Cracroft's Peerage
The Complete Guide to the British Peerage & Baronetage

If you have found this page useful, why not make a donation to The Peerage Research Trust so that we can continue to maintain and develop Cracroft's Peerage?

| Search this site | Introduction | Contents | The Monarchy | The Peerage | The Baronetage | Untitled Families | Orders of Chivalry | Miscellaneous | Forums | Contact Us | Links |



Rathcavan, Baron (UK, 1953)


Creation: let. pat. 11 Feb 1953


Family name: O'Neill




Quarterly:  1st and 4th, per fess wavy the chief Argent and the base representing Waves of the Sea in chief a Dexter Hand couped at the wrist Gules in base a Salmon naiant proper (O'Neill); 2nd and 3rd, checky Or and Gules a Chief Vair (Chichester); a Mullet for difference


1st:  an Arm in Armour embowed the Hand grasping a Sword all proper;  2nd:  a Stork rising with a Snake in its beak all proper


On either side a Heron proper standing on a Billet fesswise wavy Argent charged with a Bar wavy Azure


Invitum Sequitur Honos (Honours follow us without seeking);  Lamh Dearg Eirin (The Red Hand of Ireland)



Robert William Hugh [O'Neill], 1st Baron Rathcavan, PC

3rd son of Edward [O'Neill], 2nd Baron O'Neill, by his wife Lady Louisa Katherine Emma Cochrane, 1st dau. of Thomas Barnes [Cochrane], 11th Earl of Dundonald


8 Jun 1883


11 Feb 1909 Sylvia Irene Sandeman (d. 19 Jul 1972), 2nd dau. of Walter Albert Sandeman, of Morden House, Guilden Morden, co. Cambridge, by his wife Constance Fenwick, 1st dau. of Henry Fenwick MP, of Southwick, co. Durham, by his wife Jane Sutwidge Cookson, 1st dau. of John Cookson, of Meldon Park, co. Northumberland


1. Hon Phelim Robert Hugh O'Neill, later 2nd Baron Rathcavan

2. Hon Sir Con Douglas Walter O'Neill GCMG, Ambassador to Finland 1961-63 and to the European Community 1963-65 (b. 3 Jun 1912; d. 1988), mar. (1) 22 Jun 1940 (div. 1954) Rosemary Margaret Pritchard, only dau. of Dr Harold Pritchard, (2) 30 Jun 1954 Baroness Carola Hertha Adolfine Emma Harriet Luise von Bieberstein (widow of Baron Wilhelm Pleikart Adolf Ludwig Arthur Marshall von Bieberstein; d. 19 Jul 1960), 1st dau. of Baron Max Reinhard August von Holzing-Berstett, and (3) 21 Oct 1961 Anne-Marie Lindberg (former wife of M Lindberg, of Helsinki, Finland), dau. of Bertil Ljungstrom, of Stockholm, Sweden, and had issue by his first wife

3. Maj Hon Nial Arthur Ramleh O'Neill, of Crowfield House, Crowfield, Ipswich, co. Suffolk (b. 5 Jul 1918; dsp. 20 Apr 1980), mar. 21 Jun 1966 Virginia Lois Legge (b. 5 May 1922; d. 6 Jul 2000), only dau. of Capt John Douglas Legge MC (by his wife Haroldine Peck, dau. of Harold S Peck, of Chicago, USA), 3rd son of Lt Col Hon Edward Henry Legge (by his wife Cordelia Twysden Molesworth, 3rd dau. of Walter Hele Molesworth), 2nd son by his second wife of William [Legge], 4th Earl of Dartmouth


28 Nov 1982


17 Jun 1929 Baronet of the United Kingdom, styled "of Cleggan"

11 Feb 1953 Baron Rathcavan, of The Braid in the County of Antrim

suc. by



Barrister, Inner Temple 1909; served in World War I 1915-18 as Lieut, Northern Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, and Maj, Royal Irish Rifles; Member of Parliament (Ulster Unionist) for Mid Antrim 1915-22, Co Antrim 1922-50 and North Antrim 1950-52; Privy Councillor I 1921, NI 1922 and GB 1937; 1st Speaker of the Northern Ireland Parliament 1921-29; Pro-Chancellor, Queen's University Belfast 1922; Chairman, Conservative Private Members Committee 1935-39; Parliamentary Under Secretary for India and Burma 1939-40; Lord Lieutenant of Co Antrim 1949-59


Phelim Robert Hugh [O'Neill], 2nd Baron Rathcavan, PC (NI)


2 Nov 1909

mar. (1)

12 Feb 1934 (div. 1944) Clare Desiree Blow (d. 3 Mar 1956), dau. of Detmar Jellings Blow, of 3 Carlos Place, London, and Hilles House, Stroud, co. Gloucester, by his wife Winifred Gertrude Tollemache, 2nd dau. of Hon Hamilton James Tollemache (by his wife Mabel Hanbury, 2nd dau. of Robert Culling Hanbury MP, of Bedwell Park, co. Hertford), 2nd son by his second wife of John [Halliday later Tollemache], 1st Baron Tollemache

children by first wife

1. Hon Hugh Detmar Torrens O'Neill, later 3rd Baron Rathcavan

1. Hon Mary Rose O'Neill (b. 26 Aug 1935), mar. 25 Apr 1960 David Stewart Wellesley Blacker JP DL, son of Lt Col Latham Valentine Stewart Blacker OBE, of Cold Hayes, Liss, co. Hampshire, by his wife Lady Doris Peel, only dau. of William Robert Wellesley [Peel], 1st Earl Peel, and has issue

mar. (2)

3 Jun 1953 Bridget Doreen Edwards-Moss (former wife of Capt Thomas Richard Edwards-Moss; d. 9 Sep 2009), 4th dau. of Maj Hon Richard Coke, of Weasenham Hall, co. Norfolk (by his first wife Hon Doreen O'Brien, 7th dau. by his second wife of Edward Donough [O'Brien], 14th Baron Inchiquin), 1st son by his second wife of Thomas William [Coke], 2nd Earl of Leicester

children by second wife

2. Hon Rosetta Anne O'Neill (b. 14 Sep 1954), mar. 16 Jul 1977 (div. 2002) Capt John Michael Anthony Paxman, son of Maj Walter John Paxman, of Kingston Hill, co. Surrey, and has issue

3. Kathleen O'Neill (b. 14 Jan 1957; dvp. 14 Apr 1957)

4. Hon Moira Louisa O'Neill (b. 14 Apr 1961)

5. Hon Grania Elizabeth O'Neill (b. 5 Dec 1963)


20 Dec 1994

suc. by

son by first wife


Member of Parliament (Ulster Unionist) for North Antrim 1952-59 and in Northern Ireland Parliament 1959-72; Privy Councillor (NI) 1969; Northern Ireland Minister of Education 1969 and of Agriculture 1969-71


Hugh Detmar Torrens [O'Neill], 3rd Baron Rathcavan


14 Jun 1939


28 Mar 1983 Sylvie Marie-Therese Chittenden (former wife of ..... Chittenden), dau. of Georges Wichard, of Provence, France

only child

1. Hon Francois Hugh Nial O'Neill (b. 26 Jun 1984)


Capt, Irish Guards; journalist with Financial Times, Irish Times and The Observer; Chairman, Northern Ireland Airports 1986-92 and a director of various companies


 Last updated 22 Oct 2009




3rd Baron Rathcavan, of The Braid in the County of Antrim

(United Kingdom, let. pat. 11 Feb 1953)

3rd Baronet, styled "of Cleggan"

(United Kingdom, let. pat. 17 Jun 1929)



Cleggan Lodge, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, BT43 7JW

Tel:  01266 862222   Fax:  01266 862000

14 Thurloe Place, London SW7 2RZ

Tel:  020 7564 5293



Copyright: Heraldic Media Limited. All rights reserved.