Charleville Demense & The Burys, 1600-1900
The early modern history of Tullamore could be said to have begun with the formal grant of the lands of Tullamore to Sir John Moore under a patent of James I about 1622 part of the distribution of the lands of the O'Molloys of Fir Call under the plantation of James I.
Sir John Moore got the castle Town and Lands of Tullaghmore and one water mill together with the lands at:
Kilcruttin, Clonminch, Cloncolloy (new part of Charleville Demense), The Wood of Curraghboy, Doonollan and Monehowne, being, 242 acres of pasture and 710 acres of bog and wood. Ballyard, 125 acres of pasture and 16 acres of bog and wood, a moiety of Coolreagh, Ballard and ? 6 acres and also 42 acres of pasture and 6 acres of bog and wood in Killenroe (new part of Charleville Demense)
Rent for the 415 acres of pasture was £4.6s.51/2 English and for the 732 acres of bog and wood 5/6d. Tuesday mart. Fee right to hold a fair on St. Peter's Day. Fee right to have a Court Baron and Leet.
The 1637-1639 (14 chapter 1) grant of confirmation to Thomas Moore includes all above and in addition 100 acres of arable and pasture and 100 acres of wood and moor.
This c. 1400 'plantation' is equivalent to some 5000 statute acres and was in fact only an addition to considerable estates that Moore already possessed arising from the earlier plantation to the O'Connor territories in the present day east Offaly over the period 1550 to 1775.
Sir John Moore
John Moore lived at Croghan Castle, north east of Philipstown (now Daingean). He was descended from Thomas Moore who had come to Ireland with his brother Edward, early in Elizabeth's reign. Edward put down a rebellion of the O'Connors in 1573-74 which threatened the overthrow of the settlement in King's County. He had received a grant of the monastic lands of Mellifont. His brother, Thomas, received a twenty one year lease of the Croghan lands in 1574, and a grant of the lands in 1577. Thomas Moore made considerable additions to his estate. Besides his grant of Croghan (the total area of the Croghan Estate was 8,233 statute acres), Moore also acquired by purchase the townlands of Cruit, Mullaghrush, Cloneen, Cloonagh, Rathdrum, Ballyteige Big, Wood of O and Clonad, bringing the total area of his estate to 12,932 acres. He also had land in the counties of O'Molloy and Mac Coghlan 'in tenure called gavelkind'. This land was in the area of Garrysallagh (north of Birr) and Lemanaghan (near Ballycumber, but did not remain part of the Moore property). Fresh hostilities broke out in the Midlands in 1597-98 when the O'Connors made their final attempt to regain their lands, but were completely defeated by Mountjoy in 1600. Soon after O'Neill's victory at the Yellow Ford the O'Connors attacked Sir Thomas Moore's castle at Croghan. Both Moore and Gifford, another planter, were slain. Moore's wife was also taken and left on a bog where she died of cold. Sir Thomas's son, John, was kidnapped at the time or soon afterwards, but he was freed in June 1601 by Cahill MacTeig O'Connor on instructions from Hugh O'Neill. Following the defeat of the O'Connors, John Moore and the other settlers returned to their estates.
Despite the difficulties of the settlers such as Moore with some of the native Irish they obviously had a good working relationship with others. In 1604 John Moore had taken a short lease of the Tullamore lands from Edward O'Molloy. This Edward O'Molloy was a son of Daniel O'Molloy slain by the O'Connors at Durrow in 1682 and seems to have been very Anglicised and had married an Englishwoman - a daughter of Robert Cowley. Cowley had received a grant of lands at Edenderry and was an ancestor of the Marquis of Downshire where the family have a continuing interest in Edenderry.
When Edward O'Molloy died, his property passed to his two sisters Suzanna and Matilda O'Molloy and they sold Tullamore outright to Moore before 1612.
Any doubt about Moore's title was quietened by the grant of 1622. In this plantation Moore was classed as a Native - and a good servitor - , his holding in the Tullamore area of some 5,000 statute acres when added to the lands (principally at Croghan) inherited from his father gave him an estate c. 18,000 statute acres.
When a survey of the Charleville Estate was made in 1786 it was found to contain 23,000 statute acres - the difference is accounted for by the acquisition in the meantime of the lands near Walsh Island, County Offaly.
Thomas Moore succeeded to his father's estate in 1633. At the time of his death, John Moore, who had married Dorothy, a daughter of Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor, was in possesion of a great mansion house, one castle, a water mill and twenty cottages at Croghan. At Tullamore he had a ruined castle, ten cottages and two water mills. Thomas Moore married Margaret Forth, a daughter of Sir Ambrose Forth of Cabra, Co. Dublin, a judge in the prerogrative court. In July 1633 Thomas Moore leased to his brother-in-law, Sir Robert Forth of Tulbett, Co. Cavan, the castle, town and lands of Tullamore, the lands of Ballyard, Killenroe, Clownagh and Mucklagh, by estimation six and a half ploughlands for a term of eighty one years at a rent of £100 per year. Moore also leased other lands in his possession for varying periods of time from 51 years to 81 years. The fact that he was willing to lease Tullamore, for what even by seventeenth century standards was a long lease, suggests that either Moore put little value on Tullamore or that it was of no importance at the time. Shortly afterwards, Forth built a large house in what is now Charleville Demense, but formerly known as Killenroe or Redwood. The house was described by Charles William Bury (first Earl of Charleville, second creation, 1764-1835) towards the end of the eighteenth century.
Near where the gothic castle (Charleville) now stands was the original mansion house, built shortly after the year 1641, according to the fashion of that time, with many small and ill-connected apartments, but on the whole not destitute of much comfort and convience. The interior divisions were uniformly constructed by strong partitions of oak, probably the growth of the soil, and very liberally supplied; with a ponderous and double roof, also of the same material, and covered with shingles of oak, of more ancient date, procured from the adjacent bogs.......
The fact that Tullamore had been leased to Forth for eighty one years may have been detrimental to the development of a town. Forth's own house possibly did not act as a stimulus to growth because it was located about three miles from Tullamore.
Moore and Forth dispute
About the year 1699 a dispute developed between Thomas Moore of Tullamore and James Forth of Redwood as to the precise area of lands owned by Forth, absolutely as distinct from these let to him by Moore in 1633. The complicating factor was the lease-back of certain lands in Tullamore in 1669. The dispute was partly settled in 1704-04 and finally settled in the 1740's when Thomas Moore's grandson, Charles Moore, purchased the lands of Redwood for £1,259 or 21 years their annual rental value of £60 less an abatement of £1. This dispute and the subsequent purchase of Redwood affords an opportunity to look at the geography of the demense prior to its re-development by Charles Moore in the 1740's and 1750's.
It is somewhat difficult to ascertain the exact area of the demense prior to the Downer survey of 1765. However, we know the general extent from a 21 year lease of 1700 from James Forth to John Craddock of Gortacur, Mountbolus. The lease set out the following:
The above lands amounting to 415 acres were held at a rent of 4s. 6d. per acre. John Craddock was not to cut or dispose of any oakwood except underwood and brush for hedging.
I am uncertain as to when the Craddock occupancy was finally terminated but certainly there were other occupiers of the Redwood Estate prior to the purchase by Charles Moore. Among these was the Hon. Gustavus Hamilton who died in 1734 and whose son, Frederick the third, Viscount Boyne is said to have married in secret when 19 a blacksmith's daughter in Tullamore - a marriage he later disowned.
An auction notice of the premises published in 1736 is of interest: (to be sold by publick Cant.)
"At the house in the King's County, on the 20th June next, the household goods and stock of the Honourable Gustavus Hamilton deceased, consisting of beds, chairs, glasses, plate, japan work, and cabinets, and one horse chair almost new, and the newest fashion, a pack of hounds of the right Irish Beagle, with all the kitchen furniture, brewing vessels, horses, cows, sheep and bullocks. The sale to continue till all is sold." Dated May 26th, 1736. Note, whoever buys twenty pounds worth upwards shall have three months credit giving sufficient security.
Hamilton can only have had a lease-hold interest because the Redwood property was owned by the three surviving daughters of James Forth (d. 1731) all of whom joined in the sale in 1739-40 to Charles Moore.
Charles Moore was son of the first Lord Tullamore (1715-25) 1711 - married in 1737, Hester daughter of James Coghill of Drumcondra. He moved to Charleville from the old house in Tullamore which his father had erected in c. 1700. He died in 1764. His sister Jane William Bury of Shannon and their eldest son John Bury (born 1725 married Catherine Dunally 1761) succeeded to the Charleville Estates on 17-02-1764 and died c. 4th May 1764, leaving an only son Charles William being born 30th June, 1764.
Did the custom of visiting
Charleville start over 200 years ago. John Wesley on one of his many visits
to Tullamore records in his diary for July 16th, 1756 that,
The demesne during the minority of Charles William Bury
During the minority of Charles William Bury the Estate was under the care of his mother as trustee. The demense lords including the old Forth's house were let.
Everything north of the Old Road between Mucklagh and the Tullamore was let to Thomas Johnston, a son of John Johnston of Rath. His relative George Stoney of Borrisokane has left a diary for 1765 and 1780. In it he refers to (1765) meeting the surveyor Downer and a valuer Smith. They agreed to value the Ray and between Mrs. Bury and Capt. Johnston at Gotons, the lime at 500 barrels, the brick 34,000.
John Bury died on 4th May 1764 at Ringsard, Dublin as a result of a bathing accident. His infant son Charles William Bury (born 30-06-1764) succeeded to Thomas Johnston, himself, leaser of some accounts of his activities in a letter to his brother of 20th July, 1765.
On September 1765 Stanley was again at Charleville. This time he met the Bishop of Meath, Dr. Pococke who had just comprised at Tullamore, returned indisposed "went to his chamber, took a pill, went to bed about 5 o'clock, seemed to rest quietly, but was found dead at 12 o'clock. He complained of a pain in his stomach, which he could impute to no other course than a few mushrooms eaten on the day before at Ballyboy.
"I write to you on account of having my interest in Malbro' Street and removed to Charleville, which I took the 25th of March on very reasonable terms, £190. 10s a year, 410 acres, about 60 brace of Deer, and two years turf thrown in. Mrs. Bury has joined in the lease for 20 years, and I am almost settled, I hope, for life: that is, my repairs which have been very expensive, are very near being at an end, and I am a stout farmer, between 4 and 50 calves, besides cows and horses, and I want 200 sheep more as soon as the rents come in. My interest here is worth a good deal they tell me; but the constant repairs that will be necessary I am afraid will make it dear enough."
The remainder of the demense south of the main road was leased to one Thomas Berry for 20 years - being Killenroe c. 150 acres at 15/= per acre (which constructs will be 4/6 rent per acre in 1700). Berry or assigns here under the lease to turn up or plough more than 3 acres each year under penalty of £5 per acre. In 1768 he had a new lease for 17 years (the remainder of Charles William Bury's minority) at a rent of £104.50 for 139 acres.
C. W. BURY
Came of age: 1788 A TC.D graduate
Ballonfie - President over us for fifty years 1785 - 1835. 1786 suing
of estate inc. Tullamore town some 14,644 acres in which 9,947 avail all.
Married 4-06-1798 Catherine
Marin Tisdall, a widow and daughter of Thomas Townley Dawson.
The fine define of Charleville extends to the suburbs of the town of Tullamore, and for an elegant display of tafte, and many great and natural beauties, is a feat of the first importance, in this kingdom; it contains nearly 1500 statute acres, most delightfully wooded with fine full grown timber, and a considerable part is planted with young trees, for which Lord Charleville has received the Dublin society's premium; these plantations are carefully fenced from cattle, and in the utmost possible heart and vigour. A large trace of bog, which has been drained, is now preparing for another extensive plantation without-side the demense to the bounds of the estate, and the trees are to be had from the nurseries within. The undulating hills so peculiar to this country have the most pleasing effect, and when planted are truly picturesque and engaging. The materials for a superb mansion are now preparing, and a farmyard is building at a proper distance, with all suitable offices which are stated; great range for black cattle is under one roof, and divided into appartments, with two rows of bales at opposite ends, that each distinct kind whether stall fed, store, plough, or milch cattle, may have each their separate division, and a stream of water can be turned through the whole at pleasure, and commands every part oof the farmyard; this, when completed, will certainly be of the most capital construction and entirely commodious. The Clodagh river runs with rapidity through the demense, which is well supplied with mountain streams, and rolls over huge rocks through a deep glen; its banks are laid out in elegant walks, which are thickly planted with deciduous trees, and evergreens, forming a pleasant contrast, and intersected with several rustic bridges, which with the cascades have altogether the most charming effect. The grotto, which commands a principal fall, is finished in true rustic style; the tumbling rocks, the hermit's bed, and the well are most happily situated, and the inscribtions and petrifactions, which are now throwing out, give it all the venerable appearance of antiquity, and show the purest taste; when lights are introduced, they give the grandest illumination to the reflecting spar, and transparent petrifications. The grotto was designed by the late Lady Charleville, and built at considerable expense, to give employment to the poor peasantry, in a season of scarcity. A lake of near eighty plantation acres, has been cut out by the present Lord, and is interspersed with islands thickly planted, which afford fine cover to swans, and wild fowl of all kinds, that resort the lake, and bred here. This lake was originally a moor, and was cut dwon to the Lac Leigh, which composes its bottom; it has consequently a clear surface without any weeds, as this clay is always hostile to vegetation. A letter lake adorns the opposite end of the demense, and through all the plantations, are elegant drives cut in serpentine forms. The sublime appearance of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, the adjoining castles in ruins, and the internal artificial beauties catch the eye through best disposed vistas, and complete this delightful landscape.
After everything was ready for next Monday, it is retorted his Grace the Ld. Lieut. will not arrive here until Wednesday, in which case all partridges, snipe & Growse collected here will sink, & the Turbots too before his arrival. It is intended to take the horses from his carriage & draw him from Muchlow Bridge in by the Yeomen, the two bands playing 'God save the King'. The next day the Yeomen are to be reviewed in the Lawn. Their Captains (9) are asked to dinner, & there is a side table for twenty put into the eating parlour next the windows so that we shall dine 38 with ease.
I enclose you the list of the company as it may amuse you, & having got the two elder Guns to tumble I hope it will not go off as dull as I feared. The party are to be invited again at Christmas, so I hope you will have a better edition of it after rehearsal. Magnificant full dress liveries have been made for the servants, & a uniform of blue & scarlet for the upper men; in short it ought to go off handsome as money has not been spared.
Party in the house:
The rest of the country invited in the evening, and when it is over I shall write you all particulars. I have often wished you had staid if it could amuse you. [I hope] that all events you will be happy where you are, and profit carefully by whatever it is to be [got] there: get your french [for] ward, & trust to my experiec[ ce] of its future utility to you.
Coote was a neighbour and hence the uncribical and congratulatorry tone. The English comentator Edward Walifield (1812) did not feel so constrained and said that Lord Charleville was almost an absentee. He noted that the demesne is large and with trees universally stunted by loads of which has suffered to grow so thick as to smother them.
"I never saw an instance of so much money expended in erecting a princely mansion in so bad a situation".
How extensive were the woods? A record of 1813 (Cody) notes that one wood was comprised of 464 oats and 285 ash. Age of oats 150 to 500 years. Charleville Woodfield c. 1000 acres. Some reaffordestation with conifers but less than a 100 acres.
Little change in composition of Woodlands since 1813- (1840 Mc Crade)
Family Matters - Finance
Charles William, the second Earl was born in 1801 and married in 1821 distress to parents (1818-19) wife - i.e. beauty bur no fortune allowed £16,000 a year - Berry. Subsequently £25,000. Account of Louisa Tisdall a daughter of first marriage of Lady Charleville.
I walked to Muckla with Raymond and found the wretched hovel of the widow Carrol, a place not 8 feet square: 4 children, the eldest and youngest in a dying condition. The woman sat down by me and wept while she told me all her miseries: the sight of the emaciated form of the infant went to my heart. (She is not one of our tenants, but on Mr. Bernard's Estate). In the course of the week I got her a spinning wheel and blankets - employed her to make some straw hats for poor children and sent her with the children as extern(al) patients to get medicines at the infirmary. The daily sight of human misery, want, infirmity, would at least counteract the desperate selfishness of ones habitual career, and to value them (as far as lies in ones power.) would surely be the best balm for a wounded spirit.
February, 13th went before breakfast to a cottage where a bery poor old schoolmaster (Carrol) strives to even teach reading and writing to some ragged little children, he and his wife are Protestants: he lame, she old. I sat on a crooked stool among the children, and was not a little affected by the humility and content of the wretchedly poor people and the pious language. I gave her a wheel and some money and saw her weep with joy, with a feeling of contrition for having gone on so long indifferent, almost ignorant of the hardships of poor people - and occupied with what? Then made a little town thro' some other of the ballard cottages. 1(a) Endorsed by CMC Memorandum of state of cash at 1835? Actually it is a clear statement of the position of the Charleville Estates at the first Earl's death, supplemented on the credit side of a statement of cash at bank, cash in hand, and money in Consols.
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