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Authority record

Digby, Edward, 8th Baron

  • Person
  • 1773-1856

He succeeded his father in the earldom in 1793. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Dorset for nearly fifty years, from 1808 to 1856. On 20 May 1824, he appointed himself Colonel of the Dorset Militia. He resigned the colonelcy at the beginning of 1846. He never married and on his death in May 1856, aged 83, the viscountcy and earldom became extinct. However, he was succeeded in the two baronies of Digby by his first cousin once removed Edward Digby, who became the 9th and 3rd Baron

Perkinson, Mary

  • Person
  • 1800-1876

Born c.1800 in Croghan, County Tipperary, and near to the town of Birr, County Offaly, Mary Monaghan married William Perkinson in or around 1825.

McKenna, James

  • Person
  • 1815-1907

James McKenna was clerk of Tullamore Poor Law Union for approximately 40 years. Born in County Monaghan, his early career was as a teacher in Mountmellick, County Laois. He was then appointed clerk of the Tullamore Union where he remained until his retirement. He died on 4 December 1907 at the age of 92 years. An obituary published in the King's County Chronicle remarked 'An idea of his self-sacrifice to his work will be formed when it is stated that even on Christmas days instead of passing holidays at home with his family, he would be seen in his office in Tullamore Workhouse as intent upon his duties as if he was bound to have his books posted up for an immediate imperative inspection.'

Parsons Family, Earls of Rosse

  • Family
  • c.1590-

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.

Crosbie Family

  • Family
  • b. 1593

"The Crosbie family had been Chief Bards to the O'Mores, chiefs of Leix for many generations. The original family name - Mac an Chrosáin (son of the rhymer) - reflected this occupation.

Seán Mac an Chrosáin and Pádraig Mac an Chrosáin changed their names to John and Patrick Crosbie in 1593. John Crosbie became Bishop of Ardfert in 1601 and his son Walter later became the First Baronet. Sir Walter Crosbie's son, Sir John Crosbie, Second Baronet, was "attained for his part in the 1641 rebellion" but apparently his lands were later restored to him. Sir John's son, Sir Warren Crosbie, Third Baronet, seems to have been the first to live at Crosbie Park and Sir Warren's heir and successor was Sir Paul Crosbie Fourth Baronet and father of Edward and Richard Crosbie. Sir Paul died in Noveber 1773 and Edward succeeded to the title.

The family estate at Crosbie Park was destroyed after the 1798 rebellion."

Bury Family, Earls of Charleville

  • Family
  • 1806-1875

The earldom of Charleville (of the second creation) was granted to Charles William Bury (1764-1835) in 1806. He had inherited his wealth and estates at Charleville through his paternal grandmother, the sister and heiress of Charles Moore (1712-1764), the 1st earl of Charleville (of the first creation). Lord Charleville and his wife, Catherine Maria (widow of James Tisdall, County Louth), set about building the Gothic mansion Charleville Forest in 1800 on the site of an older 17th century house known as Redwood. The building project took many years and cost an enormous sum of money, which ultimately caused a financial burden for successive generations of the Bury family. They also continued with a lavish lifestyle, living for part of the year in London and travelling extensively on the continent.

Their son, Charles William, Lord Tullamore (1801-1851) married in Florence in 1821 and set up a second expensive household. When he inherited the estate in 1835, it was heavily encumbered. By 1844, it was unsustainable, Charleville was closed up and Lord and Lady Charleville headed for Berlin. Their son, Charles William George, 3rd earl of Charleville (1822-1859) succeeded to the estate in 1851 and returned to Charleville with his wife, Arabella at this time. Unfortunately, they both died within a couple of years of each other, leaving five young children as wards of chancery in Charleville Castle. The children's guardian was named as Alfred Bury, their uncle.

Charles William Francis Bury (1852-1874) inherited the earldom as a minor of seven years in 1859. When he came of age in 1873, there was much festivity and celebration in Tullamore, but sadly he died in New York a year later at the age of 22. The title then reverted to Alfred Bury (1829-1875), the youngest brother of the 3rd earl. He also only had one year as earl, dying in 1875 with no male heirs.

The earldom became extinct at this point but the estates passed to Lady Emily Howard-Bury (1856-1931), Alfred's niece. Her son, Col. Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury (1883-1963), who was born and raised in Charleville Castle, inherited Belevedere in Mullingar in County Westmeath from a cousin Charles Brinsley Marlay in 1912, and made it his permanent home. By the time he inherited Charleville in 1931, the family had ceased to live on the estate. In 1948 he arranged a large auction of all its furniture and paintings. On his death in 1963, he bequeathed Charleville to his cousin, Major William Hutton Bury (1914-1982) whose family have managed the estate since.

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