Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Wilberforce


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.
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.
Wilberforce (Inishbofin) In 1854 Henry William Wilberforce, a brother of the Reverend Robert Wilberforce of Ballynakill parish, bought five townlands and islands in the parish of Inishbofin, barony of Ballynahinch, county Mayo, from the 3rd Marquess of Sligo. Following the sale Wilberforce took legal proceedings against the Marquess seeking compensation. In the 1870s Henry William Wilberforce of London owned 4378 acres in county Galway. 3141 acres of the estate were advertised for sale in the Landed Estates' Court in July 1874. The Irish Times reported on 6 July that negotiations on sums between £7000 and £9000 were on going. Cyril Allies was the purchaser and negotiations for the purchase of his estate by the Congested Districts' Board were taking place in the late 1900s. Inishbofin was originally part of county Mayo but was in county Galway by the 1870s.
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.
Allies In the 1870s Cyril Allies bought the Inishbofin estate of Henry William Wilberforce in the barony of Ballynahinch, county Galway, which he held on mortgage from Wilberforce since 1859. By about 1910 negotiations were well advanced for the purchase of the Allies estate by the Congested Districts' Board.