elevated to the peerage, in 1870, in the dignity of BARON LISGAR, of Lisgar and Bailieborough, County Cavan.

He espoused, in 1835, Adelaide Annabella, daughter of Edward Tuite Dalton, of Fermor, County Meath, daughter of the 2nd Marchioness of Headfort, by her first husband, Edward Tuite Dalton.

His lordship died in 1876, when the peerage became extinct, and he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his nephew, William Muston Need Young (1847-1934), an official in the Indian telegraph department.

Lady Lisgar subsequently married her late husband’s former private secretary, Sir Francis Charles Fortescue Turville KCMG, of Bosworth Hall, Leicestershire.

BAILIEBOROUGH CASTLE, Bailieborough, County Cavan, was an irregular two-storey Victorian house with a gabled, buttressed Gothic porch.

About 1895, most of the estate was sold off under the Ashboune Act; while the house was sold to Sir Stanley Herbert Cochrane Bt. 

In 1918 the house was gutted by fire.

It was partially rebuilt by the Marist Brothers in 1920, though sold for demolition in 1923.

First published in November, 2012.

Laganview House

Bank of Ireland Chambers

93-95, ANN STREET, BELFAST, occupies a corner site which returns to 1, Oxford Street.

It comprises a three-storey, L-shaped, red-brick block with an attic floor.

The southern elevation is abutted by a three-storey building; whereas the western side comprises four storeys.

The ground floor has a door to the west with a sandstone pediment on brackets above the moulded granite architrave.

Dormer copings (below) boast octagonal finials, panels with relief carvings of urns and foliate decoration over dentilled cornices.

The building is situated on a prominent corner of Ann Street and Oxford Street, facing the river Lagan and Queen's Bridge.

The Long Bridge, by Andrew Nicholl (1804-86)

In the 19th century the Pork Market occupied most of this block, and the Long Bridge crossed the river.

Riddel's Warehouse, at 87-91 Ann Street, stands directly beside Laganview House.

Ann Street elevation

The building was constructed in 1899 and designed by the architects Millar & Symes.

Construction of the Bank of Ireland (Queen's Bridge branch) began in the same year.

Aside from operating as a bank branch, the upper floors of Bank of Ireland Chambers were utilised as office space for a variety of local firms and organisations.

In 1907, for instance, the offices were occupied by insurance firms, grain merchants, and the headquarters of the Belfast Boys' Brigade, among others.
By 1918, the upper offices were occupied by the same Insurance agencies and merchants; however, the Boys' Brigade had vacated the site, whilst new occupants included an engineering firm and a boiler-making company.
During the 2nd World War the upper floors were occupied by the Northern Ireland Port Area Grain & Flour Committee, the Royal Liver Friendly Society, and Government offices.

By the 1950s, many of the upper offices were occupied by the Belfast Mersey & Manchester Steamship Company, a shipping and ferry firm that navigated the route between the two cities.

In 1993, the bank was described by Marcus Patton OBE, in his excellent historical gazetteer of central Belfast, as a
three-storey building in red brick on red sandstone ground floor and grey granite plinth, with attic gable and full height canted bay at chamfered corner entrance; ground floor pilasters with small rosettes at capitals.
In more recent years an attempt to demolish the former bank with the sole retention of the listed facade was rejected by the Planning Appeals Commission.

The former Bank of Ireland Chambers was occupied by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive until 2013.

OX Restaurant

1, Oxford Street, is now the premises of the acclaimed restaurant OX.

I passed the premises on a Sunday morning; traffic was light, which made it easy to snap away to my heart's content.

Housing Executive signage remains at the main corner entrance to the block.

The outline of Bank of Ireland signage can still be discerned.

OX restaurant has a simple, unpretentious, almost austere aspect.

A simple sign hangs from the wall.

Its prospect is of the Beacon of Hope sculpture at the Queen's Bridge, at what was known as Canal Quay.

Laganview House, as it became known, was sold in January, 2017.

A bridal store opened on the ground floor in July, 2018.

First published in April, 2015.