Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Armagh Lieutenancy



CALEDON, Rt Hon the Earl of, KCVO




REID, Colonel Arthur, OBE TD JP DL

RYAN, Mr Patrick Anthony, JP DL

BEATTIE, Mr William James, DL

SHAW, Mr James Derek, DL

DUNCAN, Mr Thomas, DL



MURPHY, Mr Thomas, DL

JACKSON, Mr Antony, DL

DONNELLY, Mr Raymond, DL

McALLISTER, Colonel Hubert, OBE TD DL 

DOUGAN, Mr Simon Thomas Alexander, DL


McALINDEN, Dr Eileen, DL

REANEY, Mr David, DL

CONWAY, Dr Gareth, DL

WALSH, Mrs Georgina, DL


WALKINGSHAW, Mr Terence David, DL

Please advise me of any retirements or deaths.

The Davis-Goff Baronets


THE REV STEPHEN GOFFE or GOUGH, Rector of Bramber, West Sussex, 1603-5, and St Botolph's, 1605-6, married Deborah West, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Stephen (Rev);
John (Rev).
The eldest son,

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL WILLIAM GOFFE (c1605-c1679), wedded Frances, daughter of Major-General Edward Whalley, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Anne; Elizabeth; Frances.
The only son,

RICHARD GOFFE, of Waterford, County Waterford, espoused, in 1681, Hannah, daughter of Jonas Chamberlain, and had issue,
JACOB, of whom hereafter;
Mary; Hannah; Elizabeth.
The youngest son,

JACOB GOFF (1695-c1751), of Dublin, married, in 1721, Mary, daughter of John Fade, and had issue,
JACOB, of whom we treat;
Hannah; Mary; Sarah; Elizabeth.
The third son,

JACOB GOFF (c1736-c1799), married Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin Wilson, and had issue,
Joseph Fade;
Anne; Dinah; Elizabeth.
The younger son,

WILLIAM GOFF (1762-1840), of Horetown House, County Wexford, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1807 and 1811, wedded, in 1784, Rebecca, daughter of Edward Deaves, and had issue,
Jacob William, dsp;
REBECCA, of whom hereafter;
Mary; Sally; Lucy Anne; Arabella; Elizabeth.
Mr Goff's eldest daughter,

MISS REBECCA GOFF, espoused, in 1809, Francis Davis, of Waterford, and had issue,
Henry (1825-63).
Mrs Davis died in 1859, and was succeeded by her elder son,

STRANGMAN DAVIS JP (1810-72), of Horetown House, County Wexford, who married, in 1835, Susan Maxwell, daughter of Arthur Ussher, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Charles Edward;
Margaretta Ussher; Julia Anna; Rebecca; Lucy Ussher.
Mr Davis added the additional name of GOFF in 1845, under the terms of his uncle's will.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM DAVIS-GOFF JP DL (1838-1918), of Glenville, County Waterford, High Sheriff of Waterford City, 1869, and of County Waterford, 1892, who wedded, in 1866, Anna Maria, daughter of Michael Dobbyn Hassard, and had issue,
William Ernest.
Mr Davis-Goff was created a baronet in in 1905, denominated of Glenville, County Waterford.

He was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR HERBERT WILLIAM DAVIS-GOFF, 2nd Baronet (1870-1923), DL, High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1914, Captain, RASC, who espoused, in 1903, Margaret Aimée, daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Charles Stewart Scott GCB GCMG, and had issue,
ERNEST WILLIAM, his successor;
Charles Herbert;
Terence Richard;
Doreen Christian.
Sir Herbert was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ERNEST WILLIAM GOFF-DAVIS, 3rd Baronet (1904-80), who married, in 1941, Alice Cynthia Sainthill, daughter of Robert Woodhouse, and had issue,
ROBERT WILLIAM, his successor;
Annabel Claire; Julia Christian; Alice Maria.
Sir Ernest was succeeded by his only son,

SIR ROBERT WILLIAM DAVIS-GOFF (1955-), of Ballinacor, County Wicklow, and Lissen Hall, County Dublin, who wedded, in 1978, Nathalie Sheelagh, daughter of Terence Chadwick, of Lissen Hall, County Dublin, and has issue,
Henry Terence Chadwick;
James Sammy Chadwick;
Sarah Chadwick.
Residences ~ Ballinacor Estate, County Wicklow; Lissen Hall, Donabate, County Dublin; Eairy Moar Farm, Glen Helen, Isle of Man.

Monday, 29 January 2018

1st Earl of Donoughmore


THE RT HON JOHN HELY-HUTCHINSON (1724-94), an eminent lawyer and statesman of Ireland (son of Francis Hely, of Gortroe, County Cork, by a daughter of Christopher Earbury), married, in 1751, Christiana, daughter of Abraham Nickson, of Munny, County Wicklow, and niece and heir of Richard Hutchinson, of Knocklofty, County Tipperary (in consequence of which marriage he assumed the additional surname of HUTCHINSON), and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
JOHN, 2nd Earl;
Francis, of Lissen Hall; father of the 3rd Earl;
Augustus Abraham;
Christiana; Mary; Prudence; Margaret.
Mr Hely-Hutchinson obtained a peerage for his wife, CHRISTIANA, as Baroness Donoughmore, of Knocklofty, County Tipperary, in 1783.

Her ladyship died in 1788, and was succeeded in the barony by her eldest son,

RICHARD HELY (1756-1825), 2nd Baron; advanced to a viscountcy, as Viscount Donoughmore; and further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1800, as EARL OF DONOUGHMORE.

His lordship died unmarried, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

JOHN HELY (1757-1832), 2nd Earl, GCB, a general in the army, Governor of Stirling Castle, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Bath, died unmarried, while the honours he had inherited passed to his nephew,

JOHN (1787-1851), 3rd Earl, KP, who wedded firstly, in 1822, Margaret, daughter of Luke, 1st Viscount Mountjoy, and had issue,
RICHARD JOHN, his successor;
He espoused secondly, in 1827, Barbara, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel William Reynell, and had issue,
John William, b 1829;
Kathleen Alicia; Frances Margaret; Jane Louisa.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD JOHN (1823-66), 4th Earl, who married, in 1847, Thomasina Jocelyn, daughter of Walter Steele, and had issue,
JOHN LUKE GEORGE, his successor;
Walter Francis (Sir);
Patrick Maurice;
Granville William;
Margaret Frances; Mary Sophia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN LUKE GEORGE (1848-1900), 5th Earl, KCMG JP DL, who wedded, in 1874, Frances Isabella, daughter of General William Frazer Stephens, and had issue,
RICHARD WALTER JOHN, his successor;
Nina Blanche; Evelyn; Norah; Margarita Oonagh Isabella.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

RICHARD WALTER JOHN (1875-1948), 6th Earl, KP JP DL, who espoused, in 1901, Elena Maria, daughter of Michael Paul Grace, and had issue,
JOHN MICHAEL HENRY, his successor;
David Edward;
Doreen Clare.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN MICHAEL HENRY (1902-81), 7th Earl, Colonel, Royal Armoured Corps (TA), MP for Peterborough, 1943-5, who married, in 1925, Dorothy Jean, daughter of John Beaumont Hotham, and had issue,
RICHARD MICHAEL JOHN, his successor;
Sara Elena.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD MICHAEL JOHN (1927-), 8th Earl, who sold Knocklofty Estate in 1985.

KNOCKLOFTY HOUSE, near Clonmel, County Tipperary, was the mansion of the Earls of Donoughmore.

The estate is almost four miles west-south-west of Clonmel.

The mansion stands on an extensive natural terrace on the left bank of the River Suir.

It commands a delightful prospect of the richly wooded slopes and highly adorned rising grounds of the Waterford side of the valley.

The demesne is - or was - extensive, containing some of the finest old elms and limes in the counties of Tipperary and Waterford.

The 18th century mansion comprises a three-storey central block, with two-storey, gable-ended wings projecting forward on the entrance front to form a three-sided court.

The centre block consists of seven bays, and the wings comprise two bays in their gable ends.

In the early 1800s a single-storey corridor was built along the front of the centre block, joining the wings, embellished with wreathes and Doric pilasters.

The central garden front, overlooking the River Suir, comprises five bays with an exceptionally long, two-storey service wing.

The demesne spreads across the River Suir into County Waterford, including Kilmanahan Castle, formerly a separate property.

The original, intricate gate piers are notable.

The 7th Earl and Countess were kidnapped from Knocklofty House in 1974 by an IRA gang and held captive for four days before being released in Phoenix Park, Dublin.

The family sold up several years later.

The estate was recently for sale.

Other residence ~ Palmerstown House, near Dublin.

Donoughmore arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Antrim Lieutenancy



McCORKELL, Mr David William


GORDON, Mrs Miranda Gay, DL



BAILIE, Dr Stephen, TD DL

BROOKE, Hon Christopher A, DL

COLE, Mrs Millie, DL

FRAZER, Mr Andrew David, DL


HILLAN, Mrs Sheelagh Elizabeth, MBE DL

KINAHAN, Mr Danny de Burgh, DL

KELLY, Mr Liam Gerard, JP DL

MONTGOMERY, Mr Hugh Edward J, DL



READE, Mr Richard, DL

RAINEY, Mr William Eric, CVO MBE DL


WALLACE, Mrs Patricia, DL

SHIRLEY, Mrs Julia, DL


DUNLUCE, Viscount, DL



DOUGLAS, Colonel Stewart, OBE DL

O'NEILL, the Hon Shane Sebastian Clanaboy, DL

PERRY, Mr James Ernest, MBE DL


Please advise me of any retirements or deaths.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

New Tyrone DL


Mr Robert Scott OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, has been pleased to appoint:-

Mr Malachy Stephen McALEER
County Tyrone

To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County, his Commission bearing date, the 30th day of December, 2017.

Signed: Lord Lieutenant of the County

Thursday, 25 January 2018

The Burns Supper

The old school pal, Dangerfield, invited me to a Burns Supper at the family home five years ago.

The weather conditions were poor, though I finally managed to reach his house, a mile or two outside Broughshane, County Antrim.

I'm apprised that they have a hundred and forty acres.

We had a terrific time.

As can be seen by the photograph - Dangerfield had lent me a Royal Irish Rangers caubeen with its green hackle - I was slightly the worse for wear; so I was glad to have a room for the night.

The grub was delicious: wholesome chicken or pheasant soup; venison stew with haggis; chocolate and Cranachan pudding; whisky; abundant wine.

Shortly after the proceedings the drone of the bagpipes could be heard and Gavin marched in.

He must have learnt to play them in the CCF band at Campbell.

One of the house guests, Michael, is an accomplished musician and played the piano for us all.

He's another Old Brackenbrian, so I hope see him at the next annual dinner in the Ulster Reform Club.

I retired to bed at some unearthly hour, perhaps three-thirty the next morning.

We breakfasted in the conservatory: venison sausages, rustic bread, mustard, marmalade, mushrooms, tea.

First published in January, 2013.

Blunden Villa


This family springs from

OVERINGTON BLUNDEN, of Southwark, London, who, in 1667, was granted Glenmore, "to be for ever called Blunden's Castle", and other lands in County Kilkenny, Queen's County and County Waterford.

This gentleman's grandson,

JOHN BLUNDEN (c1718-83), only surviving son of John Blunden, of Castle Blunden, MP for the City of Kilkenny, by Martha, daughter of Agmondesham Cuffe, and sister of John, 1st Baron Desart, was created a baronet in 1766, denominated of Blunden Castle, County Kilkenny.

Sir John was a distinguished member of the Irish bar, and represented the City of Kilkenny in Parliament.

He married, in 1755, his cousin Susanna, daughter of John, 1st Baron Desart, and had issue (with seven daughters) three sons, of whom,
JOHN, his successor;
William Pitt, father of JOHN, 3rd Baronet;
Overington, Lieutenant-General; MP.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN BLUNDEN, 2nd Baronet (1767-1818), High Sheriff of County Kilkenny, 1805 and 1813, who wedded firstly, Miss Hewitson (d 1808); and secondly, in 1812, Hester, daughter of John Helsham, of Leggetsrath, County Kilkenny, though the marriages were without issue, and the baronetcy reverted to his nephew,

SIR JOHN BLUNDEN, 3rd Baronet (1814-90), DL, High Sheriff of County Kilkenny, 1843, 44 and 47, Barrister, who wedded, in 1839, Elizabeth, daughter of Major John Knox, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
John Overington;
Edward Herbert;
Maurice Robert;
Arthur Henry;
Kate; Harriette; Nicola Sophia.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM BLUNDEN, 4th Baronet (1840-1923), High Sheriff of County Kilkenny, 1904, who espoused, in 1879, Florence Caroline, daughter of Henry Shuttleworth, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
Eric Overington;
Sir William was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR JOHN BLUNDEN, 5th Baronet (1880-1923), who married, in 1918, Phyllis Dorothy, daughter of Philip Crampton Creaghe, and had issue,
WILLIAM, 6th Baronet;
Sir John was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR WILLIAM BLUNDEN, 6th Baronet (1919-85), Lieutenant-Commander RN, who wedded, in 1945, Pamela Mary, daughter of John Purser, and had issue,
Sarah Vanessa; Griselda Jane; Caroline Susan;
Rowena Mary; Elizabeth Anne Gabrielle; Fiona Christine.
Sir William died without male issue, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR PHILIP OVERINGTON BLUNDEN, 7th Baronet (1922-2007), who wedded, in 1945, Jeanette Francesca Alexandra, daughter of Captain D Macdonald, and had issue,
HUBERT CHISHOLM, his successor;
John Maurice Patrick;
Marguerite Eugenie.
Sir Philip was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR HUBERT CHISHOLM BLUNDEN, 8th Baronet (1948-), who married, in 1975, Ellish O'Brien, and had issue,
Edmund, b 1982;
Amelia, b 1977.

BLUNDEN VILLA, Castle Blunden, County Kilkenny,

At the end of the 18th century Sir John Blunden built Blunden Villa near the gates of his family home, just outside the mediaeval city of Kilkenny.

By family tradition this elegant Georgian villa was built as a dower house for Sir John’s mother, the daughter of a neighbour, Lord Desart, to provide her with her own establishment when he married and brought home his heiress bride.

Blunden Villa is a delightful small Regency house with a high ground floor above a semi-basement.

The façade is of three bays, with the front door at the upper level approached by a wide flight of stone steps with contemporary iron railings.

The door is surmounted by a fanlight and has delicate Wyatt windows to either side.

The plan is very slightly over square, as the façade is marginally shorter than the width from front to back, while the interior has high ceilings and well-proportioned rooms.

For many years Blunden Villa was used as a gate lodge to the principal house, but in 2006 Jane and Caroline Blunden, twin daughters of the 6th baronet, decided to restore the building, which is now their Irish home.

Select bibliography ~ Irish Historic Houses Association

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Countess of Wessex in Belfast

THE COUNTESS OF WESSEX visited Belfast and County Down today.

Her Royal Highness, Patron, Royal Mencap Society, this morning visited Mencap Centre, 5 School Road, Newtownbreda, Belfast, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Down, (Mr David Lindsay).

HRH, Patron, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, this afternoon visited Laganside Courts, 45 Oxford Street, Belfast, and was received by Dr Philip McGarry DL (Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast).

The Countess of Wessex afterwards opened the Northern Ireland Hospice, 74 Somerton Road, Belfast, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast (Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE).

Her Royal Highness subsequently visited Risk Avoidance and Danger Awareness Resource, 26 Heron Road, Belfast, and was received by Mr Colin Russell DL (Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast).

HRH, Patron, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, this evening attended a Dinner at Harbour Office, Corporation Square, Belfast, and was received by Professor Martin Bradley DL (Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast).

Lissen Hall


THE RT HON JOHN HELY-HUTCHINSON (1724-94), an eminent lawyer and statesman of Ireland (son of Francis Hely, of Gortroe, County Cork, by the daughter of Christopher Earbury), married, in 1751, Christiana, daughter of Lorenzo Nickson, of Munny, County Wicklow, and niece and heir of Richard Hutchinson, of Knocklofty, County Tipperary (in consequence of which marriage he assumed the additional surname of HUTCHINSON), and had issue,
Richard Hely, cr EARL OF DONOUGHMORE ;
John, successor to his brother as 2nd Earl;
FRANCIS, of whom we treat;
Augustus Abraham;
Christiana; Mary; Prudence; Margaret.
The third son,

FRANCIS HELY-HUTCHINSON (1769-1827), MP for Dublin University, 1790-98, Naas, 1798-1801, wedded Frances Wilhelmina, daughter and heir of Henry Nixon, of Belmont, County Wexford, and had issue,
John, 3rd Earl;
Henry, Lieutenant-Colonel;
COOTE, of whom hereafter;
Anne Louisa; Catherine Henrietta; Charlotte Sophia; Louisa Frances.
The third son,

CAPTAIN THE HON COOTE HELY-HUTCHINSON, Royal Navy, espoused, in 1834, Sophia, youngest daughter of the Rev Sir Samuel Synge-Hutchinson Bt, and had issue,
Samuel, died in infancy;
JOHN, of whom we treat;
Francis Henry;
Sophia Dorothy.
Captain Hely-Hutchinson died in 1842.

His third son,

JOHN HELY-HUTCHINSON JP DL (1826-1919), of Seafield and Lissen Hall, County Dublin, High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1872, married, in 1865, Mary Louisa, eldest daughter of Robert Tottenham, of Annamult, second son of Charles Tottenham, of Ballycurry, County Wicklow, and had issue,
COOTE ROBERT, his heir;
Richard George, a military officer;
Ethel Mary; Cecil Frances Katharine; Eleanor Blanche.
The elder son,

COOTE ROBERT HELY-HUTCHINSON OBE (1870-1930), Lieutenant-Colonel, Reserve Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, wedded, in 1914, Julia Harriet Vere, daughter of William Clayton Browne-Clayton, and had issue,
David Coote;
Mary Caroline; Julia Louisa.
The eldest son,

JOHN HELY-HUTCHINSON (1914-85), died unmarried.

LISSEN HALL, Donabate, County Dublin, was constructed in at least two different periods.

The original house was a long, plain, gable-ended dwelling of the late-17th or early 18th century.

Slightly later, though still in the first half of the 18th century, Lissen Hall was extensively remodelled and a new front built at right angles to the earlier house to form a large T-shaped building.

The new five-bay façade shows a typical mid-Georgian design, with a tripartite door-case and a Venetian window above.

The tripartite arrangement is repeated on the upper storey, where the central window is flanked by two blind sidelights.

There are projecting bows, with semi-conical roofs at either end, while the walls of the façade continue upwards without a cornice to form a parapet, adorned with urns and eagles.

These embellishments were clearly aimed at replicating Mantua, a neighbouring house now long demolished, which faced Lissen Hall across the tidal estuary of the Meadow Water.

Architectural drawings from 1765 can be seen in the house, which at that time was owned by John Hatch, MP for Swords in the old Irish Parliament before it voted itself out of existence in 1801.

Lissen Hall later passed to the politically influential Hely-Hutchinson family, of nearby Seafield House.

In the 1870s the grounds comprised 78 acres.

In 1950 Terence Chadwick purchased Lissen Hall from the Hely-Hutchinsons, and it was subsequently inherited by his daughter, Lady Davis-Goff, of Ballinacor.

As a result Lissen Hall has been sold only once in over two hundred and fifty years.

The Irish Times has published an interesting article about the Hely-Hutchinsons.

Donoughmore arms courtesy of European Heraldry.  Select bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Temple 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 Ussher his wife, daughter of Arthur Ussher and granddaughter of Sir William Ussher, Clerk of the Council, was Registrar of the Prerogative Court, Dublin.

He married Mary, daughter and heir of William Crofton, of Temple House, County Sligo, and had issue,
PHILIP, his heir;
William, ancestor of PERCEVAL-MAXWELL of Finnebrogue;
George Perceval was drowned near Holyhead on his voyage to England with the Earl of Meath and other persons of distinction.

His eldest son and heir,

PHILIP PERCEVAL (1670-1704), of Temple House, County Sligo, wedded, in 1691, Elizabeth, daughter of John D'Aberon, of Wandsworth, Surrey, and left, with other issue, a son and heir,

JOHN PERCEVAL (1700-54), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1727 and 1742, wedded, in 1722, Anne, daughter of Joshua Cooper, of Markree, County Sligo, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

PHILIP PERCEVAL (1723-87), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1775, who espoused Mary, daughter and co-heir of Guy Carleton, of Rossfad, County Fermanagh, and was succeeded by his son,

GUY CARLETON PERCEVAL, who dsp 1792, and was succeeded by his brother,

THE REV PHILIP PERCEVAL, of Temple House, who married, in 1783, Anne, daughter of Alexander Carroll, of Dublin, and had issue,
Philip, died unmarried;
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Guy, died unmarried;
Anne; Mary.
The second son,

ALEXANDER PERCEVAL JP (1787-1858), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1809, MP for County Sligo, 1831-41, wedded, in 1808, Jane Anne, eldest daughter of Colonel Henry Peisley L'Estrange, of Moystown, King's County, and had surviving issue,
Henry (Rev);
ALEXANDER, of whom hereafter;
Charles George Guy;
Elizabeth Dora; Frances; Sophia; Georgina Sarah; Maria Frances; Emily Jane.
Colonel Perceval's third son,

ALEXANDER PERCEVAL (1821-66), of Temple House, Barrister, espoused, in 1858, Annie E, youngest daughter of George de Blois, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Robert Jardine;
Philip Dudley;
Jeannie; Sophie.
Mr Perceval was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER PERCEVAL JP DL (1859-87), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1882, who married, in 1881, Charlotte Jane, eldest daughter of Charles William O'Hara, of Annaghmore, County Sligo, and had issue,
Sibyl Annie (1882-84).
Mr Perceval was succeeded by his son and heir,


TEMPLE HOUSE, Ballymote, County Sligo, takes its name from the Knights Templar, the wealthiest of the three military orders founded during the crusades.

Fierce warriors and able administrators, their power stretched across Europe where they operated as a separate sovereign administration within each independent state.

The knights reached Ireland with the Normans and quickly became established, building a castle at Temple House in County Sligo, their most westerly foundation, shortly after 1200.

In 1312 the Pope suppressed the order, citing their alleged heretical and blasphemous practises in justification.

In France, Templars were burnt at the stake and their land seized by the crown, but other countries adopted a more measured approach, transferring their property to the Knights Hospitallers, known today as the Knights of Malta.

As English influence waned in the remote west of Ireland, Temple House was reoccupied by the O’Haras, the principal sept in that region, who built a new castle in 1360.

In 1565 William Crofton was appointed Auditor and Escheator General, and used his position to amass extensive estates in Counties Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo.

These included Temple House, or Tagh-temple, which passed with his great-granddaughter Mary on her marriage to George Perceval, the younger son of another distinguished Irish administrator, and grandson of Richard Perceval, ‘confidential agent’ to Queen Elizabeth’s minister, Lord Burleigh, who correctly identified preparations for the Spanish Armada and was rewarded with Irish estates.

By the 1760s George and Mary’s descendants had replaced her parent’s thatched dwelling of ca 1630 and their new house was further extended in 1825.

Unfortunately the Irish famine ruined the family and the estate was sold to a Mr Hall-Dare along with the town of Ballymote.

Happily, a younger son, Alexander Perceval, went to seek his fortune in China and amassed vast riches in the development of Hong Kong as Tai-Pan for the great trading house, Jardine Matheson.

He returned to Ireland, repurchased the estate and tripled the size of the house in 1864, cladding it in cut-stone in a strict classical style, with three formal fronts and a porte-cochere, always a convenient feature in the wet West of Ireland.

The result is broadly symmetrical, with the Georgian house still clearly evident in the centre of the east front.

The interior has a superb suite of large, grand rooms, lit by serried ranks of vast plate-glass windows.

There are lofty ceilings, the vestibule rises to some thirty-two feet, and decoration of a very high order, reminiscent of the grander London clubs, while much of the furniture was specially commissioned for the house.

The house reputedly contains more than ninety rooms.

Alexander’s neighbours suggested he might be over-spending but he assured them of his imminent return to make an even larger fortune in Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, he caught sun-stroke fishing on Temple House Lake and died in 1866, leaving a widow with a large young family and rather less capital than his heirs would have liked to maintain their vast new home.

But they did survive and today the estate comprises 1,200 acres of pasture, woodland, lake and bog, and is home to Alexander’s great-great-great grandson Roderick, along with his wife Helena and their family, the thirteenth and fourteenth generations in almost continuous occupation since the late sixteenth century.

Select bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Gloster House


EVAN LLOYD JP DL, of Yale, Denbighshire, a captain-general in the service of CHARLES I, in Ireland, son and heir of Sir John Lloyd, Knight, and grandson of Sir Evan Lloyd, 1st Baronet (c1622-63), the twelfth of his race lineally descended from YNYR of YALE, married Mary, daughter and co-heir of Sir Richard Trevor, Knight, and had issue,
John, his heir;
TREVOR, of whom we treat;
Catherine; Mary; Magdelen.
His youngest son,

TREVOR LLOYD, a captain in the army of CHARLES I, wedded, in 1639, Margaret Rose, daughter and heiress of Francis Medhop, of Gloster and Tonagh, King's County, by whom he acquired estates in the King's County and County Tipperary, and had a son and successor,

MEDHOP LLOYD, of the King's County, who, by his wife Hannah, daughter of Christopher Lovett, Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1676-7, had fourteen children, all of whom dsp with the exception of

TREVOR LLOYD who, inheriting the family estates, became of Gloster, in the King's County.

This gentleman married Miss Waller, of Castletown, County Limerick (a descendant of Sir Hardress Waller, Governor of Limerick, during the Commonwealth), and had, with other issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Hardress, dsp;
Harriet, m F Saunderson, of Castle Saunderson.
Mr Lloyd was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN LLOYD, of Gloster, MP for the King's County, 1768-90, wedded, about 1777, Jane, daughter of Thomas Le Hunt, of Artrammon, County Wexford, and had issue, 
HARDRESS, his heir;
Trevor, died at Cambridge, 1796;
Thomas, lieutenant-colonel;
Alice; Harriet.
Mr Lloyd was succeeded by his eldest son,

HARDRESS LLOYD JP DL MP (c1782-1860), of Gloster, This gentleman, who was for some years Lieutenant-Colonel, South Down Militia, MP for King's County, 1807-16.

Colonel Lloyd died unmarried, and was succeeded by his natural son,

JOHN LLOYD JP DL, of Gloster, High Sheriff of King's County, 1866, who espoused, in 1872, Susanna Frances Julia, second daughter of John Thomas Rosborough Colclough, of Tintern Abbey, County Wexford, and had issue,
JOHN HARDRESS, his heir;
Evan Colclough;
Llewellyn Wilfred Medhop;
Mary Louisa Arthurina Gwendoline Colclough; Susanna Frederica Lillian Mary; Myrtle Susan.
Mr Lloyd died in 1883, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

BRIGADIER JOHN HARDRESS LLOYD DSO JP DL (1874-1952), of Gloster, High Sheriff of King's County, 1906, who wedded, in 1903, Adeline, daughter of Sir Samuel Wilson, MP for Portsmouth, 1886-92, though the marriage was without issue.

GLOSTER HOUSE, Shinrone, Birr, is County Offaly’s most important early 18th century house.

The Lloyd family came to Ireland from Denbighshire to serve in the army of CHARLES I, and acquired the estate by marriage in 1639.

Presumably they lived in the 17th century house until the building was enlarged in the 1720s.

Maurice Craig has remarked that “Gloster has features which can hardly derive from anyone other than Sir Edward Lovett-Pearce”.

Craig feels that Lovett-Pearce may have provided the design for his cousin Trevor Lloyd but left the execution to others, since “for all its charm, it is provincial in almost every respect”.

Gloster is unusually long and low, with thirteen bays and two stories.

The bays to either side of the breakfront have a series of elaborate pilasters, while the pairs of upper storey end-bays have blind niches in place of windows.

The elaborate, double-height entrance-hall has a series of bust-filled niches while there is very grand upper hall on the piano nobile.

This overlooks the entrance-hall though a series of round-headed openings.

Samuel Chearnley may possibly have had a hand in designing the gardens, which contain a canal, a lime avenue and a pedimented arch, flanked by obelisks in the manner of Vanburgh while a series of

later terraces in front of the house descend to a small lake.

Brigadier Hardress Lloyd and his wife had no children, so Gloster House was inherited by their nephew, Major Evan Trevor Lloyd.

Major Lloyd held the estate for several years when, in 1958, he sold it to an order of nuns.

In 1990, the religious order ended their activities at Gloster; and in 1992 the estate was sold to the Macra ne Feirme organization, which intended to operate the estate as a rural training centre.

The project proved to be unsuccessful and, after a few years, they sold it to a pharmaceutical organisation that held it until 2001, when it was purchased by the present owners, Tom and Mary Alexander, who have carried out a thorough and sympathetic restoration.

Famous visitors to Gloster include John Wesley, who preached here in 1749; while the famous Australian “Diva”, Dame Nellie Melba GBE, sang from the gallery in the upper hall in the early 20th century.

Select bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.

Thomas Tunnock Ltd


By Appointment to the Rt Hon the Earl of Belmont, 
Purveyors of Tea Cakes,
Thomas Tunnock Limited, Uddingston, Glasgow.

The Tunnock's Teacake, popular in the British Isles, comprises a small round shortbread biscuit covered with a dome of Italian meringue and a whipped egg white concoction similar to marshmallow.

This is then encased in a thin layer of milk or dark chocolate and wrapped in a red and silver foil paper for the more popular milk chocolate variety; or blue, black, and gold wrapping for the dark.

First issued March, 2010.

N.B. Editors: the alter ego, viz. Belmont, simply cannot have enough of these ethereal biccies (!)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Brackenber Day


Here is the final correspondence I received from Brackenber's last headmaster, Mr John Craig, following his retirement.

It is clearly valedictory in nature.

Click on the image to read it.

It reflects Mr Craig's feelings about Brackenber; his profound devotion and deep affection for what became his home and his life; his dedication, care and passion for our school:-

click to enlarge
First published in February, 2011.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Bertie and Spode

Roderick Spode, Earl of Sidcup


"Oh, hullo, Spode, hullo. There you are, what? Splendid."

"Can I have a word with you, Wooster?"

"Of course, of course. Have several."

He did not speak for a minute or so, filling in the time by subjecting me to close scrutiny.

"I can't understand it", he said. "How Madeline can contemplate marrying a man like you ... as far as I can see, Wooster, you are without attraction of any kind. Intelligence? No. Looks? No. Efficiency? No".

"She is marrying you in the hope of reforming you, and let me tell you, Wooster, that if you disappoint that hope, you will be sorry ...

... you will probably think you are safe from me when you are doing your stretch in Wormwood Scrubs for larceny, but I shall be waiting for you when you come out, and I shall tear you limb from limb. And," he added ... "dance on the fragments in hobnailed boots".

"All that can be said of you is that you don't wear a moustache. They tell me you did grow one once, but mercifully shaved it off. That is to your credit, but it is a small thing to weigh in the balance against all your other defects".

First published in August, 2013.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Grand Opera House

I happened to be in Belfast yesterday, in the vicinity of the Grand Opera House in Great Victoria Street.

Anybody who knows Belfast will be aware that the opera house remains one of its favourite, cherished and even iconic buildings (despite its bombing during the Troubles).

After City Hall, the Grand Opera House boasts the most exquisite and opulent interior in the city.

The history of this esteemed theatre is so well known that to dwell upon it here becomes unnecessary.

Its exterior has had a major restoration recently.

The minarets, towers, Mercury and many other features have been restored to their former glory.

It was particularly gratifying to see the newly-gilded statue of Mercury, standing aloft, brandishing the Caduceus in his left hand.

At the theatre's entrance front we have the masks of Comedy and Tragedy to each side as we enter or vacate the former front doors below the elevated Crush Bar above the street.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Ballykilcavan House


ALLEN JOHNSON, of Kilternan, County Dublin, son of Christopher Johnson, of the same place, married firstly, Anne _____, and had a son,
ALLEN, his heir.
He wedded secondly, Abigail, daughter of Benjamin Burton, and had issue,
The eldest son,

ALLEN JOHNSON, of Kilternan, wedded, in 1740, Olivia, daughter of John Walsh, of Ballykilcavan, Queen's County, and had issue,
JOHN ALLEN, his heir;
Henry (Major-General Sir), 1st Baronet, GCB;
Mr Johnson died in 1747, and was succeeded by his elder son,

JOHN ALLEN JOHNSON (c1745-1831), High Sheriff of Queen's County, 1792, MP for Baltinglass, 1740-90, who espoused, in 1783, Sackvilla, eldest daughter of Edward Brereton, and had issue,
John Allen, dsp;
EDWARD JOHN, of whom hereafter;
HUNT HENRY, heir to his brother;
Mr Johnson was created a baronet, in 1775, denominated of Ballykilcavan.

Sir John assumed, in 1809, upon the demise of his maternal uncle, the Very Rev Raphael Walsh, Dean of Dromore, the surname and arms of WALSH.

He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR EDWARD JOHN JOHNSON-WALSH, 2nd Baronet (c1785-1848), of Ballykilcavan, High Sheriff of Queen's County, 1825, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

THE REV SIR HUNT HENRY JOHNSON-WALSH, 3rd Baronet (1787-1865), Rector of Stradbally, who was succeeded by his son,

SIR JOHN ALLEN JOHNSON-WALSH, 4th Baronet (1829-93), who married, in 1859, Harriet Anne, daughter of the Rev Brownlow William Forde, and had issue, a son,

SIR HUNT HENRY ALLEN JOHNSON-WALSH, 5th Baronet (1864-1953), of Ballykilcavan, who espoused, in 1910, Grace, daughter of the Rt Hon Henry Bruen, of Oak Park, County Carlow, and had issue, an only child,

OONAGH JOHNSON-WALSH, who married (William) Frederick Kemmis, of Shaen House.

Thereafter the family name was changed to WALSH-KEMMIS.

The baronetcy expired on the decease of the 5th and last Baronet.

BALLYKILCAVAN HOUSE, near Stradbally, County Laois, is a two-storey, seven-bay house with a dormer attic, with a centre gable and projecting end bays.

It was built about 1680 in wooded parkland just east of Stradbally.

The estate was acquired by Oliver Walsh in 1639 and the house was probably built by his son, also Oliver, who died in 1697.

The house has full-height wings like flanking towers at the corners of the entrance front; while similar towers on the rear of the house are now hidden by later extensions.

These towers were a feature of fortified houses of the 17th century and lingered on into the early 18th century as decorative features.

The house is comprised of a ground floor (unusually at ground level), an upper floor and an attic storey, where the dormer windows have been replaced by skylights.

It has been altered and extended many times over the centuries but many rooms retrain their late-17th century dimensions, though the decoration is later.

In the 18th century Ballykilcavan was given a more Georgian aspect with a ‘floating’ pediment-gable, a fine cut-stone doorcase and sash windows with thin glazing-bars.

There is decorative 1730s plasterwork on the hall ceiling, and even finer work above the staircase and landing.

The landing is Ballykilcavan's finest room and originally extended from front to back as a gallery before the main staircase was installed.

The first prominent member of the family was Major-General Sir Henry Hunt Walsh GCB, who commanded the 28th of Foot at the siege of Quebec.

He was awarded a valuable estate in Prince Edward Island in a lottery of lands after the Seven Years’ War before succeeding his uncle at Ballykilcavan and becoming MP for Maryborough.

General Walsh is likely to have commissioned the magnificent 18th century U-shaped stable block.

The next owner was the Major-General's brother Raphael, Dean of Dromore, who began an ambitious remodelling of the house.

He planned a new front at the rear with a classical cornice and parapet, and a suite of south-facing rooms.

Unfortunately, work was disrupted by the 1798 Rebellion, and Dean Walsh only completed half the building vertically, leaving the remainder blank.

This provides a single, very large drawing room, entered at the half level from the staircase, and a pair of bedrooms overhead.

The drawing-room is particularly beautiful, with fine late-18th century woodwork, mahogany doors and a finely modelled cornice.

Dean Walsh was succeeded by his sister’s son, Sir John Allen Johnson-Walsh, 1st Baronet, who assumed the name Walsh and the estate passed in turn to his two sons.

The second son, Sir Hunt, Rector of Stradbally, was a keen gardener and built a tunnel to his walled garden at the far side of the Stradbally-Athy road.

He also employed a promising local man, William Robinson, to oversee his garden and plant collection.

The story is that master and servant fell out and Robinson doused the hot-house fires before quitting his position on a particularly cold winter’s night.

Nobody noticed his absence and, by the time the fires were re-lit, many precious plants had perished.

In Dublin and later in London, Robinson’s career took-off and he became the doyen of late 19th century garden designers, influencing a whole school of gardening with his ‘natural’ plantings.

Sir Hunt was succeeded by his son and grandson, whose only child Oonagh married a neighbour, William Kemmis of Shaen.

They subsequently changed their name to Walsh-Kemmis and their grandson, David, and his wife Lisa, are the thirteenth generation of the family to live at Ballykilcavan.

The 1700s layout and avenues were rearranged in the nineteenth century when a new road was built from Stradbally to Athy.

A distant section of this road is now on axis with the front door, and acts almost as an avenue with the spire of a First Fruits Church as an eye-catcher in far distance.

Much of the estate is given over to woodland, with some spectacular specimen oaks and Spanish chestnuts, and the record Irish black walnut.

Select Bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Enniscoe House


The branch of the family of which we are treating was settled in Leicestershire in 1641, when three brothers, Joseph, Benjamin and John Pratt, migrated thence; Joseph and Benjamin to Ireland, John to Jamaica.

Joseph and Benjamin obtained lands in County Meath from CROMWELL, which they divided between them.

The elder was ancestor of the PRATTS of Cabra; the younger, of the WINTERS of Agher.

JOSEPH PRATT, High Sheriff of County Meath, 1698, married firstly, Frances, sister and heir of Colonel Thomas Cooch, of Cabra Castle, County Cavan, and Covoaddy [sic], County Donegal; and secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Audley Mervyn, and widow of Nathaniel Poole, and had issue,
Joseph, died young;
Benjamin (Dr), Provost, Trinity College, Dublin;
John, a lord of the Treasury;
Thomas, dsp;
The youngest son,

MERVYN PRATT, MP for County Cavan, High Sheriff, 1722, wedded, in 1704, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Coote, of Cootehill in that county, and sister of the Earl of Bellamont.

Mr Pratt died in 1751, having had (with three daughters) a son and successor,

THE REV JOSEPH PRATT, of Cabra, who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Knightley Chetwood, of Woodbrook, Queen's County, and had issue,
Mervyn, died 1798;
JOSEPH, of whom presently;
James Butler;
Elizabeth; Ann.
The second son,

THE REV JOSEPH PRATT, (1738-1831), of Cabra Castle, wedded, in 1772, the Hon Sarah Morres, daughter of Harvey, 1st Viscount Mountmorres, by the Lady Letitia Ponsonby, his wife, daughter of Brabazon, Earl of Bessborough, and had issue,
JOSEPH, his heir;
Mervyn, 1823;
Harvey, of Castle Morres, County Kilkenny, 
who upon the decease of his father, succeeded his mother in the Kilkenny estates, which she and her sister, the Marchioness of Antrim, had jointly inherited as co-heiresses of their brother Redmond, Viscount Mountmorres;
Mary; Letitia.
Mr Pratt was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOSEPH PRATT JP (1775-1863), of Cabra Castle, Colonel of Militia, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1799, who espoused firstly, in 1806, Jemima Roberta, daughter of Sir James Stratford Tynte Bt, of Tynte Park, and by her had issue,
MERVYN, his heir;
Joseph Tynte;
Walter Caulfeild;
Fitzmaurice Caldwell Tynte;
Hannah, Sarah Emily Tynte; Elizabeth Martha.
Colonel Pratt wedded secondly, in 1826, Nicola Sophia, widow of Claudius William Cole-Hamilton, of Kingscourt, County Meath, but by her had no issue.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

MERVYN PRATT JP DL (1807-90), of Cabra Castle, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1841, County Mayo, 1843, and County Meath, 1875, who espoused, in 1834, Madeline Eglantine, only daughter and heir of Colonel William Jackson, of Enniscoe, County Mayo, and had issue,
JOSEPH, his heir;
Louisa Catherine Hannah; Madeline Caroline Mary; Jemima Roberta Emily Tynte.
Mr Pratt was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOSEPH PRATT JP DL (1843-1929), of Enniscoe, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1874, and County Mayo, 1876, who married, in 1870, Charlotte Eliza, only daughter of James Hamilton, of Cornacassa, County Monaghan, and had issue,
Audley Charles (1874-1917);
Eglantine Madeline Georgina, died in infancy.
Mr Pratt was succeeded by his eldest son,

MAJOR MERVYN PRATT DSO JP (1873-1950), of Cabra Castle and Enniscoe.

Major Pratt was badly wounded in the Boer War and never married.

He lived permanently at Enniscoe, County Mayo, and left Cabra Castle, County Cavan, unoccupied.

His younger brother, Colonel Audley Pratt, was killed in the 1st World war and was also a bachelor.

Major Pratt died at Enniscoe and bequeathed Cabra to his nearest male relative, Mervyn Sheppard, a Malayan Civil Servant.

ENNISCOE HOUSE, Castlehill, Ballina, County Mayo, seems to be a classical, late-Georgian house, though it incorporates a much earlier building.

Francis Jackson, an officer in Cromwell’s army, was granted land here in the 1650s.

Jackson first lived in Crossmolina Castle but he later built a house beside Lough Conn.

His great-grandson, George, built a tall, three-storey house over a basement in the 1740s, but this was subsequently incorporated into a later building.

The new house was built in the 1790s by George’s son, also called George (the family refer to them as George One and George Two), and it was literally wrapped around the earlier building, which is still easily identifiable today.

Works were largely completed when it was occupied and damaged during the French invasion in 1798.

Today Enniscoe is a two-storey house of five bays.

While externally plain, it contains some elegant late-Georgian plasterwork and a very beautiful elliptical staircase leading to an oval landing.

The large principal rooms have decorated cornices, and the original silk wallpaper survives in the drawing room, though the pale blue has faded to mushroom pink.

George Two’s granddaughter, Madeline Eglantine Jackson, married her cousin, Mervyn Pratt.

They inherited the estate in the 1830s, restored the neglected house and created a notable garden.

Their son, Joseph, and his wife Ina continued the work, however, fortuitously, there was insufficient money for further alterations so the house remains largely unaltered today.

Their unmarried son, Major Mervyn Pratt, lived here until 1950.

After his mother’s death the house was maintained and the garden became his life’s work.

Following Major Pratt's death in 1950 his cousin, Jack Nicholson, inherited Enniscoe.

Today it is the home of his daughter, Susan Kellett, and her son and daughter-in-law, DJ and Colette Kellett.

Select bibliography: Irish historic Houses Association.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Kilbride Manor


The family, which is of Scottish origin, settled in Ulster about 1650.

JOSEPH MOORE, of Bond's Glen, Killaloo, County Londonderry, married, in 1794, Anne, daughter of George Fletcher, of Tottenham, Middlesex, and had issue,
George Fletcher (1798-1886).
Mr Moore died in 1852, and was succeeded by his elder son,

JOSEPH SCOTT MOORE JP (1796-1884), of Manor Kilbride, near Blessington, County Wicklow, High Sheriff of County Wicklow, 1866, who wedded, in 1832, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Browne, of Ardwick, near Manchester, and had issue, an only child,

JOSEPH FLETCHER MOORE JP DL (1835-1916), of Manor Kilbride, Barrister, High Sheriff of County Wicklow, 1894, who espoused, in 1861, Jane, daughter of James Atkinson, of Longford Terrace, Monkstown, and New South Wales, Australia, and had issue,
Thomas Brown (1865-95);
JOSEPH SCOTT, of whom hereafter;
George Fletcher;
Nithsdale Carleton Atkinson;
James Maxwell;
Emily Elizabeth; Bertha Mary; Ada Catherine.
Mr Moore was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOSEPH SCOTT MOORE (1866-1950), of Manor Kilbride, Colonel, Army Service Corps, High Sheriff of County Wicklow, 1921, who married, in 1902, Violet Grace Hastings Wheler, only daughter of Charles Wheler Wheler, of Ledston Hall, Yorkshire.

KILBRIDE MANOR, County Wicklow, is a three-bay, two-storey, Tudor-Revival house of ca 1835.

It has a single-bay, two-storey gabled entrance bay, four-bay two-storey garden front, and three-bay single-storey wing leading to serve and outbuildings ranges.

The manor house is set back from the main road with gravel drives and paths, and landscaped grounds.

It has been the home of Cully family since the 1960s, and its large, sunny rooms afford wonderful views of the Wicklow Mountains as its backdrop.

The mansion is surrounded by 40 acres of private gardens and winding woodland paths, where guests can enjoy the private lake, stroll or fish along the banks of the river Brittas running through the grounds; or explore the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

Margaret Cully, the proprietor, is an accomplished host and enthusiastic gardener.