The Earl of Arran (Phillip York Gore the 4th Earl), County Mayo Landlord in the 19th Century

The 4th Earl of Arran was born Phillip York Gore on November 23, 1801 at Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland. His Father was Colonel Hon. William John Gore Phillip's grandfather; Arthur Saunders Gore was the 2nd Earl of Arran. By his early twenties, Phillip York Gore had already secured international diplomatic rolls in Stockholm, Paris, Lisbon and Buenos Ayres. (G.E.C., 1887, p. 137). In the 17th Century the Gore family acquired significant land throughout Tirawley Barony through the Act of Settlement of 1662.

Phillip York Gore hailed from Dublin and held the bulk of his land in Tirawley Barony, County Mayo. The 4th Earl of Arran was a heriditary title that does not appear to have a connection to he Aran Irelands that are located in Galway Bay at the opposite end of County Mayo. These islands were under the control of the Barfoot and Digby families by the time the Griffith's Valuation was conducted.

Donald E Jordan, Jr describes Tirawley Barony as being reserved for the Cromwellian Garrison instead of Civilian transplanters in his book "Land and Popular Politics in Ireland." In a comparison of land amounts between Viscount Dillon and Mayo, Col Garrett Moore, Sir Arthur Gore, the Protestant Archbishop of Tuam and the Protestant Bishop of Killala, "only Gore, who had vast tracts in the barony of Tirawley, was new to the county." (Jordan, 1994, p. 30, 35).

When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, there were two members of the Gore family noted in Tirawley Barony, The Earl of Arran (this would have been the 2nd Earl (Arthur Saunders Gore) and Honorable Richard Gore (both were listed as Absentee Landlords). (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 100-101). Arthur Saunders Gore, (Phillip's grandfather Arthur's son) the 3rd Earl of Arran died on January 20, 1837 and was succeeded by his nephew Phillip York Gore as the 4th Earl of Arran.

When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for County Mayo between 1855 and 1857, the Earl of Arran (Phillip York Gore) was one of the most prevalent Landlords in the following Civil Parishes in Tirawley Barony: Addergoole, Ardagh, Ballysakeery, Crossmolina, Doonfeeny, Kilbelfad, Kilfian, Kilmoremoy and Rathreagh. In Addergoole he was the primary Landlord in 7 of the 55 Townlands including Addergoole, Aghaloonteen, Ballymacredmond, Curn, Knockfarnacht, Tawnagh and Tonacrock. Col. Knox Gore was quite prevalent here as well, but the Fair Green and the Tolls and Customs of Fairs was present in the Townland of Lahardaun that was represented by Chas and Bernard Coyne. They were tied with Sir Wlm H. Palmer as being only the 5th most prevalent landlord in this Civil Parish. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Addergoole).

According to J.F. Quinn in the History of Mayo, "The Knox Family of Belleek after inter-marriage with the Gores added that name." (Quinn, 1996, Vol 4, Chap 7, p. 191). There is quite a bit written about the Knox-Gores of Belleek and the Gores of Deel Castle. The consensus seems to be that both families were more supportive of their tenants plight during the bleak years of the famine than most and yet one account given by a Captain Farren in The History of County Mayo seems to tell a different story about the Gores of Deel Castle and Belleek. In a presentation on Landlords who were evicting tenants in County Mayo, Captain Farren goes on to say "and while sir Roger Palmer for a time was well in the running for 2nd place, the Marquis of Sligo soon outdistanced him, next most active being the Gores of Deel Castle and Belleek, yet none of them were the notoriety of Lord Lucan." (Quinn, Vol 4, Chapter 9, p. 295).

Phillip York Gore represented 11 of 24 Townlands in Ardagh Civil Parish including: Brackloonagh, Cloonagh Beg and Knockegan, Cloonbrone, Cloonglasney, Deelcastle, Derreen, Drummindoo, Greenaun, Knockanillaun, Nure and Slievenagark. Deel Castle was noted as having a Fair Green and Customs of Fairs in the Griffith's Valuation, making it the hub of economic activity for this small Civil Parish. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Ardagh).

The Earl of Arran represented more Townlands in Ballysakeery Civil Parish than in any others he was associated with in Tirawley Barony. He was the primary landlord in 17 of 47 Townlands in Ballysakeery including Ardillan Island, Ballinteean, Ballymackeehola, Ballysakeery, Bird Island, Carrowkelly, Carrowreagh, Cloonawillin, Cloonshinagh, Derreens, Freaghilan Island, Kings Island, Lecarrow, Lisglennon, Mullafarry, Newtown White, Raheens, Rathglass East and Rathoma. He also owned two parcels in Rathoma where John Kirkwood was the primary landlord. Col. Arthur Knox Gore and James Gore were also documented here in the Griffith's Valuation, but the Earl of Arran held almost twice as many Townlands as Col Arthur Knox Gore in Ballysakeery Civil Parish. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Ballysakeery).

In the Civil Parish of Crossmolina, The Earl of Arran dominated only 6 of 123 Townlands: Carrowgarve South, Dooleg Beg, Garraunard, Grange, Knockagarravaun and Owenboy. He also had almost half the parcels in Knockadangan. Sir Wm Roger Palmer Bart, closely followed by Mervyn Pratt was the most prevalent landlord here. Godfred Fetherstone and the Earl of Arran followed a distant third and fourth, respectively. There were two Tolls and Customs of Fairs in this Civil Parish, one in the Town of Crossmolina (dominated by Sir Wm Roger Palmer Bart) and one in Kilmurry Beg (dominated by John Walsh). (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Crossmolina). It was George Gore who obtained one of the patents for fairs in the Town of Crossmolina in 1729. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 87).

The Earl of Arran represented 5 of 36 Townlands in Doonfeeny Civil Parish: Geevraun, Glencullin, Horse Island, Inagh and Lisbrin. Col. A Knox Gore also represented 5 Townlands in this Civil Parish, but he was the Landlord for the largest Towns with the most economic significance in this Civil Parish including the Town of Ballycastle within Carrowkibbock Upper and Carrownisky. The Tolls and Customs of Fairs and Markets also fell under his jurisdiction in Carrownisky. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Doonfeeny).

Kilbelfad Civil Parish had 5 of 39 Townlands represented by the Earl of Arran including Cappanaglogh, Inishlee Island, Knockfree, Scotchfort and Wherrew. The Hon. Edward S Perry had the vast majority of the Townlands with 13 and Lord Clanmorris had most of the Islands. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilbelfad).

The Earl of Arran held the most (6 of 50) Townlands in Kilfian Civil Parish including: Clydagh, Glendaghoughter, Keerglen, Kincon, Kinnavally and Knockmoyle. This Civil Parish was however, fairly evenly divided between the Earl of Arran, Major John Knox, John Ormsby, John Orme, Sir Wlm Roger Palmer Bart, Annesley Knox, Harriet Gardiner and a few others. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilfian).

There were many Landlords represented in Kilmoremoy Civil Parish. The Earl of Arran represented a large number of parcels in the largest Townland and Town in this Civil Parish, Ballina. Col. F. A. Knox Gore was more prevalent followed by William Atkinson and Thos and Geo Bewry. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Kilmoremoy).

Finally, in the Civil Parish of Rathreagh, the Earl of Arran was prevalent in 3 of 20 Townlands: Creevagh Beg, Crevagh More and Rooghan. Rathreagh Civil Parish was fairly evenly distributed between William Roger Palmer Bart, Ernest Knox, Harriet Gardiner and the Earl of Arran, but Sir Roger Palmer Bart held the Customs of Fairs in the Townland of Ballygowan, which appeared to the hub of economic activity in this parish. (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Rathreagh).

The Earl of Arran had an individual by the name of Symes as his land agent. J. F. Quinn's book "History of Mayo" describes Symes as being a "grinder of the poor of Tirawley." (Quinn, Vol 4, Chap 11, p. 377). Perhaps he was the one carrying out the evictions that I described earlier. Despite these negatives associated with the Estate of the Earl of Arran during the famine, after the famine, around 1849, he realized that his small tenant farmers not the graziers were going to be the key to his survival, he made attempts to get them to stay such as enlisting experts in agriculture to show the tenants better methods of cultivation. The Knox Gores of Belleek followed in his footsteps with this approach after seeing its successful implementation, and they took it one step further promoting "agricultural shows." Another behavior worth commending the Earl of Arran for was that he, unlike many of his brethren, didn't build walls across his estates to contain the graziers herds and charge them to the ratepayers. (Quinn, Vol 4, Chap 9, p. 247 and Chap 11, p. 375, 377, 379).

According to a Local Government Board of Ireland Presentation of "The Landowners of Ireland (a return of owners of land of one acre and upwards) that was presented in 1876, the 4th Earl of Arran had one of his residences in Castle Gore, County Mayo, Ireland, and held 29,644 acres in that County. (Local Govt Board, Ireland, 1876; 1988, p. 307). He also had extensive acreage in County Donegal.

I have read that the Knox Gores of Belleek had to sell portions of their estate in the Encumbered Estates Court to protect the whole, but I have yet to see documentation of any distress sales from the estate of the Earl of Arran and Deel Castle. I will add additional information to this page as I do further research.