Thursday, 27 December 2018

Ballylin House

THE KINGS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN THE KING'S COUNTY, WITH 10,242 ACRES

This family, and that of Sir Gilbert King, 1st Baronet, of Charlestown, County Roscommon, is one and the same, descended from

THE RT REV EDWARD KING (1577-1639), born at Stukeley, Huntingdonshire, was elected Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, 1593, two years after its foundation, and consecrated Lord Bishop of Elphin, 1611.

Bishop King was buried at Elphin, where he built a castle and acquired landed property in the neighbourhood.

His lordship married twice, and left sons and daughters, among them JOHN KING, of Boyle, County Roscommon, whose daughter, Anne, wedded Dominick French, of Dungar, or French Park, County Roscommon, and

JAMES KING (1610-87), of Charlestown, County Roscommon, High Sheriff of County Roscommon, 1657, MP for County Roscommon, 1657, who espoused Judith, daughter of Gilbert Rawson, and had issue,
Edward;
GILBERT;
Elizabeth; Martha; Susanna.
Mr King was succeeded by his younger son,

GILBERT KING JP MP (1658-1721), of Charlestown, High Sheriff of County Leitrim, 1717, who married Mary, daughter of Dominick French, of French Park, and granddaughter of John King, of Boyle, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Gilbert;
Oliver (Rev).
Mr King was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN KING, of Charlestown, High Sheriff of County Sligo, 1711, County Leitrim, 1728, MP for Jamestown, 1721, who wedded firstly, in 1706, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Shaw, of Newford, County Galway, and had issue,
Gilbert;
Judith.
He married secondly, in 1721, Rebecca, daughter of John Digby, and grandson of Essex Digby, Lord Bishop of Dromore, who was son of Sir Robert Digby and Lettice, 1st Baroness Offaly, and had further issue,
JOHN;
Digby;
Jane.
Mr King died ca 1737, and was succeeded by his son,

JOHN KING, of Fermoyle, County Longford, the first of the family to live at Ballylin, who espoused firstly, in 1748, Alice, daughter of Ross Mahon, of Castlegar, County Galway; secondly, Frances Digby, and had issue,
John, of Ballylin, MP for Jamestown, b 1760;
Gilbert, m Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Henry, of Straffan, County Kildare;
Jane, m Abraham Creighton, 1st Baron Erne;
Rebecca.
Mr King's younger daughter,

REBECCA KING, espoused her cousin, GILBERT KING, Major, 5th Dragoon Guards, son of Gilbert King, by Sarah, daughter of John French, of French Park, County Roscommon, who fought at the Battle of Quebec, 1759, and by him left (with a daughter, Harriet) a son and heir,

THE REV HENRY KING (1799-1857), of Ballylin, Ferbane, King's County, who succeeded to Ballylin at the decease of his maternal uncle; married, in 1821, Harriett, youngest daughter of John Lloyd, of Gloster, King's County, for many years MP for that county, and sister of the Countess of Rosse, and had issue,
JOHN GILBERT, his heir;
Harriett, mother of HENRY LOUIS MAHON;
Jane;
Mary, m 5th Viscount Bangor; accidentally killed.
The Rev Henry King was succeeded by his son,

JOHN GILBERT KING JP DL (1822-1901), of Ballylin, High Sheriff of King's County, 1852, MP for King's County, 1865-8, who died unmarried and was succeeded by his nephew,

HENRY LOUIS MAHON JP DL (1860-1922), of Ballylin, High Sheriff of King's County, 1903, eldest son of Ross Mahon, of Ladywell, by Harriett his wife, daughter of the Rev Henry King, of Ballylin.

He assumed, by royal licence, the name and arms of KING in lieu of his patronymic, MAHON.

Mr King wedded, in 1904, Winifred Harriette, only surviving daughter of William Somerset Ward, of Dublin, and had issue,
GILBERT MAHON, b 1905;
Harriet Mary, b 1906;
Winifred Alice, b 1909.
He was succeeded by his son,

MAJOR GILBERT MAHON KING, born in 1905, whose last known address was at Mullingar, County Westmeath.


BALLYLIN HOUSE, Ferbane, County Offaly, was a two-storey, early 19th century villa designed by Richard Morrison.

It had a three-bay entrance front, with a side elevation with one bay on either side of a central curved bow.


An advertisement in Faulkner's Dublin Journal on April 2nd, 1757, offered part of Ballylin's demesne lands, then in the possession of Lucy Armstrong, and consisting of 160 acres, to be let, along with the dwelling house, stabling for 16 horses, a large orchard and a walled garden.

It was purchased by John King about 1761, and so began a long association with the King family, which lasted until 1936, when the demesne was sold and it became an intensive farming operation.

The house was abandoned "and eventually unroofed to avoid rates".

By 1947, the house was demolished and the stones were "dumped in amongst the foundations of the local power station".


Before this sad end, however, the house had been painted by Mary Ward, the gifted youngest child of the Rev Henry King who had inherited the property in 1821.

His wife was Harriette Lloyd, sister of Alice Lloyd, mother of the astronomer 3rd Earl of Rosse.

Young Mary Ward was also interested in science and "shared the experience of building the Leviathan, the great telescope at Birr, between 1842 and 45".

Mary Ward died abruptly in 1869, when she fell from Lord Rosse's steam engine and was crushed.

First published in July, 2014.

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