William Gibson, 2nd Baron Ashbourne
William Gibson, 2nd Baron Ashbourne (16 December 1868 – 21 January 1942) was born at 20 Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin to Edward Gibson, 1st Baron Ashbourne and Frances Maria Adelaide Colles (a granddaughter of Abraham Colles and niece of John Dawson Mayne).
He was educated at Harrow School, Trinity College, Dublin and Merton College, Oxford University. He succeeded to the title as 2nd Baron Ashbourne, of Ashbourne, County Meath in 1913 and held the office of Justice of the Peace for County Dublin and County Meath. He was a founder of the Roger Bacon Society and Vice-President of the Irish Literary Society. he was the author of The Abbe de Lammenais and the Liberal Catholic Movement in France and was a contributor to The Dublin and other reviews. In 1896, he married Marianne de Monbrison (died 1953), daughter of Henri Roger Conquerré de Monbrison of Paris, a French Protestant from the Languedoc. Marianne's sister was married to Count Edmond de Poutales. Lord and Lady Ashbourne left no children.
Gibson was an enthusiastic cultural nationalist and converted to Catholicism. He insisted in speaking only Irish, even in the House of Lords, and rather than speak English to those who didn't speak Irish, the only other language he would converse in was French. He adopted Irish dress and was a member of Conradh na Gaeilge.
His father had left in his will £100,000 (roughly £7 million at today's rate), and though 'Willie' was the eldest son and heir, because of his nationalist leanings, he was left with only a 'paltry' £800, the bulk having been passed to his younger brother, Edward Gibson (1873–1928), father of the 3rd Baron Ashbourne.
Mary Leslie, a member of the family of the Leslie family of Glaslough, Monaghan said of Lord Ashbourne:
:"I am so interested by the Ashbourne's son, a half hatched philosopher & saint who has an article in this 19th Century & is writing on "Danton" for the next. He has the eyes of a Melanethon but the mouth & wit of a Paddy. He was a positivist before he turned Catholic. He has the worst clothes of any philosopher I've met..."
For all his Irishness, he lived near Dorking, Surrey, before he and his wife removed to France, where they lived at Compagnie, where he died. On the back of a letter that he wrote to his wife in 1937, he wrote the opening lines of a poem:
"I turned away, my soul was rich with sadness, And wondered thence in brooding reverie..."
- All creeds and all classes? Just who made up the Gaelic League?, findarticles.com; accessed 9 July 2014.
- "NEW PEER DISINHERITED.; Lord Ashbourne Loses $450,000 Because He Is a Nationalist.". New York Times. 23 July 1913. Retrieved 10 August 2008.
- Kessinger Publishing (reprint)
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
Edward Russell Gibson