Tuesday, 2 April 2013

(23) Adair of Ballymena Castle and Flixton Hall, baronets


Adair of Kinhilt coat of arms
Sir William Adair (d. c.1500) was granted the Kinhilt estate the Galloway peninsula in Wigtownshire, and his son Alexander, who was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, built the Castle of St. John at Stranraer in about 1510, as an administrative centre for the estate.  Kinhilt itself was near Lochans, just south of Stranraer.


Castle of St. John, Stranraer. © Oliver Dixon.
Licensed under a Creative Commons licence.
Alexander’s grandson, William Adair (d. 1593) also rebuilt the stronghold of Dunskey Castle, set on a clifftop promontory jutting into the Irish sea near Portpatrick.  William Adair (d. 1626), son of Ninian Adair (d. c.1608), got heavily into debt, and in 1620 agreed an exchange with Hugh Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery, one of the undertakers of the Plantation of Ulster, whereby some of the Adair lands at Kinhilt, including Dunskey Castle, were exchanged for newly-settled lands at Ballymena in Co. Antrim.  


Dunskey Castle: engraving by Francis Grose 1790
His son, Sir Robert Adair (d. 1655) built Ballymena Castle as a centre for the Irish estates, and thereafter the family was increasingly based in northern Ireland, although the remainder of the Kinhilt estate was retained until 1736, when it was sold to the 2nd Earl of Stair by Col. Sir Robert Adair (1659-1745), who raised a regiment of foot for King William III and was knighted at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.  In 1740 the original Ballymena Castle was burned down, and it is not clear whether it was restored sufficiently to be used as a familyl residence in the late 18th century, when the owners seem increasingly to have been absentees, living in Dublin or in England.

In 1753, William Adair (1700-83), a great-great-grandson of Ninian Adair of Kinhilt (d. c.1608), who had made a fortune as an Army agent, purchased the Flixton Hall estate in Suffolk from the heirs of the last of the Tasburgh family (q.v.).  At his death he bequeathed Flixton to his nephew Alexander Adair (1743-1834), who followed him into business as an army agent, in preference to his natural son or his daughter Jane, the wife of Edward Brice.  Alexander died without issue, and bequeathed Flixton his distant kinsman, (Hugh) William Adair of Ballymena (1754-1844), who had married the daughter and heir of Robert Shafto of Benwell Tower in Northumberland.  Hugh had purchased Heatherton Park (Somerset) in 1807 and Colehayes Park (aka Colehouse) (Devon) – which he rebuilt – in 1825, and sold Benwell Tower after his wife’s death in 1827.  Heatherton and Colehouse were bequeathed to his younger son, Alexander (see Adair of Heatherton Park), while the Flixton and Ballymena estates were settled on the elder, Sir Robert Shafto Adair, 1st baronet.  In 1846, the Jacobean house of the Tasburghs at Flixton was severely damaged by fire, and Sir Robert employed Anthony Salvin to carry out a reconstruction.  The house at Ballymena was let at this period, being occupied in 1837 by P. Cannon esq.  Sir Robert also bought Wingfield Castle in Suffolk, then little more than a farm, which remained in the family until the 1980s but was let and restored in the 1940s.

Adair of Ballymena coat of arms
Later used quarterly with arms of
Shafto of Benwell.
Sir Robert’s son and heir, Robert Alexander Shafto Adair (later 2nd bt. and 1st and only Baron Waveney) was established on the Ballymena estate in his father’s lifetime.  From 1865 onwards, he employed the famous Belfast architects, Lanyon & Lynn, to rebuild Ballymena Castle in the Scots baronial style, and it became his main residence.  Flixton was the home of his younger brother, Hugh Edward Adair (1815-1902), who inherited the baronetcy but not the peerage at his brother’s death.  He remodelled and extended Flixton Hall in 1888-92 to the design of F.B. Wade.  His son, Sir Frederick Edward Shafto Adair (1860-1915), 4th bt., sold most of the Ballymena estate to the tenants in 1904, and lived principally at Adair Lodge, Aldeburgh (Suffolk), an 18th century house enlarged in 1823 and remodelled for Adair in the late 19th century.  His brother, Sir Shafto Adair (1862-1949), 5th bt., who was a London barrister with literary and musical interests, lived principally at Flixton, but the house there deteriorated during the Second World War, and when his son Maj-Gen. Sir Allan Adair (1897-1988) inherited, he sold the contents and the house in 1950, and it was pulled down shortly afterwards.  

Ballymena Castle was little used in the 20th century.  The house was still standing in 1953 but was subject to vandalism and arson and was sold and demolished in 1957.  Sir Allan served as Lieutenant of HM Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard from 1951-67 and lived at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate and after his retirement at Harleston and Raveningham (Norfolk).  His only son having been killed in action in 1943, the line of the Adairs of Flixton and Ballymena ended with him; the chieftainship of the Adair Clan passed to his second cousin, Dr. Allan Adair (1907-2008), whose achievement of a centenary highlights the notable longevity of many members of the family from the 17th century onwards.


Ballymena Castle, Antrim


Ballymena Castle from an old postcard.


In 1626 William Adair acquired newly-settled lands at Ballymena in exchange for part of his patrimony in Wigtownshire, and his son, Sir Robert, built the castle as a centre for the new estate.  The original building burned down in 1740 and was at best patched up afterwards.  A completely new Scots Baronial style house with a massive seven-storey tower at one end was built by Lanyon & Lynn of Belfast for Sir Robert Adair, later 1st Baron Waveney, in 1865-87.  
Ballymena Castle in 1887.

This impressive house was, however, short-lived: the Adair estate at Ballymena was sold to the tenants in 1904 and the castle fell into disuse.  It was still standing in 1953, but badly damaged by arson in 1955 and condemned as unsafe the following year.  When the local Council demolished it in 1957 Maj-Gen. Sir Allan Adair bought Holy Hill House, 78,Ballee Rd, Strabane and installed ten stained glass windows from the castle there, where they still remain.


Holy Hill House near Strabane: to which Sir Allan Adair moved in 1957.


Descent: William Adair (d. 1626), who purchased the estate in 1620... to Col. Sir Robert Adair (1659-1745); then to son, Capt. William Robert Adair (d. 1762); to son, Robert Adair (d. 1798); to son Hugh William Adair (1754-1844); to son, Sir Robert Shafto Adair, 1st bt. (1786-1869); to son, Sir Robert Alexander Shafto Adair (1811-86), 2nd bt; to brother, Sir Hugh Edward Adair (1815-1902), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir Frederick Edward Shafto Adair (1860-1915), 4th bt., who sold most of the estate, 1904; to brother, Sir (Robert) Shafto Adair (1862-1949), 5th bt; to his son, Maj-Gen. Sir Allen Henry Shafto Adair (1897-1988), 6th bt., from whom it was acquired by the local authority for demolition.


Flixton Hall (near Bungay) Suffolk


The Tasburgh family originated in Norwich and first acquired property in the Flixton area around 1400.  Over the next two centuries they steadily expanded their estates, and in 1544 they acquired the site and some of the lands of Flixton Priory (dissolved in 1528).  In 1607 Sir John Tasburgh bought 'a capital mansion' at Flixton and 500 acres from his cousin, Thomas Bateman, and shortly afterwards, about 1615, a new three-storey Jacobean E-plan mansion house was built.  Because it stood on a moated site, this probably replaced the house bought in 1607 rather than standing on the priory site.  At the same time a park was created (Sir John's 'newe parke' is referred to in 1611). 


Flixton Hall, engraving of 1784 after a drawing by Thomas Sandby of 1752












The house was similar in design to many others of the period, with the projecting wings emphasized by five-sided bays rising through all three storeys of the house and a tall three-storey porch.  The battlemented balustrade on the entrance (north) front was decorated with barley-twist pinnacles, those on the corners being the upward extension of polygonal buttresses clasping the angles of the building.  The little pediments over the windows are found in other early 17th century East Anglian houses and were no doubt original, but the pedimented doorcase on the porch looks like an early 18th century addition, and the two-storey extension with a large arched window projecting from the right-hand side is further evidence of later additions and alterations.  Another change was apparently the enclosure of an open colonnade in the centre of the south front in the late 18th century, perhaps after Alexander Adair inherited the estate in 1783.  The space gained in the house was divided up to form additional rooms.  Another change made around the same time was to fill in the moat shown in the engraving above; this was no doubt part of a fashionable landscaping scheme which also saw the margins of the park planted with trees. 


Flixton from Ordnance Survey 1" 1946 edition
It is suggested in one (mid 20th century) account that the house was damaged by fire in 1832, but there is no other evidence for this.  However, there is reason to think that around 1837 Sir Robert Shafto Adair consulted Anthony Salvin about repairs or improvements to the house or estate.  In 1842-43 Salvin was employed to extend the Priest's House in Flixton village and in 1844 - the year that Sir Robert inherited the Hall - he began repairing the house.

In December 1846, however, work was interrupted by a devastating fire which destroyed about half the building and all the contents of the main rooms.  A contemporary account says that the roof fell in and the south walls fell outwards.  Rebuilding began almost immediately under Salvin's direction, and continued until 1855, although the shell was complete by 1849.  The reconstructed house stood on the foundations of its predecessor and was externally to a very similar design.  The Jacobean window-pediments were omitted and the skyline was given tall chimneys to heighten the romantic Jacobean effect.  The cost of the rebuilding was £29,000.


Flixton Hall: north front as rebuilt by Salvin and altered by F.B. Wade. Courtesy of Matthew Beckett




The reconstruction of 1846-55 was not the end of the story.  A new garden was laid out to the south of the house, possibly in the late 1840s and almost certainly to the design of William Andrews Nesfield, as he is known to have been consulted and the surviving earthworks are much in his style.  


Flixton Hall: great hall photographed c1907 by Sir Frederick Adair

Then in 1888-92 Sir Hugh Adair, 3rd bt. carried out a further remodelling of the house to the designs of Fairfax B. Wade. His additions and alterations gave the house the appearance recorded in surviving photographs, and resulted in a house of sixty rooms.  


Flixton Hall: main staircase in c.1907

Where Salvin's work had been relatively restrained, Wade gave full rein to the Victorian free style at its most exuberant.  He replaced Salvin's modest cupola and clock tower with a wedding cake tower, added some fancy touches to the south front in the way of polygonal shafts and stepped parapets, built a rather coarse-grained new porch on the entrance front and rebuilt the service wing to match the style of the main building.  He also created the fruity Victorian interiors shown in Sir Frederick Adair's photographs of c.1907.


Flixton Hall: the south front showing F.B. Wade's alterations of 1888-92. Courtesy Matthew Beckett


The Adairs remained at Flixton until Sir Shafto Adair died in 1949, when the demands of death duties, the state of the house after wartime neglect, and dwindling estate income persuaded Sir Allan Adair to sell up.  The estate was sold chiefly to the tenants and the house and park in 1950 to Mr. R.G. Lawrence.  The County Council agreed to acquire the house as a county Agricultural College in March 1951 but the Ministry of Agriculture vetoed the scheme the following month, and no other use was found for the house.  In June 1952 Mr Lawrence announced the house would be demolished, but carefully taken down, so that the materials could be sold for re-use, and by the end of 1953 most of it had gone.  The ground floor of the main block was however retained for use as farm buildings and given a new corrugated iron roof, and it survives in this state, forlorn, crumbling and forgotten, prompting an elegiac video.
Flixton Hall: surviving decoration in the interior.


Descent: Crown granted 1544 to John Tasburgh (d. 1551); to son, John Tasburgh (d. 1607); to son, Sir John Tasburgh (c.1576-1629); to son, Charles Tasburgh (d. 1657); to son, Richard Tasburgh (d. 1716); to son, John Tasburgh (d. 1719); to brother, Richard Tasburgh (1693-1734); to sister, Lettice Tasburgh (d. 1738), wife of John Wybarne (d. 1720); after her death sold in 1753 to William Adair (1700-83); to nephew, Alexander Adair (1743-1834); to kinsman, Hugh William Adair (1754-1844); to son, Sir Robert Shafto Adair, 1st bt. (1786-1869); to son, Sir Robert Alexander Shafto Adair (1811-86), 2nd bt and 1st Baron Waveney; to brother, Sir Hugh Edward Adair (1815-1902), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir Frederick Edward Shafto Adair (1860-1915), 4th bt.; to brother, Sir (Robert) Shafto Adair (1862-1949), 5th bt; to his son, Maj-Gen. Sir Allen Henry Shafto Adair (1897-1988), 6th bt., who sold c.1953 to R.G. Lawrence, who demolished it.



Wingfield Castle, Suffolk

Wingfield Castle from an engraving of 1807. Courtesy Ancestry Images

Built by Michael de la Pole, who had licence to crenellate in 1384, but much of the castle was dismantled in 1525 after King Henry VIII had imprisoned the last of the de la Poles and seized his lands.  The castle has a splendid facade with a central three-storey gatehouse with big polygonal turrets with flushwork arcading at the base, and a two-storey wall on either side with brick battlements leading to angle towers.  The original door survives and has blank tracery.  


Wingfield Castle, from an old postcard


The picturesque brick and timber-framed house that now stands behind the gatehouse and curtain wall, and at right-angles to it, is said to date from shortly after 1544.  It has fine circular brick chimneys with three-dimensional decoration, and was restored by Graham Baron Ash from 1943 onwards.

Descent:  Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk (d. 1389); to son, Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk (d. 1415); to son, Michael de la Pole, 3rd Earl of Suffolk (c.1394-1415); to brother, William de la Pole, 4th Earl and 1st Duke of Suffolk (1396-1450); to son, John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk (1442-92); to son, Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke and later 6th Earl of Suffolk (c.1471-1513), whose estates were seized by the Crown. Site and ruins granted 1544 to Sir Henry Jerningham (1509-72); to son, Henry Jerningham (d. 1619); to son, Sir Henry Jerningham, 1st bt. (d. 1646), who sold c.1630 to Richard Catelyn (fl. 1625-34); to son, Sir Neville Catelyn (1634-1702); to widow, who remarried Sir Charles Turner 1st bt. of Warham (1666-1740), who apparently leased it to Richard Aldous (1686-1721); ?sold to Philippa Leman (d. 1757); to Rev. Dr. Robert Leman DD (1733-79) and then to Robert Wilson, 9th Baron Berners (1761-1838) who leased it as a tenanted farm; to Rev. Henry Wilson, 10th Baron Berners (d. 1851); to Henry W. Wilson, 11th Baron Berners, who sold before 1855 to Sir Robert Shafto Adair, 1st bt. (1786-1869); to son, Sir Robert Alexander Shafto Adair, 2nd bt. (1811-86); to brother, Sir Hugh Edward Adair, 3rd bt. (1815-1902); to son, Sir Frederick Edward Shafto Adair, 4th bt. (1860-1915); to brother, Sir Robert Shafto Adair, 5th bt. (1862-1949), who leased c.1943 to Graham Baron Ash (d. 1980), who remained as tenant until his death; to son, Sir Allan Adair, 6th bt. (1897-1988), who gave it to his daughter, Bridget, Lady Darell who sold 1981 to Mr Wingrove; sold 1983 to Gerald Fairhurst, who restored and sold 1987.. sold 1989 to Mr Gunter


The Adairs of Kinhilt (Wigtownshire) and Ballymena (Antrim) 

The first few generations below are certainly incomplete and almost certainly partially inaccurate.  The printed and online sources available are both mutually contradictory and occasionally implausible to an unusual degree, so I have been very cautious about the information provided.  Online searches will provide additional and alternative dates and names of children; those given here are those I consider reasonably authoritative.  If anyone has additional or more accurate information, please post a comment!

Sir William Adair (d. c.1500) of Kinhilt, knight. Son of Sir Neil or Nigel Adair, kt. (d. 1475) of Portree (Isle of Skye).  He married a daughter of Robert Vans of Barnbarroch and had issue including:
(1) Alexander Adair (d. 1513) (q.v.).
He was granted the Kinhilt estate in Wigtownshire.
He died about 1500.

Alexander Adair (d. 1513) of Kinhilt.  Son of Sir William Adair (d. c.1500) of Kinhilt.  He married 1st, Euphemia, daughter of Sir Alexander Stewart of Garlies; and 2nd, Jane, daughter of Uchtred McDowell; and had issue including:
(1.1) Ninian Adair (d. 1525) (q.v.).
He inherited the Kinhilt estate from his father in about 1500 and built the Castle of St. John at Stranraer c.1510 as a stronghold.
He died at the Battle of Flodden, 9 September 1513.

Ninian Adair (d. 1525) of Kinhilt.  Son of Alexander Adair (d. 1513) of Kinhilt, and his first wife, Euphemia, daughter of Alexander Stewart.  He married Katherine, daughter of Patrick Agnew of Lochnaw and had issue including:
(1) Sir William Adair (d. 1593) (q.v.).
He inherited the Kinhilt estate and the Castle of St. John from his father in 1513.
He died in 1525, and was probably quite young at the time since (a) his father was of fighting age in 1513 and (b) his son lived to 1593.

Sir William Adair (d. 1593) of Kinhilt, knight.  Son of Ninian Adair (d. 1525) and his wife Katherine, daughter of Patrick Agnew of Lochnaw; probably born about 1520.  He married before 1549 Lady Helen Kennedy (fl. 1571), daughter of Gilbert Kennedy, 2nd Earl of Cassillis and had issue (probably among others):
(1) Ninian Adair (d. c.1606) (q.v.); 
(2) William Adair of Genoch, m. Janet Vans; 
(3) Isobel Adair, m. Bernard Fergusson of Kilkerran.
He inherited the Kinhilt estate and the Castle of St. John from his father in 1525, and rebuilt Dunskey Castle on the coast.
He died in 1593.

Ninian Adair (d. c.1606) of Kinhilt.  Elder son of Sir William Adair (d. 1593) and his wife Lady Helen, daughter of Gilbert Kennedy, 2nd Earl of Cassillis; probably born about 1545.  He married 18 June 1566 Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Gordon of Kirkpatrick (and Lochinvar?) and widow of John Grierson (d. 1558) of Lag, and had issue including:
(1) William Adair (d. 1626) (q.v.); 
(2) Patrick Adair (fl. 1614);
(2) James Adair of Maryport;
(4) Rt. Rev. Archibald Adair (d. 1646), Dean of Rapho (1616), Bishop of Killaloe 1639-40 (deprived) and Bishop of Waterford & Lismore, 1641-46;
(5) Gilbert Adair (b. c.1582?; fl. 1610);
(6) Thomas Adair (d. before 1610), provost of Stranraer.
He inherited the Kinhilt estate, and the castles of St. John and Dunskey from his father in 1593.
He died in about 1608.

William Adair (d.1626) of Kinhilt and Ballymena.  Eldest son of Ninian Adair (d. c.1606) of Kinhilt.  Made a denizen of Ireland, 1624.  He married 1st, Rosina, daughter of Sir Thomas McClellan of Bomby; 2nd, a daughter of Mr Houstoun of Castle Steward, and 3rd, Helen Cathcart of Carlton and had issue:
(1.1) Sir Robert Adair (d. 1655) (q.v.); 
(3.1) Rev. William Adair (d. 1684); minister of Ayr 1640-84;
(3.2) Anna or Marian Adair, m. William Houston of Killester.
He inherited the Kinhilt estate and the castles of St. John and Dunskey from his father in 1608, but exchanged part of the property, including Dunskey, with 1st Viscount Montgomery, one of the leaders of the Plantation of Ulster, for lands at Ballymena (Antrim) in 1620.
He died 4 November 1626.

Sir Robert Adair (d. 1655) of Ballymena and Kinhilt.  Elder son of William Adair (d.1626) and his first wife Rosina, daughter of Sir Thomas McClellan.  Made a denizen of Ireland, 1624.  MP for Wigtownshire 1639, 1648.  He raised a troop for service in Ireland in the 1640s and was commissioned to serve as a Colonel of horse under General Monck in Ulster in 1648; he was knighted about that time.  He married Jean or Jane, daughter of William Edmondstone of Duntreath (Stirlingshire) and had issue:
(1) William Adair (d. 1661) (q.v.); 
(2) Archibald Adair of Litter (Leix) (d. 1692); married and had issue a son;
(3) Alexander Adair of Drumore; 
(4) Robert Adair; 
(5) Isabella Adair, m. Patrick or Robert MacDowal of Logan (Wigtownshire); 
(6) Anne Adair, m. Rev. Kennedy; 
(7) Joan Adair, m. Patrick (surname unknown).
He inherited the Ballymena and Kinhilt estates from his father in 1626, and built Ballymena Castle as a centre for his property in Antrim.
He died 1 March 1655.

William Adair (d. 1661) of Ballymena and Kinhilt.  Eldest son of Sir Robert Adair (d. 1655) and his wife Jane, daughter of William Edmondstone of Duntreath (Stirlingshire).  He married c.1658 Anne Helena (who married second, Archibald Edmondstone of Braid Island (Antrim) and d. c.1710), daughter of Col. Walter Scott of Hartwoodburn, and had issue:
(1) Col. Sir Robert Adair (1659-1745), kt. (q.v.).
He inherited the Ballymena and Kinhilt estates from his father in 1655.
He died 30 November 1661.

Col. Sir Robert Adair (1659-1745) of Ballymena and Kinhilt, knight.  Only son of William Adair (d. 1661) and his wife Anne Helena, daughter of Col. Walter Scott of Hartwoodburn; born February 1659.  He raised a regiment for King William III and was knighted at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.  He married first Penelope, daughter of Sir Robert Colville of Newtown (Antrim), second, Martha (d. 1705; bur. at Dublin); third, 1705, Anne; and fourth, 1720, Arabella Ricketts (d. 1742); and had issue:
(1.1) Capt. William Robert Adair (d. 1762) (q.v.); 
(2.1) Anna Helena Adair (d. young, 1701); buried at St Bride, Dublin, 15 May 1701;
(3.1) Alexander Adair (b. 1720)
He inherited the Ballymena and Kinhilt estates from his father in 1661 at the age of 2.  He sold the remaining Kinhilt lands c.1736 to the 2nd Earl of Stair.  Ballymena Castle was destroyed by fire in 1740.
He died in Dublin, 9 February 1745, aged 86.

Capt. William Robert Adair (d. 1762) of Ballymena.  Elder son of Col. Sir Robert Adair (1659-1745) and his first wife, Penelope, daughter of Sir Robert Colville of Newtown (Antrim). A Captain in Lord Mark Kerr’s Regiment of Horse at the Battle of Culloden, and later in General Honeywood's Dragoons. He married 1719 at Ludlow (Shropshire), Catherine Smallman (d. 1752) of Ludlow (Shropshire) and had issue:
(1) Robert Adair (1721-98) (q.v.); 
(2) Rev. William Adair (b. c.1724); ed. at Worcester College, Oxford (BA 1748; MA 1750); buried in Garrison church, Southsea, 5 May 1770.
He inherited the Ballymena estate from his father in 1745 but was probably not resident.
He died 19 April 1762.  His wife died 1 April 1752.

Robert Adair (1721-98) of Ballymena.  Elder son of Capt. William Robert Adair (d. 1762) and his wife Catherine Smallman of Ludlow (Shropshire); baptised 26 October 1721.  He married, 25 March 1753 at St Bride's, Dublin, Anne (d. 1798), daughter of Alexander McCauley of Dublin and had issue:
(1) (Hugh) William Adair (1754-1844) (q.v.); 
(2) Robert Adair (1760-1837) of Acton (Middx), m. 3 February 1786 at St Pancras, London, Eliza, daughter of Eden Payne of London, merchant, and had issue one son (killed at Waterloo) and one daughter; died 18 March 1837.
He inherited the Ballymena estate from his father in 1762 but was probably not resident.
He died at Clifton, January 1798.

(Hugh) William Adair (1754-1844) of Ballymena and Flixton Hall.  Elder son of Robert Adair (d. 1798) and his wife Anne, daughter of Alexander McCauley of Dublin; born 9 February 1754.  He married 17 December 1784 Camilla (d. 1827), daughter and heiress of Robert Shafto of Benwell Tower (Northumberland) and had issue:
(1) Sir Robert Shafto Adair (1786-1869), (q.v.);  
(2) William Robert Adair (1788-1803, dsp); 
(3) Capt. Alexander Adair (1791-1863) of Heatherton Park (Somerset) (see the next post);
(4) Camilla Anne Adair (1793-1822), m. 17 June 1819 Rev. Robert Palk Carrington (c.1782-1842) of Bridford (Devon) and had issue; she burned to death in an accidental fire at Heatherton Park, 3 September 1822.
He inherited the Ballymena Castle estate (Antrim) from his father in 1798 and purchased Heatherton Park in Somerset (c1802/1807) and Colehouse in Devon (1825).  He inherited Benwell Tower (Northumberland) from his father-in-law, which he sold c.1831; and Flixton Park (Suffolk) from his kinsman, Alexander Adair (1743-1834) in 1834; this he made over to his eldest son.  At his death, Ballymena also passed to his eldest son and Heatherton and Colehouse to his younger surviving son.
He died at Colehouse, 7 May 1844, aged 90.



The Adairs of Flixton Hall



William Adair (c.1702-83) of Flixton Hall.  Eldest son of Rev. Patrick Adair (b. c.1670), minister at Carrickfergus, and his wife Isabella, daughter of Robert Adair of Maryport and Edinburgh and his wife Rachel Forbes; born c.1702 at Kirkmaiden (Wigtownshire).  In the 1740s and 1750s was army agent to a large number of regiments and made a large fortune.  He married a Miss Smith and had issue:
(1) Jane Adair, m. Edward Brice

(x1) an illegitimate son, name unknown.
He lived in Pall Mall, London and purchased the Flixton Hall estate in 1753.  At his death it was left to his nephew, Alexander Adair (1743-1834).
He died in 1783, and was buried at Flixton, where he is commemorated by a fine monument of coloured marble.


Alexander Adair (1743-1834) of Flixton Hall.  Probably the son of Capt. Alexander Adair, who was the brother of William Adair (c.1702-83) and captain of the East India Company ship Winchelsea, who died en route to Bengal in 1743, and his wife Mary, daughter of Alexander Small.  He seems to have continued his uncle's business as an army agent, but in his will described himself as a confectioner.  In 1805 he raised and commanded the Loyal South Elmham or 9th Troop of Suffolk Yeomanry.  He married 17 December 1783 Lydia, daughter of Sir William Thomas, bt. of Yapton Place (Suffolk), but had no issue.
He inherited the Flixton Hall estate from his uncle in 1783, and at his death bequeathed it to his distant kinsman, (Hugh) William Adair (1754-1844).
He died 17 March 1834, aged about 91, and is commemorated by a memorial in St. James' church, Piccadilly, London. Will proved 11 April 1834 (estate under £700,000); his fortune was left mainly to members of the Baring and Roe families and only the Flixton estate passed to his Adair kinsman. 


The Adairs of Flixton Hall and Ballymena Castle



Sir Robert Shafto Adair (1786-1869), 1st baronet, of Flixton Hall.  Born 26 June 1786; eldest son of (Hugh) William Adair (1754-1844) and his wife Camilla, daughter of Robert Shafto of Benwell Tower (Northumberland).  Educated at Harrow School and Jesus College, Cambridge (admitted Fellow-Commoner, 1804).  Created a baronet, 2 August 1838; FRS 1845; High Sheriff of Suffolk, 1846; FSA 1861. He married 1st, 17 Sept 1810 Eliza Maria (d. 1853), daughter of Rev. James Strode of Berkhampstead, and  2nd, 3 October 1854, Jane Anne (1814-73), eldest daughter of the Rev. Townley Clarkson, vicar of Hinxton, and had issue:
(1.1) Sir Robert Alexander Shafto Adair (1811-86), 2nd baronet (q.v.); 
(1.2) Sir Hugh Edward Adair (1815-1902), 3rd baronet (q.v.).
He received the Flixton Hall estate from his father soon after 1834 and inherited the Ballymena estate from his father in 1844; he rebuilt Flixton Hall after a fire in 1846.  He also purchased Wingfield Castle (Suffolk) in c.1851-55, and owned Adair House in Pall Mall, London.
He died 24 February 1869.  Will proved 16 July 1869 (estate under £60,000).

Sir Robert Alexander Shafto Adair (1811-86), 2nd baronet and 1st Baron Waveney, of Ballymena Castle and Flixton Hall. Elder son of Sir Robert Shafto Adair (1786-1869) and his first wife, Eliza Maria (d. 1853), daughter of Rev. James Strode of Berkhampstead, born 25 August 1811.  Educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted Pensioner, 1828; studied civil law but did not graduate); Honorary Colonel of Suffolk Artillery; aide-de-camp to HM The Queen; MP for Cambridge 1847-52, 1854-57; created Baron Waveney, 10 April 1873; Lord Lieutenant of Co. Antrim 1884-86; peerage extinct on his death. He married 11 June 1836 Theodosia (d. 1871), daughter of Gen. The Hon. Robert Meade, but died without issue.
He inherited the Ballymena Castle, Wingfield Castle and Flixton Hall estates from his father in 1869.  He was established on the Ballymena estate in his father's lifetime and built a new castle there to the designs of Lanyon & Lynn in 1865-87.  In 1870 he had the Bungay to Harleston road re-routed so that it passed further from the house at Flixton.  He also had a house at 7 Audley Square in London. At his death his estates passed to his brother.
He died 15 February 1886, aged 74.  His will was proved 14 July 1886 (estate £11,639).   His wife is commemorated by a fine marble monument by John Bell in Flixton church (Suffolk), 1871.

Sir Hugh Edward Adair (1815-1902), 3rd baronet, of Flixton Hall and Ballymena Castle.  Younger son of Sir Robert Shafto Adair (1786-1869) and his first wife, Eliza Maria (d. 1853), daughter of Rev. James Strode of Berkhampstead, born 26 December 1815.  Educated at St. John's College, Oxford (matriculated 1835; BA 1839; MA 1843) and Lincolns Inn (called to bar, 1844); barrister-at-law; MP for Ipswich 1847-74; JP and DL for Suffolk and Co. Antrim.  He married 10 July 1856 his cousin, Harriet Camilla (d. 1909), daughter of Alexander Adair of Heatherton (Somerset) and had issue:
(1) Hugh Alexander Adair (d. 1868); 
(2) Sir Frederick Edward Shafto Adair (1860-1915), 4th baronet (q.v.); 
(3) Sir (Robert) Shafto Adair (1862-1949), 5th baronet (q.v.); 
(4) Camilla Beatrix Mary Adair.
He inherited the Ballymena Castle, Wingfield Castle and Flixton Hall estates from his brother, 1886.  He remodelled and extended the house at Flixton Hall, 1888-92 and lived mainly at Flixton.  He also had a house at 63 Portland Place, London, in 1886, and at the time of his death was living at Shrublands, Tunbridge Wells (Kent).
He died on 2 March 1902, aged 86; will proved 16 May 1902 (estate £63,966)

Sir Frederick Edward Shafto Adair (1860-1915), 4th baronet, of Flixton Hall and Ballymena Castle.  Second but eldest surviving son of Sir Hugh Edward Adair (1815-1902), 3rd baronet and his wife Harriet Camilla, daughter of Alexander Adair of Heatherton. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1879); born December 1860.  High Sheriff of Suffolk 1910-11; Captain in the Rifle Brigade.  He died unmarried and without issue and is understood to have had a strong friendship with James Cable, the coxwain of the Aldeburgh lifeboat.
He inherited the Ballymena Castle (Antrim), Wingfield Castle and Flixton Hall (Suffolk) estates from his father in 1902.  He sold most of the Ballymena estate to tenants under Irish Lands Act 1903, but retained the castle.   He lived mainly at Adair Lodge, Aldeburgh (Suffolk), which was probably his home before inheriting the estates.
He died on 8 April 1915, aged 55.  His will was proved 25 September 1915 (estate £42,440)

Sir (Robert) Shafto Adair (1862-1949), 5th baronet, of Flixton Hall.  Youngest son of Sir Hugh Edward Adair (1815-1902), 3rd baronet and his wife Harriet Camilla, daughter of Alexander Adair of Heatherton; born 18 August 1862.  Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1880; BA 1884); Barrister-at-law; DL (Co. Antrim); JP (Suffolk and Norfolk); a director of the Royal Academy of Music.  He married 4 December 1890 Mary (d. 1950), daughter of Henry Anstey Bosanquet and had issue:
(1) Robert Desmond Shafto Adair (d. in infancy); 
(2) Sir Allan Henry Shafto Adair (1897-1988), 6th baronet (q.v.); 
(3) Camilla Mary Shafto Adair (1895-1981), born 24 May 1895; married, April 1918, Edmund Henry Apsley Treherne, son of Goring Apsley Treherne, and had issue; died July-Sep 1981.
He inherited Ballymena Castle (Antrim), Wingfield Castle and Flixton Hall (Suffolk) from his brother in 1915.  He lived mainly at Flixton and leased Wingfield Castle c.1943 to Graham Baron Ash.  During the Second World War he sold the contents of the armoury at Flixton Hall to support the war effort; they are now in the Powder Magazine and the Governor’s Palace at Colonial Williamsburg (USA).  He also owned or rented various houses in Devon and Somerset as holiday homes.
He died 9 October 1949.  Will proved 24 February 1950 (estate £7,977).

Sir Allan Henry Shafto Adair (1897-1988), GCVO, 6th baronet.  Eldest surviving son of Sir Shafto Adair (1862-1949) and his wife Mary, daughter of Henry Anstey Bosanquet; born 3 November 1897.  Educated at Harrow.  Commissioned in Grenadier Guards, 1916 (Captain, 1923; Major, 1932; officer commanding Military Police in London, 1929; Lt-Col., 1940; Brigadier 1941; Maj-Gen. commanding Guards armoured division 1942-45; retired 1947); Lieutenant of HM Bodyguard of the Yeoman of the Guard, 1951-67; Col. of Grenadier Guards from 1960; MC; DSO (1940); CB (1945); GCVO (1967); Officer of the Legion d'honneur and Croix de Guerre (with palms); honorary freeman of Brussels.  Governor of Harrow School, 1947-52; member of Grand Lodge of Freemasons (Asst. Grand Master, 1953; Deputy Grand Master, 1969).  He married 28 April 1919 Enid Violet Ida (d. 1984), daughter of William Humble Dudley Ward and had issue:
(1) Desmond Allan Shafto Adair (1920-43), kia; 
(2) Robin Dudley Shafto Adair (1923-25, dsp); 
(3) Bridget Mary Adair (b. 1928), m. 1953 Sir Jeffrey Lionell Darell, 8th bt. (1919-2013) and had issue; 
(4) Juliet Enid Adair (1930-c1989), m. 1949 Edward Neil Fitzgerald and had issue; 
(5) Annabel Violet Adair (b. 1937), unmarried.
He inherited Ballymena Castle, Wingfield Castle and Flixton Hall (Suffolk)  from his father in 1949, but sold Flixton and its contents 1950 and gave Wingfield Castle to his daughter, Bridget, Lady Darell.  Ballymena Castle was vandalised and burnt in the 1950s and was sold to the local council, which demolished it as a dangerous structure; he bought Holy Hill House, Strabane and moved some stained glass windows from the castle there.  He lived at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate until his retirement and later at Harleston and Raveningham (Norfolk).  He also had a house at 55 Green St., Grosvenor Square, London in 1972. Holy Hill House was sold in 1983.
He died 4 August 1988, when the baronetcy became extinct, and the chieftainship of the Clan Adair passed to Dr. Allan Adair (1907-2008), his second cousin.  Sir Allan and his wife are buried in Hatfield Road Cemetery, St. Albans, where they are commemorated by a simple headstone.  For a portrait photograph, see here.



Sources


Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, successive editions; Illustrated London News, 19 December 1846; Sir A. Agnew, The Agnews of Lochnaw. A history of the hereditary sheriffs of Galloway, with contemporary anecdotes, traditions, and genealogical notices of old families of the sheriffdom, 1330 to 1747, 1864; A.J. Guy, "Regimental agency in the British standing army 1715-63: a study in Georgian military administration", Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library, vol 63 part 1, 1980, pp. 31-57; J. Kenworthy-Browne et al., Burke’s & Savill’s Guide to Country Houses: vol. 3, East Anglia, 1981, pp. 232-34, 269; M. Bence-Jones, A guide to Irish country houses, 2nd edn, 1988, p. 24; J. Allibone, Anthony Salvin, 1988, pp. 166, 172; Brown, Haward and Kindred, Dictionary of Architects of Suffolk Buildings 1800-1914, 1991, p. 173; T. Williamson, Suffolk's Parks and Gardens, 2000, pp. 81, 133; E. Goldstein, 18th Century Weapons of the Royal Welsh Fuziliers from Flixton Hall, 2002; W.M. Roberts, Lost country houses of Suffolk, 2010, pp. 71-75; http://www.aviationmuseum.net/The%20Adairs.htm


Where are their papers?


Adair family of Flixton Hall and Ballymena Castle, baronets: deeds, manorial and estate records relating to Co. Antrim (Ballymena etc.) and Suffolk (Flixton etc.), and family papers, 13th-20th cents. [Suffolk Record Office, Lowestoft, HA12]; estate papers (Ballymena etc.), c.1600-20th cent. [Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, D929]

Revision
This post was first published 2 April 2013 and was updated 15 December 2013 and 21 March 2016.

6 comments:

  1. Hi

    Thanks for your great work

    Adair Family of Flixton Hall and Ballymena Castle - papers at Public Record Office in N. Ireland are at D929 not D939 as noted in blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So they are - thanks for the correction

      Delete
  2. My family currently farm the Flixton Hall Estate. Moved there in 1970.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, great research but the name is Treherne with an 'e', not an 'a'. My husband's granny was an Adair from Flixton.....
    Astrid Treherne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks for pointing this out. I have made the correction.

      Delete
  4. Brilliant work! Thank you for the time and effort you put into these articles. Invaluable!

    ReplyDelete

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