Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Cassidi of Glenbrook

The very ancient Celtic family of Úa Caiside or O'CASSIDY was for ages seated in County Fermanagh, where the village of Ballycassidy preserves the name.

Their territory was called Cuil-na-n-Oirear,  the corner or angle of harbours, situated on the eastern shore of Upper Lough Erne, immediately opposite some beautiful islets, whose indentations form the miniature haven that gave the place its title.

It became known as the barony of Coole.

The Úa Caiside were hereditary doctors in medicine, or state physicians of the Maguires, the former chiefs of Fermanagh; and they held their district ex officio, according to the laws of tanistry.

In 1541, Roderick Cassidy, Archdeacon of Clogher, eminently versed in the historical records of his country, died.

Besides having written part of the Register of Clogher, he also compiled the latter part of the Annals of Ulster.

Among inquisitions in the Exchequer is one taken at Ballycassidy, County Fermanagh, in 1630, at which time the family had branched out widely in the counties of Fermanagh, Louth, and Monaghan.

To one of these scions we refer

HENRY O'CASSIDY MD, who had followed his ancestral pursuits in medicine, was of Greatwood, Mullaghbawn, and Drumkirk, County Louth, and of various estates in County Monaghan.

He was born ca 1650.

Dr O'Cassidy married and had, with other issue,
FERGUS, his heir;
Edmund, scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, 1710;
Margaret, m Eugene O'Docherty, of Newtown, County Leitrim.
The elder son,

FERGUS O'CASSIDY, of Greatwood, County Louth, and of the townland of Derry, County Monaghan, had two sons, of whom the elder,

PATRICK CASSIDY, of Derry, parish of Magheracloone, near Carrickmacross, espoused Catherine Flood, and had issue.

Mr Cassidy's last will was dated 1753, and proved in 1757.

Among other directions he desired "to be buried in my tombe at Carrick McCross".

His youngest son,

FRANCIS CASSIDY, born ca 1747, of Cashel, County Tipperary, wedded Sarah Magee, a first cousin of the Most Rev William Magee, Lord Archbishop of Dublin, and had issue,
MARK, his heir;
Francis Duff, captain, 60th Rifles; private secretary to Lord Castlereagh;
Francis, died young.
His eldest son,

THE REV MARK CASSIDY (1777-1839), Chancellor of Kilfenora and Incumbent of Newtownards, County Down, ca 1808-39, espoused, in 1808, Henrietta, daughter (and co-heiress with her sister Esther, wife of the Rev Prebendary Cleland) of Samuel Jackson, of Stormount [sic], near Belfast, and had issue,
Samuel, of Glenbrook; m Esther Scott; died childless, 1843;
Frederick (Rev), Vicar of Grindon, Co Durham;
William (Rev);
Robert, of Ballyhackamore House, Belfast, m Anne, daughter of Dr Ardagh;
Loftus Tottenham, Lieutenant-Colonel, 18th Hussars;
FRANCIS PETER, of whom hereafter;
Sarah; Henrietta; Fanny; Emily.
Mr Cassidy's youngest son,

FRANCIS PETER CASSIDY JP (1810-79), of Glenbrook, County Londonderry, Colonel, 34th Regiment, married, in 1853, Maria Lucy Anne, daughter of Matthew Hayman, of South Abbey, Youghal, and had issue,
Helen Hayman Henrietta;
Mary Mortimer.
Colonel Cassidy served with his regiment during the Indian mutiny, and was severely wounded at the battle of Cawnpore, in 1857.

He was succeeded by his son,

DR FRANCIS RICHARD CASSIDI MBE JP (1858-1939), of Glenbrook, Director of Transport, First Line Hospitals, Derbyshire, in 1st World War, Associate of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, who wedded, in 1887, Marion Elizabeth, daughter of Dr John Duncanson, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, and had issue,
FRANCIS LAIRD, his heir;
ROBERT ALEXANDER, great-grandfather of Admiral Sir Desmond Cassidi;
Marjorie May, 1888-90.
The elder son,

DR FRANCIS LAIRD CASSIDI VRD (1889-1963), of Glenbrook (which property he made over to his son in 1950), Surgeon Captain RNVR, Honorary Surgeon to HM KING GEORGE VI, married, in 1924, Phyllis Mary, daughter of the Rev A C Haviland, of Lilley Rectory, Hertfordshire, and had issue,
FRANCIS PAUL, his heir;
Oonagh Teresa, served during 2nd World War in WRNS;
Catriona Elspeth, b 1955.
The only son,

DR FRANCIS PAUL CASSIDI TD, of Glenbrook, born in 1925, married, in 1953, Barbara Geraldine, daughter of Major W T Temple RA, of 118, Shorncliffe Road, Folkestone, Kent, had issue,
Francis James, 1962;
Penelope Jenetta, b 1954;
Alison Ruth, 1955;
Melian Geraldine, 1959.
Dr Cassidi graduated from St Thomas Hospital Medical School, London, in 1948, with a Bachelor of Surgery; RMO, 4th Battalion, The Buffs (Territorial Army); major, Royal Army Medical Corps (Territorial Army); Police Surgeon, KCC; Medical Officer at HM Prison, Canterbury, Kent; Territorial Decoration, 1968.

He lived, in 1976, at St Dunstan's House, Canterbury, Kent, and Glenbrook, Magherafelt, County Londonderry, and had issue.


THE younger son of Dr Francis Richard Cassidi (1858-1939), of Glenbrook,

COMMANDER ROBERT ALEXANDER CASSIDI (1894-1966), Royal Navy, of Lingen Grange, Shropshire, was father of

ADMIRAL SIR (ARTHUR) DESMOND CASSIDI GCB (1925-2019), who married, in 1950, Dorothy Sheelagh Marie, daughter of the Rev Canon Robert Francis Scott, of Garvagh, Couny Londonderry, and had issue,
Rory Francis Alexander (b 1958);
Clare Louisa; Rosalind Eileen.

GLENBROOK HOUSE, near Magherafelt, County Londonderry, is a somewhat Gothic, late-Georgian house.

Its entrance is in a three-sided, battlemented bow between two gables with finials and small, overhanging oriels.

The house had become neglected and derelict for a period.

It was completely restored and enhanced in 2013 by Des Ewing Architects for the new owner.

First published in November, 2013.


Anonymous said...

I believe Glenbrook House was renovated not so long ago by Des Ewing Architects.

They really did a superb job, I'd recommend you have a look.


I'm sorry if this has posted a few times, couldn't quite get the hang of the commenting system.


Unknown said...

Hello this is Marianne from Melbourne . That is very interesting . There are a few things that I have found out . Firstly Frederick cassidy actually ended up in NewZealand with hi numerous children the eldest of which is my great great grandmother . There was another brother who ended up in Durham . Also Marks brother Francis did not end up a private secretary . He seems to have done clerical duties but not at the level of private secretary. I would love to find out if there are any portraits of these people ! Do you have any idea why the house at Glenbrook was sold ?

Anonymous said...

I believe Dr. Francis Cassidy had other children also, including at least one son.

mem said...

Those photos and the link to the Architect are great . It is a very spruce renovation. So glad its not going to fall down in the near future It really should be good for another 200 years . Thanks for your efforts Tim. Marianne

Anonymous said...

I am Dr Francis Paul Cassidi's daughter.

Francis Paul Cassidi had four children.

Penelope Jenetta b: 20th July 1954
Alison Ruth b: 15th Oct 1955
Melian Geraldine b: 9th May 1959
Francis James: b: 23rd February 1962

Glenbrook was sold in 1987 and completely rebuilt. It was originally white. They rebuilt it to the exact design and has been copied very well.

Unknown said...

I am a direct decendant, my mother was Jeanette Cassidy and it's truly fabulous to see such a beautiful tangible link to my ancestors. I will have to add this to my bucket list.

Anonymous said...

Grew up in the area, have seen the house before it was renovated and have to say it's great to see it has been faithfully restored, apart from the colour ! Who knows, maybe the next owners will have better design sense and go with the original colours ? I recall there was a stained glass window halfway up a spiral staircase, I'm almost certain it had a coat of arms on it, possibly the one at the top of this page ? Really great to read about the history of somewhere I grew up very close to.

Anonymous said...

I am Decended from Frederick Cassidy who ran away to New Zealand with the family maid, Martha Brown. Their son Alfred Cassidy born 1858 married Amelia Cassidy ( Stoddart) and they are my great great grandparents. Alfred died in 1934

RozzyD said...

I had the privilege of living in Glenbrook for 2 years in the 1970s. I was 5 when we moved there. We rented the house from the cassidys. I loved the house and the grounds, I have very fond memories of the place.