Friday, 27 September 2019

Annestown House


This family paternally descends from that of BURY, Earl of Charleville, extinct, and is now the male representative of that family.

JOHN BURY, nephew of WILLIAM BURY, the grandfather of the first Earl of Charleville of the second creation, assumed the surname of PALLISER, upon succeeding to the estates of his maternal grandmother.

JOHN PALLISER (1550-1623), of Newby Wiske, Yorkshire, married Anne, daughter of Michael Meeke, leaving issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Anne; Jane; Elizabeth; Mary.
Mr Palliser was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS PALLISER (1606-), of Newby Wiske, who wedded Joan, daughter of Richard Frankland, of Blobberhouse, Yorkshire, and had issue,
WILLIAM (Most Rev), of whom hereafter;
Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser Bt
Photo Credit: National Maritime Museum

Mr Palliser was still living in 1665.

His second son,

THE MOST REV WILLIAM PALLISER (1646-1726), Lord Archbishop of Cashel, espoused Elizabeth Hoye, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Jane, mother of
His Grace was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM PALLISER (1695-1768), of Rathfarnham, who married, in 1728, Mary, daughter of Matthew Pennefather, of Cashel, Comptroller and Accountant-General for Ireland, and sister of Elizabeth, wife of Alexander, 5th Earl of Antrim, by whom he had no issue.

He was succeeded by his nephew,

JOHN PALLISER (formerly BURY), of Comeragh, County Waterford, who assumed the name of PALLISER, and wedded, in 1762, a daughter of Richard Taylor, of Cork.

He died in 1769, and was succeeded by his son,

WRAY PALLISER, of Derryluskan, who wedded Mary, daughter of the Ven Richard Chaloner, Archdeacon of Cashel, and was father of

JOHN PALLISER (1760-1833), of Derryluskan, who married, in 1784, Grace, eldest daughter of William Barton, of Grove, County Tipperary, and had issue,
WRAY, father of Sir W Palliser CB & John Palliser CMG;
Richard Bury;
Elizabeth; Margaret; Grace; Anna.
Mr Palliser's second son,

THE REV JOHN BURY PALLISER (1791-1864), of Annestown, Rector of Clonmel, wedded, in 1830, Julia, daughter of Captain John Howe, East India Company, and had issue,
John Richard.
The elder son,

CAPTAIN WRAY BURY PALLISER JP DL (1831-1906), of Annestown, espoused, in 1861, Maria Victoria Josephine, youngest daughter of Joseph Gubbins, of County Limerick, and had issue,
Alice Grace (1863-78).


MRS MARY JANE SYBIL GALLOWAY (1874-1940), daughter of Major Sir William Palliser CB, married, in 1908, Captain Harold Bessemer Galloway, of Blervie, Morayshire, and had issue,
Sybil Evelyn, born 1909.

ANNESTOWN HOUSE, Annestown, County Waterford, has been a seat of the Palliser family and their descendants since about 1830.

This is a rambling, three-storey house, at right-angles to the street in the village of Annestown.

It is actually two houses joined together. The main front faces the sea, though the gable end is on the street.

The rooms have low ceilings, though they are commodious.

The long drawing-room is divided by an arch with plain Victorian plasterwork; while a large library is approached along a passage.

Annestown House was owned at the beginning of the 19th century by Henry St George Cole; bought about 1830 by the Pallisers, from whom it was inherited by the Galloways.

It remained with the Galloway family until 2008.

COMERAGH HOUSE (above) was another seat of the Pallisers; as was Blervie, Morayshire.

First published in June, 2013.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

6th Marquess of Londonderry


Staunchly Conservative and Unionist, of noble birth and great wealth, the 6th Marquess of Londonderry was an obvious choice as Viceroy for the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury. 

The office of Viceroy - the very personification of the Sovereign - brought with it the highest position in Irish society.

The viceregal emolument in 1887 was £12,000 per annum (£120,000 in today's money). 

The Lord Lieutenant naturally felt obliged to entertain in the form of banquets, balls, receptions and other activities.

The young Lord Londonderry, aged 34,  accepted the offer promptly, though he stipulated that he would leave office after the customary three years owing to family and business commitments.

Lord Londonderry's portrait (top) can be viewed in the State Dining-room of Dublin Castle, dressed in his uniform as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

It has been said that most Viceroys preferred to live at Viceregal Lodge in Phoenix Park, County Dublin, rather than at the Castle in central Dublin.

In the portrait he wears the sky-blue mantle of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, as its Grand Master. 

The Garter sash is worn, as are the breast stars of the Garter and St Patrick.

Lord Londonderry was MP for County Down between 1878-84. On 3 August 1885 his name was legally changed to Charles Stewart Vane-Tempest-Stewart by Royal Licence.
  • Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1886-89;
  • Knight Companion, Order of the Garter, 1888;
  • One of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, 1892;
  • Deputy Lieutenant, County Durham;
  • Deputy Lieutenant, Montgomeryshire;
  • Justice of the Peace, County Durham;
  • Postmaster-General, 1900-02;
  • Knight Grand Cross, Royal Victorian Order, 1903;
  • Lord President of the Council, 1903-05;
  • Mayor of Durham, 1910.
6th Marquess at Coronation of EDWARD VII

Lord Londonderry's County Down seat was Mount Stewart, near Newtownards, County Down.

His town residence was Londonderry House, Park Lane.

He died at his County Durham seat, Wynyard Park, in 1915.

First published in September, 2011.

1st Baron Headley


The line of Wynns is descended from a cadet of Gwydir, who, in consequence of some family misunderstanding, left Wales in the 16th century, and settled in London.

Sir William Segar (Garter King of Arms in the reigns of ELIZABETH I and JAMES I) acknowledged this to be the true descent, by exemplifying to George Wynne, the ancestor of Lord Headley's family, the armorial ensigns of the Wynnes of Gwydir.

GEORGE WYNN (to whom, being draper to ELIZABETH I, a patent of arms was granted in 1604) is the first member of the English branch of whom we find any particular mention.

This George Wynn was born about 1560, and died in 1610.

He married Margaret Green, of London, and had issue,

EDMUND WINN (1583-c1645), of Thornton Curtis, in Lincolnshire, who wedded Mary, daughter of Rowland Berkeley, of the city of Worcester, and sister of Sir Robert Berkeley, Knight, one of the judges of the Court of King's Bench, and had issue,
GEORGE, his heir;
Katherine; Margaret; Mary; Joyce; Annie.
The eldest son,

GEORGE WINN (c1607-67), High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1657, proved himself to be a steady friend to the monarchy and to his country during the civil contests which cast a cloud over the last days of the unfortunate CHARLES I, for there is extent in his family a receipt of the date of the very year in which His Majesty suffered, signed by a deputed person on behalf of the exiled prince, his son, from which it appears that George Winn contributed, with his brother Rowland, the sum of 2,000 guilders (a sum, perhaps, in those days not inconsiderable, and certainly not advanced without serious personal risk) towards the support of what might have been considered a hopeless cause.

In the December following the Restoration, the title of Baronet was conferred by CHARLES II on his faithful subject, as SIR GEORGE WINN, of Nostell, Yorkshire.

Sir George was married thrice: firstly, to Rachel, daughter of John Turner, by whom he had no issue; secondly, to Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Jeffreys, alderman of London, by whom he had,
EDMUND, his successor;
GEORGE, born in 1645, whose grandson was created 1st BARON HEADLEY;
Sir George espoused thirdly, Anne, daughter of Sir William Pelham, Knight, but by her he had no issue.

At his decease, in 1667, his eldest son, EDMUND, succeeded to the baronetcy, which, in 1805, devolved upon his great-grandson, Sir Edmund Mark Winn, of Acton, Yorkshire, the 7th Baronet, at whose decease, in 1833, it fell to his cousin, the second Baron Headley, Sir George, the 1st Baronet's second son,

GEORGE WINN, of South Ferriby, in Lincolnshire, who married Sarah, daughter of Charles Pelham (ancestor of the Earl of Yarborough), and had issue,

PELHAM WINN, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev Gilbert Wighton, by Elizabeth Allanson and Charles Allanson, of Syon, Middlesex, by whom he had an only son,

GEORGE ALLANSON-WINN (1725-98), of whom it is the pride of his family to speak as an instance of rare success and celebrity under no common difficulties.

He succeeded in 1763 to the estates of his cousin, Mark Winn, of Little Warley, Essex, and in 1775 to those of his cousin, Charles Allanson, of Brabham Biggin, Yorkshire, who was the only son of the above-named William Allanson, and died leaving no issue.

Mr Winn was created a Baronet in 1776, owing to the eminence and talents of his exertions as a Baron of the Exchequer in Scotland, and in the same year he obtained licence and authority to assume the name and armorial bearing of ALLANSON.

In 1797, Sir George was elevated to the peerage, in the dignity of BARON HEADLEY, Baron Allanson and Winn, of Aghadoe, County Kerry.

His lordship married firstly, in 1765, Anne, fourth daughter of Sir Rowland Winn Bt, of Nostell, Yorkshire (son of Sir Rowland, the son of Sir Edmund, eldest son of Sir George, 1st Baronet), by whom he had issue, an only daughter, Georgiana Anne (1769-82).

His lady died during the childbirth of a son in 1774.

His lordship wedded secondly, in 1783, Jane, eldest daughter and heiress of Arthur Blennerhassett, of Ballyseedy, County Kerry, in which county the Blennerhassetts (a long-settled and well-known family in Cumberland), formed a distinguished house for many generations, by whom he had further issue,
CHARLES, his successor;
George Mark Arthur Way, grandfather of the 5th Baron;
Jane Elizabeth; Maria.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES, 2nd Baron (1784-1840), who inherited the old family baronetcy in 1833, and espoused, in 1826, Miss Anne Matthews, and dsp 1840, when the family honours devolved upon his nephew,

CHARLES, 3rd Baron (1810-77), DL, who wedded, in 1841, Maria Margaret, eldest daughter of Major d'Arley, and had issue,
Rowland William (died in infancy, 1842);
CHARLES MARK, his successor;
Laura Jane; Millicent Julia; Marion Sybil.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

CHARLES MARK, 4th Baron (1845-1913), JP DL, Captain, Honourable Artillery Company, who espoused, in 1867, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev John Blennerhassett, and had issue, an only child and daughter, AVIS MILLICENT BLENNERHASSETT ALLINSON-WINN.

Following the decease of the 4th Baron without male issue, in 1913, the honours reverted to his cousin,

ROWLAND, 5th Baron (1855-1935), also known as Shaikh Rahmatullah al-Farooq.

The titles expired in 1994, following the decease of the 5th Baron's younger son Charles Rowland, 7th and last Baron.

AGHADOE HOUSE, Killarney, County Kerry, was built in 1828, reputedly at a cost of £12,000 (almost £1.3 million in today's money).

Despite this fact, the mansion is largely victorian and Italianate in style.

It is built with red sandstone ashlar and limestone facings, with an irregular two-storey main block, and a three-storey office wing.

The limestone porch has three arches and a balustrade.

The house was burnt in 1922, though later re-built, when the eaves were designed to overhang considerably more than originally.

Aghadoe House has been a youth hostel for many years.


GLENBEIGH TOWERS, Glenbeigh, County Kerry, was built between 1867-71 for the Hon Rowland Winn.

The house, now ruinous, is Victorian-Medieval in character, with particularly solid stonework.

It comprised a vast square keep of three storeys, a gabled attic; a walled entrance court or bawn on one side, approached through a gateway defended by a corner bastion.

Glenbeigh was inhabited by Rowland Winn's son, also called Rowland, who became the 5th Lord Headley.

It was burnt in 1922, and only a corner of the ruin is now standing.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Bishopscourt House



THOMAS SCOTT, a captain in the army of WILLIAM III, fell in the field, charging the enemy at the head of his troops.

He wedded Margaret, daughter and heir of Henry Ormsby, of Tubbervady, County Roscommon, and was father of

MICHAEL SCOTT, who married Miss Purcell, of the ancient family of Purcell, titular Barons of Loughmoe, and had issue, Thomas, of Mohubber, deceased; and

JOHN SCOTT (1739-98), MP for Mullingar, 1769-83, Portarlington, 1783-4, who, being bred to the bar, arrived at the high legal offices of Solicitor-General, Attorney-General, and Prime Sergeant-at-Law of Ireland, 1774-83.

In 1784, he was appointed Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench; and in the same year Mr Scott was elevated to the peerage, in the dignity of Baron Earlsfort, of Lisson Earl, County Tipperary.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1789, as Viscount Clonmell; and further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1793, as EARL OF CLONMELL.

He married firstly, in 1768, Catharine Anna Maria, daughter of Thomas Mathew, of Thomastown Castle, County Tipperary, and sister of the 1st Earl of Landaff, by whom he had an only son, who died in infancy.

His lordship wedded secondly, in 1779, Margaret, only daughter and heir of Patrick Lawless, of Dublin (by Mary, sister of 1st Lord Cloncurry), and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Charlotte, m 3rd Earl Beauchamp.
He was succeeded by his only son,

THOMAS, 2nd Earl (1783-1838), who espoused, in 1805, Henrietta Greville, second daughter of George, 2nd Earl of Warwick, and had issue,
JOHN HENRY, his successor;
Charles Grantham;
Harriett; Louisa Augusta; Charlotte Rachael; Caroline Sophia;
Frances Mary; Sophia Louisa; Augusta Anne; Georgiana Gertrude.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN HENRY, 3rd Earl (1817-66), of Lisson Earl, County Tipperary, who married, in 1838, Anne, daughter of Ulysses, 2nd Baron Downes of Aghanville, and had issue,

JOHN HENRY REGINALD, 4th Earl (1839-91), of Birt House, Naas, County Kildare, who died unmarried, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

THOMAS CHARLES, 5th Earl (1840-96), who married, in 1875, Agnes Arabella, daughter of Robert Godfrey Day.

His lordship died without issue at Bishop's Court, County Kildare, from typhoid fever, and was succeeded by his first cousin,

BEAUCHAMP HENRY JOHN, 6th Earl (1847-98), eldest son of Colonel the Hon Charles Grantham Scott, second son of the 2nd Earl; on whose decease the titles passed to his son,

RUPERT CHARLES, 7th Earl (1877-1928), who died without male issue, when the titles reverted to his uncle,

DUDLEY ALEXANDER CHARLES, 8th Earl (1853-1935), whose marriage was without issue.

On his death, at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, the titles became extinct.

BISHOPSCOURT, Straffan, County Kildare, is a large classical house built ca 1780-90 for the Rt Hon John Ponsonby, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.

It has a four-bay entrance front with a pedimented portico of four huge Ionic columns.

The outer bays have pedimented ground-floor windows and circular plaques instead of windows in the upper storey.

The side elevation has a recessed centre and three-bay projection at either side, joined by a veranda of slender columns with an iron balcony.

There is a curved bow on either side of the House; and an imperial staircase.

In 1838, Bishopscourt was sold by Frederick Ponsonby to John, 3rd Earl of Clonmell.

In 1914, the house was sold on to Edward Kennedy from Baronrath, at the time the most famous breeder of racehorses in Ireland.
Kennedy’s stallion The Tetrarch, standing at Bishopscourt, is confirmed as the most successful sire in the world in 1919.
In 1938, Bishopscourt passed to Edward’s daughter Patricia (Tiggie) Kennedy and her husband, Dermot McGillycuddy, heir to Senator McGillycuddy of the Reeks, an ancient clan chiefdom from County Kerry.
Edward Kennedy's son, Major D M (John) Kennedy, won a Military Cross at Anzio whilst serving with 1st Battalion Irish Guards and was later killed at Terporten Castle in Germany in February 1945.
Bishopscourt House is now the residence of the Farrell family.

Former seat ~ Eathorpe Hall, Warwickshire.
Former town residence ~ 41 Upper Brook Street, London.

First published in June, 2013.   Clonmell arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Portballintrae Visit

Seaport Lodge, September, 2019

Earlier in the week I spent several days in the seaside resort of Portballintrae, County Antrim.

This coastal village, near Bushmills, has always been popular, with its delightful sandy bays, Bushfoot Strand, the little harbour, and its general location on the Causeway Coast.

We used to spend weekends here at the Beach Hotel with friends.

Alas, that hotel was demolished many years ago and has been replaced with modern apartments.

The Bayview Hotel, however, remains; not the original building, which was also demolished ages ago.

I spent two agreeable evenings in the lounge bar of the Bayview, contented with my iPad and headphones.

Catch of the Day at the Bayview Hotel

On the first evening I had a bar meal comprising a blue cheese and beetroot salad, followed by the "Catch of the Day": smoked cod, mashed potato, spinach, surrounded by a creamy sauce.

This food was delicious.

Thereafter I removed to a banquette-style seat near the front door and Reception.

I have acquired a pair of state-of-the-art noise-cancelling headphones, Bluetooth (wireless), which cut out virtually all outside noise except whatever you're listening to on the iPad or other device.

Quite remarkable technology.

The next morning I paid a brief visit to Coleraine, one of my favourite towns.

On the way home, I made a small detour to Bushmills Garden Centre, a few miles outside the village itself.

For some inexplicable reason I've developed an interest in gardening, albeit on a modest scale.

I was on the look-out for a plant that likes dry conditions and the garden centre was promoting Sedums.

I'm apprised that this variety thrives in sunshine and doesn't mind dry conditions, so a spot between two thirsty trees in the border ought to satiate it.

I chose a lovely Sedum Spectabile "Brilliant".

When I purchased it there was a bee eating the nectar, adhering to it like a magnet.

It refused to budge (lest it had discovered the irresistible Belmont bouquet), so some gentle persuasion was required, viz. some of the Belmont blowing.


After breakfast one morning I strolled the short distance to Seaport Lodge, once the maritime residence of the Leslies.

Seaport Lodge commands one of the finest prospects in Portballintrae, with its little private harbour.

Unfortunately it has lain derelict for many years, though the owner is finally restoring it as I write.

Seafood Thermidor

The next evening I motored into Portrush, past the celebrated Royal Portrush Golf Club, to the harbour, where I had the Seafood Thermidor at Ramore Wine Bar.

I rather like the Ramore complex, which has several different bars and restaurants.

Just do not expect the conventional type of restaurant where you can reserve a table in advance, order at the table, and await service.

At Ramore wine bar you are shown to a clearly numbered table, peruse the menu, and walk up to the bar counter where they ask for your number, take your order, and you settle the account there and then.

This unconventional system works very well for Ramore and I find it perfectly acceptable.

During my break in Portballintrae the weather was mostly sunny, dry and quite warm, something I took full advantage of.

Perma-tan Belmont.


THE French Rooms is a charming restaurant in the centre of Bushmills, just along the street from the Inn.

Their opening hours vary, and at the time of writing dinner is only served on Friday and Saturday evenings; so I was fortunate to get my favourite (and lucky) Table Eight.

The last time I was seated at Table Eight an unknown American couple paid for my meal (unknown to me, because they had paid for it and departed some time before I'd finished my meal).

For this happy reason Mrs Bolton recognized me instantly and greeted my like an old pal.

Perhaps they ought to re-name Table Eight "Lord Belmont's Table".

For dinner I had the goat's cheese, served in a little, tied paper parcel on a wooden platter, with home-made chutney, lemongrass-infused olive oil, and rustic bread.

The main course consisted of sea-bass, garlic cubed fries, and beetroot gratin.

Needless to say, it was all delicious and superb; beautifully presented, too.

After dinner I repaired to the Bushmills Inn, ordered a beverage, and settled down at a small table with the iPad and headphones.

The next morning it was time to pack up, tidy up, and motor back home to the Belmont GHQ.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

New Vice Lord-Lieutenant


Mr David McCorkell, Lord-Lieutenant of Country Antrim, with approval of Her Majesty The Queen, has been pleased to appoint:-
Mrs Miranda Gay GORDON DL
County Antrim
Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the said County, her Commission bearing date, the 17th day of September, 2019.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Markree Castle


EDWARD COOPER (c1616-76), a cornet in Richard, Lord Collooney's regiment of dragoons, settling in Ireland, became possessed of a great estate in that kingdom.
Cornet Cooper was serving under Cromwell when his army defeated the mighty O’Brien Clan. O’Brien himself lost his life in this battle and Edward married his widow, Máire Rua (Red Mary). With her and her two sons he went to live at Luimneach Castle in Limerick, which is now a ruin. She had her two sons take the name of Cooper as protection from the English invaders.
Cromwell’s army marched on, further northwards in spite of the fact that he did not have the means to pay his officers. Instead, he gave them large pieces of land. Thus, he gave Markree Castle, near Collooney in County Sligo, and the surrounding grounds to Edward Cooper.
By Margaret his wife, daughter of Nicholas Mahon, of Ballinamulty, County Roscommon, he had issue,
Edward, dsp;
ARTHUR, his heir;
Mary; Margaret.
The second son,

ARTHUR COOPER (1667-93), of Markree, County Sligo, heir to his brother Edward, married, ca 1693, Mary, daughter of Sir Joshua Allen, Knight, father of John, 1st Viscount Allen, and had issue,
JOSHUA, his heir;
Richard, dsp;
Mary; Elizabeth; Anne; Eleanor; Margaret.
The eldest son,

JOSHUA COOPER (c1696-1757), of Markree, wedded, ca 1729, Mary, daughter of Richard Bingham, of Newbrook, County Mayo, and left two sons; the younger, Richard, of Bath; and the elder,

THE RT HON JOSHUA COOPER, of Markree, MP for County Sligo, Privy Counsellor, who married Alicia, only daughter and heir of the Rt Rev Dr Edward Synge, Lord Bishop of Elphin, and had issue,
Edward Synge, father of EDWARD JOSHUA;
Richard, dsp;
Jane, died unmarried.
Mr Cooper was succeeded by his grandson,

JOSHUA EDWARD COOPER (1762-1837), of Markree, MP for County Sligo, 1790-1800, who married twice, without male issue, and was succeeded by his nephew,

EDWARD JOSHUA COOPER (1798-1863), of Markree Castle, MP for County Sligo, 1830-41 and 1857-59, who married firstly, Sophia, third daughter of Henry P L'Estrange, of Moyestown, King's County, which lady dsp.

He married, secondly, Sarah Frances, daughter of Owen Wynne, of Haslewood, County Sligo, and had issue,
Laura Frances; Charlotte Sophie; Emma Marie; Selina Elizabeth; Cicely Florence.
Mr Cooper was succeeded by his nephew,

THE RT HON EDWARD HENRY COOPER JP DL (1827-1902), of Markree Castle, Lieutenant-Colonel, Grenadier Guards, who wedded, in 1858, Charlotte Maria, only child of Edward W Mills, of Hampshire, and had issue,
Francis Edward, father of BRYAN RICCO;
Richard Joshua, CVO;
Arthur Charles;
Kathleen Emily; Florence Lucy; Venetia Helen.
Colonel Cooper was succeeded by his grandson,

BRYAN RICCO COOPER TD JP DL (1884-1930), of Markree Castle, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1908, MP for Dublin County, 1910, who espoused, in 1910, Marion Dorothy, elder daughter of Edward Stanley Handcock, of Fulmer, Buckinghamshire, and had issue, his eldest son,

LIEUTENANT-COMMANDER EDWARD FRANCIS PATRICK COOPER RN, of Markree Castle (1912-), who married, in 1937, Elizabeth Mary, daughter of the Ven Charles Philip Stuart Clarke; educated at Royal Naval College, Dartmouth; fought in 2nd World War; retired from the Navy in 1945.

His youngest son,

CHARLES PHILIP COOPER, of Markree Castle (b 1948), educated at St. Columba's College, Dublin, lived in 1976 at Newport, County Mayo; formerly in hotel management.

MARKREE CASTLE, Collooney, County Sligo, originally a 17th century house, was rebuilt a century later; and, in 1802, Joshua Cooper commissioned Francis Johnston to enlarge this house and transform it into a castellated mansion.

The Castle was completely transformed and greatly extended with a new garden front and tower.

In 1866, the Castle was further enlarged again by Lt-Col E H Cooper MP, who added a massive, battlemented tower, increasing the size of the dining-room. A Gothic chapel was built.

The interior has a straight flight of stone stairs which lead up to the main floor under the porte-cochere, beneath a vaulted ceiling.

Beyond is a vast, Victorian double-staircase of oak, lit by a heraldic stained-glass window illustrating the Cooper family tree, with ancestors and Monarchs.

The large drawing-room was re-decorated in the mid-1800s in an ornate Louis Quatorze style, with abundant gilding and portly putti in high-relief supporting cartouches and trailing swags of fruit and flowers.

Brief Family History

Times remained turbulent and during an attempt by JAMES I to regain the throne, Markree Castle was occupied by the Catholic army and the Coopers had to flee.

After the battle of the Boyne in 1690, they returned and have been resident here ever since, except for a brief period during the Irish Civil War in the 1920s when Markree was again occupied, this time by the Irish Free State army.

The family was always politically involved and several ancestors represented the county at Westminster.

They did not always follow party policy (maybe because they were descended from the O’Briens) and opposed the Act of Union, which sought to dissolve the parliament in Dublin and centralise power in London, in 1802.

The Coopers’ opposition to the Act of Union cost them the peerage that they had been promised and it is for this reason that Markree is one of the very few castles in Ireland that is not owned by a titled family.

In 1922, the grandfather of the current owner, Charles Cooper, was one of the two members of the Westminster Parliament who were also elected as a TD to the first Irish Parliament after independence.

After the 2nd World War, Markree Castle fell on hard times and it stood empty and derelict for many years.

In the early 1980s it appeared on the front cover of a book entitled Vanishing Houses of Ireland, a testament to the sad state of decay in which many of Ireland’s great houses found themselves.

In 1989, Charles Cooper, having worked in the hotel business all his life, came back to Markree to renovate the castle and run it as a hotel.

Each generation left its mark on the estate, but the castle, as we can see it today, dates from 1802 with some changes made, mainly to the interior, in 1896.

Walking around the outside of the Castle you can see dates of completion carved in stone on the walls.

The stained glass window in the hall traces the Cooper family tree from Victorian times back to the time of King John.

The restaurant is an architectural masterpiece designed by Francis Johnston and executed by Italian craftsmen.

A conservation area, the estate holds an array of wild life from red squirrels, to otters, to kingfishers. It has proved inspirational and the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful was written here in the 1800s.

At the heart of Yeats’ Country, the poet W.B. Yeats was a guest here when the Castle was still a private residence.

More recently, the singer-songwriter Johnny Cash and the golfer Tom Watson have stayed there.

In June, 2015, the 300-acre Markree Castle estate was acquired by the Corscadden family for an undisclosed sum.

The hotel will undergo a €5 million restoration prior to re-opening in the spring of 2016.

First published in June, 2011.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

French Park


The family of FRENCH, originally DE FREIGNE, or De Fraxinis, is of great antiquity, and was established in England by one of the companions in arms of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

In 1254, Will de Fraxinis was sent ambassador from HENRY III to POPE INNOCENT IV.

SIR HERBERT or HUMPHREY DE FREYNE, who accompanied Strongbow in his expedition against Ireland, acquired large possessions in the province of Leinster, and settled in Ballymacoonoge, County Wexford.

He had two sons, Patrick and Nicholas, whose descendants gained early distinction, and ranked amongst the most powerful of the Anglo-Norman barons.

Fulke de Freyne, the descendant of Sir Humphrey, settled his manor of Ballymacoonoge, with remainder to his heirs, with various other remainders, in 1329.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Patrick, who died without male issue, leaving two daughters; the eldest, Ellen, with whom the moiety of the said manor went out of the family to her husband, Richard de Camelford.

The other estates went by another settlement to his second son, Oliver de Freyne, who was Senescal of Kilkenny, 1336, and was father of

SIR ROBERT FREYNE, who died leaving three sons, the third of whom,

JAMES FFRENCH, was chosen to represent Wexford in the parliament of Westminster, in 1376.

He had a son,

OLIVER FRENCH, father of

PATRICK FRENCH, who was sent as a judge into Connaught.

He wedded Mary, daughter of John D'Athi, a family of great antiquity long settled in that province, and was ancestor of

JOHN FRENCH, of Galway, born in 1489, a man great wealth and unbounded liberality and a great benefactor of the Church.

It is stated in the annals of Galway that he built, at his own expense, the north aisle of St Nicholas' Church, in that town, from the north pinnacle of the chapel of the Holy Sacrament; and also the great chapel on the south side of St Francis's Abbey, with the building which stands on the river-side, which has ever since borne his name, and is called "John French's Chamber".

In this church, the French family, with two others, are alone entitled to the right of burial.

His son and successor,

PETER FRENCH, Mayor of Galway, 1576, married Mary, sister of William Martin, and had five sons.

The sum of £5,000 was expended on his monument, which adorned the church there, until destroyed in CROMWELL's time, by Colonel Stubber, then Governor of the town.

The monument was executed in Italy, and is described in the annals of Galway to have been of "rayre sculpture and guilded with golde".

His son,

FRANCIS FRENCH, of Gortrassy and Sessueman Castle, in County Sligo, wedded Una O'Conor, of the ancient race of O'Conor in Sligo; and dying in 1624, left a son,

STEPHEN FRENCH, to whom Sir Donogh O'Conor of Sligo made a device in his will, and Sir Charles O'Conor of Sligo made a grant of the lands of Rathborney, Ardueglass etc, dated 1622.

This Stephen married Marian Lynch, of the family of Le Petit, barons palatine of Mullingar, and was succeeded by his son,

PATRICK FRENCH, of Dungar, otherwise French Park, County Roscommon, whose great estates in County Sligo were seized by the Earl of Strafford, and partitioned amongst Sir Thomas Radcliffe, Sir Philip Perceval, etc.

They were, however, subsequently restored by order of Parliament, but CROMWELL again dispossessed them.

He wedded a daughter of Martin, of Dangan, in County Galway; and dying at Dungar, was succeeded by his son,

DOMINICK FRENCH, of French Park, and of Boyle, who wedded Anne, daughter of the Rt Rev Dr Edward King, Lord Bishop of Elphin, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Mary, Margaret; Sarah; Anne.
Mr French was buried in Elphin Cathedral, where his monument is still to be seen.

He was succeeded by his son,

JOHN FRENCH (1662-1734), of French Park, called Tierna More, a colonel in the army who commanded a troop in the Enniskillen Dragoons at the battle of Aughrim, and was attainted on account of his Whig principles by the parliament held by JAMES II at Dublin, 1690.

Mr French, MP for Carrick, 1695-9 and 1713-14, County Galway, 1703-13, Tulsk, 1715-27, wedded Anne, daughter of Sir Arthur Gore Bt, of Newtown, ancestor of the Earls of Arran, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Mary; Olivia; Catherine; Sarah.
Mr French died in 1734, leaving £1,000 to be expended on his funeral.

His body was laid in state in the park for three days and nights, and the county were feasted round it.

He was succeeded by his son, 

ARTHUR FRENCH (1690-1761), of French Park, MP for Tulsk, 1714, County Roscommon, 1721-7, Boyle, 1727-60, who espoused Jane, daughter of John Percival, of Knightsbrook, County Meath, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
ARTHUR, successor to his brother;
Mr French was succeeded by his eldest son, 

JOHN FRENCH (1723-75), of French Park, MP for County Roscommon, 1745-75, until the time of his death in 1775, in which year he was drowned, together with his brother, Robert, on his passage from Dublin to Parkgate.

He was to have been called to the house of peers as Baron Dungar.

Mr French wedded Alicia, daughter of Ralph Crawford, of Snowhill, County Fermanagh; but having no issue, was succeeded by his brother,

ARTHUR FRENCH (1728–99), Colonel, French Park and Castlemaine Volunteers, who refused to accept the peerage promised to his brother.

Colonel French married, in 1763, Alicia, daughter of Richard Magennis, of Dublin, of the house of IVEAGH, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
John, in holy orders;
Robert Henry;
St George;
Jane; Alicia; Anne; Frances.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR FRENCH (1765-1820), MP for County Roscommon, 1785-1820, who wedded, ca 1784, Margaret, daughter of Edmund Costello, the representative of the Nangles, Lord McCostello, County Mayo, by Mary his wife, daughter of Francis, 21st Baron Athenry, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
JOHN, 2nd Baron, in holy orders;
CHARLES, 3rd Baron;
Mary; Louisa; Harriet; Elizabeth.
Mr French, who refused successively an earldom and a barony, was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR FRENCH (1786-1856), of French Park, MP for County Roscommon, 1821-32, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1839, in the dignity of BARON DE FREYNE, of Artagh, County Roscommon.

He married, in 1818, Mary, daughter of Christopher McDermott, though the marriage was without issue, and his lordship was succeeded by his next brother,

JOHN, 2nd Baron (1788-1863), who died unmarried, when the title devolved upon his brother,

CHARLES, 3rd Baron (1790-1868), who espoused, in 1851, Catherine, daughter of Luke Maree, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his successor;
Richard Patrick;
Mary Josephine.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest legitimate son,

ARTHUR, 4th Baron (1855-1913), Honorary Colonel, Connaught Rangers, who married firstly, Laura Octavia, daughter of the Hon John Charles Dundas, and had issue,
ARTHUR REGINALD, his successor;
Gwendolen Mary.
He wedded secondly, in 1882, Marie Georgiana, daughter of Richard Westbrook Lamb, and had further issue,
William Joseph;
Edward Fulke;
Louis Richard;
George Philip;
Ernest Aloysius;
Hubert John;
Bertram Leo;
Lily Marie; Muriel May; Eileen Agnes.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR REGINALD, 5th Baron (1879-1915), Captain, South Wales Borderers, who espoused, in 1902, Annabel, daughter of William Angus, though his lordship was killed in action, and the marriage was without issue, when the title devolved upon his half-brother,

FRANCIS CHARLES, 6th Baron (1884-1935), DL, High Sheriff of County Roscommon, 1912, who married, in 1916, Lina Victoria, daughter of Sir John Alexander Arnott Bt, and had issue,
FRANCIS ARTHUR JOHN, his successor;
Patricia Mary; Jeanne Victoria; Patience Veronica; Faith Gabriel.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

FRANCIS ARTHUR JOHN, 7th Baron (1927-2009), of French Park, who wedded firstly, in 1954, Shirley Ann, daughter of Dougles Rudolph Pobjoy, and had issue,
Patrick Dominick Fitzstephen Jude;
Vanessa Rose Bradbury.
He espoused secondly, in 1978, Sheelin Deirdre, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Kane O'Kelly.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

(FULKE) CHARLES ARTHUR JOHN, 8th Baron (b 1957),  who wedded, in 1986, Julia Mary, daughter of James H Wellard, and has issue,
William Rory Francis.
The 8th and present Baron lives in London. 

FRENCH PARK, near Boyle, in County Roscommon, was formerly the ancestral seat of the Barons de Freyne.

The house, originally built in the mid-17th century before being rebuilt in the Georgian style in the 18th century, was demolished after the sale of the estate by the French family to the Irish Land Commission in 1952.

The Commission removed the roof of the buildings in 1953 and eventually demolished the remaining structures ca 1975.

French Park was an early Palladian winged house of red brick, of three storeys with a seven-bay centre block (above).

Two-storey wings, five bays long and four deep, were joined to the main block by curved sweeps.

In 1952 Lord de Freyne sold French Park.

The great house and demesne had been in the French family since 5,000 acres were granted to Dominick French in 1666; prior to its dissemination during the Irish land acts, the estate comprised 36,000 acres.

Having sold the estate, the de Freynes moved to Oxfordshire.

The present and 8th Lord de Freyne now lives in London.

The once-great mansion is now a roofless ruin.

First published in July, 2011.

Monday, 16 September 2019

1st Duke of Buckingham


This family, which is still extant in the noble houses of Jersey and Clarendon, deduced its descent from Villiers, Seigneurs de L'Isle Adam, in Normandy, France; and the first of its members who came into England was amongst the companions in arms of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

SIR GEORGE VILLIERS (c1544-1606), of Brooksby, Leicestershire, a person of eminent repute, married firstly, Audrey, daughter of William Saunders, of Harrington, Northamptonshire, and had issue,
William, created a Baronet;
Edward, ancestor of the EARLS OF JERSEY;
Elizabeth; Anne; Frances.
Sir George wedded secondly, Mary, daughter of Anthony Beaumont, of Glenfield, Leicestershire, which lady survived her husband, and was created COUNTESS OF BUCKINGHAM for life; and had further issue,
John, 1st Viscount Purbeck;
GEORGE, of whom presently;
Christopher, 1st Earl of Anglesey;
Sir George's second son by his last wife,

GEORGE VILLIERS (1592-1628), born at Brooksby, received the first rudiments of his education at Billesdon School in Leicestershire, whence being removed at the age of 13, by his mother, he was sent to France, and there soon attained "perfection in all polite accomplishments".

Upon his return home, he went first to London as a suitor to Sir Roger Ashton's daughter, one of the Gentlemen of the Bedchamber and Master of the Robes to JAMES I, but was dissuaded from the connection by another courtier, Sir John Graham, one of the Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, who encouraged him to "woo fortune in the court".

Soon after this he attracted the attention of the King, and succeeded the favourite Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, as cup-bearer to His Majesty (being, said Sir William Dugdale, of stature tall and comely, his comportment graceful, and of a most sweet disposition).

From this period he rose rapidly in estimation, and the Queen, through the influence of George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, an enemy of Somerset's, being induced also to protect him, his fortune was at once established.

The first honour he received was that of Knighthood, which was conferred in Her Majesty's bedchamber with the Prince's rapier: he was then sworn a Gentleman of the Bedchamber (1615), with an annual pension of £1,000 (£237,000 in today's money) payable out of the Court of Wards.

The ensuing January he succeeded Edward, 4th Earl of Worcester, as Master of the Horse; and several months later was installed a Knight of the Garter.

Before the end of the year (1616) he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, the ceremony of creation being performed at Woodstock; and he was very soon after advanced to a viscountcy, as Viscount Villiers.

In 1617 his lordship was created Earl of Buckingham, with a special remainder, default of male issue, to his brothers John and Christopher, and their male issue.

His lordship was further advanced, in 1618, to the dignity of a marquessate, as Marquess of Buckingham.

This last dignity was succeeded by his appointment to the great office of Lord High Admiral, and his being sworn of the Privy Council; and about this time his lordship was constituted Chief Justice in Eyre; Master of the Court of King's Bench; High Steward of Westminster Abbey; Constable of Windsor Castle; and Chancellor of Cambridge University.

In 1623, Lord Buckingham was sent into Spain with Charles, Prince of Wales, to accelerate the marriage then in contemplation between His Royal Highness and a Spanish princess.

The journey, a most exceptional one, commenced on the 18th February, when Prince Charles and Lord Buckingham, putting on false beards, assumed the names of Thomas and John Smith, their sole attendant being Sir Richard Graham, 1st Baronet, Master of the Horse.

Post-riding to Canterbury, where they took fresh horses, they were stopped by the mayor, as suspicious persons, whereupon Lord Buckingham was constrained to take off his beard, and to satisfy the mayor by stating that he was going incognito to survey the fleet as Lord High Admiral.

At Dover they found Prince Charles's private secretary, Sir Francis Cottington, and Mr Endymion Porter, who had provided a vessel for their use: on which they embarked, and landing at Boulogne, proceeded to Paris, and thence travelled through France to Madrid.

During their sojourn in Paris, Lord Buckingham is said to have fallen in love with Anne of Austria (Queen of France, consort of LOUIS XIII).

It is certainly the case that, upon his return, Cardinal Richelieu refused him permission to land in a French port.

At Madrid, Buckingham was involved in a dispute with the Count-Duke of Olivares, and received some affronts for his haughtiness, French garb, and great familiarity with Prince Charles.

His royal master continuing, however, to lavish favours upon him, sent out letters patent, in 1623, creating him DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Buckingham, failing in the object of their journey, departed from Madrid on the 12th September, and arrived at Portsmouth in October, when His Grace was appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Steward of the Manor of Hampton Court.

The death of JAMES I followed about a year and a half later, but the influence of Buckingham was undiminished.

His Grace officiated as Lord High Steward at the coronation of the new King; and was shortly afterwards sent as Ambassador Extraordinary to Holland, where he purchased a rare collection of Arabic manuscripts, procured in remote countries by the industry and diligence of Thomas Erpenius, a famous linguist.

Those valuable documents were presented to Cambridge University, for which he intended them, after the 1st Duke's death.

His Grace continued to bask in the same sunshine of royal favour, under CHARLES I, that he had so beneficially enjoyed in the last reign, but with the populace he had become an object of contempt.

His influence was paramount, and to that influence was attributed all the grievances of the nation.

The failure, too, of an expedition to Saint-Martin-de-Ré, for the relief of his Huguenot allies at La Rochelle, completed his unpopularity.

To recover the ground he had lost by this untoward enterprise, His Grace projected another expedition, and had repaired to Portsmouth in order to forward its sailing.

Here, while passing through a lobby, after breakfasting with Sir Thomas Fryer and other persons of distinction, he was stabbed in the heart by John Felton, an army officer, and died instantaneously.

The 1st Duke's assassination occurred on the 23rd August, 1628, when His Grace had just turned 36 years of age.

The Duchess was in the house, in an upper room, hardly out of bed; and the King and court at Sir Daniel Norton's, Southwick, Hampshire, merely six miles away.

His Grace had married the Lady Katherine Manners, only daughter and heiress of Francis, Earl of Rutland and Baron de Ros (which latter dignity she inherited at the decease of her father in 1632), and had issue,
GEORGE, his successor;
Following the 1st Duke's murder, Her Grace wedded secondly, Randal, 2nd Earl and 1st Marquess of Antrim, of Dunluce Castle, County Antrim.

A lost masterpiece of the 1st Duke by Rubens was recently discovered.

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham KG

His Grace was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE, 2nd Duke (1628-87), KG, and in right of his mother, 20th Baron de Ros.

This nobleman was very young at the time of his father's murder, and spent some years abroad after that event, travelling.

He returned to England after the civil war, and had a command in the royal army at the battle of Worcester, 3rd September, 1651, from which unfortunate field, making his escape with difficulty, he reached London and was thence enabled to make good his retreat to Holland.

At the restoration of the monarchy His Grace, with General Monck, rode uncovered before the King upon his public entry into London, and he was soon afterwards appointed a Knight of the Garter.

The 2nd Duke formed one of the unpopular administrations of CHARLES II, which was designated the Cabal, from the initial letters of the ministers' names.

"But towards the latter half of that monarch's reign", said the infamous genealogist and lawyer, Thomas Christopher Banks, "by his strange conduct and unsteady temper he sunk very low in the opinion of most people. He first seduced the wife of Francis Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and then killed the Earl in a duel."

Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, in his Catalogue of Noble Authors, observed,
"When this extraordinary man, with the figure and genius of Alcibiades, could equally charm the Presbyterian Fairfax, and the dissolute Charles; when he alike ridiculed the witty king and his solemn chancellor; when he plotted the ruin of his country with a cabal of bad ministers, or equally unprincipled, supported its cause with bad patriots; one laments that such parts should be devoid of every virtue. 
But when Alcibiades turns chemist, when he is a real bubble, and a visionary miser, when ambition is but a frolic, when the worst designs are for the foolishest ends, contempt extinguishes all reflections on his character."
This nobleman, profligate as he was, held an elevated place amongst the great minds of his day, and as a wit was hardly equalled by any of his contemporaries.

"He began life (said Banks) with all the advantages of fortune and person which a nobleman could covet; and afterwards, by favour of the King, had great opportunities of making himself as considerable as his father had been. But he miserably wasted his estate, forfeited his honour, damned his reputation, and, at the time of his death, is said to have wanted even the necessaries of life, and not to have had one friend in the world."

Alexander Pope described him as more famous for his vices than his misfortunes; that having been possessed of £50,000 a year (in excess of £10 million today), and passed through many of the highest posts in the Kingdom, he died in 1687 at a remote inn in Yorkshire, reduced to the utmost misery.

His Grace had married Mary, only daughter and heiress of Thomas, Lord Fairfax, the parliamentary general, and granddaughter maternally of Horatio, 1st Baron Vere of Tilsbury, but had no issue.

He died in 1687, and his sister Mary, to whom the dukedom of Buckingham was in remainder, provided she had outlived the male descendants of her father, having predeceased him, all the honours which he had inherited from his father expired; while the barony of DE ROS, derived from his mother, fell into abeyance between the heirs-general of the sisters and heirs of George Manners, 7th Earl of Rutland.

Former residences ~ Helmsley Castle, Yorkshire; Wallingford House, Admiralty, London; York House, Strand, London.

First published in September, 2017.   Buckingham arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Leap Castle


JOHN DARBY, son of Edmund Darby, of Gaddesby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, was a captain of horse in the Earl of Sussex's army, at the siege of the O'Carroll stronghold of Leim O'Bannon (the Leap of O'Bannon). 

He died in 1608, and was succeeded by his grandson, 

JONATHAN DARBY, of Leap, King's County, High Sheriff of King's County, 1674, who left issue by Deborah his wife,
JONATHAN, his heir;
His eldest son,

JONATHAN DARBY, of Leap, living in 1708, left issue, one son and two daughters, viz.
Sarah; Mary.
The only son, 

JONATHAN DARBY JP, of Leap, espoused Anna Marie, daughter of Benjamin Frend, of Boskell, County Limerick, and had issue,
JONATHAN, his heir;
George, Vice-Admiral;
Damer, of Dublin;
Anne; Anne; Lucy.
The eldest son,

JONATHAN DARBY (1713-76), of Leap, wedded Susanna, daughter of Jonathan Lovett, of Dromoyle, King's County, and had issue,
Robert, 1747-64;
Henry D'Esterre (Sir), KCB, Admiral, of Leap Castle;
JOHN, of whom presently;
William Lovett;
Christopher, a general in the army;
Edward Hawke;
The fourth son, 

JOHN DARBY (1751-1834), of Marklye, Sussex, and afterwards of Leap Castle, married, in 1784, Anne, daughter of Samuel Vaughan, and had issue,
Jonathan, b 1784, died unmarried;
WILLIAM HENRY, his heir;
Christopher Lovett (Rev);
George, MP for E Sussex;
Horatio D'Esterre;
John Nelson;
Susannah; Sarah; Letitia Lovett.
The eldest surviving son,

WILLIAM HENRY DARBY (1790-1880), of Leap Castle, married firstly, Laura Charlotte, daughter of Edward Jeremiah Curteis, of Windmill Hill, Sussex, and had issue,
Mary Charlotte.
He wedded secondly, in 1848, Elizabeth, daughter of W Drought, and had further issue,
William Henry;
John Nelson;
Elizabeth Henrietta; Wilhelmina Katharine Anne; Laura Susan Eleanor;
Theodora Lovett; Laura Caroline; Monica Gertrude; Maude Mary; Anne Vaughan.
Mr Darby was succeeded by his grandson, 

JONATHAN CHARLES DARBY JP DL, of Leap Castle, High Sheriff of King's County, 1883, who wedded, in 1889, Mildred Henrietta Gordon, younger daughter of Dr Richard Dill, of Burgess Hill, and Brighton, both in Sussex, and had issue,
Jonathan, died in infancy, 1892;
Augusta; Cicily Mildred O'Carroll; Florence Patricia O'Carroll.
Mr Darby died in 1943, and was succeeded by his only surviving son,

HORATIO GORDON O'CARROLL DARBY (1898-1971), of Shannon Vale, Dromineer, Nenagh, County Tipperary, wedded, in 1926, Celia Margaret, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Burton Henry Capel Philips, and had issue,
Jonathan Brian O'Carroll;
Christopher Henry D'Esterre O'Carroll.
The eldest son,

HORATIO ANTHONY FIONN O'CARROLL DARBY MBE (1927-), Controller of Electricity, Monserrat, lived, in 1973, in Australia.

LEAP CASTLE, near Rosscrea, County Offaly, passed to the Darby family through marriage.

It is a 16th century, three-storey tower house, with remains of a Jacobean house constructed to the north.

Leap Castle was altered and enlarged by the Darby Family ca 1760, to include flanking Neo-Gothic two-storey castellated blocks and door surround.

There are roughcast, rendered walls to the tower house with a castellated parapet with bartizans and machicolations.

The castle has a variety of window openings, including limestone pointed-arched twin lights to the tower house and pointed-arched window openings with sandstone sills to the 18th century flanking bays.

A pointed-arched door opening with flanking pointed-arched sidelights to front elevation has a "Batty Langley" style door surround comprising sandstone clustered colonnades and hood mouldings.

The tower-house and flanking bay to the south are in use as a private dwelling; whereas the two and three-storey castellated bays to the north of the tower-house are derelict.

The Darby Family remained at Leap Castle until 1922, when the castle was destroyed and the family moved from the estate.

The Castle lay in ruins until it was bought in the 1980s and it being restored at present.

To study the developments and phases on construction at Leap Castle and associated structures, including the gate lodge and stables, is to study the architectural history of Ireland.

It has been the site of practically continued occupancy since the 16th century with alterations and additions to the Castle during each century.

Leap Castle is a landmark building in the area and, in the past, played an important social and historic role in the region.

The tower-house contributes an archaeological significance to the site; while the striking door surround is of artistic interest.

Leap Castle and associated structures are important features in the architectural heritage of County Offaly.

First published in April, 2013.