Eustace Families Association

Carlow Eustace Families

The Eustace Family of Castlemore & Newstown, County Carlow

By Major-General Sir-Eustace F. Tickell

(Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society; Volume XIII, No. 6 pp. 375-382 (1955)


The Eustaces of Castlemore have held estates in the northern half of County Carlow for four centuries and are now almost the only Eustaces still to own lands in Ireland. We can say with near certainty that they are descended from the 1st Viscount Baltinglass, who had a younger son Edmund Eustace of Kilknock;


Edmund of Kilknock, Co. Carlow, a younger son of the 1st Viscount Baltinglass was born about 1510, but is not shown on some Baltinglass pedigrees. (Edmund of Kilknock possibly descended from the 1st Viscount’s mother, Anne Eustace of Ballyloughan, 12 miles south of Carlow. In 1584 there was a second Edmund Eustace of Killnock whose grandfather, Robert, was presumably the first Edmund’s brother, Robert Eustace of Tullaghgorey, whose heirs had by then succeeded to Kilknock.  (Kilknock was not forfeited in 1582, as were the Co. Carlow lands of James Eustace, the 3rd Viscount, granted to him in 1541 from the Baltinglass Abbey estates.) Lands granted to James Eustace, 3rd Viscount, included the parishes of Clonmelsh (south of Curlew) and Grangeforth (N. and W. of Castlemore, including Rathbaun), parts of Kilmaglush and some neighbouring townlands. James Eustace's wife Mary, co-heiress of Sir John Travers, also lost her Carlow lands—those of the old Preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers of Kilberry (north of Castlemore). She regained this estate thanks to the efforts of her second husband Sir Gerald Aylmer, but it was sold soon after her death in 1610.) The dower of Anastacia Wogan in 1417 (see Mainham) had included one-third of the Manor of Clonmore (10 miles E. of Kilberry) but this did not form part of her lands inherited by the Eustaces.(The dower of Anastacia Wogan in 1417, (See Mainham) had included one-third of the Manor of Clonmore (10 miles east of Kilberry), but this did not form part of her lands inherited by the Eustaces).

In 1584, there was a second Edmund Eustace who married Ismay Baron and had a daughter (Ismay?) alive in 1584 who married Cahir Catragh Kavanagh of Reylanimore. (Ismay Eustace alias Cavanaghe (Kavanagh)  of Reylanmore along with many others, received a pardon in 1601 (Fiant 6517; Elizabeth). Edmund leased some land near Kilknock from the Butlers in 1585. It would seem that it was either this second Edmund or (more probably) his uncle Oliver, also living in 1584, who was the father of Oliver Eustace who follows.  (James Eustace of Friarstown (viv. 1573) was perhaps another of his uncles. Oliver was probably the Oliver of Kilcowell (Kilcoole) who received a pardon in 1594).

Oliver Eustace of Castlemore and Ballynunnery (just north of Kilknock), who is described as “of Castlemore” in 1604 when he was granted Agha, Cloneen, Corbally (?) and part of Boherduff by James Tallan of Agha(Castlemore was apparently only leased at this time, for Castlemore is among the town-lands granted in 1607 to Theobald, Viscount Butler of Tullowphelim, who in 1625 held the head-rent of Ballynunnery with its church of Kilmurry, but no longer Castlemore.)

By 1626, this Oliver Eustace also owned Dunleckney and Fennagh. As Oliver of Ballynunnery, he was elected M.P. for Carlow in 1629, the Speaker then being Sir Maurice Eustace. He seems to have been involved in the troubles of 1641, during which his son Captain Edward Eustace died of wounds. In 1619, Oliver had lost another son Arthur, who had married Owny Cavanagh of Clonmullen, Co. Carlow and whose children were Richard and Rose. His daughter Catherine married Richard FitzWalter Whitty of Ballyteague, County Wexford.

As Oliver Eustace of Ballynunnery he was elected M.P. for Carlow in 1629, the Speaker then being Sir Maurice Eustace. (Ballynunnery was owned in 1756 by the Borr family (connected by marriage with the Eustaces) but remained the Eustace burial ground. The Borrs had leased some other Eustace lands in 1690.) Thomas Eustace of Turtane, probably a brother of Oliver, was a juror in Carlow in 1633. Thomas died in 1636, leaving a married son Edmund.

Oliver Eustace seems to have been involved in the troubles of 1641, during which his son Captain Edward Eustace died of wounds. In 1619 he had lost another son Arthur Eustace, who had married Owny Kavanagh of Clonmullen, Co. Carlow and whose children were Richard and Rose. His daughter Catherine married Richard FitzWalter Whitty of Ballyteague, County Wexford. In about 1645, having lost his surviving son Rowland (or Francis), he settled his estates upon his grandson, Francis Eustace, who follows:

Francis Eustace of Castlemore, who with his son Oliver Eustace of Ballynunnery, joined the army of King James II. In 1690 they were found “to have been in open rebellion and to have departed after the battle of the Boyne with the Earls of Tyrconnel and Limerick and with other rebels beyond the Shannon where they continued in war and rebellion.” Their lands, totaling more than 6,000 statute acres, were forfeited but as the result of claims at Chichester House in 1703 most of them were regained. The lands included: Castlemore, Rathbaun, Ballycarragh, Ballynunnery, Kilcoole, Gilbertstown, Bendistown, Garreenleen, Kilknock, Ballyveal, Knocken roram (?), parts of Kilgarron, Kilmaglush and a neighbouring townland, Turtane, Ullard More and Beg, Ballykeenan, Kilmurry, Cloneen, Bokerduff and Agha. Francis Eustace died in 1728. The other children of Francis Eustace were: Roland, Nicholas, Edward, Anthony, William and Thomas.

Oliver Eustace had married in 1682 Eleanor, daughter of Robert Nugent of Donore, by whom he had a son EDWARD EUSTACE, who follows. Oliver’s other children were Francis, Joseph and Alice. The family, being minors, were represented at Chichester House by “friend Nicholas Eustace,” presumably their uncle.

Edward Eustace of Castlemore married in 1712 Bridget, daughter of Robert Longfield of Kilbride, Co. Meath, and had seven children of whom the two eldest sons were JAMES EUSTACE, the heir and COLONEL ROBERT EUSTACE, ancestor of the Eustaces of Newstown (see below). Bridget Longfield Eustace’s sister Helen Maria (died 1767) married Christian Borr (d. 1733), first cousin of Lady Eustace of Harristown who was godmother to most of Christian’s children. The other children of Edward Eustace were: William, married Athea daughter of Sir Robert Meredyth of of Greenhills, Co. Kildare, and had five children, the youngest of whom married Rev. Edward Martin, Prebendary of St. Patrick’s, and had a son (among others) Eustace Meredyth; Thomas, dsp; Helena Maria, married Capt. Nathaniel Evans of Ballywilliamroe, Co. Carlow; Anne, married Jacob Warren; and Bridget, married Mr.M’Carthy and had a daughter who married Thomas Ashworth (viv. 1792).

James Eustace of Castlemore added Lisgarvan and Tyneclash to the estate and in 1743 married Elizabeth the heiress of John Hardy of Killyballyhue, Co. Carlow. He died in 1746 leaving (with a daughter Elizabeth who married J. Vine) two sons, EDWARD EUSTACE OF CASTLEMORE and MAJOR HARDY EUSTACE of KILBALLYHUE.

Edward Eustace of Castlemore, J.P., was High Sheriff of Co. Carlow in 1800. In 1765, he had married Eleanor (died 1794), third daughter of Sir Richard Butler, Bart., of Garryhundon and Ballintemple, Co. Carlow. He died in 1808, leaving, nine children including his heir, James Eustace.  The other children were: Richard, Capt. 16th Regt., d. unmarried; Nicholas, Lieut-Gen., 12th Regt., d. unmarried; Henrietta, married Rev. John Dighy of Landenstown, Co. Kildare; Eleanor, married Rev. John McGhee; Dorothy; Catherine, married Capt. William McPherson; Alicia, d. unmarried in  1840,  and Melecina, married Thomas Talbot.

Major James Eustace of Castlemore, J.P., was born 1767 and was High Sheriff of County Carlow in 1813. He married in 1792 to Margaret, daughter of James Thewles of Rookwood, Co. Galway but their two children, Edward (1798-1820) and Henrietta, died unmarried. He was succeeded by his cousin, CAPTAIN JAMES HARDY EUSTACE, whose father Major Hardy Eustace of Kilballyhue had served in the 1st Regiment of Horse and had married twice: first in 1770 to Kitty, daughter of Philip Bernard, and secondly in 1773 her cousin Susanna, daughter of Franks Bernard of Castle Bernard, King’s County, by whom he had ten children including his heir James Hardy Eustace. The other children were: Hardy, Capt., dsp; Thomas Lieut., dsp; Frances, married Oliver Moore; Catherine, married (1) Francis Willet Hopkins, of Possextown, County Meath (their daughter Anna married Edward Drewe), and married (2) Anthony Brabazon of Mornington, a descendant of Lord Ardee, father of 1st Earl of Mornington, but without issue; Elizabeth, married James Eustace of Ardristan (see below); Bridget Longfield, married Edward. son of Sir Charles Burton, Bart of Polllerton but dsp. 1864; Anne, her twin d. unmarried; Susanna, m. 1841 Major William Edward FitzGerald, 82nd Regt. and d. 1864; and Mary, m. Charles Bernard. Major James Eustace had died in 1820 and was succeeded by his third son:

Captain James Hardy Eustace of Hardymount and Castlemore, J.P., was born in 1783 and served in the 8th Regiment in both Canada and the Peninsula, receiving a medal and clasp. He was High Sheriff in 1835, and in 1826 had married Elizabeth, only surviving child of Arthur Reed of Carlow. He died in 1859, leaving an only son:

Captain Hardy Eustace of Castlemore and Hardymountt, J.P. was born in 1827, served in the 4th Dragoons and the Carlow Regiment, and was High Sheriff of Carlow in 1862. He married in 1856 to Anne (died 1892), daughter of John Dawson Duckett of Duckett’s Grove, Co. Carlow, and died in 1895 having had six children including his heir JOHN JAMES HARDY ROWLAND EUSTACE. The other children were: Joseph William Duckett Francis, b. 1861, d. infancy; Frederick Adolphus Dawson Oliver, Major, 5th Dragoon Guards, b. 1866, dsp 1927; Johanna Fredrica Eugenia Gundreda married 1894 Lieut.-Col. Reginald Jocelyn Heber-Percy; Alexandra Sabina Sarah Anna, married 1828, William Edward Grogan of Slaney Park, Co. Wicklow, and had two sons, Cornelius William, b. 1895, and John Reginald, b. 1899, and two daughters; Grace Isabella Florence Josephine, m. 1906, P D. Scott-Moncrieff.

Colonel John James Hardy Rowland Eustace of Castlemore and Hardymount, .J.P., the eldest was born in 1859, served in the 8th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps and was High Sheriff of Carlow in 1895. That year he married Gertrude Amelia, daughter of Algernon Charles Heber-Percy of Hodnet Hall, Salop, and Airmyn Hall, Yorkshire. In 1909 he assumed the additional name of Duckett and died in 1924, having had six children including his heir OLIVER EUSTACE DUCKETT. The other children were: Hardy Rowland Algernon, b. 1896 d. infancy; Rowland Hugh born 1902. dsp 1920; Elizabeth Gertrude, b. 1897 d. 1957; Doris Anna, married Mr. Hall-Hall; and Diana, b. 1905.

Oliver Eustace Duckett, M.F.H., of Castlemore, the second son, was born in 1899 and married Barbara, daughter of Major Hall, Royal Welch Fusiliers and his wife Olive, daughter of Sir Standish Roche, Bart., of Aghade, Co. Carlow. He had a son, Hardy, born in 1931, who died young and two daughters, Kathleen and Olive. Olive married in 1957 Major Desmond, only son of Nicholas Henry Lambert of Dysertmore, Co. Wexford, and has two sons, Nicholas Patrick born 1958, and Patrick Henry born 1959.

Castlemore was one of the original Anglo-Norman castles built by Strongbow’s brother Raymond le Gros, assisted by that great castle-builder Hugh de Lacy. The original moat and bailey was strengthened with stonework in the late thirteenth century by Roger Bigod, but nothing now remains but the high moat at the north of the present townland. At the time of the rebuilding, a town called Fothered, the second largest in the county, grew up round the castle and the church just south-east of it. It had a mill and smithy and was governed by a provost and eighty burgesses. Nothing remains of the town or church, except the graveyard of Leamaneh just east of the moat. It was probably from here that came the tall stone carved with a cross found in a near-by field and erected on the moat in 1860. Near Castlemore House is the locally well-known St. Catherine’s well.

In Friarstown there are the ruins of the castle and the site of the abbey of the Knights Templar with the preceptory and their church of St. John in the adjacent town of Killerig. At Ballynunnery near the Eustace graveyard are the ruins of the castle and of the ancient Kilmurry church. The parish church, whose old font remains, was close by in Gilbertstown, where there was once also a castle. Ruins of old churches remain in Templepeter and Ardristan, where there is also a gallan and a holed stone. There were formerly churches in Kilballyhue and Kilmurry townland. In Dunleckney, once the stronghold of the Kavanaghs, Kings of Leinster, there are the remains of an old church, a preceptory (1300) of the Knights Templar and “Father Pender’s” well. Among the royal grants made to John Eustace of Harristown in 1603 and confirmed to his son Sir Maurice in 1627 were the following rectories in this part of Carlow—Straboe (north of Tullow), Templeboy, Tankards town, Templemoneen, Rathmore, Moyacon (Clonegal), Donna honack and Ballaghmore (now part of Myshall). Clonegal remained a family living till the end of the nineteenth century. At Myshall there are two Eustace graves—Edward, Parish Priest (1717-1783) and Rowland (1745-1799).

Castlemore—the Newstown Branch

Colonel Robert Eustace, CS., the second son of Edward of Castlemore and his wife Bridget Longfield (see above) founded the Newstown branch of the family. He married in 1754 Catherine Whelan of Rath House, Co. Wicklow, and settled at Ardristan, just south of Tullow. He died in 1799 having had eight children including his heir JAMES EUSTACE. The other children were: Edward of Eilengrove near Tullow, Captain, d. 1836; Robert of Newstown, which he bought and added to, b. 1732, died unmarried 1843; Thomas; Margaret, m. 1774 to Thomas James Raw (1748-1814) of Glassealy, Co. Kildare (their daughter Ann married Benjamin Riky of Dublin); Bridget, married 1796 Joseph Swan, and had issue—Catherine (m. 1818, Major James Brown, and their daughter Bridget Ann married her cousin Hardy Eustace in 1838) Joseph born 1798 and Margaret born l800;  Elinor, married 1799 Abraham Jones of Tullow; Catherine Maria (d. 1855), married R. M. Fishbourne (d. 1808) and had a daughter Catherine who married Major Alexander St. Leger McMahon of Hollymount, Queen’s Co. Their son Robert married Alice Winter and had five daughters.

James Eustace of Ardristan, J. P; the eldest son married in 1803 Elizabeth (died 1861), daughter of his cousin Major Hardy Eustace of Kilballyhue (see above). He died in 1831 having had five children including his heir HARDY EUSTACE. The other children were: Robert, 1805-23 dsp; Susanna, married 1831 Captain Alexander Brennan, RN. and had four children; Catherine m. 1839 Rev. A. A. L. D. Nickson of Killinure, near Tullow, and had a daughter Nora; Sarah 1809-85, unmarried.

Hardy Eustace of Newstown, J.P., the eldest, was born in 1812 and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the County. In 1838 he married Bridget Anne (1819-93), daughter of Major James Browne, 103rd Regt., of Knocklow, Co. Wicklow. In 1843 he inherited the Newstown estate which had been bought by his uncle Robert from Ephraim Carrol in 1799. It was then described as “The New Stone House, otherwise Newstown, together with its lands.” Robert Eustace had added to the estate and in 1824 had built the present Regency house in front of the original which still stands as domestic offices. The property was then considerably larger than at present. Hardy died in 1862 having had eleven children including his heir JAMES EUSTACE. The other children were: Robert, b. 1840, died in America; Edward, born l841, Colonel, M.D., whose son Edward Arthur Rawlins now owns the estate, Hardy(1843-95) married 1879 Harriette, daughter of William Frazer of Bally Shannon, Co. Donegal, and went to Australia. Their surviving child Hardy Theodore, born 1886, married (1) in 1920 Edith Marion, daughter of George Evans of Sydney who had a son, John Evan Hardy, born 1922, a member of the English Bar, who took the name Saywell, married (2) in 1939 Ellen daughter of William Hart of Brisbane; Thomas Swan (1855-84); Joseph Swan married Ada Kavanagh and had a son, Thomas George, Royal Munster Fusiliers, killed in action 1915 and five daughters who did not marry.

James Eustace of Newstown, J.P., the eldest, was born in 1839 and was High Sheriff in 1874. He married in 1865 Emily Catherine, daughter of General Sir Maurice Stack, K.C.B., of Broomville, Co. Carlow, and died in 1905 having had five children including his heir Maurice James. The other children were: John Spottiswood (l868-1900) married Rosamund Evans but was killed in action in South Africa without issue; Cecil Robert married (1879-1934) who married Jessita Ross by whom he had a son Cecil Hardy (1907-30) and a daughter Shelagh Emily who married in 1932 to Captain H. Harvey, MC. and has a son Robin Hardy Eustace, born 1938; Roland Charles (1880-1948), m. 1922 F. A. Buckley by whom he had a daughter Amy Emily Roland, b. 1923; and Emily Alison, died in infancy.

Maurice James Eustace of Newstown, the eldest son of James Eustace was born in 1867 and in 1909 married Violet Rossiter of Dalkey, Co. Dublin. He died in 1924 leaving an only son, Captain Maurice James Reginald, R.A., who was killed in action at Singapore in 1942. He was succeeded by the son of his great uncle, Colonel Edward, M.D., Army Medical Services (the brother of James, (1839- ) who had died in 1903 having married twice, first in 1878 Georgina, daughter of Colonel W. S. Stace, RE., by whom he left three daughters, second Mary Adelaide (died 1947) daughter of Major-General J. S. Rawlins, by whom he left three sons:

Brigadier Rowland Eustace, O.B.E., the eldest, was born in 1895 and married in 1926 to Alice Fairey, daughter of Robert Jesson. He died in 1947 leaving two daughters, Elizabeth Mary, born 1927 and Gillian Fairey, born 1929. In 1951 Elizabeth married Lieut. Commander David D. Gay, RN. and has four children, John Eustace born 1952, Richard David born 1954, Nigel Eustace born 1955 and Josephine Mary born 1956.

Edward Arthur Rawlins Eustace, C.I.E., O.B.E., now of Newstown, the second son, was born in 1899, served with the 4th Gurkha Rifles 1918-22 and in the Indian Civil Service 1923-47.

Colonel Norman Eustace, D.S.O., 6th Gurkha Rifles, the third son, was born in 1901.

These pages © Ronald Eustice, 2011