Sir Henry Lynch-Blosse, 7th Baronet

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Sir Henry Lynch-Blosse, 7th Baronet (14 October 1749 – 1788), was an Irish baronet and politician.


The life of Sir Henry Lynch-Blosse, 7th Baronet was surrounded by controversy that centered on his relationship with his mistress, Sibella Cottle, by whom he fathered seven illegitimate children. The controversy focused on her residency in the Lynch-Blosse ‘Big House’ in the village of Balla, County Mayo and her reputed use of witchcraft to spellbind Sir Henry to her for life.

Lynch-Blosse was born in London, the first child of Robert Lynch and Elizabeth Barker.[1] Elizabeth was the daughter and heir of Francis Barker, and niece and heir of Tobias Blosse.[2] It was a condition of the marriage that Robert would assume the additional surname of Blosse and conform to Protestantism. Robert changed his surname by a private Act of Parliament of 1748.[3] Henry, better known as Harry, spent the first few years of his life in his mother’s home in Suffolk, England.

The family moved to Ireland in 1754 and took up residence at the Lynch-Blosse home in Balla, Co Mayo. When Sir Henry Lynch, 5th Baronet died in 1762, his eldest son, Robert Lynch-Blosse became the 6th Baronet in the succession of Lynch-Blosse Baronets. When Sir Robert died circa 1775, Harry became the 7th Baronet.[4] [5]Shortly afterwards, Sir Harry was elected to the Irish House of Commons representing Tuam. He served in that capacity from 1776 to 1783. Sir Harry was also the god-father of the heiress, Anne O'Donel, who was reputedly abducted by Timothy Brecknock in 1785.[6][7]

Lynch-Blosse died young in 1788 aged 38 years. He bequeathed generous legacies to each of his seven children by his mistress, Sibella Cottle.[8] [9] [10] Because he died without legitimate heir, the baronetcy passed to his four-year-old nephew, Robert.


  1. ^ Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, Charles Mosley, editor, Crans, Switzerland, 107th edition, 2003, volume 2, G-O, ‘Lynch-Blosse’, pages 2436-38.
  2. ^ Partridge, Charles, ‘Blosse of Belstead’, numbers 7 and 8, East Anglian Daily Times, 1, 15 March 1924.
  3. ^ Deed Poll Office: Private Act of Parliament 1748 (22 Geo. 2). c. 38
  4. ^ McNulty, Paul, ‘The genealogy of the Anglo-Norman Lynches who settled in Galway’, Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, 2010, volume 62, pages 30-50,
  5. ^ McNulty, Paul B, Genealogy of the Anglo-Norman Lynches: who settled in Galway, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013, 162 pages,
  6. ^ Dalsimer, Adele, ‘The Spancel of Death: A Play by T H Nally’ Irish Studies, New York, 1983, 21 pages, National Library of Ireland,
  7. ^ McNulty, Paul B, The Abduction of Anne O'Donel,, Club Lighthouse CLP, Edmonton, Alberta, 2013,;
  8. ^ Nicholls, K. W., ‘The Lynch Blosse Papers’, Analecta Hibernica 1980, volume 28, pages 113-219,;
  9. ^ Lynch of Galway, Betham Sketch Pedigrees I, IV, Ms 264, National Library of Ireland, pages 45-50.
  10. ^ McNulty, Paul B, Spellbound by Sibella, 2013, Club Lighthouse CLP,;