Thursday, 27 December 2018

Wood Stuart, Outfitter


When I was a lad at prep school the uniform was supplied by a shop called J Wood Stuart, 19 Howard Street, Belfast.

Their motto was for man and man junior.

I have unearthed a receipt dated the 3rd July, 1972, for the following:-

  • One Brackenber House blazer     @ £6.55
  • One B/H tie                                  @ £0.55
  • One B/H cap                                @ £0.95
  • Discount                                           £0.15
  • TOTAL                                             £7.90
According to my Bank of England inflation calculator, that is about £80 in today's money.

The young Brackenbrian in the image below must have been en route to or from a Games Day, because we wore shirts and ties.

A Brackenbrian wearing uniform

Incidentally, they weren't overly generous with the discount!

First published in August, 2011.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Kenneth Branagh

HONORARY BURGESS OF THE CITY OF BELFAST, 2018


Elected and admitted by the Council of the City of Belfast under the Municipal Privilege (Ireland) Act, 1875:-


SIR KENNETH CHARLES BRANAGH
Knight bachelor

In recognition of his "outstanding achievements and international status in drama and cinema, as an actor, director, producer and screenwriter".

Van Morrison

HONORARY BURGESS OF THE CITY OF BELFAST, 2013


Elected and admitted by the Council of the City of Belfast under the Municipal Privilege (Ireland) Act, 1875:-

SIR GEORGE IVAN (VAN) MORRISON, OBE
Knight Bachelor
Officer of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire 

In recognition of "the extraordinary contribution made to the City by [Sir] George Ivan ‘Van’ Morrison; achieving international acclaim over the last fifty years, he has portrayed a majestic image of Belfast and continues to inspire generations through his inspirational music." 

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Mary Peters

HONORARY BURGESS OF THE CITY OF BELFAST

Elected and admitted by the Council of the City of Belfast under the Municipal Privilege (Ireland) Act, 1875:-


LADY MARY ELIZABETH PETERS, LG CH DBE
Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter
Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour
Dame Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for the County Borough of Belfast, 2009-14

"Over the past 40 years she has served as an ambassador for Belfast across the world and has been tireless in her efforts to promote sport and the benefits it brings to young people,"

"Accordingly, in the recognition of this service, the council agrees that Dame Mary Peters is hereby elected and admitted as a Freeman of the City of Belfast."

Captain Dame Mary Peters CH DBE RNR in 2013

I'd like to express my personal delight and compliments to Lady Mary, a wonderful ambassador for Belfast and Northern Ireland.

First published in November, 2012.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Cathedral Donors

Inside Armagh's Anglican cathedral, a stained-glass window above the West Door displays the armorial bearings of the ten principal donors during the great 1834 restoration of the building, viz.

  • 1st Earl O'Neill KP PC; 
  • Sir Thomas Molyneux Bt; 
  • Samuel Blacker; 
  • Maxwell Close; 
  • James Wood; 
  • Elias Elsler; 
  • Thomas Keers; 
  • Roger Hall; 
  • R Livingstone; 
  • Sir William Verner Bt MP.

Could Lord O'Neill's act of beneficence have been meant as a kind of atonement?

In 1566, Shane O'Neill ‘utterly destroyed the Cathedral by fire, lest the English should again lodge in it’.

In 1641, it again became a target for the O'Neills, when Sir Phelim O'Neill burned it.
Sir Phelim, incidentally, met his timely fate in 1653, when he was caught and executed on the orders of William, 5th Baron Charlemont, for the murder of his brother Toby, the 3rd Baron.
Perhaps a more plausible explanation is that, as a Knight of St Patrick, Lord O'Neill was well acquainted with the Prelate of the Order, Lord John Beresford, Lord Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.

First published in May, 2013.

Friday, 21 December 2018

The Darnley Estate

THE EARLS OF DARNLEY WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MEATH, WITH 25,463 ACRES


JOHN BLIGH (c1617-66), a Citizen of London, the founder of this noble family, was employed as agent of the adventurers for the forfeited estates by the rebellion of 1641, and in that capacity arrived in Ireland during the usurpation of Cromwell, when he became an adventurer himself to a large extent.

Mr Bligh was returned for Athboy in the first parliament after the restoration.

He married Catherine, sister of the Rt Rev William Fuller, Lord Bishop of Lincoln, and was succeeded by his only son,

THE RT HON THOMAS BLIGH (1654-1710), of Rathmore, County Meath, MP for Rathboy, 1692-3, County Meath, 1695-1710, and of the Privy Council to QUEEN ANNE, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel James Naper, of Loughcrew, in the same county, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN BLIGH (1687-1728), MP for Trim, 1709-13, Athboy, 1713-21, who espoused, in 1713, the Lady Theodosia Hyde, then only daughter and heir of Edward, 3rd Earl of Clarendon, by Catherine, Baroness Clifton, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
JOHN, succeeded his brother;
Mary; Anne; Theodosia.
Mr Bligh was elevated to the peerage, in 1721, in the dignity of Baron Clifton, of Rathmore, and Viscount Darnley.

His lordship was further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1725, as EARL OF DARNLEY.

He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

EDWARD, 2nd Earl (1715-47), who had previously inherited the English barony of CLIFTON on the decease of his mother, 1722.

His lordship died unmarried, and the honours devolved upon his brother,

JOHN, 3rd Earl (1719-81), who espoused, in 1766, Mary, daughter and heir of John Stoyte, of Street, County Westmeath, barrister, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
Edward, General in the army;
William;
Mary; Theodosia; Catherine.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

JOHN, 4th Earl (1767-1831), who married, in 1791, Elizabeth, thgird daughter of the Rt Hon William Brownlow, of Lurgan, County Armagh, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
John Duncan;
Mary; Elizabeth.
This nobleman presented, in 1829, a petition to the King, claiming the dukedom of LENNOX, as heir of line of Charles, 6th Duke of Lennox and 4th Duke of Richmond, at whose death, in 1672, CHARLES II was served His Grace's heir.

As His Majesty's (legitimate) issue became extinct in 1807, with His Eminence the Cardinal Duke of York, and as that personage was the last heir male of the STUARTS, the Earl of Darnley put forward his claim as heir general, being descended from Catherine, sister of the 6th Duke.

The petition was referred to the House of Lords, but their lordships came to no decision about it.

His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

EDWARD, 5th Earl (1795-1835), who wedded, in 1825, Emma Jane, daughter of Sir Henry Parnell Bt, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
Edward Vesey;
another son;
Elizabeth Caroline; a daughter.
His lordship, Lord-Lieutenant of County Meath, was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 6th Earl (1827-96), Hereditary High Steward of Gravesend and Milton.
The heir apparent is the present holder's only son, Ivo Donald Bligh, styled Lord Clifton (b 1968).

Darnley Estate Office

During the 1641 Rebellion, the town of Athboy, County Meath, was captured by Owen Roe O'Neill.

With Cromwell and the collapse of the Rebellion, much of the land ownership passed to adventurers from England.

In 1694, the town's 'lands and commons' and several other denominations of land were erected into a manor and granted to Thomas Bligh, MP for Athboy, who had earlier purchased almost 3,000 acres in the area of Athboy.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Darnleys planned and carried out the development of Athboy, giving it the form which prevails today.

It was not until 1909, under the 1903 Wyndham Act, that Francis Walter, 8th Earl, auctioned the town of Athboy.


The Darnley estate office was finally closed in 1948.

Today the erstwhile Darnley estate office on the main street is the Darnley Lodge Hotel.

Cobham Hall

Former Seats - Cobham Hall, near Gravesend, Kent; Rathmore, County Meath.

Former London residence ~ 46 Berkeley Square, W1

First published in July, 2012.   Darnley arms courtesy of European Heraldry.