Monday, 30 November 2020

Vice Lord-Lieutenant


Mr Robert Scott OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, with the approval of Her Majesty The Queen, has been pleased to appoint
Mrs Frances Beatrice Nolan MBE DL
County Tyrone
Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the said County, her Commission bearing date the 26th day of November 2020

Lord-Lieutenant of the County

1st Earl of Seafield


This family descends from a younger son of the house of AIRLIE.

SIR WALTER OGILVY, Knight, of Auchleven, second son of the Treasurer of Scotland, Ogilvie, by Isabel Durward, heir of Lintrathen, who married Margaret, only daughter and heir of Sir John Sinclair, of Deskford and Findlater, and thereby acquired those estates.

Sir Walter obtained permission from the Crown, in 1455, to fortify his castle at Findlater, and to make it a place of strength.

He died in 1473, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JAMES OGILVY, Knight, of Deskford and Findlater, who wedded Margaret, eldest daughter of Sir Robert Innes, of Innes, and was succeeded in 1510 by his grandson,

ALEXANDER OGILVY (son of Sir James Ogilvy, who died in 1505-6, by Agnes, natural daughter of George, 2nd Earl of Huntley), who obtained a charter, in 1511, for incorporating the lands of Deskford, Findlater, and Keithmore into one entire barony, to be designated by the name of Ogilvy.

He married Janet, second daughter of James Abernethy, 3rd Lord Saltoun, and had a son, JAMES, whom he disinherited, settling estates upon John Gordon, 2nd son of George, 4th Earl of Huntley; but after a feud and some bloodshed between the Gordons and Ogilvys, the baronies of Deskford and Findlater were restored by an arbitration, of which QUEEN MARY was overs-woman.

The rightful heir,

JAMES OGILVY,  of Cardell, who was succeeded by his grandson,

SIR WALTER OGILVY, Knight, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1616, in the dignity of Lord Ogilvy of Deskford.

His lordship wedded firstly, Agnes, eldest daughter of Robert, 3rd Lord Elphinstone, by whom he had a daughter,
Christian, married to Sir John Forbes of Pitsligo.
He espoused secondly, the Lady Mary Douglas, third daughter of William, Earl of Morton, and had by that lady,

JAMES, 2nd Lord, who was created, in 1638, Earl of Findlater.

His lordship married the Lady Elizabeth Leslie, daughter of Andrew, 5th Earl of Rothes, by whom he had two daughters,
ELIZABETH, m Sir Patrick Ogilvy, of Inchmartin;
Anne, m William, 9th Earl of Glencairn, LORD CHANCELLOR OF SCOTLAND.
He married secondly, the Lady Marion Cunningham, daughter of William, 8th Earl of Glencairn, but by her he had no issue.

Lord Findlater thus having no male issue, procured a renewed patent, dated 1641, conferring the titles of Earl and Countess of Findlater upon his son-in-law, Sir Patrick Ogilvy, and that gentleman's wife, the Lady Elizabeth Ogilvy, his lordship's elder daughter.

At his decease the peerage so devolved upon

SIR PATRICK OGILVY AND HIS LADY, as Earl and Countess of Findlater.

His lordship died in 1658, and was succeeded by his son,

JAMES, 3rd Earl, whose eldest surviving son,

JAMES, 4th Earl, a lawyer of great eminence at the Scottish bar, who filled successively the offices of Solicitor-General and Secretary of State for Scotland; Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer; and High Commisssioner to the General Assembly of the church.

His lordship had been elevated to the peerage before the decease of his father, in 1698, in the dignity of Viscount Seafield; and, in 1701, Viscount Reidhaven and EARL OF SEAFIELD.

Earls of Seafield (1701)

The heir apparent is the present holder's son James Andrew Studley, styled Viscount Reidhaven (b 1963). He became a Muslim in 1990.

CULLEN HOUSE, Buckie, Moray, was the ancestral seat of the Earls of Seafield.

The main part of the house dates from 1543.

An east wing was added in 1711, and there were alterations by David Bryce in 1858.

The House and estate buildings were converted into fourteen dwellings in 1983.

Prior to the use of Cullen House by the Earls of Seafield, the castle of Findlater, now a ruin, on a rocky coastal outcrop about two miles to the east, was the seat.

Several hundred yards from Cullen House, on the site of the old village, stands Old Cullen, a dower house, Georgian in design. Formerly the Factor's house, it is now the residence of Lord and Lady Seafield.

The Earls of Seafield owned a further 160,224 acres of land in Inverness-shire, and 48,936 acres in Banffshire.

First published in February, 2016.  Seafield arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Order of St Patrick: Ulster List


The Order of St Patrick remains technically extant.

It features in the orders of chivalry section of the Royal Family website.

The Knights listed below had connections in one form or another with Ulster.


  • 2nd Earl of Clanbrassil 1783
  • 1st Earl of Charlemont 1783
  • 1st Earl of Ely 1783
  • 1st Marquess of Ely 1794
  • 2nd Earl of Roden 1806
  • 2nd Marquess of Ely 1807
  • 1st Earl O'Neill 1809
  • 2nd Earl of Enniskillen 1810
  • 2nd Marquess of Donegall 1821
  • 2nd Earl of Caledon 1821
  • 3rd Earl of Roden 1821
  • 2nd Earl of Charlemont 1831
  • 3rd Marquess of Downshire 1831
  • 10th Viscount Massereene 1851
  • 1st Earl of Dartrey, 1855
  • 3rd Earl of Gosford 1855
  • 4th Marquess of Londonderry 1856
  • 3rd Marquess of Donegall 1857
  • 4th Marquess of Downshire 1859
  • 1st Marquess of Dufferin & Ava 1864
  • 2nd Baron Lurgan 1864
  • 3rd Earl of Charlemont 1865
  • 3rd Earl of Erne 1868
  • 4th Earl of Gosford 1869
  • 5th Marquess of Londonderry 1874
  • 7th Duke of Manchester 1877
  • 4th Earl of Erne 1889
  • 3rd Earl of Kilmorey 1890
  • 4th Earl of Caledon 1897
  • 4th Earl of Enniskillen 1902
  • 24th Baron de Ros 1902
  • 1st Viscount Pirrie 1909
  • 9th Earl of Shaftesbury 1911
  • 3rd Duke of Abercorn 1922
The first three appointees were founder members of the Order. 

The Most Noble James, 3rd Duke of Abercorn, KG KP PC, was the final non-royal conferral before the Order went into abeyance.

First published on the 17th March, 2011.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

NI Peers Index



Belfast, Earl of; courtesy lord; see Donegall

Castlereagh, Viscount; courtesy lord; see Londonderry

Cole, Viscount; courtesy lord; see Enniskillen

Corry, Viscount; courtesy lord; see Belmore


Hillsborough, Earl of; courtesy lord; see Downshire

MOIRA, EARL OF; see Hastings


Newry and Mourne, Viscount; courtesy lord; see Kilmorey

ROKEBY, BARON (89th Lord Archbishop of Armagh)

Stuart, Viscount; courtesy lord; see Castle Stewart

WESTMINSTER, 6TH DUKE OF (b 1951 at Omagh, Co Tyrone)

First published in February, 2013.

Dundarave: Lodges

Dundarave Main Entrance in 2014

During my visit to Portballintrae and Bushmills, County Antrim, my curiosity was aroused by the boundary walls and gate lodges of Dundarave estate, erstwhile seat of the Macnaghten Baronets.

The main gate lodge, and the closest to Bushmills, is almost opposite the Clay Field.

Main Entrance Lodge in 2014

This is easily the grandest of the lodges, of which there used to be four in total.

J A K Dean, in his Gate Lodges of Ulster, describes it thus:
a mini-palazzo ... and its grand porte-cochère ... the extensive gate-screen of tall, square, sandstone piers with restrained friezes below moulded cappings ... Wide, double, cast-iron carriage gates flanked by wicket gates and concave sweeps beyond.

There is a modest, plain lodge - almost like a cottage -  at a side entrance which leads to a courtyard.

At the rear entrance to the estate there is another charming little lodge.

DUNDARAVE ESTATE now comprises 1,300 acres of land; though during the Victorian era its extent was 7,134 acres.

First published in 2014.

Friday, 27 November 2020

Tubberdaly House


JOHN DOWNING, of Bellaghy and Rowesgift, County Londonderry, born in 1700, married Anne, daughter of the Rev Dr J Rowe, and had issue,
Dawson, ancestor of
Sarah, m to Charles Dawson.
The eldest son,

THE REV ALEXANDER CLOTWORTHY DOWNING, of Bellaghy and Rowesgift, Rector of Leckpatrick, County Londonderry, wedded Tamison, daughter of James Nesbitt, of Tubberdaly, King's County, and had, with other issue, a daughter, Medicis, who married her first cousin, ancestress of EDWARD BEAUMONT-NESBITT, of Tubberdaly, and a son,

JOHN DOWNING-NESBITT, of Tubberdaly, who assumed the additional surname of NESBITT on inheriting the Nesbitt estates in the King's County, and counties Roscommon and Galway.

He married, in 1800, Jane, daughter of General Brady, of Leixlip House, County Kildare, and had, with other issue,
Alexander, died unmarried;
CATHERINE TAMISON, succeeded her brother;
Jane, m to Francis, Count de Lusi;
Mary Anne, died unmarried, 1873.
Mr Downing-Nesbitt died in 1847, and was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM GEORGE DOWNING-NESBITT, of Tubberdaly, who died a bachelor in 1857, and was succeeded by his sister,

CATHERINE TAMISON DOWNING-NESBITT, who died unmarried in 1886, and was succeeded by her cousin,

EDWARD BEAUMONT, who adopted the additional surnames of DOWNING and NESBITT.


GEORGE BEAUMONT wedded, in 1815, Alice, daughter of James Akroyd, of Brook House, near Halifax, and died in 1858, leaving a son,

THE REV THOMAS GEORGE BEAUMONT JP, Rector of Chelmondiston, Suffolk, who espoused Tamazine, daughter of the Rev John Bradshaw, Incumbent of Lambeg, County Antrim.

He died in 1908, having had issue,
EDWARD JOHN, of Tubberdaly;
Alice Mary; Mabel.
The Rev T G Beaumont was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD JOHN DOWNING BEAUMONT-NESBITT OBE JP (1860-), of Tubberdaly, High Sheriff of King's County, 1892, who wedded, in 1890, Helen, daughter of Frederick Freeman Thomas, of Ratton, Sussex, by his wife, Mabel, third daughter of Viscount Hampden, and had issue,
FREDERICK GEORGE, major-general;
Wilfred Henry, b 1894;
Violet Catherine, b 1891;
Eileen Mabel, b 1898.
Edward John Downing Beaumont-Nesbitt was the last Lord-Lieutenant of King's County (Offaly), from 1918 until 1922.


TUBBERDALY HOUSE, near Edenderry, County Offaly, was a Georgian mansion built near the site of the ruinous Tubberdaly Castle.

It was one of the last big houses to be burnt by the IRA, on the night of the 15th April, 1923.

First published in March, 2018.

Brackenber Day


Here is the final correspondence I received from Brackenber's last headmaster, Mr John Craig, following his retirement.

It is clearly valedictory in nature.

Click on the image to read it.

It reflects Mr Craig's feelings about Brackenber; his profound devotion and deep affection for what became his home and his life; his dedication, care and passion for our school:-

click to enlarge
First published in February, 2011.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Louisa Bailie of Ringdufferin


TO DIE from a burning accident was the sad fate of a dear old lady, Miss Louisa Bailie, of Ringdufferin, County Down, the last survivor of a family of proud lineage, and held in affectionate respect by the whole countryside.

The father, Major James Bailie, 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers, died in February [1896].

Miss Bailie was the youngest of his three daughters. She was aged 80.

The family had been in possession of Ringdufferin for almost 300 years, having obtained a lease in September, 1668, from Henry, Earl of Clanbrassil.

No later than last Sunday Miss Bailie attended the service in Killyleagh Parish Church, of which she was an ardent member.

The Rev. S Mann [sic] conducted the funeral service.


I HAVE BEEN researching the history of the Ringdufferin estate and the Bailies.

Major James Bailie and his family - including Louisa  -  were the last of the Bailies to live there.

Ringdufferin was purchased by the Mackie family in 1945.

I am grateful to The Down Recorder for the above information.

First published in November, 2016.

The Cole Baronetcy

By a deed of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, extant, it appears that the COLES were of the rank of barons, and were resident in Hampshire in that monarch's reign.

SIR WILLIAM COLE (c1585-1653), Knight, the first member of the Cole family who settled in Ulster, fixed his abode, early in the reign of JAMES I, in County Fermanagh, and becoming an undertaker in the Plantation, had an assignment, in 1611, of 1,000 acres of escheated lands in the county wherein he resided; to which, in 1612, were added 320 acres in the same county, whereof 80 acres were assigned for the town of Enniskillen, and that town was then incorporated by charter, consisting of a provost and twelve burgesses, Sir William Cole being the first provost (mayor).

Sir William was MP for County Fermanagh in 1634.

He raised a regiment, which he commanded against the rebels, in 1643, with important success.

Sir William married twice: Firstly, to Susannah, daughter and heir of John Croft, of Lancaster, by whom he had two daughters; and secondly, to Catherine, daughter of Sir Laurence Parsons, of Birr, second Baron of the Irish Exchequer, by whom he left, at his decease, in 1653, two sons, namely,
Michael, his successor, ancestor of the Earls of Enniskillen;
JOHN, of whom we treat.
The younger son, 

SIR JOHN COLE, of Newland, County Dublin, MP for Fermanagh, 1661, having distinguished himself during the rebellion, particularly in the relief of Enniskillen, of which he was governor, and being instrumental in promoting the restoration of CHARLES II, was created a baronet in 1660, designated of Newland, County Dublin.

Sir John married Elizabeth, daughter of John Chichester, of Dungannon, County Tyrone, and was succeeded, following his decease, in 1691, by his eldest son,

SIR ARTHUR COLE, 2nd Baronet (c1664-1754), MP for Enniskillen, 1692-5, Roscommon, 1695-1703, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1715, by GEORGE I, in the dignity of BARON RANELAGH, of Ranelagh, County Wicklow, with limitation of the title, in default of his male issue, to the heirs male of his father.

His lordship died in 1754, without male issue, and the titles became extinct.


HAVING first served in the Low Countries, Cole came to Ireland to try his fortune in 1601, and served under Sir George Carew, 1st Earl of Totnes and Lord President of Munster.

In 1607 he was appointed Captain of the Longboats and Barges at Ballyshannon and Lough Erne.

His future was, however, uncertain until the Flight of the Earls and, particularly, that of Cuchonnacht Maguire of Enniskillen.

In 1609, Cole was made Constable or Governor of Enniskillen.

He was knighted in 1617 and became one of the principal promoters and implementers of the Plantation in County Fermanagh, receiving extensive grants of land in and around Enniskillen in 1610-12 and acquiring more by purchase.

When Enniskillen was incorporated as a parliamentary borough in 1613, Cole became its first Provost.

At this stage, Enniskillen was seen as very much the county town of Fermanagh, and its original corporation included influential settlers (mostly English) like Cole.

But in the period 1611-23, Cole obtained leases or grants, on increasingly advantageous terms, of the two-thirds of the island of Enniskillen which went with the castle and the one-third which was intended as an endowment of the town.

The building of the town was largely a Cole initiative (there were only an estimated 180 inhabitants ca 1630).

Soon, Enniskillen became what a parliamentary reformer of 1790 called
the private property of the Earl of Enniskillen, and the [provost and] twelve burgesses, its sole electors, . .. the confidential trustees of his appointment.
 According to Pynnar's highly critical survey in 1619 of the practical operation of the Plantation, Cole was not wholly rigorous in the observance of the terms of his grants, particularly in the matter of administering the oath of supremacy to his tenants; but he was praised in 1622 for enforcing on his tenants at Portora the prohibition against sub-letting to the Irish.

Re-grants were made to him at subsequent dates re-emphasising some of his obligations, permitting some leasing to the Irish, and doubling the rents payable by him to the crown.

In general, he seems to have been more scrupulous than most Plantation patentees. Later, he was described by a contemporary as 'a brave, forward and prudent gentleman'.

He was elected MP for Fermanagh in 1634 and again in 1639. In 1641 he had a narrow escape from a treacherous death on the outbreak of the rising.

He raised a regiment and fought at its head (in spite of advancing years) in the confused wars of the 1640s, espousing the Parliamentarian cause and successfully defending Enniskillen against the Maguires. He died in 1653.

He had two sons, Michael and John, the elder of whom predeceased him.

John, the younger son, who died ca 1691, was made Custos Rotulorum for County Fermanagh and a baronet in 1661, being then, in effect, the head of the Cole family, because Sir Michael Cole, Kt, son of Sir John's elder brother, Michael, did not come of age until probably about 1663.

Sir John Cole, 1st Baronet, was a figure of more than local significance, as he was one of the commissioners appointed to implement the acts of Settlement and Explanation (the Restoration land settlement in Ireland).

He lived at Newland [probably Newlands, Clondalkin], County Dublin.

Sir John had a number of sons and daughters, many of whom died young.

In 1671, one of these daughters, Elizabeth, married as his second wife, her cousin, Sir Michael Cole.

On the occasion of this marriage, Sir John Cole settled on his daughter's issue his estate at Montagh, barony of Clanawley, County Fermanagh (which he had purchased in 1658).

This estate 'marched' or was intermingled with Sir Michael's own patrimonial estate in the barony of Clanawley.

Montagh did not, as the 4th Earl of Belmore erroneously supposed, include the site of the future Florence Court; but its accession shifted the centre of gravity of Sir Michael Cole's estate southward of Enniskillen, and must have had a great bearing on the decision to build in that location.

Montagh never actually belonged to Sir Michael, but came into the possession of the eldest son of the marriage, John Cole, either at his coming of age in 1711 or at his mother's death in 1733.

Nevertheless, it continued to be recorded as a separate entity in the family rentals until well into the 19th century.

In 1754, at the death of Sir Arthur Cole, 2nd Baronet and 1st Baron Ranelagh, only surviving son of Sir John Cole, 1st Baronet, his great-nephew, John Cole, the future Lord Mount Florence, had an income of £2,220 a year, which doubled his rental and provided him with the means to begin building soon afterwards.

The stated extent of the inheritance seems much exaggerated (if John Cole had had an income of £4,400 (equivalent to £733,000 in 2011) in 1754, he would have been among the richest men in Ireland), and it is not clear where the figure comes from.

Probably the source is one of the updated editions of Thomas Prior's List of the Absentees of Ireland, first published in 1729, which gives figures which are usually inflated.

In the present instance, however, the figure is even more misleading because it is based on the assumption that all Lord Ranelagh's estates went to John Cole.

This was not so.

Lord Ranelagh had other great-nephews and nieces, including Sir Arthur Brooke, Bt, of Colebrooke, County Fermanagh, whose ancestor would hardly have called his house Colebrooke if he had not received a significant endowment when he married Lord Ranelagh's sister.

Sir Arthur himself inherited (probably in 1754) Lord Ranelagh's estates in Counties Tipperary and Clare.

The County Dublin and Dublin City property seems to have been divided between Sir Arthur and the aforementioned Henry Moore, another great-nephew (hence the proximity of Cole's Lane, Moore Street, etc, in the vicinity of the General Post Office).

Even the West Dean and East Grimstead estate, Wiltshire (as has already been noted), was not inherited by the Florence Court Coles until 1819, and even then was subject to various co-heir-ships.
Lord Ranelagh was the origin of the Coles' mysterious 12,000 acre estate in County Waterford; but as it does not feature in Cole deeds of settlement until the 1790s, it – like the East Grimstead estate - may have been subject to a life interest to Lady Ranelagh which did not expire until 1781, ten years after Florence Court was completed.
At the very least it would have been subject to its share of her jointure. Old men with younger wives and no other close relations, are likely to make sure that their widows are well provided for.

In other words, Florence Court may have been built on Ranelagh 'tick' (and paid for later out of the proceeds from the sale of the Waterford estate), but there is most unlikely to have been any great influx of cash in 1754.

In fact, the main windfalls of cash at this time came from the sale of the seats for the borough of Enniskillen: one was sold in 1761, and both at the general elections of 1768, 1776 and 1783.

The prices are unrecorded, but must have been between £1,500 and £2,000 per seat.

Lord Ranelagh died in 1754, aged 90, without issue when the baronetcy and barony both became extinct.


First published in April, 2011.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Hilton Park


The name MADDEN or O'MADDEN is among those which claim descent from the Milesian colonizers of Ireland.

THOMAS MADDEN, of Bagottsrath, near Dublin, comptroller to Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, Lord Deputy of Ireland, was eldest son of John Madden, of Bloxham Beauchamp, Oxfordshire, and brother of Robert Madden, of Donore, County Dublin, ancestor of the Maddens of Meadesbrook, and, in the female line, of Oliver Goldsmith, the poet.

He married Elizabeth, heiress of William Pettiver, of Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire.

This gentleman died in 1640, leaving his eldest son,

JOHN MADDEN (1598-1661), of Maddenton, County Kildare, and Enfield, Middlesex, one of the attorneys of His Majesty's Court of Castle Chamber, and general solicitor for parliamentary sequestrations, 1644-49.

He espoused, in 1635, Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Charles Waterhouse, of Manor Waterhouse, County Fermanagh.

This gentleman was succeeded by his second son,

DR JOHN MADDEN (1648-1703), of Manor Waterhouse, County Fermanagh,  who wedded firstly, in 1680, Mary, daughter of Samuel Molyneux, of Castle Dillon, County Armagh; and secondly, Frances, daughter of Nicholas Bolton, of Brazeel, County Dublin.

Dr Madden was succeeded by his son (by his first wife),

THE REV DR SAMUEL MADDEN (1686-1765), of Manor Waterhouse, Rector of Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, who was one of the founders of the Dublin Society, and a great benefactor to his country, known in the family as "Premium" Madden.

Dr Madden, who married Jane Magill, of Kirkstown, County Armagh, was succeeded by his third son,

JOHN MADDEN, of Maddenton, County Monaghan, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1750, who wedded, in 1752, Anne, daughter of Robert Cope MP, of Loughgall, County Armagh.

He died in 1791, having had, with four daughters, a son,

SAMUEL MADDEN (1756-1814), of Maddenton, now Hilton, County Monaghan, Lieutenant-Colonel, Monaghan Militia, who married Katherine, daughter and heiress of the Rev Charles Dudley Ryder, and granddaughter of the Most Rev John Ryder, Lord Archbishop of Tuam, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Catherine; Anne; Charlotte; Maria Alicia.
Colonel Madden was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN MADDEN JP DL (1782-1844), of Hilton Park, and Manor Waterhouse, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1811, Fermanagh, 1808, Colonel, Monaghan Militia, who married, in 1835, Sydney Anne, daughter of Admiral William Wolseley, of Rostrevor, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Charles Dudley Ryder;
William Wolseley;
Sydney Jane.
Colonel Madden was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN MADDEN JP DL (1837-1902), of Hilton Park, and of Manor Waterhouse, who married, in 1864, Caroline, daughter of the Rev and Hon Nathaniel Clements.

Mr Madden, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1859, County Monaghan, 1863, was succeeded by his son,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JOHN CLEMENTS WATERHOUSE MADDEN JP DL (1870-1935), High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1906, County Fermanagh, 1909, who wedded, in 1908, Agnes Mary, third daughter of Sir William Henry Tate Bt, of Highfield, Woolton, Lancashire.

He was succeeded by his son,

JOHN WILLIAM RYDER MADDEN (1913-1996), of Hilton Park, Major, Irish Guards, who married, in 1937, Nita, daughter of Brigadier J Seymour Mellor CBE DSO MC.

Major Madden's son and daughter-in-law, Mr and Mrs J S D Madden (who made significant additions to the deposits in PRONI), opened Hilton as a 'Hidden Ireland' country house establishment.

Hilton Park is today run by the seventh generation of the Madden family, Fred and Joanna Madden, and Fred's sister, Laura, with her family.

The estate still extends to over 600 acres, much of it woodland, and provides a remarkable natural habitat for flora and fauna.

HILTON PARK (formerly Maddenton), near Clones, County Monaghan, is a noble house, built in 1734, comprising two storeys over a basement.

It has an eleven-bay entrance front, the five central bays of which break forward.

Hilton Park House was rebuilt, having suffered a fire in 1804.

In 1872, the basement was excavated to become the ground floor and the house was re-faced in Dungannon stone.

A fine Ionic porte-cochère was added, with coupled central columns.

Hilton Park, as we see it today, is the work of noted church architect William Hague, for Colonel John Madden.

Classical influences are evident in the elaborate portico and symmetry of the façade, which was developed from a simple two-storey Georgian house when the ground around the basement was excavated, and the evolution of the house is testament to the power and stature of the Madden family.

A variety of timber sliding sash windows is retained throughout, articulated by dressed sandstone detailing.

The large porte-cochère is the dominant feature of the building and amply articulates the entrance.

The various additions to the rear enhance the building and reflect the changes over the building's history.

Prominently set within extensive parkland among related demesne structures, Hilton Park is a relatively complete demesne landscape.

First published in January, 2014.

1st Earl of Rosebery


This family derives its surname from the lands of Primrose, in Fife.

DUNCAN PRIMROSE, who was seated at Culross, Perthshire, in the reign of QUEEN MARY, married Janet, daughter of Main, of Arthurhouse, and had two sons,
GILBERT, principal surgeon to JAMES I and MARY;
ARCHIBALD, of whom we treat.
The second son,

ARCHIBALD PRIMROSE, was employed by the abbott of Culross in settling the rate of the feu-duty to be paid by the vassals of that abbey, and in managing the revenues thereof.

He married Margaret, daughter of Bleu, of Castlehill, and had two sons, the younger of whom,

JAMES PRIMROSE, a lawyer of eminence, was appointed, by JAMES I, in 1602, Clerk of the Privy Council, in which post he officiated for nearly forty years.

He wedded firstly, Miss Sibylla Miller, and had seven children, of whom Alison, the eldest daughter, married, in 1609, George Heriot, the celebrated court jeweller.

Mr Primrose married secondly, Catherine, daughter of Richard Lawson, of Boghall, by whom he had twelve more children; and dying in 1641, was succeeded by the eldest son of his last marriage,

ARCHIBALD PRIMROSE (1616-79), who was appointed clerk of the Privy Council by CHARLES I, and created a baronet in 1651.

Sir Archibald remained faithfully attached to his royal master during the civil wars, and was constituted, after the Restoration (1661), a Lord of Session and Lord Register, when he assumed the honorary title of Lord Carrington.

He married firstly, Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Sir James Keith, of Benholm, and granddaughter of George, 5th Earl Marischal.

Sir Archibald had acquired considerable landed property by purchase, particularly the noble barony of Barnbougle and Dalmeny, which he bought, in 1662, from John, 4th Earl of Haddington.

This gentleman had issue by his first wife,
James, pre-deceased him;
William (Sir), 2nd Baronet;
Gilbert, Major-General in the Army;
Catherine; Margaret.
Sir Archibald wedded secondly, Agnes, daughter of Sir William Gray, of Pittendrum, and had further issue,
ARCHIBALD, of whom hereafter;
Grizel; another daughter.
Sir Archibald's youngest son,

ARCHIBALD (1664-1723), one of the gentlemen of the bedchamber to Prince George of Denmark, MP for Edinburgh, 1695, was elevated to the peerage, in 1700, in the dignities of Baron Primrose and Dalmeny and Viscount Rosebery.

His lordship was further created, in 1703, Lord Dalmeny and Primrose, Viscount of Inverkeithing, and EARL OF ROSEBERY.

He wedded, about 1690, Dorothy Cressy, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
Margaret; Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

JAMES, 2nd Earl,
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Harry Ronald Neil Primrose, styled Lord Dalmeny (b 1967).

DALMENY HOUSE, South Queensferry, is the seat of the Earls of Rosebery.

It is set in parkland overlooking the Firth of Forth, just west of Edinburgh.

When Dalmeny House was completed in 1817, it marked a great departure in Scottish architecture.

Its Tudor-Gothic style, with its highly-decorated chimneys and crenellations, looked back toward fanciful 16th-century English mansions, such as Hampton Court.

The house was designed by a University friend of the 4th Earl of Rosebery, William Wilkins, who would go on to design the National Gallery in London and much of King's College, Cambridge - parts of which closely resemble Dalmeny.

With its Gothic Great Hall and corridor, its large, formal regency apartments and its sweeping views across the Firth of Forth, it is a house which combines comfort and romanticism, and which produced many imitations throughout Scotland.

Most of the principal rooms are in the Regency style, with the exception of the hammer-beam roof of the hall.

The house contains many paintings and items of furniture from both the Rosebery and Rothschild collections, as a result of the 5th Earl's 1878 marriage to Hannah, daughter and heir of Meyer de Rothschild.

Much of the French furniture and porcelain came from the family's English mansion, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, following the latter's sale in 1977.

Dalmeny also holds one of the United Kingdom's largest collections of Napoleonic memorabilia.

The house stands in a large wooded park and enjoys views across the Firth of Forth.

A public path runs along the shore, from Queensferry in the west, to Cramond in the east, although a passenger ferry across the River Almond that used to connect the path to the village of Cramond has not operated since 2000.

There is still a traditional agricultural estate of tenanted farms.

First published in December, 2013.   Rosebery arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Viscount Dungannon (2nd Creation)

This family and the noble house of HILL, Marquesses of Downshire, had a common progenitor in

THE RT HON MICHAEL HILL MP (1672-99), of Hillsborough, County Down, MP for Hillsborough, 1695-9, Privy Counsellor to WILLIAM III, and a member of both the English and Irish parliaments, who wedded, in 1690, Anne, only daughter of Sir John Trevor, Knight, of Brynkinalt, Denbighshire, Speaker of the House of Commons, and subsequently first Lord Commissioner of the Great Seal, by whom he had two sons, Trevor, created Viscount Hillsborough, founder of the house of DOWNSHIRE; and

THE RT HON ARTHUR HILL (1694-1771), of Belvoir Park, Newtownbreda, County Down, MP for Hillsborough, 1715-27, County Down, 1727-66, who inherited the estates of his maternal grandfather, Sir John Trevor, in 1762; upon which occasion he assumed the additional surname of TREVOR, and was created, in 1766, Baron Hill and VISCOUNT DUNGANNON.

His lordship espoused firstly, Anne, third daughter and co-heir of the Rt Hon Joseph Deane, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, by whom he had no issue.

He wedded secondly, in 1737, Anne, daughter and heir of Edmund Francis Stafford, of Brownstown, County Meath, and had issue,
Arthur, MP (1738-70), predeceased his father;
Anne, m 1st Earl of Mornington;
Prudence, m Charles Powell Leslie.
His lordship was succeeded by his grandson, 

ARTHUR, 2nd Viscount (1763-1837), who married, in 1795, Charlotte, eldest surviving daughter of Charles, Baron Southampton, and had issue,
ARTHUR, his successor;
Charles Henry (1801-23).
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son, 

ARTHUR, 3rd Viscount (1798-1862), who wedded, in 1821, Sophia, fourth daughter of George D'Arcy Irvine, of Castle Irvine, County Fermanagh, though the marriage was without issue.

The titles expired on the death of the 3rd Viscount in 1862.

The Dungannon estates, including Brynkinalt, passed to the latter's kinsman, Lord Edwin Hill, third son of the 3rd Marquess of Downshire, who assumed the additional surname of TREVOR and was created Baron Trevor, of Brynkinallt, Denbighshire, in 1890.

Of particular interest is the fact that Lord and Lady Dungannon had one son and two daughters, one of whom, the Hon Anne Hill-Trevor, married Garrett, 1st Earl of Mornington, by whom she had issue Richard, 1st Marquess Wellesley; and Arthur, 1st Duke of Wellington.

Of course this makes Lord Dungannon the grandfather of "The Great Duke" of Wellington; and it can be supposed that the Great Duke would have been familiar with the Belvoir demesne and spent time there during his childhood.

Below is the 1st Viscount's memorial:-

First published in February, 2010.  Dungannon arms (2nd Creation) courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 23 November 2020

Hamwood House


HUGH HAMILTON (1572-1655) settled in Lisbane, County Down, during the reign of JAMES I, and was made a denizen of Ireland, 1616.

This Hugh Hamilton married, and had issue,
John, of Ballymenoch;
ALEXANDER, of whom presently;
The second son,

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

HUGH HAMILTON (1664-1728), of Ballybredagh, County Down, who married Mary, sister of Robert Ross, of Rostrevor, County Down, and daughter of George Ross, of Portavo, by Ursula his wife, daughter of Captain Hans Hamilton, of Carnesure, and had issue (with three daughters), two sons,
The younger son,

ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1690-1768), of Knock, County Dublin, and Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, MP for Killyleagh, 1730-61, wedded Isabella, daughter of Robert Maxwell, of Finnebrogue, County Down, and had issue,
Hugh (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Ossory;
George, MP for Belfast, 1769-76;
CHARLES, of whom hereafter;
The youngest son,

CHARLES HAMILTON (1738-1818), married Elizabeth, daughter of Crewe Chetwood, of Woodbrook, Queen's County, and had issue,
CHARLES, his heir;
Robert, of Liverpool;
George, of Quebec, and Hawkesbury, Canada;
William Henry;
John, of Liverpool;
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES HAMILTON (1772-1857), of Hamwood, County Meath, who wedded, in 1801, Marianne Caroline, daughter of William Tighe MP, of Rossana, County Wicklow, by Sarah his wife, only child of Sir William Fownes Bt, of Woodstock, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
William Tighe;
Frederick John Henry Fownes;
Sarah; Mary; Caroline Elizabeth.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES WILLIAM HAMILTON JP (1802-80), of Hamwood, who espoused, in 1841, Letitia Charlotte, eldest daughter of William Henry Armstrong MP, of Mount Heaton, King's County, and had issue,
Edward Chetwood;
Arthur, of Hollybrook.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES ROBERT HAMILTON JP (1846-1913), of Hamwood, who married, in 1874, Louisa Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Richard Brooke, of Somerton, County Dublin, by his wife, the Hon Henrietta Monck, eldest daughter of 3rd Viscount Monck, and had issue,
Charles George (1875-77);
GERALD FRANCIS CHARLES, of whom hereafter;
Frederick Arthur (1880-1962);
Henry John;
Eva Henrietta; Letitia Marion; Amy Kathleen; Ethel Grace; Constance Louisa; Lilian Mary.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

GERALD FRANCIS CHARLES HAMILTON JP (1877-1961), of Hamwood, who wedded firstly, in 1911, Violet Travers, daughter of Robert Craigie Hamilton, and had issue,
Esme Violet; Elizabeth Mary.
He married secondly, in 1949, Rosamund Mary, daughter of Maurice Bauer.

Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his son,

MAJOR CHARLES ROBERT FRANCIS HAMILTON (1918-2005), of Hamwood, who wedded, in 1958, Margaret Anne Lanfear, daughter of Captain Simon Ralph Fane Spicer, and had issue,
Annabel Honor, b 1959.

HAMWOOD HOUSE, Dunboyne, County Meath, is a small Palladian house of the 1764, with a central block joined to little octagonal ‘pepper-pot’ wings by elegantly curved sweeps.

Unusually, one wing contains the main entrance, since the house (as originally built) was reputedly so cold that the family decided to place the hall door as far away from the main rooms as possible.

The removal of the front entrance from the main block creates an interesting internal arrangement with a double drawing-room, unusual in a house of this size.

There is good late-18th century decoration and an interesting family collection, including the intriguing drawings and paintings of Caroline Hamilton.

Hamwood’s builder, Charles Hamilton, acted as land agent for the Dukes of Leinster whose principal seat, Carton, is nearby; and the Duke generously gave the Hamiltons a present of the impressive fights of granite steps leading to the doors in the end pavilions.

Successive generations of the family acted as the Leinsters' agents until the present owner's husband, Charles Hamilton (1918-2005), retired in the 1970s.


MRS ANNE HAMILTON, Major Charles Hamilton's widow, died suddenly on the 4th December, 2013.

She represented the family at a function in Farmleigh House in 2012 honouring the Irish team at the 1948 Olympics in London.

A relative, Letitia Hamilton, was the only Irish medal-winner at those Games, for her painting of a scene at the Meath Hunt Point-to-Point races. 

Anne Hamilton was born Anne Spicer in Wiltshire, England. Her father, Ralph Spicer, had married Mary Graham, whose family lived at Spye Park, near Bromham, Wiltshire, since 1855.

The Grahams were originally from Lisburn in Northern Ireland, involved in the linen industry.

Anne and her siblings holidays at their grandparents’ place at Sallins every summer, and to escape the rationing and austerity England in the years following the 2nd World War, her mother moved them to Carnew in County Wicklow.

In 1958, Anne married Charles Hamilton, who had served in the 2nd World War.

He was a farm estate manager and they lived in County Galway for a period before returning to Hamwood in 1963, following the death of Charles’ father, who was the land agent at Carton House.

Charles also managed the Slane Castle estate for a period.

At Hamwood, they were involved in bloodstock breeding and a pure-bred Charolais herd.

The gardens were also a great treasure and open to the public.

In an interview for the Irish Life and Lore Collection at South Dublin Libraries, Mrs Hamilton was critical of how the Irish Land Commission had broken up large estates and the manner in which they allowed fine houses to decay.

In recent years, she continued to open the gardens and house at Dunboyne to the public.

Mrs Hamilton was survived by her son, Charles, of London, and Annabel, of Paris, and her sister in County Cork.

Her funeral service took place at St Peter’s parish church, Dunboyne, County Meath, followed by burial in the adjoining graveyard.

First published in November, 2017.  Select bibliography: Irish historic Houses Association.