Sunday, 31 March 2019

Ode to Belmont

The old school pal, NCS, alias the Bard of Schomberg, has composed an ode specially dedicated to self:-


I was disheartened this evening to see, 
That to your ‘blog’ was missing,
The latest culinary exploit.  
Oh did one with habitual fever wait.

Even as the sun set its head,
Even at the strikes of the midnight hour, 
Nothing had materialised.

Thence I stumbled upon your ‘twitter.’  
I saw before my eyes the most wonderful vista:
Of decadent banana tart and fillet steak, 
And sadness turned to joy.

Jolly fine stuff here from Schomberg and not one penny exchanged hands, either.

First published in April, 2016.

Friday, 29 March 2019

The Hon Shane O'Neill DL


Mrs Joan Christie CVO OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, has been pleased to appoint
The Hon Shane Sebastian Clanaboy O'NEILL
Shane's Castle
County Antrim
To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County his Commission bearing date the 30th day of April 2018

Joan Christie

Lord Lieutenant of the County

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Kinlough House: II


From Chapter 8 of A Man May Fish by T C Kingsmill Moore, first edition published 1960, copyright Estate of T C Kingsmill Moore 1979. 

"… My son tells me that you are an ardent fisherman. We have a house on the shore of Lough Melvin which fishes well in April, and there will be some salmon in the Bundrowse. If you could spare a week or a fortnight of your Easter vacation to stay with us my wife and I would be very pleased”.

This letter, the first of many phrased with the same careful courtesy, introduced me to the big lakes of the west and to a feature of Irish country life then rapidly passing away.

At Bundoran a wizened coachman met me with an outside car which soon covered the hilly miles to where the Big House stood, surrounded on three sides by woodland and open on the fourth, where lawns and fields sloped to the water’s edge.

In spring, the daffodils spread themselves in golden drifts down to the lake, in autumn the scarlet lobelia blazed a flare of colour between house and shrubberies.

The house itself, built when the Georgian style was yielding to the Victorian, was large but architecturally undistinguished.

Originally the walls of all the main rooms had been covered with French cartoons in grisaille, illustrating scenes from classical mythology.

The many life-sized nudes were a little too explicit for Victorian taste, and pictures and furniture had been arranged to hide the more compromising details.

When a later generation, bracing itself to acknowledge the facts of anatomy, removed the obstructions, it was too late.

The discolouration was permanent.

Already the house was an anachronism, a manor house without an estate.

For nearly a century, when Irish country life had been built on a structure of landlord and tenant, it had been the centre of interest for a barony, its stables full of carriages and horses, its garden a model, its owners men of learning and public spirit.

Politics and literature have dealt harshly with the Irish landlord.

Sad and mad they may have been; too often they were absentees.

But many of them were men of culture, bravery, and a high sense of public duty.

Their libraries were good and sometimes remarkable.

They planted world-famous gardens.

They organised and endowed innumerable Irish charities, relieved distress, and helped and advised such tenants as were willing to accept their advice.

Much of their time was spent in hunting and field sports, but these provided employment of the type that the Irish countryman likes, and made the big house a centre of interest and society.

Above all, they supplied a personal relationship which made up for many abuses.

A good landlord was united to his tenantry by bonds part patriarchal, part feudal, and entirely human, which formed a not unsatisfactory pattern of life.

Now all of this has been changed, shattered irretrievably by a great reform which had enabled the tenants to become freeholders.

The landlords lived on, financially not much worse off, still doing their duty on bench and synod, and spending much of their leisure in sport; but the ties which bound them and their families to the countryside were snapped.

Old retainers still remained.

The coachman who had met me was serving his fourth generation, the parlour maid had been nurse to my host, the gardener had been trained by his grandfather.

But the dust was settling; the Big House was dying at its roots.

My host, who had for some years been living a life of use and wont in which sport had ceased to play a part, his guns licensed but unfired, his rods idle in their cases, now roused himself to put his son and myself on the road to true orthodoxy.

He was orthodox to a fault, his fishing methods not so much dated as out-dated, but I owe him a grounding in caution, in boat-craft, and in etiquette which was to help me in difficult times and places...

For four years my fishing centred around the Big House, ten days in spring and the same in August.

The old retainers were dropping away. “I’ve seen what I’ve seen and I’ll not see much more,” said the coachman, now nearly ninety on the last occasion that he drove me to the station.

On my next visit he was gone.

Kate, the parlour maid, found her rheumatism too crippling, and the gardener retired on a pension to a cottage.

The squire had ceased to come to the lake with us, and he was intellectually less alert.

Over the port he had been eager to cross-question me on all the vexed problems of the day, with his unvaried courtesy treating my undergraduate opinions as if they were worth listening to.

Now he avoided discussion.

When things puzzled him he no longer sought an answer.

He lived more and more in the past.

A weary, slightly despairing look often came over his kindly face.

I was too young to recognise the significance of these changes, signs that the organism could no longer adapt itself to its environment, the first, faint, far-borne notes of the trumpet of Azrael.

Then at one stride came disaster.

Father and mother were dead; the son, always delicate, became incurably ill.

The Big House had fallen.

Another old Irish family had come to an end.

Of the Big House itself only a few ruins now remain.’ 

T.C. Kingsmill Moore was born in Dublin in March 1893 and he died there in February, 1979, at the age of 85. He went to school in Marlborough, England, and returned to Dublin to take a degree at Trinity College. 
During the First World War, from 1917-18, he was in the Royal Flying Corps in France and Flanders. He became a barrister on his return to Dublin and during the Civil War from 1922-23 was also the War Correspondent for the Irish Times. 
In 1947 he was appointed a judge of the High Court and in 1961 a judge of the Supreme Court, retiring in 1965. His visits to the Big House at Kinlough took place between 1914 and 1917 when he was an undergraduate in Trinity. 

Monday, 25 March 2019

Castle Gore


This family deduces from

GERARD GORE (c1516-1607), citizen, Merchant Taylor, and Alderman of the City of London at the close of the 16th century, who married Helen, daughter of Ralph Davenant, of Davenant Land, Essex.

He died at the advanced age of 91, having had eight sons, of whom,
RICHARD, the eldest, MP for London, d leaving 7 daughters;
JOHN (Sir), 4th son, Lord Mayor of London, 1624;
PAUL (Sir), of whom presently.
The youngest son,

SIR PAUL GORE (1567-1629), captain of a troop of horse, went over to Ireland with his regiment in the reign of ELIZABETH I, and obtaining large grants of land, which he condensed into a manor, designated Manor Gore, settled there.

Captain Gore wedded Isabella, daughter of Francis Wickliffe, and niece of Thomas, Earl of Strafford, and had issue,
RALPH, ancestor of the extinct house of GORE, Earls of Ross;
ARTHUR, of whom we treat.
Sir Paul's second son,

ARTHUR GORE (c1640-97), of Newtown, County Mayo, was created a baronet in 1662, denominated of Newtown, County Mayo.

He wedded Eleanor, daughter of Sir George St George Bt, of Carrick, County Leitrim, and had (with seven daughters) four sons, viz.
PAUL, predeceased his father;
William, of Woodford, MP for Co Leitrim;
George, an eminent lawyer.
Sir Arthur was succeeded by his grandson (son of Paul), 

SIR ARTHUR GORE, 2nd Baronet (c1682-1741), MP for Ballynakill, 1703-13, Donegal Borough, 1714-14, County Mayo, 1715-42, who married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Maurice Annesley, of Little Rath, County Kildare, and had four sons and three daughters,
ARTHUR, his heir;
Paul Annesley;
Anne; Eleanor; Elizabeth.
Sir Arthur was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ARTHUR GORE, 3rd Baronet (1703-73), MP for Donegal Borough, 1727-58, who was created, in 1758, Baron Saunders, of Deeps, County Wexford, and Viscount Sudley, of Castle Gore.

His lordship was advanced to an earldom, in 1762, as EARL OF ARRAN, of the Arran Islands, County Galway.

He espoused Jane, heiress of Richard Saunders, of Saunders Court, and relict of William Worth.

6th Earl of Arran KP (1868-1958)

ARTHUR CHARLES JOCELYN CHARLES [GORE], 6th Earl, KP, PC; Knight of St Patrick, 1909; Privy Counsellor, 1917; Lord-Lieutenant of County Donegal, 1917-20.

The 6th Earl is pictured above, wearing the robe, sash and insignia of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick. 

Address to 6th Earl and Countess of Arran on their marriage

"We, the Tenants on your Lordship's Mayo Estate, and their friends, have heard with the utmost pleasure of your Marriage, and in meeting assembled, unanimously and with sincere and cordial feelings have passed the following resolution ..."

The Earls of Arran were a "Patrick family", the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th Earls all having been appointed to the Order of St Patrick. 

The present Earl and Countess of Arran live at Castle Hill House, near Barnstaple, Devon.


CASTLE GORE, or Deel Castle, near Crossmolina, County Mayo, is a 16th century tower house of the Bourkes.

It is close to the northern end of Lough Conn.

After Colonel Thomas Bourke had fought on the side of JAMES II in the Williamite War, the property was forfeited and given to the Gore family, afterwards Earls of Arran, who renamed it Castle Gore.

The tower-house had a large 18th century wing with a handsome rusticated doorway added to it, possibly incorporating a 17th century range.

They also acquired the manor of Belleek from the O'Haras, Barons Tyrawley, and owned estates in County Donegal.

The castle along with other lands was leased to James Cuff, Lord Tyrawley, towards the end of the 18th century; occupied by the Cuffs' steward for part of the 19th century.

James Cuff, Lord Tyrawley, built a house beside the Old Bourke Castle in 1791.

The house was burnt in 1922 when the Arrans removed to England. It was not rebuilt.

The old castle, which was still intact in the early 20th century, is now a ruin.

The Earls of Arran's London residence was The Pavilion, Hans Place.

First published in October, 2012.   Arran arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

1st Viscount Taaffe


The members of this noble family resided, for a series of years, in the Austrian dominions, and filled the highest and most confidential employments, civil and military, under the imperial government, doubtless from having been, from theretofore, as Roman Catholics, debarred the prouder gratification of serving their own.

The Taaffes were of great antiquity in the counties of Louth and Sligo, and produced, in ancient times, many distinguished and eminent persons; among whom was Sir Richard Taaffe, who flourished during the reign of EDWARD I, and died in 1287.

Contemporary with Sir Richard was the Lord (Nicholas) Taaffe, who died in 1288, leaving two sons: John Taaffe, Archbishop of Armagh, who died in 1306, and


RICHARD TAAFFE, was seated at Ballybraggan and Castle Lumpnagh.

This gentleman served the office of sheriff of County Louth in 1315, and to his custody was committed the person of Hugh de Lacy, the younger, Earl of Ulster, after his condemnation for high treason, in inciting the invasion of Ireland, by Edward Bruce, until the execution of that unfortunate nobleman at Drogheda.

From this Richard lineally descended

SIR WILLIAM TAAFFE, Knight, of Harleston, in Norfolk, who distinguished himself by his services to the Crown, during the Earl of Tyrone's rebellion, in 1597; and subsequently maintained his reputation against the Spanish force, which landed at Kinsale in 1601.

Sir William died in 1630, and was succeeded by his only son,

SIR JOHN TAAFFE, Knight, who was advanced to the Irish peerage, in 1628, by the title of Baron Ballymote and VISCOUNT TAAFFE, of Corren, both in County Sligo.

His lordship married Anne, daughter of Theobald, 1st Viscount Dillon, by whom he had (with other issue),
THEOBALD, his heir;
Lucas, major-general in the army;
Francis, colonel in the army;
Peter, in holy orders;
Jasper, slain in battle;
His lordship died in 1642, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THEOBALD, 2nd Viscount (c1603-77), who was advanced to an earldom, as EARL OF CARLINGFORD, in 1662.

This nobleman espoused zealously the royal cause during the civil wars, and had his estate sequestered by the Usurper.

After the Restoration, he obtained, however, a pension of £800 a year; and, upon being advanced in the peerage, received a grant of £4,000 a year, of the rents payable to the Crown, out of the retrenched lands of adventurers and soldiers, during such time as the same remained in the common stock of reprisals, and out of forfeited jointures, mortgages etc.

His lordship was succeeded at his decease by his eldest surviving son,

NICHOLAS, 2nd Earl and 3rd Viscount, who fell at the battle of the Boyne, in the command of a regiment of foot, under the banner of JAMES II; and, leaving no issue, the honours devolved upon his brother,

FRANCIS, 3rd Earl (1639-1704), the celebrated Count Taaffe, of the Germanic Empire.

This nobleman, who was sent in his youth to the city of Olmuts, to prosecute his studies, became, first, one of the pages of honour to the Emperor Ferdinand; and, soon after, obtained a captain's commission from CHARLES V, Duke of Lorraine, in his own regiment.

He was, subsequently, chamberlain to the emperor, a marshal of the empire, and counsellor of the state and cabinet.

His lordship was so highly esteemed by most of the crowned heads of Europe that, when he succeeded to his hereditary honours, he was exempted from forfeiture, by a special clause in the English act of parliament, during the reign of WILLIAM AND MARY.

His lordship died in 1704, and leaving no issue, the honours devolved upon his nephew,

THEOBALD, 4th Earl, son of Major the Hon John Taaffe, who fell before Londonderry, in the service of JAMES II, by the Lady Rose Lambart, daughter of Charles, 1st Earl of Cavan.

He married Amelia, youngest daughter of Luke, 3rd Earl of Fingal; but dying without issue, in 1738, the earldom expired, while the viscountcy and barony passed to his next heir male,

NICHOLAS, Count Taaffe (c1685-1769), of the Germanic Empire, as 6th Viscount.

This nobleman obtained the golden key, as chamberlain, from the Emperor CHARLES VI, as he did from His Imperial Majesty's successor, which mark of distinction both his sons enjoyed.

His lordship, as Count Taaffe, obtained great renown during the war with the Turks, in 1738, and achieved the victory of BELGRADE with high honour.

He married Mary Anne, daughter and heiress of Count Spendler, of Lintz, in Upper Austria, a lady of the bedchamber to Her Imperial and Hungarian Majesty, and had issue,
John, predeceased his father;
Francis, dsp.
His lordship was succeeded by his grandson,

RUDOLPH, Count Taaffe (1762-1830), 7th Viscount, who espoused, in 1787, the Countess Josephine Haugwitz, and had issue,
FRANCIS, his successor;
His lordship was succeeded by his only son,

FRANCIS JOHN CHARLES JOSEPH RUDOLPH, Count Taaffe (1788-1849), 8th Viscount, who wedded, in 1811, the Countess Antonia Amade de Várkony, and had issue.

Successor to the claim

  • Richard Taaffe (1898–1967), entitled to petition for restoration of the viscountcy, but never did so.
Carlingford arms

Lord Taaffe was seated at Ellischau Castle, Bohemia.

Under the Titles Deprivation Act 1917, his name was removed from the roll of the Peers of Ireland by Order of the King in Council, 1919, for bearing arms against the United Kingdom in the 1st World War.

In 1919, he also lost his title as Count of the Holy Roman Empire, when the newly-established republic of Austria abolished the nobility and outlawed the use of noble titles.

Independent of the legal situation in the UK, the monarchy was abolished in Austria in 1918, and in 1919 the newly established republic of German Austria abolished all noble titles by law.

Heinrich, Count Taaffe, 12th Viscount Taaffe, thus lost both his titles and ended his life as plain Mr Taaffe.

He married, in 1897, in Vienna, Maria Magda Fuchs, and they had a son, Richard (1898–1967).

Upon the death of his first wife in 1918, he married, secondly, Aglaë Isescu,, in 1919, at Ellischau.

He died in Vienna in 1928, aged 56.

EDWARD CHARLES RICHARD TAAFFE (1898–1967) was an Austrian gemmologist who found the first cut and polished taaffeite in November 1945.

Mr Taaffe inherited neither the viscountcy nor the title of Count, as Austria had generally abolished titles of nobility in 1919.

With Richard Taaffe's death in 1967, no heirs to either title remained and both the Austrian and the UK titles became extinct.

Portions of the Taaffes'  County Sligo estate were offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates Court in 1852.

In 1866-67, John Taaffe offered for sale his estate at Gleneask and lands at Drumraine, in the barony of Corran.

In 1880 John West Pollock offered over 500 acres of the Taaffe estate in the barony of Corran for sale in the Land Judges' Court.

The Gleneask estate derived from an 1808 lease between Henry King and John Taaffe; while the Drumraine lease dated from the same period from the Parke estate.

The Taaffe family are also recorded as the owners of 833 acres in County Galway in the 1870s.

The family also held extensive properties in counties Louth and Meath.

The Congested Districts Board acquired over 5,000 acres of the Taaffe estate in the early 20th century.

SMARMORE CASTLE, near Ardee, County Louth, is claimed to be one of the longest continuously inhabited castles in Ireland.

Records show that William Taaffe was seated here in 1320, after his family arrived in Ireland from Wales at the turn of the 12th century.

Successive generations of Taaffes continued to make Smarmore Castle their main residence in Ireland until the mid 1980s, when the property was sold.

The castle is divided into three distinct sections comprising an early 14th century castle-keep with extensions on either side built ca 1720 and 1760 respectively.

The castle is built of local stone and its walls are eight feet thick.

The 18th century courtyard behind the castle was formerly the stables for the estate.

First published in October, 2012.  Carlingford arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

English Lesson

Jeeves in the Offing was published by Sir P G Wodehouse in 1960.

In Chapter Eighteen Bertie Wooster is discussing his old prep schoolmaster, Aubrey Upjohn MA:-

“Audacity,” I said, throwing her the line.

“The audacity to dictate to me who I shall have in my house.”

It should have been “whom”,  but I let it go.

“You have the ...”


“...the immortal rind,” she amended, and I have to admit it was stronger, “to tell me whom” - she got it right that time - “I may entertain at Brinkley Court, and who” - wrong again - “I may not.”

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Mount Trenchard House


EDWARD RICE, of Dingle, County Kerry, during the reign of HENRY VIII, married Anne, daughter of John Wall, of County Limerick, and was father of

ROBERT RICE, of Dingle, who wedded Julia, daughter of Sir James Whyte, Knight, of Cashel, County Tipperary, and was father of

STEPHEN RICE, of Dingle, MP for Kerry, 1613, who made a deed of settlement of his estates, 1619, and died in 1623.

He espoused Helena, daughter of Thomas Trant, of Cahirtrant, County Kerry, and had two sons, JAMES, MP for Dingle, 1635, from whom descended the RT HON THOMAS SPRING-RICE MP, of Mount Trenchard, 1st Baron Monteagle of Brandon; and

DOMINICK RICE, MP for Dingle, 1635, who married Alice, daughter of James Hussey, Baron of Galtrim, from which marriage descended

THE RT HON SIR STEPHEN RICE (1637-1715), Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, and a supporter of JAMES II, who wedded Mary, daughter of Thomas FitzGerald, of County Limerick, and had issue,
EDWARD, of whom we treat.
Sir Stephen's elder son,

THOMAS RICE, of Mount Trenchard, wedded Mary, daughter of Maurice FitzGerald, 14th Knight of Kerry, and had issue, a son,

STEPHEN EDWARD RICE, of Mount Trenchard, who married, in 1785, Catherine, only child and heir of Thomas Spring, of Castlemaine, County Kerry, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Mary; Catherine Ann.
Mr Rice died in 1831, and was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS SPRING-RICE (1790-1866), of Brandon, County Kerry, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1835-39, who wedded firstly, in 1811, the Lady Theodosia Pery, second daughter of Edmund, 1st Earl of Limerick, and had issue,
STEPHEN EDMUND, his successor;
Charles William Thomas, father of SIR CECIL SPRING-RICE GCMG GCVO;
Edmund Henry;
Aubrey Richard;
William Cecil;
Mary Alicia Pery; Theodosia Alicia Ellen F Charlotte; Catherine Anne Lucy.
Mr Spring Rice was elevated to the peerage, in 1839, by the title of BARON MONTEAGLE OF BRANDON, of Brandon, County Kerry.

My his first wife he had issue,
STEPHEN EDMOND, his successor;
Charles William Thomas;
Edmond Henry Francis Louis;
Aubrey Richard;
William Cecil;
Theodosia Alicia Ellen F Charlotte; Mary Alicia Pery; Catherine Anne Lucy.
His lordship's eldest son,

THE HON STEPHEN EDMOND SPRING-RICE (1814-65), of Mount Trenchard, espoused, in 1839, Ellen Mary, daughter of William Frere, and had issue,
THOMAS, 2nd Baron;
FRANCIS, 4th Baron;
Aileen; Lucy; Theodosia; Mary; Alice; Frederica; Catherine Ellen; Amy.
The Hon Stephen Edmond Spring-Rice predeceased his father, and was succeeded by his elder son,

THOMAS, 2nd Baron (1849-1926), of Mount Trenchard, who married, in 1875, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the Most Rev and Rt Hon Samuel Butcher, Lord Bishop of Meath, and had issue,
Stephen Edmond (1877-1900);
Mary Ellen (1880-1924), of Mount Trenchard.
Thomas Spring Rice, 2nd Baron (1849–1926);
Thomas Aubrey Spring Rice, 3rd Baron (1883–1934);
Francis Spring Rice, 4th Baron (1852–1937);
Charles Spring Rice, 5th Baron (1887–1946);
Gerald Spring Rice, 6th Baron (1926–2013);
Charles James Spring Rice, 7th Baron (b 1953).
The heir presumptive is the present holder's uncle, the Hon Michael Spring Rice (b 1935).
The heir presumptive's heir apparent is his son, Jonathan Spring Rice (b 1964).
The heir presumptive's heir apparent's heir apparent is his son, Jamie Alexander Spring Rice (b 2003).

MOUNT TRENCHARD HOUSE, near Foynes, County Limerick, is a late-Georgian house of three storeys over a basement, with two curved bows on its entrance front, which overlooks the River Shannon estuary.

There is a wide curved bow in the centre of its garden front, too.

One side of the house has a two-storey Victorian wing, which is almost as high as the main block; while the other side has a one bay, three storey addition and a lower two-storey wing.

Mount Trenchard was occupied by the Irish Army in 1944.

When the 5th Baron Monteagle of Brandon died in 1946, the estate was sold.

Lady Holland lived there for several years.

In 1954, the Sisters of Mercy acquired the estate and ran it as a private school for girls.

They extended the complex to include inter alia a large 1960s dormitory block, classrooms and a church.

Mount Trenchard House became the preserve of the nuns and continued in use as a dwelling.

Subsequent owners acquired the estate in 1996 and began restoring Mount Trenchard House for use as a centre for holistic medicine.

One aspect of the conservation plan was to restore the historic approach to the house which was originally from the south side (in the second half of the 19th century the house had been re-oriented to the north).

This involved changes to the present grounds and paths and woodlands, on the recommendation of the architects leading the project, the owners appointed me to advise them on the forestry and arboriculture aspects of the woodland, heritage, veteran/ancient and champion trees on the estate.

Mount Trenchard is currently used by an agency of the Irish government as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers.

First published in January, 2013.

Friday, 15 March 2019

New DL

Mrs Alison Millar, Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry, has been pleased to appoint

Mr David Cunningham
County Londonderry

To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County his Commission bearing date the 11th day of March 2019

Lord Lieutenant of the County

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Brittas Castle


The estate of Brittas was time immemorial in the ancient family of DUNNE, anciently O'Doinn, chief of the name, and a sept of historic note.

The O'Doinns occur frequently in the works of James MacGeoghegan, in the Annals of the Four Masters, and the other Irish authorities. 

RORY O'DOINN, Chief of I-Regan, died, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, in 1427, and was father of

LENAGH O'DOINN, Chief of I-Regan, who built Castlebrack, in the Queen's County.

He married a daughter of O'Neill of Ulster and had issue,
TEIG, of whom hereafter;
The elder son,

TEIG O'DOINN, Chief of Iregan, wedded firstly, Ellen, daughter of "Lord Power", and had issue,
TEIG (OGE), of whom presently;
 eldest son,

TEIG (Oge) O'DOINN, Chief of Iregan, espoused firstly, Gormla, daughter of O'Connor Faile, and had issue,
Brien, dsp;
TEIGH (REOGH), of whom we treat;
Edmund, of Park;
He married secondly, Giles, daughter of MacGillepatrick, of Upper Ossory, and had further issue,
The second son,

TEIGH (REOGH) or THADY O'DOINN, of Iregan, had a grant of English liberty for himself and his issue, in 1551.

He wedded a daughter of McMorrish, and had issue,
THADY or TEIG (OGE), his successor;
TORLOGH or TERENCE, of whom presently;
Donagh, of Gurtin and Balliglass, living 1570;
The eldest son,

THADY (or TEIG OGE) O'DOINN, of Tenchinch and Castlebrack, appointed Captain of Iregan, 1558, made settlements of his estates in 1590, 1591, and 1593, and was living in 1601.

He wedded Elizabeth, daughter of James FitzGerald, of Ballysonan, County Kildare, and had issue,
TEIG (LOGHA) or TEIG OGE, or THADY, his heir;
Brian or Barnaby;
CAHIR or CHARLES, of whom presently;
Two daughters.
The eldest son,

TEIGH (LOGHA) or THADY O'DOYNE (-1637), of Castlebrack, surrendered his estate, 1611, and had a regrant of the greater portion in 1611.

He espoused firstly, Margaret, daughter of Shane O'Neill, who left him and married Cuconaght Maguire, and had by her a son, Teige reogh or Thady, dsp before 1635.

He married secondly, Ellis, daughter of Redmond FitzGerald, of Clonbolg, County Kildare, and had seven sons who survived infancy,
Edmund or Edward, dsp before 1635;
John, dsp before 1635;
William, of Park;
Richard, in holy orders; Vicar-General of Kildare;
Rory or Roger;
We now return to

CAHIR O'DOINN, alias CHARLES DUNN, LL.Dfourth son of Thady O'Doinn, Captain of Iregan, Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, 1593, Master in Chancery, 1602, MP, 1613, Vice-Chancellor, 1614.

He petitioned against the regrant of Iregan to his brother and got a grant to himself of Brittas and portion of the Iregan estates, which he bequeathed by his will, dated 1617, to his nephew,

BARNABY or BRIAN OGE DUNN (1590-1661), of Brittas, High Sheriff of Queen's County in 1623.

He obtained from CHARLES I a patent for a large estate in the barony of Tinnahinch, to hold to him and his heirs for ever in soccage, provided that he did not take the name, style, or title of O'DOINN, and that he should drop that same and call himself BRIAN DUNN.

He married Sybella, daughter of Sir Robert Piggott, Knight, of Dysart, and widow of Richard Cosby, of Stradbally, both in the Queen's County, and was succeeded by his son,

CAHIR or CHARLES DUNNE, of Brittas, who wedded Margaret, sister of John Coghlan, of Birr, and had issue,
TERENCE, his heir;
Mary; Peggy; Polly; Clare.
Mr Dunne died in 1680, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

TERENCE DUNNE, of Brittas, captain in Moore's Regiment of Infantry, who fought for JAMES II and fell at Aughrim in 1691.

He espoused, in 1676, Margaret, daughter of Daniel Byrne, and sister of Sir Gregory Byrne, 1st Baronet, MP for Ballinakill, and had issue,
DANIEL, of Brittas;
Charles, dsp;
EDWARD, of whom presently;
The fourth son,

EDWARD DUNNE, of Brittas, married, in 1730, Margaret, daughter of Francis Wyse, of the Manor of St John, County Waterford, and had issue,
FRANCIS, his heir;
Barnaby, dsp;
Anastasia; Juliana; Margaret; Mary.
Mr Dunne died in 1765, and was succeeded by his elder son,

FRANCIS DUNNE, who wedded, in 1760, his cousin, Margaret, daughter and co-heir of Nicholas Plunkett, of Dunsoghly Castle, County Dublin, by Alice his wife, daughter and co-heir of Daniel Dunne (see above), and had issue,
EDWARD, his heir;
Alice; Frances; Katherine; Margaret.
Mr Dunne died in 1771, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

EDWARD DUNNE JP (1767-1844), of Brittas, General in the army,  Deputy Governor and High Sheriff of Queen's County, 1790, MP for Maryborough, 1800.

He took an active part in suppressing the Irish Rebellion of 1798, at which time he commanded the Pembrokeshire Fencible Cavalry.

General Dunne wedded, in 1801, Frances, daughter of Simon White, of Bantry House, sister to Richard, 1st Earl of Bantry, and had issue,
EDWARD MEADOWS, successor to his brother;
Robert Hedges (Rev);
Frances Jane.
General Dunne was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON FRANCIS PLUNKETT DUNNE JP DL (1802-74), of Brittas and Dunsoghly Castle, County Dublin, Privy Counsellor, Major-General in the army, Lieutenant-Colonel, Queen's County Militia MP for Portarlington, 1847-57, Queen's County, 1859-68, Clerk of the Ordnance, 1852, Private Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1858-9, who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

EDWARD MEADOWS DUNNE JP (1803-75), of Brittas, Barrister, who married, in 1835, Marianne, daughter of Langford Rowley Heyland, of Glendarragh, County Antrim, and Tamlaght, Lieutenant-Colonel, Londonderry Militia, and had issue,
Edward Eyre, 1836-48;
Alexander Dupré, 1838-55;
Mr Dunne was succeeded by his only surviving son,

FRANCIS PLUNKETT DUNNE JP (1844-78), of Brittas, High Sheriff, 1878, who wedded, in 1873, his cousin, Frances Jane, daughter of the Rev Robert Hedges Dunne, and had issue,
Francis Plunkett, died young;
ALICE MAUDE, of Brittas;
Mr Dunne, leaving his estates to be equally divided between his two surviving daughters, ALICE MAUDE and KATHLEEN PLUNKETT, who sold the estate of Brittas in 1898 to their uncle, Robert Hedges Plunkett Dunne, on whose death, in 1901, these ladies succeeded, again, to Brittas and Dunsoghly Castle.

Francis Plunkett Dunne was succeeded in the male representation of his family by his cousin, Charles Henry Plunkett Dunne.

BRITTAS CASTLE, near Clonaslee, County Laois, was a castellated house of sandstone with limestone dressings, built in 1869 by Major-General Francis Dunne, to the design of John McCurdy.

The Dunnes were influential in the form and history of Clonaslee, as evidenced in its planned form and also from a number of ruins in the area.

The former residence of a branch of the family remains in ruins one mile from the village at Clara Hill.

Also, near the east bank of the Clodiagh River, stand the ruins of Ballinakill Castle, built in 1680 by Colonel Dunne.

Throughout the 18th century, Clonaslee prospered due to its location on an important highway across Laois leading onto Munster.

The proximity of Brittas - the seat of the Dunnes - was also influential as the power of this family had by now grown beyond that of a native Irish chieftain.

In 1771, Francis Dunne, then head of the Dunne Family, became a Roman Catholic and built a thatched parish chapel in the village.

This was located close to the site of the present church.

The Dunne family continued to finance the construction of landmark buildings in the village:
The parish Church was erected in 1814 under General Edward Dunne (known locally as 'shun-battle Ned' because of his rumoured refusal to fight at the 1815 battle of Waterloo).
When the main residence in Tinnahinch was blown up in 1653, the Dunne chief had to build anew.

At this time there was a low thatched lodge located at Brittas.

Major-General Francis Plunkett Dunne built a Neo-Gothic mansion at Brittas in 1869.

It was extended ten years later by Millar & Symes.

It is claimed that General Dunne obtained loans from Germany to build the castle, and rental income from his tenants was used to repay the lenders.

The gate piers of the grand house still remain on the western edge of the Green.

The walls and windows give an idea of the house's architecture.

It was three storeys high and the roof was originally thatched.

On the wall over the main entrance, the family crest is still visible, depicting an eagle and a drawn sword.

The last of the family to reside in Brittas House were the Misses Dunne.

The house had extensive gardens, shrubberies and out-offices.

The links with Clonaslee village, and the remains of the Brittas estate are strong.
The expansive demesne grounds contain many splendid trees – remnants of the larger plantations. Lawson's cypress, copper beech, yew, sycamore, cut-leaved beech, and oak that covered much of the townland of Brittas over a century ago.
Brittas Lake – which has recently been restored – was originally constructed as a reservoir for the house.

Its banks are stone lined and water was pumped from the Clodiagh River.

Brittas Castle suffered a fire fire in 1942 and, despite the best efforts of the Tullamore fire brigade, it was destroyed.

First published in September, 2012.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Woodstock Park


The name of TIGH, TEIGH, or, as now written, TIGHE, was assumed from a village in the county of Rutland, the earliest abode of the family, whence, however, it departed at a remote period and settled at Carlby, in Lincolnshire, where Lister Tigh, the last of the English line, resided during the reign of CHARLES II.

In the previous reign, and before the rebellion of 1641,

RICHARD TIGHE  (son of William Tighe) went over to Ireland and settled there.

Alderman Tighe, High Sheriff of Dublin, 1649, Colonel, Dublin Militia, Mayor of Dublin, 1651-55, and Member of the same city in Cromwell's Union Parliament, 1656, acquired considerable estates in counties Carlow, Dublin and Westmeath, during the time of the two CHARLESES.

He married Mary, daughter of Thomas Rooke, of London, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Anne; Rebecca; Mary.
Alderman Tighe died in 1673, and was succeeded by his son,

WILLIAM TIGHE (1657-79), who wedded Anne, daughter of Christopher Lovat, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Mr Tighe was succeeded by his only son,

THE RT HON RICHARD TIGHE (1678-1736), MP for Belturbet, 1703, Newtownards, 1715, Augher, 1727, who was sworn of the Privy Council during the reign of GEORGE I,

He espoused Barbara, daughter co-heir of Christian Borr, of Drinagh, County Wexford, by his wife, an heiress of the family of Hore in the same county, and had, besides daughters, a son and heir,

WILLIAM TIGHE (1710-66), of Rossana, County Wicklow, Keeper of the Records in Bermingham Tower, MP for Clonmiles, 1733, Wicklow, 1761, who married firstly, in 1736, the Lady Mary Bligh, eldest daughter of John, 1st Earl of Darnley, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
Richard William;
He wedded secondly, Margaret, eldest daughter and co-heir of Thomas Theaker MP, by whom he had a son, Thomas.

Mr Tighe was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM TIGHE (1738-82), of Rossana, MP for Rathboy, 1761, who married, in 1765, Sarah, only child of the Rt Hon Sir William Fownes Bt, of Woodstock, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his heir;
John Edward;
Elizabeth; Marianne Caroline.
Mr Tighe was succeeded by his eldest son,

WILLIAM TIGHE (1766-1816), of Woodstock, MP for County Wicklow, 1806-16, who wedded, in 1793, Marianne, daughter and co-heiress of Daniel Gahan MP, of Coolquill, County Tipperary, and eventually co-heiress of her uncle, Matthew Bunbury, of Kilfeacle, County Tipperary, and had issue,
Daniel, of Rossana;
Mr Tighe was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON WILLIAM FREDERICK FOWNES TIGHE JP DL (1794-1878), of Woodstock, who married, in 1825, the Lady Louisa Lennox, fifth daughter of Charles, 4th Duke of Richmond, and had an only daughter, Charlotte Frances, who died an infant in 1827.

Mr Tighe was succeeded by his nephew,

FREDERICK EDWARD BUNBURY-TIGHE JP (1826-91), of Woodstock, Lieutenant-Colonel commanding, Kilkenny Militia, who espoused, in 1858, the Lady Kathleen Louisa Georgina Ponsonby, daughter of John William, 4th Earl of Bessborough, and had issue,
William Frederick (1860-87);
Colonel Tighe was succeeded by his only surviving son,

EDWARD KENDRICK BUNBURY-TIGHE JP DL (1862-1917), of Woodstock, High Sheriff of County Kilkenny, 1895, and Westmeath, 1903, Lieutenant, Grenadier Guards, who wedded, in 1894, Viola, only daughter of Edward Skeffington Randal Smyth, of Mount Henry, Queen's County, and had issue,
Kathleen Augusta Louisa;
Oonagh Frances Geraldine; Moira Gertrude Florence.
Rear-Admiral Wilfred Geoffrey Stuart Tighe CB was a member of this family.

The Tighe Papers are deposited at PRONI.

WOODSTOCK HOUSE, Inistioge, County Kilkenny, was built in 1745-47 for Sir William Fownes by the architect Francis Bindon.

It has a rusticated front façade and is unusual in being built around a small central court. 

The decorative emphasis of the house was focused upon the front façade.

In 1804-06 flanking wings were added to designs by William Robertson. 

The service yards either side were added at the same time.

Both the main house and the wings were built of stone with brick lining inside.

The basement vaulting was, unusually, also of brick.

Only parts of the east and west walls of the centre block and parts of the wings had no internal brick lining. 

Like many early 18th century Irish country houses, the decorative emphasis of the building was focused upon the front façade.

The five bay garden frontage (below) is much plainer though a very decorative iron staircase was added in the 1850s by Richard Turner.

The main house was maliciously burnt in 1922.

The east wing apparently was not burnt and remained occupied for some years subsequently. 

The house is now in an unstable condition, having been in a ruinous state for approximately eighty years.

Due to its constant exposure to weathering there has been considerable decay of the fabric and undermining of the structural stability of parts of the building.

The central bay of the front façade collapsed in March 2001 during a storm which has left the building now even more unstable and extremely dangerous.

Works are now under way to protect the building from further deterioration. 

The Victorian gardens, which contain elements of international importance, were laid out with the house as a central focus.

The restoration of the gardens which is being carried out by Kilkenny County Council, has highlighted, both the significance of the house in relation to the gardens and the precarious condition which the structure is currently in.

With public access to the restored gardens, the area around the house has been fenced off for safety.

It is proposed that the conservation works to Woodstock House, to be carried out on a phased basis, will provide for its stabilisation and preservation as a ruin.

Ultimately it is recommended that there should be public access to the interior of the building to enable a full appreciation of the gardens.

This access may be limited and controlled, depending upon the extent of conservation/restoration works carried out.

In principle, the phases of conservation building works are as follows:

Phase One: Emergency works to make structure safe to work on. This involves:

1. Digital/photographic survey of front and garden façades to provide dimensional photographic record and measured elevations. This will be carried out prior to any dismantling works.

2. Careful dismantling of loose fabric of the front (collapsed ) façade to a level where the remaining wall is stable and safe.

3. The removed fabric will be stored on pallets in the grounds and where safely possible, dressed stones will be numbered prior to removal. Loose material already on the ground will be retrieved, labelled and stored on pallets.

4. Wall tops to be weathered with a hydraulic lime mortar flaunching.

Phase Two: Removal of loose rubble at ground/basement internal level, to provide safe ground for erecting scaffold.

Carrying out consolidation and stabilisation works to masonry walls including rebuilding of certain sections to include removed wall and reinstatement of cross walls etc.

Also removal of vegetation and making good brickwork/stonework around; brickwork repairs including re-pointing, mortar repairs and replacement where necessary.

Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum are open to the public.

Former town residence ~ 25 Norfolk Street, Park Lane, London.

First published in June, 2012.