Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Evans of Portrane

THE EVANS FAMILY WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY OFFALY, WITH 6,035 ACRES

THEY OWNED A FURTHER 1,456 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DUBLIN

The family of EVANS is originally from Wales, and claims descent from the renowned Elystan Glodrydd.

In the 16th century, two of the family settled in Ireland: JOHN EVANS, ancestor of the Barons Carbery; and ROBERT EVANS, from whom derived the family of Evans of Baymount, County Dublin, and Robinstown, County Westmeath.

The former, JOHN EVANS, settled in the city of Limerick, where he was living in 1628.

Mr Evans left at his decease two sons and three daughters, viz.
GEORGE, his heir;
John;
Deborah; Catherine; Eleanor.
The elder son,

COLONEL GEORGE EVANS MP, of Ballygrennan Castle, served in the army raised to supress the rebellion of 1641, and at the restoration of tranquillity, settled at Ballygrennan Castle, County Limerick, where, and in the adjacent county of Cork, he acquired large estates by grants from the Crown, and by purchase.

He wedded Anne, daughter of Thomas Bowerman, of County Cork, and had issue,
GEORGE, his heir;
John, of Milltown Castle;
Anne.
Colonel Evans, who represented County Limerick for many years in parliament, died in 1707, at a very advanced age, having passed a most eventful life, and was succeeded by his elder son,

THE RT HON GEORGE EVANS MP (1658-1720), of Caherass and Bulgaden Hall, County Limerick.

This gentleman was bred to the Bar, but following the example of his father and brother, became an active partisan of the revolution, and after the establishment of the new government in Ireland, was sworn of the Privy Council and returned to Parliament by the borough of Charleville

He wedded, in 1679,  Mary, daughter of John Eyre MP, of Eyre Court Castle, County Galway, and sister of the 1st Lord Eyre, and had issue,
GEORGE, 1st Baron Carbery;
EYRE, of Portrane, of whom we treat;
Thomas, of Milltown Castle, County Cork;
Jane, m Chidley Coote, ancestor of the Barons Castle Coote;
Elizabeth, m Hugh Massy, father of 1st Baron Massy and Clarina;
Dorothy; Emilia; Catherine.
The Right Hon George Evans, who was a distinguished public character, refused a peerage on the accession of GEORGE I, when the honour was conferred upon his eldest son.

His  embalmed body lay in state in the parliament house until the next month, when it was removed for interment at Ballygrennan.

His second son,

EYRE EVANS, of Portrane, County Dublin, MP for County Limerick, 1717, espoused Sarah, second daughter and co-heir (with her sister, Mrs Waller, of Castletown)  of Thomas Dixon, of Ballylackin, County Cork, and had six sons, all who dsp except the fourth; and three daughters, of whom the youngest, Elizabeth, the wife of William Evans, of Ardreigh, County Kildare, left issue.

The fourth son,

HAMPDEN EVANS, of Portrane, an officer in the army, succeeded his eldest brother, George Evans, MP for Queen's County, who married, in 1769, Margaret, daughter of Joshua Davis, and had issue,
GEORGE, his heir;
JOSHUA;
Eyre Dixon, of Liverpool;
Mary; Anne Dorothea; Sydney Elizabeth.
Mr Evans died in 1820 and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON GEORGE HAMPDEN EVANS, of Portrane, MP for County Dublin, who wedded, in 1805, Sophia, only daughter of the Rt Hon Sir John Parnell Bt, of Rathleague, Queen's County, but had no issue.

He died in 1842 and was succeeded by his brother,

JOSHUA EVANS, one of the commissioners of the Court of Bankruptcy, who wedded Eleanor, only child of Robert Harrison.

His next brother,

EYRE DIXON EVANS, a merchant in Liverpool, inherited his brother's estate.

Dying in 1862, he was succeeded by his only son,

GEORGE EVANS (1831-73), of Portrane, who married though died without issue and was succeeded by his only sister,

MARGARET EVANS, who inherited the Portrane property on the death of her brother, George, without issue in 1873.

She married, in 1852, John Donald MacNeale.

Dying in 1874, she left three daughters, joint heiresses of her property, of whom the eldest,

MARGARET MacNEALE, married, in 1889, Captain S G Rathborne or Rathbourne, Royal Engineers, and had issue,

St George Ronald MacNeale Rathborne, born in 1893.


DESPITE owning a substantial amount of land in County Offaly, it would seem that the family of Evans never any notable residence in the county.

The family seat was Portrane House, or Mount Evans, Donabate, County Dublin.

When George Hampden Evans died in 1842, his widow erected an Irish round tower in his memory, at Portrane.

The Rev Patrick Comerford has written an article about Portrane Castle.

First published in June, 2013.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Brackenber: 1956

Here is the Class of 1956 at Brackenber House School.

Malcolm Lennox kindly provided the photograph.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Dr Kevin Vaughan, a fellow pupil at Brackenber from 1953-59, has sent me the following information:
I recognise all the teachers except the lady at the end. Next to Mr Craig is Miss Rankin, then Miss McKeown, then Miss Gilbert. I think Miss Rankin's first name was Zena, not Zoe!
To the other side of Mr Craig is Norman Henry (I am two rows directly behind him, rather skinny!), then Ronnie Hunter, then Mr T P Sheehan, then Dennis Fergusson, then Mr Walmsley (spelling?) then Mr Williams who was an old boy who came to teach temporarily.
On the front row at one end is A W P Coutts, and at the other Smith, Anthony Malcomson, J A M Grant. I also recognise several of my contemporaries. After my parents moved to England, I spent my last year at Brackenber as a weekly boarder and spent the weekends with friends.
There was a small two bed dormitory where boys would occasionally stay. John Craig and Ronnie Hunter were the two masters who also lived on the premises and I got to know them both quite well.
One of my amusing memores of the school routine is that when they had finished eating lunch but before the boys where allowed to leave their seats, John Craig and Norman Henry would always get up, walk to one end of the dining hall and smoke a cigarette - it was always Mr Henry who offered Mr Craig a cigarette, never the other way round!
First published in January, 2010.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

1st Earl Cairns

THE EARLDOM OF CAIRNS WAS CREATED IN 1878 FOR HUGH McCALMONT, 1ST BARON CAIRNS, STATESMAN AND LORD CHANCELLOR

THE RT HON SIR HUGH McCALMONT CAIRNS (1819-85), second son of William Cairns, of Cultra, County Down,
MP for Belfast, 1852-66; Solicitor-General, 1858-9; Attorney-General, 1866; a Lord Justice of Appeal, 1866-68; Lord High Chancellor, 1868 and 1874-80.
Sir Hugh was elevated to peerage, in 1867, as  Baron Cairns, of Garmoyle, County Antrim.

His lordship was advanced, in 1878, to the dignities of Viscount Garmoyle and EARL CAIRNS.

He married, in 1856, Mary Harriet, eldest daughter of John McNeill, of Parkmount, Belfast, and his wife, Charlotte Lavinia (daughter of Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Dallas GCB), and by her had issue,
Hugh, died in infancy;
ARTHUR WILLIAM, 2nd Earl;
HERBERT JOHN, 3rd Earl;
WILFRED DALLAS, 4th Earl;
Douglas Halyburton;
Lilias Charlotte; Kathleen Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his second son,

ARTHUR WILLIAM, 2nd Earl (1861-90), who wedded, in 1887, Olivia Elizabeth, OBE, daughter of Alexander Augustus Berens, by whom he had issue, a daughter, LADY LOUISE ROSEMARY KATHLEEN VIRGINIA CAIRNS.

His lordship died without male issue and was succeeded by his next brother,

HERBERT JOHN, 3rd Earl (1863-1905), who died unmarried and was succeeded by his brother,

WILFRED DALLAS, 4th Earl, CMG, DL (1865-1946), who espoused, in 1894, Olive, daughter of John Patteson Cobbold MP, and by her had issue,
HUGH WILFRED JOHN, DSO; killed in action;
DAVID CHARLES, 5th Earl;
Hester Margaret; Ursula Helen; Sheila Mary; Catherine Olive.
His lordship was succeeded by his younger son,

DAVID CHARLES, 5th Earl, GCVO, DL (1909-89), who married, in 1936, Barbara Jeanne Harrisson, daughter of Sydney Harrisson Burgess, of Cheshire, and by her had issue,
SIMON DALLAS, his heir;
Andrew David;
Elizabeth Olive.
The 5th Earl was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIMON DALLAS, 6th Earl, CVO, CBE, born in 1939, who wedded, in 1964, Amanda Mary, daughter of Major Edgar FitzGerald Heathcoat-Amory, of Yorkshire, and by her had issue,
SEBASTIAN FREDERICK, styled Viscount Garmoyle;
(David) Patrick;
Alistair Benedict.
*****

MY STORY of the noble family of Cairns commences at the ancestral seat of the Marquesses of Downshire, Hillsborough Castle, in County Down.

During the first years of the 18th century, Ulster became a harbour of refuge for a number of Scottish refugees who arrived in the years immediately following "The Fifteen".

The major Jacobite Risings were called the Jacobite Rebellions by the ruling governments. The "First Jacobite Rebellion" and "Second Jacobite Rebellion" were known respectively as "The Fifteen" and "The Forty-Five", after the years in which they occurred (1715 and 1745).

It is likely that the Cairns family arrived in Ulster about this period.

Among the records at Lord Downshire's seat, Hillsborough Castle, County Down - most likely now held at PRONI - were the registers of leases and the rent rolls of the Kilwarlin estate.

One lease of three lives, dated 1716, was granted to William Cairns.

It is probable that William Cairns was a younger son of William Cairns of Kipp, who died in 1711.

The lease to William Cairns of 1716 was of the lands of Magheraconluce, near Annahilt, County Down. He died prior to 1735, when his widow appears as the tenant, and he left several sons, who became tenants of farms in the neighbourhood.

His successor was his son William, probably the eldest, who had issue,

1.  JOHN (1732-94), who died unmarried at Parkmount, Belfast;

2.  HUGH (1735-1808, who died at Parkmount; By his will he left several legacies to his "kinsmen at Annahilt", and £600 to each of his six sisters. He left Parkmount, which he acquired shortly after the death of William Gregg in 1782, to his half-brother Nathan, whose mother had been a daughter of Mr Gregg.

He states in his will that "most of my property consists of money lent out at interest on security", from which it appears that he was one of Belfast's early private bankers, some of whom eventually amalgamated, thus founding what became known as the Northern and Ulster banks.

3.  WILLIAM, born in 1737. The name William Cairns continues to appear as holder of the Magheraconluce property subsequent to his father's removal to Belfast after his second marriage.

4.  Margaret, Sarah, Colville, Ellen, Jean and Mary, who all died without issue.

William Cairns, of Magheraconluce, married, secondly, about 1758, Agnes, daughter and heiress of William Gregg of Parkmount, Belfast.

This estate seems to have passed to Mr Gregg from the representatives of Thomas Lutford, who had a lease for three lives, renewable for ever, from the Marquesses of Donegall in 1769.

Some time after his marriage with Agnes Gregg, William Cairns appears to have moved with his family to Parkmount, or to a house at Carnmoney.

His father died in 1775 and the widow, Agnes Gregg, surviving him and dying in 1785. Both are interred at Carnmoney churchyard.

By his second marriage William Cairns had issue,

NATHAN CAIRNS (1759-1819), who became a merchant at Dublin, and died at Parkmount, leaving issue,

WILLIAM CAIRNS, of Parkmount, born 1789, who entered the army and became a captain in the 47th Regiment. He married, when only 17, Rosanna, daughter of Hugh Johnston, a merchant of Belfast.

During his father's lifetime he lived at Rushpark, near Carrickfergus, and also had a house in Belfast, which stood in the grounds now occupied by the Robinson & Cleaver Building, Donegall Square North. 
After his father's death, he moved to Parkmount, which he shortly afterwards sold to John McNeill, a banker in Belfast. Parkmount, on the Shore Road, was in 1666 a lodge or occasional residence of Lord Donegall, and it afterwards passed into possession of Ludfords, Cairns, and McNeills. John McNeill's son notably sold Parkmount to Sir Robert Anderson Bt. 
When William Cairns sold Parkmount, he eventually lived at Cultra in County Down, possibly to Dalchoolin House. He married secondly, Matilda, and died at Cultra in 1844.

William Cairns (through two marriages) raised three exceptionally talented sons:-
The Rt Hon Hugh McCalmont [Cairns], Earl Cairns, of Garmoyle County Antrim, was born at Cultra, educated at Belfast Academy and Trinity College, Dublin.

Lord Cairns married, in 1856, Mary Harriet, eldest daughter of John McNeill, of Parkmount, Belfast,by whom he had five sons and two daughters.

His father at first intended that he should take holy orders, but his own inclination, backed by the advice of his tutor, the Rev George Wheeler, decided to permit his son to enter the legal profession.

Lord Cairns and his family left Ulster.

The Cairnes family, since the Reformation, were all originally Presbyterian.

The 1st Earl's great-grandfather, or some of his family at least, seem to have conformed to the Established Church shortly after their removal to Parkmount.

Certainly John and his father William subscribed to the Vicar of Carnmoney as early as 1775.

First published in February, 2011.  Cairns arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Xth Anniversary

Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland is ten years old.

Here is my very first entry on the 2nd December, 2007.

Cumulative visitor numbers stand at 2,418,457.

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Heygate Baronets

THE HEYGATE BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1831 FOR WILLIAM HEYGATE, LORD MAYOR OF LONDON, 1822-23

This is a branch of the ancient family of HEYGATE, seated in the counties of Essex and Suffolk.

THOMAS HEYGATE, of Hayes, in Middlesex, was provost-marshal-general of the army in 1557 which, in alliance with the Spaniards, besieged St Quentin (held by the French), and was subsequently provost-marshal in Scotland.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Stonor, of Stonor; and dying in 1576, was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS HEYGATE, of Hayes, a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex, and Provost-Marshal-General under the Earl of Essex, at the capture of Cadiz, in 1596.

This gentleman wedded Margery, daughter of Ralph Skipwith, of Parkbury, Hertfordshire, and had surviving issue,
Thomas, of Hayes, barrister-at-law;
RALPH, of whom presently;
Anne;
Katherine, m R Tyrwhitt, master of buck-hounds to CHARLES I;
Letitia, m Dr P Heylin, prebendary of Westminster.
The second son,

RALPH HEYGATE, settled in London, and married twice; but had issue by his second wife only.

His elder son,

NICHOLAS HEYGATE, who was one of the court of Assistants of Merchant Taylors' Company, and a collector of curious books and writings, who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Cotton, of Loughton, by whom he had an only surviving child,

ROBERT HEYGATE, of Husband's Bosworth, Leicestershire, who wedded Anne, daughter of John Freeman, and left at his decease, in 1736, an only surviving son,

NICHOLAS HEYGATE (1705-44), of West Haddon, Northamptonshire, espoused Mary Anne, daughter of John Cooke, of Hill Morton, Warwickshire, and had issue,
Robert;
John;
Thomas, father of
THOMAS HEYGATE;
Robert, of West Haddon;
Charles;
JAMES, of whom we treat;
Anne; Elizabeth Catherine Frances; Mary; Elizabeth.
Mr Heygate's youngest son,

JAMES HEYGATE (1747-1833), of Aldermanbury, in the city of London, banker, and of Hackney, Middlesex, and Southend, Essex, married, in 1781, Sarah, second daughter of Samuel Unwin, of Sutton, Nottinghamshire, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
James, of Hampstead Heath;
Elizabeth Anne.
Mr Heygate was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM HEYGATE (1782-1844), of Chatham Place, Blackfriars, London, and Holwood, Kent, who wedded, in 1821, Isabella, fourth daughter of Edward Longdon Mackmurdo, of Upper Clapton, Middlesex, and had issue,
FREDERICK WILLIAM, his heir;
William Unwin;
Edward Nicholas;
Robert Henry John.
This gentleman, an alderman of the City of London, having served the office of Lord Mayor in 1822, was created a baronet in 1831.

Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR FREDERICK WILLIAM HEYGATE DL (1822-94), 2nd Baronet, baptized at the Mansion House during the mayoralty of his father and in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of York, who stood sponsor, and at whose wish the baronetcy was conferred. 

Sir Frederick married Marianne Gage in 1851, thus acquiring an estate at Bellarena in County Londonderry. He was MP for County Londonderry from 1859-74.

His eldest son,

SIR FREDERICK GAGE HEYGATE JP DL (1854-1940), 3rd Baronet, of Bellarena, married Flora, daughter of John Walter, in 1888;
major, the Mid-Ulster Artillery; barrister-at-law; DL, County Londonderry; Justice of the Peace; lived at Bellarena in County Londonderry and was Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Londonderry, 1887-88.
His cousin,

SIR JOHN EDWARD NOURSE HEYGATE, 4th Baronet (1903-76), of Bellarena,
married firstly, the Hon Evelyn Florence Margaret Winifred Gardner, daughter of Herbert, 1st and last Baron Burghclere of Walden, in 1930; secondly, Gwyneth Eliot, daughter of John Eliot Howard Lloyd, in 1936; thirdly, Dora Luz, daughter of John Harvey, in 1951.
He is chiefly remembered for his liaison in 1929 with Evelyn Gardner while she was married to Evelyn Waugh. Heygate and Gardner subsequently married, then divorced. He is portrayed as "John Beaver" in Waugh's A Handful of Dust.
Photo credit: BRIAN McELHERRON

By the 1970s, the 4th Baronet was living alone in Bellarena (above) when, in 1976, he took his own life by shooting himself.

Sir George Lloyd Heygate was the 5th Baronet (1936-91).

Sir Richard John Gage Heygate (b 1940) is the 6th and present Baronet.

It is thought that the Heygate family lives in London today.

First published in October, 2010.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Ballybay House

THE LESLIES OWNED 5,463 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY MONAGHAN

GEORGE, 4TH EARL OF ROTHES, married thirdly, Agnes, daughter of Sir John Somerville, of Cambusnethan, and had issue,
Andrew, 5th Earl;
Peter;
JAMES, of whom we treat;
Janet; Helen.
His lordship's third son by his marriage to Agnes Somerville,

THE HON JAMES LESLIE, born in 1530, married Jane, daughter of Sir James Hamilton, of Evandale, and had issue,
George;
HENRY, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

THE MOST REV DR HENRY LESLIE (1580-1661), Lord Bishop of Meath, settled in Ireland, 1614, where he was ordained in 1617.

He was chaplain to CHARLES I, with whom he shared his great adversities.

This prelate espoused Jane Swinton, and had issue,
Robert (Rt Rev Dr);
JAMES, of whose line we treat;
William, of Prospect, Co Antrim;
Mary; Margaret.
The second son,

JAMES LESLIE (1624-1704), of Leslie House, County Antrim, wedded, in 1650, Jane, daughter of John Echlin, of Ardquin, County Down, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE VEN DR HENRY LESLIE (1651-1733), Archdeacon of Down, Chaplain to the Duke of Ormonde, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

In 1680 he obtained a Prebend in Down Cathedral, which he resigned, 1695, for the Archdeaconry.

Dr Leslie espoused, in 1676, Margaret, daughter and heiress of Peter Beaghan, of Ballibay, and had issue,
PETER, his heir;
Edmund, MP for Antrim;
Penelope.
The Archdeacon was succeeded by his elder son,

THE REV PETER LESLIE, born in 1686, Rector of Ahoghill, who married Jane, daughter of the Most Rev Dr Anthony Dopping, Lord Bishop of Meath, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
James, of Leslie Hill, Co Antrim;
Samuel;
EDMOND (Ven), Archdeacon of Down;
Margaret; Jane.
The eldest son,

THE REV HENRY LESLIE (1719-1803), of Ballybay, County Monaghan, Prebendary of Tullycorbet, Clogher, and afterwards prebendary of Tandragee, in Armagh Cathedral.

Dr Leslie married, in 1753, Catherine, daughter of the Very Rev Charles Meredyth, Dean of Ardfert, and had issue,
Peter Henry, b 1755; k/a in America;
CHARLES ALBERT, of whom hereafter;
Catherine Letitia.
The surviving son,

CHARLES ALBERT LESLIE (1765-1838), of Ballybay, married, in 1799, Ellen, youngest daughter of Richard Magenis MP, of Waringstown, County Down, and left at his decease an only surviving child,

EMILY ELEANOR WILHELMINA LESLIE, of Ballybay, who married firstly, in 1828, her cousin, Arthur French, of Clonsilla, County Dublin, and had issue,
ROBERT CHARLES (now LESLIE), of Ballybay;
Charles Albert Leslie Attila FRENCH;
Helena Charlotte; Albertine Caroline; Henrietta Victoria Alexandria.
She wedded secondly, in 1844, her cousin, the Rev John Charles William Leslie, son of James Leslie, of Leslie Hill, by whom she had issue,
Ferdinand Seymour;
Marion Adelaide.
Mrs Leslie died in 1844, and was succeeded by her eldest son,

ROBERT CHARLES LESLIE JP DL (1828-1904), of Ballybay, and Kilclief, County Down, who married, at Paris, 1867, Charlotte Philippa Mary, daughter of Captain Edward Kelso, of Kelsoland, and Horkesley Park, Essex, and had issue,
Theordore Barrington Norman;
EDWARD HENRY JOHN, succeeded his brother;
Mabel Edith.
He assumed, in 1885, the surname and arms of LESLIE, in compliance of his maternal grandfather's will.

Mr Leslie was succeeded by his second son,

EDWARD HENRY JOHN LESLIE CMG MVO JP DL (1890-1966), of Ballybay, High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1908, who entered the Foreign Office, 1902; HM Ambassador, Rome.


BALLYBAY HOUSE, Ballybay, County Monaghan,  was a fine Classical house of 1830 by JB Keane, for Charles Albert Leslie.

It comprised two storeys over a high basement, with a three-bay entrance front, the centre of which was recessed, with a Wyatt window above a single-storey Doric portico.

The adjoining front had five bays.

Practically all of the windows in the lower storey were set in arched recesses.

A three-storey, gable-ended range was added behind the house later in the 19th century.

Ballybay House was burnt and the contents were sold in 1920.

Nothing remains.

Former London residence ~ 10 Douro Place, Kensington.

First published in July, 2013.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

1st Baron Rathcavan

THE BARONY OF RATHCAVAN WAS CREATED IN 1953 FOR THE RT HON SIR ROBERT WILLIAM HUGH O'NEILL, BARONET

THE HON (ROBERT WILLIAM) HUGH O'NEILL was the third son of the 2nd Baron O'Neill.

Having served in the Army as a major, O'Neill entered politics and became the Northern Ireland parliament's first Speaker.

He was appointed to the Privy Council of Northern Ireland and became Lord-Lieutenant for County Antrim, 1949-59.

The 1st Baronet was elevated to the peerage as BARON RATHCAVAN in 1953, when the baronetcy merged with the barony.

The 2nd Baronet and 2nd Baron undertook a not dissimilar career pattern as his father, entering politics having served in the Army.

He was, it is thought, a founder member of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.

Lord Rathcavan lived at Killala Lodge, County Mayo, Ireland, which was described thus in 1996:
The seven-bedroom Georgian house on five and a half acres is owned by Bridget Lady Rathcavan, widow of the well known Northern Ireland politician, Sir Phelim O'Neill.
The 3rd Baronet is the present Lord Rathcavan.


CLEGGAN LODGE, near Broughshane, County Antrim, has been owned at various times by the O'Neills and the O'Haras.

It is two-storey, with a front of two bows linked by a wooden first-floor balcony.

There are double gables. The roof formerly thatched and windows at one time latticed.

There is an octagonal drawing-room and dining-room; and an imposing double staircase.

There are modern additions to the rear.

Formerly a shooting lodge for Shane’s Castle, the site is known to have been in existence in 1777.

An entry for 1835 records that it was ‘… surrounded by extensive plantations chiefly consisting of fir and larch and extends over about 200 acres.’

Fraser described it in 1838 as, ‘… the beautiful hunting seat of Earl O’Neill’s.’

Extensive landscaping and tree planting were carried out, presumably as shelter and cover.

Cleggan Lodge was built by the 1st Earl O’Neill in 1822 in order to keep one of his mistresses, and as a shooting lodge on the edge of his extensive grouse moors in north Antrim. 

He died without a male heir and, after Gladstone’s Irish Land Acts, the great estates diminished.

In 1927, Sir Hugh O’Neill, 1st Baron Rathcavan, bought the Cleggan Estate.

It was renovated in the 1920s in a fine elevated site with views of Slemish.

ha-ha separates the house from parkland.

There are good mature trees in the parkland and in woodland. A considerable area was once ornamentally planted.

A lake is drained at present.

A pond, Fisher’s Pond, was added sometime before 1857 and a rockery made in the glen by the present owner's grandfather post-1927.

These features are partially maintained in that paths are kept clear.

A cultivated and productive garden is kept at the house in immaculate order, including herbaceous borders, a hot house and frames.

This present garden is post-1927. One of the two gate lodges survives.

Cleggan estate extends to about 1,000 acres and is renowned for The Cleggan Shoot.

First published in June, 2010.  Rathcavan arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The Macnaghten Baronets

THE MACNAGHTEN BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1836 FOR FRANCIS WORKMAN-MACNAGHTEN
The sept of Macnaghten, in Argyllshire, is acknowledged by the highlanders, according to Alexander Nisbet, to be one of the oldest in the west of Scotland, and its members were for centuries involved in the political transactions of that kingdom.
SHANE DHU, third son of JOHN MACNAUGHTANE, of that ilk, and grandson of SIR ALEXANDER MACNAUGHTANE, who fell at Flodden, went over to Ulster as secretary to his kinsman, the 1st Earl of Antrim, and settled there.

His son and heir,

DANIEL MACNAUGHTEN, espoused Catherine, niece of the celebrated Lord Primate and Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev George Dowdall, and had, with two daughters, who married into the families of Willoughby and MacManus, of County Antrim, a son and successor,

JOHN MACNAUGHTEN, of Benvarden, County Antrim, who wedded Helen, sister of the Rt Hon Edmond Francis Stafford MP, and had issue; of which a younger son,

EDMOND MACNAGHTEN, of Beardiville, County Antrim, was born in 1679.

He married firstly, Leonora, daughter of the Most Rev John Vesey DD, Lord Archbishop of Tuam, by whom he had no issue; and secondly, in 1761, Hannah, daughter of John Johnstone, of Belfast, by whom he had two sons,
EDMUND ALEXANDER;
FRANCIS.
He died in 1781, at the very advanced age of 102, and was succeeded by his son,

EDMOND ALEXANDER MACNAGHTEN (1762-1832), of Beardiville, and Duke Street, St James's, London, MP for County Antrim, and a Lord of the Treasury.

Mr Macnaghten died in 1832, when the family estates devolved upon his brother,

SIR FRANCIS WORKMAN-MACNAGHTEN (1762-1843), who espoused, in 1787, Letitia, eldest daughter of Sir William Dunkin, of Clogher, a judge of the supreme court of judicature at Calcutta, and had issue,
EDMUND CHARLES, his successor;
William Hay;
Francis;
Elliot;
John Dunkin;
Steuart;
Anne; Eliza Serena; Letitia;
Matilda; Jane Russell; Maria;
Carolina; Alicia; Ellen; Hannah.
Sir Francis received the honour of knighthood on being appointed a judge of the supreme court of judicature at Madras, in 1809, from which he was transferred to that of Bengal, in 1815.

He retired from the bench in 1825, and was created a baronet, 1836.

He had assumed, in 1823, the additional surname and arms of WORKMAN, and in 1832, had succeeded to the chieftainship of the CLAN MACNAGHTEN; and the patrimonial estate of Beardiville, at the decease of his brother, Edmund Alexander Macnaghten.

His eldest son,

SIR EDMUND CHARLES WORKMAN-MACNAGHTEN, 2nd Baronet (1790-1876), succeeded to the property.
Like his father, he, too, made a fortune in India; and, having retired at the very young age of 24, decided to replace Bushmills House with a much grander mansion. He commissioned Charles Lanyon to construct the present, very fine Italianate mansion, DUNDARAVE, in 1846, based on Barry’s Reform Club.
Sir Edmund wedded, in 1827, Mary, only child of John Gwatkin, and had issue,


The Rt Hon Sir Francis Edmund Workman-Macnaghten (1828-1911), 3rd Baronet, was a Privy Counsellor.

The Right Honourable Sir Edward Macnaghten GCB GCMG, 4th Baronet (1830–1913),
became a Law Lord as the Baron Macnaghten in 1887. He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1857 entitled to practice as a barrister; appointed QC in 1880; was MP for County Antrim, 1880-85; MP for North Antrim, 1885-87; a Privy Counsellor, 1887. He was a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, 1887.
In 1887, Sir Edward was created BARON MACNAGHTEN.

He was also Bencher of Lincoln's Inn in 1907.

Sir Edward Charles Macnaghten was 5th Baronet (1859–1914).

Sir Edward Harry Macnaghten, 6th Baronet (1896–1916), died in 1916 aged 20, reported missing in action, believed killed. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch), attached to the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles; fought in the 1st World War.

Sir Arthur Douglas Macnaghten, 7th Baronet (1897–1916), died in 1916 aged 19, killed in action. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion, Rifle Brigade.

Sir Francis Alexander Macnaghten became the 8th Baronet (1863–1951); succeeded by Sir Frederic Fergus Macnaghten, 9th Baronet (1867–1955) and Sir Antony Macnaghten, 10th Baronet (1899–1972).

Sir Patrick Alexander Macnaghten DL, 11th Baronet (1927-2007) was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; worked as an engineer and manager with Cadbury's Chocolate. He succeeded to the Baronetcy and as Chief of the Name and Arms of the Clan Macnaghten in 1972.

On his retirement he lived at the estate of his ancestral home Dundarave until 2005. He was a Deputy Lieutenant and Vice-President of the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association; and a member of the Fisheries Conservancy Board.

Sir Malcolm Macnaghten is the present 12th Baronet (b 1956).

In 1862, the Macnaghtens had a London town-house at 18 Eaton Square. 

First published in October, 2010.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Loughcrew House

THE NAPERS WERE THE SECOND LARGEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MEATH, WITH 18,863 ACRES

JAMES NAPER (fourth son of Sir Samuel Naper MP, of Moor Crichel, Dorset, and grandson of Sir Robert Napier, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, 1593), High Sheriff of County Meath, 1671, married Dorothy, daughter of Sir Anthony Petty, of Romsey, Hampshire, and sister of the celebrated Sir William Petty, ancestor of the Marquess of Lansdowne.

By this lady he left at his decease, in 1676, three sons and two daughters,
William, of Loughcrew, died unmarried;
JAMES, succeeded his brother;
Robert, lieutenant-general;
Elizabeth; Frances.
The second son,

JAMES NAPER (-1718), of Loughcrew, High Sheriff of County Meath, 1702, married firstly, in 1684, Elizabeth, daughter of James Tandy, of Drewstown, County Meath, and by her had two daughters,
Dorothy;
Sarah.
He wedded secondly, in 1695, Elizabeth Barry; and thirdly, Anne, daughter of Sir Ralph Dutton Bt, of Sherborne, Gloucestershire, by whom he had two sons and a daughter,
JAMES LENOX, his heir;
William;
Anna Maria.
The elder son,

JAMES LENOX NAPER (1712-66), of Loughcrew, High Sheriff of County Meath, 1740, assumed the surname and arms of DUTTON.

He espoused firstly, in 1734, Catherine, daughter of Henry Ingoldsby, by whom he had an only child,
John, who died unmarried, 1771.
He married secondly, Jane, daughter of Christopher Bond, of Newland, Gloucestershire, and had issue,
JAMES, created 1st BARON SHERBORNE;
WILLIAM, who inherited the Naper estates;
Ralph;
Anne; Mary; Frances; Jane.
Mr Dutton was succeeded in his Irish estates by his second son, William, who resuming the name and arms of NAPER, became

WILLIAM NAPER (1749-91) of Loughcrew; who married, in 1787, Jane, daughter of the Rev Ferdinando Tracy Travell, of Gloucestershire, and left one daughter, Jane, and one son,

JAMES LENOX WILLIAM NAPER JP DL (1791-1868), of Loughcrew, High Sheriff in 1822, who wedded, in 1824, Selina, second daughter of Sir Grey Skipworth Bt, of Newbold Hall, Warwickshire, and had issue,
JAMES LENOX, his heir;
William Dutton;
Lelia Jane; Anna Selina.
Mr Naper's elder son,

JAMES LENOX NAPER JP DL (1825-1901), of Loughcrew, High Sheriff, 1853, espoused, in 1877, the Hon Catherine Frances Rowley, only daughter of Clotworthy, 3rd Baron Langford, and had issue, a son,

WILLIAM LENOX NAPER MC JP DL (1879-1942), of Loughcrew, who wedded, in 1902, Adela Mary Charlotte, eldest daughter of Colonel the Hon W R Trefusis CB, Scots Guards, and Lady Mary Trefusis.

*****

THE NAPER ESTATES eventually grew to 180,000 acres in counties Meath, Westmeath and Cavan, helped by the Colonel`s marriage to the sister of Sir William Petty, a senior Dublin Castle official.

James Lennox William Naper (1791-1868) commissioned the building of Loughcrew House in 1823, a year after he was appointed High Sheriff of Meath.

A busy landlord and writer, he served as chairman of the Poor Law Guardians during the Famine years and subsidised the emigration of tenants to Canada in the 1830s.

His son, James Lenox Naper, also served as High Sheriff and was a major in the Meath Militia while also enduring the first major fire at Loughcrew House in 1888.
His son, William Lenox Naper, was awarded the Military Cross for services in the Royal Horse Guard during World War One but he died without issue and his widow Adela married the colourful adventurer, Rodney Matthews in 1946. His spending seriously impacted on the estate before he disappeared in his plane in the Irish Sea in 1953.
A cousin of William Lenox, Merrick Naper, died in Africa that same year before he could inherit and Merrick`s brother, Nigel, inherited the 1,500-acre estate before suffering two major fires in the house in 1959 and 1964.

The Irish Land Commission took 600 acres of the estate in 1967 and it was divided between his three sons on Nigel`s death in 1978.

Emily and Charles Naper have converted the old conservatory, pavilions, servant quarters and stables into the current living area, school of gilding and studio area.
Emily Jane Dashwood was born in 1958, eldest child of Sir Francis John Vernon Hereward Dashwood Bt (Premier Baronet of Great Britain). She married Charles William Lennox Naper in 1981.
They have revived the 17th century gardens and established Loughcrew Garden Opera.


LOUGHCREW, Oldcastle, County Meath, today comprises the vestiges of Loughcrew House, the Gardens, ancillary accommodation and about 200 acres of parkland and grounds. 

Loughcrew Garden Opera has been holding operas and concerts in the grounds of the estate since 2000 during the summer months, which has proved immensely popular.

Weddings, exhibitions and craft workshops have also been held in the large rooms within the courtyard buildings.

Remaining within the Naper family from the 17th Century to the present day, Loughcrew has had a turbulent and fascinating history. 


Originally the seat of the Plunkett family, its most famous member being St Oliver Plunkett, whose church still remains today on the estate, the first Loughcrew House was built in the 1600s by the Naper family, where the current formal gardens exist, amidst an awesome 180,000 acre estate.

Subsequently destroyed by fire, the next Loughcrew House was designed by Charles Cockerel in 1821 for the Naper family.


In 1964 this house, too, was destroyed by fire and all that remains today is the giant portico, rebuilt and free-standing as a modern day folly, and a hard tennis court within the old footprint.

Mark Bence Jones, in his guide to Irish Country Houses, describes the vast stones and fallen capitals of the 1820's neo-classical house, designed by Cockerell, once strewn about the ground like the remains of some lost city of antiquity.

The current house grew out of The Garden House, a large and interesting stone building attached to the original courtyards, unusual in its design, and which used to house an array of flora and exotic plant-life. 

The rooms that make up the house were in fact originally the palm houses, the azalea houses and the furnace rooms.

It currently comprises two principal reception rooms, including a particularly fine drawing-room, two sun-rooms, kitchen, five bedrooms, a basement, and a guest wing with three further bedrooms.



LOUGHCREW GARDENS have been created by generations of the Naper family since the 1660s. The Gardens are open to the public for a number of months during the year.

The result is a stunning combination of vistas, with water and archaeological features and many unusual trees, shrubs and flowers. 

A host of enchanting features are displayed in a setting steeped in atmosphere and history, including a medieval motte and the ruins of Saint Oliver Plunkett's family church and tower house.

The surviving 17th century features include a magnificent yew walk, foundations of a longhouse and a walled garden from which a canal and a parterre have been relocated in replica. 

In the 19th century these earlier elements were enveloped in a comprehensive development of parkland, water gardens, specimen trees, follies, rockeries, wood walks and magnificent vistas. 

The central area of approximately six acres now includes a lime avenue, extensive lawns and terraces, magnificent herbaceous border, ‘Grotesque Rockery and Grotto’, Hellfire garden, watermill, fountain, and symbolic statues and sculptures.

A large, log-cabin-style visitor centre with car park is located at the entrance to the gardens.

This contains a spacious coffee shop on the ground floor with small kitchen and lavatories. 

A covered decked area provides outdoor seating. On the first floor is a large room for a crèche or craft centre with lavatories.

First published in June, 2011.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

The McMahon Baronetcy

THE McMAHON BARONETS, OF DUBLIN, WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY TYRONE, WITH 16,326 ACRES



JOHN McMAHON, patentee Comptoller of the Port of Limerick, by his first wife had issue, a son,
JOHN, created a baronet, denominated of Ashley Manor.
He wedded secondly, Mary, daughter of Robert Stacpoole, and had issue,
WILLIAM, of whom we treat;
John (Lieutenant-General Sir), Baronet.
John McMahon was a servant in the household of Robert,Earl of Leitrim, who awarded him the position of Comptroller of the Port of Limerick.

His younger son,

WILLIAM McMAHON (1776-1837), son of John McMahon, patentee comptroller of the Port of Limerick, by his second wife, Mary, daughter of Robert Stacpoole, having been bred to the bar, was appointed Master of the Rolls in Ireland, and sworn of the privy council.

Mr McMahon was created a baronet in 1815.

Sir William married firstly, in 1807, Frances, daughter of Beresford Burston, of the Irish Bar, and one of His Majesty's counsel, by whom he had issue,
BERESFORD BURSTON, his heir;
William John, b 1811.
He married secondly, in 1814, Charlotte, daughter of Robert Shaw, of Dublin, and sister of Sir Robert Shaw Bt, by whom he had issue,
Robert;
Augustus;
Charles;
George;
Charlotte; Louisa; Wilhelmina.
His eldest son, 

SIR BERESFORD BURSTON McMAHON (1808-73), 2nd Baronet, of Fortfield House, captain in the Scots Fusilier Guards, married, in 1838, Maria Catherine, daughter of Sir Robert Bateson Bt, of Belvoir Park, Belfast.

By his wife he had issue,
WILLIAM SAMUEL, his heir;
Robert Bateson, died unmarried;
Beresford Burston, died unmarried;
Gerald Charles, died unmarried;
LIONEL, 4th Baronet;
Catherine Charlotte; Frances Thomasine;
Maria Constance Georgiana; Nina Gertrude.
Sir Beresford was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM SAMUEL McMAHON JP DL, (1839-1905), 3rd Baronet, captain in the 2nd Life Guards; attaché to the British Legation at Munich; DL for counties Tyrone and Clare.

Sir William died unmarried and was succeeded by his brother,

SIR LIONEL McMAHON DL (1856-1926), 4th Baronet, who wedded, in 1888, Anne Celia Austin-Cooke, in an issueless marriage.
Lieutenant in the 58th Regiment; fought in the Zulu War, 1879; admitted to Inner Temple, entitled to practice as a barrister; DL of County Tyrone; High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1914.
On his death, the baronetcy became extinct.
Sir Charles McMahon (1824-91), Knight, youngest son of the 1st Baronet, was born at Omagh, County Tyrone and served with the army in Canada and India. In 1853, he went to Australia and was became Melbourne's Chief Commissioner of Police.
At one time his remarkably successful business deals were called into question, but he survived the accusations and was elected a member of the Legislative Assembly and was knighted in 1875. Sir Charles was born at Fecarry Lodge, Omagh, County Tyrone.
*****

THE VILLAGE of Mountfield, near Omagh, was developed mainly in the 1800s by the 1st Baronet in order to rival Omagh.

The McMahons lived at Fecarry Lodge, near the village.

The area was acquired in 1846, following the sale of the Blessington estate.

The 1st Baronet initially built Fecarry Lodge; Mountfield Lodge was built later.

In 1911, the 3rd Baronet's address was listed as Mountfield Lodge; and he also had a London home at 214 Finchley Road, Hampstead.

First published in  November, 2010.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Ballywalter Park

THE BARONS DUNLEATH OWNED 6,769 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DOWN


The early history of the family of MULHOLLAND is obscure.

THOMAS MULHOLLAND (1756-1820) married Ann Doe in Belfast in 1784 and appears to have had at least four sons,
William, went to the West Indies;
Thomas (1786-1830);
ANDREW (1792-1866);
St Clair Kelburn (1798-1872).
In 1803 Thomas Mulholland senior, described as a "dealer", bought two houses in Upper Church Lane, Belfast, signing the contract with a simple cross (X).

About 1815, the family entered the flourishing cotton industry by purchasing a mill.

Thomas died in 1820, but the business continued to expand.

In 1822, his sons built a huge spinning mill in the Point Field near York Street.

One Sunday morning in June, 1828, however, disaster struck when this mill was almost totally destroyed by fire.

Yet in fact time was to prove this a most fortuitous disaster for the Mulhollands.

The brothers, Thomas, Andrew and St Clair, with the support of their partner John Hind, decided to rebuild the mill, but for the spinning of flax not of cotton.

In addition to their business interests, the Mulhollands also took an active part in civic affairs.

St Clair was a JP for County Down and High Sheriff of County Louth and in 1865 he donated money for the erection of a new wing at what was to become the Royal Victoria Hospital.

His elder brother, Andrew, had married Elizabeth McDonnell in 1818 and had one son and four daughters.

He served the office of Mayor of Belfast in 1845.

He built Ballywalter Park, to which he moved in 1846; and he is perhaps best remembered in Belfast today for having provided the Ulster Hall with its fine Grand Organ in 1862.

Andrew Mulholland bought the Ballywalter estate from the Matthews family in 1846 for the sum of £23,000 (£2 million in 2010).

Andrew's eldest and only son John (1819-95) was educated at the Royal Academy in Belfast and eventually assumed control of the family interests, which aside from the mills included a substantial amount of land: 13,500 acres in County Down and over 1,000 acres near Cookstown in County Tyrone.

John was noted for his business and financial acumen which carried him well beyond the linen industry.

He was, for instance, involved in 1860 in advising HM Government during negotiations with the French over an important commercial treaty regulating trade between the two countries – and, among various other provisions, lowering French duties on flax and linen.

He also played a prominent part in organising the finances of the Church of Ireland after it was disestablished in 1869. He was a JP and High Sheriff for both Counties Down and Tyrone.

In 1868 he stood as a Conservative candidate, with Sir Charles Lanyon, the architect of Ballywalter, for the constituency of Belfast.

Both, however, were defeated, with John coming bottom of the poll.

Yet John persevered and in 1874 he was returned unopposed for Downpatrick, a seat he retained until 1885 [and where his influence, as ground landlord of most of the town, was very strong].

Although he held no political office, he spoke frequently on Irish questions and was a strong supporter of Tory policies.

In 1892 he was raised to the peerage, being created Baron Dunleath, of Ballywalter, on the recommendation of the outgoing Conservative Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury.

Aside from linen and politics, the 1st Baron's other great interest was sailing.

His yacht, the 77-foot schooner Egeria, built in 1865, dominated racing in her class for many years, winning in all over 60 major prizes.

Lord Dunleath died in England in 1895 and was buried at Ballywalter.

The 1st Baron became one of the wealthiest men in the Kingdom, leaving an equivalent fortune of £57 million (£583,000 in 1895).


BALLYWALTER PARK, located in the middle of the Ards Peninsula in County Down, is one of the finest private demesnes in Northern Ireland.

Dunleath Estates Limited has been controlled by Lord Dunleath, chairman; Lady Dunleath; Lord O'Neill; J McK Harris; and R P Blakiston-Houston.

The Estate today extends to 1,500 acres though, 150 years ago, it comprised 13,506 acres (including the Downpatrick Estate).

Mulholland purchased the Downpatrick Estate from the Ker family (of Montalto, Ballynahinch) in 1874, with the exception of the Ballynahinch lands.

Although Ballywalter Park  had a different and earlier provenance (the Matthews family), the vast majority of the Ards estate derived from the Blackwood family, whose seat was Clandeboye, near Bangor in County Down.

The then head of that family, the 1st Earl of Dufferin (later 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava), lived much beyond his means in the period up to the late 1860s and became heavily mortgaged to John Mulholland (1st Baron) whose acquisition of the Dufferin estate in the barony of Ards, to the north of Ballywalter, was a matter of foreclosure rather than purchase.

In the short term, this was an undignified and even false position for Dufferin to be in, because he was a leading Ulster Liberal and prominent on that side in Belfast politics, whereas Mulholland was a leading Belfast Conservative.

In the longer term, however, the arrangement benefited both families, because it contributed to establishing the 1st Baron as a major County Down landowner and it forced Lord Dufferin to concentrate on what became one of the most important late 19th-century British diplomatic and proconsular careers.

By 1876 he owned 6,769 acres in the county with a yearly rental of £10,668 (almost £1 million in 2010).


He held another 1,244 acres worth £1,530 annually in County Tyrone, where he was also appointed sheriff in 1873.


Mulholland obtained Dufferin's Ards estate during the sales.

It was adjacent to his county seat, Ballywalter Park, the ownership of which obviously obviated any social need for him to buy Clandeboye House and its demesne, which Dufferin was, with a heavy heart, prepared to sell.

Ballywalter Park, his existing estates, the newly acquired Dufferin acres and his large fortune and public philanthropy, all secured Mulholland's position as an established gentleman.

This social success was rewarded in 1892 when he was created  1st Baron Dunleath.

When he died in 1895 his estate was valued at £583,266 gross, about £57 million in 2010.

The original Ballywalter estate consisted of a demesne of around 250 acres, with a two- storey over basement Georgian House called Springvale.

Andrew found the existing Georgian house too modest for his ambitions, since he had also become Mayor of Belfast at the time of his purchase, and so he commissioned the architect and fellow Belfast city councillor, Charles Lanyon, to build something more in keeping with his perceived status. 


Ballywalter House is stated to be Ulster's finest 19th century palazzo, with a metropolitan air and all the architectural trappings of a London club.

The Dunleath Papers are held at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

The present demesne is an amalgamation of two adjoining older establishments, viz. Ballymagown, later Springvale House (the site on which the present house is constructed); and Ballyatwood, to the west.

The first house of Ballymagown, a two-storied block over a basement, was built in the 1730s by Mr Matthews following its purchase from the Montgomerys' Rosemount estate.

It was remodelled between 1805-12 and renamed Springvale.

Planting and features remain from this earlier phase.

Following the purchase of the demesne by the 1st Baron in 1846, work began on the present house by Lanyon, which was completed in 1852.

This involved remodelling and extending the existing Springvale house, subsequently renamed Ballywalter Park, in Italian Renaissance style.

In 1863, Lanyon returned to add the conservatory and the Gentleman's Wing to the north-west corner; while in 1902 the architect, W J Fennell, added the Bachelor's Wing to provide accommodation for visiting cricketers.

A balustraded entrance drive at the east front of the house overlooks parkland to the sea. Extensive replanting followed the purchase of the property in 1846.

Older shelter belts were retained as an important element in an exposed site, while others were planted for the present house.

There are mature woodlands, with rides and extensive parkland within the walls.

Planting post-1846 was extensive and about 93,500 trees and shrubs were added in the first winter.

Mature parkland trees at the west side of the house were removed to give space for planting fashionable exotic evergreens. Rhododendrons were introduced.

The latter collection flourished in the first half of the 20th century and the surviving plants are recorded in Mary Forrest’s, Trees and Shrubs Cultivated in Ireland, compiled in 1988, including several raised by the 3rd Baron Dunleath and, notably, Lady Dunleath.

There is a rock and water garden (restored in 1988) dwarfed beneath the now large evergreens amidst rolling lawns.

Mark Bence-Jones aptly describes the site in 1988, in A Guide to Irish Country Houses: 
The garden front of the house overlooks wide-spreading lawns with paths and statues, beyond which is a notable collection of ornamental trees and shrubs.
One vista has been cut to a modern folly of 1986. Many paths have been grassed over.

A dovecote of 1759 lies in the woods. Ornamental bridges by Lanyon span streams.

The walled garden, contemporary with the present house, is cultivated and adorned with a rose pergola.

A rose garden occupies the southern end of the garden and there is ornamental planting on the exterior, on the path from the house to the walled garden.

Glasshouses have recently been restored.

The head gardener, W King, contributed a regular column to Irish Garden on ‘The Flower Garden’ in the hey-day of Northern Ireland’s great country house gardens just before the 1st World War.

An Edwardian cricket pitch and 9-hole golf course are no longer present. The retained Springvale pre-1834 stables are listed.

There were originally seven gate lodges, one of which is by Lanyon ca 1850 and another by Fennell of ca 1900.

First published in May, 2010.

Friday, 1 December 2017

The King Baronetcy

THE KING BARONETCY, OF CORRARD, COUNTY FERMANAGH, WAS CREATED IN 1821 FOR ABRAHAM BRADLEY KING, LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN AND ROYAL STATIONER


CHARLES KING, of Corrard, Co Fermanagh, died in 1788, leaving issue by Anne, sister of the Rev Dr. James Cottingham, of Cavan, a son,

JAMES KING, (-1798), of Dublin, who married in 1763, Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Abraham Bradley, printer and stationer, of Dublin, and had issue,
James;
ABRAHAM BRADLEY, of whom we treat;
Hulton Smyth;
Joseph.
Mr King's second son,

ABRAHAM BRADLEY KING (1774-1838), of Corrard, and of Bloomsbury, County Dublin, was elected alderman of the city of Dublin in 1805; and chosen Lord Mayor in 1813, and a second time, in 1821, when he had the honour of receiving, in his official capacity, GEORGE IV.

In commemoration of the occasion of that monarch's visiting the metropolis of His Majesty's Irish dominions, the chief magistrate was created a BARONET, in 1821.

Sir Abraham inherited, from his maternal grandfather, the patent office of King's Stationer in Ireland, which he surrendered to the Crown in 1830 and was granted by Parliament a pension of £2,500 (£213,000 in today's money) for life.

He was also deputy grand master of the Orange Order, and printed revised rules for that body.

On the issue of publicly celebrating WILLIAM III's birthday he took the side of the government in 1821 and banned public ceremonies.

When his prohibition was disobeyed by a dissident group of tailors, he resigned from the Orange Order.

As Lord Mayor in 1821, he joined with the catholic Lord Fingall at a public dinner in Morrison’s hotel to demonstrate unity and amity for the royal visit of GEORGE IV.

In the following year he resisted the passage of resolutions, in the merchant’s guild of Dublin Corporation, for repeal of the act of union.

King was popular in municipal circles for the lavishness of his public functions and for his personal defence of the right of Dublin Corporation to present petitions at the bar of the house of commons.

In 1829, his mode of conducting business as king’s stationer came under government scrutiny. It became clear that King was in the habit of offering money gifts in lieu of stationery to members of the vice-regal household.

He was forced to resign his patent in 1830, and refused compensation.

In Ireland, even his political opponents believed that he had been treated shabbily and there was much sympathy for him when he was declared a bankrupt in 1831.

Daniel O’Connell MP vigorously championed Sir Abraham's case in parliament, and in 1832 secured him a measure of compensation.

This was augmented, in 1836, by a life pension of £2,500 per annum, voted by parliament.

Sir Abraham was an active member of the Dublin Society during 1802-15, and in the latter year was paid £170 12s. 2d. by the Society for stationery supplies.

Between 1803-15, he proposed or seconded nine candidates for membership of the Society, including Captain John D’Esterre, killed in a duel with Daniel O’Connell in 1815.

King’s stationery business was conducted from offices at 36 Dame Street, and he was also a committee member of the Atlas Assurance Company.

His Dublin residence was Bloomsbury, and he had a country seat at Corrard, County Fermanagh.

In 1793, he married Anne, daughter of Plato Oulton, by whom he had issue,
JAMES WALKER, his heir;
Abraham;
Anne, Elizabeth; Mary; Jane; Sarah; Harriett.
His eldest son,

THE REV SIR JAMES WALKER KING (1796-1874), 2nd Baronet, wedded, in 1834, his first cousin, Anne Sophia Smyth, eldest daughter of Hulton Smyth King, formerly a commissioner of the customs.
Sir James was Vicar of Rathmore and Kilteel in County Kildare, 1837-56; and Chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (Lord Anglesey).
His son and heir,

SIR CHARLES SIMEON KING (1840-1921), 3rd Baronet, lived at Corrard (below), Swerford Park, Oxfordshire, and The Highlands House, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex.

The baronetcy expired on the death of Sir Charles in 1921, who edited "A great Archbishop of Dublin, William King, DD 1650-1729: His autobiography, family, and a selection from his correspondence." (1906, Longman Green).

Corrard

The King family were certainly in possession of Gola Abbey as far back as the late 17th century.

John King of Gola, took part in the defence of Enniskillen in 1689, and his name also appears in the list of signatories to the address to WILLIAM & MARY written in that town in 1690.

He died between 1720 and 1726 and his son James took possession of the estate.

James King was appointed Sheriff of Fermanagh in 1728 and presented the communion plate to Derryvullan Church.

He died in 1756 and Gola passed to his eldest son also called James, who married Elizabeth Coote of Limerick (a cousin of his) but died childless in London in 1823.

In 1815 Gola was purchased by Sir Abraham Bradley King Bt, another cousin.

It passed after his death to his son Sir Charles Simeon King Bt.

Although Sir Charles listed Gola as his address, he moved into the rebuilt house at Corrard nearby.

His new lands included a small island called Inishbeg.

During the 19th century Sir Charles sold Gola Abbey.

The evidence from the King family indicates that they lived in the priory as far back as 1689 and had remained in residence until Sir Charles moved to Corrard.

The Kings were resident in Gola Abbey at the time of the siege of Enniskillen and were still there in the time that Thomas Burke was writing in 1772; the restoration happened in 1660.

It is possible that the house was abandoned for some years, as the Kings had renovated Corrard as early as 1825.

Archdall’s account indicates that there were three friars living there in 1756 but the records indicate clearly that the Kings were firmly in possession of the old priory at that stage. 

First published in November, 2010.