Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Parsons, Laurence, 4th Earl of Rosse
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
- Parsons, Lord, Laurence, Baron of Oxmantown
- Parsons, Sir, Laurence, 7th Baronet of Birr Castle
- Lord Oxmantown
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
Laurence Parsons, 4th Earl of Rosse, Baron of Oxmantown, 7th Baronet of Birr Castle, was born 17 November 1840 to William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, and Mary Field. Like his father, he pursued astronomy and is known for his attempt to design a truly flat mirror to use in a telescope. Lord Rosse succeeded his father as the 4th Earl of Rosse in 1867. In the same year he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. From the year of 1867-68, Lord Rosse served as a Justice of the Peace for King’s County, and was appointed High Sheriff of King’s County. On 1 September 1870, he married Lady Frances Cassandra Hawke, daughter of Lord Edward Harvey-Hawke, 4th Baron of Hawke, and Lady Frances Fetherstonhaugh. From 1881-87 Lord Rosse was the Vice-President of the Royal Society. From 1885 to 1908 he serves as the 18th Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin. He also was the Lord Lieutenant of King’s County, and Custos Rotulorum of King’s County from 1892 until 1908. In 1896 he was elected President of the Royal Irish Academy. In 1902 he received the honorary degree of Legum Doctor from the University of Wales, sharing the ceremony of the instalment of the Prince of Wales as Chancellor of the University of Wales. The 4th Earl of Rosse died on 29 August 1908, and was succeeded by his son, William Parsons, 5th Earl of Rosse.
Functions, occupations and activities
Mandates/sources of authority
Sir Laurence Parsons (d.1698, created Baronet 1677) married Lady Frances, youngest daughter and co-heir of William Savage Esquire of Rheban, County Kildare, and was created Baronet of Birr Castle in 1677. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son, Sir William Parsons (d.1740), who married firstly Lady Elizabeth, daughter of Sir George Preston, Baronet of Craigmiller and they had one son. He married a second time to Lady Elizabeth, eldest daughter and co-heir of Sir George St. George, Knight. Sir William Parsons died in 1740 and his grandson, Sir Laurence Parsons (d.1749) succeeded him as 3rd Baronet of Birr Castle. In 1740 he first married Lady Mary, eldest daughter and co-heir of William Sprigge Esquire, and they had one son, Sir William Parsons (1721-1791). In 1742 he married again to Lady Anne, only daughter of Wentworth, Harman Esquire of Moyle, and niece and heir of the Very Reverend Dean Harman of Waterford. They had issue, Lord Laurence Parsons (1742-1807, created Baron of Oxmantown 1792, advanced to Viscount of Oxmantown 1795, created Earl of Rosse 1806). The 3rd Baronet of Birr Castle died in 1749, and his eldest son Sir William Parsons (1721-1791) succeeded him as 4th Baronet of Birr castle. He married in 1754 to Lady Mary, only daughter and heir of John Clere Esquire of Kilbury, descended from the Cleres of Ormsby in Norfolk. Sir William Parsons became head of the Parsons family after the death of Sir Richard Parsons, 2nd Earl of Rosse (c.1716-1764). William was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son, Laurence Parsons (1758-1841), who married Alice, daughter of John Lloyd Esquire of Gloster, King’s County. In 1807, he was elevated to the peerage as the second Earl of Rosse upon the death of his father’s half-brother. His son Sir William Parsons (1800-1867) succeeded him as the 6th Baronet and 3rd Earl of Rosse. In 1836 he married Lady Mary, eldest daughter and co-heir of John Wilmer Field Esquire of Heaton Hall, County York. He was succeeded in the earldom and baronetcy by their eldest son Laurence Parsons (1840-1908), who in 1905 married Lady Frances Lister-Kaye, daughter of Sir Cecil Lister-Kaye, fourth Baronet of Grange. Their son Laurence Michael Harvey Parsons (1906-1979) succeeded as the 6th Earl of Rosse in 1918. In 1935 he married Lady Anne Messel, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Charles Rudolph Messel. Their son Sir Brendan Parsons (b. 1936) married Lady Alison Margaret Cooke-Hurle, daughter of Major John Davey Cooke Hurle in 1966. He succeeded his father as the 7th Earl of Rosse in 1979. They have three children: Lawrence Patrick Parsons, Lord Oxmantown (b.1969), Lady Alicia Parsons (b.1971), and the Honourable Michael Parsons (b.1981).
Identifier of related entity
Category of relationship
Dates of relationship
Description of relationship
Access points area
Subject access points
Place access points
Authority record identifier
Rules and/or conventions used
ISAAR (CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, 2nd edition (2011).
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Jennifer Lee, May 2018.
Burke, John Bernard. A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage of the British Empire. London: Henry Colburn, 1851.