Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Martin (Ballynahinch)


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.
Bell/Gonne Bell In the mid 17th century the Bells were granted the lands of Streamstown, parish of Kilcolman, barony of Clanmorris, county Mayo, for their support of the Royalist cause. A deed of 1716 records three branches of the family located at Streamstown and at Purrauns and Garreens, both in the parish of Kilcommon, barony of Kilmaine. Some of the Bell estate in the barony of Clanmorris was purchased from Lyndon Bell by the Marquess of Sligo in 1766 to provide for his younger sons. In 1768 Edward Bell married Mary Gonne and inherited the Gonne property in county Mayo. Henry Gonne had been given a lease of Brookhill and other lands by the Archbishop of Tuam, dated 30 June 1703. The Gonne Bells were living in Farmhill in the 1830s and Griffith's Valuation records them holding 13 townlands in the parish of Kilcolman and three townlands in the parish of Crossboyne. In 1847 Colonel Arthur Gonne Bell married Mary Martin, heiress to the vast Martin estates in county Galway. In 1876 the estate amounted to 1636 acres in county Mayo.
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.
Comyn (Woodstock) From the mid 17th century the Comyn family were established at Kilcorney in county Clare. In 1796 Laurence Comyn married Jane Lynch of Barna and bought land in the Spiddle area from his in-laws and from the Frenchs. Beggan states that he bought more land from the Blakes of Drum in 1814. By the time of Griffith's Valuation, Francis and Peter Sarsfield Comyn, sons of Laurence Comyn of Woodstock, county Galway, held land in the parishes of Killannin and Moycullen, barony of Moycullen and in the parish of Rahoon, barony of Galway. Francis Comyn also had an estate in county Clare in the parishes of Drumcreehy, Kilcorney and Rathborney, barony of Burren. Part of the estate of Peter Sarsfield Comyn at Spiddle was sold in the early 1860s to the Morris family. P.S. Comyn bought the Browne estate at Gortatleva in 1860 and resold it to Michael Hennessy of Galway, except for Brownville, in November 1869. Through a marriage in 1871 with the only daughter and heir of Walter Bourke of Carrowkeel, county Mayo, the Comyns inherited the Carrowkeel estate in the parish of Addergoole, barony of Tirawley. In 1878 Francis Lorenzo Comyn was recorded as owning 3,654 acres in county Mayo, over 7,000 acres in county Galway and 1,961 acres in county Clare. Holywell, the Comyn home, and 161 acres in the barony of Corcomroe, county Clare, was advertised for sale by Thomas Gibson, assignee of Thomas Francis Comyn in June 1859. This property was held on a lease dated 1803 from Edward O'Brien of Ennistymon to George Comyn of Hollywell. The Freeman's Journal reported that it was purchased in trust by Mr. Redington for £1900. Most of the Comyn estate of Woodstock and the Brownville property, with a portion of the Comyn estate in county Mayo, were sold to the Congested Districts' Board in 1902. 757 acres in county Clare were vested in the Board in November 1912.
Twining Frederick Twining, a member of the famous tea family, came to live in Ireland in the late 1850s. On 14 Aug 1852 the Commissioners of the Encumbered Estates' Court conveyed to him 889 acres at Cleggan, part of the estate of the Martins of Ballynahinch. He built a house there and developed a farm, supported by his private income. His estate was divided among his daughters following his death in 1902 and Cleggan is now in the possession of his descendants, the Musgraves.
Joyce (Leenaun) The Joyces of Leenaun, barony of Ross, county Galway, leased large tracts of land in Joyce Country and surrounding locality, from such landowners as the Earls of Leitrim, the Martins of Ballynahinch and the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin. The men of the family are described in many contemporary accounts as very tall. The Leenaun Hotel is marked on the first Ordnance Survey map. In the 1870s three members of the Joyce family of Cullaghmore, Leenaun owned 1,179 acres. In June 1927 the ''Tuam Herald'' reported that the Land Commission had taken over the estates of Thomas Walter James B. Joyce and Theobald Paul Joyce amounting to approximately 2,700 acres in the barony of Ross.
Browne (Kirkullen) At the time of Griffith's Valuation Michael D. Browne held one townland in the parish and barony of Moycullen, county Galway. In the 1870s John A. Browne of Kirkullen House owned 590 acres in the county and 269 acres in the town of Galway. The townland of Tooreeny was bought by the Brownes from Gustavus Edward Cockburn Hare in 1867. It was offered for sale in the Land Judges' Court together with other Browne property in March 1888 but the Irish Times reported that the sale was adjourned. John A. Browne of Galway sold 443 acres to the Congested Districts' Board on 26 Jan 1900.
Martin (Ross) The Martin family were established beside Ross Lake in the barony of Moycullen, county Galway, from the late 16th century, where they purchased land from the O'Flahertys. They were Royalist supporters and were dispossessed of their property in the city of Galway by the Cromwellians. Robert Martin received a grant of 2,909 acres in the barony of Moycullen, by patent dated 21 Aug 1677. Jasper Martin of Ross, who died in 1700, had two sons Jasper and Richard, from whom descend the two branches of the family settled at Ross and Ballynahinch. Nicholas Martin, who died in 1811, married Elizabeth O'Hara, daughter of Robert O'Hara of Lenaboy, and according to Burke's ''Landed Gentry'', a grandniece of James O'Hara, 2nd Baron Tyrawley. Their grandson, James Martin of Ross, had sixteen children from his two marriages. His daughter, Maud, married H. Callwell and they were the parents of the author, J. M. Callwell. The youngest daughter of James Martin was Violet Florence Martin of the well known literary team Somerville and Ross. The Martins of Ross owned 5,767 acres in county Galway in the 1870s. They advertised the sale of their estate in the Landed Estates' Court in May 1885.
Martin (Bushy Park) Robert Martin held an estate in the parishes of Kilcummin and Kilannin, barony of Moycullen, county Galway, in the mid 19th century. He was descended from Robert Martin of Birch Hall and Dangan, a half brother of Richard Martin 'Humanity Dick' of Ballynahinch. In the 1870s the trustees of Robert Martin, junior owned 1789 acres in county Galway. 1,351 acres belonging to Captain R.W. Martin were vested in the Congested Districts' Board on 1 Nov 1915.
Browne (Brownville) The Brownes of Brownville, near Galway city, were connected to the Brownes of Ardskea, parish of Kilmoylan, barony of Clare, county Galway and their descent is given in a family history in the archives of the James Hardiman Library, NUI, Galway. In 1789 James Valentine Browne married Jane Symmers of Aberdeen, Scotland and they had three sons. In 1819, their eldest son, James, married Catherine Elizabeth O'Flaherty of Renvyle and sister of Anthony O'Flaherty of Knockbane. At the time of Griffith's Valuation James Browne held the townlands of Gortatleva and Brownville in the parish of Rahoon, barony of Galway and three townlands in the parish and barony of Moycullen, county Galway. His estate was advertised for sale in the Encumbered Estates' Court in April 1854. 1300 acres was purchased by Isadore Lynch for £4000. Brownville House, Riverview and part of Gortatleva was advertised in June 1860. James Valentine Browne of Brownville, Professor of Surgery at Queen's College, Galway, 1849-1887, was eventually found out to be an imposter, pretending to be his cousin. [Valentine Browne of Harcourt St, Dublin, owned 801 acres in county Galway in the 1870s].
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.