Landed Estates
NUI Galway

French (Errit Lodge)

Description

A junior branch of the family of Lord de Freyne.


Estate(s)

Name Description
French /ffrench (Frenchpark) Patrick French fitzStephen of Galway is recorded as the earliest member of the family to be associated with Frenchpark. He died in 1667 and is buried in the ruined priory there. In March 1666/7 his son, Dominick French of Frenchpark, was granted over 5,000 acres in the barony of Boyle, county Roscommon and his grandson, John French, received a further 2,000 acres in the barony of Ballymoe in 1677. His descendant, Arthur French, was created Baron de Freyne in the Irish Peerage on 5 April 1851. Arthur French was a member of the Grand Panel for county Roscommon in 1828. The French family owned property in Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo. George French is recorded as owning over 500 acres in county Leitrim in the 1870s. In the 1870s Lord de Freyne owned 25,436 acres in county Roscommon, 4,052 acres in county Sligo and 328 acres in county Galway. At the time of Griffith's Valuation, he was one of the principal lessors in the parishes of Castlemore, Kilnamanagh and Tibohine, barony of Frenchpark and in the parish of Cloonygormican, barony of Ballymoe, county Roscommon. The Cloonshanville estate, forming part of the French Park house demesne, was offered for sale in the Landed Estates' Court in February 1870. The Irish Times reported that the lots were purchased in trust for Baroness de Freyne. Over 36,000 acres of the French Park estate was vested in the Congested Districts' Board in July 1906.
Moore/O'Moore (Cloonbigny) In 1629 John Moore of Brees, county Mayo, settled his Cloonbigney estate in the parish of Taghmaconnell, barony of Athlone, county Roscommon, on his third son, William. In 1725 Michael Moore of Cloonbigney married Frances Moore, co heiress, with her sister Mary, to their brother Garrett Moore of Brees. Mary was married to Sir Henry Lynch, 5th baronet of Castlecarra. It was not until 1744 that the division of the Moore estate was eventually settled by a decision of the House of Lords in favour of Sir Henry Lynch, who obtained possession of all the Moore estate in county Mayo. The Moores of Cloonbigny got Cloghan Castle in county Offaly. In 1852 the Moores of Cloonbigny advertised for sale in the Encumbered Estates' Court their lands in counties Roscommon (4,000 acres on border with county Galway), Offaly, Mayo (parishes of Balla and Kilcolman) and Clare (723 acres in unions of Ennistymon and Killadysert) amounting to 9456 acres. Their county Roscommon estate was in the parish of Taghmaconnell, barony of Athlone, and by the time of Griffith's Valuation it was in the possession of Fitzstephen French. The townland of Ballygill, in the parish of Ahascragh, county Galway, is recorded in the Ordnance Survey Name books as having been the property of Garret O'Moore. The house, Ballygill Lodge, that it formerly contained, was then in ruins.
French (Errit Lodge) In the mid 19th century the Right Honourable Fitzstephen French of Erritt Lodge, Member of Parliament for county Roscommon and younger brother of the 1st Lord de Freyne, owned an estate in the parish of Taghmaconnell, barony of Athlone, county Roscommon, which he purchased in 1852 from Moore of Cloonbigny. He also held property in the parish of Tibohine, barony of Frenchpark and in the parish of Kiltrustan, barony of Roscommon. In the 1870s the representatives of Fitzstephen French owned 12,270 acres in county Roscommon, 1,224 acres in county Sligo and 79 acres in county Cork. In 1874 over 7000 acres of Fitzstephen French's estate in the barony of Frenchpark, known as "the Bishop's Lands" was offered for sale in the Landed Estates' Court. This land was held on lease from 1863 from Lord de Freyne's estate. In November 1878 lands amounting to 3,817 acres in the baronies of Athlone and Castlereagh were advertised for sale in the Land Judges' Court. The owners and petitioners were Louisa F.C.M. Bridges and Augusta S.F.G. French, the two daughters and co heiresses of Fitzstephen French.
Ward In 1906 John Ward owned 86 acres of untenanted land at Cloonbigny, parish of Taghmaconnell, barony of Athlone, county Roscommon. On 29 January 1914 over 1,000 acres belonging to John F. Ward was vested in the Congested Districts' Board. This estate may have been part of the former estate of Fitzstephen French.