Saturday, 19 January 2013

Ballymacool House, Letterkenny - A Name and Arms Clause

Grant of Arms to William Henry Porter d 1st June 1891
Ballymacool House and its surrounding estate was purchased by John Boyd in 1798. It then passed to his son, also John Boyd, a barrister by profession. Upon his death in 1836 the property passed to his son John Robert Boyd who died on 30th March 1891 without issue. The Estate then passed to the latter's nephew, William Henry Porter, but conditional upon him taking the name and arms of the Boyd family.

Such testamentary clauses would not have been unfamiliar to the nineteenth century solicitor. As with the strict settlement such devices had as their aim the retention of land within the family. Unfortunately the estate passed out of the Boyd family in 1941. The purchasers, Kelly by name, sold off a lot of the timber and disposed of the property for development in the mid 1980's.

The Grant of Arms in favour of William Henry Porter DL, JP, (pictured above), confirms that he and his issue, "may take and henceforth use the surname of Boyd and instead of that of Porter and bear the Arms, Crest and Motto of Boyd.' It is signed and sealed by Sir John Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms and Knight Attendant on the Illustrious Order of St Patrick.

An interesting, "by the by," is that one of the Boyd family, one Patti Boyd, married George Harrison and subsequently Eric Clapton.
Case for the Grant of Arms

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