Wednesday, 31 July 2019

The Denny Baronets


SIR EDMUND DENNY, Knight, one of the barons of the court of exchequer in England at the beginning of the 16th century, was great-grandson of John Denny, who fell in the French wars of HENRY V, and was interred at St Denys.

Sir Edmund died in 1520, and there is a monument to his memory in the church of St Benet Paul's Wharf, London.

By his last will, he directed his body to be laid in that church, and that twenty trentals of masses should be said for his soul, and for the souls of his wives deceased, and those of William and Agnes, his father and mother.

The fourth son of this learned person,

THE RT HON SIR ANTHONY DENNY (1501-49), Knight, was Groom of the Stool, 1518, and sworn of the Privy Council to HENRY VIII.

This gentleman was the only individual, amongst the courtiers, who dared to apprise his royal master of his approaching dissolution.

His Majesty had, however, such a high esteem for Sir Anthony, that he could perform that sad office with impunity; and the Monarch presented him with a magnificent pair of gloves, worked in pearls, which still remain in the possession of the family.

Sir Anthony's son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY (1547-1600), Knight Banneret, of Bishop's Stortford, was a soldier, privateer and adventurer in the reign of ELIZABETH I.

Denny was born in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire in 1547, the second surviving son of Sir Anthony Denny who was a Privy Councillor to Henry VIII and one of the Guardians of Edward VI. Orphaned in childhood, he inherited lands in Hertfordshire.

After some minor appointments at court, in 1573 Edward Denny went to Ulster on a military expedition led by Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex. Denny then took up privateering, capturing a Spanish ship in 1577 and a Flemish one in 1578.

The same year saw him join a colonizing expedition led by Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Walter Raleigh; however, their ships were forced to turn for home by bad weather. Denny first became Member of Parliament for Liskeard in Cornwall for the 1584 to 1585 parliament.

He was granted lands at Tralee, confiscated from the Earl of Desmond; he both became High Sheriff of Kerry and was knighted in 1588. His estates in Ireland were a financial failure and in 1591 he returned to England to command a naval expedition to the Azores.

In 1593 he became MP for Westmorland and then in 1597 for the "rotten borough" of Tregony in Cornwall. He died on 12 February 1599 at the age of 52; his tomb and monument are in Waltham Abbey in Essex.

Sir Anthony's grandson,

SIR EDWARD DENNYKnight (1569-1637) was summoned to parliament, in 1604, as Baron Denny; and created, in 1626, EARL OF NORWICH.

The latter dignity became extinct, at his decease, without male issue; while the barony devolved upon his only daughter and heir, Honoria, wife of James, 1st Earl of Carlisle, in 1630, at the decease of whose son, James, 2nd Earl of Carlisle, in 1660, without issue, it expired.

Edward, Earl of Norwich,  Photo Credit: Victoria & Albert Museum

His lordship was buried at Waltham, and the following epitaph placed upon his tomb:
Learn, curious reader, ere you pass,
What Sir Edward Denny was:
A courtier in the chamber, a soldier in the field;
Whose tongue could never flatter,
Whose heart could never yield.
SIR EDWARD DENNY, Knight (uncle to the deceased Earl of Norwich, and youngest son of the Rt Hon Sir Anthony Denny, HENRY VIII's privy counsellor), married Margaret, daughter of Peter Edgecombe, MP for Cornwall, and had issue,
EDWARD, his heir;
The elder son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY (1584-1619), Knight, of Tralee Castle, a military person, went to Ireland in the reign of ELIZABETH I, as an undertaker in the plantation of Munster, and settled at Tralee, County Kerry.

He wedded Elizabeth, sister of Sir Anthony Forest, Knight, and was succeed by his only son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY (1605-46), Knight, of Tralee Castle, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1634, MP for County Kerry, 1639, who married Ruth, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Roper, Viscount Ballinglas, by whom he had six sons and four daughters, of whom,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Edward, of Castle Lyons.
Sir Arthur was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ARTHUR DENNY, Knight (1629-73), of Tralee Castle, MP for Kerry, 1661, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1656, Vice-Admiral of Munster, 1669, who espoused firstly, the Lady Ellen Barry, daughter of David, 1st Earl of Barrymore; and secondly, Frances, daughter of Sir Richard Kyrle, Knight.

By the former he left at his decease, a son and successor,

EDWARD DENNY (1652-1709), of Tralee Castle, MP for County Kerry, 1695-98, who married, in 1673, Mary, daughter of Sir Richard Boyle Maynard, and had issue,
EDWARD, his heir;
Jane; Catherine.
Mr Denny was succeeded by his son,

EDWARD DENNY, MP for County Kerry, 1703 and 1713, who wedded, in 1699, the Lady Letitia Coningsby, and had, with other issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
THOMAS, succeeded his brother;
Barry, in holy orders;
Ursula; Arabella.
Mr Denny died in 1728, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR DENNY, MP for County Kerry, 1727; at whose decease, issueless (he had married the Lady Arabella FitzMaurice, second daughter of Thomas, Earl of Kerry), in 1742, the estates devolved upon his brother,

SIR THOMAS DENNY, Knight, who wedded Agnes, daughter of John Blennerhassett, of Ballyseedy, and had (with two daughters) four sons, the eldest surviving of whom,

WILLIAM DENNY, dsp and was succeeded by his brother,

THOMAS DENNY, at whose decease the estates devolved upon his uncle, the Rev Barry Denny's eldest son,

ARTHUR DENNY, who, dying unmarried, was succeeded by his brother,

BARRY DENNY (c1744-94); who was created a baronet in 1782, designated of Castle Moyle, County Kerry.

He married Jane, youngest daughter of his uncle, Sir Thomas Denny, Knight, by whom he had eight sons and as many daughters,
BARRY, his successor;
EDWARD, succeeded his brother;
Agnes; Arabella; Letitia; Charlotte; Diana; Sophia; Jane; Penelope.
Sir Barry was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR BARRY DENNY, 2nd Baronet, who wedded Anne, daughter of Crosbie Morgell, of County Limerick; but died without issue, in 1794, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR EDWARD DENNY, 3rd Baronet (c1773-1831), High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1794, MP for Tralee, 1828, who espoused, in 1795, Elizabeth, only child of the His Honour Judge Robert Day, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
Robert Day;
Henry (Rev);
Mary Lætitia; Elizabeth; Diana.
Sir Edward was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY, 4th Baronet (1796-1889), of Tralee Castle, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1827, MP for Tralee, 1818-19, who died unmarried.
Sir Robert Arthur Denny, 5th Baronet (1838–1921);
Sir Cecil Edward Denny, 6th Baronet (1850–1928);
Sir Henry Lyttelton Lyster Denny, 7th Baronet (1878–1953);
Sir Anthony Coningham de Waltham Denny, 8th Baronet (1925–2013);
Sir Piers Anthony de Waltham Denny, 9th Baronet (b 1954).
The heir presumptive is the present holder's younger brother, Thomas Francis Coningham Denny (b 1956).

Tralee Castle 1824 by Sarah J Harnett from "The History of Tralee" (2009). Photo Credit: G O'Carroll

TRALEE CASTLE, the ancient residence of the house of DESMOND. came into the possession of the Denny family as a reward to Edward Denny, the first settler in Ireland, for making prisoner the Earl of Desmond, who was accused of causing a dreadful massacre of the English at a feast to which he had invited them.

Mr Denny, a military officer in the Earl of Essex's army, not only obtained the castle and possessions of Desmond for this exploit, but was created a Knight Banneret, and presented with a rich scarf, embroidered with gold and pearls, and a pair of gloves, taken off her own hands, by ELIZABETH I.

This scarf, and those gloves (with others presented by HENRY VIII and JAMES I), which were for many years out of the possession of the Denny family, were restored to it in the following manner:-

IN the year 1760, or 1761, the magnificent mansion of the Earl of Arran, being sold at auction in London, the management of the sale devolved upon Mr Herbert (father of the Rector of Ledbury), his lordship's executor, and the particular friend of Sir Thomas Denny, who discovered, in making preliminary arrangements for the sale, the gloves and scarf, with an old parchment manuscript in a purple satin bag, by which, upon perusal, he was directed to the family to which they really belonged; and knowing how highly he should gratify his friend by the restoration of such inestimable relics, he purchased them for him - the gloves given to Sir Anthony Denny by HENRY VIII, for £38 17s; the gloves, given by JAMES I to Sir Anthony's son, Sir Edward Denny, for £22 1s; the mittens, presented by ELIZABETH I to Sir Edward Denny, for £25 4s.

The Dennys lived at Tralee Castle from the end of the 16th century until the early 19th century.

The 3rd Baronet subsequently became an absentee, living at Kingsend House, Worcestershire.

He demolished the old castle.

On his death in 1831, his son Sir Edward, 4th Baronet, returned to Tralee.

Sir Edward rented Ballyseedy or Ballyseede Castle (above) from his cousins, the Blennerhassetts.

He made plans for a new castle and spent a large sum on improving the demesne, but then joined the Plymouth Brethren and went to live modestly in London until his death in 1889.

Nevertheless, the Denny estate, despite the lack of a principal house, continued to function: Tralee and its environs were densely inhabited by the baronet's siblings and cousins, including his brother, the Rev Henry Denny, at Churchill; and his brother, the Venerable Anthony Denny, Archdeacon of Ardfert, at Tralee Rectory.

William Denny, the Baronet's youngest brother, ran the estate.

The 4th Baronet's successor, Sir Arthur, 5th Baronet, accumulated huge gambling debts so that the whole estate was swallowed up, and by the time the Rev Sir Henry Denny, 7th Baronet, inherited the title, there was nothing left to go with it.

First published in December, 2012.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Earl's Coronet

The coronet of an earl is a silver-gilt circlet with eight strawberry leaves alternating with eight silver balls (known as pearls) on raised spikes.

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 tassel on top.

The raised pearls on spikes distinguish it from other coronets.

It has also been described thus,
This coronet, which is one of the most striking, has, rising from a golden circlet, eight lofty rays of gold, each of which upon its point supports a small pearl, while between each pair of rays is a conventional leaf, the stalks of these leaves being connected with the rays and with each other so as to form a continuous wreath.
The coronet of a countess (below) is smaller in size and sits directly on top of the head, rather than around it.

Earls rank in the third degree of the hereditary peerage, being next below a marquess, and next above a viscount.

First published in June, 2010.

1st Duke of Dorset


The family of SACKVILLE derived its origin from Herbrand de Sauqueville, who came into England with WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, and had its principal seat at Buckhurst, in Sussex.

SIR RICHARD SACKVILLE (c1507-66), Chancellor of the Court of Augmentations in the reign of HENRY VIII, was father of

SIR THOMAS SACKVILLE KG (1536-1608), a celebrated statesman in the reigns of ELIZABETH I and JAMES I.

He was one of the commissioners for the trial of MARY, Queen of Scots; Lord High Steward at the trial of the unfortunate Earl of Essex; Chancellor of Oxford University; and, in 1599, appointed LORD HIGH TREASURER of England.

Sir Thomas married, in 1555, Cicely, daughter of Sir John Baker, of Sissinghurst, Kent, and had issue,
ROBERT, his successor;
Anne; Jane; Mary.
He was elevated to the peerage, in 1604, as Earl of Dorset.

1st Earl of Dorset, Photo Credit: The National Trust

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 2nd Earl (1561-1609), who wedded, in 1580, Margaret, only surviving daughter of Thomas, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
EDWARD, 4th Earl;
Cecily; Anne.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD, 3rd Earl (1589-1624), who espoused, ca 1608, the Lady Anne Clifford, and had issue, five children of whom the two daughters survived; though the family honours devolved upon his brother,

EDWARD, 4th Earl, KG (1591-1652), who married, in 1612, Mary, daughter and heir of Sir George Curzon, of Croxall Hall, Derbyshire, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD, 5th Earl (1622-77), who wedded, in 1637, the Lady Frances Cranfield, only daughter of Lionel, 1st Earl of Middlesex, and had issue, six daughters and seven sons, of whom the eldest,

CHARLES, 6th Earl, KG (1643-1706), married thrice; and by his second wife, the Lady Mary Compton, only daughter of James, 3rd Earl of Northampton, he had issue,
LIONEL CRANFIELD, his successor;
his lordship was succeeded by his son,

LIONEL CRANFIELD, 7th Earl, KG (1688-1765), who espoused, in 1709, Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Lieutenant-General Walter Colyear, and had issue,
CHARLES, his successor;
John, father of JOHN FREDERICK, 3rd Duke;
GEORGE, 5th Duke;
Anne; Elizabeth; Caroline.
His lordship was advanced to the dignity of a dukedom, in 1720, as DUKE OF DORSET.

1st Duke of Dorset. Photo Credit: The National Trust

He was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1731-37 and 1751-55.

His Grace was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES, 2nd Duke (1711-69), who married, in 1744, daughter and heir of Richard, 2nd Viscount Shannon, though the marriage was without issue, and the family honours reverted to His Grace's nephew,

JOHN FREDERICK, 3rd Duke, KG (1745-99), who wedded, in 1790, Arabella Diana, eldest daughter and co-heir of Sir Charles Cope Bt, and had issue,
Mary; Elizabeth.
His Grace was succeeded by his son,

GEORGE JOHN FREDERICK, 4th Duke (1793-1815), who died unmarried, when the titles reverted to his cousin,

CHARLES, 5th Duke, KG (1767-1843), third son of the 1st Duke.

His Grace died unmarried, when the dukedom and the other titles expired.

Former seats ~ Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent; Buckhurst Park, Withyham, East Sussex; Croxall Hall, Staffordshire.

Former town residence ~ Dorset House, London.

First published in July, 2017.  Dorset arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Marble Hill House


This branch of the Burkes claims to be a scion from the house of CLANRICARDE; but more immediately connected with the Barons Bourke of Brittas.

THOMAS BURKE, of Gortenacuppogue (now Marble Hill), died at an advanced age in 1714.

During the civil wars, in the time of CHARLES I, and subsequently in the revolution of 1688, his predecessors and himself lost a considerable portion of their lands; but he still preserved the estate upon which he resided, and it became the seat of the Burke baronets.

He married into the family of TULLY, great landed proprietors in County Galway, and owners of the Garbally estate, in the possession of the Earl of Clancarty.

The son of this Thomas,

JOHN BURKE (c1713-93), wedded the daughter of Carroll of Killoran, who was nearly allied to the Donelans, County Galway, and to the Carrolls of King's County.

By this lady the family acquired the Killoran estate.

Mr Burke was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS BURKE, of Marble Hill, who raised a Regiment of Foot at his own expense during the Napoleonic Wars.

He was created a baronet in 1797, designated of Marble Hill, County Galway.

He espoused Christian, daughter of ____ Browne, of Limerick, of the Browne family of Camus, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
James, d 1812;
Maria; Julia; Elizabeth; Anne; Eleanor.
Sir Thomas died in 1813, and was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR JOHN BURKE, 2nd Baronet (1782-1847), of Marble Hill, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of County Galway, High Sheriff of County Galway, 1838, MP for County Galway, 1830-32, Colonel, 98th Regiment, who married Elizabeth Mary, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon John Calcraft MP, and had issue,
THOMAS JOHN, his heir;
Charles Granby;
James Henry;
Edward Howe;
Maurice William Otway;
Henry Ulick;
Elizabeth Anne; Caroline Jane.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR THOMAS JOHN BURKE, 3rd Baronet (1813-75), DL, of Marble Hill, MP for County Galway, 1847-59, Captain, 1st Royal Dragoons, who wedded the Lady Mary Nugent, daughter of Anthony, 9th Earl of Westmeath, and had issue,
JOHN CHARLES, 4th Baronet;
HENRY GEORGE, 5th Baronet;
THOMAS MALACHY, 6th Baronet;
William Anthony;
Julia Catherine Anne; Mary Clare Theresa.
Sir Thomas was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN CHARLES BURKE, 4th Baronet (1858-90), who died unmarried, and the title devolved upon his next brother,

SIR HENRY GEORGE BURKE, 5th Baronet (1859-1910), JP DL, who died unmarried, when the baronetcy devolved upon his brother,

SIR THOMAS MALACHY BURKE, 6th Baronet (1864-1913), JP, who married, in 1893, Catherine Mary Caroline, daughter of Major-General James Henry Burke, and had issue, an only child,

SIR GERALD HOWE BURKE, 7th Baronet (1893-1954), DL, Captain, Irish Guards, who wedded firstly, in 1914, Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Patrick Mathews, and had issue,
THOMAS STANLEY, his successor.
He espoused secondly, in 1920, Merrial Alison, daughter of Edward Christie, and had issue,
Bridget Alison;
Elizabeth Anne.
Sir Gerald was succeeded by his only son,

SIR THOMAS STANLEY BURKE, 8th Baronet (1916-89), who married, in 1955, Suzanne Margaretha, daughter of Otto Theodore Salvisberg, of Thun, Switzerland, and had issue,
Caroline Elizabeth.
Sir Thomas was succeeded by his son,

SIR JAMES STANLEY GILBERT BURKE (1956-), of Oberrieden, Switzerland, who wedded, in 1980, Laura, daughter of Domingo Branzuela, and has issue.

Marble Hill (Photo credit: Dr Patrick Melvin & Eamonn de Burca)

MARBLE HILL HOUSE, near Loughrea, County Galway, was built ca 1775 for John Burke, and enlarged after 1813 by Sir John Burke, 2nd Baronet.

It was an exceptional country house prior to its malicious destruction by fire in 1921.

Architectural quality and refinement are apparent in the design and detailing.

The masonry was executed by skilled craftsmen, as is apparent in the detailing of the door-case.

It forms part of a group of demesne-related structures that includes the gate lodge, outbuildings, walled garden and ice-house.

The house is now an ivy-covered, roofless ruin.

It comprised three storeys over a raised basement, with a canted entrance bay to the front (east) elevation, and two-storey return to rear.

Four-bay side elevations, with bowed bay to north side elevation, and with rear two bays of south projecting; moulded cornice; rubble limestone walls, with evidence of weather-slating to the west gable wall.

Square-headed window openings with stone sills and red brick surrounds; square-headed entrance doorway within pedimented carved limestone door-case, having channelled pilasters with plinths and moulded capitals.

Wrought-iron railings to entrance avenue.

The well designed range of outbuildings originally served the adjacent Marble Hill House.

The high-quality stonework suggests that it was a significant part of the former demesne and was possibly by the same architect responsible for the house.

Some original sash windows and gates survive.

Marble Hill estate once incorporated a weigh station, forge and smokehouse that are no longer standing.

The ruin of the original house is an ivy-covered shell beside the remains of a courtyard which included a pigeon loft, carriage house, abattoir and worker accommodation.

The mansion house was equipped with running water and flushing toilets, which was the state of the art at the time.

The house also had a central heating system based on technology developed in Roman times, still visible today.

When the estate was in full operation, it had a full complement of blacksmiths, carpenters, painters, gardeners, an engineer, and a catholic priest who said mass in a specially-built private chapel in the house every morning.

Several generations of Burkes were raised at Marble Hill until the family departed in 1922 for their house in London due to the political climate in Ireland.

Several of the Burke gentry throughout the generations served at Westminster and government bodies up to the late 1800s, Ted Burke being the last to serve in political office.

At this point they concentrated solely on the land.

The downfall of the Burke family began at this point as the only source of income for the once wealthy family was now rates paid by tenants.
By the early 1900s the estate was in decline and in severe financial difficulties. Burnt down in 1922 by the local IRA, the house burned for 4 days and 4 nights. The only thing that remained was a complete window which had been bricked up in the blue room.
The blue room was a child’s nursery. After the tragic death of a young infant, the window was sealed as the residents believed the house to be haunted. It was locked and never opened until the house burned down.
Like most landowners, the Burkes were known to sympathise with HM Government, and Thomas Burke helped raise a military regiment, the Connaught Rangers, in 1793 to support Great Britain in its war with France.

Although the Burkes had already left for England, the house was burned during the time known as “The Troubles”.

Over the following years the estate was divided among tenants and families.

The original farmyard and store buildings were given to the estate’s herd (an unofficial vet who cured animal illnesses with natural remedies).

Some of the buildings in the courtyard were knocked and the stone sold by the land commission.

The main house itself was completely destroyed, but the servant’s quarters and gardens were intact, including a glasshouse that was operational until the 1970s.

The Rafferty family resided here until the 1990s. Kate Rafferty, the Burkes' former housekeeper, purchased the remaining estate, operating it as a guest-house for many years.

After her death, the house passed to her son and fell into disrepair.

With no heirs, the ruin was eventually sold to a developer, whose plans have been halted by the current recession in 2012.

First published in August, 2012.

Beltrim Castle

Arms of 1st Earl of Abercorn

THE HON SIR CLAUD HAMILTON (c1545-1629), of Bodoney, County Tyrone, Gentleman of the King's Privy Chamber, second son of Claud, 1st Lord Paisley, and brother of James, 1st Earl of Abercorn, was appointed, 1618, Constable of the castle of Toome, County Antrim.

He married Janet, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Hamilton, Knight, of Leckprevick and Easter Greenlees, and had issue,
Claud, dsp;
James, dsp;
George, dsp;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
Margaret; Grizel; Janet.
The fourth son,

SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON, Knight (c1604-64), of Manor Eliston, County Tyrone, married firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Johnston, and had issue,
Sarah; Margaret.
He wedded secondly, Beatrix, daughter of Archibald Campbell, and had further issue,
CLAUD, his successor;
Sir William, who was buried in Bodoney parish church, Killeter, Castlederg, County Tyrone, was succeeded by his third son,

CLAUD HAMILTON (c1648-c1695), of Monterloney, County Tyrone, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1671 and 1683, who espoused Isabella Wingfield, and had issue (with five daughters, viz. Beatrix, Mary, Agnes, Margaret, and Rebecca), two sons,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Claud, of Strabane, ancestor of Hamilton Baronets of Woodbrook.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM HAMILTON (-1747), of Beltrim, County Tyrone, who left, by Mary his wife, two sons and three daughters.

His last surviving son,

CLAUD HAMILTON, of Beltrim, married his cousin Letitia, daughter of Claud Hamilton, of Strabane, and had issue,
LETITIA, of whom hereafter;
Isabella; Beatrix.
Mr Hamilton died in 1782, and was succeeded by his elder daughter,

LETITIA HAMILTON, of Beltrim, who espoused, in 1780, the Hon Arthur Cole MP, afterwards COLE-HAMILTON, of Skea, County Fermanagh.

Mr Cole-Hamilton was the second son of John, 1st Baron Mountflorence, and brother of William, 1st Earl of Enniskillen.

Mr Cole-Hamilton left issue,
CLAUD WILLIAM, his heir;
Letitia; Elizabeth Ann; Isabella.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

CLAUD WILLIAM COLE-HAMILTON (1781-1822), who married, in 1805, Nichola Sophia, daughter of Richard Chaloner, of Kingsfort, County Meath, by whom he left at his decease, two sons,
Richard Chaloner.
Mr Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his elder son,

ARTHUR WILLOUGHBY COLE-HAMILTON JP DL (1806-91), of Beltrim Castle, Major, Royal Tyrone Fusiliers, who married, in 1831, Emilia Katherine, daughter of Rev Charles Cobbe Beresford, and granddaughter of the Hon John Beresford, second son of Marcus, 1st Earl of Tyrone, and brother of George, 1st Marquess of Waterford, and had issue,
WILLIAM CLAUD, his heir;
Claud Chaloner;
Charles Richard, Commander RN;
Arthur Henry (Rev);
John Isaac (father of Air Vice-Marshal John Cole-Hamilton);
Letitia Grace; Emily Harriet; Selina.
Major Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM CLAUD COLE-HAMILTON (1833-82), of Ballitore House, County Kildare, Captain, 88th Regiment, Connaught Rangers, who wedded, in 1858, Caroline Elizabeth Josephine, daughter of Hon Andrew Godfrey Stewart, and granddaughter of Andrew Thomas, 1st Earl Castle Stewart; and dvp in 1882, having had, with other issue,
William Andrew Thomas;
Claud George;
Isabel Mary.
Captain Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR RICHARD COLE-HAMILTON JP DL (1859-1915), of Beltrim Castle.
Captain,7th Hussars; fought in the Egyptian Campaign, 1882; Captain, Royal Scots Fusiliers; Sudan Campaign, 1885-86; Lieutenant-Colonel, 6th Service Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment; lived at Caddagh, Wilkinstown, County Meath, and Beltrim, Gortin, Newtownstewart, County Tyrone; Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Colonel, 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles; 1st World War service, where he was mentioned in despatches; fought in the Gallipoli Campaign.
Colonel Cole-Hamilton married firstly, in 1882, Jeannette, eldest daughter of Samuel Moore, of Moorlands, Lancashire, and had issue, an only child,
WILLIAM MOORE, his heir.
He wedded secondly, in 1884, Florence Alice, daughter of James Duke Hughes, of Brentwood, Surrey.

Colonel Cole-Hamilton was killed in action, in 1915, at The Dardenelles, Turkey.

His only son,

WILLIAM MOORE COLE-HAMILTON (1883-1948), of Beltrim Castle, Major, Royal Army Service Corps, married, in 1903, Ada Beatrice, daughter of William Peter Huddle, and had an only son,

WILLIAM ARTHUR RICHARD COLE-HAMILTON (1906-36), who married, in 1932, Barbara, daughter of Edward J Deane, and had two daughters,

A memorial screen at Kilwinning Old Parish Church, Ayrshire, was erected from a generous gift made by John Cole-Hamilton and was dedicated on 10th June, 1990.
It was erected in memory of Mr Cole-Hamilton’s father, Colonel Arthur Richard Cole-Hamilton, who died at Gallipoli in 1915; his mother Sarah who died on 18th September, 1942; and his wife Gladys who died on 4th October, 1989. Mr Cole-Hamilton died on 10th November, 1991. The Screen incorporates the Cole-Hamilton shield and the seal of the Abbot of Kilwinning.

BELTRIM CASTLE, Gortin, County Tyrone, was erected by Sir William Hamilton.

In 1622 the Castle consisted of a bawn (fortified enclosure) of lime and stone, 42 feet square and 7 feet high, with the foundations of a castle, the walls of which had reached 5 feet in height.

Portions of this structure are still standing beside the present building, a five-bay, two-storey rendered house of ca 1780-1820.
It is L-shaped, facing west, with a multi-bay, two-storey return.

The formal appearance of the west front to Beltrim Castle owes its existence to early 19th century improvements, which also saw the remains of the 17th century bawn incorporated into a long rear return.

The 19th century house retains most of the original features.

In is said to be not only of local importance, but also of national significance.

Beltrim's associated outbuildings, former bawn, and gardens contribute significantly to the architectural and historic interest of the property.

The only part of the original castle which remains standing is a gable wall which is no part of the present building.

Beltrim is now part of the Blakiston-Houston Estate.

Richard Patrick Blakiston-Houston OBE JP DL was born in 1948; educated at Eton; registered as a Professional Associate, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, 1972; High Sheriff of County Down, 1989. His wife,

Dr Lucinda Mary Lavinia Blakiston-Houston DL (b 1956), daughter of Lt.-Cdr. Theodore Bernard Peregrine Hubbard and Lady Miriam Fitzalan-Howard; graduated from Leeds University with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.); Liverpool University, Master of Science (M.Sc.); Queen's University, Belfast, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Other residence: The Roddens, Ballywalter, County Down.

Interestingly, the Blakiston-Houston family appear to be related to General Sam Houston, after which Houston, Texas, USA, was named. 
Orangefield Park in east Belfast was the family home of the Houston family in the 18th century. The head of the family, John Holmes Houston, was a partner in the Belfast Banking Company and lived at Orangefield House with his family. 

Orangefield was situated at the end of what is now Houston Park and the estate itself extended to almost 300 acres. John and Eliza's daughter, Mary Isabella, was born in 1793 and later married Richard Bayly Blakiston.

The two families joined names, leaving J Blakiston-Houston in charge of the Orangefield estate from 1857.

In 1934, the Blakiston-Houston family offered Belfast Corporation (now the council) part of the Orangefield estate to develop as a public park. The corporation, although keen to buy the land, felt that the price was too high. 

After lengthy negotiations, they bought part of the site in 1938 for £20,000 (£1.1 million in today's values). Development work was put on hold due to World War II and plans for the park were only drawn up in 1947. 
First published in December, 2009.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Grand Opera House Ceiling

Every time I visit the Grand Opera House in Belfast I always admire the ceiling.

It originally had six painted ceiling panels, the blue sky with stars above the oriental balcony with its small potted palms.

When the opera house was being restored in the 1980s, an artist was sought who could recreate the scene in a sympathetic manner.

Cherith McKinstry was selected.

It was felt that her re-interpretation complemented the four surviving painted roundels, which were re-mounted on fibreglass saucer domes, and the cartouche of female musicians inside the segmental arch over the proscenium opening.

The roundels and cartouche were exquisitely restored and cleaned by Alexander Dunluce, now the Earl of Antrim.

THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE was used as a cinema for many years then closed after bomb damage.

It reopened as a theatre in 1980, after undergoing a successful scheme of renovation and restoration.
The magnificent auditorium is probably the best surviving example in the UK of the Oriental Style applied to theatre architecture - largely Indian in character with intricate detail on the sinuously curved fronts of the two balconies and an elaborate composition of superimposed boxes surmounted by turban-domed canopies.
The ceiling, which is divided into several richly-framed painted panels, is supported on arches above the gallery slips, with large elephant heads at springing level.
Proscenium, 39' 8"; stage depth, 45'; grid increased to 60' from 52'; a new, enlarged orchestra pit, the sharp single radius curve of the orchestra rail providing the only slightly jarring note in this superb auditorium. The exterior, of brick and cast stone, is in a free mixture of Baroque, Flemish and Oriental styles - typical of Matcham’s earlier work.
Frank Matcham made good use of the corner site by building up the composition of his design in stages, linked by strapwork scrolls, to the triangular-pedimented central gable which is flanked by domed minarets.

The relatively recent projecting glass extension to the former first floor bar (the Crush Bar) is said to be in the spirit of Matcham’s architecture.

It's reminiscent of an elevated conservatory or glass-house.

In 1982, it was made complete by the addition of the visually important column supports.

In 1991 and 1993, the theatre was damaged by terrorist bombs.

This necessitated considerable rebuilding of the Glengall Street dressing-room block and stage door.

Fortunately the auditorium suffered only superficial damage. 

In January, 2020, the opera house is closing for ten months in order to carry out a major restoration of its interior, including new seating, stage and auditorium curtaining, carpeting, air conditioning, and crush bar.

Paul Coleman has provided several images of the ceiling.  First published in May, 2010.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

On the 10th May, 1958, the Golden Jubilee of the Territorial Army in Northern Ireland, a Review was performed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother at RAF Sydenham (now Belfast City Airport).

The 5th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was raised in 1947.

It is descended directly from the Royal Tyrone Regiment, the Fermanagh Regiment and the Donegal Regiment.

These historic regiments first saw active service in the '98 Rebellion, the Tyrones actually fighting at Vinegar Hill under their Colonel, the (1st) Marquess of Abercorn.

Click to Enlarge

The GHQ of the 5th Battalion has been at Omagh in County Tyrone, with Companies based at Londonderry, Magherafelt, Omagh, Enniskillen and Dungannon.

The Colonel-in-Chief of Royal Inniskillings, in 1958, was Field Marshal His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster, KG KT KP GCB GCMG GCVO.

The Colonel of the Regiment was Brigadier E E J Moore DSO; Honorary Colonel, Colonel J M Blakiston-Houston DL; Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel R T C Waters.

First published in June, 2010.

Theatre Royal, Belfast


THE THEATRE ROYAL, at the corner of Arthur Street and Castle Lane, Belfast, had three incarnations.

It is known to have been running as early as 1793, when the first theatre on the site was built for Michael Atkins.

This first theatre was eventually rebuilt, with construction starting at the close of the season in March, 1870.

It was said to be "a mere red brick enclosure", with various unsavoury smells emanating from its interior.

During construction of the original theatre, a roadway was discovered that was thought to have been a former entrance to the Jacobean Belfast Castle.

The second theatre was opened in 1871, and played host to many well known actors of the time.

Second Theatre Royal, 1871-81

The General Manager remained J F Warden, who also operated the Grand Opera House, which opened in 1895.

The second theatre suffered a catastsophic fire in June, 1881.

Despite the fire a new theatre, the third on the site, was soon under construction and was completed just six months later, for its opening in December, 1881.

The designer of the third Theatre Royal in Belfast was the well known and respected theatre architect, C J Phipps.

Construction was carried out by H & J Martin, who would later go on to construct the Grand Opera House in 1895.

The Era newspaper printed a report on the Theatre Royal in their 1881 edition saying:
...The new theatre, although built within the same space as the late structure, is different in almost every particular ... the elevation facing Arthur-square still retains the five entrance doorways, but their designations have been changed.

The dress circle and the upper circle both enter by the three centre doorways into a large vestibule; thence the audience to the former turn to the left hand, and the latter to the right hand, up the respective staircases.

There will be no confusion or mingling of the audience to these two parts of the house, as the vestibule will be divided by a low barrier, and when the performance is over the additional doorway to the extreme right of the façade will serve as the exit from the upper circle staircase exclusively;

the corresponding doorway on the left, next to Mr Forrester's premises, being the entrance to the pit, which is entered up a few steps from the street. The gallery is entered in Castle-lane - first doorway from the angle of the façade.

Farther along Castle-lane is another wide doorway which opens directly into the refreshment saloon, underneath the pit, and will be opened at every performance as an additional exit for the pit. The stage entrance is in the old position in Castle-lane.

Along the whole of the façade in Arthur-square a covered veranda or porch has been erected of iron and glass; so that the audience waiting for the opening of the doors will be protected when the weather is wet, and those coming in carriages will not have to cross a damp pavement previous to entering the theatre.

The vestibule before referred to is level with the street, and in the wall opposite the entrances are the offices for booking seats and pay places for the dress and upper circles. A corridor in the centre leads to the acting manager's and Mr Warden's offices, and to lavatories for gentlemen.

The floors of this vestibule and the corridor are laid with marble mosaic, from Mr Burke's manufactory, at Venice. Ascending the staircase, to the left of the vestibule are the dress circle and balcony stalls, with a cloak-room on the top of the landing. The balcony stalls have six rows of seats all fitted with the architect's patent arm-chairs, with lifting seats.

This part of the theatre is arranged somewhat after the model of the Gaiety, at Dublin (also designed by Mr Phipps), with small private boxes on either side, behind the second row of seats.

The back of the circle is enclosed from the corridor by a series of elliptical arches, filled with plate-glass sashes, which can be either opened or kept closed, thereby keeping the circle warm and snug, when not entirely fall, and affording means for those standing in the corridor on a full night to both bear and see the performance.

Behind the corridor is a refreshment saloon, adjoining the cloak-room. There are two private boxes in the proscenium, also, on this level, and on the pit tier, the upper circle and the gallery tier. The front of the upper circle tier recedes about two rows of seats behind the dress circle, the front rows of which form a balcony.

The gallery tier also recedes again from the upper circle. The mode of construction is good for sound, and also prevents the well-like appearance which small theatres present when all the fronts of the various tiers are on one perpendicular plane.

The upper-circle has six rows of seats, and a spacious corridor behind for standing - and the same arrangement of refreshment saloon and cloak-room as on the tier below. The gallery, or top tier, has ten rows of seats.

It has two means of access from the two staircases above those of the dress and upper-circle, with a communicating corridor arranged between the two, so that each side of the gallery has a good entrance and exit. All the entrance staircases are made of cement concrete, and are supported at either end by brick or concrete walls, with handrails.

The stage is also separated from the auditory by a solid brick wall, carried by an arch over the proscenium, and entirely through the roof, thereby rendering the stage and audience portions of the house entirely distinct from each other; in fact, forming two separate buildings, the only communication between them being two iron doors.

Water is laid on from the high-pressure mains to several parts of the theatre, both before and behind the curtain. The gas meter and supplies are entirely distinct for the stage and auditory, so that the failure of one supply will not affect the other.

In fact, every possible means have been taken, that experience could devise, to insure both the safety and comfort of the audience.

The auditory is thus arranged:— The stage opening, which is 28ft. wide, by 31ft. high, is surrounded by a frame, richly moulded and gilded; above this an arch is formed, in the tympanum of which is painted an allegorical subject, by Ballard, representing "Apollo end the Muses."

On either side of the proscenium are private boxes, one on each of the four levels of the auditory, enclosed between Corinthian columns, richly ornamented and fluted. The three tiers rise one above the other, and the whole is surmounted by a circular ceiling, enclosed in a circular moulded cornice - very richly modelled and gilded.

The flat part of the ceiling is painted in Italian Renaissance ornament, in colours, on a pale creamy white ground. Each of the fronts of the several tiers are richly modelled in ornament of the Renaissance period, and are painted and gilded - the general tone of the ornamentation being cream white and gold.

The effect of this is enhanced by the rich colour of the wall-paper, of a warm Venetian red tone - while the hangings to the private boxes are of silk tapestry, a deep turquoise blue colour, embroidered with sprigs of flowers in colour. The whole scheme of colour has been very carefully arranged by the architect, and the paper and curtains have been specially manufactured for this theatre.

Although the holding capacity of the theatre has been only enlarged by a trifling number, yet it will look much larger and more open than the late theatre, and will be decidedly more ornamental and convenient. A very charming act-drop, painted by Mr Harford, of the St. James's and Haymarket Theatres, London, represents a classical landscape, with satin draperies enclosing it.

The whole of the new and beautiful scenery has been executed by Mr Swift, Mr Beilair, and assistants. The stage occupies its old position, and the roof over it is carried up sufficiently high to admit of the large drop scenes being taken up in one piece, without any rolling or doubling.

At the back of the stage, high up even above the second tier of flies, is the painting gallery, with two frames.

The theatre is illuminated with a powerful sunlight, with a ventilating shaft round it. Subsidiary lights are also placed at the backs of the several tiers, all under the control of the gas man at the prompter's box, and capable of being turned down simultaneously when the exigencies of the scene requires a subdued light.

The various contractors who have been engaged upon the works are as follow:— Messrs H. and J. Martin, of Belfast, for the whole of the builders' work, including stage (under the direction of Mr Owen); Messrs George Jackson and Sons, of London, for the patent fibrous plaster work of box fronts, proscenium, and ceiling; Messrs Strode and Co., for the sunlight and the special gas work for stage;

Messrs Riddel of Belfast, for the general gas-fitting; Messrs Dale have erected the limelight apparatus; Mr E. Bell has executed the whole of the decorative painting and gilding; Messrs George Smith and Co., of Glasgow, have erected the iron and glass veranda porch; Burke and Co., of London, Paris, and Venice, have laid the marble mosaic to vestibule;

Wadmen, of Bath, has manufactured the patent chairs for the dress circle; Messrs N A Campbell, of Belfast, have executed the curtains and upholstery generally in and about the theatre. Mr William Browne has been clerk of works.
Arthur Lloyd is known to have performed at the theatre in 1890, and his father in law, the Drury Lane Tragedian, T C King, appeared in the earlier one in 1858; and again in 1863, in Othello.

The third incarnation of the Theatre Royal ran as a live Theatre for just 34 years before it was demolished and replaced with a new cinema building.

The Building News carried a short piece on its demise in their August 1915 edition, saying:-
Operations have been commenced in connection with the demolition of the Theatre Royal, the site of which is to be utilised for the erection of a picture house on a large scale.

Messrs. Warden, Ltd., the owners of the Theatre Royal, intend to erect a building which will bear comparison with any other structure of the kind in the United Kingdom. The plans have been prepared by Mr Crewe, who designed the Royal Hippodrome, and the contract has been let to Messrs. H. and J. Martin, Ltd., of Belfast.

The whole of the ground floor will be devoted to stalls, with upholstered chairs, and there will be a large and well equipped circle. Accommodation will be provided for an audience of about 1,500.

It is expected that the building will be ready about Christmas.
Construction continued into the following year and the Building News carried another short article in their 1916 edition saying:-
A picture house is being built in Arthur Square, Belfast, from plans by Mr Bertie Crewe, of London. The contractors are Messrs H & J Martin, Ltd, of Ormeau Road, Belfast.
The new building opened as the Royal Cinema in the spring of 1916.

Designed by Bertie Crewe, the building is said to have resembled his Prince's Theatre in London, built some 5 years earlier, and was somewhat smaller than originally advertised, with 900 seats in its stalls and circle levels, and a café for refreshments.

The Royal Cinema continued for many years but is said to have become very run down in its later years and was eventually demolished and replaced with shops in 1961.

Today the site is occupied by a Starbuck's café.

First published in July, 2013.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Gaussen of Shanemullagh


This family derives from a French Huguenot Protestant, of Lunel, Languedoc, who, on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, escaped from his native country in 1685 and settled at Newry, in County Down.

His name was

DAVID GAUSSEN (1664-1751) and his wish, it is handed down, was to settle in England; but the vessel in which he sailed was obliged by a storm to run into Carlingford Bay for shelter.

By Dorothy Fortescue his wife, daughter of the Vicar of Dundalk, he left at his decease three daughters and one son.

One of the former married George Atkinson, of Dundalk; and another, the Rev William Lucas, was Vicar of Newry.

The only son,

DAVID GAUSSEN, also of Newry, left by Margaret his wife, at his decease in 1802, a son,

DAVID GAUSSEN (1753-1832), who resided for some years at Newry, and afterwards settled and died at Ballyronan House, on the borders of Lough Neagh, County Londonderry.

He wedded, in 1778, Elizabeth, daughter of James Campbell, of Drumbane, County Londonderry, and had, with other issue,
DAVID, of whom presently;
Charles, of Greystones, Co Wicklow.
The elder son,

DAVID GAUSSEN JP, of Lake View House, County Londonderry, espoused, in 1812, Anne, daughter of John Ash, of Magherafelt, and had issue,
Charles John, d 1848;
Thomas Lovette, captain RN;
Edmund James (Rev);
William Ash, of Ballyronan;
Helena; Jane; Isabella; Annie; Emily Mary.
Mr Gaussen died in 1853, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

DAVID CAMPBELL GAUSSEN JP (1815-1900), of Shanemullagh House, Barrister, who married, in 1861, Annie Catherine, widow of Captain Henry Robe Saunders, Royal Artillery, and daughter of William Ottiwell, and had issue,
Thomas Ash, b 1864;
Steuart Macnaghten Pennefather Ash (1866-1903);
Anita Kathleen Ottiwell, b 1905.
Mr Gaussen's eldest son,

PERCEVAL DAVID CAMPBELL GAUSSEN (1862-1928), of Shanemullagh House, Barrister, wedded, in 1908, Letitia Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev James Wilson, of Tyholland Rectory, Monaghan, and had issue,


SHANEMULLAGH is a townland at Castledawson, County Londonderry.

Jean Gaussen, a Languedoc merchant, fled to Geneva in 1685 with his five sons.

His son David wanted to settle in England and while travelling in a fishing boat with his wife, a maid and another lady, a storm forced them to shelter in Carlingford Lough.

They were shipwrecked and lost everything except their lives.

They settled in Newry, where David became a prosperous merchant.

His only son, David, freighted the first large vessel from Newry when the ship canal was opened in 1770.

He married Margaret Hogg the daughter of Dr Hogg from Moneymore.

Their son David, born in 1753, settled in Ballyronan with his wife and three sons in 1788, having bought the business of Thompson & Maxwell.

As well as extending the quay, the Guassens established a distillery (1824) and a brewery (1828), and also a school for girls.

The steamer Lady of the Lake, built for David Gaussen in the 1820s, operated a freight passenger service from Ballyronan to Lurgan to connect with the train to Belfast.

The family had a great influence on the life of the village of Ballyronan until the last member of the family, Arthur, went to live in England in the late 1920s.


THE VILLAGE OF BALLYRONAN was established by the merchant David Gaussen, on a lease of land belonging to the Salters' Company, ca 1788.

Intended as a trading centre, he constructed a pier along with "extensive grocery, spirit, timber, iron, coal and grain stores, chiefly for the supply of the shopkeepers in the neighbouring towns".
In 1824 his sons, David, Charles and James, added a distillery to the south of the village; and, about 1828-30, a brewery, just to the south-west of the pier, exporting much of the produce of the two ventures to Belfast. Both had relatively short existences, however, closing some time prior to 1857.
The lease of Ballyronan reverted to the Salters' Company in 1852.

The long-standing expectation of improvements to the village and linkage to the nascent railway network under the management of the Salters' Company never materialised, and its further growth stalled.

Thus, in 1857 the valuers were reporting the village was "no good for trade on any commercial business."

In the decades immediately following, Ballyronan was surpassed by other centres of trade (with easy access to the railway) and never expanded beyond its pre-1830 bounds.

Ballyronan House

Ballyronan House was originally David Gaussen's home, and as such probably one of the first (if not the first) dwelling to be built within the village.

It is building is shown on a map of 1832, recorded as " ... a house in good condition in the hands of David Gaussen's eldest son, David Gaussen, of Lake View House".

It was recorded ca 1857 that the shop and porch were subsequently demolished.

The rest of the property was made up of outbuildings.

On the other side of the road, to the south, was the brewery complex, which the valuers included as part of the above property.

In 1853 the lease passed to one of David Gaussen's younger sons, William.

By 1857, the building was seemingly split into four, the main section to the south end occupied by William Gaussen himself, with a David Duncan, an Edward McCann and the local "Constabulary Force" occupying the northern portions.

In 1860 this Force was noted as having use of the whole building.

However, from 1864 until 1890, William Gaussen was recorded as being the sole occupant.

In the latter year the property passed to William's son, Arthur; and in the same year a George Rogers was listed as resident.

Part of the building (which formerly contained a small dwelling) is recorded as having been demolished in 1908.

At some stage between 1929 and 1935, William McLean acquired the freehold of the whole building.

In 1936, the main southern section is listed as a house, with petrol pump, offices, weighbridge, with the two smaller dwellings leased to a Robert Wylie and a John Greer respectively.

This situation lasted until at least 1957.

Former residence ~ 17 Herbert Street, Dublin.

First published in July, 2015.

Grace Hall


This family is of Scottish descent.

ROBERT DOUGLAS (1655-1733), son of Robert Douglas, of County Down, by Elizabeth Henderson his wife, was a lieutenant in WILLIAM III's army at the battle of the Boyne.

He was thrice married: firstly, to Miss Elliot; secondly, to Miss Whitney; and thirdly, to Miss Usher.

Mr Douglas was succeeded by his son,

CHARLES DOUGLAS, High Sheriff of County Down, 1760, who wedded firstly, Grace, daughter of Richard Waring, of Waringstown, County Down, but had no issue.

He espoused secondly, in 1758, Theodosia, daughter of George St George, of Woodsgift, County Kilkenny (who was created a baronet, 1766), and had issue,
Elizabeth; Ellen.
The eldest son,

THOMAS DOUGLAS, of Grace Hall, married, in 1786, Elizabeth, daughter of Mathew Forde, of Seaforde, County Down, and Coolgreaney, County Wexford, by Elizabeth his wife, sister of Thomas, 1st Viscount Northland, and had issue,
Elizabeth, m Rev S Blacker, of Elm Park, mother to S T BLACKER-DOUGLAS;
Theodosia, m Rev W B Forde, of Seaforde.
The only son,

CHARLES MATHEW DOUGLAS JP DL (1793-1880), of Grace Hall, High Sheriff of County Down, 1836, dsp 1880, and was succeeded under the provisions of his will, proved in 1860, by his nephew, ST JOHN THOMAS BLACKER-DOUGLAS, of Grace Hall etc.


SAMUEL BLACKER, of Tandragee, County Armagh, Barrister, third son of William Blacker, of Carrickblacker, County Armagh, by Theodosia his second wife,  daughter of Sir Oliver St John, Knight, of Tandragee Castle, married, in 1734, Mary, daughter of Isaiah Corry, of Rock Corry, County Monaghan, and had a son,

THE REV ST JOHN BLACKER (1743-), Rector of Moira, County Down, Prebendary of Inver, County Donegal, who married firstly, in 1767, Grace, daughter of Maxwell Close, of Elm Park, County Armagh, and had issue,
SAMUEL (Rev), his heir;
Maxwell, QC, of Dublin;
Mary; Catherine; Grace; Charlotte.
The Rev St John Blacker wedded secondly, Susan, daughter of Dr Messiter, of London, but had no further issue.

His eldest son,

THE REV SAMUEL BLACKER (1771-1849), espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Douglas, of Grace Hall, County Down, and had issue,
ST JOHN THOMAS, his heir;
Thomas Samuel, of Castle Martin, Co Kildare, father of WILLIAM BLACKER;
Theodosia; Frances Elizabeth; Isabella.
The Rev Samuel Blacker was succeeded by his eldest son,

ST JOHN THOMAS BLACKER-DOUGLAS JP DL (1822-1900), of Grace Hall, County Down, Elm Park, County Armagh, and Tullahinel, County Kerry, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1861, who married, in 1855, Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Crofton Moore Vandeleur MP, of Kilrush, County Clare, by the Lady Grace Toler his wife, daughter of Hector John, 2nd Earl of Norbury, and had issue,
St John Douglas Stewart;
Grace Elizabeth; Georgina Frances; Emily Theodosia.
Mr Blacker-Douglas assumed, by royal licence, 1880, the additional name and arms of DOUGLAS, on succeeding to the estate of his uncle, Charles Mathew Douglas.

His eldest son,

MAXWELL VANDELEUR BLACKER-DOUGLAS JP DL (1859-1929), of Grace Hall, and Elm Park, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1905, County Dublin, 1909, Lieutenant, 4th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, married, in 1891, Alice, only child of Robert MacGeough, of Silverbridge, County Armagh, and had issue,
ROBERT ST JOHN (1892-1915);
Charles Maxwell, b 1900;
Alice Florence, b 1895.

GRACE HALL, Dollingstown, County Armagh, is a three-storey, double gable-ended 18th century house in the Regency style.

The Douglases owned most of their land on the County Down side of the River Lagan.

It has a front comprising two full-length curved bows, with one bay in between.

There are Wyatt windows; a porch was added at a later stage.

Grace Hall now operates as a wedding venue.

Other former seat ~ Elm Park, County Armagh.
Former residence ~ 2 Bellevue Park, Killiney, County Dublin.

First published in July, 2015.