This chronology is simply designed to create a backdrop against which Tom
Bunbury, later 2nd Baron Rathdonnell, lived his 81 years. By placing it
on the web, it is hoped that these pages might be of mutual benefit to others
researching similar characters from this age. Born just over a decade into
Queen Victoria's reign, the first part of Tom Rathdonnell's life was essentially
framed by the unrelenting drive of the Britain Empire. His father, William
McClintock Bunbury (1800 - 1866) was first and foremost a sailing man.
In his youth he had explored the South Seas with Charles Darwin and his
cousin - the future Admiral Sir Francis McClintock - and chased slavers
around the coast of Brazil after the abolition of slavery. He retired from
the Royal Navy with the rank of Captain. The timber of his old ship, HMS
Samarang, would go to form some of the furniture which the Captain commissioned
for his magnificent new family mansion, Lisnavagh House in County
Carlow. The first brick of the new house was laid on 23rd January 1847 and
by the time of Tom Rathdonnell's birth nearly two years later, the house
was nearing completion. But 1847 also marked the worst near of the Great
Famine, the effects of which were to dramatically reshape the future of
Ireland. In 1868, Tom's uncle John McClintock was elevated to the
Irish Peerage as Baron Rathdonnell by Disraeli's Tory government.
In 1879, the title - and a vast estate that spread all across Ireland -
came to Tom and from him it descends to the present - and 5th - Baron Rathdonnell,
who is my father, Benjamin.
By 1879, the calls for Home Rule in Ireland were loud. Tom Bunbury, a product of his age, appears to have sided with those who wanted to retain the parliamentary union with Britain. He was an officer and before that, an old Etonian, as were his two sons, the eldest of whom Billy would die fighting for the British in South Africa during the Boer War. In the early 20th century, Tom was one of the more powerful Anglo-Irish magnates in Ireland. On the eve of the Great War he was Chairman of the Leinster Unionists and President of the Royal Dublin Society. He was also sometime Lord Lieutenant of County Carlow.
He outlived his wife by five years, passing away at the age of 81 in 1929. He was succeeded at Lisnavagh and as 3rd Baron by his second and only surviving son, Thomas Leopold McClintock Bunbury.
November 3: Marriage of TKMB's parents, Captain William McClintock (Bunbury) and Pauline, second daughter of Sir James Matthew Stronge of Tynan Abbey, Co. Armagh.
Captain William McClintock assumes name of McClintock Bunbury in compliance
with the will of his late uncle, Thomas Bunbury.
Captain Bunbury returned as Tory MP for County Carlow. He retains seat for next 16 years.
January 21: Foundation stone of New House at Lisnavagh is laid.
1848 - Year of TKMB's Birth
1848 was a year of revolutions throughout continental Europe. For a short
period, absolutist governments were replaced by liberal administrations,
near universal suffrage was introduced and elections were held to constituent
assemblies to draw up new national constitutions. In England, the Chartists
rebelled for equal votes for all but are brutally crushed so they don't
arise again until 1918.It was sometimes described as the "springtime
of the people." Ireland was still reeling from the effects of a devastating
potato blight and the death of Daniel O'Connell.
February 24: King Louis-Philippe of France abdicates and the Second Republic is proclaimed in Paris. This revolution sends political sent political shock waves across Europe, and revolutions broke out in Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Prague, Budapest and Kraków.
April 5: 2nd Lieutenant Leopold McClintock (the future Admiral), whom TKMB's father taught how to sail, sets off for the Arctic on the HMS Enterprise, commanded by Sir James Ross, in pursuit of the fate of the late Sir John Franklin.
July 23 - 29: William Smith O'Brien launches short-lived Young Ireland rebellion.
August 26: TK's uncle John McClintock celebrates his 50th birthday.
November 22: Sir Hugh Gough (the future Viscount), cousin of TKMB's father, defeats an army of rebelling Sikhs at Ramnuggar, thus consolidating Britain's commercial and political dominance in India.
November 29: Birth of TKMB, eldest son of Captain William McClintock Bunbury of Lisnavagh and his wife, Pauline (nee Stronge, of Tynan Abbey).
Contemporaries: Lord Iveagh (b. 1847).
Captain Bunbury celebrates his 50th birthday.
September 1: Birth of TK's only brother, John William ("Jack") McClintock Bunbury.
Lord Downshire recommends TK's uncle, John McClintock, for a peerage.
Captain and Mrs Bunbury celebrate 10 years of marriage.
July 5: Death of TK's paternal grandfather, John McClintock, MP, of Drumcar.
March 3: France and Britain declare war on China.
April 30: At the General Election, Captain WBM Bunbury and Henry Bruen (Tory) returned unopposed for Carlow County. TK's uncle John McClintock and Chichester Fortescue win the Louth seats.However, the Whigs, led by Lord Palmerston, finally win a majority in the House of Commons as the Tory vote fell significantly.
May 10: Outbreak of Indian Mutiny.
August 26: TK's uncle John McClintock celebrates 60th birthday.
Captain Bunbury celebrates his 60th birthday.
April 12: Death of TK's maternal grandmother, Isabella, Lady Stronge.
December 18: TK's neighbour, (Sir) Charles Burton, 5th Bart, (1823 - 1902) weds an American heiress, Georgina May, only daughter of David Halliburton of Texas. They have no children.
General: After 14 years in Parliament, Captain WBM Bunbury is forced to retire due to ill health. In return for his services he is offered and accepts the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds. His seat is presently filled by Dennis Pack-Beresford.
Captain and Mrs Bunbury celebrate 20 years of marriage.
December 2: Death of TK's grandfather, Sir James Matthew Stronge, aged 80. His uncle succeeds as Sir James Matthew Stronge, and is elected MP for Armagh (1864-74). Sir James is a Lieutenant-Colonel with the Royal Tyrone Fusiliers.
Feb 1: In General Election that puts the Tory partnership of Derby and
Disraeli in power, Dennis Pack-Beresford and Henry Bruen are returned unopposed
for the Tories in Carlow.
General: Tom Conolly, uncle to the future Katherine Anne Rathdonnell, tries to run the Charleston blockade in the US Civil War, had his boat shot to smithers, clambered onto some driftwood, hailed a passing yacht bound for England and jumped ship off the Donegal coast making it back to Donegal Town in the nick of time to secure his seat in that week's General Election.
June 2: Less than 20 years after the first brick was laid at Lisnavagh,
Captain William Bunbury McClintock Bunbury passes away at Lisnavagh in his
66th year. He is buried in the family vault at St. Mary's in Rathvilly where
he would all to soon to be joined by his wife and daughters. In his will,
he instructs his brothers, George Augustus Jocelyn McClintock, Robert Le
Poer McClintock, Henry Stanley McClintock and John McClintock (later 1st
Baron Rathdonnell) that all life tenants and tenants in tail "shall
take and from thenceforth use the surname of Bunbury only and no other name
in addition to his or her or their Christian names and shall bear the arms
of Bunbury quartered with his, her or their own family arms". He
bequeathed to his widow and sole executor of his will, £3000 and "the
use of my mansion house and demesne at Lisnevagh together with the use of
all my pictures, plates, china, linen, glass, furniture, horses, carriages,
harness, saddles, bridles, farming stock and implements of husbandry"
until each of his children was 21 after which they would also be entitled
to such usage. He also provided £14,000 for his two younger children,
Jack and Isabella, and a further £300 pa up until their 21st birthday
"for or towards their advancement in the world". John Calvert
Stronge and Thomas Vessey Nugent were his trustees.
June 2: TKMB effectively succeeds to Lisnavagh.
November 18: TK's uncle, John McClintock (later Baron Rathdonnell) is appointed Lieutenant of the town of Drogheda (18th Nov) and a Colonel in the Louth Militia (until his death).
General: Death of TK's youngest sister Isabella McClintock Bunbury in her 23rd year. She is buried alongside her father in the family vault at St. Mary's Church in Rathvilly.
Reform Act significantly widens the suffrage and disenfranchises more smaller
Abortive raid on Chester Castle. Fenian Rising in Ireland. Rescue of Kelly from police van in Manchester. Execution of the 'Manchester Martyrs' Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien.
TK obtains his place on the Eton Eleven in 1868 and the two following years.
27 February – 1 December: Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Benjamin Disraeli in office as Prime Minister.
First Horse Show held by Royal Dublin Society in Dublin.
August 26: TK's uncle John McClintock celebrates 70th birthday.
December 10: Gladstone becomes British Prime Minister at the head of a Liberal government. Many consider Gladstone a kindly man, deeply conscious of the land problem in Ireland. However, TK's grandfather Sir James Stronge thought so little of Gladstone that he had his white headed skull etched on the bottom of his favourite lavatory at Tynan Hall.
December 21: TK's uncle John McClintock created Baron Rathdonnell in the Peerage of Ireland with limitation to his heirs male, which failing, to the heirs male of his deceased brother, Captain William B McClintock Bunbury, RN, MP. I am not altogether sure why the peerage was conferred on John McClintock. Lord Downshire had recommended him for a peerage in 1852. Having the elderly and much respected Field Marshall Lord Gough as your cousin, not to mention the Earl of Clancarty as a kinsman, can only have boosted his chances. Also, Sir Francis Leopold McClintock was appointed naval aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria during 1868 and such connections between the McClintock and Royalty must have heightened their chances of a peerage. Indeed, McClintock and his wife met the Prince and Princess of Wales when they came across for the Punchestown Races in 1868.
1869 (aged 21)
Gladstone disestablishes Protestant Churches in Ireland
March 18 (Thursday): Tom's uncle - erroneously referred to as "Viscount Rathdonnell" - was one of a hundred nobles and "upwards of a thousand Deputy Lieutenants, magistrates and country gentlemen" with Irish connections who signed a letter to The Times protesting against the proposed disestablishment of the Church of Ireland . He attended a meeting of the Diocesan Council of Armagh, presided over by the Lord Primate, and was among those subsequently elected to represent the laity.
June 10: Rathdonnell attends another debate on the future of the Church, presided over by the Duke of Rutland. The issue was discussed over lunch in Willis's Rooms, London, given by the supporters of the United Church of England and Ireland.
July 28: TK secures a commission with the Inniskillings (aka the 6th Regiment of the 6th Dragoons). It would seem that the regiment was then alternating between the towns of Cahir, Longford, Dundalk, Newbridge and Dublin - with short stints at York, Brighton and Manchester. The regiments' colonel when TK joined was Lt-Gen. Lewis Duncan Williams who retained the post until 1st August 1874 when succeeded by Gen. Sir Henry Dalrymple White, KCB.
September: Rathdonnell again amongst the more prominent attendees at crisis talks hosted in Dublin's Molesworth Hall .
April 20: TK, then serving with 12th Royal Lancers, initiated into Grand
Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of Ireland.
May 5: TK's uncle, the Baron Rathdonnell, appointed Custos Rotorum for Co. Louth.
May 30: TK's step-grandmother Lady Elizabeth McClintock celebrates her 90th birthday.
October 24: TK's 19-year-old brother, Jack McClintock Bunbury, successfully matriculates from Brasenose College, Oxford.
Death of TK's 16-year-old sister, Helen McClintock Bunbury. She is buried alongside her father and sister in the family vault at St. Mary's in Rathvilly.
Lord Rathdonnell makes an important antiquarian discovery at Drumcar in the shape of Prince Tomar's Sword.
Home Rule movement launched by Isaac Butt.
Gladstone passes the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act - the first attempt by the British government to address the Irish land question. 'Ulster Custom' (tenants receiving interest or compensation for improvements they made to their holdings) was made law. The Act also intends to protect tenants from being evicted. This was ineffective, but did indicate that the Liberals were interested in land reform.
TK purchases "Germaines" as a house for the estate agent, I believe.
January: Chichester Fortescure becomes President of the Board of Trade
and Lord Harrington succeeds as Chief Secretary of Ireland.
May 31: TK commissioned as a Lieutenant and is stationed at Plymouth & Dartmoor. He appears to have been living at Lisnavagh at this time.
December 30: Having graduated from Oxford, TK's brother Jack enlists as Sub-Lieutenant with 2nd Dragoons.
November 23: Birth of Arthur Thomas Bruen, younger brother of KA Rathdonnell.
4: TK resigns commission in army in advance of his wedding.
February 17: General Election sees Disraeli's Conservative party return to government. The election also sees Irish Nationalists in the Home Rule Party become the first significant third party in Parliament. One considerable shock to the government comes when Chichester Fortescue, the President of the Board of Trade, is defeated at the polls. TK's cousin Sir James Stronge is also defeated. Gladstone took it as a direct indication of the low esteem in which the Irish held him. Fortesuce, reported The Times, was "the embodiment of the Irish policy of the government, its guiding spirit and most active instrument in framing and carrying the "healing measures" which were expected to cure all the ills of the country".
February 26: Nine days after the General Election, a historic alliance of two of Carlow's great Anglo-Irish families occurred with the marriage of 26 year old Tom McClintock Bunbury and Katherine Anne Bruen, the eldest daughter of Henry Bruen of Oak Park, MP. Among the wedding presents they received were the elaborate clock in the Blue Room at Lisnavagh and a walnut cabinet presented "To TB" by "Scottie"; the latter currently houses my father's secret cigar stash and sits on top of a desk made from the timber of the Samarang!
March 1: Four days after his brothers' wedding,
Jack is made a Lieutenant in the Scots Greys.
February - April: TK and KA on honeymoon. An account of their honeymoon journal is currently being transcribed.
May 30: Lady Elizabeth McClintock celebrates her 95th birthday.
August 1: General Williams steps down as Colonel of the Inniskillings and is succeeded by Gen. Sir Henry Dalrymple White, KCB.
August - September: Henry Tudor Parnell conveys a parcel of Wicklow land to TK in the early autumn.
September 22: TK and KA, living at Lisnavagh. TK made both a Commissioner and Justice of the Peace for Carlow.
November 9: Sad but anticipated death (apparently at Lisnavagh) of Colonel Kane Bunbury in his 92nd year. Jack succeeds to Moyle and a number of other estates. The Colonel is buried in the family vault at St. Mary's Church in Rathvilly where Captain McClintock Bunbury lay with his two daughters. An account with James Morris of 140 Tullow Street, Carlow, tells us that the Colonels last bill was for six candles, one box of tea and four sugars amounting to 7 d 7s.
November 30: Death of KA's six-year-old brother John Richard Bruen.
December 28: TK and KA have first child, a daughter, the Hon. Isabella (Katharine) McClintock Bunbury.
By 1870 the 'typical' landlord owned about 2,000 acres, but by 1876 less than 800 landlords own half the country, 302 of which owned 33.7 per cent of Irish land. Almost half of the 800 landlords were absentee, in that some were resident outside Ireland with many more resident on other Irish estates (Foster).
March 7: Birth of Charles Bruen, youngest brother to Katherine Anne Rathdonnell.
He passes away unmarried aged 30 in 1905.
General: Charles Stewart Parnell elected MP for County Meath.
General: TKMB becomes a member of the Royal Dublin Society and retains membership for next 54 years, rising to become its President.
January 1: Death of TK's mother, Mrs. Pauline McClintock Bunbury.
January: The Prince of Wales is taken ill. Upon his recovery, Tom's uncle, Lord Rathdonnell, convenes a meeting of the magistrates of County Louth to congratulate the Queen and Princess.
April 21: Birth of Mary Emily ("Mimi") McClintock Bunbury, second daughter of TK and KA.
May 22: Lord Rathdonnell attends the Queen's Levee at St James's Palace.
General: TK serves as High Sheriff for County Carlow.
May 11: Birth of the Hon. Pauline (Caroline), third and youngest daughter
of TK and KA.
May 30: Death of 97-year-old Lady Elizabeth McClintock, daughter of the 1st Earl of Clancarty and widow of John McClintock of Drumcar.
Anne Rathdonnell, "a constant student of Prophecy", was convinced that Russia was the "Great Beast" of the Book of Revelations. Her great-nephew, CEC Lefroy, recalled Drumcar scene thus. "In the year 1877, Uncle John was a gentle, very sensitive, lovable old man of nearly 80. His heart's desire has always been for peace and quiet. Of very talkative people he would say, "they would bother a rookery". He was a Conservative to the backbone; a lover of old days and old ways. The social, political and moral changes, which he perceived to be taking place in the World (even then), disturbed him greatly. "Shocking". "Shocking. "Shocking". Were the words which frequently fell from his lips. To me he seemed to take very kindly from the first. For two summers before he died (in May 1879) I spent my holidays at Drumcar. I can well imagine his evident pleasure in tipping me with a half-a-sovereign when he said good bye to me, for what he plainly felt would be the last time of seeing me- and such it proved. [Aunt Anne] had been very handsome in her youth and bore herself with much grace and dignity (also authority) in her old age. She was widely known in County Louth as "Queen Anne". She certainly ruled her domain in a queenly manner. As the eldest member of her family she had always played a great part in its life, for she possessed remarkable will-power and strength of mind. In earlier years she and Uncle John had traveled much on the Continent and had spent several winters in Italy and had moved among intellectual and cultured people. It was her energy and deep political convictions which got Uncle John into Parliament for Count Louth and in the end secured the peerage for him". After Uncle John's death she gave a home for ten years to our sisters Annie and Freda. It was a home with great ideals of life and its responsibilities. The conversation, whether of past, present or future, was always pitched high; always worth listening to. Deeply religious, ready for merriment and hearty laughter; a buoyant, courageous, hopeful nature. All through life she was in touch with interesting people. I remember meeting several times in Chester Square the Hon. Frederica Plunket, famous then as the first woman to climb the Matterhorn, and her sister the Hon. Kate Plunket, now equally famous for having lived 112 years. It must be gratefully recorded that during her ten years of widowhood Aunt Rathdonnell saved no less than £80,000, which she distributed very widely among various nephews and nieces, a wonderful boon and blessing to them all".
September 11: Jack marries Elizabeth Myra Watson, daughter of Robert Watson
of Ballydarton, Co. Carlow.
September 15: Birth of a son for TK and KA, William McClintock Bunbury. (The writer Lord Dunsany was born in 1878 and educated at Eton- that makes him a contemporary of Billy).
Parnell attends first meeting of the Land League in Tullow. The League was formed to obtain the three Fs: Fair Rent, Free Sale and Fixity of Tenure.
May 17: Death of 79-year-old John McClintock, 1st Lord Rathdonnell
May 17: TK McClintock Bunbury succeeds his uncle as 2nd Baron Rathdonnell. The size of his Irish estates subsequently increase to 18,923 acres (g.an.val. £15,400). Broken down into counties, this comprises of Carlow (8058), Louth (3000), Tyrone (2886), Fermanagh (2600), Meath (1215), Monaghan (1006), Dublin (600) and Kildare (558). Tom's brother Jack has a further 3098 acres at Moyle (g. an. Val. £2741). Tom's father-in-law Henry Bruen was the largest landowner in Carlow with 16, 477 acres in the county, as well as 6932 acres in Wexford and 218 acres in Kildare bringing his total to 23,627 acres (gr.an.val. £17, 481).
1st July: Lord Rathdonnell watched Lisnavagh's prize shorthorn bull Anchor
compete at the Royal Agricultural Society's Show at Kilburn. The show took
place on a sun-swept afternoon enabling the men and women to walk directly
on the hard clay ground rather than on the sleepers and planks of wood laid
out in paths. A week earlier the place had been so muddy that "a
witness of wide experience testified that the slough of despond at Kilburn
exceeded the muddy battlefields of Balaklava". The showground was
a riot of colour and noise with visitors pouring in to see the latest mechanical
inventions - traction engines. Cattle and horses were herded between it
all. Jersey dairy cows. The Danish Butter show. The British Beekeepers Association.
The Prince and Princess of Wales were in attendance. So too was the brilliantly
named Russian ambassador, his Excellency Count Schouvaloff, who had made
such an impact at the Congress of Berlin the previous year. The first RAS
show took place at Battersea in 1862 drawing 1,986 livestock entries from
535 exhibitors. At Kilburn in 1879 there were 2,874 entries from 809 exhibitors,
including 46 animals of foreign breed. These included 179 shorthorns, 63
Herefords, 53 Devons, 95 Sussex as well as numerous Longhorns, Kerry, Welsh,
Scotch, Suffolk, Norfolk and numerous dairy cattle. But the greatest turn
out of all was the 302 cattle sent over from Jersey and Guernsey. Also present
were 777 sheep, 716 horses, 18 mules, 9 asses and unknown quantities of
pig, goat and poultry. Judging the 313 classes were 125 gentlemen, including
a number of foreign judges. Everything was there to be judged - butter,
bacon, ham, cheese, cider, hops, honey, railway meat-wagons, mechanical
inventions, market gardens, sewage farms.
The Shorthorn class was the highlight of the opening day. The judges were G. Drewry of Holker, Lancashire, A. Mitchell of Alloa, Scotland and Richard Chaloner of King's Fort, Co. Meath. It was onto this contest that Anchor walked. The problem was, Chaloner himself had bred Anchor from his own famous herd. And he had sold it to Rathdonnell! As such, Chaloner stepped down as judge and left it to his colleagues. The correspondent for The Times breathlessly takes up the tale. "Seventeen bulls above three years old took no little time in adjudication; the contest ended in Mr W. Linton's lengthy old roan, "Sir Arthur Ingham", the hero of any number of showyards but now gone to pieces at the age of 7 ½ years, receiving his last Royal notice in the shape of a commendation; Mr. John Outhwaite's grand "Royal Windsor", at the venerable age of 10 ½ years taking the 4th prize, the Earl of Ellesmere's "Attractive Lord" being placed third, though beaten by a still finer beast, Mr David Willis's "Rear Admiral" which stands second in the class, while clearly ahead of all is Lord Rathdonnell's "Anchor" from county Carlow, thus scoring an honour for Ireland".
Late July: Anchor went on to win first prize at the Highland Show.
August: Anchor sweeps the prize from the Royal Agricultural Society of Ireland at Newry. And so Anchor returned to Lisnavagh, the most prized bullock in an Empire on whose ass the sun never sank.
July 24: The Lord Chancellor reported to the House of Lords that the claim of the new (and by now prize-winning) Baron Rathdonnell "to vote at the elections of representative peers for Ireland had been established to his satisfaction".
August: Michael Davitt founds the Land League of Mayo. New agricultural depression setting in and organised land agitation on the rise. This paved the October: Foundation of the Irish National Land League. Rural disturbances began to increase dramatically in the Irish countryside.
General: TK starts as Steward of the Horse Show at a time when shows held in courtyard of Leinster House.
January: After his hugely successful year with Anchor, Tom subscribed to
the Duchess of Marlborough's Relief Fund for the distressed of Ireland.
The following year, the Duchess staged a version of Gilbert and Sullivan's
bright operetta Pinafore at Dublin Castle to raise money for the fund. A
witness reported that "on the whole the undertaking was very creditable
to all engaged in it
the sisters, cousins, and aunts were recruited
from the prettiest girls".
September: Growing confrontation between tenants and agents over unfair rents and evictions leads to celebrated and novel strategy was the ostracism or "boycotting" of its Captain Boycott, a land agent on Achill Island. Parnell's support for boycotting is seen as advocating a constitutional alternative to widespread violence.
General: TK served two years as Chairman of the RDS Committee of Agriculture when the Society first purchased the land at Ballsbridge.
General: The Land War begins as a protest against the high cost of rent during an agricultural depression. Agrarian 'outrages' rise to three times the normal average in the years 1880-82 (though the vast majority of incidents consisted of acts of intimidation such as sending threatening letters, rather than acts of violence). On average there were seventeen murders per year of landlords and their associates during the land war, as well as acts of violence such as cattle maiming. According to Murphy, however, much of the successes of the agitation came from peaceful actions rather than violence. (James H Murphy) .
General Election, the Liberals, led by the fierce oratory of retired former Liberal leader WE Gladstone trounce Disraeli's Torys at the Poll and Gladstone again becomes Prime Minister.
February 3: Birth of Thomas Leopold McCB, 3rd Baron Rathdonnell.
March: Spring Show at RDS celebrates 50 years with first shows held at Ballsbridge. TK still Chairman of RDS Agriculture Committee at this time.
April 5: A census of the population of Dublin reveals the number of inhabitants within the Municipal Borough as 249,486, inhabiting 24,261 houses.
April 19: Death of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beconsfield.
May 5: KA formerly presented to Queen Victorian by Viscountess Gough to receive congratulations on her new status as Lady Rathdonnell. The presentation took place in the drawing room at Buckingham Palace on a sunny Thursday afternoon.
May 13: A tenant of the Rathdonnells by name of Sarah McCaron is evicted for non-payment of rent.
May 23: Two weeks later, the Prince of Wales held a Levee at St. James's Palace on his mothers behalf. Tom attended and was formerly presented to the future monarch by his colleague from the Freemasons, the Earl of Donoughmore. The entire peerage and every foreign ambassador seems to have been present that day - with the exception of the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador who was presumably tied up signing the new Triple Alliance with Italy and Germany, designed as a counterweight to the growing power of France and Russia.
May 25: Some of Dublin's streets are lit for the first time. The times were changing fast.
June 18: I assume Tom remained in London for the two weeks after the Prince's levee at St. James's. He was certainly there on the evening of Saturday June 18th 1881 to celebrate the bicentennial of the 2nd Dragoon of the Royal Scots Greys at the Albion on London's Aldersgate Street. The regiment was raised in 1681. He is listed in The Times as the sixth most senior man present after the Duke of Teck, Major von Vietinghoff (military attaché to Germany), General Darby Griffith, Filed Marshall Lord Strathairn and the Earl of Dunmore. The band and pipers of the regiment were in attendance and performed throughout the evening.
June 25: The following Friday both Tom and Kate attended a State Ball given by the Queen at Buckingham, dancing quadrilles and polkas in the company of Britain's most eminent princes, statesmen, military heroes, ambassadors and nobles.
General: Gladstone, who returned to power in 1880, passes Land Act which guarantees 'the 3 Fs'. The first phase of the land war duly ends with the introduction of what turned out to be the unstable notion of dual ownership of land by landlords and tenants. Although this was an improvement on the 1870 Act it was still a disappointment to the tenants and the League. Fixity of tenure was dependant on the payment of rent but tenants who were behind on their rent were not covered under the terms of the Act. The League was not satisfied with the limited delivery on 'the 3 Fs' in the 1881 Land Act and insisted on full peasant ownership.
October 13: Parnell is imprisoned in Kilmainham for inciting people to intimidate tenants taking advantage of the Land Act. The Land Wars have been dominating Irish affairs for several months. The Land League is suppressed and outlawed. An auxiliary organization, the Ladies' Land League, steps into its place.
October 16: Fierce rioting breaks out in Dublin after the arrest of John Dillon, M.P., and other Land Leaguers.
October 21: Five days after the Dublin riots, Viscount Masserene convenes a meeting of kindred spirits in Dundalk to ponder the matter. Unable to attend in person, the Rathdonnells dispatch their agent to hear what is said.
December 31: (Saturday) 1881 concludes with a court case. A tenant named Sarah McCaron takes TK to the Land Commissioners Court. Mrs. McCaron was evicted for non-payment of rent on May 13th which is approximately when Tom was being introduced to Queen Victoria. She subsequently took "forcible possession" of a cabin on the land. She still owed four years of rent, about £76. Tom offered her £20 if she gave up. Judge O'Hagan said this was "a hopeless case" and advised Mrs. McCaron to accept Tom's offer and clear out. The outcome remains unknown.
January 4: Four days after the McCaron Case, TK attends what is to be one
of the greatest gatherings of the Irish aristocracy and landed gentry ever
known - "the rank and educated intelligence of the country as well
as the property" as The Times pompously put it. The meeting
took place in the Exhibition Palace on Dublin's Earlsfort Terrace and was
presided over by the Duke of Abercorn. More than 3000 showed up to yell
out "hear hear" and roar out three cheers and generally protest
against the way the sub-commissioners were implementing Gladstone's Land
Act in Ireland. Some landlords stated that they had supported the Land Act
on the premise that it would not be unjust or arbitrary. But there had been
too many cases that went against the interest of the landlords to justify
their continuing support. The meeting concluded with Sir George Colthurst
urging the attendees to organize and combine in defense of their rights,
dramatically stating that by unity they had a chance of winning for otherwise
they would lose forever. concluded with everyone singing "God Save
the Queen" to the accompaniment of an organ. There is a detailed
report of this meeting in The Times and what the likes of Arthur
Kavanagh, the Earl of Dartey and the Marquis of Waterford said but maybe
one can find a potted version elsewhere.
May: Kilmainham Treaty offers end to agrarian violence and Parnell is released from prison. He promises to discourage violence among Land Leaguers and the government agreed to extend the terms of the 1881 Act.
General: The Irish National League was founded in 1882 to take the place of the now outlawed Land League.
May 6: Lord Frederick Cavendish, British Secretary for Ireland, and his secretary Thomas Henry Burke, are stabbed to death by the "Invincibles" in Phoenix Park.
June 21: On the night of the summer solstice, the Rathdonnells attends their second State Ball at Buckingham Palace given by the Queen. Mr. Liddell's Orchestra performed for the guests.
October 2: Elizabeth Myra McClintock Bunbury gives birth to a son for Jack, christened Geoffrey.
October 8: Parnell summons a conference at Avondale and launched the Irish National League. The passage of the 1881 Land Act and his release from Kilmainham had led to the disbanding of the original outlawed Land League. However, it soon emerged that the Land Act was unsatisfactory as it had only addressed the issue of Fair Rents. The new League shifted its emphasis from land reform to Home Rule. Although the idea of national independence meant little to the tenant farmers, both Parnell and Davitt believed that the Land War and the end of landlordism was a step on the way to their ultimate aim - national independence. This is an indication of the relationship between the land question and the national question.
General: Jack Bunbury was wrapped up in the Fenelon affair.
January: TKMB is embroiled in the land controversy when his agent, Mr.
Gillespie, is accused of robbing "struggling tenants in Omagh of
every last farthing" in a time of great hardship. "It is
conduct such as this which has brought landlords in this country into such
disrepute and detestation. There is no mill on the property to grind corn
nor game or fish to take, not a pounds worth of timber. Still, this arbitrary
and grasping spirit cannot bear to even allow the smallest benefit to the
tenants who have emptied their pockets of every six pence demanded".
I don't know who wrote this or how serious the accusations were but the
original may be in one of the Archive boxes at Lisnavagh.
May 21: Queen Victoria hosts another Drawing Room at Buckingham. This time KA presents her cousin Mrs. John Conolly to the Queen.
September 23: The Irish National League hold a second meeting in Tullow, presided over by Patrick Hanlon with Patrick Kelly of Tullow proposing. Hanlon opened the meeting by referring to the decline of landlordism in Ireland and pleaded for the public to support the Irish Parliamentary Party in the upcoming elections. Speakers included O'Dwyer Grey (MP for Carlow), Charles Dawson (Lord Mayor of Dublin and MP for Carlow) and Joseph Biggar. The Catholic clergy (including the Rev. M. Brennan of Rathvilly) took a very active part in the formation and direction of the Carlow branches of the INL. In relation to these meetings it should be recalled that the editorials of contemporary issues of The Nationalist and Leinster Times gave their unconditional support to the ideals of the INL.
February 18: A fund-seeking advertisement in The Times states that Tom's aunt, the Dowager Lady Rathdonnell, was on the committee for St Agatha's Convalescent Home in Shoreditch, Hastings. Countess Cowper was patron of the place. Two years later, these Evangelical women managed to secure the devoutly religious Charles Latimer Marson as their curate the following year.
April 1 - 7: The Prince and Princess of Wales make their first visit to
Ireland in 17 years. They bring their young son Prince Edward with them.
There's an outstanding account of the occasion in The Times. After
lunch the 16th Lancers escorted the Royal Couple down Nassau Street, Merrion
Square and Mount Street to the RDS showgrounds at Ballsbridge where TK was
part of a fine aristocratic gathering headed up by the Duke and Duchess
of Leinster, the crowds waving handkerchiefs and cheering all the way.
June 26: The Rathdonnells once again attended the State Ball at Buckingham.
November 24 - December 18: General Election in UK.
General: Edward Gibson, later Lord Ashbourne and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, pushed through the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act whereby the Government would offer up to £5 million to enable tenants o borrow the whole purchase price for their holdings.
November 17: Marriage of Henry Bruen of Oak Park (brother to Katherine
Anne, Lady Rathdonnell) to Agnes Mary McMurrough, youngest daughter of the
Incredible Art MacMurrough Kavanagh, MP, of Borris House.
That same year, Henry Bruen is elected High Sheriff of Co. Carlow.
Musical recitals instituted at Royal Dublin Society.
On Tuesday September 14th 1886 an advertisement in The Times stated that "LADY RATHDONNELL highly RECCOMMENDS her experienced NORTH GERMAN GOVERNESS who will shortly be disengaged. French, music and usual English subjects. Address: Fraulein Moller, Lisnavagh, Tullow, Co. Carlow". Presumably young Billy was learning German?
Tuesday March 1: Queen Victorian holds another Levee at St. James's Palace.
The Earl of Morton, who had lately succeeded to the title, was presented
to the Queen by his friend, Lord Rathdonnell. The Earl had married Helen
Ponsonby two years earlier which may be the origin of their connection.
Tuesday May 18: Rathdonnells attend another State Ball at Buckingham at which Henry Tinney's orchestra unleashed the quadrilles, valses and polkas.
September: Birth of Henry Arthur Bruen, son and heir to Henry and Agnes Bruen of Oak Park, and nephew to the Rathdonnells. He is to be their only surviving child.
1887 Land Act, an extension of the Ashbourne Land Act, allows for excluded leaseholders into the system set up two years previous.
August: Dublin Horse Show involves more than a thousand mostly Irish-bred
horses. It is the largest and possibly the best show the RDS had yet hosted
with hundreds of huntsmen from England coming across to purchase good Irish
hunters. TK entered a mare by Revenge into the 4 year old hunting fillies
class and came second to Mr. Donovan.
General: TK elected to the Committee of the Royal Dublin Society.
February 22: Death of Lord Dunsany, brother to Horace Plunkett and father
to the writer.
Wednesday April 10: Tom was elected a Representative Peer of Ireland in place of Lord Dunsany.
April 19: Lord Lucan was likewise elected to fill the seat of the lately departed 3rd Earl of Portarlington.
December 22: Death of Ann McClintock, Dowager Lady Rathdonnell.
Wednesday February 12: Lord Harris, a former school friend of TK's from
Eton, was appointed Governor of Bombay. He was three years Tom's junior
and the same age as Jack, being born in Trinidad in 1851. He was also an
acclaimed cricketer. Both men were taught the sport at Eton by R. A. H.
Mitchell and the Rev. G. R. Dupuis, obtaining their place in the Eton Eleven
in 1868 and the two following years. To celebrate his appointment, 100 of
his friends from Eton, Oxford and the political ring threw a dinner party
at Café Monico in Piccadilly. Their old headmaster, Dr. Warre, presided
over the occasion. Tom was present.
Tuesday June 17: The Duke of Portland presents Tom to the the Prince of Wales at the annual Levee in St James's Palace.
Friday July 5: TK and Kate attend another State Ball at Buckingham.
August: At the Horse Show, TK is among those who greeted the vice-regal party of the Lord Lieutenant and his wife, the Countess of Zetland.
November 17: As the cattle sales come to a close, so 41 cows (making an average of £23 9s 8d) and 9 bulls (averaging at £19 16s 8d) from the Drumcar shorthorn herd were brought under the hammer. Mr. R. Thompson paid 51 guineas for Lady Florrie, Lord Headfort paid 38g for Elfreda and Mr. A Bellingham paid 35g for the bull Pilgrim of Love.
General: TK appointed Her Majesty's Lieutenant for Co. Carlow.
Land Act of 1891 creates a congested districts board empowered to purchase
land and create viable holdings in the poorest areas in the western counties
from Donegal to Cork and a loan fund for tenants who wished to purchase
March 31: Death of Granville George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville, British statesman.
Thursday Feb 4: The Landowner's Convention held their annual meeting in
the Leinster Lecture Hall on Molesworth Street, the Duke of Abercorn presiding.
TK was in attendance along with Lords Castltown, Cloncurry, Langford and
Thomas Butler, the O'Connor Don and the Earl of Rosse. The Duke
of Clarence had just died and there was an epidemic of influenza across
the land. Abercorn called the Land Purchase Act of the previous session
"undoubtedly one of the most far-reaching and liberal measures of land
reform that have ever been carried out by any Government in this or any
other country". When he mentioned certain names, the crowd booed that
of Parnell and hissed at Redmond.
Friday February 26th: On his 18th wedding anniversary, TK resigns his commission as a Captain in Prince Albert's Own Leicestershire Yeomanry Cavalry.
Summer: A year before Gladstone's second Home Rule Bill is rejected by the House of Lords, Tom attends another huge Unionist convention in Dublin. The delegates filled two halls and included the chairman Lord Fingall, the Duke of Leinster and Lords Mayo, Dunsany, Emly, Ventry, Massy and Cloncurry as well as Colonel Cosby of Stradbally, Colonel Dease, Walter MacMurrough Kavanagh (son of the limbless Art) and Major Barton of Straffan. Their wives sat in the balcony lending "a pleasing grace to the proceedings [and] took a lively interest in all that went on". Before the speeches, n orchestra played a number of pieces, capped by "God Bless the Prince of Wales" and "Rule Brittania". "The enthusiasm was simply unbounded when the strains of the National Anthem fell on the ear".
October 2: Death of TK's nephew Geoffrey McClintock Bunbury aged 9.
General: The cattle market was in tatters. Prices for pedigree shorthorns had fallen to their lowest levels in twenty years with the average falling to £24 (as compared with £45 in Anchor's hey-day). Only the Queen's herd managed to fetch decent prices. Tom was specifically mentioned in The Times end of year report, alongside the Earl of Derby, as being "among those whose sales were affected by the badness of the times".
General: In 1892 the death took place at Lisnavagh of George Augustus Chichester May (1815 - 1892), the former Chief Justice of Ireland who stepped down at the height of the Parnell controversy in 1880. Known as "The Chief" amongst his own family, his departure from the post was a matter of considerable drama at the time. I do not yet know why he was at Lisnavagh.
Friday January 27: The Irish Unionists hold a banquet for 400 in the Round
Room at the Rotunda, principally to celebrate all those who had won seats
back from the Home Rulers in the election. A string bad is stationed in
the gallery which was reserved for the ladies. Once again lengthy speeches
were given stating the case of Unionism.
May 22: Lord Salisbury makes his first visit to Ulster. TK takes a train from Belfast to Larne to be part of the crowd welcoming him and the Marchioness off the "Princess Victoria". On the train with him were the Earl of Kingston and four directors of the Belfast & Northern Counties Railway Company (Edmund McNeill, H. McNeile, RH Reade and James Wilson). And Tom was right up there on the platform of Union Hall when the former Prime Minister addressed a huge crowd of Union Jack waving Ulster Unionists two days later.
Monday July 10: The Rathdonnells attended the Prince of Wales's State Ball at Buckingham. Herr Gottleib's Vienna Orchestra provided the tunes.
Friday September 8: TK is part of the well-heeled deputation of Irish peers who presented Lord Salisbury with a handsomely bound album by way of a thanks for his party at Hatfield House earlier in the week. The presentation took place in Salisbury's private room in the House of Lords.
October 14: Death of TK's only brother, Jack McClintock Bunbury, aged 43.
General: TK becomes member of the Council of the Royal Dublin Society.
February 14: One week after Jack Bunbury's will was proved by the Probate
Division of the High Court, TK and his co-executor Edmond Venables issue
a statement to The Times in which, acknowledging Jack's death and
invite anyone to whom Jack still owed money to write the particulars of
their claim and send them to the executors before 2nd April 1894. Thereafter,
Jack's possessions and assets would be distributed in accordance with his
April 2: Deadline for anyone seeking to make claims on Jack's will.
May 13: Death of KA's mother, Mary Margaret Bruen (nee Conolly).
Friday June 31: Tom shelled out a substantial price of 105 guineas for a shorthorn cow called Bliss, formerly belonging to the late Hugh Aylmer's herd at the Manor House in West Derenham, Norfolk. Three days later he was back in London for the annual State Ball, no doubt bragging about his new purchase. When the 86 year old Alexander Mitchell (the judge at Kilburn when Anchor won) died that same year, Tom was among those who went up to look at the famous Alloa shorthorn herd in Clackmannanshire, Scotland and purchased some more cows and possibly a bull. The average price was £35 indicating a relative return to normality for the cattle market, although the Alloa herd was particularly well prized.
July 26: TK's eldest daughter Isabella marries Lt Col Forrester Farnell Colvin, CBE, 9th Lancers, of Shermanbury Grange, Horsham, Sussex.
October 16: Marriage of KA's second sister Elizabeth Bruen to Edward Ussher Roberts of Gaultier, Woodstown, Co. Waterford, only son of Arthur Ussher Roberts.
Wednesday October 24: John Thornton & Co. hosted a sale at Drumcar, cataloguing five bulls and 32 cows and heifers. The herd was originally established at Lisnavagh and bred from the excellent stock which Lord Fitzwilliam held at Coolattin and tracing directly to the Mason blood "which so greatly improved the stock of Ireland about half a century ago". The herd had been so prolific at Drumcar that "it has quite outgrown the winter accommodation and hence the sale". Curiously the best price he got at the sale was from Lord Fitzwilliam himself - £35 for a cow called Golden Secret. He sold another cow, Flower Blossom, to E. Jones for 35g and another, Ocean Gun, to Mr. Doyne for 34g. I presume he sold the rest for lower prices?
Wednesday May 22: Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne, hosted a Drawing
Room for the ladies of the realm on behalf of the Queen. KA Rathdonnell
attended and presented her daughters Pauline and Mary.
General: First Boyle Medal for Science awarded by Royal Dublin Society.
June 1: Jack's widow Myra McClintock Bunbury marries secondly Baron Maximillian
Wednesday July 13: Rathdonnells attend a Garden Party given by the Prince and Princess of Wales at Buckingham.
August 11: Marriage of KA's younger sister Helen Maria to Major Charles Willoughby Bishop, JP, 9th Lancers, of Barton Abbotts, Tetbury, Gloucester, third son of James Bishop of 42 Belgrave Square, London SW1.
General: TK appinted Hon. Colonel of the 6th Battalion of the Irish Rifles.
General: Mick Purcell has references in the PPP to Lord Rathdonnell of Dunleer as being owner of two pubs in Rathvilly - Fanning's pub in Rathvilly (1896) and also owner of Fennell's pub, Rathvilly (1899).
June 10: Marriage of TK's youngest daughter Pauline to Major Frederick John Dalgety, 15th Hussars, of Lockerley Hall, Hants.
November 3: Mimi McCB, second daughter of TK and KA, marries Lt Col Henry Duncombe Bramwell, 15th Lancers.
February 26: TK and Kate celebrate 25 years of marriage.
General: Alice Butler, the Georgia-born great-granddaughter of Pierce the revolutionary, recalls a visit to Ballintemple: 'Our arrival was truly Irish. On getting out of the train at Shillelagh, 10 miles from Ballin Temple, we were met by a large family barouche, lined with pink satin and a good deal the worse for wear. It had originally belonged to Lord Fitzwilliam of Coolatin who, as he lived on a hill above the town, was spoken of as the Lord Above . She later continued, Ballin Temple was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. It had a thousand acres and three woods: the upper, the middle and the lower. In front of the comfortable Georgian house rose a high terraced bank of rhododendrons which, when in full bloom, and the sun setting behind them, looked like a red river. At the bottom of the third wood flowed the River Slaney, somewhat like a Scottish river, tumbling over brown mossy rocks and full of salmon In the spring the woods were literally carpeted with bluebells, the bluest and largest I have ever seen, often having fifteen bells on one stalk'.
February 17: TK's eldest son and heir 2nd Lieutenant Billy Bunbury dies aged 21, following wounds received in action near Kimberley, South Africa, during the Boer War.
KA's brother, Arthur Thomas Bruen starts 23 year long career as land agent in Ireland.
October 2nd: Death of Sir Charles Burton, 5th Bart, of an illness related
to a fall in the garden. He was born in 1823 and educated at Eton. He served
as a lieutenant in the 18th Dragoons until his retirement aged 23 in 1849.
In 1861, he wed an American heiress, Georgina May, only daughter of David
Halliburton of Texas. They had no children. He lived at Pollardstown (Pollacton)
House outside Carlow and was a keen supporter of the Carlow & Island
Hounds until he fractured a leg while riding to meet hounds with his good
friend Robert Watson one frosty morning. Lady Burton survived him by two
years. The executors of his will were Lord Rathdonnell (TKMB) and William
Rotchford of Cahir Abbey, Cahir. Both men were bequeathed £100 for
administrative purposes while the bulk of the Burton family fortune was
left to his niece.
General: TK elected Vice President of the Royal Dublin Society.
The Wyndham Act, introduced by the Chief Secretary, allowed an entire estate to be sold - presumably on condition if three quarters of the tenantry acquiesced. The government provided loans to tenants at reduced interest for the purchase of land and gave bonuses to landlords who sold. The loan was repayable over 68 years which was in effect the year I was born so one wonders what happened to all the money in arrears!
February 23: Death of KA's youngest brother Charles Bruen, unmarried, aged 30.
November 16: TK and KA attend unveiling of memorial to the Fallen Heroes of the Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons) on Princess Street in Edinburgh by the Earl of Roseberry.
Evicted Tenants Act provides for compulsory sale of land needed for evicted tenants.
July 14: KA's brother, Arthur Thomas Bruen, marries Lily, youngest daughter of Francis Ruttledge, JP, of Coolbawn Cottage, Co. Wexford.
TLMB is elected High Sheriff of County Carlow. His uncle Henry Bruen of
Oak Park - KA's eldest brother - is elected High Sheriff of Co. Wexford.
Sir Richard Butler, "an archetypal Victorian gentleman magistrate and member of the hunt committee", succeeds to Ballintemple on the death of his father, Sir Thomas.
August 4: Marriage of KA's youngest sister Grace Bruen to Sir Hunt Henry
Allen Johnson-Walsh, 5th Bart, of Ballykilcavan, Offaly.
September: Sir Richard Butler returns to his 7000 acre estate at Ballin Temple in time for his American wife, Alice Leigh, to deliver their first-born son and heir, Thomas Pierce Butler, on 18th September 1910.
General: Like Rathdonnell, Sir Richard was a keen farmer and "began by breeding herds of black Aberdeen Angus cattle, later turning to the cultivation of Clydesdale shire-horses". Crops, sheep and pigs were also farmed. Hope and Francis Morris worked at Ballintemple when the estate consisted of about 1000 acres. In a charming article entitled "Days of Yore at Ballintemple" they recalled the employees gathering in the farmyard at 8 o'clock in the morning to the fading chimes of the yardbell. Here they would receive their instructions from for the day ahead. "The bell was rung again at 1 o'clock for lunch break, 2 o'clock to return to work and finally at 6 o'clock to gladly end another day on the farm." Full-time employees numbered 8 - 10 with seasonal labourers brought in "at peak times such as hay-making, harvesting and potato picking". Children were often given a week off school in October to help with these chores. Harvesting took a particularly long time, starting with "the cutting of the corn with a binder followed by the stoking of sheaves [which were then] left perhaps a week before being put into hand stacks. When the corn seemed mature enough the stacks were then drawn by horse and cart to the haggard and put into large ricks". Threshing took place over 5 or 6 days later in the autumn and was something of a social event as men from neighbouring farms came in to help out. Another few days of threshing took place at the end of February in order to have fresh seed ready for sowing the Spring crops.
December 10: Birth of John Martin Bruen (DSO), only son of Arthur and Lily Bruen, and nephew to the Rathdonnells.
November 7: Death of the Baron de Tuyll, second husband to Myra Watson, the widow of Jack Bunbury.
March 8: Death of KA's father, Rt. Hon. Henry Bruen, aged 84.
September 14: Marriage of KA's brother Edward Francis Bruen to Constance Dora, younger daughter of Admiral Edmund Charles Drummond of Highfield, Halesworth, Suffolk.
November 26: Marriage of TK's second son and heir, Captain TLMcCB, to Ethel Ievers Synge. See the Ievers family.
June 13: Marriage of the Rathdonnell's 26-year-old nephew Henry Arthur
Bruen to Gladys McClintock, only daughter of Arthur George Florence McClintock
of Rathvinden, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow.
General: KA's brother (Admiral) Edward Francis Bruen commanding HMS Bellephron.
General: TK unanimously elected President of the Royal Dublin Society.
February 26: TK and KA celebrate 40 years of marriage.
November 23: Birth of William Robert McClintock Bunbury, 4th Baron Rathdonnell, only son of Captain TL and Ethel McCB.
November 24: Birth of Anne Bruen, daughter of (Admiral) EF Bruen and his wife Constance.
April: The Easter Rising in Dublin leaves 110 soldiers, RN, RIC, Dublin Metropolitan Police and loyalist volunteers dead and 350 wounded. Also 180 civilians died; 614 injured. Of the rebels 15 were executed, 100 were sent to Penal Servitude, 6 were imprisoned and 1700 deported. I don't yet know how many rebels were killed in action. (This from contemporary accounts of the Unionist newspaper).
31 May - 1 June: KA's brother (Admiral) Edward Francis Bruen commands HMS Bellerophon at the Battle of Jutland. She fired sixty-two 12 inch rounds and received no damage. After the battle she swept with the other vessels of the Grand Fleet regularly.
July: Massacre on the Somme.
Thursday July 6: Court Circular of The Times informs readers that "Lord Rathdonnell has returned to Lisnavagh". It was the King and Queen's 23rd wedding anniversary.
Sir Richard Butler serving with the 60th Rifles (now the Green Jackets)
in France and later with the British Expeditionary Force in Mesopotamia.
In 1917 he is the one of the first men to reach Damascus in the wake of
the city's fall to General Allenby. It was at this time he heard the sad
news from Carlow.
KA's brother (Admiral) Edward Francis Bruen commanding HMS Resolution.
In the warm spring of 1917, Ballintemple, the last Butler seat in County Carlow, was destroyed by what most believe to have been a straightforward accident, a fire started when a plumbers blow-lamp set the dry-rot filled roof rafters alight.
General: TKMB on the Executive Committee of the Unionist Alliance when they met in 1917 shortly after the Government threatened to introduce conscription to Ireland. The war was already won by this stage so the issue never came to a head.
October 23: Birth of (Lt Col) Francis Bruen (DSC), only son of (Admiral) Edward Francis Bruen and his wife Constance. EF Bruen was then commanding 2nd Cruiser Squadron.
The Spanish Flu epidmic kills 20,000 across Ireland (and 50 million worldwide). Among the many Carlovians who die are members of the Dowling, Burgess and Abbey families of Tobinstown. Lady Rathdonnell's soup-wagon comes ot the relief of the afflicted in Rathvilly and is the subject of an RTE documentary called 'Outbreak - Killer Influenza', first broadcast in June 2009.
Wednesday June 25: The Court Circular of The Times informs its readers that "Lord and Lady Rathdonnell have arrived in London from Lisnavagh, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow".
Saturday August 23: A garden party is held at Lisnavagh, "by invitation of Lord Rathdonnell, HML, and Lady Rathdonnell, president of the [Carlow] County Red Cross. Those invited included the vice-presidents of the Red Cross districts, war workers of all classes, and the county magistrates. There were many other guests. A message of thanks from the King to all the soldiers, sailors, airmen and war workers from the county was read by Lord Rathdonnell, and hearty cheers was given for his Majesty. The proceedings closed with the playing of the National Anthem".
March 17: Death of to KA's brother-in-law, Edward Ussher Roberts, husband
to Elizabeth Bruen.
June 6: Death of KA's unmarried younger sister, Mary Susan Bruen.
April 26: The Times (Court Circular) notes that "Lord Rathdonnell has returned to Lisnavagh from London".
May 21: TK cannot have stayed long in London because The Times again noted his return to Lisnavagh from London.
Wednesday Oct 20: Lord and Lady Rathdonnell were back in London.
Friday November 5: Rathdonnells back at Lisnavagh.
September 9: Death of TK's son-in-law, Lt Col Henry Bramwell.
KA's brother (Admiral) Edward Francis Bruen appointed Director of Naval Equipment at the Admiralty (until 1923).
General: Tom was, along with the Earls of Meath and Wicklow, Viscount Powerscourt and Sir William Goulding, among the fifteen peers and eight Privy Councillors scheduled to sit on the Senate of Southern Ireland under the terms of the 1920 Government of Ireland Act. The Senate convened in the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in 1921 but was boycotted by Irish nationalists. Only fifteen members attended its first meeting - Rathdonnell was among them, as were Lord Cloncurry, the Marquess of Sligo, Sir Bryan Mahon, Archbishop Gregg, Andrew Jameson, Sir Andrew Beattie, E.H. Andrews, Henry S. Guinness, H.P. Glynn, J.W.R. Campbell, F.F. Denning, C.G. Gamble, Sir William Taylor, and Sir Nugent Everard. The Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Sir John Ross, did not attend due to ill health. Two more Senate meetings were held over the next couple of weeks, with dwindling interest at each one.
General: Two-thirds of land in Ireland has by now become the property of the Irish tenants. Closure of the land question finally comes to and end in the 1920s after land purchase became compulsory. It is the end of a process that began in the land agitations of 1879-82 and was a process that had altered the social and political landscape of Ireland.
General: "In 1921 members of Sinn Fein descended on [Ballimntemple], in the family's absence, seeking to extort money. The manager of the dairy, a man called Johnson, physically resisted and was shot for his pains in the chest. He ultimately made a full recovery."(Bushell, p. 48).
January 14: "The House of Commons of Southern Ireland had a curious
resurrection a few months later, when as part of the process of ratification
of the December 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty its members were called together
to approve it and appoint the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State
on 14 January 1922. (There were interesting theological debates between
Collins and the British government as to who had the right to summon this
meeting, and on what authority.) This was the first occasion when the Trinity
College representatives sat in an assembly with the Sinn Feiners. Of course
by this point the Second Dáil had itself narrowly approved the Treaty,
and the anti-Treaty members of the Dáil simply boycotted the meeting.".
March 4: Death of TK's daughter-in-law, Ethel McClintock Bunbury, grandmother to the present Baron Rathdonnell.
June: The Third Dáil replaces what remains of the Southern Ireland institutions.
26 February: TK and KA celebrate Golden Wedding anniversary.
14 August: Joseph Brennan dispatches a letter on behalf of the Minister of Finance announcing the Governments intention to purchase the whole of Leinster House for £63,000. TK heads a committee to consider the proposal and the concept of a full-time move to Balls Bridge. Nicholas White has written about the transfer of Leinster House from the RDS to the Dail in his book, "Science and Colonialism in Ireland" (Cork University Press, 1999) but confessed to me that he had "raided most of the relevant material from Terence de Vere White's history of the RDS". This describes Lord Rathdonnell's involvement as primarily agricultural and gives most of the credit to the society's chief executive, Edward Bohane, and to Judge Wylie.
April 13: Death of KA, Lady Rathdonnell.
Monday November 9: The Times noted Lord Rathdonnell's return to Lisnavagh from England.
TK's brother-in-law, Admiral Edward Francis Bruen retires from Navy.
January 5: The Most Rev Dr Patrick Foley, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin,
turns the first sod on the site where the huge Carlow beet processing plant
stood until its closure in March 2005. Construction was completed in record
time and processing of that first sugar beet campaign commenced in mid-October,
1926. It was one of four sugar plants in the country - Mallow, Thurles and
Tuam following in Carlow's footsteps. Sugar beet was the lifeblood of the
local community and major part of the industrial fabric of Carlow Town for
many years. Among the major protestors on the factory's closure in 2005
was Tiger Kearns, a Vietnam War veteran who worked at the factory for close
on forty years. He maintained that his hometown of Rathvilly was one of
the best places for growing sugar beet in the world.
Tuesday January 19: The Times notes Lord Rathdonnell's return to Lisnavagh from England.
Tuesday April 20: The Times again notes Lord Rathdonnell's return to Lisnavagh from England. .
May 23: Death of TK' son-in-law, Major Frederick Dalgety. He had been ill for some time but apparently his wife, a committed Christian Scientist, discouraged any treatment.
August: First Competition for the Aga Khan Trophy at the Dublin Horse Show.
December 24: Death of TK's brother-in-law, Henry Bruen, aged 71.
Sinn Feins' Tomas O Deirg, a veteran of 1916, is elected FF TD for Co/. Carlow, a seat he retains until his death in 19 Nov 1956.
Death of Sam Maguire aged 48. He was the only Protestant ever to captain a GAA team. He hailed from Dunmanaway, Co. Cork. He was an active member of the IRB, assisting in gun-running plots to kidnap British MPs and, allegedly, in the assassination of Sir Henry Wilson, MP for North Down, in 1922.
March: Death of TK's friend and agent Leonard Poe, "a loss which touched
him (TK) very deeply". TK returns from a visit to South Africa soon
November 29: TK enters "select ranks of octogenarians" and celebrates 50th year since he succeeded his uncle as Baron Rathdonnell.
December 20c: The members of the Royal Dublin Society re-elect TK for a further term of office as President. His term had now lasted fifteen years.
A year after his death, Sam Maguire is honoured by a Cup, made by Hopkins & Hopkins and modeled on the Ardagh Chalice, was presented to Kildare GAA.
February: TK presented with Oswald Birley's portrait of him in oils by
the RDS. He duly presented it to the Society and it hangs in the Council
Spring Show: As re-elected President, TK attends but has a seizure at the end of the show "from which he never rallied".
May 22: Death of TKMB at Lisnavagh aged 80 years old. His death was registered with The Times; it mentioned a private funeral. "No mourning or flowers, by request".
May 24: An obituary to TKMB is published in page 7 of The Irish Times.
May 25: An obituary to TKMB is published on page 16 of The Times three days later.
19 September: The Irish Times published some details of TK's will, stating that he had left £19,739 1s 2d in England. From this he left £100 to his butler, Lewis Kaye, and £50 each to his steward, Henry Giff, and his gamekeeper, Charles Nicholl. Any man who had been his servant for more than three years was given 6 months wages. This latter bequest sounds rather generous. "He gave £200 to his son-in-law Colonel Colvin and the residue of the property to his son, TLMB, who succeeds to the Barony. His daughters are provided for under settlements. Probate is granted to his son-in-law Colonel Forrester Farnell Colvin of Shermanbury grange, Hosrham, Sussex".
General: Lord Rathdonnell's interests as President of the RDS were primarily agricultural. After his death in 1929, the RDS elected John Joly. The election came shortly after a decree that the term of office for a President be reduced from a life appointment to three years. According to Terence de Vere White, the purpose of this decree was twofold. It enabled the Society to honour more of its distinguished members whilst simultaneously "avoided the embarrassments which longevity sometimes produces". This would imply that Rathdonnell had perhaps lived considerably longer than he was meant to!
John Joseph White of Beech Hill, grandfather of Gordon Merry, was i/c of buying cattle for Lisnavagh in TK's reign - as well as being agent for Rathsallagh and Ballinure. Mr. Merry reckons they were all shagging like rabbits.
November 4: Death of TK's sister-in-law, Agnes Mary McMurrough Bruen (nee Kavanagh), widow of Henry Bruen.
July 25: Death of TK's youngest daughter, Pauline Dalgety.
February 16: Death of TK's son-in-law, Lt Col Forrester Colvin.
September 28: Death of TLMB, 3rd Baron Rathdonnell. TK's grandson WRMB
succeeds as 4th Baron.
November 25: WRMB marries Pamela Drew.
September 17: Birth of Thomas Benjamin McCB, 5th Baron Rathdonnell.
September 26: Death of KA's unmarried younger sister Eleanor Margaret Bruen.
January 7: Death of KA's youngest sister Lady Grace Johnson-Walsh.
July 30: Death of KA's sister Elizabeth Roberts.
March 6: Death of KA's sister, Helen Maria Bishop.
September 3: Death of KA's brother-in-law, Sir Hunt Henry Johnson-Walsh, 5th Bart.
December 12: Death of KA's nephew Henry Arthur Bruen of Oak Park.