Ref NoLE16
TitleThe Clancarty Papers
DescriptionA collection of sixty-five letters addressed to the second and third Countesses of Clancarty by members of the Le Poer Trench Family and other related persons including Louisa Connolly, Charles Napier and Emily Bunbury. The letters describe international and local events and concern family and domestic matters in the first seventy years of the nineteenth century. In 1982 a similar and compementary collection of letters was deposited in the National Archives of Ireland [Ref No. 999/347.]

The Trench family, originally of French extraction, were resident at Garbally, near Ballinasloe, Co Galway from the 1630s. William Power Keating Trench (1741-1805) was a great great grandson of the first Trench of Garbally and was created first Earl of Clancarty in 1803. He was given this title according to Burke's "Peerage" (1932) 'in consequence of his descent from Elena MacCarty, wife of John Power, daughter of Cormac Oge MacCarty, Viscourt Muskerry and sister of Donough MacCarty, Earl of Clancarty, temp. Charles II'. He inherited teo fortunes through his mother, a secendent of the Power and Keating families. Only one item in this collection relates to the first Earl of Clancarty, which is an account of the Garbally rents, dated 1777 [see LE16/1/1]. Fourteen children of Willliam first Earl of Clancarty and his wife Anne Gardiner are recorded in Burke's "Peerage" (1932).

The eldest son was Richard 2nd Earl of Clancarty (1767-1837), who represented Co Galway in the Irish House of Commons from 1798 until the Act of Union. Although initially opposed to the Union he supported it in 1800 'being persuaded by Castlereagh'. After the Act of Union he represented Co Galway in the English House of Commons. In December 1808 he was chosen as a representative peer for Ireland. The previous year, in May 1807, he was appointed postmaster-general for Ireland. On 14 October 1807 he was granted by royal licence the additional surname of Le Poer, which he took in accordance with the will of David Power of Coorheen, near Loughrea Co Galway and from that date his particular branch of the family were known as Le Poer Trench. From 1810-1812 he was a frequent speaker in the House of Lords and in November 1813 accompanied William Prince of Orange [see LE16/2/1/1/6]. He was also involved in the incorporation of the Belgian adn Dutch provinces into the new state of The Netherlands. In August 1814 he was one of the four English plenipotentiaries to the Congress of Vienna, in which he played a prominent role. After peace was restored to Europe in 1815 he was created a peer of the United Kingdom. In 1816 he was appointed ambassador to the new kingdom of The Netherlands and was honoured by King WIlliam in 1818 with the title Marguis of Heusden and a pension. In early 1822 he resigned his poet and returned to his Irish estates. Two of his brothers were employed at various times as agents on these estates, namely Charles Le Poer Trench, Archdeacon of Ardagh, and William Le Poer Trench, who was a Rear Admiral in the navy before his retirements and who appears to have lived in Dalystown in 1835. Richard 2nd Earl of Clancarty built the Georgian mansion, now known as St. Joseph's College in 1819. William 3rd Earl of Clancarty re-landscaped the grounds in 1835 and succeeding years [see LE16/3/1/25].

In 1796 Richard 2nd Earl of Clancarty married Henrietta Staples [known as Harriette] daughter of John Staples of Lissan, Co Tyrone and his wife Ann, daughter of William Conolly of Castletown, Co Kildare. As a result of the Connolly connection, letters from Louisa Connolly, Charles Napier and his sister Emily Bunbury are found in this collection. Louisa Connolly (1743-1821), formerly a Lennox and daughter of Charles 2nd Duke of Richmond, was married to Harriette's uncle Thomas Connolly of Castletown, Co. Kildare. One letter, dated 1804, to Hariette from her husband, then Viscount Dunlo, was written from Castletown [see LE16/2/1/1/4]. In 1814 following the death of his sister Emily, Duchess of Leinster, Louisa Connolly paid a visit to the Continent. In a letter to Harriette she describes the reaction
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