Friday, 15 January 2016

The Nesbitt Estate

CATHERINE DOWNING NESBITT AND THE COUNT DE LUSI OWNED 5,638 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY LONDONDERRY

ALEXANDER NESBITT (of the Nesbitts of Dirleton)  was the first of this branch who went from Scotland to Ulster.

He married his cousin Alice, daughter of the Very Rev Alexander Conyngham, of Tower, County Donegal, Dean of Raphoe, and by her had three sons,
JAMES, of Woodhill;
Alexander;
Albert (volunteer in a military party commanded by his uncle, Sir A Conyngham); killed in Co Sligo.
The eldest son,

JAMES NESBITT, of Woodhill, County Donegal, married Margary, only daughter of the Rt Rev Andrew Knox, Lord Bishop of Raphoe, and had issue,
George, his heir;
JAMES, of whom we treat;
William.
The second son,

JAMES NESBITT, of Tubberdaly, County Offaly. This branch became extinct in the male line; the representative in the female line, however,

THOMASINA NESBITT, heiress of Tubberdaly, wedded the Rev Clotworthy Downing, and their son, John Downing, assumed the surname of NESBITT.

This John inherited the farm at Tubberdaly from his uncle, Gifford Nesbitt (son of Albert Nesbitt), in 1773.


When William George Downing Nesbitt died in 1847 (at Leixlip House), he left Tubberdaly to his sister, Catherine Nesbitt.
Miss Nesbitt, as she was known, was very good to her staff and to the local people. She gave large amounts of money to such projects as building a bird house at Dublin Zoo and the building of a branch railway line from Edenderry to Enfield to join up with the main line from the west.
As well as her estate at Tubberdaly, Miss Nesbitt had large tracts of land in counties Roscommon, Londonderry, Antrim and Kildare.

In 1886, Miss Nesbitt left Tubberdaly to her nephew, Edward John Beaumont-Nesbitt, who was High Sheriff of King's County, 1892-93.


THE NESBITT FAMILY originally occupied the tower house in Tubberdaly onto which they built a gazebo from where there was a commanding view of the estate and the surrounding area.

They later built a large house and employed a large staff of people to work on the estate.

They also had a walled garden, which provided a large quantity of fruit and vegetables.

In 1923 the family home of the Nesbitts was burned to the ground. It was one of eight country mansions burned on that night in County Offaly.

It is thought that the motive was to persuade the new government to divide the land among the local people when the landlords had been driven out.

Also burned on that night was the home of Judge Wakely at Ballyburley and the lovely Greenhill House, the home of The Dames family.

Edward John Beaumont Nesbitt had left Ireland in 1920 following a number of disputes with his staff, including a strike which lasted for three months.

In 1925, the Irish Land Commission took over the estate and paid compensation to Mr Nesbitt for his loss. The land was eventually divided among local people.


Ernest Frederick Charles Spiridion Count de Lusi (1817-87) was married to Jane Downing Nesbitt. 

First published in January, 2012.

1 comment :

Demetrius said...

As someone proud to be Nesbitt in ancestry may I refer to you the Oxford DNB online entry on the Nesbitt family by Janet Stevenson. These were cousins of sorts to my Nesbitt, Cairncross Nesbitt of Aughamore. You need to be wary of Burke's listing for Cullen of Skreeny, in that the wills of the relevant Owen Wynne and Cairncross Nesbitt make it clear that the Patrick Cullen sequences of marriages were wrong in the later editions, albeit correct in the first one. Sadly, this has caused many people of the Cullen name etc. to assume a descent from the Earl of Arran via the Wynne's that is not correct.