Sunday, 31 May 2020

1st Earl of Donoughmore


THE RT HON JOHN HELY-HUTCHINSON (1724-94), an eminent lawyer and statesman of Ireland (son of Francis Hely, of Gortroe, County Cork, by a daughter of Christopher Earbury or Earberry), married, in 1751, CHRISTIANA, daughter of Abraham Nickson, of Munny, County Wicklow, and niece and heir of Richard Hutchinson, of Knocklofty, County Tipperary (in consequence of which marriage he assumed the additional surname of HUTCHINSON), and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
JOHN, 2nd Earl;
Francis, of Lissen Hall; father of the 3rd Earl;
Augustus Abraham;
Christiana; Mary; Prudence; Margaret.
Rt Hon John Hely-Hutchinson

Mr Hely-Hutchinson obtained a peerage for his wife, CHRISTIANA, in 1783, in the dignity of Baroness Donoughmore, of Knocklofty, County Tipperary.

Christiana, Baroness Donoughmore

Her ladyship died in 1788, and was succeeded in the barony by her eldest son,

RICHARD HELY, 2nd Baron (1756-1825); who was advanced to a viscountcy, as Viscount Donoughmore; and further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1800, as EARL OF DONOUGHMORE.

His lordship died unmarried, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

JOHN HELY, 2nd Earl (1757-1832), GCB, a general in the army, Governor of Stirling Castle, Knight Grand Cross of the Bath, who died unmarried, when the honours he had inherited passed to his nephew,

JOHN, 3rd Earl (1787-1851), KP, who wedded firstly, in 1822, Margaret, daughter of Luke, 1st Viscount Mountjoy, and had issue,
RICHARD JOHN, his successor;
He espoused secondly, in 1827, Barbara, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel William Reynell, and had further issue,
John William, b 1829;
Kathleen Alicia; Frances Margaret; Jane Louisa.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD JOHN, 4th Earl (1823-66), who married, in 1847, Thomasina Jocelyn, daughter of Walter Steele, and had issue,
JOHN LUKE GEORGE, his successor;
Walter Francis (Sir);
Patrick Maurice;
Granville William;
Margaret Frances; Mary Sophia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN LUKE GEORGE, 5th Earl (1848-1900), KCMG JP DL, who wedded, in 1874, Frances Isabella, daughter of General William Frazer Stephens, and had issue,
RICHARD WALTER JOHN, his successor;
Nina Blanche; Evelyn; Norah; Margarita Oonagh Isabella.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

RICHARD WALTER JOHN, 6th Earl (1875-1948), KP JP DL, who espoused, in 1901, Elena Maria, daughter of Michael Paul Grace, and had issue,
JOHN MICHAEL HENRY, his successor;
David Edward;
Doreen Clare.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN MICHAEL HENRY, 7th Earl (1902-81), Colonel, Royal Armoured Corps (TA), MP for Peterborough, 1943-5, who married, in 1925, Dorothy Jean, daughter of John Beaumont Hotham, and had issue,
RICHARD MICHAEL JOHN, his successor;
Sara Elena.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD MICHAEL JOHN, 8th Earl (1927-), who sold Knocklofty Estate in 1985.

KNOCKLOFTY HOUSE, near Clonmel, County Tipperary, was the mansion of the Earls of Donoughmore.

The estate is almost four miles west-south-west of Clonmel.

The mansion stands on an extensive natural terrace on the left bank of the River Suir.

It commands a delightful prospect of the richly wooded slopes and highly adorned rising grounds of the Waterford side of the valley.

The demesne is - or was - extensive, containing some of the finest old elms and limes in the counties of Tipperary and Waterford.

The 18th century mansion comprises a three-storey central block, with two-storey, gable-ended wings projecting forward on the entrance front to form a three-sided court.

The centre block consists of seven bays, and the wings comprise two bays in their gable ends.

In the early 1800s a single-storey corridor was built along the front of the centre block, joining the wings, embellished with wreathes and Doric pilasters.

The central garden front, overlooking the River Suir, comprises five bays with an exceptionally long, two-storey service wing.

The demesne spreads across the River Suir into County Waterford, including Kilmanahan Castle, formerly a separate property.

The original, intricate gate piers are notable.

The 7th Earl and Countess were kidnapped from Knocklofty House in 1974 by an IRA gang and held captive for four days before being released in Phoenix Park, Dublin.

The family left several years later.

The estate was recently for sale.

Other residence ~ Palmerstown House, near Dublin.

Donoughmore arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Temple House


GEORGE PERCEVAL (1635-75), youngest son of Sir Philip Perceval, Knight, the distinguished statesman (great-grandfather of John, 1st Earl of Egmont), by Catherine Ussher his wife, daughter of Arthur Ussher and granddaughter of Sir William Ussher, Clerk of the Council, was Registrar of the Prerogative Court, Dublin.

He married Mary, daughter and heir of William Crofton, of Temple House, County Sligo, and had issue,
PHILIP, his heir;
William, ancestor of PERCEVAL-MAXWELL of Finnebrogue;
George Perceval was drowned near Holyhead on his voyage to England with the 2nd Earl of Meath and other persons of distinction.

His eldest son and heir,

PHILIP PERCEVAL (1670-1704), of Temple House, wedded, in 1691, Elizabeth, daughter of John D'Aberon, of Wandsworth, Surrey, and left, with other issue, a son and heir,

JOHN PERCEVAL (1700-54), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1728 and 1742, who wedded, in 1722, Anne, daughter of Joshua Cooper, of Markree, County Sligo, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

PHILIP PERCEVAL (1723-87), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1775, who espoused Mary, daughter and co-heir of Guy Carleton, of Rossfad, County Fermanagh, and was succeeded by his son,

GUY CARLETON PERCEVAL, who dsp 1792, and was succeeded by his brother,

THE REV PHILIP PERCEVAL, of Temple House, who married, in 1783, Anne, daughter of Alexander Carroll, of Dublin, and had issue,
Philip, died unmarried;
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Guy, died unmarried;
Anne; Mary.
The second son,

ALEXANDER PERCEVAL JP (1787-1858), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1809, MP for County Sligo, 1831-41, wedded, in 1808, Jane Anne, eldest daughter of Colonel Henry Peisley L'Estrange, of Moystown, King's County, and had surviving issue,
Henry (Rev);
ALEXANDER, of whom hereafter;
Charles George Guy;
Elizabeth Dora; Frances; Sophia; Georgina Sarah; Maria Frances; Emily Jane.
Colonel Perceval's third son,

ALEXANDER PERCEVAL (1821-66), of Temple House, Barrister, espoused, in 1858, Annie, youngest daughter of George de Blois, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Robert Jardine;
Philip Dudley;
Jeannie; Sophie.
Mr Perceval was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER PERCEVAL JP DL (1859-87), of Temple House, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1882, who married, in 1881, Charlotte Jane, eldest daughter of Charles William O'Hara, of Annaghmore, County Sligo, and had issue,
Sibyl Annie (1882-84).
Mr Perceval was succeeded by his son and heir,


TEMPLE HOUSE, Ballymote, County Sligo, takes its name from the Knights Templar, the wealthiest of the three military orders founded during the crusades.

Fierce warriors and able administrators, their power stretched across Europe where they operated as a separate sovereign administration within each independent state.

The knights reached Ireland with the Normans and quickly became established, building a castle at Temple House in County Sligo, their most westerly foundation, shortly after 1200.

In 1312 the Pope suppressed the order, citing their alleged heretical and blasphemous practises in justification.

In France, Templars were burnt at the stake and their land seized by the crown, but other countries adopted a more measured approach, transferring their property to the Knights Hospitallers, known today as the Knights of Malta.

As English influence waned in the remote west of Ireland, Temple House was reoccupied by the O’Haras, the principal sept in that region, who built a new castle in 1360.

In 1565 William Crofton was appointed Auditor and Escheator General, and used his position to amass extensive estates in Counties Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo.

These included Temple House, or Tagh-temple, which passed with his great-granddaughter Mary on her marriage to George Perceval, the younger son of another distinguished Irish administrator, and grandson of Richard Perceval, ‘confidential agent’ to Queen Elizabeth’s minister, Lord Burleigh, who correctly identified preparations for the Spanish Armada and was rewarded with Irish estates.

By the 1760s George and Mary’s descendants had replaced her parent’s thatched dwelling of ca 1630 and their new house was further extended in 1825.

Unfortunately the Irish famine ruined the family and the estate was sold to a Mr Hall-Dare along with the town of Ballymote.

Happily, a younger son, Alexander Perceval, went to seek his fortune in China and amassed vast riches in the development of Hong Kong as Tai-Pan for the great trading house, Jardine Matheson.

He returned to Ireland, repurchased the estate and tripled the size of the house in 1864, cladding it in cut-stone in a strict classical style, with three formal fronts and a porte-cochere, always a convenient feature in the wet West of Ireland.

The result is broadly symmetrical, with the Georgian house still clearly evident in the centre of the east front.

The interior has a superb suite of large, grand rooms, lit by serried ranks of vast plate-glass windows.

There are lofty ceilings, the vestibule rises to some thirty-two feet, and decoration of a very high order, reminiscent of the grander London clubs, while much of the furniture was specially commissioned for the house.

The house reputedly contains more than ninety rooms.

Alexander’s neighbours suggested he might be over-spending but he assured them of his imminent return to make an even larger fortune in Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, he caught sun-stroke fishing on Temple House Lake and died in 1866, leaving a widow with a large young family and rather less capital than his heirs would have liked to maintain their vast new home.

But they did survive and today the estate comprises 1,200 acres of pasture, woodland, lake and bog, and is home to Alexander’s great-great-great grandson Roderick, along with his wife Helena and their family, the thirteenth and fourteenth generations in almost continuous occupation since the late sixteenth century.

Select bibliography: Irish Historic Houses Association.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Rockingham House


NICHOLAS HARMAN, of Carlow, settled in Ireland during the reign of JAMES I.

He was one of the first burgesses of Carlow, named in the charter granted to that borough by JAMES I in 1614, and was High Sheriff of County Carlow in 1619.

By Mary his wife he was father of 

HENRY HARMAN, of Dublin, who had by Marie his wife, five sons and as many daughters, viz.
Edward, of Derrymoyle;
Anthony, dsp before 1684;
THOMAS, of whom hereafter;
Henry, ancestor of
Anne; Mary; Jane; Margaret; Mabel.
Mr Harman died before 1649, and was succeeded by his third son, 

SIR THOMAS HARMAN, Knight, of Athy, knighted by the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Thomas, Earl of Ossory, in 1664, Major in the army, 1661, MP for counties Carlow and Kildare.

Sir Thomas obtained a grant of considerable estates in County Longford, under the Act of Settlement, dated 1607.

He married Anne Jones.

Sir Thomas died in 1667, and they were both buried in Christ Church, Dublin, having had issue, with a daughter, Mary, a son,

WENTWORTH HARMAN, of Castle Roe, County Carlow, Captain of the Battleaxe Guards, 1683, who wedded firstly, in 1679, Margaret, daughter of Garrett Wellesley, of Dangan, and had issue, with one daughter, two sons, namely,
Thomas, 1681, dsp;
WENTWORTH, of whom hereafter.
Mr Harman married secondly, in 1691, Frances, sister and heir of Anthony Sheppard, of Newcastle, County Longford, and had further issue,
ROBERT, successor to his nephew;
Francis, died 1714;
CUTTS (Very Rev), successor to his brother;
ANNE, m Sir Anthony Parsons Bt, of Birr Castle.
Mr Harman died in 1714, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

WENTWORTH HARMAN, of Moyne, County Carlow, who espoused, in 1714, Lucy, daughter of Audley Mervyn, of Trillick, County Tyrone (and sister and heir of Henry Mervyn, of same place), and had issue,
WESLEY, his heir;
Mr Harman died in 1757, when was succeeded by his eldest son,

WESLEY HARMAN, of Moyle, who wedded Mary, daughter of the Rev Dr Nicholas Milley, Prebendary of Ullard, Diocese of Leighlin, by whom he had an only son,
Wentworth, who dsp in his father's lifetime.
Mr Harman died in 1758, and was succeeded by his uncle,

ROBERT HARMAN (1699-1765), of Newcastle, County Longford, and Millicent, County Kildare, MP for County Kildare, 1755, County Longford, 1761, who married Ann, daughter of John Warburton, third son of George Warburton, of Garryhinch, in the King's County.

Mr Harman dsp, and was succeeded by his only surviving brother,

THE VERY REV CUTTS HARMAN (1706-84), of Newcastle, Dean of Waterford, who wedded , in 1751, Bridget, daughter of George Gore,of Tenelick, County Longford, Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland, and sister of John, Lord Annaly, by whom he had no issue.

The Dean presented to his cathedral the very fine organ which it possesses.

He died in 1784, and bequeathed his estates to his nephew, the son of his sister ANNE, who espoused, as above, Sir Lawrence Parsons,

LAWRENCE PARSONS-HARMAN (1749-1807), of Newcastle, MP for County Longford, who assumed the additional surname of HARMAN in 1792, on succeeding to his uncle's estates.

He married, in 1772, the Lady Jane King, daughter of Edward, 1st Earl of Kingston, by which lady he had an only daughter,
FRANCES, of whom hereafter.
Mr Parsons-Harman was elevated to the peerage, in 1792, in the dignity of Baron Oxmantown, County Dublin.

He was advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1806, as EARL OF ROSSE, with special remainder, in default of male issue, to his nephew, Sir Lawrence Parsons, 5th Baronet, of Birr Castle.

His lordship died in 1807, when his peerage passed according to the limitation, and his Harman estates devolved upon his only daughter and heir,

THE LADY FRANCES PARSONS-HARMAN, of Newcastle, who married, in 1799, Robert Edward, 1st Viscount Lorton, and had issue,
ROBERT, 2nd Viscount, succeeded as 6th Earl of Kingston;
LAWRENCE HARMAN, succeeded to the Harman estates;
Jane; Caroline; Frances; Louisa.
Her ladyship died in 1841, when was succeeded in her estates by her second son,

THE HON LAWRENCE KING-HARMAN (1816-75), of Newcastle, and of Rockingham, County Roscommon, who assumed the additional surname of HARMAN.

He wedded, in 1837, Mary Cecilia, seventh daughter of James Raymond Johnstone, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, and had, with other issue, a second son.

On his death, the property passed to his eldest son,

THE RT HON EDWARD ROBERT KING-HARMAN JP MP (1838-88), of Rockingham, County Roscommon,
Lord-Lieutenant of County Sligo, MP for Sligo, 1877-80, and Dublin, 1883-5, and for the Isle of Thanet, 1885-8, Colonel, 5th Battalion, Connaught Rangers, eldest son the the Hon Lawrence Harman King-Harman, of Rockingham.
Mr King-Harman married, in 1861, Emma Frances, daughter of Sir William Worsley, 1st Baronet, and had issue,
Lawrence William (1863-86), died unmarried;
Frances Agnes, mother of EDWARD CHARLES STAFFORD;
Violet Philadelphia.
Mr King-Harman was succeeded by his grandson,

EDWARD CHARLES STAFFORD-KING-HARMAN (1891-1914), who assumed, in 1900, the additional surnames and arms of KING-HARMAN.

He married, in 1914, Olive Pakenham, daughter of Henry Pakenham Mahon, and had issue,


Captain Stafford-King-Harman was killed in action.

The family was seated at Rockingham, Boyle, County Roscommon, and Taney House, Dundrum, County Dublin.

ROCKINGHAM HOUSE, near Boyle, County Roscommon, the superb demesne of the King-Harmans, Viscounts Lorton, is bounded on the north by beautiful, island-studded waters of Lough Key; and, on the south, by a long line of lofty wall, overhung from within by a bordering estate along the road from Boyle to Dublin.

This was a large, Classical mansion, designed and built in 1810 by John Nash for General Robert King, 1st Viscount Lorton, a younger son of 2nd Earl of Kingston to whom this part of the King estates had passed.

Rockingham was remarkable due to its dome front and 365 windows.

It accidentally burnt down in 1957, as the result of an electrical fault, after which it was taken over by the Irish Land Commission.

The great mansion was declared as unsafe in 1970 and subsequently demolished.

The remnants of the house can be seen in the park to this day, such as its two 'tunnels' (which allowed the staff to unload provisions from boats and bring them to the house unseen).

These tunnels are still accessible to this day.

The demesne was magnificent, with a straight beech avenue three-quarters of a mile in length; and 75 miles of drives within the estate.
Sir Cecil William Francis Stafford-King-Harman, 2nd Baronet (1895-1987), considered rebuilding Rockingham after its catastrophic fire of 1957 with its original two storeys and dome; however, it transpired that the expense was prohibitive, so the estate was sold and the Irish forest service demolished the ruin of the once-great mansion.
The Moylurg Tower which provides a spectacular view of the lake, was built on the original foundations of Rockingham House.

First published in June, 2011.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

The Montagu Case



The correspondent of The Central News at Coleraine reports that considerable sensation has been caused in that town and neighbourhood by the committal for trial, on a Coroner's warrant, of Mrs Annie Margaret Montagu, the charge against her being the causing of the death of her daughter, Mary Helen Montagu, aged three years.

The accused is the wife of Mr Montagu, of Cromore House, Coleraine, eldest son of Lord Robert Montagu, who is an uncle* [sic] of the 7th Duke of Manchester.

The offence, as is alleged, was committed on February 13th, and on that day, according to the evidence taken at the inquest, the child was locked in a dark room by her governess as a punishment for some offence.

A short time afterwards, Mrs Montagu went into the room, and, it is said, tied the little girl's hands behind her back with a stocking, and, having fastened to this a piece of string, fixed it to a ring in the wall of the room.

About three hours later the mother went to the door of the room, and called her child by name several times, but there was no answer.

She opened the door, and, going to the place where she left the little girl, found her dead.

She carried the body to her own room, stripped off the clothes, and tried to restore life, but without success.

She then called the governess, and told her what had happened.

At the conclusion of the evidence, the Coroner (Mr. Caldwell) committed Mrs Montagu for trial at the Londonderry Assizes.
*Lord Robert was the 7th Duke's brother.

The Press Association's correspondent has had an interview with Mr A C Montagu JP, the father of Helen Montagu, aged three years, who was found dead in a small dark room, where she had been tied to a ring in the wall by her mother, under circumstances detailed above.

Mr Montagu, who lives at Cromore House, Portstewart, is a son of Lord Robert Montagu, and a grandson of the Duke of Manchester.

He was formerly a lieutenant in the navy, but was compelled to leave the service, owing to an exceptional tendency to seasickness.

Mrs Montagu, who stands committed for trial on a charge of killing her child, is of Scotch extraction, and the daughter of a late wealthy London tea merchant.

She is a lady who is noted in the North of Ireland for her daring horsemanship and her splendid management of high-spirited animals.

They move in the best society, and Cromore is one of the finest mansions in the district, being surrounded by an extensive and valuable estate.

The circumstances of the child’s death, so far as they have leaked out through the meagre reports of the coroner’s inquest, which lasted five hours, have caused the greatest excitement in Ulster.

When, the correspondent proceeds, he called on Mr Montagu, he found that gentleman engaged with his spiritual adviser, the local parish priest.

He willingly granted an interview and escorted the correspondent upstairs to the dark room.

This is an apartment about 6ft. square, with no fireplace or window, and opens into what is known as the children's room, which is bright and airy.

Two rings were fastened by screws into a board, and it was to one of these rings that the child was tied.

There is no ventilation in the apartment except what comes from beneath the door, a mere chink and from* between a couple of badly placed boards.

Mr Montagu mentioned, in the course of the interview, that the little child was his only daughter. He has seven sons.

In reply to a question he stated that it was erroneous to say, as had been implied, that the child got no food on Saturday from breakfast time, which was eight o'clock.

She had come down late that morning, the conjecture being that she was not feeling very well and it was in consequence of this that she got the meal at eleven.

Asked how such a punishment came to be awarded to a child of three years for soiling her clothes, Mr. Montagu said:
"Mrs Montagu entertains very strong opinions on the subject of the upbringing, training, and correction of children. Her theory, which I think to a great extent is right, is that the spirit of disobedience, or any tendency to disobedience, must be conquered from the very earliest years.
She insists upon obedience and cleanliness in her children, and unless they are punished early they soon learn bad habits. She also believed in restraint and confinement as the best punishment."
Asked if it was not too long to leave the child without visiting her, Mr Montagu replied,
"Yes, perhaps it was too long, but then Mrs Montagu has so much to do. I believe she was out for some time while the child was confined, and most of the rest of the time she was in the kitchen attending to various domestic duties."
Mr Montagu added that he thought the governess was kind to the children.

She had never been anything to the contrary.

She had been with them a year last October.

It was on the governess’s report of misbehaviour that Mrs Montagu acted.

The child was a little wilful at times, and Mrs Montagu believed that the natural inclination to that must be suppressed, or the child would grow quite beyond control.

The correspondent adds that the body of the child was buried with great privacy: Mr Montagu and one of his boys took the coffin in the family carriage, which, with blinds drawn, was driven in the direction of Bushmills, where there is a Roman Catholic burying-ground.

[A cablegram in another column states that Mrs Montagu has been sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment, for the murder of her daughter].

First published in May, 2014.

Evans of Portrane


The family of EVANS is originally from Wales, and claims descent from the renowned Elystan Glodrydd.

In the 16th century, two of the family settled in Ireland: JOHN EVANS, ancestor of the Barons Carbery; and ROBERT EVANS, from whom derived the family of Evans of Baymount, County Dublin, and Robinstown, County Westmeath.

The former, JOHN EVANS, settled in the city of Limerick, where he was living in 1628.

Mr Evans left at his decease two sons and three daughters, viz.
GEORGE, his heir;
Deborah; Catherine; Eleanor.
The elder son,

COLONEL GEORGE EVANS MP, of Ballygrennan Castle, served in the army raised to supress the rebellion of 1641, and at the restoration of tranquillity, settled at Ballygrennan Castle, County Limerick, where, and in the adjacent county of Cork, he acquired large estates by grants from the Crown, and by purchase.

He wedded Anne, daughter of Thomas Bowerman, of County Cork, and had issue,
GEORGE, his heir;
John, of Milltown Castle;
Colonel Evans, MP for Limerick County, 1692, died in 1707, at a very advanced age, having passed a most eventful life, and was succeeded by his elder son,

THE RT HON GEORGE EVANS MP (1658-1720), of Caherass and Bulgaden Hall, County Limerick, MP for Limerick County, 1692-3, Askeaton, 1695-9, Charleville, 1703-20.

This gentleman was bred to the Bar, but following the example of his father and brother, became an active partisan of the revolution, and after the establishment of the new government in Ireland, was sworn of the Privy Council and returned to Parliament by the borough of Charleville

He wedded, in 1679,  Mary, daughter of John Eyre MP, of Eyre Court Castle, County Galway, and sister of the 1st Lord Eyre, and had issue,
GEORGE, 1st Baron Carbery;
EYRE, of Portrane, of whom we treat;
Thomas, of Milltown Castle, County Cork;
Jane, m Chidley Coote, ancestor of the Barons Castle Coote;
Elizabeth, m Hugh Massy, father of 1st Baron Massy and Clarina;
Dorothy; Emilia; Catherine.
The Right Hon George Evans, who was a distinguished public character, refused a peerage on the accession of GEORGE I, when the honour was conferred upon his eldest son.

His  embalmed body lay in state in the parliament house until the next month, when it was removed for interment at Ballygrennan.

His second son,

EYRE EVANS, of Portrane, County Dublin, MP for Limerick County, 1721-59, espoused Sarah, second daughter and co-heir (with her sister, Mrs Waller, of Castletown)  of Thomas Dixon, of Ballylackin, County Cork, and had six sons, all who dsp except the fourth; and three daughters, of whom the youngest, Elizabeth, the wife of William Evans, of Ardreigh, County Kildare, left issue.

The fourth son,

HAMPDEN EVANS, of Portrane, an officer in the army, succeeded his eldest brother, George Evans, MP for Queen's County, who married, in 1769, Margaret, daughter of Joshua Davis, and had issue,
GEORGE, his heir;
Eyre Dixon, of Liverpool;
Mary; Anne Dorothea; Sydney Elizabeth.
Mr Evans was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON GEORGE HAMPDEN EVANS, of Portrane, MP for County Dublin, 1832-7, who wedded, in 1805, Sophia, only daughter of the Rt Hon Sir John Parnell Bt, of Rathleague, Queen's County, but had no issue.

He died in 1842 and was succeeded by his brother,

JOSHUA EVANS, one of the commissioners of the Court of Bankruptcy, who wedded Eleanor, only child of Robert Harrison.

His next brother,

EYRE DIXON EVANS, a merchant in Liverpool, inherited his brother's estate.

He died in 1862, and was succeeded by his only son,

GEORGE EVANS (1831-73), of Portrane, who married, though died without issue, and was succeeded by his only sister,

MARGARET EVANS, who inherited the Portrane property on the death of her brother, George, without issue in 1873.

She married, in 1852, John Donald MacNeale.

Dying in 1874, she left three daughters, joint heiresses of her property, of whom the eldest,

MARGARET MacNEALE, married, in 1889, Captain S G Rathborne or Rathbourne, Royal Engineers, and had issue,

St George Ronald MacNeale Rathborne, born in 1893.

DESPITE owning a substantial amount of land in County Offaly, it would seem that the family of Evans never any notable residence in the county.

The family seat was Portrane House, or Mount Evans, Donabate, County Dublin.

When George Hampden Evans died in 1842, his widow erected an Irish round tower in his memory, at Portrane.

The Rev Patrick Comerford has written an article about Portrane Castle.

First published in June, 2013.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Something Fishy

The trusty pushbike has been well utilized during this pandemic. You've likely seen it in a few articles I've written.

I purchased it about twenty-two years ago, at Halford's, and it's a fairly sturdy urban kind of bike.

This morning I recalled that Edward Murray of Something Fishy, a fishmonger from Portavogie, has a mobile seafood stall at Comber Road, Dundonald, on Wednesday mornings.

I think they also usually have a stall at St George's Market in Belfast.

This morning, however, I mounted the two-wheeler and cycled from Belmont GHQ to Dundonald, a journey of three miles perhaps.

Enid Bennett, whose husband and sons ran a hardware shop in Comber, used to inquire if a merchant was easy to pay - "are they easy to pay?"

Something Fishy is easy to pay. Just remember to bring cash with you. I was prepared, and I'd brought my wallet with a few banknotes in it.

I fancy breaded cod tonight, so I bought a good piece of that, and a portion of their battered scampi.

The piece of cod was a fiver; the scampi, £2.80.

Ballybay House


GEORGE, 4TH EARL OF ROTHES, married thirdly, Agnes, daughter of Sir John Somerville, of Cambusnethan, and had issue,
Andrew, 5th Earl;
JAMES, of whom we treat;
Janet; Helen.
His lordship's third son by his marriage to Agnes Somerville,

THE HON JAMES LESLIE, born in 1530, married Jane, daughter of Sir James Hamilton, of Evandale, and had issue,
HENRY, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

THE MOST REV DR HENRY LESLIE (1580-1661), Lord Bishop of Meath, settled in Ireland, 1614, where he was ordained in 1617.

His lordship was chaplain to CHARLES I, with whom he shared his great adversities.

He espoused Jane Swinton, and had issue,
Robert (Rt Rev Dr);
JAMES, of whose line we treat;
William, of Prospect, Co Antrim;
Mary; Margaret.
The second son,

JAMES LESLIE (1624-1704), of Leslie House, County Antrim, wedded, in 1650, Jane, daughter of John Echlin, of Ardquin, County Down, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE VEN DR HENRY LESLIE (1651-1733), Archdeacon of Down, Chaplain to the Duke of Ormonde, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

In 1680 he obtained a Prebend in Down Cathedral, which he resigned, 1695, for the Archdeaconry.

Dr Leslie espoused, in 1676, Margaret, daughter and heiress of Peter Beaghan, of Ballibay, and had issue,
PETER, his heir;
Edmund, MP for Antrim;
The Archdeacon was succeeded by his elder son,

THE REV PETER LESLIE, born in 1686, Rector of Ahoghill, who married Jane, daughter of the Most Rev Dr Anthony Dopping, Lord Bishop of Meath, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
James, of Leslie Hill, Co Antrim;
EDMOND (Ven), Archdeacon of Down;
Margaret; Jane.
The eldest son,

THE REV HENRY LESLIE (1719-1803), of Ballybay, County Monaghan, Prebendary of Tullycorbet, Clogher, and afterwards prebendary of Tandragee, in Armagh Cathedral.

Dr Leslie married, in 1753, Catherine, daughter of the Very Rev Charles Meredyth, Dean of Ardfert, and had issue,
Peter Henry, b 1755; k/a in America;
CHARLES ALBERT, of whom hereafter;
Catherine Letitia.
The surviving son,

CHARLES ALBERT LESLIE (1765-1838), of Ballybay, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1805, married, in 1799, Ellen, youngest daughter of Richard Magenis MP, of Waringstown, County Down, and left at his decease an only surviving child,

EMILY ELEANOR WILHELMINA LESLIE, of Ballybay, who married firstly, in 1828, her cousin, Arthur French, of Clonsilla, County Dublin, and had issue,
ROBERT CHARLES (now LESLIE), of Ballybay;
Charles Albert Leslie Attila FRENCH;
Helena Charlotte; Albertine Caroline; Henrietta Victoria Alexandria.
She wedded secondly, in 1844, her cousin, the Rev John Charles William Leslie, son of James Leslie, of Leslie Hill, by whom she had issue,
Ferdinand Seymour;
Marion Adelaide.
Mrs Leslie died in 1844, and was succeeded by her eldest son,

ROBERT CHARLES LESLIE JP DL (1828-1904), of Ballybay, and Kilclief, County Down, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1854, who married, at Paris, 1867, Charlotte Philippa Mary, daughter of Captain Edward Kelso, of Kelsoland, and Horkesley Park, Essex, and had issue,
Theordore Barrington Norman;
EDWARD HENRY JOHN, succeeded his brother;
Mabel Edith.
He assumed, in 1885, the surname and arms of LESLIE, in compliance of his maternal grandfather's will.

Mr Leslie was succeeded by his second son,

EDWARD HENRY JOHN LESLIE CMG MVO JP DL (1880-1966), of Ballybay, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1908, who entered the Foreign Office, 1902.

BALLYBAY HOUSE, Ballybay, County Monaghan,  was a fine Classical house of 1830 by JB Keane, for Charles Albert Leslie.

It comprised two storeys over a high basement, with a three-bay entrance front, the centre of which was recessed, with a Wyatt window above a single-storey Doric portico.

The adjoining front had five bays.

Practically all of the windows in the lower storey were set in arched recesses.

A three-storey, gable-ended range was added behind the house later in the 19th century.

Ballybay House was burnt and the contents were sold in 1920.

Nothing remains.

Former London residence ~ 10 Douro Place, Kensington.

First published in July, 2013.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Franklin Maxims: VIII


Sir Charles Lanyon


SIR CHARLES LANYON JP DL (1813–1889), son of John Jenkinson Lanyon, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, married, in 1835, Elizabeth Helen, daughter of Jacob Owen, of Portsmouth, and had issue, ten children, including, 
JOHN (1839-1900);
WILLIAM OWEN, of whom hereafter;
Louis Mortimer (1846-1919), m Laura, daughter of CV Phillips;
Herbert Owen (1850-1919), m Amelia, daughter of J Hind.
Sir Charles's second surviving son,

COLONEL SIR WILLIAM OWEN LANYON KCMG CB (1842-1887), Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George, Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.


Photo Credit: The Queen's University of Belfast

SIR CHARLES LANYON designed the famous Antrim coast road between Larne and Portrush.

He also designed and erected many bridges in the county, including the Ormeau Bridge (1860–63) over the River Lagan in Belfast.

Sir Charles laid out the Belfast and Ballymena railway lines, and its extensions to Cookstown and Portrush; was engineer of the Belfast, Holywood and Bangor Railway; and the Carrickfergus and Larne line.

He was the principal architect of some of Belfast's best-known buildings, including the Queen's College, now University (1846-9); the old Court-House (1848-50); Crumlin Road Gaol (1843-5); and the Custom House (1854-7).

His palm house at the Botanic Gardens, Belfast, built in two phases between 1840-52, is notably one of the earliest examples of curvilinear iron and glass.

Much of Lanyon's work was carried out in private practice, in which he was assisted by two partners: W H Lynn; and latterly his eldest son John, from 1860.

Lanyon resigned the county surveyorship in 1860, and then retired from practice completely following the breakup of his firm in 1872, to devote his energies to public life, in which he was already involved.

Sir Charles served the office of Mayor of Belfast, 1862,  and was MP for Belfast, 1865-68.

He was one of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners, a Deputy Lieutenant, and a magistrate.

In 1862, Sir Charles was elected President of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, and held office until 1868, when he received the honour of Knighthood, which was conferred by His Grace the Duke of Abercorn, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

In 1876, he served as High Sheriff of County Antrim.

Sir Charles died, after a protracted illness, at his residence, The Abbey, in 1889, and was buried at Knockbreda cemetery, near Belfast.

THE ABBEY, Whiteabbey, County Antrim, was designed by Charles Lanyon for Richard Davison MP (1796-1869), on the site of Demyat, a gentleman’s cottage on the site inhabited by Samuel Gibson Getty (1817-77).

Abbey House is an imposing two-storey, multi-bay, Italianate stucco house, built ca 1855 to designs by Sir Charles Lanyon, as a private residence for a client, though shortly afterwards becoming his own home and reflecting his personal taste.

Entrance Front in 2017

Despite the degradation of its setting and years of neglect, the house remains a handsome edifice, with ornate stucco detailing and the Italianate styling typical of Lanyon’s work.

Internally, while the house has undergone some remodelling for use as an administrative block, its plan from and detailing survive, although suffering serious decay.

It is said that Abbey House is an important structure, historically and architecturally, of robust character, especially given its association with Lanyon.

The Abbey takes its name from the ancient monastery which originally stood in a field near by.

The abbey was built by the Cistercian religious order (Trappist Monks) ca 1250, but was damaged by the army of Edward the Bruce in 1315.

The ruins of the White Abbey survived for centuries but today there are no visible remains.

The present Victorian house is ‘L’ shaped in plan, with an additional rectangular building located to the north-west.

Garden Front with Annexe in 2017

In 1832, the the site was occupied by a smaller, though fairly substantial, dwelling occupied by Mrs Matthews.

At that time the description detailed a ballroom, stable, scullery and dairy and a square tower.

The Abbey, inhabited by Richard Davison, was described thus:-
'…a very superior first class house built 12 years ago… Cemented and stone finished with stone quoins and dressings…very [finely] situated and close to Whiteabbey Station’.
The gate lodge was  '…very neat & well finished’.

Also listed in the entry for The Abbey was a cow-house, stables with a bell [tower attraction], and a green house.

Garden Front in 2017

Documents of 1862-64 list the occupier as Charles Lanyon.

Following Lanyon’s death in 1889, The Abbey remained vacant for about six years.

Records show that the leasehold has transferred to Granville Hotels Company, although the freehold was still owned by the Lanyon family.

In 1906, the house was described as ‘auxiliary workhouses, gate lodges and land’.

The ownership was revised from Guardians of Belfast Union to Belfast Corporation in 1916, and the property was described as ‘auxiliary workhouse, gate lodges, office, hospital for consumptives and land’.

In 1913 this entry was crossed out with the exception of the gate lodges, and "electric power house" was inserted, indicating a change of use.

Abbey House was listed as a "municipal sanatorium, gate lodges, electric power, house, office and land" about 1935, with the occupier stated as being Belfast Corporation (City Council).

The private treatment centre became Whiteabbey Sanatorium during the 1st World War, and became Whiteabbey Hospital in the 1930s.

Admittedly I haven't visited Whiteabbey Hospital - or whatever it's called today - though it seems to have been spoiled by hideous painting.

Its future is uncertain.

First published in May, 2014.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Malone Place, Belfast

Malone Place at Sandy Row, May, 2020

MALONE PLACE, Belfast, is a short, narrow terrace of little houses tucked away from the madding crowd.

You might catch a glimpse of it if you are travelling past the beginning of the Lisburn Road.

This diminutive terrace is one-sided, as it were.

The Toll-house Garden, May, 2020

There's an enclosed 'garden' opposite the houses, with railings, locked up, without any seating.

Incidentally, King William Park (aptly named: loyal Sandy Row is across the road) has no seating, either; so bring a picnic rug!

In the middle of this small enclosure there is a plaque which tells us that the gardens of the toll-gate house were close to this location.

The old toll-gate cottage certainly was across the street, at the corner of the present Tollgate House of 1987-88, quite a large prosaic block on Bradbury Place.

The Toll-gate Cottage, looking towards Shaftesbury Square, ca 1910

In the name of Progress the little cottage, built about 1815, had to be swept away in the autumn of 1961.

Let's be thankful that Malone Place survives.

The Northern Ireland Department for Communities' Historic Buildings Database has written a lot about Malone Place, and has already compiled information from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

I'd therefore wish to acknowledge this in some of my own narrative here.

Malone Place, May, 2020

Malone Place commences at the very end of Sandy Row, where its junction with the Lisburn Road begins.

It terminates at the Malone Place General Practitioners' Maternity Hospital, a block of ca 1925.

Blondin Street runs from here to Gaffikin Street.

In the 1974 Belfast street directory there are fifteen houses, all odd-numbered:-

  • 1 ~ 'Scotts, General Dealers.'
  • 3-5 ~ Vacant.
  • 7 ~ Thompson, WJ & Sons ~ Boot & Shoe Repairers and Retailers.
  • 9 ~ Robertson, Miss A.
  • 11 ~ Walmsley, Richard B.
  • 13 ~ Delaney, William John.
  • 15 ~ Turley, James.
  • 17 ~ Greer, Mrs Margaret.
  • 19 ~ McNamara, John.
  • 21 ~ Madill, Miss M.
  • 23 ~ Evans, Francis.
  • 25 ~ Burgess, W.
  • 27 ~ Irwin, Mrs Ellie.
  • 29 ~ Watson, Mrs Florence.

Number One, known as Malone Place Apartment, is available for rent.

Number Five  (the ground floor) is for sale (May, 2020).

Number Seven seemed to be a private residence from between 1843-49, when it was built, till about 1895, when it became a shop. It remained a shop until about 2004, when it reverted back to being a domestic residence.

Number Nine has always been a residential property. About 1850 a railway clerk lived here, followed by several other clerks, and a reporter in the Belfast Telegraph in 1884.

Number Seventeen, like the rest, was built about 1850. In 1867, one Jane Crosbey was summonsed to appear in court on a charge of having been disorderly in the public street, information having been received by magistrates ‘as to the character of the house she kept’.

The Historic Buildings database, dated 2011, remarks that Number Twenty-three is:
"A two-storey, two-bay Victorian mid-terrace dwelling built ca1860. Forming part of the latter half of the terrace, the exterior of the house has retained its general character, although some historic features of interest have been lost following refurbishment of the terrace in ca2000." 
"The overall intact external appearance of the terrace ensures that it is a good surviving example of housing of this type. Number 23 adds significant value to the group as a whole, makes a positive architectural contribution to the character of the area."
That evaluation applies to many of the others. 

Milford House


WILLIAM McCRUM (1785-1879), son of William McCrum (1756-1818, a farmer from County Armagh, by his wife, Elizabeth Harper, of County Armagh), married, in 1818, Judith, daughter of Moses Paul, and had issue,
ROBERT GARMANY, of whom presently;
Martha, died in infancy.
The only son,

ROBERT GARMANY McCRUM JP DL (1827-1915), of Milford House, County Armagh, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1889, wedded, in 1864, Anne Eliza Riddall, of Armagh, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Harriette, b 1867.
Mr McCrum was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM McCRUM (1865-1932), of Milford House, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1909, who espoused, in 1891, Maude Mary, daughter of Dr W W Squires, of Montreal, Canada, and had issue, an only son,

CECIL ROBERT McCRUM OBE* (1892-1976), of The Mall, Armagh, Captain, Royal Navy, who wedded Ivy Hilda Constance (1891–1990), daughter of William Nicholson, and had issue,
Patrick, 1917-22;
Antony, b 1919; 
MICHAEL WILLIAM, of whom presently;
The third son,

MICHAEL WILLIAM McCRUM CBE (1924-2005), a distinguished academic and historian, married, in 1952, Christine Mary Kathleen, daughter of Sir Arthur Brownlow Frederick fforde GBE,  and had four children, of whom 

(John) Robert McCrum, born in 1953, is a well-known editor and writer.

Harriette McCrum. Photo Credit: Armagh County Museum

Robert Garmany McCrum's only daughter,

HARRIETTE (1867-1951), of The Mall, Armagh, married, in 1898, the Rev David Miller, and had issue, four sons,
Robert Craig;
William McCrum;
David Riddall;
Edward Wentworth.
*Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, St James's Palace, SWl. 1st January, 1943: The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following to be Additional Officers of the Military Division of the said Most Excellent Order : Captain Cecil Robert McCrum, RN (Ret.).

MILFORD HOUSE, near Armagh City, County Armagh, is a two-storey, Italianate country house, built for Robert Garmany McCrum between 1865-1904.

It has a three-sided bow; pedimented three-bay projection; and camber-headed windows.

There is an elaborate range of glasshouses running at right-angles from the middle of the front.

During the Victorian era, the grounds extended to 46 acres.

The manor house passed into the ownership of William McCrum in 1915.

Never adept at business, he lost heavily in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and was forced to auction the contents of the house the following year and sell the mill the year after that.

Mr McCrum died penniless in 1932 and the Milford House came into the ownership of the Northern Bank.

In 1936, the bank leased it to a private boarding school for girls (Manor House School), who bought it outright for £3,000 in 1940.

The school closed in 1965; and in 1966 the property was sold to the Northern Ireland Hospital Authority for use as a special care home.

This shut in 1988 and since then the property became vacant.

In 1936, the house was leased and ultimately sold to a girls' school.

In 2000, the Friends of Manor House was established by Stephen McManus in collaboration with Armagh Council to secure the future of the property.

The building was sold to the current owners in 2002.

The Milford Buildings Preservation Trust continues to work tirelessly to protect Milford House, its parkland and gardens.

First published in May, 2014.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Dundarave House

The sept of Macnaghten, in Argyllshire, is acknowledged by the highlanders, according to Alexander Nisbet, to be one of the oldest in the west of Scotland, and its members were for centuries involved in the political transactions of that kingdom.

SHANE DHU, third son of JOHN MACNAUGHTANE, of that Ilk, and grandson of SIR ALEXANDER MACNAUGHTANE, who fell at Flodden, went over to Ulster as secretary to his kinsman, the 1st Earl of Antrim, and settled there.

His son and heir,

DANIEL MACNAUGHTEN, espoused Catherine, niece of the celebrated Lord Primate and Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev George Dowdall, and had, with two daughters, who married into the families of Willoughby and MacManus, of County Antrim, a son and successor,

JOHN MACNAUGHTEN, of Benvarden, County Antrim, who wedded Helen, sister of the Rt Hon Edmund Francis Stafford MP, and had issue; of which a younger son,

EDMUND MACNAGHTEN (1679-1781), of Beardiville, County Antrim, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1747, who married firstly, Leonora, daughter of the Most Rev Dr John Vesey, Lord Archbishop of Tuam, by whom he had no issue; and secondly, in 1761, Hannah, daughter of John Johnstone, of Belfast, by whom he had two sons,
Mr Macnaghten died at the very advanced age of 102, and was succeeded by his son,

EDMUND ALEXANDER MACNAGHTEN (1762-1832), of Beardiville, and Duke Street, St James's, London, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1793, MP for County Antrim, 1801-12, Orford, 1812-26, County Antrim, 1826-30, and a Lord of the Treasury.

The Macnaghtens of Scotland elected this gentleman and his heirs to the chieftainship of their clan, which, at his decease, in 1832, descended with the family estates to his brother,

SIR FRANCIS WORKMAN-MACNAGHTEN (1762-1843), a High Court Judge in India, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1807, who was created a baronet in 1836, designated of Bushmills House, County Antrim.
Sir Francis (the Hon Mr Justice Macnaghten) had made a fortune in India c1800. He purchased ‘for a small price’ his brother-in-law's property; and at some stage proceeded to build a new, castellated house on the site (Bushmills House); though, after he returned from India in 1825, he seems to have lived mainly at Roe Park and Beardiville.
He espoused, in 1787, Letitia, eldest daughter of Sir William Dunkin, Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Calcutta, and had issue,
EDMUND CHARLES, his successor;
William Hay, cr baronet, 1840; Bengal civil service;
Francis, b 1798, at Calcutta; Bengal civil service;
Elliot, b 1807; Supreme Court, Calcutta;
John Duncan, b 1810; cavalry officer, East India Company;
Steuart, b 1815;
Anne; Eliza Serena; Marianne; Letitia; Matilda; Jane Russell;
Maria; Caroline; Alicia; Ellen, Hannah.
Sir Francis was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR EDMUND CHARLES WORKMAN-MACNAGHTEN, 2nd Baronet (1790-1876), High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1837, who succeeded to the property.
Like his father, he, too, made a fortune in India; and, having retired at the very young age of 24, decided to replace Bushmills House with a much grander mansion. He commissioned Charles Lanyon to construct the present, very fine Italianate mansion, DUNDARAVE, in 1846, based on Barry’s Reform Club.
The Rt Hon Sir Francis Edmund Workman-Macnaghten, 3rd Baronet (1828-1913), High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1877, was a Privy Counsellor.

The Right Honourable Sir Edward Macnaghten, 4th Baronet (1830–1913), GCB GCMG:
Became a Law Lord as the Baron Macnaghten in 1887. He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1857 entitled to practice as a barrister; appointed QC in 1880; was MP for County Antrim, 1880-85; MP for North Antrim, 1885-87; a Privy Counsellor, 1887. He was a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, 1887.
Sir Edward was elevated to the peerage, in 1887, as BARON MACNAGHTEN, of Runkerry, County Antrim.

He was a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn in 1907.

Sir Edward Charles Macnaghten was 5th Baronet (1859–1914).

Sir Edward Harry Macnaghten, 6th Baronet (1896–1916), died in 1916 aged 20, reported missing in action, believed killed. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch), attached to the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles; fought in the 1st World War.

Sir Arthur Douglas Macnaghten, 7th Baronet (1897–1916), died in 1916 aged 19, killed in action. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion, Rifle Brigade.

Sir Francis Alexander Macnaghten became the 8th Baronet (1863–1951); succeeded by Sir Frederic Fergus Macnaghten, 9th Baronet (1867–1955) and Sir Antony Macnaghten, 10th Baronet (1899–1972).

Sir Patrick Alexander Macnaghten DL, 11th Baronet (1927-2007) was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; worked as an engineer and manager with Cadbury's Chocolate.

He succeeded to the baronetcy and as chief of the Name and Arms of the Clan Macnaghten in 1972.

On his retirement he lived at the estate of his ancestral home Dundarave until 2005.

He was a Deputy Lieutenant and Vice-President of the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association; and a member of the Fisheries Conservancy Board.

Sir Malcolm Macnaghten is the present 12th Baronet (b 1956).

DUNDARAVE HOUSE, near Bushmills, County Antrim, is described by the Sir Charles Brett as ‘by far the grandest 19th century house in north Antrim’.

Not surprisingly, the parkland created as a setting for this house is of some importance in its own right.

In fact, the park pre-dates the present house, for its bones were laid down for an 18th century house on the site known as Bushmills House.

Described as "a very fine Italianate palazzo", both inside and out, Dundarave has all the dignity and splendour of a London club.

It consists of two storeys in plan, with a lower service wing at one side. 

The three fronts are all different and ornamented in a pinkish sandstone.

Some fenestration is surrounded by Corinthian aedicules and surmounted by latticed balustrades.

The roof sits on a deep, bracket cornice.

The entrance porch is an Italianate loggia with Corinthian pilasters and columns; whilst the adjoining front boasts a a central feature of a single-storey, curved bow, also with columns.

The porch leads to a narrow entrance hall with barrel ceiling and Classical reliefs on the walls.

However, the central hall is magnificent and vast, very tall, surrounded by a broad gallery at first floor level, with Corinthian columns carrying a lantern storey.

The grandest reception room is the ballroom, with its elaborate plasterwork ceiling.
The Dundarave estate is centred on the house and its surrounding designed landscape. Extending to about 550 acres, there are six estate dwellings; three entrances; five principal rooms located on the ground floor, mostly off the Great Hall, which was designed from the hall of the Reform Club in London, and rises to the full height of the building with a galleried landing at first floor level and lit by a finely plastered cupola.
At ground floor level the Great Hall features carved timber pillars with a painted marble design which are flanked by green painted marble arches. There is a central open fireplace with decorative mantelpiece sitting on Corinthian pillars. This is overlooked by the first floor picture gallery with carved timber bannisters which support twenty Doric columns, which in turn support the elaborate cupola.
The cupola features twelve semi-circular windows and ornate ceiling with eight recessed square panels arranged around an octagon panel, all with decorative plaster work. There are nineteen bedrooms.
In the 1780s this property belonged to Sir William Dunkin of Clogher, sometime judge in Calcutta, whose daughter in 1787 married Francis Workman Macnaghten (1762-1843), a younger son of Edmund of Beardiville.

Francis, who was knighted in 1836, had made a fortune in India and was the acknowledged chief of the ancient clan of Macnaghten.

About 1800, he purchased ‘for a small price’ the property from his brother-in-law; and at some stage proceeded to build a new, castellated house on the site (Bushmills House); though, after he returned from India in 1825, he seems to have lived mainly at Roe Park and Beardiville.

This house and its surrounding parkland were protected on the north and west sides by shelter belts of trees, while a lozenge-shaped walled garden lay to the south east of the house.

In 1843, his son Sir Edward Charles Workman Macnaghten, 2nd Baronet, MP (1790-1876) succeeded to the property.

Like his father he, too, made a fortune in India; and, having retired at the very young age of 24, decided to replace Bushmills House with a much grander mansion.

He commissioned Charles Lanyon (later Sir Charles) to build the present, very fine Italianate mansion-house, built in 1846, based on Barry’s Reform Club.

The site is on exposed high ground, with good views out over lawns and a sweeping drive.

The old shelter belts were extended for the new house; and a second walled garden was added in the mid-19th century to the north of the house; and remains of glasshouses can be seen.

Neither walled garden is cultivated.

There were formal gardens at the south east of the house, which are now grassed and merge into Terrace Wood.

The woodland remains extensive and walks are maintained.

The main entrance gate is in a mini-palazzo style of ca 1848, with cruciform plan of a type favoured elsewhere by Lanyon.

The rear entrance lodge is much simpler in style, though also roughly ca 1850.

There were two plain gate lodges related to the demolished Bushmills House.

DUNDARAVE ESTATE was sold in 2014 by Sir Malcolm, 12th Baronet, to Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE DL.

RUNKERRY HOUSE, at the coast near Bushmills, was once part of the Macnaghten estates. 

It was built in the early 1860s by Sir Edward Macnaghten, 4th Baronet, who became Lord of Appeal for the United Kingdom in 1887 with a life peerage as BARON MACNAGHTEN, of Runkerry, County Antrim.

In 1951, Runkerry House was donated by the Macnaghtens to the Northern Ireland Government for public use.

It was used for many years as a retirement home; later as a residential activity centre; and finally a rehabilitation unit.

It was eventually closed down and, in 1996, placed on the open market and sold at Public Auction to Seaport Investments for conversion to apartments.

First published in March, 2010.