Saturday, 30 June 2018

Ferns Palace

The diocese of Ferns seems to have been established in 598 by St Edan.

During the prelacy of Bishop Grave, who was consecrated in 1600, the see of Leighlin, which had been for some time vacant, was united with Ferns.

His successors continued to be Bishops of Ferns and Leighlin from that period until 1836, when, on the death of the last bishop, Dr Elrington, both sees were annexed to the diocese of Ossory.

The diocese of is one of the five which constitute the ecclesiastical province of Dublin: it comprises a small part of County Wicklow and of Laois, and almost the whole of County Wexford.


THE PALACE, Ferns, County Wexford, was the seat of the Lord Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin until 1836, when the two dioceses were united to that of Ossory.

St Edan's episcopal palace was erected in 1785 by Bishop Cope, who died in 1787.

The building was finished by his successor, Bishop Preston.

This was a large, square, stone edifice, with a late-Georgian staircase in a side hall leading to the top storey.

Photo Credit: © Linenhall Library, Belfast

It was plundered and seriously damaged during the 1798 rebellion.

In 1834, Bishop Elrington carried out a number of additions to the design of Thomas Alfred Cobden, probably including the porch with its four Doric pilasters.

St Edan's was severely damaged in 1960 and finally demolished in 1976.

First published in December, 2015.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Lismore Castle

The noble family of CAVENDISH, of which two branches obtained dukedoms, laid the foundations of its greatness originally on the share of abbey lands, obtained, at the dissolution of the monasteries, by Sir William Cavendish, who had been gentleman usher to Cardinal Wolsey, and died in 1557; and subsequently, by the abilities and the good fortune of Elizabeth, his widow, who re-married George, Earl of Shrewsbury.
But though thence arose the exalted rank and extensive possessions enjoyed at present by the Cavendishes, be it not supposed that their remote ancestors were obscure.
Whether the first of the name who enjoyed the lordship of Cavendish, in Suffolk, was or was not the son of a member of the baronial family of GERNON, it is clearly ascertained that Sir John Cavendish was Chief Justice of the King's Bench, 1372-81.
WILLIAM, 4TH DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE, KG, eldest son of William, 3rd Duke, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, espoused, in 1748, Charlotte, Baroness Clifford, of Lanesborough, only daughter and heir of Richard, Earl of Burlington and Cork (by which union the barony of Clifford came into the Cavendish family).

In 1753, the 4th Duke and Duchess inherited the Lismore estate, located mainly in County Waterford.

The present Duke continues to own property in and around the town of Lismore, County Waterford, including Lismore Castle.

LISMORE CASTLE, County Waterford, is an impressive building of great historic importance, incorporating the fabric of various building projects dating primarily to the 17th and 19th centuries.

The remains of medieval fabric to some towers confirm the archaeological significance of the site.

The castle forms a dominant landmark feature in the centre of Lismore, the range to the north looming over the River Blackwater; while the various battlemented towers and turrets ornament the skyline, and are visible from some distance.
Well maintained, the castle retains most of the original fabric throughout, both to the exterior and to the interior, while internal schemes, including the Great Hall completed to the designs of John Gregory Crace (1809-89) and Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-52), incorporate features of artistic design importance, together with open timber roof constructions of technical interest.
The Castle has been visited by renowned dignitaries, and has played a central role in the development and historic events of the locality.

It comprises a multiple-bay, two, three, four and five-storey rubble stone edifice, reconstructed in 1849, on a complex quadrangular plan about a courtyard incorporating fabric of earlier rebuilding in 1812.
The original castle of 1612 contains medieval fabric throughout, comprising a single-bay, five-stage entrance tower on a square plan having shallow segmental-headed carriageway, single-bay three-stage flanking tower to west on a square plan, four-bay two-storey range to east extending into single-bay three-stage corner tower to south-east on a square plan having single-bay four-stage turret to south, and three-bay two-storey range to west.
Its construction is complex and further reading can easily be obtained elsewhere.

It is set back from the road in own grounds, forming a demesne with gravel courtyard to the centre of buildings.

Landscaped grounds are to the north, falling down to the River Blackwater.

First published in April, 2012.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Edgeworthstown House


In the reign of ELIZABETH I, about 1563, two brothers,

EDWARD and FRANCIS EDGEWORTH, went to Ireland, probably under the patronage of Essex and Cecil, as those names have since continued in the family.

The elder brother,

THE RIGHT REV DR EDWARD EDGEWORTH, who was beneficed by Her Majesty, was appointed Lord Bishop of Down and Connor, 1593.

He died without issue, and was succeeded by his brother,

FRANCIS EDGEWORTH, Clerk of the Hanaper, 1619, who married Jane, daughter of Edward Tuite, and sister of Sir Edmond Tuite, and by her (who founded an Irish convent near St Germain, near Paris) had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Anne; Mary; Margaret.
He died in 1625, and was succeeded by his only son,

CAPTAIN JOHN EDGEWORTH, of Cranallagh Castle, County Longford, High Sheriff of County Longford, 1646, MP, 1646-9, who wedded firstly, Anne, daughter of Sir Hugh Culme, of Cloughoughter Castle, County Cavan, by whom he had a son,
JOHN, his heir.
He espoused secondly, Mrs Bridgman, widow of Edward Bridgman, brother to Sir Orlando Bridgman, the Lord Keeper.

Captain Edgeworth was succeeded by his only son,

SIR JOHN EDGEWORTH (1638-c1700), MP for St Johnstown (Longford), 1661-99, knighted by CHARLES II, 1672, who married firstly, Mary, only daughter and heir of Edward Bridgman, and acquired with her an estate in Lancashire, besides a considerable fortune in money, and had by her six sons.

By his second wife, Anne, he had three sons and two daughters.

Among his issue were,
FRANCIS, his heir;
Robert, ancestor of EDGEWORTH of Kilshrewly;
Henry, of Lissard;
Essex (Rev), of Templemichael.
The eldest son,

COLONEL FRANCIS EDGEWORTH (1657-1709), of Edgeworthstown, MP for Longford Borough, 1703-9, raised a regiment for WILLIAM III.

He wedded firstly, Dorothy, daughter of Hugh Culme, of County Cavan, by whom he had a son, Francis, who died unmarried; and secondly, Dorothy, daughter of Sir Charles Hamilton Bt, of Castle Hamilton, County Cavan, and had a son, John, who dsp, and a daughter, Francelina.

Colonel Edgeworth espoused thirdly, Mary, widow of John Bradstone, and had a son and successor,

RICHARD EDGEWORTH (1701-70), of Edgeworthstown, High Sheriff of County Longford, 1742, MP for Longford Borough, 1737-60, who married, in 1731, Rachel Jane, daughter of Sir Salathiel Lovell, of Harleston, Northamptonshire, and had issue,
Mary; Margaret.
Mr Edgeworth was succeeded by his only son,

RICHARD LOVELL EDGEWORTH (1744-1817), of Edgeworthstown, MP for St Johnstown, 1798-1800, born at Bath, the celebrated writer on education and inventions.

By four wives he was father of no less than twenty-two children.

Mr Edgeworth was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

LOVELL EDGEWORTH JP DL (1775-1842), of Edgeworthstown, High Sheriff of County Longford, 1819, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his half-brother,

CHARLES SNEYD EDGEWROTH DL (1786-1864), of Edgeworthstown, who married, in 1813, Henrica, daughter of John Broadhurst, of Foston Hall, Derbyshire, which lady dsp 1846.

He dsp 1864, and was succeeded by his nephew,

ANTONIO EROLES EDGEWORTH JP DL (1842-1911), of Edgeworthstown, High Sheriff of County Longford, 1890, who wedded, in 1874, Françoise, daughter of Colonel Delcher, of the French Service, and dsp 1911.

Mr Edgeworth was succeeded by his cousin,

FRANCIS YSIDRO EDGEWORTH (1845-1926), son of Richard Lovell Edgeworth and his fourth wife, Frances Ann Beaufort, of Edgeworthstown, who died unmarried.

EDGEWORTHSTOWN HOUSE, Edgeworthstown, County Longford, is an early 18th century mansion erected by Richard Edgeworth MP.

It comprises two storeys over a basement, with two adjoining fronts.

The entrance front has three bays between two tripe windows in the upper storey; while the adjoining front has a three-bay breakfront which rises above the roofline as a pedimented attic.

Richard Lovell Edgeworth enlarged and renovated the house after 1770, and added many ingenious devices, including leather straps to prevent doors banging, sideboards on wheels, and even a water-pump which automatically dispensed a halfpenny to beggars who worked it for half an hour.

Following Francis Ysidro Edgeworth's decease in 1926, Edworstown estate was inherited by Mrs C F Montagu (née Sanderson), whose mother was an Edgeworth.

Mrs Montagu sold it  to Bernard Noonan, who bequeathed it in 1947 to an order of nuns which used it as a nursing home.

The exterior of the house was subsequently greatly altered; and the interior was gutted and rebuilt.

Archdale of Castle Archdale


The earliest reference to the Archdale family relates to Sir Edward Archdale of Norsom, Norfolk, and Macclesfield, Cheshire, who lived during the reigns of HENRY IV and HENRY V, and fought at the battle of Agincourt in 1415.

The first of the family to settle in Ulster, during the reign of ELIZABETH I, was 

JOHN ARCHDALE (1578-1621), of Darsham, Suffolk, who married Katherine, eldest daughter of Sir William Temple, provost of Trinity College, Dublin.

In 1612, this John was granted 1,000 acres of land in County Fermanagh as part of the plantation of Ulster.

This gentleman, by the inscription over the gateway in the ruinous castle, appears to have erected the old mansion-house of Archdale.

By his wife he had, among other issue, two sons,
EDWARD, his heir;
John (Rev), Vicar of Lusk, County Dublin.
Mr Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD ARCHDALE, who espoused Angel, daughter of Sir Paul Gore Bt (ancestor of the Gores, Earls of Ross etc) and had issue.

During his time, the castle which his father had erected was taken and burned by the rebels under Sir Phelim O'Neill, in 1641, and only two children of a numerous family survived.

One, a daughter, who was absent and married; the other, an infant son, WILLIAM, preserved by the fidelity of his nurse, an Irish Roman Catholic, which

WILLIAM ARCHDALE JP, of old Castle Archdale, after succeeding to the estates, married, in 1677, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Mervyn, of Omagh Castle and Trillick, both in County Tyrone, and had two sons and a daughter, namely,
MERVYN, his heir;
EDWARDheir to his brother;
ANGEL, heiress to her brother.
He was succeeded by his elder son,

MERVYN ARCHDALE, of Castle Archdale, County Fermanagh, who died unmarried in 1726 and was succeeded by his brother,

EDWARD ARCHDALE (1694-1728), of Castle Archdale, a captain in Sir Gustavus Hume's Regiment of Dragoons, and High Sheriff, 1722.

This gentleman married firstly, in 1728, Frances, daughter of Sir John Caldwell Bt; and secondly, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Cole, of Florence Court.

Dying without issue, however, before 1730, the estates devolved on his only sister,

ANGEL ARCHDALE (c1688-1745), of Castle Archdale, who thus became heiress and representative of the family, when the spelling of her surname changed to ARCHDALL.

She espoused NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY, of Derrygonnelly, County Fermanagh, MP for County Fermanagh, 1761-1802, who assumed the surname and arms of ARCHDALL, and left, at her decease, an only son,

COLONEL MERVYN ARCHDALL JP MP (1725-1813), of Castle Archdale, and of Trillick, County Tyrone, who married, in 1762, Mary, daughter of William, 1st Viscount Carlow, and sister of John, 1st Earl of Portarlington, and had issue,
MERVYN, his heir;
WILLIAM, succeeded his brother;
EDWARD, succeeded his brother;
Mary; Angel; Martha Caroline; Anna; Catherine; Elizabeth; Sidney; Wilhelmina Henrietta.
Colonel Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,

GENERAL MERVYN ARCHDALL (1763-1839), of Castle Archdale, and of Trillick, County Tyrone, who wedded, in 1805, Jane, daughter of Gustavus Rochfort MP, of Rochfort, County Westmeath.

General Archdale was returned for the tenth time for Fermanagh at the general election of 1832.

He resigned on account of ill-health in 1834; and died of a stroke in 1839, when he was remembered as ‘a gallant soldier, a good landlord, a kind friend and a staunch Conservative’.

By his will, dated 28 Sept. 1829, he made provision for his relations, including his ‘reputed’ children Henry and Jane Grey, but left his residual estate to his brother,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WILLIAM ARCHDALL (1768-1857), of Castle Archdale and Trillick, wedded Mary, daughter of James Clarke, in an issueless marriage, and was succeeded by his brother,

EDWARD ARCHDALL JP DL (1775-1864), of Riversdale, County Fermanagh, High Sheriff of Fermanagh, 1813, who espoused, in 1809, Matilda, daughter of William Humphrys, and had issue,
MERVYN EDWARD, his heir;
WILLIAM HUMPHRYS, succeeded his brother;
HENRY MONTGOMERY (Rev), succeeded his brother;
Nicholas Montgomery, of Riversdale and Crocknacrieve; father of 1st Baronet;
Ensign John;
Hugh Montgomery;
Audley Mervyn;
James Mervyn;
Richmal Magnall;
Mary; Letitia; Matilda.
Mr Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,

MERVYN EDWARD ARCHDALE JP DL (1812-95), of Castle Archdale and Trillick, MP for Fermanagh, 1834-74, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1879, who married, Emma Inez, daughter of Jacob Goulding, and had issue,
Mervyn Henry, m Mary de Bathe and had issue;
Hugh James (brigadier-general), 1854-1921;
Georgina Emma Matilda; Blanche Mary Mervyn; Evelyn Jane.
The spelling of the surname of this branch reverted thereafter to ARCHDALE.

Mr Archdale's younger brother,

WILLIAM HUMPHRYS ARCHDALE JP (1813-99), of Castle Archdale, Riversdale, and Trillick, MP for Fermanagh, 1874-85, wedded firstly, in 1845, Emily Mary Rebecca, daughter of the Rev and Hon John Charles Maude, in a childless marriage; and secondly, in 1894, Matilda Mary, daughter of William Alley, though the marriage was without issue.

His younger brother,

THE REV HENRY MONTGOMERY ARCHDALE (1818-98), Rector of Trory, 1847-76, wedded, in 1848, Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of James Blackwood-Price, and had issue,
EDWARD, his heir;
Henry Dawson, died young;
James Blackwood;
Audley Mervyn;
GEORGE, of Dromard, Kesh; father of
Elizabeth; Richmal Magnall; Sarah Blackwood; Matilda Humphrys.
The Rev Henry Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON EDWARD ARCHDALE JP DL (1850-1916), of Castle Archdale and Trillick, Privy Counsellor, Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, 1913, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1902, who espoused, in 1908, Elizabeth, daughter of Nicholas Harwood, though the marriage was without issue.

He was succeeded by his brother,

JAMES BLACKWOOD ARCHDALE JP DL (1853-1936), of Castle Archdale and Trillick, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1921, and County Fermanagh, 1923, who married, in 1886, Elizabeth, daughter of George May, and had issue, a son,

HENRY BLACKWOOD ARCHDALE (1887-1939), of Castle Archdale and Trillick, who wedded, in 1921, Dorothy Audley, daughter of William Audley Mervyn, though the marriage was without issue.

He was succeeded by his cousin,

MERVYN HENRY DAWSON ARCHDALE JP DL (1904-68), of Ashburton, New Zealand, and of Castle Archdale, High Sheriff, 1944, married Wilhelmina Rachael, daughter of John Castle, and had issue,
Denis Theodore.
Mr Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,


First published in March, 2012.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Ballinacourty House


The first of this noble family that settled in Ireland was
GENERAL HUGH MASSY, who had a military command to repress the rebellion of 1641.
The family of Massy derive their name from the town and ancient lordship of Massy, in Normandy, their place of residence at the time Normandy was conquered by Rollo, 1st Duke of Normandy, in the year 876, at which period they were styled lords of Massy.
HAMON DE MASSEY was created one of the eight temporal peers of Chester, by the title of Baron of  Dunham Massey, by Hugh Lupus, earl palatine of that county.
The General married Margaret Percy, and had a son,

HUGH MASSY, of Duntrileague, County Limerick, who wedded Amy, daughter of John Benson, and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
CHARLES (Very Rev), Dean of Limerick, ancestor of the Massy Baronets;
Margaret; Amy.
The eldest son,

COLONEL HUGH MASSY, of Duntrileague, born in 1685, married Elizabeth, daughter of the Rt Hon George Evans, and had issue,
HUGH, of whom we treat;
George (Ven), Archdeacon of Ardfert;
John, killed in a duel;
Godfrey, in holy orders;
William, m Mary, daughter of Eyre Evans, of Portrane;
Mary; Amy; Elizabeth; Catherine.
The eldest son,

HUGH MASSY, born in 1700, having represented County Limerick in several parliaments, was elevated to the peerage, in 1776, as BARON MASSY, of Duntrileague, County Limerick.

His lordship espoused firstly, Mary, daughter and heir of James Dawson, of Ballinacourty, County Tipperary, and had issue,
Hugh, his heir;
JAMES, of whom we treat;
His lordship's second son,

THE HON JAMES MASSY, born in 1736, assumed the additional surname of DAWSON after that of MASSY.

This gentleman married Mary, daughter of John Leonard, and left a son and two daughters, namely,
JAMES HEWITT, of whom presently;
Mr Massy-Dawson's only son,

JAMES HEWITT MASSY-DAWSON (1779-1834), of Ballinacourty, MP for Clonmel, 1820-30, married, in 1800, Eliza Jane, daughter of Francis Dennis, and had issue,
JAMES, (1802-37), died unmarried;
John, in holy orders;
Charles, in the army;
GEORGE STAUNTON KING, of whom hereafter;
Mary; Anna; Elizabeth; Isabella; Louisa; Adelaide; Helena.
Mr Massy-Dawson's youngest son,

GEORGE STAUNTON KING MASSY-DAWSON JP DL (1816-97), of Ballinacourty, High Sheriff of County Tipperary, 1854, espoused firstly, in 1854, Grace Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Edward Leeson, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
GEORGE HENRY EDWARD, succeeded his brother;
Maira; Grace; Louisa.
He married secondly, in 1869, Harriett Sophia, daughter of Walter Steele; and thirdly, in 1893, Eliza, daughter of the Rev James Rynd.

Mr Massy-Dawson was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES MASSY-DAWSON (1857-91), who wedded, in 1886, Alice Matilda Jones, though the marriage was without issue, and he was succeeded by his brother,

GEORGE HENRY EDWARD MASSY-DAWSON JP (1864-1916), of Ballinacourty, who wedded, in 1894, Rosalie Margaretta, daughter of Jean Hunziker, though the marriage was without issue.


JOHN DAWSON, of Sutterby, Lincolnshire, at the time of the Rebellion, actively employed himself in the service of CHARLES I, and therein raised a troop of horse, under the command of William, Marquess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (afterwards 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne).

This gentleman later followed the fortunes of CHARLES II and eventually retired into Ireland, applying himself to the practice of the Law, wherein he omitted no fit opportunity to advance the interest and restoration of his royal master.

The services of Mr Dawson were not unrewarded:
On the re-establishment of the monarchy, he received from the crown, in 1666, a grant of land in County Tipperary exceeding 2,900 acres, including the castle of Ballinacourty.
In 1703, James Dawson, of Ballinacourty, purchased land in the baronies of Coonagh and Clanwilliam, County Limerick, and Clanwilliam, County Tipperary, part of the confiscated estate of JAMES II.

BALLINACOURTY HOUSE, at the Glen of Aherlow, County Tipperary, originally the home of the Dawson family, passed by marriage to the Massy family, thereby becoming the seat of the Massy-Dawsons in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This was a plain, two-storey, cut-stone house with a polygonal, pyramidal-roofed tower; since demolished.

The Rev John Massy-Dawson occupied Ballinacourty from his father's death until his own death in 1850.

The original house was destroyed during the troubles in 1922, and became ruinous by the mid 20th century.

The old stable block has been converted into a guest-house and restaurant. 

Massy arms courtesy of European Heraldry.    First published in April, 2012.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Lawderdale House


WILLIAM LAWDER, of West Barns, Dunbar, Haddingtonshire, younger son of Sir Robert Lauder of the Bass, and Isabella, his wife, daughter of John, 1st Lord Hay of Yester, married Jonet Liddell, and had issue,
MAURICE, his heir;
Mr Lawder died in 1556, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

MAURICE LAWDER, of Balhaven and West Barns, Bailie of Dunbar, 1561, MP for Dunbar, 1585, who wedded firstly, Nichola Home, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Jonet; Helen; Margaret; Nichola.
He espoused secondly, Margaret Hamilton, who dsp 1580; and thirdly, Alison Cass, by whom he had issue,
Jonet; Isobel.
Mr Lawder died in 1602, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM LAWDER, of Belhaven and West Barns, Bailie of Dunbar, 1602, who married firstly, Elizabeth Hepburn, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
He wedded secondly, Margaret, daughter of James Hume, of Friarlands, Dunbar, and had issue,
Mr Lawder died in 1618, at Clonyen, Killeshandra, County Cavan, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER LAWDER, of Balhaven, West Barns and Clonyen, who espoused Katherine Pringle, and had issue,
GEORGE, his heir;
Mr Lawder died in 1631, and was succeeded by his only son,

GEORGE LAWDER, of Balhaven, West Barns, Haddingtonshire, and Mount Lawder, County Cavan, who married firstly, Elspeth Lawder, and had issue,
He wedded secondly, Agnes Bothwell, and had issue,
James, of West Barns;
Mr Lawder espoused thirdly, Isobel ________, and had issue,
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
Mr Lawder died in 1649.

His third son,

WILLIAM LAWDER, of Bawnboy and Drumalee, County Cavan, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1681, was, with his nephew Launcelot, attainted by the parliament assembled by JAMES II at Dublin in 1689.

He married Dorothy Trench, and had issue,
FREDERICK, of whom hereafter;
Mr Lawder's second son,

FREDERICK LAWDER, of Cor, County Cavan, High Sheriff of County Leitrim, 1705, wedded Rebecca, daughter of David Rynd, of Derryvolan, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
FREDERICK, of whom we treat;
The third son,

FREDERICK LAWDER, of Mough (or Lawderdale) House, County Leitrim, espoused, in 1744, Rebecca, daughter of Christopher Rynd, of Fenagh, County Leitrim, and had issue,
RYND, his heir;
Deborah; Phœbe; Rebecca.
The eldest son,

RYND LAWDER (1746-1811), of Mough House, married Mary, daughter of John Beatty, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Frederick, settled in the USA;
Rynd, surgeon, 7th Hussars;
James, surgeon, East India Company;
William Henry;
Rebecca; Maria; Marcella; Margaret.
The eldest son,

JOHN LAWDER (1776-1853), of Mough, wedded, in 1816, Ellen, daughter of Matthew Nesbitt, of Derrycarne, County Leitrim, and had issue,
Rynd, dsp;
MATTHEW NESBITT (Rev), succeeded his brother William;
John, dsp;
James, dsp;
WILLIAM, of whom next;
Ellen; Margaret.
The fifth son,

WILLIAM LAWDER JP DL (1824-76), of Mough, succeeded his father and changed the name of his residence to Lawderdale.

Mr Lawder died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

THE REV MATTHRE NESBITT LAWDER (1820-81), of Lawderdale, who espoused, in 1848, Anne, daughter of John Gumley, though the marriage was without issue, and he was succeeded by his cousin,

JAMES ORMSBY LAWDER JP DL (1847-), of Lawderdale, High Sheriff of County Leitrim, 1909, who married, in 1872, Jane Eliza, daughter of the Rev Edwin Thomas, Vicar of Carlingford, County Louth, and had issue,
Violet; Pearl Edith.
The only son and heir,

CECIL EDWARD LAWDER, born in 1877, Lieutenant, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, wedded, in 1909, Violet Wood, second daughter of J Basden Orr, of Kelvinside, Glasgow.

LAWDERDALE HOUSE, Ballinamore, County Leitrim, is a plain two-storey, three-bay house, built ca 1850, with a gabled projecting entrance bay.

A hipped, corrugated-iron roof with brick and ashlar chimneystacks, bargeboards and a tower, were built in 1983.

The walls are roughcast and cement rendered.

There are two-storey stone outbuildings to the rear yard.

A range to the east was built in 1875, abutted by a lean-to outbuilding built about 1980.

Walled garden to east of house.

Ruinous private chapel to adjacent field.

Part of the former estate is now the Lawderdale Furniture Company.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Derrycarne House


This family derives from a common ancestor with the noble house of GORE, Earls of Arran, the Earls of Ross, and the Barons Annaly; though more immediately from the Gore Baronets of Magherabegg.

WILLIAM GORE (1779-1860), of Porkington, Oswestry, Shropshire, and Woodford, County Leitrim, MP for County Leitrim, 1806-7, married, in 1815, Mary Jane, daughter and heiress of Owen Ormsby, of Willowbrook, County Sligo, whose name he assumed.

Mr Ormsby-Gore was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN RALPH ORMSBY-GORE (1816-76), who wedded, in 1844, Sarah, daughter of Sir John Tyssen Tyrrell Bt, of Boreham House, Essex.

Mr Ormsby-Gore was elevated to the peerage, in 1876, by the title of BARON HARLECH, of Harlech, in the County of Merioneth.

His lordship died without issue, and was succeeded by his brother,

WILLIAM RICHARD, 2nd Baron (1819-1904), MP for County Sligo, 1841-52,  MP for County Leitrim, 1858-76, High Sheriff of County Leitrim, 1857, who married, in 1850, Emily Charlotte, daughter of Admiral Sir George Francis Seymour, and had issue,
William Seymour, died in infancy;
GEORGE RALPH CHARLES, his successor;
Henry Arthur;
Seymour Fitzroy;
Mary Georgina; Emily.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

GEORGE RALPH CHARLES, 3rd Baron (1855-1938), KCB TD JP, High Sheriff of County Leitrim, 1885, who espoused, in 1881, the Lady Ethel Margaret Gordon, daughter of Charles, 10th Marquess of Huntly, and had issue, an only child,

WILLIAM GEORGE ARTHUR, 4th Baron (1885-1964),
  • Jasset David Cody Ormsby-Gore, 7th Baron (b 1986).
The 3rd Baron was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Leitrim, from 1904 until 1922.

DERRYCARNE HOUSE, near Dromod, County Leitrim, was built ca 1800 on a promontory in the River Shannon between Lough Boderg and Lough Bofin.

It was of two storeys with a three-bay, bow-ended, late-Georgian front with Wyatt windows and an enclosed Doric porch.

The house itself had thirty rooms: kitchen, bedrooms, sculleries, library and armoury room ( which later was turned into a hunting room ) and various other rooms.

It was built with three stories at the back with parapets around it, two towers and cellars, which were seven feet under the ground and were used for storing wine and growing mushrooms. 

It also had a two-bay castellated wing extending back at right-angles.

The gardens surrounding the house contained two acres of vegetables and flowers.

The house faced the River Shannon and was in an ideal position to control the river.

The 2nd Lord Harlech purchased Derrycarne in 1858.

Buying Derrycarne was very important to him at that time as he had ceased to be MP for Sligo and was looking for a new political base.

He was known to be a good landlord.

Lord Harlech and his family lived at Willowbrook, County Sligo, before he lived at Annaduff as he had been MP for Sligo from 1841-52.

The family kept their estates in County Leitrim until 1924.

Lord Harlech did not want to sell his lands but increasing pressure at that time from the tenants for land of their own and the fact that many other large estate houses had been burned down led him to believe that he should not keep the land any longer.

Derrycarne changed hands again several times before being acquired by the Irish Land Commission in 1952.

The house was demolished shortly thereafter.

First published in January, 2012.  Harlech arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Rokeby Hall


GRACE ROBINSON (1718-76), youngest daughter of Thomas Robinson, of Rokeby, Yorkshire, and sister of Sir Thomas Robinson, 1st Baronet,  and of the Most Rev Richard Robinson, Lord Archbishop of Armagh (created BARON ROKEBY), married, in 1739, the Very Rev Dr William Freind, of Whitney, Oxfordshire, Dean of Canterbury, and had, with other issue,
William Maximilian;
JOHN, of whom we treat;
The youngest son,

JOHN FREIND (1754-1832), who assumed, in 1793, his maternal surname of ROBINSON.

Mr Robinson was created a baronet in 1819, denominated of Rokeby Hall.

This gentleman wedded, in 1786, Mary Anne, second daughter of James Spencer, of Rathangan, County Kildare, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
Henry James;
Robert Spencer (Admiral Sir), KCB;
Jane; Louisa; Charlotte; Mary Anne; Henrietta; Grace Alicia; Emily;
Caroline; Frances; Sophia; Selina; Isabella Esther.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD ROBINSON, 2nd Baronet (1787-1847), who espoused, in 1813, the Lady Eleanor Helena Moore, daughter of Stephen, 2nd Earl Mount Cashell, and had issue,
JOHN STEPHEN, his successor;
Helena Esther Florence; Elizabeth Selina.
Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN STEPHEN ROBINSON, 3rd Baronet (1816-95), JP DL, High Sheriff of County Louth, 1849, who married, in 1841, Sarah, only daughter of Anthony Denny, of Barham Wood, Hertfordshire, and granddaughter of the celebrated Lord Collingwood, and had issue,
Richard Collingwood;
Maud Helena Collingwood.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR GERALD WILLIAM COLLINGWOOD ROBINSON, 4th Baronet (1857-1903), who was succeeded by his nephew,

SIR RICHARD HARCOURT ROBINSON (1828-1910), Lieutenant-Colonel, 60th Rifles, who died without male issue, when the baronetcy expired.

ROKEBY HALL, Dunleer, County Louth, is a mansion built in the neo-classical style ca 1785 for the Most Rev Richard Robinson, Lord Archbishop of Armagh (later 1st Baron Rokeby).

The original design of the house was probably by Thomas Cooley.

Rokeby Hall comprises two storeys over a rusticated basement.

There are two bays on either side of the central pedimented feature, which is of three bays.

The pediment apex is adorned with Lord Rokeby's coat-of-arms.

This elegant and noble house is topped by a high roof parapet.

The front is constructed with a fine, crisp ashlar; and the steps leading up to the front door curve elegantly, too.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Castlerea House


THEOPHILUS SANDFORD, descended from a good family in Yorkshire, obtained grants of land in Ireland for his services during the civil wars, as a captain in Reynolds' regiment.

He settled at Castlerea, County Roscommon; and from him lineally descended

COLONEL HENRY SANDFORD, of Castlerea, MP for Roscommon Borough, 1692-1713, who married, in 1692, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rt Hon Robert FitzGerald, and was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

ROBERT SANDFORD, MP for County Roscommon, 1768-76, who wedded, in 1717, Henrietta, second daughter of William, 3rd Earl of Inchiquin, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
Robert, major-general, Governor of Galway;
Mr Sandford died in 1777, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY SANDFORD (1719-97), MP for Roscommon County, 1741-5, who married, in 1750, Sarah, eldest daughter of Stephen, 1st Viscount Mount Cashell, and had issue,
HENRY MOORE, of whom we treat;
William (Rev); father of HENRY, 2nd Baron;
GEORGE, 3rd Baron;
Mr Sandford was succeeded by his eldest son, 

HENRY MOORE SANDFORD (1751-1814), MP for Roscommon Borough, 1776, 1791-99, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1800, as BARON MOUNT SANDFORD, of Castlerea, County Roscommon, with remainder, in default of male issue, to his brothers and their male descendants.

His lordship espoused, in 1780, Catherine, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Silver Oliver, of Castle Oliver, County Limerick; but dying childless, in 1814, the barony devolved, according to the limitation, upon his nephew,

HENRY, 2nd Baron (1805-28), MP for Roscommon, 1745; who, being brutally slain in a riot at Windsor, and dying unmarried, 1828, the barony reverted to his uncle,

GEORGE, 3rd Baron (1756-1846), MP for Roscommon, 1783-97.

The title became extinct in 1846 following the death of the 3rd Baron.

CASTLEREA HOUSE, near Castlerea, County Roscommon, was a large 17th century (ca 1640) block of three storeys over a basement, with 19th century wings of two storeys over a basement.

The main block of seven bays was plain; while the wings had balustraded parapets.

The three-bay side of the left wing served as the entrance front.

The house is now demolished and the demesne serves as a public park.

Mount Sandford arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in January, 2012.

House of Stewart

This branch of the noble house of STEWART claims a common ancestor with the Earls of Galloway; namely, Sir William Stewart, of Garlies, from whose second son, Sir Thomas Stewart, of Minto.

WILLIAM STEWART, of Ballylawn Castle, County Donegal (great-grandson of John Stewart, who had a grant from CHARLES I of Stewart's Court Manor, where he erected Ballylawn Castle), took an active part in Ulster affairs in order to prevent the subversion of the constitution, which JAMES II and his chief governor, the Earl of Tyrconnell, were attempting to effect.

He raised a troop of horse at his own expense when the city of Londonderry was occupied, and actively promoted the Protestant interest there by protecting those who were favourably disposed to WILLIAM III.

Mr Stewart was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the regiment commanded by Sir William Stewart, Viscount Mountjoy.

He married the daughter of William Stewart, of Fort Stewart, County Donegal (grandson of the Rt Hon Sir William Stewart Bt, whose descendant was created Baron Stewart of Ramelton and Viscount Mountjoy), and died leaving issue, a daughter,

MARTHA, who wedded John Kennedy, of Cultra, County Down; and two sons, of whom

THOMAS KENNEDY, the eldest, succeeded at Ballylawn Castle, and served as a captain in Lord Mountjoy's regiment.

He espoused Mary, second daughter of Bernard Ward (ancestor of the Viscounts Bangor), by Mary, sister of the Rt Rev Michael Ward, Lord Bishop of Derry; and dying without issue, 1740, was succeeded by his only brother,

ALEXANDER STEWART (1699-1781), who represented the city of Londonderry in parliament, and purchased the estate of MOUNT STEWART, County Down, from the Colville family.

He married, in 1737, his cousin Mary, only daughter of Alderman John Cowan, of Londonderry (by Anne Stewart, second daughter of Alexander Stewart, of Ballylawn Castle, and sister and sole heir of Sir Robert Cowan, Governor of Bombay), and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
William, died in infancy;
John, 1744-62;
Anne; Frances; Mary.
The eldest son,

ROBERT STEWART (1739-1821), of Ballylawn Castle, County Donegal, and of Mount Stewart, County Down, who, having represented the latter county in parliament, and having been sworn a member of the Privy Council, was elected to the Irish peerage, in 1789, as Baron Londonderry.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1795, as Viscount Castlereagh and, in 1796, Earl of Londonderry.

His lordship was further advanced, in 1816, to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY.

His lordship wedded firstly, in 1766, the Lady Sarah Frances Seymour-Conway, second daughter of Francis, 1st Marquess of Hertford, and had issue,
Alexander Francis, 1767-9;
ROBERT, his successor.
He wedded secondly, in 1775, the Lady Frances Pratt, eldest daughter of Charles, 1st Earl Camden, and had issue,
CHARLES WILLIAM, 3rd Marquess;
Alexander John, 1783-1800;
Thomas Henry, 1790-1810;
Frances Anne; Elizabeth Mary; Caroline; Georgiana;
Selina Sarah Juliana; Matilda Charlotte; Emily Jane; Catharine Octavia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 2nd Marquess (1769-1822), KG, GCH, PC.
The heir presumptive is his brother Lord Reginald Alexander Vane-Tempest-Stewart (b. 1977).
The heir presumptive's heir is his son Robin Gabriel Vane-Tempest-Stewart (b 2004).
Former seats ~ Mount Stewart, County Down; Wynyard Park, County Durham; Seaham Hall, near Stockton-on-Tees.

Former London residence ~ Londonderry House, Park Lane.

First published in March, 2012.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Donamon Castle


THE REV AND HON CHARLES CAULFEILD (1686-1768), Rector of Donaghenry, County Tyrone, second son of William, 2nd Viscount Charlemont, married Alice, daughter of John Houston, and had issue,
JOHN, of whom we treat;
The younger son,

COLONEL JOHN CAULFEILD, of Donamon Castle, County Roscommon, wedded Mary, daughter of Henry Irvine, and had issue,
ST GEORGE, his heir;
Colonel Caulfeild succeeded, in 1778, to the estates of his kinsman, ST GEORGE CAULFEILD, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, grandson of the Hon Thomas Caulfeild, of Donamon, youngest son of William, 2nd Baron Charlemont.

His only son and heir,

ST GEORGE CAULFEILD (1780-1810), of Donamon Castle, espoused, in 1802, Frances, daughter of Sir Edward Crofton, 2nd Baronet, and had issue,
Harriet; Frances Henrietta.
The only son and heir,

FRANCIS ST GEORGE CAULFEILD JP (1806-96), married, in 1830, Susannah Anne, daughter of Sir Edward Crofton, 3rd Baronet, and had issue,
Alfred Henry;
Emily Susan; Fanny Florence.
Mr Caulfeild was succeeded by his eldest son,

ST GEORGE FRANCIS ROBERT CAULFEILD, who wedded Louisa Ann, daughter of Thomas Russell Crampton, and had issue, an only child,

ALGERNON THOMAS ST GEORGE CAULFEILD JP (1869-1933), of Donamon Castle, County Roscommon, High Sheriff of County Roscommon, 1899.

DONAMON CASTLE, Roscommon, County Roscommon, is a 15th century castle with a lofty arch between its towers, similar to that at Bunratty Castle.

It was enhanced towards the end of the 18th century with sash windows and Gothic-Georgian battlements.

The Castle was enlarged and altered again the in middle of the 19th century.

In 1939 the Divine Word Missionaries came to Ireland and purchased the castle from the Irish Land Commission.

The Missionary Society constructed several new buildings to create a campus for training people before they went into the field.

The Castle itself is still their home in Ireland.

The training campus is now managed by the Irish Wheelchair Association as a holiday centre.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Geashill Castle


The original surname of this ancient family is said to have been TILTON, assumed from their residence at Tilton, Leicestershire; and the alteration is supposed to have taken place in 1256, when that abode was abandoned for Digby, Lincolnshire.

Almost two centuries later we find

SIR EVERARD DIGBY, filling the office of High Sheriff of Rutland, 1460, and representing that county in parliament.

Sir Everard fell at the battle of Towton, 1461, fighting under the banner of the unfortunate HENRY VI.

He married Jaquetta, daughter and co-heir of Sir John Ellis, of Devon, and left (with one daughter), seven sons, of whom the eldest were,
SIMON, of whom hereafter;
The second son,

SIR SIMON DIGBY, Knight, of Coleshill, Warwickshire, having contributed mainly, with his six valiant brothers, to the Earl of Richmond's success at Bosworth, was rewarded, after the accession of HENRY VII, with large grants of lands and lucrative public employments.

Sir Simon wedded Alice, daughter and heir of John Walleys, of East Radston, Devon; and dying in 1519, was succeeded by his elder son,

REGINALD DIGBY, of Coleshill, who espoused Anne, daughter and co-heir of John Danvers, of Calthorpe, Oxfordshire, and was succeeded by his son,

JOHN DIGBY, who married Anne, eldest daughter of Sir George Throckmorton, and was succeeded by his son,

GEORGE DIGBY (1550-87), of Coleshill, MP for Warwickshire, 1572-84, who wedded Abigail, daughter of Sir Anthony Heveningham, of Ketteringham, Norfolk, and had, with other issue,
ROBERT, his successor;
John, created EARL OF BRISTOL;
The son and heir,

SIR ROBERT DIGBY (1574-1618), MP for Warwickshire, 1601, who received that honour from Robert, Earl of Essex, at Dublin, 1596, represented the borough of Athy in parliament, 1613, and was called to the privy council.

He espoused Lettice, daughter and heir of Gerald, Lord Offaly, and granddaughter of Gerald, 11th Earl of Kildare, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Essex (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Dromore;
This Lettice was created Baroness Offaly for life, and brought into the Digby family the barony of Geashill, in the King's County.

Sir Robert was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT DIGBY (c1599-1642), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1620, as BARON DIGBY, of Geashill, King's County.

His lordship espoused the Lady Sarah Boyle, daughter of Richard, 1st Earl of Cork, and was succeeded, in 1642, by his son,

KILDARE, 2nd Baron, whose two elder sons,
ROBERT, 3rd Baron;
SIMON, 4th Baron.
Both brothers succeeded in turn to the barony, and dying without issue, a younger brother,

WILLIAM, 5th Baron (1661-1752), who married the Lady Jane Noel, daughter of Edward, 1st Earl of Gainsborough, and had issue (with eight daughters), four sons, viz.
John (c1687-1746);
Robert (c1692-1726);
Edward (c1693-1746), father of
EDWARD, 6th Baron;
His lordship was succeeded by his grandson,

EDWARD, 6th Baron (1730-57), who died unmarried, when the honours devolved upon his brother,

HENRY, 7th Baron (1731-93), who was created a peer of Great Britain, in 1765, as Baron Digby; and was advanced, in 1790, to the dignities of Viscount Coleshill and EARL DIGBY. 

His lordship married firstly, in 1763, Elizabeth, daughter of the Hon Charles Fielding, but by that lady had no surviving issue; and secondly, Mary, daughter and heir of John Knowler, of Canterbury, by whom he had,
EDWARD, his successor;
Robert, in holy orders;
Charlotte Maria; Elizabeth Theresa.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD, 2nd Earl (1773-1856), who died unmarried, when the Earldom expired and the Barony reverted to his cousin,

EDWARD ST VINCENT, 9th Baron (1809-89), who wedded, in 1837, the Lady Theresa Anna Maria Fox-Strangways, daughter of Henry, 2nd Earl of Ilchester, and had issue,
EDWARD HENRY TRAFALGAR, his successor;Almarus Kenelm;Everard Charles;Gerald FitzMaurice;Mary-Theresa; Victoria Alexandrina; Leonora Caroline.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, the Hon Edward St Vincent Kenelm Digby (b 1985).

GEASHILL, County Offaly, was developed by the Digbys as a planned estate village.

In 1887 Samuel Lewis described the village as containing 87 mostly thatched houses arranged around a triangular green.

Fairs were held on the 1st May, the 6th October and December, the latter being one of the largest pig markets in Ireland.

The 9th Baron carried out extensive improvements in the 1860s and 1870s, and many of the current buildings around the triangular green date from this time.

The Kings County Directory recorded that Lord Digby had "converted the village of Geashill into what it now is, one of the neatest, cleanest and best kept in Ireland."

At the Paris Exhibition of 1867, Lord Digby was awarded the bronze medal for models of the village he was building.

He was awarded the gold medal for three years by the Royal Agricultural Society, for improving the greatest number of cottages in the best manner in the province of Leinster.

The Digbys built Geashill Castle near the medieval tower house of the O'Dempseys, and afterwards of the Kildare FitzGeralds, who were also Barons of Offaly.

This dwelling passed to the Digbys through marriage of Sir Robert Digby to the heiress of the 11th Earl of Kildare.

The house was of seven bays with a recessed, three-bay centre, a high plain roof parapet and a lower wing at one side.

It was burnt in 1922.

Seats ~ Coleshill, Warwickshire; Sherborne Castle, Dorset; Geashill, County Offaly.

If any readers possess better photographs of Geashill Castle, I'd greatly appreciate it.

First published in January, 2012.   Digby arms courtesy of European Heraldry.