Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Denny Baronets

THE DENNY BARONETS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KERRY, WITH 21,479 ACRES

SIR EDMUND DENNY, Knight, one of the barons of the court of exchequer in England at the beginning of the 16th century, was great-grandson of John Denny, who fell in the French wars of HENRY V, and was interred at St Denys.

Sir Edmund died in 1520, and there is a monument to his memory in the church of St Benet Paul's Wharf, London.

By his last will, he directed his body to be laid in that church, and that twenty trentals of masses should be said for his soul, and for the souls of his wives deceased, and those of William and Agnes, his father and mother.

The fourth son of this learned person,

THE RT HON SIR ANTHONY DENNY (1501-49), Knight, was groom of the stool in 1518, and sworn of the privy council to HENRY VIII.

This gentleman was the only individual, amongst the courtiers, who dared to apprise his royal master of his approaching dissolution.

His Majesty had, however, such a high esteem for Sir Anthony, that he could perform that sad office with impunity; and the Monarch presented him with a magnificent pair of gloves, worked in pearls, which still remain in the possession of the family.

Sir Anthony's son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY (1547-1600), Knight Banneret of Bishop's Stortford, was a soldier, privateer and adventurer in the reign of ELIZABETH I.

Denny was born in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire in 1547, the second surviving son of Sir Anthony Denny who was a Privy Councillor to Henry VIII and one of the Guardians of Edward VI. Orphaned in childhood, he inherited lands in Hertfordshire.

After some minor appointments at court, in 1573 Edward Denny went to Ulster on a military expedition led by Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex. Denny then took up privateering, capturing a Spanish ship in 1577 and a Flemish one in 1578.

The same year saw him join a colonizing expedition led by Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Walter Raleigh; however, their ships were forced to turn for home by bad weather. Denny first became Member of Parliament for Liskeard in Cornwall for the 1584 to 1585 parliament.

He was granted lands at Tralee, confiscated from the Earl of Desmond; he both became High Sheriff of Kerry and was knighted in 1588. His estates in Ireland were a financial failure and in 1591 he returned to England to command a naval expedition to the Azores.

In 1593 he became MP for Westmorland and then in 1597 for the "rotten borough" of Tregony in Cornwall. He died on 12 February 1599 at the age of 52; his tomb and monument are in Waltham Abbey in Essex.

Sir Anthony's grandson,

SIR EDWARD DENNYKnight (1569-1637) was summoned to parliament, in 1604, as Baron Denny; and created, in 1626, EARL OF NORWICH.

The latter dignity became extinct, at his decease, without male issue; while the barony devolved upon his only daughter and heir, Honoria, wife of James, 1st Earl of Carlisle, in 1630, at the decease of whose son, James, 2nd Earl of Carlisle, in 1660, without issue, it expired.

Lord Norwich (Sir Edward Denny) was buried at Waltham, and the following epitaph placed upon his tomb:
Learn, curious reader, ere you pass,
What Sir Edward Denny was:
A courtier in the chamber, a soldier in the field;
Whose tongue could never flatter,
Whose heart could never yield.
SIR EDWARD DENNY, Knight (uncle to the deceased Earl of Norwich, and youngest son of the Rt Hon Sir Anthony Denny, HENRY VIII's privy counsellor), married Margaret, daughter of Peter Edgecombe, MP for Cornwall, and had issue,
EDWARD, his heir;
Anthony.
The elder son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY (1584-1619), Knight, of Tralee Castle, a military person, went to Ireland in the reign of ELIZABETH I, as an undertaker in the plantation of Munster, and settled at Tralee, County Kerry.

He wedded Elizabeth, sister of Sir Anthony Forest, Knight, and was succeed by his only son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY (1605-46), Knight, of Tralee Castle, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1634, MP for County Kerry, 1639, who married Ruth, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Roper, Viscount Ballinglas, by whom he had six sons and four daughters, of whom,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Edward, of Castle Lyons.
Sir Arthur was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ARTHUR DENNY, Knight (1629-73), of Tralee Castle, MP for Kerry, 1661, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1656, Vice-Admiral of Munster, 1669, who espoused firstly, the Lady Ellen Barry, daughter of David, 1st Earl of Barrymore; and secondly, Frances, daughter of Sir Richard Kyrle, Knight.

By the former he left at his decease, a son and successor,

EDWARD DENNY (1652-1709), of Tralee Castle, MP for County Kerry, 1695-98, who married, in 1673, Mary, daughter of Sir Richard Boyle Maynard, and had issue,
EDWARD, his heir;
Jane; Catherine.
Mr Denny was succeeded by his son,

EDWARD DENNY, MP for County Kerry, 1703 and 1713; who wedded, in 1699, the Lady Letitia Coningsby, and had, with other issue,
ARTHUR, his heir;
THOMAS, succeeded his brother;
Barry, in holy orders;
Maynard;
Ursula; Arabella.
Mr Denny died in 1728, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ARTHUR DENNY, MP for County Kerry in 1727; at whose decease, issueless (he had married the Lady Arabella FitzMaurice, second daughter of Thomas, Earl of Kerry), in 1742, the estates devolved upon his brother,

SIR THOMAS DENNY, Knight, who wedded Agnes, daughter of John Blennerhassett, of Ballyseedy, and had (with two daughters) four sons, the eldest surviving of whom,

WILLIAM DENNY, dsp and was succeeded by his brother,

THOMAS DENNY, at whose decease the estates devolved upon his uncle, the Rev Barry Denny's eldest son,

ARTHUR DENNY, who, dying unmarried, was succeeded by his brother,

BARRY DENNY (c1744-94). This gentleman was created a baronet in 1782.

He married Jane, youngest daughter of his uncle, Sir Thomas Denny, Knight, by whom he had eight sons and as many daughters,
BARRY, his successor;
EDWARD, succeeded his brother;
Thomas;
William;
Henry;
Anthony;
Arthur;
Maynard;
Agnes; Arabella; Letitia; Charlotte; Diana; Sophia; Jane; Penelope.
Sir Barry was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR BARRY DENNY, 2nd Baronet, who wedded Anne, daughter of Crosbie Morgell, of County Limerick; but died without issue, in 1794, when the title devolved upon his brother,

SIR EDWARD DENNY, 3rd Baronet (c1773-1831), High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1794, MP for Tralee, 1828, who espoused, in 1795, Elizabeth, only child of the His Honour Judge Robert Day, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
Robert Day;
Henry (Rev);
Anthony;
William;
Mary Lætitia; Elizabeth; Diana.
Sir Edward was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR EDWARD DENNY, 4th Baronet (1796-1889), of Tralee Castle, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1827, MP for Tralee, 1818-19, who died unmarried.
Sir Robert Arthur Denny, 5th Baronet (1838–1921);
Sir Cecil Edward Denny, 6th Baronet (1850–1928);
Sir Henry Lyttelton Lyster Denny, 7th Baronet (1878–1953);
Sir Anthony Coningham de Waltham Denny, 8th Baronet (1925–2013);
Sir Piers Anthony de Waltham Denny, 9th Baronet (b 1954).
The heir presumptive is the present holder's younger brother, Thomas Francis Coningham Denny (b 1956).

Tralee Castle 1824 by Sarah J Harnett from "The History of Tralee" (2009). photo credit: G O'Carroll

TRALEE CASTLE, the ancient residence of the house of DESMOND. came into the possession of the Denny family as a reward to Edward Denny, the first settler in Ireland, for making prisoner the Earl of Desmond, who was accused of causing a dreadful massacre of the English at a feast to which he had invited them.

Mr Denny, a military officer in the Earl of Essex's army, not only obtained the castle and possessions of Desmond for this exploit, but was created a Knight Banneret, and presented with a rich scarf, embroidered with gold and pearls, and a pair of gloves, taken off her own hands, by ELIZABETH I.

This scarf, and those gloves (with others presented by HENRY VIII and JAMES I), which were for many years out of the possession of the Denny family, were restored to it in the following manner:-

IN the year 1760, or 1761, the magnificent mansion of the Earl of Arran, being sold at auction in London, the management of the sale devolved upon Mr Herbert (father of the Rector of Ledbury), his lordship's executor, and the particular friend of Sir Thomas Denny, who discovered, in making preliminary arrangements for the sale, the gloves and scarf, with an old parchment manuscript in a purple satin bag, by which, upon perusal, he was directed to the family to which they really belonged; and knowing how highly he should gratify his friend by the restoration of such inestimable relics, he purchased them for him - the gloves given to Sir Anthony Denny by HENRY VIII, for £38 17s; the gloves, given by JAMES I to Sir Anthony's son, Sir Edward Denny, for £22 1s; the mittens, presented by ELIZABETH I to Sir Edward Denny, for £25 4s.

The Dennys lived at Tralee Castle from the end of the 16th century until the early 19th century.

The 3rd Baronet subsequently became an absentee, living at Kingsend House, Worcestershire.

He demolished the old castle.

On his death in 1831, his son Sir Edward, 4th Baronet, returned to Tralee.



Sir Edward rented Ballyseedy or Ballyseede Castle (above) from his cousins, the Blennerhassetts.

He made plans for a new castle and spent a large sum on improving the demesne, but then joined the Plymouth Brethren and went to live modestly in London until his death in 1889.

Nevertheless, the Denny estate, despite the lack of a principal house, continued to function: Tralee and its environs were densely inhabited by the baronet's siblings and cousins, including his brother, the Rev Henry Denny, at Churchill; and his brother, the Venerable Anthony Denny, Archdeacon of Ardfert, at Tralee Rectory.

William Denny, the Baronet's youngest brother, ran the estate.

The 4th Baronet's successor, Sir Arthur, 5th Baronet, accumulated huge gambling debts so that the whole estate was swallowed up, and by the time the Rev Sir Henry Denny, 7th Baronet, inherited the title, there was nothing left to go with it.

First published in December, 2012.

1 comment :

Teresa Stokes said...

The "mock castle" exterior facing was done by my great great grandfather James Franklin Fuller in the late 1800s, which is when it changed its name from Ballyseedy House to Ballyseedy Castle. His grandmother was a Blennerhassett.