|Bennett of Thomastown Park|
Thomastown Park, Co. OffalyFor what was once quite a significant landed estate, remarkably little can be said with any confidence about the history of Thomastown Park. Burke's Visitation of Seats and Arms gives the fullest account of the house, saying
"There is an old castle upon this estate: this was besieged and reduced to ruins by Cromwell's army, which seems to have swept over the land with all the destructive violence of lava from a volcano. Many curious reliques have been, from time to time, picked up amongst the mouldering and disjointed fragments. The present mansion was built in the year 1730, by Mr. Leggat, and stands in the centre of a well-wooded park, commanding a fineview of some distant mountains. The grounds are much celebrated for the beauty of their walks and drives."
Unfortunately, the site of the castle is not recorded on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, so its very existence cannot be confirmed.
|Thomastown Park, Co. Offaly: the entrance front in 1951. Image: Country Life.|
Bennett family of Thomastown Park
(1) Thomas Bennett (d. 1795); probably the man of this name who was a wine merchant in Dublin; acquired the Thomastown Park estate before 1784 and gave it his name; died unmarried; will proved, 1795;
(2) Francis Bennett (d. 1800) (q.v.);(3) Mabel Clare Bennett; married, 1776, as his second wife, John Ball (1728-1804), of Dublin, silk manufacturer, and had issue one son (Rt. Hon. Nicholas Ball, justice of common pleas) and four daughters; living in 1821 but death not traced;(4) Anne Bennett; living in 1804; died unmarried.
(1) Thomas Bennett; died young;(2) Nicholas Bennett; died young;(3) Francis Bennett; died young;(4) James Bennett; died young;(5) Valentine Bennett (d. 1839) (q.v.);(6) Mary Catherine Bennett (c.1796-1893), born about 1796; married, 1817, Lt-Col. Henry Peisley L'Estrange (1793-1847) of Moystown (Co. Offaly), and had issue at least nine sons and three daughters; died in Norwich (Norfk), 20 December 1893; will proved 6 January 1894 (effects £142);(7) Elizabeth Emily Bennett (c.1800-85); married, January 1820, John Farrell (1784-1870) of Moynalty (Co. Meath) and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 22 September 1885; will proved 21 October 1885 (effects £9,199).
(1) Francis Valentine Bennett (1826-90) (q.v.);(2) George Henry Bennett (1827-67), baptised at Eglish (Co. Offaly), 1 April 1827; an officer in 20th Foot (Ensign, 1846; Lt., 1852; Capt., 1854; Maj., 1858; Lt-Col., 1859; Col., 1864); died at Little Crosby, Liverpool (Lancs), 7 November 1867; administration of goods granted 10 December 1867 (effects under £4,000);(3) Valentine Francis Bennett (1828-55), baptised at Eglish, 3 April 1828; an officer in the 33rd Foot (Ensign, 1848; Lt., 1852); killed on the attack on the Redan at Sebastopol in the Crimea, 18 June 1855;(4) Fr. Thomas Joseph Bennett (1829-67), baptised at Eglish, 27 May 1829; a Roman Catholic priest; canon of Liverpool RC Cathedral; died 'of a malignant fever', 10 January 1867; administration of goods granted 21 February 1867 (effects under £300);(5) Frederick Philip Bennett (1830-1905) (q.v.);(6) Fr. Henry Grey Bennett (1832-87), born 31 January 1832; a Roman Catholic priest at Little Crosby (Lancs), 1863-87 and canon of Liverpool RC Cathedral, 1878-87; died 11 May 1887; will proved 20 August 1887 (effects £2,097);(7) Elizabeth Marian Bennett (d. 1833); died young, 1833;(8) Fr. Albert Augustus Bennett (c.1839-1902), born posthumously and baptised at Eglish, 11 August 1839; a Roman Catholic priest; founder and rector of St Thomas of Canterbury, Waterloo R.C. parish near Liverpool, c.1869-1902; died 27 June 1902; will proved 25 July 1902 (estate £4,227).
Location of archives
Coat of arms
Can you help?
- Does anyone know more about the ownership history of Thomastown before 1784 or after 1951, or exactly when the house was pulled down? Any further photographs or paintings of the house would also be of great interest.
- Can anyone provide photographs or portraits 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.