Ballymacadam Castle: Towards a History of a Geraldine Stronghold

Elizabeth Marshall, daughter (and heiress) of Ralph Marshall Esq of Ballymacadam and Callinafercy, Co Kerry, and sister of John Markham Marshall of Kilburn House, Milltown, Co Kerry, was born in 1799.   In about the year 1819, Elizabeth was accompanying her aunt, as her guardian, to India.   During their journey, she met her future husband, Robert Leeson, who was travelling with his father to France.  Her aunt gave her consent to the union.[1]


Earls of Milltown[2]


It was a good match.  Robert Leeson descended from the third marriage of Joseph Leeson, 1st Earl of Milltown, to Elizabeth (1742-1842), daughter of Very Rev William French of Oakport, Roscommon.[3]  Descendants of his son, Hon Robert Leeson (1773-1852) forged close links with County Kerry and indeed, Castleisland.[4]


Hon Robert Leeson married Grace, daughter of Michael Head of Derry, Co Tipperary, on 17 August 1795. [5]  Robert, their first child, was born in Dublin on 5th April 1796 and entered Trinity College in 1814.   He was therefore not long out of his studies when he met Elizabeth during his travels to France with his father.[6]


Robert Leeson and Elizabeth Marshall married in Marseillies on 12 January 1820.  Elizabeth was described as ‘of Plantagenet descent through the Geraldines of Co Kerry,’ notably Ballymacadam Castle, near Castleisland.[7]  In 1841, John O’Donovan described what remained of the Geraldine stronghold in his Ordnance Survey report of the parish of Castleisland:


In the townland of Ballymacadam in this parish about 1½ miles to the east of Castleisland town are the ruins of a square castle; it measures on the inside 15 ft by 9 inches from east to west and 13 ft 2 inches from north to south.  A spiral staircase led to the top at the south east angle, but it is now entirely destroyed.  The second and fourth floors rested on stone arches of which but very small fragments remain.  The walls are 4 ft 9 inches in thickness.  Its east side is down to the very foundations, as is also the greater part of the north wall.  All the windows are disfigured except one narrow rectangular one on the south wall which lighted the first floor and one on the west wall which lighted the fourth one.[8]


Ruin to Rubble: Site of Ballymacadam Castle (left) near Castleisland, soon after the ruin was destroyed.  Photograph courtesy (©) Timothy Murphy, Castleisland.  The site (right) in recent times[9]

Leeson Marshall Union


The marriage of Robert Leeson and Elizabeth Marshall produced twelve children, eight sons and four daughters.[10]  Their sons were Robert Leeson, who died in infancy in 1821; Robert Cecil Leeson born in Florence in 1822;[11] Richard John Leeson (1828-1877), grandfather of Mary Ruth, who lived at Callinafercy House, Milltown, Co Kerry; Major Ralph Leeson (1832-1920);[12]  Rev William Leeson (1835-1882)[13] and Henry Leeson, who died at sea on 3rd May 1861 en route to New Zealand.[14]  Edward Cole Leeson, born in 1838,[15] and Francis Leeson, born in 1845, were recorded in Debrett’s Peerage.[16]


During Elizabeth Leeson’s childbearing years, her brother, John Markham Marshall, died and left his estates to his aunt, Lady Franks, otherwise Jane Marshall of Ballymacadam, who on her death in 1848, devised same, as per her nephew’s wishes, to Richard John Leeson of Callinafercy House.[17]


Robert Leeson, who from 1849 was known as Robert Marshall Leeson, and whose address at this time was Tralee, evidently tampered with the will of his brother-in-law, John Markham Marshall (and Lady Franks) to the detriment of his son, the matter ending up in court.[18]  He was clearly in financial difficulties, described in one report as ‘an improvident gentleman,’[19] and in another as ‘a pure Regency type’:


[He] spent his own money and anyone else’s that he could get hold of, and, after dragging his family all over Europe, finally retired to France for the most urgent reasons, was in Paris in 1870 and died in 1871 of the Siege and its privations.[20]


He appears to have parted from Elizabeth, who ‘never quite forgot him and was urging her son in letters to ‘try and do something’ for him during the Siege.’[21]  Robert Marshall Leeson of Stephen’s-Green, Dublin died in Paris on 10 July 1871.  Elizabeth died in Jersey on 7 October 1878, where she had been living in the companionship of her daughter, Florence.[22]


Killaha Castle


Elizabeth Marshall Leeson, by her mother, Jane, descended from the Markham and O’Donoghue families of Killaha Castle, Glenflesk, Co Kerry, and the Brewster family of Brewsterfield House, Glenflesk, Co Kerry.[23]  Jane Markham’s father, John Markham of Clydagh Lodge, Killaha, Co Kerry, High Sheriff in 1784, was married to Elizabeth, daughter of The O’Donoghue of the Glens.[24]


Aspects of Killaha Castle, Glenflesk, ancestral home of The O’Donoghue of the Glens.  To the right of the photograph on the right is Killaha House.  Pen and ink illustrations by James Stark Fleming © NLI[25]

John Markham of Clydagh, son of Joshua Markham of Killaha Castle, married Jane, daughter and heiress of William Godfrey of Callinafercy Cottage.[26]  Joshua Markham of Killaha Castle was the son of Joshua Markham senior of Killaha Castle, who died in 1717.  Joshua Markham senior married Mildred, daughter of Francis Brewster of Brewsterfield, Co Kerry, and Arabella, daughter of Edward Herbert of Kilcow, near Castleisland.[27]


Killaha Castle, a tower house built circa late sixteenth century, was the ancestral home of The O’Donoghue of the Glens.[28]  The O’Donoghue and MacCarthy Mór families intermarried: MacCarthy was associated with the construction of nearby Killaha House.[29]


Richard John Leeson of Callinafercy House


Richard John Leeson, son of Robert and Elizabeth, was born on 11 April 1828.  He was about four-and-a-half years old when his uncle, John Markham Marshall, made his will in favour of him, after a life interest to his own aunt, Lady Franks, on condition that Richard took the name and arms of Marshall and lived for half of the year on the Marshall estates in Co Kerry.[30]


Richard John Leeson, from 1852 Richard John Marshall, married in 1858 Rebecca, daughter of Venerable Ambrose Power, Archdeacon of Lismore and of their four children, three were daughters.[31]  Edith Susan Leeson, the youngest, wife of Sir Home Gordon, was the author of The Winds of Time (1934), a memoir in which she recalled her life during construction of Ard Na Sidhe, her (supposed) haunted country house, near Caragh Lake, Co Kerry.[32]


Markham Richard Marshall, only son of Richard and Rebecca, was born on 24 December 1859, and took back the name Leeson which he hyphenated to Leeson-Marshall.  He was a claimant to the dormant Milltown title.  Markham Richard Leeson-Marshall, DL, JP, was described as ‘an Irish country gentleman in the very best meaning and significance of the words,’ who settled on his estates after a military career in the 3rd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers.


On 9 August 1890, Major Leeson-Marshall married Mabel Edith, daughter of Sir John Fermor Godfrey, 4th Baronet.  Mabel died on 2nd May 1892 at 37 Wynnstay Gardens, Kensington, less than a year after the birth of her only child, Mary Leeson-Marshall.  Major Leeson-Marshall married secondly in 1907 to Meriel Anne, only daughter of Sir George Frederick John Hodson, 3rd Baronet, of Hollybrooke, Bray.  By his second wife, the grounds of Callinafercy House became ‘one of the great gardens of Southern Ireland.’[33]


Major Leeson-Marshall died at Callinafercy House, Milltown on 13 December 1939.  He was buried in the parish church at Kilcolman.  His widow, Meriel Anne Leeson-Marshall, died at Kylemore, Bray, on 16 May 1944.  She was interred at Delgany.


Views of Kilcolman Church of Ireland, Milltown, Co Kerry, burial place of Major Leeson-Marshall of Callinafercy, and of his daughter and son-in-law, Mary and George Annesley Ruth


Mary Leeson-Marshall, only daughter, inherited the Kerry estates in 1939.  She met her future husband, George Annesley Ruth (1883-1947) of Killaha, Glasnevin, second son of Richard T Ruth of Ardristan, Glasnevin, in Coláiste Móibhí, Glasnevin, the Protestant training college for instruction in Irish.


George and Mary, otherwise Seoirse and Máire Bean de Rút, married on 30 July 1924 in Kilcolman Church of Ireland, Milltown, Co Kerry, in a ceremony conducted in Irish by Rev Canon W J King, assisted by Rev Paul Quigley, Vicar of Carbury, Co Kildare:


The bride looked charming in cream marocain trimmed with pale gold tissue, a veil of antique Limerick lace, caught with bunches of white orange blossom and white heather from Glenflesk, and was conveyed to and from the church in a motor car kindly lent for the occasion by the Honourable Mrs Cuffe, who had tastefully festooned it with white heather.  The church which was filled to overflowing was decorated with pink roses and other flowers.  The bride was given away by her father and attended by her cousin, Miss Phyllis Godfrey, daughter of Sir William Godfrey of Kilcoleman, and Mr Richard Ruth acted as best man to his brother.  The music and singing were beautifully rendered by the choir.[34]


An extensive list of wedding gifts was published which, with the names of those who gave them, read as something of a Who’s Who, as well as a guest list.  A gift from Miss Jane McCartie was a picture of Killaha Castle.[35]


Seoirse and Máire Bean de Rút shared a passion for the Irish language, and contributed to a translation from English to Irish of the Book of Common Prayer – Leabhar na h’Urnise Comcoitcinne, in 1931.  They also raised funds for church renovations in 1932.


Seoirse de Rút died suddenly at Callinafercy House on 20 February 1947.[36]  Máire de Rút remained at Callinafercy but in her later years, she resided at St Luke’s Home, Military Hill, Cork.  There she was interviewed by Walter McGrath in about 1986 when she spoke about her active days with Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise, and her visits to Dingle where she had met Peig Sayers and Maire Ni Ghuithin.[37]


Máire de Rút died at St Luke’s on 26 August 1988.  She desired that her funeral be conducted in Irish, which was duly carried out by Canon George Salter – subject of the recent RTE film, An Tost Fada (2012).  She was laid to rest with her husband, who she outlived by more than four decades, in the cemetery of Kilcolman Church of Ireland.[38]


There appear to have been no children of the marriage.  Callinafercy House was subsequently inherited by the late Professor of Oceanography, Brian McKenzie Bary, and the late Mrs Valerie Bary (1921-2013) author of Houses of Kerry (1994).[39]


[1] John Markham Marshall of Kilburn and Torquay died unmarried at Exeter in November 1832.  Robert Marshall, described as ‘only brother of John Markham Marshall,’ died at Dawlish, Devon, in August 1829. 

[2] Earl of Milltown, Co Dublin, and Viscount and Baron Russborough of Russellstown, Co Wicklow, in the Peerage of Ireland. 

[3] Joseph Leeson (1701-1783) 1st Earl of Milltown, married first to Cecilia, daughter of Francis Leigh Esq, of Rathangan, Co Kildare.  Cecilia died in 1737, and by her he had two sons, Joseph (1730-1801) and Brice (1735-1807) 2nd and 3rd Earls of Milltown respectively.  The 2nd Earl of Milltown, Viscount Russborough, died at Chelsea on 28 November 1801 in the 73rd year of his age leaving no issue. 

Joseph (1766-1800), eldest son of Brice, 3rd Earl, had issue Joseph (1799-1866), 4th Earl, and (Lady) Cecilia Charlotte Leeson (1801-1818) author of Juvenile Poems of the Right Honourable Lady Cecilia C Leeson (held in the National Library of Ireland).  

Joseph Leeson (1829-1871), 5th Earl, son of Joseph, 4th Earl, was succeeded by his brothers Edward Nugent Leeson and Henry Leeson as 6th and 7th Earls respectively.  

Hon John Leeson (1767-1835) second son of Brice, married on 12 January 1793 Martha, only daughter of Rev John Ryley (died 2 July 1800) of Suffolk-street, Cavendish Square (Rector of Fobbing, Essex.  Their marriage (which took place in the month of Louis XVI’s guillotine) notice appeared on the same page as the notice for Lord Edward and Pamela d’Orleans (The European Magazine, and London Review, January 1793 Volume 23 p78). Their surviving issue included three daughters, Martha Maria Leeson (died unmarried 1871); Elizabeth Leeson, wife of David Nixon Donnellan Esq of Castlebellingham and Ravensdale Park, Co Kildare (whose daughter Anne Catherine Donnellan married Baron de Bazancourt, grandson of Countess Houdetot, at the Church of Notre Dame, Paris, on 12 May 1841) who died from ‘rapid decline’ on 12 November 1823 at which time he was described as ‘the last male descendant of Nehemiah Nixon Donnellan of Nenagh, Co Tipperary’.  Elizabeth (Leeson) Donnellan married secondly to Martius Francis Giordano; and Cecilia Leeson (1799-1823) wife of George Hornidge Esq.  Mrs Hornidge died at Burgage Moyle, Co Kildare, on 28 November 1822 aged 23; and three sons, Major Joseph Leeson (1796-1848), Major John Sackville Leeson (1800-1859) and Major Charles Ponsonby Leeson (1810-1852).  

Eldest son Major Joseph Leeson married in 1817 Anne O’Reilly (died at Ferozepore 29 January 1851), eldest daughter of Anthony Alexander O’Reilly of Baltrasna, Co Meath.  Their known issue: Joseph Lowther Leeson (1820-1883) who married in 1855 at Simla to Eliza, daughter of Rev Henry William Reddy; John Leeson (1827-1905); Cecil John Leeson; Charles William Leeson (1829-1852); George Leeson (1831-1848); Henry Corbett Leeson (1836-1888); Maria Ann Leeson (1819-1840) wife of Captain William Baring Gould; Frances Elizabeth Leeson, wife of Major Richard William Henry Fanshaw; Martha Leeson, who married John Kane of the Magistrates Office in St James’ Church, Delhi on 23 October 1848.  Martha Kane died about 1862 (Ref: email correspondence with Janet Murphy, 29 March 2021).

Second son, John Leeson (1827-1905) was in 1898 a claimant to the earldom (8th Earl).  John Leeson married Winifred Rose, eldest daughter of Thomas William Collins, Deputy Collector of Delhi, in St James’ Church, Delhi on 9 April 1850.  Four children were born, in 1851, 1853, 1855 and 1856, one of whom, Eveline Andrew Reginald Leeson, died on 14 July 1854 aged one.  The three surviving children were murdered during the Siege of Delhi on about 11 May 1857.  Their names are recorded on a tablet in St James’ Church, Delhi: John T C Leeson, Josephine T C[ollins] Leeson and Joseph O’R[eilly] C[ollins] Leeson (A List of Inscriptions on Christian Tombs or Monuments in the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Kashmir and Afghanistan (1910) by Miles Irving, p22).  An account of the affair in An Englishwoman in India: The Memoirs of Harriet Tytler 1828-1858 (1986).  John and Winifred had subsequent issue, Olivia Caroline Collins Leeson (b1858) married James Arthur Magry; Albert Alfred Leeson (1860-1862); Eleanor Lavinia Leeson (1862-1937) married Charles Edward Richard Earle (1857-1936), Inspector of Police in the Fetterghan (?), Oude, son of Edward William Earle (1826-1903), grandson of Captain Solomon Earle (1797-1858), and great-grandson of Solomon Earle (1754-1824) and Rose Rennell; Alfreda Violet Collins Leeson (1867-1868).  Winifred Rose Leeson died 14 February 1898.  John Leeson married secondly in 1900 to Mary Jane Howgell Lowther, daughter of William Lowther.

Joseph Leeson, 2nd Earl of Milltown, appears in Johann Zoffany’s ‘Tribuna’.  Zoffany also spent time in India where he painted his ‘Last Supper’ for the opening of St. John’s Church in Calcutta where it originally hung above the altar.  Major Joseph Leeson and Anne O’Reilly were married in this church and it may be more than coincidence they chose to be married beneath the work of an artist who painted Major Joseph’s great uncle.  Major Joseph had a respectable military career but records differ about when and where he died.  However, he was a correspondent of Lady Sale (one source says he was involved in her rescue) and she does refer to him in her memoir A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan 1841-2 (sic).  An account of Major Joseph Leeson’s military career is given in Inscriptions on Christian Tombs or Monuments in the Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province, Kashmir and Afghanistan (1912) compiled by George William de Rhe-Philipe, Part II, p205.

Robert Leeson (1772-1842) of Clermont, Wicklow, third son of Brice, married 28 October 1810 Philippa Juliana, daughter of Rev Timothy Neve DD (spelt incorrectly as Neave in some sources) and had issue four surviving children including Cecilia Frances Lucy, who married in 1847 to Richard Burton Porter Esq of Bellevue House, Douglas, Cork, eldest son of Rev Robert Porter of Wicklow; Rev Joseph Leeson (1813-1850) who married Jane Lloyd and had Cecilia Frances Lucy (1840-1928) married to Edward William Howley; Robert William Frederick Leeson (1842-1906), a claimant to the earldom (9th Earl) and Jane Lucy Leeson (1846-1880) who married in 1868 to Edward Hobson Kenyon.  A descendant of May Patricia Leeson O’Rourke née Kenyon (1919-2018) daughter of Henry ‘Harry’ Leeson Kenyon (1878-1971), the third son of Edward Hobson Kenyon and Jane Lucy Leeson, who is domiciled in New Zealand, kindly donated a copy of The Milltown Leesons. 

Joseph Leeson, 1st Earl of Milltown, married secondly in 1738 (or 1739) to Anne (1720-1766) daughter of Nathaniel Preston of Swainston, Co Meath by whom he had issue including Anne, born in 1750.  Anne Leeson married Hugh Henry Esq of Lodge Park, Straffan, Co Kildare and had issue three sons and three daughters.  Anne Leeson and Hugh Henry’s grandson, John Joseph Henry, married Lady Emily Fitzgerald, Lord Edward’s niece (she being a daughter of Lord Edward’s older brother the 2nd Duke of Leinster). 

In 1914, Charles Herbert Leeson (1869-1943) of Clarior House, Cheltenham, son of Dr Thomas Richard Leeson, Surgeon, MRCS (1832-1877) of Blackburn and Anna Maria Harrison, put forward a claim to the title by descent from a son from the Earl of Milltown’s second marriage (Kilkenny Moderator, 24 January 1914).   ‘The claimant’s case is that the direct issue of the first earl having failed, the heirship passed to his next-of-kin, who happened to be Timothy Leeson, the present claimant’s great great-grandfather’ (Irish Independent, 25 March 1905).  Charles Herbert Leeson was survived in 1943 by his widow, Margaret Mabel Leeson and two daughters, Mrs Leonard Harrison, wife of Fit. Lt Harrison RAF and Miss Enid Leeson.  

'The wording in the patent for Baron Russborough is “…Heirs Male of his Body lawfully begotten…” (Gazette 27 April 1756) and for the Earl of Milltown “…and his Heirs male…” (Gazette 26 April 1763).  Charles Herbert Leeson was not an “Heirs Male of his [Joseph Leeson’s] Body lawfully begotten” Charles may well have been a relative but he was not a Milltown Leeson.  To the best of my knowledge, as per Burke’s, the only lawfully begotten child of Joseph Leeson’s second marriage to Anne Preston was a daughter, also Anne, who married her cousin Hugh Henry of Lodge Park (who was the son of the Earl’s sister, also Anne (three Annes) ... Frank Leeson (4 March 1994) in a letter to AH, refuted the Charles Herbert Leeson claim saying “… Charles Herbert Leeson, for whom I can see no justification.  I was once in touch with his descendants – the ‘Gregory’ Leesons – who provided information from which I drew the enclosed chart (The Milltown Leesons, p63). The Milltown connection is supposed to be from a hitherto unrecorded son of Brice, the third earl, called Thomas or Timothy, who they said was mentioned in the will of the first earl – but, of course, he isn’t!”. I have noticed that in the pedigree Frank drew up, from information he says was provided to him by the ‘Gregory’ Leesons, that the middle name ‘Tighe’ of their matriarch Joanna Tighe Gregory is the surname of the first Earl of Milltown’s grandmother, Rebecca Tighe.’ (By email to Janet Murphy, 23 March 2021). 

The father of Charles Herbert Leeson, Dr Thomas Richard Leeson (1832-1877) of Blackburn, son of Dr Edward Gregory Leeson (1804-1855), married in October 1859 to Anna Maria, daughter of James Harrison Esq of the Old Hall, Salmesbury, near Preston.  

Dr Edward Gregory Leeson (1804-1855) appears to have suffered financial difficulties in Dublin and died in Adelaide from ‘colonial fever’ on 1 May 1855.  He married on 18 August 1827 to Harriett Georgina (1813-1872) youngest daughter of William Rives Birch Esq of South Cumberland-street.  Harriet Georgina Leeson, relict of Dr E G Leeson Esq MD, TCD, FRCSI, formerly of Dublin, died on 19 January 1872 at Benalla, Victoria, Australia, aged 59 years.  

Irish Genealogy records the baptism of Edward Gregory Leeson in St Mary, Dublin on 26 March 1804, son of Timothy and Joanna Leeson. 

Joseph Leeson, 1st Earl of Milltown, married thirdly Elizabeth (1742-1842), daughter of Very Rev William French of Oakport, Roscommon.  

[4] From the third marriage of the 1st Earl of Milltown were (1) Lady Cecilia Leeson (1769-1849) wife of Colonel David La Touche (1769-1816), MP for Carlow.  Lady Cecilia LaTouche died at her residence at Cheltenham on 6 December 1849 in her 84th year (2) Hon William Leeson (1770-1819) (3) Lady Frances Arabella Leeson (1771-1840) who married Marcus Beresford Esq, MP Dungarvan, son of Rt Hon John Beresford (brother of the Marquis of Waterford) by special licence at Dublin on 24 February 1791.  Marcus Beresford died at Abbeville, the seat of his father, on 18 November 1797.   Lady Frances Arabella Beresford died on 9 May 1840 leaving a son, William Beresford (1797-1883) and a daughter, Elizabeth (d 7 December 1856), wife of Felix Ladbroke Esq jun, of Grosvenor-street, London.  Lady Beresford’s eldest son, Lt John Theophilus Beresford (1792-1812) of the 88th Regiment of Foot, died on 19 January 1812 in the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (4) Hon Robert Leeson (1773-1852).  Hon Robert Leeson was evidently a friend of the Duke of Wellington who had a youthful affection for his sister Cecilia – entered Trinity College in 1790.  

[5] Grace Leeson died on 5th November 1833, and Robert married secondly to Harriet, youngest daughter of Sir Henry Brooke, Baronet, of Colebrooke Park, Co Fermanagh. The death notice of Harriet (Morning Chronicle, 16 January 1858) described her as youngest sister of late Sir Henry Brooke, Bart, of Colebrooke Park, Ireland. 

[6] In early 1852, it was announced that the Hon Robert Leeson of 8 Ely Place, Dublin, ‘one of our oldest and most constant resident landlords in this country,’ had recovered from an attack of influenza.  His death at Ely Place occurred some months later, 12 April 1852.  Hon Robert Leeson was described as in his 80th year in the former notice – ‘His mother, the late Countess Dowager of Milltown, lived in the enjoyment of her faculties to her 100th year’ – and as aged 78 in the latter.  Harriet Leeson, his widow, died at Leamington on 15 January 1858.  Both Robert and his first wife Grace were buried in the Leeson family tomb in what was the former St. Kevin’s Churchyard (off Camden Row) and which is now St. Kevin’s Park, Dublin.  Robert’s mother Countess Elizabeth Leeson née French, from father Joseph’s third marriage, is also buried there. 

Robert’s brothers were Richard Leeson, born c1800, who was drowned in Portsmouth Harbour with Hon Mr Thellusson, brother of Lord Rendlesham, and Mr Hassall, son of J Hassall Esq of Hartshorn, Derby, on 4 March 1818 when they left the ship HMS Tiber for shore during a sudden and violent storm; and Sir William Edward Leeson, Genealogist of the Order of St Patrick, who died at Caen, Normandy, on 21 April 1885.  He was twice married, in 1826 to Louisa Araminta, daughter of Colonel Thomas Bermingham Daly Sewell, and secondly in 1853 to Julia (died 1879), daughter of Captain Edwin Richards, RN, of Rivington House, Co Cavan.  It is from Sir William Edward Leeson’s second marriage that the late Carlos Beresford Leeson of Argentina was descended.  In a letter to Alice Hooton (Harry Leeson Kenyon’s granddaughter), 21 January 1994, Frank Leeson believed that Carlos was the only living male line descendant of the Milltowns and probably the best claimant to the Earldom which he was not interested in. 

[7] The following from A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland by Bernard Burke. 

Family of Marshall 
Tristram Marshall came to Kerry in the expedition of Charles Wilmot, 1602, and marrying Mary, daughter of Maurice FitzGerald, of BallymacAdam Castle, co Kerry, settled there.  His son, John Marshall, married Jane, daughter of Florence McCarty of Clodane; was driven out by the Irish in the great rebellion of 1641, returned as a Captain in Cromwell’s Army, and re-settled at BallymacAdam Castle, co Kerry.  His son, Ralph Marshall, married Elizabeth, daughter of Arthur Brown of Ballyneatig, co Kerry, a Cromwellian Officer.  His son, Ralph Marshall, married Jane, daughter and heiress of John Purcell, of Gortenard, co Cork.  His son, John Marshall, married Lucy, sister of the Hon Robert Day, a Judge of the King’s Bench.  His son, Ralph Marshall, High Sheriff co Kerry 1799, married Jane, daughter and heiress of John Markham, of Brewsterfield, co Kerry; and was killed in the Peninsular War, leaving a son, John Markham [Marshall], who died unmarried in 1832, and a daughter, Elizabeth Marshall, married January 1820, Robert, son of Hon Robert Leeson, youngest son of Joseph, 1st Earl of Milltown, and had, with other issue, Richard John Leeson, who took the name of Marshall, who married 23 September 1858 Rebecca (Zeena) daughter of Ven Ambrose Power, Archdeacon of Lismore. 

It is worth recording one Mary Fitzgerald (1574-1600) daughter of Maurice Fitzgerald (1550-1573) of Ballymocadam (sic) Castle and Margaret Butler (1540-1578) who married Thomas Marshall (1570-1618) of Abbotts Ann, Hants and had John Marshall (1596-1688) of Ballymacadam.  This Captain John Marshall married Jane, daughter of Florence McCarthy (1560-1640) and his wife Elena, daughter of Donal MacCarthy Mor (1518-1596) and had issue Thomas Marshall (1640-1704). 

It is also worth noting a Thomas Marshall (1574-1616) of Abbotts Ann, MP for Lymington in 1604, son of Thomas Marshall of Salisbury and Mary, daughter of Sir Richard Cotton of Warblington (widow of Henry Stockman of Abbots Ann) who married ‘Mary,’ who died in 1618. 

A legend of the Fitzgeralds of Ballymacadam Castle found in Fitzgerald of Kerry A 17th Century Tale of Kilmurry Castle and Ballymacadam Castle (2018). The National Library of Ireland holds the pedigrees of Marshall of Kilballyvane, Riverville, Ballymacadam, all in Co Kerry. 

[8] The ruin of Ballymacadam Castle was destroyed some years ago to clear land for a quarry.  The report of An Bord Pleanála for development of a quarry suggests this had occurred before 2007: ‘This is in the vicinity of the site of Ballymacadam Castle apparently, though there were no obvious signs of this from the surface’ (Ref: 08.QC2024, site visit 19 August 2007, report 23 October 2007).  

[9] Castleisland District Heritage would welcome an image of Ballymacadam Castle for its archive if one exists.  Please email[10] Their four daughters were Emily Elizabeth Grace Leeson, born 1834, who died unmarried at Milner Street, Chelsea on 9 October 1881; Caroline Leeson, born 25 December 1826; Jane Leeson, born 30 October 1829, who was married in Jersey on 19 June 1854 to Horatio de Courcy Martelli Esq (1812-1898) of New Zealand, son of Captain Martelli of the 69th Regiment, and died, leaving issue, in 1890; Florence Georgina Leeson, who married at St Helier’s, Jersey, on 28 December 1880 to Count Jules Pierre Thomas Arthur Ostoja-Marylski of Mazovie, Poland, and died on 18 April 1922. 

[11] Robert Cecil Leeson married on 21 January 1853 Maria, third daughter of James Kennedy Esq of Tipperary, a Roman Catholic, and their children were raised in that faith.  Their eldest child, Richard John Leeson, born in 1856, lived in Monkstown, Dublin and appeared as a claimant to the dormant Milltown peerage in Walford’s County Families of the United Kingdom.  He died unmarried.  Second child Ralph Leeson, born in 1860, also died unmarried.  Third son William went to America but may have had issue: ‘a small dispatch from Klondike, Canada stated that Robert Leeson, a 21 year old miner, had left Dawson City en route to Ireland to establish his claim to the dormant Earldom of Milltown.  He claimed that his eldest brother, who was heir to the title, had been missing for ten years and when last heard of was in a ship which was wrecked.  These might have been the children of William.’  Robert Cecil Leeson died on 2 August 1866.  His widow died on 1 May 1909. 

[12] Major Ralph Leeson married first in 1860 to Elizabeth Flora Harding by whom he had issue, and secondly to Wilhelmina Anne Matilda who died at Purbrook on 3 April 1913.  She was the daughter of Captain Edward Stamer O’Grady of Merrion Square, Dublin and widow of William Frederick Swindell Esq of Melyniog Hall, Montgomeryshire.  Major Ralph Leeson of Fir Lodge, Purbrook, Hants, died on 29 October 1920 in his 88th year.  

[13] Rev William Leeson married Maria Susannah, daughter of Charles John Osborne of Leytonstone, Essex.  He died on 3 February 1882 at Swanmore, Isle of Wight, in his 47th year. 

[14] The Milltown Leesons, p35. Described as ‘late of 95 Jermyn St.’  The following notice appeared in the Cork Constitution, 1 November 1861: ‘On 3d May last, at sea, on the passage to New Zealand, Henry Leeson Esq, of HM 31st and 8th Regiments.’ 

[15] The death of an Edward C Leeson Esq of 39, Esplanade, on 18 February 1892 was recorded in the Jersey Independent and Daily Telegraph, 27 February 1892. 

[16] The Milltown Leesons, p35. 

[17] Jane Marshall, daughter of John Marshall Esq of Kerry, married in 1790 George Sandes of Kilcavan, Queen’s County.  George died at Tralee in 1796 and Jane married Sir John Franks (1769-1852).  Lady Franks died at St Bridget’s, Clonskeagh, on 12 March 1848. 

[18] See Marshall v Leeson, ‘Extraordinary Will Case,’ Kerry Evening Post, 15 May 1852.  In 1852, his address was Crag, Castleisland. 

[19] Dublin Evening Mail, 19 December 1859. 

[20] The Milltown Leesons, p33.  The Milltown Leesons A Provisional History of the Family of Leeson Earls of Miltown in the Peerage of Ireland To mark the Bicentenary of the Creation of the Earldom 1763 (1963) by Francis Leeson.  A copy of this valuable genealogy has been donated to Castleisland District Heritage by a collateral descendant of the 1st Earl of Milltown (by his first wife).  It has been assigned Collection Ref IE CDH 15.  Pages 31-35 relate to the Hon Robert Leeson (1773-1852), youngest son of Joseph Leeson, 1st Earl of Milltown, by his third wife, Elizabeth French.  

[21] Ibid. 

[22] Death Notice: Elizabeth Marshall Leeson, relict of Robert Marshall Leeson Esq of St Stephen’s-green, Dublin and heiress of late Ralph Marshall Esq of Bally McAdam Castle, Co Kerry, died on 7 October 1878 at 2 Almorah-crescent, St Helier, Jersey, in her 79th year. 

[23] The following from A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland by Bernard Burke. 

Family of Markham: 
John Markham, an Officer in Cromwell’s Army, settled in Ireland.  His son, Captain Joshua Markham of Killaha Castle, Co Kerry, married Mildred, granddaughter and co-heir of Sir Francis Brewster, of Brewsterfield, co Kerry, and died 1717.  His son, Joshua Markham of Nunstown married Hester, daughter and heiress of William Godfrey of Callinafercy, co Kerry.  His son, John Markham, of Brewsterfield and Callinafercy, High Sheriff Co Kerry 1784, married Elizabeth, daughter of Geoffrey ‘The O’Donoghue of the Glynn’ by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of The McCarthy More.  His only daughter, Jane Markham, married Ralph Marshall of BallymacAdam, co Kerry. 

[24] Elizabeth was the daughter of Geoffrey O’Donoghue of the Glens and Elizabeth McCarthy Mor.  On the death of Mrs Ruth in 1988, Clydagh Lodge was bequeathed to the Buckley family, long time caretakers.  Further reference, Arm of the Sea The Clydagh Valley Flood of 1831 (2018). 

[25] See note 16, 

[26] William Godfrey of Callinafercy Cottage, whose wife was Jane Buck, was the son of William Godfrey of Annagh House, Castlemaine, great grandson of Colonel John Godfrey (Bary, Houses of Kerry). 

[27] Brewsterfield House was demolished, the site occupied today by Kennedy’s Farm.  Further reference, Brewster of Brewsterfield The Rise and Fall of Brewsterfield House Glenflesk Co Kerry c1675-1985 (2020).  The National Library of Ireland holds the pedigree of Markham of Nunstown and Brewsterfield, Co Kerry.  

[28] The Poems of Geoffrey O’Donoghue / Dánte Shéafraidh Uí Dhonnchadha an Ghleanna (2008) edited by John Minahane was published by the Aubane Historical Society.  This Geoffrey O’Donoghue fought the Cromwellians, lived riotously and wrote poetry (Bary, Houses of Kerry, p152). 

[29] Killaha House was passed by Markham Richard Leeson-Marshall to the Roman Catholic Church for use as a presbytery.  It is today in private ownership. 

[30] The National Library of Ireland holds the pedigree of Markham Leeson Marshall of Callanfercy. 

[31] The daughters were Mary Henrietta, who married Sir William Cecil Godfrey, 5th Baronet, and died on 11 December 1950; Grace Elizabeth, who died unmarried on 11 April 1882 and Edith Susan, who married Sir Home Seton Charles Montague Gordon, 12th Baronet (1871-1956) and died without issue 29 October 1945. 


[33] Bary, p61. 

[34] Kerry Reporter, 16 August 1924. 

[35] Kerry Reporter, 16 August 1924.  ‘After the ceremony some 50 friends and relations were entertained by Major and Mrs Leeson-Marshall at Callinafercy and a large gathering of neighbours both in Milltown and at Callinafercy gave the heartiest send-off to the happy couple who left in their own car for Connemara where the honeymoon will be spent.  The wedding cake made at home weighed 10 stone and contained over 200 eggs, all the gift of Callinafercy people.  The presents, which were numerous, included cheques, plate and jewellery from relations.  Silver dishes, Major MacGillycuddy; paper knife, Mrs MacGillycuddy; silver salt cellars from the household staff; gold watch, outdoor staff; tea set, Lady Hodson; picture of Killaha Castle, Miss Jane McCartie; manicure set, Canon and Mrs King; cigarette box, Mrs Wright; tea caddy, Miss Ferry; embroidered cloth, Mrs O’Sullivan; cigarette case, Miss Smyly; breakfast dish, Miss Hogg; silver-backed brushes, Miss Day; suit case, Miss A Day; sachet, Miss Peake; silver button-hook, etc, Miss Byrne; cushion, Miss Duggan; brass antique, Miss Kenny; bead-chain, Miss Allen; card case, the Misses Isaac; cheques, The Hon Mrs Cuffe, Lady Richards, the Bishop of Ossory and Mr O’Connor Morris; glass and Irish lace, Miss Walker; brooch, Mrs Erskine; silver dish, Mrs and Miss Synott; brooch, Miss Fairfield; napkin rings, Mrs Disney; dispatch case, Capt Cox; card case, Miss Young; cut glass, Miss Collis-Sandes and Sir Arthur and Lady Thring; table mats, Mr and Mrs Leslie; umbrella, Mr and Mrs Cronin-Coltsmann; table napkins, Mrs A Hamilton; lace, Mrs Ramage; Indian Sari, Miss Colston; picture, Miss Cowie; Chinese mandarins coat, the Misses Williams; lace handkerchief, Mrs Creaghe-Howard; lace, Mrs Starkie; spoons, Mr and Mrs Chute; tea set, Sir Maurice and Lady O’Connell; brass kettle from all at Bushfield; Bible, Mrs Mills; handbag, Mrs La Touche; caddy, Mrs S King; sauce boat, Canon and Mrs Wade; handkerchief, Miss Owen; silver kettle from all at Hollybrooke; glass bowl, Canon and Mrs Power; pendant, Mrs Sydney Jones; silver dish, Mr and Mrs Davies; handbag, Miss Natterville; Oriental candlestick, the Misses James; pendant, the Misses Richards; sugar dredger, Mr and Mrs R Fitzgerald; umbrella, Mrs E Godfrey; handbag, Mrs Bourke; handkerchief, Miss Atkinson; glass bowl, the Misses Sullivan; cushion, Miss Newland; embroidery, Mrs Johnston; handbag, Mrs Nash; tea knives, Archdeacon and Mrs Power; book, Miss McCullagh; tea-spoons, Mrs May; seal, Miss Griffith; cream jug and bowl, Major Leslie; glass dessert service, Mrs Hamilton-Cox and Mrs Lowis (sic); embroidered tea cloth, ‘From a few of her students’; enamel box, Miss Staplyton; tea knives and spoons, Mrs H Gethin; handbag, Mrs Power; silver dish, Mr G McCarthy; glass bowl, Mr and Mrs Percival Maxwell; silver bowl, Mr R Power; tea set, Miss N Stephens; cut glass jugs, The McGillycuddy and Madam McGillycuddy; handbag, Mr and Mrs R Gethin; biscuit box, Mrs T Stephens; silver teapot, Mrs Lambe and Mr and Mrs J Lambe; silver cake casket, Mrs T O’Sullivan; cushion, Miss Josie Kelleher; embroidered mats, the Misses Magill; mat, Mrs D Kelleher; silver sugar bowl, Mrs Reed; manicure set, Revd S King; old Irish silver table spoons, M[illeg] Mullin; silver box, Dr Dodd; tortoise-shell boxes, Mrs Malone; silver teaspoons, Mr and Mrs O’Regan; silver box, Mr and Mrs E B Slattery; china teapot, Mrs Greaney; silver salt cellars, Mr and Mrs Carr; D’Oylys, the Misses Rowan; a salmon from Mr and Mrs D Clifford; cheques Miss Tottenham and Lady Scott; and presents of farm produce from many kind neighbours.’ 

[36] Prior to their residence at Callinafercy House, the Ruths lived at Caragh Cliff House, Caragh Lake, Co Kerry. 

[37] Irish Examiner, 10 November 1990.  Walter McGrath was reviewing a book, An Ghaeilge in Eaglais na hÉireann / The Irish Language in the Church of Ireland (1990) by Risteárd Giltrap (republished 2019) in which he observed that it carried a photograph of a youthful Mary Ruth.  Tribute to Walter McGrath in Cork Evening Echo, 25 March 2006, pp26-27. 

[38] The Church of Ireland in Co Kerry (2011), Kilcolman (Milltown) Church of Ireland, p108.  The funeral service was held in the chapel at St Luke’s Home, Military Road, Cork, and repeated in the parochial hall in Milltown.  The Order of Service used was taken from Leabhar na hUrnaí Coitinne (1985) selections from pp450-460.  Information courtesy Canon George Salter, by letter 4 May 2021.  A copy of the above has been added to this Series, the relevant sections indicated by Canon Salter.  

[39] A short biographical note about Valerie Bary (née Satherley) in the Catalogue of the Michael O’Donohoe Collection Castleisland (2018) p266 (  See Irish Life and Lore for recordings of interviews with the late Valerie Bary