Saturday, 31 August 2019

The May Scandal

The Mays were a family of landed gentry.

Sir Edward May's father, James, had been created a baronet in 1763.

Sir Edward succeeded to the title in 1811, following his father's death.

Sir Edward May, 2nd Baronet (1751-1814), MP for Belfast, 1801-14, married Eliza Lind (née Bagg), of Holborn, London, in 1773.

It can be presumed that the issue of this marriage were Sir Edward's four children, viz. Stephen, Edward, Anna, and Elizabeth.

When his father died in 1811, Stephen naturally assumed that he was the rightful successor to his father as third Baronet.

He therefore styled himself "Sir Stephen May Bt".

Anna, 2nd Marchioness of Donegall,
Photo Credit: Belfast Harbour Commissioners

His sister Anna married George, Earl of Belfast; and when Lord Belfast's father died she became the Marchioness of Donegall.

The next series of events remain unclear.

It transpired that Eliza, Lady May, had a previous husband living in the East Indies.

Bigamy was, I am sure, a serious offence in the 18th century.

As a consequence of this devastating development, Sir Edward May's marriage was declared null and void, thus his children were all effectively born out of wedlock.

Click to Enlarge

The unfortunate Stephen May therefore could not succeed to the baronetcy (though he was made a Knight Bachelor in 1816).

Instead, his uncle, Humphrey May, became the third Baronet.

Several questions remain unanswered in this sorry episode for the Mays.

When did Sir Edward and his children become aware that his first wife was already married?

What happened to Lady May, Eliza Lind?

Was she convicted of bigamy, and, if so, was she sent to jail?

Who was her first husband in the East Indies?

Friday, 30 August 2019

The Anderson Baronetcy


ROBERT ANDERSON JP (1837-1921), son of James Anderson, of Corbofin, County Monaghan, married, in 1890, Wilhelmina, daughter of the Rev Andrew Long, of Monreagh, County Donegal.

Photo Credit: Belfast City Hall

Mr Anderson, High Sheriff of Belfast, 1903, Lord Mayor of Belfast, 1908-09, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1911, was created a baronet in 1911, designated of Parkmount, City of Belfast, and of Mullaghmore, County Monaghan.

Parkmount House

The Andersons lived at Parkmount House, Greencastle, County Antrim, which Sir Robert purchased from the McNeill family in 1905.
In 1666 Parkmount was a lodge or occasional residence of Lord Donegall, and it afterwards passed into possession of the Ludford, Cairns and McNeill families.
Sir Robert also resided at Mullaghmore House, County Monaghan; and Meadowlands, Balmoral, Belfast.

Meadowlands was beside Balmoral Cemetery, Stockman's Lane.

Mullaghmore House, County Monaghan

Sir Robert was the proprietor of Anderson & McAuley, the well-known department store at 1, Donegall Place, Belfast.

1, Donegall Place was originally the location of Stephen May's residence.

Anderson & McAuley was established in 1861, and initially occupied modest two-storey premises known as Donegall Place Buildings (above), built in front of Mr May’s house in 1845.

He was also a director of several other companies, including Arnott's.

IN 1861, two brothers, Robert and Alexander Anderson, went into partnership with John McAuley and established a shop at the corner of Donegall Place and Castle Street. However, the first firm did not prosper, the partnership between the brothers dissolved, and McAuley died in 1888.

Robert Anderson continued in the retail business, assisted by George Williams of Hitchcock, Williams and Company, London. By 1895, the firm had become so successful that it moved to a larger, purpose built store. Anderson and McAuley prided itself on a family atmosphere with a business-like approach. It claimed that the secret of its success was ‘courtesy and honest value’.

In 1927, it published the Anderley Gazette as a ‘guide to this house of repute’, which declared that ‘all roads lead to Anderson and McAuley’s, the shopping Centre of Ulster.’ Anderson and McAuley’s were very careful in the selection of their shop assistants, and in the 1930s a position at the store was highly coveted. New female assistants were issued with a standard black dress with snow white collar and advised that ‘scarlet nails and lips plastered with rouge are not an asset to a girl in business.’

Male employees were told that ‘long hair and dirty nails keep many men unemployed.’ In 1953, the first female member of staff was allowed to remain with the company after her marriage. In 1956, the store was one of the first in Northern Ireland to install escalators and people visited the store just to see and experience them. For over a century, shares in the store were held by members of the Anderson family. After Sir Robert’s death in 1921, his nephew James became managing director.

His place was taken by Lady Anderson until her death in 1949; then filled by W H Anderson Esq. In 1979, Anderson and McAuley was one of 200 members of the Association of Independent Stores. It had 374 staff and several stores within the store, including concession departments such as The Ormeau Coffee Shop, Revlon, Windsmoor, Slumberdown, the Minit Heel Bar, and Christy’s towel shop.

After a lengthy market research programme, a major expansion of the store took place in 1989. Customers had criticised Anderson and McAuley’s for being ‘too claustrophobic’. Floor space was increased by 20,000 square feet and six new escalators served every floor. However, the expected raise in sales did not materialise, while high interest rates on the borrowed money for the expansion contributed to the company’s financial difficulties.

Competition from Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and out of town shopping centres ate into the store’s sales. In March, 1994, the last survivor of Belfast’s family owned businesses finally closed its doors. Some 300 members of staff lost their jobs and its valuable stockpile of fixtures and fittings were auctioned.

The closure was seen as marking the end of an era in Belfast’s shopping culture. Today the premises is known as McAuley House and is used by Clarks, The Disney Store, Monsoon and Zara.
Following Sir Robert's death in 1921, the baronetcy became extinct.

Sir Robert and Lady Anderson are both buried at Belfast City Cemetery.

First published in August, 2010.

Kilmore Palace

THE bishopric of Kilmore was established in the 13th century, and in the 15th century changed its ancient name of Breffny into that of Kilmore.

It lies parallel to, and south of the diocese of Clogher, extending fifty-eight miles in length and between ten and twenty in breadth, through four counties, viz. Cavan, Leitrim, Meath, and Fermanagh in Northern Ireland.

The See House, Kilmore, County Cavan, was built by the Right Rev George de la Poer Beresford, Lord Bishop of Kilmore, 1802-39, and of Kilmore and Ardagh, 1839-41.

It was occupied by a further sixteen prelates.

It is believed that the last bishop to reside at the palace was the Right Rev Michael Mayes, Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh from 1993-2000.

See House, Kilmore, built in 2013

A new see house was built at a different location near the cathedral hall in 2013.

THE SEE HOUSE, Kilmore, County Cavan, is a Grecian-Revival mansion of three storeys over a basement.

It was built between 1835-7.

This former episcopal palace, attributed to William Farrell, comprises a three-bay entrance front.

There is an irregular five-bay rear elevation with pilasters flanking wide east bay, and a shallow bow to central bays.

The roof is concealed by a parapet.

The house is rendered over squared rubble stone walls.

An ashlar pediment, and tympanum with episcopal coat-of-arms.

The ashlar portico has paired Doric pilasters.

This is an impressive classical-revival house in an austere Grecian style.

The former bishop's palace is substantially intact, retaining its original character and form, and its setting on a wooded hill surrounded by meadow, near the Cathedral.

The architectural form of the house is enriched by many original features and materials, such as cut stone details, timber sashes with historic glass, and panelled doors.

The old see house has a long ecclesiastical association, having replaced an earlier episcopal palace to the north of the former cathedral and the later 19th-century Kilmore Cathedral.

The old see house forms the centrepiece of an architectural group consisting of fine outbuildings, gate lodge, and entrance gates, and forms part of the significant ecclesiastical complex of Kilmore Cathedral, the old Cathedral, and nearby graveyard.

First published in September, 2015.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Glyde Court


JOHN FOSTER (1665-1747), of Dunleer, County Louth, Mayor of Dunleer, married, in 1704, Elizabeth, youngest daughter of William Fortescue, of Newrath, County Louth, and had issue,
Anthony (1705-79), ancestor of Lord Oriel;
THOMAS, of whom presently;
John William, MP, of Dunleer;
Margaret; Alice; Charlotte.
The second son,

THE REV DR THOMAS FOSTER (1709-84), Rector of Dunleer, wedded, in 1740, Dorothy, daughter of William Burgh, of Birt, County Kildare, and had issue, an only child,

JOHN THOMAS FOSTER (1747-96), of Dunleer, MP for Dunleer, 1776-83, who espoused, in 1776, the Lady Elizabeth Hervey, daughter of Frederick, 4th Earl of Bristol and Lord Bishop of Derry, and had issue,
Frederick Thomas, born 1777;
AUGUSTUS JOHN, of whom hereafter;
His younger son, 

THE RT HON SIR AUGUSTUS VERE FOSTER GCH (1780-1848), of Stonehouse, County Louth, married, in 1815, Albina Jane, daughter of the Hon George Vere Hobart, and had issue,
FREDERICK GEORGE, his successor;
Vere Henry Lewis.

Mr Foster was knighted 1825 for his diplomatic services (which were not particularly distinguished, since his manners were not conciliating).

Sir Augustus was created a baronet in 1831, designated of Glyde Court, County Louth.

The influence of his stepfather William, 5th Duke of Devonshire, was exercised at the instance of his mother, the Duke's second wife.

The 1st Baronet, who committed suicide, was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR FREDERICK GEORGE FOSTER, 2nd Baronet (1816-1857), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his next brother,

THE REV SIR CAVENDISH HERVEY FOSTER, 3rd Baronet (1817-1890), who married, in 1844, Isabella, daughter of the Rev John Todd, and had issue,
JOHN FREDERICK, his successor;
Jane Vere.
Sir Cavendish was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR AUGUSTUS VERE FOSTER, 4th Baronet (1873-1947), JP DL, Captain, Norfolk Yeomanry, who married, in 1894, Charlotte Philippa Marion, daughter of the Rev Henry Edward Browne ffolkes, and had issue,
ANTHONY VERE (1908-34);
Philippa Eugenie Vere; Dorothy Elizabeth Charlotte Vere.
The baronetcy became extinct in 1947 following the decease of the 4th and last Baronet.

GLYDE COURT, near Tallanstown, County Louth, was a late 18th century house with a long elevation, remodelled in the 19th century in Jacobean style.

The long elevation had curvilinear gables and two curved bows.

The main entrance was at one end of the house, where there was a shorter front with two gabled projections joined by an arcaded cloister.

The last baronet to live at Glyde Court, Sir Augustus, features in a romantic Edwardian family portrait by Sir William Orpen KBE, on display at the National Gallery of Ireland.

First published in April, 2013.

The Galbraith Baronetcy


SAMUEL GALBRAITH, of Fort Dunduff, County Donegal, married Jane, daughter of John Clarke, and had issue,

JAMES GALBRAITH, of Londonderry, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of John Whitehill, of Clady, County Londonderry, and had a son,

JAMES GALBRAITH (c1759-1827), Crown Solicitor for Ireland, who married Rebecca Dorothea, daughter and co-heir of John Hamilton, of Castlefin, and had issue,
Jane, m, 1820, Capt CG Stanhope RN, son of Rear-Adm Stanhope;
Letitia Elizabeth; Angel Isabella; Harriet; Isabella.
Mr Galbraith, MP for Augher, 1798-1800, was created a baronet in 1813, designated of Shane Valley, County Donegal.

He died at Wells, Somerset, when the baronetcy expired.


URNEY PARK, near Clady, County Londonderry, is a two-storey, three-bay Georgian house of ca 1810.

Its main features include a Doric ashlar portico, stone quoins, and elaborate chimneys.

The house was built or fundamentally remodelled by Sir James Galbraith in 1814.

Galbraith was "law agent" to the 1st Marquess of Abercorn at the time.

A letter to Lord Abercorn in 1814 stated that he was rebuilding Urney Park, the former residence of a Mr Fenton,
 "My Dear Lord, We have had fine weather and a fine harvest. Abundant and good. Except the poor man's all is in and he has a fine prospect for his also. 
It has been most favourable for my Building. Mr Fenton quitted Urney in July and I have one wing covered in and the cornice laid on the other. 
I hope I may yet be so happy as to have your Lordship's opinion of it tho' it should be to say that I was a blockhead for not building where I first intended and break new ground and leave Fenton where he was but what I have done fixes me for life within an hour of Barons Court and I shall be comfortably fixed next year. 
Time is everything. May God Bless you my Dear Lord. Your faithful and affectionate servant ever."
John Fenton is mentioned in documents as an absentee landlord of Urney parish.

The building is shown on the first map of 1832-33, captioned Urney Park.

Formal gardens are also shown.

Outbuildings to the rear are possible survivals from the earlier house mentioned above by Galbraith.

On a chart of 1855 a new outbuilding is shown to the rear of the house, forming an enclosed courtyard.

A gate lodge is shown to the north; and a farmyard and thrashing machine to the south.

Lady Galbraith continued to reside at Urney following her husband's death; though this was revised at a later stage to Richard Hamilton.

Ordnance Survey Memoirs place the house in County Donegal,
"Urney Park, the seat of the late Sir James Galbraith Bart and at which his widow Lady Galbraith is constantly resident, is a handsome modern house with portico situated in an extensive demesne looking over the plantations which divide it from the mail coach road to Sligo and over the grounds of Urney House to the River Finn, the picturesque hill of Crohan on the opposite side of the river forming a pleasing background and termination to the prospect in the north west."
Sir James also seems to have resided in Dublin, where he owned a house in North Great George's Street.

He was at one time the crown solicitor for Ireland, and his title became extinct when he died in 1827, as he left no male heirs.

Griffith's Valuation of 1857 records a "house, offices and land", which is occupied by Richard Hamilton and leased from Captain Andrew Knox.

Valuation Revisions listed the occupier as Andrew Knox, various members of the Knox family taking ownership throughout the 19th century, until 1908 when Catherine Perry was in residence.
Urney House consisted of kitchen, scullery, pantry and three rooms on the ground floor and six bedrooms, bathroom and separate WC on the first floor, but a note reads "two storeys and basement". Measurements and a plan are given. There is hot and cold water, but the property has no electricity, being lit by oil lamps.
First published in August, 2013. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

1st Duke of Kingston


Although the family of PIERREPONT did not attain the honours of the peerage until a period of comparatively recent date, yet they were persons of distinction ever since the Conquest.

In which eventful era,

ROBERT DE PIERREPONT was of the retinue of William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, and at the time of the General Survey, held lands in Suffolk and Sussex, amounting to ten knights' fees, under that nobleman.

The great-grandson of this Robert, another

ROBERT DE PIERREPONT, was a person of such extensive property, that being made prisoner fighting on the side of HENRY III, at the battle of Lewes, he was forced to give security for the payment of the then great sum of seven hundred marks for his ransom.

He was, however, relieved from the obligation by the subsequent victory of the royalists at Evesham, Worcestershire.

He was succeeded by his son,

SIR HENRY DE PIERREPONT, a person of great note at the period in which he lived.

In the eighth year of EDWARD I's reign, Sir Henry having lost his seal, came into the Court of Chancery, then at Lincoln, and declared that if anyone should find it, with its seal, thereafter, that it should not be valid.

He married Annora, daughter of Michael, and sister and heir of Lionel de Manvers, whereby he acquired extensive land in Nottinghamshire, with the Lordship of Holme, now called Holme Pierrepont.

Sir Henry died about the twentieth year of EDWARD I's reign, and was succeeded by his elder son,

SIMON DE PIERREPONT, who was one of those that by special writ had summons amongst the barons of the realm, to repair with all speed to the King, wheresoever he should be in England, to treat of certain weighty affairs relating to his and their honour.

This Simon leaving only a daughter, Sibilla, was succeeded by his brother,

ROBERT DE PIERREPONT, a very eminent person in the reigns of EDWARD I and EDWARD II, and distinguished in the wars of Scotland.

He espoused Sarah, daughter and heir of Sir John Heriez, and was succeeded by his son,

SIR EDMUND DE PIERREPONT, from whom we pass to his lineal descendant,

SIR GEORGE PIERREPONT (1510-64), who, at the dissolution of the monasteries, in the reign of HENRY VIII, purchased large manors in Nottinghamshire, part of the possessions of the Abbot and Convent of Welbeck; and others in Derbyshire, which had belonged to Newstead Abbey.

He died in the sixth year of ELIZABETH I, and was succeeded by his son,

SIR HENRY PIERREPONT (1546-1615), who wedded Frances, elder daughter of Sir William Cavendish, of Chatsworth, and sister of William, Earl of Derbyshire, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Grace; Elizabeth.
Sir Henry was succeeded by his son,

ROBERT PIERREPONT (1584-1643), who was elevated to the peerage, 1627, as Baron Pierrepont and Viscount Newark; and the next year was advanced to an earldom, as EARL OF KINGSTON-UPON-HULL.

His lordship wedded, in 1601, Gertrude, eldest daughter and co-heir of the Hon Henry Talbot, and
had issue,
HENRY, his successor;
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY, 2nd Earl (1606-80), who married firstly, Cecilia, daughter of Paul, 1st Viscount Bayning, and had issue,
Anne; Grace.
His lordship espoused secondly, Catherine, daughter of James, 7th Earl of Derby, by whom he had no issue.

The 2nd Earl was advanced to the dignity of a marquessate, in 1647, by the title Marquess of Dorchester; though his lordship died without surviving male issue, and the marquessate expired.

The earldom of Kingston-upon-Hull subsequently reverted to Lord Dorchester's great-nephew and heir male,

ROBERT, 3rd Earl (c1660-82), who died unmarried, when the titles passed to his next brother,

WILLIAM, 4th Earl (c1662-90), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

EVELYN, 5th Earl, KG (1665-1726), who married firstly, Mary, daughter of William, 3rd Earl of
Denbigh, and had issue,
WILLIAM (1692-1713), father of WILLIAM;
Mary; Frances; Evelyn.
He wedded secondly, in 1714, Isabella, daughter of William, 1st Earl of Portland, and had issue,
Caroline; Anne.
His lordship was advanced to a marquessate, in 1706, as Marquess of Dorchester; and further advanced, in 1715, to the dignity of a dukedom, as DUKE OF KINGSTON-UPON-HULL.

His Grace was succeeded by his grandson,

WILLIAM, 2nd Duke, KG (1711-73), who wedded, in 1769, Elizabeth, Countess of Bristol (former wife of the 3rd Earl of Bristol), by whom he had no issue.

Following the decease of the 2nd and last Duke, the titles expired.

Former seats ~ Thoresby Hall, Nottinghamshire; Holme Pierrepont Hall, Nottinghamshire.

Former London residence ~ Kingston House.

First published in August, 2017.

Hamilton-Stubber of Aughentaine

HUGH HAMILTON settled at Lisbane, County Down, during the reign of JAMES I, and was made a denizen of Ireland in 1616.

He died in 1655 and was buried at Bangor, County Down, leaving issue,
John, of Ballymenoch;
ALEXANDER, of whom presently;
The second son,

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, of Killyleagh, County Down, married Jean, daughter of John Hamilton, of Belfast, and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
Jane, m William Sloane, of Chelsea.
Mr Hamilton died in 1676, and was succeeded by his son,

HUGH HAMILTON, of Ballybrenagh, who wedded Mary, sister of Robert Ross, of Rostrevor, and daughter of George Ross, of Portavo, by Ursula his wife, daughter of Captain Hans Hamilton, of Carnesure, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
George, of Tyrella;
Mr Hamilton died in 1728, and was succeeded by his elder son,

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, of Knock, County Dublin, and of Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, MP for Killyleagh, 1730-61, who espoused Isabella, daughter of Robert Maxwell, of Finnebrogue, County Down, by Jane, daughter of the Rev Simon Chichester, Vicar of Belfast (eldest son of Henry Chichester, of Marwood, by Jane, daughter of the Rt Rev Robert Maxwell, Lord Bishop of Kilmore).

He died in 1768, leaving four sons and three daughters,
HUGH (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Ossory;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
Isabella; Anne; Elizabeth.
His second son,

ROBERT HAMILTON, of Gloucester Street, Dublin, married Hester, daughter of Crewe Chetwood, of Woodbrook, Queen's County, and had issue,
Mr Hamilton died in 1790, and was succeeded by his elder son,

THE REV ALEXANDER CHETWOOD HAMILTON, Rector of Thomastown, County Kilkenny (who assumed, in 1824, the surname of STUBBER in lieu of Hamilton, and the arms of Stubber only), married, in 1801, Eleanor, daughter and co-heir of THE REV SEWELL STUBBER, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Sewell (Rev);
William, of Roundwood, father of 
Alexander Chetwood;
Richard Hugh (Rev);
Hester Maria; Harriet Anne; Sophia Elizabeth; Anne Matilda.
The Rev Alexander Chetwood Hamilton died in 1830, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT HAMILTON STUBBER JP DL (1803-63), of Moyne, High Sheriff, 1831, who married, in 1840, Olivia, daughter of the Rev Edward Lucas, of the Castleshane family, and widow of Henry Smyth, of Mount Henry, Queen’s County, and had issue,
Olivia Harriet Florence Hamilton; Eleanor Frances Beatrice Hamilton.
Mr Hamilton-Stubber was succeeded by his son and heir,

ROBERT HAMILTON HAMILTON-STUBBER JP DL (1844-1916), of Moyne and Castle Fleming, Queen’s County, High Sheriff, Lieutenant, Royal Dragoons, who espoused firstly, in 1877, Adèle Grainger, daughter of Alexander Duncan, of Knossington Grange, Leicestershire, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
He wedded secondly, in 1885, Georgina Alice Mary, youngest daughter of George Power, sixth son of Sir John Power Bt, of Kilfane, County Kilkenny, and had issue, a daughter, Margery.

Mr Hamilton-Stubber, who sold the Moyne estate to his cousin, was succeeded by his son and heir,

MAJOR ROBERT HAMILTON-STUBBER DSO (1879-1963), who married, in 1920, the Lady Mabel Florence Mary Crichton, daughter of John Henry, 4th Earl of Erne, and had issue,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JOHN HENRY HAMILTON-STUBBER (1921-), of Aughentaine, County Tyrone, Captain, Coldstream Guards, Major, Ulster Defence Regiment, who wedded, in 1953, Fiona Patricia, daughter of Geoffrey Wyndham Breitmeyer, and had issue,
James Robert, b 1954;
Richard John, b 1955;
Charles Geoffrey, b 1960;
David Hugh, b 1962.
Colonel Hamilton-Stubber's eldest son,

JAMES ROBERT HAMILTON-STUBBER DL, Lieutenant, the Life Guards, married Carola E A Savill, and had issue,
Henry James, b 1984.


Mr SEWELL, a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to CHARLES II, married Miss Ryves, daughter of the Very Rev Dr Bruno Ryves, Dean of Windsor, and had a son,

MAJOR SEWELL, who espoused Miss Stubber, an heiress, and assumed the name and arms of STUBBER.

He was father (with two daughters) of

SEWELL STUBBER, who wedded Miss Finn, daughter of Major William Finn, of Coolfin, Queen's County, by Eleanor Whitshed, and had issue,
SEWELL, of whom hereafter;
Mary; Eleanor; Sarah.
The third son,

THE REV SEWELL STUBBER (1755-1824), Rector of Ballinakill, married Miss Flood, of Middlemount, Queen's County, and had three daughters,
ELEANOR, of whom we treat;
the second daughter,

ELEANOR STUBBER, wedded, in 1801, the Rev Alexander Chetwood Hamilton, Rector of Thomastown, County Kilkenny, elder son of Robert Hamilton, of Dublin, by his wife, a daughter of the Chetwood family, and grandson of Alexander Hamilton, of Knock, County Dublin.

By this lady the Rev Alexander Hamilton (who assumed, 1824, the surname and arms of STUBBER on succeeding to his wife's property) had issue,
ROBERT, of Moyne;
Alexander Chetwood;
Richard Hugh;
Hester Maria; Harriet Anne; Sophia Elizabeth; Anna Matilda.
The eldest son,

ROBERT HAMILTON-STUBBER JP DL (1803-63), of Moyne, Queen's County, married, in 1840, Olivia Lucas, of the Castle Shane family, and had issue,
Olivia Harriet Florence Hamilton; Eleanor Fanny Beatrix Hamilton.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Castle Forbes


The surname of Forbes is said to be a corruption of Forebeast, which was originally assumed by the founder of the family in Scotland, to commemorate the achievement of having destroyed a ferocious bear which had infested the country.

SIR ARTHUR FORBES (c1590-1632), Knight, directly descended from the Hon Patrick Forbes, of Corse, third son of James, 2nd Lord Forbes, by Egidia, his wife, daughter of William Keith, Earl Marischal of Scotland, settled in Ireland, 1620, and was made, by patent dated at Dublin, 1622, a free denizen of that kingdom. 

In 1628, Sir Arthur was created a baronet; and having, by petition to the King, made discovery that several royal fishings in the province of Ulster belonged to the Crown, an inquiry was thereupon instituted, and Sir Arthur was eventually rewarded by a grant of such proportion of the said fisheries as he thought proper to demand, besides the sum of £300 from the first profits of the remainder. 

He had previously obtained extensive territorial possessions from the Crown, particularly a grant of sundry lands in County Longford, in all 1,266 acres, which were erected into the manor of Castle Forbes, with the usual manorial privileges.

Sir Arthur wedded Jane Lowther, and falling in a duel at Hamburg, 1632, where he had accompanied his regiment (he was lieutenant-colonel in the army) to assist Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR ARTHUR FORBES, 2nd Baronet (1623-95), who zealously espoused the royal cause in Scotland, and was rewarded, after the Restoration, by being sworn of the Privy Council in Ireland, and appointed marshal of the army in that kingdom.

In 1671, Sir Arthur was constituted one of the Lords Justices of Ireland, and again in 1675, when he was elevated to the peerage, in the dignities of Baron Clanehugh and Viscount Granard.

In 1684, his lordship was appointed Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Foot in Ireland, and Lieutenant-General in the army; and in the same year was advanced to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF GRANARD.

He married Catherine, daughter of Sir Robert Newcomen Bt, by whom he had five sons and a daughter, Catherine, wedded to Arthur, 3rd Earl of Donegall.

His lordship died in 1695, he was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR, 2nd Earl (c1656-1734), who wedded, in 1678, Mary, eldest daughter of Sir George Rawdon Bt, of Moira, County Down, and had three sons and two daughters.

His lordship was succeeded by his only surviving son,

GEORGE, 3rd Earl (1685-1765), who had been called to the House of Lords in the lifetime of his father, as Lord Forbes.

His lordship was a naval officer of great eminence and rank, and at the time of his decease, was senior admiral of the Royal Navy.

In 1733, he was appointed envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the court of Muscovy; and upon his recall, in 1734, was highly complimented by the Empress.

He espoused, in 1709, Mary, eldest daughter of Sir William Stewart, 1st Viscount Mountjoy, of that family (now extinct), and widow of Phineas Preston, of Ardsallagh, County Meath, and had issue,
GEORGE, his successor;
John, Admiral of the Fleet;
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son, 

GEORGE, 4th Earl (1710-69), Lieutenant-General in the Army, Colonel, 29th Regiment of Foot, who wedded, in 1736, Letitia, daughter of Arthur Davys, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1769, by his only son,

GEORGE, 5th Earl (1740-80), who married firstly, in 1759, Dorothea, second daughter of Sir Nicholas Bayley Bt, and sister of Henry, 1st Earl of Uxbridge, by whom he had one surviving son, GEORGE, his successor.

His lordship espoused secondly, in 1766, Georgiana Augusta, eldest daughter of Augustus, 4th Earl of Berkeley, and had issue,
Georgiana Anne; Augusta; Louisa Georgiana; Elizabeth.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE, 6th Earl (1760-1837), who was created a peer of the United Kingdom, as Baron Granard, of Castle Donington, Leicestershire.

He wedded, in 1779, Selina Frances, fourth daughter of John, 1st Earl of Moira, and had issue,
Francis Reginald;
Hastings Brudenell;
Elizabeth Maria Theresa; Adelaide Dorothea; Caroline Selina.
His lordship was a general in the army, and Clerk of the Crown and Hanaper in Ireland.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Jonathan Peter Hastings Forbes, styled Viscount Forbes (b 1981).
The ancestral family seat of the Earls of Granard is Castle Forbes, near Newtown Forbes, County Longford.

It remains in the ownership of the family (as of 2008).

The 8th Earl was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Longford, from 1916 until 1922.

CASTLE FORBES, near Newtownforbes, County Longford, is a 19th century castle of random ashlar, built about 1830.

It replaced an earlier house destroyed by fire.

It has two storeys over a high basement, with two adjoining fronts dominated by a lofty, round corner tower.

The house is prolonged by a low service wing and a gateway to the yard in the French style, with a high roof and conical-roofed turret and bartizan added about 1870.

Castle Forbes has heavy battlements and machiolations; lancet windows separated by stone mullions; and a few Early English tracery windows.

There are also corbelled stone balconies with pierced balustrades.

The Castle remains the private home of the Forbes family, Earls of Granard.

The village of Newtownforbes takes its name from the Forbes family, having resided in the region since 1691.

The village church, built in the late 17th century, is one of the few Regency buildings of its type in the county.

Castle Forbes has its entrance in the centre of the village.

The Forbes family changed the name of the village from Lisbrack to Newtownforbes ca 1750.

There is no public access to the Castle or grounds, which are strictly private.

Although Newtownforbes geographically has always been in the shadow of Castle Forbes, it cannot be regarded as an estate village.

There are only a few houses in the centre of the village, near the main entrance to the estate, which were built by the estate owners for the workers on the estate.

They were some of the first houses in the county to have flush toilets.

The present occupant is the Lady Georgina Forbes, although she lives in France (as of 1990) and uses the castle occasionally during the year.

Lady Georgina is an accomplished horse breeder and owner.

First published in May, 2011.  Granard arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, 1900-79


On the 27th August, 1979, Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA, who planted a bomb in his fishing boat, Shadow V, at Mullaghmore, County Sligo, in the Irish Republic.

Others killed by the blast were Nicholas Knatchbull, his elder daughter's 14-year-old son, and Paul Maxwell, a 15-year-old boy from County Fermanagh, who was a crew member.

Lord and Lady Mountbatten in Coronation Robes

First published in August, 2010.

Monday, 26 August 2019

2 Royal Avenue, Belfast

Number 2, ROYAL AVENUE, BELFAST, was built between 1864 and 1869 to designs by William Joseph Barre.

Barre, a Newry and Belfast-based architect, rose to prominence after winning the competition to design the Ulster Hall in 1859, and was one of the most prominent engineers of the mid-Victorian period, often coming into competition with his immediate contemporaries Charles Lanyon and William Lynn.

Barre’s other Belfast works include the Albert Memorial Clock.

The Irish Builder records that the Provincial Bank of Ireland remained uncompleted by the time of Barre’s death by illness in 1867.

The bank premises were consequently completed under the supervision of the architects Turner & Williamson.

When finally completed in 1869, Barre’s design was described and, indeed, praised as being a peculiar adaptation of Venetian-Gothic.

The Irish Builder remarked that the Provincial Bank was built by Henry Fulton, a local builder; whilst the interior and exterior stone carving was by a Mr Barnes.

In 1901-2, the bank was depicted as a rectangular-shaped building situated along the recently laid-out Royal Avenue.

When originally constructed, it did not possess its current rear return, which is a modern extension added ca 2005.

The present building replaced an earlier bank building that had originally stood on the same site, but was demolished about 1864.

The bank manager resided at the site, in a small house to the rear of the building.

The bank contained two sets of rooms: four rooms for the manager's house, and two rooms for the porter's house, both located at the rear of the building.

It was described by Brett as an ‘extraordinarily exuberant building’, and is significant as the only building to survive the Royal Avenue redevelopment of the 1880s.

Hercules Street, predecessor of Royal Avenue

Prior to this date, Donegall Place and Hercules Street (the precursor to Royal Avenue) were divided by a line of buildings that formerly stood along the eastern side of the current street.

These buildings were demolished by Belfast municipal council in 1880-81 by the town surveyor, J C Bretland (who in the process re-housed over 4,000 people).

The demolition and clearance of Hercules Place and Hercules Street created the long open boulevard which now extends from Donegall Square to York Street.

However, it caused the destruction of almost all the buildings on the street pre-dating the 1880s.

2, Royal Avenue, continues to occupy the original line of Hercules Place (a narrow square that linked Donegall Place to Hercules Street), and, as a result, is set further back than the adjoining buildings.

Barre’s design for the Provincial Bank clearly displays the influence that the architectural critic John Ruskin had on the Belfast architects of the Victorian period.

Throughout his career, Ruskin remarked on the eclectic quality of northern Italian architecture; how it mixed materials to produce a polychromatic effect; and how it also mixed Gothic tradition with the classicism of Ancient Rome.

Hugh Dixon notes that Barre
was principal among those who put Ruskin’s theory into practise … [his Provincial Bank] an outstanding illustration of what could be achieved. The basic classicism of the building readily identified by the symmetry and the central triangular pediment. 
Yet the decoration is medieval. The faces of hairy Lombard warriors look out from foliage beneath deep, rounded, Romanesque arches. Colonnades flank the openings, and even the balustrade along the roof line is adapted from an interlacing Saxon arcade.
Larmour states that the completed building is notably less ornate that Barre’s original design, which employed greater use of sculpted figures; however, due to rising expenses, Barre was forced to amend his intended design prior to his death and so the pediment has remained bare of statues.

The exterior façade is also much more polychromatic than Barre envisaged as, due to the decay of the white Cookstown sandstone employed, since the 1880s the façade has required painting repeatedly.

The interior of the building was fully realised from Barre’s original design.

Larmour notes that the stucco figures in the groin angles of the circular dome each represent Mechanism, Engineering, Art, War, Law, Navigation, Architecture and Industry.

Throughout its history the Provincial Bank of Ireland has been a prominent landmark in Belfast city centre.

Prior to the completion of the City Hall in 1906 the bank, with its large open area in front, was utilised as a public venue and witnessed a number of important processions; for example, in 1901, large crowds gathered outside the Provincial Bank to welcome home Boer War veterans.

The Provincial Bank continued to occupy the building for over a century until the late 1980s, when the Allied Irish Bank took over possession of the site.

It remained a financial institution till the 1990s.

The premises are now occupied by Tesco, which sympathetically renovated the building and constructed the large extension to the rear, undertaken by Chapman Architects ca 2005.

Tesco undertook a major restoration of the building in 2008.

The fine, Cookstown sandstone has now been revealed for all to see, having been covered in paint for a very long time - perhaps even since its original construction.

It particularly interests me because I worked there for a brief period in the early 1990s.

Anderson & McAuley's department store was still trading then, too.

First published in 2008.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Crom: Walled Garden

Although it's one of the most remote parts of the Province and almost as far from Belfast as you can get, I've been to Crom Estate in County Fermanagh many times.

I first visited it in about 1977, when the estate manager took us on a guided tour of the Castle - I'd written to Lord Erne in advance, requesting a visit.

The Walled Garden lies deep within the grounds of Crom.

You cross the White Bridge and walk several hundred yards until it appears, the former head gardener's lodge being opposite it.

Its old, red-brick walls are in good condition, the National Trust having re-built at least one side some years ago.

It extends to roughly three acres in size; and it has been utterly overgrown since its demise after the second world war.

I've no doubt that the Trust intends to revive this magical place as and when funds become available.

Many fruits and vegetables were grown here for the big house.

Exotic fruits, which are nowadays taken for granted, were a rarity then and only the wealthiest families could afford to cultivate them.

In fact many people may never have seen a pineapple or a peach or known they existed.

On one side of the Walled Garden there were raspberries; and strawberries on another.

Heated glasshouses contained peaches, nectarines, pineapples, grapes and tomatoes; not to omit lettuce, marrows, cucumbers and orchards with apples, plums, pears and greengages.

There were also beehives, sweet-pea, daffodils, dahlias and magnolias.

In the middle of the garden there was a large palm-house, now sadly gone, about thirty feet high, where the weather-reading was taken every morning.

The whole garden swarmed with butterflies, bees and other wild insects; birds flitted in and out to help themselves to Nature's goodness.

It must have been heavenly.

Of course the main purpose of the walled garden was to maintain an abundant supply of produce, including flowers, for the Castle: a barrow was wheeled manually up to the Castle with fruit, vegetables and flowers twice daily.

When the family were staying at their London home, the freshly-picked produce was loaded on to the train at Newtownbutler station and taken to Belfast or Dublin; then put on a ferry for its long journey to the metropolis, where it would have been delivered to the Ernes' house the next day; and that was in Victorian times!

I have been in the Walled Garden and my imagination always escapes to those halcyon days, dreaming of what it must have been like.

My fervent hope is that the enchanting walled garden of Crom is resurrected back to life again some day.

This piece was first published in August, 2008. It is thought that the intention is to utilize part of the Walled Garden as community allotments.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

August Plants


Whilst it has occasionally been said of Timothy Belmont that he was born with webbed feet, I most assuredly was not blessed with green fingers.

Am I beginning a fresh new chapter under the heading of Horticulture?

I'd like the border beside my front lawn to have colour every month of the year.

I'd also like perennial plants.

I undertook a little bit of online research for the month of August, motored over to the Hillmount garden centre after breakfast, and almost immediately encountered one of the staff, perhaps even the proprietor.

He helpfully pointed me in the right direction, with several tips and ideas.

Eventually I chose a beautiful Agapanthus plant.


My next choice was an Anemone.

They were planted in the border almost immediately, with abundant water.

I expect this is the start of a monthly series for the next twelve months, so I shall keep you posted about my selection for September.

One advantage of buying from a local garden centre is that you can see which plants thrive at appropriate times of the year for your specific region.

1st Duke of Chandos


The very ancient house of BRYDGES deduces its descent from

SIR SIMON DE BRUGGE, of Herefordshire, who flourished in the reign of HENRY III, and who seems to have been a branch of the old Counts de Rethel, in the province of Champagne, France, princes of the first distinction in that kingdom, sprung by various alliances from the House of Charlemagne, and afterwards memorable in the crusades.

In the time of HENRY IV,

THOMAS BRUGGE married Alice, daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Berkeley, of Coberley, Gloucestershire, by Margaret, sister and heir of Sir John Chandos (a family of nobles who had held baronial rank since the Conquest), and from this Thomas descended

JOHN BRYDGES (1492-1557), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1554, in the dignity of Baron Chandos, of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDMUND, 2nd Baron (c1522-73); from whom descended, in succession, five more Barons; and, at the demise of

WILLIAM, 7th Baron, without issue, in 1676, the barony passed to his cousin,

SIR JAMES BRYDGES, Baronet (1642-1714), 8th Baron Chandos, of Wilton, as heir of Charles, second son of the 1st Baron.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, 9th Baron (1673-1744), who was created, in 1714, Viscount Wilton and Earl of Carnarvon.

His lordship was advanced to the dignities of a marquessate and dukedom, in 1719, as Marquess of Carnarvon and DUKE OF CHANDOS.

1st Duke of Chandos. Michael Dahl ~ Berger Collection

His Grace married firstly, in 1695, Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Lake, and had issue,
John (1703-27);
HENRY, his successor.
He wedded secondly, 1713, Cassandra, daughter of Francis Willoughby; and thirdly, in 1736, Lydia Catherine, daughter of John Van Hatten.

His Grace was succeeded by his younger son,

HENRY, 2nd Duke, KB (1708-71), who wedded, in 1728, Mary, daughter of Charles, 4th Earl of Elgin, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
His Grace married secondly, 1744, Anne Wells; and thirdly, in 1767, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Major Bt.

The 2nd Duke was succeeded by his son,

JAMES, 3rd Duke (1731-89), who wedded firstly, in 1753, Margaret, daughter of John Nicol; and secondly, in 1777, Anne Eliza, daughter of John Gamon, and had issue,

THE LADY ANNE ELIZABETH BRYDGES, who married Richard, 1st Duke of Buckingham & Chandos.

Following the decease of the 3rd Duke, without male issue, the dukedom expired.

Former seat ~ Stowe House, Buckinghamshire.
Former London Residence ~ Chandos House, London.

First published in August, 2017.

Friday, 23 August 2019

1st Baron Llangattock

JOHN ROLLS JP (1735-1801), of The Grange, Surrey, and Bryanston Square, London, High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, 1794, married, in 1767, Sarah, daughter of Thomas Coysh, of Camberwell, and had issue,
Henry Allan, died 1777;
JOHN, his heir;
Sarah Allen; Elizabeth; Mary.
Mr Rolls was succeeded by his only surviving son,

JOHN ROLLS JP (1776-1837), of The Grange and Bryanston Square, who wedded, in 1803, Martha, only daughter and heiress of Jacob Barnett, and had issue,
John Theophilus, died in infancy, 1806;
Martha Sarah; Jessy; Eliza.
Mr Rolls was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOHN ETHERINGTON WELCH ROLLS (1807-70), of The Hendre, Monmouthshire, High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, 1842, who espoused, in 1833, Elizabeth Mary, third daughter of Walter Long, of Preshaw House, Hampshire, and of Hazelly Court, Oxfordshire, by the Lady Mary his wife, eldest daughter of the 7th Earl of Northesk, and had issue,
JOHN ALLAN, hie heir;
Elizabeth Harcourt; Patty; Mary Octavia; Anne Catherine; Georgina Emily; Ellen.
Mr Rolls was succeeded by his only son,

JOHN ALLAN ROLLS DL (1837-1912), High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, 1875, MP for Monmouthshire, 1880-5, who married, in 1868, Georgiana Marcia, daughter of Sir Charles Fitzroy Maclean Bt, and had issue,
JOHN MACLEAN, his successor;
Henry Allan (1871-1916);
CHARLES STEWART (1877-1910), of whom presently;
Eleanor Georgiana.
Mr Rolls was elevated to the peerage, in 1892, in the dignity of BARON LLANGATTOCK, of The Hendre, Monmouthshire.

His lordship, Mayor of Monmouth, 1896-9, was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN MACLEAN, 2nd Baron (1870-1916), High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, 1900, Mayor of Monmouth, 1906, Barrister, Major, Royal Field Artillery, who was killed in action at Boulogne, France.

The 2nd Baron never married; his younger brother, the Hon Henry Allan Rolls, who was heir presumptive, had died four months previously, and his youngest brother, the Hon Charles Rolls, had died six years earlier; thus the title expired.

The 1st Baron's third son,

THE HON CHARLES STEWART ROLLS (1877-1910), a motoring and aviation pioneer, co-founded Rolls-Royce Motor Cars with Henry Royce.

Rolls-Royce Phantom with Extended Wheelbase

Mr Rolls was the first Briton to be killed in an aeronautical accident with a powered aircraft, when the tail of his aeroplane broke off during a flying display in Bournemouth.

He was aged 32, unmarried.

Ellison-Macartney of Mountjoy Grange


Towards the end of the reign of JAMES I,

THOMAS ELLISON, a younger son of an eminent merchant of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, went over to Ireland, and settled in the north-west part of that country.

He had issue a son,

THOMAS ELLISON, of Castletown, County Mayo, who had issue, a son,

THE REV THOMAS ELLISON, who married, in 1731, Mildred, daughter of Nathaniel Cooper, of Cappagh, and Old Grange, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
William, dsp;
JOHN, of whom presently;
Thomas (Rev), Rector of Castlebar;
The second son,

THE REV DR JOHN ELLISON, Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, Rector of Cleenish, diocese of Clogher, and afterwards Rector of Conwall, diocese of Raphoe, wedded, in 1776, Anne, daughter of John Olphert, of Ballyconnell, County Donegal, and had issue,
John (Rev);
The eldest son,

THE REV THOMAS ELLISON, Prebendary of Killamery, Diocese of Ossory, espoused firstly, in 1803, Mrs Elizabeth Cox, widow, by whom he had a daughter, Martha; and secondly, in 1815, Catherine, second daughter of ARTHUR CHICHESTER MACARTNEY, and had issue,
JOHN WILLIAM, who assumed the additional name and arms of MACARTNEY;
Annette Anna Maria; Eleanor.
The elder son,

JOHN WILLIAM ELLISON-MACARTNEY JP DL (1818-1904), of Mountjoy Grange, MP for County Tyrone, 1874-85, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1870, married, in 1851, Elizbeth Phœbe, eldest surviving daughter of the Rev John Grey Porter, of Kilskeery, County Tyrone, Belle Isle, County Fermanagh, and Clogher Park, County Tyrone (eldest son of the Rt Rev John Porter, Lord Bishop of Clogher), by his wife, Margaret Lavinia, daughter of Thomas Lindsey, of Hollymount House, County Mayo, and of Lady Margaret Eleanor Lindsey, daughter of Charles, 1st Earl of Lucan, and had issue,
WILLIAM GREY, his heir;
Thomas Stewart Porter, of Clogher Park;
Arthur Hubert, of Kenwood, California, USA;
Henry John.
Mr Ellison assumed, by royal licence, 1859, the additional surname and arms of MACARTNEY, on the death of his maternal uncle, the Rev W G Macartney.

His eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR WILLIAM GREY ELLISON-MACARTNEY KCMG (1852-1924), of Ballydownfine, County Antrim, and Mountjoy Grange, County Tyrone, MP for South Antrim, 1885-1903, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1908, wedded, in 1897, Ettie Myers, eldest daughter of John Edward Scott, of Outlands and Devonport, and had issue,
John Arthur Mowbray, Lt-Col (1903-85);
Phœbe Katherine; Mildred Esther.

MOUNTJOY GRANGE, otherwise called Old Mountjoy, County Tyrone, is a long, low, irregular, battlemented house of ca 1780.

It has hood mouldings over the windows and a small square tower at one end.

The Northern Ireland Department of the Environment register describes it thus:
An asymmetrical two- and three-storey multi-bay castellated country house, built ca 1780, remodelled ca 1820. Built in Mountjoy Forest by the first Lord Mountjoy or his father, the MP for Taghmon in County Wexford, this was originally a modest five-bay two-storey dwelling. 
This complicated house was further developed by the Earl of Blessington and displays a multitude of accretions embellished with decorative features dating from the early nineteenth century. 
It is this rather complicated composition that remains to the present and retains most of its early nineteenth century features including, crenellated parapets, decorative chimneystacks, arched and mullioned sash windows and its irregular staggered layout. 
While some windows have been replaced with uPVC, the overall impression remains intact within its picturesque landscaped setting. 
It is a significant example of a large property that has developed according to fashion and was associated with a family of important landowners and public figures.
In 1876, the house became the seat of Sir William Ellison-Macartney, formerly Governor of Tasmania and Western Australia, and MP for Tyrone.

Mr Dickie acquired the property from the Macartney family in 1918.

First published in August, 2015.