User:Giano/Political history of the Irish country house

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Mitchelstown Castle, Ireland's largest Gothic revival mansion, became a symbol of all that was wrong with British rule. It was destroyed during the Irish War of Independence

The Political history of the Irish country house is linked precisely with the often turbulant history of Ireland. In mainland Britain, from the 15th century as political stability and unification brought peace, local warlords were able to forsake their fortified castles in favour of comfortable and elegant country houses. However, in Ireland, where the poplulation never fully accepted English rule, the dynamics differed. More often than not, the country houses were not built by an indigenous local warlord reborn as a country gentlemen, but by politically selected landlords, given land confiscated from its former Irish owner and regarded by the native Roman Catholic population as alien. Sometimes absent abroad for long periods, when in Ireland, the landlords tended to worship, marry and socialise apart from the native population.[1] As a result, there was little intergration; even the upper servants closest to the family were often Protestants imported from England.[2] As a consequence, Irish country houses were seldom perceived as the bedrock of rural society, which was the case in England. [3]

In 1800, Ireland contained 4,000 landed estates presided over by a country house (more often in Ireland, termed simply "big house); two hundred years later, less than 100 remain.[4] Many of these often architecturally important houses were built by Anglo-Irish landlords, the Protestant Ascendancy, during a perod of prosperity in the 18th and early 19th centuries. For political and social reasons, during the 19th century, they came to be regarded with mounting resentment by the native Irish poplualtion. From 1920 to 1923 [5]a total of almost three hundred of these "big houses" were destroyed during the Irish War of Independence. [6].

However, for the greater part, the political tensions of the preceeding and proceeding sixty years compounded by famine, poor government and resentment had a far more detrimental affect on the Irish country house than the brief period between 1920 and 1923. By which time, following the passing of the 1903 Land Act, approximately 80% of Irish farmers had purchased their holdings and the Ascendancy were no longer the great landowners and the Irish country house and its Protestant occupants were already in serious decline.[7] In 1923, when the risk of attack from the IRA had diminished, the passing of the last of a succession of land acts by the new Free State government saw land compulsorily redistributed from landlords to tenants and in many cases proved to be the final nail n the coffin of many Irish country houses. For the greater part of the 20th century, these often decaying now mansions were regarded as unwelcome reminders of Ireland's trouble history and largely ignored; many architecturally fine houses, such as Shanbally Castle amd Monellan Castle, deprived on their estates were demolished with government approval; others were abandoned to dereliction or insensitively transormed for institutional uses. During The Troubles of the late 20th century, attacks on country houses were largly confined to the theft of contents and atacks on owners, rather than the fabric of the houses themselves.[8]

Today, arrempts are being made to rehabilitate Ireland's remaining great houses and have them regarded as an important part of Ireland's cultural heritage. Until recently these "big houses" built by landlords seen as protestant iterlopers were not regarded as part of Ireland's patrinomy at all.[9] The author of a recent Goverment backed report dedicated to assisting their future survival stresses "Their preservation need not be seen as a celebration of the landlord system that facilitated their construction but rather a celebration of the great artistic achievements of the architects who designed them and the everyday works of craftsmanship of those who embellished them."[10]. Today, less than fifty remain in the hands of the families which built them, with their collections intact, and many of these are in a poor condition - houses such as Russborough and Lismore Castle[11] are very much a minority. The last political destruction of a country house was Tynan Abbey, in Nothern Ireland, which was destroyed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army in 1981.

Background of Irish Country House[edit]

Shanbally Castle designed in 1810 by John Nash for 1st Viscount Lismore. It was acquired by the Irish Land Commission in 1954 and demolished six years later.

In Ireland, the term country house or "big house" is an all emcompasing term which includes all from the grandest houses to large house which are little more than farm houses with architectural aspirations to varying degrees of grandeur.

In 1800, it has been estimated that out of a poplulation of 5.4 million, almost all of whom were Roman Catholic, the land was was owned by fewer than 10,000, most of whom were Protestant. [12] and of these 10,000, a third were absentee landlords.[13] The reasons for this lie in Ireland's 16th century history.

Successive failed rebellions against English rule in 1595–1603 and 1641–1653 and 1689-91 caused much Irish land to be confiscated; this was then sold to those reliably beleived to be loyal; naturally these new landlords were Protestant and more often than not English. Thus, soldiers and merchants many of whom had already financially profited from their presence in the province putting down the rebellions became the new landlords. Such notable figures as Walter Raleigh and Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, both one time owners of Lismore Castle made fortunes out of amassing Irish lands; the latter developing them for industry and agriculture.[14] Like Boyle, the wealthier and more powerful were elevated to the Irish House of Lords forming an Anglo-Irish aristocracy and ruling class. As is the case with all aristocracies association and marriage outside of the class was not encouraged; however, for many years until the close of the 18th century, in Ireland that discouragement was enforced by law, with Protestants forbidden to marry Catholics. Various other discrimenatory laws against the poorer and Catholic majority, many of which were repealed during the 18th and 19th century, left a long standing and simmering resentment.

Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford, a seat of the Dukes of Devonshire has twice been sacked, in 1645 and again in 192?

Initially, landlords were able to derive a high income in agricultural rents from their newly acquired Irish estates, thus, so funded, the majority of Ireland's "big houses" date from the early 18th century to the mid 19th century. It is from this period that Ireland's famed Georgian architecture dates. Based on the classical forms of Palladianism, Georgian architecture appeared all over the province from great terraces housing the prosperous in the cities to vast country mansions, Castletown House (itself saved from vandalism in 1967) being a prime example [15]. As the 18th century progressed and tastes became more restrained, Ireland saw a wave more simple neoclasical houses, untill with the 19th century, as elsehwere the Gothic style came into vogue, and the landscape became dotted with seemingly medieval castles designed by such eminent architects as John Nash and a little later Augustus Pugin. While many of the prominent architects of the period, such as James Gandon and Edward Lovett Pearce made their professional names and settled in Ireland, they too like their employers were often of English origin, or as in the case of Lovett Pearce, members of the Ascendency itself, which re-enforced the view that such architecture was alien to Ireland.

However, while the architects may not have been native Irishmen, and the architecture impoted from Europe via England, the materials and craftsmen were frequently home produced. European craftsmen trained Irishmen in their skills causing Irish country houses and their Irish made furniture, silver and glass to be a testimony to the native arts and skills of the era.[16]

Until the mid 19th century, the status quo was maintained, Catholic tenants rented land from landlords, some were quite large propsperous farmers others little more than uneducated peasants living in hovels with badly thatched roofs which they built themselves - the Irish estate seldom possessed the neat purpose built estate cottages surrounded by vegetable and flower gardens found on their English equivalent, sometimes owned by the same landlord. For the most part, Tthe tenantry were able to sustain themselves until in 1845, Ireland was struck by the Great Famine.

Ireland's population fell by between 20 and 25 percent.[17] Approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland.[18] The proximate cause of famine was a potato disease commonly known as potato blight.[19] Politicall, the affects of the famine were to devastate the Irish economy, bankrupt landlords and tenants alike, but to expose the simering tensions and resentments between landlords and tenants, those who lived in the "big house" and those who had no house.

Mitchelstown Castle (case study)[edit]

Irish National Land League poster encouraging tenants to withold rent. Under Perpetual Crimes Act (1887), such encouragement was criminalised.

The story of Mitchelstown Castle and its estate, provides an example of the difficulties encountered by an Irish country house and its owners created as a result of the economical and political factors which affected Ireland throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. Mitchelstown demonstrates how the various legal acts came into play and the affects of the various Nationalist movements and their organisations. While Mitchelstown and its owners may provide an extreme example, many of Ireland's country houses suffered similar, if albeit more isolated, incidents.

The castle was designed by the English architects, James and George Richard Pain.[20] in 1823, for the 3rd Earl of Kingston. It replaced an earlier Palladian house which in turn had replaced an earlier castle built in the 15th century by the White Knights of Mitchelstown, from whom, through marriage, it passed to the Anglo-Irish King family, Barons and Earls of Kingston who had first been granted land in County Roscommon by the British crown in 1592.[21][22] In 1667, the family was granted a further 23,000 acres in Connacht and more than 14,000 acres in Munster, these areas were further enlarged by grants of land in Co Cork and Co Tipperary in 1669.[23]

The new castle, at the heart of a cast estate the was the largest Gothic revival house in Ireland and cost £100,000 to build[24] It had 60 principal and 20 minor bedrooms, a 100-foot-long (30 m) gallery, three libraries, morning room, dining room (which could seat 100 guests at one sitting). Immediately surrounding the castle was 1,240 acres demesne, this was a purely private area for the castle's owners; it had three small artificial lakes well stocked with fish, woods, lawns, both formal and kitchen gardens, avenues and follies and was surrounded by a 10ft high wall, 6.5 miles in length.

Even at the time of the castle's 19th century rebuilding the estates were heavily mortgaged.[25] this was common at the period amongst an aristocracy eager to pursue the hedonistic lifestyle common during the regency period, with seemingly guaranteed incomes from vast estates it was not deemed a risk. <Find a ref for this> The 3rd Earl died in London in 1839 [26] leaving his castle, title and debts to his wayward son, Robert whose debts were further increased by the affects of the Great Famine of 1845. The family was now in serious financial trouble; taking advantage of the Encumbered Estates Act of 1849 it began to sell vast areas of land from their many estates, including Mitchelstown. In 1851, 21,000 acres in County Limerick, 18,180 acres in County Tipperary and 3,951 acres in County Cork were sold and four years later, a further 7,000 acres went under the auctioneers hammer.[27] However, these sales still left the Mitchelstown Castle estate with acreage of 25,000 acres of tenanted land. [28]

A contemporary political cartoon shows the silhouette of Gladstone penning the "writing on the wall" which gives the names of the next five by-elections in Britain; all were won by Gladstone's Liberals, using the slogan "Remember Mitchelstown." The alarmed Conservative sits, screwing up free speech in his hand

The 4th Earl died, disgraced and heavily in debt,[29] in 1867 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Robert, who died just two years later. Despite having sold vast tracts of land, like many Irish landowners, the King family were not only re-paying large mortgages on those estates, but doing so with a severely reduced income. Furthermore, from 1846, the family had been quarrelling over an heir's legitimacy and as a result, their estates were eventually divided,[30] Rather than leave his cousin, the new 6th Earl, the estates in their entirity, the 5th earl left what remained of the still large, but heavily mortgaged Mitchelstown Estate to his widow, the former Anna Brinkley.[31] However, with the estates now divided and much smaller, the castle's new incumbent had an income far reduced from that enjoyed by her predecessors. It was said, she was so poor, that those dining at the castle could "scarcely get a raisin in her barmbrack." [32] In 1873, the dowager countess remarried to William Downes Webber, but this was not to prove a solution to her poverty. The castle was already by this stage, more a liability than the status symbol it had been designed to be.

In 1880 and 1881 the Land War came to Mitchelstown, a reported crowd of 1,600 of the estate's tenants and supporters,[33] encouraged by the newly formed Irish National Land League demanded a reduction in their rents, the dispute escalated and a large demonstration resulted. The estate responded quickly and harshly; those that did not capitulate and pay the rent demanded were evicted.[34] However, this was not to be the conclusion of the matter. Demands for lower rents continued to be met with threats of eviction.

In 1887, the continuing events at the Mitchelstown Castle estate made news headlines around the world. Following the Conservative politician and Chief Secretary for Ireland Arthur Balfour's introduction of the Perpetual Crimes Act (1887) (or Coercion Act) aimed at the prevention of intimidation and unlawful assembly in Ireland during the Irish Land War. Anyone suspected of inciting public disorder could be tried in the Coercion court and imprisoned.

In August of 1887, as part of the Plan of Campaign, of which he was an organiser, the nationalist journalist and agrarian William O'Brien had addressed the Mitchelstown tenants, many of whom had been served with writs and civil bill decrees threatening eviction. [35] Together with the tenant's leader, a prosperous tenant farmer and busines man, John Mandeville, the speakers encouraged the Kingston tenants to fight all attempts to to evict them. O'Brien, the most strident of the two, advised that the tenants would be '"justified before God and man in resisting this outrage.." and went significantly further by recomending that the crowd should "set the estate in a blaze about Lady Kingston's ears should she proceed with evictions."[36]

Unsurprisingly, as this was just the sort of sedition which the newly passed Perpetual Crimes Act had been designed to prevent, the two men were charged with "inciting to resist evictions" and ordered to appear in court in Mitchelstown on 9 September 1887.[37][38] Despite the men refusing to answer the summons a crowd of of 7,000 composed of Land League members, Nationalist MPs and supporters from Britain gathered in the town; amongst those present were John Dillon, Brunner (an English MP), Henry Labouchère, Thomas Ellis MP [39] Gill, Condon and Patrick O'Hea. [40] When, after a carnival-like procession with bands and banners,[41] the more prominent amongst the crowd began to make speeches, the police attempted to usher a Government stenographer to the front to take notes of what was said, taken as sign that more charges under the new act would be forthcoming the police were beaten back by the crowd, in the melee which followed, the police opened fire, killing three men and injuring twenty more.[42] Following the event an inquest, gave the verdict that 6 police officers had unlawfully murdered the victims, this was later overturned on the High Court in Dublin.[43] The event became known as the "Mitchelstown Massacre" and is commemorated by a memorial to Mandeville (who died shortly after serving prison sentence [44] ) unveiled in 1906 by O'Brien.[45] In the aftermath, the Liberal leader and Balfour's opponent William Gladstone coined the political taunt "Remember Mitchelstown" from which he and his colleagues made great capital. The British MP,Henry Labouchère, who witnessed the events later described the police as cowardly and went on to say that police and troops had been drafted into the area the preceding evening, and the intention had always been to "teach the people that in welcoming English Liberal Members (of Parliament) they are guilty of a high crime and misdemeanour." [46]

In fairness, to the Countess of Kingston, she had given some tenants leave to apply to have rents reduced, many were not paying their rents at all and the 20% to 35% reduction they were demanding would have meant "total ruin" to her; it would have been impossible to provide an income large enough to service the estate's debts and maintain the castle by farming the demesne alone. In short, there was no further room for compromise on her side. [47] In 1909, the Countess died leaving the heavily encumbered Mitchelstown Castle to her husband, William Downes Webber, a former Land agent.[48][49]

Thus, in the ownership of William Downes Webber the enormous castle entered the final stage of its history and ironically, it was to be the owner who was evicted. In June 1922, the castle was taken by the Irish Republican Army. Downes Webber and his servants were forced to leave as the IRA began a methodical plundering of the castle's contents. Valuable paintings, including works by Gainsborough, antique furniture and some of the fireplaces were removed before, finally, on the 12 August 1922, the castle was set ablaze. The looting of a house was not typical, in many cases IRA men were known to have assisted their victims in removing precious items, including at Lord Glanlavy's house helping his wife remove their children's toys and Christmas presents to safety before setting the house on fire.[50] Perhaps, it is a sign of the deep resentment towards the castle and family that the looting and burning was executed on the orders of a local Republican leader whose father and grandfather had been middlemen on the Kingston estate.

Downes Webber later sought compensation from the Irish Free State totalling £149,000 for rebuilding and £18,000 for contents. After his death in 1924, Colonel W.A. King-Harman pursued the claim in the Irish courts. Judge Kenny, in the Irish High Court in 1926, stated that the destruction of Mitchelstown Castle had been an act of wanton destruction which had no military purpose. He awarded £27,500 for the building and £18,000 for the contents. Like many of Ireland's great houses, the castle was never rebuilt and its remaining building fabric was sold to the Cistercian monks of Mount Melleray, County Waterford, for the building of a new abbey.[51] In the 1940s, Mitchelstown Co-operative Agricultural Society built a milk processing factory on the site of the castle, which it had purchased together with some of the demesne lands that surrounded it. The site is now owned by Dairygold Co-op.

Encumbered Estates Act of 1849[edit]

The Encumbered Estates Act of 1849 was passed to allow landlords to sell mortgaged land, where a sale would be restricted because the land was "entailed". Many landlords went bankrupt as their tenants could not pay any rent due to the famine.[52] Some During the Great Famine, tennant were unable to pay rent and thousands were evicted.[53] as landlords either went bankrupt of took desperate mesures to avoid it. To assis and facilitate sales of estates the Encumbered Estates Act in 1849 was passed. As a result, between 1849 and 1875 25% of the land was sold.</ref> Estimated at 5,000,000 acres. Some of the new landlords were Catholic merchants, property speculators or british aristocrats whose estates elsewhere and saved their irish estates from the worst deprivations. An example of the losses suffered by some landlord example are the ecperiences of the Browne family which lost over 50,000 acres (200 km2) in County Mayo.[54]

Landed Estates Court (Ireland) Act 1861, successor to the Incumbered Estates Commission. It permitted creditors of bankrupt estates to force sales and receive payment, even if that estate was entailed.

Land League of 1877 (seems it may be 1878)[edit]

The Irish Land League was a political organization which sought to assist tenant farmers. Its primary aim was to abolish landlordism in Ireland and enable tenants to own the land they worked. The period of the Land League's agitation is known as the Land War.

Land Act of 1881[edit]

reasons here why it failed to address the real problems

Land Act of 1885[edit]

Coercion Acts and Perpetual crimes Act (1887)[edit]

Land act of 1891[edit]

All mostly unsuccessful. As Landlords couldn't obtain a realistic price, as the lower rents obtained by the Land league negated the need for the tennat to purchase.[55]

"After the 1880's, landlords virtually lost all political power at both local and national level."<ref to quote>

Land Act of 1903[edit]

Also known as the Wyndham Land Act, the Land Act of 1903 was the solution to the previous les than succesful land acts which had failed to provide enough incentive to either sell and buy land. The 1903 act facilitated the sale of land on an enormous scale to existing tenants. As an incentive to sell, it provided the vendor with a 12% cash bonus on top of the sale price. Simultaneously, the purchasers was granted a loan, with guaranteed repayments of less than their previous rent.[56] However, it was later to prove another contention, when what had been initially regarded as solution beneficial to all was seen as Irishmen paying the British Government for Irish land. read somewhere about a final one off payment to British - find it

A second problem resultant from the 1903 act was to be much later apparent. Many landlords sold too much land, often keeping little more than the demesnes surrounding the house. The demesnes, similar in use to the parkland surrounding European country houses, were the areas of woodland, lakes, pastures and gardens giving the big house its privacy, the demesne was not commercially viable. When in the depression folowing World War I, the invested money from the land sales failed to provide an adequate income, the landlord had insufficient funds to maintain the house. For many owners whose houses had survived the civil war, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 proved to be the final straw. <find ref for this - Not Dooley he's getting overused.>

  • "By 1914, about 80 per cent of Irish tenant farmers had purchased their holdings" <quote from here try and find it elsewhere, too much Dooley already.>

Land Act of 1923[edit]

Irish Land Commission


Castle Bernard, Co Cork, destroyed by fire on 21 June 1921 during the Irish War of Independence [57]
The house was burned down in 1923 by anti-Treaty irregular forces during the Irish Civil War

tie up here all about resentments detailed aboved - bang on about about Ribbonists, find a few attrocities and rebellions (of 1898) (Lucan's house) and then straight into... from 1919, Ireland was in a state of civil war. by 1921, the British had declared eight Irish counties, all in the south, to be under a state of martial law. The result was literally incendiary, almost immediately several country houses were attacked and destroyed by fire, most notably the high profile Earl of Bandon's country house, Castle Bernard. [58]

The IRA leader, Tom Barry later said "British burnings were suicidal and a bad policy, as the IRA destroyed two large mansions for every farmhouse or cottage burned by the British. They instanced where following the destruction by the British of two small farmhouses worth less than a thousand pounds, four large houses worth twenty thousand pounds were destroyed by the I.R.A. This outcry had its effect, and although British burnings were never officially called off, they were slowed down considerably and even halted for a time."[59] However, the burning of Ireland's great houses, was not purely retaliatory it was also strategic; the British government were using some of these large and often secluded buildings, often owned by its supporters, for the garrisoning of troops. [60]

  • mention: Not confined just to the rich: Burning of a whole village (The New York Times, June 22, 1921. (page 6))
  • "A total of 37 houses of senators were destroyed by ... Their owners were mainly big landowners, descendants of the Protestant ... Tom Barry proposed a motion to end the war, but it was defeated" (don't keep this - copy pasted)
  • Anti-Treaty IRA members burn down the house of TD Sean McGarry, his seven year old son dies in the blaze.

Other Sites


Demolished later[edit]

Randall MacDonnell, The Lost Houses of Ireland: "Of all the 'lost' houses Shanbally Castle is the most tragic - roofed and in good repair at the time it was pulled down, Shanbally's destruction was one of the most pointless acts of official vandalism in the history of the Irish State. Shanbally also had the distinction that it was built, not for the descendant of some Cromwellian carpetbagger carpetbagger, but for the scion of an old Irish family, Cornelius O'Callaghan."

Following the cessation of the civil war and establishment of the Irish Republic in 192? the plight of Ireland's country houses passed from being viewed with hostility to indifference. Often compulsorily deprived of their estates by their estate they were frequently abandoned and left to ruin or demolished, often by the Land Commission itself with full government backing.

Other than the political dislike of their former owners, the architecture of many of these houses would not have endeared itself to those who once worked within their walls. Gervase Jackson-Stopps in his book, The Country house in Perspective, details how as in mainland Britain a country house was a great employer of the local population, and in Ireland country houses traditionally employed more staff than elsewhere. The second difference was that unlike in mainland Britain, the staff in Ireland were "less educated and presentable."[61] The great wave of country house building coincided with the architectural transition of country house design from Palladian to Neoclassical styles. This can clearly be seen by looking at Castletown House an early house in the Palladian style, the principal rooms are on the first floor piano nobile and the service rooms on a well lit and appointed semi-basement while further domestic offices stretch out in wings to the right and left. A few years later, country house design had changed, the picturesque movement was now in vogue, and it was the fashion to have garden and reception rooms linked, this was achieved by doing away with the lower floor housing the servants and bringing the piano nobile down to the ground floor. The problem of where to place the servants was solved by sinking the lower floor completely into the ground. There the "ill educated and unpresentable" staff laboured hidden in subterranean rooms lit only by smal windows sunk into pits over which an iron grating was placed, access was often, as at Castle Coole through a long tunnel exiting some distance from the house. This less than ideal practice of housing the staff continued in Ireland well into the 19th century, long after well lit and ventilated purpose staff wings had come into practice elsewhere.[62] A late example of this style was Rockingham House, Roscommon, built for an English landlord by John Nash, it later became the summer residence Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and was "considered one of the finest houses in Ireland." [63] In the mid 20th century, it was taken over by the Irish Land Commission, and then like similar houses acquired by the Commission, it was neglected and subsequently demolished. However, two tunnels which once allowed the staff to enter unseen their subterranean quarters still exist.[64]


Late 20thcentury[edit]

Castletown House, County Kildare, designed by Italian architect Alessandro Galilei in 1724. It was sold for development 1965 and saved in 1967 by Desmond Guinness. Today, it's the flagship of the Irish Georgian Society.

During the mid 1920s it became obvious that the way of life represented by the Irish country house would have no place in the new Irish Republic. The Ascendency had seen not just their houses destroyed, but also their elevated position in Irish society destroyed with them.[65] Many houses which had not been the subject of attack were now abandoned in their hundreds as their owners, many of whose families had been in Ireland for generations, gave up fighting with mounting taxation and lower incomes and emigrated or moved to smaller properties.[66]

  • Tynan Abbey in the north, but ought to be mentioned to keep a balance

Waffle on here about Irish Georgian Society leading to.......from the 1980s onwards public opinion began to slowly soften towards Ireland's mansions; In 1991, the UNESCO Convention concerning the protection was ratified by Ireland and imposed on the country's government an obligation to preserve the architectural heritage, it had for so long neglected.[67]

The 21st century[edit]


  1. ^ Dooley; The Big House Experience (Landlords' Lifestyles)
  2. ^ Dooley; The Big House Experience (A servant's Lot).
  3. ^ Girouard, Mark (1994) [1979]. Life in the English county house. Yale University Press. p. 2. ISBN 9780300058703. 
  4. ^ The Big House Experience by Terence Dooley.
  5. ^ Dooley.
  6. ^ County Wexford during "The Troubles" (1919-23) Part 1
  7. ^ Dooley, The Great War and Irish Revolution.
  8. ^ Devonshire, p187, doccuments an attack of Sir Alfred Beit and his wife during ab art theft at Russborough; the kidnap of Lord and Lady Donoughmore and the bomb which killed Lord Mountbatten and members of his family.
  9. ^ Bertie Ahern writing in A future for Irish Historic Houses, p1
  10. ^ Dooley
  11. ^ Lismore, which had been rebuilt in the 19th century following its sacking in 1645 by a the Catholic Confederacy commanded by the 3rd Earl of Castlehaven, was not visited by its English owner, the Duke of Devonshire, during the early 20th century civil war, however, it escaped burning, but was in tuurn occupied by both sides and rendered uninhabitable. It has since been fully restored. Ref: Chatsworth: the house, p.35.
  12. ^ Dooley,The Big House Experience, Rise and Fall.
  13. ^ Dooley, p9.
  14. ^ Canny p211
  15. ^ check out conly's bio, he was Irish but converted to protestantism - needs explaining.
  16. ^ Dooley, p17.
  17. ^ Kinealy 1994, p. 357.
  18. ^ Ross 2002, p. 226.
  19. ^ Ó Gráda 2002, p. 7.
  20. ^ Preston Neale, John; Thomas Moule (1825). Views of the seats of noblemen and gentlemen, in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Sherwood, Jones and Co.,. pp. (no page numbers). Retrieved 2009-10-17.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  21. ^ Obituary of the 11th Earl of Kingston The Daily Telegraph, London. April 6 2002.
  22. ^ Despite his Irish titles and lineage, the protestant 3rd Earl was descended from King Edward III, a godson of King George IV and educated at Eton and Oxford ref: George King retrieved 5 January 2011
  23. ^ Moore Institute (Landed Estates Database).
  24. ^ Samuel, Lewis (1837). A topographical dictionary of Ireland. S. Lewis,. p. 373. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  25. ^ Day, p213.
  26. ^ George King Retrieved 6 January 2011
  27. ^ Moore Institute (Landed Estates Database).
  28. ^ Size of Countess of Kingston's estate given by Geary, p358.
  29. ^ In 1848,charged with sodomy he jumped bail; during the 1860s he was charged with drunkenness, refusing to pay debts and assaulting police officers. He was eventually declared insane.
  30. ^ King-Harman Papers, p3.
  31. ^ King-Harman Papers, p3.
  32. ^ Day, p213.
  33. ^ Day, p213, claims the crowd was of tenants, but in view of the large number, it possibly included sympathisers and agitants.
  34. ^ Day, p213.
  35. ^ Geary, Intro to "Mary Mandeville".
  36. ^ Geary, Intro to "Mary Mandeville".
  37. ^ O'Brien, p.53.
  38. ^ Geary, Intro to "Mary Mandeville".
  39. ^ Ellis, a Welsh MP, was amongst those wounded that day. Ref:Dr. John Davies, Planet, Number 95, October-November, 1992 (Aberystwyth).
  40. ^ Attendees and size of the crowd were documented by the new York Times of September 10, 1887.
  41. ^ Henry Labouchère, Te Aroha News, Volume V, Issue 228, 12 November 1887, Page 7.
  42. ^ A Short History of English Liberalism by Blease, p154 (Retrieved 6 January 2011) gives a description of the riot and claims 3 people were killed. Day, p213 in a simplified version of the event claims 2 were killed. The Hansard, published the following day also gives the figure that 2 were killed. However, the accepted figure is three. Three men are named and appear on the memorial to the event and this figure is confirmed by O'Brien, p54.
  43. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica 1911
  44. ^ O'Brien, p.54, relates that Mandeville and O'Brien were convicted as originally charged and imprisoned in Tullamore Jail
  45. ^ Madeville died in 1888, aged 39, shortly after his release from prison. He came to be seen as a martyr for the cause after a local coroner recorded that the death was due to the "brutal and unjustifiable treatment he received in Tullamore Jail." (Geary, p358).
  46. ^ Henry Labouchère, Te Aroha News, Volume V, Issue 228, 12 November 1887, Page 7.
  47. ^ Henry Labouchère, Te Aroha News, Volume V, Issue 228, 12 November 1887, Page 7.
  48. ^ King-Harman Papers.
  49. ^ Henry Labouchère, Te Aroha News, Volume V, Issue 228, 12 November 1887, Page 7.
  50. ^ Litton, p113.
  51. ^ Leland, p.164.
  52. ^ Find ref
  53. ^ Dooley. The Country House Experience (Historic Events).
  54. ^ Triarc notes on the Browne family Retrieved 4 january 2011.
  55. ^ Dooley,The Land League Crisis
  56. ^ Dooley, p.11.
  57. ^ The New York Times, June 22, 1921. (page 6)]
  58. ^ Barrett
  59. ^ Barry, pages 116 -117
  60. ^ Ó’Ruairc
  61. ^ Jackson-Stopps, p109.
  62. ^ Jackson-Stopps, p109.
  63. ^ The Irish National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.
  64. ^ The Irish National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.
  65. ^ Fitch.
  66. ^ Implied here [1], but find a better ref.
  67. ^ Dooley, p16.


Notes to me (not for mainspace) Info to canibalise[edit]

Great famine 1845-49[edit]

The festering sense of native grievance was magnified by the horrors of the Irish Famine of 1845-52, with many of the Ascendancy reviled as absentee landlords whose agents were shipping locally produced food overseas, protected by the British establishment, while much of the population starved. Ireland remained a net exporter of food throughout most of the five-year famine. About 20% to 25% of the population died or emigrated. The Encumbered Estates Act of 1849 was passed to allow landlords to sell mortgaged land, where a sale would be restricted because the land was "entailed". Many landlords went bankrupt as their tenants could not pay any rent due to the famine.[1] Some 5,000,000 over-mortgaged acres were sold to new landlords by 1857, some of whom were Catholic merchants. This represents a quarter of the entire land area of Ireland, which is just over 20 million acres (81,000 km2). One example was the Browne family which lost over 50,000 acres (200 km2) in County Mayo.[2]" copy pasted for info only from article here.

Timeline of the Irish Civil War

  • Rockingham house
  • Ireland By Catharina Day, p213 Mary Wolstoncraft was governess there built by GR pain in 1823 for to replace earlier medieval castle. Bowens court nearby (demolished through lack of Government interest, purchased only for land and timber. Very good description of a 19th centurt decline, may use this [2] Mitchellstown castle? Countess of Kingston.

A well-developed underground network operating in the 1800's; secret and oath-bound, it aimed for Irish independence, and recruited from among shopkeepers, farmers, publicans, tradesmen and wage-earners.

Connolly, S.J. (Ed.) The Oxford Companion to Irish History Oxford , O.U.P., 2nd Edition, 2002: Ribbonism: A secret network of the 1800's; made up of shopkeepers, farmers, publicans, tradesmen and the employed, its goal was Irish Independence.

  • "Sean Moylan, who ordered the burning of the castle, went on to become the Irish Agriculture Minister and, appropriately enough, a creamery was later built on the site. All that remains now are the demesne wall, the gateposts and a cemetery in which Anna, George's daughter-in-law, and her second husband, William Webber are buried." from [3] if true moylan objected to the demolition of shanbally [4]

At Risk/future etc today[edit]

Gosford Castle[edit]

The Ministry of Agriculture bought the estate in 1958. In January 2006, the Grade A building, in urgent need of conservation, was bought by a development company, the Boyd Partnership which planned to turn it into private homes. In December 2008 the first residents of the 24 self-contained flats moved in.

The estimated repair bill was in the region of £4m, the nature of the development was selected by a government-appointed panel