The Robinson Garden at Earlscliffe, Baily, Co. Dublin, Ireland

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Earlscliffe residents 1844 to 1896

Cornelius Egan

We believe that the house at Earlscliffe was built around 1844. We don't know who built it or owned it that stage, but we do know that in 1848 the property was owned by Cornelius Egan, Alderman of Dublin, under a 99-year lease of 1847 from the Earl of Howth (which is possibly where the name Earlscliffe came from?). [1] [23]

Cornelius Egan was born about 1800 [18] and by 1824 was a Corn Merchant.  He married Grace Cahill in 1832 and was Alderman of Dublin City Council by 1841. Around the time that he owned Earlscliffe he also owned a wholesale merchant company (Cornelius Egan & Co) selling hops, seed, malt and corn. [19]

He had 10 children with Grace Cahill. One son, also called Cornelius, died tragically in Howth in 1853 after his gun accidentally exploded whilst shooting. [20]

We don't know much more about Egan and Earlscliffe, but we do know that there were legal dealings with Egan and his executors and William McDougall of Drumleck, Howth (see map above).[2]

Egan also owned St Lawrence House in Howth from at least 1852 until his death on 2nd July 1863. [24] [28] St Lawrence House was later converted into a hotel, which closed in the summer of 2000 and is now an apartment complex.

Egan is buried at St. Fintan's cemetery, Sutton.

In terms of Earlscliffe, we are uncertain as to whether Egan owned it until it was sold in 1864 as we only have evidence that he owned it up to 1850 [23]. However, I am still researching this, so watch this space!

Captain William Bunbury McClintock Bunbury

The next person we have details of who owned the house was Royal Navy Captain William Bunbury McClintock Bunbury. [3]  The Captain first rented it in 1862 , either from Egan or from someone else. The house was possibly chosen because his own or his wife's health required sea-bathing.  By 1864 he had certainly bought the house. [4]

As a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, McClintock Bunbury had sailed on HMS Samarang and, in the 1830s had navigated the coast of South America with Charles Darwin. [5] During this time McClintock Bunbury secured the first post on HMS Samarang for one of his young cousins, Francis Leopold McClintock, the arctic explorer who later discovered the Prince of Wales Island and Prince Patrick Island and also discovered the fate of the explorer John Franklin who had perished looking for the Northwest Passage [6]

Captain McClintock Bunbury later became MP for Carlow [7] and built the house and gardens at Lisnavagh in County Carlow shortly after his marriage to Pauline Stronge in 1842. [8] 

Although the Captain inally owned Earlscliffe in 1864, he wasn;t there long as unfortunately he died on the 2nd June 1866. His wife, Pauline,  continued to own and live in Earlscliffe for some years until her death in 1876. [5] In Turtle Bunbury's excellent website exploring the history of the Bunbury family, it is mentioned that living at Earlscliffe was good for the health of the Captain's wife. [9]

The house was put up for auction in 1877 by their son, Thomas Kane McClintock-Bunbury, for around 2,000. However, it wasn't sold until 1878 when the price had dropped to 1,500.  [10] 

Dawson Thomas Knox

It is not known exactly who bought the house in 1878, but as Earlscliffe was owned by Dawson Thomas Knox  in 1881[22], it is assumed that he bought the house from the McClintock-Bunburys three years earlier.

Dawson Thomas was born 4th May 1845,  the son of Reverend Thomas Knox and Eliza Winckworth Bent. He worked for the Irish Land Commission as the Deputy Superintendent of the Church property Department. [25]

We don't know anymore about Dawson Thomas, but the house also seems to be linked to various other members of the Knox family at that time including Ellis Henry Knox [11], Cheney John Maunsel, [12] and Commander Vesey Knox, RN!

Ellis Henry Knox was a Clerk in the Office of Commissioners of Church Temporalities in Ireland. We don't know any more about Ellis Henry, except that Emily Knox, his half sister and a Professor of Music[16] , lived at another house nearby on Ceanchor Road (Couleen) until she died on 19 Feb 1952 aged 76.[13] 

We do know that Ellis Henry Knox died in Earlscliffe on the 20 Jun 1892 at the age of 49. [14]

A few years later, Dawson Thomas Knox died 25th Jan in 1895 [14][26] and the Knox family put the house up for auction in the summer of 1895. [15] Dawson is buried in St. Fintan's Cemetery in Sutton. [14]

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References


Disclaimer. Parts of the data found in these history pages has been derived from sources currently available on the internet. In researching the previous owners of Earlscliffe, certain assumptions have been made as to the validity of this internet data. If you believe that some of this data is inaccurate, please contact .

This page was last updated on 29-May-2017 .

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