Monday, 15 May 2017

The Musgrave Connection

  Norwood Tower © 2011 Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland

It was assumed in 1934 that Norwood Tower, Strandtown, Belfast, or its dower house, Clonaver, would pass to Oscar Henderson when Miss Florence Elizabeth Henderson, his aunt, died.

However, she bequeathed both, together with a majority holding in Belfast News Letter shares, to Sir Christopher Musgrave Bt OBE, a distant cousin.

This was a bitter blow to Oscar, a distinguished naval officer, and his family.


They could do nothing about the houses, though they did succeed in buying back the News-Letter shares.
Commander Oscar Henderson DSO CVO CBE RN (1891-1969) served in a destroyer during the 1st World War. He was second in command of HMS Iris at the famous Battle of Zeebrugge, in 1918, when a British force blocked the Mole by sinking a ship across the entrance.

Commander Henderson took command when the ship's captain was killed. He was awarded the DSO for his part in this epic.

He became Comptroller and Private Secretary to the 3rd Duke of Abercorn, 1st Governor of Northern Ireland; and was awarded a CVO and CBE for his services. 

Commander Henderson was the father of Bill and Brum Henderson.

Since the James Henderson (b 1797) was Maria Barker's (née Henderson) father; and the aforesaid James Henderson was Florence Elizabeth Henderson's grandfather; it seems reasonable to conclude that James Henderson was Sir Christopher Musgrave's great-grandfather.

Therefore, Sir Christopher Musgrave was Florence Elizabeth Henderson's first cousin twice removed.

Miss Henderson bequeathed Norwood Tower to Sir Christopher Musgrave, whose grandmother was Maria Henderson:
Henderson, Florence Elizabeth of Norwood Tower Strandtown Belfast spinster died 24 March 1934 Probate Belfast 22 February to sir Christopher Norman Musgrave baronet and John Johnson solicitor. Effects £11027 11s [£615,000 in today's money].

Maria Barker (née Henderson) was, therefore, Florence Elizabeth Henderson's aunt, since James Henderson (Maria's father) was Florence's grandfather.

Maria Henderson (1839-1905) was the tenth child of James Henderson (1797-1863) and Anne Peacock, and she was born on the 26th December, 1839.

Maria lived with her brother, James Alexander Henderson, at Norwood Tower and she taught his younger children (most likely including Florence, the youngest).

This was where she met her future husband, Frank Const Barker. 
Frank Barker was one of James Alexander Henderson's business friends. All the Barker family used the middle name Const after a Mr Const of Piccadilly, London. Mr Const was a wealthy business friend of Frank's father, Richard Barker, and when he died he left the family a large sum of money.

Maria Henderson and Frank Barker were married on the 15th September, 1862, and lived at Sorrento House, Dalkey, County Dublin.

They had eight children, of whom their third child was Kathleen Const Barker who married James Musgrave and had four children.

The first child was (Sir) Christopher Norman Musgrave, later 6th Baronet (1892-1956).

First published in May, 2011.

1 comment :

Newgent_for_life said...

.....Is this the same Musgrave family that have a memorial in a church in Glencolmcille, County Donegal ?