Thursday, 30 April 2020

Rev John McConnell Auld MA

Photo Credit: Belfast Telegraph

I can't remember my first encounter with Con Auld. He was always quite a distant figure at first, though I was young and naïve.

I suppose it must have been at some civic function in Holywood, County Down, the town where my father was born.

I must have seen him at civic receptions in the Queen's Hall; certainly on Saturday mornings in Holywood's library.

The Reverend John McConnell Auld's main association for me was the tiny hamlet of Portbraddan, on the north County Antrim coast.

On many occasions, mainly during summer months, I made a pilgrimage to that charming gem along the coast from White Park Bay, where Con Auld had created his own holiday home from the remnants of an old mill house.

He even wrote a book about it, Letters to a Causeway Coast Millhouse, published in 2004.

His spotless, vintage, bottle-green MGB GT sports car was usually parked near the tiny church he established beside The Braddan, St Gobban's Church.

St Gobban's

If Con happened to be at home he might have been whitewashing the walls of the cottage, or painting the drainpipes.

He had amassed a remarkable collection of memorabilia and items associated with the Titanic, I seem to recall, including a deck-chair.

The Braddan, like the man himself, was oozing with character.

Con might have been a very private gentleman, though he was also intrepid.

Perhaps one of my fondest recollections was of him seated at his cast-iron table and chairs, at the flag-pole, in front of The Braddan, overlooking the sea and White Park Bay.

Con was quite content to sit there reading and sipping from a bone-china tea-cup.

The Braddan, Portbraddan, County Antrim

He made full use of his talents throughout a charitable and varied life, having gained his MA from Trinity College, Dublin.

Con Auld was educated at Sullivan Upper School in Holywood, and Belfast Royal Academy; Princeton, New Jersey, USA, and the Union Theological College, Belfast.

He went on to become senior housemaster and Head of Divinity at Belfast Royal Academical Institution (Inst) from 1958 till 1988.

Con joined the Ulster Unionist Party and was elected to North Down Borough Council, where he served from 1973 until 1988.

The Mayor and Mayoress of North Down? 

He was Mayor and Deputy Mayor between 1980-84.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, though the image above shows Con wearing morning dress as His Worship the Mayor of North Down, with the Mayoress, Councillor Mary O'Fee OBE.

These activities are merely a flavour of his colourful life. I've already spoken of his great charitable endeavours, not least at St Gobban's Church, where many an Old Instonian was married.

Click to Enlarge

Incidentally, it's a shame that St Gobban's Church, or the building, wasn't listed. It was listed in 1990, though for some reason de-listed three years later.

The photograph above shows Portbraddan, probably in the late 19th century. Con Auld's cottage can be seen as it was.

St Gobban's Church, the small building to the left of the image, once used as a byre, was demolished in 2017.

Con had intended to write an illustrated book about the old houses of east Belfast.

He had a large cardboard box with dozens of colour drawings of old villas and mansions, including Garnerville and Norwood Tower.

I was indeed saddened to learn of his death, aged 90, on the 28th April, 2020.

Be in no doubt. Northern Ireland has lost a worthy and virtuous son.

I'm not ashamed to say that a little tear was shed when I heard about his passing

Con was, I believe, a man with a strong faith, and this fortitude served him well through life's challenges.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Coolcarrigan House


The first member of the Wright family to settle in Ireland was

CAPTAIN JAMES WRIGHT (1615-1700), of Royston, Yorkshire, son of John Wright and Margaret, daughter of Richard Ratcliffe.

Captain Wright, an officer in Cromwell's army, landed at Dublin, 1649.

In 1661, he was granted lands at Golagh in County Monaghan.

Captain wright was, however, attainted by JAMES II's parliament, 1688.

His son,

JOSEPH WRIGHT (1652-1731), of Golagh, married, in 1708, Mary, daughter of Edward Own of Kilmore, County Monaghan, and was father of

JOSEPH WRIGHT, of Golagh, who married, in 1744, Eleanor Martyn, of Clogher and Dumbartagh, County Cavan.

The second son,

JOSEPH WRIGHT JP, of Carrachor Hall, Rector of Killencoole, Lurgan Green and Harristown, County Louth, married Mary Montgomery and had four sons.

His second son,

RICHARD WRIGHT, of Fortfield, Belfast, and Craigavad House, County Down, married Catherine, daughter of George Dowdall.

He died in 1788, leaving issue five sons and two daughters.

The third son,

EDWARD THOMAS WRIGHT (1810-81), of Donnybrook, County Dublin, Barrister, married, in 1832, his cousin Charlotte, daughter of Joseph Wright, of Beech Hill, Donnybrook, County Dublin.

The eldest son,

EDWARD PERCIVAL WRIGHT (1834-1910), Professor of Botany, Dublin University, married Emily, daughter of Colonel Ponsonby Shaw of the Indian Army.

His second son,

THE REV CHARLES HENRY HAMILTON WRIGHT (1836-1909), married, in 1859, Ebba Johanna, daughter of Nils Wilhelm Almroth (Director of the Royal Mint in Stockholm and a Knight of the Northern Star of Sweden).

His second son,

SIR ALMROTH EDWARD WRIGHT KBE CB (1861-1947), married, in 1889, Jane Georgina, daughter of Robert Mackay Wilson, of Coolcarrigan, County Kildare.

His second son,

LEONARD ALMROTH WILSON-WRIGHT JP, of Coolcarrigan, High Sheriff of County Kildare, 1921, who married, in 1925, Florence, eldest daughter of James Ivory JP, of Brewlands, Glenisla, Forfarshire, and had issue, an only son,

JOCK WILSON-WRIGHT (1928-), who married, in 1953, Sheila Gwendolyn Yate, only daughter of Colonel Henry Patrick Blosse-Lynch, of Partry, Claremorris, County Mayo, and had issue,
Robert (b 1956);
Jane Sheila (b 1958);
Janet, (b 1951) who married Sir Richard La Touche Colthurst, 9th Baronet, of Ardrum, County Cork, and had issue two sons, Charles (b 1955) and James (b 1957).

THE WILSONS descend from John Wilson, of Rahee, County Antrim, said to have landed in Carrickfergus in the suite of WILLIAM III.

Robert Mackay Wilson's great-grandfather Hugh Wilson (d 1822) also lived at Rashee.

Robert Mackay Wilson's grandfather William Wilson, of Daramona House, County Westmeath, and Larkhill, County Dublin, was born in 1787 and married, in 1815, Rebecca Dupre (d 1846), daughter of John Mackay of Elagh, County Tyrone, and Prospect, County Londonderry.

Robert's elder brother John (1826-1906) succeeded to Daramona House and was sometime High Sheriff for counties Westmeath and Longford.

Robert Mackay Wilson JP (b1829), High Sheriff of County Kildare, 1887, married, in 1858, Elizabeth, daughter of Murray Suffern, of Belfast.

Mr Wilson purchased Coolcarrigan.

Coolcarrigan passed to his only surviving child,

Jane Georgina Wilson (1860-1926) who married Sir Almroth Wright.

COOLCARRIGAN HOUSE, near Naas, County Kildare, is a mansion of three bays and two storeys in the Georgian style, built in the 1830s by Robert Mackay Wilson to the designs of an unknown architect.

The façade has hooded moldings over the upper windows, a simple parapet and a typical late-Georgian door with fanlight and sidelights, while the central bay is treated as a breakfront by the addition of a pair of pilasters.

Two later curved screen walls, ending in tall piers, project outwards to either side of the entrance front and disguise the fact that the house has been considerably enlarged at the rear.

These additions make Coolcarrigan a very comfortable family home.

There is a beautiful family chapel in the grounds:

Consecrated in 1885 by the Most Rev William Plunket, Lord Archbishop of Dublin and later 4th Baron Plunket, the chapel was built in the Hiberno-Romanesque Revival style, with a Round Tower and a High Cross.

It derives from the 12th century Temple Finghin at Clonmacnoise on the River Shannon.

This tiny complex, surrounded by trees and a dry moat, is the most complete example of the Celtic Revival style in Ireland and makes an attractive view from the house.

The church interior has frescoes in Gaelic script, specially chosen by Douglas Hyde, the first Irish President and a close family friend; while the very good stained glass windows, dedicated to various members of the family, are also in the Celtic Revival style.

The main avenue has a splendid display of spring bulbs while the superb twenty-acre garden has a wonderful collection of rare and unusual trees and shrubs inspired by Sir Harold Hillier, the great 20th century plants-man and collector.

An elaborate 1900s greenhouse in the walled garden has just been authentically restored.

Robert Wilson's daughter Georgina married Sir Almroth Wright, and inherited Coolcarrigan.

Her husband was an eminent physician and a colleague of Alexander Fleming, who worked on the development of vaccination and discovered the cure for typhoid.

Among his friends was the playwright George Bernard Shaw, whose play The Doctor’s Dilemma is based upon Sir Almroth.

Their descendants, the Wilson-Wright family, still live at Coolcarrigan, the sixth generation to live in the house.

First published in March, 2013.

Killynether House: II

I have written an article before about Killynether House, near Scrabo Monument and Newtownards, County Down.

Killynether Wood is directly below Scrabo golf course.

In previous articles I speculated as to the original owner of the House; and my belief, at the time, was that the property belonged to the Londonderry Estate.

I believe I have found confirmation of this: a piece about Killynether in a publication called the Irish Builder, dated the 18th August, 1876.

Henry Chappell of Newtownards was responsible for extensive alterations and additions made in 1875-76 at Killynether House for the 5th Marquess of Londonderry, who declared himself absolutely satisfied with the result, which was alleged to be "elegant and commodious".

This opinion is a matter of debate, since Killynether House combined haphazard Gothic and Tudor elements and had minarets on its many slender turrets; though the House would certainly have been commodious.

The basement contained a kitchen, scullery, pantries, servants' hall and bedrooms, cellars and even a lift. On the ground floor, the drawing-room, dining-room, library, agent's room, two sitting-rooms, housekeeper's room, butler's pantry, store-room, cleaning-room, men-servants' room and a water-closet were all situated.

The first floor had nine bedrooms, all with dressing-rooms, a bathroom, linen-closet and more lavatories. The water supply came from a well, sunk in trap-rock half a mile away; and it was conveyed in pipes to a cistern cut in a hill-side at a level to ensure pressure.

The interior plumbing was termed "very complete and comprising all the most recent suggestions and practical improvements in sanitary science".

Killynether House was demolished in 1966.

First published in November, 2009.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Derreen House


The Earls of Kerry trace their origin to a common ancestor in the direct line with the eminent houses of FitzGerald, Windsor, Carew, McKenzie, etc; namely, Walter FitzOtho, Castellan of Windsor in the 11th century; whose eldest son,

GERALD FITZWALTER, obtained a grant, from HENRY I, of Moulsford, Berkshire.

This Gerald wedded Nest ferch Rhys, daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, Prince of South Wales, and had issue,
MAURICE, ancestor of the ducal house of LEINSTER;
WILLIAM, of whom presently;
David (Rt Rev), Bishop of St David's.
The second son,

WILLIAM FITZGERALD, Lord of Carew, called by Giraldus Cambrensis the eldest son; but the pedigree of the family of LEINSTER setting forth the contrary, his mother's inheritance, and assuming that surname, bespeak him a younger son, which is confirmed by the unerring testimony of the addition of chief, ermine, to his coat armour (a certain sign of cadence, to distinguish him and his posterity from the elder branch of the family.

This William was sent, in 1171, by Strongbow into Ireland with his son, Raymond, where, for a time, he assisted in the reduction of that kingdom; but returning to his native country, died in 1173, leaving issue by Catherine, daughter of Sir Adam de Kingsley, of Cheshire, seven sons and a daughter.

The eldest son,

RAYMOND FITZGERALD, surnamed, from his corpulence, Le Gros, having, as stated above, accompanied his father into Ireland, was a principal in the reduction of that kingdom.

He married Basilia, sister of Strongbow, and had, as a marriage portion with her, a large territorial grant and the constableship of Leinster.

After this, we find him aiding MacCarthy, King of Cork, against his rebellious son, and acquiring for his services a large tract of land in County Kerry, where he settled his eldest son,

MAURICE FITZRAYMOND, who espoused firstly, Johanna, daughter of Meiler Fitzhenry, founder of Great Connell Priory, County Kildare, and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, by whom he had a son,

THOMAS, who assumed the surname of FITZMAURICE, and became Baron Kerry.

This Thomas founded the Grey Franciscan abbey of Ardfert in 1253.

He married Grace, daughter of MacMurrough Kavanagh, son of the king of Leinster; and dying in 1280, was succeeded by his eldest son,

MAURICE FITZTHOMAS, 2nd Baron; who sat in the parliament held at Dublin in 1295, and attended a writ of summons of EDWARD I, 1297, with horse and arms, in an expedition against Scotland.

He wedded Mary, daughter and heir of Sir John McLeod, of Galway; and dying in 1303, was succeeded by his son,

NICHOLAS, 3rd Baron; whose son,

MAURICE, 4th Baron, having a dispute with Desmond Oge MacCarthy, killed him upon the bench before the judge of assize, at Tralee, in 1325, for which he was tried and attainted by the parliament of Dublin, but was not put to death.

His lands were, however, forfeited, but restored, after his death, to his brother and successor,

JOHN, 5th Baron; from whose time, we pass over almost four centuries, and to come to

THOMAS, 21st Baron (1668-1741), who was created, in 1722, Viscount Clanmorris and EARL OF KERRY.

His lordship wedded, in 1692, Anne, only daughter of Sir William Petty, Physician-General to the army in Ireland in 1652.

Sir William Petty was celebrated for his extraordinary talents, and surprising fortune.

In 1664, he undertook the survey of Ireland; and, in 1666, he had completed the measurement of 2,008,000 acres of forfeited land, for which, by contract, he was to receive one penny per acre, and did actually acquire an estate of £6,000 a year.

This eminent and distinguished person died of gangrene in his foot, in 1687.

The Earl of Kerry had issue,
JOHN, of whom presently;
Elizabeth Anne; Arabella; Charlotte.
His lordship's second son,

THE HON JOHN FITZMAURICE (1706-61), having inherited the Petty estates upon the demise of his maternal uncle, Henry Petty, Earl of Shelburne, in 1751 (when that earldom expired), assumed the surname and arms of PETTY, and was advanced to the peerage as Baron Dunkeron and Viscount FitzMaurice.

His lordship was further advanced, in 1753, to an earldom, as EARL OF SHELBURNE.

He married, in 1734, his first cousin Mary, daughter of the Hon William FitzMaurice, by whom he had issue, WILLIAM, his successor; and Thomas, who married Mary, Countess of Orkney, a peeress in her own right.

His lordship was created a peer of Great Britain, in the dignity of Baron Wycombe.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 2nd Earl (1737-1805), KG, a general in the army, and a distinguished statesman in the reign of GEORGE III.

In 1782, his lordship, after the death of the Marquess of Rockingham (under whom he filled the office of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs), was nominated PRIME MINISTER.

The 2nd Earl was advanced, in 1784, to the dignities of Earl of Wycombe, Viscount Calne and Calstone, and MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE.

The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin is named after William, 2nd Earl of Shelburne and 1st Marquess of Lansdowne.

His lordship married firstly, in 1765, the Lady Sophia Carteret, daughter of John, Earl Granville, by whom he left one son, JOHN, his successor.

He wedded secondly, in 1779, the Lady Louisa FitzPatrick, daughter of John, Earl of Upper Ossory, by whom he had a son, HENRY, 3rd Marquess; and a daughter, Louisa, who died young.

He was succeeded by his elder son,

JOHN, 2nd Marquess (1765-1809), who espoused, in 1805, Lady Gifford, widow of Sir Duke Gifford, of Castle Jordan, in Ireland; but dying without issue, the honours devolved upon his half-brother,

LORD HENRY PETTY, who had already distinguished himself as an eloquent public speaker, and had attained considerable popularity by his enlightened views as a statesman.

His lordship succeeded also to the honours of the house of KERRY upon the demise of his cousin.
The heir apparent is the present holder's elder son, Simon Henry George Petty-Fitzmaurice, styled Earl of Kerry.

The 3rd Marquess declined the offer of a dukedom.

DERREEN HOUSE, near Lauragh, County Kerry, sits in an exceptionally beautiful site at the River Kenmare.

It was enlarged between 1863-66 by the 4th Marquess of Lansdowne, who built a new wing.

The house was further enlarged after 1870 by the 5th Marquess, who was subsequently Governor-General of Canada, Viceroy of India and HM Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

Derreen House article was burnt in 1922 and rebuilt 1924-6 in a similar style by The 5th Marquess.

The house underwent further work following an attack of dry rot during this period.

It comprises two storeys over a basement, with white rendered walls and dormer gables.

DERREEN GARDEN extends over the greater part of the peninsula on which it lies.

It covers an area of 60 acres and includes nearly eight miles of paths, which wind through mature and varied woodland.

In the moist and mild climate, tender and exotic plants flourish.

Many of the paths in the garden provide marvellous glimpses of the sea (Bay of Kilmakilloge) and the distant mountains (Caha Mountains, Macgillycuddy's Reeks).

Derreen garden is particularly noted for its rhododendrons and tree ferns.

Throughout the garden a rich patina of moss, lichens ferns and saxifrages gives a sub-tropical feel to the whole area.

As a foil to the luxuriant plantings, there are great natural outcrops of rocks.

The garden is open to the public every day from April to October.

During the 2nd World War Derreen was separated from the Lansdowne title by the death of Charles, 7th Marquess, who was killed in action in 1944, when his entailed estates were inherited by a kinsman.

Derreen, not being entailed, was inherited by his sister, Katherine Evelyn Constance Petty-Fitzmaurice, Lady Nairne (1912–1995), and is now owned and managed by her grandson, Charlie Bigham.

The seat of the Marquesses of Lansdowne is now Bowood House, Wiltshire.

Former town house ~ Lansdowne House, Berkeley Square, London.

First published in July, 2013. 

Friday, 24 April 2020

New Tyrone DL


Mr Robert Scott OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, has been pleased to appoint:
Mrs Elizabeth Ruth Cuddy OBE
County Tyrone
To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County, her Commission bearing date the 15th day of April, 2020.

Signed: Robert Scott
Lord-Lieutenant of the County.

Thursday, 23 April 2020


Photo Credit: Royal Hospital, Chelsea


Photo Credit: The Royal Collection

King and Queen of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defenders of the Faith etc.

Lough Cutra Castle


WILLIAM SMYTH, of Rossdale, Yorkshire, passed over into Ulster in the reign of CHARLES I, and settling at Dundrum, County Down, became ancestor of the family which we are treating, and of the Smyths of Drumcree, Gaybrook, etc.

His son,
WILLIAM SMYTH, of Dundrum, married Mary, daughter of Thomas Dewdall, and by her had two sons, viz.
THOMAS, his heir;
The elder son,

THE RT REV THOMAS SMYTH (1650-1725), was, for his great piety and learning, at the recommendation of Dr Tennison, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, promoted to the see of Limerick in 1696.

His lordship married Dorothea, daughter of the Rt Rev Ulysses Burgh, Lord Bishop of Ardagh, and had issue,
William (Very Rev), Dean of Ardfert, dsp;
CHARLES, of whom presently;
Mary; Dorothea; Elizabeth.
The eldest surviving son,

CHARLES SMYTH (1698-1784), who succeeded to the estates of his father, MP for Limerick City, 1731-76, espoused Elizabeth, sister and heir of Sir Thomas Prendergast, last baronet of that name, and widow of John Dixon Haman, and had issue,
Thomas, MP, dsp;
JOHN PRENDERGAST, of whom we treat;
Charles Lennox;
Juliana, mother of CHARLES, 2nd Viscount.
The second son,

JOHN PRENDERGAST-SMYTH, was elevated to the peerage, in 1810, in the dignity of Baron Kiltarton, with remainder to his nephew, Charles Vereker, the son of his sister Juliana.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1816, as VISCOUNT GORT, of Gort, County Galway.

The 1st Viscount died unmarried in 1817, when the family honours devolved upon his nephew,

CHARLES, 2nd Viscount (1768-1842), PC, Constable of the City of Limerick, Colonel of its Militia, Privy Counsellor, who married firstly, in 1789, Jane, widow of William Stamer, and had issue,
JOHN PRENDERGAST, his successor;
Juliana; Georgiana.
He wedded secondly, in 1810, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Palliser, by whom he had a son,
Charles, born in 1818.
His eldest son,

JOHN PRENDERGAST, 3rd Viscount (1790-1865), MP for Limerick, 1817-20, Mayor of Limerick, 1831-2, who espoused firstly, in 1814, Maria, daughter of Standish, 1st Viscount Guillamore, and had issue,
STANDISH, his successor;
Adolphus Edward Prendergast;
Maria Corinna; Emily Henrietta.
He wedded secondly, in 1861, Elizabeth Mary, daughter of John Jones.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

STANDISH PRENDERGAST, 4th Viscount (1819-1900), JP, High Sheriff of County Galway, 1843, who married, in 1847, Caroline Harriet, daughter of Henry, 4th Viscount Gage, and had issue,
Foley Charles Prendergast;
Standish William Prendergast;
Jeffrey Edward Prendergast;
Elizabeth Maria; Isolda Caroline; Mabel Elizabeth; Laline Maria; Corinna Julia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN GAGE PRENDERGAST, 5th Viscount (1849-1902), JP, who wedded, in 1885, Eleanor, daughter of Edward Smith Surtees, and had issue,
Standish Robert Gage.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,


LOUGH CUTRA CASTLE, once known as Loughcooter Castle, is near Gort in County Galway.

It was designed by John Nash and is located in a romantic setting above a lough.

The Castle was built from 1811 for the 2nd Viscount Gort, who had an admiration for East Cowes Castle on the Isle of Wight and stipulated that his new home should be similar in design.

Lough Cutra Castle is battlemented with machicolations.

The 3rd Viscount suffered ruinous financial losses as a result of the Irish famine, since he refused to collect any rents and donated large sums to charity.

Consequently, Lough Cutra was sold by the Encumbered Estates Court in 1851.

The Gort family subsequently moved to the Isle of Wight, where they, somewhat ironically, acquired East Cowes Castle.

Lough Cutra was purchased in 1854 by Field-Marshal the Viscount Gough, who added a wing and clock-tower two years later.

During the Victorian era, the estate comprised 6,628 acres.

Interestingly, Lord Gough commissioned wallpaper by Cole & Son for a design featuring Union Flags and coronets.

The Castle was sold by the Gough family later in the 19th century and remained empty for many years; until it was bought back post-1945 by the 7th Viscount Gort for his great-niece, Elizabeth Sidney.

Thereafter the Castle was sold again and is now privately owned.

In May, 2015, TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Lough Cutra Castle.

First published in May, 2015.  Gort arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Lagan Gateway

Artist's Impression of the new Lagan Gateway

A decade ago (hard to believe the blog has been operating for so long) I wrote a small article about the potential restoration of the Lagan Canal.

Ten years ago. Good heavens.

Today, April 22nd, 2020, cement is being poured into structures for a brand new footbridge and lock at Stranmillis, Belfast.

In the artist's impression the new footbridge crosses the river Lagan from Stranmillis, and the new Lock One can also be seen (where the boat is moored).

This will be Lock One.

The original Lock One, commonly known as Molly Ward's Lock, was at the location of the present car-park in Lockview Road.

Molly and her husband, by the way, ran a very popular tavern here during the 18th century.

Lock Two (Mickey Taylor's) ca 1840.  Photo Credit: Ulster Folk Museum

I should imagine that the next lock to be restored would be Lock Two, also known as Taylor's Lock.

Mickey Taylor was a former lock-keeper.

Lock Two in April, 2020

Lock Two is at Belvoir forest park.

Lock Two looking towards Belfast

The canal splits from the river at this point, and a small bridge adjacent to the lock links the towpath to the island, the lock-keeper's path, and Moreland’s Meadow.

Lambay Castle

JOHANN BARING (1697-1748), of Larkbeer, Devon (son of Franz Baring, minister of the Lutheran Church at Bremen, Germany), married Elizabeth, daughter of John Vowler, of Exeter, and had issue,
John (1730-1816);
FRANCIS, of whom hereafter;
Elizabeth, m John Dunning, created BARON ASHBURTON.
The third son, who founded the London branch of the family,

FRANCIS BARING (1740-1810), an eminent London merchant, was created a baronet in 1793, designated of Larkbeer, Devon.

He married, in 1767, Harriet, daughter of William Herring, of Croydon, cousin and co-heir of the Most Rev Thomas Herring, Archbishop of Canterbury, and had issue,
Thomas, his successor;
Alexander, created BARON ASHBURTON (2nd creation);
HENRY, of whom we treat;
Harriet; Maria; Dorothy Elizabeth; Frances; Lydia.
Sir Francis's third son,

HENRY BARING (1777-1848), of Cromer Hall, Norfolk, founder of Baring's Bank, espoused firstly, in 1802, Maria Matilda, daughter of William Bingham, and had issue,
Henry Bingham;
William Drummond;
Anna Maria; Frances Emily.
He married secondly, Cecilia Anne, eldest daughter of Vice-Admiral William Lukin Windham, and had further issue,
William Windham (1826-76);
EDWARD CHARLES, of whom we treat;
Evelyn, created EARL OF CROMER;
The second son by Mr Baring's second marriage,

EDWARD CHARLES BARING (1828-97), of Membland Hall, and Revelstoke Manor, both in Devon, espoused, in 1861, Louisa Emily Charlotte, daughter of John Crocker Bulteel, by his wife, the Lady Elizabeth Grey, daughter of Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, and had issue,
Arthur, died in infancy;
JOHN, 2nd Baron;
CECIL, 3rd Baron;
Elizabeth; Margaret; Susan.
Mr Baring was elevated to the peerage, in 1885, in the dignity of BARON REVELSTOKE, of Membland, Devon.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Baron (1863-1929), GCVO PC, Lord-Lieutenant of Middlesex, 1926, who died unmarried, when the title devolved upon his brother,

CECIL, 3rd Baron (1864-1934), who wedded, in 1902, Maude Louise, daughter of Pierre Lorillard IV, and had issue,
RUPERT, his successor;
Daphne; Capypso.
His lordship was succeeded by his son,

RUPERT, 4th Baron (1911-94), 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Armoured Corps (during the 2nd World War), who espoused, in 1934, Flora Breckenridge, daughter of Thomas, 1st Baron Hesketh, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
JAMES CECIL, 6th Baron.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

JOHN, 5th Baron (1934-2003), who died unmarried, when the title devolved upon his brother,

JAMES CECIL, 6th Baron (1938-2012), who married firstly, in 1968, Aleta Laline Dennis, daughter of Erskine Arthur Hamilton Fisher, and had issue,
ALEXANDER RUPERT, his successor;
Thomas James, b 1971.
He wedded secondly, in 1983, Sarah, daughter of William Edward Stubbs, and had further issue,
Flora Aksinia, b 1983;
Miranda Louise, b 1987.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER RUPERT, 7th Baron (1970-), of Lambay Castle.

LAMBAY CASTLE, Lambay Island, Rush, County Dublin, is a small, late-16th century fort with castellated gables, on Lambay Island, a square mile in extent, less than three miles off the coast of north County Dublin and inhabited since ancient times.

Shortly after the Anglo-Norman invasion, Lambay Island was granted to the archbishops of Dublin.

The large broad-ditch enclosure, still visible on the landscape today, was constructed in the medieval period.

In 1467, the island was given to John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, Lord Deputy of Ireland, thus enabling him to build a fortress to prevent pirates harbouring there, and plundering traffic between Ireland and England.

This fortress, with its four projecting corner bastions added in Tudor times, was later incorporated by Edwin Lutyens as an essential part of his design for the present castle.

The island was granted to John Challoner, Mayor of Dublin and Secretary of State for Ireland in 1560.

Challoner was ordered to build a fortified place of refuge and to re-establish a colony to guard against smugglers and pirates.

Challoner still owned Lambay in Elizabethan times, but in 1611 the island was granted to Sir William Ussher and his heirs.

Dr James Ussher (1581-1656), Lord Archbishop of Armagh, lived on Lambay in 1626, but by 1650 he was resident in London.

His Grace was highly respected by Cromwell and is interred in Westminster Abbey.

The Ussher family held the Island for 200 years.

In the early years of the 17th century, Dirrick Huiberts Verveer, a wealthy Dublin merchant and shipowner, was granted a licence to keep taverns and to sell wine and spirits in the Skerries area and on Lambay.

Petty’s census of 1659 recorded a population of just nine islanders.

During the Williamite war, the island was used as an internment camp for 780 Irish soldiers and 260 rapparees.

In 1805, Lambay passed to Sir William Wolseley, an Ussher descendent.

In 1814, Margaret Talbot, widow of Richard Talbot (1735-1788), and then living in Eccles Street, agreed to purchase the island and the fishing rights from Wolseley for £6,500.

during the mid-19th century the island population rose to 100.

Richard, 5th Baron Talbot de Malahide (at his own expense but at the instigation of a Father Henry Young), built a two-roomed, mud-walled thatched school in 1834.

Nothing, however, remains of the thatched school nowadays.

Throughout much of the second half of the 19th century the island was a popular destination for steamer excursions.

James Considine, of Portrane House (brother of the late Heffernan Considine DL), purchased Lambay in 1888.

Count Considine set about developing the island as a hunting estate and was the first man to introduce deer onto the island.

Cecil, 3rd Baron Revelstoke, purchased Lambay in 1904.

While working in America he fell in love with Maud, daughter of the tobacco millionaire Pierre Lorillard.

She divorced her husband, the couple married and together they chose Lambay as their refuge from the world.

From 1907 onwards they restored and enlarged the small ruined fort as their principal residence, transforming the building “into a romantic castle” and placing it in the centre of a majestic circular enclosure beneath a canopy of Sycamore trees.

Lutyens Wing

The result is one of the few important Edwardian country houses in Ireland and the only Irish country house by the distinguished architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.

The three-bay centre of the northwest front, which faces a bastioned gateway in the Rampart Wall, is flanked by two full-height projecting bays, each with crow-stepped gables and tall chimneys.

Lutyens attached a wing to provide guest accommodation at the northeastern corner and "regarded the link between the two buildings as one of his most brilliant architectural coups" since the castle, which appears single storied on this front, continues to dominate the two-storey wing.

Along with the enlarged garden and farm buildings these additions were built in grey-green Lambay stone with grey pantile roofs to form a sequence of courts, walled gardens and enclosed yards that give the impression of a small hamlet nestling for protection beneath the castle’s walls.

Lambay is exposed to the elements and the castle is “constructed with small doors and small casements so that the inhabitants seem, on rough days, to be sheltering like monks.”

The interior has vaulted ceilings, stone fireplaces and a curved stone staircase, while much of the furniture and fittings chosen by Lutyens is still arranged just as he intended.

He also adapted and enlarged a number of other early structures and integrated them into an ingenious layout for the whole island estate, including the farm, gardens and plantations, all designed in collaboration with the horticulturalist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.

The walled kitchen garden pierces the Rampart Wall to the south with the mausoleum in memory of the Revelstokes, designed by Lutyens in 1930, on the opposite side of the enclosure.

He also designed The White House, overlooking the harbour on the western shores of the island, as a holiday home for the couple’s two daughters.

Alongside is a row of old Coastguard cottages and an open-air Real Tennis court, one of only two still in existence.

In the mid 1900s Lambay was home to more than eighty islanders, but today it is maintained by a handful of hardy individuals.

Cecil and Maud’s numerous descendants still own the island where their great-grandson Alex, 7th Lord Revelstoke, is the resident guardian and curator, making this the only one of Lutyens’ and Jekyll’s joint collaborations that still belongs to the family that first commissioned the work.

Lambay Island is a haven for wildlife and a National Bird Sanctuary.

Resident fauna includes a herd of fallow deer, a thriving colony of Atlantic grey seals, which pup on Lambay’s sheltered beaches, and, most unusually, a troop of wild wallabies.

The diverse bird life is of far greater significance, for this is an important seabird colony and their cries can be heard throughout the island.

Nesting birds include Fulmars, Guillemots, Herring Gulls, Kittiwakes, Manx Shearwaters and Puffins, while Greylag Geese are common winter visitors.

First published in November, 2017.  Revelstoke arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Franklin Maxims: III


Drumboe Castle


This family had been settled in Ireland from the period of the civil wars, during the reign of CHARLES I, when Edmund Hayes went over with Cromwell's party, and attained the rank of Colonel in his army; but whether he was English or Scots ancestry is uncertain.

CHALLIS HAYES, son of Challis Hayes, of Bridgwater, Somerset, Vice-Consul at Lisbon, married Miss Deborah Holditch, of Totnes, Devon.

Mr Hayes was murdered by his servant at Lisbon in 1737, and left an only surviving son,

SAMUEL HAYES, who married Mary, daughter and heiress of William Basil, of Drumboe Castle, County Donegal, and of Wilton Park, Buckinghamshire, and had issue,
SAMUEL, his heir;
Mary; Frances.
The only son,

SAMUEL HAYES (1737-1807), MP for Augher, 1783-90, married Mary, daughter of William Basil (previously Ball), of Wilton Park, Buckinghamshire, and Drumboe Castle.

Mr Hayes was created a baronet in 1789, designated of Drumboe Castle, County Donegal.

Sir Samuel was succeeded by his son,

SIR SAMUEL HAYES, 2nd Baronet (1773-1827), of Drumboe Castle, who married, in 1803, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Lighton Bt, and had issue,
EDMUND SAMUEL, his heir;
Anne; Harriet; Mary.
Sir Samuel was succeeded by his only son,

SIR EDMUND SAMUEL HAYES, 3rd Baronet (1806-60), of Drumboe Castle, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1830, MP for County Donegal, 1831-60, founding member of the Carlton Club, who wedded, in 1837, Emily, daughter of the Hon Hercules Robert Pakenham, son of Edward, 2nd Baron Longford.

His eldest son and heir,

SIR SAMUEL HERCULES HAYES, 4th Baronet (1840-1901), of Drumboe Castle, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1884-7, wedded, in 1878, Alice Anne, daughter of James, 4th Viscount Lifford and had issue, a daughter, Alice Emily Hayes.

Sir Samuel died without male issue, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR EDMUND FRANCIS HAYES, 5th and last baronet (1850-1912), of Drumboe Castle, who married Alice Isabella, daughter of Judge Wilkinson, of Sydney, Australia, in 1900.

Sir Edmund died at Drumboe Castle, when the baronetcy became extinct.

Lady Hayes died in 1933 from injuries sustained, namely, a fractured skull, after stepping in front of a tramcar in Sydney, Australia.

DRUMBOE CASTLE, near Stranorlar, County Donegal, comprised a three-storey centre with a three-sided centre bow and pillared porch; and bow-ended wings.

The Georgian dwelling is thought to have been built ca 1770 or 1780.

There was a Wyatt window on either side of the centre bow.

In 1622, Robert Redington sold the estate at Ballybofey to Sir Ralph Bingley.

Bingley erected the original Drumboe Castle, which had four large towers.

Its location protected a ford across the river.

After the death of Sir Ralph, his widow, Jane, and Robert Harrington took charge until 1641, when it was granted to Sir William Bazil, Attorney-General for Ireland.

A descendent of Sir William Bazil was William Basil (formerly William Ball), who married Frances Dowdeswell ca 1736.

Their daughter, Mary Basil, married Sir Samuel Hayes Bt and through this marriage it became the home of the Hayes Baronets, of Drumboe Castle, from 1789 until 1912.

It became the General Headquarters for the forces of the Irish Free State in County Donegal during the Irish Civil War.

It is infamous for being the location of the Drumboe massacre during the Irish Civil War.

The house has been ruinous since 1945.

First published in July, 2013.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Franklin Maxims: II


Saturday, 18 April 2020

Franklin Maxims: I

Benjamin Franklin (1706-90), a Founding Father of the United States of America, published an almanac entitled Poor Richard's Almanack.

This series of pamphlets ran from 1732 until 1758.

They contained many wise and profound maxims.

I've been so impressed by them that I'm going to post some on the blog.

Here's the first:-


Friday, 17 April 2020

Blarney Castle


The founder of this family in Ireland was Colonel John Colthurst, who was murdered by native Irish rebels in 1607.

His lineal descendant,

JOHN COLTHURST, of Ballyally, County Cork, High Sheriff of County Cork, 1725, married Eliza, daughter of Sir Nicholas Purdon, and  had issue,
NICHOLAS, his heir;
JOHN, succeeded his brother.
The elder son,

COLONEL NICHOLAS COLTHURST (1676-1754), of Ballyally, High Sheriff of County Cork, 1736, espoused Penelope, second daughter of Sir John Topham, Knight, of Dublin, one of the Masters in Chancery, and had (with two daughters), an only son, Topham, who died under age.

Colonel Colthurst was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN COLTHURST (1678-1756), of Ardrum, MP for Tallow, 1734-56, High Sheriff of County Cork, 1738, wedded firstly, Alice, daughter of James Conway; and secondly, Mahetabel, daughter of William Wallis.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN CONWAY COLTHURST (c1720-75), MP for Doneraile, 1751-60, Youghal, 1761-8, Castlemartyr, 1768-75, who wedded, in 1741, the Lady Charlotte FitzMaurice, daughter of Thomas, 1st Earl of Kerry, by whom he had five sons.

Mr Colthurst was created a baronet in 1774, designated of Ardrum, County Cork.

Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN CONWAY COLTHURST, 2nd Baronet (c1743-87), who was killed in a duel with Dominick Trant; and dying unmarried, the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR NICHOLAS COLTHURST, 3rd Baronet,  High Sheriff of County Cork, 1788, who wedded Harriet, second daughter of the Rt Hon David La Touche,  and had issue,
Elizabeth; Catherine.
Sir Nicholas died in 1795, and was succeeded by his only son,

SIR NICHOLAS CONWAY COLTURST, 4th Baronet (1789-1829), Colonel, Cork Militia, MP for Cork, 1812-29, who espoused, in 1819, Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel George Vesey, and had, with other issue,
GEORGE CONWAY, his successor;
Charles Vesey.
Sir Nicholas was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR GEORGE CONWAY COLTHURST, 5th Baronet (1824-78), JP DL MP, High Sheriff of County Cork, 1850, who married, in 1846, Louisa Jane, daughter of St John George Jefferyes, and had issue,
GEORGE ST JOHN, his successor;
Alice Conway; Louisa Julia.
Sir George was succeeded by his son,

SIR GEORGE ST JOHN COLTHURST, 6th Baronet (1850-1925), JP DL, who wedded, in 1881, Edith Jane Thomasina, daughter of Captain Jonas Morris, and had issue,
GEORGE OLIVER, his successor;
RICHARD ST JOHN JEFFERYES, succeeded his brother as 8th Baronet;
Edith Dorothy.
Sir George was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR GEORGE OLIVER COLTHURST, 7th Baronet (1882-1951), who died unmarried, when the title devolved upon his brother,

Sir Richard St John Jefferyes Colthurst, 8th Baronet (1887–1955);
Sir Richard la Touche Colthurst, 9th Baronet (1928–2003);
Sir Charles St John Colthurst, 10th Baronet (b 1955);

BLARNEY CASTLE, Blarney, County Cork, is an unusually large tower-house of 1446 which incorporates the famous Blarney Stone, high up beneath the battlements.

The 4th Earl of Clancarty had supported JAMES II, with the result that his forfeited estate was granted to the Hollow Swords Company at the end of the Williamite wars.

In 1704 the Mayor of Cork, Sir James St John Jefferyes, purchased the estate and built a new house attached to the original castle.

This was greatly enlarged by his descendants and developed into large Georgian Gothic building with a central bow, rows of lancet windows and pinnacled battlements.

In 1820 this house was destroyed by fire and not rebuilt, though its remains can still be seen today.

In 1846 Louisa Jane, the Jefferyes heiress, married a neighbour, Sir George Colthurst, of Ardrum near Inniscarra.

He was a man of property, with another large estate at Ballyvourney near the border with County Kerry, along with Lucan House in County Dublin.

He also inherited Blarney on his father-in-law’s death.

When her first children died, Lady Colthurst demanded a new house at Blarney on an elevated site.

This was built in the Scots Baronial style, to the designs of Sir Thomas Lanyon of Belfast who, rather surprisingly, incorporated a number of classical details from Ardrum into the design.

Their high quality shows that this must have been an important building.

BLARNEY HOUSE is typical of its type, with pinnacles, crow-stepped gables and a profusion of turrets with conical roofs.

The interior has a double height inner hall, lit from above, a pair of interconnecting drawing rooms and a massive oak staircase.

The style varies from faux Jacobean to Adam Revival, and the rooms have tall plate-glass windows which overlook the lake.

Nearby, the Jefferyes family created the unique Rock Close, an early 18th century druidic garden layout of large rocks, boulders and yew trees; with dolmens, a stone circle and a druid’s altar.

Today Blarney House is the home of Sir Charles Colthurst, 10th Baronet.

In 2009, Sir Charles donated the family papers of the Colthurst family to the Cork City and County Archives, adding to a previous legal collection relating to this family already in the Archives.

First published in November, 2011.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Kilrush House


GILES VANDELEUR settled at Rathlahine, County Clare, in 1660, and was one of the commissioners for allotting quit-rents in Ireland.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Sir John Jephson MP, of Mallow, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Francis, 1st Viscount Shannon (4th son of Richard, 1st Earl of Cork), and had issue,
James, of Blane, who left issue;
JOHN, of whom presently;
The second son,

THE REV JOHN VANDELEUR, of Cragg, County Clare, Rector of Kilrush, County Clare, seating himself at Kilrush in 1687, wedded Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Crofton, of Inchirourke, County Limerick, by whom he left, besides a younger son, Thomas, an elder son,

JOHN VANDELEUR, of Kilrush, who married Frances, daughter of John Ormsby, of Cloghans, County Mayo; and had issue,
CROFTON, his heir;
John Ormsby, of Maddenstown;
Richard, of Rutland, father of General Sir J O Vandeleur GCB;
Mr Vandeleur died in 1754, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

CROFTON VANDELEUR, of Kilrush, who wedded, in 1765, Alice, daughter of Thomas Burton (uncle of Francis P Burton, 2nd Lord Conyngham), of Buncraggy, by Dorothy his wife, daughter of the Rt Hon John Forster, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland, and had issue,
JOHN ORMSBY, his heir;
Thomas Burton, a judge;
Crofton, major-general;
Richard, army major;
Frederick, army captain;
William Richard (Rev);
Dorothy; Alice; Emily; Frances.
The eldest son,

THE RT HON JOHN ORMSBY VANDELEUR (1765-1828), Commissioner of the Customs in Ireland, MP for Ennis, 1802, married the Lady Frances Moore, daughter of Charles, 1st Marquess of Drogheda, and had issue,
CROFTON MOORE, his heir;
Henry Seymour Moore;
Anna Frances; Alice.
Mr Vandeleur was succeeded by his elder son,

CROFTON MOORE VANDELEUR JP DL (1808-81), of Kilrush House, Colonel, Clare Regiment of Militia, High Sheriff of County Clare, 1832, MP for Clare, 1859-74, who married, in 1832, the Lady Grace Graham-Toler, second daughter of Hector John, 2nd Earl of Norbury, and had issue,
Crofton Toler, father of Lt-Col Crofton Bury Vandeleur;
John Ormsby Moore;
Elizabeth Frances; Frances Letitia; Grace Dorothea.
Colonel Vandeleur was succeeded by his eldest son,

HECTOR STEWART VANDELEUR (1836-1909), of Kilrush House, Lord-Lieutenant of County Clare, High Sheriff of County Clare, 1873, who married, in 1867, Charlotte, eldest daughter of William Orme Foster MP, of Apsley Park, Shropshire, and had issue,
Cecil Foster Seymour, DSO (1869-1901), k/a;
Isabel Grace; Evelyn Norah.
His only surviving son,

ALEXANDER MOORE VANDELEUR JP (1883-1914), of Kilrush, and Cahiracon, Captain, The Life Guards, espoused, in 1910, Violet Ethel, eldest daughter of Henry Meysey, 1st Lord Knaresborough.

Captain Vandeleur was killed in action, aged 30, in the 1st World War.

He left issue,


KILRUSH HOUSE, County Clare, was an early Georgian house of 1808.

From 1881 until Kilrush House was burnt in 1897, Hector Stewart Vandeleur lived mainly in London and only spent short periods each year in Kilrush.

Indeed during the years 1886-90, which coincided with the period of the greatest number of evictions from the Vandeleur estate, he does not appear to have visited Kilrush.

In 1889, Hector bought Cahircon House and then it was only a matter of time before the Vandeleurs moved to Cahircon as, in 1896, they were organising shooting parties at Kilrush House and also at the Cahircon demesne. 

Hector Stewart Vandeleur was the last of the Vandeleurs to be buried at Kilrush in the family mausoleum.

Cahircon House was sold in 1920, ending the Kilrush Vandeleurs' direct association with County Clare.

Hector Vandeleur had, by 1908, agreed to sell the Vandeleur estate to the tenants for approximately twenty years' rent, and the majority of the estate was purchased by these tenants.


THE VANDELEURS, as landlords, lost lands during the Land Acts and the family moved to Cahircon, near Kildysart.

In 1897, Kilrush House was badly damaged by fire.

During the Irish Land Commission of the 1920s, the Department of Forestry took over the estate, planted trees in the demesne and under their direction the remains of the house were removed in 1973, following an accident in the ruins.

Today the top car park is laid over the site of the house.

Vandeleur Walled Garden now forms a small part of the former Kilrush demesne.

The Kilrush demesne was purchased by the Irish Department of Agriculture as trustee under the Irish Land Acts solely for the purpose of forestry.

The Kilrush Committee for Urban Affairs purchased the Fair Green and Market House.
The demesne, now Kilrush Wood, lies to the east of the town.

The remains of Kilrush House were demolished in 1973.

The site is now a car park and picnic area and all the original stones from the house are now underneath this area.
A number of street names in the town of Kilrush are named after the Vandeleurs: Frances Street after Lady Frances, wife of Hon John Ormsby Vandeleur; Grace Street after Lady Grace Vandeleur; Hector Street after Hector Stewart, son of Crofton Moore; Moore Street after a common family name of the Vandeleurs, probably after Lady Frances Moore, wife of John Ormsby Vandeleur; Burton Street after Thomas Burton Vandeleur.
Former town residence ~ 50 Rutland Gate, London.

First published in July, 2011.