© Donal G. Burke 2013
The Lawrences of east Galway were of Elizabethan origin in that they appear firstly in the Irish landscape in the late sixteenth century and owed their position to their service to the Crown in the extension of English power into the Gaelic lordships.
One of the earliest references to a Lawrence relating to O Madden’s country of Síl Anmchadha is in an inquisition into the ownership of property and dues in the barony of Longford on 30th August 1585. Walter Lawrence was one of only three alien names counted among the chief men of the barony, described as ‘good and lawfull men, of the County of Galway’, alongside the most politically significant figures of the lordship such as Donal O Madden of Longford and Owen balbh O Madden of Lusmagh. This Walter was, in all likelihood, the same ‘Walter Larans’ who served as one of the horsemen in the troop of Sir Nicholas Malbie, President of Connacht and later for a time under the leadership of Malbie’s son-in-law Captain Anthony Brabazon. The troop of horsemen were discharged when complaints were made against Malbie but when Malbie was forced to travel to London to defend himself, the discharged horsemen undertook a raid into County Mayo in his absence. Twenty of these soldiers received a pardon from the Crown dated 11th April 1584, many of whom held offices within the English administration of Connacht.[i] Among those pardoned, in addition to Walter Larans, were such prominent individuals as Anthony Brabazon, John More, clerk of the Crown, who would acquire large estates in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon, Barnaby Gouge, Provost Marshal of the province, Rowland Argall, clerk of the Council of Connacht and Robert Jonson who served at one time as Constable of Loughrea.[ii]
Early references to individuals of the name
The name was not uncommon, however, among the English soldiery active about the province of Connacht in the Elizabethan period. In 1577 the Crown granted to Lewis Lawrence of Athlone, gentleman, the office of Water bailiff of the River Shannon. At that time both Athlone and Ballinasloe were important strategic bases for the English interest in Connacht and in 1580 ‘old Lewis Lawrence,’ together with Sergeant Collon, led a force of seventeen shot to reinforce the English garrison at Ballinasloe castle during the rebellion of the sons of the Earl of Clanricarde.[iii] Another contemporary of this Lewis Lawrence and apparently of the same surname was ‘Thomas Larane of Bellaneslowe’ (Ballinasloe), one of three soldiers who received a pardon from the Crown about 1581.[iv]
One John Lawrence was unsuccessfully involved in a dispute in 1613 with a settler named Matthew de Renzy over a small parcel of land about Clonony in King’s County. The parcel in question was located not far from the River Shannon and had previously been in the ownership of a MacCoghlan who had been slain in rebellion and his lands taken by the Crown. This John claimed that his father Walter Lawrence ‘was seased in demesne as of fee, of the sixth part of the plowland of Clonona (ie. Clonony), Kings County.’[v] He stated that his father Walter was slain in the service of the late Queen Elizabeth I about 1595. John Lawrence was aged four years of age at the death of his father and his mother, Aleson Hancock, acted as his guardian until he came of age. He claimed to have thereafter enjoyed peaceful possession of this parcel until de Renzy, who acquired the castle and lands at Clonony about 1613, began to plough Lawrence’s parcel. In August of 1613, after a hearing in the presence of both parties, an assize judgement found in favour of de Renzy and Lawrence was required to pay de Renzy twenty shillings Irish for detaining two of his garrons or plough-horses ‘many days out of his possession.’[vi]
The identity of this John son of Walter Lawrence is uncertain. While having a claim to the lands at Clonony, he did not reside there. The Christian names Walter and John occur frequently in the family later settled in east Galway and John Lawrence of Ballymore in Co. Galway was involved in land transactions near Kinnity within Kings County in April 1631.[vii] The date of birth in 1591 of the John Lawrence who was involved in the dispute over Clonony would initially appear to exclude him from membership of the immediate family who settled in east Galway, if one were to give credence to dates given in a nineteenth century historical account of the Lawrence family of east Galway, known as the ‘Lawrence Family Album.’[viii] Family tradition, as recounted in the album, provides little information relating to the immediate ancestry of the earliest members of the family established in east Galway. However, the early history in Ireland of some settler families from the Elizabethan or early Jacobean period has not always proven accurate, two cases in point being the Persse and Pelly families. Traditionally it was held that two brothers of the family, John and Walter Lawrence, came to Ireland from England in the 1570s as soldiers in the Crown service and served for a time in Munster. The same tradition ascribes the acquisition of the family lands in east Galway to the marriage of John Lawrence to a daughter of Donal O Madden of Longford Castle, last chieftain of the ancestral O Madden territory. However, no record of any such marriage survives and even had it taken place, the last chieftain had no landed interests in the area in which the first of the Lawrences established themselves. Records of Chancery Pleadings survive relating to law suits about the early 1620s over lands formerly held in the previous century by one Farriagh son of Downagh O Madden and mention is made therein to Walter Lawrence and to his son John. Farraigh’s lands in the mid sixteenth century extended from Oghilmore and Lissreaghane (located to the north-west of Redmount Hill in east Galway) eastwards to the later village of Eyrecourt and across the Shannon into the parish of Lusmagh. The law suits resulted from a dispute about 1620 between a number of Farriagh’s descendants and record an interest Walter had in lands in Gloster in the parish of Lusmagh that was inherited by his son John. (National Archives of Ireland, Dublin, Chancery Bills P 71, pp. 13-16, Q 4, pp. 3-5.) The same wider land dispute saw John Lawrence taking a legal case against Hugh, Owen and Daniel Madden (apparently sons of the deceased rebel Owen balbh O Madden of Lusmagh) regarding lands in Ballinashra and Fiddan in Lusmagh parish which he claimed Farriagh’s sons Cathal carragh, Brasil and Ambrose had previously ‘conveyed or mortgaged’ to his father Walter. No reference was made to the Lawrence’s place of residence but given the location of their estate in the early seventeenth century Walter is very likely to have been that Walter Lawrence ‘of Oghellbegg, Co. Galway, gentleman’ who was involved in another legal dispute with one Martin Nangle of Ardsallagh and George Cusacke of Dromolin and others regarding a debt. (National Archives of Ireland, Dublin, Chancery Bills, E 95, p. 16.) The original documents relating to the Chancery pleadings were almost entirely destroyed in the 1922 fire at the Four Courts with the exception of just this reference and the fact that it was dated ‘after 1589′. The denomination of Oghilbeg in what was then part of the parish of Clonfert lies adjacent to John Lawrence’s future towerhouse at Ballymore.
Lands in the early seventeenth century
John Lawrence was established on the western plateau of Redmount Hill in the heart of the O Maddens ancestral territory by the second decade of the seventeenth century, with the family lands centred about the denomination of Ballymore. By 1615 the Protestant Bishop of Clonfert included the Lawrences as among the septs or nations that detained lands and rents from the See of Clonfert by prescription. In the case of the Lawrences the Bishop’s claims related to the lands of Ballymore.[ix] John Lawrence’s lands about 1618 comprised; half quarter of Gortnacurragh, half quarter of Euga, nine sixteenths of Cloone-Ikinan (present day Cloonykeevan, half quarter of Sunnagh, two quarters of Yoghillmore (Oghilmore), one quarter of Billymore, one quarter of Gleannatourke, one quarter of Levally, a third of a quarter of Downmickmenaran, one quarter of Killcoran, Ballycranoilly being one third part of a half quarter, almost a fourth part of the four quarters of Moigh, one and a half quarters of Lisrighan (ie. Lissreaghan or Bellview), over a third part of the four quarters of Ballynetullagh and a third part of a quarter of Corragh. Significant in this contemporary record is the absence of any reference to a castle at Ballymore, either in John Lawrence’s portion of the two quarters of that name or in the lands of the other landowners in Ballymore, as the same records mention both existing and ruinous castles throughout the barony at that time.[x]
The construction of Ballymore Castle
John Lawrence had at least five children; Walter, John, Edward, Peter and Joseph.[xi] His eldest son and heir Walter Lawrence married in 1603 Cecily, daughter of John More of Cloghan and Lady Mary Burke.[xii] It may have been this Walter who was responsible at least in part for the construction of a tower house or castle on the lands of Ballymore. While it has been written that the castle was built about 1585, possibly based on the appearance of the earlier Walter Lawrence in the Inquisition of the barony of Longford in that year, it is more probable that the castle was erected about 1620. A date of 1620 and the initials WL were recorded in the late nineteenth century as having been incised on a chimneypiece in the castle and it had been taken that this referred to alterations or later building works carried out at the tower-house. It is more likely, given the absence of any reference to a castle there about 1618 in the Patents of James I, that this is the original construction date, making it one of the later tower houses in the barony and a near contemporary of the somewhat larger Lismore Castle of the O Maddens under construction also about that time.
While it is unclear, it would appear that this Walter married twice, as Walter of Ballymore, by his wife Eveline Donnellan had a daughter Mary who would marry sometime mid century one Bryan Lorcan.[xiii]
John Lawrence of Ballymore 1635 to 1675
Walter died in 1635 and was survived by his only son John Lawrence.[xiv] Like the Mores of Cloghan, the Lawrences were Roman Catholic and the principal branch remained so into the eighteenth century, and like the Mores, many of the principal members of the family were buried at Meelick. Over succeeding generations, the family intermarried with many of the leading families of local Gaelic origin.
This John himself would marry on three occasions, all members of the wider Gaelic upper class. About 1640 John Lawrence married Dorothy, daughter of John Donnellan of Ballydonnellan, by whom he had two sons Walter and James, the latter born in 1653, both of whom would die before their father and without issue. He married secondly Mabella daughter of Killagh O Kelly of Aughrim by whom he had a daughter Mabella and thirdly Mary daughter of Gerald MacCoghlan eldest son and heir of Sir John MacCoghlan of Cloghan, barony of Garrycastle, Kings County and last chief of his name, by whom he had a surviving son Walter and three daughters, Honoria, Christina and Dorothy.
The Lawrences maintained their close relationship with the friars at Meelick throughout the seventeenth century. James, son of John Lawrence and his first wife Dorothy Donnellan of Ballymore became a Franciscan friar and at the age of sixteen years was among a number of young men who received their habit of probation in March of 1669 at Meelick.[xv] While family tradition later related that the family inherited the burial place of the O Maddens at Clonfert, some of the family may have been buried at Clonfert, many were buried at Meelick and as late as October 1715, when John Lawrence’s third wife Mary Lawrence alias MacCoghlan died, she was buried in the sacristy at Meelick.[xvi] It would appear unlikely that the family inherited the burial place of the last O Madden chieftain, given that the last chieftain had four sons and male descendants.
In his lifetime John experienced at first hand the traumatic upheaval in land ownership undertaken by the Cromwellian regime in the mid seventeenth century. Being Roman Catholic and Royalist, the Lawrence’s lands were not exempt from confiscation and John Lawrence was ordered to vacate Ballymore and allocated lands elsewhere within the barony. John Lawrence ‘of Billimore, Co. Galway’ was decreed 547 profitable Irish acres as a Transplanted Person in April of 1656. In the same month ‘Mary, Dorothy and Alice Laurence, daughters of Walter Laurence of Cloeanyne, Co. Galway,’ were decreed 17 profitable Irish acres. The identity of these three individuals is uncertain and may have been sisters of John of Ballymore. If they were not sisters of John of Ballymore, and Walter of Cloeanyne was not the same man as Walter of Ballymore who died in 1635, it would imply that a separate line of the Lawrences existed at this time, who may have descended from at least a brother of that John of Ballymore who held lands in the barony circa 1619.
Restoration of the monarchy
Following the turmoil of the Cromwellian period and government by a Republican-dominated Parliament, the monarchy was restored in the person of King Charles II in 1660. An Act of Settlement was passed in Parliament, in an attempt to address the complaints of those whose lands had been taken or divided by the Cromwellians and to placate those who had acquired lands at that time. The new monarch was slow to undo the earlier Cromwellian settlement of land, as he himself was a Protestant King of a Protestant England deeply suspicious of Roman Catholicism. Unable to adequately balance the interests of the dispossessed and those fearful of losing their new estates and with insufficient land to placate all, the Act of Settlement would leave many disenchanted.
The King declared that all those Cromwellian adventurers and soldiers would be left in possession of their estates with the exception of those the monarchy regarded as particular enemies, such as those directly involved in the killing of the king’ father King Charles I. Those Roman Catholics found innocent were also to be reinstated to their lands and the Cromwellians then in possession of that Catholics holding was to be compensated elsewhere. The solution proved unsatisfactory to many but allowed for many Cromwellian landholders settled in Ireland to retain the majority or part of their estates.
After the restoration of the monarchy, ‘John Laurence of Ballemore’ was given as head of family and among the dispossessed landowners in 1664 whose names were submitted to the Lord Lieutenant in that year for consideration for reinstatement.[xvii] He was among the many, however, who failed to recover possession of all of his former estate. Those lands allocated him almost adjacent to Ballymore, at Lisreaghan, were confirmed, however, in his possession by patent from the Crown dated 1676. The castle of Ballymore was reputed to have remained the property of the Cromwellian grantee Sir Thomas Newcomen, with Lawrence said to have remained at Ballymore castle until his death in 1675. It is noteworthy, however, that the lands at Ballymore, including ‘Ballymore Farm,’ were acquired by the Cromwellian Captain John Eyre, who was described as ‘of Ballymore’ in 1667 and 1668. While Eyre was given in 1670 as ‘of Killenehy’, the original name of the townland wherein he would construct his mansion known as ‘Eyrecourt Castle.’ Eyre retained ownership of Ballymore Farm and later generations of the Eyre family were leasing it and the former Lawrence tower-house to the Seymour family in the early eighteenth century.[xviii]
Mary, widow of John Lawrence, survived her husband by forty years and married after his death one James Deane, Esquire. In 1705, as ‘Maria Coghlan’ she had a chalice presented to the local church inscribed to the memory of herself and her two husbands.[xix] She died on 18th October 1715 and, although remarried, the friars at Meelick, in whose sacristy she was buried, referred to her in her obituary as the wife of John Lawrence of Ballymore.[xx]
Walter Lawrence of Lisreaghan 1675 to 1677
Two years before his father’s death, John’s surviving son and heir Walter of Lisreaghan continued the family’s connection with the family of Cloghan castle, by marrying his cousin Cecily, daughter of Colonel Garrett Moore.[xxi] The couple had two sons, John and Walter and a daughter Honoria. Both sons were minors at their father’s death in 1677. The eldest John, however, died young and without heirs and so the younger, Walter, inherited the family estates. [xxii]
Their sister Honoria married Hyacinth Pelly of Kill, County Galway, the only son of Peter Pelly of Ballagh in the nearby parish of Clontuskert. [xxiii] Hyancinth Pelly had been married firstly to Anne, daughter of Nicholas Arcedeckne of Gortnamona in the parish of Clontuskert, of a family who had been transplanted from County Kilkenny to Clontuskert during the Cromwellian period.[xxiv] (Descendants of this first marriage would later be seated at Hearnesbrook in the parish of Killimorbologue in the nineteenth century.)
Walter Lawrence of Lisreaghan 1677 to 1706
By the early years of the eighteenth century the Lawrences had removed from Ballymore to Lisreaghan and Ballymore’s new occupants were Eyre’s tenants, the Seymours, descendants of Cromwellian origin.[xxv] Walter of Lisreaghan married Mary Arcedeckne in 1699, another daughter of Nicholas Arcedeckne of Gortnamona and sister-in-law of Hyacinth Pelly and had two sons, John and Peter and two daughters, Bridget and Honoria.[xxvi]
The younger son pursued a career in the Royal Navy, being credited with the capture of a Spanish galleon named the ‘St. Joseph’ laden with treasure that was later conveyed under escort to the Tower of London. He was said to have been present at the battle of Carthagena in 1741, where he was wounded and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. Of the sisters Bridget and Honoria, the former married Redmond Burke, Esq. of Clonlee, County Galway while Honoria married an individual only identified in records by his surname Burke.[xxvii]
The village of Lawrencetown
To Walter Lawrence was attributed the original foundation about the year 1700 of an organised settlement on their estate about the townland of Oghilmore.[xxviii] A fair was held nearby in the adjacent denomination of Oghilbeg (wherein lay what appears to have been a small cluster of houses known as Oghil) on the 25th March and a market on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the early seventeenth century, granted to the Earl of Clanricarde.[xxix] From its founding family the new settlement would derive its name of Lawrencetown, which initially would appear to have been small in size and further developed by later members of the family.
The Cromwellian Eyre family had by that time established a small village about their mansion house with a Protestant church and, having brought together a small group of Protestant settlers there, had been rewarded late in the seventeenth century by the Crown with a grant of manorial status, providing for a demesne, court, and associated rights, including the holding of a market and fairs there. [xxx] A similar organised townscape would be applied to the settlement at Ballinasloe under the Trench family, following their consolidation of property thereabout in the latter half of the seventeenth century.
John Lawrencetown of Lisreaghan 1706 to 1730
John, the elder son of Walter, succeeded his father at Lisreaghan on Walter’s death in 1706.[xxxi] In 1729 he married a wealthy heiress, Mary daughter of John Scott, Esq. of Greenish and Cappavarnagh, co. Galway, and of Mont Serat, West Indies and that same year converted to Protestantism.[xxxii] The family relationship of the mainline of the Lawrences with the Meelick friary would appear to have eventually petered out after John Lawrence’s conversion, but his wife ‘having overcome many trials tempting her to deny her Catholic faith’ remained a Roman Catholic. She died at the young age of twenty-three years in January of 1730 and was buried at Meelick.[xxxiii] The friars, to whose convent she left a legacy, acknowledged her adherence to her faith in their obituary book at her death.[xxxiv] (They described her husband still at that time as ‘of Ballymore’.) John of Lisreaghan died, however, in 1730, apparently at a young age and left an only son of one year, Walter.
The same year that John of Lisreaghan died, another, less senior, member of the family died in France. In the Jacobite Williamite War members of the Lawrences, like most of the local landed families, served in the Jacobite army or supported that cause and at least one member of the family was among those to die on foreign shores in the gradual exodus after the final defeat of the Jacobite army. A generation older than the brothers John and Peter of Lisreaghan, William Lawrence, originally of Ballymore served as a sergeant in the company of Charles Dillon the elder, Irish Regiment of Dillon and was, by the time of his death in 1730 at the age of sixty-one, an invalid with poor sight, carrying injuries sustained from a gunshot wound to his thigh received on service in Spain. He had spent most of his life in military service in the French army. Despite his being unfit for service he died on detachment in Dax.[xxxv]
Colonel Walter Lawrence of Lisreaghan 1730 to 1796
During the minority of Walter Lawrence following the early death of his father John in 1730 his uncle Rear Admiral Peter Lawrence appears to have played a role in the maintenance of the family estates at Lisreaghan. It was he who was credited with enlarging the village of Lawrencetown about 1750 and with planting numerous cedar of Lebanon and other specimen trees about the estate between 1740 and 1750.[xxxvi] He was seated at Woodfield, Eyrecourt by 1749, in which year he converted to Protestantism, twenty years after his brother.[xxxvii] He died unmarried at the age of fifty-seven years in November 1758.[xxxviii] He was said to have been buried in the Lawrence family ancestral vault at Clonfert.[xxxix]
Born in 1729, Walter Lawrence utilised the fortune which came to him through his mother’s family, the Scotts, and built a large mansion at only a short remove from Ballymore on his lands at Lisreaghan set in landscaped grounds and filled with art treasures collected during his travels. He appears to have contributed further to the extensive tree plantation of his estate. From this time the house and estate became known also as Belview. He appears to have undertaken his own Grand Tour in his early years, spending time with artists, philosophers and figures of the Enlightenment such as Voltaire and Canova, the latter whom he patronised and a number of whose sculptures he possessed. The interior of the mansion he erected on his estate stood apart in marked contrast to many of the houses then extant in the immediate vicinity of the local landed class in its opulence and its reflection of the height of contemporary continental artistic taste.
The location of the Lawrence residence at Lisreaghan prior to the construction of Belview is uncertain. It is possible that the new mansion was built on the site of the former. However, Lord Walter Fitzgerald, a noted antiquary who visited Belview in the early twentieth century noted what he described as ‘some remains of the ruins of Lissreaghaun Castle’ ‘opposite the hall door’ of Belview. There are no references to a late medieval tower house at Lisreaghan and the existence of such a structure is unlikely given the proximity of the former Lawrence tower-house at Ballymore. Other than an ice house, one structure is evident in front of Belview on mid nineteenth century Ordnance Survey maps. This structure would appear to have been in a ruinous state by the late nineteenth century when Ordnance Survey maps show only part thereof remaining. It would appear likely that it was this structure to which Lord Walter referred as the ruins of Lissreaghaun Castle. Given his experience in the field of architecture and archaeological remains, it would appear that he was confident that this structure may have been of some antiquity and may perhaps have been an earlier residence or building pre-dating the construction of Belview by Colonel Lawrence.
Photograph of Belview, viewed from the south-east, taken about the early twentieth century.
Walter Lawrence converted to Protestantism in 1751 and married Marjery Netterville in 1760, the only daughter of Edmond Netterville of Longford, Co. Galway and of Glasnevin, County Dublin.[xl] Walter and Marjery Lawrence had two children, both of whom would die without issue, Peter and Maria.
A number of those landed proprietors such as Lawrence were influenced by the Enlightenment belief in man’s ability to improve his condition through industry and reason.[xli] About 1765 Colonel Lawrence was said to have rebuilt the village of Lawrencetown or at least undertaken some development work there to promote the Linen Industry among his tenants, which was at that time thriving in Ireland, with companies established in that industry in Eyrecourt and on the ffrench estate at Monivea.[xlii]
The Bellevue Volunteers
In 1778 France joined with the American colonists in the American bid for independence from Great Britain and declared war on Britain. In response to this the Protestant Irish Parliament reluctantly passed a Catholic relief Act, partly hoping to pacify any possible Catholic dissention during the war. With much of the Irish contingent of the British army already serving in America, Ireland was regarded as susceptible to invasion by the French. Throughout Ireland prominent landlords rushed to raise their own local force of Volunteers to defend the Country, over which they themselves served as commanding officers.
Walter Lawrence, with the rank of Colonel, raised a regiment of Volunteers from his tenants and the population about Lisreaghan, who served under the name of the Bellevue or Lawrencetown Volunteers and under the direct command of Lawrence. The Clanricarde Chasseurs were raised under the command of Colonel Moore and Giles Eyre raised his own corps of Volunteers from his tenants and labourers, named the Eyrecourt Buffs and served as their Colonel. All of these regiments fell under the overall local command of General de Burgh (the 11th Earl of Clanricarde having had his surname legally reverted from Burke to the then more fashionable Anglo-Norman form de Burgh).
The Irish economy suffered badly due to trade restrictions resulting from the war. The Irish landlords, supported by their local Volunteers, held the British government responsible and began to chafe at their lack of control over their own affairs. Since an Act passed back in 1720, the British government legislated for Ireland. The Irish landlords, led in Parliament by Henry Grattan, now wanted an independent Irish nation and Parliament which would conduct its own affairs, though remaining connected to Britain through the monarchy. They were opposed in this by the majority in the Irish Parliament, who, as recipients of British Government posts and patronage, supported the British Parliament’s position.
Independent Irish Parliament
Great Britain was defeated by the American colonists in 1781. With a change in government in Britain, Grattan and his party were appeased soon after. Wary of the numbers of Volunteers in the Country, and fearing that they may follow the example of the Americans, the English Parliament removed many of the trade restrictions imposed on Irish merchants. The Volunteers, though principally Protestant led, supported a relaxation of the Penal Laws that restricted the freedoms and rights of Catholics and an Act was passed permitting Catholic clergy to live in Ireland, and Catholics, if they took an oath of allegiance, were permitted to teach Catholic pupils. From 1782 Catholics were permitted to buy and inherit land and to pass on their property as they chose. After a show of force at a Convention of Volunteers at Dungannon in that year, the English Parliament passed an Act declaring that the Irish Parliament was free from English control and it alone had the right to enact laws in Ireland.
To commemorate the granting of legislative Independence in 1782 Colonel Lawrence had erected at the western entrance to Lisreaghan a pedimented arched gateway with flanking gatehouses. The Volunteer Arch or the New Gate as it became known locally formed a theatrical set-piece in the landscape and above its principal arch, a Latin inscription was inserted to the effect that ‘Liberty after a long servitude was won on the 16th April 1782 by the armed sons of Hibernia, who with heroic fortitude regained their ancient laws and established their ancient independence.’ Proud of his involvement with the Volunteer Corps, Colonel Lawrence in or immediately prior to the last year of his life commissioned the artist J. Ryan to produce a large painting for one wall of the hall at Bellevue, depicting General de Burgh inspecting the Bellevue Volunteers at Birr in September 1784. Prominently featured in the painting with General de Burgh and Colonel Lawrence was his son Major Peter Lawrence among others.
Visit of Prince of Wales
Peter Lawrence would appear to have been an acquaintance of the Prince of Wales (later King George IV), to the extent that he was reputed to have accompanied the Prince on a visit to Colonel Lawrence at Belview sometime between 1780 and 1790. According to family tradition, the visit allowed the Prince to ‘tide over’ domestic difficulties he was having with his father King George III and the then government. His stay was said to have coincided with the arrival from Italy of a bust of the Goddess Minerva, presented by Canova to Colonel Lawrence.[xliii]
Death of the male heir and remarriage
When Colonel Walter was about sixty-one years, Peter, his twenty-eight year old son by his first marriage, died in July of 1790. In memory of his son, the disconsolate father had a memorial erected on the lawn to the north of the family house. The memorial was described in the early twentieth century as ‘a square pillar of cut stonework surmounted by a terra-cotta urn, the latter bearing the name Coade, London, 1791. On two small white marble tablets inserted in the monument, one on either side, are cut the following lines’:-
Sacred to the Memory of Peter Lawrence a Youth of gentle manners, brilliant talents & a virtuous mind, who died 25th July 1790 aged 28 years & 16 days, having been born the 16th August 1762; this frail memorial was erected by Walter Lawrence his father, who felt, as he should, the loss of such a son. On the opposite side’:- Adieu, thou gentle shade, adieu, Who living virtue’s path hast trod, Enjoy those pleasures ever new, wrapt in the bosom of thy God. Freed from a world of varied woes, Thy soul, attuned to sounds divine, Will, in the regions of repose, Mid choirs of holy seraphs, shine.’[xliv]
The death of his son left Colonel Lawrence without a male heir and his daughter Maria was unmarried. (She would die unmarried in 1823.)[xlv] His wife Margery appears to have been dead by this time or not long deceased and he re-married in August 1791. He married secondly Catherine Darcy, the widow of Charles Blake of Merlin Park, Co. Galway and daughter of John D’Arcy of Ballykine, County Mayo. By his second wife he had a son and daughter, Walter of Lisreaghan, born in 1793, and Matilda, who would marry in 1822 Thomas Seymour of Ballymore Castle. [xlvi]
Colonel Walter Lawrence died in October of 1796 aged about sixty-seven years, leaving his daughters Maria by his first marriage, Matilda by his second and his son and heir Walter, a minor aged about three years to eventually succeed to the family estates.[xlvii]
Walter Lawrence of Lisreaghan 1796 to 1853
Walter Lawrence of Lisreaghan, son of Colonel Lawrence, married Georgiana daughter of Charles Blake of Moyne, County Mayo and of Merlin Park, County Galway in 1813 at the age of about twenty years. He served as a Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff from 1820 to 1821.
Walter and Georgiana had a large family of at least nineteen children, a number of whom died at a young age; Captain Walter, Charles, who died young in 1816, John, Peter-Charles, who also died young in 1822, Rev. Charles, Peter, Denis-John, George and Henry-William, and daughters Georgiana, Catherine, Mary, Matilda, who died in 1835, Margaret, Frances, Anne, Adelaide, Julia, who died in 1837 and Elizabeth, who died in 1838.[xlviii]
The eldest son and heir apparent, Captain Walter Lawrence was that ‘Captain Walter Lawrence the younger of Lisreaghan’ active in Freemasonry circles in Ireland, England and Scotland in the mid nineteenth century and who was appointed Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sterlingshire in Scotland in January 1849.[xlix] He was first admitted to that fraternal association in Banagher, King’s County in 1844. [l] Within a short time he held high office in the fraternity in Ireland, holding the office of ‘Most Wise Sovereign of the Grand Chapter of Ireland’ and was subsequently admitted to a chapter of the fraternity in Manchester about 1845.[li] He was long attached thereto as he was about to leave England (possibly for Scotland) in that year. Described as an officer of the 41st Regiment, his appearance thereafter in Scotland would suggest that he was about to be posted there or abroad in 1845. He married in 1848 Olivia, eldest daughter of Sir Michael Dillon Bellew, bart.[lii]
Like many of the larger estates in the aftermath of the Great Famine of the late 1840s, the Lisreaghan estate was in serious financial difficulty and approximately four thousand acres of land, located in the baronies of Longford, Clare and Dunmore in County Galway and another approximately three hundred acres in the barony of Kilmaine in County Mayo, the property of Walter Lawrence the elder, were advertised for sale in 1851 in the Encumbered Estates Court.[liii] Some of the lands were eventually sold about that time but the Lawrences managed to retain their family mansion and the lands about Lisreaghan.
Captain Walter Lawrence of Lisreaghan 1853 to 1863
A small part of the former Lawrence properties was purchased in 1853 by Captain Walter Lawrence, thus preserving for the family their seat and a reduced estate about Lisreaghan and the village of Lawrencetown. While the family would still be in possession of about two thousand acres in County Galway in the 1870s, the property would be heavily encumbered by debts, not least of which was a mortgage for £8,000 made in 1853 between Captain Walter Lawrence and the Scottish Amicable Insurance Company.[liv]
In 1863 Walter Lawrence the elder suffered the loss of his wife and his eldest son Captain Walter Lawrence. The latter left an only daughter, Honora Mary who five years later married Charles Blake of Coolcon, County Mayo.[lv] His brother John thereupon became the inheritor of the Lisreaghan estate.[lvi]
John Lawrence of Lisreaghan 1863 to 1872.
Walter Lawrence the elder’s second surviving son, John of Lisreaghan died in 1872 unmarried and without a male heir.[lvii] The following year Walter Lawrence the elder died in September of 1873 at the age of seventy-nine years. As the four eldest sons of Walter Lawrence the elder died either in infancy or in adulthood, Lisreaghan was inherited by his fifth son Rev. Charles Lawrence.[lviii]
Rev. Charles Lawrence of Lisreaghan 1872 to 1905
Charles Lawrence initially followed a military career and was commissioned in the Austrian Hussars.[lix] He cast that aside and pursued a career in the Anglican Church, entering holy orders in 1864. He settled in England and married in 1866 Cecily, the youngest daughter of General Sir Charles Wade K.C.B. of Shelford, in Cambridgeshire and served as the Vicar of Thurton in the Anglican Diocese of Norwich.[lx]
The Lawrence estate inherited by Rev Charles Lawrence on the death of his brother John was heavily burdened by both external and internal outgoings. With the sale of the greater part of the Lawrence estates in 1851 there was less resources to provide for Charles’ younger brothers and sisters. By settlements made when they were underage in 1848 the sum of £13,000 was to be allocated for their use, but this figure had to be derived after 1851 from a much-reduced estate that could ill afford the continuous burden. By a deed of 1865 the children were to take £500 each instead of the £1,000 provided under the 1848 settlements. Charles’ younger siblings or a number of them at least were dissatisfied with this arrangement and in 1880, to Charles’ displeasure, successfully appealed the earlier deed. The cost of providing this increased figure to his younger brothers and sisters proved a heavy burden on Rev. Charles Lawrence, who found that the property was unable to meet these demands, the money for which, he claimed, came out of his own private means and swallowed up his own income.[lxi]
Of Charles’ brothers, Henry was resident at Lisreaghan in the mid 1870s and appears to have had a degree of limited responsibility with regard to dealing with tenants and the running of the estate, subject to the final approval of his elder brother Charles.[lxii] (The latter’s Land Agent from 1872 until his death in 1892 was John J. Madden of Cartron, Kilrickle, near Loughrea.)[lxiii]
Denis-John as a young man had travelled abroad and was in the United States of America in 1869 travelling about the southern states and seeking employment there. He informed his father in May of that year that he had been promised a position with a railroad company who were constructing a line from St. Paul, Miami to Lake Superior.[lxiv] By the mid 1870s he appears to have been involved with decisions regarding the estates, with he and his brother Henry consulting on matters before Henry would write to their brother Charles regarding proposals regarding tenants and lands.[lxv] Not receiving his due annual interest from the estate from Charles nor receiving a reply to numerous requests for the same, Denis had his solicitor threaten Charles with legal action in February of 1882 unless the full amount due was paid. In June of that same year he married Eliza Jane, eldest daughter of Edward Parsons, Commissions Agent, of 127 Oxton Road, Birkenhead, England at Christ’s Church, Claughton in Cheshire.[lxvi]
Charles spent a large part of his years in England after inheriting the estate but in 1881 his wife Cecily died and he thereafter returned to Lisreaghan.[lxvii] His younger brother Peter was established in Brooklyn, New York by 1882 and maintained a close interest in the affairs of the family and County Galway. He wrote to his elder brother in April of that year seeking monies due him and noting that his brother had escaped the fate of other landlords who had been shot for evicting tenants, given that he had heard that his brother had evicted four the previous December.[lxviii] He returned to Ireland and was resident at 7 Nuns Island in Galway by 1887 but appears to have been regularly in financial difficulty, requiring urgently monies due him from his brother Charles from the family estates but not always immediately forthcoming when needed, given the financial difficulties encountered by his brother.[lxix] By 1892 he was resident at Beech Avenue, Galway and still in financial distress and deeply unhappy with the financial response from his brother and his brother’s then Agent, Mahon. Such was his want that he complained of having been ill throughout the previous winter with an affliction of the kidneys and of being ‘unable to procure nourishment for want of money.’[lxx] He does not appear to have had any surviving male issue but at least one daughter, Georgina.[lxxi]
The Lawrence estate and the family members who derived an income therefrom were in serious financial straits by the early 1890s. Rev. Charles Lawrence sought to sell off one thousand trees from the estate at that time to timber merchants, a number of which were the Cedars of Lebanon planted by his great uncle Rear Admiral Peter Lawrence about one hundred and fifty years earlier (Trees had previously been sold from the estate about 1871). When word spread that he was contemplating the sale of timber from the property, at least one creditor demanded part of any monies received from their sale to avert his taking legal proceedings against Lawrence.[lxxii] The Rev. Charles went so far as to consider the sale of various works of art and valuable books from the house. In May of 1892 Lawrence’s Agent George Ker Mahon of Ballydonlan Castle, Loughrea was appointed Receiver of the lands of ‘Lisreaghan otherwise Bellview, Lisafroon otherwise Lisafarsoon, Ohillmore otherwise Lawrencetown, Cooleney and Craughwell’ all about the family seat at Lisreaghan.[lxxiii]
Rev. Charles Lawrence was living at Lisreaghan in 1901 with his younger brother, a widower, Denis, aged sixty-two and his seventeen year old niece Ethel Lawrence, who was born in Cheshire. Charles at that time was sixty-four years of age and described himself as a retired clergyman of the Church of England.[lxxiv]
Denis John Lawrence, the last of Lisreaghan
Denis John Lawrence succeeded his elder brother at Lisreaghan on the latter’s death in July of 1905.[lxxv] A steady decline in the fortunes of the estate and family had set in and by about 1908 there were no longer any members of the Lawrence family living in the townland of Belview or Lissreaghaun. In 1912 there was a sale of art treasures from the house and a final sale in the 1920s. By then most of the estate lands remaining had been sold to former tenants.
Lord Walter Fitzgerald, a noted antiquary and son of Charles, 4th Duke of Leinster, visited Belview in 1912, apparently after the sale of art treasures. He described the house as ‘till about four years ago, for generations (been) the home of the Lawrence family; but owing to mortgages the place had to be sold up about 1908 and there is now not a stick of furniture left in the house, a one-storied building (recte: two-storied) with a wing at right angles, and a large portico, in the canopy above which is a shield bearing the Lawrence arms (“Argent, a cross raguly gules.” Crest: A fish’s tail) surrounded by cannon, flags, drums, &c., all in terra-cotta ware by Coade of London, as appears on one of the cannon. Below them on a scroll is the motto:- PRO . REGE . SAEPE . PRO . PATRIA . SEMPER. As the house in all probability will never again be occupied, and consequently will fall into decay, mention will be made of an oil-painting which, painted on wall, occupies the whole of one end of the hall. It is painted in a very amateurish fashion, and of doubtful taste, by (it appears on the painting “ I. Ryan. INV. Et PINX. 1796.” It is supposed to represent a Review of Troops, but it is principally taken up with the figures of low-dressed ladies, two or three officers and a nearly nude Neptune with a trident, &c. Overhead is pained the inscription’:-
General de Burgh inspecting the Bellvue or Lawrencetown Volunteers at Birr 20th September, 1784.
‘Below the picture are painted the names of the principal personages who are introduced into it, thus’:-General de Burgh, Adjutant Lennon, Mrs. Naughton, Dolly Minogue, The 13th Earl of Clanricarde, Miss Olivia Nugent of Pallas, Colonel Walter Lawrence, Mary Egan, P. Banan, Major Peter Lawrence, Mrs. Lawrence née Darcy.
It was Fitzgerald’s opinion that within a short time the picture would ‘peel away with damp’ but was of the view that, in such an event, ‘the loss will not be great.’ He noted the presence in one of the rooms of a gilded inscription stating that it was “occupied by H.R.H. George Prince of Wales, Prince Regent 1780-1790.” In later giving a description of the house in the 1912 Journal of the ‘Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead, Ireland,’ he also gave a description of the monument erected by Colonel Lawrence on the lawn in memory of his son Peter and noted the presence of a ‘small thick mural slab’ lying inside the back door of the house, which he believed dated from the latter end of the sixteenth century, ‘from one of the MacCoghlan castles in the Kings County.’[lxxvi] Elements of the Lawrence memorial were later reconstructed in front of the nearby Ballymore Castle.[lxxvii]
Despite the presence of the Lawrence family in east Galway since the latter years of the sixteenth century and the many children born in the early nineteenth century to Walter Lawrence (none of whose sons produced male heirs), the Clonfert historian Fr. Patrick K. Egan noted in the mid twentieth century that there was at that time no member of the family in the male line alive.
The penultimate landholder of the family at Lisreaghan, Rev. Charles Lawrence, had a volume of photographs and documents relating to their family history compiled in the late nineteenth century, known as the ‘Lawrence Family Album.’ The Album included biographical notes on various members of the family but not all members of the wider family appear to have been recorded. No reference was made to one Thomas Laurence of Belview, who converted to Protestantism in 1788 and it is unclear if this individual had offspring.[lxxviii] Similarly no mention was made in that record of William Lawrence, originally of Ballymore, who served as a sergeant in the Irish Regiment of Dillon in the French army and who died in 1730.[lxxix] Again it is unclear if this individual had children.
No record was given in the ‘Lawrence Family Album’ or ‘Burke’s Landed Gentry’ to any children deriving from John, Edward, Peter or Joseph Lawrence, the younger sons of John Lawrence who would have flourished about the early decades of the seventeenth century.[lxxx] Unlike several other families who served the Elizabethan administration and settled about east Galway in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, such as the Moores of Cloghan Castle, minor branches of the wider family descended from junior sons of the mainline were not established about County Galway and the expiration of the mainline in the early twentieth century witnessed the disappearance of the family from the county.
Bellview, the family mansion at Lisreaghan, shorn of its works of art, was demolished following the sale of lands in the 1920s, leaving only the ruins thereabout of its walled garden. Many of the trees had been sold at the end of the previous century and its small lake to the south of the mansion dried up. By the middle of the twentieth century the avenue serving the house and demesne was designated a public road running under the Volunteer Arch.
While the family passed away, the physical landscape of the immediate vicinity about Lisreaghan served as a reminder of their former presence, about which lay such landmarks as their earlier castle at Ballymore, the Volunteer Arch and folly along the demesne’s former avenue and most significantly the village of Lawrencetown that carried their name.
[i] Fiants, Ireland, Elizabeth I, No. 4362.
[ii] The Elizabethan Colony in Co. Roscommon, Irish Midland Studies, Athlone, 1980, pp. 114-5.
[iii] Hamilton, H.C. (ed.), Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland of the reign of Elizabeth 1574-1585,London, Longman, Green, Reader and Dyer, 1867, pp. 270-2.
[iv] Calendar of Fiants Queen Elizabeth I, The thirteenth Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records in Ireland, 12 March 1881, Dublin, A. Thom & Co., 1881, Appendix IV, Fiants Eliz. I, p. 154. Pardon dated 10th March XXIV, to ‘Rob. Longe of Athlone, Co. Westmeath, soldier, Tho. Larane of Bellaneslowe, Co. Roscommon, soldier and Matthew Everard of Roscommon, soldier.’
[v] MacCuarta, B., S.J., A Settler’s land disputes in a Gaelic Lordship: Matthew de Renzy in Delvin Mac Coghlan, 1613-18, Studia Hibernica, No. 30, Studia Hibernica Editorial Board, Dublin, 1998-9, pp.69-70. The parcel in dispute appears to have comprised ‘the three acres of Aghamullan and Cullipoble and the acre called Aghanadurlogh and the acre of Clonyatin and Athishane’ as ‘parcel of the moiety of Clanona’ or Clonony.
[vi] MacCuarta, B., S.J., A Settler’s land disputes in a Gaelic Lordship: Matthew de Renzy in Delvin Mac Coghlan, 1613-18, Studia Hibernica, No. 30, Studia Hibernica Editorial Board, Dublin, 1998-9, pp.69-70. On the 14th July 1613, in the middle of the legal dispute, it was ordered that John Lawrence should leave the stock distrained by him within Kings County and he and de Renzy were both to appear before the next judge of assizes into that county. It may suggest that the estate of this Lawrence was not solely confined to Kings County if he could be in a position to remove the stock to elsewhere and may serve to further suggest this man as John Lawrence of Ballymore.
[vii] Inquisitonum in Officio Rotulorum Cancellariae Hiberniae asservatorum Repertorium, Vol. I, Dublin, G. & J. Grierson and M. Keene, 1826, (Leinster), Inquisitions King Charles I, p. 10 No. 27. John Lawrence had financial dealings with one Christopher Bryan concerning property further to the east within Kings County, about Ballynasmear, south west of Kinnity.
[viii] Walter Lawrence, son of John Lawrence of Ballymore in east Galway was said in the records of the family to have married Cecily Moore in 1603. If the dates in those records are correct, John Lawrence of Ballymore could not equate with the John who had a claim to Clonony in 1613. As the latter was born in 1591 he could not have had a son Walter who married in 1603.
[ix] Egan, Rev. P. K., The Royal Visitation of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh 1615, JGAHS Vol. 35 1976.
[x] The other landowners being Thomas O Kelly of Clontuskert and also Teig McWilliam O Kelly and Conor oge O Kelly of Lismanny, the latter two holding their 3 cartrons of Ballymore jointly.
[xi] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[xii] ‘Lawrence Family Album’ which quotes as sources Pat. Rolls Jas. I and Manuscript Pedigree of Earls of Clanricarde by Chevalier O Gorman, 1747. Also Tribes and Customs of Hy Many, J. O Donovan
[xiii] Fennessy, I., OFM, The Meelick Obituary and Chronicle (1623-1873) (with index), Archivium Hibernicum, Vol. LX, 2006-7, p. 411. ‘This day the 6th (December) 1675 Mrs. Mary Lawrence, daughter of Mr. Walter Lawrence of Billimore and Eveline Donnellan, the wife of Brian Lorcan, departed from this life. She is buried in the burial place of the said Brian Lorcan. She left a legacy to this friary. May she rest in peace. Amen.’
[xiv] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[xv] Fennessy, I., OFM, The Meelick Obituary and Chronicle (1623-1873) (with index), Archivium Hibernicum, Vol. LX, 2006-7, p. 347.
[xvi] Analecta Hibernica No. 15, 1944, p. 404.
[xvii] The Irish Genealogist, Vol. 4, p. 275.
[xviii] NLI, Dublin, Ms. 3268, Seymour of King’s Co., Co. Galway by H. Seymour Guinness. Genealogical Notes with Pedigree Table relating to the Seymour family; Lawrence Family Album, Galway County Council Archives, Lawrence of Lawrencetown, GSO1/1. Johns will, dated 1675, appointed his bothers in law John McCoghlan and John O Donnellan and ‘his honoured and affectionate cousin Garrett Moore of Brieze and Cloghan castle’, as executors.
[xix] Egan, Rev. P. K., Clonfert Museum and its collections, J.G.A.H.S., Vol. 27, 1956-57, p. 50. Inscribed on the foot of the chalice, later maintained in the Clonfert diocesan museum, ‘We leave this as a Guift to be left to either Church or convent to pray For the Soul of John Lawrence and Mary Coghlan and James Dean. Anno Domi: 1705’ and underneath the foot: ‘Maria Coghlan, 1705.’ The chalice was presented from Quansboro Parish Church to the museum.
[xx] Fennessy, I., OFM, The Meelick Obituary and Chronicle (1623-1873) (with index), Archivium Hibernicum, Vol. LX, 2006-7, p. 401.
[xxi] Lawrence Family Album
[xxii] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[xxiii] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6; J. Ainsworth (ed.), The Inchiquin Manuscripts, Dublin, Stationary Office for the Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1961, p. 406. ‘No. 1194. 17 May 34 Chas. II, 1682. Lease for a year by Peter Pilley of Ballagh, Co. Galway, gent. to John McDonnogh of Ballikeile, Co. Clare, gent. of forty Irish acres profitable ‘Irish Plantation measure and of Staffords Survey’ in Caherserkin. The deed was witnessed by Cornelius Horan, Garret Wale, Walter Wale, another Walter Wale, John Haverty and William Wale and endorsed with affidavit of John Haverty to sealing and delivery of deed by Peter Pilley. Sworn before William Worth, 1 Oct. 1684.’
[xxiv] Pine, L. G. (ed.), Burke, B., Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland, 4th edition, London, Burke’s Peerage Ltd., 1958, pp. 566-7.
[xxv] While one Hugh Madden of Clare was buried in the friars church at Meelick in 1730, (Meelick Chronicles) one Belinda, the daughter of A. Madden married five years later a prominent Protestant landholder, Thomas Seymour of Ballymore.
[xxvi] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6; Byrne, E. and Chamney, A. (ed.), The Convert Rolls, the Calendar of the Convert Rolls, 1703-1838 with Fr. Wallace Clare’s annotated list of converts, 1703-78, Dublin, IMC, 2005, p. 382. Bridget was later described as Bridget Burke, sister of Peter Lawrence in his will dated 1758 and kinswoman Anne Pilley.
[xxvii] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[xxviii] Lawrence Family Album; Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, A Descriptive List Prepared by Galway County Council, 2008, p. 73 (No. 254). The denomination was described in the nineteenth century as ‘Ohillmore otherwise Lawrencetown.’ Lewis’ Topograpical Dictionary also suggests that the later denomination of Lawrencetown originally formed part of that of Oghilmore, stating that ‘near the town are the ruins of the castle of O’Hill, from which it formerly took the name of Ohillmore.’ The ruins of a structure were indicated on early nineteenth century O.S. maps in the townland of Oghilbeg, near the hamlet of Oghill, but the name derived not from an individual named O Hill but from the Irish ‘Eó choill’, a yew wood.
[xxix] Calendar Patent Rolls, 8 James I, Part 2, pp. 179-180.
[xxx] 15th Annual Report of Records of Ireland, p. 358.
[xxxi] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[xxxii] Byrne, E. and Chamney, A. (ed.), The Convert Rolls, the Calendar of the Convert Rolls, 1703-1838 with Fr. Wallace Clare’s annotated list of converts, 1703-78, Dublin, IMC, 2005, p. 382.
[xxxiii] Johns Lawrence’s mother’s family, the Archdekins, also sent their sons to Meelick friary and Nicholas Archdekin was sheltering the last of the Clontuskert friars on his estate a year before he himself converted in 1733.
[xxxiv] Fennessy, I., OFM, The Meelick Obituary and Chronicle (1623-1873) (with index), Archivium Hibernicum, Vol. LX, 2006-7, p. 331.
[xxxv] E. O Hannrachain, ‘Some Wild Geese of the West’, appendix (Galway applicants for admission to the Hôtel Royal des Invalides), JGAHS, No. 54, 2002, p. 17. This Williams name does not occur in the pedigree of the Lawrence family given in the Lawrence Family Album or Burkes Genealogical and Heraldic history of the landed gentry of Great Britain & Ireland. If he is not another son of John Lawrence of Ballymore who died in 1675 or Walter who died in 1677, he may be a descendant of one of the four younger sons of the earlier John Lawrence, founder of the family in Ireland.
[xxxvi] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 81. (no. 286); Lawrence Family Album.
[xxxvii] Byrne, E. and Chamney, A. (ed.), The Convert Rolls, the Calendar of the Convert Rolls, 1703-1838 with Fr. Wallace Clare’s annotated list of converts, 1703-78, Dublin, IMC, 2005, p. 382.
[xxxviii] Byrne, E. and Chamney, A. (ed.), The Convert Rolls, the Calendar of the Convert Rolls, 1703-1838 with Fr. Wallace Clare’s annotated list of converts, 1703-78, Dublin, IMC, 2005, p. 382. His will dated 1758 mentioned his sister Bridget Burke, niece Sisely Maddin, nephew Walter Lawrence and kinswoman Anne Pilley.
[xxxix] Lawrence Family Album
[xl] Byrne, E. and Chamney, A. (ed.), The Convert Rolls, the Calendar of the Convert Rolls, 1703-1838 with Fr. Wallace Clare’s annotated list of converts, 1703-78, Dublin, IMC, 2005, p. 381; Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[xli] Cronin, J.J., An Overview of the Linen Industry in Loughrea in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries, in Forde, J., Cassidy, C., Manzer, P. and Ryan, D. (eds.), The District of Loughrea, Vol. I, History 1791-1918, Galway, Loughrea History Project, 2003, pp. 65-66.
[xlii] Lawrence Family Album.
[xliii] Lawrence Family Album; Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, A Descriptive List Prepared by Galway County Council Archives, 2008, pp. 82-83.
[xliv] Byrne, E. and Chamney, A. (ed.), The Convert Rolls, the Calendar of the Convert Rolls, 1703-1838 with Fr. Wallace Clare’s annotated list of converts, 1703-78, Dublin, IMC, 2005, p. 381; Fitzgerald, Lord W. (ed.), Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead, Ireland. Journal for the year 1912, Vol. VIII, No. 6, p. 562-4. Lord Walter Fitzgerald noted in 1912 that ‘there are various empty panels in the monument, from which terra-cotta medallions have disappeared; below one of them is cut:- An. Dom. 1792.’ Several decades after the demolition of Bellview and after the acquisition of the lands about the house by local families by way of the Land Commission, a part two-storey part single-storey house was built in the early twenty-first century about the location where formerly stood the monument erected in memory of Peter Lawrence.
[xlv] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[xlvi] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[xlvii] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[xlviii] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[xlix] The Freemason’s Quarterly Review and General Assurance Advocate, second series, March 31 1849, p. 80. He was appointed at a meeting of the Lodge in Stirling in January and thereafter installed at an assembly in Gibb’s Hotel, Stirling.
[l] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 3.
[li] Moore, C.W., The Freemason’s Monthly Magazine, Vol. IV, Boston, Tuttle & Dennett, 1845, p. 376. Both Burkes Landed Gentry and the Freemason’s Monthly Magazine give this Captain Walter as serving in the 41st Regiment.
[lii] Burke, Sir B., A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. II, Fifth Edition, London, Harrison, 1871, p.759.
[liii] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008.
[liv] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 73.
[lv] Burke, Sir B., A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. II, Fifth Edition, London, Harrison, 1871, p.759.
[lvi] Lawrence Family Album.
[lvii] Lawrence Family Album.
[lviii] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.
[lix] Lawrence Family Album.
[lx] Urban, S., The Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Review, January-June 1866, London, Bradbury, Evans & Co., 1866, p. 581.
[lxi] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, pp. 17, 89. (nos. 26, 311)
[lxii] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 19 (nos. 28-31).
[lxiii] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, pp. 29-32.
[lxiv] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, pp. 1-2 (no. 4).
[lxv] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 19 (no. 28, etc.).
[lxvi] The Loughrea Illustrated News, 1 July 1882; Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 18 (no. 27).
[lxvii] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 20 (no. 34).
[lxviii] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 21. He wrote from the ‘Office of Dr. P. Lawrence, No. 235 North Sixth Street, Brooklyn, New York’ dated 18th April 1882.
[lxix] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 21.
[lxx] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 21-2 (nos. 35-42).
[lxxi] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 21-2 (nos. 35-42).
[lxxii] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 80 (No. 283). Letter from John Edward MacDermott, solicitor, 13 Nassau Street, to Lawrence dated 5th January 1892.
[lxxiii] Galway County Council Archives, GP1/ Lawrence Papers, Lisreaghan (Belview), Lawrencetown, Co. Galway 1826-1930, including Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo 1966, 2008, p. 73 (No. 254).
[lxxiv] Census of Ireland Records 1901. Charles was given as being born in 1828 in Burkes genealogical and historical history of the landed gentry of Great Britain and Ireland. All three Lawrences including Charles were listed as Church of Ireland. Four servants also lived at Bellview, a Mahon, Boland, Kenny and Dervan.
[lxxv] Sir B. Burke, The genealogical and heraldic history of the Landed Gentry of Ireland (rev. by A.C. Fox-Davies), London, 1912.
[lxxvi] Fitzgerald, Lord W. (ed.), Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead, Ireland. Journal for the year 1912, Vol. VIII, No. 6, p. 562-4.
[lxxvii] Information provided by Christopher Cunniffe, Galway Community Archaeologist.
[lxxviii] Byrne, E. and Chamney, A. (ed.), The Convert Rolls, the Calendar of the Convert Rolls, 1703-1838 with Fr. Wallace Clare’s annotated list of converts, 1703-78, Dublin, IMC, 2005, p. 146.
[lxxix] E. O Hannrachain, ‘Some Wild Geese of the West’, appendix (Galway applicants for admission to the Hôtel Royal des Invalides), JGAHS, Vol. 54, 2002, p. 17.
[lxxx] Burke, J. and Burke, J.B., A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I, A-L, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, pp. 695-6.