Friday, 31 July 2020

Herdman of Sion House


The first of the family to arrive in Ulster, 1688, was Captain Herdman, of Herdmanston, Ayrshire, who fought with WILLIAM III at the battle of the Boyne, and subsequently settled at Glenavy, County Antrim.
The immediate antecedents of the three Herdman brothers had owned Millfield Tannery, Belfast, which the eldest brother, James, inherited from his father.  His brother John went into  partnership with the Mulhollands in 1833, after turning round their business into profit in the Winetavern Street Flax-spinning mill in Belfast.
The Herdman brothers (James, John and George), in partnership with Andrew and Sinclair Mulholland and Robert Lyons, decided to purchase an unfinished flax-spinning mill in County Tyrone, from the 2nd Marquess of Abercorn. However, they couldn’t get the land they needed on a long enough lease. Their choice fell on Sion (or Seein, meaning a Fairy Mound), near Strabane,  adjacent to the River Mourne.
JAMES HERDMAN (1809-1901), of Bath, Somerset, and Strabane, County Tyrone, a grand-nephew of Sir James Emerson-Tennent Bt, married, in 1840, Elizabeth, daughter of William Suffern, of Belfast, and was father of

EMERSON TENNENT HERDMAN JP DL (1842-1918), of Sion House, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1890, who wedded, in 1864, Frances Alice, daughter of Dr Francis John West, of Omagh, and had issue,
JOHN CLAUDIUS, of whom we treat;
Adelia Maud; Elizabeth Alice; Frances Evelyn;
Olive Mary, of the Red House, Strabane; her 1st cousin, Sir Emerson Herdman KBE.
Sir Emerson Herdman, KBE, was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Donegal, from 1920-22.

Mr Emerson Tennent Herdman's eldest son,

JOHN CLAUDIUS HERDMAN OBE DL (1876-1964), of Sion House, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1912, Captain, 4th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, wedded, in 1901, Maud Harriet, MBE JP, daughter of Major-General Alexander Clark-Kennedy, of Camus, Strabane, and had issue,
EMERSON TENNENT REX, OBE, High Sheriff of Co Tyrone, 1943;
CLAUDIUS ALEXANDER, of whom hereafter.
Captain Herdman's second son,

CLAUDIUS ALEXANDER HERDMAN (1903-93), of Sion Mills, Commander RN, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1959, wedded Maud Harriet, daughter of Major-General Alexander Clark-Kennedy, and had issue,

CELIA MARY HERDMAN, born in 1943, who married, in 1968, Brigadier John Gordon Goddard de Poulton Ferguson, and has issue,


SION HOUSE, Sion Mills, County Tyrone, is an Elizabethan-Revival mansion of ca 1842, built by James Herdman.

The present house replaced a simpler dwelling.

It was re-designed in half-timbered style about 1883 by Emerson Tennent Herdman.

rebuilt in 1883 in half-timbered style, by Emerson T Herdman.

His brother-in-law, William Unsworth, of Petersfield, Hampshire, was the architect.

Sion House was sold in 1966.

The gate-house, also Elizabethan-Revival in character, is virtually a replica of Stokesay Castle's gate-house in Shropshire.

First published in April, 2014.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Sion House stables have now been restored -

An up-to-date Sion Mills link -