Sunday, 23 November 2014

Lohort Castle

The ancient and illustrious house of PERCEVAL is supposed, by many suggestive circumstances, to take its origin from a younger branch of the sovereign Dukes of Brittany in France; out of which province they were transplanted to Normandy before its conquest, and were invested with the hereditary office of Chief Butlers of that duchy.
GEOFFREY I, Duke of Brittany, had a younger son,

ODO or EUDES, Viscount of Porhoet, at length Duke of Brittany, who a little before the Conquest left issue, by his wife Agnes, among other sons, one named

ROBERT, presumed the same with Robert, Lord of Yvery, the first of his family that settled in England upon the Norman conquest.


DAVID PERCEVAL, Lord of Twickenham, Rolleston, Somerset,
lineally descended from  who accompanied Ascelin Gouel de Perceval, who accompanied THE CONQUEROR to England, married Alice, daughter of Thomas Bythemore of Overwere.
Dying in 1534, he left issue,
James, dsp 1548;
GEORGE, of whom presently;
The second son,

GEORGE PERCEVAL (1561-1601), Lord of Twickenham, wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Bamfylde, of Poltimore, in Devon; and dying about 1601, left, with a daughter Elizabeth, a son,

who, having been educated at distinguished institutions, and through the influence of the Lord Treasurer, Burghley, that nobleman employed him in the management of those state affairs which required the greatest trust and secrecy.
This gentleman filled several important offices and, dying in 1620, was succeeded by his younger son, 

SIR PHILIP PERCEVAL (1605-47), knight,
a very distinguished statesman, who, having been actively employed in the government of Ireland for a series of years, obtained grants of forfeited lands there to the extent of 101,000 acres. 
His eldest son,

SIR JOHN PERCEVAL, knight, was created a baronet in 1661, by patent, containing this remarkable clause, that,
the eldest son, or grandson, shall exist a baronet, after the age of 21 years, at the same time with the father or grandfather.
His great-grandson,

THE RT HON SIR JOHN PERCEVAL, who, after becoming a privy counsellor, and sitting for several years in the Irish House of Commons, was elevated to the peerage of that kingdom, by patent, in 1715, as Baron Perceval.

In 1722, his lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, as Viscount Perceval, of County Cork, with the annual fee of twenty marks, payable out of the Exchequer, attached, to support the honour.

In 1732, this nobleman obtained a charter to colonise the province of Georgia, in America, and being nominated president thereof; and was further advanced, to the dignity of an earldom, in 1733, as EARL OF EGMONT.

LOHORT CASTLE is near Cecilstown, County Cork.

This historic castle is an impressive five-storey fortified tower with rounded corners, standing over eighty feet tall. The massive walls are ten feet thick at the base, narrowing to six feet.

Around the top storey there is a machicolated parapet that runs unbroken apart for a short section on the eastern side. There used to be a deep moat around the castle with a drawbridge.

The castle grounds cover more than one hundred acres.

Lohort Castle was built ca 1496 by Donogh Og McDonagh McCarthy. The castle was taken by the Irish forces during the civil war.

One of the bloodiest battles of the English civil war took place in the grounds of Lohort Castle in 1647, when over 4,500 men were killed in battle.

Lohort was bombarded by Oliver Cromwell's troops in 1650 and captured, but the castle withstood the cannon fire due to the immense strength of its thick walls.


The castle as it now stands was rebuilt ca 1750 by Sir John Perceval, 1st Earl of Egmont, and the Percivals lived there until the 20th century, when it was burnt by the IRA in 1922.

Some of the fireplaces from nearby Kanturk Castle appear to have been relocated to Lohort Castle; this was probably done when Lohort Castle was restored in the 18th century.

Lohort subsequently became the home of Sir Timothy O'Brien Bt, a well-known cricketer.

First published in August, 2012.   Egmont arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Corralejo Sculptures

There are two sculptures at the old quay, Corralejo.

Corralejo, Fuerteventura, remains essentially a fishing town, though tourism must be its principal source of income now.

The maritime heritage is reflected in these sculptures, of families whose fathers, husbands, sons, or brothers, put to a cruel sea to earn a living.

It reminds us of the hope and despair; the relief and heartbreak of fishermen's families.

El Molino del Rey


GARRETT COLLEY-WELLESLEY, 2nd Baron Mornington, was born in 1735.

His lordship was further advanced, in 1760 to the dignities of Viscount Mornington and EARL OF MORNINGTON.

In 1759 he married Anne, daughter of Arthur Hill, Viscount Dungannon, of Belvoir Park, Newtownbreda, County Down.

Lady Mornington subsequently enjoyed the multiplied glories and well-earned honours of her children. They had issue,

1.  RICHARD, 2nd Earl of Mornington and 1st Marquess Wellesley.

2.  Arthur Gerald, died in childhood.

3.  WILLIAM, Baron Maryborough.

4.  ARTHUR, Duke of Wellington KG etc.

and five other offspring.

Hailed as the conquering hero by the nation, Wellesley was created Marquess Douro and Duke of Wellington, titles still held by his successors.

As Sir Arthur did not return to England until the Peninsular War was over, he was awarded all his patents of nobility in a unique ceremony lasting a full day.:
  •  Baron Douro, 1809
  • Viscount Wellington, 1809
  • Earl and Marquess of Wellington, 1812
  • Marquess Douro and Duke of Wellington, 1814
  • Count of Vimeiro in Portugal, 1811
  • Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo, Grandee of Spain 1st Class (Grandeza de España,) 1812
  • Duke of Vittoria and Marquess of Torres Vedras in Portugal, 1812
  • Prince of Waterloo in the Netherlands, 1815
Although the Great Duke spent nearly six years driving the French Army from Spain and removing Joseph Bonaparte from the Spanish throne, he had received little recognition in Spain.

History, as taught in Spanish schools, minimizes His Grace's contribution and those of the British and Portuguese soldiers that fought with him.

Sir Arthur received some recognition during his lifetime (the title of Duque de Ciudad Rodrigo) and the King of Spain, Ferdinand VII, allowed him to keep part of the works of art from the Royal Collection which he had recovered from the French.

Arthur Charles Valerian Wellesley, styled Marquess of Douro, OBE, is the 10th Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo and is also heir to the 8th and present Duke of Wellington.

In addition, as a mark of gratefulness for Sir Arthur's service during the War of Independence against the Napoleonic occupation, the Government of Spain donated in perpetuity a country estate which was built at the beginning of the 19th century called “Prince of La Paz”, Manuel Godoy.

The property, also called “the Tower”, occupies all the old Low Meadow of Íllora, a large estate called El Molino del Rey [the King's Mill] which extends to about 12,000 acres.

Although the 1st Duke never visited the Molino del Rey estate, outside Íllora, near the south-western city of Granada, it was passed down to his heirs and is now the property of the 8th and present Duke, a close friend of HM The Queen. 

The estate is more frequently used these days by Lord Douro, son and heir of the present Duke and a close friend of the Prince of Wales, who has stayed there a number of times.

The principal seat of the Dukes of Wellington is Stratfield Saye House in Hampshire, given to the 1st Duke by a grateful Nation; while their London home remains Apsley House in Piccadilly.

Wellington arms courtesy of European Heraldry.First published in March, 2011.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Piazza Grande

had a bite of supper at an agreeable little Italian bistro or café called Piazza Grande last night.

It's located at the children's playground in Plaza de Los Niños, Corralejo.

There was intended to be a live musician, though inclement weather called that off.

So I ambled inside, took a pew, and ordered a G&T

The menu is on a blackboard.

In the interim the bar staff placed a complimentary plate of garlic pizza slices beside me.

After some perusal I went for Granny's Raviolacci, three very large pieces of pasta with salty, though tasty, bits of bacon, or its Italian equivalent, atop.

The nosebag was quivering with anticipation, given that I had a hearty appetite on this occasion.

I overheard two other diners inquiring as to the name of the red house wine, so it must have been acceptable to them.

The bill, including two Beefeater gins and another basket of garlic bread, came to €21.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Morning Constitutional

There have been thundery showers in Corralejo lately, I can declare! 

I find it agreeable to take a morning 'constitutional' down to the sea-front and past many of the small establishments bringing out their tables and chairs or their wares for sale.

En route for Belmont GHQ, I happened upon a small Italian café or bistro called Piazza Grande.

It's located at the town square.

They have several blackboards with the menu written in various languages.

Fresh pasta predominates; and prices are in the region of a mere €5 or €6.

Granny's cakes and Granny's ravioli with butter and Salvia (sage?) sounds tempting.

They have live musicians, too, dependant on the weather.

I think I'll try it this evening.

Sir Les!

This morning I fondly remember my old pal and associate Sir Leslie Colin Patterson.

I'd been recommended a dental supplier (!) by the former Australian Cultural Attaché to the Court of St James, Sir Les.

Sir Les and Timothy Belmont go back a long way, in fact.

I am firmly of the belief that Sir Les has been irreplaceable as Australia's cultural attaché.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Episcopal Mischief

Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and 48th Lord Bishop of Derry, was renowned for spending much of his time travelling abroad and little time in his diocese.

On one such occasion, when Lord Bristol had been absent from his See for over five years, three of his fellow bishops rebuked the Earl-Bishop for this.

The Bishop's reaction was typically offensive.

He placed three peas in an inflated bladder and posted it to none other than the Archbishop of Armagh, with the following riddle, signed "Bristol and Derry":
Three large bluebottles sat upon three blown bladders; Blow, bottle-flies, blow. Burst, blown bladders, burst.