Clare County Library
Clare Genealogy

Donated Material: Family Histories, Biographies & Memoirs 

The Butler-Grahams of Castle Crine, Sixmilebridge, County Clare:
a pictorial history by Ian Crawshaw

How I acquired the photographs:

(L-R) Ian Crawshaw, Liz Clennett nee Graham, Vern Clennett, Christine Crawshaw.
Ilkley, West Yorkshire, UK, 2014

How do I come to be in possession of these photos you may wonder? About forty years ago I was interested in a few photographs of some of Queen Victoria's family which I found in an old clasp album in a second hand book shop in my hometown Ilkley, West Yorkshire. I asked if I could just buy the Royalty photographs but the Proprietor refused to split them so I had to buy the whole album which was full of Victorian Carte Visite & Cabinet Photographs - the price was £5. As I was about to leave the shop with the album the proprietor emerged from a back room carrying a box of photographs which he told me had come in with the album and that I may have at no extra charge . The photographs in the album and the box are of the Butler-Graham family of Castle Crine, County Clare, Ireland and date from the 1860s up until the 1940s - there are dozens of them. I've never been able to understand how anybody could have parted with them.

The big clue was a large photo which is the grave of Sophia Mary Graham and it told me that she was the wife of Colonel J.H. Graham and relict of James Butler Esq. D.L. of Castle Crine. She died in 1887 aged 53. I have been gleaning information from the photos on and off for 40 years. I feel as if I know the people in them very well by now. Some of the photos have writing on the back. I ascertained that James Butler and Sophia had had three daughters, Anna, Sophie & Henny and that she and her second husband, Colonel Graham, had produced a further four children, John Irvine (Jack), Beatrice (Bee), Edward and Alfred. Jack became a naval captain and there are many photos which I assume are from his travels. Eddie and Alfred were in the army and involved in the Boer War - there are photos of them with groups of men in uniform.

A few weeks ago I decided to retrieve them from my (very dry) loft - where they were packed carefully away in marked envelopes in a substantial cardboard box - and scan them. I then decided to Google ‘Castle Crine’ and was overjoyed to find, on the Clare County Library website, The Memoirs of Keighley Edward Graham 1904-1974. Keighley was the son of Edward Graham and I found his Memoirs very interesting and informative as you would imagine. Through them I have been able to contact the descendants of this interesting family and have met Keighley’s daughter, Liz.

Ian Crawshaw
5 North Croft Grove
West Yorkshire.
3rd March 2014

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The Butler-Grahams of Castle Crine, Sixmilebridge, County Clare: a pictorial history