Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Law Life Assurance Society


Name Description
Law Life Assurance Society At the time of Griffith's Valuation this company held two townlands in the parish of Kilgeever, barony of Murrisk, nine townlands in the parish of Kilmeena, barony of Burrishoole, four townlands in the parish of Aglish and one townland in the parish of Turlough, barony of Carra, previously the estate of Sir Samuel O'Malley of Kilboyne, county Mayo. In county Galway they had taken over the vast estate of the Martins of Ballinahinch which was heavily mortgaged to them. The estate included lands in the parishes of Ross, Ballindoon, Ballynakill, Omey, Moyrus, Kilcummin, Killannin, Moycullen and Rahoon, in the baronies of Ross, Ballynahinch, Moycullen and Galway. In 1853 the estate had been surveyed by Thomas Colville Scott for a prospective buyer but the sale never happened. Members of the Robinson family of Roundstone were agents to the Society and later to the Berridge family. The ''Return of Proprietors" in the 1870s records the Society as holding over 165,000 acres in county Galway. An undated sales rental in the National Archives records the sale of the Law Life Assurance Society's county Mayo estate by Frederick Flint and Sons, auctioneers, Dublin, including the purchases made by Mr McDonnell and J.William Kelly of St Helens, Westport. The Congested Districts' Board bought just over 4,000 acres of Clare Island on 15 Mar 1895.
Bourke (Ballynew) The Bourkes of Ballynew, parish of Aglish, near Castlebar, county Mayo, held a small townland from Sir Samuel O'Malley of Kilboyne and later from the Law Life Assurance Society. They advertised the sale of their lease in 1860. The Bourkes also held the townland of Carrowjames, parish of Drum, barony of Carra, which they sold in 1851 to Eliza Mary Jones. In 1864 Mrs Jones was advertising Carrowjames for sale again. Some evidence suggests that a branch of the Miller family of Milford, barony of Kilmaine, were resident at Ballynew from the early 18th century and in 1811 Dorothea Miller married Patrick Bourke of Ballynew.
O'Malley (Kilboyne) Burke's Peerage states that Owen O'Malley of Milcum and Burrishoole, county Mayo, married Anne, sister of John Chambers of Kilboyne, in 1763. They had no children but Owen O'Malley's son by his second wife was Sir Samuel O'Malley, who had extensive estates in the baronies of Burrishoole and Carra. He was in serious financial difficulty by the end of the Famine and his estates known as Burren, Ballynew, Kilboyne, Kilmeena, Cahir, Carrowmore and Clare Island in the baronies of Burrishoole, Murrisk and Carra were sold to the Law Life Assurance Society. Sir Samuel O'Malley retained the townland of Cregganbell.
Berridge In 1872 the Ballynahinch estate in county Galway, was bought by Richard Berridge, a London brewer, from the Law Life Assurance Society. In the mid 1870s he is recorded as owning over 160,000 acres in county Galway. Various surveys outline the Berridge ownership of property in county Mayo as well as Middlesex and Kent in England. In 1888 Bateman asserted that Richard Berridge was "the largest landowner in Ireland". The Galway estate was purchased for sporting purposes and the Berridges built a number of fishing lodges, including those at Inagh, Fermoyle and Screebe. The estate remained in the family's possession for only two generations. Over 70,000 acres,was vested in the Congested Districts' Board on 31 Mar 1915. The Berridge family retained a house in the locality and some fishing at Screebe until the late 20th century. A grandson of Richard Berridge married an Orme of Owenmore, Crossmolina, county Mayo, and a great-grandson currently produces well known Irish cheeses on his farm at Carrigbyrne in county Wexford.
Martin (Ballynahinch) A branch of the Anglo Norman family of Martin, one of the Tribes of Galway, was granted the O'Flaherty lands in the Connemara region in the mid 17th century. This family were a junior branch of the Martins of Ross and under the Acts of Settlement were granted vast estates in counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Clare and Sligo. By a patent dated 1698 they were confirmed in the possession of their Connemara estate known as the Manor of Claremount by King William. The Westport Estate Papers document the sale of over 27,000 acres in the baronies of Moycullen and Ballynahinch by the trustees for the sale of Colonel John Browne's estate to John Edwards for Richard Martin in 1699. The early generations of Martins lived at Birch Hall and Dangan, in the townland of Oranhill, parish of Rahoon, near Galway city. Richard Martin, better known as 'Humanity Dick', was the first member of the family to be reared as a Protestant. He was a famous duellist and founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Ballynahinch Castle was built in the centre of his estate. His son Thomas Martin died in 1847 during the Famine and Thomas's only daughter and heir, Mary Laetita, inherited a heavily encumbered estate. She married her cousin, Arthur Gonne Bell, and died in New York in 1850. The Martin estates were offered for sale in two sections in 1849. Their property close to Galway town included Dangan, Corcullen, Bushypark and Killeen. Their Connemara estate was acquired by the Law Life Assurance Society in 1852, to whom it was heavily mortgaged. In 1853 the estate of almost 200,000 acres was surveyed by Thomas Colville Scott for a prospective buyer. Richard Martin, second son of Richard 'Humanity Dick' Martin of Ballynahinch, is recorded as holding five townlands in the parish of Killannin, barony of Moycullen, county Galway, at the time of Griffith's Valuation although he emigrated to Canada in 1833. He was also recorded as the occupier of Clareville, a Martin home in the village of Oughterard. Many of his descendants still reside in Canada.
King (Killary Lodge) At the time of Griffith's Valuation Peter King held 3 townlands in the parish of Ross, barony of Ross, county Galway. He leased these townlands from the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin and from the Law Life Assurance Society. In 1876 Peter King of Killery Lodge, Leenaun, owned 2401 acres in county Galway.
Kelly (St Helens) J. William Kelly of St Helens, Westport, county Mayo, purchased some of the county Mayo estate of the Law Life Assurance Society. An estate of 4,112 acres belonging to Mrs Edith Mary Kelly, widow of William Edward Kelly of St Helens, was vested in the Congested Districts' Board on 1 Dec 1914. An estate of over 2,200 acres in county Galway belonging to Mrs Edith Kelly was vested in the Congested Districts' Board on 24 March 1911.
Redington (Dangan) The Redingtons held land in the Dangan locality from at least the 1830s. At the time of Griffith's Valuation John Redington of Dangan held a townland in the parish of Rahoon, barony of Galway. By the 1870s Mrs Eleanor Redington of Dangan owned over 1,500 acres in the town and county of Galway. In June 1876 and August 1877 a townland named Pollnaclogha, belonging to the Redingtons in the parish and barony of Moycullen and containing almost 1400 acres, was advertised for sale. Pollnaclogha belonged to the Law Life Assurance Society in the mid 1850s.
Duggan (Moycullen) In the 1870s John Duggan owned the townland of Keeagh, parish and barony of Moycullen, county Galway, amounting to 599 acres and 523 acres in county Tipperary. Keeagh was previously part of the Law Life Assurance Society's estate.