Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Granston Manor

THE EARLS OF UPPER OSSORY WERE THE SECOND LARGEST LANDOWNERS IN QUEEN'S COUNTY, WITH 22,510 ACRES

This most ancient and noble family was descended from Heremon, the first monarch of the Milesian race in Ireland; and after they had assumed the surname of FITZPATRICK, they were for many ages Princes of Ossory, in the province of Leinster; from whom, in a direct male line, descended

BARNABY FITZPATRICK (c1485-1575), last Prince of Ossory, on his submission to HENRY VIII, who was created, 1541, Baron Upper Ossory.

He wedded, about 1530, Margaret Burke, eldest daughter of Piers, 8th Earl of Ormond, and had issue,
BARNABY, his successor;
FLORENCE, successor to his brother;
Grainne.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

BARNABY, 2nd Baron (c1535-81), companion and favourite to EDWARD VI, whose letters to that monarch are still preserved.

He served as a volunteer in France, under HENRY II, against the Emperor; and after his return he behaved with great bravery against Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, and was knighted in 1558.

His lordship espoused, in 1560, Joan, daughter of Rowland, 2nd Viscount Baltinglass, and had issue, an only child, MARGARET.

He died without male issue, when the title devolved upon his brother,

FLORENCE, 3rd Baron (d 1613), who married Catherine, daughter of Patrick O'More, of Abbeyleix, and had issue, six children, of whom
Geoffrey;THADY, successor to his brother;JOHN, father of 1st BARON GOWRAN;Joan.
The eldest surviving son,

THADY, 4th Baron, wedded Joan, daughter of Sir Edmund Butler, of Cloughgrenan, and had issue,
BARNABY, his successor;
Dermot;
Turlough;
John;
Margaret; Catherine; Onora; Joan.
His lordship died in 1627, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

BARNABY, 5th Baron, who wedded Margaret, eldest daughter of Walter, 11th Earl of Ormond, and had issue,
BARNABY, his successor;
Edward;
James.
His lordship died ca 1638, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

BARNABY, 6th Baron, who espoused Catherine, daughter of Sir Edward Everard, and had issue,
BARNABY, his successor;
John.
His lordship died ca 1666, and was succeeded by his elder son,

BARNABY, 7th Baron (d 1696), who married Margaret, daughter of Pierce, 1st Viscount Ikerrin, and had issue,
Barnaby, dsp;
Kieran, died in infancy;
John, died young;
Catherine; Mary.
His lordship, an adherent to JAMES II, was outlawed in 1690, and shortly thereafter his title was forfeited.

His kinsman,

COLONEL THE HON JOHN FITZPATRICK, of Castletown, Queen's County (son of Florence, 3rd Baron Upper Ossory), wedded Elizabeth, fourth daughter of Thomas, Viscount Thurles, and sister of James, 1st Duke of Ormonde, and had issue,
Edward, died unmarried;
RICHARD, his successor;
Arabella.
His second son,

RICHARD FITZPATRICK (c1662-1727), married, in 1718, Anne, second daughter and co-heir of Sir John Robinson, 2nd Baronet, of Farmingwood, Northamptonshire, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Richard, m to Anne Usher;
three daughters.
Mr Fitzpatrick was raised to the peerage, in 1715, as Baron Gowran, of Gowran, County Kilkenny.

His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

JOHN, 2nd Baron (1719-58), who wedded, in 1744, the Lady Evelyn Leveson-Gower, daughter of John, 1st Earl Gower, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
Richard;
Mary, m to 2nd Baron Holland;
Louisa, m to 2nd Earl of Shelburne.
His lordship was created, in 1751, EARL OF UPPER OSSORY.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 2nd Earl (1745-1818), who espoused, in 1769, Anne, only child and heir of Henry, 1st Baron Ravensworth, and had issue,
Anne, b 1770;
Gertrude.
His lordship died without male issue, when the titles expired.

His natural son, however,

JOHN WILSON (1811-83), succeeded to the family estates and, in 1842, assumed the surname of FITZPATRICK.

He wedded, in 1830, Augusta Mary, daughter of the Rev Archibald Edward Douglas, and had issue,
BERNARD EDWARD BARNABY, his successor;
Gertrude; Augusta; Florence; Cecilia; Edith; Olivia.
Mr Fitzpatrick, High Sheriff of Queen's County, 1836, MP for Queen's County, 1837-69, Privy Counsellor, 1848, Lord-Lieutenant of Queen's County, 1855-83, was elevated to the peerage, in 1869, by the title of BARON CASTLETOWN, of Upper Ossory, Queen's County.

His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

BERNARD EDWARD BARNABY, 2nd Baron (1849-1937), KP CMG PC, of Granston Manor, who married, in 1874, Emily Ursula Clare, only surviving daughter and heir of Hayes, 4th Viscount Doneraile, though the marriage was without issue.

His lordship, High Sheriff of Queen's County, 1876, MP for Portarlington, 1880-3, Privy Counsellor, 1908, Knight of St Patrick, 1908, died in 1937, when the barony expired.

The Castletown Papers are deposited at the National Library of Ireland.


GRANSTON MANOR, Abbeyleix, Queen's County, was a large rambling house, partly late-Georgian and partly later.

It had two storeys with an attic roof.

The entrance front comprised five bays with a Wyatt window above a balustraded portico.

The entrance front is is at the end of the house, which is considerably deeper that its width, with lower wings.

There is a long garden front with single-storey projections and balustrades.

The interior was renovated during the Edwardian era, mostly by the 2nd Lord Castletown.

The hall became part of an adjoining room, thus becoming a hall-cum-sitting room.

A new oak staircase was built.

The drawing-room was greatly enlarged.

Following the death of the 2nd Baron in 1937, Granston passed to his nephew, Lieutenant-Colonel G H J S Smyth, who assumed the surname of FitzPatrick.

Granston was sold to the Harper family in 1947, who re-sold about 1961.

It was acquired by Mr and Mrs H Duncan-Collie, but was almost totally gutted by fire in 1977.

First published in August, 2011.  Upper Ossory arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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