What remains of Dunkerron Castle, County Kerry. This four-storey tower house was built on the site of an earlier Anglo-Norman fortification probably around the middle of the fifteenth century when it became a stronghold of the O’Sullivan Mór, chiefs of this particular branch of the family: a stone inscription formerly on the site noted that work had been carried out here in 1596 by Owen O’Sullivan Mór. Burnt during the Cromwellian Wars, the land on which the castle stood was confiscated and granted to Sir William Petty. The building thereafter fell into ruin and in the 19th century a new residence was built close by. More recently a development of holiday homes has been constructed in the vicinity.
The mystery of the Dunkerron inscribed stones! They refer to an armorial chimneypiece and a date stone, thought not to be coeval. The Arms are said to be those of Owen O’Sullivan Mór. Records show the stones first were ‘rescued’ c1788 by Henry Pelham, then agent of Lord Lansdowne and planner of Kenmare. He stored them in the boathouse of Lansdowne Lodge. Subsequently they were restored to the castle by Dr. Thomas Taylor of Dunkerron House. They have long since disappeared. The Taylors of Dunkerron descended from Cromwellian settlers, and the several greats grandmother of Dr. Thomas was a daughter of Reverend Thomas Palmer, another local Cromwellian landowner of note. The Taylors were in possession of Dunkerron Castle certainly from the early 1700’s.
Dr Thomas Taylor (1786- 1848) was born on a boat on the Ganges to an Indian mother known as ‘Poor Begum’ and Joseph Taylor, then a captain in the Bengal Artillery, and later a major in the British East India Company who compiled a popular Hindustani-English dictionary. Thomas was among the children sent back to Ireland to be educated; he gained his MD from TCD, practiced in Dublin, became a professor of botany in Cork and became a botanist (lichens & ferns) of international repute. Although retired, he became a consultant at Kenmare’s workhouse/fever hospital during the Famine where he treated several hundred daily. As a result he caught Famine fever’ and died in Feb.1848. His sister, Emma, married a Bland of nearby Derryquinn Castle. Thomas’ son, also Thomas, sold most of the estate in parts and the male line emigrated to Canada.
Thank you Robert, nIce photos ,and nicer to see you revisiting the Kingdom!
Who were Joseph Taylor’s other children born in india
I have not researched the collateral lines, nor do I know the birthplaces of the children. When he died Joseph had a large fortune and substantial property holdings in Dublin and Kerry which were left to all the children.
Mentioned in his will are Elizabeth Taylor, Mary Taylor, Allis Phillis Taylor and Emma Taylor; eldest son Thomas Taylor, other sons Joseph Henry Taylor, Francis Taylor and David Taylor.
When probate was extracted in 1811 Elizabeth and Mary were described as ‘spinsters’. The NAI (Kew) reference for the will is : PROB 11/1526/61 Date: 09 September 1811.