Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Fair

Description

This family came, possibly from Maguire's Bridge in county Fermanagh, to settle in county Mayo in the mid 18th century. They were located mainly in the Hollymount, Claremorris and Kilmaine areas but also just across the county Galway border at Headford and Clonbur. They were closely connected with the Ruttledge family.


Estate(s)

Name Description
Fair (Levally) In the early 19th century a branch of the Fair family held the lands of Levally and Cappagory situated just outside Ballinrobe, in the barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo, from the Ruttledges of Bloomfield. By the time of Griffith's Valuation Levally was part of the farm leased by James Simpson from the Earl of Lucan. At the time of Griffith's Valuation the representatives of Robert Fair held the townland of Cloonacauneen, parish of Oranmore, in the county of the town of Galway. He had acquired this land in 1843 from the Cullinanes. The townland remained in the possession of the Fair family until 1911 when it was vested in the Congested Districts Board by Robert and Maria Alicia Julia Fair. In the 1870s Frances Mary Fair owned a total of 478 acres in county Galway.
Ruttledge (Bloomfield) In May 1749, Peter Ruttledge of Cornfield and Carrowkillen, parish of Robeen, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo, purchased from the Binghams of Newbrook the freehold of Cornfield and other lands, which he was already leasing. He acquired other lands in the vicinity and left all his property to his eldest son, Thomas, by his will dated 3 December 1766. Thomas Ruttledge added to the family property and built Bloomfield, which became the principal family residence. Thomas Ormsby Ruttledge, who made a detailed study of the Ruttledge family in the 1970s, estimated that the Ruttledge estates amounted to approximately 30,000 acres at the time of Thomas' death in 1805. Years of litigation between family members about the interpretation of the 1766 will of Peter Ruttledge followed the death of Thomas and the estates were eventually split up among three branches of the family, who had, as their principal homes, Bloomfield, Togher and Barbersfort. Robert Ruttledge, son of Thomas, succeeded to his father’s estates in county Mayo. As he had no children he settled some of his estates on his nephew, Reverend Francis Lambert, at the time of Francis' marriage in 1819. Francis changed his surname to Ruttledge. At the time of Griffith's Valuation his estates were mainly in the parishes of Robeen and Ballinrobe, barony of Kilmaine; Aghamore, barony of Costello; Kilconduff and Meelick in barony of Gallen and Kilcommon, barony of Erris. The Erris lands were held under a lease from Bingham to Thomas Ruttledge dated 1764 and the Ruttledge lands in the parishes of Ballinrobe and Kilgeever were all leased from the Archbishop of Tuam. The whole estate amounting to 15,482 acres, including 310 acres in the parish of Abbeygormacan, county Galway, was advertised for sale in the Landed Estates' Court in 1861. The Ruttledges retained some of their estate as they still owned 3949 acres in county Mayo in 1876. By March 1916 they had accepted a final offer from the Congested Districts' Board for their estate of 6400 acres in county Mayo and over 2000 acres in county Galway. They repurchased 825 acres around Bloomfield House and almost 400 acres in county Galway. The descendants of Reverend Francis Ruttledge lived at Bloomfield until 1924 when it was sold to the Land Commission by Robin Ruttledge, the well known ornithologist, who married Rose Burke of Cloonee.
Fair (Creggagh) John Fair of Creggagh, parish of Toomore, barony of Gallen, county Mayo, was a merchant, who held the townland of Glaspatrick, parish of Oughaval, barony of Murrisk, in the mid 19th century from the Earl of Lucan. This townland had been granted to the Protestant Archbishop of Tuam under the Acts of Settlement. He was also involved in the sale of Kilmaine village and other church lands in 1852 as executor to his brother-in-law, Henry Cannon. In the will of his father, Robert Fair, dated 1837, John's address was Bernardsville, Dublin. In 1876 he owned 475 acres in county Mayo. He married Maria Ruttledge, daughter of David Ruttledge of Tawnaghmore and died in 1877 at Creggagh. David Ruttledge Fair sold 472 acres to the Congested Districts' Board on 6 Dec 1905.
Fair (Fortville) In 1788 Robert Fair of Ballyjennings, parish of Kilmainemore, county Mayo, was leasing lands from a number of landlords including the farm of Toocananagh, near the village of Bohola, barony of Gallen, from Denis Daly; Ballyjennings and adjacent lands from Christopher Bowen of Hollymount and Ellistronbeg or Fortville from the Brownes of Glencorrib. He also had a share in a lease of the lands of Island, parish of Bekan, barony of Costello, from Francis Knox of Rappa. By 1809 he was able to buy the lands of Creggagh near Foxford from James Daly of Dunsandle, county Galway. It is likely that the Elizabeth Fair, who married Thomas Ruttledge of Bloomfield and Bushfield, was his sister. Two of his sons, John of Creggagh and Robert of Bushfield, married daughters of David Ruttledge of Tawnaghmore, parish of Kilbelfad, barony of Tirawley. Robert died in 1837 and left all his freehold property to his third son, Thomas of Fortville and later of Millmount, county Galway. His second son, Robert Fair of Carravilla and Bushfield, prospered and by the time of Griffith's Valuation had land in the parishes of Kilcommon, Kilmainemore and Robeen, barony of Kilmaine, Crossboyne and Mayo, barony of Clanmorris, county Mayo and barony of Ross, county Galway. He purchased in the Encumbered Estates' Court, parts of the estates of the Dillon-Brownes of Glencorrib, Marquess of Sligo, Henry Martin Blake of The Heath and Lord Oranmore and Browne. He had an only daughter, Jane, who married Thomas Ruttledge of Bloomfield. In 1876 Mrs Ruttledge Fair owned 2765 acres in county Mayo and 2799 acres in county Galway. Most of the Fair's estate was vested in the Congested Districts' Board on 29 May 1913.
Cannon Henry Cannon bought the village of Kilmaine, county Mayo, and surrounding townlands from the Millers of Milford, parish of Kilmainemore, in the early 19th century. By the time of the first Ordnance Survey the Cannon estate was held by John Fair, executor to his brother-in-law, Henry Cannon. An estate of 1650 acres in the vicinity of Kilmaine, some of it church land, was advertised for sale by John Fair in the Encumbered Estates' Court in 1852, John William Cannon was the petitioner for the sale. At the time of Griffith's Valuation John E.Cannon owned eleven townlands in the parish of Kilmainemore. In the early 1850s John William Cannon bought the Castlegrove estate in the parish of Kilbennan, barony of Dunmore, county Galway, from the Blakes. Lane indicates that this family also purchased part of the St. George's Urracly estate in 1853. In 1876 John William Cannon of Castlegrove, county Galway, owned 994 acres in county Mayo and 4979 in county Galway. Bateman records " W.J. Cannon" as the owner of a total estate of 5973 acres in counties Galway and Mayo in 1883.
Coyne/Kyne At the time of Griffith's Valuation Anthony Coyne/Kyne held a large acreage of rough land in the barony of Ross from the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin and had a house valued at £4 in Rusheen East. He also held a small estate from Colonel Charles Knox in the parishes of Kilmainemore and Kilmainebeg, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo, from the mid 19th century. He appears to have replaced Thomas Fair at Fortville and in 1876 he owned 518 acres in county Mayo. A Thomas J. Kyne sold 183 acres in county Mayo to the Congested Districts' Board on 27 Jan 1913. Anthony Kyne is buried in Rosshill cemetery in Clonbur.
Browne/Dillon-Browne (Glencorrib) A branch of the Browne family of the Neale, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo, settled near the village of Kilmaine and were generally known as of 'Ellistron' in the 18th century. In 1681 Valentine Browne was granted over 2,000 acres in the baronies of Kilmaine, Carra, Gallen and Tirawley, county Mayo with lands in counties Galway and Clare. In the 18th century the main part of the estate was in the parishes of Kilmainemore and Shrule. Two of the townlands belonging to them in the parish of Shrule, Mocorha and Bunnafollistran, had been sold to Sir Walter Blake in September 1699 by the trustees for the sale of the estate of Colonel John Browne of Westport. Robert Browne of Ellistron, parish of Kilmainemore, had a son Arthur who lived at Turin in the early 19th century. By the time of the first Ordnance Survey the Brownes were living at Glencorrib in the parish of Shrule. The last member of the family to reside at Glencorrib was Robert Dillon Browne, Member of Parliament and well known duellist, who sold the Browne estate in the barony of Kilmaine and the Holywell estate in the barony of Costello, county Mayo, in the early 1850s. The Glencorrib estate was bought by the Higgins family of Westport and James D.Meldon and the Kilmaine lands by Robert Tighe and Robert Fair. In 1882 over 150 acres in the baron of Longford, county Galway, the property of Arthur and Anne Dillon-Browne was offered for sale in the Land Judges court. In July 1882 the Irish Times reported that the Court had been informed that the tenants on the estate were willing to offer a total of £1106 to buy the property but that the owner sought a bid of up to £3000. The sale was adjourned.
Staples The Staples family held some church lands in the parish of Kilmainemore, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo. Mary Vesey, eldest daughter of Archbishop John Vesey of Tuam, married early in the 18th century Sir Robert Staples 2nd Baronet. The Staples appear to have purchased Turin from the sale of the Dillon-Browne estate in 1851. Most of the Staples estate was let to members of the Fair family and was held from the Bishop of Tuam. In 1878 Robert Staples of Dunmore, Durrow, Queen's County (Co Leix) owned 1,424 acres in Queen's County, 4,003 acres in county Londonderry and 1,385 acres in county Mayo. Robert Staples (died 1886) married Mary Isabella Bond and their eldest daughter was Katherine Ann, resident at Dunmore in 1910. Miss K. Staples sold 1,387 acres to the Congested Districts' Board on 28 Nov 1907.
Fair (Clonbur) The Fair family were established at Cloonbur, barony of Ross, county Galway, from the late 18th century. They were agents to the Berminghams and Earls of Leitrim of Rosshill, from whom they leased a number of townlands. The Blakes described a night spent in the half built house of Mr Fair in 1823. Later generations of the Fairs entered the legal profession and were involved in the law firm of Fair and Murtagh of Athlone and Moate, county Westmeath. Through marriage with a Hodson they were also party to a number of land transactions in the Athlone area. Some members of the family are buried in Rosshill cemetery and the Lynch family, descendants of the Fairs, run the Fairhill Hotel.
Clements & Caulfeild The Rosshill estate in the parishes of Ross, Cong and Ballinchalla, barony of Ross, county Galway, was inherited by the Earls of Leitrim and Charlemont through their marriages with the two heiresses of William Bermingham who died in 1799. The Fair family of Clonbur were for many years agents for the Rosshill estate. Apparently the estate was put up for sale in June 1860 to buy out the Charlemont interest and part of it was sold, mainly to the Guinness family. The remainder stayed in the possession of the Clements' family until the early 20th century. It appears to have been augmented by some purchases from the Landed Estates' Court including the Gildea estate in the parish of Ross in 1865 and in the 1870s the estate amounted to over 18,000 acres. The 3rd Earl of Leitrim left his estate in the barony of Ross to his cousin Colonel Henry Theophilus Clements of Ashfield Lodge, county Cavan and not to his nephew and successor the 4th Earl of Leitrim. By March 1916 Henry J.B. Clements had accepted an offer from the Congested Districts' Board for the purchase of his estate in counties Mayo and Galway. http://www.nli.ie/pdfs/mss%20lists/leitrim.pdf
Trinity College, Dublin, Provost and Fellows (Connacht) In 1837 Samuel Lewis recorded that at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries Queen Elizabeth I granted part of the possessions of the Abbey of Cong to the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin, which was established in 1592. On 7 May 1669 Reverend Thomas Steele, Provost, was granted 5,447 acres in the baronies of Ross and Ballynahinch, county Galway, estimated to produce an income of £300 per annum. Parts of the estate covered the region stretching from Cong to the coast at Leenane and included at least 16 townlands in the parishes of Cong and Ross, barony of Ross, county Galway. At the time of Griffith's Valuation the different townlands were let to head tenants such as William Booth, Sir Ralph Sadlier, the Lynchs of Petersburg, Courtney Kenny of Ballinrobe, Robert Fair of Bushfield, Michael Higgins, Anthony Coyne and Peter King. The Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin, also held a number of townlands in the parish of Omey, barony of Ballynahinch, county Galway, which were let to Redmond Joyce and other Joyces at the time of Griffith's Valuation. The amount of the acreage belonging to the Provost and Fellows was not given in the Landowners' return published in 1876 and Hussey de Burgh states that a correct return had not been received before the publication of his book in 1878. The Return of Proprietors, also published in 1876, however, states that the estate amounted to over 7000 acres in county Galway. In the introductory chapter to his book on the Trinity College estates Robert MacCarthy distinguishes between the Provost's estates and the College's estates. He writes that a large quantity of estate papers removed from the stables of the Provost's house were destroyed in the 1950s.
Cullinane Mountbrowne was originally part of the estate of the Brownes of Coolaran and Kilskeagh. By the time of Griffith’s Valuation Mountbrowne was owned in part by John Cullinane. In June 1857 294 acres of the townland was advertised for sale by the trustees of the marriage settlement of Martin Cullinane and his wife Elizabeth. However John Cullinane was recorded as the owner of 294 acres in county Galway in the 1870s. Thomas Cullinane held Derrymaclaughna from James Browne in the 1850s and was also tenant of part of the neighbouring townland of Barnaboy which he held from the Frenches. Samuel Burne’s interest in Derrymaclaughna was offered for sale in December 1854. The Freeman's Journal reports that the property was purchased by Redmond Carroll for £2000. In 1860 and 1866, the French interest in Barnaboy was offered for sale by the trustees of the will of Frances Maria French.