Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Groomsport House


GEORGE PERCEVAL (1635-75), youngest son of Sir Philip Perceval, Knight, the distinguished statesman (great-grandfather of John, 1st Earl of Egmont), by Catherine Usher his wife, daughter of Arthur Usher, and granddaughter of Sir William Usher, Clerk of the Council and Registrar of the Prerogative Court, Dublin, married Mary, daughter and heir of William Crofton, of Temple House, County Sligo, and had issue,
Philip, of Temple House, his heir;
WILLIAM, of whom we treat;
George Perceval was drowned near Holyhead on his voyage to England with the EARL OF MEATH and other persons of distinction.

His second son,

THE VERY REV WILLIAM PERCEVAL (1671-1734), Archdeacon of Cashel and Dean of Emly, wedded, in 1708, Catherine, daughter of Henry Prittie, of Silvermines, County Tipperary, and had issue,
Kene (Rev Dr), Vicar of Powerscourt & Castle Knock;
WILLIAM, of whom presently;
Charles (Rev), Rector of Mitchelstown;
The second son,

WILLIAM PERCEVAL (1711-84), a barrister, married firstly, in 1838, Elizabeth, daughter of John Croker, of Dublin. She dsp 1739.

He espoused secondly, in 1748, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Ward, and had issue,
Charles (Rev);
ROBERT, of whom we treat.
The youngest son,

ROBERT PERCEVAL (1756-1839), Physician-General to HM Forces in Ireland during Lord Talbot's viceroyalty, Professor of Chemistry, Trinity College, Dublin, espoused, in 1785, Anne, eldest daughter of John Brereton, of Rathgilbert, and had issue, an only child,

THE REV WILLIAM PERCEVAL (1787-1880), of Kilmore Hill, County Waterford, and Annefield, County Dublin, who wedded, in 1809, Anne, eldest daughter of John Waring Maxwell, of FINNEBROGUE, County Down, and had issue,
ROBERT, of Finnebrogue & Groomsport;
John Maxwell (Gen.), CB (1814-1900), of Dillon House, Downpatrick;
Richard, of Kilmore Hill, Waterford;
Charles Frederick;
Anne Sarah; Maria Dorothea; Caroline; Madelina.
Mr Perceval, descended from a younger son of the Very Rev Robert Maxwell, Dean of Armagh, from whose eldest son, Robert, sprang the noble house of FARNHAM, was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT PERCEVAL-MAXWELL JP DL (1813-1905), of Finnebrogue and Groomsport, and Moore Hill, County Waterford, High Sheriff of County Down, 1841, who wedded, in 1839, Helena Anne, daughter of William Moore, of Moorehill, Tallow, County Waterford, son of the Hon William Moore, second brother of the 1st Earl Mount Cashell, and had issue,
JOHN WILLIAM, his heir;
William John, of Moore Hill, Tallow;
Stephen Richard Nassau;
Henry Spencer, father of Gerard Henry Aubrey Perceval-Maxwell, High Sheriff of Co Down, 1957;
Mary Elizabeth; Madelina Dorothea; Helena Anne; Harriette Louisa; Alicia C;
ISABELLA MARIA, of Groomsport House;
ANNA CAROLINE, of Groomsport House.
Robert Perceval-Maxwell (Image: Down County Museum)

Mr Perceval-Maxwell was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN WILLIAM PERCEVAL-MAXWELL (1840-75), of Tyrella House, County Down, High Sheriff of County Down, 1873, who married, in 1868, Selina Frances Imogene, eldest daughter of David Stewart Ker, of Montalto, County Down, and had issue,
ROBERT DAVID, his heir;
Anna Violet Madelina (1875-1902).
Mr Robert Perceval-Maxwell dvp and was succeeded by his grandson,

THE RT HON ROBERT DAVID PERCEVAL-MAXWELL DSO JP DL (1870-1932), of Finnebrogue and Groomsport House, Lieutenant-Colonel, North Irish Horse, High Sheriff of County Down, 1911, who espoused, in 1895, Edith Grace, daughter of Dr Henry Haswell Head, and had issue,
JOHN ROBERT, his heir;
Richard Henry;
Patrick Edward;
Brian Stephen David.
Colonel Perceval-Maxwell was succeeded by his eldest son,

MAJOR JOHN ROBERT PERCEVAL-MAXWELL DL (1896-1963), of Finnebrogue, High Sheriff of County Down, 1937, who married Phoebe Laura, daughter of Sir Benjamin Lennard Cherry, and had issue,
Andrew John;
GAVIN RICHARD (1924-2009);
Selina Imogen Elizabeth Lorraine.
Major Perceval-Maxwell was a farmer, breeder of Shorthorns and Herefords, and an active figure in the political and cultural life of Northern Ireland.

He was a member of both the Northern Ireland House of Commons and Senate; and from 1945-49 was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce.

He was also a founder member of the NI Regional Committee of the National Trust in 1936 and for a time the NI Government nominee on the Council of the National Trust in London; DL of County Down, 1935.

Major Perceval-Maxwell's younger son,

GAVIN RICHARD PERCEVAL-MAXWELL (1924-2009), of Groomsport House, High Sheriff of County Down, 1968, married Patricia Margaret Angley, and had issue,

JOHN WILLIAM (Bill) RICHARD PERCEVAL-MAXWELL (1963-), who married Loveday Manners Price, and has issue,
Thomas Alexander William, born in 2006;
Cecily Florence Loveday, born in 2006.
W J R Perceval-Maxwell, in 2019, at Home near Lorgues, France

The Perceval-Maxwell Papers are held at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

The Perceval-Maxwells owned a further 2,353 acres in County Tipperary, 911 in County Meath, and 695 acres in County Cork.

GROOMSPORT HOUSE, Groomsport, County Down, is a two-storey Victorian mansion of 1849, in the Tudor-Revival style.

It has a high basement, and has been considerably altered and extended since it became a hotel and, thereafter, apartments.

Groomsport House is situated to the east of the village overlooking the sea and the Copeland Islands.

The former porch entrance now forms part of the upper floor; while a section of the basement has been excavated to form an apartment.

The mansion house was designed by James Sands for Robert Perceval-Maxwell.

In Griffith's Valuation (1856-64) it is listed as the residence of Robert Perceval-Maxwell and leased from his uncle, John William Perceval-Maxwell, of Finnebrogue.

The Perceval-Maxwells owned much of the land in and around Groomsport.

James Sands visited the site in 1844.

Freestone was shipped from Glasgow six months later, with the accounts concluding in 1848 at a total sum exceeding £6,000 (about £623,000 in today's money).

In 1870, Robert Perceval-Maxwell became the owner in fee of the property, following his uncle's death in 1869 without issue.

A Tour of North Down carries a photograph of the house with a partial view of the grounds dating from ca 1910.

Robert Perceval-Maxwell's main residence was FINNEBROGUE, near Downpatrick, during this period.

Two of his grown-up unmarried daughters (see lineage above) continued to live in the house until they died ca 1930.

The house remained unoccupied during the 2nd World War and was used for "secret military work".

In 1951, the Perceval-Maxwell family occupied their home again.

Gavin Perceval-Maxwell restored the house prior to its sale in 1968.

The house was subsequently opened as a hotel, but closed in 1999 and has now been converted into apartments.

First published in June, 2015.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Thanks for this!