Lady Louisa Tighe and Woodstock Estate

William Frederick Fownes Tighe married Lady Louisa Lennox in April 1825, one of fourteen children born to the guardsman and duellist, Colonel Charles Lennox, later fourth Duke of Richmond.

Her marriage was not approved of by her mother who had married off three of her daughters to dukes and a fourth to a marquess. While her marriage was approved of by her elder brother, the fifth Duke of Richmond, she nonetheless came to the marriage without a dowry.

Lady Louisa was no stranger to Ireland when she arrived; her father had been Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1807 until 1813.

The Duke was a heavy drinker and the family lived extravagantly while in Ireland are were unable to maintain their estate Goodwood, and moved to Brussels in 1813.

It was there at the British Embassy that the famous pre-waterloo ball, held by Lady Louisa's Mother took place. This was later immortalised by Byron.

Lady Louisa, who was twelve at the time, was present at the party and helped her godfather, the Duke of Wellington, to buckle on his sword when the call to arms was sounded.

Lady Louisa was keenly interested in local welfare, and to give employment to women in Inistioge. She instituted here on of the first examples of lace industry in Ireland, bringing back from Brussels the necessary tools of this trade, and a Fleming woman as instructor.

She had only one child, a girl, Charlotte who died in 1838 when only a few months old, being smothered or neglected one night by her two nurses. William Tighe died in 1878, while Lady Louisa survived him by twenty-two years and died in March 1900.

Although the Tighe family still have links with Inistioge and Woodstock to this day, after the death of Lady Louisa they were not and as prominent as they had been, and were no longer in residence at Woodstock House when it was set ablaze in July 1922 by the Republicans to ensure that the National Government could not continue use the property to garrison their troops.  Since 1926 Woodstock Park and the rest of the property owned by the Tighe Estate has been leased to Coillte who now have all the lands planted to Forestry.  Subsequently the abandoned gardens at Woodstock House were gifted by the Tighe family to the Kilkenny County Council in 2000 to enable them to be restored to their former glory and are now open to visitors to enjoy the tranquillity of their unique setting overlooking the River Nore near Inistioge.

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