Landed Estates
NUI Galway

O'Brien (Dromoland)

The introduction to the Inchiquin Papers in the National Library of Ireland records that, in about 1685, Sir Donough O'Brien, [created 1st Baronet of Leamanegh and Dromoland in 1686 and one of the wealthiest commoners in Ireland], decided to move from Leamaneh Castle near Corofin, county Clare to Dromoland. His son, Lucius O'Brien, and Catherine Keightley were married in 1701 and by 1707 were living in a house at Corofin built by the Lucas family. Lucius died in January 1717 predeceasing his father by a few months so it was his son Edward who became the second baronet. Lucius's half brother, Henry, founded the Stafford O'Brien family. In 1799, the grandson of the 2nd Baronet, another Sir Edward O'Brien, married Charlotte, co heiress with her sister Harriet Arthur, of William Smith of Cahirmoyle, county Limerick. Their second son, William Smith O'Brien, was to become very well known as a supporter of Catholic Emancipation and as a Young Irelander. He succeeded to his grandfather's property at Cahirmoyle. His elder brother, Sir Lucius, became the 5th Baronet and 13th Lord Inchiquin. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Sir Lucius's estate was mainly located in the parishes of Kilnasoolagh and Tomfinlough, barony of Bunratty Lower. He also had townlands in the parishes of Clareabbey, barony of Islands, Clooney, Kilfenora and Kiltoraght, barony of Corcomroe, Kilnamona and Inagh, barony of Inchiquin and Doora, barony of Bunratty Upper. In the 1870s the Dromoland estate was comprised of over 20,000 acres. The 5th Baronet (died 1872) was married twice, first to Mary Fitzgerald of Adelphi and secondly to Louisa Finucane. The Vere O'Briens were descended from another younger brother of the 5th Baronet. They lived at New Hall and Ballyallia and Florence Vere O'Brien was involved in the setting up of Limerick lace making. Her husband, Robert Vere O'Brien, was agent to the Inchiquin and de Vere estates in county Limerick. There is a collection of Vere O'Brien papers in Trinity College, Dublin. The Inchiquin estate was still comprised of about 20,000 acres in the early 1920s but was gradually sold off to the tenants in subsequent years. In 1962 Dromoland Castle itself was sold by the 16th Baron Inchiquin to an American developer. A large collection of estate and family papers in the National Library of Ireland documents the history of the O'Briens and their estates from the 17th to the 20th centuries and is now available for consultation.

Houses

Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Newhall Newhall Killone Ennis Clareabbey 31 Islands Clare OSI Ref: R318 735
OS Sheet: 41
Discovery map: 57
Ballygirreen Ballygirreen Kilnasoolagh Ennis Newmarket 41 Bunratty Lower Clare OSI Ref: R376 704
OS Sheet: 42
Discovery map: 58
Russell Villa Sixmilebridge Kilfinaghta Ennis Mountievers 118 Bunratty Lower Clare OSI Ref: R471 664
OS Sheet: 52
Discovery map: 58
Dromoland Dromoland Kilnasoolagh Ennis Newmarket 41 Bunratty Lower Clare OSI Ref: R390 707
OS Sheet: 42
Discovery map: 58
Latoon House Latoon South Kilnasoolagh Ennis Newmarket 41 Bunratty Lower Clare OSI Ref: R377 705
OS Sheet: 42
Discovery map: 58
Newmarket House Newmarket Tomfinlough Ennis Newmarket 41 Bunratty Lower Clare OSI Ref: R397 682
OS Sheet: 51
Discovery map: 58
Ballyallia Ballyallia Templemaley Ennis Templemaley 25 Bunratty Upper Clare OSI Ref: R345 817
OS Sheet: 25
Discovery map: 58
Rosslevan Rosslevan Kilraghtis Ennis Ennis Rural 26 Bunratty Upper Clare OSI Ref: R356 792
OS Sheet: 34
Discovery map: 58
Ashbourne Courtbrack St Michaels Limerick Limerick South Rural 59 Limerick City Limerick OSI Ref: R563 561
OS Sheet: 5
Discovery map: 65

Archival sources

  • Rental of lands of Sir Edward O’Brien in Co Clare with a number of letters re the property, 1827-1828. MS 7877; National Library of Ireland
  • Manuscript maps of the estate of Sir Edward O’Brien & Sir Lucius O’Brien in Co Clare, with some lists of tenants, 1733-1811. 21 F. 138; National Library of Ireland
  • 4 maps of the estates of Sir E. O’Brien in parishes of Kilnasodagh & Clareabbey, with tenants’ names by M. Logan, 1828. 21 F. 137; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of O’Brien of Dromoland, founders of All Souls College, Oxford, c 1400-1849. GO MS 177: 129-130; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of O’Brien of Dromoland, Bts of Leamanagh, Stone Hall, c 1550-1804. GO MS 112: 34-35; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of O’Brien of Dromoland, with descent from the Hyde family, c 1660-1816. GO MS 178: 383; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of O’Brien of Dromoland Bts, c 1680-1847. GO MS 180: 473; National Library of Ireland
  • Genealogies of O’Brien, Viscounts Clare, Earls of Inchiquin, Baronets of Dromoland & of Ennistymon, compiled c 1770. MS 9518; National Library of Ireland
  • De Vere Papers, diaries of Lady Charlotte O’Brien of Dromoland and a member of her family, 1856-1860. MSS 3748-3749; National Library of Ireland
  • Day book of John Hickie, steward or sub agent to Sir Edward O’Brien at Dromoland, 1831-1836. MS 16,898; National Library of Ireland
  • Xerox copy of an illustrated catalogue of pictures, plate & other works of art at Dromoland compiled by Lucius O’Brien (15th Baron), Aug 1894. MS 18,812; National Library of Ireland
  • The Inchiquin Collection, includes deeds, leases, marriage settlements & other documents, 1854-1954. PP/9; Clare County Archives
  • Landed Estates’ Court Rentals (Dunboyne), Inchiquin, O’Brien & Macnamara, 29 Apr 1866, Vol 24, 25-30; James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Landed Estates’ Court Rentals (O’Brien), Inchiquin, O’Brien & Macnamara, 29 Apr 1866, Vol 81 (25), (commonage Kilfenora) MRGS 39/039, (microfilm copy in NUIG); National Archives of Ireland
  • Encumbered Estates’ Court Rentals (Dunboyne), O’Brien & O’Brien, 30 June 1857, Vol 10, 89-90; James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Encumbered Estates’ Court Rentals (O’Brien), O’Brien & O’Brien, 30 June 1857, Vol 46 (39), MRGS 39/023, (microfilm copy in NUIG); National Archives of Ireland
  • Copy of survey of the estates of Sir Edward O’Brien Bt situate in the parishes and county of Clare by Michael Logan, Galway 1828; Clare County Library
  • Large collection of solicitors' records including documents re the O'Brien family, 18th-19th centuries. E.J.French solicitor's collection, Small Accessions Index 8; National Archives of Ireland
  • Vere O'Brien Papers, Ms 5021-5099; Trinity College Dublin
  • Inchiquin Papers, large collection of estate & family records, mainly 17th-20th centuries. Collection List 143; National Library of Ireland
  • Inchiquin Papers, part of the collection was allocated manuscript numbers prior to 2009, for more details see Collection List 143, Appendix 2 & Richard Hayes ed. ''Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization'' (1965) & Supplement (1979).; National Library of Ireland
  • Inchiquin Papers, cash book & account book of Sir Lucius O'Brien, 5th Baronet, 1837-1863. MSS 19,437-19,438; National Library of Ireland
  • Cash book of William Moody, agent & clerk on the Dromoland estate. MS 42,064; National Library of Ireland
  • Pedigree of O’Brien, Earls & Barons Inchiquin of Dromoland, Co Clare, Cahermoyle, Co Limerick, Blatherwick, Northampton, c 1206-1855. GO MS 178:98-122 ; National Library of Ireland
  • Copy of confirmation of arms to Robert Stephen Vere O’Brien of Curragh Chase, & to his mother Harriet Lucy O’Brien, widow, on their assuming under Royal Licence the name & arms of de Vere, 26 May 1899. GO MS 26 May 1899; National Library of Ireland
  • Account of rents paid by tenants by Robin Vere O’Brien, [1883?] & his cash book as agent for estates of H.S. O’Brien, Mrs Monsell & Miss M.C. Ffennell in Cos Clare & Limerick. Mss. 5021 & 5025; Trinity College Dublin
  • Account book of Robert O’Brien re estate of Reens, Co Limerick & other property, as well as trusts & agencies administered by him, 1839-1853. MS 4246 ; National Library of Ireland
  • Shannon Papers, include letters & related papers concerning the sale of parts of Lord Inchiquin's estate in Co. Clare, under the trusteeship of Lord Shannon & the Duke of Leinster, 1778-1783. D2707; Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
  • Copies of Brooke of Killeagh Papers, include rentals & valuations for the estate of [4th Earl of Inchiquin], in the barony of Inchiquin, Co Clare, c.1740-1854. T2975/13 ; Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
  • Robert Vere O'Brien Papers, deeds, wills & other documents re O'Briens of Dromoland, Stafford O'Brien, De Vere Hunt, Scott of Cahiracon & other families, 18th-20th centuries (unsorted collection). PC 247; National Library of Ireland
  • Collection of miscellaneous items from the British Records Association, includes probate of will of William Earl of Inchiquin, from Prerogative Court, Canterbury, 20 May 1780. Small Accs Index 101, T.7315; National Archives of Ireland
  • Twigge Collections, Add. MSS 39259-39270, historical, topographical and genealogical collections relating to Clan Chuiléin "Macnamara's Country" in east Clare. Microfilm copies in Local Studies Centre, Clare County Library, Ennis.; British Library

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources