Monday, 29 February 2016

The Belvoir Shoot

Belvoir House: eastern elevation

My visit to Belvoir Park yesterday has prompted me to read a bit about it.

I have a large, A4-sized paperback book entitled A Treasured Landscape: the Heritage of Belvoir Park, edited by Ben Simon.

If readers are interested in this wonderful park, I urge them to seek it out.

Shortly after the 1st Baron Deramore died in 1890, the family decided to lease the estate, which in those days comprised no less than 6,348 acres of land.

The first lessee was Walter Wilson, a director of the Belfast shipbuilders Harland & Wolff, who lived with his family at Belvoir from 1900 till about 1918.

Sir James Johnson, Lord Mayor of Belfast, was the final resident of Belvoir House.

He and his family lived there from 1919 till 1925.

I have written already about the ultimate fate of the historic mansion house and its ignoble demolition in 1961, though the house was considered as the official residence of the new Governor of Northern Ireland.

Hillsborough Castle was chosen instead.

The estate was also a contender as the seat of the new Parliament of Northern Ireland, though Stormont was selected.


BELVOIR was a renowned shooting estate in its day: A shooting party stayed there for the weekend in 1904, and it is recorded that 431 pheasants, 32 hares, 2 rabbits, 2 woodcocks, and 17 ducks were bagged.

There was a pheasantry at the Big Meadow near the river Lagan.

Three years prior to this, the household comprised seventeen members of staff, including a governess, a housekeeper, under-butler, 1st footman, 2nd footman, page, lady's maid, cook, children's maid, stillroom maid, four housemaids, kitchen maid, scullery maid, and dairy maid.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Belvoir Park Walk


I paid Belvoir Park, Newtownbreda, County Down, a visit this afternoon.

Belvoir was built by the 1st Viscount Dungannon; and later sold to Sir Robert Bateson, 1st Baronet.

Belvoir forest park is now in greater Belfast.

I have written quite a lot about this extraordinarily fine 18th century demesne, though little trace remains of it.

There are, however, several indicative features.

The stable-yard survives, mercifully.

retaining wall

The old retaining wall is largely intact. It stands to the east of where the mansion house stood (now the car-park).

former fish-pond

There were four or five ornamental fish-ponds below the wall, though their remains are barely discernible.

The sweeping lawn immediately in front of the house (above) is now completely overgrown.

I strolled along the old tow-path, beside the former river Lagan navigation and canal.

1st Earl Cawdor


This is a branch of the ducal house of ARGYLL, springing from the Hon Sir John Campbell, third son of Archibald, 2nd Earl of Argyll.

JOHN CAMPBELL MP, of Cawdor Castle, Nairnshire (son and heir of Alexander Campbell), married Mary, eldest daughter and co-heir of Lewis Pryse, and died in 1775, having had issue,
PRYSE, his heir;
John Hooke, Lord Lyon King of Arms;
The eldest son,

PRYSE CAMPBELL, of Cawdor Castle, and of Stackpole Court, Pembrokeshire, represented Cromarty in parliament, and was a lord of the Treasury in 1766.

He wedded Sarah, daughter and co-heir of Sir Edmund Bacon Bt, and was succeeded by his son,

JOHN CAMPBELL (1753-1821), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1796, by the title of Baron Cawdor, of Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire.

His lordship had previously represented the town of Cardigan in parliament. He wedded, in 1789, Lady Caroline Howard, eldest daughter of Frederick, 5th Earl of Carlisle, and had issue, his eldest son,

JOHN FREDERICK, 2nd Baron (1790-1860), who married, in 1816, Lady Elizabeth Thynne, eldest daughter of Thomas, 2nd Marquess of Bath.

This nobleman was advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1827, by the title of EARL CAWDOR.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son James Chester Campbell, styled Viscount Emlyn (b 1998).

CAWDOR CASTLE, near Nairn, is the ancestral seat of the Earls Cawdor.

The earliest documented date for the castle is 1454, the date a licence to fortify was granted to William Calder, 6th Thane of Cawdor (or Calder, as the name was originally spelled).

However, some portions of the 15th-century tower house or keep may precede that date.

Architectural historians have dated the style of stonework in the oldest portion of the castle to ca 1380.

The castle was expanded numerous times in the succeeding centuries.

In 1510, the heiress of the Calders, Muriel, married Sir John Campbell of Muckairn, who set about extending the castle.

Further improvements were made by John Campbell, 3rd of Cawdor, who purchased rich lands on Islay.

By 1635, a garden had been added; and after the Restoration, Sir Hugh Campbell of Cawdor added or improved the north and west ranges, employing the masons James and Robert Nicolson of Nairn.

The architects Thomas Mackenzie and Alexander Ross were commissioned to add the southern and eastern ranges to enclose a courtyard, accessed by a drawbridge.

In the 20th century John, 5th Earl Cawdor, moved permanently to Cawdor and was succeeded by the 6th Earl, whose second wife Angelika, the Dowager Countess Cawdor, lives there still.

The castle is known for its gardens, which include the Walled Garden (originally planted in the 17th Century), the Flower Garden (18th century), and the Wild Garden (added in the 1960s).

In addition, the castle property includes a wood featuring numerous species of trees.

First published in January, 2014.   Cawdor arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Shelton Abbey


The noble house of WICKLOW derives from the Fersfield branch of the ducal family of Howard.

JOHN HOWARD (1616-43) married, in 1636, Dorothea Hassells.

Following his decease, his widow removed to Ireland, where she wedded her cousin, Robert Hassells, of Shelton, County Wicklow.

The son of John and Dorothea Howard,

DR RALPH HOWARD (1638-1710), of Shelton, who was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, took a degree in Medicine in 1667, and succeeded Dr Margetson as Regius Professor of Physics at that university.

Being afterwards attainted with many others in King JAMES II's parliament, on account of his having returned to England on the breaking out of war in Ireland, with his numerous family of young children, in 1688, his estate containing 600 acres in the barony of Bargy, and County Wexford, and his leasehold interest of the north share of Arklow, and Shelton estates, County Wicklow, held from the 2nd Duke and Duchess of Ormonde, containing 4,000 acres, plantation measure, were seized upon and put in the possession of Mr Hacket, who being appointed sequestrator, resided in Shelton House, and received the rents until the war ended.

After the defeat at the Boyne in 1690, King James stayed at Shelton to refresh himself, en route to Waterford; and says, in his memoirs, that he rested some time at Mr Hacket's.

On the re-establishment of tranquillity under WILLIAM III, Dr Howard recovered his estates.

He married, in 1668, Catherine, eldest daughter of Roger Sotheby, MP for Wicklow, and by her had issue (with three daughters) three sons, viz.
HUGH, his heir;
ROBERT, of whom hereafter;
William, MP for Dublin.
The eldest son,

HUGH HOWARD (1675-1737), of Shelton, born in 1675, was appointed keeper of the state papers at Whitehall in 1714, and paymaster of the Board of Works, 1726.

He died in London in 1737, leaving a fine collection of books, drawings, prints, and medals, as well as his estates at Shelton and Seskin, County Wicklow, to his only surviving brother,

THE RT REV ROBERT HOWARD (1670-1740), Lord Bishop of Elphin, inherited in 1728 the estates of his family at the decease of his elder brother, Hugh, of Shelton, County Wicklow.

His lordship married, in 1724, Patience, daughter and sole heiress of Godfrey Boleyne, of Fenner, by Mary his wife, sister of the Rt Hon Henry Singleton, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and had issue,
RALPH, his heir;
Catherine, m to John, 1st Earl of Erne.
The Bishop was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON RALPH HOWARD, (1726-89), MP for County Wicklow, and a member of the privy council.

Mr Howard was elevated to the peerage, in 1778, by the title of Baron Clonmore, of Clonmore Castle, County Carlow; and advanced to a viscountcy, in 1785, as Viscount Wicklow.

His lordship wedded, in 1755, Alice (who was raised to the peerage as COUNTESS OF WICKLOW in 1793), only daughter and heiress of William Forward MP, of Castle Forward, County Donegal, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM, successive peers;
Stuarta; Isabella; Katherine; Mary.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

ROBERT (1757-1815), 2nd Viscount; who became EARL OF WICKLOW at the demise of his mother, 1807; but died unmarried, when the honours devolved upon his brother,

WILLIAM (1761-1818), 3rd Earl; who had assumed the surname and arms of FORWARD, upon inheriting the estate of his maternal relatives; but resumed his family name of HOWARD on succeeding to the peerage.

His lordship espoused, in 1787, Eleanor, only daughter of the Hon Francis Caulfeild, and granddaughter of James, 3rd Viscount Charlemont, by whom he had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Francis (Rev); father of
Isabella Mary; Eleanor; Mary; Alicia.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM (1788-1869), 4th Earl, KP, who wedded, in 1816, Lady Cecil Frances Hamilton, daughter of John James, 1st Marquess of Abercorn.

His lordship had no male issue and was succeeded by his nephew,
On the death of the 8th Earl, the titles became extinct.

SHELTON ABBEY, near Arklow, County Wicklow, was the ancestral seat of the Earls of Wicklow.

It is an eleven-bay, two-storey mansion, built in 1770 but remodelled in the Gothic style to designs by Sir Richard Morrison in 1819.

The building is finished with lined render and granite dressings.

The decorative panelled front door has a blind fanlight and is set within a pointed-arched opening.This is recessed within a projecting triple arched flat-roofed porch.

The front is lavishly embellished with reducing buttresses with tall pinnacles. To the north and rear large two-storey wings were later added.

The mainly pitched roof is finished with natural slate and has cast-iron rainwater goods.

The building is set within a large wooded demesne. Internally the elaborate plasterwork is still intact.

This remains an important early 19th century country house which has been very well preserved.

During the Victorian era, the 'Abbey style' was considered appropriate to secluded settings such as this.

It has been converted to institutional use with no loss of character.

The town residence of Lord Wicklow used to be 56 Upper Brook Street, London (now part of the US Embassy).

In 1947, the 8th Earl opened Shelton as an hotel in a vain attempt to meet the cost of upkeep; but he was obliged to sell it in 1951, owing to taxation.

Shelton Abbey operated as a school for a period.

The abbey has, since the early 1970s, been used as an open prison for males aged 19 years and over who are regarded as requiring lower levels of security.

Wicklow arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in January, 2012.

Castlewellan: Moorish Tower

During my visit to Castlewellan Park, County Down, in February, 2014, I came upon the ruins of the Annesleys' admirable little Moorish Tower.

Fisst floor entrance

This folly or gazebo is located at the west, or north-west, end of the lake, on the edge of a steep slope.
The Annesley crest, incidentally, features a Moor's head; and William Armytage-Moore (1806-83), coincidentally, was brother of Priscilla Cecilia, Countess Annesley (wife of the 3rd Earl) and land agent to the 3rd and 4th Earls.
The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (UAHS) wrote about the tower in its 1976 gazetteer of historic buildings in the Mourne area of south County Down.


Alas, this charming folly is now concealed by relatively recent forestry, and its magnificent prospect is obscured by fir and pine trees.

It was built in 1884 by Hugh, 5th Earl Annesley.

Lord Annesley was the third largest landowner in County Down, with about 25,000 acres, extending from Slieve Croob to Slieve Donard.

Basement entrance

The UAHS described the Moorish Tower in 1976 as being in ruins, built on the edge of a steep slope.

About twenty feet in diameter inside and hexagonal in shape, the rusticated basement of great random granite blocks, battered, with a doorway facing east.

The first floor made of smooth Victorian brick, a little porch on the opposite side from the door in the basement, a fireplace in the side to the left, no window in the side to the right.


The other three sides have Moorish, key-hole-shaped windows.

Both inside and outside, the brick walls had wooden strips for battening or plastering or, outside, slate or log-hanging.

The roof was slated (the gazebo is now roofless).

The gazebo was originally clad outside in vertical split logs, dentils under the gutter, the porch doorway under a shallow gabled roof with barge-boards.

photo credit: Follies Trust

It stood under mature trees in an idyllic position.

photo credit: Follies Trust

The prospect overlooking the lake was also idyllic (and still is), though this little gem is now a neglected, ruinous, roofless shell, shut in by forestry.

THE GREAT NEWS, however, is that The Follies Trust has received a grant from the  NGO Challenge Fund, sponsored by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Forest Service, to undertake initial conservation work to the Tower.

When surrounding trees are cleared as part of the conservation process, the tower’s prospect of the demesne lake, Irish Sea and Mourne mountains will be restored.

Work commenced during the summer, 2014.

March, 2015
First published in February, 2014.   Annesley arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Hardinge Baronets


This family is descended from

NICHOLAS HARDINGE, who was seated at King's Newton, Derbyshire, in the reign of HENRY VII; who wedded Isabel, daughter of Edward Webb, and had issue,

SIR ROBERT HARDING, Knight (1621-79), of King's Newton, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Richard Sprignell, Knight.

Sir Robert, a master in Chancery, raised a royalist troop of horse during the reign of CHARLES I, and entertained CHARLES II at King's Newton Hall. He was knighted in 1674.

His younger son,

THE REV GIDEON HARDINGE (c1668-1712), Vicar of Kingston-upon-Thames, left issue,
NICHOLAS, of whom we treat;
Caleb, MD, Physician to the Queen;
Mary, m Sir John Stracey, Knight.
The Rev Gideon Hardinge's son,

NICHOLAS HARDINGE MP (1699-1758), of Canbury, Surrey, barrister-at-law, was chief clerk of the House of Commons in 1731, attorney-general to the Duke of Cumberland, and, in 1752, Joint Secretary to The Treasury.

Mr Hardinge married, in 1738, Jane, daughter of Sir John Pratt, Lord Chief Justice of the court of King's Bench, and had issue,
George, dsp 1816;
Henry (Rev), father of
CHARLES, 2nd Baronet;
RICHARD, of whom hereafter;
Juliana; Jane; Caroline.
The youngest son,

RICHARD HARDINGE (1756-1826), of Belle Isle, County Fermanagh, was created a baronet in 1801, denominated of Belle Isle, County Fermanagh, with remainder to the heirs male of his father.

Sir Richard wedded firstly, in 1793, Mary, daughter of Ralph, 1st Earl of Ross, by whom he had no issue; and secondly, in 1826, Caroline, daughter of Lieutenant-General Wolf.
Sir Ralph Gore was born at Belle Isle in 1725 and was created Earl of Ross in 1772. He died in 1801, leaving Belle Isle to his only surviving child, Mary, who married Sir Richard Hardinge, 1st Baronet, who sold Belle Isle, in 1830, to the Rev John Porter for £68,000 (£5.8 million in today's money).
Sir Richard died childless, in 1826, when the baronetcy devolved, according to the limitation, upon his nephew,

THE REV SIR CHARLES HARDINGE (1780-1864), 2nd Baronet, Rector of Crowhurst, Surrey, who married, in 1816, Emily Bradford, second daughter of Kenneth Callander, of Craigforth, Stirlingshire, and had issue,
HENRY CHARLES, 3rd Baronet;
EDMUND STRACEY, 4th Baronet;
Robert James;
Caroline Bradford; six other daughters.
Seemingly, Sir Charles sold Belleisle, his estate in County Fermanagh, and purchased Bounds Park in Kent.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR HENRY CHARLES HARDINGE, 3rd Baronet (1830-73), who died a bachelor, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR EDMUND STRACEY HARDINGE, 4th Baronet (1833-1924).

Former residences: 25 Duke Street, off Manchester Square, London; Sundridge, Sevenoaks, Kent.
  • Sir Henry Charles Hardinge, 3rd Baronet (1830-73);
  • Sir Edmund Stracey Hardinge, 4th Baronet (1833–1924);
  • Sir Charles Edmund Hardinge, 5th Baronet (1878–1968);
  • Sir Robert Hardinge, 6th Baronet (1887–1973);
  • Sir Robert Arnold Hardinge, 7th Baronet (1914-86) – unproven;
  • Sir Charles Henry Nicholas Hardinge, 8th Baronet (1956–2004) – unproven (had already succeeded as Viscount Hardinge in 1984).

THE VISCOUNTCY OF HARDINGE was created in 1846 for the soldier and politician Sir Henry Hardinge.

His son, the 2nd Viscount, represented Downpatrick in Parliament. His great-great-grandson, the 6th Viscount, succeeded a distant relative as 8th Baronet, of Belle Isle in the County of Fermanagh, in 1986.

This aforementioned baronetcy had been created in 1801 for Richard Hardinge. He was the third son of Nicolas Hardinge, younger brother of Rev Henry Hardinge and uncle of the latter's third son Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge.

The baronetcy was created with special remainder to the male heirs of Richard Hardinge's father.

Whilst the present and 7th Lord Hardinge is generally believed to be the 8th Hardinge Baronet, the succession has yet to be proved.
The mitre on the Hardinge crest indicates the family's ecclesiastical past. The other crests, two pennants, allude to the naval exploits of George Nicholas Hardinge: As a naval commander, he captained HMS Scorpion in 1803, capturing the brig Atalanta (or Atalante).  
First published in December, 2010.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Orlock Hedging

I've spent the day at Orlock, a property of the National Trust between Groomsport and Donaghadee, County Down.

The former coastguard lookout stands adjacent to the public road.

This former lookout is now surrounded by residential homes.

Today our task was to construct a hawthorn hedge.

The hawthorn trees are already there; our job was to bend them horizontally, using bill-hooks and saws.

The trick is to leave a mere "strap", a sort of ligament of the tree, very thin indeed.

The tree can then be bent down horizontally so that it stays alive.

This is a most satisfying pastime.

Most of the trees were relatively large, so it wasn't as easy as it might seem.

Some of the straps broke, which meant that we had to remove the tree for firewood.

The intention is to plant new hawthorn trees imminently to fill the gaps.

We enjoyed sunny intervals today, though there was a heavy hail shower which lasted five or ten minutes.

I munched away happily on egg salad sandwiches at lunchtime.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Courtown House


This family is said to derive its descent from Nicholas de Stockport, Baron of Stockport, one of the eight barons of the county palatine of Chester, created by Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, in the reign of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

It is probable the family had been settled in that county before the Conquest, and certainly the estate of Salterstown, near Macclesfield, in Cheshire, belonged to the Stopfords from time immemorial.

The first of the family who settled in Ireland,

JAMES STOPFORD, of Saltersford, Cheshire, an officer of rank in Cromwell's army, served in Ireland in 1641.

Upon the restoration of the royal family, acquiring considerable estates in that kingdom, partly by purchase, and partly by grants, he took up his abode at Tara Hill, County Meath.

Captain Stopford was succeeded by his grandson, 

JAMES STOPFORD, MP for County Wexford in 1713, who wedded Frances, daughter and heir of Roger Jones, of Dublin, by whom he had five sons and four daughters.

He was succeeded at his decease by his eldest surviving son,

JAMES STOPFORD (1700-70), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1758, as Baron Courtown, of Wexford; and, in 1762, advanced to the dignities of Viscount Stopford and EARL OF COURTOWN.

His lordship married Elizabeth, only daughter of the Rt Rev Edward Smyth, Lord Bishop of Down and Connor, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
Edward, lieutenant-general in the army;
Thomas (Rt Rev), Lord Bishop of Cork and Ross;
Frances; Mary; Anne; Catherine; Charlotte.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES, 2nd Earl (1731-1810), KP, PC, who was created a peer of Great Britain, in 1794, as Baron Saltersford.

His lordship espoused, in 1762, Mary, daughter and co-heir of Richard Powys, of Hintlesham Hall, Suffolk, by whom he had issue,
JAMES GEORGE, his successor;
Edward (Sir), GCB;
Robert (Sir), GCB, GCMG;
Richard Bruce (Rev).
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JAMES GEORGE, 3rd Earl (1765-1835), KP, who married, in 1791, Mary, eldest daughter of Henry, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch, by whom he had issue,
JAMES THOMAS, his successor;
Henry Scott;
Montagu (Sir), KCB;
Mary Frances; Jane; Charlotte; Caroline.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son James Richard Ian Montagu Stopford, styled Viscount Stopford (b 1988).
THE COURTOWNS were a "Patrick Family", the 2nd and 3rd Earls having been installed as Knights of St Patrick.

The 6th Earl was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Wexford, from 1901 until 1922.

James Patrick Montagu Burgoyne Winthrop, 9th and present Earl, was a Lord in Waiting (Government Whip), 1995-97; representative peer to the House of Lords, 1999-.

COURTOWN HOUSE, near Gorey, County Wexford, was the 18th century seat of the Earls of Courtown, overlooking the sea at Courtown Harbour.

It was significantly altered and enlarged during the 19th century, following the 1798 rebellion. 

The front consisted of a U-shaped block of two storeys and a dormer attic within the high-pitched, château-style roof.

The five-bay centre had a large open porch, with a porte-cochère carried on four piers.

Courtown House was demolished in 1962, having been sold to the Irish Tourist Board in 1948.

After the 2nd World War, the income from the amount of land left in the estate was not enough to keep Courtown House going and it had to be sold.

Marlfield House, once a Dower House on the Courtown estate, dates back to the 1840s.

The Courtown family also had a seat in Cheshire, Beale Hall.

Courtown Woodland was planted with oak and ash back in 1870.

At this time it was part of a typical Victorian estate woodland where exotic conifers and redwoods from California were planted within viewing distance of Courtown House.

Oak plantations were established at some distance.

They were under-planted with shrubs to provide food for pheasants for shooting parties.

The woodland was regularly cleared and used as firewood by local tenants.

During the 1860s and 1870s the 5th Earl established a pinetum, or conifer collection, in the grounds around Courtown House.

A small number of these trees remain today in the Woodland and in property across the river. 

Courtown arms courtesy of European Heraldry.  First published in January, 2012.

Botanic Gate Lodge

The Botanic Gardens, Belfast, opened in 1828 as the private Royal Belfast Botanical Gardens.

Its main entrance was (and remains) at 2, Stranmillis Road.

The Gardens continued as a private park for many years, only opening to members of the public on Sundays, prior to 1895.

It became a public park in 1895, when the Belfast Corporation (now Belfast City Council) bought the gardens from the Belfast Botanical and Horticultural Society.

The park, now comprising twenty-eight acres, contains a large conservatory, tropical fernery, rose garden, and many other interesting features.

Originally the park was considerably larger in size, though portions of land were conveyed to the Department of Education, the Ulster Museum, and the Queen's University of Belfast, for various purposes. 

The Stranmillis Road gate lodge, designed by William Batt, was built in 1877.

It was a lofty, single-storey building in red brick with Staffordshire blue bands and pointed stone arches at the openings.

A pair of portico arches were directly below the clock-tower, added three years later, which had buttresses and carved capitals.

This structure was built by public subscription.

The tower's steep roof was in the French château style.

The adjoining lodge had paired windows, a tall roof with elaborate iron cresting, a pair of chimneys, and bracketed eaves.

Only the stone gates, with lamps and poppy finials, survive today.

Hugh Dixon said of its demise:-
The demolition of the lodge in 1965 was unnecessary in that the site remains empty. It was also unfortunate, in removing an important architectural focus for this busy junction, and a feature which gave arrival at the Botanic Gardens a sense of occasion.
First published in February, 2014. 

Monday, 22 February 2016

1st Earl of Seafield


This family descends from a younger son of the house of AIRLIE.

SIR WALTER OGILVY, Knight, of Auchleven,
second son of the Treasurer of Scotland, Ogilvie, by Isabel Durward, heir of Lintrathen, who married Margaret, only daughter and heir of Sir John Sinclair, of Deskford and Findlater, and thereby acquired those estates.
Sir Walter obtained permission from the crown, in 1455, to fortify his castle at Findlater, and to make it a place of strength.

He died in 1473, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JAMES OGILVY, Knight, of Deskford and Findlater, who wedded Margaret, eldest daughter of Sir Robert Innes, of Innes, and was succeeded in 1510 by his grandson,

ALEXANDER OGILVY, (son of Sir James Ogilvy, who died in 1505-6, by Agnes, natural daughter of George, 2nd Earl of Huntley,) who obtained a charter, in 1511, for incorporating the lands of Deskford, Findlater, and Keithmore, into one entire barony, to be designated by the name of Ogilvy.
He married Janet, second daughter of James Abernethy, 3rd Lord Saltoun, and had a son, JAMES, whom he disinherited, settling estates upon John Gordon, 2nd son of George, 4th Earl of Huntley; but after a feud and some bloodshed between the Gordons and Ogilvys, the baronies of Deskford and Findlater were restored by an arbitration, of which Queen MARY was overs-woman.
The rightful heir,

JAMES OGILVY,  of Cardell, who was succeeded by his grandson,

SIR WALTER OGILVY, Knight, who was elevated to the peerage, in 1616, by the title of Lord Ogilvy of Deskford.

His lordship wedded firstly, Agnes, eldest daughter of Robert, 3rd Lord Elphinstone, by whom he had a daughter,
Christian, married to Sir John Forbes of Pitsligo.
He espoused secondly, Lady Mary Douglas, third daughter of William, Earl of Morton, and had by that lady,

JAMES, 2nd Lord, who was created, in 1638, Earl of Findlater.

His lordship married Lady Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew, 5th Earl of Rothes, by whom he had two daughters,
ELIZABETH, wedded to Sir Patrick Ogilvy, of Inchmartin;
Anne, married to William, 9th Earl of Glencairn, LORD CHANCELLOR OF SCOTLAND.
He married secondly, Lady Marion, daughter of William, 8th Earl of Glencairn, but by her he had no issue.
Lord Findlater thus having no male issue, procured a renewed patent, dated 1641, conferring the titles of Earl and Countess of Findlater upon his son-in-law, Sir Patrick Ogilvy, and that gentleman's wife, Lady Elizabeth Ogilvy, his lordship's elder daughter.
At his decease the peerage so devolved upon

SIR PATRICK OGILVY AND HIS LADY, as Earl and Countess of Findlater.

His lordship died in 1658, and was succeeded by his son,

JAMES, 3rd Earl, whose eldest surviving son,

JAMES, 4th Earl, a lawyer of great eminence at the Scottish bar, who filled successively the offices of Solicitor-General and Secretary of State for Scotland; Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer; and High Commisssioner to the General Assembly of the church.

His lordship had been elevated to the peerage before the decease of his father, in 1698, by the title of Viscount Seafield; and, in 1701, Viscount Reidhaven and EARL OF SEAFIELD.

Earls of Seafield (1701)

The heir apparent is the present holder's son James Andrew Studley, styled Viscount Reidhaven (b 1963). He became a Muslim in 1990.

CULLEN HOUSE, Buckie, Moray, was the ancestral seat of the Earls of Seafield.

The main part of the house dates from 1543. An east wing was added in 1711, and there were alterations by David Bryce in 1858.

The House and estate buildings were converted into fourteen dwellings in 1983.

Prior to the use of Cullen House by the Earls of Seafield, the castle of Findlater, now a ruin, on a rocky coastal outcrop about two miles to the east, was the seat.

Several hundred yards from Cullen House, on the site of the old village, stands Old Cullen, a dower house, Georgian in design. Formerly the Factor's house, it is now the residence of Lord and Lady Seafield.

The Earls of Seafield owned a further 160,224 acres of land in Inverness-shire, and 48,936 acres in Banffshire.

Seafield arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Civic Heritage Walk

25 Donegall Place

I motored into town this morning and, unable to find a space in Upper Arthur Street and the vicinity, drove slightly further out, to Franklin Street.

My mission this morning was to take a few photographs; specifically, of 25 Donegall Place, presently a fashion retailer called Oasis.

Number 25 was built as part of a terrace in 1790-91.

old bricks at 25 Donegall Place

This building is beside Queen's Arcade.

It used to run right back to the premises at 28-30 Fountain Street, now known as Carlton House.

28-30 Fountain Street

For many years this belonged to the Carlton café and restaurant.

Looking up towards the apex of Queen's Arcade, the art deco monogram "AR" is clearly visible, an allusion to the clothing retailer Austin Reed which operated a branch at the entrance to the arcade.


THENCE I motored in a southerly direction to University Road, Upper Crescent, and Lower Crescent.

The former Methodist church still stands derelict at 21 University Road; though I gather that it has been acquired by a very well-known pub chain, viz. J D Wetherspoon.

detail at former Methodist church

Many, if not most, of Upper Crescent remains in a deplorable state, though there is hope that these circumstances might change, because To Let or For Sale signs emblazon this crescent.

I strolled through the little park to Lower Crescent at the opposite side and, though imperfect, most of the properties have fared better.

Several are an eyesore, however.

The Crescent Townhouse boutique hotel is at the corner of Lower Crescent and Botanic Avenue.

This was formerly called The Regency Hotel.

I wandered in and complimented the staff on their website with its history of the crescent.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

S D Bell's Breakfast

I usually meet my aunt at the celebrated tea and coffee merchant, S D Bell's, at 516, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast.

S D Bell's is one of the longest established family businesses still operating in the city.

It is always busy.

I normally have a pot of their Directors' Blend with a fruit scone; though today I fancied a cooked breakfast.

The Ulster Fry, cooked breakfast, is particularly popular in Bell's.

They have the smaller, five item version; or the full-size eight item plateful.

I opted for the former, and had an egg, sausage, baked beans, potato farl, and soda farl.

This was a rare treat and I devoured it heartily.

I think that in this instance I might just pip Camilla Batmanjelly to the food-trough.

Everything was tip-top and there was no greasiness, either.

It cost £4.80.

Erin, my favourite member of staff, presented it to me at our table.

I noticed another patron with the home-made stew, which looked equally good; and Ewart's haddock and chips featured on the blackboard.

Well done, S D Bell's, and long may you provide the choicest teas, coffees and food to us.

Friday, 19 February 2016

1st Marquess of Linlithgow


The Surname of HOPE is one of great antiquity in Scotland; and the ancestor of the present family,

JOHN DE HOPE, is said to have come from France in the retinue of Madeleine, Queen Consort of JAMES V of Scotland, in 1537, and settling in Scotland, left a son,

who was one of the most considerable inhabitants of Edinburgh in the reign of QUEEN MARY; and being a great promoter of the Reformation, was chosen one of the commissioners for the metropolis to the parliament in 1560.
He left a son,

HENRY HOPE (c1533-91), a very eminent merchant, who wedded a French lady, Jacqueline de Tott, and had two sons. The elder,

being bred to the Scottish bar, first attained eminence, in 1606, by his defence of the six ministers (clergymen) tried for high treason, for denying that the King possessed authority in matters ecclesiastical; and acquired, eventually, the largest fortune ever accumulated by a member of the legal profession in Scotland.
He was subsequently appointed King's Advocate, and created a baronet in 1628.

Sir Thomas left a very large family; from the eldest son of which descend the Hopes of Craighall. The fourth son,

SIR JAMES HOPE (1614-61), of Hopetoun,
a member of the Scottish bar, marrying Anne, only daughter and heir of Robert Foulis, of Leadhills, Lanarkshire, acquired the valuable mines there, and applying himself to mineralogy, brought the art of mining to the highest perfection ever known before in Scotland. Sir John was appointed, in 1641, Governor of the Mint, and constituted a Lord of Session in 1649.
His eldest surviving son,

JOHN HOPE (1650-82), of Hopetoun,
took up his residence at Niddry Castle, the barony of which he purchased from Lord Winton; and he also purchased, about the same time (1678) the barony of Abercorn, with the office of Heritable Sheriff of the County of Linlithgow, from Sir Walter Seton.
Mr Hope represented Linlithgowshire in parliament in 1684.

He married Margaret, eldest daughter of John, 4th Earl of Haddington, by whom he had a son and a daughter.
Mr Hope having embarked with the Duke of York, and several other persons of distinction, in HMS Gloucester, in 1682, was lost in the wreck of that vessel, a few days after going abroad, aged 32.
His son,

CHARLES HOPE (1681-1742), who was born in the previous year, succeeded to the family estates, and was elevated to the peerage, in 1703, by the titles of Lord Hope, Viscount Aithrie, and EARL OF HOPETOUN.

His lordship was installed as a Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, at Holyrood House, in 1738.

He espoused, in 1699, Henrietta, only daughter of William, 1st Marquess of Annandale, and had thirteen children, of whom the eldest son,

JOHN (1704-81), 2nd Earl wedded thrice. His eldest son,

JAMES (1741-1816), 3rd Earl,
who, at the demise of his great-uncle, George, Marquess of Annandale, in 1792, inherited the large estates of that nobleman, and the earldoms of Annandale and Hartfell, neither of which dignities, however, did he assume, but simply added the family name of the deceased lord, JOHNSTONE, to that of HOPE.
His lordship was nominated Lord-Lieutenant and Hereditary Sheriff of Lochmaben Castle.

He wedded, in 1766, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of George, 6th Earl of Northesk, by whom he had five daughters, though no male issue.

The honours, therefore, devolved upon his half-brother,

SIR JOHN HOPE (1765-1823), 4th Earl, KB, PC, then Lord Niddry, a general in the army, colonel of the 42nd Regiment of Foot, and Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath; who, for his gallant achievements in the Peninsular War, had been elevated to the UK peerage, in 1814, as Baron Niddry.

His lordship married twice: firstly, in 1798, Elizabeth, youngest daughter of the Hon Charles Hope Weir, of Craigiehall, by whom he had no issue; and secondly, in 1803, Louisa Dorothea, third daughtr of Sir John Wedderburn Bt, by whom he had,
JOHN, his successor;
Alicia; Jane.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 5th Earl (1803-43), who espoused, in 1826, Louisa, eldest daughter of Godfrey, 3rd Lord Macdonald, by whom he had issue,

JOHN ALEXANDER, 6th Earl (1831-73), who wedded, in 1860, Etheldred Anne, eldest daughter of Charles Thomas Samuel Birch-Reynoldson, of Holywell Hall, Lincolnshire, and had issue,
JOHN ADRIAN LOUIS, his successor;
Charles Archibald;
Estrella; Dorothea Louisa.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN ADRIAN LOUIS, 7th Earl (1860-1908), 7th Earl, KT, GCMG, GCVO, PC, who wedded, in 1886, Hersey Alice, third daughter of the 4th Baron Ventry.

In 1902, his lordship was advanced to the dignity of a marquessate, as MARQUESS OF LINLITHGOW.
John Adrian Louis Hope, 1st Marquess (1860–1908);
Victor Alexander John Hope, 2nd Marquess (1887–1952);
Charles William Frederick Hope, 3rd Marquess(1912-87);
Adrian John Charles Hope, 4th Marquess (b 1946).
The heir apparent is the present holder's eldest son, Andrew Christopher Victor Arthur Charles Hope, styled Earl of Hopetoun (b 1969).

The heir apparent's heir apparent is his elder son, Charles Adrian Bristow William Hope, styled Viscount Aithrie (b 2001).

Lord Aithrie served as one of the Queen's Pages of Honour at the 2014 State Opening of Parliament.

HOPETOUN HOUSE, Linlithgowshire, is the ancestral seat of the Marquesses of Linlithgow.

It is located near South Queensferry to the west of Edinburgh.

Hopetoun was built in 1699-1701 and designed by Sir William Bruce.

The mansion was then hugely extended from 1721 by William Adam until his death in 1748, being one of his most notable projects.

The interior was completed by his sons, John and Robert Adam.

The grand entrance hall dates from 1752.

The parklands in which it lies were laid out in 1725, also by William Adam.

The east front centres on the distant isle of Inchgarvie and North Berwick Law.

The walled garden dates from the late 18th century.

In the grounds an 18th-century mound was excavated in 1963 to reveal the remains of the earlier manor house, Abercorn Castle, dating from the 15th century.

The Hope family acquired the land in the 17th century.

Other former seats ~ Raehills, Dumfriesshire; Ormiston Hall, Haddingtonshire.

First published in February, 2014.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Connswater Bridge

I happened to be passing the Connswater Bridge, Newtownards Road, Belfast, this afternoon and work progresses well on the Connswater Greenway project.

The river Conn's Water is culverted on one side for several hundred yards; while, at the Connswater Bridge, beside McDonald's, a Trench Shield (or box) has been placed in the middle of the river adjacent to the bridge.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Orlock Visit

The National Trust owns a fair bit of coastline between Ballyholme Bay, Bangor, and Portavo, just beyond Orlock Point, County Down.

This townland is called Balloo Lower.

To our south is Portavo Reservoir; whereas the town of Bangor is to the west; and the Copeland Islands to the east.

Today eleven of us drove to a field close to the old coastguard lookout at Orlock, a tight-knit community comprising about forty homes, I gather.

We endeavoured to light a bonfire in order to burn old branches and grass cuttings.

It seemed to take two hours to light the fire because everything was saturated.

Nevertheless, our persistence eventually paid off.

Will was cutting the lower branches from a kind of conifer tree at the entrance to Orlock.

Fodder today for self consisted of salmon sandwiches and a beaker of coffee.