Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Musgrave Link


It was assumed at the time that Norwood Tower or its dower house, Clonaver, would pass to Oscar Henderson when Florence Elizabeth, his aunt, died.

However, she decided to leave both properties, together with a majority holding in Belfast News Letter shares, to Sir Christopher Musgrave, Bt, OBE, a distant cousin.

Sir Christopher was Miss Florence Henderson's first cousin twice removed.

It was a bitter blow to Oscar, a distinguished naval officer, and his family. They could do nothing about the houses but they did succeed in buying back the News-Letter shares. 

Commander Oscar Henderson DSO CVO CBE RN (1891-1969), served in a destroyer during the 1st World War and was 2nd in command of HMS Iris at the famous Battle of Zeebrugge, in 1918, when a British force blocked the Mole by sinking a ship across the entrance.

Commander Henderson took command when Iris's Captain was killed. He was awarded the DSO for his part in this epic.

He became Comptroller and Private Secretary to the 3rd Duke of Abercorn, 1st Governor of Northern Ireland; and was appointed CVO and CBE for his services. 

He was the father of Bill and Brum Henderson.

 © Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland 2011 

Miss Florence Elizabeth Henderson bequeathed Norwood Tower to Sir Christopher Musgrave Bt, whose grandmother was Maria Henderson:

Henderson, Florence Elizabeth of Norwood Tower Strandtown Belfast spinster died 24 March 1934 Probate Belfast 22 February to sir Christopher Norman Musgrave baronet and John Johnson solicitor. Effects £11027 11s [£615,000 in today's money].

Maria Barker (nee Henderson) was, therefore, Florence Elizabeth Henderson's aunt, since James Henderson (Maria's father) was Florence's grandfather.

Maria Henderson (1839-1905) was the 10th child of James Henderson (1797-1863) and Anne Peacock. 

Maria lived with her brother, James Alexander Henderson, at Norwood Tower and she taught his younger children (most likely including Florence, the youngest). This was where she met her future husband, Frank Const Barker. 

Frank Barker was one of James Alexander Henderson's business friends. All the Barker family used the middle name Const after a Mr Const of Piccadilly, London (a wealthy business friend of Frank's father, Richard Barker who left the family a large sum of money).

Maria Henderson and Frank Barker were married in 1862 and lived at Sorrento House, Dalkey, County Dublin. They had eight children.

Their third child, Kathleen Const Barker, married James Musgrave and they had four children.

The first child was (Sir) Christopher Norman Musgrave, later 6th Musgrave Baronet (1892-1956).

Sir Christopher and Lady Musgrave only spent about twenty years at Norwood Tower, before it was sold for housing development.

First published in May, 2011.


Anonymous said...

This is interesting, I see from the annals that the 6th bart's wife was a Chapman of Dartrey Lodge, Moy, Co. Tyrone.


Newgent_for_life said...

Is this the same 'Musgrave' that has a Memorial slab in a church at Glencolmkille ?

Timothy Belmont said...

The Musgrave Baronets, of Drumglass, were major landowners in Donegal.

Another family, the Musgrave Baronets, of Tourin, were once seated at co Waterford.

Hence, different families as far as I'm aware.