My choice for Thursday Doors this week belongs to a building that has something in common with a place in Nova Scotia. The Red House in Youghal was designed by Dutch architect, Claud Leuventhen. It was commissioned in 1703 by a wealthy merchant family, the Uniacke’s of Killeagh, County Cork. At present, the building is in use as a private dwelling. The bricks were imported during construction as the local red brick was not considered good enough. It’s rumoured that the Red House is haunted by a very friendly ghost, who is said to rearrange the clothing of visitors – hopefully not while they are wearing them.
One Member of the Uniacke family was Richard John Uniacke (November 22, 1753 – October 11, 1830) who was an abolitionist, lawyer, politician, member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly and Attorney General of Nova Scotia. He devoted 49 years of his life to public service and fought in the American Revolution, later seeking to emancipate Catholics and black slaves. His substantial estate is preserved as the Uniacke Estate Museum Park at Mount Uniacke in Nova Scotia.
There is also a Mount Uniacke in County Cork, Ireland, created by Richard’s grandfather, Captain James Uniacke. At the age of sixteen Richard was influenced by a Catholic priest, which didn’t sit well with his Protestant family, and his father had him sent to Dublin to study law. There he became involved with the movement for greater Irish political autonomy and joined the Irish nationalists. Subsequently, his father cut off his allowance. Penniless, Richard refused to return home and abandoned his studies, deciding to seek his fortune in Nova Scotia
Uniacke joined the American rebels in 1776 and soon found himself a prisoner in Halifax. As a rebel he faced being charged with treason and if found guilty would be hung. He escaped the gallows and was released, possibly due to his family connections and the fact that several military officers in Halifax had been stationed with some of his brothers.
After the American Revolution, Uniacke was a member of the House of Assembly and remained so for over twenty years (1783, 1785-1793; 1997-1805). In 1808 he was appointed to the Nova Scotia Council.
To see what other doors are featured from around the globe, have a look at Norm’s blog.