The Palmer Families

Baronies of Mayo Ireland
Caernarfon Castle Wales 2012 by Berit,_Wales_(8237788732).jpg
Maidenhead Library, Berkshire 2006 by Rob Neild
Caernafon Castle Wales
Crimea Map 2016
Lambay Island from North Beach, Rush, North County Dublin 2006,_taken_from_the_North_Beach_in_Rush,_Co.Dublin.jpg
Mayo, Ireland

Baronets / Military Personnel / Politicians

These Baronets, M. P.’s, Landowners, Military personal also families were generous Beneficiaries in their Localities whether in Mayo or Dublin.

Irish Palmers origins have been traced back to the sixteenth century with the birth of Sir James Palmer who was a Connoisseur, Collector & Miniature Painter for King James 1.  He was Knighted by Charles, the Prince of Wales during 1629 as a Gentleman Keeper of the Privy Closet with responsibility for the King’s pictures.  His son Sir Roger (born 1634) was a respected Catholic Writer.  A Courtier, Diplomat also M. P. he married Barbara Villiers during 1659 but within that year she became the favourite Mistress of King Charles 11.  Sir Roger was created Earl of Castlemaine then moved to Ireland with a grant of Castle Lackin.   They had significant Land in Co. Mayo during 1684. [i]  Roger Palmer married Mary Brown they had Thomas who married Sophia Tipping with the first Baronet being their son Roger. [ii]

The third son of Edward Palmer of Nayton & Casterton in Norfolk, England Roger’s signature appeared on a document from the nobility or gentry from Mayo to King Charles 11 in 1864.  (Timothy Belmont 2011)  During 1876 the Palmers owned nine thousand, five hundred & seventy acres in County Sligo, four thousand, two hundred & two acres within County Dublin plus over eighty thousand acres in County Mayo.  Lands owned by the Palmer family included: Castle Lackin, Keenagh Lodge, Crossmolina, Cefn Park near Wrexham, North Wales also Glenisland House, Maidenhead, Berkshire. (Timothy Belmont 2011)  [iii]

In his Will dated 7th September 1907 Sir Roger W. H. Palmer left the rents also profits of his Mayo & Sligo Estates in trust to his wife & thereafter to the male issue of his niece Mary Adela Fenwick.  Roger Fenwick inherited Cefn Park in 1913 then added the additional name Palmer & lived there up to to his Demise during 1968. A large collection of Papers from the Legal Firm of W. J. Shannon & Company that related to the Acquisition. The history of the Palmer Estates was deposited within the National Archives. (Acc.1174)  Castle Lackin was referred to as ‘the fine seat’ of Sir R. Palmer during 1786. [iv]

Rush Families

Sir Roger Palmer (1768 – 1783) was M P for Portarlington also M P for Mayo from 1857 until 1865. He was educated at Eton prior to his enlistment in the British Army.  He served with the 11th Hussars in the Crimean War plus participated during 1854 in the Charge of the Light Brigade.  He transferred to the 2nd Life Guards from 1856 to 1870. (‘London Gazette’ 26th July1881 page 3675)  During 1881 he was placed on the Retired List.  In Kenure Church in Rush are Memorial Tablets to Sir Roger plus Lady Palmer. [v]

Sir Roger’s sister Mary Ellen Palmer (born 1828) travelled to the Crimea to visit her brother also to find a husband.  During 1857 she married Archibald Peel, the nephew of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. [vi]

Tragically she died ten days following the birth of their third child during 1901: a Stained – Glass Window over the Communion Table was dedicated to her memory in Kenure Church in Rush, Co. Dublin.  [vii]  

Her colourful & romantic life is described in Betty Askwith’s introduction to ‘Crimean Courtship’ from her diaries were discovered in Cefn Park. [viii]

The May Money

It was Roger Palmer son of Francis & Elizabeth Echlin who decided prior to his demise to bequeath what has been known throughout Rush as ‘The May Money’: ‘I bequeath £2,500 to be laid out in Ireland in proper securities at 6% p.a. compound interest, and I desire that the interest be employed every succeeding year, in the month of May, for the purpose of giving a marriage gift to ten women. Never married, between the ages of twenty & thirty – two years, at the rate of £10 each.’  ‘They must be from the poorest & born upon any part of my estate in the County of Dublin, but women born in the environs of the town of Rush, within two miles of my estate be preferred.’  During the mid –  nineteenth Century, following Administrative difficulties. The Commissioners of Charitable Donations took over the bequest.  The Fund was vested in both the Catholic priest & Protestant Rector also the Agent of the Palmer Estate.  According to Miss Margaret Carroll by 1951 over £10,000 had been paid out in Dowries.  The fund still exists but is dormant. [ix]

Thomas  was the second son of Roger (who was succeeded by his son also named Roger) was created a Baronet during 1777: he married Miss Andrews, they had two boys John & William also daughter Sophia.  His demise occurred during 1790.  He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir John Roger, 2nd Baronet.  He married the sole daughter of Rev. Thomas Althem named Mary.  He died during 1819.  The 3rd Baronet was his brother Sir William Henry Roger who married Alice Franklin: they had six children: William Henry Roger, Francis Roger, John Roger, Charlotte Alice, Augusta Sophia, also Ellen Ambrosia.  His demise occurred during 1840.  Baronet Sir William Henry Roger (1802 – 69) succeeded him as the 4th Baronet.  He married Eleanor; (Co – Heiress of John Matthews) who purchased Cefn Park.  His only son became the 5th & last Baronet.  (Timothy Belmont 2011[x]

Family Members

The second son of Sir William Henry Palmer the 3rd Baronet: Colonel Francis Roger Palmer was born circa 1819.  He was Commissioned an Ensign by purchase in the 16th Foot in the British Army on the 15th March 1833.  He exchanged on the 22nd of that month to the 89th Regiment.  He was Promoted to Lieutenant by purchase on the 24th April 1835.  He transferred to the 60th Rifles.  He purchased the Captaincy during March 1842.  Three years later on the 22nd June 1854 he received a Brevet Promotion to the rank of Major also on the 27th of that month he received a promotion to Major without purchase, it became effective the same day as his previous Brevet promotion.  The Indian Mutiny erupted in the Bengal Presidency during May 1857; according to Francis Palmer’s entry in Hart’s Army List the following was recalled: ‘Colonel Palmer served with the 6oth Rifles in the campaign of 1857 – 58 against the mutineers in India, including the siege operations before Delhi from 22nd August, assault & capture of the city, with the final attack on & occupation of the palace.  Commanded the 1st Battalion 60th Rifles throughout the campaign in Rochilcund, including the actions of Bugawalla & Nugena, relief of Moradabad, action on the Dojura, assault& capture of Bareilly, attack & bombardment of Shahjehanpore, defeat of the rebels & relief of the garrison, capture of the Fort of Bunnai, pursuit of the enemy to the left bank of the Goomtee, & destruction of the Fort of Mahomdee.’  For his services during the Indian Mutiny, Major Palmer was several times mentioned in Despatches, received the Indian Mutiny Medal with clasp for Delhi; He was made a Captain of the Order of the Bath.  Major Palmer was selected as a Member of the five Judges that presided over the trial of the King of Delphi, the last of the Mogol Emperors who were installed as Titular Head of the Rebellion.  On 22nd June 1858 he was promoted to Lieutenant – Colonel: he Commended the 2nd Battalion of the 60th Rifles in the Second China War for which he received the China Medal with clasps for Taku Forts & Pekin.  He received a brevet promotion to Colonel during 1863.  Due to ill – health Colonel Palmer retired.  His demise occurred less than six months later during October 1872[xi]

Eleanor Ambrose (1718 – 1816) was the daughter of Michael a well – educated gentleman but debarred from several Professions due to his religious beliefs: he eventually became a successful Brewer with a Residence at Mount Ambrose in Swords, North County Dublin.  Eleanor was described as ‘beautiful, witty, intellectual, & a fervent patriot.’ who managed to penetrate Dublin Society despite the fact she was a Catholic.  During the Viceroyalty of Lord Chesterfield along with her sister Clara they became popular socialites of the Viceregal Court in Dublin.  As Chesterfield was attracted to Eleanor, she accompanied him on several official occasions.  He was Influenced by her opinions; (he was reported to have told King George 11 that ‘poverty not Popery was to be feared in Ireland, he had found only one dangerous papist, the brightness of whose eye and charms, and whose conversations were indeed dangerous, and her name was Eleanor Ambrose.’  However, she ensured the relationship stay platonic.  She married Roger Palmer of Castle Lackin.  She retained to the last a vehement hatred of the wrongs under which her Catholic fellow – countrymen laboured.  A song was written about her story by Aido Lawlor from Rush, Co. Dublin, it was recorded by singer Aoife Scott on her album ‘Carry the Day.’  [xii]

Lady Palmer was visited by Richard Lalor Shell at her home in Dublin, he declared that she was ‘upwards of a hundred years old, she was excessively vehement in her support of the catholic claims.  With every pinch of snuff, she poured out a sentence of sedition. A half – length portrait of Lord Chesterfield hung over the chimneypiece of the room.’  Lady Palmer’s demise occurred on 10th  February 1818 in full support of her faculties aged ninety – eight years.  There was a Pastal produced in 1872 of Lady Palmer that showed her with seductive eyes, a dazzling complexion, also an arched expression in the Dublin National Portrait Exhibition but it was later destroyed in a fire. [xiii]

Last Baronet

Lieutenant – General Sir Roger William Henry (1832 – 1910) was the last to hold the title.  He was elected M. P. for Mayo from 1857 – 1865.  He was one of the last surviving Officers of the famous Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War.  As a Lieutenant of the 11th Hussars he was credited with the capture of a high – ranking Russian Officer: who surrendered to him his sword: while on another occasion he alerted his comrades to an approaching Russian Force.  He survived the ‘Valley of Death’  by fifty – six years. according to Kingslake’s account.  He married Lady Gertrude Millicent Roper, daughter of Rev. Plumer Roper: They lived at Kenure until his demise during 1910; she continued to live at the home until her demise in 1929.  Her written composition ‘Happy are we all together’  was greatly received at parties: an altered version is still sung nowadays at the Rush ICA Meetings. [xiv]

The Palmers acted as generous Benefactors to Rush:  They provided lands for the Catholic & Protestant Churches also for a Presbytery plus a Teacher’s residence.  During 1896 when the Catholic Church was being repaired, they donated seating for the Nave where a brass Memorial Tablet testified to the donation.  A portion of the Estate was allocated for a Cricket Club.  (Timothy Belmont 2011[xv]


As they had no heirs; the property went to Colonel Roderick Henry Fenwick – Palmer.  He spent a considerable fortune on the upkeep of the premises but was forced to sell some of the Estate.  Eventually Kenure was sold to the Irish Land Commission in 1964 for the sum of £70,000.  The remainder was sold to Dublin County Council for Housing with playing fields.  The House contents were auctioned during September 1964, it realized £ 250,000 after four days bidding.  All that remains now of the Estate is The Portico.   (Timothy Belmont 2011) [xvi]


The following Castle Lackin Baronets are listed as: Sir Roger Palmer 1st Baronet (died c. 1790)

Sir John Roger Palmer 2nd Baronet (died 1819), Sir William Henry Palmer 3rd Baronet (died 1840), Sir William Henry Roger 4th Baronet (1802 -1869) also Sir Roger William Henry Palmer 5th Baronet (1832 1910) on this site.  [xvii]

Information Palmer Baronet family Members may be read at Who Was Who on this site. [xviii]

George Pratt recalls the house, some inhabitants including his aunt at Kinure House also Artefacts from General Sir Roger Palmer as extracts from his ‘Kinure House 1938 – 1914: Recollections’ in ‘Fragments of Fingal’ 1998 Fingal County Library which may be seen at this site. [xix]

An Albumen Print (NPGAx50177) by Camille Silvy of ‘Captain Palmer M.P’ was produced during 1860. (from Camille Silvy Collection Album 1, photographer’s studio,38 Porchester Terrace. Bayswater. London) also a Chromolithograph by Sir Leslie Ward was published in the January 31st, 1880 issue of Vanity Fair (NPG D43943) It may be viewed at:

Records of the twentieth Century Estate Papers of the Palmers are housed in the Derbyshire National Archives: Ref DD/CP NRA 21725 at

Images of Kenure Park with the surviving Portico in a green field at St. Catherine’s Housing Estate in Rush, the ruins of St. Catherine’s Church, etc; may be seen at this site:

Images of Cefn Park may be seen at this link:

This reference to Sir Roger appeared in Johnny Mee’s article ‘The County Town‘ in ‘The Connaught Telegrap ) on 1st September 2020. ‘Sir Roger Palmer had vast holdings of land North of Castlebar, he was known for his Crowbar Brigade who cleared vast tracts of land in the Glenisland area during the Famine years.’


[i]  History Cefn Park ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[ii] The Last Palmers ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[iii] Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[iv] Palmer Landed Estates (  [assessed 9th September 2019]

[v] The Last Palmers ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[vi] Cefn Park ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[vii] Patrick Comerford ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[viii] The Last Palmers ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[ix] The Last Palmers (

[x] Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[xi] Colonel Palmar ( ) [assessed 8th September 2019]

[xii] The Last Palmers ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[xiii] Eleanor Palmer ( ) [assessed 8th September 2019]

[xiv] The Last Palmers ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[xv] Lord Belmont in Northern Ireland ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[xvi] Ibid.

[xvii] Palmer Baronets ( ) [assessed 8th September 2019]

[xviii] Anglo Boar War ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]

[xix] The Last Palmers ( ) [assessed 9th September 2019]


No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *