Landed Estates
NUI Galway

St. Leger

Family title

Viscount Doneraile


Estate(s)

Name Description
Sayers (Sunville) Edward Sayers held a townland in the parish of Particles, barony of Coshlea, county Limerick, at the time of Griffith's Valuation. The house was valued at £26 and the corn mill which was in the demesne grounds at £18. Sunville and its mills had previously belonged to the Godsell family who had been located at Sunville from the late 17th century. The house, mill and 287 acres were advertised for sale in January 1853. The rental states that this property was originally part of the Ponsonby estate and that an Act of Parliament had been passed in the 1780s for the sale of the estates of James C. Ponsonby. In the 1870s Edward Seyers of Sunville, Charleville, owned 621 acres in county Limerick. Edward Sayers may be a member of the Sayers family of Croghnacree, barony of Fermoy, county Cork, held from the St Leger family of Doneraile. The Irish Times reported on the sale of portions of the latter property in November 1864. The sale of two lots was adjourned while the third was sold to a Mr. Walsh. In January 1888 property owned by Hugh Thomas Sayers in the barony of Middlethird, county Tipperary, was offered for sale in the Land Judges' Court. The sale was adjourned to allow negotiations between representative of the tenants and the owner's solicitor with a view to the tenants purchasing the estate.
St. Leger A Norman family who first established connections with the Province of Munster in the mid 16th century, family members holding official positions in Munster from this time. Arthur St Leger of Doneraile was created Viscount Doneraile in 1703 and this title died out with the death of his son, Hayes, 4th Viscount, in 1767. The 4th Viscount's estates were inherited by his nephew, St Leger Aldworth of Newmarket, county Cork, who assumed the name of St Leger and was created Viscount Doneraile (2nd creation) in 1785. This title fell into abeyance in 1956. Sir William St Leger purchased much of the Doneraile estate from Sylvanus Spenser, son of the poet Edmund Spenser, in the early 17th century. The Buttevant estate, the other large property held by the family in county Cork, was acquired in the 1820s when Sir John Anderson went bankrupt. At the time of Griffith's Valuation, Lord Doneraile was among the principal lessors in the parishes of Buttevant and Liscarrol, barony of Orrery and Kilmore, Kilnaglory, barony of East Muskerry, Caherduggan, Clenor, Doneraile and Templeroan, barony of Fermoy. In the 1870s the county Cork estate amounted to 8,374 acres and the county Waterford estate to 6,584 acres. The latter was principally in the barony of Middlethird, parishes of Drumcannon, Islandikane, Kilmeadan and Newcastle as well as the parish of Killea in the barony of Gaultiere. It came into the possession of the St. Legers through the marriage with Elizabeth Otterington, daughter of the original owner. Most of the estate was sold to the tenants under the various Land Acts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Demesne lands amounting to 360 acres were sold to the Land Commission in 1943 and the house in 1969. In 1906 B.E.B. Fitzpatrick, 2nd Baron Castletown, son-in-law of the 4th Viscount Doneraile (2nd creation), held some of the St Leger estate. A large collection of estate papers in the National Library document this estate in three centuries.