Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Denny Baronets

THE DENNY BARONETS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KERRY, WITH 21,479 ACRES

SIR EDMUND DENNY, Knight, one of the barons of the court of exchequer in England at the beginning of the 16th century, was great-grandson of John Denny, who fell in the French wars of HENRY V, and was interred at St Denys.

Sir Edmund died in 1520, and there is a monument to his memory in the church of St Benet Paul's Wharf, London.

By his last will, he directed his body to be laid in that church, and that twenty trentals of masses should be said for his soul, and for the souls of his wives deceased, and those of William and Agnes, his father and mother.

The fourth son of this learned person,

THE RT HON SIR ANTHONY DENNY (1501-49), Knight, was Groom of the Stool, 1518, and sworn of the Privy Council to HENRY VIII.

This gentleman was the only individual, amongst the courtiers, who dared to apprise his royal master of his approaching dissolution.

His Majesty had, however, such a high esteem for Sir Anthony, that he could perform that sad office with impunity; and the Monarch presented him with a magnificent pair of gloves, worked in pearls, which still remain in the possession of the family.

Sir Anthony's son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY (1547-1600), Knight Banneret, of Bishop's Stortford, was a soldier, privateer and adventurer in the reign of ELIZABETH I.

Denny was born in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire in 1547, the second surviving son of Sir Anthony Denny who was a Privy Councillor to Henry VIII and one of the Guardians of Edward VI. Orphaned in childhood, he inherited lands in Hertfordshire.

After some minor appointments at court, in 1573 Edward Denny went to Ulster on a military expedition led by Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex. Denny then took up privateering, capturing a Spanish ship in 1577 and a Flemish one in 1578.

The same year saw him join a colonizing expedition led by Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Walter Raleigh; however, their ships were forced to turn for home by bad weather. Denny first became Member of Parliament for Liskeard in Cornwall for the 1584 to 1585 parliament.

He was granted lands at Tralee, confiscated from the Earl of Desmond; he both became High Sheriff of Kerry and was knighted in 1588. His estates in Ireland were a financial failure and in 1591 he returned to England to command a naval expedition to the Azores.

In 1593 he became MP for Westmorland and then in 1597 for the "rotten borough" of Tregony in Cornwall. He died on 12 February 1599 at the age of 52; his tomb and monument are in Waltham Abbey in Essex.

Sir Anthony's grandson,

SIR EDWARD DENNYKnight (1569-1637) was summoned to parliament, in 1604, as Baron Denny; and created, in 1626, EARL OF NORWICH.

The latter dignity became extinct, at his decease, without male issue; while the barony devolved upon his only daughter and heir, Honoria, wife of James, 1st Earl of Carlisle, in 1630, at the decease of whose son, James, 2nd Earl of Carlisle, in 1660, without issue, it expired.

Lord Norwich (Sir Edward Denny) was buried at Waltham, and the following epitaph placed upon his tomb:
Learn, curious reader, ere you pass,
What Sir Edward Denny was:
A courtier in the chamber, a soldier in the field;
Whose tongue could never flatter,
Whose heart could never yield.
SIR EDWARD DENNY, Knight (uncle to the deceased Earl of Norwich, and youngest son of the Rt Hon Sir Anthony Denny, HENRY VIII's privy counsellor), married Margaret, daughter of Peter Edgecombe, MP for Cornwall, and had issue,
EDWARD, his heir;
Anthony.
The elder son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY (1584-1619), Knight, of Tralee Castle, a military person, went to Ireland in the reign of ELIZABETH I, as an undertaker in the plantation of Munster, and settled at Tralee, County Kerry.

He wedded Elizabeth, sister of Sir Anthony Forest, Knight, and was succeed by his only son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY (1605-46), Knight, of Tralee Castle, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1634, MP for County Kerry, 1639, who married Ruth, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Roper, Viscount Ballinglas, by whom he had six sons and four daughters, of whom,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Edward, of Castle Lyons.
Sir Arthur was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ARTHUR DENNY, Knight (1629-73), of Tralee Castle, MP for Kerry, 1661, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1656, Vice-Admiral of Munster, 1669, who espoused firstly, the Lady Ellen Barry, daughter of David, 1st Earl of Barrymore; and secondly, Frances, daughter of Sir Richard Kyrle, Knight.

By the former he left at his decease, a son and successor,

EDWARD DENNY (1652-1709), of Tralee Castle, MP for County Kerry, 1695-98, who married, in 1673, Mary, daughter of Sir Richard Boyle Maynard, and had issue,
EDWARD, his heir;
Jane; Catherine.
Mr Denny was succeeded by his son,

EDWARD DENNY, MP for County Kerry, 1703 and 1713, who wedded, in 1699, the Lady Letitia Coningsby, and had, with other issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
THOMAS, succeeded his brother;
Barry, in holy orders;
Maynard;
Ursula; Arabella.
Mr Denny died in 1728, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR DENNY, MP for County Kerry, 1727; at whose decease, issueless (he had married the Lady Arabella FitzMaurice, second daughter of Thomas, Earl of Kerry), in 1742, the estates devolved upon his brother,

SIR THOMAS DENNY, Knight, who wedded Agnes, daughter of John Blennerhassett, of Ballyseedy, and had (with two daughters) four sons, the eldest surviving of whom,

WILLIAM DENNY, dsp and was succeeded by his brother,

THOMAS DENNY, at whose decease the estates devolved upon his uncle, the Rev Barry Denny's eldest son,

ARTHUR DENNY, who, dying unmarried, was succeeded by his brother,

BARRY DENNY (c1744-94); who was created a baronet in 1782, denominated of Castle Moyle, County Kerry.

He married Jane, youngest daughter of his uncle, Sir Thomas Denny, Knight, by whom he had eight sons and as many daughters,
BARRY, his successor;
EDWARD, succeeded his brother;
Thomas;
William;
Henry;
Anthony;
Arthur;
Maynard;
Agnes; Arabella; Letitia; Charlotte; Diana; Sophia; Jane; Penelope.
Sir Barry was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR BARRY DENNY, 2nd Baronet, who wedded Anne, daughter of Crosbie Morgell, of County Limerick; but died without issue, in 1794, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR EDWARD DENNY, 3rd Baronet (c1773-1831), High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1794, MP for Tralee, 1828, who espoused, in 1795, Elizabeth, only child of the His Honour Judge Robert Day, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
Robert Day;
Henry (Rev);
Anthony;
William;
Mary Lætitia; Elizabeth; Diana.
Sir Edward was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY, 4th Baronet (1796-1889), of Tralee Castle, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1827, MP for Tralee, 1818-19, who died unmarried.
Sir Robert Arthur Denny, 5th Baronet (1838–1921);
Sir Cecil Edward Denny, 6th Baronet (1850–1928);
Sir Henry Lyttelton Lyster Denny, 7th Baronet (1878–1953);
Sir Anthony Coningham de Waltham Denny, 8th Baronet (1925–2013);
Sir Piers Anthony de Waltham Denny, 9th Baronet (b 1954).
The heir presumptive is the present holder's younger brother, Thomas Francis Coningham Denny (b 1956).

Tralee Castle 1824 by Sarah J Harnett from "The History of Tralee" (2009). photo credit: G O'Carroll

TRALEE CASTLE, the ancient residence of the house of DESMOND. came into the possession of the Denny family as a reward to Edward Denny, the first settler in Ireland, for making prisoner the Earl of Desmond, who was accused of causing a dreadful massacre of the English at a feast to which he had invited them.

Mr Denny, a military officer in the Earl of Essex's army, not only obtained the castle and possessions of Desmond for this exploit, but was created a Knight Banneret, and presented with a rich scarf, embroidered with gold and pearls, and a pair of gloves, taken off her own hands, by ELIZABETH I.

This scarf, and those gloves (with others presented by HENRY VIII and JAMES I), which were for many years out of the possession of the Denny family, were restored to it in the following manner:-

IN the year 1760, or 1761, the magnificent mansion of the Earl of Arran, being sold at auction in London, the management of the sale devolved upon Mr Herbert (father of the Rector of Ledbury), his lordship's executor, and the particular friend of Sir Thomas Denny, who discovered, in making preliminary arrangements for the sale, the gloves and scarf, with an old parchment manuscript in a purple satin bag, by which, upon perusal, he was directed to the family to which they really belonged; and knowing how highly he should gratify his friend by the restoration of such inestimable relics, he purchased them for him - the gloves given to Sir Anthony Denny by HENRY VIII, for £38 17s; the gloves, given by JAMES I to Sir Anthony's son, Sir Edward Denny, for £22 1s; the mittens, presented by ELIZABETH I to Sir Edward Denny, for £25 4s.

The Dennys lived at Tralee Castle from the end of the 16th century until the early 19th century.

The 3rd Baronet subsequently became an absentee, living at Kingsend House, Worcestershire.

He demolished the old castle.

On his death in 1831, his son Sir Edward, 4th Baronet, returned to Tralee.



Sir Edward rented Ballyseedy or Ballyseede Castle (above) from his cousins, the Blennerhassetts.

He made plans for a new castle and spent a large sum on improving the demesne, but then joined the Plymouth Brethren and went to live modestly in London until his death in 1889.

Nevertheless, the Denny estate, despite the lack of a principal house, continued to function: Tralee and its environs were densely inhabited by the baronet's siblings and cousins, including his brother, the Rev Henry Denny, at Churchill; and his brother, the Venerable Anthony Denny, Archdeacon of Ardfert, at Tralee Rectory.

William Denny, the Baronet's youngest brother, ran the estate.

The 4th Baronet's successor, Sir Arthur, 5th Baronet, accumulated huge gambling debts so that the whole estate was swallowed up, and by the time the Rev Sir Henry Denny, 7th Baronet, inherited the title, there was nothing left to go with it.

First published in December, 2012.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Garbally Court

THE EARLS OF CLANCARTY WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY GALWAY, WITH 23,896 ACRES


This family, which has been ennobled in two branches, assumed the name from the Seigneurie of LA TRANCHE, in Poitou, of which they were formerly possessed.

The first of the family in England was

FRÉDÉRIC DE LA TRANCHE, or TRENCH, who fled from France after the massacre of St Bartholomew, and took up his abode in Northumberland about 1575.

He married, in 1576, Margaret, daughter of Thomas Sutton, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
James (Rev), Rector of Clongill, m Margaret, daughter of Hugh, Viscount Montgomery;
Adam Thomas.
Mr Trench thereafter crossed into Scotland, where he died in 1580.

The eldest son,

THOMAS TRENCH, married, in 1610, Catherine, daughter of Richard Brooke, of Pontefract, Yorkshire, and had issue,
FREDERICK, of whom we treat;
John (Very Rev), Dean of Raphoe; ancestor of BARON ASHTOWN.
The elder son,

FREDERICK RICHARD TRENCH (1681-1752), succeeded at Garbally; from whom descended the 1st Earl's grandfather, Richard Trench, who espoused Elizabeth, second daughter of John Eyre, of Eyre Court, County Galway; and was grandfather of

RICHARD TRENCH (1710-68), who was returned to parliament for County Galway, which county his father had represented for thirty-seven years.

He wedded, in 1732, Frances, only daughter and heir of David Power, descended from the Barons de la Poer, and, in the female line, from the Lords Muskerry, afterwards Earls of Clancarty, by the marriage of John Power with Elena, daughter of Cormac, Lord Muskerry.

Through this marriage, Mr Trench obtained the united fortunes of the families of POWER and KEATING.

He died in 1768, having had issue,
FREDERICK and DAVID, both died in infancy;
WILLIAM POWER KEATING, of whom hereafter;
John, a major in the army;
Eyre, a Lt-Gen in the army;
Nicholas;
Elizabeth;
Hester;
Rose;
Jane;
Anne, m C Cobbe, of Newbridge.
Mr Trench's eldest surviving son,

WILLIAM POWER KEATING TRENCH (1741-1805), MP for County Galway, 1768-97, was elevated to the peerage, in 1797, by the title of Baron Kilconnel, of Garbally, County Galway, and Viscount Dunlo, of Dunlo and Ballinasloe, in the counties of Galway and Roscommon.

His lordship was further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1803, as EARL OF CLANCARTY (2nd creation), in consequence of of his descent from Elena MacCarty, wife of John Power, daughter of Cormac Oge MacCarty, Viscount Muskerry, and sister of Donough MacCarty, Earl of Clancarty in the reign of CHARLES II.

He wedded, in 1762, Anne, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Charles Gardiner, and sister of Luke, 1st Lord Mountjoy, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
Power (Most Rev), Lord Archbishop of Tuam;
William, Rear-Admiral;
Charles (Ven), Archdeacon of Ardagh;
Thomas;
Luke Henry;
Robert le Poer (Sir), KCB;
Florinda; Anne; Elizabeth; Harriet; Frances; Louisa; Emily.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD LE POER, 2nd Earl (1767-1837), GCB, PC, who was created a peer of the United Kingdom, as BARON TRENCH, 1815, and raised to an English viscountcy, as VISCOUNT CLANCARTY, in 1824.

In 1813, his lordship was appointed ambassador to The Hague, and was created by the King of the Netherlands, in 1818, Marquess of Heusden, having obtained permission of his own Sovereign to accept the said honour.

Lord Clancarty wedded, in 1796, Henrietta Margaret, second daughter of the Rt Hon John Staples, and had issue,
WILLIAM THOMAS, his successor;
Richard John;
Robert;
Louisa Augusta Anne; Harriette Margaret; Emily Florinda; Lucy.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM THOMAS, 3rd Earl.
There is no heir to the peerages.

GARBALLY COURT, Ballinasloe, County Galway, is a large, austere, two-storey mansion, built in 1819 to replace an earlier house burnt in 1798.

It is square, built round what was originally a central courtyard.

The eleven-bay entrance front has a single-storey Doric porte-cochere.

There is an adjoining front, also of eleven bays, with pediments over the ground-floor windows.


The rear elevation has a single-storey curved bow.

The hall boasts Ionic pilasters and niches, with an arch leading to a grand picture gallery, built in the central courtyard about 1855.

The 5th Earl of Clancarty sold Garbally Court in 1907, following the decimation of his estate caused by the Land Acts.


Garbally College, a Roman Catholic boys' school, purchased Garbally Court in 1922.

First published in December, 2012.  Clancarty arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Stradbally Hall

THE COSBYS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN THE QUEEN'S COUNTY, WITH 10,110 ACRES

In the time of QUEEN MARY, this family, originally of the counties of Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, settled in Ireland.

ROBERT COSSBYE, of Harmston, in Lincolnshire, living in 1516, married Isabel, daughter and heiress of Ralph Pare, of Great Leake, Nottinghamshire, and had a son and heir,

JOHN COSBIE, who wedded Mabel, daughter of _____ Agard, of Foston, Nottinghamshire, and had two sons, viz. RICHARD, of Great Leake, and

FRANCIS COSBIE (1510-80), the patriarch of the family in Ireland, a man famed for personal courage, as well as civil and military talents.

When young he served in the wars of HENRY VIII in the Low Countries, and was not undistinguished.

His abandonment of his native soil arose from the downfall of the Lord Protector, Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, whose daughter Mary, widow of Sir Henry Peyton, Knight, he had married.

Deeming the disgrace and death of that once potent nobleman a sentence of exclusion from place and preferment in England, against his immediate connections at least, Cosbie (Mary Seymour, his first wife, being then dead), removed to Ireland, taking with him his second wife, Elizabeth Palmer, and the two surviving sons of the first.

Here, in the land of his adoption, he soon found the opportunity of establishing a reputation, which he despaired of effecting in the land of his birth.

He became an active defender of The Pale, and his vigilance, zeal, and success attracting the observation of government, he was appointed, by QUEEN MARY, 1558, General of the Kern, a post of great trust and importance in those times.

In 1559 he represented the borough of Thomastown in parliament, when he was constituted, by ELIZABETH I, Sheriff of Kildare.

Cosbie was granted, in 1562, the site of the suppressed abbey St Francis at Stradbally.

He married firstly, the Lady Mary Seymour, daughter of Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Henry;
Arnold.
General Cosby wedded secondly, in 1575, Elizabeth Palmer, and had issue, an only daughter, Catherine.

He fell at the battle of Glendalough, 1580, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER COSBY, of Stradbally Abbey, who also obtained very extensive grants of land in the Queen's County.

He wedded Dorcas, daughter of William Sydney, of Otford, Kent, maid of honour to ELIZABETH I, and had issue,
FRANCIS, father of WILLIAM; fell at the battle of Stradbally Bridge;
RICHARD, succeeded to his nephew;
Charles;
Arnold;
Mabel; Rose.
Alexander Cosby, slain at the battle of Stradbally Bridge with the O'Mores, 1596, was succeeded, although for a few minutes only, by his eldest son,

FRANCIS COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, who being slain as stated above, never enjoyed the inheritance, but was succeeded by his infant child,

WILLIAM COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, born in 1596, who died in June that year, when the estates reverted to his uncle,

RICHARD COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, Captain of the Kern, who gained the battle of Dunamace over the O'Mores, 1606, who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Pigott, Knight, of Dysart, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
FRANCIS, who succeeded his nephew at Stradbally;
Sydney;
William;
Dorcas.
Richard Cosby died in 1631, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER COSBY (1610-36), of Stradbally Hall, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Francis Slingsby, Knight, of Kilmore, County Cork, and was succeeded by his son,

FRANCIS COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, who dsp before 1638, when he was succeeded by his uncle,

FRANCIS COSBY (1612-), of Stradbally Hall, MP for Carysfort, who wedded Ann, daughter of Sir Thomas Loftus, Knight, of Killyan, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Thomas, of Vicarstown; father of
THOMAS;
Sydney.
The eldest son,

ALEXANDER COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Henry L'Estrange, of Moystown, King's County, and had issue,
DUDLEY, his heir;
Henry;
Thomas;
Loftus;
Alexander, father of PHILLIPS;
William;
Arnold;
Anne; Elizabeth; Jane; Dorcas; Isabella; Celia; Dorothy.
Alexander Cosby died in 1694, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

DUDLEY COSBY (1662-1729), of Stradbally Hall, Lieutenant-Colonel, MP for Queen's County, who married firstly, Ann, daughter and heir of Sir Andrew Owen, Knight, which lady dsp 1698; and secondly, Sarah, daughter of Periam Pole, of Ballyfin, by whom he had,
POLE, his heir;
Sarah.
Colonel Cosbie was succeeded by his son,

POLE COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, who wedded Mary, daughter and co-heir of Henry Dodwell, of Manor Dodwell, County Roscommon, and by her, left at his decease, in 1766 (with a daughter, Sarah, who married firstly, the Rt Hon Arthur Upton, of Castle Upton; and secondly, Robert, Earl of Farnham), a son and successor,

DUDLEY ALEXANDER SYDNEY COSBY (c1730-74), 1ST BARON SYDNEY, of Leix, so created in 1768.

His lordship was Minister Resident to Denmark.

He wedded, in 1773, the Lady Isabella St Lawrence, daughter of Thomas, 1st Earl of Howth, but died in the ensuing month, January, 1774, without issue.

His peerage became extinct, while the inheritance reverted to his lordship's cousin,

PHILLIPS COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, Admiral of the White, who espoused, in 1792, Eliza, daughter of William Gunthorpe, and sister of William Gunthorpe, of Southampton, but having no issue, was succeeded at his decease by his kinsman,

THOMAS COSBY (1742-98), of Vicarstown, and afterwards of Stradbally, who wedded firstly, Frances Booker, and by her had two sons, both of whom died young.

He married secondly, Grace, daughter and co-heir of George Johnstone, of Glaslough, County Monaghan, and had issue,
Dudley, accidentally drowned, 1789, sp;
Francis, drowned at cork, 1791, sp;
THOMAS, his heir.
Mr Cosby was succeeded by his only surviving son,

THOMAS COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, Governor of Queen's County, High Sheriff, 1809, who wedded, in 1802, Charlotte Elizabeth, daughter of the Rt Hon Thomas Kelly, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland, and had issue,
THOMAS PHILLIPS, his heir;
William (Rev);
Sydney, father of
ROBERT ASHWORTH GODOLPHIN;
Wellesley Pole;
Frances Elizabeth; Harriet Georgiana.
Mr Cosby, High Sheriff of Queen's County, died in 1832, and was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS PHILLIPS COSBY JP DL (1803-51), of Stradbally Hall, High Sheriff, 1834, Captain, Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, and dsp 1851, when the property devolved upon his nephew,

ROBERT ASHWORTH GODOLPHIN COSBY JP (1837-1920), of Stradbally Hall, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of the Queen's County, High Sheriff, 1863, Colonel, 3rd Leinster Regiment, who wedded firstly, in 1859, Alice Sophia Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir George Edward Pocock Bt, of The Priory, Christchurch, Hampshire, and had issue,
DUDLEY SYDNEY ASHWORTH, his heir;
Sydney George Coventry;
Edith Augusta Emily; Mary Powlet; Aline Islay; Lilian Alice; Violet Grace.
Colonel Cosby married secondly, in 1885, Eliza, daughter of the Rev Capel Molyneux, Vicar of St Paul's, Onslow Square, and widow of Sir Charles Goring, 9th Baronet, of Highden, Sussex.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

DUDLEY SYDNEY ASHWORTH COSBY DL (1862-1923), of Stradbally Hall, Captain, 3rd Battalion, Scottish Rifles, who wedded, in 1895, Emily Mabel, daughter of Lieutenant-General James Gubbins, and had issue,
ERROLD ASHWORTH SYDNEY, his heir;
Eric James Dudley;
Ivan Robert Sydney;
Irene Mabel Alys; Dulcie Iris Voilet.
Captain Cosby was succeeded by his eldest son,

ERROLD ASHWORTH SYDNEY COSBY (1898-1984), of Stradbally Hall, Major, The Rifle Brigade, who wedded, in 1934, Enid Elizabeth, daughter of Major Maurice William Chetwode Hamilton, and had issue,
ADRIAN PATRICK SYDNEY ALEXANDER;
David Ashworth Sydney Phillips, b 1947;
Julian Charles Seymour Francis, b 1947;
Anthea Moira Enid, b 1940.
Major Cosby was succeeded by his eldest son,

ADRIAN PATRICK SYDNEY ALEXANDER COSBY (1937-), of Stradbally Hall, Irish Guards, who married, in 1972, Alison Margaret, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Wylie, and has issue,
THOMAS SYDNEY ASHWORTH, b 1974;
Mary Siobhan Elizabeth, b 1973.
Entrance Front

STRADBALLY HALL, County Laois, is a nine-bay, two-storey Georgian house, built in 1772.

The present mansion's predecessor was erected by Lieutenant-Colonel Dudley Cosby in 1699, likely incorporating an earlier dwelling.


About 1868, Ralph Ashworth Godolphin Cosby engaged Sir Charles Lanyon to enlarge and re-model the house in the Italianate style.

Garden Front

A new entrance front was added with a large, single-storey, balustraded portico.

Stradbally estate is now renowned for its Electric Picnic music festival held in the grounds.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Belmont Thumbstick

One of Sir Max Hastings' favourite pieces of kit happens to be his treasured thumbstick, and I can now proudly say that I am the owner of one myself.

A pal and follower of the blog, Stephen, most generously offered to make me a thumbstick several months ago, following my tweet about Sir Max's walking-stick.


Accordingly, I decided to mark the occasion with dinner at Deane's Love Fish restaurant in Howard Street, Belfast, last night.

Coincidentally it also happened to be the ninth anniversary of my blog.


I arrived slightly early, so I was shown to the champagne bar (which happens to be adjacent to Deane's Eipic, recently awarded one Michelin Star.

I had time for a few refreshers, viz. a Tanqueray Ten, Shortcross, and a Swedish number called Hernö (I think).


When Stephen arrived he gave me my handsome new thumbstick, made mainly of chestnut wood and antler.


It also has a distinctive, engraved, sterling silver collar.

I can only imagine the amount of time that Stephen spent on such a beautiful item; such craftsmanship.

At length we were shown to our table at Love Fish, where I had the Crevettes, Garlic butter and Sourdough starter.

I enjoyed it: Juicy, large prawns; rich butter; and a thin slice of bread.

Michael Deane was there in person last night, too.


I had Seafood Pie for my main course; while Stephen had the Galloper's Beer-battered Haddock, Mushy Peas, Tartare Sauce, and Chips.

The ambiance at Deane's is cheerful and jolly, and the staff are all very attentive and eager to please.

In fact Michael Deane was there himself last night.