Sunday, 18 February 2018

County of Londonderry

A maritime county in the north of Ulster bounded, on the north, by the Atlantic Ocean; on the east, by County Antrim; on the south, by County Tyrone; and on the west, by Lough Neagh, Lough Beg, the Lower (river) Bann, and County Donegal in the Irish Republic.

The river Ballinderry traces the southern boundary over the last five miles of its run to Lough Neagh.

A lofty line of watershed along the central summits of the great mountainous district of northern Ulster forms most of the boundary westward from the vale of the river Ballinderry to Foyle Valley.

An artificial line of about eight miles in extent winds round a district on the west side of the River Foyle, down to the beginning of that river's expansion into estuary; and Lough Foyle forms the whole of the western boundary thence to the ocean.

The district east of the River Bann extends at Coleraine; and the district west of the River Foyle, that of Londonderry; so that, but for the artificial disposition of territory connected with these two towns, the Bann and the Foyle would have formed boundary-lines over the entire extent of their contact with the county, and rendered it a naturally well-defined region, from river to river, and from the line of watershed to the ocean.

The outline of the county is roughly triangular, with its sides facing the east, the south-west and the north-west.

Its area comprises almost 520,000 acres.

The highest mountaain is Sawel Mountain (The Sperrins), at 2,224 feet.

Altinaghree Castle


WILLIAM OBILBY JP (1808-73), of Altinaghree Castle, Donemana, County Tyrone, reputed to be a scion of OGILBY OF ARDNARGLE AND PELLIPAR, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1873, married, in 1851, Adelaide Charlotte, daughter of the Hon and Rev Charles Douglas (brother of George Sholto, 17th Earl of Morton), by his first wife, the Lady Isabella Gore, daughter of Arthur Saunders, 2nd Earl of Arran, and had issue,
JAMES DOUGLAS, succeeded his brother;
William Charles (1855-6);
Adelaide Charlotte; Isabella Caroline; Beatrice Emma Elizabeth; Louisa; Edith Sophia.
Mr Ogilby was succeeded by his eldest son,

CLAUD WILLIAM LESLIE OGILBY (1851-94), who wedded, in 1875, Bessie Henrietta, daughter of Captain William Grant Douglas, in a childless marriage.

Mr Ogilby was succeeded by his brother,

JAMES DOUGLAS OGILBY (1853-1925), who espoused, in 1884, Mary Jane Jameson (d 1894) at Donagheady parish church, County Tyrone, though the marriage was without issue.

ALTINAGHREE CASTLE, near Donemana, County Tyrone, was built by William Ogilby ca 1860, though abandoned about thirty years later.

Despite its short existence, nevertheless, it was associated with two significant figures in natural history, and survives in the folk memory of the locality.

A house first appears on the location about 1853, captioned ‘Liscloon House’.

By the third edition, this has been replaced by a different structure, captioned ‘Altinaghree Castle’, surrounded by a wall.

‘Liscloon Cottages’ and a ‘Lodge’ are also shown nearby.

On the fourth edition the castle is shown in ruins.

Buildings listed include stables, a garden house, stables, granary, cow house, steaming house and piggery.

In 1861, Annual Revisions note, ‘This house is throwing down. Mr Ogilby is building a very fine new house, value when completed’.

William Ogilby married Adelaide Charlotte Douglas, daughter of the Rev Charles Douglas of Earls Gift in 1851.

He died in 1873, not long after completing Altinaghree Castle, when it then passed to his son Claude William Leslie Ogilby who is listed as the occupier in 1876.

Claude also married a Douglas, Bessie Henrietta, daughter of Captain William Grant Douglas, in 1875.

However, from 1888, when the house is listed as ‘vacant’ and leased from the Trustees of Claude W Ogilby, the building deteriorates and decreases in value.

In 1889, when the house is first described as a castle.

In 1892 it was described as ‘dilapidated’ and the value is reduced to £5.

Samuel Eaton becomes the lessor in 1905.

A note of 1909 reads, ‘floors and windows gone, a ruin’; and in 1910 it is deleted from the record altogether, although the gate lodge continues to be occupied.

The Strabane Weekly News of 4th January, 1975, reports on some of the local stories surrounding the castle, which was built entirely of cut stone and surrounded by a wall of the same type.

The stones were brought by horse and cart from Dungiven, County Londonderry.

Stonecutters from the Barons Court Estate were employed at the castle.

Masons were paid one shilling per day, and labourers, 10d.

According to the Natural Stone Database, the stones used are local Dalriadan schist and Barony Glen sandstone.

When finished, its banqueting room was said to be unequalled throughout the county.

Ogilby was known locally simply as a successful farmer and proprietor who entertained on a lavish scale, bringing in cooks from Belfast and Dublin for his banquets, although it is not clear whether it is the older or the younger Ogilby that is remembered in this way.

The Ogilby’s second son, James, is remembered locally as falling in love with a factory girl that he met when returning from a hunt meeting at Donemana.

Folklore has it that, following his family’s opposition to their marriage, James vanished from the area in 1875.

He returned, however, seven years later, in 1882, to marry his sweetheart who had waited for him.

The older son, Claude, died at the early age of 43, but apparently left the house six years before his death.

The fact that his affairs were in the hands of trustees suggests that he was bankrupt.

A contemporary newspaper article implies that the upkeep of a large castle had perhaps proved overwhelming, following Gladstone’s land reforms.

Hugh Dixon writes that the castle
Would have been regarded as wildly unfashionable by many contemporaries. 
It looks more like the sort of castellated factory which Pugin derides than the naturally planned, colourfully designed country houses then in vogue under Ruskin’s influence. 
It is no surprise to me that it had a very short active life – dinner at 3pm was definitely a very late hangover from Georgian times.

Jeremy Williams writes that
The architect responsible is unrecorded, but there are many parallels with the Londonderry Apprentice Boys’ Hall of 1873 by J. G. Ferguson before bomb damage—the same segmental mullioned windows and shallow oriels, Ferguson is more admired today for his industrial architecture, and, despite its appellation, Altnachree is more castellated mill than castle.
It is referred to as a castle for the first time in 1872, a year before Claud William Ogilvy’s inheritance at the age of twenty-three.

Entered through a porte-cochere on the side along the axis of the central corridor, with the three main rooms strung out along the garden front.

Main staircase set into triple-arched composition, but taking up the minimum of space, all like an office block.

Four-storeyed towers in the centre of each front; three floors elsewhere.

Today only a shell survives in a denuded park.

The mansion was said to be splendidly appointed and had a banqueting room.

It is constructed from cut stone.

Altinaghree was abandoned in 1885, a mere twenty years after its construction.

It cannot be listed because it is roofless.

First published in February, 2014.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Kenure Park


ROGER PALMER (alleged to have been the third son of Edward Palmer, of Nayton and Casterton, Norfolk) went over to Ireland and had a grant of Castle Lackin, and many other lands in County Mayo, in 1684.
His signature appears to the address from the nobility and gentry of County Mayo to CHARLES II in 1682. 
The Palmer family had come to Ireland in 1681 from Norfolk, and had acquired lands in County Mayo, where by the end of the 19th Century, they had amassed 80,000 acres. 
THOMAS PALMER, of Castle Lackin, second son of Roger Palmer, of Palmerstown, in the same county, was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROGER PALMER, who was created a baronet in 1777, denominated of Castle Lackin.

Sir Roger wedded Miss Andrews, and had issue,
JOHN ROGER, his successor;
WILLIAM HENRY, succeeded his brother;
He died about 1790, and was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR JOHN ROGER PALMER, 2nd Baronet, who married Mary, only daughter of the Rev Thomas Althem, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1819, by his brother,

SIR WILLIAM HENRY PALMER, 3rd Baronet, of Castle Lackin, who espoused Alice, daughter of _____ Franklin, and had issue,
Francis Roger;
John Roger;
Charlotte Alice; Augusta Sophia; Ellen Ambrosia.
Sir William died in 1840, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM HENRY ROGER PALMER, 4th Baronet (1802-69), who married and was succeeded by his only son,

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL SIR ROGER WILLIAM HENRY PALMER, 5th and last Baronet (1832-1910), MP for Mayo, 1857-65.

Kenure Park

The Palmers owned a number of seats, including Keenagh Lodge, Crossmolina, and the ruinous Castle Lackin in County Mayo; Cefn Park, near Wrexham, North Wales; Glenisland, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Their principal Irish seat (through marriage) was Kenure Park, near Rush, County Dublin, where the estate comprised 3,991 acres.

Lieutenant-General Sir Roger Palmer, 5th and last Baronet, MP for Mayo, 1857-65, was Ellen Palmer's only brother.

He resided at Kenure with his wife, Gertrude Millicent, until his death in 1910.

Lady Palmer survived her husband for many years. She continued to spend much of her time in Kenure (above) until her death in 1929.

There are people in Rush who still remember the parties held in the house for the children of the town.

Sir Roger and Lady Palmer left no heirs, and the property devolved to Colonel Roderick Henry Fenwick-Palmer, who had fought in the 1st World War, and still bore the marks of shrapnel wounds to his face.

He had property of his own in Wrexham, North Wales, and only came to Kenure in the summer.

A plain man, he was not given to living the high life, apart from dining occasionally with friends, such as the late Lord Revelstoke.

He spent a lot of money trying to keep the house in repair.

He was finally defeated by rising costs on a property which was not making money.

Part of the estate had already been sold years before.

He eventually sold Kenure to the Irish Land Commission, in 1964, for £70.000.

Most of the land was divided up among local farmers.

The remainder was sold to Dublin County Council for housing and playing fields.

The woodland was cleared and all that now remains of the trees, which once dominated the skyline, is a small area around the main gate.

The front gate lodge is now the local Scouts' Den.

The gate lodge at Skerries Road belongs to Rush Cricket Club, which has beautifully refurbished it.

The Gate-Keeper's Lodge, the walled garden, the Steward's Lodge, the pond and shady avenues, have all gone the way of the big house itself. Only the portico remains, a stark remainder of what once was there.

The contents of the house were auctioned in September 1964, the auction lasted four days and realised £250,000, which would be over £1,000,000 in present day values.

Socially, Kenure had been a place apart from the ordinary life of the town, but it had been there for hundreds of years, an essential part of the Rush scene.

The general feeling was one of regret and disbelief that it was disintegrating.

As landlords, the Palmers had not been the worst.

However, there had been some evictions, and one action, which is still adversely remembered, was the removal of some of their tenants from their ancient holdings in order to lengthen the main avenue and have the main entrance gate near the town.

Nevertheless the Palmers were in many ways beneficent to Rush.

They gave land for the Catholic and Protestant churches, for a presbytery and for a teacher's residence.

In 1896, when the Catholic church was being refurbished, they donated the seating for the nave, and a brass memorial tablet in the church testifies to this.

A portion of the estate was allocated to the local cricket club, and it was certainly the most beautifully situated cricket pitch in north County Dublin.

Dublin County Council was left with an empty mansion, for which they could find no buyer.

The house continued to deteriorate.

During this time it was rented to a film company and a few films were made there, including "Ten Little Indians", "Rocket to the Moon", and "The Fall of Fu Manchu".

In 1978, after a series of incidents in which the house was vandalized and set on fire, with the inevitable water damage that resulted from the fire engines having to put out the blaze, the house was in a very dangerous condition structurally.

The County Council decided it had no choice but to demolish the house.

Within a few days, all that was left of this once great house was a mountain of rubble, from which the massive portico arose, forlorn and lonely against the sky.

First published in September, 2011. Select bibliography: KENURE HOUSE AND DEMESNE

Upper Crescent, Belfast

Upper Crescent in 2014

Lower Crescent and Upper Crescent, both in the University Quarter of south Belfast, have inspired me since childhood.

Lower Crescent, which runs from 4 University Road to Botanic Avenue, is to the north of the Upper Crescent; whereas Upper Crescent runs from 28 University Road to Crescent Gardens.

Most of the 2nd Marquess of Donegall's Belfast estate was sold in the early to mid-19th century, thereby freeing large areas of land around the town for development.

The lands to the south, along the Malone Ridge, were particularly attractive to developers, and fostered the construction of many fine late Georgian-style terraces from the mid 1830s onwards, a trend accelerated by the establishment of the prestigious Queen's College (Queen's University) in the area, in the later 1840s.

13-15 Upper Crescent in 2014

These new, grand terraces were occupied by the city's professional and business classes, who vacated their older residences in the centre of the town (like College Square North); which, in turn, which eventually became shops and offices.

Upper Crescent was perhaps the grandest terrace development undertaken in south Belfast.

This was an elegantly curving row of three-storey dwellings in a late Regency style, built in 1846 by the timber merchant Robert Corry.

It has been suggested that the celebrated Belfast architect Sir Charles Lanyon may have been involved in the design of the crescents.

Corry himself undertook the building work and took up residence at 16 Upper Crescent.

For the first few years of its existence it was known as Corry's Crescent.

To the immediate north of Upper Crescent, where Crescent Church now stands, there was a large, grassed area which formed part of Mr Corry's gardens.

Shortly after this plot was laid out, however, Corry had it ploughed up and used for the cultivation of vegetables (for the relief of local workers suffering as a result of the famine).

To the north of this garden ran an old water course; to the east, some smaller gardens (belonging to other residents of Upper Crescent); and further to the east and to the north-east, Albion Lane.

In 1852, Robert Corry built another terrace to the north of his garden and just south of the old water course.

This new development, called Lower Crescent, was much in the same vein as that to the south and was occupied by the same mix of professional and business men; though, by as early as 1860, the ground floors of some of the properties were utilized as offices.

In the late 1860s, a railway line was laid to the immediate north of Lower Crescent (along the line of the old water course).
In 1873, the large sandstone building, (originally Ladies Collegiate, later Victoria College), was added to the west end of the terrace, with two houses added to the east end by the end of the decade, the most easterly of which, Rivoli House, originally contained a dance academy run by a Frederick Brouneau.
The railway line cut across Albion Lane and presaged the laying out of a new, broader thoroughfare, to be named Botanic Avenue.

Upper Crescent was further extended in the 1860s and 70s, with two large William Hastings-designed properties erected to the west end in 1869, one of which, Crescent House (latterly a bank) also fronted on to University Road.

In 1878-79, two further houses were added at this end.

In 1885-7, a large Presbyterian church (the present Crescent Church) was erected to plans by the Glasgow architect, John Bennie Wilson, on the west side of Robert Corry's former garden, with a two-storey terrace, the present Crescent Gardens, built on the site of smaller garden plots to the east end in 1898.

During the first half of the 20th century, most of the properties of Upper and Lower Crescent, as well as Crescent Gardens, remained private residences.

By 1960, however, many had become businesses; while others were divided into flats, and Rivoli House (later Dreenagh House) became a hotel.

This trend continued and by the beginning of the 21st century none of the properties were occupied as private dwellings.

In the mid 1990s, three of the 1860-70 houses at the west end of Upper Crescent were demolished and a modern office block was built in their place.

In 2000, the railway cutting to the south of Lower Crescent was built over in preparation for a new development.

Originally named Crescent House, was built in 1869 to designs by William Hastings. Its original resident was Dr Wilberforce Arnold, whose family remained there until the early 1900s. The next occupant was Dr John Campbell, who was followed by a Dr William Campbell (presumably his son). Both Campbells (and possibly Dr Arnold before them) appear have used the University Road section of the property as a surgery. In the 1970s, the building was acquired by Queen's University and served as the University's Institute of Professional Legal Studies. In 2001-02 the property was converted to a branch of the Bank of Ireland (and practically rebuilt in the process), with half of the first floor and all of the second floor converted to offices, linked to the large modern office block to the east.
Built in 1849, occupied by Robert Workman, who remained there until the mid-1850s, when he was followed by John Coates, secretary of the County Antrim Grand Jury. By 1860, the building was in the hands of a John P Corry, a relative of the builder of the Crescent, Robert Corry. At this stage (according to valuation records), the ground floor was used as offices. James P Corry remained in residence until 1877, when he was succeeded by MrWilliam Dobbin. John Morrow, of the Ayr Steamship Company, is listed as the householder in 1899 and 1910; with P T Crymble in 1920. In the later 1920s, the property was acquired by a Miss Wallace, who remained there until the 1970s; and for part of this time used the premises as a nursing home. Thereafter the property was converted to offices. The current occupant acquired the building in 1983.
Occupied, in 1849, by a merchant named Edward Tucker, who was followed by the Rev William Patterson (Professor of Mathematics, Queen's College) in the early 1850s; Peter Keegan, wine merchant, in the later 1850s; James Glass from ca 1860-77; and then Mrs Shillington. In the 1899 directory, Robert Workman, Junior, is listed as the occupant; William Harper in 1910; Joseph Walsh, 1915-40s; then H M Hamilton; and Herbert Kearney. In the 1970s the property was converted to offices.
Mrs Grueber; followed in the mid 1850s by Professor Charles McDowell, who remained there until the early 1880s. In the 1899 and 1910 directories, a W H Ward (of the Ulster Damask & Linen Company) is listed as the occupant; with a Robert Robinson in 1920-30. By 1951, the property had become converted to offices, occupied firstly by the Forestry Division of the NI Department of Agriculture, and then by a firm of quantity surveyors.
Mrs Murdock in 1849; followed in the 1850s by James Green and then James P Corry (a relative of the above mentioned Robert). Corry was succeeded by Jane Vance, who remained there until the later 1870s. The next resident was Alexander Taylor; with a solicitor, J S Mahon, listed in the 1899 and 1910 directories. About 1918, the property was acquired by a family named Matthews, who remained there until the 1950s, when the building was converted into offices (financiers, then a travel agent).
James Greene, (1st clerk, Custom House); followed by Mrs Herdman; and, by 1860, William McNeill; and, by the late 1870s, James Festu. By 1899, the building was home to William Yates; then, pre-1920, the Rev William Beatty; and then T Bell, who remained there from the mid 1920s to the 1960s. By 1970 the property had been converted to an office.
Between 1849-1910/20, the house was occupied by Robert Boag, of Albion Clothing Company, possibly the same person, though likely a father and son. By 1920, it had become The Crescent Private Nursing Home, but had reverted to an conventional dwelling again by 1930, with Miss Mabel Simms in residence. Miss Simms remained there until at least 1960, but by 1970 the building had been converted to an office.
William Brown, of Day, Bottomley & Company, who, in the 1850s, leased the house to Mrs Esther Orr, who remained there until about 1880. The next occupant was James Hyndman; followed in the early 1900s by Mrs Cron. Mr E Matthews and his family remained there from the 1920s until the 1960s. By 1970, the house was being used by a group of elocution teachers, but appears to have reverted to a private dwelling in the late 1970s. The property appears to have become offices from the mid 1980s.
Mrs Dickey; Henry Smith, linen manufacturer, by 1852; and Jane Millford by 1860. The Rev W S Darley became resident in the later 1870s; with Mrs Thompson listed in the 1899 directory; William Galloway (damask designer) in 1920; and the Rev R H White in 1930. In the 1950s, this building and its two neighbours to the east (nos.15 & 16) served as the Ulster Nature Cure Clinic. In the 1960s all three were acquired by Queen's University and converted to student residences. It was probably at this point that the major internal changes to the buildings were carried out; however, it's not improbable that the earlier presence of the Ulster Nature Cure Clinic probably entailed some alterations, perhaps the creation of doorways between the formerly separate properties.
Robert Cassidy, solicitor, who remained here until about 1853, when he moved to the newly-built Lower Crescent; followed by the Rev Robert Wilson, whose family in turn were followed by Mr John Downing. By 1899, Mrs Manley was in residence; and by 1920 a "druggist" named John Clarke; Mrs Rankin, by 1930. A decade later the property served as a nursing home. In the 1950s, this building and its two neighbours to each side (nos.14 and 16) were the Ulster Nature Cure Clinic.
Sources: Henderson's Belfast Directory; Belfast & Province of Ulster Directory; ST Carleton, The Growth of South Belfast (QUB MA thesis, 1967); John Caughey, Seize Then The Hour: A history of James P Corry & Compnay (Belfast, 1974), pp.28-29; David Evans, Historic buildings of Queen's University (revised edition, 1980); Alison Jordan: Margaret Byers, Pioneer of Women's Education (QUB Institute of Irish Studies).

First published in March, 2014.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Fermanagh Lieutenancy



BROOKEBOROUGH, Rt Hon the Viscount


EADIE, Mr Roland R A, DL




PLUNKETT, Mr Charles P B, DL


WILKINSON, Mrs Rosemary, DL

BLAKE, Mrs Mary, DL

LITTLE, Mrs Melanie, DL

STYLES, Mrs Jane, DL

McVEY, Mrs Joanna, OBE DL

WIGHAM, Mr William T A, DL

McMANUS, Ms Roisin, DL

PENDRY, Mr Shaun, DL

FISHER, Mr Ernest, DL

LOGAN, Mr Hamish, DL

ERNE, Rt Hon the Earl of, DL

RASDALE, Mr Anthony, DL


Please advise me of any retirements or deaths.

Kilshannig House


RALPH DE LA ROCHE, son of Alexander de Rupe, alias DE LA ROCHE, was patriarch of the family in Ireland.

He married Elizabeth de Clare, by the Princess Joan of Acre, his wife, daughter of EDWARD I and his Queen, ELEANOR, of Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Gloucester, by the Princess Joan of Acre, his wife, daughter of EDWARD I.

This Ralph had issue, DAVID, father of John de Rupe or la Roche, Baron of Fermoy, who had MAURICE FITZJOHN, Lord De La Roche, of Fermoy, from whom descended,

DAVID ROCHE, Lord Roche, surnamed The Great, who sat in Parliament as VISCOUNT ROCHE, of Fermoy, in the reigns of EDWARD IV and HENRY VII.

He married Jane, daughter of Walter Burke, called MacWilliam, and had issue,
MAURICE, his successor;
His lordship died ca 1492, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

MAURICE ROCHE, 2nd Viscount, who married twice; and by Joanna, his first wife, daughter of James, Earl of Desmond, had a son and successor,

DAVID ROCHE, 3rd Viscount, father, by Catherine his wife, daughter of MacCarthy Mor, of a son and successor,

MAURICE ROCHE, 4th Viscount, who wedded Grania MacCarthy, and had issue,
DAVID, his successor;
Helena; Marcella; Catherine.
The eldest son,

DAVID ROCHE, 5th Viscount, who succeeded his father in 1566, espoused Helena, daughter of James, 10th Baron Dunboyne, and had issue,
Maurice, his successor;
EDMOND, of whom hereafter;
The third son,

EDMOND DE LA ROCHE, died in 1540, leaving (with a daughter, Joan, married, in 1508, to David de Courcy, Baron Kingsale) a son,

MAURICE ROCHE, who, when Mayor of Cork, in 1571, received a signed letter from ELIZABETH I, with a patent and livery collar, in acknowledgment of his services in suppressing the rebellion of the Earl of Desmond.

He died in 1593, leaving three sons, JOHN, EDWARD, and Patrick, and was succeeded by the eldest,

JOHN ROCHE, who dsp and the estates devolved upon his brother,

EDWARD ROCHE, who died in 1626, leaving three sons, FRANCIS, Edward, and Maurice, of whom the eldest,

FRANCIS ROCHE, High Sheriff of County Cork, 1641, entertained Sir Warham St Leger, the Provost-Marshal of Munster, at his seat, Trabolgan, and assisted him for the King.

He wedded Jane Coppinger, by whom he left at his decease, 1669 (with a younger son, Edmund), a son and heir,

EDWARD ROCHE (1645-96), of Trabolgan, who wedded, in 1672, Catherine, daughter of James Lavallin, of Walterstown, County Cork, and died in 1696, having had issue (with four daughters) four sons,
FRANCIS, his heir;
The eldest son and heir,

FRANCIS ROCHE (1673-1755), of Kildinan and Trabolgan, died unmarried, when the former estate descended to his elder nephew, Edmund, before mentioned, and the latter, of Trabolgan, to his other nephew,

EDWARD ROCHE, of Trabolgan, Colonel, Imokilly Horse, who wedded, in 1781, Susanna, elder daughter of Sir George Wombwell Bt, of Yorkshire, by whom he had one son, Edmund Edward, who predeceased him in 1803, a prisoner of war at Lyons, France.

Mr Roche died in 1828, and bequeathed his estates to his nephew (only son of his elder brother, Edmund),

EDWARD ROCHE (1771-1855), of Trabolgan and Kildinan, who espoused, in 1805, Margaret Honoria, only child and heiress of William Curtain, and had issue,
EDMOND BURKE, his heir;
Frances Maria.
Mr Roche was succeeded by his only son,

EDMOND BURKE ROCHE (1815-74), MP for County Cork, 1837-55, who wedded, in 1848, Elizabeth Caroline, daughter of James Brownell Boothby, of Twyford Abbey, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
JAMES BOOTHBY BURKE, succeeded his brother;
Elizabeth Caroline Burke.
Mr Roche was elevated to the peerage, in 1865, as BARON FERMOY, of County Cork.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDMUND FITZEDMUND BURKE (1850-1920), 2nd Baron, JP, DL, High Sheriff of County Cork, 1873, who espoused, in 1877, Cecilia, daughter of Standish, 3rd Viscount Guillamore, and had issue, an only child,
Ada Sybil (1879-1944).
His lordship died without male issue, when the title devolved upon his brother,

JAMES BOOTHBY BURKE, 3rd Baron (1852-1920), MP for East Kerry, 1896-1900, who married, in 1880, Frances Ellen, daughter of Frank Work, and had issue,
EDMUND MAURICE BURKE, his successor;
Francis George;
Eileen; Cynthia.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

(EDMUND) MAURICE BURKE, 4th Baron (1885-1955),
(Edmund) Maurice Burke Roche, 4th Baron (1885–1955);
Edmund James Burke Roche, 5th Baron (1939–84);
(Patrick) Maurice Burke Roche, 6th Baron (b 1967).
The heir presumptive is the present holder's brother, the Hon Edmund Hugh Burke Roche.

Garden front

KILSHANNIG HOUSE, Rathcormack, Fermoy, County Cork, was built between 1765 and 1766 for Abraham Devonsher, a wealthy Cork burgher, on the summit of a gentle hill about six miles south of Fermoy.

Mr Devonsher served as High Sheriff of County Cork, 1762, and MP for Rathcormack between 1756 and 1776.

Originally a Quaker, he was expelled from the Quaker community in 1756 for 'conformity to the world' and for his involvement in politics.

His architect was a Sardinian, Davis Ducart, whose Irish career began in the 1760s and continued until his death in about 1785.

Ducart balanced his career as a canal and mining engineer with some of the second half of the 18th century’s most innovative Irish houses.

Entance front

He was arguably the most accomplished architect working in Ireland between the death of Richard Cassels and arrival of James Gandon.

As a southern European, he remained completely loyal to the Baroque and never ventured into the new neo-Classisical style.

Kilshannig has four formal fronts.

The entrance is of rose red brick while the other fronts are of cut sandstone with limestone dressings.

The brick facade has a mezzanine floor, segmental headed windows, a fine tripartite stone centrepiece with blind occuli and a round-headed niche on the upper floor.

The other fronts have more regular fenestration although they incorporate several unusual details.

This seven-bay block is attached to a pair of square pavilions by straight narrow links, single storied and elaborately arcaded on the garden front.

From the pavilions the wings extend back towards the entrance in an L-shape and reconnect to the main block by curved walls to form a pair of enclosed courtyards.

Saloon ceiling

Kilshannig contains a splendid series of rich 18th century rooms with perhaps Ireland’s finest decorative plasterwork, executed by the Lafrancini brothers during their second visit.

These have noble proportions, magnificent chimneypieces and joinery, and deeply coved Rococo ceilings.


Most notable are the columnar hall, the double height saloon, which occupies the centre of the garden front, and the superb stone spiral staircase.

Mr. Devonsher was childless and left his estate to his nephew, after whom the house changed hands with monotonous regularity, deteriorating continuously with each passing year.

Before 1837, Kilshannig was sold to Edward Roche (1771-1855), of Trabolgan House, who used the mansion as a winter residence, as did his son Edmond Burke Roche, raised to the peerage as 1st Baron Fermoy.

Kilshannig had a succession of owners during the 20th century until Commander Douglas Merry and his wife purchased it in 1960.

At that stage Kilshannig was in poor condition: The cupolas had disappeared; one wing was ruinous; and the whole house badly needed attention.

Fortunately Commander Merry possessed a singular combination of engineering skill and aesthetic sensitivity with considerable "DIY" skills, and it is entirely due to his efforts that the house survived the 20th century.

His son Hugo, a successful bloodstock agent, now lives at Kilshannig with his wife Elaine and their family.

They have continued the good work and have recently given the whole house a new roof, reinstated the cupolas and clad them in copper and a great deal of other work.

This has all been executed to the highest possible standards, to make the house secure for the next hundred years.

Fermoy arms courtesy of European Heraldry.  Select bibliography ~ Irish Historic Houses Association.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

House of Cole

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

The first of this family who settled in Ulster was

SIR WILLIAM COLE, Knight (c1575-1653), who fixed his abode in County Fermanagh early in the reign of JAMES I.
He was the son of Emanuel Cole (c1545-c1625), third son of Thomas Cole, of London; whose father, John, was son of William Cole, who was a younger son of John Cole, who was second son of Sir John Cole, of Nethway, Devon, by Anne, daughter and heir of Sir Nicholas Bodrugan, Knight, son of John Cole, of Hittisleigh, Devon, during the reign of EDWARD III, great-grandson of William Cole, of Hittisleigh, living in 1243.
Sir William was appointed captain of the longboats and barges at Ballyshannon and Lough Erne, by patent, in 1607.

This gentleman became an undertaker in the plantation of Ulster, and had an assignment, in 1611, of 1,000 acres of escheated lands, in the county wherein he resided; to which, in 1612, were added 320 acres in the same county.

Eighty acres whereof were assigned for the town of Enniskillen; and that town was then incorporated by charter, consisting of a provost and twelve burgesses, Sir William being the first provost.

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

He wedded twice: Firstly, to Susannah, daughter and heiress of John Croft, of Lancaster, by whom he had two daughters.

This gentleman's second wife was Catherine, daughter of Sir Laurence Parsons, of Birr, second baron of the Irish Exchequer, by whom he left, at his decease, in 1653, two sons,
MICHAEL, his successor;
John, MP for Fermanagh; cr baronet, 1660.
The elder son,

SIR MICHAEL COLE, Knight, MP for Enniskillen, wedded Alice, daughter of Chidley Coote, of Killester, County Dublin, and was succeeded by his only surviving child,

SIR MICHAEL COLE, Knight, who wedded, in 1671, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Cole Bt; and dying in 1710, was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN COLE, of Florence Court, County Fermanagh, MP for Enniskillen, who espoused Florence, only daughter of Sir Bourchier Wrey, 4th Baronet, of Trebitch, in Cornwall, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN COLE (1709-67), of Florence Court, MP for Enniskillen, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1760, as Baron Mountflorence, of Florence Court, County Fermanagh.

His lordship espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Willoughby Montgomery, of Carrow, County Fermanagh, and had, with several daughters, two sons,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Arthur, m Letitia Hamilton.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son, 

WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY, 2nd Baron (1736-1803), who was created, in 1776, Viscount Enniskillen; and advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1789, as EARL OF ENNISKILLEN.

His lordship married, in 1763, Anne, daughter of Galbraith Lowry-Corry, of Ahenis, County Tyrone, and sister of Armar, 1st Earl of Belmore, and had issue,
JOHN WILLOUGHBY, his successor;
Galbraith Lowry (Sir), GCB, general in the army;
William Montgomery (Very Rev), Dean of Waterford;
Arthur Henry, MP;
Henry, died young;
Sarah; Elizabeth Anne; Anne; Florence; Henrietta Frances.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN WILLOUGHBY, 2nd Earl (1768-1840), KP, who married, in 1805, the Lady Charlotte Paget, fourth daughter of Henry, 1st Earl of Uxbridge, and had issue,
WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY, his successor;
Henry Arthur;
John Lowry;
Lowry Balfour;
Jane Anne Louisa Florence.
His lordship was appointed a Knight of St Patrick, 1810.

He was created, in 1815, Baron Grinstead, of Grinstead, Wiltshire, in the peerage of the United Kingdom.

His Lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY, 3rd Earl (1807-86), Honorary Colonel, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

The heir presumptive is the present holder's first cousin Berkeley Arthur Cole (b 1949). He is the eldest son of the Hon Arthur Gerald Cole (1920–2005), younger brother of the 6th Earl.
First Published in January, 2012.