Friday 1 March 2024

Belfast DLs


Dame Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle DBE, Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast, has been pleased to appoint:-
Mr Shane Quinn BEM

Mr Richard James Gregg Yarr MBE
To be Deputy Lieutenants of the County Borough, their Commission bearing date the 1st day of March 2024.

Signed: Dame Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle DBE DStJ DDL

The Bruce Baronets


PATRICK BRUCE, of Newtown, Stirlingshire, younger brother of Sir William Bruce, 1st Baronet, of Stenhouse, left issue, two sons, viz.
William, of Newton;
MICHAEL, of whom presently.
The second son,

THE REV MICHAEL BRUCE (1635-93), who settled as a presbyterian minister at Killinchy, County Down, wedded, in 1659, Jean, daughter of Robert Bruce, of Kinnaird, and sister of Colonel Robert Bruce, of the Life Guards, who fell at Worcester, 1650.
The Rev Michael Bruce was driven, with other ministers, thence into Scotland by Colonel Venables and the parliamentarians, for his fidelity to the King. He returned to Killinchy, however, in 1669, after undergoing great hardships, and a long imprisonment in England and Scotland, and died in 1693.
He left a son,

THE REV JAMES BRUCEMinister of Killyleagh, County Down, who espoused, in 1685, Margaret, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel James Traill, of Tolychin, County Down, by Mary his wife, daughter of James Hamilton, Viscount Claneboye, and died in 1726, leaving ten children, of whom,
Michael, his heir; ancestor of BRUCE OF BENBURB;
PATRICK, of whom we treat;
Mary; Eleanor; Magdalen.
The second son,

THE REV PATRICK BRUCE (1692-1732), Minister of Drumbo, County Down, removed for a time to Scotland, and afterwards succeeded his father as Minister of Killyleagh.

He wedded, in 1718, Margaret, daughter of James Hamilton, of Ladyland, Ayrshire, and had several children, of whom the eldest son,

JAMES BRUCE (1720-83), of Killyleagh, married, in 1762, Henrietta, youngest daughter of the Hon and Rev Dr Henry Hervey Aston Bruce (fourth son of John, 1st Earl of Bristol, by Catherine, sister and heiress of Sir Thomas Aston Bt), and had issue, 
Stewart, cr baronet, 1812;
Frideswide, m, 1781, to Daniel Mussenden, of Larchfield.
Mr Bruce was succeeded by his elder son,

THE REV HENRY HERVEY ASTON BRUCE (1752-1822), of Downhill, County Londonderry, who was created a baronet in 1804, designated of Downhill, County Londonderry.

Sir Henry espoused, in 1786, Letitia, daughter of the Rev Dr Henry Barnard, and had surviving issue,
Frederick Hervey, b 1787, died unmarried;
JAMES ROBERTSON, of whom presently;
Henry William (Sir), KCB, Admiral;
Stewart Crawford.
Sir Henry was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR JAMES ROBERTSON BRUCE, 2nd Baronet (1788-1836), who married, in 1819, Ellen, youngest daughter of Robert Bamford Hesketh, and had issue,
HENRY HERVEY, his successor;
Lloyd Stewart;
Louisa Elizabeth Margaret.
Sir James's eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR HENRY HERVEY BRUCE, 3rd Baronet (1820-1909), espoused, in 1842, Marianne Margaret, daughter of Sir Juckes Granville Juckes Clifton Bt, and had issue,
James Andrew Thomas (Sir), KCMG.
Sir Henry was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR HERVEY JUCKES LLOYD BRUCE JP DL, 4th Baronet (1843-1919), High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1903, Lieutenant-Colonel, Coldstream Guards, who married, in 1872, Ellen Maud, daughter of Percy Ricardo, and had issue,
HERVEY RONALD, his heir;
Percy Robert, Lieutenant-Colonel;
Henry James.
Sir Hervey was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR HERVEY RONALD BRUCE JP DL, 5th Baronet (1872-1924), Captain, Irish Guards, who wedded firstly, in 1903, Ruth Isabel, daughter of Haughton Charles Okeover; and secondly, in 1916, Margaret Florence, daughter of the Rev Robert Jackson, and had issue,
Ronald Cecil Juckes;
Beryl Margaret Gwladys.
Sir Hervey was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR HERVEY JOHN WILLIAM BRUCE, 6th Baronet (1919-71), who wedded, in 1949, Crista Irene Valentine, daughter of Chandos de Paravicini, and had issue,
Lauretta Chinty.
Sir Hervey died in 1971 as the result of a motor accident, and was succeeded by his only son,

SIR HERVEY JAMES HUGH BRUCE-CLIFTON, 7th Baronet (1952-2010), Major, Grenadier Guards, who married firstly, in 1979, Charlotte Sara Jane, daughter of John Temple Gore, and had issue,
Laura Crista.
He wedded secondly, in 1992, Joanna, daughter of Frank Pope, and had further issue, two sons.

Sir Hervey added the surname of CLIFTON in 1997, by Royal Licence.

He was succeeded by his son,

SIR HERVEY HAMISH PETER BRUCE-CLIFTON, 8th Baronet (b 1986), who succeeded to the title in 2010.

He is believed to live in South Africa.

DOWNHILL HOUSE, near Coleraine, County Londonderry, was built by the Rt Rev Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and Lord Bishop of Derry.

After the Earl-Bishop's death in 1803, the estate passed to his cousin, the Rev Henry Bruce, who had acted as steward of the estate during his lordship's absences.

The Rev Henry Bruce's sister was Frideswide Mussenden, for whom Mussenden Temple was built, and which became a memorial after her death.

A centaur greeted visitors to the mansion house.

First published in December, 2010.

Thursday 29 February 2024

Tyrella House


The ancient and distinguished family of MONTGOMERY was powerful in Normandy, and had the title of Comte before the time of Rollo, the Dane, Duke of Normandy. The present chief is the Earl of Eglinton.

THE REV HUGH MONTGOMERY (1754-1815), of Grey Abbey, County Down, son of WILLIAM MONTGOMERY, married, in 1782, Emilia, youngest daughter of Bernard, 1st Viscount Bangor (by his wife, the Lady Anne Bligh, daughter of John, Earl of Darnley), and had issue,
William, his heir;
Hugh Bernard, army officer;
Edward (Rev), Rector of Portaferry;
ARTHUR HILL, of whom presently;
John Charles, Barrister;
Francis Octavius, army officer;
George Augustus Frederick Sandys, Lieutenant RN;
Anne Catherine; Emilia Georgiana Susanna.
The Rev Hugh Montgomery, a clergyman of the established church, and Sovereign Grand Commander of the Order of the Fleur-de-Lys, 1800-15, resided constantly at the Abbey, made considerable improvements there, and extended his landed possessions by purchase.

His fourth son,

ARTHUR HILL MONTGOMERY JP DL (1794-1867), of Tyrella House, County Down, wedded, in 1825, the Lady Matilda Anne Parker, daughter of Thomas, 5th Earl of Macclesfield, and had issue,
HUGH PARKER, his heir;
Arthur Hill Sandys.
The elder son,

MAJOR-GENERAL HUGH PARKER MONTGOMERY (1829-1901), of Tyrella House, and Winchester, Hampshire, died unmarried.

Tyrella House (Image: Northern Ireland Tourist Board)

TYRELLA is a parish in the barony of LECALE, 5½ miles south-east of Clough, and 4½ east of Dundrum, County Down.

The parish is situated on the north shore of Dundrum Bay and, excepting a few acres of sand hills along the shore, is land of good quality.

The topographical dictionary of Ireland, 1837, remarks:-
"Tyrella House, the handsome residence of A H Montgomery, is beautifully situated in a richly planted demesne of 300 acres, commanding extensive views over the bay, with the noble range of the Mourne Mountains in the background, and containing within its limits the site and cemetery of the ancient parish church."
Tyrella House (Image: Northern Ireland Tourist Board)

The Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesne of Special Historic Interest in Northern Ireland remarks that 

"Due to its close proximity to the sea, the plantations, which have remained largely unchanged in layout since at least 1800, are focussed in larger woodland blocks with few of the usual isolated parkland trees, clumps and belts."

"Without these woodlands the house would be very exposed to the winds, yet there is evidence that there was a house here by 1755 when it is clearly depicted on Kennedy's County Down map of that year." 

"Earlier, in 1744 Walter Harris refers to 'Tereda, a small village, the lands about which, being now the estate of Mr. Banks of Belfast, formerly of the Hamilton's of Tullamore'."

"Most likely this is a reference to Thomas Banks, a prominent Belfast citizen, but following his death in 1746 the lease reverted back to George Hamilton (1698-1770), whose father Hugh had bought this townland in the 1720s on the occasion of the latter marriage."

"It seems probable that he had built a house here, perhaps in the 1730s, but the buildings architect would indicate that the present house was built by his son, also called George Hamilton (1734- 96), probably in the 1780s, at which time the landscape park was most likely planted."

"On his death in 1796 the property passed to his nephew, the Rev George Hamilton, and it was around his death (d 1833) that the demesne was first depicted on OS maps; the outline of the plantations shown on that map remain largely unaltered."

Tyrella Demesne (Historic OS Map of ca 1830)

"The main area of woodland, as one might expect, lies just south of the house, proving shelter against the salt breezes and the second lies south of the walled garden to provide protection for the garden produce; much of the latter is now denuded with no sign of any replanting."

"The walled garden, north-west of the house, is contemporary with the creation of the parkland, that is to say it was built around the 1780s, and unusually takes the form of an oval half-moon (2.35 acres/0.95ha) ..." 

"There is a drive from the farmyard, which is adjacent to the east, to a cart entrance in the north."

"Today this entrance is used to gain access to a house built in 1987 with its ornamental garden built in the west part of the walled garden."

"There are glasshouses and a potting shed."

"The glasshouse that lies beside the main house facing the west lawn was built in the Edwardian era, around 1904, and was restored in 2011."

"The park has three entrances off the Clanmaghery Road."

Tyrella House (from a  picture post card)

"When George Hamilton died in 1796, he bequeathed Tyrella to his nephew, the Rev George Hamilton (d 1833), who probably built the low rubble wall along side the road to the north and east and remains largely intact."

"He may also have built much of the house as we know it today as the building does in parts have a Regency appearance, notably the main (south-facing) hipped roof two-storey square block, which has a four bay front, incorporating Wyatt-windows and a shallow projecting three window bay on the west side."

"In 1808 George inherited another estate, Hampton Hall, Balbriggan, County Dublin, from his late brother, Alexander."

"By the mid-1820s he had ran into money difficulties and in 1824 was forced to mortgage the Dublin property; it was probably at this point that he sold Tyrella, for by at least 1834 it was in the possession of Arthur Hill Montgomery."

"Arthur died in 1867 and his widow, Matilda, is recorded as living there until 1876, with her son, Hugh Parker Montgomery."

"In 1878 the distillery owner JAMES CRAIG, of Craigavon House, Belfast, acquired it as a summer residence."

"His son, Major Clarence Craig (d 1938), an elder brother of Sir James Craig (1871-1940), 1st Viscount Craigavon ... enlarged the house, presumably with help from his brother the architect Vincent Craig (1869-1925), remodelling parts of the house rere, where the building's west side has a distinctly Edwardian feel with several large mullioned and transomed windows and some roundels with small square panes, whilst glasshouse is also of this date."

"Members of the Craig family undoubtably must have visited the Japan-British Exhibition in the White City, London, in 1910 - the largest international exposition of the Empire of Japan, because like many other country houses owners in the decade following 1910, the Craigs created a Japanese Garden at Tyrella."

"Major Craig retained the property until 1921, when William J Neill, a coal merchant, assumed ownership."

"Mr Neill was still there in 1929, but by 1937 the house may have been vacant, for at this date the Belfast Tuberculosis Committee were considering purchasing the property for use as a sanatorium."

"John Corbett [High Sheriff of County Down, 1967] acquired the property in 1949, and it remains with his descendant."

David Corbett was High Sheriff of County Down in 2010.

Marquess's Coronet

THE coronet of a marquess is a silver-gilt circlet with four strawberry leaves around it, alternating with four silver balls, known as pearls, on points.

The coronet itself is chased as if in the form of jewels (like a royal crown) but is not actually jewelled.

It has a crimson cap (lined ermine) in real life and a purple one in heraldic representation, and a golden tassel on top.

The alternation of strawberry leaves and pearls is what distinguishes a marquess's coronet from those of other ranks.

Coronets were customarily worn at coronations.

They can, however, still be seen depicted on peers' coats-of-arms as a badge of rank within the five degrees of the hereditary peerage.

The coronet of a marchioness sits on top of the head (instead of around it).

A marquess is a peer of the second degree in the peerage, ranking above an earl and below a duke.

First published in May, 2010.

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Altinaghree Castle


WILLIAM OBILBY JP (1808-73), of Altinaghree Castle, Donemana, County Tyrone, reputedly a scion of OGILBY OF ARDNARGLE AND PELLIPAR, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1873, married, in 1851, Adelaide Charlotte, daughter of the Hon and Rev Charles Douglas (brother of George Sholto, 17th Earl of Morton), by his first wife, the Lady Isabella Gore, daughter of Arthur Saunders, 2nd Earl of Arran, and had issue,
JAMES DOUGLAS, succeeded his brother;
William Charles (1855-6);
Adelaide Charlotte; Isabella Caroline; Beatrice Emma Elizabeth; Louisa; Edith Sophia.
Mr Ogilby was succeeded by his eldest son,

CLAUD WILLIAM LESLIE OGILBY (1851-94), who wedded, in 1875, Bessie Henrietta, daughter of Captain William Grant Douglas, in a childless marriage.

Mr Ogilby was succeeded by his brother,

JAMES DOUGLAS OGILBY (1853-1925), who espoused, in 1884, Mary Jane Jameson (d 1894) at Donagheady parish church, County Tyrone, though the marriage was without issue.

ALTINAGHREE CASTLE, near Donemana, County Tyrone, is a Victorian mansion built by William Ogilby ca 1860, though abandoned about thirty years later.

Despite its short existence, nevertheless, it was associated with two significant figures in natural history, and survives in the folk memory of the locality.

A house first appears on the location about 1853, captioned ‘Liscloon House’.

By the third edition, this has been replaced by a different structure, captioned ‘Altinaghree Castle’, surrounded by a wall.

‘Liscloon Cottages’ and a ‘Lodge’ are also shown nearby.

On the fourth edition the castle is shown in ruins.

Aidan Devlin has produced an interesting video clip of the mansion (above).

Buildings listed include stables, a garden house, stables, granary, cow house, steaming house and piggery.

In 1861, Annual Revisions note, ‘This house is throwing down. Mr Ogilby is building a very fine new house, value when completed’.

William Ogilby married Adelaide Charlotte Douglas, daughter of the Rev Charles Douglas of Earls Gift in 1851.

He died in 1873, not long after completing Altinaghree Castle, when it then passed to his son Claude William Leslie Ogilby who is listed as the occupier in 1876.

Claude also married a Douglas, Bessie Henrietta, daughter of Captain William Grant Douglas, in 1875.

However, from 1888, when the house is listed as ‘vacant’ and leased from the Trustees of Claude W Ogilby, the building deteriorates and decreases in value.

In 1889, when the house is first described as a castle.

In 1892 it was described as ‘dilapidated’ and the value is reduced to £5.

Samuel Eaton becomes the lessor in 1905.

A note of 1909 reads, ‘floors and windows gone, a ruin;’ and in 1910 it is deleted from the record altogether, although the gate lodge continues to be occupied.

The Strabane Weekly News of 4th January, 1975, reports on some of the local stories surrounding the castle, which was built entirely of cut stone and surrounded by a wall of the same type.

The stones were brought by horse and cart from Dungiven, County Londonderry.

Stonecutters from the Barons Court Estate were employed at the castle.

Masons were paid one shilling per day, and labourers, 10d.

According to the Natural Stone Database, the stones used are local Dalriadan schist and Barony Glen sandstone.

When finished, its banqueting room was said to be unequalled throughout the county.

Ogilby was known locally simply as a successful farmer and proprietor who entertained on a lavish scale, bringing in cooks from Belfast and Dublin for his banquets, although it is not clear whether it is the older or the younger Ogilby that is remembered in this way.

The Ogilby’s second son, James, is remembered locally as falling in love with a factory girl that he met when returning from a hunt meeting at Donemana.

Folklore has it that, following his family’s opposition to their marriage, James vanished from the area in 1875.

He returned, however, seven years later, in 1882, to marry his sweetheart who had waited for him.

The older son, Claude, died at the early age of 43, but apparently left the house six years before his death.

The fact that his affairs were in the hands of trustees suggests that he was bankrupt.

A contemporary newspaper article implies that the upkeep of a large castle had perhaps proved overwhelming, following Gladstone’s land reforms.

Hugh Dixon writes that the castle
"Would have been regarded as wildly unfashionable by many contemporaries.
It looks more like the sort of castellated factory which Pugin derides than the naturally planned, colourfully designed country houses then in vogue under Ruskin’s influence."
"It is no surprise to me that it had a very short active life – dinner at 3pm was definitely a very late hangover from Georgian times."

Jeremy Williams writes that
The architect responsible is unrecorded, but there are many parallels with the Londonderry Apprentice Boys’ Hall of 1873 by J. G. Ferguson before bomb damage—the same segmental mullioned windows and shallow oriels, Ferguson is more admired today for his industrial architecture, and, despite its appellation, Altnachree is more castellated mill than castle.
The Victorian mansion was referred to as a "castle" for the first time in 1872, a year before Claud William Ogilvy’s inheritance at the age of twenty-three.

Entered through a porte-cochere on the side along the axis of the central corridor, with the three main rooms strung out along the garden front.

Main staircase set into triple-arched composition, but taking up the minimum of space, all like an office block.

Four-storey towers in the centre of each front; three floors elsewhere.

Today only a shell survives in a denuded park.

The mansion was said to be splendidly appointed and had a banqueting room.

It is constructed from cut stone.

Altinaghree was abandoned in 1885, a mere twenty years after its construction.

It cannot be listed because it is roofless.

First published in February, 2014.

1st Marquess of Bute


This noble family claims direct descent from the royal and unfortunate house of STUARTJOHN STEWART, the founder of this family, was a son of ROBERT II, King of Scots. There is a tradition that his mother's name was Leitch.

About 1385, the King put together the seven islands of Bute, Arran, Great and Little Cumbrae, Holy Isle, Pladda, and Inchmarnock, into a county, and conferred the office of hereditary sheriff thereof on John Stewart his son, with a considerable grant of land. 

This grant was subsequently confirmed by charter of ROBERT III, dated 1400.

This John Stewart wedded Jean, daughter of Sir John Sempill, of Eliotstoun, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
The eldest son,

JAMES STEWART, who succeeded his father as Sheriff of Bute between 1445 and 1449. He died between 1454 and 1464.

His line appears to have died with him, for he was succeeded by his brother,

WILLIAM STEWART, who received a charter of the lands of Fennok from his parents, 1444-45.

He was Keeper of the castle of Brodick in Arran, 1444-53; married Margaret Stewart.

William died ca 1465, and left three sons,
The eldest son,

JAMES STEWART, Sheriff of Bute, succeeded to that office probably in 1468; and died in 1477, leaving issue,
NINIAN, successor to his brother;
The eldest son,

JAMES STEWART, Sheriff of Bute, succeeded in 1477, while still a minor.

He  died about 1488, and was succeeded by his brother,

NINIAN STEWART, having succeeded his father in the sheriffdom of Bute, obtained, in 1498, a new grant of the hereditary custody of Rothesay Castle, with a salary of eighty marks yearly out of the Lordship of Bute.

He died in 1539, and was succeeded by his son,

JAMES STEWART, who was installed in his estate and heritable constabulary of Rothesay Castle.

The family favoured the French spelling of the name as Stuart, which was introduced by Mary, Queen of Scots, and is still used today.

The grandson of this James,

SIR JAMES STUART, Knight, of Bute, married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Robert Hepburn, of Foord, by whom he acquired the estate of Foord, with several other lands in Haddingtonshire, and was succeeded by his son,

SIR JAMES STUART, of Bute, who was created a baronet in 1627; and adhering to the royal cause during the civil wars, suffered considerably both by fines and sequestration.

Sir James wedded Grizel, daughter of Sir Dugald Campbell, of Auchinbreck, and had, with other issue, his eldest son and successor,

SIR DUGALD STUART, 2nd Baronet (1630-70), who married, in 1658, Elizabeth, daughter John Ruthven, of Dunglass, and granddaughter, maternally, of Alexander, 1st Earl of Leven, by whom he had (besides daughters), two sons, of whom the elder,

THE RT HON SIR JAMES STUART, 3rd Baronet (1661-1710), who, being of the privy council to ANNE, and one of the commissioners appointed to treat of a union with England, in 1702, which did not then take effect, was elevated to the peerage, in the following year, in the dignities of Earl of Bute, Viscount Kingarth, and Lord Mount Stuart, Cumra, and Inchmarnock, to himself and his heirs male whatever.

In 1706, his lordship opposed the union with all his might; and when he discovered that a majority of parliament was in favour of the measure, withdrew from the house, and retired to his country seat.

His lordship was succeeded by the only son of his first marriage,

JAMES, 2nd Earl; who, after the demise of his maternal uncle, and much litigation, succeeded to the estate of Rosehaugh.

His lordship espoused Anne, daughter of Archibald, 1st Duke of Argyll; and dying in 1723, this nobleman was succeeded by his elder son,

JOHN, 3rd Earl (1713-92), KG, who married Mary, only daughter of Edward Wortley-Montagu, of Wortley, Yorkshire, and great-granddaughter of Edward, 1st Earl of Sandwich.

Her ladyship was created, in 1761, suo jure Baroness Mount Stuart, with remainder to her male issue by the Earl of Bute.

His lordship was a minister of the crown from 1737, when he was made a lord of the police, until his resignation of the high office of 1st Lord of the Treasury, in 1763.

He died in 1792, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 4th Earl (1744-1814), who had succeeded upon the demise of his mother, in 1794, to the barony of Mount Stuart, having been previously (1776) created Baron Cardiff, of Cardiff Castle.

His lordship was advanced, in 1796, to the dignities of Viscount Mountjoy, in the Isle of Wight; Earl of Windsor, and MARQUESS OF BUTE.

He espoused firstly, in 1766, Charlotte Jane Hickman-Windsor, eldest daughter and co-heir of Herbert, 2nd and last Viscount Windsor, of the Kingdom of Ireland.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, John Bryson Crichton-Stuart, styled Earl of Dumfries.

SIR ROBERT CRICHTON, of Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire, probably descended from a son of Alexander Crichton, of Crichton, Edinburgh, 1296, signalized himself at Lochmaben, against the Duke of Albany and the Earl of Douglas, when they made an incursion into Scotland, in 1484.

This Sir Robert was created a peer of parliament, in 1488, by the title of Lord Crichton of Sanquhar.

From his lordship descended lineally

WILLIAM, 7th Lord, who was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1622, as Viscount of Ayr, and Lord Sanquhar; and further advanced, 1633, to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF DUMFRIES.

DUMFRIES HOUSE, near Cumnock, Ayrshire, was built in 1760 for William Crichton-Dalrymple, 5th Earl of Dumfries.

The 5th Earl's antecedent, William Crichton, 7th Lord Crichton of Sanquhar and 1st Earl of Dumfries, purchased the estate in 1635 from the Crawford family.

The 5th Earl died died eight years after the House had been completed, when the estates passed to his nephew, Patrick McDouall (1726-1803), 6th Earl.

The 6th Earl's only daughter and heir, Lady Elizabeth McDouall-Crichton, wedded John, Lord Mount Stuart, eldest son of John 1st Marquess of Bute.

John, 2nd Marquess of Bute, was the eldest son of this marriage, which combined the estates and titles of the Crichtons and Stuarts.

Dumfries House, Palladian in style, is noted as being one of the few such houses with much of its original 18th-century furniture still present, including specially commissioned Thomas Chippendale pieces.

The house and estate is now owned in charitable trust by the The Great Steward of Scotland's Dumfries House Trust, who maintain it as a visitor attraction and hospitality and wedding venue.

Both the House and the gardens are listed as significant aspects of Scottish heritage.

The estate and an earlier house was originally called Leifnorris, owned by the Crawfords of Loudoun.

The present house was built in the 1750s for William Dalrymple, 5th Earl of Dumfries, by John and Robert Adam.

Having been inherited by the 2nd Marquess of Bute in 1814, it remained in his family until 7th Marquess decided to sell it due to the cost of upkeep.
Due to its significance and the risk of the furniture collection being distributed and auctioned, after three years of uncertainty, in 2007 the estate and its entire contents was purchased for £45m for the country by a consortium headed by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Duke of Rothesay, including a £20m loan from the Prince's charitable trust.
The intention was to renovate the estate to become self-sufficient, both to preserve it and regenerate the local economy.

As well as donors and sponsorship, funding is also intended to come from constructing the nearby housing development of Knockroon, a planned community along the lines of the Prince's similar venture, Poundbury in Dorset.

The house duly re-opened in 2008, equipped for public tours.

Since then various other parts of the estate have been re-opened for various uses, to provide both education and employment, as well as funding the trust's running costs.

The Marquesses of Bute owned a further 29,279 acres of land in Bute, 21,402 acres in Glamorganshire, and 20,157 acres in Wigtownshire.

Seat ~ Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute.

Former seats ~ Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire; Cardiff Castle, Glamorganshire; Dumfries House, Ayrshire.

First published in April, 2014. 

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Carton House


This illustrious and ancient family is descended from a common ancestor with the house of FITZMAURICE, Earls of Kerry (an earldom now merged with the marquessesate of Lansdowne) and that of WINDSOR, Earls of Plymouth; namely,

MAURICE FITZGERALD, LORD OF LANSTEPHAN, through whose exertions the possession of Ireland was chiefly accomplished by HENRY II.
This Maurice was the son of Gerald FitzOtho (son of Walter FitzOtho, who, at the general survey of the kingdom in 1078, was castellan of Windsor, and was appointed by WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, warden of the forests of Berkshire; which Walter was the son of

OTHO, a rich and powerful lord in the time of ALFRED THE GREAT, descended from the Dukes of Tuscany, a baron of England, according to Sir William Dugdale, in the reign of EDWARD THE CONFESSOR, by Nesta, daughter of Rhys, Prince of South Wales.

The said Maurice obtained for his services a grant of extensive territories in the province of Leinster, and was constituted, in 1172, one of the governors of Ireland; in which year he slew O'Rourke, Prince of Meath, then in rebellion against the English Government.

This feudal chief died, full of honour, in 1177, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

GERALD FITZGERALD, 1st Baron of Offaly (c1150-1204), who was with his father in the memorable sally out of Dublin, in 1173, when that city was besieged by O'Connor, King of Connaught, with an army of 36,000 men, over whom the FitzGeralds obtained a complete victory.

This Gerald, dying at Sligo, was succeeded by his son,

MAURICE FITZGERALD, 2nd Baron (1194-1257), Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, who was put into possession, by a mandatory letter of HENRY III, dated 1216, of Maynooth and all the other lands of which his father died seized in Ireland, and was put also into possession of the castle of CRUM, County Limerick.

This nobleman is said to have been the first who brought the Orders of the Franciscans and the Dominicans into Ireland.

In 1229, the King, appreciating the good services of the family since its settlement in Ireland, constituted his lordship lord-justice of the kingdom.

In 1236, Lord Offaly built the castle of Armagh; and, in 1242, he erected a similar edifice at Athlone.

His lordship died in 1257, in the habit of St Francis, leaving the reputation of having been a "valiant knight, a very pleasant man, inferior to none in the kingdom, having lived all his life with commendation."

By his wife he had issue,
Gerald FitzMaurice;
MAURICE FITZGERALD, of whom we treat;
David FitzMaurice;
Thomas FitzMaurice.
He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, 

MAURICE FITZGERALD, 3rd Baron (1238-c1286),
Chief Governor of Ireland, then in minority; and Prince EDWARD having obtained the dominion of Ireland from his father, HENRY III, claimed his wardship as a part of the prerogative; but the barony of OFFALY being held by the minor and his deceased father under Margaret, Countess of Lincoln, to whom belonged the county of Kildare, as widow of the Earl of Pembroke, that lady contested the right of wardship, and brought the case before the King himself for decision. This nobleman was afterwards Chief Governor of Ireland.
He espoused firstly, Maud, daughter of Sir Gerald de Prendergast, by who he had issue, a daughter, Amabel; and secondly, Emmeline, daughter of Stephen Longespee, by whom he had a daughter, JULIANA FITZGERALD, LADY OF THOMOND.

Lord Offaly was succeeded at his decease by his cousin,

JOHN FITZGERALD, designated of Callann, who wedded firstly, Margery, daughter of Sir Thomas Anthony, with whom he acquired the lands of Decies and Desmond, and had an only son, MAURICE.

He espoused secondly, Honora, daughter of Hugh O'Connor (the first Irish lady chosen for a wife by any member of the family), and had four sons,
Gilbert, ancestor of The White Knights;
John, ancestor of The Knights of Glin;
Maurice, first Knight of Kerry, or The Black Knight;
Thomas, ancestor of the FitzGeralds, of The Island, County Kerry.
This John being killed with his eldest son, Maurice, at Callann, by MacCarthy Mor, against whom the FitzGeralds had raised a great army in 1261, was succeeded by his grandson,

THOMAS, nicknamed an-Apa or Simiacus,
The APE, a surname thus acquired - being only nine months old when his father and grandfather fell at Callann, his attendants rushing out at the first astonishment excited by the intelligence, left the child alone in its cradle, when a baboon, kept in the family, took him up, and carried him to the top of the steeple of Tralee Abbey; whence, after conveying him round the battlements, and exhibiting him to the appalled spectators, he brought him down safely, and laid him in his cradle. From this tradition the supporters of the house of LEINSTER are said to have been adopted. This Thomas was constituted a Lord Justice of Ireland, and captain of all Desmond, in 1295; and being of so much power, was generally styled Prince and Ruler of Munster.
He married Margaret, daughter of John, Lord Barry, of Oletham; and dying in 1298, left two sons,
JOHN, his successor;
Maurice, created EARL OF DESMOND in 1329.
Thomas was succeeded by his elder son,

JOHN, 5th Baron (c1250-1316), who, being at variance with William de Vescy, Lord of Kildare, and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland in 1291, and having various charges to prefer against him, came over to England, and confronted, and challenged the said Vescy, Lord of Kildare, before the King.

Lord Kildare first took up the glove, but subsequently withdrawing to France, His Majesty EDWARD I pronounced against his lordship, and conferred upon Lord Offaly Vescy's manors and Lordship of Kildare, Rathangan, etc.

Lord Offaly returned triumphantly to Ireland, and having continued to promote the English interest there, was created by EDWARD II, in 1316, EARL OF KILDARE.

His lordship died in the same year.

FROM this nobleman the family honours descended, without anything remarkable occurring, to

GERALD, 5th Earl,
Who died, leaving a daughter and heir, Elizabeth, who marrying James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormonde, the King's sheriff, in 1434, was ordered, on payment of the usual fine to the Exchequer, to give full livery of the Earl of Kildare's estates to this latter nobleman and his wife; and on the same roll, in that year, we find that Lord Ormonde and his wife paid the accustomed "relief" due to the Crown out of the estates of the said Gerald, Lord Kildare. But no claim was ever made by the Earls of Ormonde to the parliamentary barony of the Kildare family in right of their marriage with the heir; for we find it with the earldom inherited by

THOMAS, 7th Earl (c1421-78), who succeeded his father John, the 6th Earl, in 1427.

This nobleman was appointed, in 1454 and 1455, Lord Deputy of Ireland; in the latter of which years he held a great council, or parliament, in Dublin, and subsequently one at Naas, wherein, amongst other proceedings, it was resolved
"that as no means could be found to keep the King's coin within the Kingdom of Ireland, that all Frenchmen, Spaniards, Britons, Portuguese, and other sundry nations, should pay for every pound of silver they carried out of the land, 40 pence of custom to the king's customer, for the use of the King."
His lordship was continued in the government of Ireland until 1459, when Richard, Duke of York, was constituted Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; but the following year, Lord Kildare was appointed Deputy to the Duke of York.

This tide of prosperity continued to flow until 1467, when, being involved with the Earl of Desmond, he was attainted with that nobleman (who suffered death), but subsequently pardoned, set at liberty, and restored in blood, by act of parliament.

His lordship was afterwards a Lord Justice of Ireland; and, in 1471, Deputy to George, Duke of Clarence.

He died in 1478, and was succeeded by his eldest son (by Joan, daughter of James, 6th Earl of Desmond), 

GERALD, 8th Earl (c1456-c1513), KG; who was constituted, on his accession to the peerage, Lord Deputy to Richard, Duke of York, and held a parliament at Naas.
In 1480, he was re-appointed Lord Deputy; and again, upon the accession of HENRY VII, Deputy to Jasper, Duke of Bedford, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. 
Upon the arrival, however, of Lambert Simnel, and his tutor, Richard Simon, an Oxford priest, in Ireland, the Lord Deputy, the Chancellor, Treasurer, and other nobles in the York interest, immediately acknowledged the imposter, and had him proclaimed in Dublin, by the style of EDWARD VI; and the Lord Deputy assisted with the others at his coronation at Christ Church Cathedral, in 1487, where the ceremony was performed with great solemnity, the Chancellor, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Earl of Lincoln, Lord Lovell, Jenico Marks, Mayor of Dublin, and several other persons of rank attending. 
The crown was borrowed from the image of the Virgin Mary; John Pain, the Bishop of Meath, preached the coronation sermon; and the Pretender was subsequently conveyed upon the shoulders of Darcy, of Platten, a person of extraordinary height, to Dublin Castle, amidst the shouts of the populace. 
In the engagement which afterwards decided the fate of Simnel, near Stoke, the Chancellor, FitzGerald, fell; but the Lord Deputy had the good fortune to make his peace with the King.

His lordship was nominated Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1496, when he was succeeded by his son,

GERALD, 9th Earl (1487-1534); who, with his five uncles, having revolted, was imprisoned in the Tower, where he died, in 1534, and an act was passed in the parliament of Ireland attainting him of high treason, and forfeiting the family honours and estates.

His eldest son,

THOMAS, 10th Earl, shared in the misfortunes of his father, and leaving no issue, was succeeded by his brother,

GERALD, 11th Earl (1525-85); of whom a most remarkable account is given by a contemporary historian, Richard Stanihurst.

It appears that, at the age of 10, he was preserved from the power of HENRY VIII by the precaution of his female relatives, and his tutor, Thomas Leurense, his father's foster-brother.

He wandered from court to court upon the Continent, until Cardinal Pole, who was related to his lordship's mother, sent for him into Italy and completed his education.

He wedded Mabel, daughter of Sir Anthony Brown, and through the medium of that connection, obtained the favour of EDWARD VI, who conferred upon him, in 1552, the Lordship of Maynooth and other of his father's estates.
In the ensuing reign, he was fully restored, by letters patent, to the earldom of KILDARE and barony of Offaly, with the precedence of his ancestors. It is a remarkable circumstance that, though attainted by act of parliament, this Gerald, under such grants from the Crown, but without any new statute, was summoned to, and actually sat as a peer in, the parliament of 1560, and it was not until the 11th year of ELIZABETH I that the attainder was removed by parliament. 
His lordship's eldest son, GERALD, Lord Offaly, dying in the lifetime of the 11th Earl, left an only daughter, Lettice, who married Sir Robert Digby, and for a long time claimed the BARONY OF OFFALY, as heir of her father, but which claim, after being referred by JAMES I to the judges of England, was decided by His Majesty himself, who confirmed the barony of Offaly to the Earls of Kildare and their heirs male, and created Lady Digby BARONESS OFFALY for life; whereupon that ancient title devolved on the deceased Earl's second son and successor,
HENRY, 12th Earl, who wedded the Lady Frances Howard, daughter of Charles, Earl of Nottingham, and had surviving issue,
His lordship dying thus without male issue, was succeeded by his brother,

WILLIAM, 13th Earl; who died unmarried, when the honours devolved upon  (the son of Edward FitzGerald, brother of the 11th Earl, his kinsman,

GERALD, 14th Earl; whose grandson,

GEORGE, 16th Earl, was the first of the family brought up in the reformed religion, being so educated by his guardian, the Duke of Lennox.

His lordship wedded Lady Jane Boyle, daughter of the 1st Earl of Cork, and had, with other issue,
WENTWORTH, his successor;
Robert, father of ROBERT, 19th Earl.
George, 16th Earl, was succeeded by his elder surviving son,

WENTWORTH, 17th Earl, who was succeeded by his son,

JOHN, 18th Earl, who dsp in 1707, when the honours reverted to his cousin (refer to Captain Robert FitzGerald, second son of the 16th Earl), 

ROBERT, 19th Earl (1675-1743), third son of Captain Robert FitzGerald, second son of the 16th Earl, who took a distinguished and active part in favour of WILLIAM III, during the contest in Ireland between that prince and his father-in-law, JAMES II.

This nobleman was an eminent statesman in the reigns of Queen ANNE, GEORGE I and GEORGE II.

His lordship espoused, in 1708, Mary, eldest daughter of William, 3rd Earl of Inchiquin, by whom he had four sons and eight daughters; and dying in 1743, was succeeded by his only son then living, 

JAMES, 20th Earl, who was created Viscount Leinster, of Taplow, in 1747; and in 1761, advanced to a marquessate, as Marquess of Kildare.

His lordship was further advanced to the dignity of a dukedom, in 1766, as DUKE OF LEINSTER.

His Grace wedded Lady Amelia Mary, daughter of Charles, Duke of Richmond and Lennox, by whom he had seventeen children, of whom were
WILLIAM ROBERT, his successor;
Charles James, 1st Baron Lecale;
Henry, m Charlotte, Baroness de Ros;
Robert Stephen;
Emilia Maria Margaret; Charlotte Mary Gertrude; Sophia Sarah Mary; Lucy Anne.
The 1st Duke died in 1773, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
The heir presumptive is the 9th Duke's younger brother Lord John FitzGerald (b 1952).

 The Dukes of Leinster are premier dukes, marquesses and earls of Ireland.

CARTON HOUSE, near Maynooth, County Kildare, is one of the grandest stately homes in Ireland.

Formerly the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Leinster, the demesne presently comprises 1,100 acres.

During a history spanning more than eight centuries, Carton has seen many changes.
The estate first came into the ownership of the FitzGerald family shortly after Maurice FitzGerald played an active role in the capture of Dublin by the Normans in 1170 and was rewarded by being appointed Lord of Maynooth, an area covering townlands which include Carton House.
His son became Baron Offaly in 1205 and his descendant, John FitzGerald, became Earl of Kildare in 1315.

Under the 8th Earl, the FitzGerald family reached pre-eminence as the virtual rulers of Ireland between 1477 and 1513.

However, the 8th Earl's grandson, the eloquently titled Silken Thomas was executed in 1537, with his five uncles, for leading an uprising against the Crown.

Although the FitzGeralds subsequently regained their land and titles, they did not regain their position at Court until the 18th century when Robert, the 19th Earl of Kildare, became a Privy Counsellor and a Lord Justice.

The first record of a house at Carton was in the 17th century when William Talbot, Recorder of the city of Dublin was given a lease of the lands by the 14th Earl of Kildare and is thought to have built a house.

The house and lands were forfeited to the crown in 1691 and in 1703 sold to Major-General Richard Ingoldsby, Master-General of the Ordnance.

In 1739, Richard Castle was employed by the 19th Earl of Kildare to build the existing house after it was bought by the 19th Earl of Kildare.

This was the same year the FitzGerald family bought Frescati House. Castle (originally Cassels) was also responsible for some other grand Irish houses including Westport House, Powerscourt House and in 1745, Leinster House, which he also built for the FitzGeralds.

In 1747 James the 20th Earl of Kildare and from 1766 first Duke of Leinster, married Lady Emily Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond and great-granddaughter of King Charles II.

LADY EMILY played an important role in the development of the house and estate as it is today.

She created the Chinese room (bedroom to Queen Victoria) and decorated the famous Shell Cottage on the estate with shells from around the world.

Leinster House (Lawrence Collection/NLI)

One of Lady Emily's 23 children was the famous Irish Patriot Lord Edward FitzGerald, leader of the 1798 rebellion.

Leinster House

Carton remained unaltered until 1815 when the 3rd Duke decided to sell Leinster House to the Royal Dublin Society and make Carton his principal residence.

He employed Richard Morrison to enlarge and re-model the house.

Morrison replaced the curved colonnades with straight connecting links to obtain additional rooms including the famous dining room.

At this time, the entrance to the house was moved to the north side.

Carton remained in the control of the FitzGeralds until the early 1920s when the 7th Duke sold his birthright to a moneylender, Sir Harry Mallaby Deeley, in order to pay off gambling debts of £67,500.

He was third in line to succeed and so did not think he would ever inherit, but one of his brothers died in the war and another of a brain tumour and so Carton was lost to the FitzGeralds.

In 1923 a local unit of the IRA went to Carton with the intention of burning it down.

However, they were stopped when a member of the FitzGerald family brought a large painting of Lord Edward FitzGerald to the door and pointed out that they would be burning the house of a revered Irish patriot.

Ronald Nall-Cain, 2nd Baron Brocket, whose principal residence was Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire, purchased the house in 1949; and in 1977 his son, the Hon David Nall-Cain, who had by then moved to the Isle of Man, sold the house to its present owners, Lee and Mary Mallaghan.

Carton House  was remodelled by Richard Castle in 1739, building an enormous central, pedimented block, curved colonnades and wings.

Their Graces' Dublin residence, Kildare House, later renemed Leinster House, easily the grandest private home in the Irish capital, was erected by the same architect six years later.

The Organ Room or Gold Saloon is probably the most magnificent and important room in the House, with its Victorian Pipe organ at one end; its sumptuous gilded walls, ceiling and plasterwork.

The Chinese Room (below) also retains its 18th century character, resplendent with its Chinese wallpaper of 1759 and the sumptuous gilded embellishments within the room.

It has been unfortunate that Carton no longer belongs to either the Dukes of Leinster who created it; nor the Nall-Cains, whose role was notable, too.

Both families left for reasons of impecuniosity: The 7th Duke squandered the family fortune.

The Dukes of Leinster were, by far, the greatest landowners in County Kildare, with an immense amount of property and ground rents in Dublin and Athy.

There were prosperous tenant farms and the family had to release this land under the terms of the Wyndham Act of 1903.

Carton House and demesne has been lovingly restored to become a luxury hotel.

First published in May, 2011.