Monday, 20 March 2017

The Reeks

THE McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KERRY, WITH 15,518 ACRES

CORNELIUS or CONNOR McGILLYCUDDY was born ca 1580; died by shipwreck, 1630, having married firstly, Joan, daughter of the Rt Rev John Crosbie, Lord Bishop of Ardfert; and secondly, Sheelagh, daughter of Richard Oge McCarty, of Dunguile, by whom he had a son, Niell, and a daughter.

By his first wife he had, with other issue,

DONOUGH McGILLYCUDDY (1623-c1695), of Carnbeg Castle, County Kerry, Sheriff of County Kerry, 1686.

This Donough obtained a grant of arms from Sir Richard Carney, Ulster King of Arms, in 1688.

He wedded, in 1641, Marie, youngest daughter of Daniel O'Sullivan, of Dunkerron, County Kerry, and had issue,
CORNELIUS, the heir;
Daniel, Colonel, Captain Monck's Regiment; father of DENNIS.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his elder son,

CORNELIUS McGILLYCUDDY, who married Elizabeth McCarty and dsp 1712, being succeeded by his cousin,

DENNIS McGILLYCUDDY, who married, in 1717, Anne, daughter of John Blennerhassett, by whom he had issue, with four daughters,
DENNIS, his heir;
CORNELIUS, succeeded his brother;
John, dsp;
Philip, dsp.
He died in 1730, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

DENNIS McGILLYCUDDY (1718-35), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

CORNELIUS McGILLYCUDDY, born ca 1720, who wedded, in 1745, Catherine, daughter of Richard Chute, of Tullygaron, and had issue,
Denis, b 1747; d unm;
RICHARD, succeeded his father;
FRANCIS, succeeded his brother;
Daniel;
Eusebius;
Cornelius;
Charity; Mary Anne; Margaret; Ruth; Avis; Agnes.
The eldest son,

RICHARD McGILLYCUDDY (1750-1826), of The Reeks, High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1793, espoused, in 1780, the Hon Arabella Mullins, daughter of Thomas, 1st Baron Ventry.

He dsp 1826, being succeeded by his brother,

FRANCIS McGILLYCUDDY (1751-1827), of The Reeks, who wedded Catherine, widow of Darby McGill, and daughter of Denis Mahony, of Dromore, County Kerry, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Denis;
Daniel;
Frances; Mary Catherine; Elizabeth.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his son,

RICHARD McGILLYCUDDY (1790-1866), of The Reeks, who married firstly, in 1814, Margaret (d 1827), only daughter of Dr John Bennett, and had issue, a daughter, Dorothea.

He wedded secondly, in 1849, Anna, daughter of Captain John Johnstone, of Mamstone Court, Herefordshire, and had issue,
RICHARD PATRICK, his heir;
DENIS DONOUGH CHARLES, of The Reeks;
John;
Charles;
Niell;
Agnes; Anna Catherine; Mary Ruth; Sylvia Emily.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD PATRICK McGILLYCUDDY (1850-71), of The Reeks; who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

DENIS DONOUGH CHARLES McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1852-1921), DSO, Lieutenant RN, who married, in 1881, Gertrude Laura, second daughter of Edmond Miller, of Ringwood, Massachusetts, USA, and had issue,
ROSS KINLOCH; his heir;
Richard Hugh (1883-1918).
The elder son,

ROSS KINLOCH McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1852-1950), DSO, Lieutenant, 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, wedded Victoria, daughter of Edward Courage, of Shenfield Place, Essex, and had issue,
JOHN PATRICK, his heir;
DERMOT;
Denis Michael Edmond (1917-44);
Phyllida Anne.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN PATRICK McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1909-59), who wedded, in 1945, Elizabeth Margaret, daughter of Major John Ellison Otto, and had issue,
RICHARD DENIS WYER;
Sarah Elizabeth.
Mr McGillycuddy was succeeded by his only son,

RICHARD DENIS WYER McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1948-2004), who married, in 1984, Virginia Lucy, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon Hugh Waldorf Astor, and had issue,
Tara Virginia, b 1985;
Sorcha Alexander, b 1990.
Richard McGillycuddy was succeeded in the title by his first cousin,

(DERMOT PATRICK) DONOUGH McGILLYCUDDY OF THE REEKS (1939-), who married, in 1964, Wendy O'Connor, daughter of George Spencer, and has issue,
PIERS EDWARD DONOUGH, b 1965;
Michael Dermot, b 1968;
Jocelyn Patrick Spencer, b 1970;
Lavinia O'Connor, b 1966.

THE REEKS, near Beaufort, County Kerry, is a two-storey, five-bay, late Georgian house.

It has an eaved roof and pilastered porch, doubled in length with an extension of the same height and style.

Effectively this forms a continuous front of ten bays, the original porch, no longer central, remaining the entrance.

The two end bays of the extension protrude slightly.


AT THE end of the 19th century, before the Land Purchase Acts, Richard McGillycuddy's grandfather, whose mother had injected American money into the family, distinguished himself in the 1st World War, winning the DSO and the L├ęgion d'Honneur.

From 1928 to 1936, he sat in the Senate of the Irish Free State as a supporter of the moderate WT Cosgrave and an opponent of the republican Eamon de Valera.

In the 2nd World War, he returned to the colours and became a regular informant on what was happening in neutral Ireland.

His grandson, Richard Denis Wyer McGillycuddy, was born in 1948. Richard's father, the senator's son, who had succeeded in 1950, himself died in 1959 as a result of wounds sustained during the 2nd World War in the Northampton Yeomanry.

At the time Richard was only 10 and still at his preparatory school before going on to Eton.

His English mother, although never feeling at home in Ireland, carried on dutifully at Beaufort to preserve the family inheritance for her son.

Every August, she organised a rather gentrified cricket match played on the lawn of the house - but it was abandoned around 1970 after young Richard, who had little interest in cricket and was not watching, was knocked unconscious by a mighty drive by a visitor who had played for the Cambridge Crusaders.

The young McGillycuddy's passion was cars, and he went into the motor trade in London after a brief sojourn at the University of Aix-en-Provence.

He was unreceptive to the efforts of his uncle Dermot, a Dublin solicitor much beloved of McGillycuddys of every class and creed, to interest him in Ireland.

Tall and dashing, the rugged and auburn-haired young McGillycuddy of the Reeks was much in demand in London among the Sloane Rangers.

Eventually, in 1983, at the age of 35, he married Virginia Astor, the granddaughter of the 1st Lord Astor of Hever.

Feeling that he had little in common with the local people in Kerry, McGillycuddy decided to sell The Reeks, and moved to France, where he acted as a property consultant to prospective British purchasers of chateaux and lesser French properties.

After the birth of his second daughter in 1990, the family returned to live in Ireland - not, however, in their ancestral territory, but nearer Dublin, where they rented a succession of houses, the last of them in Westmeath.

He continued to dabble in property, and latterly sold insurance; but it was a handicap that his upper-class English demeanour disappointed expectations raised by his Irish-sounding name.

Although he could be charming in the appropriate company, he did not relate well to Irish people outside his own class.

Meanwhile, despite poor health, his wife carved out a niche for herself doing valuable work as a prison visitor.

McGillycuddy was active in the council of Irish chieftains who had been recognised by the Irish Genealogical Office.

Richard McGillycuddy was survived by his wife and two daughters.

He was succeeded by his first cousin, Donogh, who lives in South Africa.

First published in March, 2013.

2 comments :

PeterC said...

Your article didn't mention if there is a relationship with McGillicuddy's Reeks, which contains the highest peak in Ireland (Carrauntoohill, 1038m) - which I remember well from my school days!

Timothy Belmont said...

Good point, Peter; I'll investigate.