People of Corkagh

From the Civil Survey dated 1654-1656 a Ralph Mills is recorded for the Corkagh area. In 1660, a Mr. William Trundell is recorded as living at Corkagh House.

On a map dated 1703 it is shown that part of Corkagh was owned by a Stephen Browne, gent. This consisted of 18 parcels of land amounting to 164 acres, 3 roods and 8 perches. In May, 1703, a Lewis Chaigneau, a French settler and merchant who resided in Dublin, is recorded as acquiring 92 acres of Corkagh which had previously been fo rfeited. In July of the same year he is recorded as acquiring a further 12 acres of Corkagh which had been forfeited by a Peter Nottingham.

In 1716, Mr. Thomas Finlay is recorded as renting Corkagh House. He eventually purchased it in 1750 at an auction in Dick's Coffee House, Skinner's Row, Dublin. From then on until 1959, over 243 years in total, the descendants of Thomas Finlay resided in Corkagh House and gradually acquired the lands which made up Corkagh Estate.

From 1725 to 1845 references are made to the Chaigneaus and Finlays as parties to twenty leases and conveyances of lands in the Corkagh, Kilmatead and Rathcoole areas.

At times, it seems that Corkagh House was rented out and that the Finlay-Colley family lived in other buildings located on the demense, notably the Dower House at Kilmatead. According to Mrs. Valerie Hone (nee Colley), in times of financial hardship Kilmatead House was sold, then re-purchased when the situation improved again. Corkagh House itself was never sold between 1750 and 1959.

However, a listing of ownership and occupancy in Illustrated Incumbered Estates (Lyons, 1993) mentions that in 1853 there is a record of the house and estate lands being sold by Mr. John Ladaveze Arabin to Mr. Philip Gierson. The descriptive particulars from the rental states that 'on the townland of Corkagh is a large Dwelling-house'. As explained earlier, the townland of Corkagh is where Kilmatead House is located, whereas Corkagh House itself is situated in the townland of Corkagh Demesne.

On the right is the Finlay family entry in Sir Bernard Burke's A genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry of Ireland. New ed. London: Harrison and Son, 1912.

The occupancy after 1855 is listed as follows:

  • 1855-1869 Mr. Philip Grierson, in fee
  • 1869 -1880 The Reverend John W. Finlay, in fee
  • 1880 - 1889 Mr. Henry F. (T.) Finlay, in fee
  • 1889 -1907 Mr. Philip Grierson, in fee
  • 1907 -1939 Colonel Henry F. (T.) Finlay, in fee
  • 1939 Bought by Ms. Edith Colley, under the terms of the Wyndham Land Act Purchase Scheme. (Mrs. Valerie Hone corrects this to: Mrs. Edith Colley inherited Corkagh from her father Colonel Henry Thomas Finlay in 1936)
  • 1940 - 1960 Ms. Edith Colley, in fee.(Mr. Finlay Colley corrects this to: 1954 -1959: Mr. Dudley Colley.)
  • 1960 Captain Cyril Harty, in fee
  • 1961 Tramore (Treemare) Stud Company, in fee

It appears as if there may be some confusion between Corkagh House proper and Little Corkagh, more commonly known as Kilmatead House.

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