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Douglass of Grace Hall



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Douglass, Charles Mathew, Esq. of Grace Hall, co. Down, a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant, served the office of high-sheriff in 1836.

This family was originally of Scottish descent.

Robert Douglass, Esq., b. in 1655, son of Robert Douglass, of the co. of Down, by Elizabeth Henderson, his wife, was a lieutenant in the army of King Wllllam III. at the Battle of the Boyne. He was thrice married: 1st, to Miss Elliot; 2ndly, to Miss Whitney; and 3rdly, to Miss Usher; and d in Jan. 1733, when he was succeeded by his son.

Charles Douglass, Esq., who m. 1st, Grace, dan. of Richard Waring, Esq. of Waringstown, co. Down, but had no issue. He m. 2ndly. in 1758, Theodosia, dau. of George St. George, Esq. of Woodsgift, co. Kilkenny, who was created a Baronet in 1766, and by her had issue,

  • Thomas,
  • George, and
  • Robert,
  • Elizabeth and
  • Ellen
  • .
    The eldest son, Thomas Douglass, Esq. of Grace Hall, married Elizabeth, dau. of Mathew Forde, Esq. of Seaforde, co. Down, and Coolgreaney, co. Wexford, by Elizabeth, his wife, sister to Viscount Northland, and had issue,

  • Charles Mathew, his successor and 'present representative'.

  • Elizabeth, m. to the Rev. Samuel Blacker, of Elm Park, co. Armagh.

  • Theodosia, M. to the Rev. William-Brownlow Forde, of Seaforde, co. Down.

  • Charity.

  • Anna.

  • Charles Mathew Douglass, of Grace Hall, J.P. and D.L., High Sheriff co. Down 1836, b. 1793 ; d.s.p. 1880, and was s. under the provisions of his will, dated 10 Feb. 1865, and proved 31 March, 1860, by his nephew, St. John Thomas Blacker-Douglass, of Grace Hall, &c.

    Charles Douglas of Grace Hall was a Director of the Lurgan Gas Co. and owner of 2,791 acres of land.

    St John Thomas Blacker-Douglass of Grace Hall was High Sheriff of Armagh in 1861

    The estate of St. John Blacker, of Ballylongford and Killylea, county Armagh, amounted to over 8000 acres in county Kerry in the 1870s as well as 200 acres in Armagh. He was a descendent of Samuel Blacker, of the Carrickblacker family. In 1880 he assumed the name Douglas under the terms of the will lof his uncle, Charles Douglas, of Grace Hall, county Armagh. His estate held townlands in the parishes of Aghavallen and Lisselton, barony of Iraghticonnor at the time of Griffith's Valuation.

    Saint John Stewart Blacker Douglas (16 Feb 1871 County Armagh, Ireland - 13 Dec 1943, France was an international tennis player who was runner up in the 1905 Swiss International Championships

    Arms—Arg., a human heart, gu., ensigned with an imperial crown, ppr., on a chief, az., three stars, of the first.
    Crest—A dexter cubit arm, erect, grasping in the hand a human heart, oil ppr.
    Seat—Grace Hall, co. Down.


    The origins of Magheralin are obscure, but the church has been identified with "Lann Ronan" or the "Church of Lan", and is mentioned in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas of 1306. It is, like all the old graveyards of the four parishes, wild and dilapidated. There are now no traces of the mediaeval church, and the Archaeological Survey dates the surviving walls as no earlier than the fifteenth century. The tower and transept were built during the next two centuries but the whole was in ruins in 1657. It was rebuilt after the restoration to be abandoned finally in 1845 when the new church was built across the road. The registers date from 1692 and the oldest stone from 1706. There is a large number of eighteenth century stones, many of which are small with a distinctive raised edge, and families represented in this period are: Barr, Byrne, Close, Connelly, Connor, Donnelly, Douglass (moved to the new church), Feris, Fletcher, Gurnell, Henderson, Humphrey, Irwen, Lavery (5 stones pre-1800), MaCoun, Macoun, Malkinson, M Murphy and Paterson. Until the seventeenth century the land belonged mainly to the sept of the O'Lavery's and the name is still numerous in the area. When the church at Lurganville was built the family appear to have used the burying ground there.

    Blacker-Douglas of Grace Hall

    The Dolling family have a conspicuous vault in the old church, dating from 1853. They first appeared in Ireland with the appointment of the Rev. Boughey William Dolling as Precentor of Dromore and Rector of Magheralin in 1806, and their name survives in the village of Dollingstown. The Douglass family (later Blacker-Douglass) of Grace Hall were probably buried in the old church and are commemorated by two memorial tablets in the north transept of the present church. It is interesting to note that the tablets contain information not in Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, so even for well-documented families memorial inscriptions may be of value. The other local landed family of the nineteenth century, Waddell of Drumcro, also have a memorial tablet in the new church and are buried in a vault beneath.

    Note:  There may be a link (common ancestor? Robert, b1665?) with Douglas of Devrock.



    From: "The general armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales"
    Douglas (exemplified to St. John Thomas Douglass, Esq., of Elm Tark, co. Armagh, eldest son of Rev. Samuel Blacker, D.D., Prebendary of Mullaghbiack, in the diocese of Armagh, deceased, by Elizabeth, his wife, eldest dau. of Thomas Douglass, of Grace Hall, co. Down, deceased, and sister of Charles Matthew Douglass, Esq., of Grace Hall —on his assuming the surname of Douglass in lieu of that of Blacker, pursuant to the will of the said Charles Matthew Douglass).
    Douglas arms Quarterly, 1st and 4th, per pale ar. and or, a human heart gu. on a chief az. a trefoil slipped betw. two etoiles of the second for Douglas: 2nd and 3rd, ar. on a mount vert a warrior in complete armour in the act of advancing towards the right, and brandishing in his dexter hand a battle axe ppr., from his shoulders a mantle flowing gu., for Blacker. CWtt—1st, Douglass: A cubit arm erect ppr. grasping a human heart as in the arms, and charged with a trefoil slipped vert; 2nd, Blacker: A dexter armed arm embowed ppr. the hand gaunttcted grasping a battle-axe, as in the arms.
    Mottoes—Douglass, Forward; Blacker, Pro Deo et rege.

    See also:
    Douglas families in Lurgan


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    Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017