The TEMPLES, from whom this family paternally, and the ducal house of Buckingham and Chandos maternally, descend, are said to have been of Saxon origin, and to have sprung immediately from the son and heir of Ælfgar, Earl of Mercia,
EDWYN, who was deprived of the earldom by WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, and killed in defending himself against the Normans in 1071.
This Edywn left a son,
EDWYN, styled Earl of Leicester and Coventry, who is said to have assumed the surname of TEMPLE from the manor of Temple, in the hundred of Sparkenhoe, Wellsborough,
"which manor was given by the ancient Earls of Leicester to the Knights Templar, who usually give the name of TEMPLE to their lands, and they granted it to one whose family was called Temple, of great account and livelihood in those parts."Be this, however, as it may,
HENRY DE TEMPLE was lord of Temple and Little Shepey in the reign of the CONQUEROR, and from him descended
THOMAS TEMPLE, of Whitney, Oxfordshire, whose great-grandson,
PETER TEMPLE, received a grant of the manor of Butlers Marston, in Warwickshire, and purchased, in 1560, the right which Laurence Denet had therein.
This Peter being likewise lord of the manor of Stowe, Buckinghamshire, his descendants fixed their residence there.
He married Millicent, daughter of William Jekyl, of Newington, Middlesex, and had two sons,
John, the elder, ancestor maternally, of the noble house of BUCKINGHAM and CHANDOS; and
ANTHONY TEMPLE, who was father of
SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE (1555-1627), Knight, a learned and eminent person in the reign of ELIZABETH I, secretary to Sir Philip Sydney, and after his decease, to the unfortunate Earl of Essex; upon whose tragic end Sir William removed into Ireland, and was appointed provost of Trinity College, Dublin, which university he represented in parliament in 1613.
He received the honour of Knighthood, in 1622, from the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Oliver St John, and was appointed one of the Masters in Chancery.
Sir William espoused Martha, daughter of Robert Harrison, of Derbyshire, by whom he had two sons, and was succeeded in 1627 by the elder,
SIR JOHN TEMPLE (1600-77), Knight, was constituted Master of the Rolls in Ireland, and sworn of the Privy Council there.
He filled, for a series of years, high and confidential places in the government of Ireland; and was appointed, in 1648, Joint Commissioner of the Great Seal with Sir William Parsons.
Sir John joined, however, the standard of CROMWELL, but was nevertheless retained as Master of the Rolls after the Restoration, when he was constituted Vice-Treasurer of Ireland.
He wedded Mary, daughter of Dr John Hammond, of Chertsey, in Surrey, and had two surviving sons, viz.
WILLIAM;Sir John's younger son,
SIR JOHN TEMPLE (1632-1705), Knight, was Solicitor-General and Attorney-General, and Speaker of the House of Commons in Ireland.
He married Jane, daughter of Sir Abraham Yarner, Knight, of Dublin, and had issue, among others,
HENRY, his successor;Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son,
HENRY TEMPLE (c1673-1757), who was elevated to the peerage, in 1722, in the dignities of Baron Temple and VISCOUNT PALMERSTON.
His lordship wedded firstly, in 1703, Anne, daughter of Abraham Houblon, and had issue,
HENRY, father of HENRY; d 1740;The 1st Viscount espoused secondly, in 1738, Isabella, daughter of Sir Francis Gerard Bt, and widow of Sir John Fryer Bt, but had no other issue.
Richard, d 1749.
He was succeeded by his grandson,
HENRY, 2nd Viscount (1739-1802), who married, in 1767, Frances, only daughter of Sir Francis Poole Bt, of Poole Hall, Cheshire, but by her had no issue.
His lordship wedded secondly, in 1783, Mary, daughter of Benjamin Mee, and had issue,
HENRY JOHN, his successor;He was succeeded by his elder son,
HENRY JOHN, 3rd Viscount (1784-1865), KG, GCB, PC, twice PRIME MINISTER.
- Henry Temple, 1st Viscount (c1673–1757);
- Henry Temple, 2nd Viscount (1739–1802);
- Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount (1784–1865).
It was built in the early 1860s, near the end of his life, by the statesman, Lord Palmerston.
The Castle was designed by Rawson Carroll.
It is of a yellow-brown sandstone, comprising a plain, gabled range and a central tower with a conical roofed turret.
The entrance front boasts a carved coat-of-arms; principal rooms are raised on a considerably high basement.
Classiebawn was bequeathed by Lord Palmerston to his wife's grandson, the Rt Hon Evelyn Ashley MP, grandfather of Edwina, Countess Mountbatten of Burma; thus becoming the Irish seat of her husband Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
Lady Mountbatten made a number of improvements to Classiebawn, including the installation of electricity and mains water.
The Castle is now privately owned.
Palmerston arms courtesy of European Heraldry. First published in April, 2012.