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Kilmorey Family

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The 2nd Earl sires a son born in Cross Deep

Francis Jack Needham, 12th Viscount Kilmorey (pronounced Kilmurray) was created Viscount Newry & Morne and Earl of Kilmorey in 1822. He died in 1832 and was succeeded by his son, also Francis Jack.

The Irish estate, Mourne Park at this time amounted to nearly 55,000 acres and the Earl marked its boundaries by building a granite wall: the "famine wall" round the perimeter, giving cheap employment to a near starving community during the potato famines of the 1840s.

The 2nd Earl is first recorded in Twickenham in 1844 he having sired a child by his mistress Priscilla Anne Hoste. The boy, Charles was born in Cross Deep on 19 July that year and the birth registered on 22 August, the Registrar being James Gooch. A note in the margin by Gooch confirms that Needham was the occupier of the house, believed to be Cross Deep House, opposite Radnor House.
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Acquires other properties and land downstream

Kilmorey may also have owned or occupied Radnor House, at this time. However, he did not stay long.

In 1846 he moved downstream, acquiring Orleans House and plans were prepared by Henry Kendall for a makeover in the Italianate style. These were not carried out although a similar design for Radnor House by Henry Kendall Jr was completed at this time.

Kilmorey bought further land in the vicinity, including land and a property (no6, now no4)in Montpelier Row. However, by 1851 he had moved downstream again, buying St Margaret's House, which he demolished and rebuilt by 1852. At about the same time he bought Gordon House (then called Railshead), which he occupied. But not for long.
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Priscilla's mausoleum

His mistress Priscilla became ill and died in 1854 at their London House.

Henry Kendall had designed and built a mausoleum for Priscilla which was first erected in Brompton Cemetery. It was a handsome structure in the Egyptian style. This year Kilmorey moved away from St Margaret's, selling St Margaret's House and leasing Gordon House to Thomas Chandler Haliburton.

In 1862 he moved to Woburn Park, Chertsey, taking the mausoleum with him. In 1867 his wife died; he re-married soon after and moved back to Gordon House, bringing the mausoleum with him, to its last resting place. Here he died in 1880 and was taken into the mausoleum to rejoin Priscilla. His second wife lived for another 28 years.

The family motto of the Needhams is nunc aut numquam (now or never) and it seems to have informed Jack's life.

Further reading:

A C B Urwin, The Second Earl of Kilmorey and his Mausoleum in St Margaret's, Borough of Twickenham Local History Society Paper No 75, 1997
A C B Urwin, Railshead, the History of Gordon, Lacy and St Margaret's Houses, 1973

Earl of Kilmorey (pronounced "Kil-murry") is a title in the Peerage of Ireland
Peerage of Ireland
The Peerage of Ireland is the term used for those titles of nobility created by the English and later British monarchs of Ireland in their capacity as Lord or King of Ireland. The creation of such titles came to an end in the 19th century. The ranks of the Irish peerage are Duke, Marquess, Earl,...

. It was created in 1822 for Francis Needham, 12th Viscount Kilmorey, a General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 and former Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a parliament. In many countries the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a unique title, such as senate, and thus also have unique titles for its members, such as senators. Members of...

 for Newry
Newry (UK Parliament constituency)
Newry was a United Kingdom Parliament constituency, in Ireland, returning one MP. It was an original constituency represented in Parliament when the Union of Great Britain and Ireland took effect on 1 January 1801.-Members of Parliament:...

. He was made Viscount Newry and Mourne, in the County of Down, at the same time, also in the Peerage of Ireland. He was succeeded by his son, the second Earl. He also represented Newry in the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as "Members...

. His grandson, the third Earl, was briefly Member of Parliament for Newry and sat in the House of Lords as an Irish Representative Peer
Representative peer
In the United Kingdom, representative peers were those peers elected by the members of the Peerage of Scotland and the Peerage of Ireland to sit in the British House of Lords...

 from 1881 to 1915.

His eldest son, the fourth Earl, served as Lord Lieutenant of County Down and as Vice-Admiral of Ulster
Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island.Ulster is composed of nine counties: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone comprise Northern Ireland, while Cavan, Donegal, and Monaghan are part of the Republic of Ireland.-Terminology:The first...

. Lord Kilmorey was also an Irish Representative Peer from 1916 to 1961, becoming the last surviving Irish Representative Peer to sit in the House of Lords. He was succeeded by his nephew, the fifth Earl. He was the son of Major the Hon. Francis Edward Needham, second son of the third Earl. the titles are held by the fifth Earl's eldest son, the sixth Earl, who succeeded in 1977. He does not use his titles and did not use his courtesy title of Viscount Newry and Mourne which he was entitled to from 1969 to 1977, and is known as Sir Richard Needham. He is a former Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative and Unionist Party, more commonly known as the Conservative Party, is a political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to a centre-right philosophy of conservatism and British unionism...

 government minister.

The title of Viscount Kilmorey was created in the Peerage of Ireland in 1625 for Sir Robert Needham., Member of Parliament for Shropshire
Shropshire (UK Parliament constituency)
Shropshire is a former United Kingdom Parliamentary constituency. It was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800, and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. It was represented by two Knights...

, and High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1606. His son, the second Viscount, represented Newcastle-under-Lyme
Newcastle-under-Lyme (UK Parliament constituency)
Newcastle-under-Lyme is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.- History :...

 in Parliament and supported King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was the second son of James VI of Scots and I of England. He was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649...

 during the Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists. The first and second civil wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third war saw fighting between supporters of...

. His younger son, the fourth Viscount (who succeeded his elder half-brother), also fought as a Royalist in the Civil War. His great-great-grandson was the twelfth Viscount, who was created Earl of Kilmorey in 1822.

The ancestral family seat of the Earls of Kilmorey was Mourne Park, near Kilkeel, in Co Down, Northern Ireland.
After the death of the 4th Earl in 1961 the Earldom was inherited by a kinsman, while the Mourne Park Estate was passed on in the female line. It is still (2008) owned by the descendants of the 4th Earl.

The Kilmorey Mausoleum is to be found at St Margarets near Twickenham to the West of London, England. Many photographs and some history can be found and visiting times at:
http://environmenttrust.co.uk/.

Viscounts Kilmorey (1625)

  • Robert Needham, 1st Viscount Kilmorey (d. 1631)
  • Robert Needham, 2nd Viscount Kilmorey (d. 1653)
  • Robert Needham, 3rd Viscount Kilmorey (d. 1657)
  • Charles Needham, 4th Viscount Kilmorey (d. 1660)
  • Robert Needham, 5th Viscount Kilmorey (1655–1668)
  • Thomas Needham, 6th Viscount Kilmorey (c. 1660–1687)
  • Robert Needham, 7th Viscount Kilmorey (1683–1710)
  • Robert Needham, 8th Viscount Kilmorey (1702–1717)
  • Thomas Needham, 9th Viscount Kilmorey (1703–1768)
  • John Needham, 10th Viscount Kilmorey (1711–1791)
  • Robert Needham, 11th Viscount Kilmorey (1746–1818)
  • Francis Needham, 12th Viscount Kilmorey
    Francis Needham, 1st Earl of Kilmorey
    Francis Needham, 1st Earl of Kilmorey , known as Francis Needham until 1818 and as The Viscount Kilmorey from 1818 to 1822, was an Anglo-Irish soldier and Member of Parliament....

     (1748–1832) (created Earl of Kilmorey in 1822)

Earls of Kilmorey (1822)

  • Francis Needham, 1st Earl of Kilmorey (1748–1832)
  • Francis Jack Needham, 2nd Earl of Kilmorey (1787–1880)
  • Francis Charles Needham, 3rd Earl of Kilmorey (1842–1915)
  • Francis Charles Adelbert Henry Needham, 4th Earl of Kilmorey (1883–1961)
  • Francis Jack Richard Patrick Needham, 5th Earl of Kilmorey (1915–1977)
  • Richard Francis Needham, 6th Earl of Kilmorey
    Richard Needham
    Richard Francis Needham, 6th Earl of Kilmorey, Kt, PC usually known as Sir Richard Needham is a former Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom...

     (b. 1942)


The heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is an heir who, short of a fundamental change in the situation, cannot be displaced from inheriting....

is the present holder's son Robert Needham, Viscount Newry (b. 1966)

 

Earl of Kilmorey pronounced "Kil-murry" is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1822 for Francis Needham, 12th Viscount Kilmorey, a General in the British Army and former Member of Parliament for Newry. He was made Viscount Newry and Mourne, in the County of Down, at the same time, also in the Peerage of Ireland. He was succeeded by his son, the second Earl. He also represented Newry in the House of Commons. His grandson, the third Earl, was briefly Member of Parliament for Newry and sat in the House of Lords as an Irish Representative Peer from 1881 to 1915.

His eldest son, the fourth Earl, served as Lord Lieutenant of County Down and as Vice-Admiral of Ulster. Lord Kilmorey was also an Irish Representative Peer from 1916 to 1961, becoming the last surviving Irish Representative Peer to sit in the House of Lords. He was succeeded by his nephew, the fifth Earl. He was the son of Major the Hon. Francis Edward Needham, second son of the third Earl. the titles are held by the fifth Earl's eldest son, the sixth Earl, who succeeded in 1977. He does not use his titles and did not use his courtesy title of Viscount Newry and Mourne which he was entitled to from 1969 to 1977, and is known as Sir Richard Needham. He is a former Conservative government minister.

The title of Viscount Kilmorey was created in the Peerage of Ireland in 1625 for Sir Robert Needham, Member of Parliament for Shropshire, and High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1606. His son, the second Viscount, represented Newcastle-under-Lyme in Parliament and supported King Charles I during the Civil War. His younger son, the fourth Viscount who succeeded his elder half-brother, also fought as a Royalist in the Civil War. His great-great-grandson was the twelfth Viscount, who was created Earl of Kilmorey in 1822.

The ancestral family seat of the Earls of Kilmorey was Mourne Park, near Kilkeel, in Co Down, Northern Ireland.

After the death of the 4th Earl in 1961 the Earldom was inherited by a kinsman, while the Mourne Park Estate was passed on in the female line. It is still 2008 owned by the descendants of the 4th Earl.

The Kilmorey Mausoleum is to be found at St Margarets near Twickenham to the West of London, England.

kilmoreymaus.jpg

The Kilmorey Mausoleum

Internal detail of the mausoleum. A private cemetery of historical interest in St Margarets/ Isleworth. A full history and description is included in the set. This mausoleum which is now a grade II* listed building, was originally commissioned by the notorious eccentric of his day, the 2nd Earl of Kilmorey (also nicknamed as 'Black Jack’ Needham due to his dark complexion at times), whose portrait is shown on the left.

The monument was built in 1854 for his mistress, Priscilla Hoste, who had originally been his ward of court.

They suddenly eloped abroad and then eventually returned to Twickenham, where she had a son called Charles in 1844. Unfortunately, Priscilla then became seriously ill in 1851 with a terminal heart condition, with the Earl deciding to set about constructing a suitable memorial for her in 1853.

She eventually died in October 1854, and was interred in secret, with no-one knowing about it for years afterwards.

A noted Victorian architect of his time, Henry Edward Kendall was employed to design the mausoleum, which he did in the popular and fashionable Egyptian revival style. This Egyptian design is believed to have been derived from a plate in a French book ‘Description de I'Eqypte ’ published in 1809. The shape of the building relates to the shrines at the heart of Egyptian Temples - the place where a treasured image of a god was installed.

Inside the Mausoleum is a fine white marble carved relief of the death bed scene of Priscilla, with the young son Charles and the Earl in attendance. It was carved in Rome by portrait sculptor Lawrence Macdonald, using more than one artistic style.

It is thought that the pink and grey granite Egyptian style mausoleum cost around 30,000? (a very large sum of money in the 1850’s!) not including the subsequent moving costs.

The Mausoleum was originally erected on a plot that the Earl had secured at the Brompton Cemetery in London, then subsequently dismantled, moved and re-built twice.

First when the Earl moved to Woburn Park Chertsey in 1862, and being of unconventional nature and restless as well; six years later he was on the move again. The next time, it was moved to its present site at Twickenham in 1868, where he lived in Gordon House; eventually to be part of the Brunel University complex which has subsequently been re-developed.

In his day, Lord Kilmorey owned all the land between the mausoleum site and Gordon House. According to some rumours and fact, and being the true Victorian eccentric; some tunnels were built, the main one apparently having a tramway between Gordon House and the Mausoleum. This ensured his privacy could be maintained, and would not have to leave his own property when the time came for him to join Priscilla in the Mausoleum. It is said that ‘when in the mood’ he would summon his servants, and in secret, dress in ‘white garb’ and proceed through the tunnel to the mausoleum, where he would lie in his coffin. He lived to the grand age of 92, and in 1880 on his death, his final wishes were carried out.

Since then the mausoleum has had a chequered history, and the site passed eventually to Hounslow Borough Council on condition that access would be maintained, although it was not for some time that anyone entered this hidden burial site.

In an extremely neglected condition, responsibility for the site was passed to Richmond Council, and the maintenance of the grounds to The Environment Trust for Richmond upon Thames, where volunteers have worked exceptionally hard over several years, to get the gardens into the condition you see them today.

Photo credit: Maxwell Hamilton-Flickr

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