Tuesday, 26 January 2021

The McCullagh Baronetcy

ALEXANDER McCULLAGH (1798-1872), of Dinnahorra, County Armagh, married Sarah West, and had issue,
Alexander John;
Samuel James;
Thomas West;
William Douglas;
ROBERT, of whom hereafter;
David George;
Amelia; Agnes; Sarah Jane.
The fifth son,

ROBERT McCULLAGH, of Dinnahorra, County Armagh, married Nancy Crawford and was father of

ROBERT McCLAVE McCULLAGH (1822-78), of Dinnahorra, County Armagh, who wedded Mary Jane Hawthorne, and had issue,
Samuel (1866-94);
CRAWFORD, of whom hereafter;
Anna Margaret; Jemima; Eliza Jane; Selina.
The younger son,

CRAWFORD McCULLAGH JP (1868-1948), of Lismara, County Antrim, married, in 1896, Margaret Craig, daughter of William Brodie, of Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire.

Mr McCullagh, Lord Mayor of Belfast, 1914-17, 1931-42 and 1943-46, received the honour of knighthood in 1915.

Sir Crawford was created a baronet in 1935, designated of Lismara:
Whitehall, July 11, 1935: Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the Realm granting the dignity of a Baronet of the United Kingdom to the under-mentioned gentlemen, and the heirs male of their respective bodies lawfully begotten:- Sir Crawford McCullagh, of Lismara in the parish of Carnmoney in the County of Antrim, Knight... 
In 1938, Sir Crawford negotiated the donation of Belfast Castle and its 200-acre demesne (bordering on Hazelwood and Bellevue pleasure grounds) with Lord Shaftesbury.

He also officially opened the Floral Hall.

Sir Crawford was a director of several businesses in Belfast, including Maguire and Patterson (Vespa matches); the Classic Cinema, Castle Place; and McCullagh and Co., silk mercers, milliners and fancy draperies, taken over by Styles and Mantles in 1927.
  • Company director and businessman; 
  • Lord Mayor of Belfast, 1914-17, 1931-42 and 1943-46; 
  • High Sheriff of Belfast, 1911; 
  • MP for Belfast South, 1921-25; 
  • Member, NI Senate; 
  • Privy Counsellor, NI. 

Sir Crawford's great-granddaughter, Susie Cunningham, has written a book about him.

The McCullaghs resided at Lismara House (above), Carnmoney, near Belfast.

General Eisenhower is said to have been Lismara'a most famous visitor, in 1945.

Now known as Abbeydene, it is a guest-house.

Lismara House was built by Sir Charles Lanyon in 1850 for John Finlay, who was a flax merchant.

Side Elevation

Lismara acted as General Eisenhower’s County Antrim GHQ during the 2nd World War.

Eisenhower visited the house in 1945, which was then owned by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Sir Crawford McCullagh (who had been awarded the Civic Award at Belfast City Hall earlier in the day).

Sir Charles Brett remarked that it was renamed Abbeydene by Sir Crawford's son after his father's death in 1948.

Abbeydene was renovated by Frazer Homes ca 1993, replacing all plasterwork and most of the sash windows in the house.

At the time the house was owned by Moore Homes, and it was used as an administration block for the surrounding residential care home.

The house was opened by the current owner in 2007 as a guesthouse.

The house is made from golden sandstone, and has a grand front entrance with a tall wooden door and several sandstone pillars.

The grounds formerly extended to 19 acres.

From 1895 until 1915 Edward Robinson, of Robinson and Cleaver's department store, lived there. 

Sir Crawford's son,

SIR JOSEPH McCULLAGH, 2nd Baronet (1907-74), was probably the foremost authority on ornithology in Northern Ireland in the years preceding his death.

He was Patron of the Northern Ireland Ornithology Club.

Sir Joseph died in 1974, when the title became extinct; by which time his widow Elizabeth, Lady McCullagh, lived at 104 Knock Road, Belfast.

First published in June, 2010.


Anonymous said...

There are still some of Sir Crawford's family (the female line) around. Edward Robinson had a terrific art collection in his day, we have a painting which came from it.


Anonymous said...

Sir Crawford McCullugh sent a letter of condolence to the Lord Mayor of El Reno, Oklahoma, in 1916 for his relative William James Macready, bookbinder (my great grandfather). Would be grateful if anyone knew the connection between them (cousin, uncle?). Unsure if the connection was through marriage as my family are seeking to find the name of our great great grandmother who was married to Alexander Macready (William's father. Looking forward to your response...

Susan Cunningham said...

Sir Crawford McCullagh was my great grandfather. I have just published his biography entitled Sir Crawford McCullagh Belfast's Dick Whittington. The book is available through The Ulster Historical Foundation. The authors name is Susan B Cunningham.

21 January 2017

Timothy Belmont said...

Hi Susan, many thanks for the information. I must try to obtain a copy. Tim.

Unknown said...

I think Sir Crawford McCullough was my father's uncle. But I'm not able to confirm the line from my father's father. Can you help me?
Anne Fordham nee McCullough.