Montgomerys of Ballydrain, Dunmurry

by Gavin Bamford

Hugh Montgomery (1743-1832) of Glenarm and Benvarden, Co. Antrim was one of the original founders or partners of the private bank, ‘H Montgomery & Company’ that was formed in Belfast in 1809. Around 1815 it became known as Northern Bank. He retired as a partner in 1822. His son, another Hugh Montgomery (1794-1867) succeeded his father in the partnership.

Montgomery’s private bank was incorporated in 1824 as the first ‘joint stock bank’ in Ireland, becoming the ‘Northern Banking Company’. Hugh Montgomery became one of its directors.

Hugh’s son, James C Montgomery was appointed as an additional Director in 1860. His health did not allow him to take up his duties and he resigned in 1862. He died abroad, in 1870 aged 34.

Another son, Thomas Montgomery (1837-1909) had joined the bank early in life and was appointed to the board on the death of his father in 1867. He served as a Senior Director until 1905 and died at Ballydrain, Dunmurry in 1907.

The Montgomery family plot is one of the principal graves situated at the back of Drumbeg Parish Church.

Close by, nearer to Belfast on the Upper Malone Road is Ballydrain House and estate. ‘Ballydrain Estate, Dunmurry’ was purchased by Montgomery in 1834 for £13,500 (2024 £1.46m) with the present house being completed a few years later. The house and estate left the Montgomery family in 1920. In 1960, Malone Golf Club purchased the entire property and greatly extended the club house together with building the golf course.

Malone Golf Club (Ballydrain House) October 2023 – Northern bank Pensioners Luncheon

Malone Golf Club (Ballydrain House) October 2023 – Northern bank Pensioners Luncheon