Sunday, 20 August 2017

9-15 Bedford Street, Belfast

Windsor House ca 2015

MARCUS PATTON OBE, in his invaluable historical gazetteer of central Belfast, describes numbers 9-15 Bedford Street thus:
In 1852 a new stone warehouse had been built on this site for Messrs Robert and John Workman, linen and muslin manufacturers, by Charles Lanyon. 
One of the first developments in the street, this was four storeys high with channelled ground and first floors, central first floor balcony, arched tops to third-floor windows, outer bays set slightly forward, and chimneys rising above deep eaves.

The Workmans' warehouse was demolished in the early 1970s and construction began on Windsor House.


Windsor House, or the Grand Central Hotel as it shall soon be, remains the tallest commercial office building in Northern Ireland (after the Obel Tower), measuring approximately 262 feet in height.

Franklin Street elevation, April, 2017

The Bedford Street (eastern elevation) of the main block is relatively narrow, though the building extends backwards along Franklin Street on the south side and James Street South on the north side for a considerable distance.

A massive extension, forty or fifty feet in height, has been built around these three sides.

Bedford Street elevation, August, 2017

In 2015 it comprised approximately 122,500 square feet, set over ground and twenty-two upper floors.

Most of the floors extend to about 5,300 square feet.

The building incorporated a double-deck car park at ground and first-floor levels, with 96 car-parking spaces accessed via James Street South.

Franklin Street elevation, August, 2017

The external walls were of a mosaic-covered, prefabricated concrete cladding with a steel and reinforced concrete structure.

A concrete mineral felt-finished flat rood covered the building, capped with a communications mast.

It is served by five high-speed lifts from the foyer.

James Street South elevation, August, 2017

Windsor House was purchased in 2015 by the Hastings Hotels group.

I keep a close eye on the construction and building works at the site.

The old Windsor House block is being virtually rebuilt and is being extended on all sides, especially the Bedford Street elevation.

The old building has been gutted and new walls, electrification, and almost everything else is being renewed and replaced.

The new Grand Central Hotel will open in June, 2018.

First published in May, 2015.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Rowan-Hamilton of Killyleagh

This family is descended from Thomas, youngest son of Sir John Hamilton of Cadzow, from which Thomas many families in Ulster descended; namely, those of Killyleagh, Hallcraig or Neillsbrook, Tollymore, Carnesure, Bangor, Ballygally, and Gransha; founded by the six sons of Hans Hamilton of Dunlop.

THE REV HANS HAMILTON (c1535-1608), Vicar of Dunlop, Ayrshire, wedded Margaret Denholm, daughter of the Laird of Weshiels, and had, with other issue,
James, 1ST VISCOUNT CLANEBOYE;
ARCHIBALD, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

ARCHIBALD HAMILTON, of Hallcraig, Lanarkshire, married firstly, Rachel Carmichael, and had issue,
JOHN;
James;
Gawn;
William;
Hugh.
He wedded secondly, Miss Simpson, by whom he left one daughter, Jane, married to Archibald Edmonstone, of Braid Island, County Antrim.

The third son,

GAWN HAMILTON, of Killyleagh, County Down, espoused Jane, daughter of Archibald Hamilton, and had issue,
ARCHIBALD;
Mary; Rose.
He died in 1703, and was succeeded by his son and heir,

ARCHIBALD HAMILTON, of Killyleagh, who married Mary, daughter of David Johnstone, of Tully, County Monaghan, and had issue,
William;
GAWN;
Susanna; Jane; Mary.
Mr Hamilton died in 1747, and was succeeded by his younger son,

GAWN HAMILTON (1729-1805), of Killyleagh, who wedded, in 1750, Jane, only child of WILLIAM ROWAN, barrister-at-law, and widow of Tichbourne Aston, of Beaulieu, County Louth, and had issue,
ARCHIBALD;
Sidney.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his son and heir,

ARCHIBALD HAMILTON (1752-1834), of Killyleagh Castle, County Down, who assumed the additional surname of ROWAN, in conformity with the will of his maternal grandfather, WILLIAM ROWAN, who devised his fortune to his grandson, then a boy at Westminster School
"in the hope that he should become a learned, honest, sober man; live unbribed and unpensioned; zealous for the rights of his country; loyal to his King; and a true protestant without bigotry to any sect."
He married, in 1781, Sarah Anne, daughter of Walter Dawson, of Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, and had issue,
Archibald;
GAWN WILLIAM ROWAN;
Sydney;
Frederick;
Dawson;
Jane; Elizabeth; Mildred; Harriet; Francesca.
Mr Rowan-Hamilton's second son,

GAWN WILLIAM ROWAN ROWAN-HAMILTON CB (1783-1834), of Killyleagh Castle, Captain RN, married, in 1817, Catherine, daughter of General Sir George Cockburn, and had issue,
ARCHIBALD ROWN, his heir;
George Rowan;
Melita Anne.
Captain Rowan-Hamilton was succeeded by his elder son,

ARCHIBALD ROWAN ROWAN-HAMILTON JP, of Killyleagh Castle, who married, in 1842, Catherine Anne, daughter of Rev George Caldwell, and had issue,
GAWN WILLIAM, his heir;
George;
Sidney Augustus Rowan;
Frederick Temple Rowan, father of
GAWN BASIL GUY ROWAN-HAMILTON;
Mary Catherine; Helen Gwendoline; Harriet Georgina.
Mr Rowan-Hamilton died in 1818, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

COLONEL GAWN WILLIAM ROWAN-HAMILTON JP DL (1844-1930), of Killyleagh Castle, and Shanagonagh Castle, County Dublin, who wedded, in 1876, Lina Mary Howley, daughter of Sir George Howland Beaumont Bt, and had issue,
ARCHIBALD JAMES;
Orfla Melita.
Colonel Rowan-Hamilton was succeeded by his son and heir,

ARCHIBALD JAMES ROWAN-HAMILTON (1877-1915), who espoused, in 1908, Norah, daughter of Frederick Abiss Phillips.

He was killed in action, 1915, without issue, and was succeeded by his nephew,

BRIGADIER GAWN BASIL (GUY) ROWAN-HAMILTON DSO MC DL (1884-1947), of Killyleagh Castle, who married, in 1916, Phyllis Frances, daughter of Robert, Lord Blackburn, by his wife Lady Constance Frances Bowes-Lyon, and had issue,
Angus David;
DENYS ARCHIBALD;
Gawn Leslie.
The second son,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL DENYS ARCHIBALD ROWAN-HAMILTON MVO DL (b 1921), of Killyleagh Castle, High Sheriff of County Down, 1975, married, in 1961, Wanda Annette, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Rupert Warburton, and had issue,
GAWN WILLIAM, of Killyleagh Castleb 1968;
Constance Orfla; Louisa Anne.
Colonel Rowan-Hamilton fought in the 2nd World War; Member, Royal Victorian Order, 1947; Aide-de-Camp, Governor of Southern Rhodesia, 1947; Major, 29th Britiish Infantry Brigade, Korea; Military Secretary to West Africa; 2nd in command of the 1st Black Watch, 1957-59; commander, 45th Black Watch, 1960-63; Defence Attache to the British Embassy, Damascus and Beirut, 1964-67; retired from the Army, 1967.

First published in August, 2013.

Friday, 18 August 2017

New DL

The Earl of Caledon KCVO, Lord-Lieutenant of County Armagh, has been pleased to appoint:
Mrs Georgina WALSH
Annasamry
Summer Island
Loughgall
County Armagh
To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County, her Commission bearing date the 25th July, 2017.

Lord-Lieutenant of the County

Birr Castle

THE EARLS OF ROSSE WERE THE SECOND LARGEST LANDOWNERS IN THE KING'S COUNTY, WITH 22,513 ACRES

This noble family, of English origin, was brought into Ireland towards the close of ELIZABETH I's reign.

Its members have, at different periods, filled the highest political employments in the state; have taken distinguished parts in the senate; have become eminent upon the Bench and at the Bar; and have twice been enrolled amongst the baronetage of the kingdom, and twice elevated to the peerage.

WILLIAM PARSONS, of Norfolk, father of Lady Poynings (wife of Richard, Lord Poynings), and mother of Sir Edward Poynings KG (1459-1521), was grandfather (it is presumed) of

WILLIAM PARSONS (1570-1650), who settled in Ireland about the close of ELIZABETH I's reign; and being a commissioner of plantations, obtained very considerable territorial grants from the Crown.

In 1602, he succeeded Sir Geoffrey Fenton, as Surveyor-General of Ireland; in 1610, he obtained a pension of £30 per annum for life.

In 1611, he was joined with his brother, Lawrence, in the supervisorship of the crown lands, with a fee of £60 per annum for life.

In 1620, presenting to JAMES I, in person, surveys of escheated estates, in his capacity of surveyor-general, he received the honour of knighthood, and was created a baronet, denominated of Bellamont, in the same year.

Sir William represented the county of Wicklow in parliament in 1639, and was nominated lord justice with Lord Dillon in 1640; but that nobleman being soon removed, he was re-sworn with Sir John Borlace, Master of the Ordnance.

He continued in the government until 1643, when he was removed, charged with treason, and committed to prison, with Sir Adam Loftus and others.

Sir William died in Westminster, and was succeeded by his grandson,

SIR WILLIAM PARSONS, 2nd Baronet, of Bellamont, County Dublin (only son of Richard Parsons by his first wife, Lettice, eldest daughter of Sir Adam Loftus, and granddaughter maternally of Walter Vaughan).

This gentleman married Catherine, eldest daughter of Arthur, Viscount Ranelagh; and dying in 1658, was succeeded by his only surviving son,

SIR RICHARD PARSONS, 3rd Baronet, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1681, as Baron Oxmantown and Viscount Rosse, with remainder to the male issue of his great-grandfather.

His lordship wedded firstly, Anne Walsingham; secondly, Catherine, daughter of George, Lord Chandos, both of whom died issueless; and thirdly, in 1685, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir George Hamilton, and niece of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, by whom he two sons and three daughters.

He died in 1702, and was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD, 2nd Viscount (1702-41), who was created, 1718, EARL OF ROSSE.

His lordship married, in 1715, Mary, eldest daughter of Lord William Paulet, brother of Charles, 2nd Duke of Bolton, by whom he had two sons and a daughter; and was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD, 2nd Earl; at whose decease, in 1764, without issue, all the honours expired, and the representation of the family devolved upon Sir William Parsons, 4th Baronet, of Birr Castle, MP for the King's County; who married and had issue,

LAURENCE, 3rd Earl, born in 1758,
The heir apparent is the present holder's son Lawrence Patrick Parsons, styled Lord Oxmantown.


The 7th and present Earl is a descendant of the 1st Baronet.

Lord and Lady Rosse live at Birr Castle.
During the period 1979-2007, Lord and Lady Rosse facilitated many decades of research by Dr Anthony Malcomson, former director of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and latterly sponsored by the Irish Manuscripts Commission, to enable the production, for the first time, of a comprehensive calendar of the Rosse Papers in 2008.
The archive is held in the Muniment Room of Birr Castle.

The Calendar is of inestimable value for researchers delving into the history of the Parsons family, including English settlement of the Irish midlands in the 17th century; the Williamite wars; early Irish nationalism; the Royal Navy in the 18th century; 19th century science and astronomy; and the fate of the landed gentry in the early 20th century.


BIRR CASTLE demesne, and the historic town of Birr, County Offaly, lie in the centre of Ireland.

The Castle is private, though the famous gardens of the demesne are open every day.

The demesne includes Ireland's Historic Science Centre whose galleries show what Ireland's leading historic scientists have contributed to astronomy photography, engineering and the art of gardening.


Birr Castle’s most spectacular high ceilinged rooms are its tapestried hall, its great Gothic music saloon overlooking the river, its yellow drawing room and long red dining room.

Other features inside include a unique staircase of the 1660s, an early panelled bedroom and dungeons.

Surrounding the castle is Ireland’s largest heritage garden with rivers, waterfalls, a fountain and lake with a Canadian log cabin, cloisters with urns and statuary.


Beyond that a riverbank wilderness and native woods; a Georgian country house in its own park; even a romantic ruined manor court.

Birr Castle was built on medieval foundations in the 1620s. It has been redeveloped many times over the years with more recent parts of the castle dating to the 19th century.

As such the castle has many stylistic perspectives. The façade of the castle is Gothic.

The reception rooms are high ceilinged and date mainly from the early 19th century with a spectacular Gothic ‘saloon’ or drawing room overlooking the River Camcor.

There is a medieval basement and dungeons beneath the Castle as well as battlements along the roof.

The 100 acre demesne has a huge variety of rare and beautiful trees and plants from all over the world. Some highlights include: The Camcor and Little Brosna Rivers and the Lake.

The Fernery with a waterfall, streams and fountain.

The formal gardens feature the hornbeam cloisters, Bavarian urns and decorative seats.

The walled gardens feature Box Hedges that are over 350 years old.
They are also, according to The Guinness Book of Records, the tallest hedges in the world. Other features include: Orchards, bridges, arboretum, outdoor grass stage (teatre Verde), herbaceous borders, lakeside log cabin, Georgian mansion and derelict manor court and stable muse, bog land, country cottages, moat, drawbridge.
A main feature of the demesne is the "Great Telescope" of the 3rd Earl, an astronomical telescope with a 72" reflector.

When completed in 1845, it was the largest telescope on earth, and capable of capturing more light and seeing further into space than any telescope had done before.

It was dismantled in 1914, but was restored by the state in the 1990s as an Irish scientific icon.

There is a long history of photography at the castle. Mary Rosse (1813-85) was the earliest acclaimed female photographer in world.

Her dark room, in which she developed her own photos, is still preserved in the castle exactly as she left it in the 1890s.

Lord Snowdon, who was, as Anthony Armstrong-Jones, partly brought up at Birr, returned to it as a setting for Viyella and other catalogues in the 1980s.

The gardens are host to wedding photography most weekends in the summer.

First published in June, 2011.  Rosse arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Colebrooke Park

THE VISCOUNTS BROOKEBOROUGH WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY FERMANAGH, WITH 27,994 ACRES


SIR BASIL BROOKE (1567-1633), Knight, of Magherabeg and Brooke Manor, County Donegal, went over to Ulster during the reign of ELIZABETH I.

Sir Basil served under Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy, and was appointed Governor of the town and castle of Donegal.

He was likewise one of the commissioners for the settlement of Ulster, and obtained from the crown large grants of land in County Donegal.

Sir Basil's son and successor (by Elizabeth, his wife, daughter of John Leycester, of Toft),

SIR HENRY BROOKE, Knight, of Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, Governor of Donegal, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1669, MP for Brooke'e Borough.

This gentleman received, in recompense for his services during the rebellion of 1641, grants of lands in County Fermanagh.

He married firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Captain John Wynter, by whom he had a son, GEORGE.

Sir Henry espoused secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry, 1st Baron Docwra, and had issue, a son, BASIL; and thirdly, in 1652, Anne, daughter of Sir George St George Bt, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Elizabeth; Anne.
Sir Henry died in 1671, and was succeeded by his surviving son,

THOMAS BROOKE MP (1653-96), of Donegal, Major, Williamite Regiment of Foot, who wedded Catherine, daughter of Sir John Cole Bt, of Newlands, County Dublin, and sister of Cole, 1st Baron Ranelagh, and had issue, an only child,

HENRY BROOKE (1671-1761), of Colebrooke, MP for and Governor of County Fermanagh, who married, in 1711, Lettice, daughter of Mr Alderman Benjamin Burton, of the city of Dublin, and had (with four daughters),
FRANCIS, his heir;
Arthur, MP; cr baronet, 1764.
Mr Brooke was succeeded by his elder son,

FRANCIS BROOKE, who wedded, in 1765, Hannah, daughter of Henry Prittie, of Dunalley, County Tipperary, and sister of the 1st Lord Dunalley, and had issue,
Arthur (Sir), KCB, lieutenant-general;
Richard Prittie, major-general;
Francis, lieutenant-colonel;
HENRY, of whom presently;
George Frederick;
Caroline; Harriet; Elizabeth.
Mr Brooke died in 1800, and was succeeded by his youngest surviving son,

HENRY BROOKE (1770-1834), of Colebrooke, County Fermanagh, who was created a baronet in 1822.

This gentleman married, in 1792, Harriet, daughter of the Hon John Butler, and granddaughter of Brinsley, 1st Viscount Lanesborough, by whom he had issue,
Francis, fell at Waterloo;
Henry, died young;
ARTHUR BRINSLEY;
Butler (Rev);
Edward Basil, major-general;
Richard, later HOWARD-BROOKE;
Thomas;
George Augustus Frederick;
Harriett Elizabeth; Maria; Selina.
Colonel Brooke was created a baronet in 1822, denominated of Colebrooke.

He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR ARTHUR BRINSLEY BROOKE, 2nd Baronet (1797-1854).
The Brookes of Colebrooke remain one of the oldest landed families in Ulster.

The Brookeborough Papers are deposited at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

Sir Arthur, Arthur, 4th Baronet, was Sheriff of County Fermanagh in 1896, a Deputy Lieutenant, and Justice of the Peace for the county.

His younger brother was Field Marshal the Viscount Alanbrooke.

The Rt Hon Sir Basil, 5th Baronet, KG CBE MC PC, third prime minister of Northern Ireland, was elevated to the peerage in 1952 as VISCOUNT BROOKEBOROUGH.

His second but eldest surviving son, John, 2nd Viscount, and 6th Baronet, was also a notable politician.

As of 2010, the titles are held by the latter's eldest son, Alan, 3rd and present Viscount and 7th Brooke Baronet, who succeeded in 1987.

Lord Brookeborough is a Lord in Waiting to HM The Queen and Lord-Lieutenant for County Fermanagh.


COLEBROOKE PARK, near Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, is a rather austere Classical mansion of 1825, by William Farrell under the auspices of Sir Henry Brooke, 1st Baronet (of the second creation).

Colebrooke has a two storey, nine bay front; with a pedimented portico of four giant Ionic columns; an irregular three storey side; and an eaved roof.

The house is constructed with cut-stone with a sprinkling of red sandstone ashlars which gives the elevation a particularly agreeable tinge.

There is a substantial entrance hall, with a double staircase to the rear.

The drawing-room has the original white and gold damask wallpaper; while the sitting-room boasts 19th century arabesques.

The dining-room is stately; described by the first prime minister of Northern Ireland, Sir James Craig, later 1st Viscount Craigavon, as "Golgotha" owing to the numerous deer skulls lining the walls.



Colebrooke stood empty for a period during the 1970s, following the death of Basil Stanlake Brooke, 5th Baronet and 1st Viscount Brookeborough (1888–1973).

The 2nd Viscount lived at the dower house, Ashbrooke.

The 3rd and present Viscount has transformed Colebrooke into a country estate fit for the 21st century.

The great house thrives once more, having been largely restored and re-furnished.

A fuller history of Colebrooke, as told by Lord Brookeborough, can be viewed here.

The history of the Brooke family is publicly available in the Brookeborough Papers.

Illustrious members of the Brooke family have included Field-Marshal the Viscount Alanbrooke and the 1st Viscount Brookeborough, second Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

In Colebrooke parish church hang the banners of the Orders of the Garter and the Bath: Lord Alanbrooke was appointed to both of these Orders; and the 1st Viscount Brookeborough to the Garter.

The present estate extends to about 1,100 acres.

Colebrooke Park is a fine demesne, the nucleus of which is the mansion which lies in a declivity in undulating ground.

It is approached via an oak avenue and surrounded by parkland, with mature trees.

There are blocks of mature woodland throughout the demesne.

The Colebrooke River meanders through the parkland, which adds to the pleasant landscape. One feature is a classical iron bridge.

The Park Bridge of about 1830 is functional and attractive.

A sunken garden on the west side of the house was added in the 1920s and the ‘Cottage Garden’, a woodland walk near the river and planted with shrubs has been developed since that time.

The walled garden of 1830 is not planted up but contains a very fine iron-framed glasshouse by Turner, built in 1834, with additions in 1835 and 1837.

There are many fine listed demesne buildings, including a triumphal arch and two gate lodges by Farrell.

The demesne includes Ashbrooke, the dower house, which has a surrounding maintained ornamental garden.

First published in January, 2010.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Sloane Baronetcy

THE SLOANE BARONETCY WAS CREATED IN 1716 FOR HANS SLOANE, ROYAL PHYSICIAN AND COLLECTOR

ALEXANDER SLOANE, of Killyleagh, County Down, was Receiver-General to James, Viscount Claneboye (c1560-1644), of the taxes of that county, wherein he resided before and after the civil war.

He married Sarah, daughter of the Rev Dr William Hicks, of Winchester, chaplain to the Most Rev Dr William Laud, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, and had issue,
James, MP;
Alexander;
Henry;
William, of Chelsea;
John;
Robert;
HANS, of whom hereafter.
The youngest son,

HANS SLOANE (1660-1753), Doctor of Medicine, of Chelsea, born at Killyleagh, County Down, having attained great celebrity in his profession, and presided several years over the College of Physicians, was created a baronet, 1716, by GEORGE I.

Sir Hans married Elizabeth, widow of Dr Fulke Rose, of Jamaica, and daughter of John Langley, Alderman of London (by Elizabeth his wife, daughter and co-heir of Richard Middleton, also an alderman of London), and had issue,
SARAH, m G Stanley; mother of RT HON HANS STANLEY;
ELIZABETH,  2nd BARON CADOGAN.
Sir Hans Sloane, who was chosen president of the Royal Society at the vacancy caused by the decease of Sir Isaac Newton in 1727, died in 1753, and was interred seven days afterwards in the churchyard of Chelsea in the same vault with his deceased wife, under a handsome monument erected by his daughters.

As he left no male issue, the Baronetcy expired with him.

The manor of Chelsea, which Sir Hans purchased in 1712 from William Cheyne, 2nd Viscount Newhaven, descended to his two daughters as co-heirs.

*****

The Sloane family lived in a thatched house on Frederick Street, Killyleagh, near the Castle.

The house was demolished much later, though the lintel stone was saved and moved across the street where a plaque has been erected to acknowledge Killyleagh’s most illustrious son.

The three Sloane boys who survived infancy received their education at the school provided by James Hamilton and they had access to the library at the Castle.

James became an eminent lawyer; William, a merchant; and Hans, an eminent physician.

The early days at Killyleagh were well suited to Hans, as his interests in natural history, particularly botany, thrived.

At the age of 16, Hans suffered a severe illness that confined him to his room for over a year.

At that time his interest in medicine grew and at the age of 19 he left for London to study medicine and natural sciences.

He then went to Paris and attended lectures on botany, chemistry and anatomy and then on to the University of Orange where he became a Doctor of Medicine.

He became intrigued by the search for new species and describing and naming new plants and animals was a passion which he would put to good use.

On return to London in 1685 he was made a Fellow of the young but prestigious Royal Society, and in 1687 a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

He was offered the chance to travel to Jamaica as physician to the new Governor, the 2nd Duke of Albermarle.

While in Jamaica, Hans Sloane was introduced to cocoa as a drink favoured by the local people.

He found it 'nauseous' but by mixing it with milk made it more palatable.

He brought this chocolate recipe back to England where it was manufactured and at first sold by apothecaries as a medicine.

Eventually, in the nineteenth century, it was taken up by Messrs Cadbury who manufactured chocolate using Sloane's recipe.

Following the unfortunate death of the Duke, Sloane returned to England in 1689.

He published in two volumes the information he had gathered in Jamaica.

In 1695 Hans married Elizabeth Langley Rose, the widow of a sugar planter in Jamaica.

Of their four children, two died when young but two girls, Sarah and Elizabeth, survived.

He developed his medical and scientific interests and because President of the Royal Society, succeeding Sir Isaac Newton, and President of the Royal College of Physicians.

In 1716, Sloane was created a baronet, the first medical practitioner to receive an hereditary title.

The Sloanes lived at Bloomsbury Place, near to the site of the present British Museum.

His collections grew and he bought the adjacent house to help accommodate them.


Corridors and rooms were filled from top to bottom with plants, animals, gemstones, coins, antiquities, books and many more objects.

Sloane's 'Museum' became a major attraction of its time and was visited by a stream of distinguished visitors from home and abroad.

That house also filled. Sloane eventually bought a large manor house in Chelsea, with surrounding farmland, to house the collection containing 117,000 items (of which about 50,000 were books and manuscripts).

On his death, aged 92, on the 11th January, 1753, the nation purchased his collection and then housed it in the British Museum.

His bust is the first item on view at the entrance to the Museum.
He became a successful physician in London with the Royal Family and other eminent persons as his patients but he still found time to treat the poor for nothing; was President of the Royal Society (PRS) 1727-41; and amassed a large fortune and was able to pursue his lifelong interest in natural history, amassing a vast, important collection that was the foundation of the British Museum.



When the Natural History Museum and the British Library were built, the natural objects, books and manuscripts were transferred to those establishments. 

Such was the esteem of Sir Hans that Sloane Square was created and a statue erected in the nearby Physic Gardens.

Those gardens were founded and bequeathed by Sir Hans Sloane to the Apothecaries' Company for the cultivation of medicinal plants for the benefit of medical students.

It consists of four acres, and is one of the oldest of existing gardens.
The statue, by Rysbrack, of Sir Hans Sloane, who gave the freehold of the ground on consideration of an annual presentation of plants to the Royal Society, stands in the centre of the Botanic Gardens, to which the public are not admitted.
His property and fortune passed to his two daughters but on the death of Sarah all passed to Elizabeth, married to General Charles Cadogan.

The lands remain with the Cadogan family.

Recently Sir Hans Sloane Square was created in Killyleagh, complete with a copy of the statue from the physic garden; and there is a memorial at Killyleagh Castle.

The Parish Church contains the graves of his father and some of his brothers.

Hans Sloane is buried at Chelsea Old Church and his tomb bears the inscription:
In memory of Sir Hans Sloane, Bart, President of the Royal Society and of the College of Physicians, who died in the year of our Lord 1753, the ninety-second year of his age, without least pain of body, and with a conscious serenity of mind eniled [sic] a virtuous and beneficent life. 
This monument was erected by his two daughters, Elizabeth Cadogan and Sarah Stanley.
Chelsea Manor, which Sir Hans purchased in 1712 from William, 2nd Viscount Newhaven, descended to his two daughters as co-heirs. 

First published in September, 2011. Select bibliography:  http://www.hanssloane.com/index.php

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

GEORGE II

By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Archtreasurer and Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire

First published in August, 2013.

Aughentaine Castle

THE KNOX-BROWNES OWNED 10,125 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY TYRONE

JOHN HAMILTON BROWNE, of Comber House, County Londonderry, and Aughentaine, County Tyrone, son of THOMAS BROWNE, of County Londonderry, by Elizabeth Hamilton his wife, niece of James Hamilton, Provost of Strabane ca 1720, and grandson of GEORGE BROWNE, also of Londonderry, by his wife Mary, daughter of Colonel Hogg.

He married, in 1795, Jane Matilda, daughter of William Lecky, of Castle Fin, County Donegal, MP for Londonderry in the Irish House of Commons, by Hannah his wife, daughter of Conolly McCausland, of Drenagh, County Londonderry, and had issue,
Conolly William Lecky, of Comber House; died unmarried;
THOMAS RICHARDSON, his successor;
GEORGE, of Comber House;
John Hamilton;
Hannah Sidney; Elizabeth.
Mr Browne died in 1848, and was succeeded by his second, but eldest surviving son,

THOMAS RICHARDSON BROWNE JP DL (1810-82), of Aughentaine, High Sheriff of Tyrone, 1832, wedded, in 1839, Sarah, fourth daughter of Hervey Pratt de Montmorency, of Castle Morres, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
JOHN HERVEY, his heir;
Raymond Saville;
Conolly William Lecky Browne-Lecky;
Rose Sarah; Caroline Frances; Matilda Theodosia.
Mr Browne was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN HERVEY KNOX-BROWNE JP DL (1841-1927), of Aughentaine Castle, High Sheriff of Tyrone, 1887, who married, in 1867, Louisa Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Francis Arthur Knox-Gore Bt, of Belleek Manor, County Mayo, by Sarah his wife, daughter of Colonel Charles Nesbitt Knox, of Castle Lacken, County Mayo, and had issue,
Charles Arthur Hervey (1870-1934), died unmarried;
MERVYN WILLIAM CHARLES NESBITT;
Sarah Hannah Madeline; Augusta Caroline; Eileen Hester Louisa.
Colonel Knox-Browne, ADC to His Grace the Duke of Abercorn, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lieutenant-Colonel, 9th Brigade, North Irish Division, Royal Artillery, assumed the additional surname and arms of KNOX in 1874.

He was succeeded by his younger son,

MERVYN WILLIAM CHARLES NESBITT KNOX-BROWNE DL (1880-1954), of Aughentaine Castle, High Sheriff of County Tyrone, 1935, who married, in 1911, Mary, daughter of Captain Thomas Barry George, and had issue,
MERVYN HERVEY, his heir;
Louisa May (1912-69).
Mr Knox-Browne was succeeded by his only son,

MERVYN HERVEY KNOX-BROWNE JP DL (1927-), of Aughentaine Castle, who wedded, in 1956, Catherine, daughter of Hugh Ferguson, and had issue,

DEIRDRE ROSEMARY KNOX-BROWNE, born in 1959.

*****

Mr Knox-Browne, who moved to Perthshire, sold Aughentaine Castle to Lieutenant-Colonel J H Hamilton-Stubber DL. It was subsequently demolished in 1955. 
An ancestor of the Hamilton-Stubbers, Hugh Hamilton, settled at Lisbane in County Down during the reign of JAMES I, died in 1665 and was interred at Bangor, County Down. Hugh's son was called John Hamilton, of Ballymenoch near Holywood. A second son was Alexander Hamilton, of Killyleagh.  
Richard John Hamilton-Stubber, son of J H Hamilton-Stubber, married the Hon Susanna Cynthia Brooke, daughter of John, 2nd Viscount Brookeborough, in 1989.

They have one son and one daughter.

Photo credit: © McClitock of Seskinore

AUGHENTAINE CASTLE, near Fivemiletown, County Tyrone, was a large Victorian mansion, built in 1860 for Thomas Richardson Browne.

It consisted of a two-storey main block and a lower two-storey wing, with two tall Italianate campaniles of equal height, one at each end.

Photo credit © McClintock of Seskinore

There was an open porch; two-light and three-light windows some round-headed and others rectangular. The roofing was prominent.

The images above are shown by kind permission of McClintock of Seskinore, which contains more pictures of Aughentaine.

The house was demolished ca 1955 by Colonel Hamilton-Stubber, who built a modern classical house (below) ca 1958 to the design of the Hon Claud Phillimore.

Land was acquired in the 18th century and a demesne was set out but not walled in.

An Italianate house was built in 1860.

There are many fine mature trees, evidence of the planting that took place for this imposing house.

The English landscape designer, Percy Cane, planned an ornamental garden for the house and this is maintained.

Excellent distant views can be seen from the house over Cane’s double terraces and tree-tops on lower ground.

Extensive rhododendron and other shrub planting cascades below the terraces and into the parkland to the south.

Expansion took place post-1958 in the planting beneath mature trees on either side of Ballyness Glen, which runs to the east of the house in an attractive declivity.

There is a lake on high ground to the north of the house, which has an island and is backed by a wood and, further back, extensive forest planting.

It is referred to as a ‘Fish Pond’ in 1858, prior to the erection of the 1860s house.

The 1860s stables are retained and beyond lies the walled garden, which is pre-1858.

It is part-cultivated and the original glasshouses have gone except one, which is in operation.

Several bridges are necessary in the park: one, built in the 1860s, was designed as part of the planned landscape.

Aughentaine estate, near Fivemiletown, is renowned for its shoots, garden and forestry.

First published in September, 2010.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

1st Duke of Chandos

DUKEDOM OF CHANDOS
1719-89

The very ancient house of BRYDGES deduces its descent from

SIR SIMON DE BRUGGE, of Herefordshire, who flourished in the reign of HENRY III, and who seems to have been a branch of the old Counts de Rethel, in the province of Champagne, France, princes of the first distinction in that kingdom, sprung by various alliances from the House of Charlemagne, and afterwards memorable in the crusades.

In the time of HENRY IV,

THOMAS BRUGGE married Alice, daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Berkeley, of Coberley, Gloucestershire, by Margaret, sister and heir of Sir John Chandos (a family of nobles who had held baronial rank since the Conquest), and from this Thomas descended

JOHN BRYDGES (1492-1557), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1554, as Baron Chandos, of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDMUND, 2nd Baron (c1522-73); from whom descended, in succession, five more Barons; and, at the demise of

WILLIAM, 7th Baron, without issue, in 1676, the barony passed to his cousin,

SIR JAMES BRYDGES, Baronet (1642-1714), 8th Baron Chandos, of Wilton, as heir of Charles, second son of the 1st Baron.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, 9th Baron (1673-1744), who was created, in 1714, Viscount Wilton and Earl of Carnarvon.

His lordship was advanced to a marquessate and dukedom, in 1719, as Marquess of Carnarvon and DUKE OF CHANDOS.

His Grace married firstly, in 1695, Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Lake, and had issue,
John (1703-27);
HENRY, his successor.
He wedded secondly, 1713, Cassandra, daughter of Francis Willoughby; and thirdly, in 1736, Lydia Catherine, daughter of John Van Hatten.

His Grace was succeeded by his younger son,

HENRY, 2nd Duke, KB (1708-71), who wedded, in 1728, Mary, daughter of Charles, 4th Earl of Elgin, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
Caroline.
His Grace married secondly, 1744, Anne Wells; and thirdly, in 1767, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Major Bt.

The 2nd Duke was succeeded by his son,

JAMES, 3rd Duke (1731-89), who wedded firstly, in 1753, Margaret, daughter of John Nicol; and secondly, in 1777, Anne Eliza, daughter of John Gamon, and had issue,

THE LADY ANNE ELIZABETH BRYDGES, who married Richard, 1st Duke of Buckingham & Chandos.

Following the decease of the 3rd Duke, without male issue, the dukedom expired.

Former seat ~ Stowe House, Buckinghamshire.

Chandos arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

The Princess Royal

Her Royal Highness THE PRINCESS ROYAL KG KT GCVO is 67 today.

The Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise was born at Clarence House, London.

HRH is married to Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence KCVO CB.

Princess Anne is a Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and an Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle.

Her Royal Highness is also Grand Master and Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

Monday, 14 August 2017

GEORGE III

By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith

First published in August, 2013.

Babington of Creevagh

THE BABINGTONS OWNED 1,540 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY LONDONDERRY

The family of BABINGTON, of Creevagh, traces its descent from a younger brother of Bebington, of Bebington, Wirral, Cheshire.

He married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Croxton, of Ravenscroft, Cheshire, and had, with other issue, a son,

RICHARD BABINGTON, who had seven sons, of whom five were slain with their uncle Randal at Flodden Field, 1513, viz. William, Randal, James, John, and Charles.

The two surviving sons were,
RICHARD, of whom presently;
Thomas, ancestor of BABINGTON OF CHORLEY.
The elder son,

RICHARD BABINGTON, of Nantwich, Cheshire, wedded, in 1555, Ann, daughter of Richard Starkey, of the same place, and had issue,
BRUTUS, his heir;
Eldred, of Nantwich;
Randal, of Nantwich;
William, of Nantwich;
Ury (or Uriah).
Mr Babington was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT REV BRUTUS BABINGTON (1558-1611), Rector of Tatenhill, Staffordshire, and Thurcaston, Leicestershire, who was appointed, 1610, to the bishopric of Derry, and consecrated at Drogheda, County Louth, by the Most Rev Henry Ussher, Lord Archbishop of Armagh.

His lordship had issue, by Joan his wife,
RICHARD, his heir;
Edwin, of Creduff, Co Tyrone;
Bryan.
The Bishop was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD BABINGTON, who obtained from his father in 1610 a grant of the Urney estate, County Tyrone.

He had issue, a son,

MATTHEW BABINGTON, of Urney and Doe Castle, County Donegal, living in 1663, was attainted, 1689, by the Dublin parliament.

He is supposed to have wedded a daughter of Colonel James Galbraith, and died soon after 1689, having had issue,
William, of Urney and Doe Castle;
RICHARD, of whom we treat;
Thomas.
The second son,

RICHARD BABINGTON, of Daisy Hill (otherwise Roe Park), near Limavady, County Londonderry, married Isabella, fourth daughter of William Wray, of Castle Wray and Ards, County Donegal, and had issue (with three daughters),
William, of Urney and Doe Castle;
Humphrey (Rev), of Portglenone;
Richard (Rev);
GEORGE, of whom hereafter.
The youngest son,

GEORGE BABINGTON, of Londonderry, merchant, married, before 1763, Mary, daughter of Edmund Stafford, of County Antrim, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Anthony;
George;
Isabella; Dorothea; Mary; Angel; Margaret.
Mr Babington was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE REV RICHARD BABINGTON (1765-1831), Rector of Longfield, County Tyrone, 1803, and Termonamongan, 1812, wedded Mary Boyle, of Dungiven, and had issue (with two daughters, Anne and Angel), nine sons,
Anthony, of Creevagh;
Thomas Henderson;
George;
Richard;
Henry;
William;
James;
David;
HUME, of whom we treat.
The youngest son,

THE REV HUME BABINGTON (1804-78), Rector of Moviddy, County Cork, married, in 1836, Esther, daughter of Richard Nevill Nettles, and had issue,
Richard, his heir;
HUME, of whom hereafter;
James Boyle;
David Robert;
Angel; Anne.
The second son,

HUME BABINGTON (1848-1925), of Creevagh House, Londonderry. wedded Hester, daughter of Samuel Watt, and had issue,
ANTHONY BRUTUS;
Hume (1880-1963), CBE;
Aileen Frances.
The elder son,

THE RT HON SIR ANTHONY BRUTUS BABINGTON QC MP (1877-1972), Attorney-General for Northern Ireland, married, in 1907, Ethel Vaughan, daughter of George Vaughan Hart, and had issue,
EMERSON;
Mary Hume; Ruth.
The only son,

EMERSON BABINGTON (1910-89), Crown Solicitor for the City and County of Londonderry, married Judith Evans, and had issue,
Anthony Brutus, b 1947;
Andrew Hume, b 1949;
Kate, b 1951.
Photo credit: Stonedatabase

CREEVAGH HOUSE, Londonderry, is a two-storey, five-bay house over a basement.

There is a canted porch in the centre which incorporates a square-topped doorway and fanlight.

The present house replaced a previous dwelling, believed to have been constructed ca 1780.

According to Curl and Rowan the gentleman’s mansion was erected in the 1780s by the Babington family.

It is likely that Anthony Babington demolished his original dwelling shortly after 1830 and replaced it with the current two-storey mansion which is late-Georgian in appearance, suggesting an early build date of ca 1830-40.

Anthony Babington was the Distributor for Londonderry’s Stamp Office located on Pump Street and leased his land in Upper Creevagh from The Honourable The Irish Society.

He added an extensive complex of farm buildings to the north of his dwelling.

These outbuildings were arranged around a courtyard and included a ‘thrashing machine.’

In the same period the current 1½ storey gate lodge was installed at the south-east entrance of the estate.

The map shows that Creevagh House was originally constructed as a rectangular-shaped building.

The two-storey rear return and side porch were not added until the late-19th century.

Anthony Babington resided at Creevagh House until his death in 1869.

He bequeathed his estate at Upper Creevagh to his nephew, Hume Babington, third son of the Rev Hume Babington.

The 1911 census described Babington’s house as a first class dwelling that consisted of 27 rooms and possessed an extensive number of farm buildings including a stable, cow house, dairy, boiling house and potato house which were located at the outbuildings to the north.

Hume Babington vacated Creevagh House shortly before his death in 1925.

John E Morrison took possession of the house and its farm buildings in 1926.

The Morrison family resided at Creevagh House until at least the 1970s.

Creevagh House was listed in 1979.

In that year Rowan described the dwelling in the following terms:
"Shrouded in woodlands. A large, plain late-Georgian house built by the Babington family ca 1780. 
The usual five-bay, two-storey block enhanced by a freestone ashlar front with corner quoins and Gibbs surrounds to the windows. 
Inside is a delightful cantilevered oval stair, small in scale, lit by a half-landing window and roofed by a deeply coffered dome. The entire basement of the house is finely vaulted in brick."
Creevagh House was re-roofed in 1999 during a renovation that also included repair work being carried out to its side entrance porch.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Ballymena Castle

THE ADAIRS OWNED 6,546 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY ANTRIM

The family of ADAIR was settled in Scotland, and later in Ulster, for many generations, and, according to tradition, derived its descent from a junior branch of the noble house of FitzGerald, Earls of Desmond.

NINIAN ADAIR, of Kinhilt, in Wigtownshire, lived in the early part of the 16th century, and was father of

WILLIAM ADAIR, of the same place, whose son,

NINIAN ADAIR, was father of

WILLIAM ADAIR, who acquired the estate of Ballymena, County Antrim. His son,

SIR ROBERT ADAIR, who received the honour of knighthood from CHARLES I, died in 1665.

He married Jean, daughter of Archibald Edmonstone, of Duntreath, in Stirlingshire, by whom he had a son,

WILLIAM ADAIR, who, by Anna Helena Scott, his wife (to whom he was married ca 1658), was father of

SIR ROBERT ADAIR, of Kinhilt and Ballymena, who raised a regiment of foot and a troop of horse for the service of WILLIAM III, and received the honour of knighthood from that monarch on the field after the battle of the Boyne.

Sir Robert died in 1745, having married four wives; by the first of whom, Penelope, daughter of Sir Robert Colville, Knight, he left a son,

WILLIAM ADAIR, captain of dragoons, who died in 1762, leaving by Catherine Smallman, his wife, a son and successor,

ROBERT ADAIR, who died in 1798, leaving by Anne his wife, daughter of Alexander McAuley, of the city of Dublin, barrister-at-law, a son,

WILLIAM ADAIR (1754-1844), of Flixton Hall, Suffolk, and Colehayes Park, Devon, who wedded Camilla, daughter and heir Robert Shafto, of Benwell, Northumberland, and had issue,
ROBERT SHAFTO, his heir;
William Robert, died at Harrow School;
Alexander, of Hetherton Park;
Camilla.
Mr Adair was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT SHAFTO ADAIR (1786-1869), of Flixton Hall, Suffolk, and Ballymena, County Antrim, who wedded, in 1810, Elizabeth Maria, daughter of the Rev James Strode, of Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, and had issue,
ROBERT ALEXANDER SHAFTO, his successor;
Hugh Edward.
Mr Adair was created a baronet in 1838.

He was succeeded by his elder son, 

SIR ROBERT ALEXANDER SHAFTO ADAIR (1811-86), 2nd Baronet, of Ballymena Castle, who married Theodosia, daughter of General the Hon Robert Meade, second son of John, Earl of Clanwilliam.

Sir Robert was elevated to the peerage, in 1873, as BARON WAVENEY, of South Elmham, Suffolk.
In 1865, Adair began the construction in the demesne of Ballymena Castle, a substantial family residence in the Scottish baronial style. The castle was not completed until 1887, and was demolished in 1957 after having lain empty for some years and being vandalised; the site is now a car park. In 1870, Adair donated a People's Park to Ballymena, engaging fifty labourers to work for six months landscaping it.
The barony became extinct on his death in 1886, while he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his younger brother,

SIR HUGH EDWARD ADAIR JP DL (1815-1902), 3rd Baronet, of Ballymena Castle, who wedded, in 1856, Harriet Camilla, daughter of Alexander Adair, and had issue,
Hugh Alexander (1858-68);
FREDERICK EDWARD SHAFTO, his successor;
ROBERT SHAFTO, succeeded his brother;
Camilla Beatrix Mary.
Sir Hugh was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SIR FREDERICK EDWARD SHAFTO ADAIR JP (1860-1915), 4th Baronet, of Ballymena Castle, who died a bachelor, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

SIR ROBERT SHAFTO ADAIR JP DL (1862-1949), 5th Baronet, who married, in 1890, Mary, daughter of Henry Anstey Bosanquet, and had issue,
Robert Desmond Shafto, died in infancy;
ALLAN HENRY SHAFTO, of whom hereafter;
Camilla Mary Shafto.
Sir Robert was succeeded by his only surviving son,

MAJOR-GENERAL SIR ALLAN HENRY SHAFTO ADAIR GCVO CB DSO MC JP DL (1897-1988), 6th and last Baronet, who espoused, in 1919, Enid Violet Ida, daughter of William Humble Dudley Ward, and had issue,
DESMOND ALLAN SHAFTO, predeceased his father;
Robert Dudley Shafto (1923-25);
Bridget Mary; Juliet Enid; Annabel Violet.
Sir Allan's only son,

Captain Desmond Allan Shafto Adair, born in 1920, died in 1943 at Italy, killed in action.

When the 6th Baronet died in 1988 the title became extinct.


THE CASTLE, Ballymena, County Antrim, was a large Scottish-Baronial Victorian house built in the 1870s for Sir Robert Adair, later 1st Baron Waveney.

It had a massive seven-storey tower at one end was built by Lanyon & Lynn of Belfast.

The original castle, built by the Adairs, was burnt in 1720.

The Adair estate at Ballymena was sold to the tenants in 1904 and the castle fell into disuse.


The castle was still standing in 1953, but badly damaged by arson in 1955 and condemned as unsafe the following year.

When the local council demolished it in 1957, Sir Allan Adair bought Holy Hill House, near Strabane, County Tyrone, and installed ten stained glass windows from the castle there, where they remain today.

First published in October, 2010.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

GEORGE IV

By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith

First published in August, 2013.

Dixon Park

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park is located at Dunmurry, County Antrim, now on the outskirts of Belfast.

This fine civic park, originally Wilmont Estate, was conveyed as a gift to the City of Belfast in December, 1959, by Edith, Lady Dixon, DBE, in order to perpetuate the long association of her husband (the Rt Hon Sir Thomas Dixon Bt) and herself with the City.

It comprises 134 acres.


The mansion house of 1859 still stands, in reasonably good condition; though its future seems uncertain, since it lies disused and apparently unwanted by the city fathers.

The surrounding parkland is delightful, with mature trees and woodland, and the River Lagan.


A large section of the grounds is now used for the international rose trials, established in 1964.

The stable block now houses a ground-floor café.

The walled garden is a haven of peace and tranquillity, with a number of park benches donated by the families of deceased loved-ones, their details on metal plaques.

The fruit and vegetables which flourished here are long gone, though some original paths remain and the garden now thrives with fine flora.


On an outside wall of the walled garden, at one corner, there are three mural memorials to pet dogs.

The canine memorial above must have been erected by the Reade family, who sold Wilmont to the Dixons in 1919.

First published in August, 2015.