Saturday, 13 May 2017

(261) Aylmer of Lyons, Courtown, Kerdiffstown and Ayesha Castle

Aylmer of Lyons etc.
The Aylmer family were settled at Lyons (Co. Kildare) by the close of the 14th century, and possibly significantly earlier. Richard Aylmer was a Keeper of the Peace for counties Dublin and Kildare in the early 15th century, and my genealogical account below begins with his grandson, Bartholomew Aylmer (d. 1501). He had two sons, the elder of whom inherited Lyons and the younger of whom, Sir Gerald Aylmer, was the ancestor of the baronets of Balrath (Meath) and the Barons Aylmer. I have not attempted to trace the Balrath branch as they seem never to have built a country house. This account follows the descent of the Lyons estate, ultimately sold by Michael Aylmer in 1796 under the pressure of crippling debts, and of the cadet branch which was established at Ballycannon, Cloncurry in the early 17th century and later came to own Courtown Park, Kerdiffstown House and Ayesha Castle.

The Lyons estate descended to Bartholomew's eldest son, Richard Aylmer (c.1479-1553), and then to the latter's son, Richard Aylmer (1509-59), who purchased the Donadea estate (Co. Kildare) in about 1558 and left it to his third son, Sir Gerald Aylmer (1548-1634), 1st bt. [for whom see my post on the Aylmer baronets of Donadea]. The Lyons estate passed to his eldest son, Thomas Aylmer (c.1541-87), and then to the latter's son, Bartholomew Aylmer (d. c.1597). Bartholomew died young, and his heir, Thomas Aylmer (c.1586-1639) did not come of age until 1607. Thomas was slow to marry and procreate, and at his death left a single daughter, so Lyons passed to his younger brother, George Aylmer (d. 1649). George left a single son, Thomas Aylmer (d. 1682), who intermarried with the branch of the family at Donadea Castle. As Roman Catholics, his sons were supporters of the Jacobite cause and were in arms against William III. George Aylmer (1663-1729) was allowed to keep the Lyons estate under the Treaty of Limerick, but his brother Richard - who went into exile with James II in France - was attainted and did not have licence to return to Ireland until 1705. A third brother, Gerald Aylmer, may be identifiable as the man of that name who was injured and captured during the siege of Derry, and not released until 1691. George Aylmer was succeeded by his son Gerald Aylmer (c.1690-1729), who was also a Jacobite and who was implicated in the Atterbury plot of 1720-22; he survived his father by only a few weeks, and left as heir his infant sons George Aylmer (d. 1732) and Michael Aylmer (1728-1808), whose spendthrift ways caused the break-up of the estate and ultimately the sale of Lyons itself.

John Aylmer (d. 1632) was the youngest son of Thomas Aylmer (d. 1587) of Lyons, and seems to have been bequeathed the small estate of Ballycannon at Cloncurry by his father. There seems never to have been a house of any consequence at Ballycannon, and the family were at best borderline gentry, sustained in gentility chiefly by their connections with the Aylmers of Lyons, Balrath and Donadea, until the mid 18th century. Charles Aylmer (c.1715-72) then acquired the Grange alias Grangemore estate. His son, Michael Aylmer (c.1750-c.1810), had a much higher status and served as High Sheriff of Kildare and Colonel of the county militia. He bought Courtown Park in about 1792, but his house there was burned down in 1798 during the rebellion of that year. His son, John Aylmer (1783/4-1857) rebuilt Courtown Park in about 1815, and left the estate at his death to his son Michael Henry Aylmer (1831-85). Michael married the daughter and heiress of Hans Hendrick of Kerdiffstown House (Kildare) in 1853, and as a result of that marriage Kerdiffstown also came into the family in 1889. Michael's eldest son, Maj. John Algernon Aylmer (1853-1924) inherited Courtown, and the next surviving son, Hans Hendrick-Aylmer (1856-1917) got Kerdiffstown. Courtown passed in 1924 to Major Aylmer's son, Maj. John Wyndham Aylmer (1889-1953), who sold it in 1947. Kerdiffstown passed in 1917 to Hans Hendrick-Aylmer's youngest brother, Algernon Ambrose Michael Aylmer (1857-1933), and then to his son, Col. Richard Michael Aylmer (1887-1975), who sold it in 1938. After the Second World War, however, Col. Aylmer bought Ayesha Castle at Killiney (Co. Dublin) as a replacement family home, and his son, Justin Aylmer (b. 1940) lived there until he sold it in 1997.


Lyons, Co. Kildare


There are fragmentary remains of a small tower house called Newcastle Lyons Castle which may be the original home of the Aylmer family, but if so it is not clear when it was abandoned, or what the later house of the family at Lyons was like. In the 18th century Michael Aylmer became indebted to Nicholas Lawless, 1st Baron Cloncurry, and in 1796 he sold the estate to him. Lord Cloncurry at once built a new house here in 1797, to the design of Oliver Grace: a three-storey block with a curved bow to either side of its entrance front, joined to two-storey wings by curving single-storey links. 


Lyons House: the entrance front, built in 1797-99 and remodelled by Richard Morrison in 1802-05. Image: aj vosse

The 2nd Baron Cloncurry, who was a friend of some of the leading United Irishmen, was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1799, but after his release in 1801 he brought in Richard Morrison to carry out improvements and alterations to his father's house in 1802-05. Lord Cloncurry, who decamped to Italy while his house was remodelled, fancied himself as an amateur architect, and had decided views about the improvements, which he expressed in letters to his agent. Morrison had not only to accommodate his employer's ideas but also the columns, chimneypieces and statuary which Lord Cloncurry collected in Italy for the house. His acquisitions included four antique columns of red Egyptian granite from the Golden House of Nero and the Baths of Titus, which had been reused at the Palazzo Farnese in Rome and which at Lyons became columns of a single-storey portico between the bows on the entrance front. In addition to constructing the portico, Richard Morrison faced the ground floor of the main block and wings with rusticated ashlar, and replaced the curved links to the pavilions with straight colonnaded ones, a similar change to the one he carried out at Carton (Kildare). The seven-bay garden front was left quite plain.


Lyons House: the drawing room

Inside, Morrison deepened the hall and dining room by removing - against his better judgement - the axial corridor which ran across the house behind them. The corridor wall supported the weight of the walls above, and large settlement cracks in the hall and dining room ceilings resulted. The hall was given a frieze of ox-skulls and tripods based on the Temple of Fortuna Virilis in Rome; doorcases with fluted entablatures and overdoor panels with classical reliefs; and a pair of freestanding antique marble Corinthian columns were set against one wall. The walls of the dining room and music room were painted with romantic landscapes, including views of Irish waterfalls, and other enchanting decoration by Gaspare Gabrielli, an artist brought by Lord Cloncurry from Rome. The bow-ended dining room was also given a wall-painting of Dublin Bay; and was adorned with reliefs of the story of Daedalus.

At some point in the 19th century a vast formal garden was laid out in front of the flat garden facade of the house, with many statues and urns and an antique column supporting a statue of Venus halfway along the the broad central walk leading from the house to what is the largest artificial lake in Ireland. Beyond the lake rises the wooded Hill of Lyons. 

Descent: Bartholomew Aylmer (d. 1501); to son, Richard Aylmer (c.1479-1553?), to son, Richard Aylmer (1509-59); to son, Thomas Aylmer (c.1541-87); to son, Bartholomew Aylmer (d. c.1597); to son, Thomas Aylmer (c.1586-1639); to brother, George Aylmer (d. 1649); to son, Thomas Aylmer (d. 1682); to son, George Aylmer (1663-1729); to son, Gerald Aylmer (c.1690-1729); to son, George Aylmer (d. 1732); to brother, Michael Aylmer (1728-1808), who sold 1796 to Sir Nicholas Lawless (1735-99), 1st Baron Cloncurry; to son, Valentine Browne Lawless (1773-1853), 2nd Baron Cloncurry; to son, Edward Lawless (1816-69), 3rd Baron Cloncurry; to son, Valentine Lawless (1840-1928), 4th Baron Cloncurry; to brother, Frederick Lawless (1847-1929), 5th Baron Cloncurry; to niece, Hon. Kathleen Emily Marie Lawless (1888-1957); bequeathed to cousin, G. Mark Winn (of Aldby Park, Yorks), who sold 1962 to University College, Dublin; sold 1996 to Dr. Tony Ryan (1936-2007); sold by his executors 2016 to his son, Shane Ryan (b. c.1972).


Courtown Park, Kilcock, Co. Kildare


Courtown Park: the house in 2015.

The house is approached by a beech avenue, half a mile long. It is now a plain two-storey house of c.1815, built by John Aylmer to replace an earlier house here, which was burned and looted in 1798 during the ownership of his father, Michael Aylmer, who had been unable to rebuild it because he received insufficient compensation from the state. It has a five-bay front with strip pilasters. The house was much enlarged by Richard Francis Caulfield Orpen in 1906 for Major J.A. Aylmer, who added a wing at right-angles to the original block to form a new entrance front, with a three-sided bow and an open porch, at one side of a pedimented projection. The new wing contains, among other rooms, a hall with a massive oak staircase.

Descent: sold c.1792 to Michael Aylmer (1750-1828?); to son, John Aylmer (1783/4-1857); to son, Michael Henry Aylmer (1831-85); to son, Maj. John Algernon Aylmer (1853-1924); to son, Maj. John Wyndham Aylmer (1889-1953), who sold 1947 to George Drummond... occupied in the 1950s by the American film producer, John Huston and his daughter Anjelica;... Mr. & Mrs. John O'Brien (fl. c.1980); sold 1981 to Brendon O'Mahoney; sold 2015 to Luke Comer.


Kerdiffstown House, Johnstown, Co. Kildare


Kerdiffstown House. Image: Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

A three-storey seven by three bay 18th century stone house with rusticated brick surrounds to the windows, originally belonging to the Hendricks family. The full-height canted bow now occupying the central three bays of the main front and containing the entrance door is probably a later addition as it is of brick, whereas the wall behind is of stone. One of the three bay end elevations has round-headed fanlighted windows on the ground floor, recessed in blind arches filled in with brick. The house by marriage to the Aylmers in 1853 and was sold by Col. R.M. Aylmer in 1938. It subsequently became a convent, and was renovated for this purpose in 1940, when a severely plain apse-ended classical chapel was built; rather later, c.1950, some unsightly additions were made including a modern porch and a two-storey accommodation block. The present horrible plastic windows are a more recent erosion of the historic fabric, probably perpetrated c.1990.

Descent: Hans Hendrick (d. 1889); to grandson, Hans Hendrick Aylmer (later Hendrick-Aylmer) (1856-1917); to brother, Algernon Ambrose Michael Aylmer (1857-1933); to son, Col. Richard Michael Aylmer (1887-1975), who sold 1938 to Dominican order for use as a Convent.... sold to Cement Roadstone Ltd. (fl. 1980); now a Society of St. Vincent de Paul Holiday Centre.


Ayesha Castle, Co. Dublin


Ayesha Castle and Killiney Bay.


A romantic 19th century castle of ashlar with a round tower and various turrets by the side of Killiney Bay, built in 1841 for Robert Warren of Killiney Castle, probably to the designs of his grandson, Sandham Symes. He named it Victoria Castle, in commemoration of the queen's accession to the throne a few years earlier. The house was gutted by fire in 1928, but afterwards restored for Sir Thomas Power, who changed its name to Ayesha Castle, taking the name from the goddess who rose from the flames in Rider Haggard’s novel, She. It was bought by Col. R.M. Aylmer in 1947, and in 1997 the Aylmer family sold it to the renowned Celtic singer, Enya, who renamed it as Manderley Castle, after the fictional house that is a central character in Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Descent: Robert Warren (1787-1869); sold to Rev. Humphrey Lloyd (1800-81), Provost of Trinity College, Dublin; to nephew, Clifford Bartholomew Lloyd (1845-1915); to son, Wilmot Humphrey Clifford Lloyd (1879-1948); sold after fire to Sir Thomas Talbot Power (1863-1930), 6th bt., who restored the castle; leased after his death to Hon. David Plunket and John Chalk Barrett (d. 1947); sold after his death to Col. Richard Michael Aylmer (1887-); to sons Justin (b. 1940) and Dennis (b. 1942), who sold 1997 to the Irish singer, Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin (b. 1961), better known as 'Enya'.



Aylmer family of Lyons



Aylmer, Bartholomew (d. 1501). Elder son of Richard Aylmer (c.1419-55) of Lyons and his wife Margaret Bathe, born before 1448. He married Margaret (d. 1514), seventh daughter of Sir Christopher Chevers of Ballyhaly and Ballycullen (Wexford) and Macetown (Meath), and had issue four sons and four daughters, including:
(1) Richard Aylmer (c.1479-1553?) (q.v.);
(2) Sir Gerald Aylmer (d. 1560), of Dollardstown (Meath); Chief Justice of Ireland, 1535-59; married and had issue (from whom descended the Aylmer baronets of Balrath and the Barons Aylmer); died 1560;
(3) Anne Aylmer (fl. 1506); married, 1506, as his first wife, Sir Thomas Luttrell of Luttrellstown, Lord Chief Justice of Common Pleas.
He inherited the Lyons estate from his father in 1455.
He died in December 1501. His widow died 2 September 1514.

Aylmer, Richard (c.1479-1553?). Elder son of Bartholomew Aylmer (d. 1501) and his wife Margaret, seventh daughter of Sir Christopher Chevers of Ballyhaly and Ballycullen (Wexford) and Macetown (Meath), born about 1479. Chief Sergeant of Kildare, 1535; High Sheriff of Kildare, 1543. He married Genet, daughter and heiress of Alderman Thomas Tew of Dublin and had issue, possibly among others:
(1) Richard Aylmer (1509-59) (q.v.).
He inherited the Lyons estate from his father in 1501.
He died in 1553? His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, Richard (1509-59). Only recorded son of Richard Aylmer (c.1479-1553?) and his wife Genet, daughter and heiress of Alderman Thomas Tew of Dublin, born 1509. In 1551 he was among those pardoned for causing the death of Donoke O’Dempsie and two others. He married, c.1540, Eleanor (d. c.1593), daughter of Sir George Fleming, kt. and had issue:
(1) Thomas Aylmer (c.1541-87) (q.v.);
(2) George Aylmer (d. 1582), of Cloncurry (Kildare) and Trim (Meath); married Mary (d. 1586), elder daughter of Sir Patrick Hussey, Baron of Galtrim, and had issue three sons; died 26 December 1582;
(3) Sir Gerald Aylmer (1548-1634), kt. and 1st bt. [for whom see my previous post on the Aylmer baronets of Donadea Castle];
(4) Edward Aylmer; married Katherine, daughter of Richard Fitzgerald of Alloone (Kildare);
(5) Mary/Margaret Aylmer; married James Hussey (d. 1603), Baron of Galtrim, and had issue two sons;
(6) Catherine Aylmer; married Robert/Philip Fitzgerald of Allen;
(7) Anne Aylmer; married James Aylmer of Dollardstown;
(8) Elizabeth Aylmer; married Edward Cusack.
He inherited the Lyons estate from his father in 1553?. He purchased the Donadea estate in 1558.
He died in 1559 and was buried at Lyons. His widow married 2nd, Nicholas Hussey, Baron of Galtrim, and died about 1593; she also was buried at Lyons.

Aylmer, Thomas (c.1541-87). Eldest son of Richard Aylmer (1509-59) and his wife Eleanor, daughter of Sir George Fleming, kt., born about 1541. He came of age and had livery of his father's estate, 20 July 1562. A Commissioner to levy food for the army, 1563. He married Alison (d. 1623), daughter of Thomas Cusack of Cussingtown, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and had issue:
(1) Bartholomew Aylmer (d. c.1597) (q.v.);
(2) Richard Aylmer (d. after 1602), of Hartwell; married and had issue four sons; died after 1602;
(3) John Aylmer (d. 1632) [for whom see below, Aylmer family of Ballycannon, Courtown and Kerdiffstown]
(4) Catherine Aylmer; married 1st, James de Bathe, and 2nd, Sir Patrick Fox (d. 1618), kt.;
(5) Rose Aylmer;
(6) Mary Aylmer;
(7) Margaret Aylmer; married Theobald Tuite;
(8) Eleanor Aylmer (d. 1597); married Travers Piphoe; died 1597;
(9) Alison Aylmer.
He inherited the Lyons estate from his father in 1559.
He died 14/15 March 1586/7. His widow died in December 1623.

Aylmer, Bartholomew (d. c.1597). Eldest son of Thomas Aylmer (c.1541-87) and his wife Alison, daughter of Thomas Cusack of Cussingtown, Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He married Cicely, daughter of Robert Piphoe of Hollywood, and had issue, possibly among others:
(1) Thomas Aylmer (c.1586-1639) (q.v.);
(2) George Aylmer (d. 1648/9) (q.v.).
He inherited the Lyons estate from his father in 1587.
He died about 1597. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, Thomas (c.1586-1639). Elder recorded son of Bartholomew Aylmer (d. c.1597) and his wife Cicely, daughter of Robert Piphoe of Hollywood, born about 1586. After his father's death he was made a ward of William Udall until he came of age. He married, c.1627/8 (settlement 16 February), Mabel (d. c.1654), daughter of Sir Patrick Barnewall, 1st bt., of Turvey (Co. Dublin), and had issue:
(1) Ellen or Catherine Aylmer.
He inherited the Lyons estate from his father in c.1597 and came of age in 1607. At his death he was succeeded by his brother George.
He died 3 November 1639 and was buried at Lyons. His wife made her will 11 December 1654 and probably died soon afterwards.

Aylmer, George (d. 1649). Younger recorded son of Bartholomew Aylmer (d. c.1597) and his wife Cicely, daughter of Robert Piphoe of Hollywood. He married Margaret, daughter of Meyler Fay of Herbertstown (Kildare) and widow of Robert Bathe of Lea (Co. Leix), and had issue:
(1) Thomas Aylmer (d. 1681/2) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Aylmer; married Patrick Weldon (d. 1684) of Knockagh (Meath).
He inherited the Lyons estate from his brother Thomas in about 1639
He died in March 1648/9. 

Aylmer, Thomas (d. 1682). Only recorded son of George Aylmer (d. 1648/9). He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Andrew Aylmer, 2nd bt., of Donadea Castle, and had issue four sons and seven daughters, including:
(1) George Aylmer (1663-1729) (q.v.);
(2) Richard Aylmer (fl. 1705); went into exile in France with King James II, 1690, but had licence to return to Ireland, 1705;
(3) Gerald Aylmer; possibly to be identified with the 'Gerald Aylmer' who served in King James' army at the Siege of Derry but was taken prisoner by the besieged in a sally, called the Battle of Windmill Hill, along with Lord Netterville and many others, in which about 200 were killed, and Netterville and Aylmer were badly wounded; they were then treated with kindness, and the respect due to their rank, being confined in a private house, and eventually exchanged in 1691; subsequently attainted for Jacobitism;
(4) Margaret Aylmer; married Col. Richard Eustace;
(5) Elizabeth Aylmer; a nun in France;
(6) Cicely Aylmer; died unmarried;
(7) Catherine Aylmer; a nun in France;
(8) Mary Aylmer; married, 1702, William Eustace (d. 1746) of Cradockstown (Kildare) and had issue three sons and one daughter.
He inherited the Lyons estate from his father in 1649.
He died between 16 March 1681/2 and 11 May 1682, when his will was proved, and was buried at Lyons. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, George (1663-1729). Eldest son of Thomas Aylmer (d. 1682) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Andrew Aylmer, 2nd bt., of Donadea Castle, born 1663. He took the Jacobite side in the wars of 1688-90 and was a Capt. in King James' Guards, but after the defeat of the Jacobite armies he was allowed to retain his estates under the Treaty of Limerick. MP for Co. Kildare in the 'Patriot Parliament' of 1689. He married, 1685/1689, Mary (1665-1703), eldest daughter of Sir Valentine Browne, 3rd bt. (who was created 1st Viscount Kenmare in the Jacobite peerage by King James II in 1689), and had issue three sons and three daughters, including:
(1) Thomas Aylmer (d. 1709); died young;
(2) Gerald Aylmer (c.1690-1729) (q.v.);
(3) Valentine Aylmer (d. 1737); died unmarried, 1737;
(4) Jane Aylmer; married, c.1718, Pierce Bryan (1682-1762) of Jenkinstown, and had issue four sons and three daughters;
(5) Elizabeth Aylmer (d. 1740); died unmarried, 3 May 1740;
(6) Cicely Aylmer.
He inherited the Lyons estate from his father in 1681/2.
He died 21 January 1729 and was buried at Lyons. His wife died in 1703.

Aylmer, Gerald (c.1690-1729). Son of George Aylmer (1663-1729) and his wife Mary, eldest daughter of Sir Valentine Browne, 3rd bt. (1st Viscount Kenmare in the Jacobite peerage), born about 1688. He was an active Jacobite, and was suspected of involvement in the Atterbury plot of 1720-22, although his involvement was never proved. He married Mary (d. 1778), daughter and co-heiress of Michael Moore of Drogheda (Louth), and had issue:
(1) George Aylmer (d. 1732); inherited the Lyons estate from his father in 1729 but died in 1732 before coming of age;
(2) Mary Aylmer;
(3) Michael Aylmer (c.1728-1808) (q.v.);
(4) Alice Aylmer (b. 1729), born after her father's death.
He inherited the Lyons estate from his father in 1729 but died shortly afterwards.
He died about seven weeks after his father, 10 March 1729; his will was proved 18 March 1729. His widow died in London in September 1778.

Aylmer, Michael (c.1728-1808). Younger son of Gerald Aylmer (c.1690-1729) and his wife Mary, daughter and co-heiress of Michael Moore of Drogheda (Louth). His mother reportedly took him away from the care of his (Protestant) guardians and brought him to London, with the intention that he would be brought up in France in the Roman Catholic religion, but his guardians pursued them to London, where they were brought before the courts, 1736. Whatever his eventual upbringing, the remained a Roman Catholic in religion. He lived beyond his means, and fell into debt, which led inexorably to the sale of his estates from 1758 onwards. He married 1st, 1756, Margaret, only child of George Mathew of Thomastown; 2nd, 8 June 1765, Honora, daughter of Matthew Hore, of Shandon (Waterford) and Agbrahane (Galway); and 3rd, 1770, Mary (b. c.1748), daughter of the Hon. Thomas de Burgh, and had issue:
(1.1) George Aylmer; died young;
(1.2) Gerald Aylmer; died young;
(1.3) Mary Aylmer (d. 1806); married, 24 August 1783 at Lyons, as his second wife, Sir Valentine Browne (1754-1812), 7th bt. and 1st Earl of Kenmare, and had issue four sons and two daughters; died 16 October 1806;
(1.4) Margaret Aylmer (d. 1804?); married, 1783/8, Robert ffrench (c.1762-1811) of Rahasane (Galway) and had issue one son and three daughters; said to have died in 1804;
(3.1) Frances Aylmer (c.1770-1852), born about 1770; married, 1791 (settlement 21 December), Roger Sheehy Keatinge (d. 1828) and had issue one daughter; died 25 October 1852;
(3.2) Thomas Aylmer (b. 1772), baptised at St Mary's R.C. Church, Dublin, 13 September 1772; died young;
(3.3) (Fitz)Gerald Aylmer (1773-1837) (q.v.);
(3.4) Michael Aylmer (c.1775-1830), born about 1775; an officer in the infantry (Capt., 1796; Brevet Major); died unmarried, 15 April 1830.
He inherited the Lyons estate from his elder brother in 1732 and sold it to Sir Nicholas Lawless, 1st Baron Cloncurry in December 1796.
He died in Brussels (Belgium), 6 August 1808. His first wife died before 1765. His second wife died before 1770. His third wife's date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, (Fitz)Gerald (1773-1837). Only surviving son of Michael Aylmer (c.1728-1808) and his third wife, Mary, daughter of the Hon. Thomas de Burgh, baptised at St Mary's R.C. Church, 10 December 1773. He married, 1 May 1811, also at St Mary's, Dublin, Catherine (b. c.1782), eldest daughter of Patrick Lambert of Carnagh (Wexford), and had issue:
(1) Michael Valentine Aylmer (1812-77), born 8 March and baptised at St Mary's RC Church, Dublin, 16 March 1812; an officer in the Kilkenny militia (ensign, 1846); married 1st, June 1836, Emma, youngest daughter of John Adami of Soho, London, and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 26 April 1841, Marianne, daughter and heir of William Conolly of Dublin and widow of William Kirwan of Wellpark, Dublin, and had issue three sons and five daughters; died at Sandford (Co. Dublin), 1 August 1877;
(2) Mary Anne Aylmer (1813-93), baptised at St Mary's RC Church, Dublin, 25 March 1813; died unmarried in Dublin, 14 December 1893; will proved 24 April 1894 (estate £1,054);
(3) Margaret Aylmer (1814-81), 
baptised at St Mary's RC Church, Dublin, 3 May 1814; married, 2 July 1850, Ambrose Nugent (c.1818-86) of Killasona (Longford); died Oct-Dec 1881;
(4) Frances Aylmer (1815-91); died unmarried in Dublin, 10 September 1891; will proved 5 May 1893 (effects £1,085);
(5) Mary Teresa Georgina Aylmer (b. 1816), 
baptised at St Mary's RC Church, Dublin, 16 August 1816; perhaps died young;
(6) Jane Eliza Aylmer (1818-49), baptised at St Mary's RC Church, Dublin, 18 August 1818; died unmarried, 18 February 1849;
(7) Henry Lambert Aylmer (1820-97), baptised at St Mary's RC Church, Dublin, 11 April 1820; married, 28 Feb. 1842, Esmé, only daughter of Bryan Brady of Stonefield (Meath), and had issue; died 20 July 1897; administration of goods granted 18 May 1900 (effects £104);
(8) Letitia Aylmer (1821-86), baptised at St Mary's RC Church, Dublin, 2 January 1822; married, 9 October 1844, Charles Barnewall (d. 1873) of Meadstown (Meath) and had issue four sons and ten daughters; died 3 March 1886.
He lived at Derry House, Rathcabbin (Tipperary).
He died 9 January 1837. His wife's date of death is unknown.


Aylmer family of Ballycannon, Courtown and Kerdiffstown


Aylmer, John (d. 1632). Youngest son of Thomas Aylmer (c.1541-87) of Lyons and his wife Alison, daughter of Thomas Cusack of Cussingtown, Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He married, 1605, Eleanor Hussey of Moyle Hussey and had issue:
(1) Matthew Aylmer (b. 1606) (q.v.);
(2) George Aylmer (c.1608-after 1624); born about 1608; died unmarried after 1624;
(3) Robert Aylmer (c.1610-after 1624); born about 1610; married Katherine, daughter of Piers Power of Monalargie and had issue one son; died after 1624;
(4) Bartholomew Aylmer (c.1613-before 1681); born about 1613; died before 1681;
(5) Richard Aylmer;
(6) Ellice Aylmer (d. 1684); married Gerald Dillon of Killynin (Westmeath); died 28 September 1684;
(7) Cicely Aylmer;
(8) Alison Aylmer.
He probably inherited Ballycannon, Cloncurry from his father in 1587.
He died 26 or 27 June 1632. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, Matthew (b. 1606). Eldest son of John Aylmer (d. 1632) of Ballycannon and his wife Eleanor Hussey of Moyle Hussey, born 1606. He participated in the rebellion of 1641. He married, 20 February 1624, Elizabeth, daughter of Nicholas Wogan of Rathcoffey (Kildare) and had issue:
(1) John Aylmer (1626-1702) (q.v.).
He inherited Ballycannon from his father in 1632.
His date of death is unknown. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, John (1626-1702). Only recorded son of Matthew Aylmer (b. 1606) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Nicholas Wogan of Rathcoffey (Kildare), born 1626. He was perhaps the first member of this branch of the family to conform to the Protestant religion. He married and had issue:
(1) Col. John Aylmer (c.1652-1705) (q.v.);

(2) Richard Aylmer (c.1654-c.1717), born about 1654; married Bridget [surname unknown] and had issue two sons and four daughters; died about 1717;
(3) Matthew Aylmer (b. c.1656); born about 1656;
(4) Thomas Aylmer (b. c.1658); born about 1658;
(5) Alice Aylmer; married, 1707, William Humphreys of Hollywood (Wicklow).
He inherited Ballycannon from his father.
He died in 1702.

Aylmer, Col. John (c.1652-1705). Eldest son of John Aylmer (1626-1702) and his wife, born about 1652. An officer in the Army from c.1682 (Capt. by 1687; Col. by 1690). High Sheriff of Co. Kildare, 1680-85; MP for Naas, 1692-93; Sovereign (i.e. Mayor) of Naas, 1694; Deputy Governor of Co. Kildare, 1699. He married, 1678 (settlement 16 November), Mary, daughter of Thomas Breedon of Bear Court (Berks), and had issue:
(1) John Aylmer (d. 1708) (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Aylmer (b. c.1682), born about 1682; became a Roman Catholic and was cut out of his father's will on that account; died in France;
(3) Charles Aylmer (d. 1754) (q.v.);
(4) Andrew Aylmer (b. c.1687), born about 1687; died without issue;
(5) James Aylmer (b. c.1690), born about 1690; died without male issue;
(6) Matthew Aylmer (b. c.1693), born about 1693; married and had issue;
(7) Dorothy Aylmer; married [forename unknown] Greville;
(8) Elizabeth Aylmer;
(9) Cecily Aylmer;
(10) Lydia Aylmer;
(11) Alice Aylmer;
(12) Anne Aylmer.
He inherited Ballycannon from his father in 1702.
He died in 1705, leaving a will dated 22 March 1704/5 which was proved later that year. His widow married 2nd, George Aylmer; her date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, John (d. 1708). Eldest son of Col. John Aylmer (d. 1705) and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Breedon of Bear Court (Berks), born about 1680. He married, 1705, Mary, daughter of Thomas Whyte of Pitchfordstown (Kildare) and had issue:
(1) Martha Aylmer (b. 1706);
(1) John Aylmer (1707-12), born 1707; inherited the Ballycannon estate from his father in 1708, but died young, 26 July 1712.
He inherited Ballycannon from his father in about 1705. After his death it passed to his only son and then to his brother Charles Aylmer (d. 1754).
He died 15 September 1708. His widow married 2nd, Francis Glascock of Dublin; her date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, Charles (c.1685-1754). Third son of Col. John Aylmer (d. after 1705) and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Breedon of Bearecourt, born about 1685. High Sheriff of Co. Kildare, 1725. He married [forename unknown], daughter of Col. Gerard Crosbie, and had issue:
(1) Charles Aylmer (c.1715-c.1772) (q.v.);
(2) John Aylmer (c.1718-before 1754), born about 1718; predeceased his father;
(3) Mary Aylmer (fl. 1776); married, 24 December 1759 at St Michael, Dublin, John Bury (d. 1804?) of Dublin, notary public, and of Downings (Kildare), and had issue four sons and three daughters.
He inherited Ballycannon from his nephew in 1712.
He died 5/6 May 1754. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, Charles (c.1715-c.1772). Elder son of Charles Aylmer (c.1685-1754) of Ballycannon and his wife, born about 1715. He married, 11 September 1749, Eleanor (d. 1781), daughter of James Tyrrell of Clonard (Kildare), and had issue:
(1) Michael Aylmer (c.1750-c.1810) (q.v.);
(2) Charles Aylmer (d. 1776); died unmarried, March 1776;
(3) Richard Aylmer (b. c.1752); married, September 1772, Eliza, daughter of Admiral Richard Norris, and had issue two sons;
(4) Bridget Aylmer; married, 9 October 1775, Thomas Cannon of Moyglare (Meath);
(5) Elizabeth Aylmer; married, about September 1778 at Grangemore, Thomas Coates of Knockin Abbey (Kildare);
(6) Anne Aylmer.
He inherited Ballycannon from his father in 1754 and acquired Grangemore (Kildare).
He died between 1770 and 1772; his will was proved in 1772. His widow died in 1781.

Aylmer, Michael (c.1750-c.1810). Eldest son of Charles Aylmer (c.1715-c.1772) and his wife Eleanor, daughter of James Tyrell of Clonard (Kildare), born about 1750. JP for Kildare from 1776; High Sheriff of Kildare, 1783, 1796 and 1804; Colonel of Kildare militia, 1795-1803; Revenue Collector in Kildare, c.1806-09. He married, 6 May 1777 at St Bride, Dublin, Frances Amelia, only daughter of Richard Hornidge DL of Tulfarris (Wicklow), and had issue:
(1) Emily Aylmer (c.1779-1811), born about 1779; married, 1799, as his second wife, Whitney Upton Gledstanes (d. 1807) of Fardross, Clogher (Tyrone) and had issue one son and one daughter;
(2) John Aylmer (1783/4-1857) (q.v.);
(3) Richard Aylmer (b. 1788), born 1788; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1804; BA 1808); died unmarried;
(4) Eliza Aylmer.
He inherited Ballycannon from his father c.1772, and acquired Courtown (Kildare) in about 1792, but the house there was looted and burned by the United Irishmen in 1798; after that he lived at The Shrubbery, Kilcock (conveniently close to the town police barracks!).
He died about 1810. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, John (1783/4-1857). Elder son of Michael Aylmer (c.1750-c.1810) and his wife Frances Amelia, only daughter of Richard Hornidge of Tulfarris (Wicklow), born 1783/4. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1799; BA 1803) and Kings Inn, Dublin (admitted 1807). High Sheriff of Co. Kildare, 1819. He married 1st, March 1813, his cousin Martha (d. before 1828), second daughter of Maj. Richard Hornidge of Tulfarris (Wicklow), and 2nd, 29 December 1828 at Donadea, Margaret Susan (1799-1891), only daughter of Sir Fenton Aylmer, 7th bt., of Donadea Castle, and had issue:
(1.1) Isabella Aylmer (1814-24), born 1814; died young, 1824;
(2.1) Jane Grace Aylmer (c.1830-96); died unmarried, 28 March 1896; administration of goods granted 8 June 1896 (estate £5,059);
(2.2) Michael Henry Aylmer (1831-85) (q.v.);
(2.3) Frances Aylmer (b. c.1832); died unmarried;
(2.4) Margaret Aylmer (1834-1905), born 9 March 1834; married, 17 July 1856 at St Mark, Dublin, Charles Michael Wright (later Bury) (1830-1909) of Downings (Kildare) and had issue nine sons and four daughters; died 8 November 1905;
(2.5) Emily Aylmer (1835-1922), born 8 November 1835; married, 8 November 1859, Thomas Octavius Baldwin Chapman (c.1823-89) and had issue eight sons and five daughters; died 11 May 1922;
(2.6) Elizabeth Aylmer (c.1837-1900), born about 1837; died unmarried, 8 June 1900; will proved 9 August 1900 (estate in Ireland, £5,730) and sealed in London, 24 August 1900 (estate in England, £3,975);
(2.7) Cecilia Aylmer (c.1839-1918), born about 1839; died unmarried, 22 September 1918; will proved in Dublin, 2 December 1918, and sealed in London, 18 January 1919 (estate in England, £1,575);
(2.8) Lucy Harriet Aylmer (c.1842-1922), born about 1842; married, 20 June 1863 at British Chaplaincy in Rome (Italy), Edward Louis Hack (c.1831-89), builder of the first railways in Italy, and had issue one daughter; died 31 January 1922.
He inherited Courtown Park from his father and built a new house there c.1815.
He died 5 March 1857 and was buried at Cloncurry (Kildare); his will was proved 28 March 1857. His first wife died before 1828. His widow died aged 92, 26 December 1891; her will was proved in Dublin, 18 March 1892 (estate in Ireland, £14,279) and sealed in London, 11 April 1892 (estate in England £4,584).

Aylmer, Michael Henry (1831-85). Only son of John Aylmer (1783/4-1857) of Courtown Park and his second wife, Margaret Susan (1799-1892), only daughter of Sir Fenton Aylmer, 7th bt., of Donadea Castle, born 30 May 1831. JP for Co. Kildare. A noted horseman and rider to hounds. He married, 5 February 1853 at Naas (Kildare), Charlotte Margaret (d. 1893), daughter and heiress of Hans Hendrick of Kerdiffstown House and Tully (Kildare), and had issue:
(1) John Algernon Aylmer (1853-1924) (q.v.);
(2) Florence Mary Aylmer (1854-1907), born about 25 November 1854; married 1st, 21 March 1882 at St Ann, Dublin, Lt-Col. Walter Joseph Borrowes (1834-93), youngest son of Sir Erasmus Dixon Borrowes, 8th bt., and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 1895, William R.N. Gore; died 3 August 1907; administration of her goods granted 29 October 1907 (estate £632);
(3) Hans Hendrick Aylmer (later Hendrick-Aylmer) (1856-1917) (q.v.);
(4) Algernon Ambrose Michael Aylmer (1857-1933) (q.v.).
He inherited Courtown Park from his father in 1857, and Kerdiffstown in right of his wife.
He died in Dublin, 4 April 1885; his will was proved 9 April 1885 (effects £1,480). His widow died 4 November 1893; her will was proved in Dublin, 25 January 1894 (effects in Ireland, £5,631) and sealed in London, 7 February 1894 (estate in England, £2,056).

Aylmer, Maj. John Algernon (1853-1924). Eldest son of Michael Aylmer (1831-85) and his wife Charlotte Margaret, daughter and heiress of Hans Hendrick of Kerdiffstown House and Tully (Kildare), born 22 December 1853. Educated at Liverpool Collegiate Institution and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1872; BA 1876; rowing blue, 1874).  An officer in the 4th Dragoon Guards (Lt., 1875; Capt., 1882; Maj., 1891), who served in Egypt, 1882. JP and DL for Co. Kildare; High Sheriff of Co. Kildare, 1896-97. He married, 12 April 1886 at Clearwell (Glos), Blanche (1855-95), third daughter of John Eveleigh Wyndham of Stock Dennis (Somerset) and widow of Capt. George Montgomery, and had issue:
(1) Stella Wyndham Aylmer (1887-1973), born Jan-Mar 1887; County Organizer for Women's Voluntary Service; appointed MBE, 1946; married, 3 March 1909, Lt-Col. John Maurice Colchester-Wemyss OBE JP (1880-1946), younger son of Maynard Willoughby Colchester-Wemyss of Westbury Court (Glos), and had issue one son; died 27 May 1973;
(2) John Wyndham Aylmer (1889-1953) (q.v.).
He inherited Courtown Park from his father in 1885.
He died 24 August 1924; his will was proved in London, 13 March 1925 (estate in England, £12,515) and in Dublin, 1 September 1925 (estate in Ireland, £5,662). His wife died 8 March 1895; administration of her goods was granted 14 June 1895 (effects £1,205).

Aylmer, Maj. John Wyndham (1889-1953). Only son of John Algernon Aylmer (1853-1924) and his wife Blanche, third daughter of John Eveleigh Wyndham of Stock Dennis (Somerset) and widow of Capt. George Montgomery, born 9 March 1889. Educated at Wellington College and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. An officer in 4th Dragoon Guards (Lt., 1910; Capt., 1915; Maj., 1923; retired 1924), who served in First World War (mentioned in despatches three times). Master of Kildare Hunt, 1925-26. He married, 8 August 1918 at Holy Trinity, Sloane St., London, Edith Margaret (1892-1964), youngest daughter of Wilfred Hans Loder DL JP of High Beeches, Handcross (Sussex), and had issue:
(1) Maj. Michael Eustace Wyndham Aylmer (1919-86), born 20 July 1919; educated at Eton and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; an officer in 16th/5th Lancers (2nd Lt., 1939; Lt., 1941; Capt., 1946; Maj., 1952; retired, 1953) who served in Second World War; member of the London Stock Exchange; died 3 December 1986; will proved 20 May 1987 (estate £230,081);
(2) Blanche Mary Aylmer (1920-64), born 3 September 1920; served in Women's Auxiliary Air Force in Second World War; married, 6 May 1944, Christopher Francis Wintour of Sowbury House, Chieveley (Berks), son of Ulick Fitzgerald Wintour of Cap d'Antibes (France), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 16 February 1964; administration of goods granted 12 November 1964 (estate £8,919);
(3) Col. (John) Anthony Aylmer (b. 1925) of Nunwell House, Brading (IoW), born 7 October 1925; educated at Wellington College; an officer in the Irish Guards (Lt., 1947; Capt., 1952; Maj., 1959; Lt-Col., 1966; Col., 1972; retired 1980), who served in Second World War, Palestine 1948-49 and Aden 1966-67; took part in the Coronation Procession, 1953; Military Assistant to Lord Mountbatten, 1964-65; Deputy Chairman, Exercises Branch of Operations Division, SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), 1973; President of the Irish Wolfhound Club, 1970-72; purchased Nunwell House from the Oglander family, 1982; DL for Isle of Wight, 1994; married, 16 September 1961, Shaunagh Christine (1934-2010), second daughter of Richard Smythe Guinness of Lodge Park, Straffan (Kildare) and had issue one son and two daughters.
He inherited Courtown Park from his father in 1924 but sold it in 1947 and lived subsequently at The Park, Charleville (Co. Cork).
He died in London, 22 March 1953; his will was proved 9 December 1953 (estate in England, £7,320). His widow died 29 October 1964; her will was proved 24 February 1965 (estate £6,409).

Hendrick-Aylmer, Hans Hendrick (1856-1917). Second son of Michael Aylmer (1831-85) and his wife Charlotte Margaret, daughter and heiress of Hans Hendrick of Kerdiffstown House and Tully (Kildare), born 23 May 1856. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1877) Kings Inn, Dublin and Middle Temple (admitted, 1878; called to bar, 1880). Barrister-at-law. JP for Co. Kildare; High Sheriff of Co. Kildare, 1894. A keen amateur tennis player, he competed in the Irish national championships in 1880; Treasurer of the Kildare Archaeological Society. He took the additional name and arms of Hendrick by Royal Licence in 1889. He married, 8 May 1886 at Christ Church, Dublin, Florence (c.1861-1940), third daughter of Alexander Edwards of Ballyhire (Wexford), and had issue:
(1) Charles Percy Hendrick-Aylmer (1887-1906), born Jul-Sep 1887; educated at Wellington College; died unmarried of peritonitis, 1 December 1906;
(2) Muriel Charlotte Hendrick-Aylmer (1889-1970), born 16 May 1889; married, 5 November 1915, Brig. John Penrose MC (1886-1964) of West Hoe House, Bishops Waltham (Hants), son of Rev. John Penrose of Chippenham (Wilts) and had issue three sons; died 19 November 1970; will proved 30 April 1971 (estate £14,062);
(3) Violet Lucy Hendrick-Aylmer (1891-1979), born 13 September 1891; married, 31 December 1925, Capt. Philip Sylvester Alexander (1883-1952) of Kilmorna, Lismore (Waterford), only son of Col. the Hon. Walter Philip Alexander, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 19 December 1979; will proved in London, 28 May 1981 (estate in England £4,512);
(4) Gerald Hans Hendrick-Aylmer (1897-1917), born Jul-Sep 1897; educated at Wellington College and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; an officer in Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Lt., 1915), who served in First World War and was killed in action, 16 April 1917; he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais (France).
He inherited Kerdiffstown House from his grandfather, Hans Hendrick, in 1889.
He died 13 November 1917 and was buried at Maudlins Cemetery, Naas (Kildare), where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved in Dublin, 14 February 1918. His widow died 8 April 1940 and was also buried at Maudlins Cemetery; her will was proved in London, 7 August 1940 (estate in England, £2,478).

Aylmer, Algernon Ambrose Michael (1857-1933). Youngest son of Michael Aylmer (1831-85) and his wife Charlotte Margaret, daughter and heiress of Hans Hendrick of Kerdiffstown House and Tully (Kildare), born 23 June 1857. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1879). An officer in the Dublin City Militia (Lt., 1875; resigned 1878). A keen amateur tennis player, he competed in the Irish national championships in 1880. He married, 10 June 1886, Frances Sophia (c.1861-1937), youngest daughter of Meade Caulfield Dennis of Fort Granite (Wexford) and had issue:
(1) Col. Richard Michael Aylmer (1887-1975) (q.v.);
(2) Theodora Margaret Aylmer (1892-1971), born 21 February 1892; married, 15 June 1915, Maj. Roger Ferdinand Mainguy DSO (1882-1959), son of Maj.-Gen. Ferdinand Beckwith Mainguy of Les Roquettes (Guernsey); lived at Morristown, Kill (Co. Kildare); died 2 December 1971; will proved in London, 30 October 1978 (estate in England £16,267).
He lived at Rathmore (Kildare) until he inherited Kerdiffstown House from his elder brother in 1917.
He died 6 February 1933; his will was proved in London, 10 May 1933 (estate in England, £9,674); in Dublin, 12 July 1933 (estate in Ireland, £20,911) and in Belfast, 19 July 1933 (estate in Northern Ireland £1,392). His widow died 20 January 1937; her will was proved in England, 25 March 1937 (estate £571).

Aylmer, Col. Richard Michael (1887-1975). Only son of Algernon Ambrose Michael Aylmer (1857-1933) and his wife Frances Sophia, youngest daughter of Meade Caulfield Dennis of Fort Granite (Wexford), born 5 October 1887. Educated at Wellington College and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. An officer in Royal Army Service Corps 1908-38 and 1949-45; served in First World War (wounded, mentioned in despatches three times) and Second World War (mentioned in despatches); seconded to Egyptian Army, 1920-23. He married, 26 January 1939, Mona (1909-99), elder daughter of Capt. Conn Alexander of Bognor Regis (Sussex), and had issue:
(1) Justin Michael Aylmer (b. 1940), born 3 January 1940; educated at Wellington College; employed in Investment Division of Lloyds Bank Ltd from 1974 but later retrained as an actor at the Focus Theatre, Dublin; member of the Council of the Irish Lawn Tennis Assoc., 1973; married, 1981, Bridget Frances Georgina (b. 1954), daughter of Canon George Alfred Salter, and had issue two sons;
(2) Dennis Fenton Aylmer (b. 1942) of Valley House, Enniskerry (Wicklow), born 21 May 1942; educated at Wellington College; company director; converted to Unitarianism c.1965; trustee of the Unitarian Church of Ireland, 2001-date; married, 1976, Dorothy Margaret (d. 2012), daughter of Thomas Anthony Fleming, and had issue two sons.
He inherited Kerdiffstown House from his father in 1933 but sold it in 1938. In 1947 he bought Ayesha Castle (Co. Dublin), which was sold by his sons in 1997.
He died at Ayesha Castle, 26 January 1975, and was buried at Maudlins Cemetery, Naas (Kildare); his will was proved 31 October 1975 (estate in England, £13,452). His widow died aged 90, 22 August 1999, and was also buried at Maudlins Cemetery, where their grave is marked by a monument; her will was proved in London, 20 March 2000.


Sources


Burke's Irish Family Records, 1976, pp. 42-43; F.J. Aylmer, The Aylmers of Ireland, 1931; M. Bence-Jones, A guide to Irish country houses, 2nd edn., 1990, pp. 93, 164, 196-97; Irish Architectural Archive, The architecture of Richard Morrison and William Vitruvius Morrison, 1989, pp. 120-22.


Location of archives


Hendrick and Aylmer families of Kerdiffstown and Ayesha Castle: family and estate papers, 18th-19th cents. [Private Collection; enquiries to National Library of Ireland]


Coat of arms


Argent, a cross sable between four Cornish choughs proper.


Can you help?


Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.

  • As always with early Irish families, the genealogical sources are sadly deficient and sometimes contradictory. If anyone can improve on my descent of the family with information from deeds, wills, or other sources, I should be very pleased to hear from them.
  • If anyone can supply portraits of members of this family whose names appear in bold above, I should be very pleased to receive them for inclusion.



Revision and acknowledgements.


This post was first published 13 May 2017.


Saturday, 6 May 2017

(260) Aylmer of Donadea Castle and Walworth Castle, baronets

Aylmer of Donadea, baronets
Sir Gerald Aylmer (1548-1634), 1st bt., the third son of Richard Aylmer of Lyons (Kildare) [for whom see the next post], inherited in 1559 an estate at Donadea which his father had bought the previous year. He came of age in 1569 and built a new house at Donadea between 1581 and 1624. He was a lawyer and as a young man was much at Court in England in the retinue of the Earl of Sussex; a position which he used to act as a spokesman for the Irish opponents of arbitrary Elizabethan taxation of the Old English families in the Pale. After 1591, however, his continued adherence to the Catholic religion led to his departure from the court and his occasional imprisonment: his first wife was the widow of the notorious Irish Catholic rebel, Lord Baltinglass, who died in exile in Spain after the failure of his rebellion had led to the capture and execution of forty-five of his supporters.

On the death of Sir Gerald, the Donadea estate passed to his only son, Sir Andrew Aylmer (c.1613-c.1675), 2nd bt., who was a non-combatant in the 1641 rebellion but was nonetheless imprisoned in Dublin. While he was there, Donadea Castle was burned on the instructions of the Lord Lieutenant, and it seems probable that the Elizabethan tower remained substantially ruined until it was remodelled in the late 18th century. Possession of the Donadea estate was fully restored to Sir Andrew under the 1662 Act of Settlement, and when he died in the 1670s, it passed to his grandson, Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer (1663-85), 3rd bt. He died of smallpox soon after coming of age and was succeeded by his infant son, Sir Justin Aylmer (1682-1711), 4th bt., who was brought up on the Continent after his mother was outlawed for her adherence to the Jacobite cause in 1690. Like his father, Sir Justin died young leaving his widow (who married three more times) and an infant son, Sir Gerald Aylmer (1703-37), 5th bt., who came of age in 1724. Sir Gerald lived hardly any longer than his father and grandfather, and his widow moved to England where she married again. This may explain why Sir Gerald's only son, Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer (1736-94), 6th bt., was brought up as a Protestant, and from that time forwards the family joined the Anglo-Irish Protestant gentry.

It was Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer who remodelled Donadea Castle in the years before 1772 as a modern mansion and created most of the house the ruins of which remain today. As a Protestant, he was able to play a full part in public life, and he sat in the Irish House of Commons for more than thirty years as an MP for various constituencies. He had four sons and two daughters, and Donadea passed in 1794 to his eldest son, Sir Fenton Aylmer (1768?-1816), 7th bt.  In the first few years of Sir Fenton's ownership he was much caught up in the military struggle between the Government and the United Irishmen, which led to threats to burn Donadea Castle and at least one attempt to ambush and assassinate Sir Fenton himself. Once these troubles were over, however, he settled down to spending money: the biggest strain on his finances was probably founding and supporting the Kildare Hunt, but he also added a new porch to the castle and rebuilt the parish church. When he died, comparatively young, in 1816, he left extensive debts and his son and heir, Sir Gerald George Aylmer (1798-1878), 8th bt., had to devote many years to clearing these and putting the estate into good order again. Once he had done so, however, he went on to lay out the park, build lodges and garden buildings and a folly, and to remodel the house. In 1874 he was severely injured by an explosion that occurred when he imprudently tried to trace a gas leak at Donadea with a lighted candle and ignited a store of gunpowder, but he survived for a further four years. He was succeeded by his only son, another Sir Gerald George Aylmer (1830-83), 9th bt., who survived his father by only five years. His heir was his undergraduate son, Sir Justin Gerald Aylmer (1863-85), 10th bt., who was tragically killed in a cycling accident in Cambridge. The baronetcy then passed in quick succession to a younger son of the 7th baronet and to his grandson, but the the estate did not follow it, passing instead to Sir Justin's sister, Caroline Maria Aylmer (1856-1935). She was unmarried and left the estate at her death to the Church of Ireland, which sold it the following year to the Irish Government Department of Lands. They unroofed the house in the late 1950s and later turned the demesne into a Forest Park.

Lt-General Arthur Aylmer (1772-1831), the youngest son of Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer, 6th bt., married Anne (1778-1857), the daughter and heiress of John Harrison (d. 1819) of Walworth Castle (Co. Durham) in 1807. When Harrison died, Walworth Castle came into the hands of General Aylmer and his wife, and the General became a leading figure in local society, acting as Chairman of Quarter Sessions for County Durham from about 1822 until his death. He was succeeded by his only son, John Harrison Aylmer (1812-68), whose antiquarian interests led him to undertake a major remodelling of the essentially Elizabethan castle in the 1850s and 1860s. The work probably took place mostly after the death of his mother in 1857, and was in full swing in the mid-1860s, but it is not clear whether Aylmer had completed his programme when he, his wife and eldest son were all killed in a horrific railway accident in north Wales in 1868. The estate passed to Aylmer's next surviving son, Gerald Percy Vivian Aylmer (1856-1936), who was educated at Eton and Cambridge, but left university without taking a degree, which was becoming unusual in the late 19th century. His decision may have been related to a serious riding accident in 1876 in which his leg was badly broken; an event which bears a curious symmetry to the death of his cousin, Sir Justin Aylmer, in a cycling accident at Cambridge ten years later. He came of age in 1877 and celebrated by building a new gatehouse at Walworth Castle, perhaps completing an unrealised element of his father's plans. But Walworth Castle was not destined to be focus of his life: he was too restless and adventurous to settle down to the life of a quiet country squire. Instead he devoted his youth and early middle age to travelling, exploring, big game hunting and soldiering. In the 1880s he tried farming in Australia. After the Boer War he returned to England but soon leased Walworth Castle and thereafter divided his time between a home at Castlehaven in County Cork, which he shared with his younger brother, and a house near Dolgellau in north Wales. Walworth Castle was sold after his death, initially to cousins who wished to keep it in the family, but after wartime requisitioning it was again sold and used for institutional purposes.


Donadea Castle, Co. Kildare


The medieval lords of Donadea are said to have had a castle or fortified manor here, which was acquired by the Aylmers in 1558. Sir Gerald Aylmer (1548-1634), 1st bt., built a new tower house on the estate that incorporated parts of the earlier building, and which is said to have been begun in 1581 and completed in 1624.
Donadea Castle: the rear elevation preserves the character
of the Elizabethan tower. Image: © Seamus Cullen
During the wars of the 1640s, Sir Andrew Aylmer, 2nd bt., although a non-combatant, was suspected of siding with the rebels because he was a Roman Catholic, and was imprisoned in Dublin, where he had sought refuge. While he was thus interned, Donadea Castle was captured and burned on the instructions of the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Ormond, even though he was Sir Andrew's brother-in-law. Sir Andrew's sister, who had stoutly defended the castle against Ormond's forces, was not taken prisoner, however, and some accounts say that she later returned to and repaired the castle. The truth of this may never be known, but it seems likely that the Elizabethan house was at least mostly ruinous in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. At best, it must have remained a fairly comfortless and unmodernised tower.


By 1772 a new 'Elizabethan front' had been built for Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer (1736-94), 6th bt., who is said to have restored the ruined castle at considerable expense. His architect is unknown, but this seems likely to be the moment at which Donadea was transformed from a fortress-tower into a modern mansion. In the 1790s, Sir Fenton Aylmer (1770-1816), 7th bt., as a commander in the yeomanry, became a target for the Irish nationalist rebels, who declared their intention of burning his house at Donadea, but they were diverted on learning that many of their own supporters had lodged valuables there for safekeeping. Sir Fenton's building activity was therefore directed to rebuilding the parish church rather than the house, where a new bow-fronted single-storey porch, erected in 1812 (according to Burke's Views of Seats, 1854) was his only recorded contribution. It has been suggested that this might have been designed by Richard Morrison, and it is much in his style, but there is no documentary evidence for his involvement, which must remain speculative. 


Donadea Castle in the early 20th century.

It was left to Sir Gerald George Aylmer (1798-1878), 8th bt., to give the Donadea demesne the shape it has today. He was an enthusiastic amateur architect 'with a great taste for building' and began in the 1820s by re-routing public roads away from the castle and constructing a high brick wall around the grounds, with gate lodges at all the entrances; one at least seems to have been designed not by Sir Gerald but by George Wilkinson, an English architect specialising in workhouses who settled in Dublin in 1839.
Donadea demesne: the folly tower on the Hill of Allen.
Image: Mike Searle. Some rights reserved.
A new formal lime avenue was laid out leading to the house, which he had 'modernized, none too wisely' by 1837. Sir George continued his improvements by creating a lake and an ice house, removing the village to a new site, carrying out 
extensive planting in the park, and building a 60-foot high beacon tower on top of the Hill of Allen as an eyecatcher as late as 1859-63.


On the death of the 10th baronet in 1885, Donadea Castle passed to his sister, Caroline Maria Aylmer (d. 1935), who left it to the Church of Ireland. The church quickly sold it on to the Department of Lands of the Irish government, never a trustworthy custodian for a Big House, and it was unroofed in the late 1950s. In 1981 the demesne was designated a Forest Park and handed over to Coillte (the Irish Forestry Commission), which has developed it as a public amenity, most recently in conjunction with a local community group, Tir na Mona. Unfortunately, while the potential of the designed landscape for recreation and public enjoyment has been recognised and exploited, the house itself has slid from dereliction into ruin and there are now serious cracks in the surviving external walls and fears of the collapse of parts of the shell. 


Donadea Castle in its present ruined state, Image: © Neil Jackman of AbartaHeritage.ie.

Although this is a story which could be replicated dozens if not hundreds of times across the Republic, the case of Donadea is a particular scandal because Donadea is not a remote ruin for which no use could possibly be found; it is 20 miles west of Dublin in an area which saw some of the most explosive growth in Europe in the Celtic Tiger time. Very little imagination would have been needed to rescue the house and convert it into much needed housing. It may be too late now, but if the Irish government was serious about its heritage policy it would explore whether a commercial restoration is still feasible with the assistance of some grant-aid from the state to atone for eighty years of malicious neglect of this fragment of the Irish heritage.

Descent: sold 1558 to Richard Aylmer (1509-59); to son, Sir Gerald Aylmer (1548-1634), 1st bt.; to son, Sir Andrew Aylmer (c.1613-c.1675), 2nd bt.; to grandson, Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer (1663-85), 3rd bt.; to son, Sir Justin Aylmer (1682-1711), 4th bt.; to son, Sir Gerald Aylmer (1703-37), 5th bt.; to son, Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer (1736-94), 6th bt.; to son, Sir Fenton Aylmer (1768?-1816), 7th bt.; to son, Sir Gerald George Aylmer (1798-1878), 8th bt.; to son, Sir Gerald George Aylmer (1830-85), 9th bt.; to son, Sir Justin Gerald Aylmer (1863-85), 10th bt.; to sister, Caroline Maria Aylmer (1856-1935), who bequeathed it to the Church of Ireland; sold 1936 to Irish Government.


Walworth Castle, Co. Durham


The house is essentially a late Elizabethan romantic castle which incorporates one tower of its medieval predecessor.  It was begun for Thomas Jennison (d. 1586), auditor of Ireland, who bought the estate in c.1579, and completed by his widow Elizabeth (d. 1605) before King James I was entertained here in 1603.


Walworth Castle: the house from the south-east. Image: © Storye book. Some rights reserved.

The house now consists of four ranges round a courtyard, with the east and west ranges parallel to one another but set at an angle to the principal three-storey south front with its thick round four-storey angle-towers. The west end wall and the south-west tower represent the earlier house, and preserve gunloops of c.1530. The top-floor windows in the towers have their original three-light mullioned and transomed windows with straight individual hoodmoulds. The eastern return wall has a six-light mullioned and transomed window on the top floor. The rest of the east front is two-storey, with a well-preserved two-storey bay window. The north front is more complex, since it combines the ends of the north and west ranges with a central block built sometime before 1835, probably as a service wing. In the centre of the house is a courtyard with continuous string courses and a spectacular frontispiece of three fairly correct superimposed classical orders: Roman Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, with Tuscan half-columns supporting the (now blocked) entrance arch, and at the top an open balustrade.
Walworth Castle: the Classical entrance portal of c.1600. Image: © P. Ryder/Keys to the Past.



Walworth Castle: the west range, rebuilt in 1864.




The house remained in the Jennison family (apart from a brief period between 1679 and 1687) until 1759, when it was bought by Matthew Stephenson. It seems likely that he was responsible for an extensive modernisation of the castle (usually said to be about twenty years earlier), when new principal rooms were created in the south range. A new staircase was installed to service this apartment which has a Venetian window into the courtyard. The saloon in the centre of the ground floor, an upstairs room to the east and two rooms in the east tower all have Palladian decoration, including plasterwork with some Rococo motifs and an overmantel with caryatids.

Matthew Stephenson sold the estate to John Harrison, a Newcastle merchant, in 1775, and in due course the estate passed to his daughter Ann, the wife of Lt-Gen. Arthur Aylmer (1772-1831). Their son and heir, John Harrison Aylmer (1812-68) had antiquarian interests and invested heavily in remodelling (or, as he saw it, restoring) the castle in the 1850s and 1860s. The present form of the west wing dates largely from his time, and the main staircase was again replaced in 1864. Apotropaic figures on the roofline (which may have been Elizabethan but were more probably 18th century) were replaced by balls on plinths (which have now also gone). The gate lodge was added in 18
77 to the design of George Gordon Hoskins, architect, apparently to celebrate Gerald Aylmer's coming of age, and further works, amounting to 'the reconstruction of portions of Walworth Castle', had been completed by 1891.

Gerald Aylmer let the house soon after 1900 and after he died in 1936 it was bought from his executors by relatives keen to keep it in the family. It is not clear, however, that they were ever able to move in. The house was requisitioned during the Second World War and used as a Prisoner of War Camp, and in 
1950 it was bought by Durham County Council as a residential school for girls. When the school closed in 1981 it was restored and converted into an hotel, and it was further restored in 2000-06; as part of these works the courtyard was covered with a glass roof to make an additional function room. It remains in use as an hotel.

Descent: Richard Hansard (d. 1508); to son, Sir William Hansard (d. 1520); to son, William Hansard (d. 1521); to sister, Elizabeth, wife of Sir Francis Ayscough (d. 1563); to son, William Ayscough, who sold c.1579 to Thomas Jennison (d. 1586); to widow, Elizabeth Jennison (d. 1605); to son, William Jennison (fl. 1605); to brother, John Jennison (d. 1614); to son, John Jennison (1592-after 1666); to son, John Jennison (b. 1623); to son, John Jennison (1667-1739); to son, John Jennison (d. 1759); to son, Francis Jennison (1732-after 1791), who sold 1759 to Matthew Stephenson; sold 1775 to John Harrison (d. 1819) of Newcastle, merchant; to daughter Ann, wife of Lt-Gen. Arthur Aylmer (d. 1831); to son, John Harrison Aylmer (d. 1868); to sons, Gerald Percy Vivian Aylmer (1856-1936), who let it after c.1900; sold 1937 to kinsmen, A. Neville Eade (fl. 1940) and Charles Eade for £26,000; requisitioned for use as a Prisoner of War camp; sold 1950 to Durham County Council for use as a residential girls' school; sold 1981 to John & Jennifer Wain, who converted it into an hotel; sold to Peter Culley, who sold 2000 to Chris & Rachel Swain. 



Aylmer family of Donadea Castle, baronets



Aylmer, Sir Gerald (1548-1634), 1st bt. Third son of Richard Aylmer (1509-59) of Lyons (Kildare) [for whom see the next post] and his wife Eleanor (d. c.1593), daughter of Sir George Fleming, born 1548. He was brought up by his mother and her second husband, Nicholas Hussey, Baron of Galtrim. Lawyer; as a young man he was a retainer of the Earl of Sussex and much at Court in England, where he acted as spokesman for the Irish opponents of the 'cess', or the obligation to provide supplies at fixed prices to the king's soldiers and the household of the Lord Deputy. Knighted at Christ Church, Dublin 17 June 1598 and created a baronet, 25 January 1621/2. He was a Roman Catholic in religion, and from 1591 onwards was occasionally imprisoned for his faith; he built a new church at Donadea in 1626. He married 1st, c.1587-88, Mary (d. 1610), daughter and co-heiress of Henry Travers (and granddaughter of Sir John Travers, Master of the Ordnance in Ireland) and widow of James Eustace (d. 1583), 3rd Viscount Baltinglass, and 2nd, 1612, Julia (c.1598-1617), daughter of Christopher Nugent (1544-1602), 6th Baron Delvin, and had issue:
(2.1) Sir Andrew Aylmer (c.1613-c.1675), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(2.2) Mabel Aylmer; married, before 1633, Sir Oliver Tuite (c.1588-1642), 1st bt., of Sonagh (Westmeath) and had issue;
(2.3) Julia or Lettice Aylmer; married, before c.1630, Sir Richard Barnewall (1602-79), 2nd bt., of Crickstown (Meath), and had issue.
He inherited the Donadea estate from his father, who bought it c.1558, and built Donadea Castle between 1581 and 1624.
He died 19 August 1634 and was buried at Donadea, where he was commemorated by a monument that was moved to the present church in 1812. His first wife died without issue, 28 November 1610 and was buried with her father at Monktown, 19 December 1610. His second wife died 10 November 1617 and was buried at Donadea.

Aylmer, Sir Andrew (c.1613-c.1675), 2nd bt. Only son of Sir Gerald Aylmer (1548-1634), 1st bt., and his second wife, Julia, daughter of Christopher Nugent, 6th Baron Delvin, born about 1613. He was knighted before 1634 and succeeded his father as 2nd baronet, 19 August 1634. He was a Roman Catholic in religion, like his father, but took no part in the 1641 rebellion, and was indeed one of several gentlemen of the Pale who went voluntarily into Dublin to claim the protection of the Irish Lords Justices but were summarily arrested and imprisoned. Unlike some of the others he was apparently not tortured, but while he was incarcerated Donadea, which had been left in the custody of his wife, was captured and burned on the orders of his brother-in-law, the Earl of Ormonde. He was fully restored to his estates under the 1662 Act of Settlement. He married, 1634, Ellen, daughter of Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles and sister of James Butler (1610-88), 5th Earl and later 1st Marquess and 1st Duke of Ormonde, and had issue:
(1) Garret Aylmer (d. 1663) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Aylmer; married Thomas Aylmer (d. 1681/2) and had issue three sons and two daughters.
He inherited Donadea Castle from his father in 1634, but the house was burned in 1641 and he was not fully restored to his estates until 1662.
He died between 1671 and 1681. His widow married 2nd, 1681 Thomas Aylmer (d. 1688), counsellor at law; her date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, Garret (d. 1663). Only recorded son of Sir Andrew Aylmer (c.1613-c.1675) and his wife Ellen, daughter of Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles and sister of James Butler, 5th Earl and later 1st Marquess and 1st Duke of Ormonde. He married, 1662, Jane, daughter and heir of Philip Fitzgerald of Allone (Kildare), and had issue:
(1) Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer (1663-85), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Aylmer.
He died in the lifetime of his father, 20 December and was buried at Christ Church, Dublin, 23 December 1663. His widow's date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, Sir Fitzgerald (1663-85), 3rd bt. Only son of Garret Aylmer (d. 1663) and his wife Jane, daughter and heir of Philip Fitzgerald of Allone (Kildare), born 1663. He succeeded his grandfather as 3rd baronet, c.1675. He is said to have travelled and studied abroad before his marriage. A Roman Catholic in religion. He married, June 1681, Lady Helen, second daughter of Luke Plunkett, 3rd Earl of Fingall, and had issue:
(1) Sir Justin Aylmer (1682-1711), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Luke Aylmer (1684-1706); died unmarried.
He inherited Donadea Castle from his grandfather in c.1675 and came of age in 1684.
He died of smallpox, 9 June and was buried at Donadea, 11 June 1685. His widow was outlawed in 1690 by King William III (reversed 1692) and fled to France; she married 2nd, 1694, Michael Fleming of Staholmock (Meath); her date of death is unknown.

Aylmer, Sir Justin (1682-1711), 4th bt. Only recorded son of Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer (1663-85), 3rd bt., and his wife Helen, second daughter of Luke Plunkett, 3rd Earl of Fingall, born 24 February 1681/2. He succeeded his father as 4th baronet, 11 June 1685. In the aftermath of the Battle of the Boyne his mother refused to surrender Donadea Castle to the Williamite forces, and was outlawed with her son; the outlawry was reversed, 9 August 1692, but he was educated in France, and remained a Roman Catholic in religion. In 1705 he obtained a private Act in the Irish Parliament for the sale of part of his estates for the payment of debts; a previous attempt to secure such an Act in 1703 had failed. He married, 1702, Ellice, eldest daughter of Sir Gerald Aylmer, 2nd bt. of Balrath (Meath), and had issue:
(1) Sir Gerald Aylmer (1703-37), 5th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Peter Justin Aylmer; died young.
He inherited Donadea Castle from his father in 1685 and came of age in 1702.
He died in 1711. His widow married 2nd, Philip Roche; 3rd, 1714 (settlement 7 March), Luke Dillon of Clonbrock; and 4th, May 1718, John Dillon of Mile Abbey (Kildare), by whom she had issue two daughters; she died 27 August 1741.

Aylmer, Sir Gerald (1703-37), 5th bt. Elder son of Sir Justin Aylmer (1682-1711), 4th bt., and his wife Ellice, daughter of Sir Gerald Aylmer, 2nd bt., of Balrath (Meath), born 1703. He succeeded his father as 5th baronet, 1711.  He married, October 1726, Lucy (1705-93), daughter of Adm. Sir John Norris, kt., of Hempstead (Kent) and had issue:
(1) Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer (1736-94), 6th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Lucy Aylmer (b. 1729), baptised at St Paul, Covent Garden, London, 22 February 1728/9;
(3) Elizabeth Aylmer (b. 1731), baptised 7 May 1731.
He inherited Donadea Castle from his father in 1711 and came of age in 1724.
He died 6 January 1736/7 and his will was proved in Dublin, 1737. His widow married 2nd, November 1737, Robert Fisher (1700-66), and had further issue (including the curiously named daughter, John Norris Fisher (1743-90)) and died in Bath in about December 1793.


Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer, 6th bt.
Aylmer, Sir Fitzgerald (1736-94), 6th bt. Only son of Sir Gerald Aylmer (d. 1737), 5th bt., and his wife Lucy, daughter of Adm. Sir John Norris, kt., of Hempstead (Kent), born 14 September 1736. He succeeded his father as 6th baronet in infancy, 6 January 1736/7, and was largely brought up in England by his mother and her family; he may have been the first of his family to conform to the Protestant religion; educated at Dr. Sauxay's school, Cheam (Surrey). He sat as an MP in the Irish House of Commons on the Duke of Leinster's interest for Roscommon, 1761-68, Old Leighlin, 1769-76, Kildare, 1776-83 and Harristown, 1783-94. High Sheriff of Co. Kildare, 1761; an officer in the Loyal Kilcock Rangers (Capt.). He was Director of the Grand Canal Company, 1772-74 and a member of the Royal Dublin Society from 1764. He married, 15 September 1764, Elizabeth (1741-97), daughter and heiress of Fenton Cole of Silver Hill (Co. Fermanagh), and had issue including:
(1) Margaret Aylmer (1765-1843), born 5 October 1765; married, about October 1789 at Donadea, Sir John Hort (1735-1807), 1st bt. of Hortland (Kildare), HM consul-general at Lisbon; died 15 September 1843 and was buried at Holy Trinity, Cheltenham, where she is commemorated by a monument;
(2) twin?, Sir Fenton Aylmer (1768?-1816), 7th bt. (q.v.);
(3) twin?, Capt. John Aylmer (1768-1839), born 12 May 1768; an officer in the infantry (Capt.); married, 14 June 1801, Grace Jane, daughter of William Evans, third son of Hon. John Evans, and widow of William Speirs, but had no issue; died aged 71, 8 December and was buried at Holy Trinity, Cheltenham (Glos), 14 December 1839;
(4) William Aylmer (b. c.1770), possibly born November 1770; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1786); died unmarried before 1794;
(5) Lt-Gen. Arthur Aylmer (1772-1831) [for whom see Aylmer family of Walworth Castle, below];
(6) Elizabeth Aylmer; died young.
He inherited Donadea Castle from his father in 1737 and came of age in 1757. He raised £6,000 by mortgage in 1764 and had rebuilt the house as a modern mansion by 1772. He also had a town house in Grafton St., Dublin.
He died in February 1794; his will was proved in Dublin, 1794. His widow died in Dublin in 1797 and her will was proved there, 1797.


Sir Fenton Aylmer, 7th bt.
Aylmer, Sir Fenton (1768?-1816), 7th bt. Eldest son of Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer (1736-94), 6th bt., and his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Fenton Cole of Silver Hill (Co. Fermanagh), born at Donadea, 12 May 1768?* Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1788). He succeeded his father as 7th baronet, February 1794. JP for Co. Kildare; High Sheriff of Co. Kildare, 1795; an officer in the Donadea Yeomanry Cavalry (Capt., 1796). As a young man he sought a 'middle way' through the divisions of Irish politics and had connections with the leaders of both the protestant ascendancy and the United Irishmen, but his experiences of the 1790s moved him closer to the Loyalist mainstream. In 1795 he arrested six men who had formed a conspiracy to burn Donadea Castle. When rebellion loomed in 1798 one of the leaders of rebel forces was his own kinsman, William Aylmer (1778-1820) of Painstown, who after surrendering was allowed to live at Bristol. It seems likely that, foreseeing hostilities, Sir Fenton and his wife initially decamped to Wales (where his eldest son is said to have been born later that year), but he returned to Ireland after the violent and unexpected attacks by rebels in north Kildare in May. He was an officer of the Donadea Troop of Yeomanry Cavalry, but this unit was not activated during the troubles, presumably because its loyalty was doubted, and units of the regular army were instead employed to suppress the troubles. From 4 June, Sir Fenton and his kinsman, Michael Aylmer of Courtown, whose house had been sacked by the rebels, were based in Dublin Castle but rode out under heavy guard to perform their duties as magistrates. In July, an attempt was made by the rebel leaders to ambush and assassinate them under guise of parley, but they fortunately escaped; a further threat was also made to burn Donadea Castle which was only averted because some of the rebels' own supporters had lodged valuables there for safekeeping. After the surrender of the rebels in July 1798, he turned his attention to happier things, becoming a freemason, 1798, and helping to establish the Kildare Hunt, of which he was Master, 1798-1810, 1813-14. He was described as 'a small man, full of spirits, rather boisterous, and a great spendthrift', and he left the estate severely in debt at his early death. He married, 4 June 1795, Jane Grace (1767-1827), daughter of Sir John Evans Freke (1744-77), 1st bt. of Castle Freke (Cork) and sister of Sir John Evans-Freke, 6th Baron Carbery, and had issue:
(1) Sir Gerald George Aylmer (1798-1878), 8th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Margaret Susan Aylmer (1799-1892), born 1799; married, 29 December 1828, as his second wife, John Aylmer (1784-1857) of Courtown (Co. Meath) [for whom see the following post] and had issue one son and seven daughters; died aged 92, 26 December 1892 and was buried at Cloncurry (Kildare); will proved in Dublin, 18 March 1892 (effects £14,279);
(3) Sir Arthur Percy Aylmer (1801-85), 11th bt., born 31 August 1801; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1818; BA 1823; MA 1826); JP; Hon. Secretary of the Society for Bettering the Condition of the Poor of Ireland; succeeded his great-nephew as 11th baronet, 15 March 1885; married, 12 December 1833, Martha (c.1810-87), daughter of Richard Reynell of Killynon (Co. Westmeath) and had issue four sons and seven daughters; died at Cork, 7 May 1885, when the baronetcy passed to his senior grandson, Sir Arthur Percy Fitzgerald Aylmer (1858-1928), 12th bt.; will proved 9 July 1885 (effects £752);
(4) Rev. William Josiah Aylmer (1802-83), born 6 December 1802; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1820; BA 1825; MA 1832); ordained deacon, 1827 and priest, 1828; prebendary of Donadea and curate of Dunmurghill, 1828-51; emigrated to New Zealand, 1851, where he built Aylmer House at Akaroa; vicar of St Peter's church, Akaroa, 1851-73; married, 24 November 1830, Elizabeth Frances (d. 1880), eldest daughter of Rev. Henry Lambart Bayly of Ballyarthur, and had issue five sons and two daughters; died 9 August 1883 and was buried at Akaroa (New Zealand);
(5) John Freke Aylmer (1807-74), born 6 May 1807; lived at Green Bank, Bray (Wicklow); an officer in the infantry (Ensign, 1826; Lt., 1827); married, 22 May 1832 in Philadelphia (USA), Anna, third daughter of Richard Austin Parrish of Philadelphia, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 22 December 1874 and was buried at Bray; administration of his goods granted to his daughter, 22 June 1875 (effects under £200).
He inherited Donadea Castle from his father in February 1794.
He died 23 May 1816. His widow died 31 December 1827.
* Many sources give his date of birth as November 1770.

Aylmer, Sir Gerald George (1798-1878), 8th bt. Eldest son of Sir Fenton Aylmer (1768?-1816), 7th bt. and his wife Jane Grace, daughter of Sir John Evans Freke, 1st bt., of Castle Freke (Cork), born 15 December 1798. Educated at Armagh and Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1815). He succeeded his father as 8th baronet, 23 May 1816, and devoted many years to returning the estate to a sound economic footing and paying off his father's debts. An officer in the 1st Dragoon Guards (Cornet, 1823; Lt., 1825) and Kildare militia (Maj., 1838). JP and DL for Co. Kildare; High Sheriff of Co. Kildare, 1827. In 1874 he was seriously injured at Donadea Castle caused when escaped gas was ignited and caused a store of gunpowder to explode. He married, 24 April 1826 at Carlisle (Cumbld), Maria (d. 1879), eldest daughter and co-heir of Col. James Hodgson of Carlisle, and had issue:
(1) Sir Gerald George Aylmer (1830-83), 9th bt. (q.v.).
He inherited Donadea Castle from his father in 1816, and was responsible for remodelling the house, laying out the park, and building lodges and a folly; he also reconstructed Ballyteague Castle as a reproduction tower house.
He died 8 February 1878; his will was proved 14 March 1878 (effects under £30,000). His widow died in Dublin, 9 May 1879; administration of her goods was granted 11 June 1879 (effects under £1,000).

Aylmer, Sir Gerald George (1830-83), 9th bt. Only son of Sir Gerald George Aylmer (1798-1878), 8th bt., and his wife Maria, eldest daughter and co-heir of Col. James Hodgson of Carlisle, born 20/26 May 1830. Educated at Sandhurst. JP for Dublin, Meath and Kildare; High Sheriff of Co. Kildare, 1854. A freemason, 1863-83. He succeeded his father as 9th baronet, 8 February 1878. He married, 6 April 1853, Alicia Hester Caroline (c.1831-1907), daughter of Conway R. Dobbs of Castle Dobbs (Co. Antrim), and had issue:
(1) Caroline Maria Aylmer (1856-1935) (q.v.);
(2) Helen Charlotte Nichola Aylmer (c.1859-69), born about 1859; died in Edinburgh aged 9, 28 February 1869;
(3) Sir Justin Gerald Aylmer (1863-85), 10th bt. (q.v.).
He inherited Donadea Castle from his father in 1878.
He died 25 June 1883; administration of his goods was granted in Dublin, 13 July 1883 (effects in Ireland, £6,695) and in London, 28 July 1883 (effects in England, £4,668). His widow died 6 March 1907; her will was proved in Dublin, 13 April 1907 (effects in Ireland, £4,103) and sealed in London, 19 April 1907 (effects in England £1,138).

Aylmer, Sir Justin Gerald (1863-85), 10th bt. Only son of Sir Gerald George Aylmer (1830-83), 9th bt., and his wife Alicia Hester Caroline, daughter of Conway R. Dobbs of Castle Dobbs (Co. Antrim), born 17 November 1863. Educated at Harrow, Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1882) and Inner Temple (admitted 1882). He succeeded his father as 10th baronet, 25 June 1883. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Donadea Castle from his father in 1883, and came of age the following year. At his death the Donadea estate passed to his elder sister.
He died as the result of a bicycle accident in Cambridge in which his neck was broken, 15 March 1885; on his death the baronetcy but not the estate passed to his great-uncle, Sir Arthur Percy Aylmer (1801-85), 11th bt; his will was proved in Dublin, 9 April 1885 (effects £14,401).

Aylmer, Caroline Maria (1856-1935). Elder daughter of Sir Gerald George Aylmer (1830-83), 9th bt., and his wife Alicia Hester Caroline, daughter of Conway R. Dobbs of Castle Dobbs (Co. Antrim), born 13 May 1856. She was unmarried and without issue.
She inherited the Donadea Castle estate on the death of her brother in 1885. At her death she bequeathed it to the Church of Ireland, which sold it to the Irish Government Department of Lands in 1936.
She died 13 May and was buried at Donadea, 15 May 1935; her will was proved in Dublin, 22 October 1935 (effects in Ireland £13,393) and in London, 25 November 1935 (estate in England £29,775).



Aylmer family of Walworth Castle




Lt-Gen. Arthur Aylmer
(1772-1831)
Aylmer, Lt-Gen. Arthur (1772-1831). Third son of Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer (1736-94), 6th bt., and his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Fenton Cole of Silver Hill (Co. Fermanagh), born 1772. An officer in the infantry (Ensign, 1788; Lt., c.1790; Capt., 1794; Major, 1794; Lt-Col., 1804; Col., 1810; Maj-Gen., 1813; Lt-Gen., 1825); retired on half-pay and served as one of the Inspecting Field Officers of Yeomanry and Volunteer Corps, 1807. JP for Co. Durham, 1812 and the North Riding of Yorkshire; Chairman of Co. Durham Quarter Sessions, c.1822-31. He was noted for his 'integrity and gentlemanly conduct, unostentatious charity and deep religious feeling'. He was a Tory in politics, but possessed of friends across the political spectrum. He married, 9 June 1807 at Heighington (Co. Durham), Anne (1778-1857), only daughter and heir of John Harrison of Walworth Castle, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Margaret Aylmer (c.1808-53), born about 1808; married, 5 January 1833 at Heighington (Co. Durham), Rev. John James Scott (1807-90?), patron and incumbent of Holy Trinity, Barnstaple (Devon), 1845-53 and later curate in various places (who m2, 30 August 1855 at Widcombe, Bath (Somerset), Katherine Mutton, and had further issue) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died at Barnstaple, 24 July and was buried at Lynton (Devon), 29 July 1853;
(2) Grace Anna Aylmer (c.1810-86), born about 1810; married, 21 October 1828 at Heighington, Rev. Charles Pasley Vivian (1800-41), of Hatton Hall (Northants), rector of Wellingborough (Northants), and had issue; died 22 August 1886; will proved 19 October 1886 (estate £7,725);
(3) Louisa Lucy Eleanor Aylmer (c.1811-63), born about 1811; lived latterly with her married younger sister at Aycliffe (Co. Durham); died unmarried, 17 March, and was buried at Seaton Carew (Co. Durham), 21 March 1863;
(4) John Harrison Aylmer (1812-68) (q.v.);
(5) Catherine Dorothy Aylmer (1813-1904), baptised at Heighington, 6 February 1813; died unmarried aged 91, 10 February and was buried at Aycliffe, 13 February 1904;
(6) Augusta Anne Aylmer (c.1816-1912); married, 1845, Rev. John Davy Eade (1808-81), vicar of Aycliffe, and had issue two sons and four daughters; died aged 96, 29 July 1912; will proved 24 August 1912 (estate £6,241).
On the death of his father he inherited a half-share in a plantation on the island of Montserrat, and later bought the other half from his brother, John. He inherited Walworth Castle in right of his wife in 1819.
He was taken ill during the Easter Quarter Sessions in Durham, died there, 5 February 1831, and was buried at Heighington; his will was proved 28 February 1831. His widow died 1 March and was buried at Heighington, 7 March 1857; her will was proved 15 February 1858 (effects under £4,000).

Aylmer, John Harrison (1812-68). Only son of Lt-Gen. Arthur Aylmer (d. 1831) and his wife Anne, only daughter and heir of John Harrison of Walworth Castle (Co. Durham), born 19 January 1812. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1830). A long-standing member of the Grand Jury for Co. Durham, he was later appointed JP (by 1859) and DL (from 1852) for Co. Durham; High Sheriff of Co. Durham, 1864. In 1868 he was a promoter of a petition to the bishop of Durham against the introduction of High Church ritualism into the Church of England. He had an interest in antiquarian matters reflected in his 'restoration' of Walworth Castle and was a member of the Surtees Society (elected 1836). He married, 7 February 1849 at Holy Trinity, Cheltenham (Glos), Rosanna Louisa (1821-68), eldest daughter of Vice-Adm. Sir Josiah Coghill Coghill, 3rd bt., and had issue:
(1) Arthur Fitzgerald Harrison Aylmer (1850-68), born 26 January 1850; admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1867 but was killed with his parents in the Abergele railway accident, 20 August 1868 before taking up residence;
(2) Herbert Willoughby Coghill Aylmer (1851-66), born 31 January 1851; died young, 24 January and was buried at Seaton Carew, 30 January 1866;
(3) Gerald Percy Vivian Aylmer (1856-1936) (q.v.);
(4) Edmund Kendal Grimston Aylmer (1859-1931), born 19 August 1859; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1877); an officer in the 19th Hussars (Lt-Col.); served in Egypt, 1882-85 and South Africa, 1899-1902 and commanded a reserve regiment in 1914; appointed CB 1902; he died unmarried and without issue at Farchynys, Dolgellau (Merioneths.), 28 March 1931; his will was proved 4 May 1931 (estate £30,344).
He inherited Walworth Castle from his father in 1831 and came of age in 1833.
He and his wife were burned to death with their eldest son in a railway accident near Abergele when the Irish mail train collided with a goods train carrying barrels of petrol, 20 August 1868; the remains of the thirty-three victims of the accident were buried together at Abergele as individual remains could not be securely identified. J.H. Aylmer's will was proved 6 October 1868 (effects under £12,000).

Aylmer, Gerald Percy Vivian (1856-1936). Third son of John Harrison Aylmer (1812-68) and his wife Rosanna Louisa, daughter of Vice-Adm. Sir Joshua Coghill Coghill, 3rd bt., born 8 July 1856. After the death of his parents he was brought up by his mother's sister Alicia and her husband, the Rev. George Ray, rector of Fingall (Yorks). Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; while an undergraduate he was involved in a serious riding accident in which his leg was broken, 1876. A freemason from 1874. JP (from 1880) and DL (from 1890) for Co. Durham; High Sheriff of Co. Durham, 1887. An officer in the Pembrokeshire Yeomanry Cavalry, 1886-91 (Lt.) and 3rd London Rifle Volunteers (2nd Lt., 1899); served in South Africa, 1899-1900 (medal with four clasps). In the 1880s he undertook several adventurous expeditions for exploration and big game hunting in Africa with his friends F.L. & W.D. James and E. Lort-Phillips, including crossing the unknown Horn of Africa to the Webbe Shibeli River, during which he kept diaries (unpublished) and made observations on natural history and native tribes; author of A recent journey in northern Somaliland, 1898. In 1888 he and the Earl of Ranfurly bought 160 acres at Mildura, Victoria (Australia) with the idea of establishing a farm there together. He was an expert mechanic and worked in wood and metals in a fully equipped workshop at Dolgellau; he was also a keen fisherman and yachtsman. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Walworth Castle on the death of his father in 1868, added a gate lodge to the estate when he came of age in 1877, and reconstructed part of the castle before 1891. By 1901 he was living with his younger brother at Castlehaven (Co. Cork) and Dolgellau (Merioneths), and the castle was let.
He died in Newcastle, 20 December and was buried at Heighington (Co. Durham), 22 December 1936; an obituary was published in The Times, 1 January 1937.



Sources


Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 1924, pp. 173-74; Burke's Irish Family Records, 1976, pp. 42-43; Anthologia Hibernica, vol. 2, 1793; p. 82; Anon, History of the rebellion in Ireland in the year 1798, 1806, pp. 25-27; Durham County Advertiser, 10 April 1891, p. 8; G.E. C[okayne], Complete Baronetage, vol. 1, 1900, pp. 231-33; W.B. Bolton, A history of the Kildare Hunt, 1913, ch. 2; Sir. N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, The buildings of England: County Durham, 2nd edn., 1983, pp. 482-83; Sir R.J. Aylmer, 'Sir Fenton Aylmer, 7th baronet of Donadea', Fugitive Warfare: 1798 in North Kildare, 1998, pp. 50-56; E.M. Johnston-Liik, History of the Irish Parliament, 2002, vol. 3, pp. 117-18; J.B. Leslie & W.J.R. Wallace, Clergy of Meath and Kildare, 2009, pp. 49, 305; 
http://seamuscullen.net/donadea.htmlhttp://www.dia.ie/works/view/637/building/CO.+KILDARE%2C+DONADEA+CASTLEhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walworth_Castle


Location of archives


No significant accumulation of records is known to survive.


Coat of arms


Argent, a cross sable between four Cornish choughs proper.


Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 6 May 2017 and was updated 12 May 2017.