Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers
Garryhill House,

Source: Michael Purcell c.2010

Garryhill House, Shaugnessy, Lyons & Earl of Bessborough.
[Note added by Mick Purcell 2012.
Garryhill House (Garryhill House) and adjoining lands were purchased some years ago by a relative of mine, Laurence D'arcy. The house stands on the site of Garry Hill Castle originally built by Art Og Kavanagh, King of Leinster in the 14th century. Laurence undertook major restoration and refurbishment works, the house is now restored to its former glory].
The Information of John Shaugnessy of Knockemane in Carlow, Farmer, in the employment of the Earl of Bessbourgh, who being duly sworn and examined, saith, that repeatedly each day for several days back, Mary Lyons, a travelling beggar, forced into the house at Garryhill in Carlow the occasional residence of the Lieutenant of Carlow the Right Honourable the Earl of Bessborough and insisted on remaining there; (so that) it became necessary (on each occasion) to have her removed; that her conduct has been (very) annoying, disturbing the peace of the family and has had to employ me his Lordship's agent to keep her from persisting in these annoyances ~~~~
(signed) John Shaugnessy.
Sworn before me this 23rd January 1842.
(signed) Frances Dillion.


Laurence just sent me the following data on the 4th Earl of Bessborough who is mentioned in the 1842 Statement of John Shaugnessy.

When in Carlow the Earl lived at Garryhill House.

John William Ponsonby, 4th Earl of Bessborough -1781 - 1847), known as Viscount Duncannon from 1793 to 1844, was a British Whig politician.

He was notably Home Secretary in 1834 and served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between 1846 and 1847.

A member of the prominent Ponsonby family of Cumberland, he was the eldest son of Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd Earl of Bessborough, and Lady Henrietta Frances, daughter of John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer. Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby and William Ponsonby, 1st Baron de Mauley were his younger brothers while Lady Caroline Lamb was his younger sister.

Ponsonby's mother was Lord Granville's lover prior to his marriage to Lady Harriet Cavendish, the Countess of Bessborough's niece.

Lord Granville fathered two illegitimate children through her: Harriette Stewart and George Stewart.

Lord Bessborough was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford.

He was First Commissioner of Works under Lord Melbourne (1831 -1834), briefly Home Secretary (1834), and Lord Privy Seal (1835 -1839).

Later, he was briefly Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1846 to 1847 under Lord John Russell.

He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1831 and in 1834, ten years before he succeeded his father, he was created Baron Duncannon, of Bessborough in the County of Kilkenny.

He was Lord Lieutenant of Kilkenny from November 1838 until 16 May 1847.

John Ponsonby married Lady Maria Fane, daughter of John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland and Sarah Anne Child, on 16 November 1805 at Berkeley Square, London.

They had eight sons and three daughters.

The Countess of Bessborough died in March 1834, aged 46. Lord Bessborough survived her by thirteen years and died in May 1847, aged 65. He was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son, John. Bessborough Gardens in London is named after Lord Bessborough.

Transcribed by Friend of Carlow 2012.


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2001 County Carlow Genealogy IGP