Landed Estates
NUI Galway



Name Description
Digby (Aran) The Aran Islands comprised three parishes: Inisheer, Inishmaan and Inishmore, all in the barony of Aran, county Galway. At the time of the Acts of Settlement the islands were granted to Richard [Butler], Earl of Arran. From the mid 18th century they belonged to the Digby family of Landenstown, county Kildare, a junior branch of the Digby family granted the title Baron Digby of Geashill in 1620. The Digbys bought the islands from John Richard Fitzpatrick and Sir Stephen Fox. The issue of ''The Connaught Journal'' dated 4 June 1840 reported the marriage of John William Digby of Landenstown and landlord of the islands of Arran with Frances Georgina Townsend. By the time of Griffith's Valuation the Aran Islands were in the possession of Peter Barfoot, his wife Henrietta and her sister Elizabeth Digby. Henrietta and Elizabeth were sisters of John William Digby. In the 1870s Henrietta Barfoot and Elizabeth Digby each owned 5596 acres in county Galway. In 1851 Sir Thomas St Lawrence, 3rd Earl of Howth married, as his second wife, Henrietta Barfoot, daughter of Peter Barfoot and Henrietta Digby and they had a son and two daughters, one of whom married Captain Benjamin Lee Guinness, a brother of Lord Ardilaun. By March 1916 an offer from the Congested Districts' Board for the purchase of the islands had been accepted by the St Lawrence and Guinness families. In the early 19th century Digby Devenish, revenue officer, was a prominent resident of the Aran Islands. In 1803 he married Elizabeth Digby of Aran and during the following 20 years their children were baptized in St Nicholas Church, Galway.
Barfoot Peter and Henrietta Barfoot were major lessors of property in the barony of Aran at the time of Griffith's Valuation. Peter Barfoot is recorded as the proprietor of over 11,000 acres in county Galway in the 1870s. This represents much of Aran Islands estate of the Digby family as Peter Barfoot was married to Henrietta Digby. The Barfoot's only child Henrietta married in 1851 Thomas St Lawrence 3rd Earl of Howth and a daughter of this marriage married Captain Benjamin Lee Guinness, brother of Baron Ardilaun. The St Lawrence and Guinness interest in the Aran Islands was sold to the Congested Districts Board circa 1915.