Robert Gorges LLD M.P., of Kilbrew, co. Meath, who m. Jane, dau. of Sir Arthur Loftus, Knt., and sister of Adam, Viscount Lisburn. By this lady, who d. in 1728, Dr. Gorges had, with other issue, (of which Elizabeth m. William Jackson, Esq., of Coleraine,) a son and heir, LIEUT.-GEN. RICHARD GORGES, of Kilbrew, . .
Chief Secretary to Ireland 1655-65
Robert Gorges had been Secretary to Henry Cromwell, son of William Cromwell, and obtained a grant of a 2100 acre estate at Kilbrew, co. Meath.
"Parliamentary memoirs of Fermanagh and Tyrone, from 1613 to 1885" by Somerset Richard Lowry-Corry, 4th Earl of Belmore publ 1887 p 61 https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.hnkd4p;view=1up;seq=69
Burke's DORMANT & EXTINCT PEERAGES (1883), p. 237[[Canning-229] 13:56, 10 August 2015 (EDT)
Dr. Robert died in the spring of 1701, aged about 75. Robert was the last of the brothers, for Captain Ferdinando Gorges of Eye, the youngest, had died the previous October. Had Robert left a will, it would, with little doubt, have been a kindly, businesslike document, unadorned by quotations from Scripture, and quite lacking in the Puritan severity of the lengthy instrument by which his elder brother Thomas disposed of his property. The austerities of religion can scarcely survive forty years of the mellowing influence of Ireland.
The "manor" of Kilmoon, Co. Meath, was acquired by Dr. Robert in 1665 from the Archbishop of Armagh at a yearly rental of £12. The contiguous estate of Kilbrew was granted to him two years later, "in satisfaction for arrears due for service in Ireland" (State Papers Dom. May 1694). The annual Crown rent was £14 os. i%d. Under the Acts of Settlement and Explanation he received further grants in Ulster, Tipperary and Galway, in all about 4371 Irish acres, or 7084 statute or English acres. Presumably he sold this outlying land.
Dr. Robert chose Kilbrew House as his country residence. It had been the home of a cadet branch of Barnewall, one of the great Anglo-Norman families of the Pale, deriving their name in all probability from Barneville in Lower Normandy, about twenty miles from Gorges. It lay within fifteen miles of Dublin, in Meath, a verdant and fertile county, blessed with a genial climate. The soil for the most part consists of a deep rich loam, and the land is lavish in its gifts. Crops yield abundantly, and cattle are fat and sleek. Gigantic turkeys disturb the farmyards with arrogant claims to preeminence. Perhaps the richness of the land reminded Robert of Batcombe and a happy boyhood.
Kilbrew, originally consisting of the villages and townlands of Smithstown, Thomastown, Ruske, Boden and "the lands in and about the town of Kilbrew," together with the "manor of Kilmoon," comprising the villages and towrnlands beasts in proportion to the size of their holdings. Towards the end of that cen¬tury there was an overseer so incompetent that he "allowed the whole country to run on the common," but who could not be relieved of his duties as there wras no custom of the manor to warrant his dismissal.
Dr. Robert's Dublin home was in York Street, then a residential street running to what is now Stephen's Green West; but instead of that pleasant city park, with its handsome trees and shrubs, its lake and its mandarin ducks, open coun¬try stretched south to the village of Donnybrook. The family had a pew in St. Peter's Church. Among their neighbours was Sir Tristram Beresford, whose widow plays an important part in these annals. Dr. Dudley Loftus also lived in Dublin, grateful no doubt during his last years for the proximity of his niece Jane, for he was wretchedly unhappy with his second wife, Lady Cather¬ine Mervyn. In 1695 death put an end to the miseries of this learned and distinguished man, who certainly deserved a better wife and happier closing years.
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