Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The Stronge Baronets


MATTHEW STRONGE , descended from a junior branch of the ancient family of Strange of Balkaskie, in Scotland, which first settled in Ulster in the reign of JAMES I), married Anne ______, and had issue, a son, JAMES.

This Matthew Stronge leased land in County Londonderry from the Goldsmiths' Corporation of London; and acquired further lands in the counties of Donegal and Tyrone.

Mr Stronge, Warden of Lifford, died in 1715.

His son,

JAMES STRONGE, High Sheriff of County Londonderry, 1682-3, wedded, in 1675, Margaret, daughter of John Douglas, and had issue,
The only son,

THE REV JOHN STRONGE, Rector of Tynan, County Armagh, married, in 1714, Ellinor, daughter and heiress of James Manson, and had issue,
James, DD, died unmarried;
MATTHEW, his successor;
John, died unmarried;
William, army captain;
Mary, m to the Rev A Benson DD, Rector of Monaghan;
The second son, 

MATTHEW STRONGE, of Liverpool, mayor of that city, 1768-9; espoused Elizabeth, daughter of S Powell, of Stanage Park, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
Elinor, widow of J Blackburne, of Wavertree Hall, Lancs.
He was succeeded by his son,

THE REV JAMES STRONGE (1750-1804), of Tynan, County Armagh, who was created a baronet in 1803.

This clergyman wedded, in 1785, Helen, daughter of John Tew, of Dublin, by his wife Margaret, grand-niece to John, 1st Lord Farnham, by whom he left an only surviving son,

SIR JAMES MATTHEW STRONGE, (1786-1864), 2nd Baronet, DL, of Tynan Abbey, who wedded, in 1836, Selina, daughter of Andrew Nugent, of Portaferry, County Down.

A very capable administrator, he was High Sheriff of Armagh in 1844, High Sheriff of Tyrone in 1845, and MP for County Armagh in 1864. 

In about 1840, Sir James - William McClintock Bunbury's brother-in-law and Tom Rathdonnell's uncle - established the Tynan Harriers.
He maintained the pack "at his own expense until ill health compelled him to give up the sport. His love of it was intense all through life". A committee was formed to carry on the pack and Sir James gave over hounds, horses and kennels rent free along with an annual subscription. The Tynan Harriers were regarded as a first-rate pack and, together with Lord Waterford's Armagh Harriers, made Armagh a very popular place for hunting.
Sir James was succeeded by his brother, 

SIR JOHN CALVERT STRONGE (1813-99), 4th Baronet, JP, DL, who espoused, in 1848, Lady Margaret Caulfeild.

Sir John was a barrister who served as JP for counties Armagh and Tyrone. In 1888, he opened the grounds of Tynan Abbey to the public.

He was succeeded by his son, 

THE RT HON SIR JAMES HENRY STRONGE (1849-1928), 5th Baronet,
who had already embarked on a distinguished legal career when he inherited Tynan Abbey. Having graduated from Lincoln's Inn in 1874, he had gone on to serve as High Sheriff of Tyrone in 1880 and Armagh in 1885. Perhaps more significantly, he was the Imperial Grand Master of the Loyal Orange Order.

In the lead up to the Great War, Sir James was among the most influential Orange-men. He was one of thirty delegates who sat on the Ulster Unionist Council alongside the likes of the Duke of Abercorn, Lords Londonderry, Erne and Ranfurly.

Sir James was a staunch Unionist and Protestant. Indeed his abhorrence of Gladstone and Home Rule was such that Sir Jack Leslie claims there used to be an etching of the Grand Old Man at the bottom of Sir James's "piss-pot" at Tynan!
Sir James married Ethel Margaret Burges in 1885.

Sir James's only son, James Matthew Stronge (b 1891) was killed at the age of 26 in the Great War while serving as a lieutenant with the Royal Irish Fusiliers in France (August 1917); and his name heads the war memorial at the church in Tynan.

He had been married just weeks before his death to Winifred Alexander, of Carrickmoyle.

Sir James Stronge died in 1928, aged 78, and was succeeded by his cousin,

SIR WALTER LOCKHART STRONGE (1860-1933), JP, DL, 6th Baronet. Sir Walter was succeeded by his elderly brother,  

SIR CHARLES EDMOND SINCLAIR STRONGE, 7th Baronet, father to the last of the Stronge Baronets of that line,

THE RT HON SIR NORMAN LOCKHART STRONGE (1894-1981), MC, JP, 8th Baronet, was prominent in the Ulster Unionist Party and Orange Order.

On Wednesday January 21st 1981, a gang composed of some of the most hardened republicans from the South Armagh/North Monaghan/South Tyrone area arrived at Tynan shortly after 9pm and staked out the Stronges' Tudor-Gothic mansion, Tynan Abbey, and the surrounding 1,000-acre estate.

Sir Norman and his only son James were alone in the library when the assassins struck. They blew off the doors, assassinated Sir Norman and James and then burned the house down.

The Roman Catholic politician Austin Currie declared afterwards that
"even at 86 years of age, [Sir Norman] was still incomparably more of a man than the cowardly dregs of humanity who ended his life in this barbaric way."
I have written a tribute to Sir Norman here.

James Anselan Maxwell Stronge (b 1946) would be the 9th Baronet.

He is the son of Maxwell du Pré James Stronge and grandson of Edward Owen Fortescue Stronge, a brother of the 7th Baronet.

Should he so desire, James Stronge could provide evidence of his claim to the Keeper of the Roll of Baronetage and have the baronetcy conferred upon him. 

First published in December,  2010.


Gavin Bamford said...

I understand that the familiy later totally demolished and cleared the old house and site and that this action greatly annoyed the public who have feelings for the ruins of old houses.


Jonathan Kennedy said...

Turtle Bunbury's full article on the Stronges is wonderfully written.

As I'm sure you'll know but other readers may not, Sir Norman's elder daughter Daphne lived at Glenganagh, a handsome house on the edge of Bangor which is supposed to have once been a dower house used by the Dufferins.

Northern Scrivener said...

Sir Norman's wife would have been related to the Clarkes of Upperlands and had an interest in what is referred to as the Lopdell Estate which owned various lands in the vicinity of Londonderry.