Saturday 27 April 2013

(31) Adams of Drumelton House and formerly of Erne View

William Adams (1763-1817) of Gortgommon (Fermanagh) acquired Erne View (Cavan) in the late 18th century.  The location of this house has not been traced.  There is a modern street of that name in Belturbet (Cavan), but no house of this name can be identified on early 19th century maps of the area.  However, William's son, William Adams (1794-1846), inherited Drumelton House.  It is not clear whether this property came to him from Richard Adams (1793-1827), whose relationship to this family has not been ascertainted but who was described as 'of Drumelton' at the time of his death, or through his marriage to Eliza Cooney, whose mother, Matilda Talbot, was also described as 'of Drumelton House'.  At all events, Drumelton thereafter became the family seat.  The house descended to his son, William Adams (1837-1908), who remodelled it in 1884 to the designs of James Franklin Fuller, and thence to his unmarried children in turn.  Some of the land was sold through the Irish Lands Commission in 1930, but the house remained in the family until the late 20th century.

Drumelton House, Cavan

Drumelton House.  Image: Niamh Fitzpatrick.
The earliest deeds of Drumelton are said to date from 1715, which may imply that there was a gentry house from that time or soon afterwards; and the family still preserves a clock made in Cavan in 1723, which be a further pointer to the date when a household was established here. Nothing is known, however, of the appearance of the house before it was remodelled as a large late Victorian two-storey roughcast gabled villa with red brick dressings for William Adams in 1884 to the design of James Franklin Fuller, of Dublin.  The broad entrance front has projecting three-bay gables at either end, with a smaller two-bay gable in the middle; each of the main gables contains a circular limestone panel, the left hand one showing an unusual coat of arms and the right-hand one an heraldic crest.  These are reputedly the heraldry of William Adams and his wife, Sarah Chatterton, but no authoritative record of such arms has been traced.  The main entrance is offset, under a bracketed timber canopy, into a curious single-storey lean-to porch that stands between the projecting gables. Either at the time of the 1880s remodelling or a little later, the downstairs rooms were given steel-lined shutters, presumably as a defence against attacks during the early 20th century Irish troubles.

Drumelton House: detail of gable showing a coat of arms.  Image: Niamh Fitzpatrick

Previous owners: Matilda Talbot, wife of George Cooney; to daughter, Eliza Cooney (d. 1875), wife of William Adams (1794-1846); to son, William Adams (1837-1908); to son, William Chatterton Adams (1873-1917); to brother, George Chatterton Adams (1877-1954); to sisters, Elizabeth Irene Wilson Adams (1880-1963) and Lilian Welby Adams (b. 1886); to niece, Annabel Eveline Chatterton Harvey (1904-98), wife of Harold Archibald Allison (1906-68), who sold it... Mr & Mrs. A. Fitzpatrick (fl. 2012)

Adams family of Drumelton House

Adams, William (1763-1817) of Erne View.  He married 1st a daughter of George Forbes and 2nd, Rosa Ann (d. 1846), daughter of Francis Kyttels, and had issue:
(1.1) William Adams (1794-1846) (q.v.).
He lived at Gortgommon (Fermanagh) and later purchased Erne View (Cavan), which has not been located.
He died in 1817.

Adams, William (1794-1846) of Erne View, later of Drumelton House.  Son of William Adams (1763-1817) and his first wife, a daughter of George Forbes; born 1794.  He married 1833 Eliza (d. 1875), elder daughter of George Cooney and his wife Matilda Talbot of Drumelton House, and had issue:
(1) William Adams (1837-1908) (q.v.);
(2) Matilda Adams (d. 1901), died unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Erne View from his father in 1817 and later Drumelton House (either from Richard Adams (d. 1827) or in right of his wife.
He died in 1846.

Adams, William (1837-1908), of Drumelton House.  Only son of William Adams (1794-1846) and his wife Eliza, daughter of George Cooney; born 18 March 1837.  JP for Cavan; High Sheriff of Cavan, 1887.  He married 15 November 1870 Sarah (d. 1929), third daughter of George Chatterton JP of Ballynamote House (Cork) and had issue:
(1) Sarah Frances Adams (1871-1954), married, 6 July 1904, John Chartres Molony BA JP of Madras Civil Service, and had issue;
(2) William Chatterton Adams (1873-1917) (q.v.)
(3) Eveline Norcott Adams (1875-1948), m. 1902 Very Rev. William Coates Harvey MA LLD, rector of Paynestown, Beau Parc (Meath) and Dean of Clonmacnoise, and had issue a daughter (Annabel Eveline Chatterton Harvey (1904-98), who married, 1938, Harold Archibald Allison (1906-68), later of Drumelton), 2 January 1948;
(4) Maj. George Chatterton Adams (1877-1954) (q.v.)
(5) Elizabeth Irene Wilson Adams (1880-1963), of Drumelton House; died unmarried and without issue, 18 December 1963;
(6) Lilian Welby Adams (b. 1886), of Drumelton House; died unmarried and without issue;
(7) Welby Alleyne Chatterton Adams (1889-1912), died without issue;
(8) Richard Randolph Adams (1882-83), died young;
He inherited Drumelton House from his father in 1846 and remodelled it in 1884.
He died 19 March 1908, aged 71.

Adams, William Chatterton (1873-1917), of Drumelton House.  Eldest son of William Adams (1837-1908) and his wife Sarah, daughter of George Chatterton of Ballynamote House (Cork); born 6 June 1873.  Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (Senior Moderator; BA); served in Egyptian civil service.  He married Priscilla Louisa (d. 1969), daughter of Bindon Blood Storey, President of the Institute of Civil Engineers of Ireland, but died without issue.
He inherited Drumelton House from his father in 1908.
He died in Dublin, 6 April 1917.  His will was proved in Dublin 14 June 1917.  His widow married 2nd, 1919 John Reginald Hare Duke (d. 1954) and 3rd, 1959, Col. Aleyn Whitely Stokes DSO MC (d. 1965), but died without issue.

Adams, Maj. George Chatterton (1877-1954), of Drumelton House.  Second son of William Adams (1837-1908) and his wife Sarah, daughter of George Chatterton of Ballynamote House (Cork).  Educated at Portora School, Enniskillen (Fermanagh) and Trinity College, Dublin (BA); served as a Major in the Inniskilling Fusiliers during the Boer War and First World War and was awarded the MC and mentioned in despatches.  He married 1919 Susan Holmes, daughter of George Reynell Gresson, but died without issue.
He and his unmarried sisters inherited Drumelton House from his elder brother in 1917. After the death of Elizabeth Adams in 1963 the house passed to their niece, Annabel Eveline Chatterton Allison (1904-98).
He died in 1954.


Burke's Landed Gentry, successive editions; Burke's Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 1058; K.V. Mulligan, The buildings of Ireland: South Ulster, 2013, p. 558.  

Where are their papers?

Adams family of Drumelton House: no significant archive is known to survive.

Coat of arms

As noted above, no coat of arms is known to be formally recorded for this family.

Revision and acknowledgements

This account was first published 27 April 2013, and was revised 12 May 2014, 10 September and 22 September 2017. I am grateful to Niamh Fitzpatrick and Camilla Allison for additions and corrections.


  1. This is very interesting. Thank you. Do you happen to know anything about Rakane House? It was also in the possession of an Adams family, but as far as I know the two families are not connected.

    1. I am afraid not; certainly it was not a name I recall coming up when I researched this piece. Do you know where it is/was?


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.