Wednesday, 27 January 2016

House of Canning

The family of Canning has been of distinction in England since the reign of HENRY VI; and the lands of Foxcote, Warwickshire, were in this family for more than four centuries. 

The branch, of which the BARONS GARVAGH are members, removed into Ulster in the reign of ELIZABETH I, when

GEORGE CANNING (a military officer, it was presumed), youngest son of Richard Canning, of Foxcote, was an agent of the Ironmongers' Company of London.

He obtained a grant of the manor of Garvagh, County Londonderry, from ELIZABETH I, and settled there.

This George died ca 1646, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM CANNING, of Garvagh, to whom succeeded his son,

GEORGE CANNING, of Garvagh, who was succeeded by his son,

GEORGE CANNING (-1711), of Garvagh, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Londonderry Militia, who married Abilgail Stratford, aunt of John, 1st Earl of Aldborough, by whom he left an only son, 

STRATFORD CANNING (1703-75), of Garvagh, who married Letitia, daughter and heir of Obadiah Newburgh, of County Cavan, by whom he had issue, 
PAUL, who succeeded at Garvagh;
Stratford, a London merchant; father of STRATFORD CANNING;
Mary; Jane Elizabeth; Frances; Letitia.
Mr Canning was succeeded by his second son,

PAUL CANNING (c1736-1784), of Garvagh, who espoused, in 1776, Jane Charlotte, daughter of Conway Spencer, of County Antrim, by whom he had an only son,

GEORGE CANNING (1778-1840), first cousin of the Rt Hon George Canning, Prime Minister in 1827, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1818, by the title of BARON GARVAGH, of Garvagh, County Londonderry.

His lordship wedded, in 1803, Georgiana (d 1804), fourth daughter of Robert, 1st Marquess of Londonderry, by whom he had no issue.

He married secondly, in 1824, Rosabelle Charlotte Isabella, daughter of Henry Bonham MP, of Titness Park, Berkshire, by whom he had issue,
Albert Stratford George;
Emmaline Rosabelle.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES HENRY SPENCER GEORGE, 2nd Baron, JP, DL (1826-71), who wedded, in 1851, Cecelia Susannah, daughter of John Ruggles-Brise, 
  • Charles Henry Spencer George Canning, 2nd Baron (1826-71);
  • Charles John Spencer George Canning, 3rd Baron (1852–1915);
  • Leopold Ernest Stratford George Canning, 4th Baron (1878–1956);
  • (Alexander Leopold Ivor) George Canning, 5th Baron (1920-2013);
  • Spencer George Stratford de Redcliffe Canning, 6th Baron (b 1953).
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, the Hon Stratford George Edward de Redcliffe Canning (b 1990).
© Garvagh House, The Sam Henry Collection, courtesy of the Craig Family

GARVAGH HOUSE is claimed to have been first built in the early 17th century and enlarged twice since then.

The house eventually evolved a late Georgian appearance, with a front of three bays between two, three-sided bows and an eaved roof on a bracket cornice.

There was a long enfilade of reception rooms, one having a modillion cornice and a Georgian bow; another with a broken pediment of a 19th century appearance over its door-case.

Garvagh arms at porch
When the Canning family sold Garvagh House, it was used as flats for single female teachers, and some classrooms.

The house had fallen into disrepair over the years, suffering from wet and dry rot, and vermin infestation.

County Londonderry Education Committee decided to demolish Garvagh House and to build a new primary school on its site.

This was duly done and Garvagh Primary School opened in 1965.

The village of Garvagh is unique in that, unlike other villages in the county, it was not developed by the Irish Society, nor was it an ancient settlement.

It is, in fact, a private plantation; that is, a town set up over a period of nearly 300 years and developed by the local Lords of the Manor, the Cannings.

The family association with the Garvagh area began in 1615 when George Canning, of Foxcote in Warwickshire, was appointed the Agent for the Ironmongers' Company of London, a company actively involved in JAMES I's Plantation of Ulster. 

To begin with, the townland of Garvagh was not part of the Ulster Plantation, as it had been granted to Manus O'Cahan, the local Irish chief, as a native freehold. After the Great Irish Rebellion of 1641 the situation changed, when O'Cahan joined forces with Sir Phelim Roe O'Neill in the insurrection and, as a result, he lost the freehold.

In 1649, one of George Canning's sons, Paul Canning, acquired the townland of Garvagh and began to develop it, by first building St Paul's parish church, which initially was intended as a private chapel for him and his family. 

The Canning family continued to play an active part in the development of Garvagh until 1920 when they sold the estate and moved to England, exactly three centuries after they had established the first village.

The Garvagh Estate formerly extended to 8,427 acres.

Garvagh lies between Coleraine and Maghera. There is a museum and heritage centre in the village.

Covering over 550 acres, Garvagh Forest is situated on the Western outskirts of the village, with trees from over 80 years old to those only planted at the turn of the century.

The final unusual habitat in Garvagh Forest is the Garvagh Pyramid, created as a burial chamber for Lord Garvagh in the 19th Century.

Unfortunately the pyramid was never allowed to fulfil the task it was designed for and was sealed shut, with no incumbent, a number of years ago.

First published in February, 2010.


Anonymous said...

Interesting article. The house (which I have no recollection of seeing when it stood) is very similar, from the photo, to Hugh Montgomery's place at Benvarden - which isn't too far from Garvagh I suppose!


Garvagh said...

I agree; interesting article! In 1976 I saw some of the doors from Garvagh House, and several of the marble chimneypieces, that were obtained by someone at the time the house was pulled down.

The Cannings also had Agivey House and Lizard Manor, in the immediate area.

Irishlad said...

I thought Lizard Manor was Phelim O'Neill's home.Also i saw Agivey House for sale awhile back.

Anonymous said...

I thought Lizard Manor was the Stronges at one point?

Lord Garvagh's cousin was also a peer - Viscount Strafford de Redcliffe.


Anonymous said...

Cant see any resemblance to Benvarden - this house looks more like a Georgian house whereas Benvarden was first built in the 16th century & added on to several times.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting article.
My mother came from Bridge Street born in the 1930's. The last time I visited was as a teenager back in 1963, well before the recent troubles started. Sadly, I lost contact with my grandmother who passed away in 1985 aged 89. Maybe, one day I can return and continue with my family history.

Garvagh said...

The Stronges owned Lizard Manor and Garvagh House.
I knew the owners of Agivey House, built in part out of remains of the "castle" built by George Canning for the Ironmongers. He was appointed their agent in September 1614 and at that time came to Ireland. George Canning in 1618 bought the townland of Garvahey from Gilduffe McBrian O'Cahan. said...

James Sutcliffe:
George Canning (b 1920) and his brother Ivor and sisters, Daphney and Valerie (my mother) were the last children to be brought up at Garvagh. They moved to Lincolnshire in the UK in the late 1920's.

George died on the 31st October 2013. His Memorial service is in Kent next week.

Garvagh said...

Ashby-de-la-Launde, Lincolnshire, was for sale last year.

James, thanks for notice of the memorial service.