Saturday, 31 July 2021

Theatre Royal, Belfast

I AM GRATEFUL TO MATTHEW LLOYD AND MARCUS PATTON OBE FOR THE USE OF SELECTED MATERIAL IN THE MUSIC HALL AND THEATRE HISTORY WEBSITE AND CENTRAL BELFAST: A HISTORICAL GAZETTEER

THE THEATRE ROYAL, at the corner of Arthur Street and Castle Lane, Belfast, had three incarnations.

It is known to have been running as early as 1793, when the first theatre on the site was built for Michael Atkins.

This first theatre was eventually rebuilt, with construction starting at the close of the season in March, 1870.


It was said to be "a mere red brick enclosure", with various unsavoury smells emanating from its interior.

During construction of the original theatre, a roadway was discovered that was thought to have been a former entrance to the Jacobean Belfast Castle.

The second theatre was opened in 1871, and played host to many well known actors of the time.

Second Theatre Royal, 1871-81

The General Manager remained J F Warden, who also operated the Grand Opera House, which opened in 1895.

The second theatre suffered a catastsophic fire in June, 1881.

Despite the fire a new theatre, the third on the site, was soon under construction and was completed just six months later, for its opening in December, 1881.

The designer of the third Theatre Royal in Belfast was the well known and respected theatre architect, C J Phipps.

Construction was carried out by H & J Martin, who would later go on to construct the Grand Opera House in 1895.

The Era newspaper printed a report on the Theatre Royal in their 1881 edition saying:
...The new theatre, although built within the same space as the late structure, is different in almost every particular ... the elevation facing Arthur-square still retains the five entrance doorways, but their designations have been changed.

The dress circle and the upper circle both enter by the three centre doorways into a large vestibule; thence the audience to the former turn to the left hand, and the latter to the right hand, up the respective staircases.

There will be no confusion or mingling of the audience to these two parts of the house, as the vestibule will be divided by a low barrier, and when the performance is over the additional doorway to the extreme right of the façade will serve as the exit from the upper circle staircase exclusively;

the corresponding doorway on the left, next to Mr Forrester's premises, being the entrance to the pit, which is entered up a few steps from the street. The gallery is entered in Castle-lane - first doorway from the angle of the façade.

Farther along Castle-lane is another wide doorway which opens directly into the refreshment saloon, underneath the pit, and will be opened at every performance as an additional exit for the pit. The stage entrance is in the old position in Castle-lane.

Along the whole of the façade in Arthur-square a covered veranda or porch has been erected of iron and glass; so that the audience waiting for the opening of the doors will be protected when the weather is wet, and those coming in carriages will not have to cross a damp pavement previous to entering the theatre.

The vestibule before referred to is level with the street, and in the wall opposite the entrances are the offices for booking seats and pay places for the dress and upper circles. A corridor in the centre leads to the acting manager's and Mr Warden's offices, and to lavatories for gentlemen.

The floors of this vestibule and the corridor are laid with marble mosaic, from Mr Burke's manufactory, at Venice. Ascending the staircase, to the left of the vestibule are the dress circle and balcony stalls, with a cloak-room on the top of the landing. The balcony stalls have six rows of seats all fitted with the architect's patent arm-chairs, with lifting seats.

This part of the theatre is arranged somewhat after the model of the Gaiety, at Dublin (also designed by Mr Phipps), with small private boxes on either side, behind the second row of seats.

The back of the circle is enclosed from the corridor by a series of elliptical arches, filled with plate-glass sashes, which can be either opened or kept closed, thereby keeping the circle warm and snug, when not entirely fall, and affording means for those standing in the corridor on a full night to both bear and see the performance.

Behind the corridor is a refreshment saloon, adjoining the cloak-room. There are two private boxes in the proscenium, also, on this level, and on the pit tier, the upper circle and the gallery tier. The front of the upper circle tier recedes about two rows of seats behind the dress circle, the front rows of which form a balcony.

The gallery tier also recedes again from the upper circle. The mode of construction is good for sound, and also prevents the well-like appearance which small theatres present when all the fronts of the various tiers are on one perpendicular plane.

The upper-circle has six rows of seats, and a spacious corridor behind for standing - and the same arrangement of refreshment saloon and cloak-room as on the tier below. The gallery, or top tier, has ten rows of seats.

It has two means of access from the two staircases above those of the dress and upper-circle, with a communicating corridor arranged between the two, so that each side of the gallery has a good entrance and exit. All the entrance staircases are made of cement concrete, and are supported at either end by brick or concrete walls, with handrails.

The stage is also separated from the auditory by a solid brick wall, carried by an arch over the proscenium, and entirely through the roof, thereby rendering the stage and audience portions of the house entirely distinct from each other; in fact, forming two separate buildings, the only communication between them being two iron doors.

Water is laid on from the high-pressure mains to several parts of the theatre, both before and behind the curtain. The gas meter and supplies are entirely distinct for the stage and auditory, so that the failure of one supply will not affect the other.

In fact, every possible means have been taken, that experience could devise, to insure both the safety and comfort of the audience.

The auditory is thus arranged:— The stage opening, which is 28ft. wide, by 31ft. high, is surrounded by a frame, richly moulded and gilded; above this an arch is formed, in the tympanum of which is painted an allegorical subject, by Ballard, representing "Apollo end the Muses."

On either side of the proscenium are private boxes, one on each of the four levels of the auditory, enclosed between Corinthian columns, richly ornamented and fluted. The three tiers rise one above the other, and the whole is surmounted by a circular ceiling, enclosed in a circular moulded cornice - very richly modelled and gilded.

The flat part of the ceiling is painted in Italian Renaissance ornament, in colours, on a pale creamy white ground. Each of the fronts of the several tiers are richly modelled in ornament of the Renaissance period, and are painted and gilded - the general tone of the ornamentation being cream white and gold.

The effect of this is enhanced by the rich colour of the wall-paper, of a warm Venetian red tone - while the hangings to the private boxes are of silk tapestry, a deep turquoise blue colour, embroidered with sprigs of flowers in colour. The whole scheme of colour has been very carefully arranged by the architect, and the paper and curtains have been specially manufactured for this theatre.

Although the holding capacity of the theatre has been only enlarged by a trifling number, yet it will look much larger and more open than the late theatre, and will be decidedly more ornamental and convenient. A very charming act-drop, painted by Mr Harford, of the St. James's and Haymarket Theatres, London, represents a classical landscape, with satin draperies enclosing it.

The whole of the new and beautiful scenery has been executed by Mr Swift, Mr Beilair, and assistants. The stage occupies its old position, and the roof over it is carried up sufficiently high to admit of the large drop scenes being taken up in one piece, without any rolling or doubling.

At the back of the stage, high up even above the second tier of flies, is the painting gallery, with two frames.

The theatre is illuminated with a powerful sunlight, with a ventilating shaft round it. Subsidiary lights are also placed at the backs of the several tiers, all under the control of the gas man at the prompter's box, and capable of being turned down simultaneously when the exigencies of the scene requires a subdued light.

The various contractors who have been engaged upon the works are as follow:— Messrs H. and J. Martin, of Belfast, for the whole of the builders' work, including stage (under the direction of Mr Owen); Messrs George Jackson and Sons, of London, for the patent fibrous plaster work of box fronts, proscenium, and ceiling; Messrs Strode and Co., for the sunlight and the special gas work for stage;

Messrs Riddel of Belfast, for the general gas-fitting; Messrs Dale have erected the limelight apparatus; Mr E. Bell has executed the whole of the decorative painting and gilding; Messrs George Smith and Co., of Glasgow, have erected the iron and glass veranda porch; Burke and Co., of London, Paris, and Venice, have laid the marble mosaic to vestibule;

Wadmen, of Bath, has manufactured the patent chairs for the dress circle; Messrs N A Campbell, of Belfast, have executed the curtains and upholstery generally in and about the theatre. Mr William Browne has been clerk of works.
Arthur Lloyd is known to have performed at the theatre in 1890, and his father in law, the Drury Lane Tragedian, T C King, appeared in the earlier one in 1858; and again in 1863, in Othello.

The third incarnation of the Theatre Royal ran as a live Theatre for just 34 years before it was demolished and replaced with a new cinema building.

The Building News carried a short piece on its demise in their August 1915 edition, saying:-
Operations have been commenced in connection with the demolition of the Theatre Royal, the site of which is to be utilised for the erection of a picture house on a large scale.

Messrs. Warden, Ltd., the owners of the Theatre Royal, intend to erect a building which will bear comparison with any other structure of the kind in the United Kingdom. The plans have been prepared by Mr Crewe, who designed the Royal Hippodrome, and the contract has been let to Messrs. H. and J. Martin, Ltd., of Belfast.

The whole of the ground floor will be devoted to stalls, with upholstered chairs, and there will be a large and well equipped circle. Accommodation will be provided for an audience of about 1,500.

It is expected that the building will be ready about Christmas.
Construction continued into the following year and the Building News carried another short article in their 1916 edition saying:-
A picture house is being built in Arthur Square, Belfast, from plans by Mr Bertie Crewe, of London. The contractors are Messrs H & J Martin, Ltd, of Ormeau Road, Belfast.
The new building opened as the Royal Cinema in the spring of 1916.

Designed by Bertie Crewe, the building is said to have resembled his Prince's Theatre in London, built some 5 years earlier, and was somewhat smaller than originally advertised, with 900 seats in its stalls and circle levels, and a café for refreshments.

The Royal Cinema continued for many years but is said to have become very run down in its later years and was eventually demolished and replaced with shops in 1961.

Today the site is occupied by Starbuck's café.

First published in July, 2013.

Friday, 30 July 2021

Ramsfort House

THE RAMS OWNED 1,813 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY WEXFORD

In the Kingdom of Hanover, on the east side of the River Seine, was the Principality of Grubenhagen, which signified a wood or forest belonging to the Gubes family.

In this country there were mines of silver, copper, and lead, belonging to the Hanoverian crown; the chief of these mines was Rammelsberg, a high mountain near the town of Goslar, in Hanover, twenty-five miles south of Wolfenbüttel.

The mines were discovered by one RAM, a hunter, whose horse's foot struck up a piece of ore in the year 972, from which circumstance Rammelsberg had its name; and the Emperor OTHO got a company of Franks from Frankenberg, who understood minerals, to refine the metal.

A branch of the family were residents of the city of Utrecht in the 15th century; and probably, at a much earlier period, one of them, François, Baron de Ram van Hagedoorn, colonel of an infantry regiment, died there in 1701, leaving two daughters.

THE place whence the English branch of this family derive latterly is Halstow, in Kent.

SIR JOHN RAM, Knight, of Halstow, Kent, living in 1442, was father of

THOMAS RAM, living in 1472, who was father of

WILLIAM RAM, living in 1503, who had issue,
FRANCIS, his heir;Thomas, Mayor of London, 1577;
Margaret.
The eldest son,

DR FRANCIS RAM (1537-1617), of Windsor, Berkshire, had by Helen his wife a large family.

Dr Ram resided subsequently at Hornchurch, near London, where a handsome monument was erected in memory of his wife and children.

One of his sons,

THE RT REV DR THOMAS RAM (1564-1634), Lord Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, born at Windsor, Berkshire, educated at Eton College, and at King's College, Cambridge, whence, having taken the degree of Master of Arts, he went to Ireland as Chaplain to Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex, in 1599.

The next year he was appointed Dean, first of Cork, and then of Ferns.

Dr Ram was consecrated Lord Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, 1605.

On the plantation of Wexford, 1615, by JAMES I, he obtained a grant of lands, which descended to his children.

He married firstly, Jane Gilford, widow of Mr Thompson, and had issue,
Thomas (Very Rev), Dean of Ferns, dsp;
Grace; Susan; Jane; Anne.
The Bishop wedded secondly, Anne, daughter of Robert Bowen, of Ballyadams, Queen's County, and had further issue,
Robert (Rev);
ABEL, of whom hereafter;
Henry;
Elizabeth; Grace.
His lordship died of apoplexy in Dublin, 1634, at 70 years of age, during the session of a Convocation there, whence his body was conveyed to Gorey, County Wexford, and deposited in a "fair marble tomb in a chapel built by himself."

He also built the bishop's house at Old Leighlin, and other structures at such places where he received any profits, for the benefit of his successors, and recovered the manor of Fethard to the see of Ferns.

His third son,

ABEL RAM, of Ramsfort and Clonattin, succeeded to the estates and espoused Eleanor, daughter of the Rt Rev Dr George Andrews, Lord Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, and had issue,
ABEL, his heir;
Andrew;
Jane; Frideswide; Anne.
Mr Ram died in 1676, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ABEL RAM, of Ramsfort and Clonattin, High Sheriff of Dublin City, 1673, Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1684, who married, in 1667, Eleanor, daughter of Stephen Palmer, of Dublin, and had issue,
ABEL, his heir;
Stephen;
George;
Joshua;
Andrew;
Samuel;
Thomas;
Ellinor; Elizabeth; Rebecca; Cassandra; Anne.
Sir Abel died in 1692. His fifth son,

ANDREW RAM, of Ramsfort, MP for Duleek, 1692-8, married and had issue,
ABEL, his heir;
Humphreys, MP, father of STEPHEN;
Andrew, MP for County Wexford, 1755-60, Duleek, 1761-90;
Mr Ram died in 1698, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ABEL RAM (1669-1740), of Ramsfort, MP for Gorey, 1692-1740, who dying without issue, bequeathed by his will the Clonattin portion of his estates to his brother, ANDREW, and the Ramsfort portion to his nephew,

STEPHEN RAM (1744-1821), of Ramsfort, MP for Gorey, 1764-90, who married, in 1774, the Lady Charlotte Stopford, sixth daughter of James, 1st Earl of Courtown, and was father of

ABEL RAM (c1775-1832), of Ramsfort, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1829, who wedded, in 1818, Eleanor Sarah, only daughter of Jerome Knapp, of Charlton House, Berkshire, and was father of

STEPHEN RAM DL (1819-99), of Ramsfort, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1842, who espoused, in 1839, Mary Christian, daughter of James Archibald Casamajor, Madras CS, and had issue (with several daughters),
Stephen James, died unmarried;
Edmund Arthur, dsp;
Abel Humphrey, dsp;
ARTHUR ARCHIBALD, of whom we treat.
The youngest son,

ARTHUR ARCHIBALD RAM (1852-1905), married, in 1899, Blanche Mary, eldest daughter of Arthur Loftus Tottenham, of Glenfarne Hall, County Leitrim, and had an only child, MARY CHRISTIANA, born in 1902.


RAMSFORT HOUSE, the magnificent mansion built by Stephen Ram MP to the design of George Semple, was bombarded and burnt during the Irish rebellion of 1798.

It was replaced by an early, two-storey 19th century house with two three-sided bows and an eaved roof.

The second house was erected on a different site.


At some later stage in the 1800s a wing was added in Francois Premier style.

Sir George Errington, 1st (and last) Baronet, MP for Longford, 1874-9, purchased Ramsfort thereafter and another extension was added, with stepped curvilinear gables, mullioned windows, an arcade surmounted on piers and columns along the ground floor.

This final addition terminated with a corner turret, spire, and a wooden belvedere.

A small chapel in the Romanesque-Italianate style was built in the grounds at the lake.

Ramsfort operated as a school from the early 1930s until 1983, when it was purchased by the Phelan family.

First published in August, 2018.

Lost Salmon of the Erne

River Erne at Belleek, County Fermanagh


THE LOST SALMON OF THE RIVER ERNE


"FOR six months of the year Lough Erne is in County Fermanagh and for the other six months County Fermanagh is in Lough Erne" is an old saying.

For thousands of years, possibly all the way back to the last Ice Age, the River Erne has run from its source, 653 feet above sea-level in County Cavan, for more than 64 miles to the Atlantic Ocean at Ballyshannon, County Donegal.

It spreads out to form the Upper Lough (closer to Dublin) and the Lower Lough (closer to God), south and north respectively of Enniskillen.

Its total water catchment area is 1,669 square miles.

Before its first drainage scheme was introduced in the 1840s some 18,000 acres of farmland were flooded every winter, reducing to 4,000 acres as recently as 1960. 

James Greatorex wrote in 1834 that,
Lough Erne abounds in fish of many kinds, affording a cheap and nutritious article of diet to the poor peasantry, inhabiting the shores of the lough and islands – salmon, trout, pike, perch, eels, bream and roach are in great dominance... 
The pike reach very great size, having been seen in Lisnakea weighing 40 lbs. 
Eels are often caught weighing 4 lbs. and bream of like weight. The perch and roach rarely exceed 1 lb. 
These fish are caught by line and net in vast quantities and during the season furnish the principal item of diet to the peasants living in the vicinity of the lake.
The Irish Times reported in 1884 that, after nine years’ work at a cost of £211,823, the largest set of gates in the world had been built across the River Erne at Belleek, and about 4 miles of the river above Belleek had been dredged and canalised, destroying many well-known salmon ‘throws’.

It wrote that,
Fears are expressed that the present drainage to the Erne will destroy the fisheries. Already the sport has fallen off because of dredging. 
At the same time one gentleman last week landed four salmon averaging 15 lbs….Already regular visitors from England have ceased to come to their favourite haunts and the sport is sure to be deteriorating. 
The price of fishing has hitherto been £4 per week for each rod, having the right to keep two fish… 
In 1881, 53 anglers in 151 weeks killed no fewer than 904 salmon, weighing 8,300 lbs. 
Last year Mr. Bates, a famous angler, caught 114 salmon weighing 1,100 lbs. in 5 weeks. The average angled fish is 9 lbs. 
The biggest fish ever taken was 52 lbs.
At the same time as the river was being fished by rod and line, nets were being used in the river at Ballyshannon.

On one day in June, 1883, 800 salmon were netted.

In the pool below the Assaroe Falls, the last waterfall in the river where fish would have waited for enough flood water to swim and jump up and over the falls, 241 fish were captured in a single draw of the net. 

A land surveyor named Sidney Wilkinson had come over from England in 1867 and spent the next 50 years living and working in the north-west of Ireland.

He developed an enthusiasm for salmon fishing, became a friend of the MARQUESS OF ELY (who owned much of the land south of Lower Lough Erne), and married Miss Alice Munn of Cliff House, Belleek (whose family owned fishing rights on the River Erne between Belleek and Ballyshannon).

Cliff House and Salmon Throw on the River Erne, Belleek

In his privately published book Sport in Ireland he records that on one day in 1881, he caught on the Erne five salmon weighing respectively 25 lbs., 16 lbs., 14 lbs., 13 lbs. and 12 lbs.

His great regret in life was that he never landed a fish of more than 25 lbs. weight, although several times he had much larger salmon on his line which escaped by tearing away from the hook, breaking the leader or, once, a knot at the fly came undone as an estimated 40 lb. fish was about to be gaffed. 

Later in that same year, he fished the streams above Cathaleen's Fall in Ballyshannon for two days, hooked 18 salmon and landed 13 of them weighing from 14 lbs. to 25 lbs.

He wrote "I never saw so many fish; they must have literally paved the bottom of the river below the bridge at Ballyshannon."

Wilkinson wrote of the drainage schemes on the Erne that,
No doubt the farmers … have benefited, but there is no room for any doubt whatever as to the harm it did to the angling between Roscor and Belleek. 
On that splendid stretch of water all the fords were cut away and a canal made, and places where I have killed fish are now dry land! 
Well, one must only be thankful that one knew this glorious river before the angling catastrophe took place.
Although the Erne lost a lot of its finest fishing to the 1880s drainage scheme, it survived as a salmon river.

From the 1890s onward, salmon continued to run in good numbers, the net fishery continued to take a large annual catch and there was excellent fly-fishing to be had on the eight miles between Belleek and Ballyshannon.

Augustus Grimble, writing in 1903, thought it was still the finest summer salmon fishery in the United Kingdom.

There were eight separate beats from Belleek Gates to Ballyshannon, and these were fished in the mornings in rotation, with rods free to go where they wished after 1pm with fierce competition for the best ‘throws’.

Written in the 1920s, The Angler’s Guide To The Irish Fisheries by Joseph Adams describes fishing the Erne’s Ballyshannon pools, probably the only fishing available to him as a casual visitor.

He caught the first spring salmon of the year, a fish of over 16 pounds in weight, which took 95 minutes to land: 
A beautiful fish with small head and deep shoulders, the sea parasites clinging to the silver sides … Spring salmon differ from grilse (i.e. one sea-winter fish) in the greater freedom with which they take the fly and their indomitable strength as fighters.
The following day he landed another 16 pound fish, again after a 95-minute fight, and on the third day he caught another fish: "I wandered down the rough bank seaward, wondering greatly at the enormous force of water that in a sharp inclined plane rushed madly down the descent and then plunged madly over the Assaroe Falls".

He cast his fly into the torrent and a salmon took it: "I felt as if I were holding a racehorse that had taken the bit in his teeth."

The fight up and down the rocky pool with water falls at either end lasted 70 minutes.

When the fish was landed it was found that the fly was in a bit of gristle protruding from the salmon’s mouth and it was moments from getting off.

One of the pleasures of reading the Angler’s Guide To The Irish Fisheries almost one hundred years after its publication is that, where rivers and loughs are substantially unchanged, one can recognise the descriptions of the pools and even experience taking a fish in the same piece of water.

However, the Erne has been changed drastically and no part of the Guide is still relevant.

In the late 1940s a hydro-electric system with twin dams below Belleek and above Ballyshannon was built, and the eight miles of salmon fishing became two newly-created lakes which, in the words of the fishing writer Colin Laurie McKelvie in 1987, "eventually combined to form what is now the dreary and virtually salmon-less Lough Assaroe…"

The Irish Government’s official Angling Guide, published in 1948, stated that “It is impossible at present to say what angling facilities these lakes are likely to afford”…History has provided the answer… the fabulous Erne salmon fishery had been wiped out."

All modern salmon fishers dream of the days when rivers which ran into the North Atlantic ocean were full of silver salmon, making their way back to the gravel beds where they were bred; before in-shore trawlers fished for the sand-eels which the young salmon feed on before their journey out to the deep ocean; before deep-sea trawlers off Greenland, using sonar, found the rich feeding grounds where some fish spent a winter before coming back as grilse of about 7 pounds weight, and others spent many years growing fat and strong, reaching 52 pounds in weight for one Erne salmon; before pollution; before climate change; before estuary netting; before water extraction; and before hydro-electric schemes destroyed their Eden.

Fishermen have often complained about the present and longed-for times past, but modern environmental conditions would have reduced the Erne’s salmon stock in any event.

Salmon are now so scarce in the rivers of Ireland that killing fish is limited where it is not banned.

The Erne would likely have suffered similar losses, but on nothing like the scale caused by the "canalisation" of the river between Roscor and Belleek in the 1880s; and the destruction of the surviving salmon fishery between Belleek and Ballyshannon, caused by the hydro-electric scheme in the 1940s.

This essay was written by a good friend of this blog, who wishes to remain anonymous.

First published in July, 2019.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Armagh: III

Primate's Chapel, Armagh Palace

I paid a visit to the City of Armagh in May, 2013.

Arriving at the main entrance to St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral in the city of Armagh, I strode up the steep hill where, at the summit, there stands augustly and loftily that great cathedral church with its twin spires, seat of many Cardinal Archbishops of Armagh.


There was a wedding taking place inside, so I bided my time by wandering round the cathedral, past Ara Coeli, the official residence of the Catholic Primate.

Ara Coeli is Latin, incidentally.

When the wedding ceremony ended, I walked in to the cathedral, an impressive church dating from about 1840, though not completed until the first years of the 20th century.

Former cardinals' galeros are suspended from the ceiling in the aisles.

Galero

THENCE I ambled on to English Street, past the Charlemont Arms Hotel and, a mere few yards further along, the De Averell guest-house.

Back at The Mall, where I'd parked the two-seater, I stopped to look at the court-house.

The old entrance posts of THE PAVILION, erstwhile home of the Lord Armaghdale, still exist.

The Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum, located at the Sovereign's House, was open; so I spent about thirty minutes there.

They have two Victoria Crosses and Field-Marshal Sir Gerald Templer's uniform is on display, as Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment.


I drove to the Palace Demesne, well worth a visit.

I've already written about the Palace, official residence of the Church of Ireland Archbishops of Armagh and Primates of All Ireland from 1770 until 1975.


The archiepiscopal arms of Primate Robinson (later 1ST BARON ROKEBY) adorn the entrance front, above the porch.

The private primatial chapel is somewhat dwarfed by its close proximity to the Palace, though this wasn't always the case, since the Palace was originally two storeys in height.

These edifices are austere, though stately, noble and dignified; apt descriptions for archiepiscopal properties.

That concluded my visit to the city of Armagh, though I hope to revisit the city and county during the summer.

First published in May, 2013.

The Hippodrome

The block between Grosvenor Road and Glengall Street, Belfast, was originally a terrace of five-storey houses of ca 1835.

The terrace was demolished in 1905 to make way for Mr Crewe's new theatre, The Hippodrome.

The Royal Hippodrome theatre (above), at the beginning of Great Victoria Street, stood next to the Grand Opera House.

It suffered an unsympathetic renovation in 1960, when much of the façade was altered.

The towers were lopped off and replaced by the hideous "face-lift" shown below.


It was subsequently renamed the Odeon cinema.

Its name changed, again, in 1974 to become the New Vic cinema.


The former Hippodrome was finally demolished in 1998 to make way for a new hotel, the Fitzwilliam Hotel, and an extension to the opera house.

First published in July, 2013.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Clonyn Castle

THE EARLS OF WESTMEATH WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WESTMEATH, WITH 9,783 ACRES

The noble family of NUGENT was settled in Ireland since the subjugation of that country by HENRY II.

Its founder,

SIR GILBERT DE NUGENT, originally from the Nogent-le-Rotrou district in France, was one of the knights who, in 1171, accompanied Hugh de Lacy in the expedition to Ireland, having married Rosa, the sister of the said Hugh, obtained thereby the barony of Delvin; but, his sons predeceasing him, he was succeeded at his decease by his brother,

RICHARD NUGENT, whose only daughter and heiress carried the barony of Delvin into the family of Johns, or Jones, into which she married, and it so remained until brought back by the intermarriage of

SIR WILLIAM FITZRICHARD NUGENT, 1ST BARON DELVIN, of Balrath (descended from Christopher Nugent, third brother of  Sir Gilbert), with Catherine, daughter and heiress of John FitzJones, Baron Delvin.

Sir William was elected Sheriff of Meath, 1401, in which office he was confirmed by the King for one year, and again in 1402.

He was succeeded at his decease, ca 1414, by his eldest son,

RICHARD, 2nd Baron; who, in consequence of his services and expenses in the King's wars, to the impoverishment of his fortune, had an order, dated at Trim, 1428, to receive twenty marks out of the exchequer.

He wedded Catherine, daughter of Thomas Drake, sister and heiress of Nicholas Drake, of Drakerath, County Meath.

His lordship died in 1475, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHRISTOPHER, 3rd Baron, who died ca 1483, and was succeeded by his son and heir,

RICHARD, 4th Baron, who had summonses to Parliament in 1486, 1490, and 1493, and was constituted by the Lords Justices and Council, in 1496, commander and leader-in-chief of all the forces destined for the defence of counties Dublin, Meath, Kildare, and Louth.

His lordship was subsequently summoned to parliament in 1498, but failing to appear, he was fined forty shillings for non-attendance.

In 1504, Lord Delvin accompanied the Earl of Kildare to the famous battle of Knockdoe, in Connaught, and was the first to throw a spear into the ranks of the Irish, by which he chanced to kill one of the Burkes.

In 1527, he was nominated Lord Deputy of Ireland, and conducted the public affairs with integrity and honour, until treacherously taken prisoner by O'Connor Faly.

That native chieftain having made inroads upon the confines of the Pale, in 1528, Lord Delvin ordered the detention of a yearly rent due to him out of certain carucates of lands in County Meath; which procedure led to a conference at Rathyn Castle, belonging to Sir William Darcy, when by stratagem the Lord Deputy was seized and detained prisoner, many of his attendants being slain, wounded, and taken.

Walter Wellesley, of Dangan Castle, and Sir Walter Delahyde, of Moyclare, were subsequently deputed to expostulate with O'Connor Faly, and to procure his lordship's liberation, but ineffectually, when another Lord Deputy was appointed to administer the government, and Lord Delvin remained in confinement until O'Connor's pension was restored.

His lordship wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Howth, and had two sons,
CHRISTOPHER;
THOMAS, of Carlanstown, ancestor of the
EARLS NUGENT.
His lordship died in 1538, and was succeeded by his son,

RICHARD, 5th Baron (1523-59), father of

CHRISTOPHER, 6th Baron (1544-1602), was sent prisoner to London, 1580, and committed to the Tower, on suspicion of holding correspondence with the rebels of Leinster; but his innocence being soon afterwards fully established, he returned to Ireland, and was present in Sir John Perrot's parliament, in 1585.

In 1588, he obtained a grant of Fore Abbey, County Westmeath; and being, in 1593, appointed by commission leader of the forces raised in County Westmeath at the general hosting on the Hill of Tara, he brought, with the Nugents, his kinsmen, twenty horsemen there; and so acceptable were his services to ELIZABETH I that, by privy seal, 1597, Her Majesty ordered him a grant in fee farm of so many manors and forfeited lands in counties Cavan and Longford at his election as should amount to the crown rent of £100 per annum.

But this grant not having been executed during his life, on account of the troubles in Ireland, JAMES I, in 1603, ordered £60 in lands, per annum, to be granted to his widow and son.

His lordship espoused Mary, daughter of Gerald, 11th Earl of Kildare, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD, 7th Baron (1583-1642), who was arrested in 1607, and committed by the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Arthur Chichester, to Dublin Castle, upon a charge of high treason, being concerned in a conspiracy with the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, and others, to surprise Dublin Castle, cut off the Lord Deputy and Council, dissolve the state, and set up a government of their own.

His lordship effected, however, his escape, by the assistance of his servant, and was subsequently proclaimed a traitor.

Surrendering in the following year, he obtained a pardon under the Great Seal (1608), and so entirely re-established himself in a few years in royal favour; that he was created, in 1621, EARL OF WESTMEATH.

He wedded Jenet, daughter of Christopher, 9th Baron Killeen; and dying in 1642, was succeeded by his grandson,

RICHARD, 2nd Earl (1621-84), only son of Christopher, Lord Delvin, who pre-deceased his father, by Anne, eldest daughter of Randal, 1st Earl of Antrim.

His lordship espoused Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Nugent Bt, of Moyrath, and had, with junior issue,
CHRISTOPHER, father of RICHARD, 3rd Earl;
Thomas, 1st Baron Nugent of Riverston;
Anne; Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his grandson,

RICHARD, 3rd Earl, who, adopting a religious life, became a friar of the Order of Capuchins; and dying in 1714, at Wassey, in a convent of his order, the honours devolved upon his brother,

THOMAS, 4th Earl (1669-1752); who had a colonel's command in the army of JAMES II, and was outlawed in consequence in 1691; but being one of the hostages exchanged for the observance of the articles of Limerick, the outlawry was reversed, and he was restored to his estates and honours.

His lordship wedded Margaret, only daughter of John, 1st Baron Bellew of Duleek, by whom he had issue,
Christopher, Lord Delvin, dsp;
John, dsp;
Katherine; Mary.
His lordship died at the advanced age of 96, and was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN, 5th Earl (1671-1754), a major-general in the army, who married Marguerite Jeanne, daughter of Count Charles Molza, of Modena, Italy, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
James;
John;
Richard;
Edward;
Marie Charlotte; Francois Christine.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS, 6th Earl (1714-92), who conformed to the established church, and wedded firstly, in 1742, Mary, only daughter and heiress of Walter Durand Stapleton, by whom he had an only son, Richard, Lord Delvin, who fell in a duel in 1761.

He espoused secondly, in 1756, Catherine, daughter and co-heiress of Henry White, of Pichfordstown, County Kildare, and had further issue,
Thomas, Lord Delvin, died young;
GEORGE FREDERICK, his successor;
Henry;
Catharine.
His lordship, a founder Knight of the Order of St Patrick, 1783, was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

GEORGE FREDERICK, 7th Earl (1760-1814), who wedded firstly, in 1784, Maryanne, eldest daughter of Major James St John Jeffries, of Blarney Castle, County Cork, and niece of John, 1st Earl of Clare, LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR OF IRELAND, and had issue, and had issue,
GEORGE THOMAS JOHN, his successor.
His lordship espoused secondly, in 1797, the Lady Elizabeth Emily Moore, daughter of Charles, 1st Marquess of Drogheda, and had further issue,
Robert Seymour;
Thomas Hugh;
Elizabeth Emily; Catherine Anne; Mary Frances.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE THOMAS JOHN, 8th Earl (1785-1871), who wedded, in 1812, the Lady Emily Anne Bennet Elizabeth Cecil, second daughter of James, 1st Marquess of Salisbury, and had issue,
William Henry Wellington Brydges (1818-19);
Rosa Emily Mary Anne.
His lordship, Lord-Lieutenant of County Westmeath, Colonel, Westmeath Militia, was advanced to the dignity of a marquessate, in 1822, as MARQUESS OF WESTMEATH.

He died without surviving male issue, when the marquessate expired.

The Earldom, however, reverted to his kinsman,

ANTHONY FRANCIS NUGENT, as 9th Earl.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Sean Charles Weston Nugent, styled Lord Delvin.

Clonyn Castle (Image: The Times)


CLONYN CASTLE, also known as Delvin Castle, is situated in Delvin, County Westmeath.

The first castle (now in ruins) is believed to have been built in 1181 by Hugh de Lacy the Norman, Lord of Meath for his brother-in-law, Sir Gilbert de Nugent.

Sir Gilbert, originally from the Nogent-le-Rotrou area in France, came to Ireland with Hugh de Lacy in 1171 and settled on some land in Delvin and was granted the title Baron of Delvin.

The ruins of Nugent Castle, burnt when Cromwell's army approached, remain near the centre of the city.


Clonyn Castle is a square, symmetrical, two-storey, 19th century castle of cut limestone.

It has four tall, round corner towers.

The interior has a large two-storey hall with gallery and enormous arcading.

In 1639 Richard Nugent, 1st Earl of Westmeath, build another more recent castle, situated on the dominating ground, and now overlooking Delvin urbanised area today, may be referred to as either Delvin or Clonyn Castle.


Following the death of the 8th Earl and 1st and last Marquess of Westmeath in 1871, Clonyn passed to his only surviving child Lady Rosa, wife of the 1st Lord Greville.

After the 2nd World War, the castle served briefly as a home for 97 Jewish children, most of them orphans of the Holocaust.

A public golf course lies behind the more recent castle, 500 yards from Delvin centre.

First published in July, 2012.    Westmeath arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Donard Spa House

Click to Enlarge

The Picturesque Handbook To Carlingford Bay, published in 1846, is dedicated to HRH Prince Albert, Patron of Carlingford Lough Regatta.

It contains intriguing information about Lord Annesley's "maritime residence", DONARD LODGE, and its surrounding demesne:-

"THE EYE is wearied with the gorgeous display of commingled beauties lavished around by Nature and Art."

"This great range of mountains, upon whose chief we stand, extend their domain from the bay of Dundrum, westward, to the bay of Carlingford, about fourteen miles in length and eleven in breadth; and are principally composed of granite, flanked by greenstone, hornblende, and the slate formations."

"About half a mile above Newcastle, on the side of Slieve Donard, is the celebrated Spa, of whose waters we partook rather freely, and paid the penalty of our temerity in a night's severe sickness."


"Descending from the Spa House, we pass Donard Lodge, the picturesque seat of the young [4th] Earl Annesley, and of his mother, the Countess Annesley [née Priscilla Cecilia Moore]; a spot of rarest charms, which wealth and taste have converted, as with an enchanter's wand, from a sterile waste, into an Eden of perpetual beauty."

"At the extremity of the delicious gardens in front of the Lodge, which slope gently down towards the sea, we enter the small sea-port and romantic, healthful bathing residence of Newcastle."

First published in July, 2019.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Gurteen Le Poer

THE LE POERS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WATERFORD, WITH 13,448 ACRES

This family was founded by SIR ROBERT LE POER, Knight, Marshal and Lord of Waterford in 1179.

In 1177 he was joined in commission with Hugh de Lacy in the government of Ireland, and from him have descended the Barons of Donoyle, and the Lords Power of Curraghmore.

SIR RICHARD POWER, Knight, of Curraghmore, County Waterford, Sheriff of the county, 1535, whose ancestors had been summoned to attend Parliament as feudal barons, was created, by patent, in 1535, Baron Poer or Power, of Curraghmore, County Waterford.

He married the Lady Katherine Butler, daughter of Piers, 8th Earl of Ormonde, and had issue,
Thomas, d 1564;
PIERS, his successor;
JOHN, 3rd Baron;
Katherine; Ellice; Margaret; Ellen.
His lordship died ca 1538, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

PIERS, 2nd Baron (c1526-45), a minor at his father's death, and granted in ward to James, 9th Earl of Ormonde, in 1540.

He took part in the siege of Boulogne, and died of his wounds at Calais, unmarried, in 1545.

His lordship was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN, 3rd Baron (c1529-92), a minor, who married the Lady Elinor FitzGerald, daughter of James, 15th Earl of Desmond, and had, with three younger sons,
RICHARD, his successor;
Piers.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD, 4th Baron (1550-1607), who espoused Katherine, daughter of James, Viscount Buttevant, and had issue,
JOHN, killed by "The White Knight"; father of 5th Baron;
Piers;
Thomas;
Edmond.
His lordship was succeeded by his grandson,

JOHN, 5th Baron (c1599-1661), who wedded Ruth, daughter of Robert Phypoe, of St Mary's Abbey, Dublin, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
David;
John;
Piers;
Eleanor; Katherine.
His lordship was excused from transplantation, 1654, at the hands of CROMWELL, as he was bereft of reason, and had been so for twenty years.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD, 6th Baron (1630-90), who was created, in 1673, Viscount Decies and EARL OF TYRONE (2nd creation).

He married, in 1654, the Lady Dorothy Annesley, daughter of Arthur, 1st Earl of Anglesey, by whom (who was buried in Waterford Cathedral) he had issue,
Arthur;
JOHN, his successor, 7th Baron & 2nd Earl;
JAMES, 8th Baron & 3rd Earl.
His lordship, 1st Earl of Tyrone (2nd creation), was imprisoned in the Tower of London, as a Jacobite, where he died in 1690, and was buried at Farnborough, Hampshire, when he was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 7th Baron and 2nd Earl (c1665-93), who died unmarried in Dublin, and who was buried at Carrick-on-Suir, when he was succeeded by his brother,

JAMES, 8th Baron and 3rd Earl (1667-1704), who wedded Anne, daughter of Andrew Rickards, of Dangan Spidoge, County Kilkenny, by whom he had an only daughter,

THE LADY KATHERINE POWER, who espoused, in 1717, SIR MARCUS BERESFORD Bt, of Coleraine, and brought her husband the Curraghmore estates.

Her ladyship died in 1769.

Sir Marcus (1694-1763), ancestor of the Marquess of Waterford, was created, in 1746, EARL OF TYRONE (3rd creation).

Lord Power, 3rd Earl of Tyrone, died without male issue in 1704, when his earldom and viscountcy became extinct; but his barony of POWER, of Curraghmore, reverted to his heir male,

JOHN, de jure 9th Baron Power, who, being a colonel in the army of JAMES II, and attainted and outlawed on account of the rebellion in 1688, could not take his seat, but he was allowed a pension of £300 per annum by the Crown.

He died in Paris, 1725, and left, with two daughters, Charlotte and Clare, an only son,

HENRY, 10th Baron, but for the attainders of his father and grandfather.

His lordship took out administration to his father in 1725, and petitioned the Duke of Bolton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, for the Curraghmore estate, as heir male, upon which petition the Lords Stanhope and Harrington made a favourable report to His Grace, but the petition never came to a hearing.

He died intestate and unmarried in 1742, and was buried at St Matthew's Church, Irishtown, Dublin.

Administration was granted to his sisters in 1743.

Upon his death the whole male descendants of Richard, 4th Baron, became extinct, and the representation of the 1st Baron Power devolved on the heir male of Piers Power, of Rathgormuck, the brother of the 4th Baron,

JOHN POWER, of Gurteen, County Waterford, and of Grange, County Galway,
Served in France under his maternal uncle, Colonel John Power, 9th Baron Power, and on his return to Ireland he wedded, in 1703, Mary, daughter and co-heir of Richard Power, of Ballydrimney, County Galway, at the request of his kinsman, he being the next relation in blood of the male line.
By this lady he had five daughters,
Helen;
Mary;
Bridget;
Katherine;
Elizabeth.
Mr Power died at Grange in 1743, and was succeeded by his brother,

WILLIAM POWER (FitzEdmond), of Gurteen, who died without an heir at Gurteen, 1755, and was buried at Kilsheelan.

He was succeeded by his nephew,

EDMOND POWER, of Gurteen, who espoused, in 1739, his cousin Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of John Power (FitzEdmond), of Gurteen, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
John;
James;
Richard;
Elizabeth; Katherine.
Mr Power was succeeded by his son and heir,

WILLIAM POWER (1745-1813), of Gurteen, who married, in 1765, Mary, daughter of Captain Walter Delamar.

*****

JAMES succeeded, 1755, as de jure 13th Baron La Poer.

His great-grandson,

EDMOND, 16th Baron (1775-1830), of Gurteen, 8th Light Dragoons (later 8th Hussars), fought in the Flanders Campaign, under the Duke of York.

His second son,

JOHN WILLIAM, 17th Baron, JP DL (1816-51), MP for County Waterford, 1837-40; Dungarvan, 1837, High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1841, was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDMOND JAMES, 18th Baron, JP (1841-1915), MP for Waterford, 1866-73. was created Count de la Poer [Papal States] in 1864.

The Count was High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1879, Private Chamberlain to HH Pope Pius IX, HM Lord-Lieutenant for the County and City of Waterford, 1909.

His second son,

JOHN WILLIAM RIVALLON JP, 19th Baron and 2nd Count (1882-1939), 4th Battalion, Leinster Regiment, High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1913.

In 1922, he claimed the barony of Le Poer and Curraghmore.

The Committee of Privileges in the House of Lords decided that, but for the attainder of John Power in 1691, the claim had been established.

Mr de la Poer was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Waterford, from 1915 until 1922.

His eldest son,

EDMOND ROBERT ARNOLD, 20th Baron, TD, 3rd Count, was commissioned, in 1936, in the London Irish Rifles, and fought in the 2nd World War.

He succeeded as 20th Baron le Power and Coroghmore in 1939; Captain, Royal Ulster Rifles; awarded the Territorial Decoration; was an engineer.]

He lived in 1976 at Gurteen.

In 1998, the world-renowned artist, painter and photographer Gottfried Helnwein purchased Gurteen House, where he presently lives with his family.



GURTEEN LE POER, near Kilsheelan, County Waterford, is a large Tudor-Baronial house of great importance, which retains its original form and massing together with important salient features and materials, both to the exterior and to the interior.


Built in 1866 to designs prepared by Samuel Roberts for Edmond, 1st Count de la Poer, the architectural quality of the house is enhanced by the complex arrangement of gables, towers and turrets, all of which enliven the skyline.


The construction in limestone ashlar attests to high quality stone work, which is particularly evident in the fine detailing throughout.


A group of gateways to the grounds enhances the artistic design quality of the site, while a garden turret contributes to ornamental quality of the battlemented enclosure, itself augmenting the medieval tone of the grounds.


The house is of additional importance in the locality on account of its associations with the de la Poer family.

The main block is massive, with a lower service wing to one side.

The garden front has the same grouping of gables and three-sided bows, with a great tower in the entrance front.

The interior of Gurteen is commodious and agreeable, the centre boasting a galleried top-lit great hall, divided by a screen of Gothic arches.


Perhaps one of the most notable rooms in the house is the dining-room, said to contain one of the most perfect Victorian-Baronial interiors in Ireland.

The chimney-piece, of carved oak, is most exquisite with its heraldic angels holdings shields of the family arms, and its head of St Hubert's Stag - the family crest - complete with antlers and crucifix, mounted atop the mantel-shelf like a trophy.

First published in November, 2012.   Colour photographs by kind permission of Gottfried Helnwein.

Armagh: II

Inside Armagh (Anglican) Cathedral, the staff pointed out the stained-glass window over the West Door, which contains the armorial bearings of principal donors during the great 1834 restoration of the building, viz.

  • 1st Earl O'Neill KP PC (1779-1841)
  • Sir Thomas Molyneux Bt
  • Samuel Blacker
  • Maxwell Close
  • James Wood 
  • Elias Elsler
  • Thomas Keers
  • Roger Hall
  • R Livingstone
  • Sir William Verner Bt MP

The 1st Earl O'Neill, to the best of my knowledge, was not a landowner in County Armagh; whereas the others were.

Could Lord O'Neill's act of beneficence have been a form of atonement?

West Door Windows (Image: Timothy Ferres, 2013)

In 1566, Shane O'Neill (c1530-67) ‘utterly destroyed the Cathedral by fire, lest the English should again lodge in it’.

In 1641 it again became a target for the O'Neills, when the cathedral was burnt down by Sir Phelim O'Neill (c1604-53).

I was made aware of an anomaly in the North-west Window, viz. an anatomical error in the glass, whereby the right leg of the boy in the central light terminates in a left foot.

From the Cathedral, I walked the very short distance ~ about one minute ~ to a little museum, Number 5 Vicars' Hill.
Vicars' Hill is a terrace of houses formerly occupied by cathedral choir-men and clergy widows. Numbers 1-4 were built by Archbishop Boulter in 1724; the rest were constructed by Archbishop Robinson.

5 Vicars’ Hill was built in 1772 as the Diocesan Registry to hold records for the Church of Ireland and Armagh diocese, its octagonal rooms contained many public as well as Church records.

While the diocesan records are no longer retained in the building, some examples are on display, with ancient coins, gems, significant prints, early Christian artefacts and other collections and curiosities from Armagh Public Library.

The deceptively large building, which resembles a modest dwelling from the outside, has a fascinating interior and retains many of its original features.
I enjoyed a lengthy chat with the curator, reminiscing about such Primates as Archbishop Simms, the last prelate to reside at Armagh Palace.

Rather conveniently, when the museum closed at 1pm, I walked next door to number four, a charming little restaurant and tearoom called One Eighty on the Hill.

On perusal of the menu, I opted for the smoked salmon Caesar salad and a pot of tea.

The young staff here were lovely ~ most attentive and courteous.

Whilst waiting, the noble eye found itself gazing upwards, to the quirky crockery light fitting.


My salad was very good.

The tea arrived in an enormous pot, which must have held about two pints.

I actually had trouble lifting it with one hand, having to support the weight by placing a few fingers on the spout!

Having spent a delightful forty minutes at One Eighty on the Hill, I ventured out into the sunshine and ambled down the hill, past Church House and the Library.

ARMAGH ROBINSON LIBRARY, the oldest library in Northern Ireland, was founded in 1771 by Primate Robinson as part of his plans to establish a university and to improve Armagh City.

The 1773 ‘Act for settling and preserving the Publick Library in Armagh for ever’ established the Library and its name.

First published in May, 2013.

Monday, 26 July 2021

Richmond Lodge

Richmond ca 1832, by E K Proctor

RICHMOND LODGE, Knocknagoney, County Down, was a large, two-storey, late Georgian residence.

It had octagonal bays at either end and a central porch.

The house stood in its own grounds comprising 24 acres, close to the location of the present Knocknagoney housing estate.

It was said to have been built ca 1798. 

The first known occupant of Richmond Lodge was FRANCIS TURNLY (1765-1845), son of Francis Turnly JP, of Downpatrick, County Down, who had leased it or the land from David McCANCE about 1800.

Turnly lived at Richmond Lodge in 1824.

The family also owned ROCKPORT HOUSE.

A Drawing of Richmond Lodge by the Rev J McConnell Auld MA


Richmond Lodge remained with the Dunvilles until 1874, when John Dunville's son William died and it was sold to James Kennedy, who began a number of improvements, including a new avenue approach about 100 yards south of the original main entrance.

By 1902, Richmond Lodge had become the home of the RT HON WILLIAM HENRY HOLMES LYONS JP DL (1843-1924).

First published in June, 2013.

1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

DUKEDOM OF BUCKINGHAM AND CHANDOS
1822-1889

The family of GRENVILLE, of Wotton, Buckinghamshire, was a younger branch of the Grenvilles, or Granvilles, of Devon, whose descent from Rollo, 1st Duke of Normandy, is recited and acknowledged in a warrant from CHARLES II to John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath, authorizing him to use the titles of Earl of Corboile, Thorigny, and Granville, which had been borne by his ancestor, Richard de Grenville, who died after 1142.

RICHARD GRENVILLE (1678-1727), of Wotton, married, in 1710, Hester, eldest daughter of Sir Richard Temple Bt, of Stowe, Buckinghamshire, and sister of Richard, Viscount Cobham.

On the death of her said brother, this lady, pursuant to an especial limitation in his patent of creation, became Viscountess Cobham, to her and her heirs male.

Her ladyship was further advanced, in 1749, to the dignity of COUNTESS TEMPLE OF STOWE.

The issue of Lady Temple and Richard Grenville were,
RICHARD, her successor;
GEORGE;
William Wyndham;
James;
Henry.
Her ladyship died in 1752, and was succeeded by her eldest son,

RICHARD, 2nd Earl (1711-79), KG, who wedded Anne, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Chambers, of Hanworth, Middlesex, and had an only child, ELIZABETH, who died in 1742, aged four.

2nd Earl Temple of Stowe (Image: National Portrait Gallery)

His lordship was succeeded by his nephew,

GEORGE, 3rd Earl (1753-1813), KG, KP, who obtained the royal sign manual, 1779, authorizing him to take the names of NUGENT and TEMPLE before that of GRENVILLE, and to sign the name of Nugent before before all titles of honour.

His lordship was created Marquess of Buckingham in 1784.

He married, in 1775, the Lady Mary Nugent, daughter of the 1st Earl Nugent, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
George;
Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD, 2nd Marquess (1776-1839), KG, who wedded, in 1796, the Lady Anne Brydges, daughter of James, 3rd and last DUKE OF CHANDOS.

His lordship was created, in 1822, Marquess of Chandos and DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM AND CHANDOS.

His Grace was succeeded by his son,

RICHARD, 2nd Duke (1797-1861), KG, GCH, who wedded, in 1819, the Lady Mary, daughter of the 1st Marquess of Breadalbane, and had issue, with a daughter, a son and successor,

RICHARD, 3rd Duke (1823-89), GCSI, who married firstly, in 1851, Caroline, daughter of Robert Harvey, and had issue,
MARY, 11th Lady Kinloss;
Anne; Caroline Jemima.
His Grace espoused secondly, in 1885, Alice, daughter of Sir Graham Graham-Montgomery Bt; the marriage, however, was without issue.

3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos GCSI
(Image: Buckinghamshire County Council)

The titles expired in 1889, on the decease of the 3rd and last Duke.

Former seat ~ Stowe House, Buckinghamshire.

First published in July, 2017.