Lord Clanmorris (John Charles Robert Bingham, 4th Baron): A Major Landlord in County Mayo in the 19th Century

Lord Clanmorris, also known as John Charles Robert Bingham the 4th Baron, was also referred to as Baron Clanmorris of Newbrook. He was born November 28, 1826 to Denis Arthur Bingham (the 3rd Baron Clanmorris of Newbrook) and Maria Helena Persse. (John Bernard Burke, 1852, p. 208). His branch of the Bingham family resided at Newbrook in the Parish of Robeen, Kilmaine Barony. He became Lord Clanmorris, the 4th Baron of Newbrook on February 24, 1847 upon the death of his father. This made him Lord Clanmorris during the peak famine years as well as when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted between 1855 and 1857 in County Mayo. The estate owned by Lord Clanmorris of Newbrook was quite large expanding into Kilmaine Barony (the Civil Parishes of Mayo-a small portion; and Kilcommon), neighboring Clanmorris Barony (Mayo Civil Parish), Carra Barony (Rosslee and Touaghty), Gallen Barony (Toomore Civil Parish) and Tirawley Barony (Ballynahaglish and Kilbelfad). (Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, County Mayo). He was one of the primary landlords in Kilbelfad (he had most of the islands in Lough Conn), Kilcommon-Kilmaine, Ballynahaglish, Robeen, Roslee, Toomore and Touaghty. He also held land in County Galway. Guiness and Company were the agents that handled the County Mayo parcels for the 3rd Baron before John Charles Robert Bingham took the helm in 1847.

I find it interesting that a compilation of Mayo Estates 1838-1876 that assesses the property held by the major landlords of Ireland in 1838 and 1876 in "A Various Country Essays in Mayo History" lists the major portion of Lord Clanmorris' estate as being in Gallen Barony. He held 10.2 (area in 100 statute acres) in 1838 (this would be the 3rd Lord Clanmorris), and by 1876, the land held by Lord Clanmorris has increased to 12.3. (Gillespie; Mcabe, 1987, p. 110). Increasing land ownership during the peak famine years was the exception rather than the rule. Lord Clanmorris is listed as residing at Cregclare, Ardrahan, Teamount, County Galway and held 12,337 and some odd acres in 1876. (Local Govt Board, 1876, p. 808). It is my understanding that John Charles Robert Bingham (the 4th Lord Clanmorris) was buried at Cregclare when he died April 5, 1876 in Ballinasloe County Galway, but was reinterred several times with a final resting place at Ardrahan, County Galway. So this Lord Clanmorris maintained his estate up until he died.

Lord Clanmorris had two residences that I have read about, one in Newbrook (his Mayo home) in Robeen Civil Parish in the Townland of Bellanaloob, and Mount Pleasant (there is a Mount Pleasant in Touaghty Civil Parish just north of Robeen Civil Parish). (Quinn, 1996, Volume 2, Chapter 27, p. 309). Samuel Lewis identified "Newbrook, the property of Lord Clanmorris as being one of 5 principal seats in Robeen Civil Parish. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 517).

Lord Clanmorris had a windmill near Robeen that was used to grind corn. There were several notations regarding the properties of Lord Clanmorris in J.F. Quinn's "History of Mayo." A notation was made around 1873 (3 years before his death) of an offer to lease his Mount Pleasant mansion and large amounts of grazing lands. (Quinn, Vol 4, Ch 11, p. 360). A notation was also made about his defaulting on rates in both Ballintuber and Drum at one point. (Quinn, Vol 4, Ch 10, p. 314) So although he managed to keep his estates until he died, he was obviously encountering financial difficulties. J.F. Quinn goes on to describe the outcome of Lord Clanmorris' estates in the Hollymount area in the following manner: "the big mansion of Baron Clanmorris at Newbrook has been made to disappear. His other one at Mount Pleasant houses a peasant proprietor. Beechgrove, another of them higher up towards Robeen, where the late Mr. David Keys lived for some time, has been purchased by Mr. James Burke, Castlebar..." (Quinn, Volume 2, Ch 27, p.309). These were outcomes after the death of John Charles Robert Bingham the 4th Lord Clanmorris of Newbrook.

I have seen numerous notations in the "Reports from Commissioners, Inspectors and others- on the Congestion in Ireland (Royal Commission)" around 1906-1907 regarding purchase of the Estates that had been held by Lord Clanmorris. It is my understanding that the Congested Districts Board resolved the offer to purchase over 3000 acres of the Clanmorris estate in County Mayo around 1916. Further research on this sale is required for more specific details.