Thursday, 3 September 2015

Mary Ward, 1827-69

My previous article about Downpatrick gate lodge, Castle Ward, County Down, reminded me of Mary Ward and her wonderful gift as a watercolour artist.

I have seen a delightful painting of the lodge and its surroundings taken by her in the mid-19th century:
The steeply-raked roof, twin lofty chimneys,white-washed walls and decorative woodwork finials and valances in the Bangor family's shade of golden yellow, as seen on their coat-of-arms. 
The fine railings appear dark green and one of the gates is wide open. The lawns at each side are newly-mown.

Downpatrick gate lodge must have been built prior to Mary Ward's untimely death in 1869.

The Hon Mrs Henry Ward  (Mary Ward) was born in 1827 though, sadly, her life was cut short by a tragic motor accident in 1869.

Had she survived, Mary Ward would have become the 5th Viscountess Bangor.

Her husband, the Hon Henry Ward, went on to become the 5th Viscount; and her son, the Hon Maxwell Ward, eventually succeeded as the 6th Viscount.

First published in May, 2009


Anonymous said...

You say that Mary Ward was killed in a car accident.... in 1869. Did automobiles actually exist in 1869, not least of all in NI on that date? Or maybe it was Marty McFly in his Dunmaurray-built DeLorean??
I'm intruiged!

Timothy Belmont said...

Good point. Seemingly it was a prototype, steam-powered vehicle of some kind which ran the poor lady over. It must have been a dreadful tragedy on the estate at the time.

Sandy said...

Probably car as in jaunting car, i.e. one-horse-power!

Anonymous said...

The accident actually happened when she was visiting her cousin Lord Ross, at Birr Castle in Co Offaly.

Anonymous said...

The car, in question was actually built as an experimental effort by Mary Ward's cousins. She came from a family of intelligent scientists and was very accomplished herself, in many fields.
On a visit to her own family, her cousins proposed a drive in their new invention. Sadly she fell from the car whilst it was travelling around a bend and was run over by the wheels.

Information gleaned from National Trust coverage of Castle Ward house, Ireland.

Gavin Bamford said...

I think the writer should be aware that Northern Ireland did not exist in 1869.