Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Langford Baronetcy

Arms of the 1st Baron Langford

The family of LANGFORD was once prominent in the borough of Carrickfergus, County Antrim, and had formerly considerable property in the town's corporation.

Both Sir Roger Langford and Sir Hercules Langford were mayors of Carrickfergus in 1614, 1615, 1623, 1631, and 1639.

Captain Roger Langford, sometime joint governor of Carrickfergus, commanded 100 foot-soldiers at Carrickfergus in 1603.

He was granted the abbey and lands of Muckamore in 1621; and we find 

HERCULES LANGFORD (c1625-83), another of the family, began to build a castle in the town, which was called by the family name, and was completed in the early 17th century.

This gentleman was created a baronet, in 1661, of Kilmackedrett, County Londonderry, and of Summer Hill, County Meath; and was high sheriff of County Antrim, 1661. 

This gentleman was created a baronet in 1667.

Sir Hercules married Mary, daughter of Henry Upton, of Castle Upton, County Antrim, MP for Carrickfergus, and had issue, Arthur, Henry, Theophilus, Mary and Martha. 

MARY LANGFORD was the wife of Sir John Rowley MP, ancestor of Lord Langford. Their grandson, Hercules Langford Rowley, married Elizabeth Upton, who was created Viscountess Langford in 1766. Their daughter, the Hon Jane Rowley, married Thomas Taylour, 1st Earl of Bective. Lord and Lady Bective's fourth son was created Baron Langford in 1800. 
Sir Hercules died in 1683 and was buried at St Michan's Church, Dublin; when the Summer Hill estate devolved upon Lady Rowley.  

Bishop Henry Jones (Lord Bishop of Meath, 1661-82) sold Summerhill in County Meath and many other townlands to Sir Hercules Langford.

Sir Hercules' eldest son, 

, 2nd Baronet (c1652-1716), was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and admitted to Lincoln's Inn, London, in 1671.
He was said to be a fervent Presbyterian and gave funds to the Church in Dublin. He leased Rahinstown in 1691 to Thomas Bomford. Sir Arthur was MP for County Antrim in 1715. 

Sir Arthur was succeeded by his younger brother,

SIR HENRY LANGFORD, 3rd Baronet (ca 1656-1725), above, who possessed estates in Devon at Bradninch, and Combsatchfield, near Silverton.

Sir Henry acquired Barton Hall estate, near Torquay, in 1710. 

He was the third sheriff of Devon and a judge at Greys Inn, London.

In 1710, he bought the manor of Kingskerswell, and bequeathed all his estates to his godson, Thomas Brown, who later built the family vault and buried Sir Henry therein.

On Sir Henry's death, the title became extinct.

First published in March, 2011.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

1 High Street, Belfast

BELFAST'S old Market House stood at 1 High Street, at the corner of Cornmarket.

In his admirable Central Belfast: A Historical Gazetteer, Marcus Patton OBE states that
The 17th century Market House was built in 1639 of "small red bricks" with sandstone dressings, and extended to provide a proper courthouse on the first floor after 1663. This was the first public hall in the town. It had an arcaded ground floor and three-stage tower with ogival-roofed turret and weathercock, and a hanging clock.
An observer, John Smyth, once recalled that
the front of the Market House was seldom without a skeleton in chains; the corner of it never without a ghastly head rotting in the open air.
The tower had a peal of bells which were probably rung at the beginning and end of market days; and for the funerals of prominent citizens.

The Market House was demolished in 1812.

The site was eventually acquired by the tea merchant, Forster Green, of Derryvolgie House, Malone Road, Belfast, who built a new emporium (above left) with granite plinth, arcaded ground floor and stucco upper floors.

Robust chimneys and urns adorned the balustraded parapet.

This block was demolished in 1929-30, to be replaced by a purpose-built store for F W Woolworth & Co, which remains to this day.

Owenmore House

Orme of Owenmore


WILLIAM ORME, of Hanse Hall, by Longdon Green, Staffordshire, descended from a family long settled in Cheshire, married and left a son, 

WILLIAM ORME, of Hanse 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.

This gentleman's heir, the third son, 

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

ROBERT ORME, of Carne, County Mayo, was succeeded by his descendant, 

WILLIAM ORME JP, of Owenmore, County Mayo, born 1810, who married, in 1837, Janette, daughter of Christopher Carleton L'Estrange, of Market Hill, County Fermanagh.

He was succeeded by his brother, 

ROBERT ORME JP DL, of Owenmore, and of Enniscrone, County Sligo, who, dying without issue, was succeeded by his brother, 

CHRISTOPHER GUY ORME JP DL, born at Dublin in 1858, who married, in 1907, the Hon Mary Kathleen Morris, daughter of 1st Baron Morris and Killanin.

Like his brother, he became a JP and DL, and then High Sheriff for County Mayo in 1910, and for County Sligo in 1914. 

In the 1911 Census he resided in Correens in Kilfian, County Mayo with his wife, his three children and his sister, Janet Georgina.

In Dublin, he was a member of the Kildare Street Club and the St George Yacht Club in Kingstown, now DĂșn Laoghaire.

Also, in 1914, he became the owner of the first tractor in County Mayo. He was one of the first car owners there and was instrumental in promoting the first bus service between Ballina and Enniscrone. 

In 1934, his daughter, Cicely Dorothea, married Lt-Col Robert Lesley Berridge and they lived first in Monkstown, County Cork; then Screebe, County Galway; and later in Andorra, Spain.

Their sons also left County Mayo. 


The Orme family owned extensive property in County Mayo and also around the village of Enniscrone in the parish of Kilglass, county Sligo.

In 1876 three members of the family held over 16,000 acres in county Mayo and almost 2,000 in county Sligo. Christopher Guy Orme sold 3,100 acres to the Congested Districts' Board in 1912.

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.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Rubane House

Echlin of Ardquin

The family of Echlin was of ancient Scottish origin, and formerly possessed princely estates in Scotland. They also had large domains in the counties of Kildare, Carlow, Dublin, Galway, and Mayo. Andrew Echlin, of Pittadro, Fifeshire, was constable and deputy governor of Edinburgh Castle during the siege of 1572.
THE RT REV ROBERT ECHLIN, a younger son of Henry Echlin, of Pittadro, removed from Staffordshire into Ulster, about the time of the Reformation, and was consecrated Lord Bishop of Down & Connor in 1613, and made a free denizen of Ireland.

This divine was barbarously murdered at Balruddery, in his route to Dublin, in 1635, and his widow and family immediately withdrew to England.

His eldest son,

ROBERT ECHLIN, however, returned to Ulster, and settled in County Down.

The second son of this gentleman was Sir Henry Echlin, 1st Baronet (1652–1725), Bishop Echlin's grandson. 
On the death of his nephew (Captain Henry Echlin), Bishop Echlin became the head and representative of the Echlin family. The Bishop was buried in the parish church of Templecrany, alias Ballyphilip, in the same county. 
His eldest son,

JOHN ECHLIN, of Ardquin, was made a free denizen of Ireland in 1633. He married Mary, daughter of Sir Francis Stafford, knight, of Mount Stafford, County Antrim, and had issue,

ROBERT ECHLIN, of Ardquin, born in 1628, who married Mary, daughter of Dr Henry Leslie, Lord Bishop of Meath, formerly of Down & Connor. His successor,

JOHN ECHLIN,  of Ardquin, whose 2nd son,

THE REV ROBERT ECHLIN, of Ardquin, incumbent of Newtownards, who married and was succeeded by his son,

JOHN ECHLIN, of Thomastown, born in 1723; High Sheriff of County Down, 1758; married his first cousin Hester, daughter of Godfrey Echlin, and had issue, his heir,

CHARLES ECHLIN, of Echlinville (Rubane), County Down; High Sheriff of County Down, 1777; which latter place he inherited from his great-uncle, James Echlin.

Having no surviving issue, he was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN ECHLIN, of Echlinville, who married Thomasine Hannah, daughter of George Fleming, and was succeeded by his only son,

JOHN ECHLIN JP DL, of Echlinville, Rubane; wedded, in 1809, Thomasine Margaret, daughter of John Armstrong, of the city of Dublin  High Sheriff of County Down, 1827.

Dying in 1842, he was succeeded by his son,

THE REV JOHN ROBERT ECHLIN JP (1811-91), of Eclinville and Ardquin,
married firstly, in 1836, Jane, 3rd daughter of James Pedder, of Ashton Lodge, Lancashire; and secondly, in 1841, Mary Anne, daughter of Ford North, of Ambleside, Westmorland; sometime incumbent of Bronington, near Whitchurch, Shropshire.
His son,

CAPTAIN FREDERICK ECHLIN RN, of Echlinville House, Rubane, Kircubbin, County Down, whose only son,


The deceased officer, who was born in 1889, was in the Malay States on the break of the war, and came home and volunteered for service.

He married a daughter of Major Saumarez Dobree Ronceval, of Guernsey, and granddaughter of the Dean of Guernsey.
"ECHLIN - On the 26th Sept., FREDERICK ST JOHN FORD NORTH ECHLIN, 2nd Lieut., Royal Fusiliers, and Royal Flying Corps, only son of the late Capt. Frederick Echlin, RN., formerly of Echlinville, Co. Down, and of Mrs Echlin, Wellfield, Walton-on-Thames, and dearly-loved husband of Dorothy Echlin (nee Dobree'), of Guernsey, CI." 
JOHN GODFREY ECHLIN, of Ardquin, born in 1843; married in 1870 Anna Medici, elder daughter and co-heir of the Rev John Wrixon MA, vicar of Malone; had issue, 

JOHN STAFFORD ECHLIN, born in 1872, resided at Dunluskin, near Carrickfergus, County Antrim. 

RUBANE HOUSE, near Kircubbin, County Down, was built by Bishop Echlin before his decease in 1635, and was known as The Abbacy, which still stands in ruin at Ardquin in the upper Ards, where the family estates were largely concentrated.

The estate was bought by the Rev Hugh Maxwell in 1748 from Charles Echlin, great-great-grandson of the Bishop, in trust for his brother James, High Sheriff of County Down in 1742, who died in 1755.

The present Rubane House, near Kircubbin, County Down, is on the site of a late 17th century house called Echlinville, of which the late 18th library addition survives.

The present house, designed by Sir Charles Lanyon, dates from about 1850.

The library, a four-bay pavilion with Ionic pilasters and Gothic astragals in its windows, survives from the earlier house; inside is a vaulted ceiling with two floating domes.

Within the inner walls of Rubane House lie sections of the fabric of a much older building of about 1725, which itself was probably constructed around a house of 17th century origin.
It remained in possession of this family until about 1848, when it appears to have been sold to a James Cleland who, ca 1850, rebuilt the house in the Italianate form we see today and changed the name to "Rubane House" (the former name of the townland of Echlinville).
The old house was "Jacobean/Queen Anne" in style, with two two-storey ogee-gabled bays flanking the main entrance. It was added to throughout the later 18th century.

Of these additions, the most significant was the library to the north-west, an element of the older structure which remained in place after the rebuilding of the main house.

Rubane House later passed into the hands of the Maxwell family; and, by 1880, was in possession of the Warnock family, relations of the Maxwells, who may have embellished the property.

During the first half of the 20th century the house played host to a number of different occupants, among them the Belfast timber merchant, J P Corry.

In 1950, Rubane and its accompanying lands were purchased by the De La Salle Brothers, and between this date and 1985, the house was run as a home and school for orphaned and special needs boys.

During this period extensive building work was carried out in the immediate grounds of the house with the construction of modern classrooms, gymnasiums, wood and metalworking rooms and chalets; playing fields and tennis courts laid out to the north and north-west.

A small section of the modern school buildings was occupied briefly by another religious order  about 1990, but for most of the late 1980s and early 1990s the entire site was left mainly vacant and Rubane House itself fell prey to vandals, who caused some minor damage.

The property was bought in 1992 by the present owner, who has subsequently demolished almost all trace of the modern classrooms etc. around the house and carried out extensive restoration work to the house itself.

This work is now virtually complete and much of the grounds to the south have been landscaped.

The stables to the north are to be restored.

The small garden pavilion of 1787 originally had open arches and Coade stone embellishments.

About 1800, with the building of the stable block to the north-east, walls were placed to the north-west and north-east of the pavilion, the arches blocked, a new entrance opened to the north-east.

As well as this an internal wall, fireplaces and, presumably, the small chimney stack, were installed. Windows were also added to the south-east and north-west arches. 

Some distance away, at a stream, there are remains of the 1740s designed landscape; a stone bridge, retaining a Coade stone head and face.

Nearby is an unusual structure known as the Pebble House, which has a richly modelled front, niches, battlemented parapet and domed roof with lantern finial.

The garden's buildings formed part of an important Rococo-style layout of ca 1740, recorded in some detail in James Williamson's survey map of 1790.

It shows extensive ornamental planting, with sinuous woodland paths, a pond with island, artificial meandering 'rivers' and other landscape features.

Part of the early layout extended across the road to the east, where it incorporated a long canal, which still exists. This was labelled 'fish pond' on the 1790 map.

Much of Rubane's layout survived into the mid-20th century, but subsequently it lost a great deal of its tree planting. Much, nonetheless, survives of this historically important landscape.

Echlin vault at Templecranny, Portaferry. Photo credit: Mark Thompson
First published in August, 2012.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Crevenagh House

Auchinleck of Crevenagh



THE REV JAMES AUCHINLECK, rector of Cleenish, County Fermanagh, born in 1646, married Margaret Keith, and by her had, had, with other issue who died young,
JAMES, of whom presently;
The elder son,

JAMES AUCHINLECK, of Thomastown, County Fermanagh, wedded, about 1698, Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel James Corry MP, of Castle Coole; and died in 1746, having had, with other issue, who died young,
JAMES, his heir;
Rebecca; Margaret; Mary;
Sarah; Elizabeth.
The elder son,

JAMES AUCHINLECK (1704-52), of Thomastown, married, in 1734, Susanna, daughter of John Corry, of Lisanock; and had issue,

ALEXANDER (Rev), of whom presently;
Anketell (Rev);
Mr Auchenleck's eighth son,

THE REV ALEXANDER AUCHINLECK (1749-1833), of Castle Lodge, and Mullans, Fintona, County Tyrone, rector of Rossory, wedded, in 1784, jane, daughter of James Corry Eccles, of Shannock, County Fermanagh; and had issue by her,
James Eccles (Rev);
DANIEL ECCLES, of whom presently;
The youngest surviving son,

(1797-1849), of Crevenagh, espoused, in 1833, Elizabeth Dorothea, daughter of the Rev Thomas Lindsay Stack JP, rector of Badony; and had issue by her,
William Lowry;
The eldest son,

THOMAS AUCHINLECK JP DL (1837-93), of Crevenagh, and of Shannock Green, County Fermanagh,
High Sheriff of Tyrone, 1872; Hon major, Royal Tyrone Fusiliers; lieutenant, 11th North Devon Regiment.
He married, in 1868, Jane, daughter of George Loxdale, of Grassendale, Liverpool; and by her had issue,
Bessie Sarah;
Norah Lilian Loxdale.
His son and heir,

DANIEL GEORGE HAROLD AUCHINLECK, of Crevenagh, born in 1877; captain, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; wedded, in 1902, Charlotte Madeleine, only daughter of Robert Scott, of Dungannon, and had issue,

Robert Patrick, born and died in 1906.


CREVENAGH was eventually to be inherited by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Reginald Auchinleck Darling JP (1897-1958), who fought in the 1st World War; was commissioned in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; fought in the 2nd World War, 1939-43, when he retired due to ill-health. His eldest son,

Gerald Ralph Auchinleck Darling RD QC DL (1921-96), was educated at Harrow; was an officer in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve; fought in the Second World War; was Fleet Fighter Pilot and Test Pilot Eastern Fleet; Chief Test Pilot, British Pacific Fleet.

On the death of his father in 1958 he had inherited Crevenagh House, near Omagh, where, from his school days, he had spent many happy holidays with his extended family. 

He was proud of his descent from the Auchinleck family who had always lived there, and resolved to maintain it as a family home despite his ties to life in London (in his London office there was a Donegal landscape and a map showing the wartime achievements of Ulster).

In 1990 he became a Deputy Lieutenant of County Tyrone and, in 1993, High Sheriff. 

In his obsequies address, the Right Rev Brian Hannon, Bishop of Clogher, paid tribute to Gerald Darling's contribution to the work of Edenderry parish, where he had served as parish secretary.

The Bishop related how, before a major court appearance, Darling would ease the tension by thinking of his favourite spots on the river, the snipe bogs and the mountains of Tyrone.

Strangely, after a lifetime of trout-fishing, he caught his first salmon only in 1995. One of his family remembers the fishing picnics in childhood - "as, unfortunately, a mizzly day is good for fishing, the picnics were often rather damp affairs".

But that was balanced by the warmth of bedtime stories in the family flat in the Middle Temple where it is said the family below, willy-nilly, added to the appreciative audience for Darling's dramatic readings of Winnie the Pooh. 

He would, friends say, have been equally at home as a farmer, taking great pride in his forestry and Belted Galloway cattle and never more at home than working in ragged jeans with his chainsaw.

A permanent record of Gerald Darling his distinction as a lawyer will be his contribution to that definitive work, Halsbury's Laws of England (Admiralty and Ship Collisions), the third edition of 1952. 

In 1992 he was made an Honorary Bencher of the Northern Ireland Bar.
He was born at Erganagh, Co Tyrone 8 December 1921; called to the Bar, Middle Temple 1950, Bencher 1972, Treasurer 1991; Barrister, Northern Ireland 1957, Honorary Bencher 1992; RD 1967; QC 1967; member, Panel of Lloyd's Arbitrators in Salvage Cases 1967-78, Appeal Arbitrator 1978-91; member, Panel of Wreck Commissioners 1967-96; QC, Hong Kong 1968; Judge, Admiralty Court of the Cinque Ports 1979-96; trustee, Royal Naval Museum 1985-90; Lloyd's Silver Medal 1991; married 1954 Susan Hobbs (one son, one daughter); died Londonderry 13 September 1996.
CREVENAGH HOUSE, near Omagh, County Tyrone, is a two-storey house built ca 1820 by D E Auchinleck, great-uncle of Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck

It has a three-bay entrance front with Wyatt windows in both storeys and a projecting porch.

The side is also of three bays.

A lower, two-storey range was subsequently added by Auchinleck's son, Major Thomas Auchinleck, behind the original block and parallel with it.

The principal rooms in the main block have fine plasterwork ceilings; while the hall floor is of mosaic depicting the Seven Ages of Man.

There are doors made of mahogany from the Auchinleck family plantations in Demerara.

The surrounding parkland is of the same age as the house, graced by mature parkland trees and clumps of rhododendron. Shelter woods of mature trees are maintained to the north, south and west.

The walled garden is part-cultivated, having three walled sides and one of water. The farm buildings are listed and there is a gate lodge in good condition.

I am grateful to Stephen Paskin and Gordon Dunn for use of their photographs. First published in November, 2010.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Freemen of Belfast: 1911-19

Honorary Burgesses of the City of Belfast


14  Gustav Wilhelm Wolff ~ 1911

15  Sir Joseph Larmor Kt ~ 1912

16  Sir Almroth Edward Wright KBE CB ~ 1912

17  Sir James Henderson DL ~ 1912

18  Whitelaw Reid ~ 1912

19  Robert James McMordie QC ~ 1914

20  Mrs Julia McMordie CBE ~ 1914

21  The Rt Hon Edward Henry [Carson], Baron Carson, PC ~ 1914

22  The Rt Hon Sir Crawford McCullagh Bt ~ 1917

23  Lady McCullagh ~ 1917

24  Henry Musgrave DL ~ 1917

25  Sir William Quartus Ewart Bt JP DL ~ 1917

26  The Rt Hon John Denton Pinkstone [French], Earl of Ypres, KP GCB OM GCVO KCMG PC ~ 1918

27  Sir Henry Hughes Wilson Bt GCB DSO ~ 1919

28  The Most Hon Charles Stewart Henry [Vane-Tempest-Stewart], Marquess of Londonderry, KG MVO PC ~ 1919

First published in August, 2012. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Fermanagh DLs

The Viscount Brookeborough, Lord-Lieutenant of County Fermanagh, has been pleased to appoint:

Ms Roisin McManus, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
Mr Shaun Pendry, Kesh, County Fermanagh

To be Deputy Lieutenants of the County, his Commission bearing date the 25th July, 2014.

Lord Lieutenant of the County.