Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Glin Castle

THE KNIGHTS OF GLIN WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY LIMERICK, WITH 5,697 ACRES

GILBERT FITZ-JOHN, ancestor of THE WHITE KNIGHT; SIR JOHN FITZ-JOHN, ancestor of the KNIGHT OF GLIN; MAURICE FITZ-JOHN, ancestor of the KNIGHT OF KERRY; and THOMAS FITZ-JOHN, ancestor of the FITZGERALDS of the Island of Kerry, were brothers, whom John FitzThomas FitzGerald, 1st Baron Desmond, by virtue of his royal seigniory as a Count Palatine, created Knights, and their descendants have been so styled in patents under the Great Seal and other legal documents up to the present time.

SIR JOHN FITZ-JOHN, Knight, to whom his father gave the castles of Glyncorbury and Beagh, County Limerick, was the first KNIGHT OF GLIN, and left issue,
JOHN FITZ-JOHN, his successor;
GERALD FITZ-JOHN.
SIR JOHN FITZ-JOHN was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN FITZ-JOHN del Glyn, Knight, from whom descended,

THOMAS FITZGERALD, who was attainted with his father, and executed in the eleventh year of ELIZABETH I, leaving a daughter, Ellen, who wedded Sir Edmond FitzHarris, Knight; and a son, his successor,

EDMOND FITZGERALD, Knight of Glin, pardoned and restored to his estates in the thirtieth year of ELIZABETH I.

He espoused Honora, daughter of Owen McCarthy Reagh, and was succeeded by his son,

THOMAS FITZGERALD, Knight of Glin, who had livery of his lands in 1628.

He surrendered those estates, and had them re-granted in 1635.

He wedded Joan, daughter of James, Lord Dunboyne, widow of Edmond FitzGibbon, The White Knight, and was succeeded by his son,

GERALD FITZGERALD, Knight of Glin, who made a deed of settlement of his estates in 1672.

He married Joan O'Brien, and dying before 1700, left issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
John;
Mary; Honora; Helen; Jane; Ellen.
The eldest son,

THOMAS FITZGERALD, Knight of Glin, seized of an estate in tail under the deed of settlement, in 1672, wedded Mary, daughter of Edmond FitzGerald, and had three sons, successively inheritors; of whom the eldest,

EDMOND FITZGERALD, Knight of Glin, dsp and was succeeded by his brother,

RICHARD FITZGERALD, Knight of Glin, who was succeeded by his brother,

THOMAS FITZGERALD, Knight of Glin, who married, in 1755, Mary, daughter of John Bateman, of Oak Park, County Kerry, and had issue,
JOHN, his heir;
Elizabeth; Frances; Ellen; Catherine; Jane.
Thomas FitzGerald died before 1801, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN FITZGERALD, Knight of Glin, who wedded Margaretta Maria, daughter of John Fraunceis Gwynn, of Ford Abbey, Devon, and was succeeded by his only son,

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JOHN FRAUNCEIS FITZGERALD JP DL (1791-1854), 24th Knight of Glin, of Glin Castle, County Limerick, High Sheriff of County Limerick, 1830, who espoused, in 1812, Bridgetta, fifth daughter of the Rev Joseph Eyre, of Westerham, Kent, and had issue,
JOHN FRAUNCEIS EYRE;
Edmond Urmston McLeod;
Geraldine Anne; Margaretta Sophia.
The eldest son,

JOHN FRAUNCEIS EYRE FITZGERALD, 25th Knight of Glin (1813-66), wedded, in 1835, Clara Anne, only daughter of Gerald Blennerhasset, of Riddlestown, County Limerick, and had issue,
DESMOND JOHN EDMUND;
Gerald B;
William Urmston;
John F E;
Thomas Otho;
George W M;
Geraldine Elizabeth Blennerhasset; Florence Sophia; Margaretta.
The Knight of Glin was succeeded by his eldest son,

DESMOND JOHN EDMUND FITZGERALD JP DL (1840-95), 26th Knight of Glin, of Glin Castle, County Limerick, High Sheriff, 1870-1, who wedded, in 1861, Isabella Lloyd, second daughter of the Rev Michael Lloyd Apjohn, of Linfield, County Limerick, and had issue,
DESMOND FITZJOHN LLOYD;
Urmston FitzOtho;
Louis de Rottenburgh;
Clara Nesta Richarda.
The eldest son,

DESMOND FITZJOHN LLOYD FITZGERALD JP DL (1862-1936), 27th Knight of Glin, of Glin Castle, High Sheriff, 1904, Captain, 3rd Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, South Irish Horse, married, in 1897, the Lady Rachel Wyndham-Quin, second daughter of the 4th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, and had issue,
DESMOND WYNDHAM OTHO.
The only son,

DESMOND WYNDHAM OTHO FITZGERALD (1901-49), 28th KNIGHT OF GLIN, married Veronica Villiers, a cousin of Winston Churchill, and had issue, three children.

He died from tuberculosis in 1949.

His son and heir, the 29th and last Knight,

DESMOND JOHN VILLIERS FITZGERALD (1937-2011, 29th KNIGHT OF GLIN, was educated at the University of British Columbia and Harvard University.
The Knight worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in the furniture department; and later returned to Ireland, and became active in conservation issues, becoming involved with the Irish Georgian Society. He was appointed its president in 1991. He has also represented the Christies art auctioneers in Ireland. He died at Dublin in 2011.
As the last Knight had no sons, and the title cannot be passed to a daughter, the title became extinct.


GLIN CASTLE, Glin, County Limerick, is described by Mark Bence-Jones as
a romantic, white, castellated house overlooking the estuary of the River Shannon from among the trees of its demesne.
It was built ca 1789 by Colonel John FitzGerald, 24th Knight of Glin.

This is an eight-bay, three-storey, country house, comprising full-height curved bows to end bays of the front elevation, full-height three-sided bows with crenellated porch to garden (south) elevation.

Sixteen-bay, two-storey wing to the west, built in the late seventeenth century/early eighteenth century, having full-height canted bay and three-stage square-plan tower to garden elevation.


THIS house remains of considerable social and historic significance to the village of Glin.

Colonel John FitzGerald, who is thought to have added the hall, staircase and two reception rooms, financed much of the main house, which was built in phases.

The artist responsible for the decorative plasterwork to the interior, though unknown, is thought to be the work of a Cork master.

The symbols on the frieze in the hall underline the military background of Colonel FitzGerald, with military trophies, shields sprouting shamrocks and the Irish harp, all incorporated into the ceiling.

The staircase, which is almost unique in Ireland, as it has two lower ramps and a single flying run of steps from the half-landing to the first floor landing.

It may echo Adam's staircase at Mellerstain in Berwickshire.

The style of the joinery on the stairs and front door suggests that the craftsmen who worked here had worked with such prominent architects as Davis Duckart and Christopher Colles in the 1760s and 1770s.

The west wing is the earliest part of the house and was originally thatched.

Despite 19th century alterations, it retains some vernacular characteristics, such as its long, low asymmetric form.

Added to this association with important historical characters, Glin Castle represents more than four centuries of construction and alteration, with different architectural features representing each phase.

The Castle, or part of it, operated as a hotel until 2009.

First published in April, 2013. 

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