Turtle Bunbury

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Humewood Castle - "True to the End"

When the Right Honourable Fitzwilliam Hume Dick stood for election in November 1868, he advised the people of Wicklow that "having so long represented" the county, voters knew perfectly well what his standpoint was and thus he felt it was "not necessary to go into a full explanation of his political opinion". In other words, he would again be running as a Conservative, this time in support of Benjamin Disraeli who had lately succeeded Lord Derby as leader of the party. As it happens, Disraeli lost to Gladstone in the ensuing election but Fitzwilliam Dick's seat was secure. Indeed, the Wicklow landowner was successful in every election bid from 1852 through to 1880. But if one was looking for a reason why he had not felt it necessary to explain himself in the run-up to the 1868 election, perhaps he was simply too busy watching his most remarkable legacy take shape beneath Keadeen Mountain in West Wicklow. Humewood Castle is without doubt one of the most eccentric buildings in Ireland. In time it would pass from Fitzwilliam Dick to his granddaughter, Mimi, who married General Maxim Weygand, commander-of-chief of the Allied forces in Europe on the eve of the German invasion of France. The castle is now owned by the American business executive and philanthropist John Malone. Mr Malone’s extensive refurbishment of Humewood was voted best conservation/restoration scheme at the 2016 Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland awards, and featured in the institute’s Annual Review of Irish Architecture, published in December 2017.

William White & Humewood Castle

Humewood Castle was built between 1867 and 1870 to the design of an extraordinary architect, William White. The original concept was for "an occasional resort in the summer or the shooting season". However, with the passage of time, it became apparent that Mr. White had no intention of creating anything so menial. Like Philip Bosinney in "The Forsyth Saga", he continued to expand the baronial pile and rework his original designs until he had over-run his budget by more than one million Euro in today's currency. His refusal to pay the builder, Albert Kimberley, led to one of the most celebrated law cases in architectural history: Kimberley v White & Dick. The builder ultimately won the day and White vanished into a haze of bankruptcy. The late Mark Bence-Jones claims he "ended his days trying to prove that Shakespeare was Bacon", but the resultant 60,000 square foot Victorian-Gothic pile is surely one of the most astounding, fantastical stately homes in Ireland.

Scottish Barons & the Duke of Ormonde

The Humes traced their origin back to Scotland and slowly rose through the rank and file of the Irish Ascendancy from the late 17th century onwards. Intermarriage with the exceptionally wealthy linen family of Samuel and Quintin Dick provided enough money for the family to be considered one of Co. Wicklow's most important for the 19th century. They claim descent from the Scottish Barons of Polwarth, renowned supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots during the 16th century. Andrew Hume, grandson of the 3rd Baron, returned to Scotland after a period in the French army, purchased the Rhodes estate in North Berwick and married a niece of Robert Seton, 1st Earl of Winton. She gave him several sons but it was an illegitimate son, Thomas Hume, who was the first of the Humes to settle in Ireland. He was a close friend of Robert Preston, James I's Scottish favourite, who married Elizabeth Butler, daughter of "Black Tom" Butler, Earl of Ormonde. Elizabeth's brother, Walter of the Beads, had succeeded as 11th Earl of Ormonde in 1614. However, the new Earl was so devoutly Catholic that James had him imprisoned and awarded the bulk of the Ormonde estates to Elizabeth instead. Perhaps to counter-balance bias by giving equal affront to the FitzGeralds, James then raised Preston to the peerage as Earl of Desmond. Walter's son, Viscount Thurles, drowned in the Skerries and Walter himself died in 1633. Thomas Hume must have been privy to at least some of these events but he really comes into prominence when Viscount Thurles' son, James Butler, married the Preston's daughter, Elizabeth. James and Elizabeth would subsequently become the Duke and Duchess of Ormonde. And through their influence Thomas Hume was not only legitimatised under the Privy Seal and knighted but he secured for his bride the Duchesses ward, Anne French. (1) He was also awarded substantial lands in Tipperary "on account of his sufferings for the King and for King Charles I". Much of this estate had been seized from Lieutenant-Colonel William Moore, an Anabaptist apparently attainted for high treason for attempting to surprise Dublin Castle in 1663. (2)

Thomas Hume & Galbraith the Abductor

Sir Thomas had no children and was succeeded by his nephew and namesake, Thomas Hume. (3) Thomas's father was Robert Hume and his mother was Anne Mitchelson. Thomas is described as 'of Dublin' in the will of his aunt Dame Anne Matthew who died in March 1702. He also had property in the plantation towns of Killashandra, Co. Cavan and St. Johnstown (now Ballinalee), Co. Longford. Thomas Hume bought the Humewood estate in 1704, including a castle that was built in the 15th century. It is not yet known who Thomas bought the estate from but it could feasibly have been the Hamiltons as there is a deed from March 1708 relating to William Hume of Hackettstown [sic] buying the land around Kiltegan for £1150 from Francis Hamilton of Castle Hamilton, Kilashandra, Co Cavan, a deal observed by Bruen Worthington. As James Horan, author of a 2018 history of Humewood observes, 'the larger Hume family had links with Coolderry House in Co Monaghan, not a million miles from Killashandra. As it is almost certain that these large landowners knew each other, the Humes may have heard of the Humewood property from their neighbours the Hamiltons, assuming that they owned Humewood.’ They may also have been connected with James Hamilton, a son of Henry Hamilton, MP for Cavan, who bought Carlow Castle and its 4,000-acre manor in 1721; by 1736, he had run up such debts that he fled to the Isle of Man where he lived until he was pardoned by the newly crowned George III in 1761.

Thomas's first wife, Jane Lauder, gave him two sons - William and Robert - and a daughter Catherine who married Rev Hugh Skellern, a Cambridge graduate who later became Rector of Killashandra. The elder son William would go on to build the first house at Humewood outside Kiltegan while the second son Robert was ancestor of the Humes of Lisanure in Co. Cavan. Thomas married secondly Elizabeth Lewis of London, widow of Major Hugh Galbraith of Cappard, Galway. Galbraith was something of a notorious figure in the late 17th century having abducted his first wife, Catherine Persse, daughter of the Archdeacon of Tuam. Major Galbraith died in 1704 and his will was filed in St. Johnstown so it was perhaps there that Thomas met Elizabeth. It is not known when Thomas died but he was succeeded by his eldest son William Hume, who lived at Butlerswood near Windgap in South Kilkenny. William married Anna, daughter of John Dennison of Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. They had two sons, George Hume and Dennison Hume, and five daughters before William's death on 26th May 1752.

George Hume of Humewood

Perhaps there were still some favours owed from the original Hume allegiance to the Ormondes but the connection to the Butler family seems to have been as strong as ever in the 18th century. In 1744 William and Anna's eldest son George married Anna, daughter of Thomas Butler of Newcastle, Co. Wicklow. The couple lived at Humewood and had five sons and two daughters. George died in August 1765.

Captain William Hume & the Hoares

The eldest son, Captain William Hume, was born in 1747 and sat as the Whig member for Co. Wicklow in several Irish Parliaments. He married Catherine Hoare of Annabella, Mallow, Co. Cork. Her father, Joseph Hoare, MP for County Cork, was created a Baronet in 1784 and is remembered for having attended the House of Commons in 1800 to vote against the Union, despite being totally blind and 93 years of age. During the United Irishmen Rebellion in 1798, Captain Hume became something of a hero in loyalist circles when he commanded a perfectly executed cavalry charge that brought an end to an ill-conceived rebel strike on Hacketstown. For all that, there were those in the Protestant camp who strongly doubted Hume's loyalty at all. For instance, the Rev. Christopher Robinson of Baltinglass complained to Dublin Castle that, although the Captain was "wonderfully prone to liberate and exculpate the men concerned in this bloody confederacy", it was nonetheless "most scandalous and weak of country gentlemen, if they exert themselves in this manner through a motive of gaining such filthy popularity". The virulent Robinson suggested that the liberal Captain Hume's opposition to the proposed Oath of Allegiance for loyalist yeomen might perhaps be an indication of his political creed, in which case he "ought to sink in eternal dishonour". The Captain was also berated for exerting himself so earnestly in favour of men "whom he must know were United Irishmen" and for seeming to draw "no distinction between the protestant and the papist". (4)

Death of Captain Hume, 1798

The Captain must have known his life was in danger for some time. On September 10th 1798, The Times reported a run-in with Joseph Holt's rebels in which a bullet "passed through the crown of his hat". The Humewood Cavalry later surprised a posse of Holt's "ruffians" as they were burning houses in the Glen of Imail "and killed several with muskets in their hands". However, on 22nd September, thirteen of the Captain's men were ambushed and murdered while taking refreshments at a supposedly friendly house near Baltinglass. Captain Hume's death in a skirmish near the Glen three weeks later sent panic rippling through the loyalist community but, as it happened, it was one of the last significant events of the rebellion.

The Captain's Heirs

Captain Hume and his wife had two sons, Captain William Hoare Hume and Joseph Samuel Hume, and four daughters. The eldest daughter Catherine married William Franks of Carrig, Co. Cork. The second, Anna married the Rev Dominick Edward Blake, father of the Canadian lawyer and legal education pioneer, William Hume Blake. The third Jane married the Rev. Maurice Mahon, later Lord Hartland, of Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. The fourth Grace never married.

Joseph Samuel Hume of Ballinvollo

The Captain's younger son Joseph Samuel Hume was born in 1774. In 1803, he married Eliza Smith, daughter of the Rev. Charles Smith, Rector of the small church at Croagh outside Rathkeale in Co. Limerick. The Smith family lived in a lovely three-storey Georgian farmhouse called Smithfield, run today as a guesthouse by the Lowe family.

Joseph and Eliza had four children, namely William Charles Hume (b. 1805), Catherine Honoria Hume (born at Humewood in 1804), Eliza Rebecca Guiness Hume (b.1806) and Anne Hume. It seems that Joseph served in the army but died prematurely shortly after he had been appointed to some form of government office. This was in about 1806 or 1807 and he left a very young family.

The widowed Eliza Hume subsequently married Dr. S. Robinson, a government surgeon and superintendent of army hospitals, whom her daughter Catherine refers to as a dissenting protestant or 'Walkerite'. She and the good doctor had four children. The eldest was probably Charles J Robinson, born circa 1816, who became a County Court Judge in Sarnia, Ontario, which is now the site of a petro-chemical plant. Another was Arthur Guinness Robinson, born circa 1817, who had a successful career as an engineer in the pretty Georgian Bay town of Orillia, Ontario, and became the subject of the essays of the comedian Stephen Leacock. A third was Mabel Ann Robinson who married John Stewart Buchanan (and had children named after Catherine Honoria Hume and William Hume Blake). (JSB may have been the British consul in New York at some point, or something like that). The fourth was Rebecca Robinson who married a county court judge in London Ontario by the name of William Elliott. In her memoirs, Catherine Honoria Hume appears to particularly respect people who figured out how to make money without being dependant on family. Her step-relatives, the Robinsons, seemed to do it. (With thanks to Peter Rogers and Wendy Dixon - any further information about the Robinson connection would be much welcomed.)

In 1832, William, Catherine and the younger Eliza Hume all sailed to Canada with the Kiltegan branch of the Blakes. Also sailing with them was Dr. Robinson, and his two sons, Charles (aged 16) and Arthur G. (aged 15). The Robinsons stayed in Canada for less than a year although the sons returned to Ontario after they completed degrees at Trinity.

Catherine and Eliza Hume both married prominent Canadian barristers (see below) while three of their sons migrated to Australia and New Zealand.

Their only brother William Charles Hume (1805 - 1890) lived at Ballinvollo, Avoca, Co. Wicklow. In 1837 he married Charlotte, daughter of Henry William Thompson of Stoneybrook, Kilteel, Co. Kildare. They had nine sons including Joseph who succeeded to Ballinvollo and was a District Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary from 1859 to 1898; Henry who died of wounds received in the American Civil War; George who settled in Australia; William and Arthur who settled in New Zealand; and Private Benjamin Hume of the 66th Foot who was killed at the disastrous battle of Maiwand in July 1880.

William Blake Hume - Reformer of the Canadian Legal System

Joseph and Eliza Hume also had three daughters.

The eldest, Catherine, left a 90 page reminiscence of her youth in Ireland which was in the possesio of her great-great-great-grandson Peter Rogers in June 2013. She married her cousin William Hume Blake of Kiltegan. Descended from the Blakes of Castlegrove, Co. Galway, WH Blake was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and studied surgery under Surgeon-General Sir Philip Crampton. He also studied theology but, before completing his course, he and Catherine moved to Toronto (then York). In Toronto, Catherine ran a finishing school for young ladies to finance her husband's legal studies. Admitted to the bar, Blake soon became a prominent attorney. In 1843 he was appointed crown attorney for the murder trial of Grace Marks, whose story is told in Margaret Atwood's 1997 novel, "Alias Grace". When the Mackenzie Rebellion began in 1837 Blake was appointed paymaster of the Royal Foresters. In 1838 he was called to the bar of Upper Canada, and immediately made a name for himself by his support for "responsible government". In 1847 he was elected to parliament for East York (now the county of Ontario) and appointed Solicitor-General in the Baldwin-Lafontaine ministry. In this capacity he introduced some major reforms to the legal system such as the reorganization of the Court of Chancery.

As Chancellor of Canada West from 1849 to 1862, William Blake Hume helped establish the authority of the same court. In 1860 they built a house in Tornoto, named Humewood House after the Wicklow estate. After William's premature death from diabetes in 1870, Catherine moved to London where she lived the rest of her days with a daughter. Their son, Edward Blake became the second Premier of Ontario and led the federal Liberal Party from 1879 to 1887. Humewood House was demolished in 1924 but a house of that name has been rebuilt on the site, 40 Humewood Drive, and Humewood is in fact the name of a substantial neigbourhood in Toronto.

Catherine's sister Eliza Rebecca Guinness Hume (1806 - 1883) married one of Blake's colleagues, George Skeffington Connor, Puisne Judge in Canada and sometime Chancellor of the University of Toronto. Bearing echoes of her father's death, he too seems to have dropped dead soon after his appointment.

The youngest sister Anne married John Small.

Captain Hume & Michael Dwyer

Much of the post 1798 folklore in the Wicklow Mountains concerns the rebel leader Michael Dwyer who held out until 1803. His nemesis was Captain Hume's son, Captain William Hoare Hume who succeeded to Humewood, aged 26, following the killing of his father in October 1798. Contemporary accounts suggest a cat and mouse game ideally suited to Hollywood quills. Michael Dwyer, the most wanted man in Ireland, is a rebel with a heart. He stands accused of a crime he didn't commit. Captain Hume is an officer and a gentleman, torn between his responsibility as a magistrate and a promise to avenge his father's death. Hume seems to have spent close on five years constantly arriving at ramshackle cottages to find empty beds still warm from Dwyer's recently reclining body. When he enquired about Dwyer's whereabouts, the people spoke in riddles although, of course, Dwyer and his men were always secreted behind some nearby barn or hedge, ready to ignite their blunderbusses should Hume have lost his cool.

The Siege of Derrynamuck, 1799

Things reached a head with the siege of Derrynamuck in 1799. Betrayed by a lifelong enemy, Dwyer's party found themselves under siege in Miley Connell's cottage (now the celebrated "Dwyer-McAllister Cottage") at Derrynamuck in the Glen of Imaal. Their assailants, commanded by Captain Roderick McDonald, wore the redcoats of the Humewood Yeomanry. It was a bitter cold snow-swept February morning. The rebel gang had four muskets between them. During a brief truce, McDonald agreed to allow all women and children to leave the area. From here on, the battle reads like a closing scene from a spaghetti western as the defenders in the cottage began to be killed. Dr. John Savage was the first to fall dead. Paddy Costello was next. When Dwyer's great northern friend, Sam McAllister, took a bullet, it seemed certain that the great Wicklow rebel was about to meet his maker. However, McAllister then staggered out the doorway of Connell's house and caused such a hullabaloo among the redcoats trying to shoot him down that Michael Dwyer and his remaining men had a chance to effect their escape. Only Dwyer himself accomplished the feat. Unfortunately the remainder of his party - Dr. Walt McDaniel, Paddy O'Toole and six others - were captured, taken to the Main Square in Baltinglass and hanged. A monument to these men now stands at this site. There is much debate as to the true facts of the battle of Derrynamuck. I don't plan to get involved. I just think it could make a great movie, red blood melting into crisp white snow as the thick black smoke of musket fire slowly lifts.

Dwyer's Surrender

Either way, in 1803, Michael Dwyer surrendered, in person, to Captain William Hume. The surrender was negotiated through a Protestant farmer, William Jackson, or Billy the Rock, who was known to both Hume and Dwyer as a trustworthy sort. Dwyer's terms were that his men be pardoned and he himself be sent to North America. Captain Hume rode to Dublin and presented these terms to the Lord Lieutenant with such dexterity that he cantered home again that same day with a letter of agreement. Billy oversaw the dramatic meeting in a field near Baltinglass where the Captain addressed the rebel: "I am authorised to accept of your surrender on those conditions". However, news of Dwyer's surrender was by now rapidly circulating throughout the county and other landlords were less inclined to niceties. Morley Saunders, the Hon. Benjamin O'Neill Stratford and General Beresford of Saunder's Grove demanded access to the prisoner. Captain Hume waved His Excellency's sanction in their faces and refused. Beresford galloped off promising that Hume would rue the day he ever crossed his path. Recognising the potential for a lynch mob, Hume assembled his cavalry, put Dwyer upon his best hunter and headed north to Kilmainham Gaol. Dwyer was duly despatched from Cobh to Australia with his wife, four children and several comrades. On arrival, his trouble-making portfolio came to the attention of the no-nonsense Captain Bligh (of "Mutiny on the Bounty" fame) and he was banished to Norfolk Island. He subsequently returned to Sydney, took on a 100-acre farm, became a constable in the Australian police and opened up a pub. Unfortunately this latter occupation got the better of him and he took to the drink. He died aged 53 in August 1825 and was buried beneath the Waverly Monument in Sydney.


Against John Kennedy, Collector of Police money for extortion in collection of it ~
Examinations of John Kehoe of Knocklishen, Carlow. Farmer.
Taken before William Hoare Hume, Esq. one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for Wicklow and Carlow.
On 27th day of February 1807 John Kennedy of Tinock (on a collector of cess) in company with William Wright of Hacketstown ( as a constable ) came to the house of John Kehoe at Knocklishen and demanded the sum of six
shillings, five pence halfpenny which he alleged was the cess apploted against him and also against Patrick Goss of the same townland, John Kehoe offered to go to Goss and collect his part and went for Goss, both of them
returned to Kennedy and Goss said he would go home for it and pay him when he returned. And although it was more than five weeks to Assizes John Kennedy and William Wright drove a cow off Kehoe's land.
John Kennedy told Kehoe that unless he met him in some short time and pay him the full sum of six shillings plus two shillings and eight pence halfpenny that William Wright and John Kennedy has charged him for driving his cow which John Kehoe has heard and believes to be an extortion.
John Kehoe further swears that Kennedy has refused to return what he was overcharged although desired by another Magistrate to do so.
(signed) John, his X mark, Kehoe.
Taken and acknowledged before Me, this 20th Day of March 1807.
(signed) William Hoare Hume.

[Abbreviated from the Pat Purcell Papers]

The Linen Heiress & the Dick Family

As for Captain Hume, he found a useful wife in 1804 in the shape of the linen heiress, Charlotte Anna Dick. She was the only daughter of Samuel Dick, a linen merchant from Co. Dublin. She would go on to live for some sixty more years, passing away on 11th May 1864. The Dick family are said to be a family of Viking origin who made their way south from the Orkney Islands to the Scottish Highlands of Invernesshire in the 12th or 13th century AD. In the early 17th century, Robert Dick of this family obtained a grant of land at Dunovarnan, Co. Antrim, from Randall, Earl of Antrim. His great-grandson, John Dick, moved to Dublin and married Anne, daughter of William Adair. Their son Qunitin Dick moved to Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, and married Anne, sister of Hugh Herr of Dublin. Quintin died in 1768 leaving three sons and two daughters.

Samuel & David Dick, Linen Merchants

The Dublin Street directories suggest that Quintin's sons, Samuel and David Dick, merchants, had established their premises at 13 Linen Hall Street, Dublin, by 1775. This street is located at the foot of Constitution Hill just south of the Law Library and Four Courts. Construction on the Four Courts actually commenced in 1776 when Thomas Cooley began building a records storage building. Ten years later, while Samuel Dick was making his presence felt in the Chamber of Commerce, James Gandon was appointed to complete the project. The Linen Hall was just a few hundred metres from Bolton Street, the centre of the linen industry and one of the busiest thoroughfares on the north side. Here "the genial and sturdy traders" like the Dick brothers would gather in their knee-breeches, buckles, and gaiters and market their Muslin, Calico and Linen. The Linen Hall itself occupied a 2¾ acre site and consisted of "a stately edifice of stone built round four spacious courts". In these courts were the residences of the Chamberlains of the Yarn Hall and Linen Hall respectively, officers who enjoyed salaries of £500 a year each. The names of these Chamberlains were once discernible from engravings "above the staunch old doorways" to their individual residences. These included Cusack, Furlong, Clibbon and, for the purposes of this tale, both Hume and Dick. (5)

High Sheriff of Grattan's Dublin

David Dick and James Campbell served as joint High Sheriffs of Dublin City in 1782. This was the year of Grattan's Parliament when the emergence of large gatherings of armed Volunteers across Ireland compelled the government in London to grant the Irish Parliament on College Green legislative independence. In March that year, David presided over a public meeting of the freemen and freeholders of the city of Dublin at the Tholsel in which the citizens passed a resolution requiring the City Members "as their trustees, to exert themselves in the most strenuous manner to procure an unequivocal declaration that the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland are the only power competent to make laws to bind this country." The meeting pledged itself "in the most solemn manner to support the representatives of the people at the risk of their lives and fortunes, in every constitutional measure which might be pursued for the attainment of this great national object." (6)

The Ouzel Dispute

Samuel Dick was one of the original subscribers to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce at its foundation on February 7th 1783. He was also one of the few subscribers left in 1788. He was never president, but he may have held another office. The Chamber was the direct descendent of the celebrated Ouzel Galley Society, founded in 1705 to arbitrate in commercial disputes following the surprise return of the Ouzel Galley, a merchant ship presumed "lost at sea" or captured by Algerian pirates. Its owners had already cashed in on the insurance policy and several of the crew's wives had already remarried. The Society was formalised into a "Committee of Merchants" in 1761 and then as the Chamber of Commerce in 1783. It was "a magnet for men of ambition and ideas" and regarded as a notably liberal and non-sectarian organisation. Many of its members were either Catholics or dissenters and their formation reflects not merely the expansion of merchant power in Ireland but also a growing resentment against the landed gentry who seemed to control the economy with little care for mercantile interests. The merchants met in pubs across the city where, stepping away from the asinine law courts, they settled their own commercial disputes, lobbied on behalf of the business community and presumably pondered the economic implications of the Act of Union. (7) For almost a century the Linen Hall had enjoyed an extensive and prosperous career as the central mart for the linen trade of Ireland. (8)

Decline of the Linen Trade

Samuel Dick was one of eighteen representatives appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Linen and Hempen Manufacturers. Since 1711, the Board had been given an annual grant of £20,000 by Parliament "for the encouragement and development" of the linen trade. However, following the Act of Union in 1801, Belfast quickly began to emerge as the new centre of the linen trade. In 1826, Westminster decided to cut the annual bounty by half (£10,000), an act of ill-faith that effectively spelled the beginning of the end for the Dublin linen industry. It is curious to note the Dicks withdrew from 13 Linen Hall Street that same year. Curiously, in 1806, the address was registered to Hugh and William Dick and yet the following year was registered for Samuel and David Dick. By 1817 it would seem Samuel had secured total control and the business was known as Samuel Dick & Co until 1826. (9) In 1817, his entry in the Dublin Directory is prefaced with a dagger, signifying: Wholesale merchant free of the 6 and 10 per Cent in the Custom House Dublin. The building was abandoned in about 1831. By 1850, No. 13 had been converted into tenements.

Quintin Dick, MP for Maldon

Samuel Dick married Charlotte, daughter of Nicholas Forster of Tullaghan, Co. Monaghan. Their eldest son was Quintin Dick, MP for Maldon, who is said to have made his fortune as a trader in the Far East. He is also reputed to have spent more money bribing his constituents than any other MP of his time. The tactic seems to have worked since he held the Maldon seat for seventeen years. In 1829, George IV and the Duke of Wellington (then Prime Minister) co-founded King's College as a university college "in the tradition of the Church of England". Quintin was initially down as a subscriber to the original fund for erection of the College fund but in a letter to The Times of April 8th 1829 he wrote that he and his bachelor brother Hugh Dick were withdrawing their support, apparently in protest at the restriction of entrance to Protestants.
In 1835 Quintin purchased the Layer Marney Tower outside Colchester in Essex from the Corsellis family. In 1848 he was elected MP for Aylesbury. He himself continued to reside at 20 Curzon Street in Mayfair, London and died unmarried on 26th March 1858.
By his will of 1844, he directed that his estate, worth more than £500,000, should be applied by his trustees in the purchase of freehold land in Ireland to be held to the use of his sister Charlotte Dick during her life. However, upon her death, he insisted that all future heirs would only be entitled to succeed to this estate if they adopted and used "in all writings and on all occasions whatsoever the surname of Dick only and use the arms of Dick only". Moreover, this adoption of the Dick name and arms had to be done within three months of Charlotte's decease. If the three-month deadline was "refused" or "neglected", then the heir apparent would find their entitlements void and the estate would pass on to the next in line provided that he or she then complied with the required adoption of the Dick surname and arms.
This will formed the basis of a major legal case in 1924 when William Henry Barrett became entitled to part of the settled property as tenant in tail male. Barrett claimed he had been in complete ignorance of his inheritance for more than a year during which time his entitlements were voided under the terms of Quintin Dick's original will. The legal issue was whether Barrett's failure to adopt the name of Dick in the given time constituted "refusal or neglect". If yes, then his rights to the property would be forfeited. Justice Romer of the Chancery Court held that Barrett had nether refused or neglected the clause and that Quintin Dick's original will must have been designed with another specific individual in mind. Thus Mr. Barrett was allowed to succeed to the designated property.

Captain Hume weds Charlotte Dick

Quintin Dick's brother Hugh also died unmarried while his only sister Charlotte Anna married Captain William Hoare Hume of Humewood. Charlotte gave the Captain three sons, William, the Rev. Quintin Dick and George Ponsonby, and two daughters, Isabella and Charlotte Jane. Isabella married the barrister Thomas Crowe of Dromore House, Ruan, Co. Clare. Charlotte married her cousin, Sir George Forster, of Tullaghan, Co. Monaghan and died without issue in August 1889. The younger son George Ponsonby Hume Dick was a Lieutenant Colonel in the 58th regiment and died unmarried on 14th October 1866.

The Rev. Quintin Dick Hume

Captain Hume's second son, the Rev. Quintin Dick Hume, was born on 23rd November 1806 and married in the spring of 1830 to his cousin Anna Richardson of Athy. In June 1866 he and his cousin the Rev. Samuel Quinton, officiated at the funeral of Captain William McClintock Bunbury of Lisnavagh House. Quintin lived in the three-storey granite house of Beechey Park outside Rathvilly, a house formerly owned by Benjamin Disraeli, said to have been an uncle of Queen Victoria's Prime Minister of that same name. The Rev Dick Hume died in November 1871, leaving three sons and three daughters. The eldest son William Hoare Hume was an officer in the 51st Regiment but died unmarried in 1873 aged 33. The third son Charles Joseph Hume died unmarried in London in June 1883 aged 34. The Rev. Quintin's eldest daughter Isabella was married in 1863 to Captain George Archibald Warden of the 66th Regiment but died nine years later. The second daughter Anna Maria was married in 1867 to Major John Leslie, JP, of Kiltibegs, Co. Monaghan. The third sister Charlotte died unmarried.

Captain Dick & his Trusty Steeds

The Reverend's second son, Captain Quintin Dick, was born in April 1847 and grew up between Humewood and Beachy Park. An enthusiastic fisherman, horse rider, deerstalker and pheasant shooter from childhood, he hunted with most well-known packs including the Quorn, Cheshire and Pytchley. He was a Captain in the Derbyshire Yeomanry Corps and Royal Antrim Rifles. However, an accident obliged him to give up riding although he then took up coaching, becoming a member of the Four-in-Hand and the Coaching Club. His coach teams were well known both as workers and in the show ring, winning first prize at the Richmond, Ranelagh and Olympia shows and the Gold Cup at Olympia in 1911. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Hackney Club. (11) On 23rd November 1892, he assumed by Royal Licence the surname and arms of Dick, presumably in order to succeed to some of his great uncle Quintin's wealth. A staunch Conservative, he served as Deputy Lieutenant and, in 1898, High Sheriff for Co. Wicklow. From 1904 to 1923 he rented a house at Walcot from the Earl of Powis where he ran a successful pheasant shoot. He also kept a London residence at 12 Grosvenor Crescent, Belgrave Square. (12)
On 27th October 1908 he married Lorna Katherine Curzon, daughter of a cavalry officer, Major Ernest Penn Curzon, 18th Hussars. Her mother Edith was a daughter of Charles Henry Bassett of Watermouth Castle, Devon. They had no children but kept a much-lauded kennel of Labradors. Snipe, winner of the 1915 Field Trials National, was the Captain's special favourite, while Sunspeck and Panchory Bolo were two other popular champions.
Captain Dick died at Stansted Park, Sussex, in December 1923. His cousin Lord Long of Wraxhall penned a tribute for him in The Times stating that the day before he died the Captain had visited his trusty old horses with a basket of carrots. "The welcome he received from them", concluded Lord Long "and the attachment of his dogs to him were a proof of the remarkable understanding which always existed between him and all dumb animals" Four years later, the Captain's widow married her elderly cousin, the 4th Earl Howe.

The Rt. Hon. Fitzwilliam Hume Dick, MP

Captain Hume died prematurely aged 43 on 5th November 1815 and was succeeded by his eldest son, the aforementioned William Wentworth Fitzwilliam Hume. Born one week after Nelson's victory at Trafalgar in October 1805, William was just ten years old when he inherited Humewood. He appears to have been raised by his widowed mother, Charlotte, who survived for a further fifty years although he also benefited from the patronage of the 5th Earl of Fitzwilliam whose Coolattin Estate then encompassed a staggering 85,000 acres in Co. Wicklow. Indeed it is said that the Earl was the boys' godfather and certainly the name Fitzwilliam is relevant.

Fitzwilliam Hume & the Chaloners

On 8th June 1829, two months after Catholic Emancipation was granted, Fitzwilliam Hume married Margaret Chaloner. She was the eldest daughter of Earl Fitzwilliam's agent and brother-in-law, Robert Chaloner, MP, a member of the wealthy aluminium mining family from Guisborough in Yorkshire. Robert would become heavily embroiled in the controversial exodus of the Fitzwilliam tenantry to Canada that still has historians puzzling over whether the Earl was the Oskar Schindler of the Irish Famine. Margaret's mother was a daughter of Lord Dundas, the steamboat pioneer, and a sister of the 1st Earl of Zetland who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1889 to 1892. One of her first cousins, Lady Harriot Dundas, married Charles Thomas Bunbury, commander of the Rifle Brigade in mid-Victorian times. Margaret Hume died in 1837, possibly in childbirth, and three of her four children failed to survive infancy.

In 2011, I was contacted by Miss Julie Zahra who told me that her great- great-grandmother Ellen is believed to have been a child born out of wedlock to the Rt Hon William Hume Dick circa 1827 (ie: shortly before he married Margeret Chaloner).

Politics & New Dawns

Fitzwilliam Hume married secondly Ellen, daughter of the Rev. Geo. Crookshank, who gave him twin daughters. The marriage possibly took place in London during the early 1860s as one of his daughters, Helen, was born in 1863. Fitzwilliam Hume became a JP and Deputy Lieutenant at a relatively young age, serving as High Sheriff for Co. Wicklow in 1844. In 1847 he allied himself with Charles Stanley Monck, nephew of the Earl of Rathdown, for the Conservative Party but failed to win one of the two Wicklow seats. He fared better in July 1852 and indeed was returned at every election for the next 28 years. In 1868, he was re-elected alongside Earl Fitzwilliam's Liberal grandson, the Hon HW Fitzwilliam, in what The Times correspondent declared, "a judicious compromise calculated to promote peace". On 17th June 1864, five weeks after the death of his mother, Fitzwilliam Hume assumed by Royal Licence the surname and arms of Dick. This was in compliance with the will of his wealthy uncle Quintin Dick, MP for Malden, who had died six years earlier. Fitzwilliam's second wife, Ellen Hume, died in London on 13th June 1877.

The Longs of Wraxhall

In October 1853, Fitzwilliam and Margaret Hume's only surviving child Charlotte married Richard P. Long of Rood Ashton and Wraxhall in Wiltshire. The Longs were an ancient Wiltshire family owning large estates traceable back to the 15th century at South Wraxall. Richard was JP, Deputy Lieutenant and sometime MP for Wiltshire. Charlotte died on 18th December 1899, leaving three sons. Her eldest son Walter Long, MP, enjoyed a prominent political career in the Conservative Party, succeeding George Wyndham as Chief Secretary of Ireland in 1905 and was a strong contender to lead the Tories after Balfour's resignation until he threw in his lot with Andrew Bonar-Law. From 1919 to 1921 he served as First Lord of the Admiralty. In 1919, he chaired the committee that drafted the Government of Ireland Act, which gave separate home rule parliaments to Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. In 1921 he was created 1st Viscount Long of Wraxhall. The second son, Richard assumed the surname of Chaloner in 1888, in lieu of the patronymic of Long, under the will of his maternal uncle grand-uncle Admiral Thomas Long. After a notable military career, Richard played a key role in the founding of Stowe School and was raised to the peerage as 1st Lord Gisborough. Charlotte's third son was Major Bob Long, DL, an enthusiastic cricketer and veteran of the Zulu War and the Great War. In 1893 he was awarded the medal of St. John of Jerusalem by the future Edward VII for stopping a runaway coach and four from ploughing into a gathering of civilians.

Trouble with the Land League

In the General Election of 1880, the Wicklow voters turned away from Mr. Fitzwilliam Dick, as he was now known, and cast their ballot in favour of W.J. Corbet, a Home Ruler from Spring Farm, Delgany. Mr. Corbet, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, successfully wooed the voters by espousing "denominational education, fixity of tenure and reform of the grand jury laws". As Land League tensions escalated across Ireland in the autumn of 1881, the Daily Express reported that "the loyal inhabitants of the Queen's County (ie: County Laois) - such Protestant and Roman Catholic farmers as have not joined the Land League - have formed a committee to counteract the aggressive tactics of the Land League". This committee planned to assist any farmers struggling to harvest their crops in such harried times by supplying horses, machines and men. By October 1st, the movement arrived in Wicklow when a meeting was convened at Knockanogue near Baltinglass. Four days later, Fitzwilliam Dick hosted a meeting at Humewood during which the West Wicklow Property Defence Association was established to resist boycotting and protect farmers. The Association declared itself "open to all classes and denominations". One of the first boycotts they had to contend with was also among the most unpleasant. Samuel Fenton of Ballina Park, a neighbour of the Humes and kinsman to his agent, died in November. Local undertakers refused to supply a hearse to carry his coffin to the grave because the dead man was a boycotted farmer. Fitzwilliam Dick sent a carriage from Humewood to the funeral; a police escort was required to accompany the cortege. (13) Another neighbour, Mr. W. Watson, had his hay strewn all across his land and parts of his farmstead destroyed when he refused to participate in a boycott. Fitzwilliam Dick was also voluble in proposing the establishment of a constabulary station in the Glen of Imaal and of organizing a night patrol to protect such farmers.
In the General Election of June 1886, Fitzwilliam Dick announced his intention to run for the North Division of County Wicklow on behalf of the Unionist Party. He was a regular attendee of levees and sat on numerous charitable councils such as for the Consumption Hospital. In 1873 he crops up in the House of Commons, raising questions as to the Royal Navy's continued practice of admitting boys as young as 13 ½ to their rank and file.
In the summer of 1887, Fitzwilliam Dick's twin daughters, Williamina and Helen were married in London to Charles Keith-Falconer and Captain (Sir) Hercules Langrishe. That same August, Humewood received an important visitation when the Lord Mayor of London took a train south from Kingsbridge to Baltinglass. As a Privy Councillor, Fitzwilliam Dick was active to the end, taking his seat at a meeting in Dublin Castle in October 1890. He died aged 88 on 15th September 1892 and was succeeded by his "natural son", William Hume.

Williamina Keith-Falconer

In June 1887, the Rt. Hon. Fitzwilliam Dick's elder daughter Williamina was married at St. George's Church, Hanover Square, London to Charles (Adrian) Keith-Falconer. He was the second son of Major Charles Keith-Falconer and grandson of the 7th Earl of Kinore. His brothers Cecil and Victor Keith-Falconer were killed in action during the Boer War. Charles died aged 58 on the same day as his mother in February 1920. Williamina survived him until August 1945 when she passed away in a nursing home in Oxford. She left an only son, the Great War historian Adrian Keith-Falconer.

Lady Helen Langrishe

In 1887, Fitzwilliam Dick's beautiful youngest daughter Helen (born 1863) married the charismatic Captain Hercules ("Herky") Langrishe. The marriage settlement of £100,000 went a long way to clearing the mortgage then hanging over the Co. Kilkenny estate of Herky's father, Sir James Langrishe, 4th Bart, of Knocktopher. Herky's mother Adela de Blois was the only daughter of Thomas de Blois Eccles of Charlemont, Staffordshire. Herky led an exciting life and was Master of the Kilkenny Hounds for a number of years. He succeeded his father in 1910. Their eldest son Heck was killed in a flying accident in 1917 so the second son "Pingo" succeeded as Sir Terence Langrishe upon Sir Herk's death in 1943. Helen, Lady Langrishe, died at Knocktopher in 1955. (14)

The Legal Conundrums of William Hume-Hume

When Fitzwilliam Hume Dick died in 1892, he left three daughters and a "natural son" by name of William Hume Hume. Born in 1858, this younger William was educated at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated with classical honours in 1880. He was subsequently an Attaché in HM's Diplomatic Service. In 1885 he was appointed to the Embassy at Paris where he lived at 24 Avenue des Champs Elysees until his resignation, at the age of 34, in 1892. That October, less than four weeks after his father's death, he was plunged into controversy when he announced his intention to hold a sale of furniture which had been given to him by his father under a deed of 1887. However, when he proposed hosting the auction at Humewood, he earned the wrath of his father's trustees, Lord Justice Sir Henry Lopes and John Cary. They took him to court in October, seeking a restraining order against William's "entering in or continuing in or upon the mansion-house and lands of Humewood, and also to restrain [him] from shooting or otherwise destroying wild-fowl on the property". But most importantly they objected to any suggestion that the sale be hosted at Humewood. William was duly obliged to change course and it fell to the Attorney General to explain that William's intention was now simply to remove the relevant furniture from the castle and host the sale elsewhere.

The Thames Ditton Affair

William got into further hot water in 1893 over Thames Ditton House in Surrey which his father, Fitzwilliam Dick, had purchased in 1869 for his second wife Ellen. She lived between this house and a flat in Paris with her two daughters, Williamina and Helen, until her death in 1877. Young William was a regular visitor to the Surrey home from this time on although, in 1878, his father made a deed of a settlement whereby the house and its contents were to be held "in trust" for William's stepsisters for the duration of their spinsterhood and then, should they marry, to their children. Fitzwilliam Dick retained the power to revoke this trust. For a decade after their mothers' death, the two sisters lived between Thames Ditton and the family's London townhouse on Curzon Street. In 1887, they both took husbands- Charles Keith-Falconer and Captain Herky Langrishe respectively - upon which their father settled an impressive £100,000 on each of them. In 1888, Fitzwilliam Dick made a new settlement in which he secretly vested the title deeds in the Thames Ditton property in William. Father and son fell out the following year but it was ultimately arranged that William should still get the house. After his father's death, William sent a caretaker to the house but this man found his entrance barred and furthermore, he discovered that the stepsisters had removed some "very valuable articles" from the property, primarily china, statuary and pictures including two portraits of Charles II and James II. The wine cellar had been cleared out and much furniture had vanished. The sisters conceded they had indeed taken these effects but insisted most of it, including the Jacobean paintings, belonged to their mother and came from Werrington Park in North Cornwall. (15) They also pointed out that their elderly father had taken most of the wine some years earlier. However, they failed to prove ownership of a landscape by Saloman van Ruysdael worth £2000 (or €200,000 in today's currency). An out of court settlement was ultimately arranged by which the sisters agreed to return everything bar the family paintings and a statue called the "Moor of Venice". William allowed the sisters to keep much that was of sentimental value, including the remaining bottles of wine.

William & Miss Moreau-Buxter

William Hume remained at Humewood for the rest of his life and emerged as a champion of the Conservative right. He served as Deputy Lieutenant, JP and High Sheriff in 1896 for Co. Wicklow. In May 1906 he married Aline Mary Moreau-Buxter, daughter of Henry James Buxter of Formentin, near Calvados, in Normandy. Her mother was Julia Mathilde Moreau. William died on 30th January 1939 and was succeeded by his only child, Catherine Marie-Madeleine Hume, better known as Mimi Weygand.

Madame Mimi Hume & the Weygand Plan

General Maxim Weygand was put in charge of the Allied defence of Europe following the outbreak of the Second World War. His plan was no match for the blitzkrieg and Paris soon fell to the Nazis. Two months later, his son Jacques Weygand married Mimi Hume. Catherine Mari-Madeleine "Mimi" Hume was born on 30th March 1910. On 24th August 1940, she married a young French officer by name of Jacques Weygand. As commander-in-chief of the French Army at the Fall of Paris, Jacques father, General Maxim Weygand, was one of the more controversial figures of the Second World War. But then again, the General seems destined to have been the subject of much shocked whispering from the outset. Rumours abounded that he was the illegitimate son of Empress Carlotta of Mexico. In fact, it seems more likely that he was the illegitimate son of a Polish woman who worked on the Empress's estate. He was educated in Paris and went to the St Cyr Military Academy in 1886. Maxim's wife, Marie Renee, was a daughter of Brigadier General Viscount de Forsanz of Brittany who was killed during the first weeks of the Great War in August 1914. Marie's mother Edwidge was a daughter of Count Paul Ciechanowiecki of Poland.

The Weygands in World War Two

Maxim Weygand became Chief of Staff to Marshall Ferdinand Foch during the Great War, finishing with the rank of Lieutenant General. One of his greatest moments came in August 1920 when he commanded an army of six hundred French officers in a victorious defeat of the Red Army in Warsaw. Though somewhat sidelined during the 1930s, he was recalled for service on the outbreak of the Second World War and placed in charge of the East Mediterranean Theatre. On 17th May 1940, Prime Minister Paul Reynaud appointed the 73-year-old as Allied commander-in-chief. He subsequently devised the Weygand Plan by which the 1st French Army was supposed to unite with the British Expeditionary Force and defeat the Germans at Cambrai. The plan was an unmitigated disaster, foiled by Allied dithering and the sheer stealth and power of the German Blitzkrieg. The result was the mass evacuation of Allied forces from the beaches of Dunkirk. By 13th June, General Weygand felt compelled to advocate an armistice with Hitler. The resultant agreement left three-fifths of France under German occupation with the remainder administered by a puppet government at Vichy under Field Marshal Petain. Other provisions of this deplorable settlement included the surrender of all Jews living in France, the disbanding of the French Army bar 100,000 men to maintain domestic order, and France having to pay the occupation costs of the German troops.
General Weygand served briefly as Minister of Defence under the Vichy Government but was later dismissed and sent to command land and air forces in French North Africa. It was at this time that his youngest son Jacques married Mimi Hume. However, the Nazis demanded his recall to Paris in November 1941 and the General retired in January 1942. When the Allies invaded Morocco and Algeria in November 1942, General Weygand advised Petain to declare war on Germany. He was arrested by the SS and imprisoned for the remainder of the war. After his release in May 1945, he was charged with collaboration and found guilty. On account of his age, he was granted leniency and released on 9th May 1946. General Weygand died in Paris in 1965.

Jacques Weygand

Jacques Weygand rose to become a Lieutenant Colonel in the French Army and served for a while in the French Foreign Legion. After his retirement, he became a Doctor of Law. He defended his father in "The Role of General Weygand", published by Eyre & Spottiswode in 1948, and again in 1970 with "Weygand, Mon Pere" by Flammarion.

Modern Times

Shortly before her death without issue in 1992, Mimi Weygand presented the majority of the estate cottages, including several in Kiltegan, to her tenants. The castle and 450-acre estate were subsequently sold at auction to the present owner, German businesswoman Renata Coleman. During the early 1990s Mrs. Coleman successfully converted Humewood Castle into one of the most upmarket private "homes to rent" in Ireland. She also established a major duck shoot and one of the country's few polo grounds. Celebrity guests included Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, John Travolta, Winona Ryder, Beck and the Spice Girls. The castle was used as a location for films such as "The Actors" starring Michael Cain, "Ella Enchanted" with Joanna Lumley, "Laws Of Attraction" starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore, and for ABC's television movie, "Prince William". David Bowie was among the names of those perpetually accused of seeking to buy the estate.

In 2007 the castle was purchased by John Lally's development company Lalco, which planned on converting Humewood into a state of the art 21st century five-star estate, complete with lodges, hotel, golf club, cookery school, organic farm, spa, fishing, shooting and banqueting facilities. It was subsequently sold to John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media, Liberty Global and Liberty Interactive.


In June 2010, I was contacted by Suzanne Ikinofo who descended from the marriage of Alexander Dick, JP, who died in 1931, and Eliza Jane Field (Fields). Their daughter Marion Isobel Dick was born in Greytown Wrp, New Zealand in 1887 an worked as a cook at the Waihi Hotel after her marriage to Charles Metcalfe Alves on 27 Dec 1911. "[Marion] worked in the market gardens and milked cows to help support family. Husband was 45 years older and died after only 13 years of marriage, leaving her with seven children. She also sewed and was sewing teacher at Red Hill School. Later moved to Te Kopuru and the children finished their eduction there and at Dargaville High School. She was a "wonderful" cook and baked for her neighbours until the year before she died at the age of 92 (apple pies and custard tarts). In her later years she lived at Glen Eden with her sons William Alexander and Ernest Graham, where she died on 22nd May 1978. (Information from her daughter Vern or Roberts, Waiheke Island, 1991).'


With thanks to David Adams, Wendy Dixon, Peter Rogers, William Dick & others.