Clandeboye The Country House Revealed


Clandeboye

Series exploring Britain's private country houses. Clandeboye is filled with artefacts found by Lord Dufferin on his travels, from stuffed bears to Egyptian monuments.


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Our great country houses, the most familiar and yet intriguing sights

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Britain has to offer. Standing like sentinels in the landscape.

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Hundreds of thousands of us visit them every year, but not all are

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open to the public. I've been granted the privileged opportunity

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to pass through the portals of six of our greatest country houses

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They've seen five centuries of British history up close and

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personal. The families who built these houses played their part in

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Central to their dreams, the great house, the ultimate Status symbol,

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but all too often also the ultimate Few of these families went the

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distance, but their houses did, with their secrets intact. This is

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their story, but it's also our story, for these houses offer a

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guided tour of our nation's hidden I'm on my way to explore one of the

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most fascinating country estates in Northern Ireland and I get there

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The estate's secluded deep in the farmlands and woodlands of County

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Down. It's called Clandeboye and, rather conveniently, the railway

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station was constructed within its ground. Ah, here it is, Helen's Bay.

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See? Very convenient. The station was built in 1863 by the family

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living at Clandeboye, the Dufferins. Up there are the family's initials,

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together with a coronet. The station's a charming ornamental

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structure and it contained not only the booking office, but also a

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private waiting room for the Dufferins, with a staircase leading

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Waiting in the avenue would be a horse-drawn carriage, ready to

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transport the family to Clandeboye House. The carriage would pass

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below this wonderful bridge, a sensational thing which to me looks

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rather like a medieval city gate, This portal takes me to the past in

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Ah, here it is, Clandeboye, a very handsome, late Georgian country

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house. It's one I've known for well over 30 years. I spent some most

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astonishing times here. Indeed, this walk for me is very much a

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Clandeboye has belonged to the same family for 400 years. Today, the

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marchioness of Dufferin and Ava lives here. Born into in the Irish

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aristocratic family, the Guinness's, she moved here in 1964 when she

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married Sheridan, the fifth marquis, Lady Dufferin also happens to be a

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very old friend of mine. Yes, please. So, it's so wonderful that

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you're back. Back here, yes, at Clandeboye. It is wonderful to be

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back home. Fantastic actually. Now, I tell you what, I don't think you

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can resist a sandwich, can you? no, I can't resist a sandwich. Oh,

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look, they're very lovely. There we are. Beautifully presented. It's a

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tradition. Yes. I'll take that one. Actually, very often I make people

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eat two at a time. I can't remember exactly when I first visited

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Clandeboye, it was so long ago. But Lindy may have solved the mystery.

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I've got this treat, because we can now find out when you first came

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here. Yes, all right. Here we go. This is the guest book? OK. Now,

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we'll put our specs on. So here we go. Now, putting them... Harry.

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What's the first one? What's the first date here? 1931? Isn't that's

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amazing? Incredible. Ulster Races and who was here? Evelyn Waugh,

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look, that's interesting. Evelyn Waugh, yes. Actually, he was a

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great friend of the family's, I think he came here quite often.

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Let's leap forward a bit to, I suppose, let's find you, when did

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you first come to the house? I can hardly remember. We think 1961.

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Lindy Guinness, you're here. Yes, you see, I think I came. That's

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1963. A hoolie for Sheridan and Lindy. Here we are again. Look,

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look. David Bailey and you. Oh, he was divine. No, where do we go? I'm

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longing to find you. Cruickshank. But that's weird.

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Gotcha! That's my name, it's not my signature. I wasn't here. I bet it

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is, you were drunk. I wasn't here! This is weird. You were drunk when

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you wrote it. Well, I'm mostly drunk but... Think it must be.

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Where? Where? Where? Where? Where? Where? Where? Where? Where?

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Christmas 1975. No there, there, gotcha! That's more like it. Now

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that's how long ago? 75, 85, 95, 105, do you realise that's 35 years.

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It's 35 years ago. That's a sobering thought and I must say you

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look wonderful on it, if you don't mind me saying so. It's the whiskey.

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You're desperate to have some more.. I see you through sort of a Yeah,

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through. But mainly myth. Yeah, but once or twice. Clandeboye, under

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Lindy and Sheridan, became a magnet for artists and writers. It was a

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bohemian scene that would have surely have startled Sheridan's

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ancestors, the sober and very sensible Blackwood's. They were

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Scots Protestants who originally came to County Down in the early

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17th century and rose to become minor gentry. They marked this

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ascent with a massive expansion of their house in 1801 by a little

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I'm now in a part of the house built just after 1800, very elegant

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but somewhat conventional late Ah, here are the Blackwoods and I

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must say these portraits them to be a somewhat serious bunch not, I

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should think, given to flights of In fact, one of the Blackwoods

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admitted they had no interest in art and literature and even that

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they regarded imagination as a Given their lack of imagination,

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the Blackwoods would surely have been horrified by what was about to

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happen to their house. They remain in a part of Clandeboye that's

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largely untouched, but elsewhere that's very definitely not the case.

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This house was radically transformed and the front door was

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moved to the rear and this is where I've explored many country houses

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over the years, but I must say the main entrance to Clandeboye is

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still the strangest I've ever seen. It's so understated, just a low,

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long blank wall and then a very But the moment you step inside, it

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Open the door is like breaking the seal on an Egyptian tomb. This is

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high architectural theatre everywhere, wonderful and revealing

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objects. Look at this pair of bears, baby bears, killed and stuffed; and

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here, Indian weapons and armour, Burmese celestial figures all

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telling a tale about the house and Utterly incredible. If a tropical

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bird flew past now, I wouldn't be This is the world of Frederick Lord

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Dufferin, one of the greatest diplomats of his age, viceroy of

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India and friend of Queen Victoria. This house is an embodiment of his

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achievements. It is also a melancholic monument to the

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declining fortune of his class, the Lord Dufferin transformed

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Clandeboye into a fairytale. The house is a journey through his life,

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through his age, to the imperial adventure. There are wonderful

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objects everywhere which unite to tell the story of one exceptional

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This exceptional man was always destined to be different from his

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staid ancestors. In 1825, his father, Price, the fourth Lord

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Dufferin, shocked the rest of the Blackwoods by marrying the

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granddaughter of the celebrated Irish playwright, Richard Brinsley

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Helen Sheridan was artistic and an accomplished society beauty. Her

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world was of fashionable London, Beaumond. She was everything the

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A year after her marriage to Price Blackwood, Helen gave birth to

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their only child, a son, Frederick, and here is a lovely little

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portrait of a young chap aged four or five, painted by Helen. Very

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wonderfully done, and behind it is a lock of hair, Frederick's hair,

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This hair was cut by Helen to send to Price. He was Royal Navy, away

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from home a lot. This was a little reminder of his infant child and

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that hair and portrait were later united to create this very intimate,

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Helen's ambitions for her son were always high. As was usual at the

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time, she looked across the Irish Sea to England for his future. She

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wanted him to be groomed for high public office, to make the right

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And there was nowhere better to do that than at Eton, the finishing

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school of choice for the aristocratic elite. In 1839, when

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Frederick first arrived, Eton had already produced an astonishing ten

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Prime Ministers and it had even won the Battle of Waterloo on its

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playing fields, according to old Here, at the heart of the British

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power network, Helen hoped her son Graffiti and boys have been around.

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Doctor Andrew Gaily, the vice provost of Eton, is writing a

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biography of Lord Dufferin. Like his subject, Andrew comes from

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Eton, I suppose, was the obvious place to send Frederick. Well, yes,

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and no. I mean, yes, if you've got ambitions to make something great

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in England, not necessarily in Ireland at the time. In fact, most

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boys would have just probably gone locally, but if you have ambitions

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to acquire, as they say, a bit of the polish and certainly provincial

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Blackwoods were quite interested in acquiring a bit of the polish, Eton

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was the place to go. To make connections, of course, that's the

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thing, isn't it? To move into the big world, to make the connections,

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to learn about a world that you're going to have to operate in and if

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you wanted to be up with that and in that social world, then you had

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So his background, when he arrived at Eton, would he have had a very

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His father describes him as being all hunched up in his early days at

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Eton, and he was probably a bit bullied too and then it all comes

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good. He's managed to use his Irishness to effect. Yeah, and he

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was good at speaking, you know, an orator. He obviously, you know, had

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some distinction. Very much, and he would be the one that, whenever the

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house was having a great feast or a great celebration, they would call

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on the little orator, as they called him, to go and declaim and

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it, you know, became an art form for the rest of his life and,

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indeed, probably one of his His mother's little orator was now

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in the charmed inner circle of Eton life, forming close friendships

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with the men who would run Britain The British aristocracy was at the

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zenith of its power, owning over half the land in Britain, and

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nothing symbolised their grip on the nation more than the great

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Places like Hatfield House, owned by the family of Frederick's Eton

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friend, Lord Robert Cecil and Kimberley Hall, the home of his

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classmate John Woodhouse, the At Eton, Frederick must have fully

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grasped the notion that behind And he was to have his own estate

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sooner than anyone imagined. One evening at the end of term,

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Frederick was on the bridge, just stood here, and suddenly turned to

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a friend that was with him and said, "It's odd, I have every reason to

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be happy. Tomorrow, I return to Ireland, and yet I feel wretched".

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What Frederick did not know was that an hour earlier, his father

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had died on a ship crossing the Irish Sea. The father died of an

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overdose of morphine. Whether or not it was an accident was never

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determined. Suddenly, Frederick, at the tender age of 15, was

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fatherless and also had inherited the heavy responsibility of being a

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Frederick Temple Blackwood was now the fifth Baron Dufferin and

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Clandeboye. On paper, he was a rich man. He's inherited 18,000 Acres of

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In reality, his tenants were in arrears to the tune of almost

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�30,000. That's over �2 million today. And on top of that, he'd

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also inherited a financial obligation to pay another �30,000

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in annuities to his family, the The young lord was forced to face

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the bitter truth, agriculture no Landlords in Ireland, such as Lord

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Dufferin, would have made much of their money through rents paid by

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peasant farmers who lived in cottages rather like this one. In

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mid-19th century Ireland, there were such cottages all over the

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landscape, huge numbers of them. This one actually is a rather large

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and grand example. Many would have been much smaller, more humble.

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This one, well built of stones from the fields, I suppose, but inside

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75% of Ireland's rural population lived in hovels like this, with a

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patch of ground so small there was only one crop they could grow to

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That was the staple diet for the real poor, the potato, a very

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nutritious food but very vulnerable to disease, and that's what

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happened in 1845, a fungus blighted the potatoes. They blackened and

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died in the land and one blight followed by another and another, so

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that the population of the land was almost literally decimated and

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Lord Dufferin was studying at oxford, but reports started to

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trickle in, the Irish peasantry were starving. He was dismayed at

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the indifference of his English friends, who dismissed the stories

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So, to his mother's horror, Lord Dufferin and a fellow student,

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George Boyle, went to Ireland to This is the road the 21 year old

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Lord Dufferin took when he entered Skibbereen in the south west of

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Ireland. He came here because he'd read this was one of the places

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hardest hit by the famine. He wanted to see if the reports of the

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suffering of the people of Skibbereen were true. Lord Dufferin

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soon discovered things were very bad. In these streets, people were

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crawling, they didn't have the energy to walk. Or lying here by

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the roadside, quietly dying. To try and prick the conscience of his

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well-fed friends back in England, Lord Dufferin wrote a graphic

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account of what was called the great hunger. Today, he's still

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Now, the thing about Dufferin's visit and the narrative was to

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alert people back in England, because in England there was almost

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disbelief, wasn't there, at the seriousness of the famine in '47?

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Yes. There was perhaps a reluctance to believe it was so bad and the

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purpose of the narrative was to bring the truth before the British

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public, in which it admirably succeeded. It did make a

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difference? It certainly made a difference, certainly. The first

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three months of 1847 saw huge, the majority of the charitable

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contributions from all over the world, came in from Ceylon, from

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everywhere, and it was in a great part due to the writings of people

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who came here and saw things and witnessed themselves and then wrote

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about them in the world media and had them reported, and Dufferin and

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Boyle would be definitely included in that. And, of course, it

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shouldn't be forgotten that Lord Dufferin himself, from his personal

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fortune, gave �1,000 to famine This was typical Dufferin, spending

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money he simply didn't have. His bank account took another knock

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with an act of charity closer to home. The famine also struck his

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own tenants so he reduced their rents and gave them wages for a

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massive programme of works. What he wanted to do was start a famine

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relief project. Several projects on the estate and we're standing in

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front of the lake. Which was one of those projects, creating the lake.

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And also, looking towards the house, you can see the vista which was

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opened up. Very interesting, but that created employment but also

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created a beautiful landscape for him. Very brilliant. That's right,

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yes, because he was a little worried about the fact that he was

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living in a higher society, that he had an estate to match, as it were.

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Yes, yes. But Lord Dufferin's desire to keep up appearances and

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help his tenants came at too high a price. Every pound he was spending

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put him deeper in debt. He desperately needed a larger income

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and he knew where to find it Or, more precisely, his mother's

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connection to Prime Minister Lord Thanks to this very important

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family friend, Lord Dufferin landed his first proper job. In 1849, at

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the age of 23, Lord Dufferin was appointed a Lord in Waiting to

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Queen Victoria. This was a very important job that took him to the

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heart of the royal court which, at that time, was a very happy place.

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Queen Victoria was only seven years older than Lord Dufferin and

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happily married. She would have been delightful company and

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Dufferin, as was his habit through life, kept a journal of his time at

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court. Now, here are his journals and here is the one, let's see for

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the right period of time, 1849, '50, ah, well it's the first, oh, here

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we are, very good, first one. Interestingly, Lord Dufferin had

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his journals typed out and bound. It's not his handwriting now, but

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let's have a look. What's this page say? "November 23rd, left Windsor".

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This is obviously the very beginning of his stint as Lord in

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Waiting, because it says here, "Pleased with my first waiting.

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Like the people". It's all so weirdly naive, but he was a very

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young man; and let's try another one. Oh, lord, here. "1850, London,

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March the 15th... Played tennis. Offered �1000 to be repaid at 5% by

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�100 a year instalments. We know he had a money problem, so even while

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at court he's trying to work out ways of borrowing money. It's

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amazing. Goes on to say, "When sitting round the Queen's table,

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they all burst out laughing at my melancholy face". Poor chap, he's

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worried about his money. Even the company of the Queen. When Lord

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Dufferin was first suggested as a courtier, Queen Victoria is meant

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to have declared, "Good heavens, he's much too good looking and

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captivating" and when he was at court, she would giggle and tease

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him about his poetically long hair. He was obviously a very charming

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fellow, very determined to amuse and determined to be popular and I

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suppose the grandeur of the life at the royal court, indeed the

:24:05.:24:08.

grandeur of the country houses he visited with the Queen reinforced

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Dufferin in his determination to create the high life for himself at

:24:11.:24:21.
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The high life for Lord Dufferin meant only one thing, a bigger,

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better Clandeboye. Ignoring the potential impact on his decimated

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bank account, he became desperate to emulate his friends at court and

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build. In other words, to keep up So in 1849, he hired one of

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Britain's most fashionable architects, William Burn. He set to

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work on lavish plans to remodel Clandeboye in a style that was then

:25:01.:25:09.

Now at last, Dufferin could fulfil his Eton dreams and vie with the

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houses of his contemporaries. Men like the duke of Sutherland, with

:25:17.:25:26.

his Dunrobin Castle and the Duke of Argyll with Inverarey Castle. The

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eventual result of Lord Dufferin's bold scheme? One small tower

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It wasn't uncommon in the sentimental Victorian age to build

:25:39.:25:42.

monuments to loved ones, but the sheer scale and architect ambition

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of Helen's tower is unusual. It reveals the intensity of the love

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between Lord Dufferin and his mother Helen and this room is

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really the epicentre, a wonderful Gothic panelled room, lovely

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vaulted ceiling and over here, two brass panels proclaiming the love

:26:00.:26:10.
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Here we see a poem written in June 1847 by Helen. It says, "To my dear

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son on his 21st birthday with a silver lamp, Fiat Lux, let there be

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light." The poem starts, "How shall I bless thee? Human love is all too

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poor in passionate words... "and then she goes on to venerate her

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son. Up here is a poem commissioned by Lord Dufferin from the great

:26:44.:26:47.

poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. Tennyson expresses Lord Dufferin's love for

:26:47.:26:57.

Helen. "Helen's Tower, here I stand, dominant over sea and land. Son's

:26:57.:27:00.

love built me and I hold mother's love in lettered gold", referring

:27:00.:27:10.

to this proclamation of love here. Could there anything more moving?

:27:10.:27:15.

This is the monument to love between mother and son. It's

:27:15.:27:25.
:27:25.:27:31.

If Lord Dufferin couldn't yet afford to build a new house, at

:27:31.:27:34.

least he now had all the fashionable trimmings, his own

:27:34.:27:44.

folly. His own lake. Plus an ornamental park. With a railway

:27:44.:27:49.

station pencilled in for good measure. But none of this came

:27:49.:27:54.

cheap. By the time all the grounds were finished, it would cost him

:27:54.:28:00.

�70,000. That's five million pounds today. And that's not all he

:28:00.:28:05.

splashed out on. Lord Dufferin had another expensive hobby, one that

:28:05.:28:06.

only the more adventurous young Victorians were indulging in

:28:06.:28:16.
:28:16.:28:26.

In 1854, he borrowed nearly �3 000 to buy an ocean-going yacht. This

:28:26.:28:30.

model seems somewhat overwhelmed in the setting of the hall, but it

:28:30.:28:33.

shows the ship that was to transform Lord Dufferin's life and,

:28:33.:28:41.

indeed, the life of Clandeboye. It's a model of a schooner called

:28:41.:28:45.

the Foam and in 1856, Lord Dufferin, aged 30, and his crew went on an

:28:45.:28:55.

epic four month journey into the North Atlantic and the Arctic. Lord

:28:55.:28:58.

Dufferin's Sailing trip was expensive, but it brought him fame

:28:58.:29:02.

as an intrepid traveller. He also returned with a collection of

:29:02.:29:07.

curios, as he called them... A Giant piece of driftwood from the

:29:07.:29:11.

arctic, the skin of a Polar bear he shot himself, a Cannon from his

:29:11.:29:14.

yacht and, most bizarre of all, tusks from Narwhals that he

:29:14.:29:24.
:29:24.:29:27.

Here were the beginnings of Clandeboye's transformation into a

:29:27.:29:34.

boy's own treasure chest. The next part of the booty was to come from

:29:34.:29:39.

Egypt. To get there, Dufferin traded in his yacht for a steamship

:29:39.:29:43.

he called Amenia and set sail on his next adventure. In 1859, Lord

:29:43.:29:47.

Dufferin started to finance the excavation of a 4,000 year old

:29:47.:29:50.

mortuary temple and tomb of the pharaoh Mentuhotep II at Deir el-

:29:50.:30:00.
:30:00.:30:07.

Bahri near Luxor in Egypt. Wonderful things were found. Some

:30:07.:30:11.

of those are still at Clandeboye, including this fragment of a column

:30:11.:30:16.

that would have been around the tomb of the pharaoh. Down here, you

:30:16.:30:19.

see the pharaoh's name, Mentuhotep II. This proclaims that he will

:30:19.:30:22.

live forever. The best thing, certainly the biggest, is over here.

:30:22.:30:25.

Now, not the wonderful rhinoceros head, that is tremendous, but what

:30:25.:30:31.

the head is sitting on... This massive granite altar. Again, 4000

:30:31.:30:35.

years old from Deir el-Bahri and on it are 18, the name of the pharaoh

:30:35.:30:44.

Mentuhotep II. It is absolutely tremendous. Here, objects were

:30:44.:30:48.

offered to the gods and also to his spirit, to sustain him in the

:30:48.:30:53.

afterlife. But it was Lord Dufferin's present life that really

:30:53.:31:02.

needed sustaining, particularly his finances. His saviour came in the

:31:02.:31:12.
:31:12.:31:12.

With over 50 colonies on six continents by the 1860s, the empire

:31:13.:31:17.

was growing at an ever-increasing pace. There were foreign postings

:31:17.:31:23.

aplenty now, and Lord Dufferin's trip to Egypt was opening up more

:31:23.:31:33.
:31:33.:31:33.

opportunities than just the Lord Dufferin returned from the

:31:33.:31:37.

Middle East a man of the world, with direct experience of foreign

:31:37.:31:41.

travel and of Arab culture, so in 1860 he was a natural choice when

:31:41.:31:48.

the British government wanted to Syria was important to the Empire

:31:48.:31:54.

because of its trade routes. Whilst there, Lord Dufferin proved himself

:31:54.:32:02.

to be a brilliant negotiator, At last, he'd found his calling and,

:32:02.:32:12.
:32:12.:32:17.

most importantly, a regular pay In demand back home, he was offered

:32:17.:32:21.

plum jobs in the India office and the War office. Yet he was still in

:32:21.:32:26.

need of a fortune. But he was soon to be in possession of a wife. In

:32:26.:32:30.

1862, Lord Dufferin, at age 36, married Harriet Rowan Hamilton.

:32:30.:32:40.
:32:40.:32:40.

This wonderful watercolour captures the moment. They got married at the

:32:40.:32:43.

church nearby and, after the marriage ceremony, arrived at

:32:43.:32:46.

Clandeboye House for the reception and here we see Lord Dufferin and

:32:46.:32:50.

Harriet with a great veil over her arriving through that door over

:32:50.:32:54.

there. This is an amazing image. One can exactly place the scene

:32:54.:33:04.
:33:04.:33:05.

that took place then in the gallery today. A lot of the paintings of

:33:05.:33:08.

other objects shown in this watercolour are still in the house,

:33:08.:33:11.

not necessarily in the same place except here, we see this wonderful

:33:12.:33:15.

curving narwhal tusks. There they are still in place at the bottom of

:33:15.:33:18.

the staircase. An incredible scene, and one can imagine the reception

:33:18.:33:26.

was a great success, very lavish, It wasn't just Lord Dufferin who

:33:26.:33:33.

was going up in the world. His debts were, too. In 1864, he had to

:33:33.:33:39.

take out a mortgage for �21,000 to keep himself afloat. But his debt

:33:40.:33:42.

didn't stop him hiring yet another fashionable architect, this time

:33:42.:33:52.
:33:52.:33:58.

His brief - to design a gothic A gothic fantasy, as it turned out

:33:58.:34:02.

because, of course, Lord Dufferin couldn't afford to build it. So

:34:02.:34:09.

what next? He dismissed Ferry and hired another architect, one

:34:10.:34:15.

William Lynn. This time, Clandeboye was to be re-cast in French chateau

:34:16.:34:25.
:34:26.:34:34.

But that turned out to be a Lord Dufferin decided to continue a

:34:34.:34:38.

less expensive scheme he started as long ago as 1869, when he turned

:34:38.:34:42.

the kitchens here at the back of the house into a new entrance hall.

:34:42.:34:46.

This was, of course, the cheap solution but, as it happened, also

:34:46.:34:54.

Inspired because it gave him a home for his curios, but also because it

:34:54.:35:04.
:35:04.:35:06.

allowed him to display them in a I believe Lord Dufferin was echoing

:35:06.:35:10.

the layout of the ancient tombs and temples he'd seen in Egypt,

:35:10.:35:16.

particularly the one he'd excavated In those temples, the journey

:35:16.:35:20.

starts down there, in the world of man, and rises to the world of the

:35:20.:35:30.
:35:30.:35:30.

gods. The visual termination of this route through the house, the

:35:30.:35:33.

focus of this almost spiritual journey, was the statue of the

:35:33.:35:41.

great Egyptian god, Amun. He stood just up here. Lord Dufferin had

:35:41.:35:44.

acquired the statue in Egypt and clearly it was an inspiration

:35:44.:35:49.

object. Amun was here, but has now been replaced by this wonderful

:35:49.:35:59.
:35:59.:36:01.

image of a Buddha who now presides Alas, Amun was sold in 1937 but,

:36:01.:36:05.

given the state of Lord Dufferin's finances, is lucky to have clung on

:36:05.:36:15.
:36:15.:36:20.

By 1872, Lord Dufferin owed �300,000. That's around 20 million

:36:20.:36:27.

in today's figures, of course, a So what was to be done? Well, he

:36:27.:36:37.
:36:37.:36:45.

decided at that point he had to sell some land. It must have been

:36:45.:36:49.

heartbreaking to sell land he'd inherited and he hoped to pass on

:36:49.:36:52.

to his descendants, but to sort of sugar the pill, he decided he'd

:36:52.:36:55.

sell this land to other aristocratic landowners, looked

:36:55.:36:58.

around to find them were in the same position he was. Not much

:36:58.:37:02.

money. So then he was forced to do something I suppose he found rather

:37:02.:37:06.

distasteful, which was to turn to the nouveau riche for funds. The

:37:06.:37:08.

only nouveau riche in mid-Victorian Belfast were industrialists. They'd

:37:08.:37:11.

grown fat on the fruits of the empire, manufacturing ships, linen

:37:11.:37:19.

While most of the old landed families were now broke, crushed by

:37:19.:37:26.

Ballywalter Park is owned by Lord Dunleath. His ancestor, Andrew

:37:27.:37:30.

Mulholland, was the linen merchant Lord Dufferin turned to in his

:37:30.:37:37.

The Mulhollands lent him so much money, almost �5 million to us,

:37:37.:37:44.

that they became known as I'm sorry about the weather,

:37:44.:37:48.

couldn't do anything about it, it's absolutely grim. Let's go inside

:37:48.:37:58.
:37:58.:37:58.

here. It might be a bit warmer inside. Yes. Thank you very much.

:37:58.:38:02.

think we were really fairly sort of basic family, living off the land

:38:02.:38:06.

and then Andrew Mulholland's father sort of started up in a small way

:38:06.:38:10.

as a businessman in Belfast and, as we all know, in the early to mid-

:38:10.:38:13.

19th century, it was a time for entrepreneurs, and if they found a

:38:13.:38:17.

niche somewhere, it was a means of getting very wealthy very quickly.

:38:17.:38:21.

This is of course a key point, isn't it? The generalisation about

:38:21.:38:24.

Ireland at that period is it's poor because of the agricultural

:38:24.:38:27.

depression to some, but Belfast is different, isn't it? It is more

:38:27.:38:31.

like Manchester and Liverpool, it's an industrial centre. Absolutely.

:38:31.:38:35.

It had the largest shipyards in the world, the largest rope works in

:38:35.:38:38.

the world, the biggest tobacco factory in the world and this is

:38:38.:38:42.

where we come in. The largest, first of all cotton mills, which

:38:42.:38:45.

were then rebuilt as linen mills. By tradition, your family is said

:38:45.:38:49.

to be the bankers for Lord Dufferin. He was strapped for cash. I mean,

:38:49.:38:52.

what happened? I mean, he approached you? Or your great great

:38:52.:38:55.

grandfather? He, yes, he certainly approached the family and

:38:55.:39:00.

negotiated a loan of money. Land would have been pledged against the

:39:00.:39:04.

value of the loan and I guess when Lord Dufferin was unable to repay

:39:04.:39:07.

it, for whatever reason, some form of foreclosure took place. By the

:39:07.:39:14.

end of the decade, Lord Dufferin had sold of 12,000 acres. That's

:39:14.:39:24.
:39:24.:39:27.

two thirds of his estate. All of it went to the new industrialists.

:39:27.:39:37.
:39:37.:39:39.

Soon, he was facing the unthinkable Then, in 1872, came salvation.

:39:39.:39:42.

Despite having managed his own finances in such a bizarre way,

:39:42.:39:52.
:39:52.:39:55.

Lord Dufferin was given management of Canada. He became the third

:39:55.:40:03.

Governor-General. This prestigious post brought him in a handy �10,000

:40:03.:40:07.

a year plus expenses. Money was, for Lord Dufferin when in Canada, a

:40:07.:40:12.

very big issue. He believed that it was part of the Governor-General's

:40:12.:40:19.

job to entertain generously. That's how one won friends, and certainly

:40:19.:40:22.

the French Canadians loved Lord Dufferin for his generosity, his

:40:22.:40:25.

style, his civilisation, his parties. But of course this could

:40:25.:40:30.

be a very expensive business. Here I have a little document which says

:40:30.:40:33.

that in those years, 1873 to 1878, Lord Dufferin entertained through

:40:33.:40:35.

dinners, lunches, balls, theatricals 35,838 people, an

:40:35.:40:45.
:40:45.:40:47.

Given this astonishing largesse, it's not surprising to find out how

:40:47.:40:52.

Lord Dufferin was commemorated by the Canadians. I mean, Lord

:40:52.:40:56.

Dufferin was so successful in Canada that he in fact, look at

:40:56.:41:01.

this, he was commemorated on the money of Canada. Not Queen Victoria,

:41:01.:41:05.

but there we see Lord Dufferin, "Dominion of Canada". He's on the

:41:05.:41:08.

two dollar bill and his wife, Harriet, Lady Dufferin, is on the

:41:08.:41:13.

one dollar bill. There she is. That's absolutely sensational. Of

:41:13.:41:16.

course, Lord Dufferin won recognition for more than being a

:41:16.:41:26.
:41:26.:41:32.

generous host. He was also a highly effective negotiator. Lord Dufferin

:41:32.:41:35.

inherited the aftermath of a rather serious rebellion, which was

:41:35.:41:40.

between mixed race people. Mixed race French Canadian and Native

:41:40.:41:44.

Americans who really didn't want to be part of the British Empire and

:41:44.:41:47.

this is a fascinating thing I've just got here... Indeed, a cartoon

:41:47.:41:52.

relating to this very time. What happened is that Dufferin had to

:41:52.:41:54.

display tremendous diplomatic skills to smooth out the

:41:54.:41:57.

relationship between the French Canadians and the English, Scottish

:41:57.:42:03.

and Irish conflict. Catholics, Protestants and so on. Very

:42:03.:42:06.

difficult for him and during this sort of time of diplomacy,

:42:06.:42:09.

smoothing the aftermaths of rebellion, he got a reputation of a

:42:09.:42:14.

man with the wisdom of Solomon. That's what this cartoon shows -

:42:14.:42:17.

him presiding over tricky judgments and getting it right, helping to

:42:17.:42:27.
:42:27.:42:34.

Lord Dufferin never stopped sending In 1879, he was made ambassador to

:42:34.:42:44.
:42:44.:42:50.

Then he moved on to Turkey. He was hailed as one of the greatest

:42:50.:42:52.

diplomats of his generation and became an increasingly important

:42:52.:42:56.

figure in Queen Victoria's Empire - and her affections. We have here

:42:56.:42:59.

something utterly wonderful. Letters from Queen Victoria to Lord

:42:59.:43:04.

Dufferin. Here we see a volume of them from Balmoral Castle, 1884,

:43:04.:43:14.
:43:14.:43:19.

from the Queen to Lord Dufferin. Incredible. 1884, but still with

:43:19.:43:22.

his black mourning in remembrance of Albert, who'd been dead over 20

:43:22.:43:25.

years, and her writing is appalling. Worse than mine. But there are

:43:25.:43:29.

transcripts I've got to my left here. So that letter. "The Queen

:43:29.:43:39.
:43:39.:43:45.

must now thank Lord Dufferin for his extremely kind letters. It does

:43:45.:43:48.

her good when a lonely, sad life deprived more and more of friends

:43:48.:43:53.

and helps, and when she sees that people feel for her and are sorry

:43:53.:43:56.

for her". So that's what the Queen says to Dufferin, who's obviously

:43:56.:43:59.

very important in her life. And she was important in his. Lord

:43:59.:44:03.

Dufferin's closeness to the Queen was to help him climb to the very

:44:03.:44:10.

Finally, in 1884, Lord Dufferin got the job he had long wanted. At the

:44:10.:44:15.

age of 58, he was made Viceroy of India. The Viceroy was a

:44:15.:44:18.

representative of the Queen Empress in what was Britain's most valuable

:44:18.:44:28.

India was Britain's biggest market for manufactured goods and the

:44:28.:44:38.
:44:38.:44:42.

source of valuable raw materials, By the end of the 19th century,

:44:42.:44:45.

Britain was economically dependant on the Raj, making Lord Dufferin's

:44:45.:44:54.

position there as Viceroy crucial. And with this huge responsibility

:44:55.:44:58.

came lots of curios, to ship back to Clandeboye, including a tiger

:44:58.:45:07.

skin and possibly the blade that skinned it. These Indian weapons

:45:07.:45:11.

Lord Dufferin collected posess a sinister beauty. Look at this sword

:45:11.:45:14.

with a serrated edge like a saw. Imagine the frightful wound that

:45:14.:45:21.

would inflict. Some of these are perfect killing machines, very

:45:21.:45:31.
:45:31.:45:32.

skilful in the manufacture. And they used it as a war quoit. A

:45:32.:45:37.

chakra wheel I believe used by Sikhs. They would keep this thing

:45:38.:45:41.

in their turban. The edge would be razor sharp and in battle, with

:45:41.:45:44.

great skill, they would throw it like a frisbee through the air,

:45:45.:45:48.

cutting at enemies' throats. I'll put it over here on this rather

:45:48.:45:51.

welcoming sort of Indian dragon. Looks very good there. Ah, this is

:45:51.:45:55.

famous. Tiger claw. Look at this thing, absolutely ghastly. Goes

:45:55.:46:02.

over your fingers like that. It would inflict a wound like a tiger

:46:02.:46:12.
:46:12.:46:13.

claw and these would be very, very sharp. Used to restrain greased

:46:13.:46:16.

robbers or used by assassins, thuggees, to come up behind your

:46:16.:46:19.

enemy, again round the throat and just cut like that, quick and

:46:19.:46:28.

ghastly death. This is a katar, a very famous Indian dagger, one

:46:28.:46:32.

holds like that with one's tiger claws as a reserve, I suppose. Use

:46:32.:46:36.

it, of course, to kill an enemy or, indeed, sometimes to defend oneself

:46:36.:46:39.

from a tiger, if attacked. In combat with another man I think you

:46:39.:46:43.

hold it in your left hand, sword up here and when your enemy is

:46:43.:46:46.

distracted by your swordplay, you come underneath and their liver,

:46:46.:46:50.

the killing blow. A very, very, I say, good way to despatch an enemy.

:46:50.:46:54.

But looking at it, it's so typical of these weapons. A very efficient

:46:54.:47:04.

killing machine, yet possessing in Fortunately, Lord Dufferin brought

:47:04.:47:07.

back more than weapons of destruction. He returned also with

:47:07.:47:10.

an unequalled and compelling snapshot of life in the heyday of

:47:10.:47:17.

the British Empire. Clandeboye is home to an extraordinary collection

:47:17.:47:22.

of photographs, some of the best I've ever seen from this time. Well,

:47:22.:47:27.

Lord Dufferin's photographic albums is an amazing collection, isn't it?

:47:27.:47:35.

I mean, it offers a sensational insight into empire. These are all

:47:35.:47:38.

of India here in the 1880s. I mean, they are little known. Utterly

:47:38.:47:43.

wonderful. In fact, it is one of the best collections of a private

:47:43.:47:47.

individual photographs of the empire. This is just, I mean to me,

:47:47.:47:49.

absolutely mind-blowing. Look, Bombay, Bombay. Mumbai, look,

:47:49.:47:52.

unbelievable, there it was in 1880s. A wonderful little village on the

:47:52.:47:55.

edge of the sea. Incredible. This is an album dedicated entirely to

:47:55.:48:00.

the killing of tigers. Here we see Lord Dufferin sitting with his two

:48:00.:48:04.

tigers he's clearly shot with his rather large calibre rifle. And I

:48:04.:48:08.

suppose it could be this very tiger that's out there in the hall.

:48:09.:48:11.

think you're absolutely right, because the trophies are normally

:48:11.:48:17.

carried by the people who have shot These photographs provide intimate

:48:17.:48:25.

insight into life in the Raj, from Particularly fascinating are the

:48:25.:48:34.

photographs taken during the These offer vignettes of a truly

:48:34.:48:39.

forgotten world. The conflict with Burma and the British Raj dated

:48:39.:48:47.

back to the 1820s, didn't it? '25 we had the first of the Anglo-

:48:47.:48:50.

Burmese wars and it was absolutely central, because at that point in

:48:50.:48:53.

time, they were discovering tea. They were discovering the shortest

:48:53.:48:57.

route to China. So the British really wanted to get trade routes.

:48:57.:49:00.

Trade routes into China without having to go around the Bay of

:49:00.:49:08.

Bengal. Look at these! These portraits are fascinating Burmese

:49:08.:49:11.

women are known for being extremely shrewd in terms of commerce and

:49:11.:49:14.

they control all business. Besides that, you also see that this woman,

:49:14.:49:18.

this portrait, she has a cheroot. gigantic cigar. A gigantic cigar.

:49:18.:49:22.

It's as big as her. Yeah, and which was basically a symbol of her power.

:49:22.:49:28.

Ok, status. Status and power. indeed, being a Buddhist culture,

:49:28.:49:30.

women have more respect, don't they? They had, women, the

:49:30.:49:33.

matriarchal societies, they had more control over resources and

:49:33.:49:36.

family. But I think the most poignant photograph in this

:49:36.:49:40.

tremendous collection is this one. It shows King Thibaw, the King of

:49:40.:49:44.

Burma, and his wife just before their world ended, before the land

:49:44.:49:51.

was annexed by the British Indian Empire. It's wonderful also, the

:49:51.:49:54.

setting here, because it's a vignette, though on their state bed,

:49:54.:49:58.

rather like the beds that are here. I wonder if this could possibly be

:49:58.:50:08.
:50:08.:50:27.

And heartbreaking, those images. A lost world, worlds that were

:50:27.:50:30.

vibrant and independent and less than 200 years ago, world has gone

:50:30.:50:33.

but, as you say, preserved here in these incredible photographic

:50:33.:50:39.

For four years, Lord Dufferin was in charge of the most important

:50:39.:50:49.
:50:49.:50:52.

But more than that, India was to deliver his life's ambition - a

:50:52.:51:01.

great house. The house he dreamt of It was built not at Clandeboye, but

:51:01.:51:04.

in the foothills of the Himalayas, at Shimla, which was a summer

:51:04.:51:14.
:51:14.:51:15.

In 1886, under Lord Dufferin's supervision, a grand new building

:51:15.:51:23.

was started and here it is. Plans and elevations. Wonderful. It was

:51:23.:51:29.

constructed high up in Shimla, or Simla as it was then called. Golly,

:51:30.:51:35.

it's a wonderful thing. It's a mix of Tudor, Jacobean architecture,

:51:35.:51:38.

very exotic touches of India, little pavilions and verandas.

:51:38.:51:46.

Wonderful. How satisfying it must have been for him, at last, a great

:51:46.:51:55.

building essentially designed by The viceregal lodge was something

:51:55.:52:04.

All of Lord Dufferin's old schemes rolled into one. Here was the tower

:52:04.:52:14.
:52:14.:52:24.

he'd always hankered for. With a Inside was palatial and

:52:24.:52:27.

extravagantly finished in teak and walnut, with a two tier gallery and

:52:27.:52:36.

a grand staircase. The viceroy loved it. Less keen, however, was

:52:36.:52:46.
:52:46.:52:47.

the British Secretary of State. It cost a massive �8.5 million to

:52:47.:52:50.

build in today's money. And the Dufferins only enjoyed its

:52:50.:52:53.

splendour for four months before their post was up. It must have

:52:53.:52:56.

been fun while it lasted. But when the Dufferins returned to

:52:56.:53:03.

Clandeboye, it was back to reality with a bump. Lord Dufferin had

:53:03.:53:06.

commissioned yet more drawings, this time for a 130 foot long

:53:06.:53:10.

gallery in which he could display his new collection of curios. But

:53:10.:53:13.

it was the same old story. He couldn't afford it, so had to

:53:13.:53:21.

settle for a couple of new windows Then, he made a last ditch attempt

:53:21.:53:29.

In 1897, he became Chairman of the London Globe Finance Corporation,

:53:29.:53:33.

in which he invested heavily. Unfortunately, that company soon

:53:33.:53:38.

failed. Lord Dufferin lost his money and, as Chairman, he felt

:53:38.:53:42.

obliged to use his own fund to compensate other investors. He was,

:53:42.:53:49.

of course, left financially bruised But there was worse. At about the

:53:49.:53:56.

same time, his eldest son was Lord Dufferin seemed to have lost

:53:56.:53:59.

the will to live. He became ill and here, at Clandeboye, in 1902, he

:53:59.:54:09.
:54:09.:54:13.

Just before his death, Lord Dufferin revisited his plans for

:54:13.:54:17.

Clandeboye one last time, but only to have them bound and placed in

:54:17.:54:24.

the library. Along with them, he wrote, "Unless some future owner of

:54:24.:54:28.

Clandeboye turns into a millionaire, I do not imagine it will be wise to

:54:28.:54:35.

Today, Clandeboye's pretty much how Lord Dufferin left it and the

:54:36.:54:45.
:54:46.:54:53.

viceroy spirit still lives on with I think it is an incredible

:54:53.:54:56.

privilege to live in this house, because in a sense, because of the

:54:56.:55:00.

Viceroy and because of all that has actually remained of him here and

:55:00.:55:05.

the spirit of him, somehow or other you are sort of a friend of his, in

:55:05.:55:14.

a funny way. It's almost as though you're just sort of part of it. I

:55:14.:55:18.

mean, I feel you have a, that's my responsibility, to try and follow

:55:18.:55:21.

on, you know, this extraordinary thing he did, you know? Yeah.

:55:21.:55:24.

Clandeboye is one of only a handful of privately run estates still

:55:24.:55:28.

surviving in Northern Ireland. Lady Dufferin tries to strike a balance

:55:28.:55:32.

between the demands of the modern age and respect for the past, while

:55:32.:55:36.

putting her own stamp on the house. Now, here we go on the processional

:55:36.:55:39.

route, and here, this room, of course, used to be the museum

:55:39.:55:42.

created by the Viceroy. I'm a little bit ashamed about this room,

:55:43.:55:49.

Dan. Shame? Shame? Well, the point was it was this great museum and

:55:49.:55:56.

now it's Cairo. Cairo! In we go. But that... Ah! Well... Oh, I see.

:55:56.:56:05.

Well, it's not a shame... It is fantastic. It's incredibly

:56:05.:56:13.

surprising. Fantastic, is this. So this is, but of course the

:56:13.:56:16.

fantastic thing really, you've been inspired by the Viceroy because the

:56:16.:56:19.

processional route, I'm saying... Oh, you're making me feel better.

:56:19.:56:22.

Remembered by Egyptian tombs with Amun at the top, you... You're

:56:22.:56:26.

making me feel much, much better. And how do you use it? Robert John,

:56:26.:56:30.

the old butler, my old butler, he dresses up in Arab clothes and then

:56:30.:56:34.

we have a hookah. Then he comes down and we lay out coffee and we

:56:34.:56:38.

have a little smoke after dinner. But it's fantastic, is this.

:56:38.:56:42.

still trying to take it all in. you make me feel so much better,

:56:42.:56:45.

Dan. No, I don't... I don't feel I've done something awful now.

:56:45.:56:49.

No, I think the Viceroy's entered your brain and inspired. In a way,

:56:49.:56:53.

you know, this is so much what he would have done, but it's new,

:56:53.:56:57.

isn't it? This is a view of this moment but continuing a life, the

:56:57.:57:01.

tradition of the house created by him. Oh, Dan. But it's, you know...

:57:01.:57:05.

Well, one day I'm going to put a banquette all the way around, like

:57:05.:57:08.

in a proper, you know, Egyptian room. I think it needs that, don't

:57:08.:57:12.

you? It's not the only change she's made since I was last here.

:57:12.:57:16.

point is, I think you remember it, you know, and... Well, we used to

:57:16.:57:20.

have tea there in the big round window. Yes. There used to be, a

:57:20.:57:24.

chandelier was hanging here in your day and I've now moved it into the

:57:24.:57:28.

dining room. We're now in the back passages. Do you remember, it runs

:57:28.:57:32.

all the way round the bottom? Come on then. We're on a journey now.

:57:32.:57:36.

Where's this one go to? You're not going to open that, are you? No? Ok,

:57:36.:57:43.

I won't. It's so naughty. Do it. What can it be? If it's too

:57:43.:57:46.

shocking, we won't show anybody. Good heavens. I'm going to have to

:57:46.:57:49.

take it away, actually, because he's not grown up any longer. Well,

:57:50.:57:54.

go on. It's just, it is a French model I had in London. I suppose it

:57:54.:57:58.

is a bit shocking. Well, there you are, that would be perhaps you many

:57:58.:58:02.

years ago. Perhaps you were the model! Were you the model, Dan?

:58:02.:58:05.

that, you were not meant to say that. I wouldn't mind being that

:58:05.:58:09.

chap. I don't think, he's a French boy. No, you're all right, you're

:58:09.:58:19.
:58:19.:58:20.

It's not completely clear what will happen to Clandeboye in the future.

:58:20.:58:24.

Lindy has no children to pass it to, but she has plans to turn it into a

:58:25.:58:27.

centre of learning, offering insights into the British imperial

:58:27.:58:31.

There are few other houses in Britain like Clandeboye - a monument to a man whose life was like a Victorian fairy tale of adventure, and a monument to the golden age of the largest and most far flung empire the world has ever seen.

Clandeboye House and estate was, like the empire itself, an epic creation - but unlike the empire, it still endures, a vignette of a now almost forgotten age and surprisingly little altered since Lord Dufferin died in 1902.

The house is overflowing with relics from the empire and Dufferin's aristocratic adventures - stuffed baby bears, Egyptian monuments, tiger skins and weaponry from India, Canada and Burma to mention just a few, with extraordinary photographic albums that document the collecting of these unique 'souvenirs'. Clandeboye is a genuine treasure trove.


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