Sunday 30 April 2023

(544) Bellew, later Grattan-Bellew of Mount Bellew, baronets

Grattan-Bellew baronets
The Bellews of Mount Bellew are a cadet branch of the Bellews of Barmeath Castle (Co. Louth), founded by Christopher Bellew (c.1640-1709), who was the third but perhaps the favourite son of the John Bellew (1605-79) who established his family at Barmeath. When John wrote his will he bequeathed his estates in Co. Louth and Co. Galway to his eldest son, and most of his younger sons were left only small capital sums. The exception was Christopher, for whom a small part of the Galway estate at Corgarrowes (some 133 acres) was carved out as an independent patrimony, on which a house had been built by 1700. Christopher and his son Michael (d. 1742) progressively enlarged this property (which became known as the Mount Bellew estate), so that by the time of the latter's death it amounted to some 1,000 acres, and it grew further in the later 18th century, under Christopher Bellew (d. 1769) and more particularly under his son Michael Bellew (c.1735-97). Michael was evidently in possession of Mount Bellew before his father's death, for he was reported to be completing a new house there in 1767. He and his brother Francis Bellew (d. 1773) - a merchant in St. Kitts - bought land in Domenica in 1767 but it is not clear whether this was a profitable speculation, as it was evidently sold fairly soon afterwards. If Michael did show a profit on the deal, it seems to have been ploughed into the expansion of the Mount Bellew estate, where he inherited an adjoining 1,000 acres from his father-in-law in 1782 and bought 2,400 acres from Sir Patrick Bellew of Barmeath in 1784. Further purchases of land followed in the 1780s and 1790s, so that by the time of Michael's death in 1787 the estate was said to be approaching 10,000 acres. All this expansion was cleverly achieved despite the operation of the penal laws, one intention of which was to prevent Catholic families from acquiring freehold land or passing it from one generation to the next. It was made possible by a combination of forward planning, collaborative arrangements with Protestant neighbours who could act as Trustees, and the co-operation of younger sons who did not challenge the transmission of the estate intact to the eldest son.

In 1797 the estate descended to Christopher Dillon Bellew (1763-1826), an able and intelligent man who played a prominent role in Catholic politics in the years around 1800 and was noted as an improving landlord. In about 1805 he turned his attention to improving the house and estate at Mount Bellew, adding wings and remodelling the interior to the designs of Sir Richard Morrison, and going on to enhance the grounds with an enlarged lake and picturesque planting. Christopher died just before the final achievement of Catholic emancipation, but his son, Matthew Dillon Bellew (1796-1855) was able to take full advantage of it, becoming the first Catholic high sheriff of Galway in 1830, and a justice of the peace and deputy lieutenant. In 1838 he was raised to a baronetcy. He and his wife had a large family of twelve children, of whom the eldest son was Christopher Bellew, who was sent to Trinity College, Dublin and then travelled extensively on the Continent. When the Great Famine struck the west of Ireland with such devastating effect, however, he was in Galway, doing all he could alleviate the privations of the family's tenants and neighbours. Some years later, while visiting Vienna (Austria), he felt the call of the Catholic priesthood, and he eventually became a Jesuit priest based in Dublin. Although he succeeded to his father's baronetcy and family estates in 1855 they were probably managed by his younger brother, Thomas Arthur Bellew (1820-63), who was Liberal MP for County Galway, 1852-57. 

Thomas married, in 1858, Pauline Grattan (c.1833-1908), the granddaughter of the Irish statesman, Henry Grattan (1746-1820) and heir to his estate at Tinnehinch (Co. Kilkenny), and they took the surname Grattan-Bellew in 1859. The couple's only son, Sir Henry Christopher Grattan-Bellew (1860-1942), 3rd bt., inherited both Tinnehinch and Mount Bellew, where the estate, now extending into Co. Roscommon, was almost 12,000 acres. Sir Henry retained these acreages until the early 20th century, but by March 1916 had accepted an offer from the Congested Districts' Board for over 1,000 acres of the estate, and he sold the remainder to the Land Commission in 1937, which promptly demolished Mount Bellew House. He spent his last years at Tinnehinch, which after his widow's death passed to their son, Lt-Col. Sir Charles Christopher Grattan-Bellew (1887-1948), 4th bt., who did not long survive his father. In about 1950, Tinnehinch was sold to an English property developer called David Harris, who demolished most of it in 1953, although the surviving ruins were incorporated into a new house (now Grattan House) after 1999. By a curious coincidence, the same story of partial demolition and rebirth occurred at Jenkinstown, the secondary seat of the Bellews of Barmeath. After the sale of Tinnehinch, Sir Henry Charles Grattan-Bellew (1933-2022), 5th bt., moved abroad, and pursued a varied career as a colonial administrator, sports administrator, journalist and broadcaster, before returning to Ireland in his last years; his son, Sir Patrick Charles Grattan-Bellew (b. 1971), is the current baronet.

Mount Bellew, Co. Galway

A house on the estate is first recorded in 1700, but it was rebuilt by Michael Bellew (d. 1797), who was said to be 'now employed in finishing [the] house' in 1767, although his father did not die until two years later. The house is depicted on an estate map of 1767 as a square block with two canted bays, which stood either side of a single bay with the entrance doorcase. There was a Venetian window on the top storey of the central block, while the entrance doorcase was surmounted by an urn. Little is known of the interiors at this date: the house was taxed on only five hearths in 1769, which seems unreasonably low. The house already had a library at this date, and at least one fireplace was supplied by a Dublin statuary. In 1793 a new detached chapel was built, replacing an existing one on the demesne, which was allowed to fall into ruin: the ruins are presumably those which can be seen on the banks of the lake in Neale's view of the house, published in 1820.

Mount Bellew House: a photograph showing the house in the early 20th century.
The house was enlarged and remodelled for for Christopher Dillon Bellew (1763-1826). His architect at first seems to have been the local Dominick Madden, but here as elsewhere he failed to impress and was quickly replaced by the fashionable Sir Richard Morrison. The works seem to have taken place between about 1806 and 1812, for 30 masons were engaged in stone-cutting in 1806-08 and expensive furnishings were being bought for the house in Dublin in 1810-12. Morrison extended the facade by adding three-bay links to one-bay pedimented wings, refaced the exterior of the existing central block, and remodelled the interiors. The wings had tripartite windows under relieving arches. Inside, the house was given a long (63 ft) hall divided by screens of Ionic columns, reminiscent of Morrison's hall at Fota (Co. Cork), and created in the same way by opening up the original narrow entrance hall into the rooms to either side. The hall led by way of ante-rooms to a large gallery on one side and a dining room on the other. There was a handsome library, which in the early 19th century was said to contain one of the finest collections of books in Ireland. 

Mount Bellew: the library in 1885.

Mount Bellew House: J.P. Neale's engraving of the house, published in 1820, showing the grounds as improved in 1817.
The grounds were also landscaped in the late 18th century, apparently to the designs of Thomas Leggatt, and the lake, created in 1790 and extended by Hely Dutton in 1817, still survives. Dominick Madden made designs for gate lodges (of which three were built), bridges and a substantial greenhouse in the park in 1817, so attention probably moved, after the completion of work on the house, to the further improvement of the grounds. He also built a dower house (later called Bellew's Grove) which became the residence of Christopher Dillon Bellew's widow after his death in 1826. In the 19th and early 20th century the combined effects of the Agricultural Depression and land reform legislation in Ireland made the estate unviable, and Sir Henry Christopher Grattan-Bellew (1860-1942), 3rd bt., sold the house and estate to the Land Commission in 1937, which predictably totally demolished the house soon afterwards. The former porch was rebuilt as a Marian shrine at Athleague (Co. Roscommon).

Descent: probably built for Christopher Bellew (c.1640-1709); to son, Michael Bellew (d. 1742); to son, Christopher Bellew (d. 1769); to son, Michael Bellew (c.1735-97), who rebuilt the house; to son, Christopher Dillon Bellew (1763-1826), who enlarged and remodelled the house; to son, Sir Michael Dillon Bellew (1796-1855), 1st bt.; to son, Fr. Sir Christopher Bellew (1818-67), 2nd bt.; to nephew, Sir Henry Christopher Grattan-Bellew (1860-1942), 3rd bt., who sold 1937 to the Land Commission, which demolished it c.1938.

Tinnehinch, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

The house was originally a wayside inn built in a romantic situation in the valley of the River Dargle by Lord Powerscourt for the convenience of travellers on the road south from Dublin. In the 18th century it was regarded as one of the finest inns in County Wicklow, and was a staging point for coaches, and for this reason became well-known to the statesman, Henry Grattan, who as early as 1770 had marked it down as a desirable spot. 

Tinnehinch: a drawing of the house c.1800. Image: National Library of Ireland. 
When the Irish parliament voted £50,000 for the purchase of lands to thank him for achieving its legislative independence from Westminster in 1782, he chose to purchase the inn (as well as lands at Stradbally (Co. Leix)) and made it his home. The house had a three storey, five bay centre with projecting one-bay wings that were the same height but only of two storeys. In the centre was a round-headed doorway with a blocked surround. The wings had tripartite windows, with those on the ground floor being set under relieving arches. At first the wings were just three bays deep, with a further three single-storey bays projecting behind, but later the rear part of the wings became two-storey as well.

Tinnehinch: a photograph of the house published in 1939.
Grattan spent his later years in retirement at Tinnehinch and improved the grounds, which were drawn and engraved a number of times in the 19th century. The house seems to have been little altered before it was sold by Grattan's descendants to an English property developer in c.1950, after which a demolition sale was held in 1953 and the house was taken down except for parts of the ground floor. There seems to be no evidence to support Mark Bence-Jones' story that the house was burned down. The surviving ruins of the building became a garden feature for a house that was formed out of the stables of its predecessor. 

Grattan House: the rebuilt house which incorporates the ruins of Tinnehinch.
In 1999 Adrian and Mary Murphy purchased the property and rebuilt the ruined house as a two storey building, keeping as faithfully as possible to the external appearance of the original building, although it has a completely new interior that draws inspiration from a number of classic Irish Georgian houses. The rebuilt house is now known as Grattan House.

Descent: sold 1782 to Henry Grattan MP (1746-1820); to son, James Grattan (1783-1854); to daughter, Pauline (c.1833-1908), wife of Thomas Arthur Bellew (later Grattan-Bellew) (1820-63); to son, Sir Henry Christopher Grattan-Bellew (1860-1942), 3rd bt.; to son, Lt-Col. Sir Charles Christopher Grattan-Bellew (1887-1948), 4th bt.; to son, Sir Henry Charles Grattan-Bellew (1933-2022), 5th bt., who sold it c.1950 to David Harris, who demolished it... sold 1999 to Adrian & Mary Murphy; sold 2013...

Bellew and Grattan-Bellew family of Mount Bellew

Bellew, Christopher (c.1640-1709). Third son of John Bellew (1605-79), and his wife Mary, daughter of Robert Dillon of Clonbrock, born about 1640. He was an officer in King James II's army in Ireland in 1689-90 (Capt.), but fell within the articles of Limerick and avoided outlawry or confiscation of his estates. He married Susanna Hill (fl. 1705) and had issue*:
(1) Michael Bellew (d. 1742) (q.v.).
He inherited his father's lands at Corgarrowes (Co. Galway), which amounted to some 133 acres, and added further property to this, creating what would become known as the Mount Bellew estate.
He died in 1709. His wife was living in 1705, but her date of death is unknown.
* He had only one son, but there may have been daughters as well.

Bellew, Michael (d. 1742). Only son of Christopher Bellew (c.1640-1709). He married 1st, [forename unknown] Barnewall and 2nd Mary Kelly, of Mount Kelly, and had issue including:
(1.1) Christopher Bellew (d. 1769) (q.v.);
(1.2) Nicholas Bellew (d. c. 1788); probably the man of this name who married, 1734, Lucy Kelly (fl. 1786), and had issue at least two daughters; will proved 17 February 1788;
(2.1) Dominick Bellew (d. 1787) of Mount Kelly; notorious for his bad temper and profligate lifestyle; he married and had issue at least three sons (of whom one was murdered by a gang that included some of his servants) and one daughter; died 'in or about' 1787.
He inherited Mount Bellew (Co. Galway) and further enlarged the property to the east and south, so that it was around 1,000 acres by the time of his death.
He died in 1742; administration of his goods was granted to his sons, 2 February 1742/3. His first wife's date of death is unknown. His second wife's date of death is unknown.

Bellew, Christopher (d. 1769). Elder son of Michael Bellew (d. 1742), and his first wife [forename unknown] Barnewall. He married Barbara (fl. 1769), eldest daughter of the Hon. Lucas Dillon of Holywell (Co. Mayo) and widow of John Dillon of Mannin, and had issue:
(1) Michael Bellew (c.1735-97) (q.v.);
(2) Luke Bellew (b. c.1740; fl. 1769), born about 1740; merchant in Dublin; married and had issue at least three sons; living in 1769;
(3) Patrick Bellew (c.1742-89), born about 1742; merchant in Cadiz (Spain) as a partner in Lynch and Bellew, and from the 1770s in Dublin; married Jane Lynch (fl. 1789) and had issue at least one son (who continued his business) and one daughter; died July 1789 and will proved in Dublin, 1789;
(4) Francis Bellew (d. 1773), merchant in Cork and (by 1765) in St Kitts; he purchased a plantation of 190 acres in Domenica, probably as a speculation, for he seems to have remained living in St Kitts until shortly before his death; probably died in Cork, 1773; will proved 28 January 1773;
(5) Julia Bellew (d. 1813?); married, November 1763, Edmond Taaffe (d. 1792) of Woodfield (Co. Mayo), third son of James Taaffe of Woodfield, and had issue at least three sons and four daughters; possibly the Julia Taaffe whose will was proved in 1813.
He inherited Mount Bellew from his father in 1742.
He died in late June 1769; his will was proved 2 February 1770. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Bellew, Michael (c.1735-97). Eldest son of Christopher Bellew (d. 1769) and his wife Barbara, eldest daughter of the Hon. Lucas Dillon of Holywell (Co. Mayo) and widow of John Dillon of Mannin, born about 1735. In 1776 he joined with Sir Patrick Bellew of Barmeath in establishing flour mills at Mountbellew, and in the following year he obtained the grant of a weekly market and four annual fairs at Mountbellew. He married, August 1760 at Kinclare (Co. Galway), Jane (d. c.1820), daughter of Henry Dillon of Kinclare, and had issue:
(1) Christopher Dillon Bellew (1763-1826) (q.v.);
(2) Fr. Luke Bellew (d. 1819?); educated at St Gregory's College and the English College, Douai, where he trained for the priesthood; he was still in France at the time of the revolution and was imprisoned several times; for a time he sought refuge with Irish Franciscans at Louvain before returning to Douai; acting President of the Irish College, Douai, before its temporary closure and President on its restoration in 1802; living in 1814 and said to have died in 1819;
(3) Henry (k/a Harry) Bellew; educated at the Irish College, Douai and later St Gregory's College, Douai, and then studied medicine at Paris, but his studies were interrupted by the French revolution and after being imprisoned several times he escaped to Ireland;
(4) Patrick Bellew; educated at the Irish College, Douai, and later St Gregory's College, Douai and at a seminary in Paris, where he may have trained for the priesthood;
(5) Francis Bellew (fl. 1769); mentioned in his grandfather's will but may have died young;
(6) Mary Catherine Bellew (1776-1855), born in 1776; married, about November 1794, William Thomas Nugent (1773-1851), 5th Baron Riverston*, and had issue at least two sons and one daughter; died 1855.
In the 1760s he purchased 227 acres on the island of Domenica, where his brother also had a plantation of 190 acres which came to him in 1773; the property was probably sold soon afterwards and part may have been sold by 1770. He inherited Mount Bellew from his father in 1769 having already rebuilt the house c.1767. He inherited the Kinclare estate (about 1,000 acres) from his father-in-law in 1782 and purchased further land at the same time. In 1786 he bought the Galway lands of Sir Patrick Bellew, 5th bt., of Barmeath (some 2,400 acres), and further smaller purchases followed in the 1790s. 
He died in 1797; his will was proved in Dublin, 5 July 1797. His widow died about 1820; her will was proved in 1821.
* See the footnote below the next entry.

Bellew, Christopher Dillon (1763-1826). Eldest son of Michael Bellew (c.1735-97) and his wife Jane, daughter of Henry Dillon, born 1763. Educated at St Omer's College, Bruges (admitted 1773), the English Academy in Liège (admitted 1773) and St Gregory's College, Douai (admitted 1774), and finally at St Vaast College, Douai, 1779-81. He was regarded as an able and intelligent man, and played a leading role in the Catholic Convention of 1792, being one of the delegates selected to present a petition to the king seeking Catholic relief. He was noted as an improving landlord. He married, 27 October 1794 at Pallas (Co. Galway), Olivia Emily (c.1775-1856), only daughter of Anthony Nugent of Pallas, 4th Baron Riverston*, and had issue:
(1) Sir Michael Dillon Bellew (1796-1855), 1st bt. (q.v.).
He inherited Mount Bellew from his father in 1797. From about 1805 he employed Dominick Madden (soon replaced by Sir Richard Morrison) to remodel and add wings to the house. 
He died 23 April 1826; his will was proved 1826. His widow died 19 September 1856; administration of her goods was granted 14 July 1859 (effects under £2,000).
* This peerage (sometimes Baron Nugent of Riverston) was created by King James II on 3 April 1689, after he had fled England but while he was still de facto King of Ireland. The title seems to have been recognised by the Williamite forces in Ireland at the time, but came into question later. However, the 1st Baron's descendants all claimed and used the title down to 1871, when the 6th Baron proved his claim to the Earldom of Westmeath and the matter ceased to have any practical significance.

Bellew, Sir Michael Dillon (1796-1855), 1st bt. Only recorded son of Christopher Dillon Bellew (1763-1826) and his wife Olivia Emily, only daughter of Anthony Nugent of Pallas, self-styled 4th Baron Nugent, born 29 September 1796. He was a member of the New Catholic Association of Ireland from 1825 and Chair of its Galway branch. He was High Sheriff of Co. Galway, 1830-31, being the first Roman Catholic to hold this office following Catholic Emancipation, and also a JP and DL for Co. Galway. In 1831 he was associated with Thomas Bermingham in his proposed scheme for the colonising of Connemara. He was raised to a baronetcy, 15 August 1838. He married, 5 November 1816 at St Mary's R.C. church, Haddington Rd., Dublin, Helena Maria (d. 1865), eldest daughter of Thomas Dillon of Mount Dillon (Co. Dublin) and Eadestown (Co. Kildare), and had issue:
(1) Mary Bellew (b. 1817), baptised at St Andrew's R.C. Church, Dublin, 27 August 1817; probably died in infancy;
(2) Fr. Sir Christopher Bellew (1818-67), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(3) Olivia Mary Bellew (1819-74), born in September and baptised at St Mary's R.C. Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, 29 September 1819; married, 22 June 1848 at Mountbellew, Capt. Walter Blake Lawrence (1815-63) of Lisreaghan and had issue one daughter; died in Dublin, 10 January 1874; will proved 29 February 1874 (effects under £300);
(4) Thomas Arthur Bellew (later Grattan-Bellew) (1820-63) (q.v.);
(5) Jane Mary Bellew (1822-48), baptised at St Mary's R.C. Church, Haddington Rd., Dublin, 3 February 1822; a nun with the Sisters of Charity, Harolds Cross, Dublin; died 20 February 1848;
(6) Marcella Bellew (1823-67), baptised at St Mary's R.C. Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, 3 March 1823; married, 15 October 1845 at Mountbellew, Maj. Patrick Crean-Lynch (1813-81) (who m2, Elizabeth Minna Daubeney (1841-1902)) of Clogher House and Hollybrook (Co. Mayo) and had issue four daughters; died 7 January 1867; will proved 15 March 1867 (effects under £800);
(7) Fr. Michael Bellew (b. 1825), born 27 June and baptised at Westland Row R.C. church, Dublin, 29 June 1825; a Roman Catholic priest, he entered the Society of Jesus at Rome, 1845, and was ordained in 1858, taking his final vows in 1865; President of St. Ignatius' College, Galway; died unmarried and without issue at St Francis Xavier's, Dublin, 29 October 1868, and was buried at Glasnevin Cemetery;
(8) Barbara Mary Bellew (1826?-1906), probably the daughter born 27 November 1826; married, 2 March 1867 at St Michan RC church, Dublin, as his second wife, Vesey Daly (c.1804-80) of Dublin, solicitor, but had no issue; died at Biarritz (France), 21 January 1906; will proved 19 June 1906 (estate in Ireland, £9,460) and 27 July 1906 (estate in England, £2,994);
(9) Marianne Bellew (1828-62), baptised at St Mary's R.C. Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, 14 January 1828; married, 17 July 1851 at Mountbellew, Joseph Kelly (c.1819-95) of Newtown (Co. Galway), third son of James Kelly, and had issue at least one daughter; died 21 April 1862;
(10) John Bellew (1829-47), baptised at St Mary's R.C. Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, 29 March 1829; died of a fever at Dalkey (Co. Dublin), 15 October 1847;
(11) William Bellew (1830-55), baptised at St Mary's R.C. Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, 23 September 1830; an officer in the 1st Royals (Ensign, 1850; Lt., 1853); who served in the Crimean war and was severely wounded in the capture of some quarries near Sebastopol on 7 June 1855; after the battle his arm was amputated but he died of his wounds in late June 1855;
(12) Helena Maria Bellew (d. 1889); died unmarried at Lourdes (France), 22 March 1889; administration of goods granted 8 November 1890 (effects £55).
He inherited Mount Bellew from his father in 1826 and also owned Greenville Lodge, Rathmines (Co. Dublin).
He died at Rathmines, 3 July 1855; his will was proved in 1855 (effects under £14,000). His widow died 30 April 1865; her will was proved 21 August 1865 (effects under £2,000).

Bellew, Fr. Sir Christopher (1818-67), 2nd bt. Eldest son of Sir Michael Dillon Bellew (1796-1855), 1st bt., and his wife Helena Maria, eldest daughter of Thomas Dillon of Mount Dillon (Co. Dublin) and Eadestown (Co. Kildare), born 25 July 1818. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1838*), after which he travelled extensively on the Continent. During the famine years he is said to have exerted himself to his maximum ability in the relief of distress on and around the Mountbellew estate, but it was not until a visit to Vienna in 1850 that he felt called to join the priesthood. He entered the Society of Jesus at Issenheim, Alsace (France) in 1850 and was ordained at Montaubin (France) in 1856, taking his final vows in 1866. After ordination he spent two years teaching at the Jesuit College in Limerick and thereafter was attached to St Francis Xavier, Dublin. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Mount Bellew from his father in 1855.
He died in Dublin, 18 March 1867, and was buried at Glasnevin Cemetery.
* His obituary says he graduated, but I can find no record to support this.

Bellew (later Gratton-Bellew), Thomas Arthur (1820-63). Second son of Sir Michael Dillon Bellew (1796-1855), 1st bt., and his wife Helena Maria, eldest daughter of Thomas Dillon of Mount Dillon (Co. Dublin) and Eadestown (Co. Kildare), born 1820. Educated at Stonyhurst. An officer in the army (Ensign, 1842; Lt., 1845; Capt. 1850; retired 1852) and in the 5th Royal Lancashire militia (Capt., 1855). JP for Co. Galway. Liberal MP for County Galway, 1852-57. He took the additional name Grattan by royal licence, 19 March 1859, having married, 1 September 1858 at Rathmines RC church (Co. Dublin), Pauline Costiglione Mary (c.1833-1908), second daughter and co-heir of James Grattan MP (1783-1854) of Tinnehinch, Enniskerry (Co. Wicklow), son of the Rt. Hon. Henry Grattan, statesman, and had issue:
(1) Mary Helena Grattan-Bellew (1859-1940), born 25 May 1859; married, 7 July 1885 at St Paul, Wilton Place, Westminster (Middx), Brig-Gen. Alexander William Frederick Fraser CMG (1851-1933), later 18th Lord Saltoun, and had issue four sons and one daughter; died 8 October 1940 and was buried with her husband at Fraserburgh (Aberdeens.); will proved 24 February 1941 (estate £13,602);
(2) Sir Henry Christopher Grattan-Bellew (1860-1942), 3rd bt. (q.v.).
He inherited Tinnehinch, Enniskerry (Co. Wicklow) on his marriage in 1858.
He died 24 July 1863; his will was proved 10 September 1863 (effects under £10,000). His widow died in Dublin, 17 July 1908; her will was proved 18 December 1908 (estate £25,306).

Sir Henry Grattan-Bellew, 3rd bt. 
Grattan-Bellew, Sir Henry Christopher (1860-1942), 3rd bt. 
Only son of Thomas Arthur Bellew (later Grattan-Bellew) (1820-63) and his wife Pauline Costiglione Mary, daughter and co-heir of Henry Grattan MP, born 1 June 1860 and baptised at St Andrew's RC church, Dublin. Educated at Beaumont College, Windsor and Downside. He succeeded his uncle as 3rd baronet, 18 March 1867, and came of age in 1881. An officer in the 5th Dragoon Guards (Lt., 1882; resigned 1886) and later in the territorial battalion of the Connaught Rangers (2nd Lt., 1896; Lt., 1896; Capt., 1900; Hon. Maj., 1907; retired as Hon. Lt-Col.). High Sheriff of Co. Galway, 1887-88. He married, 11 February 1885, Lady Sophia Maria Elizabeth (1862-1942), daughter of George Arthur Hastings Forbes (1833-89), 7th Earl of Granard, and had issue:
(1) Herbert Michael Grattan-Bellew (1886-1906), born 17 June 1886; educated at The Oratory School, Birmingham; died unmarried as the indirect result of a fall while hunting, 11 November 1906;
(2) Sir Charles Christopher Grattan-Bellew (1887-1948), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(3) Helena Barbara Grattan-Bellew (b. 1889), born 4 April 1889; living in 1911; probably died unmarried, but death not traced;
(4) Moira Jane Grattan-Bellew (1891-1971), born 8 May 1891; married, 8 January 1920 at Mountbellew, James d'Arcy (1880-1958), eldest son of Hyacinth D'Arcy (1830-1912) of New Forest (Co. Galway), and had issue one son and two daughters; died 20 October 1971;
(5) William Arthur Grattan-Bellew (1893-1917), born 15 September 1893; an officer in the Connaught Rangers (2nd Lt, 1915) seconded to Royal Flying Corps (Pilot Offr, 1915; Fl/Cdr., 1916; Sq/Cdr., 1916) who served in the First World War, and died unmarried from injuries received on active service, 24 March 1917; buried at Avesnes-le-Comte, Pas de Calais (France);
(6) Angela Mary Grattan-Bellew (1894-1966), born 11 November 1894; dog breeder and trainer; lived at Greystones (Co. Wicklow); died unmarried, 1 February 1966;
(7) Thomas Henry Grattan-Bellew (1901-67) of Mount Loftus (Co. Kilkenny), born 9 May 1901; educated at Downside and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA), a knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; married, 1 June 1933 at Graignamanagh Abbey, Bettina Idrone Dorothy (1906-95), eldest daughter of Maj. John Edward Blake Loftus of Mount Loftus (Co. Kilkenny) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 3 December 1967;
(8) Sir Arthur John Grattan-Bellew (1903-85), born 23 May 1903; educated at Downside, Christ's Coll, Cambridge (BA 1924) and Lincoln's Inn (called 1925); barrister-at-law (QC) in London, 1925-35; with Egyptian Government legal service, 1936-38 and colonial legal service, Malaya, 1938-41, 1946-48; served in Indian Army, 1941-45, and was a Prisoner of War, 1942-45; Attorney General of Sarawak, 1948-52 and Tanganyika, 1952-56; Chief Secretary, Tanganyika, 1956-59; appointed CMG, 1956 and knighted, 1959; with Legal Advisers Dept. of Foreign & Commonwealth Office and retired 1963; chairman of Bellew, Parry and Raven Group of companies; lived latterly at Pledgdon Green, Henham (Essex); married, 22 July 1931 at St Mary, Cadogan St. Westminster, Winifred Mary (d. 1979), second daughter of Edmund Ronayne Mahony of Marysborough, Glanmore (Co. Cork), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 5 January 1985 and was buried at Little Chishill (Cambs); will proved 7 May 1985 (estate £192,182).
He inherited Tinnehinch, Enniskerry (Co. Wicklow) from his father in 1863 and Mount Bellew, from his uncle in 1867, and came of age in 1881. The Mount Bellew estate was sold to the Irish Land Commission in the late 1930s, and the house was demolished shortly afterwards. He lived latterly at Tinnehinch, Enniskerry (Co. Wicklow), which survived until 1953.
He died 20 January 1942; his will was proved 28 January 1943 (estate £12,864). His widow died 7 November 1942; her will was proved 7 July 1943 (estate £993).

Lt-Col. Sir Charles Grattan-Bellew, 4th bt. 
Grattan-Bellew, Lt-Col. Sir Charles Christopher (1887-1948), 4th bt. 
Second, but eldest surviving, son of Sir Henry Christopher Grattan-Bellew (1860-1942), 3rd bt., and his wife Lady Sophia Maria Elizabeth Forbes, daughter of 7th Earl of Granard, born 23 August and baptised at St Kevin RC church, Harrington St., Dublin, 29 August 1887. Educated at Oratory School and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. An officer in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps (2nd Lt., 1908; Lt., 1911; Capt., 1915; Maj., 1918; Hon. Lt-Col., 1921; retired 1922), who served in the First World War and was awarded the MC. He married, 21 April 1923 at the University Church, St Stephen's Green, Dublin, Maureen Peyton (1893-1978), niece and adopted daughter of Sir Thomas George Segrave CBE (1864-1941) of Shenfield (Essex), and had issue:
(1) Deirdre Maureen Grattan-Bellew (1924-2003), born 21 March 1924; married, 11 April 1946 at St Kevin's RC church, Dublin, Gerard John Patrick Kiernan, son of Patrick Kiernan, and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 23 September 2003 and was buried at Blackrock (Co. Dublin);
(2) Sir Henry Charles Grattan-Bellew (1933-2022), 5th bt., born 12 May 1933; educated at Ampleforth; succeeded his father as 5th baronet, 6 November 1948; joined colonial service and served in Kenya, 1953-55; later sports administrator, journalist, radio and television broadcaster, publisher and company director; author of A Pictorial Memoir of Mountbellew/Moylough and Environs; 1888-1988 (2010)lived at Tinnehinch, Enniskerry (Co. Wicklow), which he sold c.1950, and later in Canada, Rhodesia and South Africa before returning to Ireland in his later years; married 1st, 27 April 1956 in Dublin (div. 1966), Naomi (1916-2001), younger daughter of Dr Charles Cyril Morgan of White Friars, Chester (Ches.) and formerly wife of Joseph Kopel Zimmerman (1906-2003) and Hugh C. Ellis (1916-59?); married 2nd, 1967 (div. 1973), Gillian Hulley (d. 2011), and had issue one son and one daughter; married 3rd, 1978 (div. 1993), Elzabé Amy, only daughter of Henry Gilbert Body of Utrecht, Natal (South Africa) and widow of J.B. Westerveld of Pretoria (South Africa); died 3 June 2022, when he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son, Sir Patrick Charles Grattan-Bellew (b. 1971), 6th bt.
He lived latterly at Malahide (Co. Dublin).
He died 6 November 1948 and was buried at Deansgrange Cemetery (Co. Dublin); his will was proved in Dublin, 21 October 1949 and in London, 28 November 1949 (estate in Ireland £11,877; estate in England, £4436). His widow died 12 July 1978 and was also buried at Deansgrange Cemetery.

Principal sources

Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 2003, pp. 334-35; Mrs R. Bellew, 'John Bellew of Willistown, 1606-79', Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society, vol. 6, no. 4 (1928), pp. 229-237; K. Harvey, The Bellews of Mount Bellew, 1998; H. O'Sullivan, John Bellew: a 17th century man of many parts, 1605-79, 2000; P. Melvin, Estates and landed society in Galway, 2012, pp. 49-50; K.V. Mulligan, Rich specimens of architectural beauty: John Preston Neale's Irish country houses, 2020, pp. 32-33, 92-93, 163.

Location of archives

Bellew of Mount Bellew, baronets: family, estate and legal papers, 1640-1916 [National Library of Ireland, Bellew papers]

Coat of arms

Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Sable fretty or a crescent argent in chief (for Bellew); 2nd and 3rd, Per saltire sable and ermine a lion rampant or (for Grattan).

Can you help?

  • Can anyone provide additional drawings or photographs of Mount Bellew House, especially any views of the interior?
  • Can anyone provide additional information about the ownership history of Tinnehinch after 1950?
  • Can anyone provide portraits or photographs of the people whose names appear in bold above, for whom no image is currently shown?
  • If anyone can offer further information or corrections to any part of this article I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 30 April 2023 and was updated 29 April 2024.

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