SIR ROGER LE POER, knight, came over to Ireland with Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, and accompanied him in his expedition to regain the kingdom of Leinster for Dermot MacMurrough, and also assisted John de Courcy in the reduction of Ulster.
For his services, Sir Roger obtained considerable territorial grants in Ireland.
Sir Roger wedded the niece of Sir Armoricus Tristram, otherwise St Lawrence, the ancestor of the Earls of Howth; and being murdered in 1189, he left issue by her,
John;His youngest son,
SIR EUSTACE LE POER, who sat in a parliament held in 1295, died in 1311, leaving issue,
LORD ARNOLD LE POER.
In 1309, this Lord Arnold slew Sir John de Bonneville in single combat, and was acquitted of that act in a parliament held at Kildare in 1310, it being proved to be done in his own defence. He was one of EDWARD I's commanders in the army which opposed Edward Bruce in 1315.
In 1325, EDWARD II appointed this Lord Arnold seneschal of the county and city of Kilkenny. In 1327, Lord Arnold was the cause of a great war between the noblemen of Ireland, by calling the Earl of Desmond.
In 1328, Lord Arnold was arrested and accused of heresy by the Rt Rev Richard Ledred, Bishop of Ossory, and confined in Dublin Castle, where he died before he could be tried.He left issue,
MATTHEW LE POER, living during the reign of EDWARD III, in 1349; and by Avicia his wife had issue,
JOHN LE POER, who left issue, by Joan his wife,
RICHARD LE POER, who died in 1371, leaving issue,
NICHOLAS LE POER, his son and heir, who was summoned to parliament, in 1375, as BARON LE POER in the reign of EDWARD III.
He lived to a very advanced age, and died leaving issue, his son,
SIR RICHARD POWER, knight, of Curraghmore, County Waterford,
sheriff of the county in 1535, whose ancestors had been summoned to attend Parlimant as Feudal Barons, was created by patent, in 1535, in the reign of HENRY VIII, BARON POER or POWER, of Curraghmore.Lord Power married Lady Katherine Butler, daughter of Piers, 8th Earl of Ormonde, by whom he had issue,
PIERS, his successor;Lord Power died in 1551, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
JOHN, 3rd Baron.
SIR PIERS, 2nd Baron, born in 1522,
a minor at his father's death, and granted in ward to James, 9th Earl of Ormonde, in 1540. He took part in the siege of Boulogne, and died of his wounds at Calais, unmarried, in 1545.
SIR JOHN, 3rd Baron, who was then a minor.
He married Lady Elinor FitzGerald, daughter of James, 15th Earl of Desmond, and had, with three younger sons,
RICHARD, his successor, 4th Baron;Lord Power died in 1592, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
RICHARD, 4th Lord Power, born in 1550, who espoused the Hon Katherine Barry, daughter of James, Viscount Buttevant, and had issue,
JOHN, killed by "The White Knight";Lord Power died in 1607, and was succeeded by his grandson,
JOHN, 5th Baron (c1599-1661), who had livery of his grandfather's lands in 1639.
He wedded Ruth, daughter of Robert Phypoe, of St Mary's Abbey, Dublin, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor, 6th Baron;Lord Power was excused from transplantation at the hands of OLIVER CROMWELL, as he was bereft of reason, and had been so for twenty years, in 1654.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
RICHARD, 6th Baron (1630-90), who was created, in 1673, Viscount Decies and EARL OF TYRONE.
He married, in 1654, Lady Dorothy Annesley, daughter of Arthur, 1st Earl of Anglesey, by whom (who was buried in Waterford Cathedral) he had issue,
Arthur;Lord Power, 1st Earl of Tyrone, was imprisoned in the Tower of London, as a Jacobite, where he died in 1690, and was buried at Farnborough, Hampshire, when he was succeeded by his eldest son,
JOHN, his successor, 7th Baron & 2nd Earl;
JAMES, 8th Baron & 3rd Earl.
JOHN (c1665-93), 7th Baron and 2nd Earl, who died unmarried in Dublin, in 1693, and who was buried at Carrick-on-Suir, when he was succeeded by his brother,
JAMES, 8th Baron and 3rd Earl (1667-1704), who wedded Anne, daughter of Andrew Rickards, of Dangan Spidoge, County Kilkenny, by whom he had an only daughter,
LADY KATHERINE POWER, who espoused, in 1717, Sir Marcus Beresford Bt, of Coleraine, and brought her husband the Curraghmore estates.
She died in 1769.
Sir Marcus (1694-1763) was created, in 1746, EARL OF TYRONE, and was ancestor of the Marquess of Waterford.
Lord Power, 3rd Earl of Tyrone, died without male issue in 1704, when his earldom and viscountcy became extinct; but his barony of POWER, of Curraghmore, reverted to his heir male,
JOHN, 9th Baron Power,
de jure, who, being a colonel in the army of King JAMES II, and attainted and outlawed on account of the rebellion in 1688, could not take his seat, but he was allowed a pension of £300 per annum by the Crown.
HENRY, 10th Baron, but for the attainters of his father and grandfather.
He took out administration to his father in 1725, and petitioned the Duke of Bolton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, for the Curraghmore estate, as heir male, upon which petition the Lords Stanhope and Harrington made a favourable report to His Grace, but the petition never came to a hearing.
Administration was granted to his sisters in 1743.
Upon his death the whole male descendants of Richard, 4th Baron, became extinct, and the representation of the 1st Baron Power devolved on the heir male of Piers Power, of Rathgormuck, the brother of the 4th Baron,
JOHN POWER, of Gurteen, County Waterford, and of Grange, County Galway.
He served in France under his maternal uncle, Colonel John Power, 9th Baron Power, and on his return to Ireland he wedded, in 1703, Mary, daughter and co-heir of Richard Power, of Ballydrimney, County Galway, at the request of his kinsman, he being the next relation in blood of the male line.
Helen;Mr Power died at Grange in 1743, and was succeeded by his brother,
WILLIAM POWER (FitzEdmond), of Gurteen, who died without an heir at Gurteen in 1755, and was buried at Kilsheelan.
He was succeeded by his nephew,
EDMOND POWER, of Gurteen, who espoused, in 1739, his cousin Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of John Power (FitzEdmond), of Gurteen, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;Mr Power was succeeded by his son and heir,
WILLIAM POWER (1745-1813), of Gurteen, who married Mary, daughter of Captain Walter Delamar, in 1765.
JAMES, succeeded as 13th Baron La Poer in 1755, de jure. His great-grandson,
EDMOND, 16th Baron (1775-1830), of Gurteen; 8th Light Dragoons (later 8th Hussars); fought in the Flanders Campaign, under the Duke of York. His 2nd son,
JOHN WILLIAM, 17th Baron, JP, DL (1816-51); MP for County Waterford, 1837-40; MP for Dungarvan, 1837; High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1841. His eldest son,
EDMOND JAMES, 18th Baron, JP (1841-1915); MP for Waterford, 1866-73.
The 18th Baron was created 1st Count de la Poer [Papal States] in 1864.
The Count was High Sheriff of County Waterford in 1879; Private Chamberlain to HH Pope Pius IX; HM Lord-Lieutenant for the County and city of Waterford, 1909.
His second son,
JOHN WILLIAM RIVALLON, JP, 19th Baron and 2nd Count (1882-1939); 4th Battalion, Leinster Regiment; High Sheriff of County Waterford, 1913.
In 1922, he claimed the barony of Le Poer and Coroghmore, and Committee of Privileges of House of Lords decided that but for the attainder of John Power in 1691, the claim had been established.
Mr de la Poer was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Waterford, from 1915 until 1922.
His eldest son,
EDMOND ROBERT ARNOLD, TD, 20th Baron and 3rd Count; was commissioned, in 1936, in the London Irish Rifles; fought in the Second World War.
He succeeded to the title of 20th Baron le Power and Coroghmore in 1939; Captain, the Royal Ulster Rifles; awarded the Territorial Decoration; was an engineer. He lived in 1976 at Gurteen.
In 1998, the world-renowned artist, painter and photographer Gottfried Helnwein purchased Gurteen House, where he lives with his family.
GURTEEN LE POER, near Kilsheelan, County Waterford, is a large Tudor-Baronial house of great importance, which retains its original form and massing together with important salient features and materials, both to the exterior and to the interior.
Built in 1866 to designs prepared by Samuel Roberts for Edmond, 1st Count de la Poer, the architectural quality of the house is enhanced by the complex arrangement of gables, towers and turrets, all of which enliven the skyline.
The construction in limestone ashlar attests to high quality stone work, which is particularly evident in the fine detailing throughout.
A group of gateways to the grounds enhances the artistic design quality of the site, while a garden turret contributes to ornamental quality of the battlemented enclosure, itself augmenting the medieval tone of the grounds.
The house is of additional importance in the locality on account of its associations with the de la Poer family.
The main block is massive, with a lower service wing to one side.
The garden front has the same grouping of gables and three-sided bows, with a great tower in the entrance front.
The interior of Gurteen is commodious and agreeable, the centre boasting a galleried top-lit great hall, divided by a screen of Gothic arches.
Perhaps one of the most notable rooms in the house is the dining-room, said to contain one of the most perfect Victorian-Baronial interiors in Ireland.
The chimney-piece, of carved oak, is most exquisite with its heraldic angels holdings shields of the family arms, and its head of St Hubert's Stag - the family crest - complete with antlers and crucifix, mounted atop the mantel-shelf like a trophy.
First published in November, 2012. Colour photos by kind permission of Gottfried Helnwein.