James Bernard, 4th Earl of Bandon

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James Francis Bernard, 4th Earl of Bandon, KP (12 September 1850 – 18 May 1924), was a British Deputy Lieutenant in Ireland and Representative Peer. Lord Bandon was a cousin of the Earl of Middleton (who was head of the southern Irish Unionists at the time of the Anglo-Irish War (1919–1921)).


He reorganised his various County Cork estates by way of settlement in 1876 and further in 1895 and 1896 including the mortgaging of the lands to his agents Richard Wheeler Doherty, and the appointment of George and John Jones and Doherty as his attorneys. He was appointed High Sheriff of County Cork for 1875.

IRA hostilities[edit]

The family seat of Castle Bernard, near the town of Bandon, County Cork, was one of the last great houses burned during the troubles of the 1920s by an Irish Republican Army party under Sean Hales on 21 June 1921. It was burned as a counter-reprisal measure against British policy[citation needed] to burn Irish homes in districts in which the British had declared martial law. Tom Barry, the leader of the local IRA, claimed they burned two "big houses" for every one Irish peasant's cottage destroyed.

Lord Bandon was also kidnapped and held hostage for six weeks being released on 12 July. The IRA threatened to have him executed if the British went ahead with executing IRA prisoners. During his captivity, Bandon coolly played cards with his captors, who treated him well. Tom Barry later stated he believed the kidnapping helped move the British towards the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the cessation of hostilities.

Other Family Members[edit]

Part of the family moved to Scotland in the late thirties. James Owen Bernard, the son of Robert Bernard, was last heard of in a small town called Cardenden (Bowhill), close to Lockgelly in Fife, Scotland. The only surviving son of James O'Bernard is Robert Mitchell Bernard.


Registry of Deeds, Dublin, 1876, 1895 and 1896 Bandon Historical Journal no 12, 1996

Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Francis Bernard
Earl of Bandon
Succeeded by
Percy Bernard
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Bandon
Lord Lieutenant of Cork
Office abolished