Friday, 28 July 2017

1st Duke of Bridgewater

DUKEDOM OF BRIDGEWATER
1720-1803


WILLIAM LE BELWARD, feudal lord of Malpas, who married Beatrix, daughter of Hugh de Kevelioc, 5th Earl of Chester (1147-81), left three sons,
David (surnamed LE CLERC, from being secretary to the Earl of Chester);
Robert;
Richard.
William Le Belward was succeeded by his eldest son,

DAVID LE CLERC, who, after the earldom of Chester was annexed to the Crown, was sheriff of that county, a Justice, and held three knights' fees therein.

This powerful baron wedded Margaret, daughter and heir of Ralph Ap Eynon, and granddaughter maternally of the aforesaid Hugh, Earl of Chester; and thus became possessed of the entire barony of Malpas, a moiety by descent, and a moiety in right of his wife.

Of this marriage there were four sons, the second of whom,

PHILIP, surnamed Gough (or the Red), having obtained the manor of Egerton Malpas from Wion de Egerton, and taking up his abode there, assumed, according to the custom of the age, the surname of EGERTON, and from him directly descended (the sixth or seventh in lineal succession),

PHILIP EGERTON, of Egerton, who espoused Margery, daughter of William Mainwaring; and dying in the thirteenth year of EDWARD IV's reign, left two sons,
John, his heir;
RALPH, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

SIR RALPH EGERTON, had a son,

RICHARD EGERTON, who left a natural son,

THOMAS EGERTON (1540-1617), a distinguished statesman, LORD CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND, who was elevated to the peerage, 1603, as Baron Ellesmere.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1616, as Viscount Brackley.

He wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Ravenscroft, had had issue,
Thomas (1577-99);
JOHN, his successor;
Mary.
The 1st Viscount married secondly, in 1596, Mrs Elizabeth Wolley; and thirdly, in 1600, Mrs Alice Stanley.

He was succeeded by his surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Viscount, KB (1579-1649), who wedded, in 1602, the Lady Frances Stanley, daughter of the 5th Earl of Derby, and had issue,
James, died young;
Charles, died young;
JOHN, his successor;
Thomas;
Elizabeth; Mary; Frances; Alice; Arabella; Penelope; Catherine; Magdalen.
His lordship was created Earl of Bridgewater in 1617.

He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Earl (1623-86), who espoused, in 1641, the Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, second daughter of William, 1st Duke of Newcastle, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
William;
Thomas;
two other sons;
Charles;
Elizabeth; two other daughters.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 3rd Earl, KB (1646-1701), who wedded firstly, Elizabeth, only daughter and heir of James, 2nd Earl of Middlesex, and had issue, a son,
John (1688-70).
He wedded secondly, in 1673, the Lady Jane Paulet, daughter of Charles, 1st Duke of Bolton, and had issue,
Charles, died young;
Thomas, died young;
SCROOP, his successor;
William;
Henry;
John;
Charles;
Mary; Elizabeth.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SCROOP, 4th Earl (1681-1744), who married firstly, 1703, the Lady Elizabeth Churchill, third daughter and co-heir of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and had issue,
John (1703-18);
Anne.
His lordship espoused secondly, in 1722, the Lady Rachel Russell, eldest daughter of Wriothesley, 3rd Duke of Bedford, and had issue,
Charles (1725-31);
JOHN, 2nd Duke;
William;
Thomas;
FRANCIS, 3rd Duke;
Louisa; Caroline; Diana.
The 4th Earl was advanced, in 1720, to the the dignities of Marquess of Brackley and DUKE OF BRIDGEWATER.

His Grace was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Duke (1727-48), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

FRANCIS, 3rd Duke (1736-1803), who died a bachelor.

The marquessate of Brackley and the dukedom of Bridgewater expired and his other peerages passed to his cousin and heir male, John William Egerton, who succeeded as 7th Earl of Bridgewater.

Former seat ~ Ashridge House, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire; town residence ~ Bridgewater House.

Bridgewater arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Desmond Castle

THE EARLS OF DEVON WERE THE LARGEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY LIMERICK, WITH 33,026 ACRES

The COURTENAYS, one of the most illustrious races amongst the English nobility, deduce their paternal descent from ATHON DE COURTENAY, who sprang himself from PHARAMOND, founder of the French monarchy in 1420, and common patriarch of all the Kings of France.

This ATHON having fortified, during the reign of ROBERT the Wise, the town of COURTENAY, in the Île-de-France, thence assumed his surname. 

*****

WILLIAM COURTENAY, de jure 3rd Earl of Devon (1553-1630), High Sheriff of Devon, 1581; who, in 1585, was one of the undertakers to send over settlers for the better planting of Ireland, and thus laid the foundation of the prodigious estate in that kingdom enjoyed by his posterity.

Sir William married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry, 2nd Earl of Rutland, and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

FRANCIS, de jure 4th Earl ((1576-1638), of Powderham Castle, who was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, de jure 5th Earl (1628-1702).


IN THE late 16th century, the vast estates of the Earl of Desmond were forfeited by the Crown.

The Castle, Newcastle West, County Limerick, and a large amount of surrounding land, was granted to Sir William Courtenay, de jure 3rd Earl of Devon, of Powderham, Devon, in 1591.
The Courtenays, Earls of Devon, still live at Powderham Castle in Kent.
Sir William was a staunch Roman Catholic and suffered persecution for his beliefs.

His son George might even have practised his faith in secret.

Their home was reputed to have had a room in which priests were hidden.

Courtenay was denounced in the House of Commons as a "papist recusant" in 1624.

In December, 1641, disturbances broke out in Newcastle West and the castle was burned down.

It is unlikely that anybody lived in the castle after that time.

The old castle house, which was adjacent to the castle, and where the agents for the Courtenays lived, was probably built around 1700.

This house was burned down during the Irish civil war in 1922.
In time the Courtenays were to become the largest landlords in County Limerick, owning up to 85,000 acres in the south-west of the county; the remaining lands of Newcastle West and the surrounding countryside were known as the Devon Estate until the first years of the 20th century.
In 1908, under the 1903 Land Act, practically all the lands of the Devon Estate were sold.

The town of Newcastle West itself was sold in 1910.

The last agents on the Courtenays in Newcastle West were the Curling family.

They were agents from 1848 until the decimation and sale of the Estate.

After the break up of the estate, they bought the castle building and some of the surrounding land from Lord Devon.

The last Curling, Richard, died in 1943.

In 1944 his house house and the castle grounds were sold.

It is believed that the Castle, known as the Desmond Banqueting Hall and Castle, is now state-owned.

First published in May, 2011.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

GEORGE V

By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India


First published in August, 2013.

Darragh Island Acquisition

SELECTIVE ACQUISITIONS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

PROPERTY: Darragh Island, Strangford Lough, County Down

DATE: 1978

EXTENT: 18.74 acres

DONOR: John Metcalfe

First published in February, 2015.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

1st Duke of Ancaster

DUKEDOM OF ANCASTER
1715-1809

PEREGRINE BERTIE (1555-1601), son and heir of Richard Bertie, by Catherine his wife, only daughter and heir of William, 11th Baron Willoughby de Eresby, was summoned to Parliament as 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby.

He married Mary, daughter of John, 16th Earl of Oxford, and had issue, a son,

ROBERT, 14th Baron (1582-1642), who claimed, in right of his mother, the earldom of Oxford, together with the office of Hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain of England.

He was, however, subsequently advanced to the dignity of an earldom, 1626, as Earl of Lindsey; and being on the breaking out of the civil wars appointed General of the King's forces, fell at the battle of Edge Hill, 1642, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

MONTAGU, 2nd Earl (1608-66), who married firstly, in 1627, Martha, Dowager Countess of Holderness, third daughter of Alderman Sir William Cockayne, by whom he had eight children, including his successor, ROBERT.

His lordship wedded secondly, Bridget, Baroness Norris, by which lady he had four children.

He was succeeded by the eldest son of his first marriage,

ROBERT, 3rd Earl (1630-1701), who espoused, in 1654, Mary second daughter and co-heir of John Massingberd, of London, and had issue, a daughter, ARABELLA.

His lordship wedded secondly, Elizabeth, only child of Philip, 4th Baron Wharton, and had issue,
ROBERT, his successor;
Peregrine;
Philip;
Norris;
Albemarle;
Jane; Caroline.
The 3rd Earl wedded thirdly, Elizabeth, only child of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Downe, and had issue,
Charles;
Elizabeth.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

ROBERT, 4th Earl (1660-1723), who married, in 1678, Mary, daughter of Sir Richard Wynn Bt, and had issue,
Robert (1683-1704);
PEREGRINE, of whom hereafter;
Elizabeth; Eleanor; Mary.
His lordship wedded secondly, 1705, Albinia, daughter of Major-General William Faringdon, and had issue,
Vere;
Montagu;
Thomas;
Robert;
Louisa.
The 4th Earl was created, in 1706, Marquess of Lindsey; and further advanced, in 1715, to the dignity of a dukedom, as DUKE OF ANCASTER AND KESTEVEN.

His Grace was succeeded by his eldest son,

PEREGRINE, 2nd Duke (1686-1742), who espoused, in 1711, Jane, third daughter and co-heir of Sir John Brownlow Bt, and had issue,
PEREGRINE, his successor;
Albemarle;
BROWNLOW, 5th Duke;
Mary; Albinia; Jane; Caroline.
His Grace was succeeded by his eldest son,

PEREGRINE, 3rd Duke (1714-78), who married firstly, in 1735, Elizabeth, daughter and sole heir of William Blundell, of Basingstoke, Hampshire; and secondly, in 1750, Mary, daughter of Thomas Panton, of Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, by whom he had issue,
Peregrine Thomas (1755-8);
ROBERT, his successor;
Priscilla Barbara Elizabeth; Georgiana Charlotte.
His Grace was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

ROBERT, 4th Duke (1756-79), who died unmarried, when the family honours reverted to His Grace's uncle,

BROWNLOW, 5th Duke (1729-1809), who wedded firstly, in 1762, Harriot, only daughter and heir of George Morton Pitt, of Twickenham, Middlesex; and secondly, in 1769, Mary Anne, youngest daughter of Major Peter Layard, of Canterbury, Kent, by whom he had issue,

THE LADY MARY ELIZABETH BERTIE (1771-97), who married, in 1793, Thomas, 4th Earl of Portmore, and had issue.

On the death of the 5th Duke, the dukedom and the marquessate expired, and the earldom of Lindsey passed to his distant cousin, Albemarle [Bertie], 9th Earl of Lindsey.

Former seat ~ Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire.

Ancaster arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Grace Hall

THE DOUGLASES OWNED 2,791 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY DOWN

This family is of Scottish descent.

ROBERT DOUGLAS (1655-1733), son of Robert Douglas, of County Down, by Elizabeth Henderson his wife, was a lieutenant in WILLIAM III's army at the battle of the Boyne.

He was thrice married: firstly, to Miss Elliot; secondly, to Miss Whitney; and thirdly, to Miss Usher.

Mr Douglas was succeeded by his son,

CHARLES DOUGLAS, High Sheriff of County Down, 1760, who wedded firstly, Grace, daughter of Richard Waring, of Waringstown, County Down, but had no issue.

He espoused secondly, in 1758, Theodosia, daughter of George St George, of Woodsgift, County Kilkenn (who was created a baronet, 1766), and had issue,
THOMAS;
George;
Robert;
Elizabeth; Ellen.
The eldest son,

THOMAS DOUGLAS, of Grace Hall, married, in 1786, Elizabeth, daughter of Mathew Forde, of Seaforde, County Down, and Coolgreaney, County Wexford, by Elizabeth his wife, sister of Thomas, 1st Viscount Northland, and had issue,
CHARLES MATHEW, his heir;
Elizabeth, m Rev S Blacker, of Elm Park, mother to S T BLACKER-DOUGLAS;
Theodosia, m Rev W B Forde, of Seaforde.
The only son,

CHARLES MATHEW DOUGLAS JP DL (1793-1880), of Grace Hall, High Sheriff of County Down, 1836, dsp 1880, and was succeeded under the provisions of his will, proved in 1860, by his nephew, ST JOHN THOMAS BLACKER-DOUGLAS, of Grace Hall etc.


LINEAGE OF BLACKER

SAMUEL BLACKER, of Tandragee, County Armagh, Barrister, third son of William Blacker, of Carrickblacker, County Armagh, by Theodosia his second wife,  daughter of Sir Oliver St John, Knight, of Tandragee Castle, married, in 1734, Mary, daughter of Isaiah Corry, of Rock Corry, County Monaghan, and had a son,

THE REV ST JOHN BLACKER (1743-), Rector of Moira, County Down, Prebendary of Inver, County Donegal, who married firstly, in 1767, Grace, daughter of Maxwell Close, of Elm Park, County Armagh, and had issue,
SAMUEL (Rev), his heir;
Maxwell, QC, of Dublin;
William;
Valentine;
Mary; Catherine; Grace; Charlotte.
The Rev St John Blacker wedded secondly, Susan, daughter of Dr Messiter, of London, but had no further issue.

His eldest son,

THE REV SAMUEL BLACKER (1771-1849), espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Douglas, of Grace Hall, County Down, and had issue,
ST JOHN THOMAS, his heir;
Thomas Samuel, of Castle Martin, Co Kildare, father of WILLIAM BLACKER;
Theodosia; Frances Elizabeth; Isabella.
The Rev Samuel Blacker was succeeded by his eldest son,

ST JOHN THOMAS BLACKER-DOUGLAS JP DL (1822-1900), of Grace Hall, County Down, Elm Park, County Armagh, and Tullahinel, County Kerry, High Sheriff of County Armagh, 1861, who married, in 1855, Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Crofton Moore Vandeleur MP, of Kilrush, County Clare, by the Lady Grace Toler his wife, daughter of Hector John, 2nd Earl of Norbury, and had issue,
MAXWELL VANDELEUR, his heir;
St John Douglas Stewart;
Grace Elizabeth; Georgina Frances; Emily Theodosia.
Mr Blacker-Douglas assumed, by royal licence, 1880, the additional name and arms of DOUGLAS, on succeeding to the estate of his uncle, Charles Mathew Douglas.

His eldest son,

MAXWELL VANDELEUR BLACKER-DOUGLAS JP DL (1859-1929), of Grace Hall, and Elm Park, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1905, and of County Dublin, 1909, Lieutenant, 4th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, married, in 1891, Alice, only child of Robert MacGeough, of Silverbridge, County Armagh, and had issue,
ROBERT ST JOHN (1892-1915);
Charles Maxwell, b 1900;
Alice Florence, b 1895.

GRACE HALL, Dollingstown, County Armagh, is a three-storey, double gable-ended 18th century house in the Regency style.

The Douglases owned most of their land on the County Down side of the border.

It has a front comprising two full-length curved bows, with one bay in between.

There are Wyatt windows; a porch was added at a later stage.


Grace Hall now operates as a wedding venue.

Other former seat ~ Elm Park, County Armagh.
Former residence ~ 2 Bellevue Park, Killiney, County Dublin.

First published in July, 2015.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The McFarland Baronets

THE McFARLAND BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1914 FOR JOHN McFARLAND, MERCHANT AND POLITICIAN

JOHN McFARLAND JP (1848-1926), a prosperous businessman from Londonderry, married Annie, daughter of John Talbot, in 1893.

He was Mayor of Londonderry, 1909-12; High Sheriff, 1904-5; member, Port and Harbour Commissioners; Chairman, Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway Company, 1908.
Mr McFarland was also founder of, and a partner in, the firm of McCrea and McFarland, engineering contractors, of Belfast and Londonderry; chairman of Mulhollands Ltd, drapers; chairman of Brewster's Ltd, bakers; owner of the Lough Swilly Steamship Company.
Mr McFarland was created a baronet in 1914, denominated of Aberfoyle, County Londonderry.

His only son,

SIR BASIL ALEXANDER TALBOT McFARLAND CBE ERD (1898-1986), 2nd Baronet, of Aberfoyle,
High Sheriff of the City of Londonderry, 1930-38 and 1952; High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1952; Mayor of  Londonderry, 1939 and 1945-50; HM Lord-Lieutenant of the City of Londonderry, 1939-75. He served in 1918 with the Artists Rifles, and in the 2nd World War served overseas, mainly in North Africa, with the 9th Londonderry HAA Regiment and was mentioned in despatches.

Commanding Officer of the Londonderry City Battalion of the Home Guard; Chairman of the Territorial Army and Auxiliary Force Association (Co. Londonderry), 1947-62; member of its national council; Hon Colonel, 9th Londonderry HAA Regiment of the Royal Artillery (TA), and President of the NI TA and Volunteer Reserve Association, 1968-71; a Commissioner of Irish Lights; a member of the NI Air Advisory Council, 1946-65; Chairman of the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners, 1952-67; a member of the London Midland Area Board of the British Transport Commission, 1955-61; and a trustee of Magee University College, Londonderry, 1962-65.

His directorships and business interests included: directorships of the Belfast Banking Co. Ltd, 1930-70; the Belfast Bank Executors Trustee Co., and the Donegal Railways Co., a local directorship of the Commercial Union Assurance Co., and the chairmanship of Sir Alfred McAlpine & Son (Northern Ireland) Ltd; the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway Co;Lanes (Derry) Ltd; Lanes (Fuel Oils) Ltd; Lanes (Business Equipment) Ltd; John W. Corbett & Sons; R.C. Malseed & Co. Ltd; Alexander Thompson & Co. Ltd; and the Londonderry Gaslight Co.

Sir Basil's only son,

SIR JOHN TALBOT McFARLAND TD DL (b 1927), of Aberfoyle, 3rd and present Baronet, married Mary, daughter of Dr William Scott-Watson, in 1957.
Former member Management Ctee NW Group; Former director, Londonderry Gaslight, 1958–89; Donegal Holdings, 1970–86; G Kinnaird & Son, 1981–97; Windy Hills Ltd, 1994–95; Erinwind Ltd, 1994–; Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway, (1978–81); R C Malseed & County Hospitals, 1958.

Sir John was was educated at Marlborough and Trinity College Oxford; Territorial Army (Captain, Royal Artillery and RASC), 1955; High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1958; and City of Londonderry, 1965-66; Commissioner of Londonderry Port and Harbour Board, 1969; in 1977, Chairman: Lanes (Business Equipment); McFarland Farms, 1980–; J T McFarland Holdings, 1984-2001.
He lived in 2003 at Dunmore House, Carrigans, County Donegal.

Photo credit: Martin Melaugh; © Cain

ABERFOYLE HOUSE now forms a part of the Magee campus of the Ulster University.

It is situated in urban surroundings. a good portion of the grounds for the house of 1873 remain planted up.

The site slopes towards the River Foyle.

The west end is mostly walled in with brick and is cultivated by the Centre for Environmental and Horticultural Studies.

There is a rose garden south of the house and shrubbery on either side of the twisting avenue to the eastern gate. The house is used as offices.

There is a rose garden south of the house and shrubbery on either side of the twisting avenue to the eastern gate.

The house is used as offices.

The McFarland Papers are deposited at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

First published in July, 2010.

Castle Balfour

SIR JAMES BALFOUR, Knight, second son of Sir James Balfour, Lord Pittendreich (c1525-83), by Margaret his wife, only child and heir of Michael Balfour, of Burleigh, having risen high in favour with JAMES I, was created by that monarch, 1619, BARON BALFOUR OF GLENAWLEY, County Fermanagh.

His lordship married thrice (his last wife, by whom he had no issue, having been Anne, eldest daughter of Edward, 1st Baron Blayney).

He died in London, 1634, and was buried at St Ann Blackfriars.

His lordship left issue (with a daughter, Anna, wedded to Archibald Hamilton, of Ballygawley, eldest son the the Most Rev Malcolm Hamilton, Lord Archbishop of Cashel), a son and successor,

JAMES, 2nd Baron, party to a deed, in 1635, who married Anne Warren, and dsp in the same year, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

ALEXANDER, 3rd Baron, who dsp 1636, when the title expired.

His lordship's nephew,

GENERAL SIR WILLIAM BALFOUR, of Pitcullo, Fife, Governor of the Tower of London under CHARLES I, subsequently settled in Ulster on the purchase of an estate in County Fermanagh from his uncle, Lord Balfour.

He married firstly, Helen, daughter of Archibald, Lord Napier, and had issue,
Alexander;
William;
CHARLES;
Emilia; Isabella; Susanna.
General Balfour died in 1660, and was succeeded by his youngest son,

CHARLES BALFOUR, of Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, wedded, in 1665, Cicely, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Byron, of Colwick, Nottinghamshire, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
LUCY, succeeded her brother;
Another daughter.
Mr Balfour died in 1713, and was succeeded by his only son,

WILLIAM BALFOUR, of Castle Balfour, attainted by JAMES II in 1689; who died unmarried, 1738, when the estates devolved upon his sister,

LUCY BALFOUR, who espoused firstly, in 1684, Hugh McGill, of Kirkistown, County Down; and secondly, in 1692, Blayney Townley, of Piedmont, County Louth, and by him had, with other issue,
HARRY, succeeded his uncle;
Blayney.
HARRY TOWNLEY (1693-1741), of Piedmont, County Louth, nephew of the aforesaid William Balfour, assumed the name of BALFOUR, under the will of his uncle, and succeeded to his estates in County Fermanagh (afterwards sold to Lord Erne).


LISNASKEA is County Fermanagh's second town and has a population of about 2,800.

Its long, main street has a market-place in the middle with an ancient, monastic high cross.

The old market-house, butter and corn markets were built in the early 19th century.

The former workhouse, a stone building of considerable size, is now derelict and in its garden there used to be a massive iron cauldron which held 300 gallons of gruel.


CASTLE BALFOUR formed the nucleus of the town. It stands adjacent to the parish church, at the graveyard.

It was built with local stone ca 1618 by Sir James Balfour.

 Sandstone was used for the quoins and dressings.

The main block consists of a rectangular block, 78 feet by 24 feet, with a large wing projecting to the east and west, comprising two L-shaped units.

The northern block has three storeys with attics.

The kitchen is vaulted, with a fireplace and oven.

Corbelled turrets and gun-slits are a feature.

During the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Castle Balfour and the village were burnt but later reoccupied.

In 1689, the Castle was again badly damaged by the Jacobite armies but was repaired after the Williamite victory at Limerick.

About 1780, Castle Balfour was sold to the 1st Earl of Erne, and the Balfours subsequently left County Fermanagh.

The last person to inhabit the Castle was James Haire (1737-1833), of Nutfield, who leased the Castle from Lord Erne.

James Haire and his family ceased to occupy the castle after it was destroyed by an arson-based fire in 1803 (his mother, Phoebe, was killed in the rubble caused by the fire).

Thereafter the Castle remained ruinous, until it was placed in state care by the 6th Earl of Erne in 1960.

Major conservation works was carried out between 1966-68 and during the late 1990s.

Balfour arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 24 July 2017

The Hermitage

THE BARONS MASSY WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY LEITRIM, WITH 24,571 ACRES

The first of this noble family that settled in Ireland was

GENERAL HUGH MASSY, who had a military command to repress the rebellion of 1641.
General Massy was descended from Hamon de Massey, one of the companions in arms of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, who obtained large grants in the counties of Durham and Cheshire, and was created Baron of Dunham Massy.
He wedded Margaret Percy, and had a son,

HUGH MASSY, of Duntrileague, who espoused Amy, daughter of John Benson, and had issue,
HUGH, his heir;
John, of Knockaneevan, County Limerick;
William, of Stoneville, County Limerick;
Charles (Very Rev), Dean of Limerick, ancestor of the Massy Baronets;
Margaret, m William Baker.
The eldest son,

COLONEL HUGH MASSY (1685-1757), of Duntrileague, married Elizabeth, daughter of the Rt Hon George Evans, and had issue,
HUGH, his successor;
George (Ven), Archdeacon of Ardfert;
John, killed in a duel;
Godfrey, in holy orders;
William; 
EYRE, 1st LORD CLARINA;
Charles;
Amy; Elizabeth; Catharine.
Colonel Massy was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH MASSY (1700-88), of Duntrileague, who, having represented County Limerick in several parliaments, was raised to the peerage, in 1776, as BARON MASSY, of Duntrileague, County Limerick.

His lordship espoused firstly, Mary, daughter and heir of James Dawson, of Ballinacourty, County Tipperary, and had issue,
HUGH, his successor;
James;
John;
Elizabeth.
He married secondly, Rebecca, daughter of Francis Dunlap, of Antigua, and had three sons and four other daughters, viz.
Francis Hugh;
Eyre;
George;
Margaret; Rebecca Frances; Caroline; Amy.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH, 2nd Baron (1733-90), who wedded, in 1760, Catherine, eldest daughter and co-heir (with her sister Sarah, Countess of Carrick) of Edward Taylor, of Ballymore, County Limerick, and had issue,
HUGH, his successor;
Edward;
George Eyre;
John;
Catherine; Mary Anne; Jane; Sarah.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH, 3rd Baron (1761-1812), who married, in 1792, Margaret, youngest daughter of William Barton, of Grove, County Tipperary, and had issue,
HUGH HAMON, his successor;
George William;
John;
Dawson, in holy orders;
Grace Elizabeth; Catherine; Susan Maria; Margaret Everina; Elizabeth Jane Sarah Anne.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HUGH HAMON, 4th Baron (1793-1836), who wedded, in 1826, Matilda, daughter of LUKE WHITE, of Luttrellstown Castle, County Dublin, and had issue,
HUGH HAMON INGOLDSBY, his successor;
John George Hugh.
The 5th Baron died young; and the 6th Baron, a young man of 19, inherited up to 38,000 acres.

He was said to have an affluent lifestyle with little regard to pecuniary matters.

Grand parties took place at Killakee, and numerous hunting expeditions both there and in Limerick. 

His great-grandson, the 6th Baron, sat in the House of Lords from 1876 to 1915.

As of 2010, the title is held by the latter's great-great-grandson, the 10th Baron, who succeeded his father in 1995.
 

THE HERMITAGE, Castleconnell, County Limerick, was an imposing Georgian house built about 1800 for George Evans Bruce, a disgraced banker.

It was situated in a spectacular location overlooking the Falls of Doonass on the River Shannon.

The Hermitage had a five bay entrance front with a pediment supported by paired huge Corinthian pilasters which framed the centre bay.

There was a balustraded roof parapet.

The garden front consisted of five bays, the end bays having quoins. 

There was a modest, though richly decorated hall with statue niches.

The Hermitage is now demolished.

Seemingly only the foundations now remain of the once beautiful house; broken steps, old kitchen garden walls and the dilapidated fountain all indicating that this was once a very wealthy estate.

During the 18th century, Duntrileague was the seat of the Massys, but in the 19th century their main residence was The Hermitage, close to Limerick city.
In the 1870s Lord Massy owned 8,568 acres in County Limerick and 1,120 acres in County Tipperary; however, his largest estate was in County Leitrim, amounting to over 24,000 acres in 1878.
The Massy family had property in north County Leitrim following the bequest of the White estate at Lareen to John, 6th Lord Massy.

In the 1830s, the Massy estate also comprised property in the parish of Killora, County Galway, where the agent was George Falkner.

This property seems to have been leased by Richard Rathbourne, of Ballymore.

It was offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates court in 1852.

Most of the Massy lands were sold in the last two decades of the 19th century; followed by the family residences in the early years of the 20th century.

There is a good article about the Massy family here.

First published in May, 2011.  Massy arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

1st Duke of Dorset

DUKEDOM OF DORSET
1720-1843

The family of SACKVILLE derived its origin from Herbrand de Sauqueville, who came into England with WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, and had its principal seat at Buckhurst, in East Sussex.

SIR RICHARD SACKVILLE (c1507-66), Chancellor of the Court of Augmentations in the reign of HENRY VIII, was father of

SIR THOMAS SACKVILLE KG (1536-1608), a celebrated statesman in the reigns of ELIZABETH I and JAMES I.

He was one of the commissioners for the trial of MARY, Queen of Scots; Lord High Steward at the trial of the unfortunate Earl of Essex; Chancellor of Oxford University; and, in 1599, appointed LORD HIGH TREASURER of England.

Sir Thomas married, in 1555, Cicely, daughter of Sir John Baker, of Sissinghurst, Kent, and had issue,
ROBERT, his successor;
Henry;
William
Thomas;
Anne; Jane; Mary.
He was elevated to the peerage, in 1604, as Earl of Dorset.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 2nd Earl (1561-1609), who wedded, in 1580, Margaret, only surviving daughter of Thomas, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
EDWARD, 4th Earl;
Cecily; Anne.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD, 3rd Earl (1589-1624), who espoused, ca 1608, the Lady Anne Clifford, and had issue, five children of whom the two daughters survived; though the family honours devolved upon his brother,

EDWARD, 4th Earl, KG (1591-1652), who married, in 1612, Mary, daughter and heir of Sir George Curzon, of Croxall Hall, Derbyshire, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
Edward;
Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD, 5th Earl (1622-77), who wedded, in 1637, the Lady Frances Cranfield, only daughter of Lionel, 1st Earl of Middlesex, and had issue, six daughters and seven sons, of whom the eldest,

CHARLES, 6th Earl, KG (1643-1706), married thrice; and by his second wife, the Lady Mary Compton, only daughter of James, 3rd Earl of Northampton, he had issue,
LIONEL CRANFIELD, his successor;
Mary.
his lordship was succeeded by his son,

LIONEL CRANFIELD, 7th Earl, KG (1688-1765), who espoused, in 1709, Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Lieutenant-General Walter Colyear, and had issue,
CHARLES, his successor;
John, father of JOHN FREDERICK, 3rd Duke;
GEORGE, 5th Duke;
Anne; Elizabeth; Caroline.
His lordship was advanced to the dignity of a dukedom, in 1720, as DUKE OF DORSET.

His Grace was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES, 2nd Duke (1711-69), who married, in 1744, daughter and heir of Richard, 2nd Viscount Shannon, though the marriage was without issue, and the family honours reverted to His Grace's nephew,

JOHN FREDERICK, 3rd Duke, KG (1745-99), who wedded, in 1790, Arabella Diana, eldest daughter and co-heir of Sir Charles Cope Bt, and had issue,
GEORGE JOHN FREDERICK, his successor;
Mary; Elizabeth.
His Grace was succeeded by his son,

GEORGE JOHN FREDERICK, 4th Duke (1793-1815), who died unmarried, when the titles reverted to his cousin,

CHARLES, 5th Duke, KG (1767-1843), third son of the 1st Duke.

His Grace died a bachelor, when the dukedom and the other titles expired.

Former seats ~ Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent; Buckhurst Park, Withyham, East Sussex; Croxall Hall, Staffordshire.

Former town residence ~ Dorset House, London.

Dorset arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Shaen House

THE KEMMIS FAMILY WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN QUEEN'S COUNTY, WITH 5,800 ACRES

Of the early period of the Kemeys family the accounts are somewhat confused, but it is generally agreed that their origin was Norman.

They rose to prominence at the period of the conquest of Gwent and Glamorgan.

The original form of the name is uncertain, though it is said to be Camois or Camys, identical with Camois in the Roll of Battle Abbey.

They were known as "Kemeys of Began" as early as the 13th century.

The Irish branch claims descent from the ancient family of Kemeys of Newport, Monmouthshire, which family bore as their arms vert on a chevron argent, three pheons sable.

THOMAS KEMMIS (1710-74), of Shaen Castle, Killeen, Straboe, Rossnaclough, and Clonin, Queen's County, wedded Susan, daughter of John Long, of Derrynaseera, and had issue,
JOHN, of Shaen;
James, major-general;
THOMAS, of whom we treat;
Joshua;
William Edward;
Elizabeth.
The third son,

THOMAS KEMMIS JP (1753-1823), of Shaen Castle, crown and treasury solicitor for Ireland, patron of Rosenallis, married, in 1773, Anne, daughter of Henry White, of Dublin, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Henry;
William;
James;
Richard;
Anne; Mary; Elizabeth.
The eldest son, 

THE REV THOMAS KEMMIS (1774-1827), of Shaen Castle, and Brockley Park, Queen's County, Patron of Rosenallis, married Mary, daughter and heir of Arthur Riley, of Airfield, County Dublin, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Arthur;
Henry;
Mary.
The eldest son, 

THOMAS KEMMIS JP, (1798-1844), of Shaen Castle and Straboe, Patron of Rosenallis, High Sheriff, 1832, married, in 1834, Mary Henrietta, eldest daughter of the Rev Robert Blackwood Jelly, of Portarlington, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Robert;
William;
Arthur;
Jane.
Mr Kemmis was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS KEMMIS JP DL (1837-1906), of Shaen, High Sheriff, 1860, who married, in 1858, Victoria Alexandrina, eldest daughter of Hans H Hamilton QC, of 26 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, and had issue,
THOMAS HENRY, his heir;
Augusta Mary; Helen.
His only son,

THOMAS HENRY KEMMIS JP DL, of Shaen, captain, Royal Fusiliers, born in 1860, wedded, in 1904, Mary Caroline, eldest daughter of Charles Stewart Trench, of Clay Hill, Virginia, USA, and had issue,
WILLIAM FREDERICK, b 1905;
Victoria Mary, b 1908;
Elizabeth Gertrude, b 1911.

SHAEN HOUSE, near Port Laoise, formerly Maryborough, County Laois, is a house of late Georgian appearance.

It comprises two storeys over a basement.


The entrance front has two three-sided bows; pedimented one-bay projection in the centre; Greek Ionic porch with acroterion.


There is a notable castellated gateway at the demesne's main entrance.


Shaen House is now a hospital.

First published in April, 2013.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Watermill Restaurant

Watermill Lodge

It is always a true pleasure to revisit County Fermanagh.

I was there for four days this week.

The main road from Belfast to Enniskillen is so good now that one can drive for a good part of the way at 70mph; though the Augher-Clogher-Fivemiletown section is at 30mph through the villages.

I stayed in Lisnaskea, the county's second town, I gather.

Belle Isle, the Duke of Abercorn's beautiful County Fermanagh estate and island,  isn't far from Lisnaskea, so I motored over to have a look around and chatted with the staff in the visitor office.

I usually visit the Fermanagh National Trust properties so, having been invited to a private dinner at Crom estate on Wednesday evening, I revisited Crom the next day for a good walk to the old castle, the walled garden on Inisherk Island, and through sections of woodland.

I also visited Florence Court on Wednesday; and Castle Coole, a National Trust property and seat of the Earl of Belmore, many of whose paintings are on display in the mansion house.

Lord and Lady Belmore today live at the Garden House on the estate and their elder son John, Viscount Corry, keeps one of the wings at Castle Coole.

As a matter of interest I counted 28 chimneys on the main block and 14 on Lord Corry's wing.

A highlight of my trip to County Fermanagh was dinner at the Watermill Restaurant at Kilmore Lough, about two miles south-west of Lisnaskea.

Kilmore Lough is navigable from Upper Lough Erne and, indeed, there were lots of cruisers and boats at the quay.


Watermill Lodge is one of the most charming places, with a thatched roof, little ponds, herb gardens, streams, rockeries and more.


Pascal Brissaud's attention to detail is remarkable.

Even the lavatories have curving mosaic tiles and stone spouts, skin to little streams, from which water flows into the hand basins.

Large bellows table

The Lodge is filled with character; the staff, smartly turned out, courteous, charming, diligent.


I sat at a table near the bar.


I perused the menu at length and chose prawn cocktail as a starter; not a common prawn cocktail, though, this one was served in a shell with juicy prawns.

As you'd expect, fresh breads were presented in a basked with hand-carved pats of butter.


The wine menu, by the way, has one of the finest selections in Northern Ireland, including several costing over £2,200 a bottle.

There is, should one require it, a helipad in the grounds (!).


For my main course I had the duck, served with creamed potato, sauce and a garnish (putting it simply).

I ordered a dish of mixed vegetables as well.

My pudding was a Pascal Special: dainty, little profiteroles.


I do not pretend to any kind of restaurant critic, though I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and of course the extraordinary location and ambiance of this restaurant and guest-house.

I hope to base myself here the next time.

Armagh: III

Primate's chapel, Armagh Palace

I paid a visit to the City of Armagh in May, 2013.

Arriving at the main entrance to St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral in the city of Armagh, I strode up the steep hill where, at the summit, there stands augustly and loftily that great cathedral church with its twin spires, seat of many Cardinal Archbishops of Armagh.


There was a wedding taking place inside, so I bided my time by wandering round the cathedral, past Ara Coeli, the official residence of the Catholic Primate.

Ara Coeli is Latin, incidentally.

When the wedding ceremony ended, I walked in to the cathedral, an impressive church dating from about 1840, though not completed until the first years of the 20th century.

Former cardinals' galeros are suspended from the ceiling in the aisles.

Galero

THENCE I ambled on to English Street, past the Charlemont Arms Hotel and, a mere few yards further along, the De Averell guest-house.

Back at The Mall, where I'd parked the two-seater, I stopped to look at the court-house.

The old entrance posts of The Pavilion, erstwhile home of the Lord Armaghdale, still exist.

The Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum, located at the Sovereign's House, was open; so I spent about thirty minutes there.

They have two Victoria Crosses and Field-Marshal Sir Gerald Templer's uniform is on display, as Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment.


I drove to the Palace Demesne, well worth a visit.

I've already written about the Palace, official residence of the Church of Ireland Archbishops of Armagh and Primates of All Ireland from 1770 until 1975.


The archiepiscopal arms of Primate Robinson (later 1st Baron Rokeby) adorn the entrance front, above the porch.

The private primatial chapel is somewhat dwarfed by its close proximity to the Palace, though this wasn't always the case, since the Palace was originally two storeys in height.

These edifices are austere, though stately, noble and dignified; apt descriptions for archiepiscopal properties.

That concluded my visit to the city of Armagh, though I hope to revisit the city and county during the summer.

First published in May, 2013.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Duke of Kent in County Down

The Duke of Kent has paid a two-day visit to County Down.

His Royal Highness visited Downpatrick Police Station, Downpatrick, County Down, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Down (Mr. David Lindsay).

HRH later visited Down Cathedral, Downpatrick .

His Royal Highness subsequently visited Finnebrogue House, near Downpatrick.

The following day The Duke of Kent officially named the MV Strangford II ferry.

His Royal Highness later visited Castle Ward Estate, County Down; and the Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry, County Down.

Beltrim Castle

Arms of 1st Earl of Abercorn
THE COLE-HAMILTONS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY TYRONE, WITH 16,811 ACRES


THE RT HON SIR CLAUDE HAMILTON (c1576-1614), of Bodoney, County Tyrone, second son of Claude, 1st Lord Paisley, and brother of James, 1st Earl of Abercorn; Gentleman of the Chamber, and Privy Counsellor.

Sir Claude married the daughter and heir of Sir Robert Hamilton, Knight, and died in 1614, leaving with five younger sons, Alexander, Robert, George, Claude, and James, all of whom dsp, and an elder son and heir,

SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON, Knight, of Manor Elieston, County Tyrone, who married twice.

He was buried in Bodoney parish church, Killeter, Castlederg, County Tyrone.

The eldest son of his second marriage, with Beatrix Campbell,

CLAUD HAMILTON, of Montaloney, County Tyrone, had, by Isabella his wife, five daughters, viz. Beatrix, Mary, Agnes, Margaret, and Rebecca; and two sons,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Claud, of Strabane, ancestor of Hamilton Baronets of Woodbrook.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM HAMILTON, of Beltrim, County Tyrone, who left, by Mary his wife, two sons and three daughters.

His son,

CLAUD HAMILTON, of Beltrim, married his cousin, Letitia, daughter of Claud Hamilton, of Strabane, and had issue,
LETITIA, of whom hereafter;
Isabella; Beatrix.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his elder daughter,

LETITIA HAMILTON, of Beltrim, who espoused, in 1780, the Hon Arthur Cole MP, afterwards COLE-HAMILTON, of Skea, County Fermanagh.

Mr Cole-Hamilton was the second son of John, 1st Baron Mountflorence, and brother of William, 1st Earl of Enniskillen.

Mr Cole-Hamilton left issue,
CLAUD WILLIAM, his heir;
Letitia; Elizabeth Ann; Isabella.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

CLAUD WILLIAM COLE-HAMILTON (1781-1822), who married, in 1805, Nichola Sophia, daughter of Richard Chaloner, of Kingsfort, County Meath, by whom he left at his decease, two sons,
ARTHUR WILLOUGHBY, his heir;
Richard Chaloner.
Mr Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his elder son,

MAJOR ARTHUR WILLOUGHBY COLE-HAMILTON JP DL (1806-91), of Beltrim Castle, who married, in 1831, Emilia Katherine, daughter of Rev Charles Cobbe Beresford, and granddaughter of the Hon John Beresford, second son of Marcus, 1st Earl of Tyrone, and brother of George, 1st Marquess of Waterford, and had issue,
WILLIAM CLAUD, his heir;
Claud Chaloner;
Charles Richard, Commander RN;
Arthur Henry (Rev);
John Isaac (father of Air Vice-Marshal John Cole-Hamilton);
Letitia Grace; Emily Harriet; Selina.
Major Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

CAPTAIN WILLIAM CLAUD COLE-HAMILTON (1833-82), of Ballitore House, County Kildare, who wedded, in 1858, Caroline Elizabeth Josephine, daughter of Hon Andrew Godfrey Stewart, and granddaughter of Andrew Thomas, 1st Earl Castle Stewart; and dvp in 1882, having had, with other issue,
ARTHUR RICHARD, his heir;
William Andrew Thomas;
Claud George;
Isabel Mary.
Captain Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

COLONEL ARTHUR RICHARD COLE-HAMILTON JP DL (1859-1915), of Beltrim Castle.
Captain,7th Hussars; fought in the Egyptian Campaign, 1882; Captain, Royal Scots Fusiliers; Sudan Campaign, 1885-86; Lieutenant-Colonel, 6th Service Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment; lived at Caddagh, Wilkinstown, County Meath, and Beltrim, Gortin, Newtownstewart, County Tyrone; Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Colonel, 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles; 1st World War service, where he was mentioned in despatches; fought in the Gallipoli Campaign.
Colonel Cole-Hamilton married firstly, in 1882, Jeannette, eldest daughter of Samuel Moore, of Moorlands, Lancashire, and had issue, an only child,
WILLIAM MOORE, his heir.
He wedded secondly, in 1884, Florence Alice, daughter of James Duke Hughes, of Brentwood, Surrey.

Colonel Cole-Hamilton died in 1915, aged 56, at The Dardenelles, Turkey, killed in action.

His only son,

MAJOR WILLIAM MOORE COLE-HAMILTON (1883-1948), of Beltrim Castle, Royal Army Service Corps, married, in 1903, Ada Beatrice, daughter of William Peter Huddle, and had an only son,

WILLIAM ARTHUR RICHARD COLE-HAMILTON (1906-36), who married, in 1932, Barbara, daughter of Edward J Deane, and had two daughters,

A memorial screen at Kilwinning Old Parish Church, Ayrshire, was erected from a generous gift made by John Cole-Hamilton and was dedicated on 10th June, 1990.
It was erected in memory of Mr Cole-Hamilton’s father, Colonel Arthur Richard Cole-Hamilton, who died at Gallipoli in 1915; his mother Sarah who died on 18th September, 1942; and his wife Gladys who died on 4th October, 1989. Mr Cole-Hamilton died on 10th November, 1991. The Screen incorporates the Cole-Hamilton shield and the seal of the Abbot of Kilwinning.

BELTRIM CASTLE, near Gortin, County Tyrone, is a five-bay, two-storey, rendered house, built ca 1780-1820.

It is L-shaped, facing west, with a multi-bay, two-storey return.

The formal appearance of the west front to Beltrim Castle owes its existence to early 19th century improvements, which also saw the remains of the 17th century bawn incorporated into a long rear return.

The 19th century house retains most of the original features.

In is said to be not only of local importance, but also of national significance.

Beltrim's associated outbuildings, former bawn, and gardens contribute significantly to the architectural and historic interest of the property.

The only part of the original castle which remains standing is a gable wall which is no part of the present building.

Beltrim is now part of the Blakiston-Houston Estate.

Richard Patrick Blakiston-Houston OBE JP DL was born in 1948; educated at Eton; registered as a Professional Associate, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, 1972; High Sheriff of County Down, 1989. His wife,

Dr Lucinda Mary Lavinia Blakiston-Houston DL (b 1956), daughter of Lt.-Cdr. Theodore Bernard Peregrine Hubbard and Lady Miriam Fitzalan-Howard; graduated from Leeds University with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.); Liverpool University, Master of Science (M.Sc.); Queen's University, Belfast, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Other residence: The Roddens, Ballywalter, County Down.

Interestingly, the Blakiston-Houston family appear to be related to General Sam Houston, after which Houston, Texas, USA, was named. 
Orangefield Park in east Belfast was the family home of the Houston family in the 18th century. The head of the family, John Holmes Houston, was a partner in the Belfast Banking Company and lived at Orangefield House with his family. 

Orangefield was situated at the end of what is now Houston Park and the estate itself extended to almost 300 acres. John and Eliza's daughter, Mary Isabella, was born in 1793 and later married Richard Bayly Blakiston.

The two families joined names, leaving J Blakiston-Houston in charge of the Orangefield estate from 1857.


In 1934, the Blakiston-Houston family offered Belfast Corporation (now the council) part of the Orangefield estate to develop as a public park. The corporation, although keen to buy the land, felt that the price was too high. 

After lengthy negotiations, they bought part of the site in 1938 for £20,000 (£1.1 million in today's values). Development work was put on hold due to World War II and plans for the park were only drawn up in 1947. 
First published in December, 2009.