Wednesday, 4 January 2017

1st Baron Cushendun

THE BARONY OF CUSHENDUN WAS CREATED IN 1927 FOR THE RT HON RONALD McNEILL

TORQUIL MacNEILL, chief of the Clan Neill, of Taynish and Gigha, born ca 1380, was constable of Castle Sween, in Knapdale, Argyllshire.

His second son, 

HECTOR McNEILL, was constable of Castle Sween, 1463-72.

His eldest son, 

NEILL McNEILL,
had issue, his eldest son, 

NEILL McNEILL, of Taynish, who became his heir-in-law to Gigha in 1554.

His eldest son, 

TORQUIL McNEILL, of Taynish and Gigha, had two sons, of whom the elder,

NEILL McNEILL, had, with other issue, a second son,

NEILL OGE McNEILL, of Durlocher, who left issue, a son,

LACHLAN McNEILL, of Terfergus and Losset, Argyllshire, who wedded firstly, Mary McNeill, of Colonsay, and had a large family.

Their third son,

NEILL McNEILL, settled in County Antrim, 1676, married Rose Stuart, of Garry, in the same county, and had issue.

Their eldest son,

LACHLAN McNEILL, of Cushendun, County Antrim, wedded Jane Macnaghten, of Benvarden, County Antrim, and had several children.

The eldest son,

NEILL McNEILL, of Cushendun, espoused Christian Hamilton, of Londonderry, and their eldest son,

EDMUND McNEILL (-1790), of Cushendun, married Elizabeth, daughter of John Hamilton, of Londonderry.

Their eldest son,

EDMUND ALEXANDER McNEILL JP (1787-1879), of Cushendun, was in 1815 served heir to the entailed estate of Ugadale, in Kintyre; but in an action to recover possession was defeated by the prescriptive title of the occupier.

He wedded, in 1817, Rose, eldest daughter of Alexander McNeile JP, of Colliers Hall, Ballycastle, and had, with other issue,

EDMUND McNEILL JP DL (1821-1915), of Craigdun and Cushendun, County Antrim, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1879, who married, in 1851, Mary, eldest daughter of Alexander Miller, of Ballycastle, by Jane, his wife, second daughter of Alexander McNeile, of Colliers Hall, and had, with other issue,

RONALD JOHN McNEILL, 1ST BARON CUSHENDUN PC.

Ronald John McNeill, Baron Cushendun, by Bassano, 29 December 1923 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London
© National Portrait Gallery, London

The Rt Hon Ronald John McNeill DL (1861-1934), statesman and parliamentarian, was elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Cushendun in 1927.
A barrister by profession, he was elected Member of Parliament for Kent, St. Austine's Division between 1911-27; Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs between 1922-24; Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs between 1924-25; Financial Secretary to the Treasury between 1925-27.
Lord Cushendun was appointed a privy counsellor in 1927, and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1927-29.

He was created 1st Baron Cushendun, of Cushendun, County Antrim, in 1927, taking his title from the village designed by Clough Williams-Ellis in memory of his Cornish wife, Maud, who died in 1925.

Lord Cushendun was acting Foreign Secretary in 1928.

He retired from office in 1929, and died five years later in Cushendun.

Lord Cushendun married Elizabeth Maud Bolitho in 1884. They had three daughters:
Esther Rose;
Loveday Violet;
Mary Morvenna Bolitho.
Elizabeth, Lady Cushendun, died in 1925.

Lord Cushendun married Catherine Sydney Louisa Margesson as his second wife in 1930. She survived him, dying in 1939.

He died without male issue in 1934, when the title became extinct.


GLENMONA HOUSE, Neo-Georgian in style, was built in 1923 to replace an earlier house (below) which had been burnt.

The family's main residence, however, became Craigdun Castle; when Glenmona was increasingly used as a holiday home.

The architect was Sir Clough Williams-Ellis.

Glenmona is of two storeys in front and three at the rear.


The principal front has two, three-sided bows joined by an arcade on Tuscan columns.

The roof is high with a solid parapet; external shutters to the windows.

Glenmona House is now a property of the National Trust.

An earlier mansion on the same site and of roughly the same size was burnt by the IRA in 1922.

It was originally a residence of General the 3rd Viscount O'Neill (1780-1855).

Former town residence ~ 18 Cadogan Place, London.

First published in May, 2010.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

When I visited Cushendun recently I think I read that they used to call him Lord Crushemdown because of his strong behaviour in the House.

Zen said...

Interesting post! Elizabeth Maud Bolitho was my great-grandfather's sister.