Lord Kilmaine

With thanks to Rt. Hon John Browne 7th Lord Kilmaine, who has sent me loads of articles referring to "The Big House" and village life in the late 1800's early 1900's


The Kilmaine Reign

Just ten years after the death of Robert Rochfort and the destruction of the Castle home that incarcerated The 1st Countess of Belvedere, the “New House” built to replace the original was on the market. The scars of the “Wicked Earl” were so hard to heal that even the 2nd Earl (George) could not continue to gaze at his birthplace and in 1784 the estate was bought by Sir John Browne, 7th Bt. Later to become 1st Lord Kilmaine.

Background to the Browne Family

John Browne, the first English man to settle in The Neale Co Mayo in 1580, was an accomplished sailor and explorer. He was granted land there by Elizabeth I for services rendered to the crown. The initial grant was thirty quarters where each quarter was 125 acres (3,750 acres in all), a very handsome grant by any standard. He became sheriff of Mayo in 1583, his seat and title passed to his son. The Browne family were styled Sheriff of Mayo and Baronet of the Neale for generations to come.

The Browne Family Tree in the peerage records.

Josias Browne (1579 – 1634) lived at The Neale, Ballinrobe Co Mayo. Buried in Kilmaine, Co. Mayo. His son John Browne (1611 – 1670) was styled 1st Baronet Browne of the Neale. His son George Browne (b? – 1698) was styled 2nd Baronet Browne of the Neale. His son John Browne (1664 - 1711) was styled 3rd Baronet Browne of the Neale. His son John Browne (1702 – 1762) 5th Baronet Browne of the Neale. His son John Browne (1726 – 1794) 7th Baronet Browne of the Neale. 1st Baron Kilmaine. Purchased Gaulstown Park from George Augustus Rochfort 2nd Earl of Belvedere in 1784. His son James C. Browne (1765 – 1825) 2nd Baron Kilmaine. Lived at Gaulstown. His son John C. Browne (1794 – 1873) 3rd Baron Kilmaine. Lived at Gaulstown His son Francis W. Browne (1843-1907) 4th Baron Kilmaine. Lived at Gaulstown His son John E. Browne (1878 – 1946) 5th Baron Kilmaine. Sold Gaulstown demesne in 1918. Family moved to England where they still retain the title of Baron Kilmaine. His son John F Browne (1902 – 1978) 6th Baron Kilmaine. His son John D Browne (1948) 7th Baron Kilmaine, resides in London and has helped me in my research into the Browne Family and their reign in Gaulstown.

Gaulstown House II - Built by G.A. Rochfort 2nd Earl of Belvedere
Gaulstown House - Gaulstown Park, Rochfortbridge, Co. Westmeath.

The Kilmaine Estate in Fartullagh - 1844

Listed as part of the total land holding of Lord Kilmaine is the land holding in the barony of Fartullagh.
the list, written in ink hand writing is as follows:
all that the Demesne of Gallston Park of Gaulstown consisting of the following subdenominationspart of Mahonstown, part of Ballynagall, part of Belfield, part of Beckstown or Beggstown, part of Gibbonstown and part of Gortumley or Gortumloe containing in the whole 1152 acres Irish Plantation Measure in the Barony of Fartullagh. - the schedule mentions lands held in Mayo and Athlone.

Letter from Thomas Little to Lord Kilmaine dated November 3rd 1900

Gaulstown Park
Nov 3rd 1900
My Lord,

Your Lordships letter and cheque duly received.
I had a letter from Ryan this morning asking me to ask your Lordship for a "disscharge" for him. His address is Spittal St. Co Tipperary - He was a thorough good man only for his whims. Kynes pension was due on the 1st October, I think Mr. Rowan will pay the £1-10, but will let your Lordship know definitely next week. The O'Connells that want the "Pump Stick" are the farmers from the head of the Bridge Village - I do not know whether your Lordship has me shouting over their land or not. Coyne was 53 days, Bennett 37½ days - at the book presses, the amount paid £13-11-6. There are just 3 cows giving a little milk, there is one coming near the calving. I would have her sold only, if Mrs Browne is going to be at home, there would not be milk enough as the others are going dry fast. The next one that comes to the calving we will be able to sell if all goes well. Price has not paid the cash. Our mill went wrong about a fortnight ago and I sent for Price to see what was wrong so when he took part of the mill with him he promised so faithfully to pay it when he brought back the mill, which he has not done up until now 4 o'clock. I will go into Mr. Mooney on Monday and give him the whole particulars, they did not get many rabbits out of the "Oak Wood" nor did they loose any traps.
I am sorry to hear your Lordships health is not improving.

I am My Lord
Your Lordships obedient servant
Thos Little

Letter explained

Thomas Little was the head steward at Gaulstown, this letter was in response to a letter from Lord Kilmaine, as you read the letter you will find that Thomas answers each query without reference to the question. the hand written letter shows that Thomas had a good command of the art of letter writing and was pretty well educated. the only spelling mistake was the word "Disscharge" - but as a "disscharge" was a type of "gratuity" rather than a dismissal, that particular spelling of the word may have been used. the Kyne chap mentioned was Michael Kyne, once head gardner, now retired and on a pension of £1-10shillings a month (guess) as it was due in October. Little then mentions O'Connells interest in buying the Pump Stick - Lord Kilmaine obviously had reservations as to whom or what he was before the sale could go ahead. the next paragraph tells us exactly what the rate of pay in 1900 Gaulstown was, Coyne and Bennett were jointly paid £13-11-6, for a total of 90½ "man days", that equates to one shilling and sixpence per day if the cash was divided equally. after the cows were explained, Little "reports" Price for not paying whatever cash he was supposed to and gives us the time of day, one can almost see this letter being written, 4pm - Nov 3rd almost dark. I was glad to see the Oak Wood mentioned albeit that there was obviously poachers caught therein and Little was instructed to give the details to Mr Mooney, solicitor, Mullingar. and of course Little, as would any Irish man, commented on the health of his boss. - it was lovely to read such a letter and Thanks to Sir John Browne 7th Baron Kilmaine for sending it and much more to me.

Kilmaine - Landlords during the "Great Famine" - and beloved by all

The Kilmaine dynasty in Fartullagh began in 1784, This was a very welcome transfer of power as the Rochfort dynasty that preceded it was a cruel and callous one. The Lords Kilmaine were a much kinder, more compassionate folk as any historical record will show and as such the barony of Fartullagh over which they ruled the most part of was well spared the cruelty of the great famine. Of course people died in Fartullagh as they did anywhere in Ireland, of hunger and malnutrition but the gentry of this area were not as harsh as some of the more notable landlords in Ireland at that time. Lord Kilmaine was well liked as were the Cooper Family of Dunboden and the Smyth Family of Gaybrook. after all Lord Kilmaine was Irish. look back on his family tree and see for yourself. his fore fathers settled in Mayo in 1580.
there are many great stories told over a few pints of granny Cully beating 5th Lord Kilmaine (JED) in a race at the Park sports and I have also in my possession a list of tenants that contributed to the presents to be purchased for the coming of age of the same J.E.D. Lord Kilmaine. it was very interesting to see a full list of tenants. Listed below is the letter that accompanied the request to contribute towards the 21st Birthday celebrations of John Edward Dean Browns later 5th Baron Kilmaine. dated 1899
The Honourable Mr Browne having now attained the age of 21 years. it is very customary throught the country - giving a nice present on such an occassion, therefore, we the employees on the Gaulston Estate would wish the tenants on the estate to co-operate with us in raising a sufficient sum of money to buy a suitable "present" to be given to Mr. Browne on his return home. It would show that you as tenants, and we as employees highly appreciate the good feeling that has always existed between all on the estate of Kilmaine.
List of Tenants B. Daly - Thomas Little - Michael Kyne - Peter Coyne - Patk Caffery - Margaret Farrelly - Lizzie McKay - Nicholas Curran - Michael Rowan - Andy Carty - Pat Crosbie - Jas Scally - J. Whelehan - J. Shiel - Matt Galagher - Andy McKeown - John Carroon - M. Corroon - Matt Hope - Jas Crosbie - Hugh Corrcoran - Ed Garland - Thos Curran - Pat Keogh - Pat North - James Lyster - Denis O'Neill (name sounds familiar) - Christopher Joyce - Tom Kyne - Peter Logan - Patk Ward - Patk Keogh - Patk Flanagan - Peter Keogh - Pat Dalton - Thos Curran - James Hughes - Bernard Conlon - James Simmons - Thos Keogh - Mrs Johnston - John Leavy - James Fox (Gaybrook) - M. Lynam (Enniscoffey) - Pat Early (Milltown) - Barry Keogh (Rahanine) - Thos Gilsonan (Gortumbloe) - John Looram - Martin Gallagher - Jas Corrigan - Jas Flood (Blacksmith) - Thos Hury (harness maker) - Mrs Bennett - Mrs Oulahan - Miss Cusack - Mary Sheerin (Lodgegate) and Thos Conlan (Derry)

The Building of a Gamekeepers House as per instructions of Lord Kilmaine

Lord Kilmaine received very detailed technical instructions from William Talbot, anyone in the building or DIY trade will find the specification interesting. The original "site" for the house was "Coackleys Walled Garden" but for some reason it was moved to the entrance of the "Deer Park" the house stands in ruin today but the measurements and specification were carried out to the latter:
Here are just some of the details from a three page list of instructions.

Excavate> the soil from the foundations to the hard subsoil and lay a footing two feet thick up to the ground level on which a damp course composed of well boiled tar and sand shall be laid;
Superstructure>38 feet long by 17 feet wide, 13 feet to the eve.
Mortar> all stone and brick shall be set in mortar composed of one part freshly burned lime to three parts clean sharp sand, properly cured and tempered.
Slates> The roof shall be covered with best blue Bangor slates 24 X 14 and have 4" cover, fastened with zinc nails.
the list of instructions details every aspect of the building from excavation to painting of the finished house. the last article on the list should be written into building contracts today. it states:-
The Contractor shall clear away all the rubbish from about the building, shall supply and provide all materials and labour and finish the work in a tradesman like manner and be subject to the inspection of Lord Kilmaine or his architect. Add 5 per cent for contingencies - signed William Talbot.
(any one that wishes to see the full three page list, I can e-mail it)

Invoice from G.W Scott & Co.

Below is an Invoice with details of building supplies sent to
Rt Hon Lord Kilmaine
dated Sept 1892
as the original is in hand written script it is difficult to read so to make it easy I have
re-created it as it would appear today

Northumberland Buildings


Custom House Docks 20 & 23 Lower Abbey Street


Rt Honbl Lord Kilmaine
Gaulston Park

In a/c with Geo.W.Scott & Co

To amt of contract

2 houses


New Slates & Porch

to Keepers House


1 new tank for



Putting up tank &

Painting same with

R**** Boil & Raising

Roofing & repairing

tank House as per Estimate


Difference cost of

moulded Brick ****

Bricks 8 ******@7/6






1821: 128,819
1831: 148,161 Constituency: 1,395 REPRESENTATIVES
Montagu Lowther Chapman, Esq., eldest son of Sir Thomas Chapman, Bart. 1, Manchester Buildings, London, England ; & Killua Castle, Athboy
Sir Richard Nagle, Bart. James’-town House, Co. Westmeath LORD LIEUTENANT
The Most Noble the Marquess of Westmeath. Clonyn, Co. Westmeath; & Clonteem, Co. Roscommon HIGH SHERIFF
Edward Briscoe, Esq., Grandgemore CUSTOS ROTULORUM
The Right Honourable Earl of Longford. Pakenham Hall, Co. Westmeath; & Rutland square, Dublin. DEPUTY LIEUTENANTS
Viscount Castlemaine, Moydrum Castle
Lord Kilmaine, Gaulstown park
Admirable Sir Thomas Pakenham, Coolure
Sir Richard Levinge, Bart., Knockdrin Castle
Sir James Nugent, Bart., Donore
Richard Handcock, Esq., Athlone
Hugh Morgan Tuite, Esq., Sonna
William Dutton Pollard, Esq., Kinturk
Robert Handcock Temple, Esq., Waterstown
John Charles Lyons, Esq., Ladiston
Edward Briscoe, Esq., Grangemore
Robert Daniel, Esq., Newforest MAGISTRATES Arthur Marquess of Downshire
Edmund Henry Earl of Limerick
George Viscount Forbes
George Thomas John Marquess of Westmeath
Thomas Earl of Longford
William Viscount Castlemaine
Arabin Charles Esq. Arbuthnot Thomas Major General Sir, K.C.B.

Barlow Robert Esq.
Batty Robert Fitzherbert Esq.
Bond Alexander Perry Esq. Briscoe Edward Esq.
Briscoe William
Brown Chaworth Esq.
Briscoe Edward Esq.
Briscoe William Esq.
Brown Chaworth Esq. MAGISTRATES to the COUNTY
Surname & Name

Carter Samson
Cavendish John
Chapman Montagu Lowther
Chapman Thomas
Clibborne Cuthbert John
Cooke William
Crossley Arthur
Cuppaidge Richard
Daly Joseph Morgan
Daly Owen
Daniel Henry
Daniel Robert
D'Arcy John

Dease Gerald
Dennis Meade
Dillon Andrew
Drought George Meares
Evans Nicholas

Major (Police Magistrate)
Baron Kilmaine
Sir, Bart.
Esq., (Police Magistrate)
Captain, 64th Regt.
Esq., (Police Magistrate)

Not given
Gaulstown, Rochfort Bidge
Killua Castle, Athboy
Killua Castle, Athboy
Moate Castle, Moate
Cottage, Athlone
Not given
Castle Daly, Moate
Mornington, Mullingar
Newforest, Tyrrelspass
Newforest, Tyrrelspass
High Park, Killucan
Turbotstown, Castlepollard
Union hill, Mullingar
Not given
Not given
Loughpark, Castlepollard

Fetherston H. James
Fetherston H. Richard Steele
Fetherston H. Theobald
Fetherston H. Thomas
Fetherston H. William
Gibbons James, jun.
Gibbs John
Graham William
Gray St. George
Gresson George Leslie
Handcock Richard
Handcock Richard, jun.
Harvey John
Henry Laurence
Hodson William Armstrong
Hogan John
Holmes G. A.
Hovenden Nicholas

Sir, Knt., Inspector Gen. Police
Captain, 59th Regt.

Rockview, Castletown Delvin
Rockview, Castletown Delvin
Mosstown, Ballymore
Not given
Carrick, Mullingar
Ballinagall, Mullingar
Walderstown, Glasson
Horseleap, Kilbeggan
Not given
Clonmaskil, Castletown Delvin
La Mancha, Mullingar
Auburn, Glasson
Moycashel, Kilbeggan
Not given

Kelly Charles
Lambert Gustavus
Langstaff James
Levinge Richard
Levinge Richard H.
Lyons John Charles
Magan William Henry
Malone Richard***
Meares John Devenish
Meares William Devenish
Moffatt Robert
Murphy Patrick Edward
Murray Alexander
Nagle Richard
Nugent James
Nugent Percy
Nugent Thomas Hugh
O'Donoughue Daniel
Ogle Nicholas
Osborne Daniel Toler

Sir, Bart.
Sir, Bart.
Sir, Bart.
Sir, Bart.
Major, Police Magistrate
Lieut.-Colonel (Police Magistrate)

Charleville, Ballincarrig
Beaupark (Co. Meath), Slane
Longfield, Mullingar
Knockdrin Castle, Mullingar
Levington Park, Mullingar
Ladiston, Mullingar
Clonearl, Phillipstown
Barronstown, Ballynacarrig
Not given
Not given
Glebe House, Athlone
Ballinaclona, Mullingar
Not given
Jamestown, Kilbeggan
Ballinlough, Castletown Delvin
Donore, Mullingar
Not given
Not given
Dysart, Castletown Delvin
Not given

King's Co. (Offaly)
Surname & Name
Packenham Thomas
Pollard William Dutton
Pollock Hugh
Reilly William Adams
Robinson William
Rochfort Gustavus Hume

Rotherdam Thomas
Smyth Francis Pratt
Smyth Ralph
Smyth Robert
Smyth Robert
Smyth William Barlow
Sproule Robert
Swift Richard
Temple Robert Handcock
Thompson Henry Walker
Tighe Robert Morgan
Tuite Henry Morgan

Esq., (Sub-Insp. of Police)

Coolure, Castlepollard
Kinturk Castlepollard
Not given
Belmont, Mullingar
Anneville, Mullingar
Rochfort, Mullingar
Larkfield, Mullingar
Ralphsdale, Drumcree
Drumcree house, Drumcree
Gaybrook, Mullingar
Barbavilla, Drumcree
Kindivin, Rathowen
Lynn, Mullingar
Waterstown, Glasson
Not given
Mitchelstown, Castletown Delvin
Sonna, Mullingar

Uniacke Thomas
Warburton Bartholomew
Warburton George
Webb Richard
West James
Wilcocks Richard
Wills John

Esq., (Police Magistrate)
Major (Ins. Gen. of Police)
Sir, Knt.

Rochfort, Mullingar
Not given
Not given
Not given
Rath, Ballinacarrig
Palmerstown, Co. Dublin
Not given

Militia Staff stationed at Mullingar
Colonel : The Marquess of Westmeath
Adjutant : Captain C. Daly
Agents: Armit & Co. ************ Clerk of the Crown : A.H.C. Pollock, Esq.
Deputy Clerk of the Crown : George Gibbs, Esq., 119 Stephen’s Green, West
Clerk of the Peace : John Ardill, Esq.
Deputy clerk of the Peace : Thomas Ardill, Esq.
Treasurer : Cuthbert Fetherston H., Esq., Grouse Lodge, Moate
Secretary to the grand Jury : P. Tyrell, Esq., Mullingar
Sub-Sheriff : George Palmer, Esq., Kilbeggan
Returning Officer : Bernard Maguire, Esq., 32 Dorset street
Coroners : Hugh Dickson, Esq., Clonellon ; Thomas Shea, Esq., Mulingar ; Bernard Maguire, Esq., Kilbeggan ************** County Gaol Mullingar
Inspector: William Robinson, Esq.
Chaplain: Hon. & Rev. Henry Browne
Roman Catholic Chaplain – None
Presbyterian Chaplain: Rev. Joseph Gibson
Surgeon: Joseph Ferguson, M.D.
Apothecary: Mr. William Middleton
Governor: Mr. Edward Fielding **************** Director of Stamps: B. Longworth, Esq., Athlone **************** County Infirmary
Patrick Brett, Ch. K.C., Kilbeggan
J. W. Briscoe, C., Kilbeggan
Andrew Dudgeon, Ch., C.E., and special bail C., Mullingar
William Foster, Ch., K.E., and special bail K., Athlone
Warren Lee, K.C.E., special bail and Master Extra. Ch., Mullingar
William Lloyd, E., and Master Extra., Ch., Moate
Christopher John McCabe, Ch., K.C.E., Moate
John McCormick, Ch., K.C.E., Ballyknock, Castlepollard

more accounts of Gaulstown in the Kilmaine Reign

to be continued

details of the Big House (1st floor and 2nd floor plans - awaiting plans of ground floor and basement)

to be continued

photos and articles on the Kilmaine Reign (photos of previous Barons Kilmaine - awaiting permission to post on the web from 7th Baron Kilmaine)


Articles pertaining to the Kilmaine occupation of the Big House welcome no matter how small - just click "EASY EDIT"

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