Saturday, 22 November 2014

Case of Portstewart Infanticide Remembered

Over the last week or so I have been listening to, "The Butterfly Cabinet," by Bernie McGill whilst undertaking my vehicular peregrinations. I suppose it was the Northern Ireland setting of the novel that caused me to select it. The story revolves around the death of a girl, 'Charlotte," in the Big House and the culpability of her mother, 'Harriett." The mother is convicted of manslaughter and receives a sentence of penal servitude despite being, "en ventre," with her second daughter.


Whilst this may be a novel the events which are portrayed by Ms McGill unashamemedly take their origin from the the 1892 death of the daughter of Robert Montagu of Cromore, Portstewart and his wife Annie Margaret McMicking. Mrs Montagu was convicted of manslaughter. Crown Counsel was Edward Carson.


Several decades have passed since the Montagu's lived at Cromore although they certainly had property interests in the Portstewart area until at least the nineteen nineties. I seem to remember that they sold Cromore railway station in the early1980's.


1 comment:

  1. As a sixth generation descendant of Portstewart I find this very interesting indeed. I came across your Blog when researching the Montagu estate. It appears that the Montagu's still own a substantial tract of land in Portstewart. Many properties are in a leasehold to them. I believe there was a family feud between the Montagu's and Cromies but don't quote me on that ... it was something I learned at primary school and my memory isn't what it once was. Thank you for such an interesting history lesson. My friend, Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland, will be as intrigued as I am. Regards Amanda Martin