Tuesday, 31 May 2022

The Macartney Baronets

(c1630-1702), son of George Macartney, the last of the Macartneys of Blacket, parish of Urr, Kirkcudbrightshire, settled in Belfast in the 1650s.

He married and had two sons,
George,  Lieutenant-General in the army;
ISAAC, of whom we treat.
Mr Macartney, sometimes known as "Black George" to distinguish him from his kinsman, George Macartney (1626-91), prospered in the town of Belfast, where he was a merchant and ship-owner; Burgess, 1665; and served four terms as Sovereign or Mayor.

Mr Macartney's younger son,

ISAAC MACARTNEY (c1670-1738), possessed a large estate in Ulster, and served as High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1690.

Mr Macartney spent £40,000 in constructing the docks and quays at the port of Belfast.

He wedded Anne, sister and co-heiress (with her sister, the wife of John MacDowall, of Freugh, and grandmother of Patrick, Earl of Dumfries) of John Haltridge, of Dromore, County Down, MP for Killyleagh, 1703-25, and had issue,
GEORGE, High Sheriff of Co Antrim, 1743, Sovereign of Belfast, 1749/50/51/56/59/63;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
Grace, m Sir Robert Blackwood Bt.
The younger son,

WILLIAM MACARTNEY (1714-93), MP for Belfast, 1747-60, espoused Catherine, daughter of Thomas Banks, of the family of Banks of Corfe Castle, Dorset, and had issue,
ARTHUR CHICHESTER (1744-1827), KC, of Murlough, County Down;
JOHN, of whom we treat;
five daughters.
William Macartney MP, his wife Catherine, and their daughter

The second son,

JOHN MACARTNEY (1747-1812), of Lish, County Armagh, MP for Fore (Co Westmeath), 1792-7, Naas, 1798-1800, received the honour of knighthood in 1796 for his exertions in promoting the inland navigation of Ireland.

Sir John was created a baronet in 1799, designated of Lish, County Armagh.
The territorial designation "Lish" is somewhat curious, given that there is no townland or civil parish by that name to the best of my knowledge. 
It might refer to the townland of TULLYLISH, which sits on the River Bann between Banbridge, County Down, and Portadown, County Armagh.
He married firstly, Miss Anne Scriven, descended from the Barclays of Urie, in Scotland, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Elizabeth; Maria; Anna.
Sir John wedded secondly, Catherine, daughter of the Rt Hon Walter Hussey Burgh, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, and had a son and daughter,
Hussey Burgh;
He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

THE REV SIR WILLIAM ISAAC MACARTNEY, 2nd Baronet (1780-1867), of Lish, Rector of Desertegny, County Donegal, who married Ellen, daughter of Sir James Barrington Bt, and had issue,
Sophia; Anna; Georgina; Fanny; Maria.
Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN MACARTNEY, 3rd Baronet (1832–1911), who migrated to Jolimont, Mackay, Queensland, Australia, and wedded, in 1865, Catherine, daughter of Alexander Miller, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM ISAAC, his successor;ALEXANDER MILLER, 5th Baronet;
John Barrington, father of the 6th Baronet;
Herbert Charles;
Robert Graham;
David Edwin;
Harold Eric Joseph;
Victor Alan.
The eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM ISAAC MACARTNEY, 4th Baronet (1867-1942), died unmarried, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR ALEXANDER MILLER MACARTNEY, 5th Baronet (1869-1960), who died unmarried, when the baronetcy reverted to his first cousin,

SIR JOHN BARRINGTON MACARTNEY, 6th Baronet (1917-99), a dairy farmer, who espoused, in 1944, Amy Isobel Reinke, and had issue, an only child,

SIR JOHN RALPH MACARTNEY, 7th and present Baronet (1945-), of Mount Pleasant, Queensland, Australia, who married, in 1966, Suzanne Marie Fowler, and has issue, four daughters,
Donna Marie;
Karina Lee;
Katharine Ann;
Anita Louise.
Sir John is a former Petty Officer, Royal Australian Navy; Malaya and Vietnam 1968–69; in 1979, a teacher at Bruce College Technology.


ISAAC MACARTNEY (c1670-1738), merchant and shipowner of Belfast, was the son of another merchant and shipowner, "Black" George Macartney.

This Isaac was High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1690, and a Burgess of Belfast, 1701-07.

He built George and Hanover Quays in Belfast at his own expense; though was ruined by his brother-in-law's debts, his own "inattention to business", and the inefficiency of trustees appointed to manage his estates.

Mr Macartney was a Presbyterian and a leading elder of First Belfast Presbyterian Church between 1709-16.

He had an annual income of £400 from leasehold properties in Belfast and inherited his wife's estates in Counties Down and Armagh. His wife was Anne Haltridge (d 1748), daughter of William Haltridge, a wealthy Dromore merchant.

Macartney was gradually drawn into the financial affairs of his brother-in-law, which caused his financial ruination.

I have discovered a fascinating article by the Rt Hon Sir William Grey Ellison-Macartney KCMG (1852-1924), a statesman who served as Governor of several Australian states:-
In dealing with the two branches of the Macartney family, which settled in Belfast in the second quarter of the 17th century, the author of Benn's History of Belfast and the editor of The Town Book of Belfast have fallen into several inaccuracies.

Though both these publications were issued during my father's lifetime, neither of these writers made any enquiries of him for the purpose of identifying the respective personalities of the two George Macartneys who came from Scotland, and who occupied very prominent positions in Belfast, during the second half of the 17th century.

One was George Macartney, of Auchinleck, whose son George acquired in 1742 an estate in the north of Antrim, and whose descendants are known as the Macartneys of Lissanoure; the other was George Macartney of Blacket, from whom are descended, with others,
  • Col John Merton Macartney, late of Dorset Regiment, the male representative of this branch; 
  • Edward Henry Macartney MP, of Glenallan, Brisbane, Queensland;
  • The Rt Hon Sir William Ellison-Macartney;
  • Sir John Macartney Bt, of Queensland;
  • The Very Rev Hussey Burgh Macartney, Dean of Melbourne.
First published in December, 2010.

Donaghadee: Manor House Garden


The following information has been obtained from the Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest (Northern Ireland), compiled by Terence Reeves-Smyth in November, 2020.

Layout of Walled Garden ca 1830 (OSNI)

THE MANOR HOUSE, Donaghadee, County Down, was the residence of a landed family called Delacherois (De La Cherois).

It is located close to the centre of the town, and pleasure gardens were directly opposite the manor house, at the other side of the main road.

The old walled garden, which must surely date from 1780-1800, survives.

The Dinner Bell Bistro.  Click to enlarge

I visited it at the end of May, 2022, mainly with the intention of having a light lunch at The Dinner Bell bistro, a small café restaurant in the former outbuildings of the walled garden; through which the garden is accessed.

Explanatory information (The Dinner Bell).  Click to enlarge.

Its captivation on a warm summer's day is irresistible: a serene haven of tranquillity within the celebrated seaside resort of Donaghadee, County Down.

A secret garden!

(Timothy Ferres, 2022)

I’ve seen old maps of the garden, and the section that is open today used to be the walled garden, doubtless thriving with abundant fruit and vegetables.

The ornamental section of the garden has been built over since the 1970s, but the walled garden remains today, complete with box-edged beds, a remarkable survival.

The front garden wall has a handsome stone castellated entrance from Killaughey Road in the town.

The remaining garden is rectangular, comprising almost half an acre, with stone walls, and two other entrances (now disused) from the pleasure grounds, one opposite the vehicle entrance and one near the west corner.

The Pond and Water Pump (Image: Tripadvisor)

The well in the garden is now enclosed by a cast-iron ornamental hand pump.

Produce was sold until the 1990s.

The garden is now part of the Dinner Bell bistro, Killaughey Road, and is accessible to patrons through the restaurant.

Eucalyptus Tree (Image: Tripadvisor)

The walled garden is now mainly ornamental, with statuary and columns, a rectangular pond, a large eucalyptus tree, and small terraced and paved areas with seating towards the south-west end.

It is laid out with a partly box-edged, partly stone-edged, perimeter border full of flowering shrubs and plants and geometrically-arranged paved and gravelled paths, some brick-edged.

Pair of Statues (Image: Tripadvisor)

Towards the north-east there are some rectilinear lawns and a row of apple trees in a central position running from south-east to north-west.

Against the south-west wall is a concealed wooden loggia; whereas at the opposite end, against the north-east wall, there is a summer-house or gazebo.

Summer-house (Image: Tripadvisor)

Immediately outside the walled garden to the north and north-west are mature trees, forming part of a larger garden plot of about one acre.

My intention is to revisit the garden in 2022, study its features more closely, and take more photographs.

Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest (NI) - November 2020.

Monday, 30 May 2022

Castle Crine


This family is said to descend from the noble house of BUTLER, VISCOUNTS MOUNTGARRET.

, of Rossroe Castle, County Clare, serving as High Sheriff of that county in 1712, left a daughter, Anne, wife of St John Bridgeman (of Woodfield), and two sons, viz.
HENRY, of Rossroe Castle;
THOMAS, of Castle Crine.
The second son,

THOMAS BUTLER, of Castle Crine, was father of 

WILLIAM BUTLER, of Castle Crine, who succeeded to the landed property of his cousin, Henry Butler, of O’Brien’s Castle, in 1791.

He wedded Anne D'Alton and had issue, a son,

JAMES BUTLER, of Castle Crine, who espoused Mary, daughter of Robert Ievers, of Mount Ievers, County Clare; and dying ca 1821, leaving issue.

The eldest son,

HENRY BUTLER JP DL, of Castle Crine, married Anna, daughter of Charles Dawson, of Charlesfort, County Wexford, and died in 1852 (buried at Bunratty), leaving,
JAMES, his heir;
Charles Eyre, 69th Regiment;
Henry, 90th Regiment;
William Dawson;
The eldest son,

JAMES BUTLER JP DL, of Castle Crine, High Sheriff of County Clare, 1851, wedded, in 1852, Sophia, daughter of Major Irvine, and by her (who married secondly, Major Graham), he left at his decease, in 1857, three daughters, of Castle Crine, his co-heiresses,
The second daughter,

Sophia Mary Butler, married the 5th Lord Clarina, though had no male issue, and on the marriage of her eldest daughter, the Hon Sophia (Zoë) Butler-Massey to the Hon Eric Henderson, the Castle Crine estate was settled upon her, subject to the life interests of her mother and aunts.

Following the decease of Miss Anna Frances Butler in 1938, the last survivor, Mrs Butler-Henderson (who with her husband assumed the surname of BUTLER in addition to that of HENDERSON) succeeded to Castle Crine estate.

Her daughter, Mrs Wordsworth, resided there until 1951, when the estate was sold. 

CASTLE CRINE, near Sixmilebridge, County Clare, was a castellated late-Georgian house, comprising a two-storey block with two curved bows beside each other at one end; one with pointed Gothic windows and a three-storey tower.

Little battlements; corbelled turret on tower.

Castle Crine was demolished in 1955.

First published in November, 2012.

Stewart of Rockhill


ALEXANDER STEWART (1746-1831), second son of Alexander Stewart MP, of MOUNT STEWART, County Down, and younger brother of Robert, 1st Marquess of Londonderry, purchased the estate of ARDS from the Wray family, and settled there in 1782.

Mr Stewart, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1791, espoused, in 1791, the Lady Mary Moore, younger daughter of Charles, 1st Marquess of Drogheda, by the Lady Anne Seymour his wife, daughter of Francis, 1st Marquess of Hertford, and had issue (with other children, who died young),
Alexander Robert, of Ards, his heir;
Charles Moore (Rev);
JOHN VANDELEUR, of whom we treat;
Maria Frances; Gertrude Elizabeth.
The youngest son,

JOHN VANDELEUR STEWART DL (1802-72), of Rock Hill, near Letterkenny, County Donegal, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1838, wedded, in 1837, the Lady Helen Graham-Toler, daughter of Hector John, 2nd Earl of Norbury, and had issue,
Hector Brabazon (Rear-Admiral);
Robert Seymour;
CHARLES JOHN, of whom hereafter;
Elizabeth Georgina.
Mr Stewart was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER CHARLES HECTOR STEWART (1838-1917), of Rock Hill, a major-general in the army, High Sheriff of County Donegal, 1881, who married, in 1872, Gertrude Mary, daughter of Eric Carrington Smith, and had issue, an only child,
Kathleen, b 1875; m, 1904, Captain P A MacGregor DSO.
John Vandeleur Stewart's youngest son,

SIR CHARLES JOHN STEWART KBE (1851-1932), of Rockhill, espoused, in 1884, the Lady Mary Catherine Graham-Toler, daughter of Hector John, 3rd Earl of Norbury, and had issue,
Gerald Charles (1888-1915), killed in action;
John Maurice (1895-1915), killed in action;
Helen Margaret; Eirene Mary; Marjorie Alice.
Rockhill House (Rockill House website, 2021)

ROCK HILL HOUSE, near Letterkenny, County Donegal, was originally a three-storey Georgian house of ca 1760, with basement, comprising three bays on either side of a central curved bow.

Its new owner, John Vandeleur Stewart, built a two-storey, five-bay addition to the original house about 1853.

The Victorian building was the same height as the Georgian one.

The present mansion appears to have replaced an earlier Plantation dwelling of the early 1600s, associated with the Pratt family of CABRA, County Cavan.

Captain Thomas Chambers acquired the lands in 1660, and the Chambers remained there until 1832, when Daniel Chambers sold the house and its 237 acre estate to John Vandeleur Stewart for £900 (equivalent to about £70,000 in 2021).

Rockhill House (Robert French/Lawrence Collection/NLI)

J V Stewart proceeded to build a large two-storey block, attached to the original Georgian house, ca 1853. 

His son,  Major-General Alexander Charles Hector Stewart, used Rockhill occasionally; as did his son, Sir Charles John Stewart, KBE, a barrister based in London.

Sir Charles and Lady Stewart were bereft by the deaths, in 1915, of their two sons, both killed in action during the 1st World War, and Rockhill was abandoned in 1927.

Many of the house contents were shipped to the Stewarts' new home in Scotland, and they authorized the sale of the estate.

Rockhill House: Georgian block (Rockhill House website, 2021)

With nobody occupying the estate, Rockhill was taken over by Anti-Treaty IRA forces upon the outbreak of Civil War in Ireland in 1922.

In 1927-30 Rockhill became a Preparatory College for student teachers; the estate, however, thereafter fell into decline and, in 1937, was sold in various lots to the Irish Commissioners of Public Works.

The Irish Department of Defence occupied 29 acres of grounds from the 1940s, and accommodated the Irish Army on a permanent basis from 1969 until 2009, when it closed due to government cutbacks.

Rockhill House has recently been extensively renovated and re-opened as a country house hotel.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

The Montagu Case



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She had never been anything to the contrary.

She had been with them a year last October.

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

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

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

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

First published in May, 2014.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Rosslea Manor Fire



On Thursday evening last a disastrous fire occurred at ROSSLEA MANOR, the seat of John Madden, Esq., the result being that the entire building was destroyed, notwithstanding the efforts of many who had assembled from the surrounding districts to assist in extinguishing the flames.

At three o’clock p.m. one of the chimneys from a servant’s bedroom was observed to be on fire, but after some delay it was put out, or supposed to have been put out.

It would appear, however, from the sequel that the flue was in some way connected with the woodwork of the roof, for about eight o’clock this part of the edifice was observed to be in flames.

Messengers were dispatched to Clones and Rosslea for assistance, and in a short time the police at these stations turned out with many others anxious to render effective help.

Fortunately there were a number of guests in the house at the time who had been invited to a dinner party that evening, and after it was seen that there was little hope of saving the building, they with others proceeded to empty the house before the flames reached the lower rooms.

In this way the valuable contents were saved. All the furniture, pictures, plate, &c., were got out, and of these the police took charge.

At ten o’clock the roof and floors of the several rooms had fallen in, and not a vestige of the contents remained with the exception of the billiards-room, and this was secured mainly through the exertions of Messrs. Clarke and Fitzgerald, who were early on the scene of the catastrophe.

In the meantime messengers were dispatched for the Monaghan fire-engine, but it does not appear that it has yet arrived there.

At about 9.30 one of Mr. Madden’s daughters who had been ill was removed to Rev Haire-Forster’s, and the other ladies to Rev Canon Finlay’s, where they remain.

We understand that the premises were not fully insured so that the loss will be very considerable indeed.

Much sympathy is felt for Mr Madden and family, but it is a source of congratulation that the report circulated during the early part of the night, namely, that the fire was the result of a malicious outrage, had no foundation whatever.

The night was very stormy, and it was with great difficulty that the stable and a large range of office-houses were saved.

Men were told off [sic] early in the evening to see after this part of the work, and it was directly owing to their energetic action during the progress of the fire that the flames did not extend to all the outside buildings.

After all was over Mr. Madden could not be induced to leave the premises, but slept a few hours in the harness-room, yesterday morning, before overseeing the disposal of valuables saved from the conflagration.

The occurrence will be particularly inconvenient and annoying just now, as we understand Mr. Madden expected one of his sons home in a few days on a visit.

First published in May, 2014.

Friday, 27 May 2022

New DL


Mr Gawn Rowan-Hamilton, Lord-Lieutenant of County Down, has been pleased to appoint:-
Colonel John William Rollins MBE
County Down
To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County his Commission bearing date the 23rd day of May 2022

Signed: Gawn Rowan-Hamilton

Lord-Lieutenant of the County

Derrymore House

WALTER GARUTH CORRY, of Dumfriesshire, born in 1620, settled in Ulster about the time of the Plantation.

His son,

WALTER CORRY (c1635-99), a cornet in the dragoons of the usurper Cromwell's army, was granted the Rockcorry estate in County Monaghan by CHARLES II in 1667.

Mr Corry, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1672, built the town and castle of Newtoncorry (later renamed Rockcorry).

His son,

ISAAC CORRY, born ca 1655 at Rockcorry, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, had a son,

ISAAC CORRY (c1691-1752), of Abbey Yard, Newry, County Down, merchant, who married Cæzarea Smyth, by whom he had he had seven children.

The third and youngest son, SIR TREVOR CORRY, was born at Newry in 1724.

Corry memorial in St Mary's Parish Church, Newry
(by West Marshall - Own work)

Mr Corry had further issue, twin sons,
EDWARD, of whom presently;
The elder son,

EDWARD CORRY (1723-92), MP for Newry, 1774-76, wedded Catherine, daughter of Captain Charles Bristow, of Crebilly, County Antrim.

His son,

THE RT HON ISAAC CORRY (1753-1813), MP for Newry, 1776-1800, CHANCELLOR OF THE IRISH EXCHEQUER, born at Newry, County Down, was unmarried, though had an intimate friendship with Jane Symms, who bore him three sons and three daughters.

DERRYMORE HOUSE, near Bessbrook, County Armagh, is a single-storey thatched cottage ornée of Palladian form.

It comprises a bow-fronted centre block and two flanking wings, joined to the main block by small canted links.

The central bow of the main block is three-sided and glazed to the ground, with astragals and mullions; flanked by two quatrefoil windows, under hood mouldings.

Each wing has a mullioned window.

Derrymore was built at some time prior to 1787 by the Rt Hon Isaac Corry, MP for Newry and Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer.

In 1810, Isaac Corry conveyed the property to William Young, son of the Rev John Young, of Eden, County Armagh.

Young, a lieutenant-colonel in the East India Company, was created a baronet in 1821.

Sir William added an entrance hall on the north side of the U-shaped courtyard, thus enclosing it entirely.

About 1828, the Youngs moved from Derrymore to Bailieborough, County Cavan.

Derrymore was sold to Edward Smyth, of Newry, whose family retained the estate until 1859.

The demesne, which hosted 140,000 trees, was then bought by a wealthy merchant, Robert Glenny, of Trevor Hill, Newry, who in turn sold it onto the linen manufacturer John Grubb Richardson who lived in the adjoining estate, The Woodhouse.
Richardson was responsible for establishing the village of Bessbrook, and building Bessbrook Friends' Meeting House, which sits in the Derrymore demesne.
In 1952, John Stephens Wakefield Richardson donated Derrymore to the National Trust, and it was opened officially in 1957 by the Lady Wakehurst, wife of the Governor of Northern Ireland.

The National Trust subsequently undertook to repair Derrymore and to demolish Sir William Young's entrance hall and later accretions, thus restoring the house to its 18th century character.

Thatching with Norfolk reed had not been a success and in 1963 a native appearance using wheat straw and omitting the block ridge was restored.

During the period of unrest in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles, the house was bombed on five separate occasions between 1972-79.

The custodian, Edmund Baillie, carried out some of the bombs to the garden.

When interviewed in February, 2000, Mr Baillie confirmed that, due to the damage suffered by the structure, most if not all of the timbers had been replaced and that some changes had been made to the interior.

A re-thatching scheme using water reed with wheat straw for the block ridge was completed in 2003.


DERRYMORE'S parkland is attributed to John Sutherland, the leading designer of the day.

Thin belts of mature, mostly deciduous trees and woodland to the north-west of the house are the only reminders of the original planting.

The elms have died out, though replanting has taken place.

The parkland to the south and east of the house was used for Nissen huts during the 2nd World War.

The parkland trees were felled and concrete bases remain in what was always poor soil.

A pond was made in the quarry where stone was used for local building.

There is a small but charming ornamental garden at the house, which has a Victorian appearance.

The walled garden is part cultivated.

It was latterly an orchard used for The Woodhouse.

The head gardener’s house is called Hortus Lodge.

There are four gate lodges, described by Dean as, ‘...disappointingly nondescript’:

One, built pre-1834, two pre-1861 and one pre-1906.

First published in April, 2014.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Bailieborough Castle


JOHN YOUNG (1497-1583), Burgess of Edinburgh, 1541, married Margaret Scrymgeour, the celebrated scholar, of the ancient and noble family of Scrymgoeur, and sister of Henry Scrymgeour, the celebrated scholar, professor of philosophy, and of civil law, at Geneva.
Their father was Scrymgeour of Glasswell, the descendant of an immediate branch of the Scrymgeours of Dudhope, who were created hereditary standard bearers of the Kings of Scotland, in 1057, by ALEXANDER I, and became afterwards Earls of Dundee. John Young died at Dundee, aged 86; his wife died some years previously. There appears to have been a family of that name settled in Forfarshire in the 14th century.

John Young had four sons and two daughters, viz.
John, Rector of Dysart;
PETER, of whom presently;
Isabella; Johanna.
The second son,

SIR PETER YOUNG (1544-1528), was born at Dundee.

In 1569, he was appointed assistant tutor, with George Buchanan, to JAMES VI.

He appears to have attracted the notice of WILLIAM CECIL early, as we find both him and Buchanan pensioners of ELIZABETH I.

In 1598, he was appointed one of the commissioners for visiting the universities of St Andrew's, Aberdeen, and Glasgow.

In 1586, he was sent ambassador to Denmark.

Sir Peter married, in 1577, Elizabeth, daughter of John Gibb, a Gentleman of the King's Bedchamber, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
Maria; Margaret; Frederica; Johanna; Anna.
His wife died in 1595, and he wedded secondly, Dame Joanna Murray, widow of Lord Torpichen.

This lady died six months after their marriage.

Sir Peter espoused thirdly, about 1600, Margery Nairne, daughter of Nairne of Sandford, Fife, by which marriage he had four daughters.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, afterwards SIR JAMES YOUNG, Knight, who married firstly, Isabella, daughter of Arbuthnot of Findownie, and had issue,
He wedded secondly, Jane Steward, by whom he had one daughter, ANNE.

Sir James was one of the Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to the King, and had a grant of 1,000 acres of land given him in County Longford.

He was succeeded by his second son,

PETER YOUNG, who was succeeded to the estate of his uncle, the Dean of Winchester.

He espoused Isabel, daughter of Ochterloney of Pittenweem, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Margaret; another daughter.
In 1620, Robert Young and his father, Peter Young, conjointly, sold the Easter Seaton Estate and other lands, and purchased part of the estates of Auldbar from Sir James Sinclair, completing the purchase in 1678.

Robert married Anne Graham, daughter of Sir William Graham, and sister of the celebrated Viscount Dundee, and had issue,
A younger son of David Young was living in Aberdeen in 1758.

Nothing more is known of this branch.

Alexander Young, Bishop of Edinburgh, translated to Ross, was one of the Seaton family: he died in 1644, a prelate of distinguished learning and piety.

John Young, also of this family, was elected Bishop of Argyll in 1661, but died before he was consecrated.

Of Sir Peter Young's younger sons, the third, Peter, was attached to the train of Lord Spencer; sent on a special mission, in 1628, to invest Gustavus Adolphus with the Order of the Garter, and was knighted by that monarch, who also granted him permission to quarter  the arms of Sweden with his own proper arms.

He was gentleman usher to CHARLES I, and died unmarried in 1661.

Patrick, the fifth son, was Librarian to JAMES I and CHARLES I, Rector of Hayes, Middlesex, and Lannerage, Denbighshire, and prebendary and treasurer of St Paul's.

John Young (1585-1654), the sixth son, after completing his education, entered the Church, and was afterwards Dean of Winchester.

Some of the descendants of this family settled in Ulster; and of these, the ancestor of the Young Baronets was

THE REV JOHN YOUNG, Rector of Urney, County Tyrone, a clergyman of the established church.

His mother, Isabella, was a sister of Sir Peter Young, of Easter Seaton, who married a kinsman and namesake.

In the reign of JAMES I, this Rev John Young wedded, in Scotland, Elspa Douglas, and went to Ulster, where they settled.

After some time, he obtained church preferment, and also considerable landed property, through the lady's father, by an exchange of lands in the counties of Donegal and Londonderry with Lord Abercorn, for an equivalent in Scotland, as a settlement on his daughter and her family.

Part of these lands were in the possession of Richard Young, of Coolkeeragh, near Eglinton, their lineal descendant.

The Rev John Young had a numerous family.

His eldest son,

JAMES YOUNG, resided in County Donegal, where he married and had several children, of whom nine were sons.

Being a man of good fortune, much attached to the protestant cause, he was not only an active partisan at the siege of Londonderry, but was enabled frequently to send aid to the besieged during their arduous struggle.

He was, in consequence, one of the citizens of Londonderry attainted by JAMES II.

JOHN YOUNG, of Coolkeeragh, the great-grandson of this James Young, wedded Catherine Knox, granddaughter of the Rt Rev Andrew Knox, the second Lord Bishop of Raphoe after the Reformation, who died in that see in 1633.

By this marriage, LOUGH ESKE estate, County Donegal, came into the possession of Thomas, a younger son of John Young, to whom, while in infancy, it was willed by his uncle, Thomas Knox. This

THOMAS YOUNG, of Lough Eske, espoused, in 1740-41, Rebecca, daughter of Oliver Singleton, of Fort Singleton, County Monaghan, by Miss Anketel, of Anketel Grove, County Monaghan, and had issue (with four daughters),
JOHN, of whom presently;
The second son,

THE REV JOHN YOUNG, of Eden, County Armagh, married, in 1766, Anne, daughter of John McClintock, of Trinta, County Donegal, and had issue,
Thomas, drowned at sea;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
John (Rev), Rector of Killeeshil;
Alexander, an officer in the Royal Navy;
Susanna Maria; Rebecca; Anketell; Catherine.
The Rev John Young was succeeded by his second son,

WILLIAM YOUNG, who wedded, in 1806, Lucy, youngest daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Frederick, eldest son of Sir Charles Frederick KB, younger brother of Sir John Frederick, 4th Baronet, of Burwood Park, Surrey, and had issue,
Helenus Edward;
Anna; Lucy; Augusta Maria.
Mr Young, a director in the East India Company, was created a baronet in 1821, designated of Bailieborough, County Cavan.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON SIR JOHN YOUNG, 2nd Baronet (1807-76), GCB, GCMG, Governor-General of Canada, Governor of New South Wales, Chief Secretary for Ireland, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1870, in the dignity of BARON LISGAR, of Lisgar and Bailieborough, County Cavan.

He espoused, in 1835, Adelaide Annabella, daughter of Edward Tuite Dalton, of Fermor, County Meath, daughter of the 2nd Marchioness of Headfort, by her first husband, Edward Tuite Dalton.

His lordship died in 1876, when the peerage became extinct, and he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his nephew, William Muston Need Young (1847-1934), an official in the Indian telegraph department.

Lady Lisgar subsequently married her late husband’s former private secretary, Sir Francis Charles Fortescue Turville KCMG, of Bosworth Hall, Leicestershire.

BAILIEBOROUGH CASTLE, Bailieborough, County Cavan, was located in a fine demesne, and occupied the site of an ancient fortress, once described as a vaulted castle with a bawn and two flanking towers.

The mansion was an irregular two-storey Victorian house with a gabled, buttressed Gothic porch.

About 1895, most of the estate was sold off under the Ashboune Act; while the house was sold to Sir Stanley Herbert Cochrane Bt. 

In 1918 the house was gutted by fire.

It was partially rebuilt by the Marist Brothers in 1920, though sold for demolition in 1923.

The brothers lived in a rebuilt section until 1936, when they decided to sell the house to the Irish department of Lands.

The house was demolished soon afterwards.

First published in November, 2012.

1st Baron Trevor


LORD (ARTHUR) EDWIN HILL (1819-94), third son of Arthur, 3rd Marquess of Downshire, KP, was elected MP for Down in 1845, a seat he held for the next thirty-five years.

In 1862, on the death of their kinsman, ARTHUR HILL-TREVOR, 3RD VISCOUNT DUNGANNON (on whose death the viscountcy became extinct), this branch of the Hill family succeeded to the Trevor and Dungannon estates.

By arrangement, parts of the estates, including Brynkinalt in Denbighshire, passed to Lord Edwin, who assumed, by royal license, the additional surname of TREVOR.

Lord Edwin was elevated to the peerage, in 1880, in the dignity of BARON TREVOR, of Brynkinalt, Denbighshire (third creation).

His lordship married firstly, in 1848, Mary Emily, daughter of Sir Richard Sutton, 2nd Baronet.

After her death, in 1855, he married secondly, in 1858, Mary Catherine, daughter of the Rev and Hon Alfred Curzon.

 1st Baron Trevor (Image: Camille Silvy/NPG, 1861)

Lord Trevor died in 1894, aged 75, and was succeeded by his son from his first marriage, the Hon Arthur Hill-Trevor.

Lady Trevor died in 1912.

  • Arthur William Hill-Trevor, 2nd Baron Trevor (1852–1923);
  • Charles Edward Hill-Trevor, 3rd Baron Trevor (1863–1950);
  • Charles Edwin Hill-Trevor, 4th Baron Trevor (1928–97);
  • Marke Charles Hill-Trevor, 5th Baron Trevor (b 1970).

The Trevor Family has a rich and illustrious lineage: They remained loyal to the Crown throughout the Civil War and, in 1662, Mark Trevor was created Viscount Dungannon by CHARLES II for gallantry in wounding Oliver Cromwell at the Battle of Marston Moor.

Upon his death, the house and estates passed to the Rt Hon Sir John Trevor.

In 1717, his daughter Anne, the only surviving child, inherited Brynkinalt and estates.

Anne Trevor’s first marriage was to the Rt Hon Michael Hill MP, ancestor of the Marquess of Downshire.

Anne was a direct ancestor of the present Lord Trevor.

In the 18th century, Anne Trevor and Michael Hill’s second son, Arthur Hill, inherited the Brynkinalt Estates and was created Viscount Dungannon of the 2nd Creation.

On the death of Lord Dungannon in 1771, the title passed to Lord Dungannon’s grandson, Arthur Hill-Trevor.

Arthur, 2nd Viscount Dungannon (of 2nd Creation), married Charlotte, daughter of the 1st Baron Southampton.

It was under Lady Dungannon’s imaginative hands that the original Jacobean house, together with its early 18th Century wings and open courtyard, was transformed into the present design.

In addition to creating the Great Hall and re-aligning and re-designing the north front of the house, Charlotte created the original formal and informal gardens.

In 1819, Lord Edwin Hill succeeded to the Brynkinalt estate.

He was persuaded by the Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, to accept a peerage and was thus created Baron Trevor in 1880.

Today the Brynkinalt Estate is managed by the Hon Iain Robert Hill-Trevor, younger brother of the 5th Lord Trevor, and his wife Kate, who have made Brynkinalt Hall their family home.

Belvoir Park, Newtownbreda, County Down, was a seat of the Viscounts Dungannon.

I have written about Belvoir House here.

First published in July, 2010.  Trevor arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

The Johnston Baronetcy

SIR WILLIAM JOHNSTON, Knight, of Gilford, County Down, High Sheriff of County Down, 1717, County Armagh, 1721, married Nichola, daughter of SIR NICHOLAS ACHESON Bt (ancestor of the Earls of Gosford), by whom he had four sons and a daughter.
In 1700, he inherited the Gilford estates of his uncle, Sir John Magill Bt, the estate having been founded by Captain John Magill in the 1660s, when he was given leases for the creation of a small village beside an important ford in the River Bann.
Sir William died in 1722, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD JOHNSTON (1710-58), High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1733, County Down, 1735, County Monaghan, 1738, who wedded, in 1737, Catherine, daughter of the Rev John Gill, and had issue,
RICHARD, of whom we treat;
Nicolina; Catherine.
The younger son,

RICHARD JOHNSTON (1743-95), of Gilford, High Sheriff of County Down, 1765, County Armagh, 1771, MP for Kilbeggan, 1776, Blessington, 1783-95, espoused, in 1764, Anne, daughter of William Alexander, and had issue,
WILLIAM, of whom presently;
Mary Anne, m J Henry Burges, of Woodpark, Co Armagh;
Catherine, m Joseph Mason Ormsby.
Mr Johnston was created a baronet in 1772, designated of Gilford, County Down.

Johnston coat-of-arms

He was succeeded by his son,

SIR WILLIAM JOHNSTON, 2nd Baronet (1765-1841), High Sheriff of County Down, 1788, who died unmarried.

Sir William died at 32 Bryanston Square, London, and was buried at St Marylebone Church, London.

On his death, the baronetcy became extinct.

GILFORD CASTLE, Gilford, County Down, is a two-storey, Scottish-Baronial country house of ca 1870.

The entrance front has tall bay windows with balustrades; while the north front has a projecting gable wing with a side turret.

A slimmer projecting gable with window projection is on the ground floor.

An open stone porch with ball finials with balcony is over the doorway.

The brick outbuildings on the east front form part of a courtyard behind which there is a stone-faced, three-storey tower and stone arch into a courtyard.

The main house has five bedrooms, two bathrooms and four reception rooms, a large hallway and two kitchens.

The north wing has a further five bedrooms, two bathrooms and two reception rooms; while a smaller wing has two bedrooms, one bathroom and two reception rooms.

The house was built for Benjamin Dickson, a partner in the local linen thread company of Dunbar McMaster.

It replaced a much earlier castle built by a descendant of Gilford’s earliest proprietor.

However, the current house was seldom inhabited until the ancestors of the present owners acquired the property in the early 20th century.

"Gilford Castle" is first shown, captioned, on a map of 1901-2, situated at the heart of extensive, partially wooded grounds, captioned Gilford Castle Demesne.

Earlier maps show a much smaller building, "Gilford Castle", at the edge of the demesne where it adjoined the town at Castle Street.

The first castle at Gilford is thought to have been built by Captain William Johnston, of the Royal Irish Dragoons, who inherited part of the Gilford estates from the grandson of Captain John Magill, a soldier in Cromwell’s army who was the early proprietor of Gilford and from whom the name of the town derives.

The first castle was probably built in the early 1700s by Sir William.

After his death in 1722 the castle and estates passed to his son Richard, and his grandson, also Richard, but following the death of Richard Johnston’s son William in 1841, the baronetcy became extinct.

The original castle and demesne were sold by William’s younger sister Catherine to Benjamin Dickson, who built the present house.

The old castle fell into decay and was demolished in the 1860s prior to the completion of the new building.

The old castle stood on the south side of the present Castle Street, close to the road and on the edge of the demesne.

The present Gilford Castle, in the Scottish-Baronial style, was begun in the mid-1860s and completed ca 1870.

The designer is said to have been William Spence, a Scottish architect from Glasgow who also designed a house, Elmfield, for Dickson’s brother James.

Benjamin and James Dickson were partners in the Dunbar McMaster linen thread company on which the growth and prosperity of Gilford town was largely founded.

The new castle was considerably more centrally placed within the demesne and surrounding countryside and afforded a grand drive entrance.

Benjamin Dickson, however, does not appear to have ever inhabited Gilford Castle.

The castle was vacant until 1887, when it became the home of Percy Jocelyn McMaster, the younger brother of Hugh Dunbar McMaster, proprietor of Gilford Mill, who was resident at nearby Dunbarton House.

The house was let from Benjamin Dickson.

Nevertheless, McMaster’s tenancy was brief and by 1891 the house was again vacant.

A tenant named Purcell inhabited the castle for some time around 1896.

The 1901 census records the only occupant as being the gardener/caretaker, James Emerson, who occupied three rooms with his wife and six children, his 14-year-old daughter working as a seamstress.

In 1904 the house and demesne was purchased by Katherine Carleton for £15,000 (about £1.6 million today), the valuer noting that the cost of the building to Benjamin Dickson had been about £42,000 (c£4.5 million today) and that the price paid by Carleton was ‘the value of the land alone, the castle being given for nothing’.

In Katherine Carleton, the castle found a long-term resident for the first time since it had been built.

The 1911 census indicated that the 54-year-old spinster inhabited the castle with a female companion and two domestic servants, a cook and a parlourmaid.

In 1914, the house was purchased by James F Wright, whose descendants continue to live in the castle today.

In 1934 the accommodation comprised two reception rooms, a billiards room, library, study, two kitchens, two pantries, a scullery, larder and dairy.

On the first floor were six bedrooms, two dressing rooms, two bathrooms, a nursery, a sewing room and three maids’ rooms.

The second floor comprised two attic rooms.

During the 2nd World War most of Northern Ireland was a training ground for allied troops and there was a large concentration of army personnel based in Gilford, which with its woods, lakes and rivers and proximity to major transport routes was ideally suited to military training purposes.

The army made use of Nissen Huts erected for the purpose in Gilford Castle demesne, and in 1943 the demesne housed a squadron of US troops together with their medical detachment who built a temporary hospital to the rear of the castle.

Documents show that 35 acres of land were requisitioned by the War Department in October, 1940, and a further 1 rood and 15 perches in July, 1941.

The castle is currently a family home, and the owner, Christine Wright, is a well-known local artist.

Gilford Castle has been home to the Wright family since it was bought in 1914 by James F Wright, the grandfather of Christine's late husband, Michael.

The property was for sale in 2020.

First published in January, 2011. The coat-of-arms is that of JOHNSTON OF KILMORE.