Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Enniscoe House


The branch of the family of which we are treating was settled in Leicestershire in 1641, when three brothers, Joseph, Benjamin and John Pratt, migrated thence; Joseph and Benjamin to Ireland, John to Jamaica.

Joseph and Benjamin obtained lands in County Meath from CROMWELL, which they divided between them.

The elder was ancestor of the PRATTS of Cabra; the younger, of the WINTERS of Agher.

JOSEPH PRATT, High Sheriff of County Meath, 1698, married firstly, Frances, sister and heir of Colonel Thomas Cooch, of Cabra Castle, County Cavan, and Covoaddy [sic], County Donegal; and secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Audley Mervyn, and widow of Nathaniel Poole, and had issue,
Joseph, died young;
Benjamin (Dr), Provost, Trinity College, Dublin;
John, a lord of the Treasury;
Thomas, dsp;
The youngest son,

MERVYN PRATT, MP for County Cavan, High Sheriff, 1722, wedded, in 1704, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Coote, of Cootehill in that county, and sister of the Earl of Bellamont.

Mr Pratt died in 1751, having had (with three daughters) a son and successor,

THE REV JOSEPH PRATT, of Cabra, who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Knightley Chetwood, of Woodbrook, Queen's County, and had issue,
Mervyn, died 1798;
JOSEPH, of whom presently;
James Butler;
Elizabeth; Ann.
The second son,

THE REV JOSEPH PRATT, (1738-1831), of Cabra Castle, wedded, in 1772, the Hon Sarah Morres, daughter of Harvey, 1st Viscount Mountmorres, by the Lady Letitia Ponsonby, his wife, daughter of Brabazon, Earl of Bessborough, and had issue,
JOSEPH, his heir;
Mervyn, 1823;
Harvey, of Castle Morres, County Kilkenny, 
who upon the decease of his father, succeeded his mother in the Kilkenny estates, which she and her sister, the Marchioness of Antrim, had jointly inherited as co-heiresses of their brother Redmond, Viscount Mountmorres;
Mary; Letitia.
Mr Pratt was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOSEPH PRATT JP (1775-1863), of Cabra Castle, Colonel of Militia, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1799, who espoused firstly, in 1806, Jemima Roberta, daughter of Sir James Stratford Tynte Bt, of Tynte Park, and by her had issue,
MERVYN, his heir;
Joseph Tynte;
Walter Caulfeild;
Fitzmaurice Caldwell Tynte;
Hannah, Sarah Emily Tynte; Elizabeth Martha.
Colonel Pratt wedded secondly, in 1826, Nicola Sophia, widow of Claudius William Cole-Hamilton, of Kingscourt, County Meath, but by her had no issue.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

MERVYN PRATT JP DL (1807-90), of Cabra Castle, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1841, County Mayo, 1843, and County Meath, 1875, who espoused, in 1834, Madeline Eglantine, only daughter and heir of Colonel William Jackson, of Enniscoe, County Mayo, and had issue,
JOSEPH, his heir;
Louisa Catherine Hannah; Madeline Caroline Mary; Jemima Roberta Emily Tynte.
Mr Pratt was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOSEPH PRATT JP DL (1843-1929), of Enniscoe, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1874, and County Mayo, 1876, who married, in 1870, Charlotte Eliza, only daughter of James Hamilton, of Cornacassa, County Monaghan, and had issue,
Audley Charles (1874-1917);
Eglantine Madeline Georgina, died in infancy.
Mr Pratt was succeeded by his eldest son,

MAJOR MERVYN PRATT DSO JP (1873-1950), of Cabra Castle and Enniscoe.

Major Pratt was badly wounded in the Boer War and never married.

He lived permanently at Enniscoe, County Mayo, and left Cabra Castle, County Cavan, unoccupied.

His younger brother, Colonel Audley Pratt, was killed in the 1st World war and was also a bachelor.

Major Pratt died at Enniscoe and bequeathed Cabra to his nearest male relative, Mervyn Sheppard, a Malayan Civil Servant.

ENNISCOE HOUSE, Castlehill, Ballina, County Mayo, seems to be a classical, late-Georgian house, though it incorporates a much earlier building.

Francis Jackson, an officer in Cromwell’s army, was granted land here in the 1650s.

Jackson first lived in Crossmolina Castle but he later built a house beside Lough Conn.

His great-grandson, George, built a tall, three-storey house over a basement in the 1740s, but this was subsequently incorporated into a later building.

The new house was built in the 1790s by George’s son, also called George (the family refer to them as George One and George Two), and it was literally wrapped around the earlier building, which is still easily identifiable today.

Works were largely completed when it was occupied and damaged during the French invasion in 1798.

Today Enniscoe is a two-storey house of five bays.

While externally plain, it contains some elegant late-Georgian plasterwork and a very beautiful elliptical staircase leading to an oval landing.

The large principal rooms have decorated cornices, and the original silk wallpaper survives in the drawing room, though the pale blue has faded to mushroom pink.

George Two’s granddaughter, Madeline Eglantine Jackson, married her cousin, Mervyn Pratt.

They inherited the estate in the 1830s, restored the neglected house and created a notable garden.

Their son, Joseph, and his wife Ina continued the work, however, fortuitously, there was insufficient money for further alterations so the house remains largely unaltered today.

Their unmarried son, Major Mervyn Pratt, lived here until 1950.

After his mother’s death the house was maintained and the garden became his life’s work.

Following Major Pratt's death in 1950 his cousin, Jack Nicholson, inherited Enniscoe.

Today it is the home of his daughter, Susan Kellett, and her son and daughter-in-law, DJ and Colette Kellett.

Select bibliography: Irish historic Houses Association.

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