Sunday, 30 June 2019

Prince of Wales's Coronet

The coronet of the Prince of Wales, or, more properly, the demi-crown of the Heir Apparent to the throne, is composed of a circle of gold; on the edge, four crosses patée, between as many fleurs-de-lis; from the two centre crosses, an arch, surmounted with a mound and cross, the whole richly chased and adorned with pearls; within the coronet, a crimson cap, lined with white sarsnet, and turned up with ermine.

The original coronet of this design forms part of the crown jewels exhibited at the Tower of London.

The royal coronet made for Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1728, is a golden diadem, the band decorated with embossed jewel-like lozenges and ovals with foliate surrounds, on a matted ground, between rows of gold pearls.

Royal Collection © HM Queen Elizabeth II

Above the band are four gold crosses-pattée and four fleurs-de-lis, partly matted and chased.

The single arch dips deeply in the centre and supports a monde with gold pearls and a cross above, fitted with a purple velvet cap and ermine band.


The Investiture Coronet of the present Prince of Wales was designed by the architect and goldsmith Louis Osman (1914-96) and given to HM The Queen by the Goldsmith’s Company for His Royal Highness's Investiture at Carnarvon Castle, 1969.

It is 24 carat gold, with four crosses-pattée and four fleur-de-Lys made from a nugget of Welsh gold, reinforced with platinum and decorated with diamonds and emeralds. The orb mounted on the top of the arch was engraved by Malcolm Appleby with The Prince of Wales’s insignia.

This is surrounded by thirteen diamonds arranged as the constellation of Scorpio, The Prince of Wales’s star sign. The diamonds set horizontally represent the seven Gifts of God on one side and the seven deadly sins on the other.
First published in June, 2013.

Mount Kennedy House

THE GUN-CUNINGHAMES WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WICKLOW, WITH 10,479 ACRES

The pedigree of this family with alliances is fully set out in NISBET'S Heraldry, with authorities down to 1800.

SIR ROBERT DE CUNNINGHAME, Laird of Kilmaurs, living in 1350, had two sons, Sir William, ancestor of the Cunninghames, Earls of Glencairn; and SIR ANDREW DE CUNINGHAME, of Polmaise, ancestor of Drumquhassle, to whom DAVID II, King of Scotland, gave a grant of the lands of Pitkennedy, and whose descendent in the third generation,

ALEXANDER CUNINGHAME, Laird of Drumquhassle, married Margaret, daughter and co-heir of William Park, of that Ilk, by Margaret his wife, daughter of Allan, Lord Cathcart, and had issue,

JOHN CUNINGHAME, Laird of Drumquhassle, Master of the Household to JAMES VI, called the "Regent's Right Hand", as being the chief adviser of the Earl of Lennox.

He wedded Janet, eldest daughter and co-heir of James Cuninghame, of Polmaise, and had issue,
John, of Drumquhassle;
James, dsp;
ROBERT, of whom presently;
Janet; Margaret.
The third son,

ROBERT CUNINGHAME, of Drumbeg, served heir to his brother in 1644, espoused Elspeth, daughter of William Buchanan, of Ross and Portnellan, and had issue,
John;
WILLIAM.
The younger son,

WILLIAM CUNINGHAME, of Drumbeg, served heir to his brother, 1644, wedded Alice, daughter of John Buchanan, of Arnprior, and was father of

JOHN CUNINGHAME, of Bandalloch, who wedded Jean, daughter of William Weir, of the family of Blackwood, and had issue six sons, of whom the youngest,

COLONEL DAVID CUNINGHAME, of Seabegs, Fort-Major of Stirling Castle, 1745, married Margaret, daughter of J Callander, of Craigforth, and had issue,
ROBERT, of whom presently;
James, Lt-Gen in the army, etc;
Jean; Elizabeth; Anne.
The elder son,

GENERAL ROBERT CUNINGHAME (1726-1801), of Mount Kennedy, was elevated to the peerage, in 1796, in the dignity of BARON ROSSMORE, of Monaghan; and as he had no issue by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Murray, and co-heir of her mother, Mary, Dowager Lady Blayney, daughter and heir of Sir Alexander Cairnes Bt, the patent of creation contained a reversionary clause limiting the barony, at his lordship's decease, without male issue, to his wife's family: Firstly, to Henry A N Jones; secondly, to Warner William Westenra; and thirdly, to Henry Westenra.

Mr Jones and the Messrs Westenra were grandsons of the aforesaid Mary, Dowager Lady Blayney.

His lordship died in 1801, and Henry Alexander Nathaniel Jones having predeceased him unmarried, the title devolved upon

WARNER WILLIAM WESTENRA (1765-1842), as 2nd Baron; and his Wicklow estates, at the death of his widow, in 1825, on his niece, Jean Gordon, wife of George Gun, of Kilmorna, County Kerry, who having assumed the name and arms of CUNINGHAME by royal licence, in 1826 became

GEORGE GUN-CUNINGHAME, of Mount Kennedy. By Jean Gordon his wife he had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Anne; Matilda; Eliza; Henrietta; Jane; Georgiana Frances.
Mr Gun-Cuninghame died in 1827, and was succeeded by his only son,

ROBERT GUN-CUNINGHAME DL (1792-1877), of Mount Kennedy, who married, in 1817, Elizabeth Foulkes, of Birchamp House, Gloucestershire, and had issue,
ROBERT GEORGE ARCHIBALD HAMILTON, his heir;
George Philip Henry;
Philip Henry;
Elizabeth Jane; Adolphina Frederica; Jane; Mary Julia.
Mr Gun-Cuninghame wedded secondly, in 1832, Annabel Erina, eldest daughter of Viscount Glentworth, eldest son of the 1st Earl of Limerick, and had issue,
Edmund;
Albert Glentworth;
Cecil;
Glencairn Dunsmere Stuart;
Nina Augusta Erina; Eva Adelaide.
Mr Gun-Cuninghame was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT GEORGE ARCHIBALD HAMILTON GUN-CUNINGHAME DL (1818-80), of Mount Kennedy and Coolawinna, County Wicklow, Colonel, Wicklow Artillery, who wedded, in 1844, Isabella, only daughter of the Rt Rev Lord Robert Ponsonby Tottenham, Lord Bishop of Clogher (2nd son of 1st Marquess of Ely), by Alicia Maude, his wife, daughter of Cornwallis, 1st Viscount Hawarden, and had issue,
CORNWALLIS ROBERT DUCAREL, his heir;
Alicia; Elizabeth; Anne; Isabella; Emily Eleanor; Mary Isabella;
Lucy Phillippa; Augusta; Beatrice Elizabeth.
Mr Gun-Cuninghame was succeeded by his only son,

CORNWALLIS ROBERT DUCAREL GUN-CUNINGHAME JP DL (1857-1928), of Mount Kennedy, High Sheriff of County Wicklow, 1886, Captain and Honorary Major, 7th Brigade, North Irish Division, Royal Artillery, who wedded firstly, in 1886, Isabella, youngest daughter of Richard Wingfield, and had issue,
ROBERT GEORGE ARTHUR, his heir;
Henry Maurice Benedict;
Dorothy Isabella.
He espoused secondly, in 1904, Constance Evelyn, youngest daughter of Edwin Joseph Vipan.

Mr Gun-Cuninghame was succeeded by his elder son,

ROBERT GEORGE ARTHUR GUN-CUNINGHAME (1896-1970), who married, in 1927, Emily Frances Grace, daughter of Cornelius Richard O'Callaghan, and had issue,
ROBERT HENRY RICHARD, of Finnebrogue, Co Down;
Jean Rosemary; Ruth Isabella Anne.
Captain Gun-Cununghame was succeeded by his only son,

ROBERT HENRY RICHARD GUN-CUNINGHAME, of Finnebrogue, Downpatrick, County Down, Major, Royal Irish Rangers, born in 1930, who espoused, in 1958, Selina Imogen Elizabeth Lorraine, daughter of Major John Robert Perceval-Maxwell, and had issue,
ROBERT PATRICK DUCAREL, b 1959;
Julian Arthur, b 1961;
Richard Benjamin, b 1965.


MOUNT KENNEDY HOUSE, Newtownmountkennedy, County Wicklow,  is a two-storey over basement mansion, to a design originally drawn up by James Wyatt in 1772.

The estate originally belonged to the Kennedys, who erected a large house here in 1670; burnt during the Williamite War.

The estate was purchased in 1769 by Lieutenant-General Robert Cuninghame, later Commander-in-Chief Ireland and 1st Baron Rossmore.

It was modified by the architect and builder, Thomas Cooley, who completed the commission in 1784-85.

Lord Rossmore died in 1801, when Mount Kennedy passed to his niece, Mrs Gun-Cuninghame.

It remained in the Gun-Cuninghames until 1928.

In 1938, the demesne was bought by Mr Ernest Hull, whose widow sold it about 1971.

It later became the home of Mr & Mrs Noel Griffin; and the present family acquired it in 1982.

Mount Kennedy's principal characteristic is the beautiful and delicate interior decoration, incorporating plasterwork by Michael Stapleton.


Exquisite work in the hall (above) and three main reception rooms is further complemented by intricately painted medallions in grisaille by Peter De Gree, a Belgian who came to Ireland in 1785, and whose other works are contained in Lucan House, Luttrellstown Castle and Marlay House.

Mount Kennedy has seven bedrooms, four reception rooms and four bathrooms.

It is set in 170 acres.

The property was sold to a private buyer in 2013.

First published in February, 2013.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

As the Crow Flies

If at all practicable or feasible, I make a beeline for my destination.

This is remarkably difficult, if you think about it.

Only if one can actually see one’s destination, can one go “as the crow flies.

You could be at the beach, looking across a bay, at your hotel; and you know that the quickest way to get to it is by drawing a mental line across the craggy rocks and water; though it’s so impracticable as to take many times longer to reach your destination, given that you’re clothed, with belongings.

Even air travel is not always as the crow flies. There can be territorial “no-fly” zones, for instance.

Railways and buses hardly ever use a straight route; they have to avoid mountains, towns, private property, perhaps.

So it gives me considerable satisfaction if I can literally, in its true sense, travel “as the crow flies.

Duke's Coronet


The coronet of a duke is a golden circlet with eight gold strawberry leaves around it (pointing upwards).

The coronet itself is chased as if in the form of jewels (like a royal crown) but is not actually jewelled.

It has a crimson cap (lined ermine) in real life and a purple one in heraldic representation.

There is a gold-threaded tassel on top.

The number of strawberry leaves and absence of pearls is what distinguishes a ducal coronet from those of other degrees of the peerage.

The ducal coronet has undergone several modifications in form since it was first introduced in 1337.

As now worn, it has eight golden leaves of a conventional type - the "strawberry leaves" so called - set erect upon a circlet of gold, and having their stalks so connected as to form a wreath.

Of late years this coronet has enclosed a cap of rich crimson velvet surmounted by a golden tassel and lined and "guarded" with ermine.

 

A smaller version, above, is worn by duchesses at coronations.

Peeresses' coronets sit on top of the head, rather than around it.

Non-royal dukes represent the highest degree in the hereditary peerage.

First published in April, 2010.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Edermine House

THE POWER BARONETS, OF EDERMINE, WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WEXFORD, WITH 10,205 ACRES

JAMES POWER, Innkeeper, of Thomas Street, Dublin, established a distillery for the production of whiskey at his premises in 1791.
The site selected by Mr Power was in the suburbs of Dublin, just outside the city walls, upon a plot of ground formerly known as the Friary Gardens of St John, adjacent to Wormwood (Ormond) Gate, the principal western entrance to the city, and was the property of the Countess of Charleville, by whom it was leased to James Power, by indenture bearing date 29th September, 1785.
James Power continued to extend the distillery until his death in 1817.

He was buried in St James's churchyard, Dublin.

Mr Power was succeeded by his son,

JOHN POWER JP DL (1771-1855), of Roebuck House, County Dublin, and Sampton, County Wexford, who married, in 1799, Mary, eldest daughter of Thomas Brenann, County Wexford, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
Mary; Catherine; Margaret; Elizabeth; Emily; Ellen.
Mr Power was created a baronet in 1841, designated of Edermine, County Wexford.

He was succeeded by his only son,

SIR JAMES POWER2nd Baronet, JP DL (1800-77), MP for County Wexford, 1835-47, High Sheriff of Dublin City, 1859, who married, in 1843, Jane Anne Eliza, daughter and co-heiress of John Hyacinth Talbot DL MP, of Castle Talbot, County Wexford, and had issue,
JOHN TALBOT, his successor;
JAMES TALBOT, 5th Baronet;
THOMAS TALBOT, 6th Baronet;
Mary Jane; Gwendoline Anna Eliza; Francis Mary Ursula.
Sir James, Governor of the Bank of Ireland, Chairman, Dublin, Wicklow & Wexford Railway, and, for many years, Commissioner for Charitable Bequests in Ireland, was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN TALBOT POWER, 3rd Baronet, JP DL (1845-1901), of Edermine, County Wexford, MP for County Wexford, 1868-74, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1880, who espoused, in 1876, Frances Emma, daughter of Captain Henry Segrave, of Kiltymon, County Wicklow, and had issue,
JAMES DOUGLAS TALBOT, his successor;
Eileen Maréli.
Sir John was succeeded by his only son,

SIR JAMES DOUGLAS TALBOT POWER, 4th Baronet (1884-1914), of Edermine, Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his uncle,

SIR JAMES TALBOT POWER, 5th Baronet, DP DL (1851-1916), High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1896, who married, in 1877, Gertrude Frances, only child of Thomas Hayes, of Grenville House, Cork.

Sir James dsp 1916, and was succeeded by his brother,

SIR THOMAS TALBOT POWER, 6th Baronet (1863-1930), who wedded, in 1884, Margaret, daughter of Thomas S Martin, of Beaufield, Stillorgan, County Dublin.

Sir Thomas died without issue, when the title expired.


THE last member of the Board of Power's whiskey with a family connection was Sir Thomas Talbot Power Bt.

Ownership remained in the family until 1966, when Power's joined with the only other remaining distillers in the Irish Republic, the Cork Distillers Company, and their Dublin rivals, John Jameson & Son, to form the Irish Distillers Group.

In 1989, Pernod-Ricard successfully bid for ownership of the Irish Distillers.

Photo credit:  The Rev Canon Patrick Comerford

EDERMINE HOUSE, near Enniscorthy, County Wexford, is a two-storey Italianate house, built about 1839 for the Power family.

It has an eaved roof on a bracket cornice and a three-bay front with a pillared porch.


There is a five-bay side elevation with a central Venetian window, recessed in a huge blind arch.

The interior is Grecian, with fluted Doric columns in the hall; paired Ionic columns and pilasters on the staircase landing.

A Gothic chapel was later built at one side of the house, to designs by Pugin, a family friend.

This chapel was originally free-standing, though was later joined to the house by an extension to the rear which includes a small Italianate campanile.

Photo credit:  The Rev Canon Patrick Comerford

Adjacent to the chapel is a splendid, early Victorian iron conservatory, joined to the chapel by a cast-iron veranda.

First published in February, 2013.

Pooler of Tyross

THE POOLERS OWNED 130 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ARMAGH

In 1689, Robert ( eldest son of Robert Pooler, of Tyross, and grandson of Captain Robert Pooler, who settled at Tyross in the reign of ELIZABETH I, 1585, and received a grant of lands), led troops to the relief of Londonderry.
"Pooler", says STUART in his Historical Memoirs of Armagh, "in almost every sortie made by the famous Murray, was always in the thickest of the battle, and yet escaped unhurt."
"When, however, the garrison had received information that the Irish army had commenced its retreat, Pooler looked through an embrasure in the battlements in hope of witnessing its final departure."
"At that moment a random shot from one of those who had lingered in the rear struck him on the head, and killed him on the spot, the last man slain at the siege of Derry."
In the Metrical Catalogue of Besiegers and Defenders of Derry, 1689, published in GRAHAM'S Ireland Observed, Pooler is alluded to in the following line ~ "Cust and Cross and Pooler of Tyross."

CAPTAIN ROBERT POOLER, born in 1541, married Maud, only daughter of George Armitage, and left a son,

ROBERT POOLER, of Tyross, County Armagh, born in 1594, who wedded Elizabeth, second daughter of Walter Bond, and had a son,

ROBERT POOLER, of Tyross, born in 1626, who espoused Susanna, sister of John Grindall, Governor of Antigua.

He is claimed to have died in 1742 aged 116 (despite the implausibility of this account), leaving a son,

JOHN POOLER (1700-46), of Tyross, who married Martha, daughter of William Scott, of Scottsborough, County Fermanagh, and had a son,

ROBERT POOLER (1734-1823), of Tyross, who wedded Katharine, daughter of John Galbraith, of Roscavey, County Tyrone, and had issue,
ROBERT, of whom hereafter;
John, army major, k/a;
Galbraith, died unmarried;
Rebecca; Martha; Anne; Katharine.
The eldest son,

ROBERT POOLER (-1865), of Tyross, espoused, in 1812, Frances, daughter of Samuel Reid, of Newry, and had issue,
Robert, died unmarried;
John, died unmarried;
Hugh, died unmarried;
JAMES GALBRAITH, his heir;
Isaac, died unmarried;
Jane; Katherine; Margaret.
The fourth son,

THE REV CANON DR JAMES GALBRAITH POOLER (1826-96), Rector of Newtownards, Rural Dean of Bangor, Chaplain to the Marquess of Londonderry, Canon of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, married, in 1855, Angelica, fifth daughter of the Rev Edward Leslie, Rector of Annahilt, County Down, and granddaughter of Charles Powell Leslie MP, of Castle Leslie, County Monaghan, and had issue,
LEWIS ARTHUR TREVOR, his heir;
Charles Francis Knox (Rev);
Edward Leslie (Dr), MD;
James Galbraith George;
Frances May; Ida Frances Margaret; Angelica Katharine.
Dr Pooler's eldest son,

THE REV CANON DR LEWIS ARTHUR TREVOR POOLER (1858-1924), of Tyross, County Armagh, Minor Canon of Down Cathedral, Chaplain of Hollymount, 1889-99, Examining Chaplain to the Lord Bishop of Down, 1898, Rural Dean of Lecale East, Rector of Down and Hollymount, 1899, Canon of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1903, wedded, in 1885, Augusta, second daughter of the Ven John Charles Wolfe, Archdeacon of Clogher, and had issue,
JAMES GALBRAITH;
Isabella Mabel.
His only son,

JAMES GALBRAITH POOLER (1887-), of Downpatrick, Curate of Down, Lieutenant, 5th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, married and had an elder son,

JAMES HAMPDEN WOLFE POOLER (1927-), of Tyross, Lieutenant, 16/5th Lancers, High Sheriff of County Down, 1980, who married, in 1954, Mary Louisa, daughter of Philip Stewart, of Strangford, County Down, and has issue,

RICHARD GALBRAITH POOLER, born in 1956.

Former seats ~ Tyross, County Armagh; Bessmount, County Down.

First published in June, 2015.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Viscount's Coronet


The coronet of a viscount is a silver-gilt circlet with sixteen silver balls (known as pearls) around it.

The coronet itself is chased and embossed as if in the form of jewels (like a royal crown) with alternating oval and square jewel-shaped bosses, but is not actually jewelled.

It has a crimson velvet cap with lined ermine trim (the cap being purple in heraldic representation).

There is a gold-threaded tassel on top.

The sixteen pearls are what distinguishes the coronet of a viscount from other degrees of the Peerage.


The coronet of a viscountess (above) is smaller in size and sits on top of the head, rather than around it.

Like all heraldic coronets, it is mostly worn at the coronation of a Sovereign, but a viscount is entitled to bear a likeness of it on his coat-of-arms, above the shield.

Viscounts are peers of the fourth degree of nobility, next in rank above a baron and below an earl.

First published in June, 2011.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Ulster Peers' London Homes


Few hereditary peers whose ancestral seats are in Northern Ireland maintain London homes nowadays.

A hundred years ago, though, most, if not all, did (with the exception of the peers of Ireland).

I have compiled a list of peers with Ulster connections and their London addresses in 1911 and, in a few cases, 1860:-

The Duke of Abercorn: pre-1869, Chesterfield House, South Audley Street; from 1869-1915, Hampden House, Green Street; 68 Mount Street, Park Lane, 1939.

The Marquess of Downshire: Downshire House, 24 Belgrave Square (1860), later the town residence of Lord Pirrie.

The Marquess of Donegall: 22 Grosvenor Square (1860).

The Marquess of Londonderry: Londonderry House, Park Lane.

The Marquess of Dufferin and Ava: 75 Cadogan Square.

The Earl of Roden: No address found other than Tollymore Park, Bryansford, co Down.

The Earl of Clanwilliam: 36 Draycott Place.

The Earl of Antrim: No address other than The Castle, Glenarm, Co Antrim.

The Earl Annesley: 25 Norfolk Street, Park Lane (1860).

The Earl of Enniskillen: No address other than Florence Court, Co Fermanagh.

The Earl of Erne: 21 Knightsbridge.

The Earl of Belmore: 56 Eaton Place (1860).

The Earl Castle Stewart: No Address other than Stuart Hall, Stewartstown, Co Tyrone.

The Earl of Caledon: No Address other than the Castle, Caledon, Co Tyrone; Derg Lodge, Co Tyrone; Tyttenhanger, St Albans, Hertfordshire.

The Earl of Gosford: 22 Mansfield Street.

The Earl of Kilmorey: 5 Aldford Street, Park Lane.

The Earl of Ranfurly: 33 Lennox Gardens.

The Viscount Charlemont: ________

The Viscount Massereene and Ferrard: _________

The Viscount Bangor: _________

The Viscount Brookeborough: __________

The Viscount Craigavon: __________

The Lord de Ros: 22 Wellington Court, Knightsbridge.

The Lord O'Neill: ________

The Lord Dunleath: _________

The Lord Rathcavan: _________

The Lord Glentoran: _________

First published April, 2009.

Knockdrin Castle

THE LEVINGE BARONETS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WESTMEATH, WITH 5,017 ACRES

The first of this name on record is LEVINGE or Lyfing, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1013, who crowned CANUTE in 1017, and died in 1020; next is LEVINGE or Lyfing, Bishop of Worcester and Crediton in 1046, whose nephew possessed, at the time of the Domesday survey, six lordships in Derbyshire and two in Nottinghamshire.

From him descended

SIR WALTER LEVINGE, a soldier of the Cross, and companion in arms of the lion-hearted RICHARD I.

This Sir Walter bore the arms the family still use; he was ancestor of

THOMAS LEVINGE, of Baddesley Ensor, Warwickshire, living in 1434, great-grandfather of

RICHARD LEVINGE, of Parwich, Derbyshire, who married, in 1653, Anne, daughter of George Parker, of Park Hill, Staffordshire, aunt of Thomas, Earl of Macclesfield, LORD CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND, and was father of

THE RT HON SIR RICHARD LEVINGE (1656-1724), Knight, of Parwich, Recorder of, and MP for Chester, 1690-95, who wedded firstly, in 1680, Mary, daughter and co-heir of Sir Gawen Corbyn, Knight, of London, by whom he had three sons and three daughters; and secondly, in 1723, Mary, daughter of the Hon Robert Johnson, one of the Barons of the Exchequer in Ireland, and by her had one son, Richard, of Calverstown, County Kildare.

Sir Richard, MP for Blessington, 1692-3, Longford Borough, 1698-9 and 1703-13, Kilkenny, 1713-14, was created a baronet in 1704, designated of High Park, County Westmeath.

Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD LEVINGE, 2nd Baronet (c1690-1748), of Parwich, and High Park (Knockdrin Castle), MP for County Westmeath, 1723-7, Blessington, 1727-48, who wedded, in 1718, Isabella, daughter of Sir Arthur Rawdon Bt, of Moira, County Down; but dying without issue, in 1748, was succeeded by his brother,

SIR CHARLES LEVINGE, 3rd Baronet (1693-1762), who espoused, in 1722, Anne, daughter and co-heir of Major Samuel Greene MP, of Killaghy Castle, County Tipperary, and was succeeded by his only child,

SIR RICHARD LEVINGE, 4th Baronet (c1723-86), who married firstly, in 1748, Dorothea, daughter and co-heir of William Kennedy MP, of County Longford, and had issue,
CHARLES, his successor;
Richard;
Anne; Dorothea; Frances.
Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR CHARLES LEVINGE, 5th Baronet (1751-96), who wedded, in 1779, Elizabeth Frances, only daughter of Nicholas Reynell, of Reynella, County Westmeath, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
Charles, Lieutenant-Colonel;
Selina; Caroline; Anne; Frances.
Sir Charles was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD LEVINGE, 6th Baronet (1785-1848), of Knockdrin Castle, who espoused, in 1810, Elizabeth Anne, eldest daughter of Thomas, 1st Baron Rancliffe, and had issue,
RICHARD GEORGE AUGUSTUS, his successor;
George Charles Rawdon;
Reginald Thomas John;
Augustus Frederick;
Charles Vere;
Vere Henry;
William James;
Edward Parkyns;
Harry Corbyn;
Elizabeth Anne; Georgiana Frances Caroline.
Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD GEORGE AUGUSTUS LEVINGE, 7th Baronet (1811-84), of Knockdrin Castle.
Sir Vere Henry Levinge, 8th Baronet (1819–85);
Sir William Henry Levinge, 9th Baronet (1849–1900);
Sir Richard William Levinge, 10th Baronet (1878–1914);
Sir Richard Vere Henry Levinge, 11th Baronet (1911–84);
Sir Richard George Robin Levinge, 12th Baronet (b 1946).

KNOCKDRIN CASTLE, near Mullingar, County Westmeath, is an impressive Gothic-Revival mansion of about 1830 by James Shiel.

It was built for Sir Richard Levinge, 6th Baronet, 

The main block comprises two square turrets, joined to a gate-tower by a lower range.

There is an arcaded Gothic central hall; oak carvings; and an Elizabethan-style staircase.


During the 2nd World War the castle was requisitioned for troop accommodation and was occupied by a company of the 6th (Dublin) Infantry of the Irish Army.

The army left in 1945 and handed the castle back to the Levinges.

The Levinge family owned Knockdrin until 1946, although the 11th Baronet (later a Director of Guinness Ltd) had not been resident there for some time.


In that year the estate was sold to Paddy Dunne-Cullinan, who remained at Knockdrin until 1961, when he in turn sold the estate to Hans and Irene Freiherr von Prondzynski from Germany.

The arable land is now leased out, but the family continues to live in the castle.

Other former seat ~ Parwich Hall, Derbyshire.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Alan Clark: Diaries

I have been re-reading the immensely enjoyable Diaries Into Politics, by the late Alan Clark.

The Hon Alan Clark, elder son of the Lord Clark, was MP for Plymouth (Sutton), 1974-92, Kensington and Chelsea, 1997-99.

He was appointed a Privy Counsellor when he became Defence Minister.

If you haven’t already dipped into his Diaries, or indeed his other publications (including the splendid Back Fire: A Passion For Motoring, I urge you so to do.

Alan was an insufferable snob. He once said that Michael Heseltine - “odious Heseltine” - had to buy his own furniture.

In July, 1981, the Clarks gave a grand dinner party for Aspinall’s Ball at Port Lympne: Edward and Fiona Montagu, Jonathan Aitken, Jonathan Guinness and his wife, and two of his sons.

The food “was delicious and the table almost overloaded with Meissen, solid silver, Venetian glass etc.” Boy Scouts lined the driveway holding torches of pitch, girl guides doing the same thing from the car park.

As Simon Heffer has said, the Diaries show all sides of a man who was, within his complex personality, arrogant, sensitive, loyal, unfaithful, patriotic, selfish, selfless, and - at all times - completely technicolour.

Scott of Willsboro'

THE SCOTTS OWNED 2,505 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY LONDONDERRY

THE REV GIDEON SCOTT, Oxford, went over to Ulster as Chaplain in WILLIAM III's army in 1688, and purchased the Willsboro' estate, 1696.

He married Jane, daughter of Robert McNeill, of Ballintoy, County Antrim, by Margaret his wife, daughter of Sir John Ruthven, and widow of Sir Dugald Stuart Bt.

Mr Scott died in 1724, leaving (with two daughters, Anne and Jane) an only son,

WILLIAM SCOTT (1705-76), of Willsborough, County Londonderry, for many years Recorder and MP for Londonderry City, 1739-59, Prime Sergeant, Judge of the King's Bench, and eventually a Baron of the Exchequer.

He married Hannah, daughter of Thomas Gledstanes, and had issue,
Thomas, Recorder of Londonderry, 1765; d 1770;
JAMES, of whom presently;
Anthony, died 1770.
The second son,

JAMES SCOTT (1745-1820), of Willsboro', wedded, in 1779, Catherine Elizabeth, daughter of the Rt Rev James Leslie, Lord Bishop of Limerick, and sister of Sir Edward Leslie, 1st Baronet, of Tarbert House, County Kerry, and had issue,
William, died 1803-4;
THOMAS, his heir;
Edward, a major in the army;
Richard;
George (Rev), Rector of Banagher;
Charles;
James Leslie Montgomery (Rev), Chancellor of Down, Rector of Portaferry;
Joice, m R Ogilby, of Pellipar;
Hannah; Mary Anne Martha; Jane.
Mr Scott was succeeded by his second son,

THOMAS SCOTT JP DL (1783-1872), of Willsboro', High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1844, Lieutenant, Bengal Army, Brigade Major of Yeomanry, Ireland, who espoused firstly, in 1823, Hannah, widow of John Campbell, of Limavady.

He wedded secondly, in 1827, Anne Monaghan; and thirdly, in 1844, Katharine Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rev Thomas Richardson, of Somerset, near Coleraine, County Londonderry.

Major Scott had issue by his second wife,
James, died 1846;
WILLIAM EDWARD, of whom hereafter;
Thomas Lucas (Rev);
Charles Stewart (Rt Hon Sir), GCB, GCMG;
Henry Richardson;
Elizabeth; Hannah; Annette; Hatton Thomasina; Katharine Emily; Jane B.
The eldest surviving son,

WILLIAM EDWARD SCOTT JP DL (1833-1913), of Willsboro', High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1857, Captain and Honorary Major, Londonderry Militia, married, in 1861, Catherine Georgina, daughter of the Ven Alexander Stuart, Archdeacon of Ross, and had issue,
Thomas George Stuart, died in 1868;
KATHERINE ELIZABETH, mother of WILLIAM EDWARD PHILLIPS SCOTT;
Anne Frances Emily.
Major Scott's daughter,

KATHERINE ELIZABETH SCOTT (d 1934), wedded, in 1896, Edward Loftus Phillips, fourth son of Charles P Phillips, of Berkeley Cottage, Hertfordshire, and had issue,
WILLIAM EDWARD PHILLIPS, b 1903;
Anne Frances Emily, d 1891.
Mrs Katherine Elizabeth Phillips & Daughter, by BM Torrens

*****

Willsboro' seen though a wide-angled lens. Photo Credit: Tyler Collins

WILLSBOROUGH HOUSE, otherwise Willsboro', near Eglinton, County Londonderry, is a mid-19th century house of two storeys and six bays, flanked by canted, projecting bays at either end.

The roof is concealed behind a cornice and parapet.

It faces westwards across flat terrain to the river Foyle, County Londonderry.

There is a courtyard to the rear.

The demesne dates from 1696.

A walled garden, gate lodge, and some mature trees remain.

*****

In 1735, the Londonderry City Corporation had set up a committee to find an economical way of furnishing the poor of the city with heating fuel.

They agreed to contract William Scott of Willsborough, near Eglinton, to supply turf to the city. 

The lands of Willsborough were originally deep flat bog and the Scotts reclaimed this bog, over the next one hundred years, by constructing canals and shipping turf to the city’s quay.

From 1746, William Scott agreed to supply the city annually, for 21 years, 32,000 barrels of turf at 1½ pence per barrel.

The Corporation also agreed to pay Mr Scott an additional £50 per annum if he supplied the quota of 32,000 barrels.

First published in June, 2015.

Monday, 24 June 2019

New Lord-Lieutenant

THE QUEEN is pleased to appoint Mr David William McCorkell, DL, as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for County Antrim to succeed Mrs Joan Christie, CVO, OBE, who is due to retire on 28th June 2019.

Mr McCorkell is an Investment Manager by profession and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment.

He retired in 2017 after over thirty years of service within Brewin Dolphin Holdings PLC, where he was a Board Director and Head of Investment Management.

He gives much of his time to the governance of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), the Armed Forces Charity, serving as a Trustee and Member of the SSAFA Council in London and the Regional Representative for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Mr McCorkell currently serves as a Member of the Quality Assurance Committee of the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board, Ireland and as an elected Member of the Turf Club (Ireland) and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee.

Additionally, he is a Committee Member of the Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders.

Mr McCorkell is the son of the late Colonel Sir Michael McCorkell, KCVO, OBE, TD, JP, Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry, 1975-2000.

He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for County Antrim in 2014.

He is married to Sue and has two adult children.

The Craig Baronets

THE CRAIG BARONETCY, OF STORMONT, COUNTY DOWN, WAS CREATED IN 1918 FOR JAMES CRAIG MP

The 1st Baronet, later to become the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, was created Viscount Craigavon in 1927, when the baronetcy merged with the viscountcy.

I have written an article about his family here.

Born at Sydenham, a suburb of Belfast, Craig was the youngest of six sons of James Craig JP, of Craigavon and Tyrella, County Down, a prosperous whisky distiller and businessman in Belfast.

Educated at a private school in Holywood, County Down and afterwards at Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh, the younger Craig became a stockbroker.

However, with the start of the Boer War in 1899 he ceased formally to be a member of the Belfast Stock Exchange and took a commission in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles.
Serving with distinction as a lieutenant with the Imperial Yeomanry, he was captured by the Boers but survived the barren conditions of a concentration camp and returned home with a firm and lasting conviction of the British way of life.
The 1st Viscount was still prime minister when he died peacefully at his home,  Glencraig, County Down, in 1940.

He was buried at the Stormont Estate.

James Craig (1906-74), 2nd Baronet and 2nd Viscount, was educated at Eton. He was a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and fought in the Second World War.

Janric Fraser Craig (b 1944), 3rd and present Baronet and 3rd Viscount, was educated at Eton, and graduated from London University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts.

Lord Craigavon was invested as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and was an Elected Member of the House of Lords in 1999. He lives in London.

There is no heir to the viscountcy.

First published in July, 2010.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Tourin House

THE MUSGRAVE BARONETS, OF TOURIN, WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WATERFORD, WITH 8,282 ACRES

This is a junior branch of the ancient family of MUSGRAVE, of Great Musgrave, Westmorland, springing more immediately from

RICHARD MUSGRAVE, of Wortley, Yorkshire, who settled in Ireland, and wedded Jane Proctor, and had two sons,
Richard;
CHRISTOPHER, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

CHRISTOPHER MUSGRAVE, settled at Tourin, County Waterford, and marrying Susannah, daughter of James Usher, of Ballintaylor, was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

RICHARD MUSGRAVE (1746-1818), who was created a baronet, 1782, designated of Tourin, with remainder to the issue male of his father.

Sir Richard wedded, in the same year, Deborah, daughter of Sir Henry Cavendish Bt, by his wife Sarah, Baroness Waterpark, of Doveridge, Derbyshire, by whom he had no issue.

Sir Richard, Collector of Excise in the port of Dublin, was known as a political writer, particularly by his History of the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

He died in 1818, when the title, according to the limitation, devolved upon his brother,

SIR CHRISTOPHER FREDERICK MUSGRAVE, 2nd Baronet (1738-1826), who espoused, in 1781, Jane, daughter of John Beere, of Ballyboy, County Tipperary, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
John;
Anne.
Sir Christopher wedded secondly, in 1797, Elizabeth, daughter of William Nicholson, of Wilmer, County Tipperary, who died issueless in 1798; and thirdly, in 1801, Catherine, daughter of Pierce Power, of Affane, County Waterford, and had a son,
Christopher Frederick, born in 1802.
Sir Christopher was succeeded by his eldest son, 

SIR RICHARD MUSGRAVE MP, 3rd Baronet (1790-1859), who married, in 1815, Frances, daughter of the Most Rev William Newcome, Lord Archbishop of Armagh, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Christopher;
John;
Robert;
Edward.
His eldest son, 

SIR RICHARD MUSGRAVE, 4th Baronet (1820-74), was sometime Lord-Lieutenant of County Waterford.

SIR RICHARD JOHN MUSGRAVE, 5th Baronet, JP DL (1850-1930), married Jessie Sophia, daughter of Robert Dunsmuir, in 1891.

Sir Richard died without male issue.

His elder daughter, Joan Moira Maud Jameson (née Musgrave) inherited the Tourin estate and her descendants live at Tourin today.

His cousin,

SIR CHRISTOPHER NORMAN MUSGRAVE, 6th Baronet, OBE (1892-1956), of Norwood Tower, Strandtown, Belfast, Lieutenant-Colonel, Chief Commissioner of Scouts, Northern Ireland, wedded, in 1918, Kathleen, daughter of Robert Spencer Chapman, and had issue,
RICHARD JAMES, his successor;
Christopher Michael (1923-44), killed in action;
John Anthony Newcome (1926-29);
Elizabeth Anne.
Sir Christopher inherited Norwood Tower in 1934.

Norwood Tower, Strandtown, Belfast

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD JAMES MUSGRAVE, 7th Baronet (1922-2000), Captain, Indian Army, who married, in 1958, Maria, daughter of Colonel Mario Cambanis, of Athens, Greece, and had issue,
CHRISTOPHER JOHN SHANE;
Michael Shane;
Olivia Mirabel; Anastasia Maria; Charlotte Elizabeth; Alexandra Victoria.
His son and heir,

SIR CHRISTOPHER JOHN SHANE MUSGRAVE, 8th and present Baronet, was born in 1959.

The heir presumptive of the baronetcy is Michael Shane Musgrave (b 1968), younger brother of the present Baronet.


THE SIX GOLDEN ANNULETS

From Mucegros, near Écouen, France: This name, so largely represented in England, is repeated further on in its modernized form of Musgrave; and the heralds, ignoring its origin, labour to affiliate it to the German graf.

They declare that, like Land-grave, Burg-grave, Mar-grave, &c, it is "a name of office:" and as Mews in old days meant the cage or place where hawks were kept while mewing (moulting), and in after times came to signify a stable, boldly announce that "Musgrave or Mewsgrave is clearly either the keeper of the King's hawks or the King's equerry."

In support of this etymological vagary, they tell us that once upon a time an Emperor of Germany or Archduke of Austria (we will accept either) had a beautiful daughter who was courted by two valiant nobles.

Each of them had done him such "singular good service that he did not care to prefer one to the other."

At last it was agreed that they should ride at the ring for the princess; and whichever succeeded in carrying it off should marry her.

Musgrave triumphantly drove his spear through the ring, became the Emperor's son-in-law, and in memory of his exploit, had the six golden annulets now borne by the Musgraves of Westmorland granted him for his coat-of-arms.


TOURIN HOUSE, near Cappoquin, County Waterford, was owned by the Roche family in the 17th century, passed to a family called Nettles and was purchased by Sir Richard Musgrave, 1st Baronet, MP for Lismore and sheriff of County Waterford, in 1778.

The family lived in a 17th century E-shaped dwelling with gables and tall chimneys, attached to the mediaeval tower of Tourin Castle, until the 3rd Baronet decided to build a new house on a more elevated site above the River Blackwater.

Built in 1840, the new Tourin House is a handsome Italianate villa in what would then have been the very latest style, possibly to the designs of the Waterford architect Abraham Denny.


There are four formal fronts, all rendered and with beautifully crisply cut stone details.

These include an elaborate cornice, which supports the overhanging eaves, and a profusion of quoins and stringcourses.

The five-bay façade has a pair of projecting porches at both ends, both single storey and framed with limestone pilasters, which in turn flank an arcade of three round-headed windows.

The remaining fronts are mainly of four bays, though the ground floor of the rear facade is of five bays, with a delicate, bowed, iron verandah; while the garden front has a more robust single storey central bow.


Internally, Tourin is largely unaltered, with a splendid bifurcating imperial staircase of oak, which arises behind the hall.

The elder daughter of the 5th baronet inherited Tourin.

She married Thomas Jameson, and their granddaughters live in the house today.


THE GARDENS were laid out at the beginning of the 20th century by Richard Musgrave, with the help of his friend, the Cork brewer Richard Beamish.

The fine collection of rhododendrons, camellias, and magnolias are the creation of his grandson and his wife (the present owners' parents); while a number of mature oak and cedar trees, and a champion London plane, remain from the earlier garden and parkland layout.

The walled garden produces fruit, vegetables, herbs and cut flowers, and is home to an important collection of over a hundred bearded irises, which flower in May and June.

First published in May, 2013.

Chief Secretary's Lodge


THE CHIEF SECRETARY'S LODGE (Deerfield), Phoenix Park, Dublin, was originally built by Sir John Blaquiere, 1st Baron de Blaquiere, and became the Chief Secretary for Ireland's official residence in the late 18th century.

The Chief Secretary for Ireland, a position analogous to Prime Minister, had his office within Dublin Castle.

The office was abrogated when Éire (as it was then called) seceded from the United Kingdom in 1922.

It is now the official residence of the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland.

Colonel John Blaquiere came to Ireland as Chief Secretary to the Viceroy, Lord Harcourt, in 1772.

Standard of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland

Like Viceregal Lodge (Áras an Uachtaráin) across the road (former residence of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland), the Chief Secretary's Lodge, or Deerfield as it is now called, is surrounded by its own sixty-acre park, with wonderful views of the Dublin mountains.

The Lodge, which cost £8,000 to build, comprises two storeys with two projecting bowed ends facing southwards.

There were two principal reception rooms.

A commodious staircase hall is bedecked with American flags and presidential portraits.

The brilliant white porte-cochère admits visitors under a large bust of President Lincoln.

The architect of the Lodge, with its immaculate walled gardens, fruit trees and glass-houses, is unknown.


In 1784, the house was acquired by HM Government as an official residence for the Chief Secretary for Ireland, analogous with the office of prime minister.

Illustrious occupants have included the Hon Sir Arthur Wellesley (1st Duke of Wellington), Lord Castlereagh, Sir Robert Peel and Lord Randolph Churchill.

Sir Winston Churchill, as a small boy, roamed the gardens and woods and took great delight in riding up and down the paths in his donkey and cart.

In 1927, the United States sent its first envoy, Fred Sterling, to the newly-formed Irish Free State.

Mrs Sterling noticed the empty house whilst walking in Phoenix Park, told her husband she'd found the ideal residence for him, and Deerfield has remained a part of American soil ever since.

First published in September, 2011.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Richmond Lodge

Richmond ca 1832, by E K Proctor

RICHMOND LODGE, Knocknagoney, County Down, was a large, two-storey, late Georgian residence.

It had octagonal bays at either end and a central porch.

The house stood in its own grounds comprising 24 acres, close to the location of the present Knocknagoney housing estate.

It was said to have been built ca 1798. 

The first known occupant of Richmond Lodge was Francis Turnly (1765-1845), son of Francis Turnly JP, of Downpatrick, County Down, who had leased it or the land from David McCance about 1800.

Turnly lived at Richmond Lodge in 1824.

The family also owned Rockport House.

Photo credit: Rev McConnell Auld

When Turnly's widow, Dorothea, died in 1846, Richmond passed to John Dunville (1786-1851), the well-known distiller.

Richmond Lodge remained with the Dunvilles until 1874, when John Dunville's son William died and it was sold to James Kennedy, who began a number of improvements, including a new avenue approach about 100 yards south of the original main entrance.

By 1902, Richmond Lodge had become the home of the Rt Hon William Henry Holmes Lyons JP DL (1843-1924).

First published in June, 2013.

Friday, 21 June 2019

New DL

APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY LIEUTENANT

Mrs Alison Millar, Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry, has been pleased to appoint:-
Mr Richard Neal Archibald
Coleraine
County  Londonderry
To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County his Commission bearing date the 12th day of June 2019

Lord Lieutenant of the County

Patrick Revival

STAR OF THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS ORDER OF ST PATRICK


One of the three great national Orders of Chivalry, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, has lain dormant since the investiture of the last Knight, HRH The Duke of York (later George VI), in 1936.

The last surviving KP was another son of  King George V, HRH The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster. He died in 1974.

I have read about and studied the history of the Order, its constitution and establishment at length.

Since the partition of Ireland, in 1922, there have been no non-royal conferrals. The 3rd Duke of Abercorn, 1st Governor of Northern Ireland, was the very last non-royal conferral, in 1922.

Serious and sustained attempts were made to keep the Order alive (hence King George V appointing his sons).

The continuance of the great Order was discussed for many years, including how it could continue; and after a period, be revived.

Lords Craigavon  and Brookeborough were both most desirous that the Order be revived for Northern Ireland, as a national Order ~ like the Garter in England and the Thistle in Scotland.

Despite the fact that, technically, the Order remains on the statute book (it’s still on the royal family website), it has been allowed to wither and hibernate.

Sir Winston Churchill was the last statesman to endeavour to revive the Patrick.

Having read some documents, it is my belief that the key players in the Order’s revival today would be:-
  • The Prime Minister
  • The Foreign Secretary
  • The Northern Ireland Secretary
  • The First Minister of Northern Ireland
  • The Northern Ireland Assembly
  • The Sovereign
 
I have to mention the Irish Government because the government of the then Irish Free State was instrumental in its resistance to keeping the Patrick alive, or extant.

However, to my knowledge, the Garter and the Thistle are in the personal gift of the Sovereign, so I wonder whether the revival of the Patrick should really be "politicised" at all.

It need merely be reconstituted, with new statutes, officers and chapel.

The Order of St Patrick would need to be reconstituted; new and more appropriate Statutes drawn; and probably a new Chapel found for the banners, hatchments etc of the new Knights.

It was suggested in the 20th century that the Great Hall at Stormont would be fitting as a chamber for the banners.

A former Archbishop of Armagh offered St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, as the Chapel of the Order.

The insignia of the Order remains, at least 22 chains, stars, mantles and sashes; as does the Sovereign’s regalia for the Patrick; and the Grand Master’s insignia. All the insignia exists at the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, I believe.

I respectfully and humbly call on Her Majesty’s Governments to consider the revival of our great Order of St Patrick, for distinguished persons in Northern Ireland, or with a connection here.

Like the Garter and the Thistle, it should be restricted to a few dozen.

It should remain the personal gift of the Sovereign.

I have been using my website to give exposure to the Patrick for a number of years and will continue so to do.

The Duke of Cambridge

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS Prince William Philip Arthur Louis, Baron Carrickfergus, Earl of Strathearn, and DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE, KG KT PC, is 37 today.
  • Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter 
  • Extra Knight of the Most Ancient & Most Noble Order of the Thistle
  • Colonel, Irish Guards
  • Lieutenant-Commander, Royal Navy
  • Major in the Army
  • Squadron-Leader, Royal Air Force
  • Personal Aide-de-Camp to HM The Queen
  • Privy Counsellor, 2016

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Galtee Castle

THE BUCKLEYS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY TIPPERARY, WITH 13,260 ACRES

NATHANIEL BUCKLEY DL (1821-92) was a landowner, cotton mill owner and Liberal Party politician.

By the 1870s, Buckley was a millionaire and, in 1873, he purchased the Galtee estate, near Mitchelstown in County Cork, from the Earl of Kingston.

Following a revaluation, he issued rent demands to his new tenants of between 50% and 500%.

This led to a great deal of agrarian unrest, evictions and an attempted assassination of Buckley's land agent.

His actions also demonstrated weaknesses in the Irish Land Acts which were consequently amended.

Buckley was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire in 1867.

At the 1874 general election Buckley was defeated and did not return to parliament.

At the time of his death aged 71, in 1892, he had residences at Alderdale Lodge, Lancashire, and Galtee Castle, County Cork.

His nephew,

ABEL BUCKLEY JP (1835-1908) was born at Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, younger son of Abel Buckley and Mary Keehan, of Alderdale Lodge, married, in 1875, Hannah Summers, and had issue, Abel, born in 1876.

The Buckley family owned two cotton mills in Ashton: Ryecroft and Oxford Road, and Abel became involved in the business.

At his death he was described as "one of the old cotton lords of Lancashire".

In 1885, Buckley inherited Ryecroft Hall from his uncle, James Smith Buckley, and was to live there for the rest of his life.

He subsequently inherited Galtee Castle.

The estate had been purchased by his uncle, Nathaniel Buckley DL, MP, in 1873.

In 1885, Abel Buckley was elected Liberal MP for the newly created Prestwich constituency.

In the general election of the following year, however, he was defeated.

Apart from his interests in the cotton industry, Buckley was a director and chairman of the Manchester and Liverpool District Banking Company and a justice of the peace.

He was a collector of fine art, and a racehorse breeder.

He died at Ryecroft Hall in 1908, aged 73.


GALTEE CASTLE, County Tipperary, was situated at the foothills of the Galtee Mountains, not far from Mitchelstown.

The original structure was built as a hunting lodge for the 2nd Earl of Kingston, ca 1780.

The 3rd Earl remodelled it ca 1825.

In the 1850s, the Kingstons were forced to sell off vast amounts of their landed estate due to debts, including the lodge and approximately 20,000 acres surrounding it.

This became a new estate, the majority of which remained leased to tenant farmers.

The building was remodelled and expanded ca 1892, when its new owner, Abel Buckley, inherited the estate from his brother Nathaniel, who had previously purchased sole ownership in 1873.


The Irish Land Commission, a government agency, acquired the demesne and house in the late 1930s, after allocating the land between afforestation and farmers.

The house was offered for sale.

An offer was accepted from Father Tobin of Glanworth, County Cork, who wished to use the stone and the slates to build a new church in his parish.

Galtee Castle was thus torn down and dismantled ca 1941.

Today, very little is left on the site of the former mansion: Some of the lower base foundations are all that remain.

Nearby are some estate cottages and two gate houses.

The woods and trails around the site have been developed as a public amenity area, known as Galtee Castle Woods.

First published in May, 2013.