Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Erasmus Smith Schools, Governors of


Name Description
Joyce (Mervue) The Joyces of Mervue, Corgary and Rahasane were all descended from a family of Joyces long established in the town of Galway. In the 18th century the Joyce family prospered in their mercantile and banking activities and began to acquire land, including the lease of Mervue from the Governors of the Erasmus Smith Schools in 1789. In 1792 they sold property in county Mayo to the Blakes of Towerhill. In the 19th century the Joyces of Mervue held lands in the baronies of Clare (Annaghdown, Claregalway and Lackagh parishes), Tiaquin (Killoscobe parish), Longford and Dunkellin, county Galway and in the townland of Kinlough, parish of Shrule, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo. By the 1870s they owned 3,742 acres in county Galway, 146 in the town of Galway and 381 acres in county Mayo. Thomas Joyce bought Rahasane Park in 1846 and in 1855 Pierce Joyce was leasing Ardfry House from the trustees of Lord Wallscourt. Frank Joyce was agent to the Earl of Clanricarde between 1882 and 1887. In 1909 Pierce Joyce had accepted an offer from the Congested Districts Board for over 300 acres of his estate.
Lynch/Wilson Lynch (Renmore & Duras) A Galway family who prospered in the 18th century as merchants and bankers. Patrick M. Lynch is recorded as the lessor of several townlands in the parish of Killinny, barony of Kiltartan, county Galway in 1855, formerly part of the de Basterot estate. He was also the owner of a house in the townland of Doorus Park. Patrick Lynch is also recorded as the proprietor of townlands in the parish of Duras. His agent was James Connor, of Newtown Lynch, Kinvarra. The Lynches also held Renmore on the outskirts of Galway city from the Governors of the Erasmus Smith Schools and lands in the parish of Annaghdown, barony of Clare. Patrick Lynch married Ellen Wilson and their son John inherited his uncle's estate at Belvoir, county Clare. The family name became Wilson-Lynch. The Wilson-Lynch estate amounted to over 5000 acres in the 1870s with a further estate of over 3000 acres in county Clare. In 1906 John Wilson Lynch is recorded as the owner of about 150 acres of untenanted demesne land in the Doorus Park area where the mansion was situated.
Erasmus Smith Schools, Governors (Galway) An estate in the parishes of St Nicholas and Oranmore, barony of Galway, was owned by the Governors or Trustees of the Erasmus Smith Schools. Much of this estate was held by the Joyces of Mervue and the Lynches of Renmore. In the 1870s the estate amounted to 1585 acres.
Erasmus Smith Schools, Governors (Munster) In 1666 Erasmus Smith, a London alderman and philanthropist, was granted 21,067 acres in county Tipperary and 12,596 acres in county Louth, with about 500 acres in the barony of Coonagh, county Limerick and 300 acres in county Meath under the Cromwellian land settlement. Some of this land was used to support his schools but an estate in county Tipperary remained in his own hands and was later inherited by his granddaughters Dorothy and Lucy Smith who married respectively John Barry and Lord Strange (Stanley) in the mid 18th century. Other lands in counties Galway and Limerick were granted to the trustees for the charity of Erasmus Smith in 1667 and in counties Tipperary and Limerick in 1669. At the time of Griffith's Valuation estates in the parishes of Grean, Ballynaclogh and Doon, barony of Coonagh, county Limerick and Cordangan, Corroge and Solloghodbeg, barony of Clanwilliam, Clogher, barony of Kilnamanagh Lower, Moyaliff, barony of Kilnamanagh Upper, county Tipperary, were held by the Governors or Trustees of the Erasmus Smith Schools. The county Limerick estate amounted to 4,279 acres and the county Tipperary estate to 2,903 acres in the 1870s.
Stanley Thomas P. Power writes how the Stanleys acquired their Irish estates through the marriage, in 1747, of Lucy, daughter of Hugh Smith, son of Erasmus Smith, to James, Lord Strange, son of the 11th Earl of Derby. James and Lucy's son, Edward, succeeded his grandfather as 12th Earl of Derby in 1776. Lucy's sister Dorothy married John Barry, a younger son of the 4th Earl of Barrymore, and the Smith county Tipperary estate was divided in 1755, the Smith Barrys obtaining 4,908 acres and the Stanleys 6,108 acres. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Lord Stanley held two townlands Cooga Upper and Lower, over 800 acres in the parish of Doon, barony of Coonagh, county Limerick. His agent was Thomas Bolton. The National Library of Ireland holds a map of "Coogey", bordered by the townland of Bilbao, dated 1834 but the name of the proprietor is not recorded. This property was bought by Valentine O'Brien O'Connor in the second half of the 19th century [1873] as a report on the provisions of his will published in the ''New Zealand Tablet'' (7 Huitanguru [Sept]1874) states that an annuity of £5,000 was charged on the estate he bought from the Earl of Derby. In the mid 19th century Lord Stanley's county Tipperary estate was in the parishes of Railstown, St Johnbaptist and St Patricksrock, barony of Middlethird and Emly, Kilfeakle, Shronell and Tipperary but mainly in the parish of Solloghodmore, all in the barony of Clanwilliam.
Barry/Smith-Barry (Fota) John Smith-Barry of Marbury Hall, Cheshire and Fota Island, county Cork, was a son of James Hugh Smith-Barry, a grandson of the 4th Earl of Barrymore. Through his grandmother, Lucy Smith, granddaughter of Erasmus Smith, the Barrys had inherited a large estate in county Tipperary. Thomas P. Power writes that in 1755 it amounted to 6,108 acres in the baronies of Clanwilliam and Middlethird. In 1814 John Smith Barry married a daughter of Robert Courtenay of Ballyedmond, county Cork and their fourth son inherited that estate. In the 1870s their grandson Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry owned an estate comprised of 12,890 acres in county Cork, 79 acres in Cork city, 8,620 acres in county Tipperary and 6,239 acres in county Louth. In 1902 Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry was created Baron Barrymore of Barrymore, county Cork. He died without surviving male heirs. The title became extinct and his estates passed to his nephew, Colonel Robert R. Smith-Barry, who passed Fota Island over to the Baron's daugher, the Honourable Dorothy Elizabeth, Mrs Bell. Mrs Bell's daughter, Rosemary Elizabeth Villiers, succeeded to Fota House in the 1970s. In the 1850s James H. Smith-Barry was one of the principal lessors in the parishes of Ardfield, Templeomaley and Timoleague, barony of Ibane & Barryroe, Liscleary, barony of Kerrycurrihy, Coole, Gortroe, Kilshanahan, Ballycurrany, Ballyspillane, Britway, Carrigtohill, Clonmel and Templerobinbarony of Barrymore, Rathcooney, St Annes Shandon and St Finbarrs, barony of Cork. The Smith Barry estate in county Tipperary was located in the parishes of Ballysheenan and St Patricksrock, barony of Middlethird, and Clonpet, Cordangan, Solloghodbeg and Tipperary, barony of Clanwilliam.