Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Murlough Acquisition

SELECTIVE ACQUISITIONS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

PROPERTY: Murlough Nature Reserve, near Dundrum, County Down

DATE: 1967

EXTENT: 430.27 acres

DONOR: 8th Marquess of Downshire

*****

PROPERTY: Murlough House and lands

DATE: 1975

EXTENT: 265.79 acres

DONOR: Messrs RBS and John Hawkins

First published in January, 2015.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Fellows Hall

THE ARMSTRONGS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY ARMAGH, WITH 2,279 ACRES

EDWARD ARMSTRONG, of Dublin, son of William Armstrong, by Jane Garver his wife, married, in 1760, Grace Jones, and had issue,
WILLIAM JONES;
Edward;
Hugh.
The eldest son,

THE REV WILLIAM JONES ARMSTRONG (1764-1825), Rector of Termonfeckin, County Louth, wedded, in 1786, Margaret, third daughter of Alderman John Tew, Lord Mayor of Dublin (by Margaret Maxwell his wife, grandniece of John, 1st Lord Farnham), and granddaughter of Alderman David Tew, Lord Mayor of the same city, 1752, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM JONES, his heir;
John Tew;
Thomas Knox, of Fellow's Hall, JP;
Helen; Anne; Diana Jane.
The eldest son,

WILLIAM JONES ARMSTRONG JP DL (1794-1872), of Killylea, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1840, espoused, in 1842, Frances Elizabeth, widow of Colonel Sir Michael McCreagh CB KCH, and only daughter of Captain Christopher Wilson, of the 22nd Foot, and had issue,
WILLIAM FORTESCUE, 7th Hussars (1843-71);
HENRY BRUCE, of whom hereafter.
His younger son,

THE RT HON HENRY BRUCE ARMSTRONG JP DL (1844-1943), of Killylea, and Dean's Hill, both in County Armagh, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1875, and High Sheriff of County Longford, 1894, married, in 1883, Margaret, daughter of William Leader, of Rossnalee, County Cork, and had issue,
William Fortescue, lieutenant RA;
Michael Richard Leader;
Henry Maxwell;
JAMES ROBERT BARGRAVE, of whom hereafter;
Christopher Wyborne;
Frances Margaret Alice; Dorothea Gertrude; Margaret Helen Elizabeth.
The fourth son,

JAMES ROBERT BARGRAVE ARMSTRONG (1893-1980), of Fellows Hall, Killylea, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1960, Barrister, North Irish Horse, 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, wedded, in 1930, the Hon Kathleen Marion Napier, daughter of Edward, 4th Baron Napier of Magdala, and had issue,
Henry Napier;
John Fortescue;
Frances Evelyn; Kathleen Mary Perceval; Florence Margaret.
Mr Armstrong was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY NAPIER ARMSTRONG DL (1936-2014), of Fellows Hall, Barrister, Lieutenant, Royal Engineers (TA), who married, in 1967, Rosmarie Alice, daughter of Harold Ducket White, and had issue,
Bruce William, b 1970;
Mark Harold Napier, b 1978;
Antonia Kathleen, b 1974.
Photo credit: http://www.stonedatabase.com


FELLOWS HALL, Killylea, County Armagh, is a Victorian-Italianate reconstruction of a house of 1762 (which itself was rebuilt in 1752).

It comprises two storeys over a basement, with a five-bay front.

Round-headed windows conatin keystones in the upper storey.

The doorway is tripartite, with a triple window above.

The Hall passed through marriage from the Maxwells to the Armstrong and Stronge families; thence to the McClintocks.

The Armstrong Papers are held at PRONI.

First published in April, 2015.

Boyd of Ballycastle

THE BOYDS OWNED 5,304 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM

THE REV WILLIAM BOYD, Vicar of Ramoan, 1679-81, married Rose, great-granddaughter of Hugh McNeil.

Hugh McNeil, who was appointed 1st constable of Dunynie by Randal MacDonnell, 1st Earl of Antrim, was granted lands which formed the basis of the Ballycastle Estate.

The Vicar's second son,

COLONEL HUGH BOYD (1690-1765), born at Drumawillan House, Glentaise, inherited his father's estate in 1711, aged 21.

Colonel Boyd became manager of Ballycastle Colliery Salt Works and Company, and quickly began expanding the business. In 1737, he was granted £10,000 by the Irish Parliament for the establishment of a harbour at Ballycastle. 

Colonel Boyd also built Holy Trinity Church in the town, in 1756, at a cost of £2,769.

HUGH BOYD, of Ballycastle, County Antrim, MP for County Antrim, 1794-96, married and had issue, an only son and daughters.

This Hugh's second daughter, Harriet, wedded Sir John Boyd Bt in 1818. 
His second son,

ALEXANDER BOYD (1791-1886), Lord of the Manor of Ballycastle, espoused, in 1821, Ann, daughter of Henry Huey.

His eldest son,

HUGH BOYD, of Ballycastle (1826-91), married Marianne, elder daughter of James McKinley, of Carneatly.

The eldest son,

ALEXANDER BOYD JP (1865-1952), of Ballycastle, married, in 1903, Letitia, fifth daughter of John Nicholl, of The Orchard, Ballycastle.

His eldest son,

HUGH ALEXANDER BOYD, of Islandview, Ballycastle, married and had issue, his eldest son,

ALEXANDER JOHN BOYD, born in 1940.



THE MANSION, Ballycastle, County Antrim, is a mid-18th century building.

It had an archway above which was set a statue of an Indian river god, presumably supplied by Major-General Hugh Boyd, of the Bengal Army, at the time of the mutiny,

"Boyd - Major-General Hugh - Bengal Army - died 24th December 1876. Ensign Hugh Boyd, 62nd Native Infantry) served at Bhurtpore 1826 (medal and bar).

Memorial at Ballycastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland - "In memory of Major General Hugh Boyd. Who died 24th December 1876 aged 76 years. General Boyd (of the Late Bengal Army) served with his regiment and on the General Staff throughout India for a uninterrupted term of 32 years from January 1824, a period of India's history as eventful in military successes and glory as any preceding it, returning to India after a short furlough in 1856.

He closed his military career commanding a brigade throughout the memorable Sepoy Mutiny of 1857-58."

There is a stable block with cut-stone window surrounds.


The Manor House became a Barnardo boys' home.

Little remains of the original house.

First published in April, 2013.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Athavallie House

THE LYNCH-BLOSSE BARONETS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MAYO, WITH 22,658 ACRES

The family of LYNCH was of great antiquity in the province of Connaught, being amongst the very early settlers, denominated the Tribes of Galway.

In an old manuscript in Ulster King-of-Arms' office, William le Petit is stated to be the common progenitor of all the Lynches of Ireland.

The founder of the honours of the family, however, was

HENRY LYNCH, Mayor of, and MP for Galway (eldest of twelve sons of Nicholas Lynch, also Mayor of Galway).

Mr Lynch was created a baronet in 1622.
This gentleman was the son of Nicholas Lynch fitz Stephen (Mayor 1584–1585) and great-grandson of Mayor Arthur Lynch (died 1539); land agent for Richard, 4th Earl of Clanricarde; mentor to Patrick D'Arcy and Richard Martyn, later senior political figures of Confederate Ireland.
He was stepfather to D'Arcy and married to an aunt of Martyn. He was among the first of his family to become a lawyer, and several of his younger sons followed him into this profession, as did, under his influence, D'Arcy, Martyn, Geoffrey Browne and subsequent generations of The Tribes of Galway.
Sir Henry married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Martin, and widow of James D'Arcy, by whom he had three sons and three daughters.

He died in 1635, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ROBUCK LYNCH, 2nd Baronet, who represented Galway in parliament in 1639 and 1641, and was resident counsel for Connaught during the rebellion.

He wedded Ellis, daughter of Sir Peter French, Knight, by whom he had two sons, and was succeeded on his decease, 1667, by the elder, 

SIR HENRY LYNCH, 3rd Baronet, a lawyer of eminence, and one of the barons of the exchequer, in 1689.

Sir Henry wedded firstly, Margaret, daughter of Sir Theobald Bourke, 3rd Viscount Mayo, but by that lady had no issue; and secondly, and had (with a younger son) his successor,

SIR ROBERT LYNCH (-c1720), 4th Baronet, who espoused Catherine, daughter of Henry Blake, of County Mayo, by whom he had, with two daughters, a son and heir,

SIR HENRY LYNCH (-1762), 5th Baronet, of Carracastle, who married Mary, daughter of John Moore, of Brees [sic], County Galway, and had one daughter and an only son, his successor,

SIR ROBERT LYNCH-BLOSSE, 6th Baronet, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Francis Barker, heir of Tobias Blosse, of Little Belstead, Suffolk.

He assumed the surname of BLOSSE, in addition to, and after, that of LYNCH.

It was a condition of the marriage that Robert would assume the additional surname of BLOSSE and conform to Protestantism.

The issue of this marriage were, HENRY, who succeeded to the title; and Francis, who wedded Hatton, daughter of John Smith, and had issue, Robert, who, succeeding his uncle, became the 8th Baronet.

Sir Robert died in 1775, and was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR HENRY LYNCH-BLOSSE, 7th Baronet (1749-88), upon whose demise, without issue, the title reverted to his nephew, 

SIR ROBERT LYNCH-BLOSSE (1774-1818), 8th Baronet, who wedded firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of William Gorman, of Carlow, by whom he had FRANCIS, the next baronet, with several other children.

He married secondly, Charlotte, daughter of John Richards, of Cardiff.

Sir Robert  was succeeded by his son,

THE REV SIR FRANCIS LYNCH-BLOSSE (1801-40), 9th Baronet, who wedded, in 1824, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Lord Plunket, and had issue,
ROBERT, 10th Baronet;
William Conyngham, b 1826.
*****

Sir Richard Hely Lynch-Blosse (b 1953), 17th and present Baronet, lives in Oxfordshire.


ATHAVALLIE HOUSE, near Castlebar, County Mayo, is a long, low, plain, two-storey residence, its main block of five bays, with an entrance door set in a broad stone arch.

The front is extended by a four-bay range of the same height, though set back.

In 1894, Athavallie House was recorded as the seat of Sir Henry Lynch-Blosse, 11th Baronet (1857-1918), and most likely the last of the family to reside there.

In 1920, the Sisters of St Louis founded a school which catered for girls only.

It was a boarding school-cum-day school until the St Louis Sisters left in 1978 and the school became co-educational under the control of the local community.

Balla Secondary School is based here now.

Athavallie House still stands but is no longer used for educational purposes.

It was used as a military hospital during the 1st World War.

Other former seat ~ Castle Carra, County Mayo.

First published in April, 2013.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Crom: Walled Garden

Although it's one of the most remote parts of the Province and almost as far from Belfast as you can get, I've been to Crom Estate in County Fermanagh many times.

I first visited it in about 1977, when the estate manager took us on a guided tour of the Castle - I'd written to Lord Erne in advance, requesting a visit.

The Walled Garden lies deep within the grounds of Crom.

You cross the White Bridge and walk several hundred yards until it appears, the former head gardener's lodge being opposite it.

Its old, red-brick walls are in good condition, the National Trust having re-built at least one side some years ago.

It extends to roughly three acres in size; and it has been utterly overgrown since its demise after the second world war.

I've no doubt that the Trust intends to revive this magical place as and when funds become available.

Many fruits and vegetables were grown here for the big house.

Exotic fruits, which are nowadays taken for granted, were a rarity then and only the wealthiest families could afford to cultivate them.

In fact many people may never have seen a pineapple or a peach or known they existed.

On one side of the Walled Garden there were raspberries; and strawberries on another.

Heated glasshouses contained peaches, nectarines, pineapples, grapes and tomatoes; not to omit lettuce, marrows, cucumbers and orchards with apples, plums, pears and greengages.

There were also beehives, sweet-pea, daffodils, dahlias and magnolias.

In the middle of the garden there was a large palm-house, now sadly gone, about thirty feet high, where the weather-reading was taken every morning.

The whole garden swarmed with butterflies, bees and other wild insects; birds flitted in and out to help themselves to Nature's goodness.

It must have been heavenly.

Of course the main purpose of the walled garden was to maintain an abundant supply of produce, including flowers, for the Castle: a barrow was wheeled manually up to the Castle with fruit, vegetables and flowers twice daily.

When the family were staying at their London home, the freshly-picked produce was loaded on to the train at Newtownbutler station and taken to Belfast or Dublin; then put on a ferry for its long journey to the metropolis, where it would have been delivered to the Ernes' house the next day; and that was in Victorian times!

I have been in the Walled Garden and my imagination always escapes to those halcyon days, dreaming of what it must have been like.

My fervent hope is that the enchanting walled garden of Crom is resurrected back to life again some day.

This piece was first published in August, 2008. It is thought that the intention is to utilize part of the Walled Garden as community allotments.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Corick House

 THE STORY FAMILY OWNED 2,065 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TYRONE


JOHN STORY (1648-1725), of Bingfield Hall, Hexham, Northumberland, settled in Ulster about 1697.
Mr Story was established on church land at Corick, County Tyrone, by the Rt Rev St George Ashe (1658-1718), Lord Bishop of Clogher.  He was the elder brother of the Rt Rev Joseph Story, Lord Bishop of Kilmore, sold his estate at Bingfield Hall and removed to Ulster  under the auspices of Bishop Ashe.
This John Story and his son Thomas acquired an estate within the See of Clogher, where they built their first residence.

He died at Corick in 1725, leaving issue,
THOMAS, of whom presently;
Joseph, ancestor of STORY of Bingfield;
John, b 1681;
Samuel, b 1683.
The eldest son,

THOMAS STORY (1678-1768), of Corick, wedded, in 1707, Rebecca ______, and had five sons and two daughters, of whom,
JOHN, of whom presently;
Joseph (Rev), rector of Monaghan (1711-84);
Thomas, 1715-44;
Benjamin, father of JOHN BENJAMIN, s his uncle.
The eldest son,

JOHN STORY (1708-80), died a bachelor and was succeeded by his nephew,

THE REV JOHN BENJAMIN STORY (1764-1844), of Corick, Canon Chancellor of Clogher, who married, in 1790, Jane, daughter of Alexander Young, of Coolkeiragh, County Londonderry, by Catherine his wife, daughter of Richard Hassard, of Gardenhill, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
JOHN BENJAMIN, his heir;
Alexander, died unmarried;
Anne; Kate; Elizabeth; Jane;
Letitia; Frances Thomasina; Maria.
The eldest son,

JOHN BENJAMIN STORY, of Corick, wedded, in 1840, Catherine, daughter of Captain Valentine Munbee, of Horringer, Suffolk; though  dsp in 1862, and was succeeded by his only surviving brother,

THE REV WILLIAM STORY, of Corick, Rector of Aghabog, who espoused Sarah, daughter of John Black, and had issue,
JOHN BENJAMIN, his heir;
William George Theaker, b 1863;
Marion Letitia; Alice Gertrude;
Emma Mary Geraldine.
He died in 1888, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN BENJAMIN STORY, MB, M.Ch, FRCSI, (1850-1931), of Corick, who married, in 1892, Blanche Christabel, daughter of the Rev J W Hallowell, and had issue,
Eleanor Constance;
Joan Blanche. 

 ***********

DR JOHN BENJAMIN STORY, of Corick, and of 6 Merrion Square North, Dublin,

was educated at Winchester; and Trinity College Dublin; Surgeon Oculist to GEORGE V in Ireland; High Sheriff of Tyrone, 1911; President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; and of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, 1918-19.
"The King has appointed Mr John Benjamin Story, MB, FRCSI, to be Honorary Surgeon Oculist to His Majesty in Ireland, in room of Mr Charles Edward Fitzgerald, MD, deceased." 

CORICK HOUSE, near Clogher, County Tyrone, was originally built at the end of the 17th century, as a double gable-ended block of two storeys over a basement, with five bays.

In 1863, on the instructions of William Story, the house was enlarged and altered to the design of the Belfast firm of Sir Charles Lanyon.

A new garden front with a large canted bay in its centre and a three-storey tower with Italianate hipped slate roof were added. The original dining room remained unaltered.


The house sits on an elevated site above the River Blackwater, and is approached from the north by a straight avenue, laid down in the 1690s, lined with mature beech trees.

The enclosing parkland, some of whose trees were considered very fine as early as 1835, belongs to the later 18th century.

It is bordered to the south by the river Blackwater, and contains mature trees in set, undulating ground, including a planted rath.

The area around the house is enhanced by a maintained, ornamental garden.

The walled garden is partly cultivated, with a glasshouse.

There are three gate lodges, all of which pre-date the 1850s.

The last member of the Story family, a granddaughter of Dr John Benjamin Story, sold Corick to Mrs Jean Beacom; and the surrounding farmland to local farmers.

Corick House is now a country house hotel.

First published in January, 2013.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Avenida Salmon


I revisited another old haunt last night, the Avenida Restaurant.

It's situated on a back street in Corralejo by the name of Calle General Prim.

Heard of this cove, Prim? I thought not.

Avenida is one of the most popular restaurants in town, particularly with inhabitants.

I was greeted cordially and sat at my usual table, a sturdy, simple, heavy, square, wooden affair.

The chairs are equally robust.

This is an unpretentious place.

Patrons return for good, authentic grub; and it's terrific value, too.


The waiter brought me a little basket of fresh bread and some of their delicious, strong alioli.

Real alioli is almost pungently strong, in my book.

I ordered a soft drink and the grilled salmon.

A word of advice: unless you're the build of Bertie Wooster's acquaintance, the Right Honourable A B Filmer, order a half-portion.

Heaven knows what size the full portion would be.

My salmon duly arrived, with those small Canarian potatoes and salad.

The fish seemed to be cut like a steak, and was served with a considerable number of bones and skin.

However, I have to say that it was a good flavour and succulent.

At the conclusion of my dinner they offered me a local liqueur called Ron Miel, served in a tiny "shot" glass, topped with whipped cream.

The entire bill came to €8.

Friday, 21 April 2017

John Ballance, 1839-93

Rt Hon John Ballance, XIVth Prime Minister of New Zealand
THE ULSTER NEW ZEALAND TRUST WAS FOUNDED IN 1989 TO RESTORE THE BALLANCE HOUSE AND TO CREATE A NEW ZEALAND CENTRE IN NORTHERN IRELAND


John Ballance was born at Ballypitmave, near Glenavy, County Antrim (in a cottage near the Ballance house), into a comfortably off, though not prosperous, Ulster family.

His date of birth is said to have been 27th March, 1839.

His father, Samuel Ballance, was a Protestant tenant farmer on Lord Hertford's estate 'with evangelical tendencies'.

His mother, Mary McNiece, was a Quaker from a prominent local family.

The eldest of eleven children, John was educated at Glenavy National School and at Wilson's Academy, Belfast.

Early impressions of him are of a sturdy but rather lazy boy with a propensity to do nothing all day but read.

Ballamce House

John's father, Samuel, was active in politics, at times nominating conservative candidates for Belfast, and his son took a precocious interest in these activities.

At 16 years of age he was helping to write his father's speeches.

But if it was his father who brought John Ballance into early contact with political life, it was his more liberal mother who influenced the direction of his own political philosophy.

A series of major sectarian riots in Belfast also made a lasting impression.

Ballance left Wilson's Academy before completing his education and took a job with a Belfast ironmongery firm.

In 1857, when he was 18, he left Belfast for Birmingham, where he worked as a travelling salesman.

The original house before restoration

Caught up in the Victorian ethic of self-help and self-education, he enrolled in evening classes at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, studying politics, biography and history.

Birmingham was at the centre of important political and philosophical movements and Ballance took a lively interest in current affairs.

He heard speeches by major figures of the day such as John Bright, Michael Faraday and Joseph Chamberlain.

In Birmingham, Ballance also met Fanny Taylor, the daughter of a licensed victualler; they were married at St Peter and St Paul's Church, Aston, on 17 June 1863.

Not long afterwards, due in part to Fanny's ill health, they decided to emigrate to New Zealand where she had a brother living in Wanganui.

In April 1866 they left London on the Ruahine bound for Melbourne, Australia, and after a short stay continued to New Zealand on the Albion.

They arrived at Wellington on 11 August, and a few days later travelled on to Wanganui.

In Wanganui John Ballance opened a shop on Taupo Quay, selling jewellery he had purchased in Australia.

The business was neither successful nor something Ballance contemplated pursuing for long.

Instead, his chosen career was journalism: He established the Evening Herald in 1867, in partnership with local printer A D Willis.
An able and innovative journalist, Ballance managed and edited the Evening Herald (from 1876 the Wanganui Herald ) and its weekly edition, the Weekly Herald (later the Yeoman ) with considerable success, particularly in the years before the economic downturn of the 1880s.
During the war against Titokowaru of Ngati Ruanui in 1868–69, when the township of Wanganui felt itself under immediate threat, the Herald was outspoken in its criticism of the poor performance of the British forces and vehement in its attitude to Titokowaru's forces.
Regarded by authorities as a maverick troublemaker, Ballance spent a night in jail after refusing to respond to an order to turn out as part of the local militia, the compulsory nature of which offended his liberal beliefs.

The public perception gained of Ballance at this time through his bellicose editorials in the Herald was of a man who 'called a spade a spade'.

The later testimony of friends, however, spoke of his soft-hearted and kindly personality.

Ballance became increasingly involved in Wanganui affairs, helping to found the Wanganui and Rangitikei Land and Building Society and the local Oddfellows lodge. 

In March 1868 Fanny Ballance died after a short illness, at the age of 24.

Two years later, at Wellington, on 19 May 1870, John Ballance married Ellen Anderson, the daughter of Wellington merchant David Anderson and his wife, Ann Thompson.

There were no children from either marriage, but in 1886 Ellen and John adopted Ellen's four-year-old niece, Florence Anderson, whom they re-christened Kathleen.

In 1872 Ballance put his name forward at a parliamentary by-election for the seat of Egmont, but withdrew before the vote.

Three years later he narrowly won in Rangitikei, on a platform stressing abolition of the provincial system and arguing in favour of state education.

He increased his majority at the general election of 1876.

Ballance made an early impact in Wellington.

Following the abolition of the provinces in 1876 he focused on the promotion of closer land settlement, which he considered to be the major political issue of the day.

Ballance won the Wanganui seat in 1879 but two years later suffered what was to be his only electoral defeat.

Out of Parliament he continued to advocate legislative and other measures to promote closer land settlement; encouraging, for example, the establishment of small farm associations.

He reorganised his newspaper business.

He also became involved in the "freethought" movement.

A convinced secularist, he formed the Wanganui Freethought Association with Willis in 1883 and brought out the monthly Freethought Review (1883–85).

At the 1884 general election Ballance was returned for Wanganui by a sizeable majority.

He subsequently joined the Stout–Vogel ministry, holding the lands and immigration, native affairs and defence portfolios.

With his Land Act 1885, a major piece of legislation, he sought to place as many people as possible on the land by encouraging leasehold tenure and establishing government-assisted special settlement schemes.

In a victory that contrasted sharply with the poor performance of other leading government candidates, Ballance took the Wanganui seat at the 1887 election with more than twice the number of votes gained by his opponent.

Ill health and financial difficulties prevented his full commitment to politics during the next two years, but in July 1889 he was able to accept the leadership of the opposition.

A radical land policy was the dominant theme of Ballance's campaign at the 1890 election, which took place against a background of strikes and economic depression.

He won Wanganui by just 27 votes.

Elsewhere, Liberals and their trade unionist allies in the cities fared well.

When the sitting premier, H A Atkinson, resigned after being defeated in the House in January 1891, Ballance was ready to form the country's first Liberal government.

Surrounding himself with a cabinet of considerable talent, Ballance steered his government through two difficult years before his death from cancer in 1893.

In his last months in office Ballance supported moves to enfranchise women, a reform of which he had long been an advocate.

In his support for women's suffrage Ballance was strongly influenced by the views of his wife.

Ellen Ballance was prominent in the growing feminist movement in New Zealand and was vice president of the Women's Progressive Society, an international organisation.

A thoughtful, intelligent and politically astute woman, Ellen shared fully her husband's political interests.

She regularly attended Parliament to listen to the debates from the gallery, and she was highly regarded in Wellington's political circles.

The personal qualities John Ballance possessed fitted him well for the task he faced as premier.

He was kindly, courteous and considerate and displayed great patience.

He was a man of honesty and integrity.

As a result he attracted extraordinary loyalty among his cabinet and party.

Robert Stout wrote of his 'magnetic power of attaching people to him'.

Many viewed his mild temperament as a sign of weakness as a leader.

In fact he possessed much political toughness, although it was often hidden and seldom acknowledged.

WP Reeves described him as 'absolutely the most unassuming and unpretentious' of all the successful and able men he had known.

But, he added, 'as a Premier – and I say it emphatically – he knew how to be master in his own house.'

John Ballance died in Wellington, New Zealand, on 27 April 1893.

After a state funeral he was buried at Wanganui three days later.

Ellen Ballance survived her husband by 42 years.

She remained active in community organisations in Wanganui, including the Anglican church, the Wanganui Orphanage and the Plunket Society.

She died at Wanganui on 14 June, 1935.

First published in May, 2011.

The Queen's Birthday

HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY Elizabeth The Second, OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND, AND OF HER OTHER REALMS AND TERRITORIES QUEEN, HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH.

THE QUEEN is 91 today.

Her Majesty was born at 17 Bruton Street, London, on the 21st April, 1926, and ascended the throne, upon the demise of her father, GEORGE VI, 6th February, 1952.

The Queen usually spends her birthday privately, at Windsor Castle.

The occasion is marked publicly by a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, London, and 21 gun salutes in the other nations of the United Kingdom.

Three cheers for Her Majesty The Queen today.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Wodehouse Gems: III

BERTIE AND THE RT HON A B FILMER

Aunt Agatha to Bertie: "I want to have a word with you before you meet Mr Filmer."

"Who?"

"Mr Filmer, the Cabinet Minister. He is staying in the house. Surely even you must have heard of Mr Filmer?"

"Oh, rather," I said, though as a matter of fact the bird was completely unknown to me.

This man Filmer, you must understand, was not one of those men who are lightly kept from the tea-table. 

A hearty trencherman, and particularly fond of his five o'clock couple of cups and bite of muffin, he had until this afternoon always been well up among the leaders in the race for the food-trough. 

If one thing was certain, it was that only the machinations of some enemy could be keeping him from being in the drawing-room now, complete with nose-bag.

First published in March, 2012.

Edgcumbe House


Edgcumbe House, Strandtown, Belfast, was originally built in 1837 for John Wallace, a solicitor.

This early Victorian, two-storey residence comprised five bays, the central bay projecting by one bay, with a pediment and pillared Ionic porch.

There was a dentil cornice and quoining.

Ground-floor windows on the entrance front had crossettes and were pedimented.


One three-bay side elevation was widely bowed and extended to posibly another six bays further back, with a three-bay pediment.

In 1854, Edgecumbe was acquired by John Workman, proprietor of John Workman & Son, Manufacturers, of 5 Bedford Street, Belfast.

Mr Workman enlarged and refaced the house in neoclassical style, possibly to designs by Young & Mackenzie.

 

The grounds extended to 26 acres

It is believed that the Lemons and Workmans were connected through marriage.

Edgcumbe later became the home of Archibald Dunlap Lemon JP (d 1922), a director of James Lemon & Sons and the Ulster Steamship Company.

One of his sons was killed in action:-

Lt Archibald Lemon, RIR

NAME; Lemon, Archibald D
RANK; Lieutenant
UNIT/SERVICE; Royal Irish Rifles
REGIMENT; 12th Battalion
BORN; Castlereagh 2nd April 1875
LIVED; 38 Scotch Quarter, Carrickfergus
ENLISTED; Carrickfergus 1915
FATE; Killed in action at the Somme 1st July 1916 aged 41
CEMETERY; Body never recovered
MEMORIAL; Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 15A and 15B
REMARKS: _______

Archie Lemon was the son of Archibald Dunlap Lemon and Ellen Workman of Edgcumbe House, Strandtown, Belfast. He had two sisters, Ellen and Marie and one brother Edward.

He was educated at Methody College Belfast and was an active member of the County Antrim Yacht Club. Before joining up with the 12th Royal Irish Rifles he lived in 38 Scotch Quarter, Carrickfergus and worked as a flax spinning manager at Barn Mills.

The details of his death are well documented in the 12th Battalion war diary and with eye witness accounts.  The following extract comes from eye witness accounts:

No.6 Platoon, 12th R.I.R ~ This Platoon was under Lieut. Lemon and was made responsible for the RAILWAY SAP.

The Platoon left our own trenches before Zero at the same tine and on the right of the 9th Royal Ir. Fus. but before reaching the RAVINE the whole Platoon with the exception of Lieut. Lemon and twelve men were all casualties.

On reaching the RAVINE Lt. Lemon looked for some supports, but as none were available he advanced with his twelve men to enter the Sap. When he reached. the Sap he had only nine men left, but he entered the Sap at the Railway bank.

L.Sergt. Millar and three men moved to the right to bomb down the Sap, but, these were soon all casualties. Lieut. Lemon and the remainder of the men advanced up the main Sap. The thick wires running into the first large tunnel was cut by Rfmn. Gamble who was the first bayonet man.

There was a Machine-gun firing across the sap from the small tunnel. Lieut. Lemon, however, climbed above the small tunnel with some bombs in order to catch any Germans who might come out and sent the men on.

Lieut. Lemon was then shot by two German Officers who fired their rifles at him from the top of a dug out which apparently led into the tunnel. The two German officers were afterwards killed by a bomb which exploded right at their feet.

The remaining men got cut off between the 1st and 2nd German line and only two of them escaped.
Edward Lemon, the last member of the family to live at Edgcumbe, continued to reside there until about 1940, when it was requisitioned by HM Government during the 2nd World War.

Thereafter, the Lemons never returned to live at Edgcumbe.

About 1950, it was purchased by the Northern Ireland Government.

Edgcumbe had two gate-lodges, one being at Holywood Road, close to St Mark's Church.

Prior the the "Edgcumbe" housing development, the main entrance was at 249 Holywood Road, Belfast.

In the early 1950s, Edgcumbe House was acquired by Belfast Corporation (City Council) for use as a nursing and residential home for older people.

The Corporation paid £6,000 for the house and grounds, about £150,000 in today's money.

They spent a further £15,500 on alterations and furnishings.

Edgcumbe was officially opened by the Rt Hon Dame Dehra Parker GBE, NI Health Minister, 1949-57.

In 1957, a new wing was officially opened by the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Sir Robert Harcourt JP.


Edgcumbe House was finally demolished ca 1993.


A new purpose-built building was constructed and officially opened in 1996 by Lady Mayhew, wife of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Edgcumbe now serves the community as an assessment & therapy unit.

First published in April, 2013.  I wish to thank Gary Kinkade for his help in compiling this article. 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Citrus Revisited

Nasi goreng 

The climate in this part of the Canary Islands is usually agreeable.

Whereas many of the cafés, bars and restaurants have outdoor seating, heavy blankets are provided if necessary for cooler evenings.

I often bring a V-neck sweater with me.

It hasn't rained in Corralejo for weeks.

I revisited Citrus Café last night.

In fact I've been revisiting Citrus a number of times.

I've found a seat tucked into a corner, tucked away, which is usually available; so I settle myself there.

At about nine o'clock a crowd of a few dozen young surfers arrived en bloc.

They ordered food and drink, and all moved into the garden behind the café.

There is, I gather, live music on Tuesday evenings.


I'd already had a restorative in my apartment, so I ordered one of their lovely milkshakes and the Nasi goreng.

To the best of my knowledge I've never had Nasi goreng before.

Its ingredients sounded tasty on the menu, and I was not disappointed.

After dinner I ambled in to the back garden, though there was no sign of a musician.

The tables all seemed to be taken.

Presumably the music did start a bit later.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Louth Hall

THE BARONS LOUTH WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY LOUTH, WITH 3,578 ACRES 

This noble family, the eldest branch of the numerous house of PLUNKETT, claims a common ancestor with the Earls of Fingall and the Barons Dunsany; namely, John Plunkett, who was seated, about the close of the 11th century, at Beaulieu, County Louth. 

From this gentleman descended two brothers, John and Richard Plunkett; the younger of whom was the progenitor of the Earls of Fingall and the Barons Dunsany; and the elder, the ancestor of

SIR PATRICK PLUNKETT, Knight, of Kilfarnan, Beaulieu, and Tallanstown, who was appointed, in 1497, Sheriff of Louth during pleasure.

Sir Patrick married Catherine, daughter of Thomas Nangle, 15th Baron of Navan, and dying in 1508, was succeeded by his eldest son, 

OLIVER PLUNKETT, of Kilfarnon, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1541, as BARON LOUTH (second creation).

His lordship wedded firstly, Catherine, daughter and heir of John Rochfort, of Carrick, County Kildare, by whom he had six sons and four daughters; and secondly, Maud, daughter and co-heir of Walter Bath, of Rathfeigh, by whom he had two sons and two daughters.

His lordship was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

THOMAS (c1547-71), 2nd Baron, who married Margaret, daughter and heir of Nicholas Barnewall, and was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

PATRICK, 3rd Baron, who wedded Maud, daughter of Lord Killeen; but dying in 1575 without issue (having been slain by McMahon, in the recovery of a prey of cattle, at Essexford, County Monaghan), the title devolved upon his brother,

OLIVER, 4th Baron.

This nobleman having, with the Plunketts of Ardee, brought six archers on horseback to the general hosting, at the hill of Tara, 1593, was appointed to have the leading of County Louth.

He married firstly, Frances, daughter of Sir Nicholas Bagenall, Knight Marshal of Ireland, by whom he had five sons and three daughters; and secondly, Genet Dowdall, by whom he had no issue.

His lordship died in 1607, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

MATTHEW, 5th Baron, who wedded Mary, daughter of Sir Richard Fitzwilliam, of Meryon, and had four sons.

His lordship died in 1629, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

OLIVER, 6th Baron (1608-79); who, joining the Royalists in 1639, was at the siege of Drogheda, and at a general meeting of the principal Roman Catholic gentry of County Louth, held at the hill of Tallaghosker.

He was appointed Colonel-General of all the forces to be raised in that county; and in the event of his lordship's declining the same, then Sir Christopher Bellew; and upon his refusal, then Sir Christopher Barnewall, of Rathasker.

This latter gentleman accepted the said post of Colonel-General, for which he was imprisoned, in 1642, at Dublin Castle, and persecuted by the usurper Cromwell's parliament.

His lordship married Mary, Dowager Viscountess Dillon, second daughter of Randal, 1st Earl of Antrim, and was succeeded at his demise by his only son,

MATTHEW, 7th Baron; who, like his father, suffered by his adhesion to royalty, having attached himself to the fortunes of JAMES II.

His lordship died in 1639, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

OLIVER, 8th Baron (de jure) (1668-1707); who, upon taking his seat in parliament, was informed by the Chancellor that his grandfather, Oliver, 6th Baron, had been outlawed in 1641; and not being able to establish the reversal of the same, the dignity remained, for the two subsequent generations, unacknowledged in law.

His lordship was succeeded by his only son, by Mabella, daughter of Lord Kingsland,

MATTHEW, 9th Baron (de jure) (1698-1754), who was succeeded by his eldest son,

OLIVER, 10th Baron (de jure) (1727-63), who wedded Margaret, daughter of Luke Netterville, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Matthew;
Susannah; Anne.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

THOMAS OLIVER, 11th Baron (1757-1823), who had the outlawry of his great-grandfather annulled, and was restored to his rank in the peerage in 1798.

He married, in 1808, Margaret, eldest daughter of Randal, 13th Lord Dunsany, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Randall Matthew;
Charles Dawson;
Henry Luke;
Edward Sidney.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS OLIVER, 12th Baron (1809-49), who espoused, in 1830, Anna Maria, daughter of Philip Roche, of Donore, County Kildare, by Anna Maria, his wife, youngest daughter of Randall, Lord Dunsany, and had issue,
RANDAL PERCY OTWAY, his successor;
Thomas Oliver Westenra;
Algernon Richard Hartland;
Augusta Anna Margaret; another daughter.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

RANDAL PERCY OTWAY, 13th Baron (1832-83) an officer in the 79th Highlanders.


RANDAL PILGRIM RALPH, 14th Baron (above), JP, DL, (1868-1941), was an officer in the Westminster Dragoons and the Wiltshire Regiment, and served in the First and Second World Wars.

 The 14th Baron, though not prominent in politics, did take part in public life: He was a member of the Irish Reform Association, and took part in the campaign for a Catholic University. In politics he was a Unionist. His papers show that he was an active sportsman and also travelled widely.
He sold most of the estate soon after the 1903 Wyndham Land Act. He died in 1941, and was succeeded by his only surviving son Otway, briefly 15th Baron, before his death in 1950.


Louth Hall and demesne at Tallanstown were sold and the family settled at Jersey, Channel Islands.

The 16th Baron died at Jersey, Channel Islands, on the 6th January, 2013, aged 83.

The title now devolves upon his lordship's eldest son, the Hon Jonathan Oliver Plunkett, born in 1952. 




LOUTH HALL, near Ardee, County Louth, is a three-storey Georgian house, built ca 1760, now in ruins.

There is a shallow, projecting, curved bow to the east of south elevation of ca 1805; and a tower-house to west of ca 1350.



The roof is not visible, hidden behind a crenellated parapet.

The Plunkett family crest is above the pediment.

Louth Hall is situated within what is now a field, with ranges of random rubble stone outbuildings of ca 1805, arranged around three yards; remains of walled garden to west; artificial lake to south, dovecote to south-west.



Entrance gates to north-east on roadside comprising tooled limestone squared piers, cast-iron gates, flanked by pedestrian gates and curving quadrant plinth surmounted by cast-iron railings.

This house was the home of the Plunkett family from the later medieval until the early-20th century. 

The continuity of occupation is reflected in the architectural changes, the migration from tower house to Georgian mansion.

A fire in 2000 destroyed delicate early 19th century interior plasterwork.

The archaeological, architectural and historical associations of this building are as immense as the structure itself. 

First published in March, 2013.  Louth arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Betancuria Trip


I spent Saturday in the picturesque and historic village of Betancuria, which nestles in a valley high up in the mountains of Fuerteventura.

Two buses pass through this village daily.


The main attraction is the Casa de Santa Maria, a cluster of religious buildings with a cathedral.


Today the buildings have been transformed into a centre for tourism, with restaurants, souvenir shops and museums.


Santa Maria is a place of remarkable beauty and charm.

However, I lunched just outside Santa Maria, at the Bodegón Don Carmelo.


These premises, at Calle Alcalde Carmelo Silvera, have belonged to the Silvera family for four centuries.

I sat at a table outside and had some tapas and a Bacardi and Coke.


After lunch I strolled up the hill to the cemetery, about half a mile outside the village.

The Silvera family plot is here.

I departed on the last bus, which arrived about four thirty-five.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Citrus Café


You might recall that I mentioned the topic of kerbs in Corralejo not very long ago.

Corralejo is a small town and tourist resort in the north of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.

Whereas I apprised you that the mere kerbs were being replaced, this was not the full story.

The true subject ought to have been Footpaths, because it appears to me that the entire central footpath infrastructure in the town is being widened and improved; thus narrowing certain sections of the roads.

It's really all quite impressive.

I have found another little juice-bar and restaurant in Corralejo.

Citrus Surf Cafè is located at Calle Anzuelo 1, near a mini-roundabout off the main street in the resort.

It's predominant colour appears to be lime green.


There's a mixture of plastic chairs, tables and trendy sofas where you can take advantage of their free wifi over a milkshake, fruit juice or smoothie.

Citrus is very good indeed for vegetarian consumers, with a strong emphasis on salad ingredients, fruit, vegetables.

However, they also have beef burgers, chicken and even duck on the menu.


Last night I went up to the counter, ordered a Bacardi and Coke, and settled myself on a sofa.

There was a good, strong signal from their wifi.


Having already enjoyed their "Fuerteburger" the previous day, I decided to have the Chicken Fajitas with a side portion of onion rings.

I could hear my chicken frying in the kitchen and it arrived freshly: a bowl of chicken pieces stir-fried with peppers and onion, three small tortillas, shredded lettuce and cabbage, little ramekins of sauces.


This little place might well be underrated.

It features on Tripadvisor, though perhaps ought to be a bit further up the list.

Readers, have any of you knowledge of Indonesian curry?

Citrus serves these, too.


By the way, they have a lovely, quiet, discreet garden terrace at the back.

You can place your order at the counter and walk through, though the wifi signal was too weak for me there, so I moved back to the front of the café.

You haven't heard the last of this place.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Newcastle House

THE KING-HARMANS WERE THE LARGEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY LONGFORD, WITH 28,779 ACRES

NICHOLAS HARMAN, of Carlow, settled in Ireland during the reign of JAMES I.

He was one of the first burgesses of Carlow, named in the charter granted to that borough by JAMES I in 1614, and was High Sheriff of County Carlow in 1619.

By Mary his wife he was father of 

HENRY HARMAN, of Dublin, who had by Marie his wife, five sons and as many daughters, viz.
Edward;
Anthony, dsp before 1684;
THOMAS, of whom hereafter;
William;
Henry;
Anne; Mary; Jane; Margaret; Mabel.
Mr Harman died before 1649, and was succeeded by his third son, 

MAJOR SIR THOMAS HARMAN, Knight, of Athy, knighted by the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Thomas, Earl of Ossory, 1664, MP for Carlow, 1659, and for the borough of Kildare, 1661.

Sir Thomas obtained a grant of considerable estates in County Longford, under the Act of Settlement, dated 1607.

He married Anne Jones, who also obtained a grant of lands in County Carlow, 1668.

Sir Thomas died in 1667, and they were both buried in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, having had issue, with a daughter, Mary, a son,

WENTWORTH HARMAN, of Castle Roe, County Carlow, Captain of the Battle-Axe Guards, 1683, who wedded firstly, in 1679, Margaret, daughter of Garrett Wellesley, of Dangan, and had issue, with one daughter, two sons, namely,
Thomas, b 1681, dsp;
WENTWORTH, of whom hereafter.
Mr Harman married secondly, in 1691, Frances, sister and heir of Anthony Sheppard, of Newcastle, County Longford, and had further issue,
ROBERT, successor to his nephew;
Francis, died 1714;
Anthony;
William;
CUTTS (Very Rev), successor to his brother;
ANNE, m Sir Anthony Parsons Bt, of Birr Castle.
Mr Harman died in 1714, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

WENTWORTH HARMAN, of Moyne, County Carlow, who espoused, in 1714, Lucy, daughter of Audley Mervyn, of Trillick, County Tyrone, and sister and heir of Henry Mervyn, of the same place, and had issue,
WESLEY, his heir;
Thomas.
Mr Harman died in 1757, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

WESLEY HARMAN, of Moyle, who wedded Mary, daughter of the Rev Dr Nicholas Milley, Prebendary of Ullard, Diocese of Leighlin, by whom he had an only son,
Wentworth, who dsp in his father's lifetime.
Mr Harman died in 1758, and was succeeded by his uncle,

ROBERT HARMAN (1699-1765), of Newcastle, County Longford, and Millicent, County Kildare, MP for Co Kildare, 1755, and for County Longford, 1761, who married Ann, daughter of John Warburton, third son of George Warburton, of Garryhinch, King's County, and dsp 1765, when he was succeeded by his only surviving brother,

THE VERY REV CUTTS HARMAN (1706-84), of Newcastle, Dean of Waterford; presented to the Deanery, 1759; who espoused, in 1751, Bridget, daughter of George Gore, of Tenelick, County Longford, Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland, and sister of John, Lord Annaly, by whom he had no issue.

The Dean presented to his cathedral the very fine organ which it possesses.

He died in 1784, and bequeathed his estates to his nephew, the son of his sister ANNE, who espoused, as above, Sir Lawrence Parsons.

LAWRENCE PARSONS-HARMAN (1749-1807), of Newcastle, MP for County Longford, assumed the additional surname of HARMAN in 1792, on succeeding to his uncle's estates, who wedded, in 1772, the Lady Jane King, daughter of Edward, 1st Earl of Kingston, and had an only daughter,
FRANCES, of whom hereafter.
Mr Parsons-Harman was created, in 1792, Lord Oxmantown; and, in 1806, advanced to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF ROSSE, with special remainder, in default of male issue, to his nephew, Sir Lawrence Parsons, 5th Baronet, of Birr Castle.

His lordship died in 1807, when his peerage passed, according to the limitation, and his Harman estates devolved upon his only daughter and heir,

THE LADY FRANCES PARSONS-HARMAN, of Newcastle, who married, in 1799, Robert Edward, 1st Viscount Lorton, and had issue,
ROBERT, 2nd Viscount, succeeded as 6th Earl of Kingston;
LAWRENCE HARMAN, succeeded to the Harman estates;
Jane; Caroline; Frances; Louisa.
Her ladyship died in 1841, and was succeeded in her estates by her second son,

THE HON LAWRENCE KING-HARMAN (1816-75), of Newcastle, and Rockingham, County Roscommon, who assumed the additional surname of HARMAN.

Mr King-Harman wedded, in 1837, Mary Cecilia (d 1904), seventh daughter of James Raymond Johnstone, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, and had, with other issue, a second son,

WENTWORTH HENRY KING-HARMAN JP DL (1840-1919), of Newcastle, High Sheriff, 1896, Colonel, Royal Artillery, who wedded, in 1863, Annie Kate, daughter of D J Smith, of Kingston, Canada, and had issue,
WENTWORTH ALEXANDER;
Beatrice Caroline; Lilian Mary; Annette Maude.
Colonel King-Harman was succeeded by his only son,

WENTWORTH ALEXANDER KING-HARMAN DSO (1869-1949), of Newcastle, County Longford, and Mitchelstown, County Cork, Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Irish Rifles, who died unmarried.


NEWCASTLE HOUSE, near Ballymahon, County Longford, is a large, three-storey, seven-bay, early 18th century, gable-ended house, with lower asymetrical wings.

There is a small, central curvilinear gable on the entrance front, possibly original, which is repeated on the 19th century projecting porch.

The House has a high-pitched roof.

The drawing-room ceiling boasts painted plasterwork in low relief, with musical emblems at the corners.


Newcastle House was originally the residence of the Sheppard family, whose heiress married Wentworth Harman in 1691.

It was inherited, in 1784, by Lawrence Parsons-Harman, later 1st Earl of Rosse; and subsequently by his grandson, the Hon Lawrence King-Harman.

Newcastle House was sold ca 1950 by Captain Robert Douglas King-Harman DSO DSC RN, grandson of the Hon Lawrence King-Harman.

For several years it was a convent.

First published in April, 3013.

Friday, 14 April 2017

The Henry Baronets

Sir Denis Stanislaus Henry, 1st Bt, by Walter Stoneman, 1920 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London
 © National Portrait Gallery, London
THE HENRY BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1923 FOR THE RT HON SIR DENIS STANISLAUS HENRY KBE

FIRST LORD CHIEF JUSTICE OF NORTHERN IRELAND


THE RT HON SIR DENIS STANISLAUS HENRY (1864-1925), 1st Baronet, KBE, was born at Draperstown, County Londonderry, the son of James Henry, a prosperous businessman.
  • Londonderry MP 1916-21
  • Solicitor-General for Ireland 1918-19
  • Attorney-General for Ireland 1919-21
  • Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland 1921-25
  • Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE)
He married, in 1910, Violet, daughter of the Rt Hon Hugh Holmes, Lord Justice of Appeal in Ireland, and had issue,
JAMES HOLMES, of whom hereafter;
DENIS VALENTINE, father of the 3rd Baronet;
Denise Olive; Alice Ellen; Lorna Mary.
Sir Denis's eldest son,

SIR JAMES HOLMES HENRY (1911-97), 2nd Baronet, CMG MC TD, wedded firstly, in 1941, Susan Mary, daughter of Arthur Blackwell; and secondly, in 1949, Christina Hilary, daughter of Sir Hugh Oliver Holmes KBE CMG MC QC.
Sir James also followed a distinguished legal career as a barrister, legal draftsman, Solicitor-General and Attorney-General of Cyprus; and military service during the 2nd World War. He lived at Hampton-on-Thames, Middlesex.
Dying in 1997, he left issue, four daughters, viz.
Teresa Violet;
Christina Mary;
Sarah Rose;
Rosemary Jane.
Sir Denis died without male issue and the title revolved upon his cousin,

SIR PATRICK DENIS HENRY (b 1957), 3rd Baronet, who lives near Leeds.

The Rath

THE RATH, 2 High Street, Draperstown, County Londonderry, dates back to Plantation times. 

It was built by the Worshipful Company of Drapers, which was granted lands at the parish of Ballinascreen.

The Rath was formerly the residence of Sir Denis.


It also served as sometime parochial house for Draperstown.

As well as the main residence, The Rath also includes the coachman’s cottage to the rear, which served as the servants' quarters for the house.

Former town residence ~ 49 Wellington Park, Belfast.

First published in July, 2010.