Thursday, 18 July 2019

The Clark Baronets


This family originally came from Dykebar in Renfrewshire.

JAMES CLARK (1747-1829), of Paisley, Renfrewshire, son of William Clark and Agnes Bryson, married Margaret, daughter of Andrew Campbell, in 1768.

His occupation was thread manufacturer.
This James started out in business as a heddle harness, heddle twine and lash twine manufacturer. He started making cotton thread in 1813 and, together with his son James (1782-1865), built a mill at Seedhill, Paisley, Renfrewshire.

This mill was acquired in 1819 by his sons James and John, who formed J & J Clark, thread manufacturers, Paisley, Renfrewshire. Their father continued to run a separate business at Cotton Street and Thread Street, Paisley and died in 1829.
His younger son, 

JAMES CLARK (1782-1865), of Chapel House, Paisley (below), married Agnes, daughter of James McFarlane, in 1830.

The eldest son,

JAMES CLARK (1831-1910), of Chapel House, married firstly, in 1858, Jane, daughter of George Smith; and secondly, in 1871, Katherine, daughter of Major-General George King.

Mr Clark was Provost of Paisley, 1882-85.

His second son,

GEORGE SMITH CLARK DL (1861-1935), wedded, in 1881, Frances Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Matier.

He was educated at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh, and apprenticed to Harland & Wolff, Belfast.

In 1877, he opened his own shipyard on the River Lagan in association with Mr Frank Workman.

His uncle, George Smith, provided capital for this initial venture.

In 1891, the firm became Workman, Clark & Co. Ltd.

Charles Allan (a cousin of Clark's and a member of the Allan Line family) also joined the firm.

By 1902, the shipyard comprised fifty acres in extent.

Mr Clark was created a baronet in 1917, designated of Dunlambert, Belfast.

DUNLAMBERT HOUSE, a large Victorian villa near Fortwilliam, Belfast, was built for Sir George's father-in-law, Henry Matier. The architect was James Hamilton, of Glasgow.

The house and lodge were swept away for Dunlambert Secondary School.

The school was established in 1958, so the house must have been demolished ca 1956.

Dunlambert House was located off Fortwilliam Park  (remains of the grand entrances built by George Langry, who owned the estate in the early 1800s, remain).

A picture from the Lawrence Collection provides an indication of the dwellings within the park, including the Clarks' gate lodge and drive (above).

More information about the career of the 1st Baronet is available here.

Sir George Ernest Clark DL (1882-1950), 2nd Baronet,
Graduated from Cambridge University with a MA; Member, Institute of Naval Architects; Commissioner of Irish Lights; Deputy Chairman, Great Northern Railway Company; Honorary Colonel, 3rd Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery (TA), 1939-46; High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1940; High Sheriff of County Down, 1941.
Sir George Anthony Clark DL (1914-91), 3rd Baronet,
Educated at Canford; MP for Belfast Dock, 1938-45; captain in the Black Watch; fought in the 2nd World War; Senator in the Stormont Parliament, 1951-69; Imperial Grand President of the Imperial Grand Orange Council of the World, 1958-61; High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1954. 
Sir George and Lady Clark lived at Tullygarvan House, near Ballygowan, County Down.

Sir Colin Douglas Clark MC (1918-95), 4th Baronet, who succeeded to the baronetcy as the 3rd Baronet's younger brother,
Educated at Eton; major, the Royal Engineers; fought in 2nd World War, where he was mentioned in despatches; graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1939 with a MA; awarded a Military Cross (MC); managing director of G Heyn and Sons Ltd, Belfast; Director of Cladox Ltd, The Ulster Steamship Company Ltd, The North Continental Shipping Company Ltd, and the Mountain Steamship Company Ltd.
Sir Jonathan George Clark (b 1947), 5th and present Baronet, was educated at Eton; captain in the Royal Green Jackets, 1966; retired from the Army in 1978; managing director of Paragon Homes Ltd in 1992.

In 2003 he lived in Cheshire.

First published in July, 2010.

TA: NI History

On the 10th May, 1958, the golden jubilee of the Territorial Army in Northern Ireland, a Review was performed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother at RAF Sydenham (the site is now occupied by Belfast City Airport).

Click to Enlarge

The Order of Parade included massed bands playing from 1.30pm; the arrival of Her Majesty at 3pm; the Inspection at 3.05pm; a March Past at 3.20pm; and the departure of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother at 3.45pm.

First published in May, 2010.

Glengarriff Castle


The family of WHITE claimed to derive its descent from a brother of the Rt Rev John White, Bishop of Winchester, in 1557.

The immediate ancestor of this noble family came to Ireland during the English civil war which commenced in 1641.

This brother's descendant in the fourth degree, 

RICHARD WHITE, of Bantry, County Cork, son of Richard White, of Bantry, married, in 1734, Martha, daughter of the Very Rev Rowland Davies, of Dawston, County Cork, Dean of Cork and Ross, and had issue,
SIMON, his heir;
Margaret, m Richard, Viscount Longueville.
The only son,

SIMON WHITE, of Bantry, wedded, in 1760, Frances Jane, daughter of Richard Hedges Eyre, of Mount Hedges, County Cork, by Helena his wife, daughter of Thomas Herbert, of Muckross Abbey, County Kerry, and dsp, having had issue,
RICHARD, of whom presently;
Helen; Martha; Frances.
The eldest son,

RICHARD, 1ST EARL OF BANTRY (1767-1851), espoused, in 1799, the Lady Margaret Anne Hare, daughter of William, 1st Earl of Listowel, and had issue,
Richard, 2nd Earl;
William Henry Hare, 3rd Earl;
SIMON, of whom we treat;
Robert Hedges;
The third son,

COLONEL THE HON SIMON WHITEwedded, in 1801, Sarah, daughter of John Newenham, of Maryborough, and had issue,
Edward Richard;
Fanny Rosa Maria; Harriet.
Colonel White died in 1838, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT HEDGES EYRE WHITE (1809-), of Glengarriff Castle, County Cork, who married, in 1834, Charlotte Mary, only daughter and heir of Thomas Dorman, of Raffeen House, County Cork, and had issue,

ROBERT HEDGES EYRE WHITE (1836-), of Raffeen House, who espoused, in 1860, Mary Anne d'Esterre, daughter of John Roberts, of Ardmore, County Waterford, and had issue,
Robert Hedges Eyre, b 1862;
Simon, b 1863;
Edward, b 1869;
Anna Mary; Frances Dorothy.

GLENGARRIFF CASTLE, County Cork, is a partially castellated house overlooking Glengarriff harbour.

It has a long, two-storey range with shallow, curved bows and ogee-headed windows.

At one end there is a square tower; the other end having a considerably loftier, battlemented round tower.

The round tower joins the main block to a battlemented wing at an obtuse angle to its end.

The Castle was built in the 1790s by Colonel Simon White, brother of the 1st Earl of Bantry.

It was built in the Gothic style, with a panoramic view of Glengarriff Bay.

The woodlands of the estate encompass a wide variety of trees including Oak, Beech, Japanese Red Cedar, European Larch, Chilean Pine and a variety of shrub and flora species.

Wildlife to be seen include red squirrel, sika deer, seals, fox and pine marten.

Over the years, Glengarriff has extended hospitality to royalty, artists and writers, such as Thackeray, Synge and Yeats; and, when living in the area, George Bernard Shaw is said to have written his play St Joan here.

The actress Maureen O'Hara, who starred with John Wayne in The Quiet Man, for many years kept a holiday home adjacent to Glengarriff Castle.

The castle operated as a resort until the late 1970s, but has since become derelict.

First published in May, 2013.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Low Rock Castle

LOW ROCK CASTLE, Portstewart, County Londonderry, was given this name in order to distinguish it from its larger neighbour further along the coast, Rock Castle (a school since 1917, known locally as O'Hara's Castle).

It pre-dates Rock Castle, because it was known as "Rock Castle" before the clifftop mansion was built.

This house was a two-storey, late-Georgian seaside villa of ca 1820, with two bows like round towers at either end of its front.

It was originally battlemented, hence its "castle" nomenclature.

The bows contained circular rooms.

Low Rock was famous for having been the birth-place, in 1835, of Field-Marshal Sir George White VC, the defender of Ladysmith.

It was built by Henry O'Hara who later constructed the dwelling known as "O'Hara's Castle" on a promontory further to the north.

Low Rock Castle is referred to in 1835 as a bathing residence that was usually let during the summer.

The house was rented to James Robert White, of White Hall, County Antrim, during the summer of 1835.

The building was vacant in 1856 and was the property of Alexander Shuldham.

The house was let out for some years and, in 1885, was sold to Thomas Mackey, a wine merchant of Coleraine, at which time it was said to comprise twenty-three rooms, including three reception rooms, nine bedrooms, kitchen, pantries and two WCs.

Extensive outbuildings comprised a large coach-house, stable, byre, and a house for the coachman, the whole "romantically situated on an acre of ground".

In 1908, it was recorded that the house was let for the summer season of three months a year and was otherwise vacant.

The house passed to James Leslie ca 1920; and then to the Wilson family in the 1930s.

It was run as a boarding-house in the summer, though was closed during the winter.

Notes of this period show the house with bays and porch, a rear return with dining room; pantry and scullery; and a stable block to the south which had been converted into rooms for boarders and staff.

In 1945, the property was purchased for £3,000 by Robina Young, when the interior was completely modernised, part of the building accommodating an overflow of visitors from the Strand Hotel.

Low Rock Castle was demolished overnight in 2001, without permission, during the construction of a block of apartments that now occupy the site:
"Planners were under fire today after ruling out legal action over the flattening of a protected historic building. The listed 19th century [Low] Rock Castle in Portstewart was pulled down in the summer of 2001 to make way for an apartment complex.

It has taken the DoE's Planning Service almost four years to decide against prosecution. The Department had previously referred to the demolition as an "offence" and stressed that the "necessary legal procedures" were under way.

Its decision not to go to court has been revealed in a letter to Coleraine Council. The DoE said it had been firmly advised by its lawyers that there was "no reasonable prospect" of a conviction.

Works to Rock Castle had been "urgently necessary" on health and safety grounds and the developer had carried out the "minimum measures necessary", the letter stated.

The Department also said that Planning Service chiefs had decided after "careful consideration" that pursuing the case "would not be in the overall public interest". The DoE took a much tougher stance in the immediate wake of the removal of the historic building. 

In a letter to the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society in October 2001, the office of the then Environment Minister, Sam Foster, stated: "The Planning Service has initiated the necessary legal procedures with a view to pursuing prosecution." 

The Minister's office also stated that the demolition was "at variance" with a Planning Service consent, which required the "retention of the original front section of Rock Castle".

Rita Harkin from the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society said at the time:
"This fine listed building was demolished without consent, to the detriment and dismay of the community. We shared their clear expectation that a prosecution would follow. To maintain that the Department's inaction is in the public interest is risible. Will it not simply prompt others to demolish and reason later, cheating towns and villages of cherished historic buildings?"

I photographed Low Rock Castle's successor during a visit to Portstewart in July, 2013.

The picture was taken from the shore.

At the entrance there remains a tiny fisherman's cottage of ca 1600.

First published in July, 2013.

The Duchess of Cornwall

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall GCVO PC is 72 today.

HRH's full style and titles are as follows:
Her Royal Highness The Princess Charles Philip Arthur George, Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland.

In 2007, HRH received The Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II.

In 2012, Her Royal Highness was appointed Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO), as illustrated on HRH's armorial bearings.

In 2016, HRH was appointed a Privy Counsellor.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

1st Duke of Leeds


This noble family, like many others in the peerage, traces its origin to the city of London, where it first became of importance through

SIR EDWARD OSBORNE, Knight (c1530-91), who filled the office of Lord Mayor in 1582.

This gentleman discovering an early bias towards commercial pursuits, was put apprentice to Sir William Hewett, of the Clothworkers' Company, one of the most considerable merchants in London; and while serving his apprenticeship, Sir William's only child Anna, having accidentally fallen from the window of his house on London Bridge, into the Thames, Mr Osborne leaped into the river and brought her out in safety, when but little hope remained of her rescue.

This lady was afterwards his wife, and by her he had issue,
HEWETT, his heir;
Anne; Alice; Jane.
Sir Edward married secondly, Margaret, who outlived him.

He was MP for the City of London, 1585.

Sir Edward was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR HEWETT OSBORNE, who received the honour of knighthood from the Earl of Essex, in Ireland, for his services there.

He wedded Joice, daughter of Thomas Fleetwood, of The Vache, Buckinghamshire, Master of the Mint, and had, with a daughter, Alice, an only son, his successor in 1614,

SIR EDWARD OSBORNE, Knight (1596-1647), of Kiveton, Yorkshire, who was created a baronet, 1620.

In 1629, when Thomas, Viscount Wentworth (afterwards Earl of Strafford), was made Lord President of the North, Sir Edward Osborne was appointed Vice-President of the Council to CHARLES I for the North of England; and upon the breaking out of the rebellion, 1641, was Lieutenant-General of the forces raised in His Majesty's defence in that part of the country.

He wedded firstly, Margaret, eldest daughter of Thomas, Viscount Fauconberg, and had a son, Edward, who was killed in youth by the fall of some chimneys at his father's residence.

Sir Edward espoused secondly, Anne, daughter of Thomas Walmesley, of Lancashire, and by this lady he had an only son, his successor,

SIR THOMAS OSBORNE, 2nd Baronet (1632-1712), who became Lord High Treasurer of England and was elevated to the peerage, 1673, as Viscount Osborne and Earl of Danby.

His lordship was advanced to the dignity of a marquessate, in 1689, as Marquess of Carmarthen; and further advanced, in 1694, to a dukedom, as DUKE OF LEEDS.

1st Duke of Leeds. Photo Credit: Parliamentary Art Collection

He was installed a Knight of the Garter, and enrolled amongst the peers of Scotland, 1675, by the title of Viscount Osborne, of Dunblane.

His Grace married Bridget, daughter of Montagu Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey, LORD GREAT CHAMBERLAIN OF ENGLAND, and was succeeded at his demise, in 1712, by his only surviving son,

PEREGRINE, 2nd Duke (1659-1729), who wedded Bridget, only daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Hyde Bt, by whom he had two sons and two daughters.

His Grace having adopted the naval profession, attained the rank of Vice-Admiral of the Red, 1705, and conveyed the Duke of Marlborough and his army, with six men-of-war, to Holland in the same year.

He was succeeded by his second and only surviving son,

PEREGRINE HYDE, 3rd Duke (1691-1731), who espoused firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert, Earl of Oxford, by whom he had an only son, THOMAS, his successor; and secondly, Anne, daughter of Charles, Duke of Somerset, by whom he had no surviving issue.

His Grace married thirdly, in 1725, Juliana, daughter and co-heir of Roger Hele, of Holwell, Devon.

The 3rd Duke was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS, 4th Duke, KG (1713-89), who wedded, in 1740, Mary, second daughter and eventually sole heir of Francis, Earl of Godolphin, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

FRANCIS GODOLPHIN, 5th Duke (1751-99), who wedded, in 1773, Amelia, only daughter and heir of Robert D'Arcy, Earl of Holderness, and Baroness Conyers, at the demise of her father, by which marriage he had issue,
Francis Godolphin, created 1st BARON GODOLPHIN;
Mary Henrietta Juliana.
This marriage being dissolved by act of Parliament in 1779, His Grace espoused secondly, in 1788, Catherine, daughter of Thomas Anguish, Accountant-General of the Court of Chancery, and had issue,
Sidney Godolphin;
Catherime Anne Sarah.
His Grace was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE WILLIAM FREDERICK, 6th Duke, KG (1775-1838), who inherited the barony of Conyers upon the decease of his mother Amelia, Baroness Conyers in her own right, in 1784.

His Grace espoused, in 1797, Charlotte, daughter of George, 1st Marquess Townshend, and had issue,
Conyers George Thomas William;
Charlotte Mary Anne Georgiana.
The 6th Duke was Lord-Lieutenant of the North Riding of Yorkshire, Governor of the Scilly Isles, Constable of Middleton Castle, and Ranger of Richmond Forest.

He was appointed Master of the Horse, 1827, sworn of the Privy Council, and appointed a Knight of the Garter on the same day.

At the coronation of WILLIAM IV, the Duke of Leeds was one of the four Knights of the Garter who held over the King's head the pall of gold at the ceremony of anointing.

His Grace was succeeded by his only surviving son,

FRANCIS GODOLPHIN D'ARCY, 7th Duke, who married, in 1828, Louisa Catharine, third daughter and co-heir of Richard Caton, of Maryland, USA, though the marriage was without issue, and the titles devolved upon His Grace's cousin,

GEORGE GODOLPHIN, 2nd Baron Godolphin, 8th Duke (1802-72), who wedded, in 1824, Harriet Emma Arundel, natural daughter of Granville, 1st Earl Granville,
Francis George Godolphin D'Arcy D'Arcy-Osborne, 7th Duke (1798–1859);
George Godolphin Osborne, 8th Duke (1802–72);
George Godolphin Osborne, 9th Duke (1828–95);
George Godolphin Osborne, 10th Duke (1862–1927);
John Francis Godolphin Osborne, 11th Duke (1901–1963);
Francis D'Arcy Godolphin Osborne, 12th Duke (1884–1964), grandson of Lord Godolphin's third son, died without issue, at which point all of his titles became extinct.
Former seats ~ Hornby Castle, Yorkshire; Godolphin, Cornwall.

First published in July, 2017.  Leeds arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Castle Balfour

The family of BALFOUR, which derived its name from its patrimony of Balor, or Balfour, in Fife, long enjoyed the hereditary office of Sheriff of that county, in which there were more freeholders of the name than of any other, even so late as the reign of CHARLES II.

Besides many illustrious descendants in the female line, it has been ennobled by two peerages, viz. Balfour of Burleigh, in Scotland, and Balfour of Glenawley, in Ulster.

SIR JAMES BALFOUR, Lord Pittendreich (c1525-83), a distinguished protagonist in the turbulent times of the unhappy MARY, Queen of Scots, and her son, JAMES V, King of Scotland, married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Michael Balfour, of Burleigh, and had, with three daughters, six sons,
JAMES, of whom we treat;
Alexander, of Balgarvie;
Henry (Sir), a general in the army of the States of Holland;
Sir James's second son,

SIR JAMES BALFOUR, Knight (c1567-1634), having risen high in favour with JAMES I, was created by that monarch, in 1619, BARON BALFOUR OF GLENAWLEY, County Fermanagh.

His lordship married firstly, his cousin, Grizel, daughter of Patrick Balfour, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
ALEXANDER, succeeded his brother as 3rd Baron;
Pearce, died young;
Anna, m Archibald, son of Most Rev Malcolm Hamilton, Archbishop of Cashel.
He wedded secondly, after 1599, the Lady Margaret Leslie, daughter of George, 7th Earl of Erroll; and thirdly, Anne, eldest daughter of Edward, 1st Baron Blayney.

He died in London and was buried at St Ann Blackfriars.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, 2nd Baron, who married Anne Warren, though dsp in 1635, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

ALEXANDER, 3rd Baron, who dsp 1636, when the title expired.

His lordship's nephew,

GENERAL SIR WILLIAM BALFOUR (c1578-1660), of Pitcullo, Fife, Governor of the Tower of London under CHARLES I, subsequently settled in Ulster on the purchase of an estate in County Fermanagh from his uncle, the 1st Baron.

He married firstly, Helen, daughter of Archibald, Lord Napier, and had issue,
Emilia; Isabella; Susanna.
General Balfour was succeeded by his youngest son,

CHARLES BALFOUR, of Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, who wedded, in 1665, Cicely, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Byron, of Colwick, Nottinghamshire, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
LUCY, succeeded her brother;
Another daughter.
Mr Balfour died in 1713, and was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM BALFOUR, of Castle Balfour, attainted by JAMES II, 1689; who died unmarried, 1738, when the estates devolved upon his sister,

LUCY BALFOUR, who espoused firstly, in 1684, Hugh McGill, of Kirkistown, County Down; and secondly, in 1692, Blayney Townley, of Piedmont, County Louth, and by him had, with other issue,
HARRY, succeeded his uncle;
HARRY TOWNLEY (1693-1741), of Piedmont, County Louth, nephew of the aforesaid William Balfour, assumed the name of BALFOUR under the will of his uncle, and succeeded to his estates in County Fermanagh (afterwards sold to Lord Erne).

LISNASKEA is County Fermanagh's second town and has a population of about 2,800.

Its long, main street has a market-place in the middle with an ancient, monastic high cross.

The old market-house, butter and corn markets were built in the early 19th century.

The former workhouse, a stone building of considerable size, is now derelict and in its garden there used to be a massive iron cauldron which could hold 300 gallons of gruel.

CASTLE BALFOUR formed the nucleus of the town.

It stands beside the parish church, in the graveyard.

The Castle was built with local stone ca 1618 by Sir James Balfour.

 Sandstone was used for the quoins and dressings.

The main block consists of a rectangular block, 78 feet by 24 feet, with a large wing projecting to the east and west, comprising two L-shaped units.

The northern block has three storeys with attics.

The kitchen is vaulted, with a fireplace and oven.

Corbelled turrets and gun-slits are a feature.

During the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Castle Balfour and the village were burnt but later reoccupied.

In 1689, the Castle was again badly damaged by the Jacobite armies but was repaired after the Williamite victory at Limerick.

About 1780, Castle Balfour was sold to the 1st Earl of Erne, and the Balfours subsequently left County Fermanagh.

The last person to inhabit the Castle was James Haire (1737-1833), of Nutfield, who leased the Castle from Lord Erne.

James Haire and his family ceased to occupy the castle after it was destroyed by an arson-based fire in 1803 (his mother, Phoebe, was killed in the rubble caused by the fire).

Thereafter the Castle remained ruinous, until it was placed in state care by the 6th Earl of Erne in 1960.

Major conservation work was carried out between 1966-68 and again during the late 1990s.

First published in July, 2017.  Balfour arms courtesy of European Heraldry.