Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Tintern Abbey

THE COLCLOUGH FAMILY WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WEXFORD, WITH 13,329 ACRES


The ancient descent of COLCLOUGH (pronounced Coke-lee) is very fully set forth in the Visitation of Staffordshire, 1583; Visitation, County Wexford, 1618; Visitation, City of London, 1634; and the registries in Ulster King-of-arms' office, Dublin Castle.

The Visitation of Staffordshire commences with

RICHARD COLCLOUGH, of Blurton, Staffordshire, 1367, who had issue,
HUGH;
William;
Richard.
The eldest son, 

HUGH COLCLOUGH, granted Blurton and Cockenidge to his son during the reign of EDWARD III; namely, 

RICHARD COLCLOUGH, living in the reign of HENRY V, who married Elizabeth, daughter of John Delves.

JOHN COLCLOUGH, whose relationship to the above is not given, had a son and heir, 

THOMAS COLCLOUGH, living during the time of HENRY VI,  who had a son,


RICHARD COLCLOUGH, Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme, in the reign of EDWARD IV, who wedded Blanche, daughter of William Davenport, of Davenport, Cheshire, and had a son,

JOHN COLCLOUGH, of Blurton, Staffordshire, who espoused Agnes, daughter and heir of Mr Lockwood, and left two sons, namely,
RICHARD, his heir;
Thomas, who had Delfe House, alias High Haugh, gifted by his father.
The elder son,

RICHARD COLCLOUGH, of Wolstanton, Staffordshire, wedded Eleanor, daughter of Sir John Draycot, knight, of Painsley Hall, by whom he had
ANTHONY, of whom presently;
John;
Matthew;
Richard.
ANTHONY COLCLOUGH, of Blurton, Staffordshire, in 1566, was captain of the band of pensioners to ELIZABETH I, and was granted the abbey and lands of Tintern, County Wexford.

This gentleman first arrived in Ireland in 1542, and was knighted by the Lord Justice of that kingdom in 1500.

Sir Anthony died in 1584, and is interred under a handsome monument in Tintern Abbey.

His wife was Clare, daughter of Thomas Agard, who amassed a great fortune as one of the receivers of the Irish revenue.

By her, Sir Anthony had a number of children, of whom the eldest surviving son, 

SIR THOMAS COLCLOUGH (1564-1624), Knight, of Tintern Abbey, succeeded his father and had livery of his estate.

Sir Thomas married Martha, fourth daughter of the Most Rev Adam Loftus, Lord Archbishop of Dublin; and by her, who died in 1609, and was buried in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, he had issue,
ADAM, son and heir
Thomas;
John;
Richard;
Leonard;
Anne; Jane; Martha; Mary; Eleanor.
Sir Thomas espoused secondly, Eleanor, second daughter of Dudley Begenal, of Dunleckney, County Carlow, second son of Sir Nicholas Bagenal, Knight, of Newry, marshal of ELIZABETH I's armies in Ireland.

The eldest son, 

SIR ADAM COLCLOUGH (c1590-1637), of Tintern Abbey, High Sheriff of County Wexford, 1630,  was created a baronet in 1628.

He married Alice, daughter of Sir Robert Rich, Knight, a Master in Chancery in England, and by her had issue,
CÆSAR, his heir;
Anthony.
Sir Adam was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR CÆSAR COLCLOUGH, 2nd Baronet (1624-84), of Tintern Abbey, who wedded Frances, daughter of Sir William Clarke, and had issue,
CÆSAR;
Margaret.
He was succeeded by his only son,

SIR CÆSAR  COLCLOUGH, 3rd Baronet (c1650-87), Deputy Lieutenant-Governor of County Kilkenny in 1689, who dsp, when the title expired, and the estates devolved on his only sister,

MARGARET COLCLOUGH, who duly became heiress to her brother of his great estates.

She married firstly, in 1673, Robert Leigh, of Rosegarland, who thereupon assumed the surname of COLCLOUGH; and secondly, in 1696, John Pigott, of Kilfinney, who also assumed the surname of COLCLOUGH and died in 1717.

She dsp 1723, when she was succeeded at Tintern by her kinsman and heir male,

CÆSAR COLCLOUGH (1696-1766), of Tintern Abbey, eldest son of Dudley Colclough, of Duffrey Hall, Colonel, Wexford Militia, MP for Wexford, 1727, who wedded firstly, in 1717, Frances Muschamp, daughter of Sir Thomas Vesey Bt, of Knapton, Lord Bishop of Ossory, by whom he had an only daughter, Margaret, who died young.

He married secondly, in 1721, Henrietta, daughter of Agmondisham Vesey, of Lucan, County Dublin, and had issue,
Cæsar, b 1722; dspvp;
Vesey, father of VESEY;
Dudley, dspvp;
Agmondisham Vesey;
Adam, of Duffrey Hall; father of MARY GREY WENTWORTH;
Thomas (Rev);
Richard;
Frances; Anne; Harriett; Mary; Margaret; Lora.
Colonel Colclough was succeeded by his grandson,

VESEY COLCLOUGH (1745-94), of Tintern Abbey, MP for County Wexford, High Sheriff, 1767, who espoused, in 1765, Katherine, daughter of John Grogan, of Johnstown, County Wexford, and had issue,
Cæsar, his heir;
John, MP for Co Wexford;
Vesey.
Mr Colclough (who was known in County Wexford as "Sir Vesey"), was succeeded by his eldest son,

CÆSAR COLCLOUGH (1766-1842), MP for County Wexford, who married, in 1818, Jane Stratford, daughter of John Kirwan, Barrister, and had no issue.

He died in 1842, when Tintern Abbey and the estates descended to (and after some litigation on the part of his widow), and were settled on his second cousin and heiress-at-law,

MARY GREY WENTWORTH ROSSBOROUGH-COLCLOUGH (1811-84), of Tintern Abbey, only surviving daughter and heiress of Cæsar Colclough, of Duffrey Hall.

She succeeded her father in 1822, and her kinsman, 1842.

Mary Colclough wedded, in 1848, JOHN THOMAS ROSSBOROUGH JP DL, of Mullinagood, County Longford, eldest son of John Rossborough, of Nicholson's Court and Clancaulfield House, County Longford, and grandson of Hugh Rossborough, of Mullingoan, County Fermanagh.

Mr Rossborough assumed, in 1853, the additional surname and arms of COLCLOUGH.

He died in 1869; and Mary, Mrs Rossborough-Colclough, died in 1884, leaving,
LOUISE MARIA SUSANNA COLCLOUGH;
Susanna Frances Julia;
Mary Grey Wentworth Fanning;
Belinda Powell Leech Trumble.
The eldest daughter,

LOUISE MARIA SUSANNA COLCLOUGH BIDDULPH-COLCLOUGH, of Tintern Abbey, succeeding her mother, 1884, married, in 1885, Franc Digby Biddulph, Captain, 3rd Middlesex Militia (who assumed the surname and arms of COLCLOUGH, 1886), youngest son of Francis Wellesley Marsh Biddulph, of Rathrobin.

She died in 1912, having by him had issue,
CÆSAR FRANC THOMAS BICKERSTAFF PLANTAGENET (1886-88);
Lucy Wilmot Maria Susanna Biddulph, born 1890.
The only daughter,

LUCY WILMOT MARIA SUSANNA BIDDULPH-COLCLOUGH (1890-1984), of Tintern House, presented Tintern Abbey to the Irish state in 1958 (excluding lands).


TINTERN ABBEY, situated on the west shore of Bannow Bay, County Wexford, was one of the most powerful Cistercian foundations in the south-east of Ireland until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536.

The first Cistercian foundation in Ireland, at Mellifont, County Louth, in 1142, was part of sweeping reforms which took place in the Irish Church in the 12th century.

The early Cistercians, who had their origins in the monastery of Citeaux in France, were dedicated to a simple life of prayer and manual labour.

By 1169, when the Anglo-Normans arrived in Ireland, there were already fifteen Cistercian houses in Ireland.


In 1200, William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, set sail for Ireland on his first visit as Lord of Leinster. Threatened with shipwreck, he vowed to found an abbey wherever he could safely land.

On reaching safety in Bannow Bay, he redeemed his vow bequeathing about 9000 acres of land for a Cistercian abbey.

Consequently, Tintern Abbey, sited on a gentle south-facing slope overlooking Tintern stream, is sometimes called Tintern de Voto, 'Tintern of the vow.'

Once established, the abbey was colonised by monks from the Cistercian abbey at Tintern in Monmouthshire, of which William Marshal was also patron.


Following its foundation, Tintern acquired large tracts of land in County Wexford and, at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, appears to have been the third richest Cistercian abbey in Ireland (after St Mary's in Dublin and Mellifont).

Shortly after, Tintern Abbey and its lands were granted to Anthony Colclough from Staffordshire, an officer in HENRY VIII's army.

The Colclough family extensively modified the abbey church, converting the crossing tower and later, the nave, chancel and Lady Chapel to domestic quarters.

In the 18th century, Sir Vesey Colclough built many of the fine battlemented walls seen around the abbey today.

In the 1790s, John Colclough converted the nave into a residence of neo-Gothic style.

He also established a flour mill, the ruins of which stand on the south bank of the stream close to the upper bridge.

At this period also, a thriving weaving industry had developed in Tintern village, located across the stream south-west of the abbey.

Following John's death, his brother Caesar inherited the estate and, shortly after 1814, built the village of Saltmills to replace the old village of Tintern which was then demolished.

The final member of the Colclough family to reside at Tintern was Miss Lucy Wilmot Maria Susanna Biddulph Colclough, who presented the Abbey to the Irish nation in 1958.

Conservation and consolidation works started at Tintern in the early 1980s and archaeological excavations between 1982-94 exposed many of the features of the original Cistercian abbey.

Constructed to the standard Cistercian plan, the abbey church was located to the north of an  enclosed cloister garth, which was surrounded on all sides by covered walks and a sequence of domestic buildings.

First published in August, 2012.

2 comments :

Newry Liam said...

Illustrious I think not, infamous maybe George Rawdon was a judge after the rebellion and hung numerous people including one of the McCartans of Kinelarty and confiscated his land along with that of the others he found guilty, a good incentive for hanging, guilty or not.Take a look at todays Irish times and the relationship between the McCartans and General de Gaulle, now there is an illustrious family

Tess said...

Thank you for those wonderful insights into my family history!! (A Colclough in Australia)