Friday, 16 July 2021

The Kingsmill Baronetcy

This is a scion of the ancient Scottish house of BRUCE, of Airth.

THE REV EDWARD BRICE (c1569-1636), younger brother of the Laird of Airth, settled in Ulster, 1608-9, and had two sons and two daughters; of whom the younger, Randall Bryce, resided at Lisburn and Kilroot, County Antrim, and was appointed High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1675.

Edward Brice was reputedly the first Presbyterian minister in Ireland.

The elder son,

ROBERT BRICE (c1611-76), of Castle Chichester, Whitehead, County Antrim, married Elizabeth Stewart, and had issue,
Mary; Grisel; Jane.
The eldest son,

RANDALL BRICE (c1646-97), of Lisburn, County Antrim, MP for Lisburn, 1692, wedded Penelope, daughter and co-heir of Peter Beaghan, of Dublin, and had issue,
Edmond, died abroad without issue;
Randal, died ca 1691;
CHARLES, of whom we treat;
Elizabeth; Penelope.
The youngest son,

CHARLES BRICE (c1684-1746), of Castle Chichester, a captain in the army, married Jane Robinson, of Newtownards, County Down, by whom he had issue,
Edward, father of the 2nd Baronet; died 1796;
ROBERT, of whom hereafter;
Dorothea, m William Innes, of DROMANTINE, Co Down;
another daughter.
Admiral Sir Robert Kingsmill Bt (Image: Tate Gallery)

The second son,

ADMIRAL SIR ROBERT BRICE KINGSMILL (1730-1805), entered into the Royal Navy, was promoted to the rank of Admiral, and was created a baronet in 1800, designated of Sidmanton, Hampshire, with remainder to his nephew.

He espoused, ca 1766, Elizabeth Corry, heiress to the Kingsmill estates at Sydmonton Court in Hampshire, by whom he obtained a large fortune on assuming her name; which surname his brother Edward took soon after.

Sir Robert dsp 1805, and was succeeded by the only son of his elder brother, Edward Brice, principal Surveyor of the Revenue in the Port of Belfast (who also by royal licence, dated 1787, had taken the name and arms of KINGSMILL),

SIR ROBERT KINGSMILL, 2nd Baronet (1772-1823), of Sydmonton court, and also of Castle Chichester and ORMEAU, who married, in 1796, Elizabeth, daughter of Charles Newman, of Calcutta, and had issue, two daughters,
Elizabeth Catherine, b 1797; m, 1824, Sir John Kingsmill;
Anna Maria (1800-18).
Sir Robert, agent to the Marquess of Donegall, died in 1823, and leaving no male heir, the baronetcy expired.

From 1669 to 1823, the Brice family lived in the Manor House, Whitehead, County Antrim, that stands beside CASTLE CHICHESTER (above).

They were agents for a mail boat service from Scotland that berthed at Castle Quay, just below the castle.

Letters and other items of mail from Scotland were loaded onto a small boat, which then delivered them from Castle Chichester to Belfast.

The Brices were paid the sum of £100 per annum for their mail service.

It must have been a lucrative trade – records from the time tell us that "...Randall Brice of Castle Chichester (Whitehead), son of Robert, who also resided there, who died in November, 1676, having amassed much wealth in trading with Scotland...".

The mail packet station closed about 1740 when trade moved to Donaghadee, County Down.

Sydmonton Court, Hampshire, is today the home of the Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber.

First published in July, 2019.

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