Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Blake (Renvyle)


Estate(s)

Name Description
Blake (Renvyle) Henry Blake returned from Montserrat in 1676 and, according to Martin J. Blake, bought the Lehinch estate at Hollymount, county Mayo, about 600 acres, from the patentee John Porter. He also bought the Renvyle estate, county Galway, from Richard Nugent, Earl of Westmeath in 1680. In 1780 the estates passed to a cousin, Valentine Blake of Mullaghmore and Windfield, county Galway, whose son Henry Blake of Renvyle sold part of his Lehinch estate, including his house, to Thomas Lindsey of Hollymount circa 1812 and the rest of the estate was bought by the 2nd Marquess of Sligo in 1818. The Lehinch estate was in the parishes of Kilcommon, barony of Kilmaine and parish of Tagheen, barony of Clanmorris. The Renvyle estate of nearly 13,000 acres in the parish of Ballynakill, barony of Ballynahinch, county Galway, was visited by Henry Blake for the first time in 1811. He refused to renew the O'Flaherty's lease of the property and took up residence there in the early 1820s. His descendants continued to live at Renvyle until the early 20th century. A large portion of the estate was sold in the early 1850s. Mrs Caroline Blake of Renvyle owned an estate of 4,682 acres in the 1870s. The author Oliver St John Gogarty bought the house and about 200 acres in 1917 and entertained many well known artists and literary figures there.
Vesey In December 1698 John Vesey, Archbishop of Tuam from 1679 to 1716, bought almost 750 acres in the Hollymount area, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo, from the sale of the estate of Colonel John Browne of Westport. In 1703 he bought circa 2000 acres in the barony of Clanmorris from the trustees for the sale of forfeited estates. These lands had formerly belonged to James Browne and Thomas Burke. Sir Thomas Vesey of Abbeyleix, eldest son of the Archbishop, bought Togher and Lehinch from Peter Browne of Westport in 1712. His half brother George was the rector of Hollymount. Title deeds in the De Vesci Papers in the National Library suggest that Sir John Denny Vesey sold part of his estate in counties Galway and Mayo to his uncle by marriage Henry Bingham of Newbrook and part to his uncle the Reverend George Vesey in 1731. It was George's daughter Frances who married Thomas Lindsey in 1757. The Vesey estate in the Hollymount locality appears to have passed into the possession of the Lindsey family through this marriage. The Lehinch estate was in the possession of the Blakes throughout the 18th century. John Wesley visited Hollymount in 1756 and described the house and gardens built by the Archbishop.
Miller (Milford) A family of Cromwellian settlers who were granted over 1,000 acres in the parishes of Kilmainemore and Kilcommon, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo in 1667. Originally established at Ballycusheen they settled at Milford, parish of Kilmainemore, in the early 18th century. They also held lands along the shore of Killary harbour in the 18th century from the Blakes of Renvyle and inherited part of the Cloghastookeen estate, parish of Kilconickny, barony of Dunkellin, county Galway, through marriage with a Croasdaile heiress. Croasdaile Bowen Miller is recorded as one of the principal lessors in the parish of Kilconickny, barony of Dunkellin, in 1855. In 1876 the Milford estate was comprised of 1404 acres in county Mayo and 651 acres in county Galway. It was reduced in size by sales to the Congested Districts' Board and the Land Commission but the Ormsby family, who inherited the property from the Millers early in the 20th century, still farm 300+ acres. This is one of the few county Mayo estates still in the possession of the descendants of the original grantees.
Henry (Kylemore) Mitchell Henry was a doctor who was left a large fortune by his father, a Manchester merchant, in 1862. He bought an estate in the parish of Ballynakill, barony of Ballynahinch, county Galway, from the Wilberforces, Grahams and others, including sporting rights. He employed two architects, Ussher Roberts and John F. Fuller, to design Kylemore Abbey for him. It became his home and he initiated extensive agricultural improvements on his estate. He became a supporter of Home Rule and a Member of Parliament for county Galway. In the 1870s he owned over 9000 acres in county Galway. By the turn of the 20th century however he had lost most of his fortune and in 1903 the castle was sold to Mr Zimmerman of Chicago for his daughter, the Duchess of Manchester. In 1920 the Benedictine nuns from Ypres took over the Abbey and have been there ever since running, until recent years, a girls' secondary school and a very successful tourist business.
O'Flaherty (Renvyle) In the 18th century the O'Flahertys held lands, that had previously belonged to them, from the Blakes of Renvyle in the parish of Ballynakill, barony of Ballynahinch, county Galway. However Henry Blake did not renew their lease in the second decade of the 19th century as he wished to live there himself. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Edmund O'Flaherty owned 2 townlands in the parish of Ballynakill and one townland in the parish of Omey. These townlands were advertised for sale in the Landed Estates' Court in 1862 and a note on the sale rental states that the lands in the parish of Ballynakill were purchased by Edward Browne of Rosleague.
O'Flaherty (Knockbane) This branch of the O'Flaherty family of Renvyle had an estate in the parish and barony of Moycullen, county Galway, which they bought from Mark Lynch of Drimcong in 1803. The Westport Papers contain a copy of the will of Anthony O'Flaherty of Knockbane dated 28 Dec 1817. He lent money to Henry Blake of Renvyle and was succeeded by his son, another Anthony O'Flaherty, who was a Member of Parliament for Galway city from 1847-1857. Edmund O'Flaherty of Knockbane, a half brother of Anthony, was a friend of William Keogh and of John Sadlier, the banker. In 1854 he disappeared following rumours of his involvement in extensive forgeries. Edmond O'Flaherty of Gortrevagh, Oughterard, owned 2091 acres in the 1870s. Mabel O'Flaherty, sister of Anthony O'Flaherty married Joseph Fitzpatrick and their representatives owned 1,522 acres at Knockbane in the 1870s. The Fitzpatrick estate was vested in the Congested Districts' Board on 31 July 1902.
Wilberforce (Ballynakill) Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill states in her book ''Kylemore Castle & Abbey'' that Reverend Robert Isaac Wilberforce bought nine townlands in the parish of Ballynakill, barony of Ballynahinch, county Galway, from Henry Blake of Renvyle for £10,500 in 1853 (page 13). Most of Reverend Wilberforce's estate of almost 9,000 acres was sublet to St John Clowes of Torworth, Nottinghamshire, who married a daughter of the 2nd Baron Clanmorris in 1856. By the mid 1860s Mitchell Henry had negotiated the purchase of the Wilberforce estate for £9,480.
Nugent In April 1678 Richard Nugent Earl of Westmeath was granted an estate of over 11,000 acres in the baronies of Longford and Ballynahinch, county Galway and Ballintober, county Roscommon. In 1680 he sold his lands in the barony of Ballynahinch to Henry Blake. George Thomas John Nugent, 8th Earl was created Marquess of Westmeath in 1822. When he died in 1871, without male heirs, the earldom passed to his cousin Lord Riverston of Pallas.