Thursday, 11 July 2019

The Kingsmill Baronetcy

This is a scion of the ancient Scottish house of BRUCE, of Airth.

THE REV EDWARD BRICE (c1569-1636), younger brother of the Laird of Airth, settled in Ulster, 1608-9, and had two sons; of whom the elder, Randall Bryce, resided at Lisburn and Kilroot, and was appointed High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1675.

The younger son,

ROBERT BRICE (c1613-76), of Castle Chichester, Whitehead, County Antrim, was father of one son,

EDWARD BRICE, Lieutenant-Colonel and Captain of Upton's Horse, raised in County Antrim, 1715.

He matriculated in Edinburgh in 1693, and proved his descent from the house of Airth.

Colonel Brice married, in 1718, Jane, daughter of Richard Dobbs, of Castle Dobbs, County Antrim, and had an only son,

EDWARD BRICE, born ca 1720-21, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1748, who married firstly, in 1752, Rose, daughter of Alexander Stewart, of Acton, County Armagh, and Ballintoy, County Antrim, by whom he had one son and successor,
EDWARD.
He wedded secondly, Jane Adair, and by her had four sons, one of whom was a lieutenant-colonel in the Brigade of Guards, and killed in Egypt, under Sir Ralph Abercromby KB; another died a lieutenant in the Royal Navy; a third died shortly after his return from the West Indies; and the fourth, Archibald, was in holy orders, and beneficed in Norfolk (he left two sons; the elder succeeded him in one of his livings, and the younger, a barrister, resided in Bath; and two daughters, the younger died unmarried, and the elder, Maria, espoused the Rt Hon Sir John Anstruther, 4th Baronet, Chief Justice of Bengal, and had issue).

Mr Brice's only son by his first marriage,

EDWARD BRICE (1753-), married, in 1772, Theodora, eldest daughter of Thomas, 1st Baron Ventry, and had issue,
EDWARD, his heir;
Thomas Richard;
Rose; Eliza; Theodora; Charlotte.
The eldest son,

EDWARD BRICE JP (1783-), of Scoutbush and Kilroot, County Antrim, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1836, wedded, in 1807, Maria, eldest daughter of James Coghlan, of Castlegar, County Mayo, a descendant of the family of MacCoghlans, who lost, by forfeiture, during the reign of WILLIAM III, considerable estates, which they possessed in the King's County, and had issue,
EDWARD (Rev), b 1811;
James Alexander, b 1826;
Marianne; Rose.
Mr Bruce, who assumed, by royal licence, in 1811, the family name, BRUCE, which had been changed by one of his early progenitors into Brice or Bryce.

ABOUT 1720, Captain Charles Brice, an illegitimate son of Robert Brice, resided at Castle Chichester.

He is said to have married a Miss Curry, by whom he had three sons, viz. Edward, Robert, and Arthur; and two daughters, one of whom Dorothea, was married to William Innes, of Dromantine, County Down.

Charles is reported to have died about 1746.

Edward wedded Catherine, daughter of George Spaight, of Carrickfergus; in 1779, their daughter, Prudence, was married to George Bateson, of London.

In 1761, Edward was Surveyor of the Port of Belfast, and agent for the French prisoners kept in that town; he died at Castle Chichester, July, 1796.

Admiral Sir Robert Kingsmill Bt; Photo Credit: Tate Gallery

ADMIRAL SIR ROBERT BRICE KINGSMILL (1730-1805) entered into the Royal Navy, was promoted to the rank of Admiral, and was also created a baronet, in 1800, designated of Sidmanton [sic], Hampshire.

He espoused, ca 1766, Elizabeth Corry, heiress to the Kingsmill estates at Sydmonton Court in Hampshire, by whom he obtained a large fortune on assuming her name; which surname his brother Edward took soon after.


Sir Robert died issueless, and was succeeded by his nephew,

SIR ROBERT KINGSMILL, 2nd Baronet (1772-1823), of Sydmonton, and also of Castle Chichester and Ormeau, who married, in 1796, Elizabeth, daughter of Charles Newman, of Calcutta, and had issue, two daughters,
Elizabeth Catherine, b 1797; m, 1824, Sir John Kingsmill;
Anna Maria (1800-18).
Sir Robert, agent to the Marquess of Donegall, died in 1823, and leaving no male heir, the baronetcy expired.


From 1669 to 1823, the Brice family lived in the Manor House, Whitehead, County Antrim, that stands beside CASTLE CHICHESTER (above).

They were agents for a mail boat service from Scotland that berthed at Castle Quay, just below the castle.

Letters and other items of mail from Scotland were loaded onto a small boat, which then delivered them from Castle Chichester to Belfast.

The Brices were paid the sum of £100 per annum for their mail service.

It must have been a lucrative trade – records from the time tell us that "...Randall Brice of Castle Chichester (Whitehead), son of Robert, who also resided there, who died in November, 1676, having amassed much wealth in trading with Scotland...".

The mail packet station closed about 1740 when trade moved to Donaghadee, County Down.

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