Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The McConnell Baronets


JOSEPH McCONNELL (1829-72), son of Robert McConnell, of Clougher, County Antrim, married Elizabeth, daughter of James McBride, in 1851.

His only son,

SIR ROBERT JOHN McCONNELL, 1ST BARONET, JP DL (1853-1927), married firstly, Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Smiley, in 1874; and secondly, Elsie, daughter of George Hewson, in 1897.

Sir Robert went on to establish a successful estate agency, including property development; and also became involved in local politics, culminating in a term as Lord Mayor of Belfast from 1900-01.
Baronetcies were seemingly granted in those days to retiring Lord Mayors of Belfast. In the Victorian era the outgoing Lord Mayor could expect to become a baronet; this esteemed mayoral recognition was downgraded to a knighthood several decades later; then CBE. Nowadays Lord Mayors of Belfast may expect to be offered or appointed OBE . I think the last Lord Mayor to be given a knighthood was the late Sir Myles Humphreys JP DL.
His subsequent elevation to the gentry came in 1900 when he was created a baronet.

Sir Robert used his crest, a stag's head, atop his coat-of-arms; along with his family motto, Victor In Arduis.

His son,

SIR JOSEPH McCONNELL (1877-1942), 2nd Baronet, DL, married Lisa, daughter of Jackson McGowan, in 1900. He was MP for County Antrim, 1929-42.

His son,

married firstly, Rosamond Mary Elizabeth, daughter of James Stewart Reade, in 1928.1 He and Rosamond Mary Elizabeth Reade were divorced in 1954. He married secondly, Alice Ann Mary, daughter of Robert Graham Glendinning, in 1967. He was educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond, Perthshire; St. John's College, Cambridge; Commander, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve; partner of R. J. McConnell & Company, surveyors, valuers and estate agents at Belfast.
His eldest son,

born in 1930, educated at Stowe School; Queens' College, Cambridge; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Polytechnic School of Architecture; registered as a Member, Institute of Management; Member, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; Member of the Lambeth Council (Liberal Democrat) in 1996. He lives in London.
The presumptive heir apparent is the present holder's brother (James) Angus McConnell (born 1933).

THE MOAT, Old Holywood Road, Belfast, was designed in 1862 by the architect W J Barre for Thomas Valentine JP (below), a well-known Belfast linen merchant:
Thomas Valentine married Elizabeth Harriet Purdon, in 1852, in Belfast. His son,

George Frederick Valentine, was born in 1858 in County Antrim. His father was Thomas.

A List of Subscribers to the Historic Memorials, First Presbyterian Church of Belfast, published in 1887, lists Thos. VALENTINE, J.P. at The Moat, Strandtown, and William VALENTINE, J.P. at Glenavna, Whiteabbey.

The Moat was leased by John L Bell in 1863 from Sir Thomas McClure Bt.

St Mark's Church Dundela lists Thomas Valentine as a church warden in 1879 and 1881.

Thomas Valentine died in 1898.

It has a full height bay window and an entrance portico.

The Moat was converted into apartments in 1938 and restored in 2008.

In 1907, The Moat was purchased from Sir Robert McConnell, 1st Baronet, by Frank Workman, of Workman Shipbuilders, who lived at The Moat until his death.

Sir Robert's estate comprised 421 acres of land in 1876.

First published in May, 2009.


Anonymous said...

It occurs to me that Otto Jaffe didn't receive a baronetcy, despite serving two terms as Lord Mayor. Quite sad really.


Anonymous said...

I would suggest that baronetages should be reserved for the wealthy who -
* have contributed to a great extent to employment;
* have made a great contribution to exports;
* have made a great and positive impact on civil society (in an unpaid capacity).
This would be an encouragement for wealthy people to get involved with society - eg become Lord Mayors, MPs - and put something back. It would be an encouragement for the brightest people to set up businesses that create wealth - ie not property developers and the like. We do not laud highly enough people who - like the Gustav Wolffs and the linen barons - created the wealth we enjoy today. It would exclude 'career politicians' who have done nothing else for the wider world, and the myriad celebrity musicians and TV personalities which our society seems to worship! The likes of James Dyson and the late Allen McClay spring to mind.

Sandy said...

Agree with anonymous 11.41.
Let it be so....