Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Magenis of Finvoy


The family of MAGENIS were from very ancient times the territorial Lords of Iveagh, County Down, claiming descent from the renowned warrior, Connall Cearnagh.

Sir Arthur Magennis, Lord of Iveagh, was elevated to the peerage, in 1623, in the dignity of VISCOUNT MAGENNIS OF IVEAGH.

A descendant of the ancient family of which his lordship was the chief,

RICHARD MAGENIS (c1711-57), of Dublin, married Alicia, daughter of William Caddell, of Downpatrick, County Down, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Henry, died 1759;
Mary; Jane; Alicia.
Mr Magenis was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD MAGENIS, of Waringstown, County Down, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1760, County Armagh, 1762, County Down, 1764; MP for Bangor, 1783-90, Fore, 1794-8, Carlingford, 1798-1800.

Mr Magenis wedded firstly, in 1760, Miss Wray (who died in the same year); and secondly, Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Colonel William Berkeley, brother of the celebrated prelate, Dr George Berkeley, Lord Bishop of Cloyne, by whom he had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
William (Very Rev), Dean of Kilmore;
Ellen; Louisa; Emily; Alice; Harriette.
Mr Magenis died in 1807, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD MAGENIS (c1763-1831), of Chanter Hill, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, MP for Enniskillen, 1812-28, who espoused firstly, in 1788, the Lady Elizabeth Anne Cole, daughter of William Willoughby, 1st Earl of Enniskillen, and had issue,
William John Cole;
John Balfour;
Arthur Charles (Sir), GCB;
Anne Louise; Elizabeth Anne; Florence Sarah; Florence Catherine.
Mr Magenis married secondly, Elizabeth, widow of Colonel George Dashwood, and had further issue,
Frederick Richard (1816-66).
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD WILLIAM MAGENIS JP DL (1789-1863), of Harrold Hall, Bedfordshire, Major, 7th Fusiliers, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1830, who wedded, in 1821, Ann Maria, eldest daughter and co-heir of William Shepherd, of Bradbourne, Kent.

Major Magenis, however, dsp in 1863, and was succeeded by his nephew,

RICHARD HENRY MAGENIS JP (1831-80), of Finvoy Lodge, Ballymoney, County Antrim, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1868, Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant, Antrim Militia Artillery, who espoused, in 1860, the Lady Louisa Anne Lowry-Corry, daughter of Armar, 3rd Earl of Belmore.

Colonel Magenis dsp 1880, and was succeeded by his brother,

MAJOR-GENERAL HENRY COLE MAGENIS JP DL (1838-1906), Royal Horse Artillery, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1887, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his nephew,

RICHARD HENRY COLE MAGENIS (1888-1914), of Finvoy Lodge, and Drumdoe, County Roscommon, Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, who was killed in action at the first battle of the Marne.

FINVOY LODGE, near Ballymoney, County Antrim, is a two-storey Georgian house comprising a high basement and three bays.

It is rendered, with quoins.

Finvoy Lodge (Image: Nevin Taggart and the Owners)

A prominent porch was added at a later stage.

A wing to the north is greater in length than the house itself.

Viscount's Coronet

The coronet of a viscount is a silver-gilt circlet with sixteen silver balls (known as pearls) around it.

The coronet itself is chased and embossed as if in the form of jewels (like a royal crown) with alternating oval and square jewel-shaped bosses, but is not actually jewelled.

It has a crimson velvet cap with lined ermine trim (the cap being purple in heraldic representation).

There is a gold-threaded tassel on top.

The sixteen pearls are what distinguishes the coronet of a viscount from other degrees of the Peerage.

The coronet of a viscountess (above) is smaller in size and sits on top of the head, rather than around it.

Like all heraldic coronets, it is mostly worn at the coronation of a Sovereign, but a viscount is entitled to bear a likeness of it on his coat-of-arms, above the shield.

Viscounts are peers of the fourth degree in the nobility, next in rank above a baron and below an earl.

First published in June, 2011.

Monday, 29 November 2021

The Boyd Baronetcy


The family of BOYD is of very great antiquity in Scotland, and the similarity between its armorial bearings, and those of the Stewarts, has given ground for conjecture that it branched from that royal and unfortunate stock.

THE HON ALEXANDER BOYD, of Portencross, Ayrshire, second son of William, 1st Earl of Kilmarnock, whose descendant, in the fifth degree,

JOHN AUGUSTUS BOYD, wedded, in 1717, Lucy, daughter of Judge Peters, of the island of Saint Christopher (Saint Kitts), by whom he had an only son,

JOHN BOYD (1718-1800), of Danson Park, Kent, who married firstly, in 1749, Mary, daughter of William Bamstead, of Upton, Warwickshire, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Augustus, died young, 1772;
Elizabeth, b about 1751.
He espoused secondly, in 1766, Catherine, daughter of the Rev John Chapone, and had further issue,
James, b 1767;
Sarah, b 1768.
Mr Boyd was created a baronet in 1775, designated of Danson.

Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN BOYD, 2nd Baronet (1750-1815), of Danson Park, MP for Wareham, 1780-84, who married, in 1784, Margaret, fifth daughter of the Hon Thomas Harley, of Berrington, Herefordshire, fourth son of Edward, 3rd Earl of Oxford, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
Augustus, b 1788, died young;
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN BOYD, 3rd Baronet (1786-1855), who wedded, in 1818, Harriet, second daughter and, in her issue, heiress of HUGH BOYD, of Ballycastle, County Antrim, by whom he had issue,
JOHN AUGUSTUS HUGH, his successor;
FREDERICK, 6th Baronet;
Henrietta, m 1850, General Brook Taylor, Canada.
Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN AUGUSTUS HUGH BOYD, 4th Baronet (1819-57), who espoused, in 1850, Honora Mary, third daughter of Charles Biggs Calmady, of Langdon Court, Devon, and had issue,
HARLEY HUGH, his successor;
Catherine Emily.
Sir John, who entered the Royal Navy in 1832, was present, in 1840, at the taking of Saint Jean d'Acre, and assisted in planting the Ottoman flag on the ramparts of Haifa; he became a lieutenant in 1845.

He was succeeded by his only son,

SIR HARLEY HUGH BOYD, 5th Baronet (1853-76), who died off Saint Helena on board the "Teuton," and was succeeded by his uncle,

THE REV SIR FREDERICK BOYD, 6th Baronet (1820-89), of Danson Park, Kent, and THE MANSION, Ballycastle, County Antrim, who wedded firstly, in 1864, Katharine Mary, only child of Henry William Beauclerk and the Lady Katherine Frances Ashburnham, and had issue,
He married secondly, in 1872, Alice Emily Barbara, only daughter of the Rev Heneage Drummond.

Sir Frederick died in 1889 without male issue, when the baronetcy expired.

His only child, Miss Kathleen Isabel Boyd (1865-1944), continued to live at the manor house in Ballycastle until her death.

2nd Earl of Gosford



THE HON ARCHIBALD ACHESON (1776-1849), second son of Arthur, 1st Earl of Gosford, was born at Markethill, County Armagh.

Having been educated at Christ Church, Oxford, Acheson was MP for Armagh County, 1798-1801, Armagh, 1801-7.

When he became heir to his father, the 1st Earl, he was styled Viscount Acheson.

Lord Acheson succeeded as 2nd Earl in 1807 and held high office:
    • Lord-Lieutenant of County Armagh, 1831-49;
    • Privy Counsellor, 1834;
    • Captain Yeoman of the Guards, 1834-35;
    • Governor-General of Canada, 1835-37;
    • Vice-Admiral of Ulster;
    • Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath (GCB), 1838.
      Lord Gosford's most notable appointment, however, was as Governor-General of Canada.

      This appointment took effect in 1835, when he was Governor-in-Chief of British North America; he was also selected because the ministers hoped that he might be able to apply in Lower Canada the techniques of conciliation that he had employed so successfully in Ireland.

      Following acceptance of the appointment in 1835, Lord Gosford was created Baron Worlingham.

      As a civilian, unlike his predecessors, Gosford was not appointed commander of the forces in the Canadas, but he was given unusually extensive authority over the lieutenant-governors of the neighbouring colonies, who were sent copies of his instructions.

      Gosford assumed control of the government of Lower Canada in 1835.

      Since his predecessor, Lord Aylmer, had become identified with the English, or Constitutionalist, party, Gosford kept his distance from Aylmer until the latter’s departure the following month.

      Subsequently he held a series of lavish dinner parties and balls, at which he established a reputation as a bon vivant and showered his attentions on the leading members of the Patriote party and their wives.

      Gosford was neither the good-natured incompetent nor the “vile hypocrite” that his critics proclaimed.

      He hoped to create in Lower Canada an alliance of moderate politicians from both parties and to hold the balance of power as the Whig administration did in the Kingdom of Ireland between Catholics and Protestants.

      Whig policy there was to distribute patronage to Catholics and liberal Protestants in order to remedy an historic imbalance in the higher levels of the administration. Gosford pursued the same goal.

      He increased appointments of French Canadians to the judiciary and the magistracy, insisted that a chief justice and a commissioner of crown lands should be chosen from among them, and gave them a majority on the Executive Council and a virtual majority on the Legislative Council.

      He substantially increased their numbers holding offices of emolument.

      Moreover, he refused to allow multiple office-holding, to condone nepotism, or to appoint to prominent positions persons known to be antipathetic to them.

      In 1838, Gosford learned that his resignation had been accepted.

      Back in the United Kingdom, he was given a vote of thanks by the Whig ministry and appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Civil Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (GCB) in 1838.

      He did not lose interest in Canada.

      On the appointment of Lord Durham as Governor, he commented that “a more judicious choice could not have been made.”

      He wrote to Lord Durham that the majority of French Canadians had not participated in the rebellion and warned against the English party.

      As Durham’s ethnocentrism became more pronounced, Gosford criticised him bitterly for appointing to office several outspoken opponents of French Canadians.

      Indeed, Gosford blamed the second rebellion, in the autumn of 1838, on Durham’s stupidity, and he was equally critical of Colborne and “those savage Volunteers.”

      During the 1840s his interests again focused on Ireland, where he split with O’Connell over the issue of repeal.

      In his declining years he devoted his primary attention to his estates.

      Gosford had left Lower Canada little loved either by the British minority or by the Patriotes.

      HM  Government ignored his advice and followed the recommendations of Durham, who declared that Gosford was “utterly ignorant . . . of all that was passing around him.”

      Nevertheless, Gosford had shown considerable administrative ability, more political sensitivity than his predecessors, and greater tolerance than his immediate successors.

      His sincerity is unquestionable.

      He probably did as much to limit the severity of the rebellion as it was possible to do, and if Lord Durham had followed his advice, the second rebellion might have been considerably less bloody.

      That Lord Gosford failed to achieve his goals is self-evident; that he ever had a reasonable chance of success is doubtful.

      Town residence ~ 22 Mansfield Street, London.

      First published in December, 2011. 

      Sunday, 28 November 2021

      Ballynastragh House


      This family is of very ancient establishment in County Wexford, where we find John Esmonde was consecrated Bishop of Ferns in 1349.

      The immediate founder of the present house,

      JOHN ESMONDE, of Johnstown, County Wexford, married Isabel, daughter of Thomas Rossiter, of Rathmacknee Castle, and was father of

      LAURENCE ESMONDE, of Johnstown, who wedded Eleanor, daughter of Walter Walsh, of the Mountains, by whom he had two sons, and was succeeded by the elder,

      WALTER ESMONDE, who espoused Margaret, daughter of Michael Furlong, of Horetown, and had, with seven daughters, four sons,
      LAURENCE, of whom presently;
      The second son,

      SIR LAURENCE ESMONDE (1565-1645), Knight, abandoning the ancient creed of his ancestors, declared himself a partisan of ELIZABETH I, and a convert to protestantism.

      Sir Laurence was elevated to the peerage in 1622, in the dignity of BARON ESMONDE, of Lymbrick, County Wexford.

      During one of his campaigns in Connaught, having fallen in love with Margaret, the beautiful daughter of Murrough O'Flaherty, of Connemara, he reputedly married her, and had a son, THOMAS.

      It happened, however, that Lady Esmonde, a devout Roman Catholic, fearing that her child might be brought up a Protestant, carried off the infant by stealth and returned to her family in Connaught.

      This act of maternal devotion seems to have been not at all disagreeable to Sir Laurence, as affording him a pretext for casting suspicion on the legality of his union, that of a Protestant with a Catholic; yet, without resorting to legal measures to annul the marriage in due form, he some time later married Elizabeth, second daughter of the Hon Walter Butler, fourth son of James, 9th Earl of Ormonde, but by her had no issue.

      His lordship died in 1645, bequeathing all his extensive estates to his only son, SIR THOMAS ESMONDE.

      The severity and singularity of his case created considerable interest; and there is scarcely a doubt that, but for the melancholy state of civil war, usurpation, and destruction of property, at that period, the conduct of Lord Esmonde towards his lady, and the legality of his second marriage, his first un-divorced wife still living, upon legal investigation into the matter, and the accompanying circumstances, Sir Thomas Esmonde's right of succession to his father's peerage could not fail to have been acknowledged.

      Before, however, that could have taken place, Sir Thomas died; and his successor had to occupy himself with entering into possession of his grandfather's property.

      Sir Thomas Esmonde, as already noticed, was reared and educated with his maternal relations; and upon his uncle being raised to the peerage, to the dignity of Viscount Mayo, in 1627, Sir Thomas, who had already been knighted for his eminent services in the cause of royalty, as General of Horse in the armies of CHARLES I, was, through the Lord Mayor's influence, created a baronet in 1629, designated of Ballynastragh, County Wexford.

      Sir Thomas married firstly, Ellice, widow of Thomas, 4th Baron Cahir, and daughter of Sir John Fitzgerald, of Dromana, County Waterford, and had issue,
      LAURENCE, his successor;
      James, of Ballynastagh, ancestor of the 7th Baronet.
      Sir Thomas was succeeded by his elder son,

      SIR LAURENCE ESMONDE, 2nd Baronet (1634-88), who wedded Lucia Butler, niece of the 1st Duke of Ormonde, and had issue,
      LAURENCE, his successor;
      Frances; Lucy; two other daughters.
      Sir Laurence's seat, Huntington Castle, County Carlow, was built by Lord Esmonde in 1625, and named after the ancient seat of his ancestors in England.

      He was succeeded by his eldest son,

      THE RT HON SIR LAURENCE ESMONDE, 3rd Baronet, who espoused, in 1703, Jane Lucy, daughter of Matthew Forde, and had issue,
      LAURENCE, 4th Baronet;
      JOHN, 5th Baronet;
      WALTER, 6th Baronet;
      Sir Laurence died ca 1720, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

      SIR LAURENCE ESMONDE, 4th Baronet, who died unmarried ca 1738, and was succeeded by his next brother,

      SIR JOHN ESMONDE, 5th Baronet, who married and died without male issue, 1758, and was succeeded by his brother,

      SIR WALTER ESMONDE, 6th Baronet, who wedded Joan, daughter of Theobald, 5th Baron Caher, and had three daughters.

      Sir Walter died without male issue, 1766, when the title passed to his cousin,

      SIR JAMES ESMONDE, 7th Baronet (1701-66), a descendant of James Esmond, younger son of the 1st Baronet, who survived Sir Walter not more than a few days, and wedded Ellice, only daughter and heir of James Whyte, of Pembrokestown, County Waterford, and had issue,
      THOMAS, his successor;
      John, ancestor of the 10th Baronet;
      Elizabeth; Katherine; Frances; Mary.
      Sir James was succeeded by his eldest son,

      SIR THOMAS ESMONDE, 8th Baronet; but had no issue by either of his two wives, and died in 1803, when the title reverted to his nephew and heir,

      THE RT HON SIR THOMAS ESMONDE, 9th Baronet (1786-1868), MP for Wexford Borough, 1841-7, who espoused firstly, in 1812, Mary, daughter of E Payne; and secondly, in 1856, Sophia Maria, daughter of Ebenezer Radford Rowe, though both marriages were without issue, when the baronetcy passed to his cousin,

      SIR JOHN ESMONDE, 10th Baronet (1826-76), JP DL, son of Commander James Esmonde RN, MP for Waterford, 1852-76, who married, in 1861, Louisa, daughter of Henry Grattan, and had issue,
      THOMAS HENRY GRATTAN, his successor;
      LAURENCE GRATTAN, 13th Baronet;
      John Geoffrey Grattan;
      Walter George Grattan;
      Henrietta Pia; Louisa Ellice Benedicta Grattan; Annetta Frances Grattan.
      Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

      Armorial Bearings of Sir Thomas Henry Grattan Esmonde Bt

      SIR THOMAS HENRY GRATTAN ESMONDE, 11th Baronet (1862-1935), DL MP, who wedded firstly, in 1891, Alice Barbara, daughter of Patrick Donovan, and had issue,
      OSMOND THOMAS GRATTAN, his successor;
      John Henry Grattan;
      Alngelda Barbara Mary Grattan; Eithne Moira Grattan; Patricia Alison Louisa Grattan.
      Sir Thomas was succeeded by his eldest son,

      SIR OSMOND THOMAS GRATTAN ESMONDE, 12th Baronet (1896-1936), who died unmarried, when the title passed to his cousin,

      SIR LAURENCE GRATTAN ESMONDE, 13th Baronet (1863-1943), Lieutenant-Colonel, Waterford Royal Field Artillery, who married twice, though both marriages were without issue, when the title reverted to his cousin,

      SIR JOHN LYMBRICK ESMONDE, as 14th Baronet (1893-1958), who wedded, in 1922, Eleanor, daughter of Laurence Fitzharris, though the marriage was without issue, when the title passed to his younger brother,

      SIR ANTHONY CHARLES ESMONDE, 15th Baronet (1899-1981), who wedded, in 1927, Eithne Moira Grattan, daughter of Sir Thomas Esmonde, 11th Baronet, and had issue,
      JOHN HENRY GRATTAN, his successor;
      Bartholomew Thomas Grattan;
      Anthony James Grattan;
      Alice Mary Grattan; Eithne Marion Grattan; Anne Caroline Grattan.
      Sir Anthony was succeeded by his eldest son,

      SIR JOHN HENRY GRATTAN ESMONDE, 16th Baronet (1928-87), Barrister, Irish politician, who married, in 1957, Pamela Mary, daughter of Dr Francis Stephen Bourke, and had issue,
      THOMAS FRANCIS GRATTAN, his successor;
      Harold William Grattan;
      Richard Anthony Grattan;
      Karen Maria Grattan; Lisa Marion Grattan.
      Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,

      (SIR) THOMAS (Tom) FRANCIS GRATTAN ESMONDE, 17th Baronet (1960-2021), Consultant Neurologist, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, 1992-, who married, in 1986, Pauline Loretto, daughter of James Vincent Kearns, and had issue,
      SEAN VINCENT GRATTAN, his successor;
      Aisling Margaret Pamela Grattan; Niamhe Pauline Grattan.

      The 17th Baronet, better known as Dr Tom Esmonde, was succeeded by his son,

      (SIR) SEAN VINCENT GRATTAN ESMONDE, 18th Baronet, born in 1989. 

      BALLYNASTRAGH HOUSE, near Gorey, County Wexford, was originally a 17th century house, built by James Esmonde.

      It was enlarged and modernized by Sir Thomas Esmonde, 8th Baronet, shortly after he succeeded in 1767.

      Ballynastragh comprised three storeys over a basement, with a fine seven-bay front and three-bay breakfront.

      Alterations were undertaken to the mansion by the 9th Baronet between 1803-25; and later that decade the house was embellished and slightly castellated.

      The Neo-Georgian Ballynastragh House of 1937 (Image: Buildings of Ireland)

      The mansion was burnt by the IRA in 1923 and replaced in 1937 by a Neo-Georgian dwelling.

      First published in August, 2018.

      Saturday, 27 November 2021

      The Osborne Baronets


      This family claims to be an elder branch of the house of OSBORNE, from which the DUKES OF LEEDS descended.

      The Osbornes of Newtown Anner first settled in Ireland in 1558, and were raised to the degree of baronets in the person of 

      SIR RICHARD OSBORNE (1593-1667), of Ballintaylor, and of Ballylemon, in County Waterford, in 1629, having been appointed by JAMES I, in 1616, with Henry Osborne, Clerk of The King's Courts, and prothonotary within the city and county of Limerick; and in Tipperary, Clerk of the Crown and Peace, and Clerk of the Assizes in the said counties.

      During the Civil Wars, taking the side of the usurper Cromwell, he was attacked in his castle of Knockmoan, by the Earl of Castlehaven, in 1645, and compelled to surrender at discretion.

      Sir Richard, MP for Waterford County, 1639-49, 1661-66, was succeeded by his eldest son,

      SIR RICHARD OSBORNE, 2nd Baronet (1618-85), High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1671, MP for Dungarvan, 1639-48, who wedded Elizabeth Carew, and had issue,
      JOHN, his successor;
      Richard (c1662-1713);
      Grace; Elizabeth; Anne.
      Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

      SIR JOHN OSBORNE (c1645-1713), 3rd Baronet, who wedded, in 1699, Elizabeth, fourth daughter of Thomas Walsingham, and granddaughter, maternally, of Theophilus, 2nd Earl of Suffolk; but dying without issue in 1713, the title devolved upon his kinsman,

      SIR THOMAS OSBORNE(1639-1715), (grandson of 1st Baronet, through his 2nd son, Nicholas Osborne), 5th Baronet, who married twice.

      By his first wife, Katherine Butler, he had issue,
      Nicholas, who predeceased him; father of NICHOLAS.
      Sir Thomas wedded secondly, in 1704, Anne, youngest daughter of Beverley Usher, but by that lady had no issue.

      He died was succeeded by his grandson,

      SIR NICHOLAS OSBORNE (1685-1719), 6th Baronet, who married Mary, daughter of the Rt Rev Dr Thomas Smith, Lord Bishop of Limerick.

      Dying in 1718 without male issue, the title devolved upon his brother,

      SIR JOHN OSBORNE, 7th Baronet (1697-1743), Barrister, MP for Lismore, 1719-27, County Waterford, 1727-43, who wedded Editha, only daughter of William Proby MP, sometime governor of Fort St George, in the East Indies, by whom he had six sons and four daughters.

      Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son, 

      THE RT HON SIR WILLIAM OSBORNE, 8th Baronet (1722-83), MP for Carysfort, 1761-83, Dungarvan, 1768-83, who married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of of Thomas Christmas, of Whitfield, County Waterford, and had issue,
      THOMAS, his successor;
      Charles, a judge;
      HENRY, succeeded his brother;
      Sir William died in 1783, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

      SIR THOMAS OSBORNE (1757-1821), 9th Baronet, MP for Carysfort, 1776-97, who espoused Catherine Rebecca, daughter of Major Robert Smith.
      The heir apparent is the present holder's eldest son George Gideon Oliver Osborne (b 1971). The heir apparent's heir apparent is his only son Luke Benedict Osborne. 
      Ralph B Osborne owned 942 acres in County Tipperary; and her cousin, Sir Charles Stanley Osborne, 13th Baronet, of Beechwood Park, Nenagh, owned 940 acres in County Tipperary.

      Sir Peter George Osborne, 17th and present Baronet (b 1943) co-founded the wallpaper company, Osborne & Little.

      The Rt Hon George Gideon Oliver Osborne CH, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 2010-16, First Secretary of State, 2015-16, is heir apparent to the baronetcy.

      NEWTOWN ANNER HOUSE (above), near Clonmel, County Tipperary, is a two-storey late-Georgian house with a nine-bay front, the three outer bays breaking forwards and elevated an extra storey above the centre block.

      Newtown Anner was formerly a seat of the Osborne Baronets; as was Beechwood Park in County Tipperary.

      The doorway has engaged columns and a large semi-circular fanlight over the door and side-lights; with a curved two-storey bow at the side.

      The Osbornes purchased the Newtown Anner estate from Clonmel Corporation in 1774, though the present house dates from 1829.

      Newtown Anner passed eventually to the 12th Duke of St Albans, grandson of Ralph and Catherine Bernal (nee Osborne).

      It was occupied by the Duchess of St Albans in 1906 and was still in that family's possession in the early 1940s.

      It is now thought to be the home of Nigel Cathcart.

      First published in October, 2011.

      Friday, 26 November 2021

      Ballynegall House


      This is a branch of SMYTH of Gaybrook, springing more immediately from SMYTH of Drumcree. 

      THOMAS HUTCHINSON SMYTH (1765-1830), only son of Thomas Smyth, of Drumcree, by his third wife, Martha (daughter of the Ven Francis Hutchinson, Archdeacon of Down and Connor), served as High Sheriff of County Westmeath, 1792, being then described as of "Smythboro" or Coole.

      He married, in 1796, Abigail, daughter of John Hamilton, of Belfast, and had issue,
      THOMAS, his heir;
      Francis, Captain RN;
      John Stewart;
      Edward, d 1857;
      Arthur (Dr);
      Hamilton, barrister (1813-59);
      Anna; Emily.
      Mr Smyth was succeeded by his eldest son, 

      THE REV THOMAS SMYTH (1796-1874), who wedded, in 1832, Mary Anne, daughter of Adam Tate Gibbons, East India Company, and niece of James Gibbons, of Ballynegall, and had issue,
      THOMAS JAMES, his heir;
      James Gibbons, major in the army;
      William Adam, major in the army;
      Albert Edward, major in the army;
      Elizabeth Abigail Mary Amelia; Mary Anne; Louisa Anna.
      The Rev Thomas Smyth was succeeded by his eldest son,

      THOMAS JAMES SMYTH JP DL (1833-1912), of Ballynegall, High Sheriff of County Westmeath, 1858, Captain, Westmeath Rifles, who married, in 1864, Bessie, fourth daughter of Edward Anketell Jones, of Adelaide Crescent, Brighton, and had issue,
      Ellinor Marion Hawkesworth; Maud Emily Abigail Hawkesworth.
      Mr Smyth was succeeded by his only son,

      THOMAS GIBBONS HAWKESWORTH SMYTH (1865-1953) of Ballynegall, High Sheriff of County Westmeath, 1917, who wedded, in 1895, Constance, younger daughter of Harry Corbyn Levinge, of Knockdrin Castle, Mullingar, and had issue,

      BALLYNEGALL HOUSE, near Mullingar, is said to have been one of the greatest architectural losses in the county of Westmeath.

      The designs for this elegant and refined Regency house have been traditionally attributed to Francis Johnston, one of the foremost architects of his day and a man with an international reputation.

      The quality of the original design is still apparent, despite its derelict and overgrown appearance.

      The house was originally constructed for James Gibbons at the enormous cost of £30,000, and was reputedly built using the fabric of an existing castle on site, known as Castle Reynell after the previous owners of the estate.

      Ballynagall remained in the Gibbons Family until 1846, when ownership passed on to Mr James W M Berry.

      In 1855, ownership later passed on to the Smyth family through marriage.

      There is an interesting article here, written by one of the last of the Smyths to live at Ballynegall.

      The house was abandoned in the early 1960s and all remaining internal fittings and fixtures were removed at this time.

      The original Ionic portico was also removed in the 1960s and now stands at Straffan House, County Kildare.

      The remains of a very fine iron conservatory, which has been attributed to Richard Turner (1798-1881), is itself a great loss to the heritage of the county.

      Ballynagall House stands in picturesque, mature parkland.

      The remains of the house form the centrepiece of one of the best collections of demesne-related structures in County Westmeath, along with the stable block to the north-west and the gate lodge and St Mary's church to the south-east.

      First published in February, 2013.

      Earl's Coronet

      The coronet of an earl is a silver-gilt circlet with eight strawberry leaves alternating with eight silver balls (known as pearls) on raised spikes.

      The coronet itself is chased as if in the form of jewels (like a royal crown) but is not actually jewelled.

      It has a crimson cap (lined ermine) in real life and a purple one in heraldic representation.

      there is a gold tassel on top.

      The raised pearls on spikes distinguish it from other coronets.

      It has also been described thus,
      This coronet, which is one of the most striking, has, rising from a golden circlet, eight lofty rays of gold, each of which upon its point supports a small pearl, while between each pair of rays is a conventional leaf, the stalks of these leaves being connected with the rays and with each other so as to form a continuous wreath.
      The coronet of a countess (below) is smaller in size and sits directly on top of the head, rather than around it.

      Earls rank in the third degree of the hereditary peerage, being next below a marquess, and next above a viscount.

      First published in June, 2010.

      Thursday, 25 November 2021

      The Corry Baronets

      This family moved from Dumfriesshire to County Down early in the 17th century.

      JOHN CORRY (1638-1708), of Tullynagardy, near Newtownards, County Down, Provost of Newtownards during the reign of JAMES I, had a son

      ROBERT CORRY, of Tullynagardy, who married Mary Porter and had issue,

      JOHN CORRY (1771-1851), of Tullynagardy, who wedded Susan White and had issue,

      ROBERT CORRY (1800-69), of Tullynagardy, a timber merchant and quarry owner, who married, in 1825, Jane, daughter of Robert Porter, and had, with other issue,

      JAMES PORTER CORRY (1826-91), who married, in 1849, Margaret, daughter of William Service, and had issue,
      WILLIAM, his heir;
      Mr Corry, MP for Belfast, 1874-85, Mid-Armagh, 1885-91, was created a baronet in 1885, designated of Dunraven, County Antrim.

      He died in 1891 at his home, Dunraven, Malone Road, Belfast.
      The Cleaver development, off Malone Road, Belfast, began in 1937 following the demolition of the large Victorian residence of Dunraven (1870). 
      Its extensive grounds were laid out for detached houses, and building work began in 1937 but was halted by the 2nd World War. Work re-commenced during the late 1940s on the construction of the remaining detached houses, finishing around the mid-late 1950s.
      SIR WILLIAM CORRY, 2nd Baronet (1859-1926), of 118 Eaton Square, London, who wedded, in 1889, Charlotte Georgina Frances Catherine, daughter of J Collins, and had issue,
      JAMES PEROWNE IVO MYLES, his successor;
      William Myles Fenton (1893-1958);
      Myleta Fenton (1891-1966).
      Sir William, a director of the Cunard Steamship Company, was succeeded by his elder son,

      SIR JAMES PEROWNE IVO MYLES CORRY, 3rd Baronet (1892-1987), who espoused firstly, in 1921, Molly Irene, daughter of Major Otto Joseph Bell, and had issue,
      WILLIAM JAMES, his successor;
      Anne; Susan.
      He married secondly, in 1946, Cynthia Marjorie Patricia, daughter of Captain Frederick Henry Mahony, and had issue,
      Amanda Jane.
      Sir James was succeeded  by his only son,

      SIR WILLIAM JAMES CORRY, 4th Baronet (1924-2000), who married, in 1945, Diana Pamela Mary, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel James Burne Lapsley, and had issue,
      JAMES MICHAEL, his heir;
      Timothy William;
      Nicholas John;
      Simon Myles (Commander RN);
      Jane Susanna; Patricia Diana.
      Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

      SIR JAMES MICHAEL CORRY (b 1946), 5th Baronet, BP plc, 1966-2001, who lived in 2003 in Somerset.

      Robert Corry (1800-69), recognised the commercial potential of the Scrabo stone quarry at Newtownards, and leased part of the hill from Lord Londonderry in 1826.

      Dunraven House was the 1st Baronet's residence on the Malone Road in Belfast, a large house of ca 1870 in the Italianate style by the architect, John Corry, for his brother.

      The grounds extended to 16 acres.

      The house and grounds were purchased by John Cleaver, a partner in Robinson & Cleaver, who died there in 1926.

      Dunraven was demolished in 1937 for the "Cleaver" housing development.

      J P Corry, Building Suppliers, are still in existence though it is not known whether any members of the Corry family still hold shares or directorships.

      First published in September, 2010.

      Moore Hall


      The family of MOORE claimed descent from THE RT HON SIR THOMAS MORE, statesman and Lord Chancellor to HENRY VIII.

      THOMAS MORE, born at Chilston, near Madley, in Herefordshire, married Mary, daughter of John ApAdam, of Flint, and had a son,

      GEORGE MOORE, who settled at Ballina, County Mayo, Vice-Admiral of Connaught during the reign of WILLIAM III.

      He wedded Catherine, daughter of Robert Maxwell, of Castle Tealing, Scotland, by Edith his wife, daughter of Sir John Dunbar, and was father of

      GEORGE MOORE, of Ashbrook, County Mayo, living in 1717, who married Sarah, daughter of the Rev John Price, of Foxford, County Mayo, by his wife, Edith Machen, of the city of Gloucester, and by her had two sons,
      George, of Cloongee;
      JOHN, of whom we treat.
      The younger son,

      JOHN MOORE, of Ashbrook, County Mayo, born ca 1700, espoused Jane, daughter of Edmund Athy, and had issue,
      Robert, dsp 1783;
      GEORGE, of whom presently;
      Edmund, of Moorbrook;
      Sarah; Jane.
      His second son,

      GEORGE MOORE (1729-99), of Moore Hall, Ashbrook, and Alicante, Spain, married, ca 1765, Catherine, daughter of Dominick de Killikelly, of Lydacan Castle, County Galway, and had issue,
      John, 1763-99;
      GEORGE, of whom hereafter;
      The second son,

      GEORGE MOORE (1770-1840), of Moore Hall, wedded, in 1807, Louisa, daughter of the Hon John Browne, sixth son of John, 1st Earl of Altamont, and had issue,
      GEORGE HENRY, his heir;
      Arthur Augustus.
      The eldest son,

      GEORGE HENRY MOORE JP DL (1810-70), MP for County Mayo, 1847-57, 1868-70, High Sheriff of County Mayo, 1867, espoused, in 1851, Mary, eldest daughter of Maurice Blake, of Ballinafad, County Mayo, and had issue,
      GEORGE AUGUSTUS, his heir;
      Maurice George, CB, Colonel, Connaught Rangers;
      Augustus George Martin;
      Henry Julian;
      Nina Mary Louisa.
      He was succeeded by his eldest son,

      GEORGE AUGUSTUS MOORE (1852-1933), of Moore Hall and Ebury Street, London, High Sheriff of County Mayo, 1905, who died unmarried.

      George Henry Moore (Image: Wikipedia)

      THE MOORES had originally been an English Protestant settler family.

      The father of George Moore (1729-99), John Moore, converted to catholicism when he married Jane Lynch Athy from one of the principal Catholic families in County Galway.

      Using her connections among the "Wild Geese," Irish Jacobite exiles in Spain, Jane supported her son in getting established in the wine import business in Alicante, Spain.

      He subsequently changed his religion, and married, in I765, Katherine de Kilikelly, an Irish Catholic raised in Spain.

      George made his fortune and returned to erect Moore Hall in 1792, above the shore of Lough Carra.
      "He thus solidified the shift of the family from being New English settlers of Protestant faith to their nineteenth-century identity as Irish Catholic landlords who had never been humbled by the "Penal Laws" — that set of regulations aimed at limiting the property and power of Irish Catholics, and put in force after William of Orange routed James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1688."

      "The change in the confessional identity of the Moore family, like the circumstances of G H Moore's death, is important to the story of George Moore. These matters would one day be the occasion of a quarrel about family history that broke up the surviving Moore brothers, saw Moore Hall become vacant, and scattered the last generation of Moores abroad."

      "Of the four sons of George Moore of Alicante, the eldest was John Moore (1763-99), a scapegrace trained in Paris and London for the law, and for a few days in 1798 the first President of the Republic of Connaught."

      "Aided by French invaders at Killala, John Moore participated in the surprise victory of General Humbert over a British garrison at Castlebar on 27 August 1798, assumed nominal leadership of the rebels, then got captured after the rout of the small Irish forces."

      "President Moore died while under house arrest in a Waterford tavern. The second son of Moore of Alicante was a mild-tempered man, also named George Moore. A gentleman scholar rarely out of his library, he wrote histories of the English and French revolution, something in the manner of Gibbon."

      "Moore the historian had three sons by Louisa Browne, the first being George Henry Moore, the only one of the three not to die by a fall from a horse."
      Moore Hall (Image: Robert French)

      MOORE HALL, near Ballyglass, County Mayo, is a Georgian mansion built between 1792-6 by George Moore.

      It comprises three storeys over a basement, with an entrance front of two bays on either side of a centre breakfront; including a triple window, and fluted pilasters on console brackets.

      There is a Venetian window above the entrance doorway, beneath a single-storey Doric portico.

      The house was burnt by the IRA in 1923, and is now a ruinous shell.

      Colonel Maurice Moore, CB, had intended to rebuild the house, albeit on a smaller scale.

      Moore Hall (Image: Comhar - Own work, Public Domain,

      Colonel Moore's elder brother, George Augustus Moore, died in 1933, leaving  an estate valued at £70,000 (about £5.1 million in 2021).

      His ashes were buried on Castle Island in Lough Carra.

      Wednesday, 24 November 2021

      Donegall House

      DONEGALL HOUSE, built in 1785, was located at the corner of Donegall Place and Donegall Square North, directly opposite the present Robinson & Cleaver building.
      In 1611, the Jacobean Belfast Castle was built upon the site of the former Castle, bounded by what's now Castle Place, Cornmarket and Castle Lane. 
      It was surrounded with spacious gardens which extended from the river along to Cromac Woods and near Stranmillis. 
      It is curious to read of hunting, hawking and other sports in the woods and meadows where now we have long streets of premises. 
      The gardens, shady walks, orchards, bowling greens and cherry gardens are all gone, and nothing remains of the fish ponds. The stately home, once the centre of hospitality and culture, is now only a memory. 
      WILLIAM III was received here in 1690. 
      In 1708, Belfast Castle was burned to the ground. 
      Three of Lady Donegall's daughters were burnt to death, and two servants also perished. 
      The Castle was never rebuilt, and Lord Donegall lived for a time in Donegall House at the corner of Donegall Place.
      It wasn't until almost 100 years later that the Donegalls returned to live in Belfast.

      From ca 1802-20, Donegall House was the residence of the 2nd Marquess and Marchioness of Donegall.

      Lord Donegall rented the house from John Brown, a Belfast banker.

      This large town house comprised three storeys, was stuccoed, and had a central pediment.

      The gable end and a small side garden were enclosed at Donegall Square North.

      In the image, taken from the White Linen Hall (predecessor of City Hall) , Donegall House is the first building on the left.

      From ca 1820-98, the house became the Royal Hotel, under the auspices of Charles Kerns, Lord Donegall's former butler.

      Prior to its demise, the hotel's proprietor was Miss Sarah Doyle.

      Donegall House was demolished ca 1967 for the present seven-storey commercial building.

      First published in November, 2013.

      Tuesday, 23 November 2021

      1st Duke of Schomberg


      FRIEDRICH HERMANN VON SCHÖNBERG (1615-90), KG, son of Hans Meinard von Schönberg and Anne (daughter of Edward, 5th Baron Dudley), of Heidelberg, Germany, General in WILLIAM III's army, was created, in 1689, Baron Teyes and Earl of Brentford.

      His lordship was advanced, in 1690, to the dignities of Marquess of Harwich and DUKE OF SCHOMBERG, by WILLIAM III, the younger son to succeed first.

      This Frederick Schomberg came over with the Prince of Orange at the Revolution, and at the battle of the Boyne was unhappily slain by a musket ball from his own men, in the aforesaid year, 1690.

      His Grace married firstly, in 1638, his cousin, the Countess Johanna Elizabeth von Schönberg, and had issue,
      MEINHARDT, 3rd Duke;
      CHARLES, 2nd Duke.
      He wedded secondly, in 1669, Susanne, youngest daughter of Daniel d'Aumale, Seigneur de Harcourt.

      The 1st Duke was installed a Knight of the Garter in 1689.

      1st Duke of Schomberg KG

      He was succeeded by his youngest son,

      CHARLES (1645-93), 2nd Duke, who died, 1693, by a wound he received in the battle of Marsaglia, leaving no issue.

      His Grace was succeeded by his elder brother,

      MEINHARDT, 3rd Duke (1641-1719), KG, who wedded firstly, in 1667, Louisa, daughter of Giovanni Rizzi; and secondly, 1682, Raugräfin Karoline Elisabeth, daughter of Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine, and had issue,
      CHARLES LOUIS, his successor;
      Caroline; Frederica; Mary.
      His Grace was created, in 1690, Baron Tara, Earl of Bangor, and Duke of Leinster.

      He was installed a Knight of the Garter by QUEEN ANNE in 1703.

      Following the decease of the 3rd Duke in 1719, without surviving male issue, the titles all expired.

      Hillingdon House

      Fomer seat ~ Hillingdon House, Middlesex.
      London residence ~ Schomberg House.

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

      The Craig Baronets


      The first Baronet, later to become the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, was elevated to the peerage in 1927, in the dignity of VISCOUNT CRAIGAVON, of Stormont, County Down, when the baronetcy merged with the viscountcy.

      I have written an article about the family HERE.

      Born at Sydenham, a suburban district of Belfast, Craig was the youngest of six sons of James Craig JP, of Craigavon House, Circular Road, Belfast, and Tyrella, County Down, a prosperous whisky distiller and businessman in Belfast.

      Educated at a private school in Holywood, County Down and afterwards at Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh, the younger Craig became a stockbroker.

      1st Viscount Craigavon, by N Burn
      (Image: Northern Ireland Assembly)

      However, with the start of the Boer War in 1899 he ceased formally to be a member of the Belfast Stock Exchange and took a commission in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles.
      Serving with distinction as a lieutenant with the Imperial Yeomanry, he was captured by the Boers but survived the barren conditions of a concentration camp and returned home with a firm and lasting conviction of the British way of life.
      The 1st Viscount was still prime minister when he died peacefully at his home, Glencraig, County Down, in 1940.

      He was buried at the Stormont Estate.

      JAMES (1906-74), 2nd Baronet and 2nd Viscount, was educated at Eton.

      He was a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and fought in the Second World War.

      JANRIC FRASER (b 1944), 3rd Baronet and 3rd Viscount, was educated at Eton, and graduated from London University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts.

      Lord Craigavon was invested as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and was an Elected Member of the House of Lords in 1999. He lives in London.

      There is no heir to the viscountcy.

      First published in July, 2010.

      Monday, 22 November 2021

      The George

      The Clandeboye estate schoolhouse, County Down, was built by Lord Dufferin in ca 1858.

      William Burn submitted designs for the school in 1850, and a further design was commissioned from Benjamin Ferrey in 1854.

      Neither plan was executed and the architect of the school as it was built remains uncertain.

      In the mid 1970s Ballysallagh Primary School was converted to licensed premises (The George) and was largely extended in the process, with large function rooms added.

      Click to Enlarge

      The George at Clandeboye, County Down, was a hostelry I frequented often in my younger days.

      I have found a little leaflet entitled The George.

      Many Saturday nights were spent here during the seventies and eighties.

      Incidentally, the George's postal address was Crawfordsburn Road, Clandeboye, County Down.

      The lodge bedroom block was constructed in 1992-4 to designs by Alan Cook Architects.

      It now forms a part of Clandeboye Lodge Hotel.

      First published in June, 2011.