Monday, 28 August 2017

Bishopscourt House

THE EARLS OF CLONMELL WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY TIPPERARY, WITH 16,187 ACRES

THE BISHOPSCOURT ESTATE, COUNTY KILDARE, COMPRISED 1,906 ACRES

THOMAS SCOTT, a captain in the army of WILLIAM III, fell in the field, charging the enemy at the head of his troops.

This Thomas wedded Margaret, daughter and heir of Henry Ormsby, of Tubbervady, County Roscommon, and had issue, a son,

MICHAEL SCOTT, who married Miss Purcell, of the ancient family of Purcell, titular Barons of Loughmoe, and had issue, Thomas, of Mohubber, deceased; and

JOHN SCOTT (1739-98), who, being bred to the bar, arrived at the high legal offices of Solicitor-General, Attorney-General, and Prime Sergeant-at-Law of Ireland, 1774-83.

In 1784, he was appointed Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench; and in the same year was elevated to the peerage as Baron Earlsfort.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, 1789, as Viscount Clonmell; and further advanced, in 1793, to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF CLONMELL.

He married firstly, in 1768, Catharine Anna Maria, daughter of Thomas Mathew, of Thomastown Castle, County Tipperary, and sister of the 1st Earl of Landaff, by whom he had an only son, who died in infancy.

His lordship wedded secondly, in 1779, Margaret, only daughter and heir of Patrick Lawless, of Dublin (by Mary, sister of 1st Lord Cloncurry), and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Charlotte, m 3rd Earl Beauchamp.
He was succeeded by his only son,

THOMAS, 2nd Earl (1783-1838), who espoused, in 1805, Henrietta Greville, second daughter of George, 2nd Earl of Warwick, and had issue,
JOHN HENRY, his successor;
Charles Grantham;
Harriett; Louisa Augusta; Charlotte Rachael; Caroline Sophia;
Frances Mary; Sophia Louisa; Augusta Anne; Georgiana Gertrude.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN HENRY, 3rd Earl (1817-66), of Lisson Earl, County Tipperary, who married, in 1838, Anne, daughter of Ulysses, 2nd Baron Downes of Aghanville, and had issue,

JOHN HENRY REGINALD, 4th Earl (1839-91), of Birt House, Naas, County Kildare, who died a bachelor, when the family honours devolved upon his brother,

THOMAS CHARLES, 5th Earl (1840-96), who married, in 1875, Agnes Arabella, daughter of Robert Godfrey Day.

His lordship died without issue at Bishop's Court, County Kildare, from typhoid fever, and was succeeded by his first cousin,

BEAUCHAMP HENRY JOHN, 6th Earl (1847-98), eldest son of Colonel the Hon Charles Grantham Scott, second son of the 2nd Earl; on whose decease the titles passed to his son,

RUPERT CHARLES, 7th Earl (1877-1928), who died without male issue, when the titles reverted to his uncle,

DUDLEY ALEXANDER CHARLES, 8th Earl (1853-1935), whose marriage was without issue.

On his death, at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, the titles became extinct.


BISHOPSCOURT, Straffan, County Kildare, is a large classical house built ca 1780-90 for the Rt Hon John Ponsonby, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.

It has a four-bay entrance front with a pedimented portico of four huge Ionic columns.

The outer bays have pedimented gorund-floor windows and circular plaques instead of windows in the upper storey.


The side elevation has a recessed centre and three-bay projection at either side, joined by a veranda of slender columns with a iron balcony.

There is a curved bow on either side of the House; and an imperial staircase.

In 1838, Bishopscourt was sold by Frederick Ponsonby to John, 3rd Earl of Clonmell.

In 1914, the house was sold on to Edward Kennedy from Baronrath, at the time the most famous breeder of racehorses in Ireland.
Kennedy’s stallion The Tetrarch, standing at Bishopscourt, is confirmed as the most successful sire in the world in 1919.
In 1938, Bishopscourt passed to Edward’s daughter Patricia (Tiggie) Kennedy and her husband, Dermot McGillycuddy, heir to Senator McGillycuddy of the Reeks, an ancient clan chiefdom from County Kerry.
Edward Kennedy's son, Major D M (John) Kennedy, won a Military Cross at Anzio whilst serving with 1st Battalion Irish Guards and was later killed at Terporten Castle in Germany in February 1945.
Bishopscourt House is now home to the Farrell family.
The 3rd Earl held land in the parish of Doon, barony of Coonagh, County Limerick, in the mid 19th century.

His county Tipperary estate was located in the parishes of Newcastle, barony of Iffa and Offa West, Carrick, Kilmurry, Kilsheelan, barony of Iffa and Offa East, Ballingarry, Cloneen, Crohane, Fennor, Kilcooly and Lismalin, barony of Slievardagh, Knockgraffon, barony of Middlethird, Glenkeen, barony of Kilnamanagh Upper, Inch, barony of Eliogarty.
Former seat ~ Eathorpe Hall, Warwickshire.
Former town residence ~ 41 Upper Brook Street, London.

First published in June, 2013.   Clonmell arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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