Monday, 19 December 2016

Stradbally Hall

THE COSBYS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN THE QUEEN'S COUNTY, WITH 10,110 ACRES

In the time of QUEEN MARY, this family, originally of the counties of Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, settled in Ireland.

ROBERT COSSBYE, of Harmston, in Lincolnshire, living in 1516, married Isabel, daughter and heiress of Ralph Pare, of Great Leake, Nottinghamshire, and had a son and heir,

JOHN COSBIE, who wedded Mabel, daughter of _____ Agard, of Foston, Nottinghamshire, and had two sons, viz. RICHARD, of Great Leake, and

FRANCIS COSBIE (1510-80), the patriarch of the family in Ireland, a man famed for personal courage, as well as civil and military talents.

When young he served in the wars of HENRY VIII in the Low Countries, and was not undistinguished.

His abandonment of his native soil arose from the downfall of the Lord Protector, Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, whose daughter Mary, widow of Sir Henry Peyton, Knight, he had married.

Deeming the disgrace and death of that once potent nobleman a sentence of exclusion from place and preferment in England, against his immediate connections at least, Cosbie (Mary Seymour, his first wife, being then dead), removed to Ireland, taking with him his second wife, Elizabeth Palmer, and the two surviving sons of the first.

Here, in the land of his adoption, he soon found the opportunity of establishing a reputation, which he despaired of effecting in the land of his birth.

He became an active defender of The Pale, and his vigilance, zeal, and success attracting the observation of government, he was appointed, by QUEEN MARY, 1558, General of the Kern, a post of great trust and importance in those times.

In 1559 he represented the borough of Thomastown in parliament, when he was constituted, by ELIZABETH I, Sheriff of Kildare.

Cosbie was granted, in 1562, the site of the suppressed abbey St Francis at Stradbally.

He married firstly, the Lady Mary Seymour, daughter of Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Henry;
Arnold.
General Cosby wedded secondly, in 1575, Elizabeth Palmer, and had issue, an only daughter, Catherine.

He fell at the battle of Glendalough, 1580, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER COSBY, of Stradbally Abbey, who also obtained very extensive grants of land in the Queen's County.

He wedded Dorcas, daughter of William Sydney, of Otford, Kent, maid of honour to ELIZABETH I, and had issue,
FRANCIS, father of WILLIAM; fell at the battle of Stradbally Bridge;
RICHARD, succeeded to his nephew;
Charles;
Arnold;
Mabel; Rose.
Alexander Cosby, slain at the battle of Stradbally Bridge with the O'Mores, 1596, was succeeded, although for a few minutes only, by his eldest son,

FRANCIS COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, who being slain as stated above, never enjoyed the inheritance, but was succeeded by his infant child,

WILLIAM COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, born in 1596, who died in June that year, when the estates reverted to his uncle,

RICHARD COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, Captain of the Kern, who gained the battle of Dunamace over the O'Mores, 1606, who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Pigott, Knight, of Dysart, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
FRANCIS, who succeeded his nephew at Stradbally;
Sydney;
William;
Dorcas.
Richard Cosby died in 1631, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER COSBY (1610-36), of Stradbally Hall, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Francis Slingsby, Knight, of Kilmore, County Cork, and was succeeded by his son,

FRANCIS COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, who dsp before 1638, when he was succeeded by his uncle,

FRANCIS COSBY (1612-), of Stradbally Hall, MP for Carysfort, who wedded Ann, daughter of Sir Thomas Loftus, Knight, of Killyan, and had issue,
ALEXANDER, his heir;
Thomas, of Vicarstown; father of
THOMAS;
Sydney.
The eldest son,

ALEXANDER COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Henry L'Estrange, of Moystown, King's County, and had issue,
DUDLEY, his heir;
Henry;
Thomas;
Loftus;
Alexander, father of PHILLIPS;
William;
Arnold;
Anne; Elizabeth; Jane; Dorcas; Isabella; Celia; Dorothy.
Alexander Cosby died in 1694, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

DUDLEY COSBY (1662-1729), of Stradbally Hall, Lieutenant-Colonel, MP for Queen's County, who married firstly, Ann, daughter and heir of Sir Andrew Owen, Knight, which lady dsp 1698; and secondly, Sarah, daughter of Periam Pole, of Ballyfin, by whom he had,
POLE, his heir;
Sarah.
Colonel Cosbie was succeeded by his son,

POLE COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, who wedded Mary, daughter and co-heir of Henry Dodwell, of Manor Dodwell, County Roscommon, and by her, left at his decease, in 1766 (with a daughter, Sarah, who married firstly, the Rt Hon Arthur Upton, of Castle Upton; and secondly, Robert, Earl of Farnham), a son and successor,

DUDLEY ALEXANDER SYDNEY COSBY (c1730-74), 1ST BARON SYDNEY, of Leix, so created in 1768.

His lordship was Minister Resident to Denmark.

He wedded, in 1773, the Lady Isabella St Lawrence, daughter of Thomas, 1st Earl of Howth, but died in the ensuing month, January, 1774, without issue.

His peerage became extinct, while the inheritance reverted to his lordship's cousin,

PHILLIPS COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, Admiral of the White, who espoused, in 1792, Eliza, daughter of William Gunthorpe, and sister of William Gunthorpe, of Southampton, but having no issue, was succeeded at his decease by his kinsman,

THOMAS COSBY (1742-98), of Vicarstown, and afterwards of Stradbally, who wedded firstly, Frances Booker, and by her had two sons, both of whom died young.

He married secondly, Grace, daughter and co-heir of George Johnstone, of Glaslough, County Monaghan, and had issue,
Dudley, accidentally drowned, 1789, sp;
Francis, drowned at cork, 1791, sp;
THOMAS, his heir.
Mr Cosby was succeeded by his only surviving son,

THOMAS COSBY, of Stradbally Hall, Governor of Queen's County, High Sheriff, 1809, who wedded, in 1802, Charlotte Elizabeth, daughter of the Rt Hon Thomas Kelly, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland, and had issue,
THOMAS PHILLIPS, his heir;
William (Rev);
Sydney, father of
ROBERT ASHWORTH GODOLPHIN;
Wellesley Pole;
Frances Elizabeth; Harriet Georgiana.
Mr Cosby, High Sheriff of Queen's County, died in 1832, and was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS PHILLIPS COSBY JP DL (1803-51), of Stradbally Hall, High Sheriff, 1834, Captain, Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, and dsp 1851, when the property devolved upon his nephew,

ROBERT ASHWORTH GODOLPHIN COSBY JP (1837-1920), of Stradbally Hall, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of the Queen's County, High Sheriff, 1863, Colonel, 3rd Leinster Regiment, who wedded firstly, in 1859, Alice Sophia Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir George Edward Pocock Bt, of The Priory, Christchurch, Hampshire, and had issue,
DUDLEY SYDNEY ASHWORTH, his heir;
Sydney George Coventry;
Edith Augusta Emily; Mary Powlet; Aline Islay; Lilian Alice; Violet Grace.
Colonel Cosby married secondly, in 1885, Eliza, daughter of the Rev Capel Molyneux, Vicar of St Paul's, Onslow Square, and widow of Sir Charles Goring, 9th Baronet, of Highden, Sussex.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

DUDLEY SYDNEY ASHWORTH COSBY DL (1862-1923), of Stradbally Hall, Captain, 3rd Battalion, Scottish Rifles, who wedded, in 1895, Emily Mabel, daughter of Lieutenant-General James Gubbins, and had issue,
ERROLD ASHWORTH SYDNEY, his heir;
Eric James Dudley;
Ivan Robert Sydney;
Irene Mabel Alys; Dulcie Iris Voilet.
Captain Cosby was succeeded by his eldest son,

ERROLD ASHWORTH SYDNEY COSBY (1898-1984), of Stradbally Hall, Major, The Rifle Brigade, who wedded, in 1934, Enid Elizabeth, daughter of Major Maurice William Chetwode Hamilton, and had issue,
ADRIAN PATRICK SYDNEY ALEXANDER;
David Ashworth Sydney Phillips, b 1947;
Julian Charles Seymour Francis, b 1947;
Anthea Moira Enid, b 1940.
Major Cosby was succeeded by his eldest son,

ADRIAN PATRICK SYDNEY ALEXANDER COSBY (1937-), of Stradbally Hall, Irish Guards, who married, in 1972, Alison Margaret, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Wylie, and has issue,
THOMAS SYDNEY ASHWORTH, b 1974;
Mary Siobhan Elizabeth, b 1973.
Entrance Front

STRADBALLY HALL, County Laois, is a nine-bay, two-storey Georgian house, built in 1772.

The present mansion's predecessor was erected by Lieutenant-Colonel Dudley Cosby in 1699, likely incorporating an earlier dwelling.


About 1868, Ralph Ashworth Godolphin Cosby engaged Sir Charles Lanyon to enlarge and re-model the house in the Italianate style.

Garden Front

A new entrance front was added with a large, single-storey, balustraded portico.

Stradbally estate is now renowned for its Electric Picnic music festival held in the grounds.

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