Friday, 1 January 2016

Muckross House

THE FAMILY OF HERBERT WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY KERRY, WITH 47,238 ACRES

Since the merging of the elder branch of the family of CLIVE, by the marriage of the heiress of the last Herbert, Earl of Powis, with the son of the celebrated General Lord Clive, the chieftainship of the name seems indubitably to rest with HERBERT of Muckross, in County Kerry.
Descended from Thomas Herbert, of Kilcow, he went to Ireland under the care and patronage of his relative Lord Herbert of Chirbury and Castleisland, in 1656; which Thomas was the son of Matthew, the son of Sir John, the son of Sir William, the son of Sir Matthew, of Colebrook, only brother of the Earl of Pembroke of the 1st Creation.
These brothers suffered as Yorkists in the wars of the Roses.

The heir-general of the Earl of Pembroke married into the family of Somerset, Earl of Marquess of Worcester, and Duke of Beaufort.
From Richard Herbert descended in the younger branches the Lords Herbert of Cherbury, afterwards Earls of Powis, and Herbert, Earl of Torrington, both extinct in the male line; while from a senior, but never ennobled branch, the family of Muckross and Kilcow now remains the existing and legitimate representative of the famous name of HERBERT.
The Herberts were granted land in County Kerry during the reign of ELIZABETH I.

THOMAS HERBERT, of Kilcow aforesaid, served as High Sheriff of County Kerry, 1659.

He married Mary, daughter of Edward Kenny, of Cullen, County Cork, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
John, dsp;
ARTHUR.
The eldest son,

EDWARD HERBERT MP (1660-1737), of Muckross, High Sheriff of Kerry, married, in 1684, Agnes, daughter of Patrick Crosbie, of Tubrid, County Kilkenny, and had issue,
EDWARD, his successor;
John, dsp;
Arthur, dsp;
Elizabeth; Margaret.
The eldest son,

EDWARD HERBERT (1693-1770), of Muckross, MP for Ludlow in Shropshire, 1756, married the Hon Frances Browne, daughter of Nicholas, 2nd Viscount Kenmare, and had issue,
THOMAS, his successor;
Nicholas (Rev);
Edward, MP.
The eldest son,

THOMAS HERBERT, of Muckross, MP for Ludlow, married firstly, Anne, daughter of John Martin, of Overbury, Worcestershire, and by her had issue,
HENRY ARTHUR, his heir;
Edward (Rev);
Frances; Catherine; Mary; Emily.
He wedded secondly, Agnes, daughter of the Rev Francis Bland, Vicar of Killarney, and by her had issue,
Thomas, dsp 1798, buried at Worcester Cathedral;
Francis, killed in a duel at Gibraltar, 1797;
Cherry; Elizabeth.
He died in 1779, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY ARTHUR HERBERT (1756-1821), who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Lord George Sackville, and sister to the last Duke of Dorset, and had issue, a daughter, and a son and successor,

CHARLES JOHN HERBERT, of Muckross, who married, in 1814, Louisa, daughter of Hugh Middleton, and had issue,
HENRY ARTHUR, his heir;
Charles, dsp;
Louisa; Jane; Maria.
He died in 1836, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON HENRY ARTHUR HERBERT (1815-66), of Muckross, Lord-Lieutenant and MP for County Kerry, and Colonel of the Kerry Militia; Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1857-8.

Colonel Herbert married, in 1837, Mary, daughter of James Balfour, by Lady Eleanor his wife, and by her had issue,
HENRY ARTHUR, his heir;
Charles;
Eleanor; Blanche.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY ARTHUR HERBERT DL MP (1840-1901), of Muckross, High Sheriff, 1881, MP for Kerry, 1866-80, Major, London Irish Rifles; late captain, Coldstream Guards.

Major Herbert espoused, in 1866, the Hon Emily Julia Charlotte Keane, only child of Edward, 2nd Lord Keane, and by her had issue,
HENRY ARTHUR EDWARD KEANE, his heir;
Kathleen Mary Eleanor.
The only son,

HENRY ARTHUR EDWARD KEANE HERBERT JP (1867-1931), died unmarried.
Smith indicates that two members of the family received lands in Kerry after the Desmond rebellion, Sir William Herbert receiving over 13,000 acres; while Charles Herbert received over 3,000 acres. 

Over the next three centuries they were to remain amongst the foremost families in County Kerry.

Henry Arthur Herbert was one of the principal lessors of property in the baronies of Dunkerron North and Magunihy, as well as holding some property in the barony of Trughanacmy, at the time of Griffith’s Valuation.

The family fortunes declined systematically in the late 19th century and most of the estate was sold in the 1890s.

MUCKROSS HOUSE, County Kerry, is an irregular-plan, six-bay, two-storey over basement, quadruple-gable-fronted, Elizabethan-Revival style country house with dormer attic, built between 1839-43, designed by William Burn.

It is situated close to the shores of Muckross Lake, amidst the beautiful scenery of Killarney National Park. The house is a focal point within the park.


It was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the watercolour painter Mary Balfour Herbert.

This was the fourth house that successive generations of the Herbert family had occupied at Muckross over a period of almost two centuries. 

Originally it was intended to build a more ornate house than that which exists today.

The plans for a larger servants' wing, stable block, orangery and summer-house are believed to have been altered at Mary Herbert's request. 


Today the principal rooms are furnished in period style and portray the elegant lifestyle of the 19th century gentry; while, in the basement, one can imagine the busy bustle of the servants as they went about their daily chores.

During the 1850s, the Herberts undertook extensive garden works in preparation for Queen Victoria's visit in 1861. 

Later, the Bourn Vincent family continued this gardening tradition.

They purchased the estate from Lord and Lady Ardilaun early in the 20th century.

It was at this time that the Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and Stream Garden were developed.

First published in December, 2011.  BIBLIOGRAPHY: MUCKROSS HOUSE WEBSITE

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

Went round the house last summer. The tour guide has a very dim view of QV's visit...according to her the visit was cut short leaving the family out of pocket. Found it all a little 'one-sided'!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with previous commentator. Just wonder what the tourists from overseas made of it!

Anonymous said...

Well the story locally was that Queen Victoria's visit contributed greatly to the financial ruin of the Herbert and Brown families. As well as that her visit was little more than a decade after the famine, and rightly or wrongly, she remained associated with the callous attitude displayed by the ruling class to the mass starvation of her subjects.