|Alexander of Caledon|
Boom Hall, Londonderry
|Boom Hall: garden front photographed by Alexander Ayton (d.1900) in the late 19th century.|
|Boom Hall: the entrance front c.2008. Image: Derry Ghosts|
Caledon House, TyroneThe present house is probably the fourth to have stood on what is one of Northern Ireland's great estates. The first was the medieval castle of Kinard, destroyed in the 17th century and replaced by a strong house in a bawn of lime and stone, built by Turlough O'Neill about 1619. That house was itself destroyed after the Battle of Benburb in 1646 and replaced in the late 17th century by one described in 1738 as ‘old, low, and though full of rooms, not very large’. In 1748 Mrs. Delany records that the 5th Earl of Cork & Orrery intended to replace it with a new house about a mile away where there were 'all the advantages of water, wood, and diversified grounds', but nothing was done before the 7th Earl sold the house c.1775 to James Alexander.
|Caledon House: a view showing clearly the three phases of the house's development.|
James, later 1st Lord Caledon, a wealthy ‘Nabob’, bought the estate on his return from India, and replaced the existing house with a new building on a different site in 1779-84. He is thought to have obtained initial designs from James Wyatt which were implemented and no doubt altered by Thomas Cooley; the Dublin architect Whitmore Davis, then at the beginning of his career, appears to have been involved too, perhaps as clerk of works on site.
The new house as first built was a villa of two storeys above a semi-basement, with a seven-bay entrance front with a pedimented breakfront centre and Diocletian windows; the garden front had one bay either side of a broad central curved bow, the ground-floor windows in the side bays being of ‘Wyatt’ type, set under a relieving arch. The side elevations were of five bays, making the house very similar in form to Boom Hall, if rather better proportioned. This house essentially survives with its interior decoration intact, although it has been much extended and was given an extra storey and revised fenestration on the entrance side by Nash in 1806-13. The plan has a strong resemblance to that of Mount Kennedy (Wicklow) of 1772 - another house where Cooley was executing Wyatt's designs.
|Caledon House: saloon c.1910|
The large entrance hall (now saloon), 34 x 27 feet, has a screen of yellow scagliola Doric columns at its inner end, a Doric plaster frieze, and restrained plasterwork on the walls and ceiling; the chimneypiece with a satyr and nymph draping garlands along its transom is presumably an alteration by Nash. The hall opens into an oval drawing room extending into the garden front bow, which was redecorated by Nash as one of the most perfect Regency interiors in Ireland, with friezes of gilt Classical figures and mouldings in cut paper, elaborately shaped drapery pelmets and mirrors supported by swan-necked consoles.
|Caledon House: drawing room c.1910|
|Caledon House: dining room chimneypiece c.1910|
|Caledon House: the boudoir, c.1910|
|Caledon House: the boudoir ceiling c.1910|
|Caledon House: a mid 19th century engraving of the house as altered in the 1830s|
The architect who supervised the addition of a top storey in 1825 does not appear to have been recorded, but it may have been Thomas Duff of Newry, who with his partner Thomas Jackson of Belfast, was certainly responsible for the 2nd Earl's last alterations of 1832-33, when the entrance was moved to the east end of the house, where a single-storey extension containing a domed octagonal hall, fronted by a hexastyle Ionic porte-cochere, was built. Unlike the rest of the house, which is stuccoed, these additions are of dressed sandstone ashlar.
The park at Caledon was first landscaped by the 5th Earl and Countess of Cork & Orrery in the 1740s. Mrs Delany recorded their improvements:
It is a fine place by nature, and they are both fond of the Country. She delights in farming and he in building and gardening, and he has very good taste... Nothing is completed yet but an hermitage, which is about an acre of ground - an island, planted with all the variety of trees, shrubs and flowers that will grow in this country, abundance of little winding walks, differently embellished with little seats and banks. In the midst is placed an hermit's cell, made of the roots of trees. The floor is paved with pebbles; there is a couch made of matting, and little wooden stools, a table with a manuscript on it, a pair of spectacles, a leathern bottle; and hung up in different parts, an hourglass, a weather glass and several mathematical instruments, a shelf of books, another of wooden platters and bowls, another of earthen ones, in short everything you might imagine necessary for a recluse. Four little gardens surround this house - an orchard, a flower garden, a physick garden and a kitchen garden... I never saw so pretty a whim so thoroughly well executed.Nothing survives of the hermitage, but in the park there are the remains of an 18th century Bone House, its pillars and arches faced with ox bones, which was being planned by Lord Orrery in 1747. He had then already built a banqueting house in the park, about a mile from the hermitage, with a single big entertaining room and a kitchen, bedroom and cellar behind. Much of this Rococo landscape was presumably swept away when the grounds of Caledon were landscaped by John Sutherland in 1807 and the terraces on the south front were added on the advice of William Sawrey Gilpin. Towards the end of the 19th century the park was inhabited by wapiti and black bears, brought back by the 4th Earl who had hunted and ranched in the Wild West.
Somerhill House, Kent
|Somerhill House in an 18th century engraving|
The exterior, of local sandstone ashlar, remains almost untouched, but almost nothing of the early 17th century survives inside. The plan was provided by John Thorpe, and survives, titled ‘Lo: Clanrickard’ in his book of drawings; it agrees with what was built except for the form of some window bays, and was derived from Palladio’s plan for Villa Valmarana at Lisiera. The house is H-shaped and has the hall axially across the depth of the central range, as at Charlton House, Greenwich and earlier at Hardwick Hall. By contrast with this advanced planning, the elevations though symmetrical on all four sides are almost vernacular in their restrained sequence of straight-sided gables with inconspicuous finials, and tall brick chimneystacks. There are shallow battlemented windows bays on the wings and in centre, but otherwise the windows are simple cross-windows, largely renewed. The shallow battlemented porch has a round-headed doorway between Doric pilasters and a triglyph frieze; the only classical features on the house. To the north is a contemporary service court, with a two-storey north range and slightly later single-storey east and west sides, all with gabled dormers and four-centered doorways.
|Somerhill House today. Image: Wikimedia Commons|
Tyttenhanger Park, Hertfordshire
|Tyttenhanger House in 2011.|
The Tudor house built for Sir Thomas Pope was rebuilt (perhaps to the designs of Peter Mills) in 1654-55 as a compact three-storey nine bay red brick house with a hipped roof, consisting of a five-bay centre and projecting two bay gabled wings. Externally this is well preserved, and retains the original cross-windows. Internally it was altered in the early 18th century and restored by Sir John Soane in 1783 and 1789, although the original main stair, rising through all three storeys, survives. The house also has a chapel with 17th century fittings on the second floor and a long gallery in the attic. The house was converted into offices after 1973, and is now used partly as a wedding venue.
The Alexanders of Caledon
Alexander, Rev. Andrew (d. 1641?). Youngest son of John Alexander (c.1587-1662) of Eridy (Donegal) [see previous post]. A Presbyterian minister. He married Dorothea, daughter of Rev. James Caulfield DD and had issue:
(1) Capt. Alexander Alexander (b. c.1640) (q.v.).
He predeceased his father, and is reputed to have died in 1641.
Alexander, Capt. Alexander (b. c.1640), of Ballyclose and Gannochy. Only son of Rev. Andrew Alexander (d. 1641?) and his wife Dorothea, daughter of Rev. Dr. James Caulfield, born about 1640. Captain in the Army; and one of the Protestant landowners attainted for treason by the Irish Parliament in 1689. He married 1st, [forename unknown], daughter of Sir Thomas Phillips and m.2, [forename unknown] Hillhouse and had issue:
(1.1) Jacob Alexander, married 1692 Margaret (Jane), daughter and heiress of John Oliver of The Lodge, Newtownlimavady (Derry) and had issue four sons; ancestor of the Alexanders of Newtownlimavady and Ahilly;
(2.1) John Alexander (d. 1747) (q.v.).
He inherited his grandfather's estate at Eridy (Donegal) in 1662 and acquired the Gannochy estate in Errigal (Derry). In 1666 he was granted the lands of Ballyclose near Newtownlimavady (Derry) by Sir Thomas Phillips, his father-in-law.
His date of death is unknown.
Alexander, John (d. 1747), of Gunsland. Only son of Capt. Alexander Alexander (b. c.1640) and his second wife. He married Anne, daughter of John White of Cady Hill (Derry) and had issue:
(1) John Alexander (1689-1766); married Sarah, daughter of Alexander Macaulay of Co. Antrim, and had issue; ancestor of the Alexanders of Milford (who will be treated in a future post);
(2) Nathaniel Alexander (1689-1761) (q.v.);
(3) William Alexander (d. 1778); married Mary Porter of Vicardale (Monaghan) and had issue; ancestor of the Cable-Alexander baronets of Dublin (who will be treated in a future post);
(4) Martha Alexander; married Alexander Kellie.
He inherited his father's estates in Donegal and Derry and in 1717 bought the Gunsland estate in Donegal.
He died 12 March 1747.
Alexander, Nathaniel (1689-1761) of Gunsland. Second son of John Alexander (d. 1747) of Gunsland and his wife Anne, daughter of John White of Cady Hill (Derry), born 1689. Alderman of Londonderry, 1755. He married Elizabeth, second daughter of William McClintock of Dunmore (Donegal) and had issue:
(1) William Alexander (d. 1774); married, 1 January 1753, Charlotte, daughter of Messenger Monsey
(2) Robert Alexander (1722-90) (q.v.);
(3) James Alexander (1730-1802), 1st Earl of Caledon (q.v.);
(4) John Alexander; died young;
(5) Nathaniel Alexander; died young;
(6) Mary Jane Alexander, married 1st, 1750, Joseph Weld (d. 1758) and had issue; married 2nd, 1762, Hamilton McClure and had further issue;
(7) Rebecca Alexander (d. 1800), m. 1766 Josias du Pré (d. 1780) of Wilton Park (Bucks) and had issue;
(8) Elizabeth Alexander; died young;
(9) Ann Alexander; died young;
(10) Jane Alexander; died young;
(11) Jane Alexander; died young.
He inherited his father's estates in Donegal and Derry in 1747.
He died 22 September 1761.
Alexander, Robert (1722-90), of Boom Hall. Second son of Nathaniel Alexander (1689-1761) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William McClintock of Dunmore (Donegal), born 1722. Merchant in Londonderry. He married, 1759, Anne (d. 1817), daughter of Henry McCullough of Cloudymore and Ballyarton and had issue:
(1) Rt. Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Alexander (1760-1840) of Portglenone (Antrim), born 12 August 1760; educated at Harrow and Stanmore Schools and Emmanuel College, Cambridge (matriculated 1778; BA 1783; MA 1787; DD); precentor of Armagh Cathedral, 1796-1802; Bishop of Clonfert, 1802-04, Killaloe, 1804. Down & Connor, 1804-23 and Meath, 1823-40; member of the Privy Council of Ireland; built Portglenone House c.1800; married, 18 May 1785, Anne, daughter of Richard Jackson MP of Coleraine, and had issue seven sons and four daughters; died 21 October 1840;
(2) Henry Alexander (1763-1818) (q.v.);
(3) Lt-Gen. William Alexander (1768-1824), sometime Mayor of Derry; married 1793, Martha, daughter of Sir Robert Waller, 1st bt. and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 1 January 1824;
(4) James Alexander (1769-1848) (q.v.);
(5) Joseph Josias du Pré Alexander (1771-1839), a Director of the East India Company; MP for Old Sarum, 1820-32; married, 1 February 1808, Mary, daughter of Rev. Thomas Bracken and had issue two sons and eight daughters; died 20 August 1839;
(6) Elizabeth Alexander; married, about 1795, Sir Andrew Ferguson, 1st bt. (1761-1808) and had issue two sons and four daughters;
(7) Jane Alexander;
(8) Anne Alexander (d. 1865), married Maj-Gen. Alexander Scott; died 18 September 1865;
(9) Rebecca Alexander;
(10) Dorothea Alexander.
He was given the Boom Hall estate near Londonderry by his younger brother James in about 1775.
He died 27 March 1790, aged about 68. His widow died 20 January 1817.
Alexander, Henry (1763-1818), of Boom Hall. Second son of Robert Alexander (1722-90) and his wife Anne, daughter of Henry McCullough of Cloudymore and Ballyarton, born 1763. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (matriculated 1779), Trinity College, Dublin (translated 1779; BA 1783) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1779; called to Irish bar, 1785); MP in the Irish Parliament for Newtown, 1788-90, Askeaton, 1790-97, and Londonderry, 1798-1800; MP in the UK Parliament for Londonderry, 1800-02, Old Sarum, 1802-06; Chairman of the Committee of Means and Ways. Colonial Secretary for the Cape of Good Hope, 1806-18. He married, 14 February 1807, Dorothy (d. 1864), daughter of Francis Rivers and had issue:
(1) Gen. Robert Alexander (d. 1879), married Charlotte, daughter of Col. Josiah Stewart and had issue three sons and three daughters; died 16 May 1879; will proved 13 June 1879 (estate under £12,000);
(2) Mary Alexander (c.1808-84) of New Park, Moville (Donegal) and later of Stone House, Dorking (Surrey); died unmarried, 13 August 1884; will proved 26 September 1884 (estate £5,534);
(3) Ann Alexander (1809-51), married, 3 September 1839, Maj-Gen. George Rowlandson and had issue; died 6 April 1851
(4) Catherine Alexander (d. 1886); died unmarried;
(5) Eliza Alexander; presumably died unmarried;
(6) Frances Alexander (fl. 1884); died unmarried;
(7) James Alexander (1813-51), born 12 January 1813; judge of Bengal Supreme Court, married, 6 November 1849, Catherine (d. 1879), daughter of Richard Harvey but died without issue, 28 February 1851.
He inherited Boom Hall from his father in 1790.
He died at Cape Town, South Africa, 6 May 1818, aged about 55, and was buried at the Dutch Reformed Church, Adderley Street, Cape Town. His widow died in Co. Donegal, 10 December 1864
Alexander, James (1769-1848) of Somerhill House. Fourth son of Robert Alexander (1722-90) and his wife Anne, daughter of Henry McCullough of Cloudymore and Ballyarton, born 1769. He joined the East India Company, 1784 (Lieutenant 1785; resigned 1792); and became a partner in the merchant bank of Gardner, Mosscrop & Alexander and later in the Bank of Hindustan; returned to England in 1812 with a substantial fortune; MP for Old Sarum, 1812-32. He married 1st, 1804, in Calcutta (India), Eliza (1785-1806), daughter of Capt. Ralph Dundas (1738-97) and 2nd, 8 March 1813, Charlotte Sophia (c.1783-1870), daughter of Thomas Dashwood and widow of Hon. Charles Andrew Bruce (son of 5th Earl of Elgin) and had issue:
(1.1) Elizabeth Charlotte Alexander (1805-82), born 31 December 1805; married, 3 September 1825, Stratford Canning (1786-1880), 1st Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe of Frant Court (Sussex) and had issue one son, who died young; died 25 November 1882; will proved 13 March 1883 (estate £1,431);
(2.1) Charlotte Sophia Alexander (1813-97) of Edwinstowe Hall (Notts), born 1 December 1813; died unmarried, 20 January 1897; will proved 20 March 1897 (estate £25,885);
(2.2) Robert Alexander (1815-63) of Upavon (Wilts), born 10 February and baptised 10 May 1815; married 23 July 1844 Julia Charlotte (d. 1903), daughter of William Fane and had issue one son and two daughters; died 23 October 1863; will proved 13 November 1863 (estate under £45,000);
(2.3) Anne Alexander (1817-85), born 7 August and baptised 16 September 1817; died unmarried, 9 December 1885; will proved 16 January 1886 (estate £25,877);
(2.4) Emma Alexander (1818-43), born 23 November 1818 and baptised 31 March 1819; died unmarried at Hastings, Oct-Dec. 1843;
(2.5) James Alexander of Oakbank, Sevenoaks (1822-1914), born 7 May 1822; married, 13 May 1845, Anna Maria Julia (d. 1910), daughter of Maximilian Dudley Digges Dalison and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 21 October 1914, aged 92.
He purchased the Somerhill House estate (Kent) in 1819 and restored the house after long neglect; in 1828-38 he employed Anthony Salvin to enlarge the house. Somerhill was sold after his death.
He died 12 September 1848, aged about 79. His first wife died 5 February 1806 in Calcutta, aged 21. His widow died 11 April 1870; her will was proved 26 May 1870 (estate under £30,000).
Alexander, James (1730-1802), 1st Earl of Caledon. Third son of Nathaniel Alexander (1689-1761) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William McClintock of Dunmore (Donegal), born 1730. Officer of East India Company and merchant in India 1752-72, where he made a fortune he estimated at £150,000 and which was probably more; for details of his career with the East India Company see here; Tory MP for Londonderry in the Irish Parliament, 1775-90; visited Rome with his wife in 1777; High Sheriff of Co. Tyrone, 1780 and Co. Armagh, 1781; in favour of the Union of the UK and Irish Parliaments, which took place just before his death. He was elevated to the Irish peerage as Baron Caledon, 1790; and further created Viscount Caledon, 1797, and Earl of Caledon, 1800. He married, 28 November 1774, Anne (d. 1777), second daughter of James Craufurd of Craufurdsburn (Down) and had issue:
(1) Lady Mabella Alexander (1775-1854), born 7 August 1775; married at Caledon House, Dublin, 5 July 1796, Lt-Gen. Andrew Thomas Blayney, 11th Baron Blayney (1770-1834) and had issue one son; died at Kingstown, Dublin, 4 March 1854;
(2) Lady Elizabeth Alexander (1776-1851), born 21 June 1776; died unmarried and without issue, 1851;
(3) Du Pré Alexander (1777-1839), 2nd Earl of Caledon (q.v.).
He purchased the Boom Hall (Derry) estate and land at Moville (Donegal) and Ballycastle (Antrim) in c.1772. He rebuilt Boom Hall, but gave it to his elder brother, Robert Alexander (1722-90) (q.v.) after he purchased the Caledon estate (Tyrone and Armagh) from the 7th Earl of Cork & Orrery in 1775-76. He then rebuilt Caledon House to the designs of James Wyatt and Thomas Cooley in 1779-84.
He died at his house in Cavendish Row, Rutland Square, Dublin, 22 March 1802, aged 71. His wife died 21 December 1777, a week after the birth of her only son.
Alexander, Du Pré (1777-1839), 2nd Earl of Caledon. Only son of James Alexander (1730-1802), 1st Earl of Caledon, and his wife Anne, daughter of James Craufurd of Craufurdsburn (Down), born at Gunsland (Donegal), 14 December 1777. Educated at Eton (1790-96) and Christ Church, Oxford (matric 1796; BA 1799); MP for Newtownards in Irish Parliament, 1800; succeeded his father as Earl of Caledon, 1802; purchased the Parliamentary patronage of the rotten borough of Old Sarum (Wilts) in 1802, with a view to increasing his claim to some form of official employment, and was appointed Governor of Cape of Good Hope, 1806-11, being the first governor after its reconquest from the Dutch in 1806; KP 1821; representative Irish peer 1804-39; Chairman of the London-based Irish Distress Committee, 1831-35; Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone 1831-39; Col. of the Tyrone Militia. He married, 16 October 1811, Lady Catherine Freeman Yorke (1786-1863), second daughter and coheir of Philip Yorke, 3rd Earl of Hardwicke and had issue:
(1) James Du Pré Alexander (1812-55), 3rd Earl of Caledon (q.v.).
He inherited the Caledon House estate from his father in 1802 and Boom Hall from his cousin after 1818. He remodelled and extended Caledon House (alias Caledon Castle) to the designs of John Nash, 1806-13 and again in 1835. He purchased an estate at Stratford near Salisbury (Wilts), to which the Old Sarum parliamentary borough was attached, in 1802, and later exchanged part of it (including the borough) with his cousin Joseph Josias du Pre Alexander (d. 1839), receiving in exchange the latter's Bounds estate near Tonbridge (Kent), which he probably sold later.
He died at Gunsland (Donegal), 8 April 1839, aged 61. His widow died 8 July 1863.
Alexander, James Du Pré (1812-55), 3rd Earl of Caledon. Only son of Du Pré Alexander (1777-1839), 2nd Earl of Caledon and his wife Lady Catherine Freeman Yorke, daughter and co-heir of Philip Yorke, 3rd Earl of Hardwicke, born in London, 27 July 1812. Educated at Wimbledon School, Eton College (1824-28) and Christ Church, Oxford (matric. 1830); served in the Army, 1833-41? (Captain, Coldstream Guards); served in Canada 1839-42, where he undertook a tour by canoe with Sir George Simpson, Governor of the
Hudson's Bay Company, as far as the Red River, then on to the plains to join in the
great buffalo hunt, ending up at St Peter, Minnesota; Colonel of Tyrone Militia; High Sheriff of Armagh, 1836; Conservative MP for Tyrone 1837-39; succeeded his father as Earl of Caledon, 1839; representative Irish peer, 1841-55. He married, 4 September 1845, Lady Jane Frederica Harriot Mary Grimston (d. 1888), Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1858-78, fourth daughter of the 1st Earl of Verulam, and had issue:
(1) James Alexander (1846-98), 4th Earl of Caledon (q.v.);
(2) The Hon. Lt-Col. Walter Philip Alexander (1849-1934), born 9 February 1849; served with 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and commanded them during Boer War, 1899-1900 (Queen's medal with 5 clasps); married, 13 April 1882, Margaret Katherine MBE (d. 1929), daughter of The Hon. & Rev. Francis Sylvester Grimston and had issue one son and one daughter; died 30 October 1934, aged 85;
(3) Lady Jane Charlotte Elizabeth Alexander (1850-1941) of Tyttenhanger House, born 1 May 1850; married, 1 September 1887, Capt. Edmund Barker van Koughnet CMG RN JP (d. 1905), son of Hon. Philip Michael Scott van Koughnet, Chancellor of Ontario, but died without issue, 23 June 1941;
(4) The Hon. Maj. Charles Alexander (1854-1909), born 26 January 1854; served in 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; married, 1880, Kate (d. 1946), daughter of Charles Stayner of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and had issue one son and three daughters; died 27 October 1909.
He inherited the Caledon House estate from his father in 1839, but sold Boom Hall in 1849. In 1830 he took a lease of 5 Carlton House Terrace, London, which remained in the family until 1929 but was frequently sublet after 1863.
He died in London, 30 June 1855, aged 42, and was buried at Caledon. His widow died 30 March 1888.
|4th Earl of Caledon. Image: PRONI|
(1) Eric James Desmond Alexander (1885-1968), 5th Earl of Caledon (q.v.);
(2) The Hon. Herbrand Charles Alexander (1888-1965) (q.v.);
(3) Harold Rupert Leofric Alexander (1891-1969), 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis (q.v.);
(4) Col. William Sigismund Patrick Alexander DSO (1895-1972), born 16 November 1895; educated at Harrow School and RMC Sandhurst; joined the Irish Guards (Colonel; retired 1936) and served in WW1 (wounded, mentioned in despatches); DSO 1917; served in WW2 in Irish Guards and General Staff, 1939-46; Major in Hon. Artillery Company; DL for Essex, 1956-67; married 27 June 1934 Jane Hermione (d. 1967), daughter of Cdr Bernard Buxton DSO RN and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 24 December 1972.
He inherited the Caledon House estate from his father in 1855. During his minority his trustees bought the Castlederg estate (Tyrone) to extend the estate to about 30,000 acres.
He died in London of blood poisoning and pneumonia, 27 April 1898, aged 51; his will was proved in Dublin and sealed in London, 11 November 1898 (estate in England £20,805). His widow died 6 October 1939; her will was proved 14 March 1940 and 12 December 1941 (estate £105,395).
|The 5th Earl of Caledon in 1932. |
He inherited the Caledon House estates from his father in 1898 and owned about 30,000 acres.
He died 10 July 1968, aged 82.
(1.1) Denis James Alexander (1920-80), 6th Earl of Caledon (q.v.).
He lived at Tilshead House (Wiltshire).
He died 6 May 1965, aged 76. His widow died in 1994, aged 101.
Alexander, Denis James (1920-80), 6th Earl of Caledon. Only son of The Hon. Herbrand Charles Alexander (1888-1965) and his first wife, Millicent Valla, daughter of Sir Henry Bayly Meredyth, 5th bt., born 10 April 1920. Educated at Eton and RMC Sandhurst; Major in Irish Guards; succeeded his uncle as Earl of Caledon, 1968; served in Ulster Defence Regiment, 1970-78 (retired as Brevet Lt-Col.). DL for County Tyrone, 1974-80. Chairman of Foyle Fisheries Advisory Council, 1973-80; Governor of Royal School, Armagh, 1978-80. He married, 1st, 6 April 1943 (div. 1948), Ghislaine Marie-Rose Edith (1922-2000), only daughter of Cornelius Willem Dresselhuys of Long Island, New York; married 2nd, 31 December 1952, Baroness Anne Louise (d. 1963), only daughter of Baron Nicholas Werner Alexander de Graevenitz; married 3rd, 4 August 1964, Marie Elizabeth Burton (c.1928-2021), previously wife of Maj. the Hon Iain Maxwell Erskine (1926-95) (later 2nd Baron Erskine of Rerrick) and daughter of Maj. Richard Burton Allen, of Benvheir House, Ballachulish (Argylls) and had issue:
(1.1) Lady Tana Marie Alexander (b. 1945), born 2 March 1945; married, 1973, HH Judge Paul Everard Justus Focke and had issue two daughters;
(2.1) Nicholas James Alexander (b. 1955), 7th Earl of Caledon, now of Caledon House; born 6 May 1955; educated at Gordonstoun School. Succeeded his father as Earl of Caledon, 1980; Lord Lieutenant of Co. Armagh, 1989-date. Appointed KCVO, 2015. He married 1st, 15 November 1979 (div. 1985), Wendy, younger daughter of Spiro Nicholas Coumantaros of Athens (Greece) and 2nd, 19 December 1989 (div. 2000), Henrietta (Hetty) Mary Alison, elder daughter of John Francis Newman of Compton Park, Compton Chamberlayne (Wilts) and had issue one son and one daughter;
(2.2) Lady (Elizabeth) Jane Alexander (b. 1962), born 28 March 1962; married 1st, 1981 (div. 1987) Rory F.A. Peck (1956-93), war cameraman, son of Julian Peck of Prehen House (Derry), and had issue two sons; married 2nd, 1990, (Richard Francis) Andrew Dobbs, eldest son of Sir Richard Arthur Frederick Dobbs KCVO of Castle Dobbs (Antrim) and had issue three daughters.
He inherited the Caledon House estates from his uncle, the 5th Earl, in 1968. At his death they passed to his only son, now the 7th Earl.
He died 20 May 1980, aged 59. His widow died 9 August 2021, aged 93.
|1st Earl Alexander of Tunis|
Image: Library & Archives Canada
(1) Lady Rose Maureen Alexander (b. 1932), m. 1956 Lt-Col. Humphrey Crossman, son of Maj-Gen Francis Lindisfarne Morley Crossman, CB, DSO, MC and had issue one son and one daughter;
(2) Shane William Desmond Alexander (b. 1935), 2nd Earl Alexander of Tunis, born 30 June 1935; educated at Harrow and Ashbury College, Ottawa; Lt Irish Gds (ret 1958), Govt Whip 1974, Patron British-Tunisian Soc 1979–99, dir Pathfinder Finance Corp (Toronto) 1980–, International Hospitals Group 1981–, chm Canada Memorial Foundation 1989–, Pres. of British-American-Canadian Assoc 1989–94, Freeman City of London 1964, Liveryman Mercers' Co, London; Freeman City of New Orleans, Order of Republic Tunisia 1995; married 1st, 14 July 1971 (div. 1976) Hilary, daughter of John van Geest, 2nd, 22 July 1981 Hon Davina Mary Woodhouse, LVO, youngest daughter of 4th Baron Terrington and has issue two daughters;
(3) Hon. Brian James Alexander (b. 1939) of Mustique, W. Indies, married 1999 Mrs Johanna W. Morris;
(A1) (adopted) Susan Mary Alexander (b. 1948), m. 1970 Andrew Paulet Hamilton, son of Capt. Hubert Charles Paulet Hamilton and had issue one son and two daughters.
He inherited Tyttenhanger House (Herts) from his aunt, Lady Jane Charlotte Elizabeth Alexander, in 1941. At his death it passed to his elder son, who sold it in 1973.
He died 16 June 1969, aged 77. His widow died in 1977.
SourcesSuccessive editions of Burke's Peerage and Baronetage; Countess of Orrery, The Orrery Papers, 1903, ii, pp. 2-3; T.U. Sadleir & P.L. Dickinson, Georgian Mansions of Ireland, 1915, pp. 29-35 and pls. 11-19; Christopher Hussey, 'Caledon - Co. Tyrone', Country Life, 81, 27 Feb, 6 Mar 1937, pp. 224, 250; A. Rowan, The buildings of Ireland: North-West Ulster, 1979, pp. 161-64; M. Bence-Jones, A guide to Irish country houses, 2nd edn., 1988, pp. 45, 54-55; Garden History, (22:1), 1994, p. 80; Oxford DNB entries for 2nd Earl of Caledon and 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis; J.M. Robinson, James Wyatt, architect to George III, 2012, pp. 116-18, 327; E. de Bruijn, A. Bush and H. Clifford, 'List of Chinese wallpapers in British and Irish country houses', 2013 (pers. comm.); G. Tyack (ed.), John Nash: architect of the Picturesque, 2013, pp. 116, 160, 185; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyttenhanger_House; http://northernscrivener.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/notes-on-boomhall-londonderry.html.
Location of archivesAlexander family, Earls of Caledon: deeds, family and estate papers 17th-20th cent, with Old Sarum (Wilts) electoral estate papers c1802-29 (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, D266, D847, D2431-2433); Hertfordshire deeds and estate papers, 15th-19th cents (Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies D/ECd, D/EB, D/ECc and 79320-545)
Alexander, Du Pré, 2nd Earl of Caledon: correspondence and papers 1798-1839 (PRONI D2431-33)
Alexander, Harold Rupert Leofric, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis: correspondence and papers, 1941-45 (The National Archives, WO214); accounts of campaigns, 1942-48 (Library & Archives Canada MG27 IIIA1)
Alexander, James, 1st Earl of Caledon: papers relating to the East India Co., 1759-1801 (PRONI D2431-33)
Coat of armsPer pale argent and sable a chevron, and in base a crescent counterchanged, on a canton azure a harp or, stringed of the first.
Revision and acknowledgements
This post was first published 8 October 2013, and was revised 11 March 2015, 10 May 2018, 8 September 2021 and 22 April 2023.