Sunday, 28 August 2016

Stuart Hall


This is a branch of the royal house of STEWART, springing from Robert, Duke of Albany and Regent of Scotland, third legitimate son of ROBERT II of Scotland.

MURDOCH, 2nd Duke of Albany (1362-1425), succeeded his father Robert as Regent of the Kingdom, but was beheaded, with his two eldest sons, 1425.

His third son, JAMES MOR STEWART, called James the Fat, fled to Ulster, and was father of

ANDREW STEWART, 1st Lord Avondale (c1420-88), who died without issue; and of WALTER, whose son,

ANDREW (c1505-48), succeeding to the titles and estates of his uncle, became 2nd Lord Avondale, and "exchanged" the title for that of OCHILTREE.

His lordship married Margaret, natural daughter of James, 1st Earl of Arran, and had issue,
ANDREW, his successor;
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANDREW (c1521-91), 2nd Lord Ochiltree, who married Agnes Cunningham, and had a son and heir, Andrew Stewart, styled Master of Ochiltree, who predeceased him in 1578, and was succeeded by his grandson,

ANDREW, 3rd Lord Ochiltree (c1560-1629), who having sold the feudal barony of OCHILTREE to his cousin, Sir James Stuart, of Killeith, was created, 1619, Baron Castle Stewart, of County Tyrone, where he possessed considerable estates.

He wedded, ca 1587, Margaret, daughter of Sir John Kennedy, of Blairquhan, and had issue,
ANDREW, his successor;
JOHN, 5th Baron;
Robert, ancestor of the Earl Castle Stewart;
Margaret, George Crawford, of Crawfordsburn;
Maria, John Kennedy, of Cultra;
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ANDREW, 2nd Baron (1590-1639), who had been previously created a baronet.

He espoused, ca 1604, the Lady Anne Stewart, fifth daughter and co-heiress of John, 5th Earl of Atholl, by which lady he had issue,
ANDREW, 3rd Baron;
JOSIAS, 4th Baron.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ANDREW, 3rd Baron (-1650), who married Joyce, daughter and heiress of Sir Arthur Blundell, by whom he had issue, an only child, MARY, who wedded Henry 5th Earl of Suffolk.

His lordship died without male issue, and the honours devolved upon his brother,

JOSIAS, 4th Baron (c1637-62), who espoused Anne, daughter of John Madden, of Enfield, Middlesex, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Charles Waterhouse, of Manor Waterhouse, County Fermanagh.

This marriage was without issue and the titles reverted to his uncle,

JOHN, 5th Baron, after whose decease without issue, the title remained in abeyance until 1774, when it was claimed by, and allowed to

CAPTAIN ROBERT STEWARTde jure 6th Baron, who married Anne, daughter of William Moore, of Garvey, County Tyrone.

He died ca 1685, and was succeeded by his son,

ANDREWde jure 7th Baron (1672-1715), who wedded Eleanor, daughter of Robert Dallway, of Bellahill, County Antrim, by whom he had issue,

ROBERTde jure 8th Baron (1700-42), who wedded, in 1722, Margaret, sister and co-heiress of Hugh Edwards, of Castle Gore, County Tyrone, and had issue,

ANDREW THOMAS9th Baron (1725-1809), who was created Viscount Castle Stewart in 1793.

His lordship was further advanced to an earldom, in 1800, as EARL CASTLE STEWART.

His lordship wedded, in 1781, Sarah, daughter of the Rt Hon Godfrey Lill, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland, by whom he had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
Caroline; Sarah.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT, 2nd Earl (1784-1854), who espoused, in 1806, Jemima, only daughter of Colonel Robinson, by whom he had issue,
EDWARD, 3rd Earl;
Andrew Godfrey, in holy orders, father of 6th Earl.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD, 3rd Earl (1807-57), who married, in 1830, Emmeline, only surviving daughter and heir of Benjamin Bathurst, in a childless marriage.

His lordship was succeeded by his brother,

CHARLES ANDREW KNOX, 4th Earl (1810-74), who wedded, in 1835, Charlotte Raffles Drury, only daughter of Acheson Quintin Thompson, of County Louth, and had issue,
HENRY JAMES, his heir;
Mary; Ella Sophia; Alice Maude; Margaretta.
His lordship was succeeded by his son,

HENRY JAMES, 5th Earl,

The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Andrew Richard Charles Stuart, styled Viscount Stuart (1953).

THE other major event of his long reign as head of the family was the 1st Earl's acquisition, in 1782, of a third manor in County Tyrone, the manor of Orritor, alias Orator.

Orritor was near Stewartstown, and was thus geographically well-situated to round off the existing manors of Castle Stewart and Forward.

However, the Orritor Estate adjoined Drum Manor and was, thus, closer to Cookstown than Stewartstown; or New Mills, around where the Forward estate is situated.
The fourth manor in the Tyrone estate came in by inheritance, not deliberate purchase, and was remote from the other three: the manor of Hastings, alias Castlegore (near Castlederg) formerly the property of the Edwards family of Castlegore.
Robert Stewart of Stuart Hall had married Margaret Edwards of Castlegore back in 1722; and, as a result of failure of heirs male in the Edwards family, Castlegore passed to the Stuarts.

In 1862, the four manors generated an annual income of £7,567.

A further temporary addition to the Tyrone estate was made in 1866, when Lord Stuart, later 5th Earl Castle Stewart, married the heiress of the Richardson Brady family of Oaklands, alias Drum Manor, Cookstown.

On his death in 1914, however, he was succeeded in the earldom and in the Castle Stewart estates by his cousin; but at Drum Manor by one of his daughters, Lady Muriel Close.

STUART HALL, near Stewartstown, County Tyrone, was built about 1760 for Andrew, 1st Earl Castle Stewart.

It was originally a three-storey Georgian block with a pillared porch, joined to an old tower-house by a 19th century Gothic wing.

More recently, the top two storeys of the main block were removed, giving it the appearance of a Georgian bungalow.

Stuart Hall was blown up by the IRA in July, 1972, and subsequently demolished.

A new dwelling was subsequently built on the site in 1987.

The present house is surrounded by lawns and a maintained woodland garden.

There is a ha-ha to grazing, with fine views of the landscape park and woodland beyond.

The stables and farm buildings survive from the 18th century and are listed.

The walled garden has a 1832 date stone and is adorned by a castellated wall and two folly towers backing onto the former stack yard.

Rowan describes it as ‘…castellated, of rubble stone with brick corbelling and a plump round tower at either end.’

A stone inscription on a frieze, though, has an inscription which reads either 1783 or 1785.

The walled garden is not kept up. There were extensive glasshouses.

The chief attribute of the demesne is the fine stands of mature trees, disposed in the landscape style of the mid-18th century.

There is also forest planting.

A gate lodge of ca 1835 has gone but the gate screen remains.

First published in December, 2009. Castle Stewart arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Carrowdore Castle


The CROMELLINS, though established in France and possessed of considerable property at Armancourt in Picardy, for more than a century before the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, came originally from the Low Countries.

ARMAND CROMMELIN resided on his estate, near Kortrijk (Courtrai) in the reign of CHARLES V; but in consequence of the persecutions of the Protestants by the Duke of Alba, in the reign of PHILIP II, his family left, and his son, JEAN, settled at Saint-Quentin, and became Seigneur de Camas, through his marriage with Marie, daughter of Jacques de Semery,
"Ce marriage fut célèbre à Folembray Château Royal entre Chauny et Coucy, le 17 Déc. 1595, honoré de la présence de Madame Catherine de France sœur du roi HENRY IV, qui y tenoit sa cœur".
Of this marriage were three sons,
JEAN, of whom presently;
Two of Jean de Camas's grandsons, named Jacques and Adrien, received patents of letters of nobility from LOUIS XIV; and others became Seigneurs de Mézières, Senancourt, Armancourt, and De Bersy.

A granddaughter of the latter married the Comte de Stolberg in Prussia, 1733.

The second son of Jean de Camas,

JEAN CROMMELIN (1603-59), wedded Rachel Jacuelet du Castlet, and died at Saint-Quentin, leaving several children, of whom the eldest,

LOUIS CROMMELIN, born at Saint-Quentin, 1625, espoused, in 1648, Marie Mettayer, and had issue, eight children.

At the Revocation, almost all this family fled to Holland; but the following eventually settled in Ulster:-

1.  LOUIS (1653-1727), who established the linen trade in Ulster.

In 1698, Louis, with two brothers and three sisters, and several cousins and members of his family, "was induced" by WILLIAM III to go over to Ulster, where they settled at Lisburn, County Antrim, bringing with them a number of tradesmen and a capital of £20,000 (in excess of £4 million today) with which they established the linen manufacture, which was adopted by the inhabitants, and flourished thereafter.

In consideration of Louis having spent £10,000 on its establishment, His Majesty, who was greatly interested in its success, conferred a pension of £200 a year on his son, on whose early death it was discontinued.

Mr Crommelin wedded, in 1680, his cousin Anne, daughter of Samuel Crommelin; left France in 1685, and settling first at Amsterdam, came to Lisburn in 1698.

He had issue, one son and a daughter: Louis, died at Lisburn, 1711, unm, aged 28; and Magdaleine.

2.  Samuel, twice married and left four sons, of whom all male issue became extinct.

3.  William, wedded Miss Butler, of the Ormonde family, and had a son, Louis, who died unmarried, and a daughter.

4.  Jeane, married Abraham Gillot.

5.  Anne, espoused firstly, Isaac Cousin de Meaux; and secondly, Daniel de la Cherois, by whom she had an only daughter, Marie Angélique Madeleine (who died at Donaghadee, 1771), who wedded Thomas, 5th and last Earl of Mount Alexander, by whom, having no children, she was left all his property, and on her death she left it to be divided between her cousins, Samuel de la Cherois and Nicholas Crommelin.

6.  MARIE, of whom we treat.

The youngest daughter,

MARIE CROMMELIN, wedded firstly, Isaac Testard de Blois; and secondly, Nicholas de la Cherois, Major, and afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel in the regiment of Comte de Marton, under WILLIAM III.

She died in 1706, leaving two children,
SAMUEL, of whom presently;
Madeleine, wedded her cousin, Daniel Crommelin.
The only son,

SAMUEL DE LA CHEROIS (1700-84), married, in 1731, Mlle. Sarah Cormiére, and had issue,
Nicholas, 1737-1829;
SAMUEL, of whom presently;
The third son,

SAMUEL DE LA CHEROIS (1744-1816), assumed, in compliance of the will of his cousin, Nicholas Crommelin, of Lisburn, the additional surname of CROMMELIN.

He espoused, in 1776, Maria, only daughter of the Rev Dr Thomas Dobbs, of Trinity College, Dublin (brother of Conway Dobbs, of Castle Dobbs, County Antrim), and had issue,
NICHOLAS, his heir;
Mary; Sarah; Anne; Harriet Judith; Jane Suzanna.
Mr de la Cherois was succeeded by his eldest son,

NICHOLAS DE LA CHEROIS-CROMMELIN JP DL (1783-1863), of Carrowdore Castle, County Down, who wedded, in 1810, Elizabeth, second daughter of William, 2nd Baron Ventry, and had issue,
Nicholas, father of
William Thomas (Rev);
Anna Sarah; Maria Matilda; Clara Suzanne; Elizabeth Emily.
Mr de la Cherois-Crommelin was succeeded by his eldest son,

SAMUEL ARTHUR HILL DE LA CHEROIS-CROMMELIN JP DL (1817-85), of Carrowdore Castle, who married, in 1845, Anna Maria, only daughter of John Graves Thompson, of County Tyrone, and had issue,
Louis Nicholas (1846-69);
Arthur Claude (1856-69);
FREDERICK ARMAND, of whom hereafter;
Lucy Marguerite, died 1881;
MARIA HENRIETTA, of Carrowdore Castle;
CAROLINE ANNA, m R B Shaw; she dsp 1910;
Florence Frances, died 1895;
EVELYN ANGÉLIQUE, of Carrowdore Castle.
Mr de la Cherois-Crommelin was succeeded by his only surviving son,

FREDERICK ARMAND DE LA CHEROIS-CROMMELIN JP (1861-1902), of Carrowdore Castle, who espoused, in 1891, Nina, youngest daughter of the Rev Calvert Jones, of Heathfield, Swansea, and dsp 1902.

He was succeeded by his sisters,

MARIA HENRIETTA and EVELYN ANGÉLIQUE DE LA CHEROIS-CROMMELIN, of Carrowdore Castle (jointly with their sister, Mrs Shaw).

CARROWDORE CASTLE, near Donaghadee, County Down, was built in 1818-20 by Nicholas de La Cherois-Crommelin.

This three-storey rubble and brick Georgian-Gothic house was built in a rustic gothic style, with castellations, corner turrets and large projecting tower.

The interior is still largely intact, though some rooms to the rear of the house have been altered in recent times and a large, modern, glazed sun-room has also been added.

The three-storey tower to the south has a Jacobean-Gothic feel and appears to be largely intact; whilst the similar (but much smaller) three-storey gazebo to the east of the house is now in a ruinous condition.

There is some very graceful Gothic plasterwork fretting on the hall ceiling.

Prior to 1818 there had been a farmhouse on the site which Nicholas de la Cherois's father had used only occasionally, usually as a place to collect rents from his tenants and as a summer residence.

After its completion in 1820, Carrowdore Castle served as Nicholas’s primary residence until 1847, when pressing financial concerns forced him to live at Cushendun, County Antrim, and rent the house to his son Samuel.

The de la Cherois-Crommelin male line came to an end with the death of Samuel’s son, Frederick, in 1902.

The contents of the house were sold the same year and the building itself was leased to a number of tenants before being sold to a Mr McNeill in 1931.

The present owners acquired Carrowdore Castle in 1972 and renovated some of the rooms to the rear, as well as adding the large sun room extension.

About 1992, a new dwelling was constructed a short distance to the south-west.

Since that time Carrowdore Castle has remained largely vacant, save for two ground floor rooms to the south-east which are currently leased to Strangford College.

The outbuildings to the south have been renovated recently and now appear to be used as holiday homes.

Parkland surrounds the house and small blocks of woodland, with a shelter belt beyond.

There is a well planted and manicured ornamental garden to the east of the house, which slopes to a lake.

A stone gazebo terminates the castle battlements.

The layout of the parkland has changed remarkably little from the early 19th century, except for the presence of a modern mansion built south-west of the old house. 

The main entrance gate lodge, a surviving one of two gate lodges, is contemporary with the old house and is notable for a castellated parapet and towers, with a pair of dwellings, which have now been largely demolished.

Carrowdore Castle is the home of Dr Francis Jennings DSc, brother of Shamus Jennings CBE.
The Jennings brothers are regularly rated as among the wealthiest people in Northern Ireland. In 2008, they sold their building services firm, Rotary Group, to an Australian engineering company in a cash and shares deal worth £95m. The same year they sold the Cromwell Hospital in London in a £90m deal. Among their properties is a fishing and shooting estate on the Isle of Islay.
First published in January, 2011.

Friday, 26 August 2016

The Beresford Baronets


The surname of BERESFORD was assumed from Beresford, in the parish of Alstonefield, Staffordshire, of which manor,

JOHN DE BERESFORD was seised in 1087, during the reign of WILLIAM II, and was succeeded therein by his son,

HUGH DE BERESFORD, from whom lineally descended

JOHN BERESFORD, Lord of Beresford and Enson, who married Elizabeth, daughter of William Basset, of Blore, Staffordshire, and had, with other issue,
John, his heir;
Mr Beresford died in 1475, and was succeeded at Beresford by his eldest son; while the second,

THOMAS BERESFORD (-1473), seated himself at Newton Grange, Derbyshire, where he was resident during the reigns of HENRY VI and EDWARD IV; the former of whom he served in his French wars, and, according to tradition, mustered a troop of horse at Chesterfield, consisting alone of his sons and his own and their attendants.

Mr Beresford wedded Agnes, daughter and heiress of Robert Hassall, of Arclid, Cheshire, by whom he had sixteen sons and five daughters, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Aden; but we pass to the seventh,

HUMPHREY BERESFORD, who eventually became of Newton Grange.

This gentleman espoused Margery, daughter of Edmond Berdesley, or Beresley, and was succeeded by his second son (the eldest having left a daughter only at his decease),

GEORGE BERESFORD, whose eldest son,

MICHAEL BERESFORD, was an officer in the Court of Wards, and seated at Oxford, and The Squires, Kent.

This gentleman, who was living in 1574, married Rose, daughter of John Knevitt, and had seven sons and four daughters; of whom

TRISTRAM BERESFORD (1574-), the third son, going into Ulster in the reign of JAMES I, settled at Coleraine, County Londonderry, as manager for the Corporaton of London during the plantation of Ulster.

He settled at Coleraine, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

SIR TRISTRAM BERESFORD, of Coleraine, a Knight of the Shire for Londonderry in the parliament of 1661, who was created a baronet, 1665.

Sir Tristram wedded firstly, Anne, edlest daughter of John Rowley, of Castleroe, County Londonderry, by whom he had one son, RANDAL, his heir, and two daughters; and secondly, Sarah Sackville, and had three sons and three daughters, namely,
Susanna; Sarah; Anne.
Sir Tristram died in 1673, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RANDAL BERESFORD, 2nd Baronet, who wedded Catherine, younger daughter of Francis, 1st Viscount Valentia, and niece, maternally, of Philip, 1st Earl of Chesterfield; and dying in 1681, left issue,
TRISTRAM, his successor;
Jane; Catherine.
Sir Randal was succeeded by his son and heir,

SIR TRISTRAM BERESFORD (1669-1701), 3rd Baronet, who commanded a regiment of foot against JAMES II, and was attainted by the parliament of that monarch.

Sir Tristram espoused, in 1687, Nichola Sophia, youngest daughter and co-heiress of Hugh, 1st Baron Hamilton of Glerawly, and had issue,
MARCUS, his successor;
Susanna Catherina; Arabella Maria; Jane; Aramintha.
Sir Tristram was succeeded by his son,

SIR MARCUS BERESFORD (1694-1763), 4th Baronet, who married, in 1717, Catherine, only daughter of James, 3rd Earl of Tyrone, and in consequence of that alliance was advanced to the peerage, in 1720, as Baron Beresford, of Beresford, County Cavan, and Viscount Tyrone; and was created Earl of Tyrone, 1746.

A memorial tablet in Coleraine parish church, was restored by the 1st Baronet's descendant, Henry, 3rd Marquess of Waterford.

In 1872, John, 5th Marquess of Waterford, sold 40,000 acres of Beresford property in County Londonderry, 8,000 acres being acquired by the Beresfords of Learmount.

The present Marquess of Waterford is the 12th Beresford Baronet.

First published in February, 2011.

Owenmore House


WILLIAM ORME, of Hanch Hall, Longdon, Staffordshire, descended from a family of graziers long settled in Cheshire, married, in 1612, Grace, daughter of Nicholas Hurt, of Castern, Staffordshire.

He died in 1623, leaving a son,

WILLIAM ORME (1614-65), of Hanch Hall, who being a Royalist, suffered heavy fines and imprisonment at the hands of the usurper, CROMWELL.

He lived to witness the Restoration, and had a confirmation of his arms by Sir William Dugdale, Norroy King-of-Arms, in 1665.

Mr Orme wedded Anne, daughter of Thomas Brudenell, of Staunton Wivell, Leicestershire, and had issue,
Thomas (c1637-1716), dsp;
William, Colonel in the French Army;
JAMES, of whom presently;
The third son,

JAMES ORME, settled ca 1671 in County Mayo, where he purchased considerable estates.

He espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Barrow, of County Cork, and had issue,
ROBERT, his heir;
William, of Ballintubber.
Mr Orme died in 1707, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT ORME, of Carne, County Mayo, who married, in 1703, Elizabeth, daughter of James Johnston, and had issue,
Thomas, of Carne;
James, of Fairfield;
WILLIAM, of whom hereafter;
Robert (Congressman), settled in America, in Jones County;
Mary; Margaret; Lettice.
The third son,

WILLIAM ORME JP (1810-76), of Owenmore, County Mayo, wedded firstly, in 1837, Janette, daughter of Christopher Carleton L'Estrange, of Market Hill, County Fermanagh; and secondly, in 1858, Margaret Barbara, eldest daughter of the Rev Savage Hall, Rector of Loughgall, County Armagh,

He dsp and was succeeded by his brother, 

ROBERT ORME JP DL (1815-77), of Owenmore, County Mayo, and Enniscrone, County Sligo, who espoused, in 1843, Sidney Frances, daughter of Christopher Carleton L'Estrange, and had issue,
CHRISTOPHER GUY, succeeded his brother;
Albert L'Estrange;
Janet Georgina, m 1882, Claude Brownlow, of Killynether.
The eldest son,

ROBERT WILLIAM ORME JP DL (1856-1903), of Owenmore and Enniscrone, died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

CHRISTOPHER GUY ORME JP DL (1858-1929), of Owenmore and Enniscrone, who married, in 1907, the Hon Mary Kathleen Morris, daughter of 1st Baron Morris and Killanin, and had issue,
Lettice Frances; Cicely Dorothea.

OWENMORE HOUSE, near Crossmolina, County Mayo, built ca 1847, is a house of two storeys over a high basement.

It has a five-bay entrance front, with a single-storey Doric portico.

The other side elevation has a two-storey bowed wing of similar style and height to the main block, though set back.

When the estate was decimated by the Land Acts, about 1926, it was sold to the Knox family.

It was sold again in 1950 to Major Marcus McCausland.

First published in July, 2012.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Dobbs of Castle Dobbs


This family was established in Ulster by  

JOHN DOBBS, only son of Sir Richard Dobbs (a founder of Christ's Hospital and Lord Mayor of London, 1551).

Sir Richard Dobbs. Photo credit: Christ's Hospital Foundation

This John Dobbs accompanied Sir Henry Docwra to the province in 1596, and was subsequently his deputy as treasurer for Ulster.

He wedded, in 1603, Margaret, only child of John Dalway, of Ballyhill, and had two sons, Foulk, who was lost at sea, with his father, in returning from England in 1622; and

HERCULES DOBBS (1613-34), who, succeeding to his father's property, married Magdalen West, of Ballydugan, County Down, and left an only son,

RICHARD DOBBS (1634-1701), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1664, who wedded, in 1665, Dorothy, daughter and co-heir of Bryan Willans, of Clints Hall, Richmond, Yorkshire, and had (with three daughters), two sons.

Mr Dobbs left his estate to his younger son,

RICHARD DOBBS (1660-1711), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1694, who espoused firstly, Mary, daughter of Archibald Stewart, of Ballintoy, and had (with two daughters) three sons,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Richard (Rev), Rector of Lisburn;
He married secondly, Margaret Clugston, of Belfast, and by her had three daughters.
This gentleman served in WILLIAM III's army in Ireland until the second siege of Limerick and the Treaty of Surrender. He was Mayor of Carrickfergus. On the 14th June, 1690, he welcomed William of Orange on his landing in Ulster as Mayor of Carrickfergus; High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1694.
Mr Dobbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR DOBBS (1689-1765), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1720, and for many years MP for Carrickfergus, who wedded Anne, daughter of Captain Osborne, of Timahoe, County Kildare, and widow of Captain Norbury, by whom he had issue.

Arthur Dobbs, 6th Governor of North Carolina

He was appointed Engineer and Surveyor-General of Ireland, by Sir Robert Walpole, and was, in 1753, sent out as Governor of North Carolina, where he acquired large possessions, including 400,000 acres in the colony.

Arthur Dobbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

CONWAY RICHARD DOBBS (1727-1811), of Castle Dobbs, MP for Carrickfergus, and High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1752, who married firstly, in 1749, Anne, daughter of Alexander Stewart, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir.
He wedded secondly, Charity, widow of Stephen Rice, of Mount Rice, County Kildare, and daughter of Robert Borrowes, of Kildare, by Mary, his wife, daughter of John O'Neill, of Shane's Castle, and had issue,
Edward Brice, twice Mayor of Carrickfergus;
Robert Conway (Rev);
Mr Dobbs was succeeded by his second son,

RICHARD DOBBS (1753-1840), of Castle Dobbs, who espoused, in 1792, Nichola, daughter of Michael Obins, of Portadown, County Armagh, by Nichola his wife, second daughter of Richard, 1st Viscount Gosford, and had issue,
Archibald Edward, barrister, father of
Nichola; Frances; Olivia.
Mr Dobbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

CONWAY RICHARD DOBBS JP DL (1796-1886), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1841, MP for Carrickfergus, 1832, who married, in 1826, Charlotte Maria, daughter and co-heiress of William Sinclair, of Fort William, County Antrim, and had issue,
Richard Archibald Conway (1842-53);
Olivia Nichola; Frances Millicent; Charlotte Louisa Mary; Alicia Hester Caroline;
Harriet Sydney; Nichola Susan; Millicent Georgina Montagu.
He wedded secondly, in 1875, Winifred Susannah, youngest daughter of Benjamin Morris, of Lewes, Sussex.

Mr Dobbs was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

MONTAGU WILLIAM EDWARD DOBBS JP DL (1844-1906), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Kildare, 1871, and County Antrim,1888, barrister, who was succeeded by his cousin,

ARCHIBALD EDWARD DOBBS JP (1838-1916), of Castle Dobbs, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1909, barrister, who espoused, in 1875, Edith Mary, second daughter of Sir James Timmins Chance Bt, and had issue,
Francis Wellesley;
Archibald Edward.
Mr Dobbs was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR FREDERICK DOBBS DL (1876-1955), High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1921, who married, in 1915, Hylda Louise, daughter of Conway Richard Dobbs Higginson, and had issue,
Joan Kathleen.
Mr Dobbs was succeeded by his son and heir,

barrister, judge of the Circuit Court, 1951-55, Midland Circuit, Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, 1959-94, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, who wedded, in 1953, Carola Day, daughter of Christopher Clarkson, and had issue,
Richard Francis Andrew;
Nigel Christopher;
Matthew Frederick;
Nicholas Arthur Montagu;
Sophia Carola.
The eldest son,

Richard Francis Andrew Dobbs (1955-), married, in 1880, the Lady Jane Alexander, sister of 7th Earl of Caledon; divorced in 1999 and had issue, three daughters.

Nigel Christopher Dobbs (1957-), High Sheriff of County Antrim, 2009; 

Matthew Frederick Dobbs (1959-), Fund Manager, Shroders, 2012; 

Sophia Carola Dobbs (1965-);

Nicholas Arthur Montagu Dobbs (1973-); Director, Wealth Management, Cazenove Capital, 2012.

I HAVE written about Castle Dobbs here.

First published in August, 2012.

Portglenone House


The elder branch of this family was ennobled, in 1663, by the title of EARL OF STIRLING, in the person of WILLIAM ALEXANDER, of Menstrie, Clackmannanshire. 
The name of ALEXANDER was assumed from the Christian name of its founder, Alexander Macdonald, of Menstrie. 
This branch, on removing into Ireland, adopted into the family shield the Canton charged with the Harp of Ireland, and settled at Limavady, County Londonderry.
JOHN ALEXANDER, of Eridy, County Donegal, 1610, had issue,
ANDREW, his heir;
The eldest son,

THE REV ANDREW ALEXANDER DD, of Eridy, married Dorothea, daughter of the Rev James Caulfeild, and had issue,

CAPTAIN ANDREW ALEXANDERof Londonderry, who wedded firstly, Miss Philips, daughter of Sir Thomas Philips, and had issue,

He espoused secondly, Miss Hillhouse, daughter of the Laird of Hilles, and had issue,

JOHN ALEXANDER (c1670-1747), of Ballyclose, County Londonderry, and of Gunsland, County Donegal, who married Anne, daughter of John White, and had issue,
NATHANIEL, of whom hereafter;
The second son,

NATHANIEL ALEXANDER (1689-1761), of Gunsland, Alderman of Londonderry, 1755, who married Elizabeth, daughter of William McClintock, of Dunore, County Donegal, and had issue,
William, of London; barrister; d 1774;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
James, 1st Earl of Caledon;
Mary Jane; Rebecca; Elizabeth; Ann; Jane.
His fourth surviving son, 
ROBERT ALEXANDER (1722-90), of Boom Hall, County Londonderry, wedded, in 1759, Anne, daughter of Henry McCullogh, and had issue,
NATHANIEL, his heir;
Henry, of Boom Hall;
William, Lieutenant-General;
Joseph Josias Du Pré;
Elizabeth; Jane; Anne; Rebecca; Dorothea.
Mr Alexander was succeeded by his eldest son,
THE RT REV AND RT HON NATHANIEL ALEXANDER (1760-1840), of Portglenone House, Lord Bishop of Meath, Privy Counsellor, who wedded, in 1785, Anne, daughter of the Rt Hon Richard Jackson MP, of Coleraine, and had issue,
Richard Jackson;
ROBERT, of whom we treat;
William Stuart;
Anne; Elizabeth Rebecca; Henrietta Frances; Jane Mary.
His second son,

THE VEN ROBERT ALEXANDER DD (1788-1840), Archdeacon of Down, married firstly, in 1813, Catherine, daughter of Rt Hon John Staples and Hon Henrietta Molesworth, and had issue,
NATHANIEL, his heir;
John Staples;
Robert, father of
George William;
Harriet Catherine; Alicia Anne; Louisa Maria; Mary Jane;
Grace Frances; Melosine Elizabeth Charlotte; Catherine Staples.
Dr Alexander married secondly, in 1837, Hester Helena, daughter of Colonel Alexander McManus, but had no issue.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

NATHANIEL ALEXANDER (1815-53), of Portglenone House, MP for County Antrim, who espoused, in 1842, Florinda, daughter of Richard Boyle Bagley, and had issue,
JOHN STAPLES, succeeded his brother.
Mr Alexander was succeeded by his elder son,

ROBERT JACKSON ALEXANDER JP DL (1843-84), of Portglenone House, High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1870, and of County Antrim, 1875, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN STAPLES ALEXANDER JP DL (1844-1901), of Portglenone House, Lieutenant RN, who died a bachelor.

He was succeeded by his cousin,

MAJOR ROBERT CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER JP DL, of Portglenone House (1900-68), son of Robert Arthur Moloney Alexander, High Sheriff, 1938, who married, in 1933, Laura Ina Madeline, daughter of Edward Fraser Lenox-Conyngham.

Major Alexander died without issue.

Portglenone House comprises a square, late-Georgian block of three storeys over a basement.

It was built in 1823 by the Rt Rev Nathaniel Alexander.

The house has a three-bay front, the central bay being recessed.

There is a fine classical hall, with a screen of columns separating it from the corridor and stairs.

The columns, subtle mushroom pink marble with stone capitals of Adam's "Dioclesian" order, were originally at Ballyscullion, along with some the the house's chimney-pieces.

In 1850, a wing was added by Nathaniel Alexander MP, containing a new staircase lit by a stained-glass dome.

The entrance front was also given a large porch and Ionic porte-cochere.

The main rooms were enhanced with cornices and heavy moulded door-cases in the form of aedicules.

Portglenone House was sold by Major Alexander in 1948 and is now part of Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey, run as a guest-house.
The guest house provides for those who wish to make private retreats, and can cater for groups who seek to make days of recollection. As such, it does not function as a B&B, nor as a half-board hotel. Guests are encouraged to enter into the silence and solitude which characterize the monastic life in this place, and to take the opportunity for spiritual renewal which is offered.
Portglenone House is set in parkland by the River Bann. An earlier house in the vicinity is recorded.

The present house now forms part of the Abbey, which also has further buildings added from 1962 in the grounds.

This includes the Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey ,which was built in 1948 to the designs of Patrick Murray.

Part of the gardens are private for the monks (the walled garden); parts are ornamental grounds for the Abbey; and parts are cultivated for organic vegetables.

There are mature trees in the remnants of former parkland, an ice house, the Bishop’s Well and two 19th century gate lodges.

Within the walls, part of the demesne is administered by DANI as a forest, which was planted from the 1950s. There is public access and paths are laid out.

In a glade in the forest there is a commemorative plot to Augustine Henry, who was reputedly born nearby.

It was laid out in 1969 with examples of some of the plants that he discovered or introduced from the far east.

First published in August, 2012.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Horse Island Day

I have spent most of the day working with five other volunteers at land owned by the National Trust beside Horse Island.

Horse Island is about two miles south of Kirkubbin on the Ards Peninsula, County Down.

The townland is called Rowreagh.

Horse Island is almost equidistant from Kircubbin and the Saltwater Brig bar and restaurant.

We spent the day picking two trailer-loads of ragwort.

This weed is relatively easy to uproot manually, though it can be stubborn on dry land.

One needs to persist for a few years and therafter most of it is eradicated.

We basked in the lovely sunshine at lunchtime, and I had cheese-and-onion sandwiches today.

The blackberries are early this year. I helped myself to quite a number of ripe ones.