Ballymore Castle

This ancient edifice was erected by John Lawrence, about the year, 1585. He married a daughter of O'Madden, Lord of Longford, Captain of his nation and last chief of his name. By this marriage he acquired a vast territory in the Barony of Longford, County of Galway, his descendants still hold undisputed possession of the Mortuary Chapel, connection with the Cathedral Church of Clonfert, wherein the hereditary Lords of Longford have interred their dead for many hundred years before the days of Elizabeth.

This distinguished officer in company with his brother Walter formed portion of the British Army sent over from England to quell the Desmond insurrection when Perrott was governor of Munster, for whose distinguished services they received large grants of land from the Crown. On Sir John Perrott being sworn in as Lord Deputy of Ireland, they returned with him and formed part of his "brilliant staff of valiant knights, all clad in polished armour bright" he landed at Dalkey, 9th June, 1584, about the hour of six of the clock in the afternoon in the twenty-sixth year of Her Majesty's Reign, and upon the 21st of the same month being Sunday he took his oath of government at the hands of the Lord Archbishop, Lord Chancellor, in the Cathedral of St Patrick; S Calendar Patent and Close Rolls, Queen's Instructions to Sir John Perrott.

The Queen's Warrant for delivering the sword to Sir John Perrott. A letter from Sir John Perrott to the Privy Council in England, also the life of that distinguished and unfortunate statesman.. Th before named Walter Lawrence, brother of John, was in consequence of his distinguished military service, appointed Governor of the Goal and City of Naas. (See Appendix for a fuller account of that ancient City within the Pale) See Fiants of Elizabeth, 4846, and Copy of his appointment preserved in the Rolls, Office, Dublin, 23rd April, 1586, twenty-eight year of Queen Elizabeth (See Inquisition, Post Mortem, held at Marbyoro', 23rd February, 1589), we find his death took place, in 1601, according to the Fiant of Elizabeth, 6568.

Walter Lawrence eldest son of John Lawrence of Ballymore, married in 1603, Cecily, daughter of Sir John Moore, of Brieze, Co. Mayo, and Cloghan Castle, Kings County, by his wife, the Lady Mary Burke, daughter of Richard 2nd Earl of Clanricarde. The Castle of Ballymore suffered much during the late wars and was repaired by the said Walter Lawrence, who erect commemorative marble chimney-piece in one of the upper rooms of the Castle, bearing his initials W.L. 1620.

The initials and date were in good preservation as late as the year 1844. On the 28th November, 16th, James 1st the said Water Lawrence, the younger, in common with the other Irish proprietors surrendered his vast Estates to the Crown and received them back by Patent from James 1st under the before named date 28th November, 16th James 1st the better to secure his title from any question arising from the Indenture of Composition under Lord Deputy Perrott.

During thee Rebellion of 1641, John Lawrence, son of the above Walter had all his extensive estates confiscated by the usurped powers he having espoused the royal cause under the leadership of Ulick Great Marquis, Earl of St Albans and 5th Earl of Clanricarde, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (See Granville Collections British Museum) Ballymore Castle, was handed over by Cromwell to Sir Thomas Newcomen and confirmed by the government of Charles the Second (See Patent Rolls, Chas. II).

On the death of Sir Thomas Newcomen the Castle and lands of Ballymore, passed to his stepson, Nicholas Cusack, of Cushinstown, Co. Meath, son of Lady Newcomen by her first husband from whose representatives the Castle and lands of Ballymore were purchased by John Eyre of Eyrecourt about the year 1720, and his descendant, the late Giles Eyre sold them to the present proprietor, Thomas Seymour, about the year 1824.

Sir Thomas Newcomen leased the Castle and lands of Ballymore to John Lawrence the former owner.

(See for further particulars, Stratfords Book of Survey and Distribution, Public Record Office Dublin) Maps and other references

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