Don’t Bank On It

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From an old photograph album, a view of New Park, County Kilkenny. Situated high above the river Suir on the opposite bank to the City of Waterford and with parkland running down to the water, the house was built in the second half of the 18th century by Simon Newport, who established the region’s largest and most important bank, Simon Newport and Sons: at the time there was a common expression in Waterford, ‘as good as Newport’s notes.’ Unfortunately in 1820 the bank failed and the founder’s younger son William Newport who was then responsible for its affairs committed suicide. Although he repudiated any personal liability Simon Newport’s elder son, Sir John Newport, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer who was then an M.P. in London, contributed at least £5,000 towards numerous local compensation claims. On his death in 1843, New Park was inherited by Sir John’s only surviving nephew, the Rev. John Newport and when he died sixteen years later, the estate was sold to Fitzmaurice Gustavus Bloomfield whose mother had been heiress to the Castle Caldwell estate in County Fermanagh. New Park remained with the Bloomfield family until the house was destroyed by fire in 1932: below is a photograph of its appearance after the conflagration.

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9 comments on “Don’t Bank On It

  1. Very interesting and must have happened to so many many houses ! Tragic it is …

  2. The Newport family owned Ballygallon House,near Inistiogue,until I think the 1950’s

    • Thank you for getting in touch. Certainly there were Newports listed as living in Ballygallon in the 1911 census (along with three female and one male servant).

      • Olive Newport had the misfortune to have her furniture stored in the attic of part of Ballyduff near Inistiogue,when there was a fire ,and it was all destroyed;also uninsured.That was 1954,at about the same time that my grandfather was dying.Nothing like a good drama.

  3. Bernadette Smith says:

    Hello, My great grandfather, John Doyle is listed as a coachman in 1911 living in a house owned by Godfrey Bloomfield. Is Newark where Godfrey lived? Thank you

    • Thank you for getting in touch. Presumably your great-grandfather is listed as a coachman in the 1911 census? If so, you can also look up the name of Godfrey Bloomfield and that would inform you where he was then living.

      • Bernadette Smith says:

        Both John Doyle and Godfrey Bloomfield are listed as living in Rathculliheen townland/ Kilculliheen Parish. Godfrey lived at no7 with 24 rooms and my great grandfather lived at no6 with 3 rooms. Is this where Newpark is?

      • It would seem likely so, altho’ since the house no longer stands one cannot confirm the number of rooms – but that certainly makes sense.

  4. Bernadette Smith says:

    Thank you for all your help. The quest continues!

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