Article about Eia House, Former Residence Of Moses Staunton.

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Document ID 8809183
Date 01-01-1700
Document Type Newspapers (Extracts)
Archive Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Citation Article about Eia House, Former Residence Of Moses Staunton.; PRONI T.2035/20; CMSIED 8809183
The death of Mr. R. A. Macrory removed
from our midst one who was a familiar figure
in the "eighties", when he lived in Eia
House, directly opposite to Duncairn Gardens,
the new artery which was opened between
the Antrim Road and North Queen Street
about the year 1886.  As representative of
the Macrory family, he was materially interested
in the development of the Duncairn
Estate for building purposes.  The main
road now called Duncairn Gardens intersected
the grounds of the private park which
surrounded the house that was long the
residence of the late Mr. Macrory's uncle.  Mr
Adam John Macrory, a very prominent solicitor
and publicist, who died in the year
1881.  His wife was a daughter of another
well-known attorney, Joseph Wright, whose
country seat was at Duncarin, and it was in
this way that the property came to the
Macrory family.
At [As?] late as 1860-70 Duncairn is represented as
a rural retreat embosomed in trees, with handsome
avenues and gate lodges on Halliday's
Road, New Lodge Road, and North Queen
Street.  In the later part of the 18th century
this old Carrickfergus Road had attracted
some of the wealthier townsmen to build
summer residences.  The approach to the present
Cliftonville from town before the (new)
Antrim Road was completed (1883) was by the
New Lodge Road, of which Cliftonville Road
was the continuation.  And along North
Queen Street there were a few private
residences that disappeared not many years
ago - Greenmount, occupied by the Bells,
cotton spinners; Garden Hill, by Isaac
Thompson, storekeeper of the Customs,
and father of William Thompson (died 1883),
secretary to the Harbour Board; and Lilliput
and Mervue.  Three of these are perpetuated
in the names of streets.  On the other side
of the Cavehill railway was Mount Collyer,
built by the Collyer family.  The railway was
made in 1830, the year the Liverpool and Manchester Railway
the first locomotive line in the world, was opened.  The initial
expenditure on the Cavehill railway was 10,000 pounds, followed
by a similar sum a few years later. As for the Duncairn grounds, three
of its sides were bounded by Halliday's Road, New Lodge
Road, and the present North Queen Street,
And within this area were two dwelling houses
known at first as Fortfield and Duncairn.  The
former seems to have been enlarged and
renamed Duncairn, while the other came to be
known as Duncairn House, and was tenanted
in 1852 by the Rev. John Macnaughtan, of
Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church.
The name of Adam John Macrory will always
be associated with Duncairn, and after him
the Macrory Memorial Church was named.
Born at Castledawson in 1799, he was apprenticed
at the age of 14 to a solicitor called
McGuckin.  The remaining part of his
apprenticeship was served with Mr. Joseph
Wright, whose partner he afterwards became
Through his marriage with the second daughter
of his principal he was related to the
family of Wright the most distinguished members of which
are Sir Almroth Wright, the bacteriologist, a freeman of the city of
Belfast, and Dr. Hagbert wright, of the London
Library.  Their father, the eminent
scholar and litterateur, the Rev. C. H. H.
Wright, was incumbent of St. Mary's Church,
Through his friendship with Dr. Henry
Cooke, Mr. A. J. Macrory became interested
in many schemes of the Presbyterian Church.
He was solicitor for the Synod of Ulster in
the cause celebre the Clough Church property
case, for his successful advocacy of which
he received a magnificent service of plate.
His connection with the public services of
Belfast were many.  He successfully piloted a
Bill for the improvement of the water supply,
and got a royal charter for the hospital.
The amalgamation of three companies that
worked the Great Northern Railway was
chiefly due to him.  His brother, Robert
Macrory, removed from Castledawson to
Limavady, having purchased it, 1822 the corn
and flour mills at Ardmore.  He was father
of the late Mr. S.M. Macrory, of Limavady and his now  deceased brother
Mr. R.A. Macrory.
The mansion house at Duncairn had interests
of another kind, Mr A. J. Macrory
had among his articles of [vertu?] a dagger that
had belonged the [the?] Irish rebel Lord Edward
Fitzgerald, and which he had received from
the solicitor McGuckin who was personally
acquainted with the rebel.  There was also a
fine collection of pictures at Duncairn which
had some of the finest old masters.  Mr.
Macrory's two sons, in the intervals of their
professional business, worked a private printing
press - one of the few in Ireland - examples
from which are now all too few.  About a
dozen different items have been noted, the
longest running to 239 pages.  They are fine
specimens of typographical art.
Of the Macrory family generally it may be
stated that they were originally settled at
Duneane.  Robert Macrory, who died 1759,
married one of the well-known Dickey family
of County Antrim, and through his wife was
descended from the Irish sept of O'Maolchallans
(Mulhollands), who were hereditary
keepers of the bell of St. Patrick.  This
precious relic was for a time in the possession
of the Dickeys, but passed again into the
custody of another branch of the Mulhollands.
At the death of a schoolmaster of the
name it went to Mr. Adam McClean,
of Belfast, and eventually was disposed
of to the Royal Irish Academy.  Mr Robert
Macrory, elder son of Mr. A. J. Macrory, married
a daughter of the well-known Irish
musician, Edward Bunting.  Much might be
said also of the Wright family.  The name
of Sir Almroth and the record of his services
in the war are known to everyone.  They
were originally a Newry family.  Richard,
the first of the Belfast branch, was one of
the old High Street merchants, his shop being
known by "The Sign of the Hat" in 1761.
A few years later a Thomas Wright, of
Newry issued an advertisement in conjuction
with Richard Wright, of Belfast, at
"the Sign of the Gold Hat and Rabbit,
Belfast".  Thomas moved to Dublin, and was
probably ancestor of the very distinguished
family already referred to.  If so, there
would be thus a double relationship with the
Belfast Wrights.  Joseph Wright, solicitor,
son of the above Richard, died at Duncairn
in 1825, and his brother Robert at the
neighbouring Fortfield in 1846.