Manual By Hereditary Virtues: a History of Lough Rynn

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Although a square shape, the castle had rounded corners that made it more impervious to artillery attacks and it had a straight stairway carved into the hollow of a wall, rather than the more usual spiral stair in one corner. In the Croftons were replaced by another English family named the Clements. Daniel Clements, an officer in Oliver Cromwell 's army, had been granted land in County Cavan which had been confiscated from the Irish following the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.

Leitrim, William Sydney Clements Earl of [WorldCat Identities]

He inherited an estate of a massive 90, acres which stretched across four counties. The change in attitude towards tenants by this new Lord Leitrim is seen four years after he assumed his father's title. In , in a nationally reported event, Clements assembled one thousand armed military and police to repossess the local Gortletteragh Church for non-payment of rent, rent which his liberally-minded father had refused to take.

However, some six thousand men turned up from Longford, Westmeath, Roscommon and across Leitrim on the day to defend the church, forcing Clements to back down. He became more reactionary against the many calls for land reform which dominated post- Famine Ireland.

Gortnalamph, Ireland

In he spoke out vehemently against William Gladstone 's first Irish Land Act , believing it to be an encroachment on the rights of property owners. During the s hatred towards Sydney Clements grew in the surrounding area and stories began to be told of his mistreatment of the wives and daughters of local men. In September James Murphy from Mohill fired a loaded pistol at him, two days after sending him a note challenging him to a duel to 'take satisfaction for your ruffianly conduct towards my wife'.

By the s Lord Leitrim was arguably the most infamous landlord in Ireland, symbolising 'evil at its worst'. Leitrim's assassination received widespread publicity in Ireland and abroad, with proponents of land reform using it as evidence of the need to protect tenants from the abuses of tyrannical landlords.

His funeral in Dublin was marked by further riots, while none of the three assassins were convicted of his death. The inheritor of the Lough Rynn estate was Sydney Clements' English-educated cousin who lived in Cavan, Colonel Henry Theophilus Clements, rather than the heir presumptive to the title who lived in England. This Colonel Clements embarked on an extensive expansion and refurbishment of the castle.


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He added a new wing, built a Baronial Hall designed by Thomas Drew with heavy plaster cornices, a large ornate Inglenook fireplace, and a fretted ceiling and walls wainscoted in solid English oak. Two pantries, a kitchen, study, smokehouse and store were accessed by a separate entrance. In the basement there were stores and a wine cellar. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller 3.

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Leitrim, William Sydney Clements Earl of 1806-1878

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Hereditary Virtues History Lough Rynn by Fiona Slevin

More information about this seller Contact this seller 5. And that "one landlord" is of course the Earl. One is reminded of the killing of Denis Mahon three decades earlier at the height of the Famine. It was precisely because other landlords did not behave like Leitrim that the post-Famine decades were relatively tranquil in rural Ireland. Comments about the Third Earl nearly always begin and end with his death, but Anthony Malcolmson offers the first comprehensive, rounded biography of this awkward customer. He argues that, for all his "violent fits of passion", "his blinkered obsessiveness" and "his persevering sense of purpose", he was a "truthful man" who was capable of "characteristic but unpredictable acts of generosity".

He was fair in his own perverse way rather than vindictive; he was physically very brave, as his last moments show; he was not religious, and he was not a bigot, although some of his strongest supporters were. He was hot-tempered. He was a loner; he had friends, but few true friends.


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  • The very small turn-out of mourners at his funeral in Dublin, outnumbered by a hostile city mob, is surely telling in this respect. So too is the contrast between his funeral and that of Michael Heraghty, one of those involved in his killing.

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    Malcolmson raises a few pertinent "what ifs" about the Third Earl. What if he had been luckier in love; what if he had got along better with his father; and what if he had not been thrown off his horse in , leaving him in pain and lame for the rest of his life?

    Perhaps he would have been a different man. In imagining such counterfactuals, the book succeeds in making the Earl a more interesting and complex man. Certainly the image one gets of him for the first half or so of his life is of a much more sympathetic character than the ogre we know or think we know.

    Virtues contains much that is completely new about Lord Leitrim, about his army career, his friends, his extended family, his travels and travails, his politics, his state of mind was he mad, or just an obsessive compulsive —or did he suffer from some other personality disorder? There are lots of surprises and revelations in the book. But of course such "rural legends" are the stuff of folklore. But the stories about the Great Dan are benign. Whereupon the boy takes a short-cut and soon runs into the counselor again.

    One, William Kincaid, witnessed the killing of his father - but did he know, then or later, that Leitrim was his father? The references in the diaries are furtive, but in the wake of the birth Leitrim seems to have being paying out and worrying about the health of mother and infant.


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    A third birth seems to have resulted from in a brief affair in Rome in with a Marchesa de Frankevilla. But this is not a book about sex. It may be read instead for its clever and passionate defence of the Wicked Earl, and for its insights into elite county politics, into how the other half lived, and into landlordism in its final decades. As one would expect from the author of Primate Robinson or Pursuit of the Heiresss , the text is laced with wisdom and wit and attitude. They were part of a wider conspiracy, but not a nationwide one.

    They did not shoot the Wicked Earl in order to end landlordism.