This little girl is the only one of my ancestors, back to 1800, not born in south Ulster.

It brings to mind another little girl, her great-grandmother, who was born in India about 1794 and married 11 years later.

Picture of Elsie Henry
Family Genealogy By Peter Morell McWilliam

Holly Lodge

Fragment of Neville Survey Map of Monaghan

The first reference to the house is in Neville's survey dated 1789
No 143 was held by Sir James Hamilton from 25th Mar, 1774 for 3 lives; Olivia, Elizabeth Jane and Jannet Hamilton
Sir James held several other properties in Monaghan Town so I doubt whether he lived in it.

A deed (see under Miscellaneous deeds) kindly supplied to me by JJ Kennan & son indicates that Thomas Reilly was resident in 1821. Whether his father, John, lived there before him is unknown.

Extracts from this deed give some description of the property:

14th February, 1856:
Harriett & Edward Wingfield to Thomas Reilly, Fairfield House, Sandymount
Property bounded on west by the Monaghan to Milltown road, on the north by Allan Mitchell’s tenement, on the south and east by the gardens in the rere of Nathaniel Cooke’s and Nathaniel Wright’s tenements in Mill street
Witnessed by BH Cumberland, Capt & John Reilly, 32 L Ormond street
Execution witnessed by George Knight, 35 L Ormond street

Photograph of Front of Holly Lodge

22nd January, 1839: Rossmore to Thomas Reilly
Granted a right of way over the land designated 158 in Neville’s Survey of 1789 for the lives of John (16), Thomas (15) and Edward (13) Reilly.

Thomas Reilly was election agent for the Liberals in the famous election of 1826 but subsequently switched his allegiance to the Conservatives. The story goes that Lord Rossmore, annoyed at Reilly's opposition to him had the land (presumably lot 158) in front of his house, which was on a separate lease, dug up to his front door.

Thomas aged 15 above, was the Young Irelander, Tom Devin Reilly, a close associate of John Mitchel


Photograph of William McWilliam & James Henry, solicitors, outside Holly Lodge

John Reilly aged 16 above, followed his father both as a solicitor in Monaghan and as election agent for the Leslie family. According to his 1889 obituary in the Northern Standard, he took over the solicitor's practice in 1844. Presumably he inherited the house on his father's death in 1870.

I have tracked the subsequent owners and residents of the house from the Valuation Revision Books.

When John died in 1889 his widow sold the house to the Temple sisters. In 1899 or before it was sub-let to Daniel MacAleese, then Nationalist MP for Monaghan and Proprietor of the People's Advocate newspaper.His obituary in this paper states that he died at his residence, Holly Lodge.In the 1901 census his widow was living there. In 1905 the Temple sisters sold it to my grandfather, Russell McWilliam.

Thomas Devin Reilly, John Reilly & Daniel MacAleese are all mentioned in Newspapers. Some articles Tom Devin Reilly wrote in the Nation are given. John Reilly appears frequently in the Northern Standard in the 1870s. Some extracts from the People's Advocate are also given.

Photograph from side of Holly Lodge

An Architectural Survey of Monaghan in 1970 by CEB Brett describes the house thus:

The lower side of Hill Street droops down the hill below street level; this two story house is set at right angles in a little garden. Originally Georgian, it now retains of its original character only its wide fanlight and three-light doorcase.
(Not even that character now remains)




Photograph of close up at back of Holly Lodge
Photograph of the Hill from Peter's Lake








Photo of Mitty and Peter on seventh birthday
Photo of Orange Lodge & Peter's Lake from Holly Lodge


Upper left & right: Holly Lodge from outside, well concealed by trees.


Lower left & right: Orange Hall & Peter's Lake from the back lawn of Holly Lodge.









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