The Wynnes of Hazelwood Hous e
         Lieut-General   Owen   Wynne   of   Hazlewood,   the   third   son   of   Owen   Wynne   I   of   Lurganboy,   was born   in   1664   or   1665.   He   was   educated   at   Trinity   College,   Dublin,   and   studied   for   the   Bar.   In   1689   he   was captain   in   the   Earl   of   Roscommon's   Regiment   of   Foot   and   in   the   following   year   fought   with   the   Williamite   forces at   the   Boyne.   He   served   at   the   Battles   of   the   Boyne, Aughrim   and   Eniskillen,   and   through   the   whole   of   Queen Anne's   wars   in   Flanders;   his   regiment   of   foot   ("Wynne's   Foot")   raised   in   the   year   1701,   was   "broke"   as   a   Whig regiment in 1713, but on the accession of George I he raised the 9th Regiment of Dragoons. With   his   military   pay   and   appointments,   and   perhaps   for   other   reasons   unknown]   he succeeded   in   becoming   a   rich   man.   He   was   able   in   1720    to   buy   land   in   Co.   Cavan   for   œ15,000 from   the   Duke   of   Wharton.   Two   years   later,   in   1722,   Owen   Wynne   bought   the   family's   estates   in    Co.   Sligo [comprising   in   total   c.14,500   acres]   for   £20,000.   The   conveyance   included   parts   of   the   town   of   Sligo,   together   with   the    town's fairs,   markets,   tolls   and   customs.   These,   although   profitable,   were   to   cause   much   trouble   and   controversy   in   later   years.   At   Hazelwood he built his house, to the designs of the German rchitect, Richard Cassels Owen   Wynne   II   died   in   1737.   He   left   his   estate   to   his   nephew,   Owen   Wynne   III.   Writing   at   the   beginning   of   the   following century,   the   Rev.   Richard   Wynne,   brother   of   Owen   Wynne   V,   stated   that   General    Wynne   was   offered   a   peerage   but   refused   it; he   [the   General]   said   he    would   rather   be   the   first   of   the   commoners   than   the   last   of   the   peers.   Even   if   he   had   accepted   a peerage, the title would have become extinct   on his death
   Lt. General Owen Wynne II  (c.1664-1736/7)    Colonel Owen Wynne III  (c.1686-1755)      The Right Honourable Owen Wynne IV           Owen Wynne V (1755-1841)     The Rt Hon. John Arthur Wynne (1801-65) Owen Wynne VI (1843-1910). JP and DL, High Sheriff  (Co. Sligo & Co. Leitrim) Lieut 61st Foot.
Colonel Owen Wynne III  (c.1686-1755) When   Owen   Wynne   III   succeeded   his   uncle   in   1737   he   was   the   first   of   the   Wynnes      to   combine   in   one   ownership   the family   lands   in   Counties   Leitrim,   Cavan   and   Sligo.        As      soon   as   he   was   able,   he   served   the   Crown,   aged   19   or   20,   by      joining the army, buying a company two years later and served several years in Flanders. He   married   his   first   cousin   Catherine,   daughter   of   Colonel   John   Ffolliott   of   Donegal   and   his   wife   Lucy   daughter   of   Owen Wynne   I.   Owen   III   and   Catherine   had   three   sons,   James,   Owen   (later   Owen   IV)   and   John,   and   two   daughters,   Lucy   and Hannah.   Hannah   in   1743   married   William   Ormsby,   MP,   of   Willowbrook   (three   miles   from   Sligo,   on   the   road   to   Glencar).   She thus   became   an   ancestress   of   the   Ormsby-Gore   family.   Owen   III   was   High   Sheriff   of   Co.   Sligo   in   1723   and   1745,   he   filled   the same   office   in   Co.   Leitrim   in   1724.   He   died   aged   79   in   1755.   His   wife,   Catherine,   died   in   1778.   Owen   III's   eldest   son,   James, died   in   1748,   eight   years   before   his   father's   death.   He   was   MP   for   Co.   Sligo   from   1737   to   his   death.   He   married   Susanna, eldest   daughter   and   co-heiress   of   Sir   Arthur   Shaen,   2nd   and   last   baronet   of   Kilmore,   Co.   Roscommon,   but   they   had   no children.   This   marriage   was   hardly   a   success,   as   there   was   a   lawsuit   of   1745   where   the   plaintiff   was   Susanna   Wynne   and   the defendant her husband, James Wynne. Owen   Wynne   III   was   a   colonel   in   the   army,   as   probably   was   his   second   son,   Owen   IV,   and   certainly   his   third   son,   John. Colonel   John   Wynne,      was   MP   for   Sligo   from   1751   to   1760   and   again   from   1769   to   1778   and   for   Co.   Leitrim   from   1761   to 1778. He died unmarried.Owen III died in 1755 and was succeeded by his second son, Owen IV.     The Right Honourable Owen Wynne IV
©Paul J Allen 2015
In   1754,   before   he   inherited   the   family   estates,   Owen   Wynne   married Anne   Maxwell   whose   brother,   John,   the   M.P.   for   County   Cavan,   was   created   Baron   Famham   in   the   Irish   peerage   1756. The   Maxwell   family   had   reached   Ireland   from   Scotland   in   the   reign   of   Elizabeth.   By   co-incidence   Anne's   grandfather   had   been   Bishop   of   Kilmore   in   1643.   That   bishopric   was   abolished   during   the Commonwealth.   Following   the   Restoration   he   was   bishop   of   the   combined   sees   of   Kilmore   and   Ardagh.   These   are   the   two   sees   in   which   Owen   Wynne   I   in   1658   had,   during   the   Commonwealth, obtained his profitable bishops' leases. Owen   IV   was   elected   in   1749   M.P.   for   Co.   Sligo   in   the   Irish   Parliament.   He   became   an   Irish   Privy   Councillor   in   1756;   allowing   him   the   title   of   Right   Honourable.   His   house   in   Dubin   was   in Henrietta   Street.   This   broad   street,   rising   up   to   what   would   be   the   King's   Inns,   was   built   on   a   grand   scale.   Cassels,   (architect   of   Hazelwood),   was   responsible   for   the   design   of   some   of   the   houses. While   in   Dublin   Owen   received   a   regular   stream   of   letters   from   Edward   Martin,   his   agent   in   Sligo.   These   letters,   which   extend   in   time   from   1758   to   1766,   throw   much   light   on   the   life   which   revolved around   Hazelwood. They   refer   to   estate   management,   elections   and   the   candidates   in   them,   rents,   the   recovery   and   payment   of   debts,   the   employment   of   servants,   the   cutting   of   turf,   etc.Mrs.   Martin was   in   charge   of   brewing;   pickling   salmon   in   kegs   of   spice,   wine   and   vinegar,   while   on   one   occasion   600   oysters   were   pickled. As   required,   kegs   were   sent   to   the   Wynne   household   in   Dublin. An   ice house   was   constructed,   work   which   required   digging   to   a   depth   of   twenty   feet.   In   1764   a   domestic   crisis   blew   up   when   a   housemaid   named   Molly   Fleming   was   found   to   be   pregnant,   the   father   being mother   servant   named   Johnston.   Molly   was   discharged   and   Johnston   forgiven.   Of   Molly,   Martin   wrote:   "I   am   really   sorry   for   her   and   I   believe   her   otherwise   to   be   a   good   servant".   As   to   Johnston, Martin naively commented: "He promises fair he never will be guilty of the like again". The episode is an example of the widely-held view that it is always the woman's fault. Some   pages   of   Martin's   ledger   relating   to   disbursements   survive.   The   entries   cover   the   years   from   1758-1761   and   contain   dozens   of   headings   relating   to   the   functioning   of   an   agricultural estate.   More   personal   entries   relate   to   the   purchase   of   brandy   and   wine.   In   the   three   year   period   there   is   only   one   entry   relating   to   port;   on   that   occasion   eight   dozen   bottles   were   bought. Apart   from claret, wines such as hock were bought at a rate of a dozen bottles at a time. During   the   period   three   hogsheads   (46   gallons   each)   of   claret   were   bought   from   a   wine   merchant   in   Derry.   When   Owen   was   High   Sheriff   of   Co.   Sligo   in   1758   he   paid   for   such   items   as   the entertainment   of   the   judges,   the   provision   of   trumpeters   and   halberdiers   and   the   transport   of   felons   to   Dublin. As   is   shown   in   a   receipted   bill   of   1785   he   paid   a   total   of   £23   to   a   Dublin   boat   builder   for   a 20 foot boat, together with its masts, sails, rigging and oars. This boat was transported by road to Lough Gill. Systematic   forestation   was   carried   out   on   the   Wynne   estate   and   in   other   lands   taken   on   long   leases   for   the   purpose.   By   an   Act   of   the   Irish   Parliament   of   1783/84   a   financial   advantage   was offered   for   the   planting   of   trees,   and   for   this   purpose   the   landowner   had   to   make   annually   a   sworn   return   stating   the   varieties   and   numbers   of   trees   planted   during   the   previous   twelve   months.   The record   of   these   returns   extends   in   time   from   1785   to   1835   and   thus   relate   to   Owen   IV   and   Owen   V.   During   this   fifty   years   period   the   number   of   trees   planted   is   just   short   of   200,000.   Twenty-three different varieties were included, the largest number being Scots fir, alder and ash, with oak and beech not far behind. Owen   IV   died   in   1789   leaving   six   sons   and   three   daughters.   His   eldest   son,   Owen,   succeeded   to   the   family   estates.   The   next   son,   John,   died   unmarried   while   the   other   sons.   Henry,   Robert, Richard   and   William   founded   families   of   their   own,   thus   accounting   for   the   extended   family   of   Wynne   who   survive   and   thrive   to   the   present   day.   There   were   in   addition   three   daughters,   Elizabeth, Judith and Catherine. Owen Wynne V (1755-1841) Owen   Wynne   V   was   born   in   1755   and   died   aged   86   in   1841.   He   was   twice   High   Sheriff   of   Co.   Sligo   during   his   father's   lifetime. A   year   after   succeeding   to   the   family   estates   he   married   Lady Sarah   Elizabeth   Cole,   eldest   daughter   of   the   1st   Earl   of   Enniskillen.   The   family   of   Cole   had   originated   in   Ireland   with   Sir   William   Cole,   an   undertaker   in   the   plantation   of   Ulster   in   the   reign   of   James   I. The   family   seat,   Florence   Court   completed   in   the   1760s,   lies   seven   miles   from   Enniskillen.   From   c.1730,   the   Wynne   and   Cole   families   had   been   associated,   certainly   in   the   making   of   the   Enniskillen- Sligo   road   and,   in   the   case   of   the   Coles,   possibly   in   the   employing   of   Richard   Cassels.Owen   V   first   entered   the   Irish   Parliament   in   1778   as   member   for   Co.   Sligo,   while   at   the   same   time   his   father was member for the borough. Owen junior's opponent in the election was his father's brother-in-law, William Ormsby of Willowbrook. The   contest   was   fought   with   a   great   deal   of   corruption   and   disorder   on   both   sides,   with   the   result   that   Owen's   election   was   followed   by   a   petition   to   unseat   him. At   the   petitio   hearing      petition by   a   committee   of   the   Irish   House   of   Commons,   proceedings   which   lasted   for   2yrs,   leading   counsel   for   Wynne   was   John   Philpot   Curran,   this   being   the   first   major   case   in   which   the   great   advocate took   part. The   committee   heard   evidence   of   bribery   and   evidence   that   the   poll   book   was   stolen   and   the   electoral   lists   thrown   in   the   river.   It   is   surprising   to   learn   that   instead   of   ordering   a   fresh   election the   committee   upheld   the   Wynne   election.   The   hearing   costs   were   so   great   that,   according   to   O'Rorke,   the   effects   were   felt   by   both   families   after   a   lapse   of   over   one   hundred   years.In   subsequent elections,   all   of   them   expensive,   Owen   held   one   of   the   county   seats   until,   on   the   death   of   his   father,   he   returned   himself   for   the   borough   seat   which   had   been   his   father's.   He   retired   from   Parliament   in 1806   by   being   appointed   Escheator   of   Munster,   purely   a   nominal   post   but   as   an   office   of   profit   under   the   Crown,   it   disqualified   its   holder   from   membership   of   the   Commons.   It   was   a   device   by   which   a Member   of   Parliament   could   resign   in   between   elections.   Its   modern   equivalent   in   the   UK   is   the   office   of   Steward   of   the   Chiltern   Hundreds.   He   then   "sold"   his   borough   seat   to   George   Canning   for   an annuity   which   continued   until   1820   when   the   seat   was   resumed   by   Owen.   ...   [While   still   a   member   of   the   Irish   Parliament],   he   voted   against   the   ...   [the   Union],   as   also   did   the   two   county   members, Joshua   Edward   Cooper   and   Charles   O'Hara.   ...   [When]   a   meeting   of   Protestants   was   held   in   the   court   house   of   Sligo   on   12 August   1812,   it   passed   four   resolutions   [hostile   to   Catholic   Emancipation], each proposed by Owen Wynne. The Rt Hon. John Arthur Wynne (1801-1865) In   1830   John   Wynne   succeeded   his   father   as   member   of   Parliament   for   the   borough.   This   was   by   his   father's      nomination   rather   than   by election,   and   it   was   the   last   occasion   on   which   such   a   system   could   operate;   for   the   Reform Act   of   1832   abolished   the   close   or   "rotten"   boroughs. Following   the   passing   of   the   Act   an   election   took   place,   albeit   on   a   very   restricted   franchise,   but   in   it   Wynne   was   defeated   by   John   Martin.   John Martin   was   the   choice   of   an   anti-Wynne   faction   led   by   his   father,   the   redoubtable   Abraham   Martin,   the   owner   of   a   distillery   (George   IV   thought highly of his whiskey),  a flour mill, bakery and the fishing in the Garavogue. In   1843   John   Wynne   was   appointed   a   member   of   the   Devon   Commissio   which   under   the   chairmanship      of   the   Earl   of   Devon,   was   set   up by   Peel   to   examine   how   far   the   Irish   land   system   was   responsible   for   the   prevailing   discontent   and   disturbance   and   how   far   Parliament   should interfere.   Of   the   five   commissioners   four   were   Irish      landlords   and   the   chairman   an   Englishman   who   owned   property   in   Ireland.   This   prompted O'Connell's   comment   that   it   would   be   as   reasonable   to   consult   butchers   about   the   lenten   fast   as   to   consult   landlords   about   the   rights   of   tenants.   After   sitting   for   two   years   the   commission   failed   to recommend   the   reforms   later   called   the   'three   Fs',      fair   rent,   fixity   of   tenure   and   freedom   for   the   tenant   to   sell   his   interest   in   the   holding.   It   did   propose   a   limited   right   to   compensation   for   improvement, but a bill to this effect was defeated in the House of Lords and the report of the commission was no mere whitewash. In   1843,   as   famine   became   more   severe,   John   Wynne   reduced   his   rents   thereby   lowering   his   annual   income   by   £1,280.   Rent   arrears   inevitably   increased,   under   pressure   of   the   Irish   situation, and   after   much   agitation   by   the Anti-Corn   Law   League   in   England,   Sir   Robert   Peel   in   1846   repealed   the   Corn   Laws.   This   step   split   the   Conservative   party,   the   representative   of   the   landed   interest, and   gave   the   Whigs   a   nearly   unbroken   twenty   years   of   office. A   brief   Conservative   ministry   under   Lord   Derby   and   Disraeli   held   office   in   1852   ...,   [and   in   the   Irish   branch   of   this   administration   Wynne        was   offered,   and   accepted,   the   office   of   Under-Secretary   in   Dublin   Castle,   at   the   same   time   being   made   a   Privy   Councillor.   In   1856   John   Wynne   re-entered   politics   and   was   elected   for   the   borough   by a   majority   of   31   votes   in   a   total   poll   of   265;   the   poll   shows   the   restricted   nature   of   the   franchise   even   after   the   Reform Act.   His   opponent   was      John   Patrick   Somers,   who   had   defeated   John   Martin   in 1837.   He   appears   to   have   been   a   much   more   colourful   personality   than   Wynne.      In   1857,   when   Wynne   and   Somers   contested   the   seat   again,   Wynne   petitioned   to   unseat   his   opponent.   The committee   [appointed   to   try   the   merits   of   the   election]   decided   that   Somers   should   be   unseated   and   Wynne   declared   elected   after   three   Somers   votes   were   transferred   to   Wynne   and   a   further   three votes of voters who were rejected by the poll clerk were awarded to Wynne. Wynne   was   re-elected   in   1859,   but   advancing   ill-health   caused   him   to   resign   a   year   later.   He   had   served   his   community   well.   He   was   chairman   of   the   Board   of   Guardians,   the   body   responsible for      poverty   relief   between   1847   and   1852.   He   helped   to   found   the   Sligo   mental   hospital.   He   continued   his   father's   work   in   agriculture   and   forestation   .   He   died   in         1865   at   the   age   of   64.   Bribery   and violence reached their peak in the Sligo election of 1868 Parliament had had enough.  In 1870 the borough constituency was abolished by a disfranchisement act.   Owen   Wynne   VI   succeeded   to   the   family   estates   in   1865   at   the   age   of   twenty-three.   In   his   youth   he   had   served   as   a   lieutenant   in   the   61st   Foot   Regiment   and,   as one   would   expect,   he   was   High   Sheriff   of   Co.   Sligo   in   1875   and   of   Co.   Leitrim   in   1881.   At   the   age   of   27   he   married   Stella   Fanny,   the   younger   daughter   of   Sir   Robert Gore-Booth of Lissadell, the 4th baronet. The   second   half   of   the   19th   century   saw   the   development   of   what   is   recognisably   modern   Ireland.   ...   In   the   face   of   falling   prices and   crop   failures,   Michael   Davitt   founded   the   Land   League   which   organised   mass   meetings   of   tenants   throughout   Ireland.   On   22 August 1880   such   a   meeting   was   held   at   Manorhamilton   at   which   7,000   people   and   six   bands   were   present.   The   Land   League   was   followed   by the National League, after the former had been outlawed. The   National   League   in   1886   set   in   motion   the   Plan   of   Campaign   which   in   Co.   Leitrim   was   first   put   into   action   in   December   1886 on   Owen   Wynne's   estate,   for   the   agent,   George   Hewson,   refused   a   proposed   reduction   of   25%.   It   has   been   suggested   that   "The decision   of   the   League   to   choose   the   Wynne   estate   for   the   Plan   may   have   been   influenced   by   the   fact   that   the   landlord   was   not   considered   harsh   in   his   dealing   with tenants   and,   therefore,   the   achievement   of   a   favourable   settlement   within   a   short   time   was   a   real   possibility..."   Starting   in   the   late   1880s,   Owen   Wynne   sold   his   estates, other than the Hazelwood demesne, to the Land Commission for the price of £79,000. This represents about four million pounds at the present day. On   Sunday   27   February   1887,   Mrs   Wynne   suffered   a   serious   carriage   accident   which   caused   her   death.   Owen   Wynne   VI   died   in   1910   aged   67.   One   cannot escape   the   feeling   that   he   was   a   saddened   man.   His   wife   had   been   tragically   killed   twenty-three   years   earlier.   The   great   estates   of   15,000   acres   of   Leitrim   and   14,000 acres in Sligo had for the most part been sold. Since he had no male heir, with his death the line of the Wynnes of Hazelwood came to an end.' The   house   and   surprisingly   large   remaining   estate   were   sold   by   the   last   Wynne   descendant   to   own   it   in   1937.   Having   looked   reasonably   sound,   and   its   future   reasonably   secure,   as   recently   as the   early   1980s,   it   is   now   in   a   state   of   advanced   decrepitude,   with   a   huge   video   tape   factory   glaring   at   its   garden   front   at   a   distance   of   only   100   yards.   The   entrance   front,   in   spite   of   its   sorry   physical state,   still   retains   something   of   the   austere   grandeur   of   Richard   Cassels,   economical   alike   in   scale,   plan   and   avoidance   of   fussy   ornamentation,   but   lavish   in   the   quality   of   its   stonework.   Ironically, long   before   the   arrival   of   the   video   tape   factory,   the   Wynnes   themselves   had   been   out   of   sympathy   with   Cassels's   at   once   practical   and   pleasing   Palladinism.   Instead   of   adapting   his   links   and pavilions   to   domestic   use,   they   had   added   to   the   main   block   piecemeal   and   in   inappropriate   places   and   had   destroyed   the   symmetry   of   the   house   by   throwing   out   a   crude   two-storey   wing   to   the   left   of the garden front.  
Lt. General Owen Wynne II  (c.1664-1736/7)
The Wynne family established themselves in Sligo in the later 17th century. They went on to become one of the dominant forces in political and economic life for the next two centuries.
Owen Wynne VI (1843-1910). JP & DL, High Sheriff  (1875 & Co. Sligo/Leitrim) 1880, late Lieut 61st Foot
The Wynne Family
Free counters!