Sunday, 23 July 2017

Shaen House

THE KEMMIS FAMILY WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN QUEEN'S COUNTY, WITH 5,800 ACRES

Of the early period of the Kemeys family the accounts are somewhat confused, but it is generally agreed that their origin was Norman.

They rose to prominence at the period of the conquest of Gwent and Glamorgan.

The original form of the name is uncertain, though it is said to be Camois or Camys, identical with Camois in the Roll of Battle Abbey.

They were known as "Kemeys of Began" as early as the 13th century.

The Irish branch claims descent from the ancient family of Kemeys of Newport, Monmouthshire, which family bore as their arms vert on a chevron argent, three pheons sable.

THOMAS KEMMIS (1710-74), of Shaen Castle, Killeen, Straboe, Rossnaclough, and Clonin, Queen's County, wedded Susan, daughter of John Long, of Derrynaseera, and had issue,
JOHN, of Shaen;
James, major-general;
THOMAS, of whom we treat;
Joshua;
William Edward;
Elizabeth.
The third son,

THOMAS KEMMIS JP (1753-1823), of Shaen Castle, crown and treasury solicitor for Ireland, patron of Rosenallis, married, in 1773, Anne, daughter of Henry White, of Dublin, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Henry;
William;
James;
Richard;
Anne; Mary; Elizabeth.
The eldest son, 

THE REV THOMAS KEMMIS (1774-1827), of Shaen Castle, and Brockley Park, Queen's County, Patron of Rosenallis, married Mary, daughter and heir of Arthur Riley, of Airfield, County Dublin, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Arthur;
Henry;
Mary.
The eldest son, 

THOMAS KEMMIS JP, (1798-1844), of Shaen Castle and Straboe, Patron of Rosenallis, High Sheriff, 1832, married, in 1834, Mary Henrietta, eldest daughter of the Rev Robert Blackwood Jelly, of Portarlington, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Robert;
William;
Arthur;
Jane.
Mr Kemmis was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS KEMMIS JP DL (1837-1906), of Shaen, High Sheriff, 1860, who married, in 1858, Victoria Alexandrina, eldest daughter of Hans H Hamilton QC, of 26 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, and had issue,
THOMAS HENRY, his heir;
Augusta Mary; Helen.
His only son,

THOMAS HENRY KEMMIS JP DL, of Shaen, captain, Royal Fusiliers, born in 1860, wedded, in 1904, Mary Caroline, eldest daughter of Charles Stewart Trench, of Clay Hill, Virginia, USA, and had issue,
WILLIAM FREDERICK, b 1905;
Victoria Mary, b 1908;
Elizabeth Gertrude, b 1911.

SHAEN HOUSE, near Port Laoise, formerly Maryborough, County Laois, is a house of late Georgian appearance.

It comprises two storeys over a basement.


The entrance front has two three-sided bows; pedimented one-bay projection in the centre; Greek Ionic porch with acroterion.


There is a notable castellated gateway at the demesne's main entrance.


Shaen House is now a hospital.

First published in April, 2013.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Watermill Restaurant

Watermill Lodge

It is always a true pleasure to revisit County Fermanagh.

I was there for four days this week.

The main road from Belfast to Enniskillen is so good now that one can drive for a good part of the way at 70mph; though the Augher-Clogher-Fivemiletown section is at 30mph through the villages.

I stayed in Lisnaskea, the county's second town, I gather.

Belle Isle, the Duke of Abercorn's beautiful County Fermanagh estate and resort, isn't far from Lisnaskea, so I motored over to have a look around and chatted with the staff in the visitor office.

I usually visit the Fermanagh National Trust properties so, having been invited to a private dinner at Crom estate on Wednesday evening, I revisited Crom the next day for a good walk to the old castle, the walled garden on Inisherk Island, and through sections of woodland.

I also visited Florence Court on Wednesday; and Castle Coole, a National Trust property and seat of the Earl of Belmore, many of whose paintings are on display in the mansion house.

Lord and Lady Belmore today live at the Garden House on the estate and their elder son John, Viscount Corry, keeps one of the wings at Castle Coole.

As a matter of interest I counted 28 chimneys on the main block and 14 on Lord Corry's wing.

A highlight of my trip to County Fermanagh was dinner at the Watermill Restaurant at Kilmore Lough, about two miles south-west of Lisnaskea.

Kilmore Lough is navigable from Upper Lough Erne and, indeed, there were lots of cruisers and boats at the quay.


Watermill Lodge is one of the most charming places, with a thatched roof, little ponds, herb gardens, streams, rockeries and more.


Pascal Brissaud's attention to detail is remarkable.

Even the lavatories have curving mosaic tiles and stone spouts, skin to little streams, from which water flows into the hand basins.

Large bellows table

The Lodge is filled with character; the staff, smartly turned out, courteous, charming, diligent.


I sat at a table near the bar.


I perused the menu at length and chose prawn cocktail as a starter; not a common prawn cocktail, though, this one was served in a shell with juicy prawns.

As you'd expect, fresh breads were presented in a basked with hand-carved pats of butter.


The wine menu, by the way, has one of the finest selections in Northern Ireland, including several costing over £2,200 a bottle.

There is, should one require it, a helipad in the grounds (!).


For my main course I had the duck, served with creamed potato, sauce and a garnish (putting it simply).

I ordered a dish of mixed vegetables as well.

My pudding was a Pascal Special: dainty, little profiteroles.


I do not pretend to any kind of restaurant critic, though I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and of course the extraordinary location and ambiance of this restaurant and guest-house.

I hope to base myself here the next time.

Armagh: III

Primate's chapel, Armagh Palace

I paid a visit to the City of Armagh in May, 2013.

Arriving at the main entrance to St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral in the city of Armagh, I strode up the steep hill where, at the summit, there stands augustly and loftily that great cathedral church with its twin spires, seat of many Cardinal Archbishops of Armagh.


There was a wedding taking place inside, so I bided my time by wandering round the cathedral, past Ara Coeli, the official residence of the Catholic Primate.

Ara Coeli is Latin, incidentally.

When the wedding ceremony ended, I walked in to the cathedral, an impressive church dating from about 1840, though not completed until the first years of the 20th century.

Former cardinals' galeros are suspended from the ceiling in the aisles.

Galero

THENCE I ambled on to English Street, past the Charlemont Arms Hotel and, a mere few yards further along, the De Averell guest-house.

Back at The Mall, where I'd parked the two-seater, I stopped to look at the court-house.

The old entrance posts of The Pavilion, erstwhile home of the Lord Armaghdale, still exist.

The Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum, located at the Sovereign's House, was open; so I spent about thirty minutes there.

They have two Victoria Crosses and Field-Marshal Sir Gerald Templer's uniform is on display, as Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment.


I drove to the Palace Demesne, well worth a visit.

I've already written about the Palace, official residence of the Church of Ireland Archbishops of Armagh and Primates of All Ireland from 1770 until 1975.


The archiepiscopal arms of Primate Robinson (later 1st Baron Rokeby) adorn the entrance front, above the porch.

The private primatial chapel is somewhat dwarfed by its close proximity to the Palace, though this wasn't always the case, since the Palace was originally two storeys in height.

These edifices are austere, though stately, noble and dignified; apt descriptions for archiepiscopal properties.

That concluded my visit to the city of Armagh, though I hope to revisit the city and county during the summer.

First published in May, 2013.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Duke of Kent in County Down

The Duke of Kent has paid a two-day visit to County Down.

His Royal Highness visited Downpatrick Police Station, Downpatrick, County Down, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Down (Mr. David Lindsay).

HRH later visited Down Cathedral, Downpatrick .

His Royal Highness subsequently visited Finnebrogue House, near Downpatrick.

The following day The Duke of Kent officially named the MV Strangford II ferry.

His Royal Highness later visited Castle Ward Estate, County Down; and the Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry, County Down.

Beltrim Castle

Arms of 1st Earl of Abercorn
THE COLE-HAMILTONS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY TYRONE, WITH 16,811 ACRES


THE RT HON SIR CLAUDE HAMILTON (c1576-1614), of Bodoney, County Tyrone, second son of Claude, 1st Lord Paisley, and brother of James, 1st Earl of Abercorn; Gentleman of the Chamber, and Privy Counsellor.

Sir Claude married the daughter and heir of Sir Robert Hamilton, Knight, and died in 1614, leaving with five younger sons, Alexander, Robert, George, Claude, and James, all of whom dsp, and an elder son and heir,

SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON, Knight, of Manor Elieston, County Tyrone, who married twice.

He was buried in Bodoney parish church, Killeter, Castlederg, County Tyrone.

The eldest son of his second marriage, with Beatrix Campbell,

CLAUD HAMILTON, of Montaloney, County Tyrone, had, by Isabella his wife, five daughters, viz. Beatrix, Mary, Agnes, Margaret, and Rebecca; and two sons,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Claud, of Strabane, ancestor of Hamilton Baronets of Woodbrook.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM HAMILTON, of Beltrim, County Tyrone, who left, by Mary his wife, two sons and three daughters.

His son,

CLAUD HAMILTON, of Beltrim, married his cousin, Letitia, daughter of Claud Hamilton, of Strabane, and had issue,
LETITIA, of whom hereafter;
Isabella; Beatrix.
Mr Hamilton was succeeded by his elder daughter,

LETITIA HAMILTON, of Beltrim, who espoused, in 1780, the Hon Arthur Cole MP, afterwards COLE-HAMILTON, of Skea, County Fermanagh.

Mr Cole-Hamilton was the second son of John, 1st Baron Mountflorence, and brother of William, 1st Earl of Enniskillen.

Mr Cole-Hamilton left issue,
CLAUD WILLIAM, his heir;
Letitia; Elizabeth Ann; Isabella.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

CLAUD WILLIAM COLE-HAMILTON (1781-1822), who married, in 1805, Nichola Sophia, daughter of Richard Chaloner, of Kingsfort, County Meath, by whom he left at his decease, two sons,
ARTHUR WILLOUGHBY, his heir;
Richard Chaloner.
Mr Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his elder son,

MAJOR ARTHUR WILLOUGHBY COLE-HAMILTON JP DL (1806-91), of Beltrim Castle, who married, in 1831, Emilia Katherine, daughter of Rev Charles Cobbe Beresford, and granddaughter of the Hon John Beresford, second son of Marcus, 1st Earl of Tyrone, and brother of George, 1st Marquess of Waterford, and had issue,
WILLIAM CLAUD, his heir;
Claud Chaloner;
Charles Richard, Commander RN;
Arthur Henry (Rev);
John Isaac (father of Air Vice-Marshal John Cole-Hamilton);
Letitia Grace; Emily Harriet; Selina.
Major Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

CAPTAIN WILLIAM CLAUD COLE-HAMILTON (1833-82), of Ballitore House, County Kildare, who wedded, in 1858, Caroline Elizabeth Josephine, daughter of Hon Andrew Godfrey Stewart, and granddaughter of Andrew Thomas, 1st Earl Castle Stewart; and dvp in 1882, having had, with other issue,
ARTHUR RICHARD, his heir;
William Andrew Thomas;
Claud George;
Isabel Mary.
Captain Cole-Hamilton was succeeded by his eldest son,

COLONEL ARTHUR RICHARD COLE-HAMILTON JP DL (1859-1915), of Beltrim Castle.
Captain,7th Hussars; fought in the Egyptian Campaign, 1882; Captain, Royal Scots Fusiliers; Sudan Campaign, 1885-86; Lieutenant-Colonel, 6th Service Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment; lived at Caddagh, Wilkinstown, County Meath, and Beltrim, Gortin, Newtownstewart, County Tyrone; Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Colonel, 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles; 1st World War service, where he was mentioned in despatches; fought in the Gallipoli Campaign.
Colonel Cole-Hamilton married firstly, in 1882, Jeannette, eldest daughter of Samuel Moore, of Moorlands, Lancashire, and had issue, an only child,
WILLIAM MOORE, his heir.
He wedded secondly, in 1884, Florence Alice, daughter of James Duke Hughes, of Brentwood, Surrey.

Colonel Cole-Hamilton died in 1915, aged 56, at The Dardenelles, Turkey, killed in action.

His only son,

MAJOR WILLIAM MOORE COLE-HAMILTON (1883-1948), of Beltrim Castle, Royal Army Service Corps, married, in 1903, Ada Beatrice, daughter of William Peter Huddle, and had an only son,

WILLIAM ARTHUR RICHARD COLE-HAMILTON (1906-36), who married, in 1932, Barbara, daughter of Edward J Deane, and had two daughters,

A memorial screen at Kilwinning Old Parish Church, Ayrshire, was erected from a generous gift made by John Cole-Hamilton and was dedicated on 10th June, 1990.
It was erected in memory of Mr Cole-Hamilton’s father, Colonel Arthur Richard Cole-Hamilton, who died at Gallipoli in 1915; his mother Sarah who died on 18th September, 1942; and his wife Gladys who died on 4th October, 1989. Mr Cole-Hamilton died on 10th November, 1991. The Screen incorporates the Cole-Hamilton shield and the seal of the Abbot of Kilwinning.

BELTRIM CASTLE, near Gortin, County Tyrone, is a five-bay, two-storey, rendered house, built ca 1780-1820.

It is L-shaped, facing west, with a multi-bay, two-storey return.

The formal appearance of the west front to Beltrim Castle owes its existence to early 19th century improvements, which also saw the remains of the 17th century bawn incorporated into a long rear return.

The 19th century house retains most of the original features.

In is said to be not only of local importance, but also of national significance.

Beltrim's associated outbuildings, former bawn, and gardens contribute significantly to the architectural and historic interest of the property.

The only part of the original castle which remains standing is a gable wall which is no part of the present building.

Beltrim is now part of the Blakiston-Houston Estate.

Richard Patrick Blakiston-Houston OBE JP DL was born in 1948; educated at Eton; registered as a Professional Associate, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, 1972; High Sheriff of County Down, 1989. His wife,

Dr Lucinda Mary Lavinia Blakiston-Houston DL (b 1956), daughter of Lt.-Cdr. Theodore Bernard Peregrine Hubbard and Lady Miriam Fitzalan-Howard; graduated from Leeds University with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.); Liverpool University, Master of Science (M.Sc.); Queen's University, Belfast, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Other residence: The Roddens, Ballywalter, County Down.

Interestingly, the Blakiston-Houston family appear to be related to General Sam Houston, after which Houston, Texas, USA, was named. 
Orangefield Park in east Belfast was the family home of the Houston family in the 18th century. The head of the family, John Holmes Houston, was a partner in the Belfast Banking Company and lived at Orangefield House with his family. 

Orangefield was situated at the end of what is now Houston Park and the estate itself extended to almost 300 acres. John and Eliza's daughter, Mary Isabella, was born in 1793 and later married Richard Bayly Blakiston.

The two families joined names, leaving J Blakiston-Houston in charge of the Orangefield estate from 1857.


In 1934, the Blakiston-Houston family offered Belfast Corporation (now the council) part of the Orangefield estate to develop as a public park. The corporation, although keen to buy the land, felt that the price was too high. 

After lengthy negotiations, they bought part of the site in 1938 for £20,000 (£1.1 million in today's values). Development work was put on hold due to World War II and plans for the park were only drawn up in 1947. 
First published in December, 2009.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

1st Duke of Buckingham

DUKEDOM OF BUCKINGHAM AND CHANDOS
1822-1889

The family of GRENVILLE, of Wotton, Buckinghamshire, was a younger branch of the Grenvilles, or Granvilles, of Devon, whose descent from Rollo, 1st Duke of Normandy, is recited and acknowledged in a warrant from CHARLES II to John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath, authorizing him to use the titles of Earl of Corboile, Thorigny, and Granville, which had been borne by his ancestor, Richard de Grenville, who died after 1142.

RICHARD GRENVILLE (1678-1727), of Wotton, married, in 1710, Hester, eldest daughter of Sir Richard Temple Bt, of Stowe, Buckinghamshire, and sister of Richard, Viscount Cobham.

On the death of her said brother, this lady, pursuant to an especial limitation in his patent of creation, became Viscountess Cobham, to her and her heirs male.

Her ladyship was further advanced, in 1749, to the dignity of Countess Temple of Stowe.

The issue of Lady Temple and Richard Grenville were,
RICHARD, her successor;
GEORGE;
William Wyndham;
James;
Henry.
The Countess died in 1752, and was succeeded by her eldest son,

RICHARD, 2nd Earl, KG (1711-79), who wedded Anne, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Chambers, of Hanworth, Middlesex, and had an only child, ELIZABETH, who died in 1742, aged four.

His lordship was succeeded by his nephew,

GEORGE, 3rd Earl, KG, KP (1753-1813), who obtained the royal sign manual, 1779, authorizing him to take the names of NUGENT and TEMPLE before that of GRENVILLE, and to sign the name of Nugent before before all titles of honour.

His lordship was created Marquess of Buckingham in 1784.

He married, in 1775, the Lady Mary Nugent, daughter of the 1st Earl Nugent, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
George;
Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

RICHARD, 2nd Marquess, KG (1776-1839), who wedded, in 1796, the Lady Anne Brydges, daughter of James, 3rd and last Duke of Chandos.

His lordship was created, in 1822, Marquess of Chandos and DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM and CHANDOS.

His Grace was succeeded by his son,

RICHARD, 2nd Duke, KG, GCH (1797-1861), who wedded, in 1819, the Lady Mary, daughter of the 1st Marquess of Breadalbane, and had issue, with a daughter, a son and successor,

RICHARD, 3rd Duke, GCSI (1823-89), who married firstly, in 1851, Caroline, daughter of Robert Harvey, and had issue,
MARY, 11th Lady Kinloss;
Anne; Caroline Jemima.
His Grace espoused secondly, in 1885, Alice, daughter of Sir Graham Graham-Montgomery Bt, though the marriage was without issue.

The titles expired on the decease of the 3rd and last Duke.

Former seat ~ Stowe House, Buckinghamshire.

Buckingham arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Gowran Castle

THE VISCOUNTS CLIFDEN WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KILKENNY, WITH 35,288 ACRES

CHARLES AGAR, of Yorkshire, married Ellis, daughter of Peter Blancheville, of County Kilkenny, and settling at Gowran, in that county, died there in 1696, and was succeeded by his son,

JAMES AGAR, of Gowran Castle, who wedded firstly, in 1692, Susannah, daughter of John Alexander, but by that lady had no issue to survive youth.

He espoused secondly, Mary, eldest daughter of Sir Henry Wemyss, of Danesfort, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
HENRY, his heir;
James;
ELLIS, cr COUNTESS OF BRANDON;
Mary.
The elder son, 

HENRY AGAR, sat in the parliament which assembled at the accession of GEORGE II, in 1727, for the borough of Gowran.

He married, in 1733, Anne, only daughter of the Rt Rev Welbore Ellis, Lord Bishop of Meath, and sister of Welbore Ellis, 1st Lord Mendip, and had issue,
JAMES, his heir;
Welbore Ellis;
CHARLES, Lord Archbishop of Dublin; cr Earl of Normanton;
Henry, in holy orders;
Diana.
Mr Agar died in 1746, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON JAMES AGAR MP (1735-88), of Gowran Castle, who having many years represented County Kilkenny in parliament, and filled some high official situations in Ireland, was created Baron Clifden, in 1776.

He was advanced to the dignity of a viscountcy, in 1781, as VISCOUNT CLIFDEN, of Gowran, County Kilkenny.

His lordship wedded Lucia, eldest daughter of John Martin, and widow of the Hon Henry Boyle Walsingham, second son of Henry, Earl of Shannon, and had issue,
HENRY WELBORE, his successor;
John Ellis, in holy orders;
Charles Bagenal.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY WELBORE, 2nd Viscount (1761-1836), who inherited, in 1802, the barony of Mendip, upon the demise of his great-uncle, Welbore, Lord Mendip, and assumed the additional name of ELLIS.

His lordship married, in 1792, the Lady Caroline Spencer, eldest daughter of George, 3rd Duke of Marlborough KG, and had an only son,

GEORGE JAMES WELBORE (1797-1833), who was created, 1831, BARON DOVER.

HENRY,  3rd Viscount Clifden and 3rd Baron Mendip.



GOWRAN CASTLE, County Kilkenny, is an elegantly-appointed, substantial house built for Henry, 2nd Viscount Clifden, to designs attributable to William Robertson (1770-1850), forming an attractive landmark in the centre of Gowran.

Probably incorporating the fabric of an early 18th century house built by James, 1st Viscount Clifden, the present edifice represents the continuation of a long-standing presence on site having origins dating back to at least the late 14th century.

Attributes identifying the architectural design significance of the composition include the balanced configuration of pleasantly-proportioned openings centred on each front on a Classical frontispiece exhibiting expert masonry in locally-sourced Kilkenny limestone.

Although a later range has been lost the essential attributes of the original portion prevail, together with substantial quantities of the historic fabric both to the exterior and to the interior.

Forming a prominent focal point enhancing the townscape of Gowran, the house remains of additional importance in the locality for the connections with the Agar-Ellis and the Moran families.

It was inherited by the daughter of the 3rd Viscount, who married the 3rd Baron Annaly.

Gowran was sold by the 4th Lord Annaly ca 1955.

First published in May, 2011.  Clifden arms courtesy of European Heraldry.