Parsons Family, Earls of Rosse

Identity area

Type of entity

Family

Authorized form of name

Parsons Family, Earls of Rosse

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

c.1590-

History

The present line of the Earls of Rosse (of the 2nd creation) is descended from Sir Laurence Parsons, one of four sons of James Parsons and Catherine Fenton of Diseworth Grange, Leicestershire, who had moved to Ireland by the late 16th century. The elder brother, William, was the ancestor of the Earls of Rosse of the 1st creation but the line died out in 1764. The younger brother, Sir Laurence lived in Myrtle Grove, Youghal, Co. Cork where he held several Munster-based government positions. He was knighted in 1620, the same year that he moved to Offaly, having exchanged his interest in a property at Leiter Lugna near Cadamstown with Sir Robert Meredith for the latter’s 1000 acres at Birr. In 1677, his descendent, Sir Laurence Parsons was created baronet, and successive generations of the Parsons Baronets have lived at Birr Castle since this time. The earldom of Rosse was inherited by Sir Laurence Parsons, 5th baronet, from his uncle Laurence Harman Parsons, 1st Earl of Rosse, of County Longford, who died in 1807 without male issue.

Sir Laurence Parsons, 2nd Earl of Rosse (1758-1841), was an Irish peer, agitator against the Act of Union, an Irish parliamentarian and later joint postmaster-general of the Irish post office. His son, Sir William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse (1800-1867), was an astronomer and in 1845 built the ‘Leviathan of Parsonstown’, the world’s largest telescope until the early twentieth century. Sir Laurence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse (1840-1908) was also an astronomer and a keen photographer like his mother, Mary Rosse. Sir William Edward Parsons, 5th Earl of Rosse (1873-1918), was a solider in the Irish Guards. He fought in the First World War and died in 1918 of injuries received in action two years previously. His son, Sir (Laurence) Michael Parsons, 6th Earl of Rosse (1906-1979) was heavily involved in Irish cultural affairs and a keen dendrologist. The present Earl of Rosse, and 10th baronet, Sir (William) Brendan Parsons was an officer in the Irish Guards from 1955–57 and worked for the United Nations from 1963-80. He lives at Birr Castle and has overseen the creation of the Historic Science Centre celebrating the scientific legacy of the Parsons family, and, with the assistance of Dr A. P. W. Malcomson of PRONI, has gathered together the archives of the Parsons family, now published as The Calendar of the Rosse Papers.

Places

Diseworth Grange, Leicestershire
Youghal, Co. Cork
Birr, Co. Offaly

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Parsons, Laurence, 2nd Earl of Rosse (1758-1841)

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Category of the relationship

family

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

Parsons, Sir, William, 1st Baronet of Bellamont (c.1570-1650)

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Category of the relationship

family

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

Parsons, Sir, Laurence, 1st Baronet of Birr Castle (d.1698)

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Category of the relationship

family

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

Parsons, Sir, William, 2nd Baronet of Birr Castle (d.1740)

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Category of the relationship

family

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

Parsons, William, 3rd Earl of Rosse (1800-1867)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

family

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

Parsons, Laurence, 4th Earl of Rosse (1840-1908)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

family

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

Parsons, William, 5th Earl of Rosse (1873-1918)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

family

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Description of relationship

Related entity

Parsons, William Clere Leonard Brendan, 7th Earl of Rosse (1936-)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

family

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Access points area

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAAR (CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, 2nd edition (2011)

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

February 2017

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Maintenance notes

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