Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Death of Mrs. Olive Hall.

Kellistown House

Death of Mrs. Olive Hall.

Mrs Olive Hall (87) of Kellistown House, Carlow who died at her home last week was one of Ireland's most remarkable women. She had the unique distinction of having been Master of the Carlow Foxhounds for the record span of 45 years.

She became Master in 1920, the fourth Master which that famous pack had had in 157 years.

John Watson 1807-1869, his son Robert Watson 1869 -1904, W.E. Grogan 1904-1920, and Mrs Hall 1920-1965, her daughter Barbara Eustace-Duckett 1965-1965, her other daughter Olive Alexander 1965- ?.

Olive Hall was the widow of Major William Charles Hall and daughter of Sir Standish O'Grady Roche Bt. of Ahade, Tullow, Co. Carlow.

She bred many fine hounds, among them a Peterborough champion, and with Isaac Bell, another famous sporting personality who died recently, she developed blood-lines which are the accepted breeding in many packs today.

She was born in 1877, and was a descendant of Sir David Roche Bt., famous Master of the Limerick Hounds from 1861 to 1879. Her love of hunting began at an early age and she was regarded as an outstanding side-saddle rider of her day. In addition to hunting she also excelled at salmon fishing and gardening. She last rode to the hounds in September, at the age of 87. She was much loved by her staff whom she always treated with kindness and consideration. The oldest member of Mrs Hall's staff present at the funeral was Mr. Frank Bingham who has served the family for more then 43 years. Mrs Hall is survived by her daughters, Mrs O. H. Eustace-Duckett of Castlemore, Tullow and Mrs J. Alexander, Milford House, Carlow, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The eighty-eight wreaths included one each from Queen Elizabeth 11 of England and another from The Queen Mother.

Note from Michael Purcell 2010. Olive would come into our shop and we always addressed her as Lady Hall, (she never objected or corrected) I remember I was a bit disappointed to find out following her death that she was just a "plain" Mrs!

Mrs Hall was a tall, heavy-set woman and there is a story told of one of the stable-hands (a small man) passing a remark to her  when she returned from a hard days hunting, he said to her "I think the horse is sweating excessively Mam" and she replied, "don't be ridiculous man, so would you be sweating excessively if you just spent the last five hours lodged between my thighs".

Previously published in the Nationalist 1965.

When Mrs Hall died in March 1965 her daughter Mrs Eustace Duckett of Castlemore, took on the Mastership in September. She died shortly afterwards, then Mrs Alexander, Mrs Hall's other daughter, Mastered the Hunt for that season. In 1966 through lack of followers it was decided to close the Hunt. The Hounds are on loan to the Galway Hunt.

Sent in by Jan 2010

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