Monday, 12 December 2016

Killruddery House

THE EARLS OF MEATH WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WICKLOW, WITH 14,717 ACRES


The ancestor of this family, which assumed its surname from Brabazon Castle, in Normandy,

JACQUES LE BRABANCON, called the Great Warrior, appears in the roll of Battle Abbey.

He was father of

JOHN LE BRABANCON, who resided at Betchworth, in Surrey, during the reign of HENRY I and HENRY II, and from him we pass to his descendant,

JOHN LE BRABAZON, who was a great commander in the martial times of EDWARD III, and a general under the BLACK PRINCE.

He resided at Moseley and Eastwell, in Leicestershire.

His grandson, 

JOHN BRABAZON, of Eastwell, fell at Bosworth Field, 1485, leaving by his wife, Matilda, daughter and heir of Nicholas Jervis, of Hardby, in Leicestershire, five sons; of whom the third son,

JOHN BRABAZON, carried on the line of the family, and wedded a lady named Chaworth, and was succeeded by his only son,

SIR WILLIAM BRABAZON, Knight, who was appointed, in 1534, vice-treasurer and general-receiver of Ireland, and remained in office until his death, at Carrickfergus, County Antrim, 1552.

Sir William was placed thrice at the head of the Irish government, as Lord Justice, in 1543 (when upon alteration of the King's style, from Lord to King of Ireland, new seals were transmitted to him for the use of the Chancery etc) in 1546, and 1550.

He espoused Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Nicholas Clifford, of Bobbing and Holm, in Kent, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
Anthony;
Anne; Elizabeth.
Sir William was succeeded by his elder son, 

THE RT HON SIR EDWARD BRABAZON (c1548-1625), MP for County Wicklow, 1585, and High Sheriff of Staffordshire, 1606.

Sir Edward was elevated to the peerage, in 1616, as Baron Ardee.

His lordship wedded Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Smith, Knight, of Mitcham, Surrey, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Wallop, of Eaton, Herts;
Anthony (Sir), father of WILLIAM.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son, 

WILLIAM, 2nd Baron (c1580-1651), KB, who was created, in 1627, EARL OF MEATH, with remainder, in default of direct male issue, to his brother, Sir Anthony Brabazon, and his male heirs.

His lordship married, in 1607, Jane, eldest daughter of the Rt Hon Sir John Bingley, Knight, and was succeeded by his only son,

EDWARD, 2nd Earl (1610-75), who wedded, in 1632, Mary, younger daughter of Calcott Chambré, of Denbigh, in Wales, and of Carnowe, County Wicklow, by whom he had four sons, three of whom inherited the peerage, and the fourth died young; and two daughters.

His lordship being unfortunately drowned in his passage between Holyhead and Beaumaris, 1675, was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 3rd Earl (1635-85), who wedded Elizabeth, second daughter of Francis, 14th Lord Dacre, and had issue,
Edward, died young;
Elizabeth; Catherine.
His lordship was succeeded by his brother,

EDWARD, 4th Earl (1638-1707), Ranger of Phœnix Park, Dublin.

This nobleman had the command of a regiment at the battle of the Boyne, and was wounded in the subsequent attack against Limerick.

He married twice; but dying sp in 1707, was succeeded by his brother,

CHAMBRÉ, 5th Earl (1645-1715), who espoused Juliana, only daughter and heir of Patrick, 3rd Viscount Chaworth, and had issue,
CHAWORTH, his successor;
EDWARD, succeeded his brother;
Juliana; Mary; Catharine; Frances.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

CHAWORTH, 6th Earl (1686-1763), who wedded, in 1731, Juliana, daughter of Sir Thomas Prendergast Bt; but died issueless, when he was succeeded by his only brother,

EDWARD, 7th Earl (1691-1772), who espoused Martha, daughter of the Rev William Collins, of Warwick, and had issue,
ANTHONY, his successor;
William, of Tara House.
His lordship was succeeded by his elder son,

ANTHONY, 8th Earl (1721-90), who married, in 1758, Grace, daughter of John Leigh, of Rosegarland, County Wexford, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
JOHN CHAMBRÉ, successor to his brother;
Mary; Martha; Juliana; Cecilia; Catherine; Arabella Barbara.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM, 9th Earl (1769-97), who fell in a duel, and dying unmarried, was succeeded by his brother,

JOHN CHAMBRÉ, 10th Earl.
The heir apparent is the present holder's only son, Anthony Jacques Brabazon, styled Lord Ardee (b 1977).
The 13th Earl was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Dublin, from 1898 until 1922.

John Anthony (Jack), the 15th and present Earl, lives with his family at Killruddery.

 12th Earl of Meath KP

The Brabazons, Earls of Meath, are a Patrick family; that is to say, several earls were appointed to the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick.


KILLRUDDERY HOUSE, near Bray, County Wicklow, has been described by Mark Bence-Jones as the most successful Elizabethan-Revival house in Ireland.

It was built in 1820 for the 10th Earl of Meath to the designs of Sir Richard Morrison, incorporating a 17th century house, with 18th century additions.


There are three principal fronts, with pointed, curvilinear gables, oriels and pinnacles.


The entrance front has a central, polygonal, battlemented tower; and a forecourt with wrought-iron gates.


The garden front is irregular, with a notable domed conservatory at one end, added in 1852; now the Orangery.


The entrance hall has a segmental-pointed, plaster barrel-vaulted ceiling; a straight flight of oak stairs leading to principal rooms.


The Great Hall is forty feet in height, with arches opening into the corridor at the upper storey.

Its ceiling boasts carved beams and braces carried on corbels decorated with the Meath falcon.

In the early 1950s, when the house was found to have become infested with dry-rot, Lord Meath reduced it in size by demolishing the entrance front and the entire adjoining front, with the exception of one gabled projection.

A new, simplified entrance front was subsequently constructed.

The Killruddery estate, which now extends to 800 acres, is owned and farmed by the 15th Earl and Countess.

In 2000, Lord Meath sold his 4,100 acre sporting estate at Rathdrum for £10 million.

Other former seat ~ Eaton Court, Herefordshire.

First published in November, 2012; revised in 2014.   Meath arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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