- 1633-1985 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
6 outsized items
Name of creator
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.
Name of creator
Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury was born in London to Captain Kenneth Howard-Bury and his wife Lady Emily Alfreda Julia Bury, youngest daughter of Charles William Bury, 3rd earl of Charleville. He was educated privately at Charleville Castle, at Eton College and at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He joined the 60th Rifles in 1904 and was posted to India, where he began his life-long love of exploration and mountaineering. He climbed the Tien Shen mountains in Tibet in 1912 and kept a travel diary. A book 'The Mountains of Heaven' from this diary was published in 1990.
In 1912 he inherited Belvedere House, Mullingar, County Westmeath, from his cousin Charles Brinsley Marlay. From this time, Charleville Castle ceased to be used by the family.
He resumed active service during the First World War, commanding the 7th and 9th battalions of the King's Royal Rifles. He served at Arras, the Somme, Passchendale and Ypres where he was captured and remained a prisoner of war at Furstenburg until 1919. Following the war, he returned to mountaineering and led the first expedition to Everest which surveyed the route to the summit for future climbers.
Following the successful expedition to Everest, Howard-Bury was a well-known figure and entered politics. He was MP for Bilston (South Wolverhampton) in 1922 and MP for CHelmsford between 1926 and 1931, when he retired after inheriting Charleville Estate on the death of his mother. During the Second World War, he was appointed an assistant commissioner for the British Red Cross. During this time he met Rex Beaumont, an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at that time in the RAF during the war. They became close friends and together renovated Belvedere House where they lived for the rest of their lives. In 1948, Howard-Bury auctioned most of the contents of Charleville Castle including furniture and paintings.
Howard-Bury died in 1963. He bequeathed Charleville etsate to his cousin, Major William Bacon Hutton Bury, the grandson of the 4th earl of Charleville's elder sister, Lady Katherine Beaujolois Bury and hr husband Edmund Bacon Hutton. He bequeathed Belvedere to Rex Beaumont.
Name of creator
Charles William Francis inherited Charleville Estate on the death of his father, the 3rd earl in 1859. He was a minor on inheriting the title, being just seven years old at the time. He never married and died on Staten Island, New York in 1874 at the age of 22. His coming of age the previous year was a grand affair in Tullamore with much celebrations and festivities in the town. As the 4th earl died with no male heirs, the earldom passed to his uncle Alfred, who had been his guardian in his minority.
Name of creator
Major William Bacon Hutton Bury was the son of Edgar William Hutton and Vera Chetwynd-Staplyton. He married Bly Mildred Spillier in 1940 and had two children. He inherited the Charleville estate in 1963 on the death of his cousin Col. C. K. Howard-Bury. Hutton changed his surname by deed poll in 1964 to 'Hutton Bury'; his grandmother was Lady Katherine Beaujolois Arabella Bury. He was educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and Wellington College. He fought in the Second World War and was wounded twice, retiring in 1945 with the rank of Major.
Name of creator
Offaly Historical & Archaeology Society used the Charleville Estate Gate Lodge as their premises in the 1980s. When the society movied to Bury Quay in 1995, the estate office was cleared and the records moved with OHAS to their new premises with the permission of Major Hutton-Bury.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Estate papers comprising of estate accounts, tenancy agreements, farms accounts, land titles and correspondence.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
By appointment only. Contact [email protected]
Conditions governing reproduction
Reproduction for private research and study as per the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000, is granted at the discretion of the archivist.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Fair to good. Some volumes damaged. Some of the land deeds are torn and damaged.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Howard-Bury Papers, Westmeath County Library
Marlay Papers, University of Nottingham
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Marian Keaney, 'Bury, Charles Kenneth Howard- (1883-1963)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
Name access points
- Bury Family, Earls of Charleville (Subject)
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Dates of creation revision deletion
Initial arrangement, Lisa Shortall (January 2016)
Final version, Orla Connaughton (November 2023)