Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Henry (Kylemore)


Originally an Ulster family who made a fortune as merchants in Manchester.


Name Description
Thomson The Salrock/Salruck estate, barony of Ballynahinch, county Galway, originally belonged to the Miller family of Milford, parish of Kilmainemore, county Mayo. In 1803 it was estimated to contain approximately 8000 statute acres stretching along the western coastline from the Killary Harbour to Cleggan. In 1815 Colonel Alexander Thomson married the widow of General Charles Miller who was killed in the Peninsular War. Colonel Thomson had some claim on the Milford estate and after a protracted law suit he purchased in lieu of this claim the Salruck property in the early 1830s. Members of his family continued to follow military careers and one of them was agent to Mitchell Henry at Kylemore Abbey. In 1876 the Thomsons still owned an estate of over 8000 acres in county Galway. 1332 acres of their estate was sold to the Congested Districts' Board on 2 Apr 1897 and by March 1916 a final offer for a further 7,819 acres had been accepted by the family. Alexander Thomson leased 13 acres of Illaunroe to Sir William Wilde in 1853 and the farm of Dernasliggan, 250 acres on the edge of the Killary, to Alexander C. Lambert in 1854. Descendants of the family still live at Salruck House and own some land in the locality.
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.
Eastwood A farm of just over 900 acres was leased by Robert Graham to Thomas Eastwood on 10 May 1847 for ever at an annual rent of £90. Eastwood began to reclaim the land and had built a house by the time of Griffith's Valuation. The Graham interest in the lands of Addergoole and Barnaugh appears to have been sold to Charles Richardson by Robert Graham in 1859 and by Richardson to Mitchell Henry in July 1878. Eastwood's lease of Addergoole was advertised for sale in July 1862 and the sale rental includes a lithograph of Kylemore Pass and a substantial house. The property was bought by Mitchell Henry and became the location of the Kylemore Model Home Farm. The Gentleman's Magazine of 1855 records the marriage of Thomas F. Eastwood, second son of Thomas Eastwood of Brindle Lodge, Lancashire and Maria Louisa, eldest daughter of Abel Onge of Hayestown, county Dublin, in November 1854, at Moyard Church.
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.