Wednesday, 26 May 2021

1st Baron Killanin


The family of MORRIS is one of the "Tribes of Galway", an expression first used by Cromwell's soldiers in 1652.

So far back as 1486 Richard Morris was Bailiff of Galway under a charter granted in 1485 by RICHARD III to the inhabitants of Galway, empowering them to elect a mayor and two bailiffs.
From him were lineally descended John Morris, Bailiff of Galway, 1501; William Morris, Mayor of Galway, 1527; Andrew Morris, Mayor of Galway, 1588; George Morris, Bailiff of Galway, 1588; John Morris, of Galway; Andrew Morris, of Galway; and James Morris, of Galway.
GEORGE MORRIS, of Spiddal, County Galway (son of JAMES MORRIS), served in JAMES II's army.

He married, in 1684, Catherine, daughter of John Fitzpatrick, of Loughmore, in the south island of Arran, whose nephew Richard Fitzpatrick represented Galway in the Irish parliament, 1749-61.

By this marriage the property of Spiddal was acquired.

His only son,

ANDREW MORRIS, of Spiddal and Galway, wedded Monica Browne, of the family of Gloves, near Athenry, and had two sons,
JAMES, of whom we treat.
The second son,

JAMES MORRIS (1732-1813), of Spiddal and Galway, espoused, in 1762, Deborah, daughter of Nicholas Lynch, of Galway, and had issue,
MARTIN, of whom hereafter;
Monica; Mary.
His third son,

MARTIN MORRIS JP (1784-1862), of Spiddal and Galway, High Sheriff of Galway, 1841, married, in 1822, Julia, daughter of Dr Charles Blake, of Galway, and had two sons and two daughters,
MICHAEL, of whom presently;
George (Sir), KCB DL MP etc;
Jane Caroline; Lizzie.
Mr Morris's elder son,

THE RT HON SIR MICHAEL MORRIS QC (1826-1901), of Spiddal and Galway, wedded, in 1860, Anna, daughter of Henry George Hughes, Baron of the Court of Exchequer in Ireland. and had issue,
George Henry, father of the 3rd Baron;
Michael Redmond;
Charles Ambrose;
Lily; Rose Julia; Maud Anna; Mary Kathleen;
Frances Anne; Eileen Elizabeth.
Sir Michael rose to become one of the most distinguished judges of his time, as LORD CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE KING'S BENCH FOR IRELAND, 1887-89.

He was created a baronet, in 1885, designated of Spiddal, County Galway.

Following his appointment as a law lord, in 1889, Sir Michael was elevated to the peerage, in the dignity of BARON KILLANIN, of Galway, County Galway.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

MARTIN HENRY FITZPATRICK, 2nd Baron (1867-1927), PC JP, of Spiddal, High Sheriff of County Galway, 1897.

His lordship was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Galway, from 1918 until 1922.

He died unmarried, when the titles reverted to his nephew (son of Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon George Henry Morris, Irish Guards),

MICHAEL, 3rd Baron (1914-99), MBE TD, of Spiddal, who espoused, in 1945, (Mary) Sheila Cathcart Dunlop MBE, daughter of the Rev Canon Douglas Lyall Cathcart Dunlop, and had issue,
Michael Francis Leo "Mouse";
John Martin;
Monica Deborah.
His lordship, a journalist, author, and sport official, was renowned for his presidency of the International Olympic Committee.

He was appointed MBE (Military Division), 1945.

The 3rd Baron was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE REDMOND FITZPATRICK, 4th and present Baron, born in 1947, a film producer, who wedded firstly, in 1972, Pauline, daughter of Geoffrey Horton, and had issue,
Olivia Rose Elizabeth, born in 1974.
He married secondly, in 2000, Sheila Elizabeth, daughter of Patrick Lynch.

The present Baron lives in Dublin.

SPIDDAL HOUSE, Spiddal, County Galway, replaced a considerable smaller Georgian house.

The present mansion consists of two and three storeys, in different places.

It was built in 1910 for Martin, 2nd Lord Killanin.

The windows are rectangular, plain, Romanesque-style.

One end of the house features a tower (a belvedere prior to the 1923 fire) with Romanesque columns.

Beside this tower there is a two-storey veranda with further Romanesque columns and arches.

The opposite end has a loggia, joined to the house by a colonnade with an iron balcony.

Spiddal House suffered a fire in 1923 and was subsequently rebuilt in 1931.

The 3rd Baron sold Spittal about 1960.

Former Dublin residence ~ 22 Lower Ftzwilliam Street.

First published in July, 2015.

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