Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Ballyscullion Park

THE BRUCE FAMILY, OF BALLYSCULLION PARK, OWNED 2,991 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY LONDONDERRY

This is a branch of the Bruces of Stenhouse, a suburb of Edinburgh, springing from,

SIR ROBERT BRUCE, of Airth, who wedded Janet, daughter of Alexander, 5th Lord Livingston, and had issue,
John (Sir), whose male line is extinct;
WILLIAM, ancestor of the baronets of Stenhouse; and
THE REV ROBERT BRUCE (1554-1631), a distinguished personage in the reign of JAMES VI, who had the honour of crowning that monarch's Queen.

A younger son of that eminent clergyman,

THE REV MICHAEL BRUCE, settled at Killinchy, in County Down, but was driven, with other ministers, thence into Scotland, in 1651, by Colonel Venables, and the parliamentarians, for his fidelity to the King.

In 1668 he was sent prisoner to Westminster, for officiating in private as a minister of the Gospel.

He returned to Killinchy, however, in 1669, after undergoing great hardships, and a long imprisonment in England and Scotland.

Mr Bruce died about 1692, leaving a son,

THE REV JAMES BRUCE, Minister of Killyleagh, who married Margaret, daughter of  Lieutenant-Colonel James Traill, and was father of

THE REV PATRICK BRUCE, Minister of Drumbo, County Down, who removed for a time to Scotland, and afterwards succeeded his father as minister of Killyleagh.

He wedded, in 1718, Margaret, daughter of James Hamilton, of Ladyland, in Galloway, and had several children, of whom the eldest son,

JAMES BRUCE, of Killyleagh, born in 1720, married Henrietta, youngest daughter of the Hon and Rev Henry Hervey Aston Bruce DD (4th son of 1st Earl of Bristol, by Catherine, sister and heiress of Sir Thomas Aston Bt), and had issue, 
THE REV HENRY HERVEY ASTON, his successor;
Stewart, created a baronet in 1812;
Frideswide, m, 1781, to D Mussenden, of Larchfield, Co Down.
Mr Bruce was succeeded by his elder son,

THE REV HENRY HERVEY ASTON BRUCE, of Downhill, County Londonderry, who was created a baronet in 1804.

Sir Henry espoused, in 1786, Letitia, daughter of the Rev Dr Henry Barnard, by whom he had,
Frederick Hervey, b 1787, died unmarried;
James Robertson, 2nd Baronet;
HENRY WILLIAM, of whom hereafter.
Sir Henry's third son,

ADMIRAL SIR HENRY WILLIAM BRUCE KCB (1792-1863), of Ballyscullion Park, married firstly, in 1822, Jane, daughter of Admiral the Hon Sir Alexander Forrester Cochrane, and by her had issue,
Alexander Hervey, an army officer;
HENRY STEWART BERESFORD.
He wedded secondly, in 1832, Louisa Mary Minchin, daughter of Colonel George Dalrymple, and had issue,
James Minchin, rear-admiral, RN
Admiral Bruce's second son, 

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL HENRY STEWART BERESFORD BRUCE JP DL (1824-1908), of Ballyscullion Park, espoused firstly, in 1846, Marriette, daughter of John Hill, and by her had seven sons and four daughters.

The third son,

STEWART ARMIT MacDONALD BRUCE JP (1858-1937), was of Ballyscullion Park.

*****
THE MULHOLLANDS are a branch of the ancient sept of MacLallan, in Argyllshire.

They were first established in County Antrim, whence they spread into the counties of Kilkenny, Carlow, Londonderry, and Monaghan.

In the last-named county, Captain John Mulhollan held the estate of Conaghty by grant from the Crown; and his lineal descendant, John Mulhollan, served as High Sheriff in 1766.

ANDREW MULHOLLAND JP DL (1792-1866), of Springvale (Ballywalter Park), County Down, was the son of Thomas Mulholland (1756-1820), of Belfast.

THE RT HON HENRY GEORGE HILL MULHOLLAND (1888-1971), was the third son of Henry, 2nd Baron Dunleath, and Norah Louisa Fanny Ward.

He served as MP for Ards and was Speaker of the NI House of Commons, Stormont.

In 1945, Mr Mulholland was created a baronet, of Ballyscullion Park, County Londonderry.

Sir Harry married, in 1914, Sheelagh, daughter of Sir Arthur Douglas Brooke Bt, and by her had issue,
Michael Henry, 2nd Baronet and 5th Baron Dunleath;
SYLVIA PATRICIA NORAH, of whom we treat.
Sir Harry's only daughter,

SYLVIA PATRICIA NORAH MULHOLLAND (b 1918), wedded, in 1939, Major Timothy Palmer; and had issue,
Amanda Clare, b 1950;
RICHARD TIMOTHY MULHOLLAND.
RICHARD TIMOTHY MULHOLLAND PALMER (b 1954), now of Ballyscullion Park.



BALLYSCULLION PARK, near Bellaghy, County Londonderry, is a two-storey, five-bay Victorian country house.

It was built in 1840 by the distinguished architect (Sir) Charles Lanyon for Admiral Sir Henry William Bruce KCB, a younger son of Sir Henry Hervey Bruce Bt (1820-1907).

Stones were taken from the Earl-Bishop’s palaces at Downhill and Ballyscullion to build Ballyscullion Park.

The front portico has four columns (two square, two round) with pilaster Tuscan capitals, supporting a frieze with triglyph & mutule, deep cornice and blocked parapet.


There are ashlar steps and side blocks; deep overhanging eaves and pitched roofs.

The northern elevation was formerly glassed in.

Ballyscullion Park remained in the Bruce family until it was bought by Sir Henry and Lady Mulholland in 1938.

Sir Henry, 1st Baronet, was Speaker of the Northern Ireland House of Commons from 1929 to 1945.

During the 2nd World War the estate, renamed Camp Ballyscullion, was prepared by the 202nd Engineering Combat Battalion for US soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division before D-Day.

Ballyscullion Park remains a private home owned by the Mulholland family.

It may be hired as a wedding venue or film location: part of Game of Thrones was filmed in the park.

This partly walled demesne was established in 1787 for Frederick, 4th Earl of Bristol and Lord Bishop of Derry, commonly known as The Earl-Bishop.

That palatial country house was sadly was never completed, though the central rotunda (a prototype for the considerably larger Ickworth House) was finished.

Remnants of what was once known as "The Bishop's Folly" lie in the woodland, having been partly demolished in 1813.

Nearby stands the present Ballyscullion Park, which overlooks Lough Beg and distant mountains beyond, affording fine views and incorporating the spire of a church on an island in the lough.

This was added as a folly tower in order to provide an eye-catcher from the original palace.

The Earl-Bishop chose this location for his late 18th century building as he considered it, ‘... not to be inferior to any Italian scenery’.

The foreground to the lough is in the manner of parkland with stands of trees.

There are effective shelter belts in what is flat exposed land.

Close to the stable-yard lies the partly walled garden, which is cultivated as an ornamental and productive garden for present-day family use.

First published in December, 2014.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Barmeath Castle

THE BARONS BELLEW WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY LOUTH, WITH 4,110 ACRES


This very ancient family, of Norman descent, is supposed to have been founded in England by a marshal in the army of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

It was amongst the first Anglo-Norman settlers in Ireland, and it always enjoyed distinction and opulence.

Of this name, so greatly celebrated in the military annals of the middle ages, have been reckoned eighteen knights-banneret in succession; and the rolls of parliament, in both Ireland and England, produced several peers of the same distinguished lineage, whose honours, either through failure of issue, or attainder in the civil wars, have, in common with other redoubtable houses, become extinct.

A branch of the family accompanied Richard, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (commonly called Strongbow) into Ireland; and we find one of the name wedded to the daughter of Hugh De Lacy, the younger.

The Most Noble Order of the Garter being extended to Ireland, Richard Bellew was, in 1439, elected to that honour; and, in 1686, the Irish peerage of the family was revived by the title of Baron Bellew of Duleek.


IN 1639,

SIR JOHN BELLEW, Knight, of Willistown, MP for County Louth, 1639, married Mary, daughter of Robert Dillon, of Clonbrock, County Galway, and had issue,
PATRICK, his successor;
CHRISTOPHER, of Mount Bellew;
Mary.
The elder son,

PATRICK BELLEW, of Barmeath, or Bellew Mount, High Sheriff of County Louth, 1687, wedded Miss Barnewall, sister of Sir Patrick Barnewall Bt, of Crickstown Castle, and had five sons and six daughters.

He was created a baronet in 1688.

Sir Patrick died in 1716, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN BELLEW (c1660-1734), 2nd Baronet, of Barmeath, County Louth, and Castle Bellew, County Galway, who espoused firstly, in 1685, Mary, daughter of Edward Taylor, and eventually heiress of her brother, Nicholas Taylor, by whom he had three sons and an only daughter.

He married secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Curling, storekeeper of Londonderry during the memorable siege of that city, by whom he seven sons and three daughters.

Sir John was succeeded by his second and eldest surviving son,

SIR EDWARD BELLEW (c1695-1741), 3rd Baronet, who wedded Eleanor, eldest daughter and co-heir of Michael Moore, of Drogheda, and had issue,
Michael;
JOHN, his successor;
PATRICK, succeeded his brother.
Sir Edward was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR JOHN BELLEW (1728-50), 4th Baronet, at whose decease (of smallpox) unmarried, the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR PATRICK BELLEW (c1735-95), 5th Baronet, who espoused Mary, daughter and co-heiress of Matthew Hore, of Shandon, County Waterford, and had, with two daughters, nine sons, of whom,

SIR EDWARD BELLEW (c1760-1827), 6th Baronet, married, in 1786, Mary Anne, daughter and sole heir of Richard Strange, of Rockwell Castle, County Kilkenny, and had issue,

THE RT HON SIR PATRICK BELLEW (1798-1866), 7th Baronet, High Sheriff of Louth, 1831, MP for Louth, 1831-37, Lord-Lieutenant of Louth,1831-66, Privy Counsellor,1838, wedded, in 1829, Anna Fermina, daughter of Admiral Don José Maria de-Mendoza-y-Rios, of Seville, Spain, and had issue,
EDWARD JOSEPH, his successor;
Frances Mary; Annabella Mary;
Ismay Louisa Ursula; Fermina Maria Magdalena.
Sir Patrick was elevated to the peerage, in 1848, as BARON BELLEW, of Barmeath, County Louth.

His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

EDWARD JOSEPH, 2nd Baron (1830-95), High Sheriff of Louth, 1854, Major, the Louth Militia, who wedded, in 1853, Augusta Mary, only daughter and heiress of Colonel George Bryan MP, of Jenkinstown, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
Patrick George, 1853-74;
CHARLES BERTRAM, 3rd Baron;
GEORGE LEOPOLD BRYAN, 4th Baron;
Richard Eustace, father of 5th and 6th Barons.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

CHARLES BERTRAM, 3rd Baron (1855-1911), High Sheriff of County Louth, 1875, Lord-Lieutenant of County Louth, 1898-1911, who espoused, in 1883, Mildred Mary Josephine, eldest daughter of Sir Humphrey de Trafford Bt, of Trafford Park, Lancashire.

His lordship died without issue, when the family honours devolved upon his next brother,

GEORGE LEOPOLD BRYAN, 4th Baron (1857-1935), High Sheriff of Louth, 1902, who married, in 1927, Elaine Carlisle, daughter of John Benjamin Leach, of Queenstown, South Africa, but died without issue and was succeeded by his nephew,

EDWARD HENRY, 5th Baron (1889-1975), MBE, who wedded, in 1912, Barbara Helen Mary, only daughter of Sir Henry Farnham Burke, KCVO, CB, Garter Principal King of Arms, but died without issue, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

BRYAN BERTRAM, 6th Baron (1890-1981), MC, who wedded, in 1918, Jeannie Ellen Agnes, only daughter of James Orsby Jameson, of Dolland, Clonsilla, County Dublin, and had issue,

JAMES BRYAN, 7th Baron (1920-2010), Captain, Irish Guards, who espoused firstly, in 1942, Mary Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Rev Edward Eustace Hill, of Chestnuts, West Malling, Kent, and had issue,
BRYAN EDWARD, his successor;
Christopher James;
Angela Mary.
His lordship married secondly, in 1978, Gwendoline, daughter of Charles Redmond Clayton-Daubeny, of Bridgwater, Somerset, and Bihar, India.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

BRYAN EDWARD, 8th and present Baron (b 1943), Major (retired), Irish Guards, who wedded, in 1968, Rosemary Sarah, eldest daughter of Major Reginald Kilner Brasier Hitchcock, of Meers Court, Mayfield, Sussex, and had issue,
Patrick Edward, 1969-97;
ANTHONY RICHARD BROOKE, b 1972.


BARMEATH CASTLE, near Dunleer, is one of County Louth's most outstanding country houses.

The Bellew family have lived here since the 12th century.

The Castle has manifested the changing fortunes of the family: The exuberantly crenellated façade of the 1830s and the designs of Thomas Smith contribute to its appeal and the survival of some of the earlier fabric contributes to its archaeological and historical merit.

Originally the site of a medieval castle of the Pale, it was enlarged in the mid-18th century into a Georgian residence.

At this stage it was a plain three storey, seven bay, double gable-ended house.

In 1839 it was enlarged and castellated to the designs of either John B Keane or Thomas Smith.

What was formerly the entrance front, gained two corner round towers and became the garden front.

To one end of the side elevation, a new entrance was created with a Romanesque arch and a square entrance tower, which acted as a porte-cochère.

On the other side, a long wing with turrets and castellation was added to create a courtyard.

The original Georgian façade is still very obvious, especially on the garden front (above).

The interior is intact Georgian with fine plasterwork and a staircase.

One of the upstairs rooms features Masonic emblems and was built for the purpose of lodge meetings.

The ornamental river, designed by Thomas Wright, along with the outbuildings and paired gate lodges, add to the overall original site context.

First published in October, 2012.

Monday, 5 December 2016

The Barbour Baronetcy

THE BARBOUR BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1943 FOR THE RT HON JOHN MILNE BARBOUR JP DL MP

JOHN BARBOUR (1755-1825),  appointed Honorary Freeman of the borough of Paisley in 1811, married and had issue,

WILLIAM BARBOUR JP (1798-1825), of Hilden, Lisburn, who wedded Elizabeth Kennedy, of Grove Green, Lisburn.

His son,

JOHN DOUGHERTY BARBOUR JP DL (1823-1901), of Conway, Dunmurry, County Antrim, and of Hilden, Leamington, Warwickshire, and of Wrentnall, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, espoused, in 1864, Elizabeth Law, eldest daughter of John Milne, of Trinity Grove, Edinburgh.

His eldest son,

THE RT HON JOHN MILNE BARBOUR JP DL MP (1868-1951), of Hilden, County Antrim, was created a baronet in 1943.

Sir Milne was appointed a Privy Counsellor (NI) in 1925.
His father, John Doherty Barbour, who was Chairman of the William Barbour Linen Thread Company of Hilden, the largest linen thread manufacturers in the world for over twenty years; and he succeeded his father as Chairman for thirty years.
Sir Milne married Elise Barbour, a distant cousin from the USA, in 1899.

Lady Barbour was born in Paterson, New Jersey, USA in 1873 and died at Conway House, Dunmurry, in 1910.

In her short life she had three daughters and one son, John, who went missing when flying home over the Irish Sea one weekend just before the 2nd World War in 1937.

John worked at the Barbour factory in Glasgow and flew home most weekends.

Sir Milne's sister, Helen, married Thomas Andrews, the designer of RMS Titanic, who was drowned when the ship hit an iceberg and sank in 1912.

She later married Henry Harland of Harland & Wolff.

As an MP at Stormont, Sir Milne held various Ministries including Commerce (1925-41) and Finance (1941-43).

As well as being Chairman of the largest linen thread company in the world, whose head office was at Lisburn, the company had factories in Glasgow, Paisley and other places.

He was also Chairman of various other businesses including Insurance Companies, and was President of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society.

Sir Milne was a keen freemason, being appointed Grand King of the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Ireland in 1933.

The Barbours lived in some style at Conway House, Dunmurry, and were very generous benefactors to charities.

Conway House became a hotel after Sir Milne's death in 1951 and has since been demolished.
The Barbours were connected to many local families, including the Harlands and Pirries of Harland and Wolff; the Duffins of Danesfort; the Andrews' of Comber; the McCances of Woodburn; the Gordons of Lisburn; and the Carsons of Cherryvalley, whose daughter Kerry married Dr Ian Adamson, a former Lord Mayor of Belfast. The paving, in Irish marble, of the central aisle in the nave of Belfast Cathedral was laid in memory of Elise, Lady Barbour, by her husband, Sir Milne, and their children.
The baronetcy became extinct when Sir Milne died in 1951.

Conway House

In 1852, William Charley, who had succeeded to the Seymour Hill estate, gave some land to his younger brother Edward (1827 -68), to build a house for his first wife Mary (née Caldecott) (1834-54) from Essex.

Edward named it Conway House after the local landowner, Lord Hertford, one of whose titles was Lord Conway.

His first wife, Mary, died in 1854 and, two yeas later, he married Jane (née Richardson,1829-1906) from Lambeg.

When Edward died in 1868 she lived at Conway House with her four children and one stepdaughter until 1877.

The house was then occupied until his death by Bishop Reeves; and then, in 1892, it was sold by the executors of Edward's brother, William Charley, to John D. Barbour of Hilden, the father of Sir Milne Barbour Bt.

Sir Milne lived at Conway for many years until he died in 1951.

At one time the Charley crest adorned the front porch.

First published in May, 2010.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Rosslea Manor

THE MADDENS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY FERMANAGH, WITH 10,498 ACRES

The name MADDEN or O'MADDEN is among those which claim descent from the Milesian colonizers of Ireland.

THOMAS MADDEN, of Bagottsrath, near Dublin, comptroller to Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, Lord Deputy of Ireland, was eldest son of John Madden, of Bloxham Beauchamp, Oxfordshire, and brother of Robert Madden, of Donore, County Dublin, ancestor of the Maddens of Meadesbrook, and, in the female line, of Oliver Goldsmith, the poet.

He married Elizabeth, heiress of William Pettiver, of Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire.

This gentleman died in 1640, leaving his eldest son,

JOHN MADDEN (1598-1661), of Maddentown, County Kildare, and Enfield, Middlesex, one of the attorneys of His Majesty's Court of Castle Chamber, and general solicitor for parliamentary sequestrations, 1644-49.

Mr Madden espoused, in 1635, Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Charles Waterhouse, of Manor Waterhouse, County Fermanagh.

He was succeeded by his second son,

DR JOHN MADDEN (1648-1703), of Manor Waterhouse, County Fermanagh,  who wedded firstly, in 1680, Mary, daughter of Samuel Molyneux, of Castle Dillon, County Armagh; and secondly, Frances, daughter of Nicholas Bolton, of Brazeel, County Dublin.

Dr Madden was succeeded by his son (by his first wife),

THE REV SAMUEL MADDEN DD (1686-1765), of Manor Waterhouse, Rector of Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, who was one of the founders of the Dublin Society, and a great benefactor to his country, known in the family as "Premium Madden".

Dr Madden, who married Jane Magill, of Kirkstown, County Armagh, was succeeded by his third son,

JOHN MADDEN, of Maddenstown, County Monaghan, who wedded, in 1752, Anne, daughter of Robert Cope MP, of Loughgall, County Armagh.

He died in 1791, having had, with four daughters, a son,

SAMUEL MADDEN (1756-1814), of Maddenstown, now Hilton, County Monaghan, Lieutenant-Colonel, Monaghan Militia, who married Katherine, daughter and heiress of the Rev Charles Dudley Ryder, and granddaughter of the Most Rev John Ryder, Lord Archbishop of Tuam.

Colonel Madden left issue,
John, of Hilton Park;
CHARLES DUDLEY, of whom we treat;
Catherine; Anne; Charlotte; Maria Alicia.
Colonel Madden's younger son,

CHARLES DUDLEY MADDEN (1784-1827), Lieutenant, 4th Dragoons, wedded Harriet, daughter of the Rev Michael Baxter; and had issue,
Edward, lieutenant, 1st Dragoons; died at Berne, 1842;
JOHN, of Rosslea Manor;
Harriet, m to the Rev J Gabbett;
Catherine, m to C Ensor.
The eldest surviving son,

JOHN MADDEN JP DL (1819-), of Rosslea Manor, County Fermanagh, High Sheriff, 1848, Lieutenant, 41st Regiment, married, in 1847, Clara Elizabeth, second daughter of the Rev J Spencer Knox (eldest son of the Rt Rev and Hon William Knox, Lord Bishop of Derry), and had issue,
CHARLES DUDLEY, b 1851;
Walter Wilmot, b 1853;
John Beresford, b 1855;
Clara Kathleen; Isobel Christina; Alice Wilmot.

ROSSLEA MANOR or Spring Grove, County Fermanagh, was a Georgian mansion of two storeys over a basement.

It was enlarged and altered in the mid-19th century by John Madden, when a third storey was added as well as a substantial single-storey wing.

This wing contained a dining-hall, which doubled up as a ballroom 90 feet long.

The house was destroyed by accidental fire in 1885.

*****

TODAY the stable-yard is privately owned and well maintained.

The central section is of five bays and two storeys, the central bay breaking forward and surmounted by a bell cote, beneath which is a half-lunette window.

On either side, single-storey extensions, each with a central, tall, square lantern.

On one side of the yard is a two-storey, three-bay house with a large one-storey projection at the front containing the entrance door.

This building is adjacent to the site of the Manor House (now a field within the woods).

The walled garden - interior a jungle - remains: It measures, by estimation, 70 by 150 feet.

Very few trees of interest remain: Three old larch, one now dead; several Irish yew; a monkey puzzle; and a small number of beech and oak.

If there are exotics, they're well hidden.


The Maddens left Rosslea Manor and went to live in Aghafin House, between Clones and Roslea; and they then emigrated to New Zealand where the last of the male line, Ian Beresford Madden, died in Auckland about 2009.  

Two spinster sisters continued living at Aghafin until the last one died in 1942.

Originally the Roslea estate was acquired by the Rev Samuel Madden DD, of Manor Waterhouse, for his fourth son, Edward, who married Charlotte Crichton. 

They had no children and the property was then left to the oldest surviving branch, the Hilton Park Maddens, who subsequently passed it to Colonel Samuel Madden’s second son, Edward’s great- nephew, Charles Dudley Madden.

The late Ian Madden, of Auckland, was a considerable family historian and left diaries, albums and other family records to the Harrowby Manuscript Trust, Sandon Hall, Staffordshire.

Eventually John Madden died in 1903, aged 83.

He is buried in Clogh graveyard.

At his funeral four horses drew the hearse and six chosen Royal Irish Constabulary officers acted as pall-bearers. 

The family lingered on until 1940 when the last local member of the Madden family, Miss Isobel Madden, died.  

The gutted remains of Rosslea Manor were demolished in 1914, what was left being converted for use by the Forestry Service.

The estate remained in the ownership of the Madden family till the 1930s, when some of it was sold; further sales taking place from 1942 onwards.

The stable block survives. The estate at one time boasted ornamental gardens.

Exotic trees still feature and the walled garden is intact. There are stands of mature hardwood.

Part of the importance of this site today is its proximity to Rosslea village.

Woodland walks can be enjoyed along the meandering River Finn.

There were formerly fine views from Island Hill, where stands a ruined garden building.

A Georgian-Gothic gate lodge has since been demolished.

Rosslea Manor belonged to a cadet branch of the family, having been built for the youngest son.

A reader has very kindly sent me further information about the estate, which was surveyed and mapped in 1777. below are observations made at the time:


The Manor of Slutmulrooney is situated four miles north of Clones, a Market Town. It is in general an indifferent tract of ground being for the most part a cold light soil and subject to floods. 

A multitude of lakes and rivulets deriving from the mountains form and empty themselves into one principal river which for want of an adequate fall rises at successive rains and overflows all the adjacent parts. 

The meadowing throughout this Manor is poor, scarce and precarious insomuch that in many farms the cattle are obliged to feed upon oat straw during the winter months.

Husbandry throughout this entire Manor is low and dispirited. Lime tho’ convenient as to its situation is not used here for manure. 


The tenants, some because of the uncertainty of their tenure and others by poverty, are disheartened from attempting the expense of cutting drains which should be deep and numerous. Even where the ground is occupied by the plough, oats are almost the only grain produced. 

In some parts there are small quantities of barley but as for wheat or any species of winter corn they are utterly unknown. 

Tillage is exceedingly tedious and laborious, the Husband-men being by reason of the wetness of the soil forced to substitute the spade for the plough and are also frequently necessitated to cover the seed with a hand rake. 

The rents appear to be chiefly made up by flax and yarn, indeed the inhabitants of the mountains are said to experience some little help from a produce of butter in the summer season.

Mr. Madden has been very active towards the encouragement of agriculture and improvement of the Estate. 


Besides a new road of about three miles which opens up communication with the high road to Clones about five miles distant, he has at a very considerable expense built a bridge over the River. 

The number of bogs in the country are superfluous and they are in general adjoining loughs and their surface rising no higher than that of the water, without any inclination or fall to assist their draining, the reclaiming of them appears impracticable.’

About Spring Grove demesne: ‘Mr. Madden has built an exceeding good house on his demesne with suitable offices, etc. 
The land has at great expense been well improved, planted and divided, being naturally wet, poor and scrubby. It is at this moment however a most agreeable country residence.’

Comments on the deer park: ‘Mr. Madden has enclosed this park at a very great expense with a stone wall. It is entirely pasture or very wet, coarse and poor. It produces only some scrub and bad bottom and is wholly occupied by deer.’
The Maddens live today at their ancestral home, Hilton Park, near Clones, County Monaghan.

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has the Madden Papers in its custody.

First published in January, 2010.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Belmont Thumbstick

One of Sir Max Hastings' favourite pieces of kit happens to be his treasured thumbstick, and I can now proudly say that I am the owner of one myself.

A pal and follower of the blog, Stephen, most generously offered to make me a thumbstick several months ago, following my tweet about Sir Max's walking-stick.


Accordingly, I decided to mark the occasion with dinner at Deane's Love Fish restaurant in Howard Street, Belfast, last night.

Coincidentally it also happened to be the ninth anniversary of my blog.


I arrived slightly early, so I was shown to the champagne bar (which happens to be adjacent to Deane's Eipic, recently awarded one Michelin Star.

I had time for a few refreshers, viz. a Tanqueray Ten, Shortcross, and a Swedish number called Hernö (I think).


When Stephen arrived he gave me my handsome new thumbstick, made mainly of chestnut wood and antler.


It also has a distinctive, engraved, sterling silver collar.

I can only imagine the amount of time that Stephen spent on such a beautiful item; such craftsmanship.

At length we were shown to our table at Love Fish, where I had the Crevettes, Garlic butter and Sourdough starter.

I enjoyed it: Juicy, large prawns; rich butter; and a thin slice of bread.

Michael Deane was there in person last night, too.


I had Seafood Pie for my main course; while Stephen had the Galloper's Beer-battered Haddock, Mushy Peas, Tartare Sauce, and Chips.

The ambiance at Deane's is cheerful and jolly, and the staff are all very attentive and eager to please.

In fact Michael Deane was there himself last night.

1st Duke of Montrose

THE DUKES OF MONTROSE WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN STIRLINGSHIRE, WITH 68,565 ACRES


According to the Scottish historians, this ducal family is as ancient as the restoration of the monarchy of Scotland, by FERGUS II; and by the same authority, it derives its origin from the renowned GRÆME, who governed that kingdom during the minority of FERGUS's grandson, EUGENE II, which monarch's reign commenced in the early part of the 5th century.

It is certain, however, that no family of Scotland can boast of greater antiquity.

SIR DAVID GRAHAM, Knight, of Old Montrose, Forfarshire, a personage remarkable for patriotism and valour, was one of the Scottish barons employed to negotiate the ransom of DAVID II of Scotland, made prisoner at the battle of Durham in 1346; and Sir David's son,

SIR PATRICK GRAHAM, Lord of Dundaff and Kincardine, became one of the hostages by which the release of the Scottish king was eventually accomplished.

His eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM GRAHAM, of Kincardine, married and was succeeded by his grandson,

PATRICK GRAHAM, of Kincardine, who having been appointed one of the lords of the Regency during the minority of JAMES II of Scotland, was made a lord of parliament about 1445, by the title of Lord Graham.

His lordship died in 1465, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 2nd Lord; who had a safe conduct to go into England, or to pass through it into foreign parts, in 1466.

His lordship wedded Lady Anne Douglas, daughter of George, 4th Earl of Angus, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1472, by his elder son,

WILLIAM (1464-1513), 3rd Lord, who was raised to the dignity of Earl of Montrose, 1504-5, in consideration of the gallantry he had displayed at the battle of Saunchyburn, in 1488, wherein his royal master, JAMES III, lost his life.

His lordship fell, with JAMES IV, at Flodden Field, in 1513, and was succeeded by his only son by his first wife, Annabella, daughter of John, Lord Drummond,

WILLIAM (1492-1571), 2nd Earl.

This nobleman was one of the peers to whom John, Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland in the minority of JAMES V, committed the tuition of the young prince during his own absence in France, in 1523.

His lordship was succeeded at his decease by his grandson,

JOHN (1548-1608), 3rd Earl, who, on the fall of the Earl of Gowrie, the Lord Treasurer, in 1582, obtained the White Staff, which he soon after surrendered to Sir Thomas Lyon, of Auldbar.

He was appointed Chancellor in 1598-9, and held the seals until 1604, when it was required that the Chancellor should be a lawyer.

His lordship was then constituted Viceroy of Scotland, by virtue of which high office he presided in the parliament of Perth, in 1606, when the episcopal government was restored to the Church.

His eldest son,

JOHN, 4th Earl, was appointed President of the Council in Scotland in 1626; and dying in the same year, was succeeded by his only son by his wife, Lady Margaret Ruthven, eldest daughter of William, 1st Earl of Gowrie,

JAMES, 5th Earl.

This nobleman took a distinguished part, in the first instance, on the side of the covenanters, and afterwards, during the civil wars, on that of his ill-fated sovereign, CHARLES I, and became one of the most illustrious heroes of the age.

He was created Marquess of Montrose in 1644, and constituted Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief of all the forces to be raised in Scotland for His Majesty's service.

In 1650, however, during a military attack, he was made prisoner at the house of MacLeod, by whom he was betrayed; whence he was led captive to Edinburgh, and there executed upon a gallows, thirty feet high, in 1650.

His only surviving son,

JAMES, 2nd Marquess, called "The Good", who was restored to his estates and honours at the return of CHARLES II, married and had issue, his son,

JAMES, 3rd Marquess, whose only son,

JAMES (1682-1742), 4th Marquess, KG,  was installed a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in 1705; and created, in 1707, DUKE OF MONTROSE.
Other titles (Lord Graham & 2nd Duke onwards): Earl Graham and Baron Graham (1722)
The heir apparent is James Graham, styled Marquess of Graham (b 1973), elder son of the 8th Duke.

BUCHANAN CASTLE, near Drymen, Stirlingshire, was the seat of the Dukes of Montrose.

The estate was in the possession of the Buchanan family from at least 1231, but the family line failed in 1682.

Buchanan was bought by James, 3rd Marquess of Montrose, whose son became the 1st Duke of Montrose in 1707.

The architect William Adam prepared designs for the house and parklands in 1745.

In 1790, William Henry Playfair was commissioned by the 3rd Duke to design alterations to the house.

The 4th Duke and Duchess raised and trained racehorses on the estate in the 19th century.

The old house was destroyed in a fire of 1850, and the 4th Duke commissioned William Burn to replace it.

Burn designed an extravagant manor in the Scottish baronial style, enclosing an L-plan tower in a clutch of turrets, bartizans and stepped gables.

The Dukes of Montrose remained at Buchanan until 1925, when it was sold.

In the 1930s the house opened as a hotel, and the golf course was established in the grounds.

Plans for residential development on the estate were delayed by the outbreak of the 2nd World War, during which period the house was requisitioned.

It was used as a hospital during the war, with patients including Rudolf Hess, who was brought here after his flight to Scotland in 1941.

After the war, the building served briefly as the Army School of Education.


The roof was removed in 1954 and outlying parts of the building were demolished.

A number of residential buildings were subsequently built in the castle gardens and grounds.

Proposals were put forward for redevelopment of the house as flats in 2002 and 2004, though both applications were refused planning permission.

The walls of the house remain intact to their full height and are considered to be in good condition.

The ruins are progressively engulfed by trees and plants, and surrounded by a perimeter fence.

First published in January, 2014.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Noble of Glassdrummond

THE NOBLES OWNED 824 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY FERMANAGH

JAMES NOBLE, of Glassdrummond, whose arms were "or, two lions passant in pale sable between two flaunches azure, over all on a fesse gules, three bezants", died in 1720, leaving issue, amongst others,
MUNGO, of whom presently;
James, of Clontivern.
The elder son,

MUNGO NOBLE, married firstly, in 1725, Prudence, daughter of Patrick Bredin, of Drumcagh, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
JAMES, of whom presently;
Jerome, an officer in the army;
Susanna; Jane.
Mungo Noble wedded secondly, in 1741, Mary, daughter of the Rev William Leslie, of Aghavea, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
William (Rev), Vicar of Holy Trinity, Cork;
Mungo, East India Company;
Letitia.
Mr Noble died in 1754, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES NOBLE (1727-80), of Glassdrummond, High Sheriff, 1755, who espoused, in 1755, Catherine, eldest daughter of WILLIAM WALLER, of Allenstown, County Meath, and eventually heiress in her issue to Waller of Allenstown.

She died in 1791, having had issue, four sons and five daughters, namely,
MUNGO HENRY, of whom hereafter;
William James;
James;
Robert Thomas;
Anna Maria; Susan; Leonora; Prudence; Mary Martha.
Mr Noble was succeeded by his eldest and only surviving son,

THE REV MUNGO HENRY NOBLE (1759-1831), of Glassdrummond, Rector of Clongill, County Meath, who married, in 1794, Maria, only child of the Rt Hon and Most Rev Dr William Newcome, Lord Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, by his first wife, Susanna, only surviving child and heiress of Sir Thomas D'Oyly Bt, of Chiselhampton, Oxfordshire.

On the death, in 1733, of her grand-uncle, the Rev Sir John D'Oyly, 4th Baronet, the late heir male, Miss Newcome became ex parte materna, sole heir-general to D'Oyly of Chiselhampton.

On the death of Robert Waller in 1809, the property of Allenstown, County Meath, devolved upon the Rev Mungo Henry Noble, in right of his mother, Catherine Waller, whereupon he assumed the arms and surname of WALLER in addition to those of NOBLE.

By his wife, Maria Newcome, Mungo Henry Noble Waller had issue,
William Henry, of Allenstown;
ROBERT, of whom presently;
James;
Mungo;
Mungo;
John (Rev);
Susanna; Maria.
Mungo Henry Noble Waller was succeeded in his Fermanagh property by his second son,

THE REV ROBERT NOBLE (1796-1870), of Glassdrummond, Rector and Vicar of the united parishes of Athboy, Kildalky, Girley, Rathmore, and Moyagher, County Meath, who wedded, in 1833, Catherine, eldest daughter of the Rev James Annesley Burrowes, Rector of Castleconnor, County Sligo, by his wife, Catherine Stock, daughter of the Rt Rev Joseph Stock, Lord Bishop of Killala, and had issue,
WILLIAM HENRY, of whom presently;
John D'Oyly;
James Burrowes;
Edwin St George;
Robert D'Oyly;
Arthur Annesley Burrowes;
Ernest Newcome;
Shirley Waller;
Helen Catherine; Emily Mary; Maria Louisa.
The Rev Robert Noble was succeeded by his eldest son,

MAJOR-GENERAL WILLIAM HENRY NOBLE (1834-92), of Glassdrummond, who wedded, in 1861, Emily, eldest daughter of Frederick Marriott, of Taunton, Somerset, by his wife, Mary Anne, only daughter and heiress of Francis Gibbons, of Wellingborough, and had issue,
SHIRLEY NEWCOME, his heir;
Vere D'Oyly;
Mawde Lettice; Ethel Emily D'Oyly; Violet Alice Agnes;
Phyllis D'Oyly; Sybil Cholmley Waller.
General Noble was succeeded by his eldest son,

SHIRLEY NEWCOME NOBLE (1865-1920), of Glassdrummond, Lieutenant, 5th Battalion, Leinster Regiment.