Friday, 7 May 2021

Blacker of Carrickblacker


This family, according to Burke's, derives its name and descent from BLACAR, king or chief of the Norsemen, or Danes, who settled at Dublin in the beginning of the 10th century.

He was the son of Godfred, and the grandson of Imar.

Succeeding his brother Amlave in 938, he led back the Danes to Dublin, from whence they had been driven.

In 940, he plundered Clonmacnoise and Kildare, and the next year he slew with his own axe, in a pitched battle on the banks of the River Bann, Muirchertach, King of Ailech, called the Hector or bravest of his time.
A battle-axe features in the Blacker coat-of-arms and crest.
The day after, he marched against and sacked the city of Armagh.

It is a singular fact that his descendants have for many generations possessed the site of this victory; the traditions of the country; the remains of an ancient encampment; and the discovery of both Danish and Irish weapons (some of which are in the possession of the Blacker family).

These facts strongly corroborate the testimony of historians, in this particular.

In 943, Blacar was driven from Dublin by a successful attack of the Irish, and he fell in 946 near that city, with 1,600 of his people, vanquished by Congalach, King of Ireland, and was succeeded by his son, SITRIC MacBLACAR.

By some authors he is called Blaccard, and it is worthy of observation, that the name is still frequently pronounced, in some circles, Blackard.


THE FIRST of the family who settled in Armagh,

CAPTAIN VALENTINE BLACKER, of Carrick, in the parish of Seagoe, County Armagh, as he is described in old records, was born in 1597.

This soldier, a commandant of Horse and Foot, went from Poppleton, in Yorkshire, to Ulster.

Captain Blacker purchased the manor of Carrowbrack from Anthony Cope, of Loughgall, in 1660.

This manor was subsequently called Carrickblacker.

During Captain Blacker's lifetime, and principally by his means, the old church of Seagoe, now in ruins, was built.

He married Judith, daughter of Michael Harrison, of Ballydargan, County Down, and had issue,
Ferdinando "Capitaine-Leifftenante" in Savile's troop of horse;
GEORGE, of whom we treat;
Violetta; Dora; Maud.
Captain Blacker died in 1677, and was succeeded by his younger son,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GEORGE BLACKER, of Carrickblacker, a firm adherent of the royal house of STUART, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1684, who wedded Rose, daughter and heiress of William Latham, of Ballytroan, County Tyrone.

Colonel Blacker was one of the gentlemen obliged by JAMES II to proceed to Londonderry for the purpose of demanding the surrender of that city; but remaining firm to the cause of WILLIAM III, his name, together with that of his son, William Blacker, appeared in the Act of Attainder of that day.

Mrs Rose Blacker died in 1689.

The precise time of Colonel Blacker's demise is uncertain, but it must have been shortly after: Both were buried in Seagoe Church.

Colonel Blacker was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM BLACKER, of Carrick and Ballytroan, who built (as appears from a date cut on a stone in the wall) the manor house of Carrickblacker in 1692.

A staunch supporter of WILLIAM III, he fought at the battle of the Boyne.

This gentleman wedded firstly, in 1666, Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel the Hon Robert Stewart, of Irry, County Tyrone, third son of 1st Baron Castle Stuart, descended from the Dukes of Albany, and by her he had issue,
STEWART, his heir;
Robert, ancestor of BLACKER of Drogheda and Meath.
Mr Blacker espoused secondly Hannah Lawrence; and thirdly, Theodosia, daughter of Oliver St John, of Tandragee Castle, County Armagh, and had further issue,
Samuel, ancestor of BLACKER of Elm Park and Tullahinel.
Mr Blacker died in 1732, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

STEWART BLACKER, of Carrickblacker, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1706, who married, in 1704, Barbara, daughter of the Rev Henry Young, and niece and heiress of William Latham, of Brookend, County Tyrone, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Henry (Rev);
George, of Hallsmill, Co Down;
Mr Blacker died in 1751, aged 80, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

WILLIAM BLACKER (1709-83), of Carrickblacker and Brookend, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1734, County Tyrone, 1749, who espoused, in 1738, Letitia, daughter of Henry Cary, of Dungiven Castle, MP for County Londonderry, and had issue,
STEWART, his heir;
George (Rev), Rector of Seagoe;
Eliza; Barbara; Martha; Alicia; Letitia; Lucinda.
Mr Blacker died in 1783, and was interred beside his wife in the abbey church of Bath, in which city he had resided the latter years of his life.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE VERY REV STEWART BLACKER (1740-1826), of Carrickblacker, Dean of Leighlin, Archdeacon of Dromore, Rector of Drumcree, Vicar of Seagoe, who married Eliza, daughter of Sir Hugh Hill Bt, MP for Londonderry, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
George, Captain, East India Company;
Stewart, Captain RN;
James Stewart (Rev);
Letitia; Sophia; Eliza; Louisa; Caroline.
Dean Blacker was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM BLACKER JP DL (1777-1855), of Carrickblacker, Lieutenant-Colonel, Armagh Militia, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1811, who wedded, in 1810, Anne, eldest daughter of Sir Andrew Ferguson Bt, MP for Londonderry.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL VALENTINE BLACKER CB (1778-1826), Surveyor-General of India, was a relative.
Colonel and Mrs Blacker and Lady Ferguson

Colonel Blacker was Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, 1810-17.

Dying without an heir, the family estates devolved upon his nephew,

STEWART BLACKER JP DL, of Carrickblacker, Barrister, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1859, Member, Royal Irish Academy, who died unmarried in 1881, when the Carrickblacker estate devolved upon his sister,

HESTER ANNE,  BARONESS VON STIEGLITZ, for her life, and the representation of the family reverted to his kinsman, 

THE REV ROBERT SHAPLAND CAREW BLACKER JP MA (1826-1913), of Woodbrook House, Enniscorthy, County Wexford, and Carrickblacker, County Armagh, son of William Blacker and Elizabeth Anne Carew, who wedded, in 1858, Theodosia Charlotte Sophia, daughter of George Meara, of May Park, County Waterford, by Sarah Catherine his wife, sister of Edward Southwell, 3rd Viscount Bangor, and had issue,
William Robert George (1860-80);
EDWARD CAREW, of whom hereafter;
STEWART WARD WILLIAM, succeeded his brother.
The eldest surviving son,

EDWARD CAREW BLACKER JP DL (1863-1932), of Carrickblacker and Woodbrook House, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1908, died unmarried and was succeeded by his brother,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL STEWART WARD WILLIAM BLACKER DSO JP DL (1865-1935), of Carrickblacker and Woodbrook House, who married, in 1903, Eva Mary Lucy St John, daughter of Colonel Edward Albert FitzRoy, and had issue,
Robert Stewart, Commander RN;
Terence Fitzroy;
Betty Mary.
Colonel Blacker was succeeded by his eldest son,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WILLIAM DESMOND BLACKER DSO (1903-44), of Carrickblacker, who was killed in action at Normandy, France.

Colonel Blacker died unmarried.

CARRICKBLACKER HOUSE, near Portadown, County Armagh, was a house dated 1692, though much embellished during the 19th century.

It had a three-storey, five-bay front, a curvilinear "Dutch" gable in the centre, a ballustraded parapet to the roof, and urns at the sky-line.

There was a balustrade above the entrance door.

The estate was purchased in 1937 by Portadown Golf Club, which demolished Carrickblacker House in 1958 to make way for a new clubhouse.

First published in May, 2013.


Anonymous said...

Very interested in your excellent article. Are you sure of the last paragraph? I thought the golf club may have built their new clubhouse (c1988) on the site of a previous more rudimentary HQ.

R Wombat

Unknown said...

Ref. Carrickblacker House, one thinks that an attempt might have been made to preserve the building. Such a pity!

Unknown said...

We lived on the site of the old house since 1991. We have been inside the old cellars which still survive but are permanently capped. We believe we have two urn bases from the old house in our garden

Anonymous said...

I live nearby. The estate is said to include two interesting relics:
1) A short canal linking the Carrickblacker farmyard to the River Bann.
2) A depression, near the 15th green on the golf course, which had some significance in the days of Irish tribal rule.
Anybody know anything about these?

GarethH said...

I have a great great grandmother Sarah Anne Blacker born around 1845 in County Armagh. I believe she was related to this family but she married a catholic so I think they may have tried to forget about her.

Unknown said...

My great grandfather was a tenant of Stewart Blacker and sold his lease and moved to Australia in 1863. His name was David England. Rod Lambert

Unknown said...

I would like to know if anyone knows anything that's been passed down about the history in and around the house as I do a bit of metal detecting.Thanks.

Unknown said...

My ancestors were tenants of Robert S C Blacker in Co. Wexford. Family name Flood

Unknown said...

My Great Grandfather was William Blacker who resided at 15 upper English street Armagh married Mary Corvin from 80 Lower English St assume there is a relationship though may be distant

Michael said...

I've been fascinated with this house for a long time so I decided to do some research. From looking at old Portadown maps (via PRONI) I can see that the old house stood on the site of the current practice putting green behind the first tee box. This is not where the current club house is. The back of the house faced towards the first hole. The front seemed to look out onto turnaround for carriages. Remnants from the walled garden can still be seen today. Stables belonging to the house are also standing today. A canal linking the farm to the Bann can be seen on maps dating back to 1830's. Judging by current maps and my own experience of the course, this canal has since been filled in.

I'm very interested in their capped cellars and if they can be accessed. Please do tell us more!