Francis Eustace

Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Francis Eustace

Castlemartin, Harristown, and Kilcullen

Eustace.—Campion states, that the ancestor of this ancient family was Robert le Powere, who was despatched to Ireland as an envoy, in the year 1175. Stanihurst says, that the name was originally Powar, or de Powar. We have not ascertained when the descendants of Robert le Power, or Powar, assumed the name of Eustace, or Fitz-Eustace, but it seems to have been previously to the year 1300. These changes of name were very frequent in the middle ages; of which arbitrary alteration of family appellation, that of Bunbury furnishes another instance. The name of the Carew family, Hooker informs us, was originally Montgomerie, but they altered the latter to that of their residence at Carew in Wales. Names were sometimes assumed from offices held by the person; thus the high names of Butler, in Ireland, and Stuart, or Steward, in Scotland, arose from the honorary offices held by individuals in the royal household. Instances of this optional change of name might be multiplied.

Campion tells us, that Powere, alias Eustace, is named as baron of Domvile, anno 1317. A.D. 1454, Sir ;Edward FitzEustace was lord deputy to the Duke of York, chief governor of Ireland. Sir Rowland Fitz-Eustace, created baron of Portlester in 1461, was in that year lord deputy to George, Duke of Clarence, chief governor of Ireland. Lord Portlester was ,lord high treasurer of Ireland for a period of thirty-eight years ; and also filled the office of deputy chancellor at various times. He died without male issue in 1496. About this period the family seem to have had estates and residences at Castlemartin, Harristown, and Kilcullen.

A.D. 1541, Henry VIII. granted to Thomas Eustace, the title of viscount Baltinglass, and in 1542, the dissolved abbey of Baltinglass was presented to him. He died in 1549, and was succeeded by Rowland, his second son. Rowland's son, named James, wag the third viscount Baltinglass. He was a zealous supporter of the popish cause, and engaged with Fitz-Gerald, earl of Desmond, the Kavanaghs, O'Byrnes, and others, in open rebellion against the government of Queen Elizabeth. The termination of this career was, however, not happy; as in the year 1584, lord Baltinglass and his four brothers were convicted of high-treason, and all their estates confiscated, by an express statute. Lord Baltinglass retired to Spain, as has been already [mentioned, p. 111. The Baltinglass estates were granted to Sir Henry Harrington.

In. the reign of Charles I., Sir Maurice Eustace was speaker of the house of commons. In 1660, he was lord chancellor of Ireland, and one of the lords justices. Having much improved the house, demesne, and appurtenances of Harristown, he obtained a patent empowering it to return two members to parliament. He is frequently mentioned in this work. The county of Carlow family are of the same branch with Sir Maurice Eustace.' They seem to have been settled in this county at least two centuries, as in 1639, Oliver Eustace, Esq., was returned one of its members to parliament.

At the time of James II., the Eustace family, then, we presume, Roman Catholics, espoused the cause of that misguided and unfortunate monarch. Other families in the county acted similarly. An inquisition taken in the reign of William III., informs us, that Francis Eustace of Castlemore, fought at the Boyne and Aughdm, for James. As will be seen by reference to our account of the proceedings of the court of claims, the estates of Francis and Oliver Eustace were in consequence confiscated; though a considerable portion was eventually saved.

Edward Eustace, Esq., of Castlemore, married Bridget, daughter of Longfield, Esq., of the county of Cork, early in- the last century. Issue: James, Robert, William, Maria, Anne, and Bridget . Their descendants are as follows:

James had issue: 1, Edward, who married Elinor, daughter of Sir Richard Butler, Bart. His son is the present James Eustace, Esq., of Castlemore. 2, Hardy, married Bernard. Issue: present James Hardy Eustace, Esq., of Hardy-mount, and several others.

Robert married Catherine Whelan and had issue: Edward, Robert, Thomas, James, Elinor, and others.

William married Meredyth, and had issue.

Maria married Nathaniel Evans, Esq., of Ballywilliamroe. — Issue: 1, William. 2, Anne, married to David Ryan, Esq., of Baron-hill, in this county. 3, Maria, married to Harman FitzMaurice, Esq. 4, Bridget, married to John Hill, Esq.

Anne married Jacob Warren, Esq.

Bridget married M'Carthy, Esq.

 Source: The History and Antiquities of The County of Carlow by John Ryan Esq  M.R.S.L. 1833

From Michael Purcell November 2009

Recent visitors to Carlow were descendants of the Eustace family who travelled from Newfoundland, Norway and the United States including Alaska
. The Eustace family came to Ireland at the time of Strongbow in the 12th century where they settled in the Baltinglass / Ballymore Eustace area. They held lands in Carlow in the 16th century.

Carlow is said to be the last remaining county in which descendants of the Baltinglass Eustace branch remain as landowners in the 21st century.
During the visit by the group to Carlow they were greeted by several Eustace's at Tullow, county Carlow.
Carole and Robin Eustace Harvey coordinated an event at Ballykealy House to welcome the Eustace family members where they were addressed by Michael Purcell of Carlow Heritage. The group then went on a tour of local places of interest to the Eustace family at Castlemore, Hardymount, Ardoyne Church, Bromville, and Newstown.
The Eustace Family of Castlemore & Newstown, County Carlow website:

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