Saturday, 25 March 2017

Campbell College's Charter

THE CAMPBELL COLLEGE stands in its own grounds in the outskirts of east Belfast.

It is located on the site of what was once Belmont House, seat of Sir Thomas McClure Bt.

The 1st June, 1951, was a very special day for Campbell: The presentation of a Royal Charter by Her Majesty The Queen (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) on behalf of The King (GEORGE VI).

The Chairman of the Governors was the Rev J K L McKean; the Headmaster, Ronald Groves MA BSc.

Major Lytle was Commanding Officer of the Corps.

Among those presented to the Royal Party included:
  • Major R D Williams MC BA
    The Rev Canon L W Crooks MA
    The Rev R Hyndman DD BA
    W H Niall Nelson
    R Watts MC
    The Rt Hon the Lord MacDermott MC PC
    John Archer MA
    The Ven C I Peacocke TD MA
    Lieutenant-Colonel J R H Greeves TD BSc
    Dr James Boyd CBE MD BSc
    R S Brownell CBE (Permanent Secretary, Dept of Educ.)
    Mrs Dermot Campbell
    The Headmaster of Cabin Hill School & Mrs Sutton
    Major C A Bowen TD MA (Second Master)
    C B Mitchell MA (President, Old Campbellian Society)
    Major T B Dunn (Chairman, OC Council)
HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH The Princess Margaret

The weather was clement; the grounds were at their best; the College, "the warm red brick building [standing] out nobly against the background of the trees" (W V Thomas).

Guest began to arrive shortly after two o'clock; the Boys took up position along one side of the Quadrangle under the Masters' Common-room windows.

The Guard of Honour, drawn from the College's CCF, stood on the east side of the Quadrangle.

At three twenty-five, the Royal Standard of Her Majesty was broken over Campbell.

The Royal Party had arrived: HM The Queen; HRH The Princess Margaret; HE the Governor of Northern Ireland, the 4th Earl Granville; the Chairman of the Governors, the Rev JKL McKean; the Headmaster and Mrs Groves.


It is with great pride that we welcome Your Majesty and Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret to Campbell College. Since its foundation in 1894, boys have gone forth from this school to serve the Empire and their generation in many and varied walks of life - in Church and State, the Armed Forces, the liberal professions, the commercial and industrial life of Northern Ireland, and in your Dominions at home and overseas ... in the two world wars 236 Old Boys laid down their lives for God, King and Country; it is with pride that we remember that two of these were awarded the Victoria Cross.
In many other ways its sons have enriched the Ulster heritage and helped to forge the link between Great Britain and Northern Ireland ... which will inspire us and those who follow to even greater efforts to serve Your Majesty and your people with equal loyalty in the future.


The King has asked me to say how very sorry he is not to be able to be here today, as he had been looking forward to the opportunity which his visit to Northern Ireland afforded of coming to one of its most eminent schools, and of seeing some of the boys who will hold many important positions in the varied life of the country in the future ... the notable record to which you have referred prompted your Governors to propose the Campbell College should be given a Royal Charter. The King was very glad to approve this...
On His Majesty's behalf I now present this Charter of Incorporation to the Chairman of the Governors. The King would like to mark this occasion in a form which boys most readily understand and I would therefore ask your Headmaster to add a week to your summer holidays.

Thereafter the Chairman of the Governors replied with a brief word of gratitude.

The Head Boy, Stewart Johnston, came forward and was presented to The Queen.

 The Royal Party were shown the Central Hall and the War Memorials.

Afterwards, the Royal Party walked round the front of the Quadrangle; HM spoke to some of the masters and boys; HM and HRH kindly posed for the rows of boys with cameras; and, as the Royal Salute was played once more, and The Queen's Standard was hauled down, HM and HRH bade farewell.

So ended in every way a golden day in the history of Campbell College.

First published in June, 2011.

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Downhill Acquisition


PROPERTY: Mussenden Temple, Downhill Demesne, County Londonderry
DATE: 1949
EXTENT: 0.59 acres
DONOR: Frederick Smyth Esq


PROPERTY: The Black Glen, Downhill Demesne
DATE: 1961
EXTENT: 17.7 acres
DONOR: Richard Morrison Esq


PROPERTY: Downhill Ruin and Mausoleum
DATE: 1980
EXTENT: 3.1 acres
DONOR: Messrs Robert O'Neill and James Reid


PROPERTY: Downhill
DATE: 2004
EXTENT: 5.98 acres
DONOR: Coleraine Borough Council

First published in December, 2014.

Coolcarrigan House


The first member of the Wright family to settle in Ireland was

CAPTAIN JAMES WRIGHT (1615-1700), of Royston, Yorkshire, son of John Wright and Margaret, daughter of Richard Ratcliffe.

This soldier, an officer in Cromwell's army, landed at Dublin, 1649.

In 1661, Captain Wright was granted lands at Golagh in County Monaghan.

He was, however, attainted by JAMES II's parliament, 1688.

His son,

JOSEPH WRIGHT (1652-1731), of Golagh, married, in 1708, Mary, daughter of Edward Own of Kilmore, County Monaghan, and had a son,

JOSEPH WRIGHT, of Golagh, High Sheriff of Monaghan, married, in 1744, Eleanor Martyn, of Clogher and Dumbartagh, County Cavan.

The second son,

JOSEPH WRIGHT JP, of Carrachor Hall, Rector of Killencoole, Lurgan Green and Harristown, County Louth, married Mary Montgomery and had four sons.

His second son,

RICHARD WRIGHT, of Fortfield, Belfast, and Craigavad House, County Down, married Catherine, daughter of George Dowdall.

He died in 1788, leaving issue five sons and two daughters.

The third son,

EDWARD THOMAS WRIGHT (1810-81), of Donnybrook, County Dublin, Barrister, married, in 1832, his cousin Charlotte, daughter of Joseph Wright, of Beech Hill, Donnybrook, County Dublin.

The eldest son,

EDWARD PERCIVAL WRIGHT (1834-1910), Professor of Botany, Dublin University, married Emily, daughter of Colonel Ponsonby Shaw of the Indian Army.

His second son,

THE REV CHARLES HENRY HAMILTON WRIGHT (1836-1909), married, in 1859, Ebba Johanna, daughter of Nils Wilhelm Almroth (Director of the Royal Mint in Stockholm and a Knight of the Northern Star of Sweden).

His second son,

SIR ALMROTH EDWARD WRIGHT KBE CB (1861-1947), married, in 1889, Jane Georgina, daughter of Robert Mackay Wilson, of Coolcarrigan, County Kildare.

His second son,

LEONARD ALMROTH WILSON-WRIGHT JP, of Coolcarrigan, High Sheriff of County Kildare, 1921, who married, in 1925, Florence, eldest daughter of James Ivory JP, of Brewlands, Glenisla, Forfarshire, and had issue, an only son,

JOCK WILSON-WRIGHT (1928-), who married, in 1953, Sheila Gwendolyn Yate, only daughter of Colonel Henry Patrick Blosse-Lynch, of Partry, Claremorris, County Mayo, and had issue,
Robert (b 1956);
Jane Sheila (b 1958);
Janet, (b 1951) who married Sir Richard La Touche Colthurst, 9th Baronet, of Ardrum, County Cork, and had issue two sons, Charles (b 1955) and James (b 1957).

THE WILSONS descend from John Wilson, of Rahee, County Antrim, said to have landed in Carrickfergus in the suite of WILLIAM III.

Robert Mackay Wilson's great-grandfather Hugh Wilson (d 1822) also lived at Rashee.

Robert Mackay Wilson's grandfather William Wilson, of Daramona House, County Westmeath, and Larkhill, County Dublin, was born in 1787 and married, in 1815, Rebecca Dupre (d 1846), daughter of John Mackay of Elagh, County Tyrone, and Prospect, County Londonderry.

Robert's elder brother John (1826-1906) succeeded to Daramona House and was sometime High Sheriff for counties Westmeath and Longford.

Robert Mackay Wilson JP (b1829), High Sheriff of Kildare, 1887, married, in 1858, Elizabeth, daughter of Murray Suffern, of Belfast.

Mr Wilson purchased Coolcarrigan.

Coolcarrigan passed to his only surviving child,

Jane Georgina Wilson (1860-1926) who married Sir Almroth Wright.

COOLCARRIGAN HOUSE, near Naas, County Kildare, is a mansion of three bays and two storeys in the Georgian style, built in the 1830s by Robert Mackay Wilson to the designs of an unknown architect.

The façade has hooded moldings over the upper windows, a simple parapet and a typical late-Georgian door with fanlight and sidelights, while the central bay is treated as a breakfront by the addition of a pair of pilasters.

Two later curved screen walls, ending in tall piers, project outwards to either side of the entrance front and disguise the fact that the house has been considerably enlarged at the rear.

These additions make Coolcarrigan a very comfortable family home.

There is a beautiful family chapel in the grounds:

Consecrated in 1885 by the Most Rev William Plunket, Lord Archbishop of Dublin and later 4th Baron Plunket, the chapel was built in the Hiberno-Romanesque Revival style, with a Round Tower and a High Cross.

It derives from the 12th century Temple Finghin at Clonmacnoise on the River Shannon.

This tiny complex, surrounded by trees and a dry moat, is the most complete example of the Celtic Revival style in Ireland and makes an attractive view from the house.

The church interior has frescoes in Gaelic script, specially chosen by Douglas Hyde, the first Irish President and a close family friend; while the very good stained glass windows, dedicated to various members of the family, are also in the Celtic Revival style.

The main avenue has a splendid display of spring bulbs while the superb twenty-acre garden has a wonderful collection of rare and unusual trees and shrubs inspired by Sir Harold Hillier, the great 20th century plants-man and collector.

An elaborate 1900s greenhouse in the walled garden has just been authentically restored.

Robert Wilson's daughter Georgina married Sir Almroth Wright, and inherited Coolcarrigan.

Her husband was an eminent physician and a colleague of Alexander Fleming, who worked on the development of vaccination and discovered the cure for typhoid.

Among his friends was the playwright George Bernard Shaw, whose play The Doctor’s Dilemma is based upon Sir Almroth.

Their descendants, the Wilson-Wright family, still live at Coolcarrigan, the fifth generation to live in the house.

First published in March, 2013.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Coates Baronets


VICTOR COATS (1760-1822), of Snugville, Belfast, son of Israel Coats, of The Falls, in the same town, by his wife Grace, carried out business as a surgeon-barber and perfumer.

During the latter half of the 18th century, Mr Coats removed to Ballymacarrett and established the Coats Pottery,
Coats has for sale a good assortment of butter crocks and milk pans of different sizes. Also, flooring tiles of remarkable good quality, and chimney pots made to any shape.
About 1800, Mr Coats inherited a heavy engineering firm, which was to become one of the most successful in Belfast.

His son,

WILLIAM COATES JP (1798-1878), of Glentoran, Belfast, who married Mary, daughter of Thomas Lindsay, and had issue, a son,

DAVID LINDSAY COATES JP (1840-94), of Clonallon House, Strandtown, Belfast, who wedded, in 1864, Sara, daughter of George Mulligan, and had issue,
Harold Vivian Edmund;
Anna Maria.
Mr Coates was succeeded by his elder son,

WILLIAM FREDERICK COATES JP DL (1866-1932), Lord Mayor of Belfast, 1920-22 and 1929-30, High Sheriff of Belfast, 1906, High Sheriff of County Antrim, 1931.

Mr Coates established the stockbrokers William F Coates & Co.

He was created a baronet in 1921, denominated of Haypark, City of Belfast.

Sir William espoused, in 1907, Elsie Millicent, daughter of Colonel Frederick William Gregory, and had issue,
Jean Ann Dorothy.

He hosted King George V and Queen Mary when they visited Belfast to open the new NI Parliament Buildings of which he was also a senator (both ex officio as Lord Mayor and as an elected member 1924-29).

The following entry was circulated in the London Gazette, 1921:-
The KING has been graciously pleased on the occasion of the opening by His Majesty of the Parliament of Northern Ireland to signify his intention of conferring a Baronetcy of the United Kingdom on the undermentioned: — William Frederick Coates, Esq., D.L. For two years successively Lord Mayor of Belfast. Has rendered conspicuous valuable service during very anxious times.

Clonallon House was a large Victorian villa in its own grounds, between Belmont Road and Sydenham Avenue.

The main entrance was probably at Belmont Road, where there may have been a gate lodge.

Sir William lived for a period at Glynn Park House (above), near Carrickfergus, County Antrim, which features in Dean's Gate Lodges of Ulster.

He was succeeded by his only son,

BRIGADIER SIR FREDERICK GREGORY LINDSAY COATES (1916-94), 2nd Baronet, who married, in 1940, Joan Nugent, daughter of Major-General Sir Charlton Watson Spinks, and had issue,
Elizabeth Sara Ann; Moira Louise.
Sir Frederick was succeeded by his only son,

SIR DAVID FREDERICK CHARLTON COATES (b 1948), 3rd Baronet, of Dorchester, Dorset, who wedded, in 1973, Christine Helen, daughter of Lewis F Marshall, and had issue,
Robert Lewis Edward, b 1980.
Sir David is vice-president of the Poole Maritime Trust.

First published in July, 2010.

Seaport Stables

SEAPORT STABLES are situated at the entrance to Seaport Lodge in Portballintrae, County Antrim.

They comprises a pair of two-storey, rendered and whitewashed buildings.

The roofs are hipped and slated with leaded ridges and hips.

There is a tall, ashlar, sandstone chimney-stack with equally lofty clay chimney-pots.

The walls are rendered.

The southern block has been converted into a bar and restaurant.
Its principal elevation faces south and comprises four segmental-headed windows at first floor level; and two sash windows at the ground floor, flanking a modern, sympathetically-styled, semi-circular entrance porch.
The western elevation is accessed at first-floor level via a grassy verge.

The southern elevation has a variety of modern window openings and an off-centre modern timber-sheeted door with fanlight.

The eastern elevation is fully abutted by a modern uPVC conservatory.

The northern block has been converted into a dwelling and office, and its main elevation faces south.
The central bay has three glazed oculi at first floor level, over two round-headed windows and a round-headed entrance containing a timber-sheeted door with cast-iron door furniture, surmounted by a four-paned fanlight.
The western elevation has a central, square-headed recess containing a modern timber sash window.

There is a roughcast rendered boundary wall, topped by undressed stone coping, to the Bayhead Road at south; modern rubble-stone wall to entrance at east.

A large, gravel parking area at the front of the southern block.

The coaching stables were originally constructed in the Georgian period, prior to 1832.

No major alteration has been made to the layout of the site in almost two centuries.

The two-storey buildings were formerly utilised as the coaching stables for Seaport Lodge, which was the property of James Edmund Leslie.

In 1832, Portballintrae comprised only a few houses, chiefly occupied by pilots, but near this to the west side of the bay was Seaport House, the summer residence of James Leslie.

The Lodge was built ca 1790, and although its situation was exposed and unprotected, [the location] was admirably calculated for that of a bathing lodge.

Seaport Lodge's coaching stables were probably built at the same time as the main dwelling and were located at the main approach to the estate from the village.

By 1859, occupation of Seaport Lodge had passed to James's brother, Henry Erskine Leslie, who was also recorded as owner of the site.

Henry Leslie continued to reside at Seaport Lodge until his death in 1864, at which time the property passed to his widow, Harriet Ann Leslie.

In 1882, Colonel Edmund Douglas Leslie came into possession of the site and its associated outbuildings, including the coaching stables.

Colonel Leslie resided at Seaport Lodge until 1908, when his nephew, James Graham Leslie (1868-1949) took possession.

Despite the change in ownership during this period, Seaport Lodge remained a summer residence, vacant during both the 1901 and 1911 censuses which were both conducted in the month of April.

James Graham Leslie remained the occupant of Seaport Lodge until 1929.

Historians cite the construction date of Seaport Lodge as ca 1770, despite the Ordnance Survey Memoirs claiming a later date of about 1790.

Sir Charles Brett stated that the dwelling was constructed by James Leslie, soon after the completion of his other main residence, Leslie Hill, in 1772.

James Leslie's ability to erect two major houses within such a short period led Brett to suggest that Leslie "much over-strained the family finances" to realise his ambition of possessing a grand country house with a leisurely seaside retreat.

Local tradition claims that Seaport Lodge was constructed gradually over a period of many years.

The Lodge's main domestic block was the first section of the building to be constructed.

Sir Charles remarked that the two-storey western service wing was added later, most likely in 1827, as that date is inscribed on many of the later wing's wall plates.

It is not known at what stage in the estate's development the pair of two-storey coach stables were erected; however, it was certainly prior to 1832.

Seaport Lodge remained in the possession of the Leslie family until the mid-20th century.

The northern former coaching stable was listed in 1977, and since that time has continued to be privately occupied.

By the 1970s, the two coach stables were no longer utilised as out-offices, but had been converted into a private dwelling named Beach Park and designated Number 6, Seaport Avenue.

In the late-20th century the southern block was converted into a bar-restaurant called Sweeney's; however, the northern block has been maintained as a private dwelling and office space.

As part of the conversion of the site, a modern glass conservatory was added to the eastern elevation of the southern block, whilst the interior was completely refurbished.

A pair of charming Gothic gate lodges once faced each other at the main entrance to Seaport Lodge.

They stood at the main road, the present entrance into Sweeney's (now Bartali).

First published in March, 2015.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Dromore Palace

THE foundation of this diocese is ascribed to St Colman in the 6th century.

It is extremely compact, and the smallest in extent of any in the island of Ireland, which is not annexed to another see.

It extends only 35 miles from north to south; and 21 from east to west; yet it includes some part of three counties, namely Down, Armagh, and Antrim.

The lordship of Newry claimed the same exemption from episcopal jurisdiction, to which it was entitled when it appertained to a monastery before the Reformation.

The proprietor of the lordship, the Earl of Kilmorey, exercised the jurisdiction in his peculiar court, granting marriage licences, probates to wills etc under the old monastic seal.

THE PALACE, Dromore, County Down, otherwise known as Dromore House, was fine, three-storey, late 18th century block built in 1781 by the Rt Rev and Hon William Beresford, Lord Bishop of Dromore, 1780-82.

The palace was enhanced by Bishop Beresford's successor, the Rt Rev Thomas Percy, who laid out plantations, gardens and a glen, adorned with obelisks.

The last prelate to reside at the palace was the Right Rev James Saurin, Lord Bishop of Dromore, 1819-42.

It was sold in 1842, when the see of Dromore was merged with Down and Connor.

Dromore House was in use for some years in the late 1800s as a school.

First published in January, 2013.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Armagh Palace


Archbishops of Armagh resided mainly in Drogheda or Dublin (where they sat in the Irish House of Lords) and stayed at Armagh only when necessary.

Archbishop Robinson, however, determined to live as often as possible in Armagh.

The Archbishop, however, disliked the Lord Primates' official residence at the time.

Despite renovations, it still did not meet His Grace's expectations.

He therefore decided to have a new palace built on 300 acres of church land to the south of the city.

The Palace, Armagh, built in 1770, is described by Mark Bence-Jones as a plain, dignified 18th century block.

It is of nine bays, the side elevation being five bays.

The Palace originally comprised two storeys over a high, rusticated basement.

It was erected to the design of Thomas Cooley, by Archbishop Robinson, afterwards elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Rokeby.

Garden Front

A third storey was added in 1786.

Some time later, a substantial enclosed porch was added, with pairs of Ionic columns set at an angle to the front.

Adjacent to the entrance front is the Primatial Chapel, a separate building in the style of an Ionic temple.

Its exterior, also by Cooley, is of 1770; though the interior was fitted out three years later, in 1784, by Francis Johnston.

The chapel's interior is said to be one of the most beautiful surviving Irish ecclesiastical interiors, boasting a coffered, barrel-vaulted ceiling; a delicate frieze; Corinthian pilasters; a gallery; magnificent panelling; and pews.


UNTIL tenure in office of Primate Robinson, archbishops of Armagh were not provided with a place of residence in keeping with the revenues of the office.

During less peaceful times, when nothing was left of either city or churches, a precedent was formed for living elsewhere in the diocese, and for a considerable space the Lord Primates had palaces at Drogheda and Termonfeckin, County Louth.

During St Patrick 's time, the Primatial residence was situated on a part of the hill crowned by the Cathedral.

Bishopscourt, in Mullinure, north-northeast of the city, was a residence, and it is recorded that there were rooms for the Archbishop in the Culdee Priory.

When Dr Robinson was appointed Primate, the residence was in English Street.

Ninety-one numerous plantations then started in the splendid demesne, adding greatly to the beauty of the scenery surrounding the city.

Primate Stuart walled the demesne at a cost of £20,000, reserving for his successors in the archbishopric the privilege of sharing in this needful expenditure.

Lord John George Beresford, appointed to the Primacy in 1822, raised the palace from three to four storeys, thereby greatly increasing the dignity of the structure.

At the upper end of the demesne, the ground ascends to a point called Knox 's Hill.

On this there is an obelisk, erected by Primate Robinson in 1783, to perpetuate the memory of his intimacy with the 1st Duke of Northumberland (Lord Lieutenant of Ireland), through whose instrumentality he had been translated to Armagh from the bishopric of Kildare.

The obelisk is 113 feet in height, and it is due to Dr. Robinson 's memory to say that its erection was suggested as a means of honourable employment for the people of Armagh during a time of severe distress.

The lands surrounding the palace became a demesne by Act of Council, dated 1769.

Until then, the residence of the archbishops had not been legally transferred from Drogheda.

Archbishop Knox, in order that the Palace may be available for residence by his successors, began a fund in 1888.

This was rendered necessary through changes arising out of the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland.

The Mall, before Primate Robinson tenure, was a swampy common and the road now surrounding it was a race-course.

By an Act of GEORGE III it was granted to the Lord Primate for useful purposes.

In 1797, Primate Newcombe, successor to Primate Robinson, leased it to the Sovereign and Burgesses of Armagh, for the purpose of being transformed into "a public walk for the people."

This was accomplished by subscription, in a creditable manner.

The Most Rev George Otto Simms was the last Archbishop to live at the Palace.

Fourteen of the one hundred and four archbishops have resided at the palace.

The archiepiscopal palace is now the council offices of Armagh City Council.

The walled demesne referred to by Inglis in 1834 as, ‘… in excellent order … laid out with much taste …’ is largely parkland.

The ground undulates and the palace is on high ground, with fine views of the city and the Anglican cathedral.

The original planting set off the house and the vistas.

To the north it is now a public grassed area, with mature parkland trees (chiefly sycamore); and to the south it is grazing, with a stand of 19th century exotic trees near the house.

A belt of woodland on high ground to the west of the northern section of the parkland affords necessary protection.

A golf course now occupies the north-eastern section.

The walled garden is at the north end, with a garden house.

It is not cultivated though used by the rugby club.

There are modern ornamental gardens on the south side of the palace, and a 1990s garden on the west side, near the primatial chapel.

A fine 19th century glasshouse and ice house also lie to the west of the house and there is another ice house near the main entrance.

The stables and coach yard  have been converted for tourism.

The entrance gates were moved when the road was altered and this unfortunate development effectively cut the demesne off from the city, though the grounds are open to the general public.

The 18th century gate lodge has been demolished and only one of three remains.
UNTIL the early 19th century, the Primate's Castle, Termonfeckin, County Louth, was used for several centuries by archbishops of Armagh as an auxiliary residence to their archiepiscopal quarters in nearby Drogheda.
After the Reformation, several of the archbishops of the established church resided periodically at Termonfeckin. The castle's most famous occupant at that time was the Most Rev James Ussher, Lord Archbishop of Armagh from 1625-56.
He used the castle in Termonfeckin for much of his term until 1640, when he departed for England, never to return. The castle was damaged in the Irish rebellion of 1641 and was not repaired. It fell into disuse and was eventually demolished ca 1830.
First published in December, 2012.

The Archdale Baronets


The first of the family of ARCHDALE, who settled in Ireland during the reign of ELIZABETH I, was

JOHN ARCHDALE, of Norsom or Norton Hall, in Norfolk.

In 1612 he was granted 1,000 acres of land in County Fermanagh as part of the Plantation of Ulster.

This gentleman, by the inscription over the gateway in the ruinous castle, appears to have erected the old mansion-house of Archdale.

He married and had two sons,
EDWARD, of whom we treat;
JOHN (Rev), Vicar of Luske, in 1664.
John Archdale died in 1621, and was succeeded by his son,

EDWARD ARCHDALE, who espoused Angel, daughter of Sir Paul Gore (ancestor of the Gores, Earls of Ross), and had issue.

During his time, the castle which his father had erected was taken and burned by the rebels under Sir Phelim O'Neill, in 1641, and only two children of a numerous family survived.

One, a daughter, who was absent and married; the other, an infant son, WILLIAM, preserved by the fidelity of his nurse, an Irish Roman Catholic, which

WILLIAM ARCHDALEafter succeeding to the estates, married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Mervyn, of Omagh Castle and Trillick, both in County Tyrone, and had two sons and a daughter, viz.
MERVYN, his heir;
EDWARD, heir to his brother;
He was succeeded by his elder son,

MERVYN ARCHDALE, of Castle Archdale, who died a bachelor in 1726, and was succeeded by his brother,

EDWARD ARCHDALE, of Castle Archdale, who wedded firstly, Frances, eldest daughter of Sir John Caldwell Bt; and secondly, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Cole, of Florence Court.

Dying without issue, however, before 1730,  the family estates devolved upon his only sister,

ANGEL ARCHDALE, who thus became heiress and representative of the family.

She espoused NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY MP, of Derrygonnelly, County Fermanagh, who assumed the surname and arms of ARCHDALE, and left, at her decease about 1742 or 1743, an only son,

MERVYN ARCHDALE MP, of Castle Archdale and Trillick, who espoused, in 1762, the Hon Mary Dawson, daughter of William Henry, Viscount Carlow, and sister of John, 1st Earl of Portarlington, and had issue, 
Mervyn, his heir;
William, an army officer;
EDWARD, of whom we treat;
Henry, an army officer;
Mary; Angel; Elizabeth; Sidney.
In 1773, this gentleman built the Manor House.

The third son, 

EDWARD ARCHDALE JP DL (1775-1864), of Riversdale, County Fermanagh, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1813, married, in 1809, Matilda, daughter of William Humphrys, and had issue,
Mervyn Edward, of Castle Archdale;
William Humphrys Mervyn, of Castle Archdale;
Edward, of Clifton Lodge, Lisnaskea;
Henry Montgomery (Rev), Rector of Trory;
NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY, of whom hereafter;
Hugh Montgomery, of Drumadravy;
Audley Mervyn;
James Mervyn;
Mary; Letitia Jane; Richmal Magnall.
The fifth son,

NICHOLAS MONTGOMERY ARCHDALE JP DL (1820-77), of Riversdale and Crocknacrieve, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1861, married, in 1852, Adelaide Mary, daughter of Rev John Grey Porter, of Belleisle, County Fermanagh, and had issue,
EDWARD MERVYN, his heir;
John Porter, of Belleisle;
William Henry;
Henry Butler;
Nicholas Francis;
Theodore Montgomery;
Margaret Eleanor; Matilda Lavinia.
Mr Archdale was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD MERVYN ARCHDALE JP DL (1853-1943), High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1884, Lieutenant-Commander RN, MP for North Fermanagh, 1898-1903 and 1916-22, MP for Enniskillen, 1929-43.

Mr Archdale, a Privy Counsellor, was created a baronet in 1928, denominated of Riversdale, County Fermanagh.

He married, in 1880, Alicia Bland, daughter of Quintin Fleming, and had issue,
NICHOLAS EDWARD, his successor;
William Porter Palgrave, CBE;
Audley Quintin, Lt-Col;
Dominick Mervyn;
Humphries, DSC, Captain RN;
Sir Edward was succeeded by his eldest son,

VICE-ADMIRAL SIR NICHOLAS EDWARD ARCHDALE, 2nd Baronet (1881-1955), CBE, who married, in 1920, Gerda Henriette, daughter of Frederik Christian Sievers, and had issue,
EDWARD FOLMER, his successor;
Alice Gerda (1923-87).
Sir Edward fought in the 1st World War, with the submarine flotillas; was Aide-de-Camp to HM King George V, 1929; General Inspector, NI Ministry of Home Affairs, 1931-46.

Sir Edward distinguished himself in the Royal Navy.

He was succeeded by his only son,

CAPTAIN SIR EDWARD (Ted) FOLMER ARCHDALE, 3rd Baronet, (1921-2009), DSC, RN, who married, in 1954, Elizabeth Ann Stewart, daughter of Major-General Wilfred Boyd Fellowes Lukis, and had issue,
NICHOLAS EDWARD, his successor;
Lucinda Grace.
Sir Edward distinguished himself in the Royal Navy , serving as aide-de-camp to HM The Queen prior to his retirement in 1971.

He lived at Comber, County Down.

Sir Edward, 3rd Baronet, was succeeded by his only son,

SIR NICHOLAS EDWARD ARCHDALE, 4th and present Baronet (1965-).

The heir presumptive is his cousin, Peter Mervyn Archadale (b 1953).

The heir presumtive's heir apparent is his son, Jonathan Talbot Archdale (b 1982).

CROCKNACRIEVE, near Enniskillen, is a Georgian house originally owned by the Richardsons of Rich Hill.

It was acquired by the Archdales through marriage by a cousin.

Sir Edward, 1st Baronet, sold the property in 1901.

RIVERSDALE HOUSE formed part of a 5,627 acre estate.

It is now the regional office for the NI Rivers Agency.

I have written about Castle Archdale here.

First published in June, 2010.

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Reeks


CORNELIUS or CONNOR McGILLYCUDDY was born ca 1580; died by shipwreck, 1630, having married firstly, Joan, daughter of the Rt Rev John Crosbie, Lord Bishop of Ardfert; and secondly, Sheelagh, daughter of Richard Oge McCarty, of Dunguile, by whom he had a son, Niell, and a daughter.

By his first wife he had, with other issue,

DONOUGH McGILLYCUDDY (1623-c1695), of Carnbeg Castle, County Kerry, Sheriff of County Kerry, 1686.

This Donough obtained a grant of arms from Sir Richard Carney, Ulster King of Arms, in 1688.

He wedded, in 1641, Marie, youngest daughter of Daniel O'Sullivan, of Dunkerron, County Kerry, and had issue,
CORNELIUS, the heir;
Daniel, Colonel, Captain Monck's Regiment; father of DENNIS.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his elder son,

CORNELIUS McGILLYCUDDY, who married Elizabeth McCarty and dsp 1712, being succeeded by his cousin,

DENNIS McGILLYCUDDY, who married, in 1717, Anne, daughter of John Blennerhassett, by whom he had issue, with four daughters,
DENNIS, his heir;
CORNELIUS, succeeded his brother;
John, dsp;
Philip, dsp.
He died in 1730, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

DENNIS McGILLYCUDDY (1718-35), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

CORNELIUS McGILLYCUDDY, born ca 1720, who wedded, in 1745, Catherine, daughter of Richard Chute, of Tullygaron, and had issue,
Denis, b 1747; d unm;
RICHARD, succeeded his father;
FRANCIS, succeeded his brother;
Charity; Mary Anne; Margaret; Ruth; Avis; Agnes.
The eldest son,

RICHARD McGILLYCUDDY (1750-1826), of The Reeks, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1793, espoused, in 1780, the Hon Arabella Mullins, daughter of Thomas, 1st Baron Ventry.

He dsp 1826, being succeeded by his brother,

FRANCIS McGILLYCUDDY (1751-1827), of The Reeks, who wedded Catherine, widow of Darby McGill, and daughter of Denis Mahony, of Dromore, County Kerry, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Frances; Mary Catherine; Elizabeth.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his son,

RICHARD McGILLYCUDDY (1790-1866), of The Reeks, who married firstly, in 1814, Margaret (d 1827), only daughter of Dr John Bennett, and had issue, a daughter, Dorothea.

He wedded secondly, in 1849, Anna, daughter of Captain John Johnstone, of Mamstone Court, Herefordshire, and had issue,
Agnes; Anna Catherine; Mary Ruth; Sylvia Emily.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD PATRICK McGILLYCUDDY (1850-71), of The Reeks; who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

DENIS DONOUGH CHARLES McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1852-1921), DSO, Lieutenant RN, who married, in 1881, Gertrude Laura, second daughter of Edmond Miller, of Ringwood, Massachusetts, USA, and had issue,
ROSS KINLOCH; his heir;
Richard Hugh (1883-1918).
The elder son,

ROSS KINLOCH McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1852-1950), DSO, Lieutenant, 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, wedded Victoria, daughter of Edward Courage, of Shenfield Place, Essex, and had issue,
JOHN PATRICK, his heir;
Denis Michael Edmond (1917-44);
Phyllida Anne.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN PATRICK McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1909-59), who wedded, in 1945, Elizabeth Margaret, daughter of Major John Ellison Otto, and had issue,
Sarah Elizabeth.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his only son,

RICHARD DENIS WYER McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1948-2004), who married, in 1984, Virginia Lucy, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon Hugh Waldorf Astor, and had issue,
Tara Virginia, b 1985;
Sorcha Alexander, b 1990.
Richard McGillycuddy was succeeded in the title by his first cousin,

(DERMOT PATRICK) DONOUGH McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1939-), who married, in 1964, Wendy O'Connor, daughter of George Spencer, and has issue,
Michael Dermot, b 1968;
Jocelyn Patrick Spencer, b 1970;
Lavinia O'Connor, b 1966.

THE REEKS, near Beaufort, County Kerry, is a two-storey, five-bay, late Georgian house.

It has an eaved roof and pilastered porch, doubled in length with an extension of the same height and style.

Effectively this forms a continuous front of ten bays, the original porch, no longer central, remaining the entrance.

The two end bays of the extension protrude slightly.

AT THE end of the 19th century, before the Land Purchase Acts, Richard McGillycuddy's grandfather, whose mother had injected American money into the family, distinguished himself in the 1st World War, winning the DSO and the Légion d'Honneur.

From 1928 to 1936, he sat in the Senate of the Irish Free State as a supporter of the moderate WT Cosgrave and an opponent of the republican Eamon de Valera.

In the 2nd World War, he returned to the colours and became a regular informant on what was happening in neutral Ireland.

His grandson, Richard Denis Wyer McGillycuddy, was born in 1948. Richard's father, the senator's son, who had succeeded in 1950, himself died in 1959 as a result of wounds sustained during the 2nd World War in the Northampton Yeomanry.

At the time Richard was only 10 and still at his preparatory school before going on to Eton.

His English mother, although never feeling at home in Ireland, carried on dutifully at Beaufort to preserve the family inheritance for her son.

Every August, she organised a rather gentrified cricket match played on the lawn of the house - but it was abandoned around 1970 after young Richard, who had little interest in cricket and was not watching, was knocked unconscious by a mighty drive by a visitor who had played for the Cambridge Crusaders.

The young McGillycuddy's passion was cars, and he went into the motor trade in London after a brief sojourn at the University of Aix-en-Provence.

He was unreceptive to the efforts of his uncle Dermot, a Dublin solicitor much beloved of McGillycuddys of every class and creed, to interest him in Ireland.

Tall and dashing, the rugged and auburn-haired young McGillycuddy of the Reeks was much in demand in London among the Sloane Rangers.

Eventually, in 1983, at the age of 35, he married Virginia Astor, the granddaughter of the 1st Lord Astor of Hever.

Feeling that he had little in common with the local people in Kerry, McGillycuddy decided to sell The Reeks, and moved to France, where he acted as a property consultant to prospective British purchasers of chateaux and lesser French properties.

After the birth of his second daughter in 1990, the family returned to live in Ireland - not, however, in their ancestral territory, but nearer Dublin, where they rented a succession of houses, the last of them in Westmeath.

He continued to dabble in property, and latterly sold insurance; but it was a handicap that his upper-class English demeanour disappointed expectations raised by his Irish-sounding name.

Although he could be charming in the appropriate company, he did not relate well to Irish people outside his own class.

Meanwhile, despite poor health, his wife carved out a niche for herself doing valuable work as a prison visitor.

McGillycuddy was active in the council of Irish chieftains who had been recognised by the Irish Genealogical Office.

Richard McGillycuddy was survived by his wife and two daughters.

He was succeeded by his first cousin, Donogh, who lives in South Africa.

First published in March, 2013.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Best Veggie Bangers

For the benefit of those of you who don't follow me regularly, I happened to be digging and shovelling at a little wood beside Greyabbey, County Down, during the week.

This wood is owned by the National Trust.

I was chatting with a fellow volunteer about a favourite topic, viz. food, and he apprised me of a certain brand of vegetarian sausages.

Geoff's wife and daughter are both vegetarian, though he is not.

However, he recommended Tesco Meat-Free Lincolnshire-style Sausages.

They are in the freezer section and are sold in packs of six.

Dear readers, I am not vegetarian.

I had a home-made rump steak burger several days ago.

However, I am not averse to trying healthy alternatives to pork sausages.

Accordingly, I purchased a packet of the said sausages.

I fried them gently in butter, fried a finely-chopped red onion, and boiled a few potatoes.

I had these veggie sausages with onion mash, tomato, and my home-made coleslaw.

I will understand if some of you are sceptical when I tell you that these veggie sausages are as close in texture and flavour to the real thing.

It is true, though.

I have consumed Quorn sausages, and the Tesco Lincolnshire-style ones are considerably better.

I am convinced that I could fool a few pals if I presented these bangers to them in a blind tasting.

In conclusion, readers, you must try them for yourselves and please do let me know what you think.

Loughgall Manor


ANTHONY COPE, of Portadown, County Armagh, younger brother of Walter Cope, of Drumilly, and grandson of Sir Anthony Cope, 1st Baronet, of Hanwell, wedded Jane, daughter of the Rt Rev Thomas Moigne, Lord Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh, by whom he had an only son,

THE VERY REV ANTHONY COPE (1639-1705), Dean of Elphin, who wedded his second cousin, Elizabeth, daughter and eventual heiress of Henry Cope, of Loughgall, and granddaughter of Anthony Cope, of Armagh, who was second son of Sir Anthony Cope, 1st Baronet, of Bramshill.

The Dean left, with other issue, a son and heir,

ROBERT COPE (1679-1753), of Loughgall, MP for Armagh, who espoused firstly, in 1701, Letitia, daughter of Arthur Brownlow, of Lurgan, who dspand secondly, in 1707, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Fownes Bt, of Woodstock, by whom he had, with other issue,
ANTHONY (Very Rev), Dean of Armagh;
ARTHUR, of whom hereafter.
Mr Cope's younger son,

ARTHUR COPE, of Loughgall, wedded, in 1761, Ellen Osborne, and had issue,
ROBERT CAMDEN, his heir;
Kendrick, lieutenant-colonel, died unmarried 1827;
Emma; Elizabeth;
MARY, m Col R Doolan, and had 2 sons: RWC Doolan (cope); KH Doolan.
The elder son,

ROBERT CAMDEN COPE (c1771-1818), of Loughgall, MP for Armagh, Lieutenant-Colonel, Armagh Militia, married Mary, daughter of Samuel Elliott, Governor of Antigua, and had an only son,

ARTHUR COPE (1814-44), of Loughgall; who dsp, and bequeathed his estates to his cousin,

ROBERT WRIGHT COPE DOOLAN JP DL (1810-48), of Loughgall Manor, who assumed the surname and additional arms of COPE in 1844.

He espoused, in 1848, Cecilia Philippa, daughter of Captain Shawe Taylor, of County Galway, and by her left issue,
FRANCIS ROBERT, DL (1853-) his heir;
Albinia Elizabeth; Emma Sophia; Helen Gertrude.

In 1610, the Plantation of Ulster came into effect under the auspices of JAMES I. The manors of Loughgall and Carrowbrack in County Armagh were granted to Lord Saye and Sele.

In 1611 he sold these lands to Sir Anthony Cope Bt, of which 3,000 acres were represented by the manor of Loughgall.

The manor of Loughgall was divided between two branches of the Cope family, being known as The Manor House and Drummilly.

THE MANOR, LOUGHGALL, County Armagh, is a two-storey, mildly Tudor-Revival house of ca 1840 with numerous gables, some of which have barge-boards.

The windows have simple wooden mullions; and there are also hood-mouldings over ground-floor windows of the main block.

A lower service wing is at one side, gabled, with pointed windows in the upper storey.

The gabled entrance porch, in Gothic-Revival style, looks like a work of the 1850-70s and may be a later addition.

While the tree-lined avenue leading from the main street of the village was indicated on a map of 1834, the gateway and lodges, and the main house were not; nor was the house referred to by Lewis in 1837.

The main gates were manufactured in 1842, according to their inscription, which accords with that of the manor-house, although there is no architectural similarity between the gateway and lodges and the main house.

The Yew Walk, to the north of the Manor House, also seems to be indicated on a map of 1835.

One branch of the family subsequently lived in Drumilly House, situated to the east of the lough, which was demolished in 1965, while the other lived in the Manor House.

The manor-house was purchased from Field-Marshal Sir Gerald Templer, a relation of the original owners, by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1947.

The Ministry began general farming operations in 1949, and in 1951 established a horticultural centre on the estate.

In 1952, the Northern Ireland Plant Breeding Station, which had been founded by the Northern Ireland Government in 1922, was transferred to Loughgall.

In 1987, the Horticultural Centre and Plant Breeding Station were amalgamated to form the Northern Ireland Horticultural and Plant Breeding Station; and in 1995 the station became part of the NI Department of Agriculture's Applied Plant Science Division.

THE VILLAGE of Loughgall developed slowly under the benign guidance of the Cope family, assuming a distinctly English appearance.

During the 18th and early part of the 19th century, a number of houses were built in the elegant Georgian style of architecture.
The two Cope families, of Loughgall Manor and Drumilly respectively, did not take a very active part in politics; however, as residential landlords, they pursued a policy of agricultural development on their own estates and greatly encouraged the improvement and fertility of their tenants' farms.
Apple-growing over the past two centuries has become a major factor in the economic development of County Armagh, with Loughgall at the heart of this important industry.

To this day there is no public house in Loughgall.

The Copes, at some stage in the past, actively discouraged the sale and consumption of alcohol by buying several public houses in the village and closing them down.

In their place they established a coffee-house and reading-room.

The Copes Baronets are now extinct in the male line.

The last generation of both the Loughgall Manor and Drumilly families had daughters only.

Of the Manor House family, a Miss Cope married a clergyman, the Rev Canon Sowter; while Ralph Cope, of Drumilly, had two daughters, one of whom, Diana, married Robin Cowdy of the local Greenhall linen bleaching family at Summer Island.

Both the Manor House and Drumilly estates were purchased by the Northern Ireland Ministry of Agriculture and now play a prominent part in testing and development in the horticultural field.

Both estates remain intact and have not been developed for housing or industry; they form part of Loughgall Country Park.

With considerable areas of mature woodland interspersed with orchards and cultivated fields, this area must surely be one of the most pleasant stretches of countryside in County Armagh.

First published in August, 2010.