Dining Room

There is no decorative plasterwork in the dining room which suggests that the money was already beginning to run out even while the work was proceeding on the ground floor. This room contains the family portrait collection.


East wall, nearest the door

John FitzGerald, Knight of Glin, son of Mary and Thomas, who died as a result of dancing at his own wedding feast in 1737. He was the first member of the family to become Protestant, in 1730, owing to the punitive Penal Laws of that

Below right
A portrait of Thomas FitzGerald, 19th Knight of Glin, father of the four 18th century Knights of Glin (John, Edmund, Richard and Thomas) and great-grandfather of Col. John Bateman FitzGerald who built the house. An astute gentleman, whose father had been killed in the Jacobite wars fighting against William 3rd, Thomas managed to weather the political storms of the period very ably and , though a Catholic and a Jacobite, managed to keep most of his estates. He carried on a prolonged dispute with Trinity College, Dublin, whose property bordered his, in Co. Kerry. He died in 1731.

Below left
Mary FitzGerald, who died in 1753, known as the 'Bean tighearna' or ' Female Chieftain', wife of Thomas FitzGerald whose portrait hangs opposite. She was a redoubtable lady who used to rustle the cattle of her Protestant neighbours during the Famine years of 1739-41, bringing them back to feed her tenantry at Glin. She was the descendant of the FitzGeralds, Seneschals of Immokilly in Co. Cork, whose family properties included Castle Martyr and Ballymaloe.
The medieval amulet or charm of agate, for curing cattle disease, belonging to that family is in the vitrine in the hall.

Below centre
General Eyre Massey, later created 1st Lord Clarina, with the battlefield of La Belle-Famille near Niagara Fort and the Niagara escarpment in the background. He felt more credit was due to him for his role as Lt. Col. of the 46th Regiment of Foot in the Niagara campaign of 1759 during the French Indian Wars in Canada and America in 1754-60. Sir William Johnson of Johnson Hall in Upper New York State, another Irishman, took all the credit for this engagement. The General later became Governor of Kilmainham Hospital. He died in 1804.

Bottom right
Lady Rachel FitzGerald, daughter of the 4th Earl of Dunraven, by Eva Hamilton. She died tragically young in 1901. During her short time at Glin, she did much to embellish the garden.

Bottom left
Desmond John Edmund FitzGerald, 26th Knight nicknamed the 'Big Knight' painted by Eva Hamilton. His main interest in life was sport and the whiskey bottle. He died in 1895.

South wall

Top left
George Evans PC, 1st Lord Carbery, died 1749.

George Fosbery, second master of the Limerick hounds, known as 'Red George', by Joseph Patrick Haverty. He died in 1847. His grandson, George, married the last of the Blennerhassetts of Riddlestown.

Right of the door

Major General William Pringle of Caledon, Co. Tyrone whose daughter married Preston FitzGerald of Dublin.

Historically the most significant portrait in the room, Joseph Patrick Haverty's depiction of Lt. Col. John Fraunceis FitzGerald, 25th Knight of Glin, who died in 1854. He was responsible for battlementing the house and laying out much of the grounds. An eccentric character, he was known as the 'Knight of the Women' because of his womanising. Whilst he was the first member of the family to be educated in England, he was, nonetheless, a fluent Irish speaker and a popular resident landlord. A passionate huntsman and yachtsman, he ran unsuccessfully for Parliament. He was much interested in the history of his family.

Chimney piece wall

Top left

Mary Bateman, daughter of Rowland Bateman of Oak Park, wife of Thomas FitzGerald, Knight of Glin. She was the great niece of Lord Carbery and cousin of Lord Clarina. She died in 1790.

Top right

Late 17th century of an unknown young man by Thomas Pooley.

Gerald Blennerhassett of Riddlestown, first master of the Limerick hounds, probably by Joseph Patrick Haverty.

Opposite side
Gerald's wife, Elizabeth, daughter of William Massey of Glenville, Co. Limerick (Mrs. Blennerhassett had 21 brothers.) In 1835, Gerald and Elizabeth's daughter Clara married John Fraunceis Eyre FitzGerald, known as the 'Cracked Knight'. Also known as 'Jack the Devil', he was a brilliant horseman and his brief reign at Glin was an unhappy one for the estate. He was also said to have burnt all the family papers. Not surprisingly there is no portrait of him.
Over chimney piece

A portrait by Jean Baptiste van Loo of Sir John Willes, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, ancestor of Olda Willes, wife of the present Knight. He was a dissolute judge of the era of Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of England. The Judge was much satirised by the painter William Hogarth. He died in 1761.

Right of the door to the hall


Isabelle Lloyd Apjohn (died 1907), wife of Desmond John Edmond FitzGerald, the 'Big Knight'. She came from a clever family of an academic and clerical background and steered the Glin property through the difficult land wars of the 1880's. This terrible picture was painted by her sister!

A sketch by Joseph Haverty of Bridgetta Eyre, wife of John Fraunceis FitzGerald, the 25th Knight. She was the daughter of the Rev. Joseph Eyre of Westerham in Kent. All her sisters married clerics and she had a very difficult time with her philandering husband, retiring to a dower house in Glin towards the latter part of her life.

Furniture and other objects

John Fraunceis ordered the suite of Jacobean style oak furniture in 1830 in London. It was a baronial type which he obviously thought emphasised the new 'castle' status of the now renamed Glin House.
The chimney piece is 18th century English and probably from the workshop of Henry Cheere. It shows an Aesop's Fable, 'The fox and the stork', in the centre piece. A similar chimney piece is at Russborough, Co. Wicklow.

The plaster plaques over the doors are after the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorwaldsen and came from Tervoe, Co. Limerick.

The firescreen shows the FitzGerald of Glin coat of arms and was worked in the 1930s by Veronica Villiers, wife of the 28th Knight of Glin.

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