Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Convamore House


This ancient family claims descent from the house of HARCOURT, in Lorraine, who were Counts in Normandy. In 1461,

JOHN HARE, son of Thomas Hare, by Joyce, his wife, daughter of John Hyde, of Norbury, resided at Homersfield, in Suffolk and was father of

NICHOLAS HARE, father of

JOHN HARE, who, by Elizabeth Fortescue, his wife, had two sons, viz.
The younger son,

JOHN HARE, having eventually inherited the estates of his brother, Sir Nicholas, became of Stow Bardolph.

He had a numerous family, seven sons and three daughters. Of the former,

RICHARD, the eldest, was ancestor of the HARES of Stow Bardolph, raised to the degree of Baronet in 1641; and

JOHN HARE, the youngest, a bencher of the Middle Temple, wedded Margaret, daughter of John Crouch, of Cornbury, Hertfordshire, and had a son,

HUGH HARE, a faithful adherent of CHARLES I, by whom he was created, in 1625, BARON COLERAINE,  of County Londonderry.

His lordship married and was father of

HENRY, descended the Barons Coleraine; and from a younger son, HUGH, sprang the HARES of Listowel, the representative of which branch, 

RICHARD HARE, of Ennismore (third son of John Hare, of Cork, a native of Norfolk), the immediate founder of this family, married Catherine Maylor, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
John, died unmarried, 1774;
Mary; Margaret Anne.
The elder son and successor,

WILLIAM HARE (1751-1837), represented Cork and Athy in the Irish parliament from 1796 until the final dissolution of that assembly.

Mr Hare was elevated to the peerage, in 1800, in the dignity of Baron Ennismore; and advanced to a viscounty, in 1816, as Viscount Ennismore and Listowel.

His lordship was further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1822, as EARL OF LISTOWEL.

He married firstly, in 1772, Mary, only daughter of Henry Wrixon, of Ballygiblin, County Cork, and aunt of Sir William Wrixon-Becher Bt, and had issue,
William Henry;
Margaret Anne; Mary; Louisa; Catharine.
He espoused secondly, in 1812, Anne, second daughter of John Latham, of Meldrum, County Tipperary.

His lordship was succeeded by his grandson,

WILLIAM (1801-56), 2nd Earl.
The heir presumptive is the present holder's brother, the Hon Timothy Patrick Hare (b 1966).

THE PRINCIPAL family seat was Convamore, County Cork, though they were also seated at Ennismore Park, County Kerry, which was sold by the Bailey family to the Hares in the late 18th century.

William, 1st Earl of Listowel, built a new house beside the River Blackwater in the early 19th century.

He was residing at Convamore in 1814.

It remained the family seat in 1894.

The house was burned in 1921 and is now a ruin.

The family's town residence was Kingston House, Knightsbridge, London. The 3rd Earl, the then owner of the Kingston House estate, was admitted as copyholder and secured the ground's enfranchisement from manorial control.

In 1855, the substantial portion of the estate built up with houses and stables in the 1840s and early 1950s was sold by the 2nd Earl, but the greater part, including Kingston House itself, remained in the possession of the Hare family until shortly before the Second World War.

With the death of the 4th Earl in 1931, the estate passed not to his eldest son, the socialist 5th Earl, but on trust to a younger son, the Hon John Hare, later 1st Viscount Blakenham. 

The 3rd Earl died at Kingston House in 1924, and the last occupant was his widow, who in turn died there in 1936. In March, 1937, the contents were sold and that autumn the house itself was demolished for the building of flats.

CONVAMORE HOUSE was a large and plain two-storey early 19th century mansion, situated above a fine stretch of the River Blackwater in County Cork.

The entrance front had a single storey Doric portico; while the block with the main rooms was faced with Victorian stucco and plate-glass windows.

The walls of the old Roche castle are said to be stained with tar from a beacon that was lit when EDWARD VII paid a visit as Prince of Wales.

The castle belonged lately to a Major Hirtch, whose father built a gabled fishing lodge beside it.

These decorative cast-iron entrance gates and finely carved piers of solid limestone blocks exhibit high levels of craftsmanship.

The gateway to Convamore House was erected for a visit by the Prince of Wales in 1886.

Listowel arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in February, 2012.


Anonymous said...

William's (b. 1751) grandfather, John Hare (b. 1690?), esquire of Cork, was a native of Norfolk.

Sir Nicholas Hare (b. 1484), first son of John Hare of Suffolk, was an esquire and purchased the Stow Bardolph estate in Norfolk (1553), which would later become the Hare Baronets (1641, 1818 and 1905).

Do you know if the Earls of Listowel are related to the Hare Baronets?

Anonymous said...

The Hare family of Norfolk came after the Cromwellian settlement and acquired properties in Dublin and Cork. Do they still own those properties today? Do they have names?

In 1600, the Geraldines, Knights of Kerry, of Listowel Castle fell to Elizabeth I in the First Desmond Rebellion. As part of the Listowel earldom, the Hares received the castle in 1822. It is a ruin today but was the castle ever inhabitable after 1600?

The Hares built Convamore House in 1814 but it was burned down by the IRA in 1921. What happened to the property?

Kingston House was sold to Guardian properties in 1935 for £375,000 and the house was demolished after 1936 to build flats. Did the family sell all their property in London?

I found a website for "The Oxten Estate" that showed a stately home called Oxton Lodge as well as links to a farm, 28 residential lettings, commercial offices, golf course, gallery, village and burial ground. Is this the family seat?

Anonymous said...

My grandmother was a Hare. My cousin was Mary Hare who started the Mary Hare School for Deaf Children in London. Pippa Middleton is the Goodwill Ambassador for the School. I am very honored to write that my great aunt/cousin, Lady Isabel Hare, is the tenth great grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II, through her daughter Lady Abigail Chomondeley, whom she had with her husband Sir John Chomondeley. Lady Isabel Hare's brother was Sir Nicholas Hare who is the fifteenth great grandfather of the Royal Princes William and Henry and the fourteenth great grandfather of the late great Lady Diana Spencer the former Princess of Wales. There's a lot more Hare than meets he eye.

Unknown said...

My late Grand mother was of the Hare family that came out to South Africa, I have perused her family tree , which goes back to Edward 1.
I would be interested to correspond with other distant members of the family as further papers make interesting reading with allegations of a link to Anna Lightfoot, who married George 111 , prior to succeeding to the throne. The marriage, held at Kew gardens was annulled, notwithstanding lawful issue having been born of the said union.
Is there any substance to records in my possession

Wolf said...

I believe my Great-great-great grandfather, John Fleming was a coachman at Convamore- at least that is the family story. I have found documentation that the family lived in Convamore between 1839-at least 1851. Is there any information on those who worked at the estate?