Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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), the last Prince of Ossory, on his submission to HENRY VIII, who was created Baron Upper Ossory in 1541.

His son and successor,

BARNABY, 2nd Baron (c1535-81), was companion and favourite to EDWARD VI, whose letters to him 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.

FLORENCE, 3rd Baron, brother of Sir Barnaby, had four sons, of whom

THADY, 4th Baron, was father of

BARNABY, 5th Baron, father of

BARNABY, 6th Baron, whose son,

BARNABY, 7th Baron, was outlawed in 1691; and in 1731 the title expired.

JOHN, of Castletown, Queen's County, second son of Florence, was the father of Florence, who was the father of John, who wedded Elizabeth, fourth daughter of Thomas, Viscount Thurles, and sister of James, 1st Duke of Ormonde, and had a daughter and two sons, viz.
Edward, died unmarried;
RICHARD, his successor;
Arabella.
His second son,

RICHARD FITZPATRICKwas created Baron Gowran in 1715.

He married, in 1718, Anne, second daughter and co-heir of Sir John Robinson, 2nd Baronet, of Farmingwood, Northamptonshire, leaving issue by her,
JOHN, his heir;
Richard, m to Anne Usher;
three daughters.
He was succeeded by his elder son,

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

He was succeeded by his elder son,

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

His natural son,

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

Mr Wilson was elevated to the peerage, 1869, by the title of BARON CASTLETOWN, of Upper Ossory, Queen's County;
succeeded his father in 1818 in his Irish estates of Grantson Manor and Lisduff in Queen's County, and also Grafton Underwood in Northamptonshire; Sheriff of Queen's County, 1836; MP for Queen's County 1837-41, 1847-52 and 1865-69; took the name and arms of FitzPatrick by Royal Warrant 1842; Privy Councillor [I] 1848; Lord Lieutenant of Queen's County 1855-83.
He wedded, in 1830, Augusta Mary, daughter of the Rev Archibald Edward Douglas, by whom he had issue,
BERNARD EDWARD BARNABY, his successor;
Gertrude; Augusta; Florence; Cecilia; Edith; Olivia.
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;
1st Life Guards, 1871-74; Sheriff of Queen's County 1876; MP for Portarlington, 1880-83; CMG, 1902; Chancellor of the Royal University of Ireland 1906-10; Knight of St Patrick, 1908; Privy Councillor [I] 1908.
His lordship died without issue 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, too.

The drawing-room was greatly enlarged.

Following the death of the 2nd Baron in 1937, Granston passed to his nephew, Lt-Col 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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