|Clare County Library||
|Vandeleurs of Kilrush County
by Senan Scanlan
3. Vandeleurs and their Title to Land
Some of the earlier references concern the Vandeleurs land transactions before they arrived at Kilrush. It is likely that some of the early Vandeleurs were “Adventurers” who subscribed a sum of money for the equipment of an army to suppress the Rising of 1641 on the security of lands to be confiscated from Irish proprietors. (Local folklore suggests that Maximilian Vandeleur was salvaging the cannon from the Spanish Armada ship Annunciada, scuttled in 1588 either on the Scattery Roads or on the beach at Scattery where she had been run aground so that repair crews could work on her, under licence from the Earl of Thomond in the first decade of the 17th century)
Forfeitures and Distributions
James Vandelure of Sixmilebridge, a Dutch Protestant, deposes that he was robbed of property worth £1, 836, part of which consisted of debts due to him. His goods comprised farming stock, tanned hides, malt, and corn. His lost debts due by the following persons viz.: —Jacques Graniere, late of Kilrush, a Dutch Protestant; Wm. Chambers of Kilrush, Thos. Boone of Clooney; Geo. Hoff, the widow Bellamy, Wm. Cragg, Roger King, the four last being of Sixmilebridge; Joes Carnellisson, and George Gentleman, of Kilfintinan, all these being Protestants and now impoverished by the rebellion. He also lost all the money he lent to the subjoined Irishmen, now out in actual rebellion: —Barth. Stritch and Nichs. Wolf, both of Limerick, merchants; Oliver Delahoyde of Tyredagh, Esq.; John M‘Namara of Ralahine, Conor O’Brien of Ballymulcashell, John Reagh M‘Namara of Kilmurry, Owen Molony of Ballybroughan, Thos. Fanning of Ballyarrila, Daniel M‘Namara of Mounttallon, Thos. and Wm. Creagh, merchants of Sixmilebridge. He was expelled from his house, his two water mills, his mill for bark, a malt house, tan yard, and many other tenements, together with four quarters of land. His despoilers were Dermot O’Brien of Dromore; Donogh, son of John Reagh M‘Namara of Rossroe; Donogh and Hugh M‘Namara, both of Ballykelly; Teige, son of Sheeda M‘Namara of Monagunagh; Donogh M‘Namara of Ballyban; Conor and Daniel O’Brien of Ballymulcashel, Donogh M‘Namara of Cratloe, Murrogh O’Brien of Rossroe, Esq.; John M‘Namara of Ralahine, John M‘Namara of Dunmalongort, Daniel Clancy of Urlan, Donogh M‘Namara of Danganbrack, Donogh M‘Mahon of Limerick, and Barth. Stritch of the same, merchants.
Depositions relating to Kilrush:
The names of their despoilers are set down by the various witnesses, and we give them here: —Sir Daniel O’Brien of Carrigaholt and Ballykett, and his sons Teige and Conor; Charles and Teige Cahane of Termon; Owen and Henry Mac Sweeney of Kilballyowen; John Oge Mac Gilsinane of Clooncullin; Murtagh Reagh MacMahon of Kilmurry; Thomas MacGorman of Drumdigus; Donogh O’Culligan of Burrane, carpenter; Cahill O’Madigan; Thomas MacGorman of Rine; Brian MacMahon of Lack; Dermot O’Carmody; Patrick Comyn of Ballyvorda; Teige Kelly; Daniel M‘Mahon of Kilcarroll; Daniel O’Neill; Conor M‘Mahon of Knockine; Gilla O’Beolane of Creegh; James Creagh of Mailla; Murrogh Quin of Kilrush; Murrogh MacMahon; John Blackwell of Querin; John Arthur of Inishcathy; Caher O’Flanagan of Garraun; Murtagh O’Scanlan of Kilfearagh; and Brian O’Kerin of Moyarta.
The Journal of Thomas Dineley,
Giles Vandeleur’s name appears on
the back of a deed registered in the Peace Office, Limerick, during
Cromwell’s time, and he obtained a lease from the Earl of Thomond
of the six plowlands of Moihill, near Six Mile Bridge, in which town
he had a house, but in the Petty Census of 1656, he appears as “Titulado”
at Moihill. Giles Vandeleur was one of the Commissioners for applotting
quit rents, and was High Sheriff for the county in 1665. He likewise
obtained a lease from the Earl of Thomond of lands in the barony of
Moyarta, and his second son John was Rector of Kilrush and purchased
the estates, now enjoyed by his descendant, Colonel Crofton Moore Vandeleur,
M P. The senior branch of his family was settled at Ralahine, which
has passed to heirs female. Their grandfather, Mr. John Vandeleur, having
adopted the principles of Socialism promulgated by Robert Owen, placed
some labourers in his extensive offices, agreeing to divide all profits
in certain proportions with them. One of the forms to which their industry
was applied was the removal of the surface rocks, the maiden earth proving
very favourable for the cultivation of the potato. His system soon broke
down, the labourers preferring fixed wages. —O’B.
The ancestor of the Kilrush Vandeleur was the Rev. John Vandeleur, appointed to the prebend of Iniscathay in March 1687. He was the son of Giles Vandeleur of Rathlaheen, and this Giles Vandeleur was the first of the name to establish a connection with Kilrush, by becoming tenant to the Earl of Thomond for Ballynote, which he held in 1656. But that has little to do with the Vandeleur title, which may be stated in a few words. On September 26th 1712,Henry, Earl of Thomond, leased to Boyle Vandeleur in trust for the Rev. John Vandeleur, prebendary of Iniscathay, the Towns and lands of Kilrush, Monemore, Leadmore, Carrownacalla, and Cappagh, containing by estimation 3,381 acres. On January 7th, 1749, John Vandeleur son of the above- mentioned Rev. John Vandeleur, purchased those lands inter alia in West Clare, for the sum of £9,826-0-6½. Such are the facts of the Vandeleur title, which goes back neither to the time of Cromwell nor to the Battle of the Boyne. In face of a document, which was examined minutely before two courts of law in Ireland, and before the House of Lords in England, early in the present century, the traditional version of the title must be discarded. A statement in the Parochial Survey of Ireland that Mr Vandeleur purchased the Earl of Thomond's Kilrush estates in 1703 must also be discarded. I have relied on the evidence laid before the Master of the Rolls and before the Court of Appeal in Ireland, which is incorporated in a volume of 438 pages, and referred to as Glynn v. Vandeleur.
Another of those embellished traditions which lack foundation maintains that the Vandeleurs resided at Kilrush from 1687 until Kilrush House was destroyed by fire on March 25th 1897.The unwary seeker after information who visits the district will have various ruins pointed out to him and described with convincing assurance as the one-time home of some member of the Vandeleur family. The truth is that from the death of Rev. John Vandeleur, in 1727, the family lived in Dublin or in England, having no residence in Kilrush, until Kilrush House was built in 1808. I notice that when Mr. Vandeleur purchased the Kilrush estate in 1749, he was described in the deed of purchase as “John Vandeleur of the City of Dublin”. The Vandeleurs occupy a prominent position in nineteenth century Kilrush.
Vandeeleurs in “The Earl of Thomond Rent Roll” of 1656.
The Inchiquin Manuscripts also has Vandeleur name in the following M.S:
A memorial of an indenture made the seventh day of January in the year of Our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred and forty nine and in the twenty third year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the second by the grace of God the Great Britain an so forth made between the Honorable Percy Wyndham O'Brien of Shortgrove in the county of Essex, on the first part the Right Honorable William Earl of Inchiquin Knight of the most Honorable Order of the Bath and the Honorable Robert French Esq now one of the justices of his Majesty Court of Common Pleas in Ireland on the second part and John Vandeleur of the City of Dublin Esq of the third part. Whereby the said William Earl of Inchiquin and Robert French for the consideration of the sum of nine thousand eight hundred and twenty six pounds and six pence halfpenny did convey unto the said John Vandeleur in his actual profession now being by virtue of a bargain and seal to him thereof made by the said William Earl of Inchiquin, Robert French and Percy Wyndham O'Brien for one whole year in consideration of five shillings by memorial bearing date the day next before the date of the said deed all that and those the town and lands of Killrush, Monemore, Leadmore, Carrownacalla and Cappah, and all that and those the lands and town of Querrin alias Querringuilly with all their sub-denominations that is to say Tarmon half a quarter Recarn ?, Tarmon quarter and Leaheen, Kilnagalliagh, Gortnaclare?, Ballyraght ? ,Curragh, Carnane, Tullaher and Farren William? and all that and those the lands of Doonnagore ?,Knockerry East, Carinlongard? the two Termons and part of Carrownisky, (Carrowniska) Derrylagh (Derrylough) alias Forrinane Garrane? and Einagh and all that and those the town and lands of Ballinote, (Ballynote) Moyen (Moyne) and the Island of Innishbeg and also the several and respective fee farm rents and receivers fees in the said lands are lying and being in the Barony of Clonduala (Clonderlaw) and Moyarty (Moyarta) and County of Clare to have and to hold the said farms towns and lands fee farm of all and other rents receivers fees ,Manor Courts and hereditaments in the said deed mentioned unto the said John Vandeleur his heirs and assigns for ever which said deed is signed sealed and executed by Percy Wyndham O'Brien, Inchiquin, and Robert French and is witnessed by David Binden of the City of Limerick Esq, Richard Melfon of the City of Dublin Gent, Richard Lahy and L Davidson of the City of London Gent and this memorial is likewise signed sealed and executed by the said Robert French and is witnessed by David Binden and Boyle Vandeleur of the City of Dublin Gent, Robert French signed sealed and delivered in the presence of David Binden, Boyle Vandeleur.
The above named David Binden maketh oath
that he saw the above named William Earl of Inchiquin, Robert French,
duly sigh seal and execute the deed where of the above writing is a
memorial and also saw the said Robert French duly seal and execute the
above memorial and that this deponent is a subscribing witness to the
said deed and memorial and delivered the same to James Saunders Gent,
Department Registry the thirteenth day of July 1752 at or near six o'clock
in the afternoon, David Binden swore the 13th of July 1752 before James
Saunders, Department Registry.
Vandeleurs in Clare Tithe Applotment Books (1823-1837)
1835, April 6th.
APPEAL: FROM THE COURT OF CHANCERY IN
A deed of settlement was made in contemplation of marriage, and contained a proviso by which the estates, &c. thereby granted, should in the first place be charged with certain portions therein mentioned, due to the brothers and sisters of the settlor and with certain debts set forth in a schedule thereunto annexed. The covenant against incumbrances specially excepted a jointure to the settlor's mother, and the before-mentioned portions and debts, and the covenant for further assurance contained an exception similar to the foregoing by an express reference to it. The settlor was possessed of other estates besides those settled. The settlor after his marriage paid off some of the portions and some of the debts, and, by his will, declared such payments to be in ease of his settled estate. Held, by the House of Lords, reversing a decree of the Court of Chancery in Ireland, that all rights must be taken to be as they were established at the date of the conveyance, and therefore neither any directions in the will of the settlor, nor the state of his affairs at his decease, could alter its construction: and consequently that the debts, &c. continued to stand as a burthen on the real estate, and that the personal estates were exonerated in the hands of the executors.
In the year 1800, a marriage was intended to be solemnized between John Ormsby Vandeleur and Lady Frances Moore, the youngest daughter of the Marquis of Drogheda. The marriage portion of the Lady was a sum of £6000. By an indenture of release, bearing date the 17th day of November 1800,and made between the said John Ormsby Vandeleur (since deceased) of the first part, the most Noble Charles Marquis of Drogheda, and the said Lady Frances Moore of the second part, Richard Earl of Shannon and the Honourable Francis Nathaniel Burton of the third part, and William Burton and Thomas Burton Vandeleur Esq's. of the fourth part,and which indenture was expressed to be made in consideration of the marriage and of the marriage portion,certain hereditaments in the counties of Limerick and Clare of which the said John Ormsby Vandeleur was seised in fee,were conveyed and assured by him,from and after the marriage,to the use of himself for life, with the remainder to trustees to preserve contingent remainders: and after his decease, to the use of said William Burton and Thomas Burton Vandeleur for the term of 99 years, to secure a jointure for his said intended wife: and subject thereto to the use of the trustees for five hundred years for raising the sum of £10,000 as portions for the younger children of the marriage: and subject thereto to the use of the first and other sons severally and successively according to their respective priorities in tail male, and in default of such issue,to the use of the settlor in fee.
After the limitations before stated, and the declarations
of the trusts of the two terms of 99 years and 500 years, and immediately
following the proviso for cesser of the latter term, the settlement
contained the following declaration:
Then followed a power for the settlor to jointure future wives: and the power of leasing: and then the covenants for title: and the covenant against incumbrances was expressed as follows: “ And that free and clear, or freely and clearly acquitted, exonerated, and discharged of otherwise, by the said John Ormsby Vandeleur, his heirs, executors, and administrators, well and sufficiently saved, defended, kept harmless, and indemnified of from and against all and all manner of the former and other gifts, grants, bargains, sales, mortgages, jointures, dowers, right and title of dower, portions, uses, trusts, wills, entails, statutes, recognizances, judgements, extents, executions and of and from all and singular other estates, titles, troubles, charges, and incumbrances whatsoever had, made, done, committed, or suffered by him the said John Ormsby Vandeleur, or by any of his ancestors, or by any person or persons claiming or to claim from by or under them, or any of them, or under their or any of their acts, means, assent, consent, or procurement other than and except the jointure of £700 yearly, provided for Alice Vandeleur, widow, mother of the said John Ormsby Vandeleur, during her life, and other than and except the several sums due by judgement or bonds to the different persons in the schedule hereunto annexed, amounting in the whole to the sum of £12,700,and also other than and except the sum of £15,900,the portion due to the brothers and sisters of the said John Ormsby Vandeleur, with all and every of which said several sums the said lands and premises are hereby charged, and other than and except the quit rents issuing and payable out of the said lands and premises, and other than and except such leases of the said lands and premises as have been heretofore really and bone fide made to the tenants thereof “ And the covenant for further assurance made a similar exception but this reference to the foregoing,” except as before excepted.
Some of the debts enumerated in the schedule annexed to the said settlement, were debts previously contracted by the settlor, and to which he was personally liable. The rest were debts contracted by his father and predecessor in estate, Crofton Vandeleur. The £15,900 for portions had been charged on the estates by the marriage settlement and will of his father, Crofton Vandeleur
The settlor being also seised in fee of the lands of Moyne and Ballynote (exclusively of the settled estates), and being also possessed of a large personal estate, made his will, dated 7th of August 1828,and thereby, after sundry bequests to his wife and daughters, devised the lands of Moyne and Ballynote to T.B. Vandeleur and Crofton Fitz Gerald their heirs, &c., in trust, to receive and take the rents and profits until his eldest son, Crofton Moore Vandeleur, should attain the age of 27 years, to be applies as therein after directed, and subject thereto to the use of his said son for life, with several remainders over: these rents to be invested from time to time in government funds, and the dividends payable thereon, to accumulate until his said son should attain the age of 27 years, or if he should die before attaining that age, until such time as he would have attained that age in case he had lived, and testator directed such rents and profits, and all accumulations thereof, to form part of his residuary estate, to be disposed of as therein after directed. And testator directed (among other things) that a certain judgement entered on one Andrew Browne's bond one of the bond debts of the testator mentioned in the schedule) should be satisfied by his executors, the same having been paid. And as to all the rest of his property, of what nature of kind soever, except his books, pictures, and plate) he left same to T.B. Vandeleur and Crofton Fitz Gerald in trust for his younger child or children, his or their heirs, executors, and administrators, as to so much thereof as with the sum he, she, or they should be entitled to under his (said testator’s) marriage settlement would make up the sum of £10,000 for each and every of his said children, such children, if more than one, to take as tenants in common, and not as joint tenants: and as to the residue thereof in trust to pay the interest or annual produce to his the said testor's wife during her life, and after her decease, in trust for his younger child or children, his, her or their executors and administrators, in equal shares, if more than one, and as tenants in common. And the said testator appointed the Respondents T.B. Vandeleur and Crofton Fitz Gerald executors of his said will, and the said Respondent T.B. Vandeleur, guardian of his children until they should respectively attain the age of 21 years.
The testator died on the 9th November 1828,leaving Lady Frances Vandeleur, his widow and four children, viz., the Respondent Crofton Moore Vandeleur, the Appellant Henry Seymour Moore Vandeleur, his only other son, and two daughters, viz., the Appellants Anne Frances Vandeleur and Alice Stewart widow. During his lifetime he paid off part of the sum of £15,000 to his brothers and sisters and also some of his father's debts and some of his own debts contained in the said schedule, and declared such payments to be ease of his settled estate.
In January 1831, a bill was filed by the Respondents T.B. Vandeleur and Crofton Fitz Gerald, the executors, against the Respondent Crofton Moore Vandeleur, and the Appellants and Lady Frances Vandeleur, (since deceased), stating, amongst other things, that the testator's widow and younger children insisted that the debts or sums paid off by the said testator during his life, he being tenant for life of the lands charged, should still be considered as subsisting charges, and should form part of the testator's personal estate, but that the Respondent Crofton Moore Vandeleur, on the contrary, insisted that such payments were made in exoneration of the estate: and as to such of the scheduled debts as were the testator's own, and remaining unpaid at his death, that his personal estate was the primary fund liable to payment of them. And the bill prayed that the right of the several parties to the personal estate of the said testator might be declared, and the trusts of the testator’s said will as to his personal estate might be carried into effect. Answers were duly put in and evidence gone into on both sides. The case was heard on the 12th of May 1832,before the Lord High Chancellor of Ireland, and by the decree of that date it was referred to one of the masters, to enquire and report the debts specified in the schedule annexed to the settlement, and to report whether any, and which of them, had been paid, by whom all such debts respectively were contracted, whether judgements had been entered on any and which of the said debts, and if so, whether any, and which of the judgements had been satisfied or directed so to be, and all particulars relating to such debts.
The master made his report pursuant to the said decree. Bearing date the 22nd of June 1832, and set out a list of the debts, which comprised, amongst others, the following items, viz.: No 1. Bond and warrant of John Ormsby Vandeleur to Mrs Dorothea Burton. Dated 9th of January 1796, in the penalty of £2,400 conditioned for the payment of £1,200. No 6 Bond of John Ormsby Vandeleur to Mr, John Daxon in the penalty of £6,800 conditioned for payment of £3,400. No 8 Bond of same to Rev. Mr. Whitty, in the penalty of £1,000, conditioned for payment of £500. and the said master found that these three debts still remained unpaid, and that the sum of £1,200 and the sum of £3,400 and the sum of £500 were all debts contracted by John Ormsby Vandeleur: that on the first no judgement had been entered up, but that on the two last Judgements had regularly been entered up, which judgements were then outstanding.
No exceptions were taken to the report, and it was duly confirmed. The case was heard on further directions before the Lord Chancellor on several days and on the 25th of May 1833,his Lordship, by an order of that date, declared that as such of the debts and charges in the schedule to the settlement of 1800 as were paid off by the said testator in his lifetime, the same were not subsisting charges on the settled estates, but that the same were paid off in ease of such estates: and his Lordship further ordered and declared, that as to the sums of £1,200, £3,400,and £500 in the said list or schedule to the said master's report mentioned and found to have been debts contracted by John Ormsby Vandeleur,and to be still due and unpaid, the personal estate of John Ormsby Vandeleur was the primary fund for payment of the same, and the plaintiffs admitting assets in their hands sufficient, after the payment of the other debts, funeral expenses, and express pecuniary legacies bequeathed by the will of John Ormsby Vandeleur,it was ordered that the plaintiffs,(The Respondents T.B. Vandeleur and Crofton Fitz Gerald,) out of the surplus of the said personal estate of the said John Ormsby Vandeleur,should pay the same, and it was further ordered that the plaintiffs should be paid their costs in said cause out of the personal estate of the said John Ormsby Vandeleur,and that the several defendants should abide their own costs, This was the order now appealed from.
(The above extract while full of legal jargon contains some significant dates and also shows that even the Vandeleur family had problems with wills. Crofton Moore Vandeleur, the main beneficiary was 27 in 1835. John Ormsby Vandeleur's will was proved in London on the 27th February 1829 and contains a number of other items as follows: house in Sackville Street in the City of Dublin, house in Rutland Square in the City of Dublin every other house or houses in Dublin or London that may be possessed at the time of my death were left to his wife. )
Vandeleur Holdings in Griffth’s Valuation
In addition the following entries are recorded under
Dublin: 4 Rutland Square East, Crofton M. Vandeleur, House, offices
& yard, Annual Valuation £155.
Vandeleurs as Owners of Land in Clare, 1876.
In addition Col. C. Moore Vandeleur of Kilrush House
is listed in Limerick County as owning 416 acres with a valuation
Great Landowners of Great Britain.
1898 Saturday 4th June (Saturday Record).
That the said foreshore being in its then state incapable of being used for purposes of navigation, Crofton Moore Vandeleur in exercise of his right of property in the said foreshore and of the franchises and liberties to which he was entitled under the said Letters Patent, constructed on the foreshore in the years 1846 to 1848, a quay and a pier for the conveyance and benefit of public navigation in the said district. That Crofton Moore Vandeleur expended over £1600 in the building of the said quay, and the same was afterwards maintained by him at his own expense.
“So a series of acts of ownership exercised on the seashore by the adjoining proprietor will afford abundant evidence for a jury to presume that the crown formerly granted the soil to one of his ancestors”
The Patent Slip near the coast-guard station at Cappagh. Its origin is a written proposal by Mr. Francis Spaight, accepted by the late Colonel Vandeleur on 25th July 1835. By this document Mr. Spaight proposes to take certain lands, at a yearly rent of five guineas, for a lease of 999 years or for ever,” with a right to the shore all round these premises to low-water”. The proposal contains an engagement to erect on these premises, within twelve months, a patent slip of the best construction, capable of receiving two ships of 400 tons each.
This transaction is one not to be lightly discounted. It involved the expenditure of a large sum of money. It was a matter not between ignorant persons, but between, on the one side, a gentleman whose ancestor undoubtedly claimed a title to the foreshore as lords of the manor, and, on the other, a business man, willing to invest considerable capital upon the security of title. We know from the subsequent deed of the 13th February 1838,that Mr. Spaight did in fact expend £1320 5s. upon the erection of the Patent Slip, and that it having been afterwards found that the leasing power of Colonel Vandeleur did not extend to so long a term of 999 years, Colonel Vandeleur accepted a surrender of the lease, repaying Mr. Spaight the £1320 5s he had expended and giving him an additional sum of £300 as compensation for the loss of the lease. This pier has been enjoyed as private property from 1835 to the present time- a period of seventy years- enjoyed as private property to the knowledge of the coast guards and other Government officials of the town of Kilrush.
He (Hector Stewart Vandeleur) was as a landlord interested in the opening up of the place by railways. He was, I am sure, very imperfectly acquainted with the particulars of his title, and during four and a half years he was (as he called it) “campaigned” (and we all know what that means), and obliged to live away from his own estate.