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Dayrolles Blakeney de Moleyns 1829 - 1914
(4th Baron Ventry)
Dayrolles Blakeney, son of Thomas Townsend Aramberg and Eliza Blake was born in 1828. In 1852 he held the Office of High Sheriff of Kerry. From 1854 - 1885 he was Lieutenant Colonel commanding 4th Militia Battalion on Royal Munster Fusiliers.
He married Harriet Elizabeth Frances Wauchope in 1860. She was a rich Scottish woman. They had ten children.
In the mid 1860s he renovated and enlarged the mansion house. A third floor and East and West wings were added. The family enjoyed a very priviliged lifestyle. His son Frederick and himself were keen gardeners and they planted many of the unusual trees and shrubs at Burnham mainly during the period 1840 - 1860. The townland of Baile an Ghoilin today has a rich variety of plants, birds and insects. This is almost solely due to Dayrolles. He planted over 100 acres of woodland with many unusual varieties of plants and trees.
"....Burnham House formerly called Ballingolin, the residence of Lord Ventry. The grounds around the house have been carefully planted, and the shelter afforded by these plantations allows the bamboo, tree-fern, and many choice varieties of shrubs to flourish. The Escalonia hedges, Dracenas and tree ferns in the gardens and grounds at Burnham are well worth inspecting; but as the grounds are private, permission has to be obtained." (1)
The Ventry Estate farm peaked during the reign of Dayrolles. He had 1,400 acres of prime farmland, 50 dairy cows and 5 bulls. He also had 200 beef cattle, 2,000 sheep and 22 horses. He had a large staff and both Dayrolles and his wife Elizabeth were known to treat their staff very respectfully.
The following is an eyewitness account by local woman Hanna Moriarty of Rahanane, Ventry, dated December 1984.
"I remember seeing Lord Ventry. I was going to Dingle with my father in a horse and common cart sitting on a cushion of hay i n the back of the car, I could have been eight or nine years old. It was a lovely summers day. As we neared Barry's forge, Cluaish, Lord Ventry's coach overtook us, a long black shiny coach with silver fittings, and drawn by two dappled greys. The 'tackling' and shafts of the carriage were all brasses. A coachman dressed in a black coat and hat sat high up in a box in front. He carried a long whip. Outside the carriage on some steps - one on each side of the door - were two grooms dressed in red-and-gold livery, red peaked caps with gold braid. They were holding onto two tall poles. The inside of the carriage was all black leather. His Lordship sat in solitary grandeur on the offside of the carriage facing us. He was a big fat man with big blue eyes and three chins (rian a choda air). He wore a black overcoat and a tall silk hat. My father gave 'half-the-road' as the carriage passed us - horses trotting, everything sparkling. My father raised his hat. His Lordship raised his hand in salute."(2)
Dayrolles Blakeney was Lord Ventry during the famine years. He did a lot of help the communities. Lady Ventry had a large soup boiler working near the mansion. The soup was of a very good qualiity with meat and fish. He also found work for many of the labourers on the Public Works schemes. Eask Tower and the Beacons were built under these schemes at Lord Ventry's expense. He also did work on roads at Conor Pass, Slea Head and Monaree and others. In 1848 he provided a free site for the workshouse. It took until 1852 to be ready for occupation but in that year 6,000 people were helped.
On 3rd November, 1874, by Royal Licence, he took the name of Eveleigh before de Moleyns. This was the name of Col. Frederick Mullins' wife, (Col. Frederick Mullins was the first of the Mullins family to settle in Ventry). She was the daughter of John Eveleigh, Dean of Ross.
In the 1880s rents were high and tenants were constantly facing the threat of eviction. At the end of 1884 Process Servers appeared on the Ventry estates with sheaves of ejectment processes.
'Allthough Captain De Moleyns, who ated as Agent on Lord Ventry's estates, was very slow in evicting, yet on this occasion wholesale evictions were carried out.(3)
On the eight of April 1885 twelve families were evicted in Castlegregory. The next day they went to Glens and from there onwards left many families on the side of the road. Some families re-entered their homes and were subsequently prosecuted for unlawful possession.
In May 1885 in response to the April evictions a branch of the Land League was formed in Dingle. They took on the task of unseating Lord Ventry from the Board of Guardians. The Board of Guardians was the board with responsibility for local government. They were sucessful and i n 1886 Dayrolles Blakeney de Moleyns was voted out of the Chairmanship. This was the beginning of the end for the English Land Lords.
Dayrolles Blakeney died at Burnham in 1914 and was succeeded by his eldest son Frederick Rossmore Wauchope de Moleyns.
(1) Crane, C.P. 1907 Kerry London Methuen & Co., 36 Essex Street, Strand
(2) The Lord Ventrys by Hannah Moriarty, Rahanane, Ventry. December 1984. Full account available in Dingle Library.
(3) Foley, Patrick 1907 History of the County Kerry, Corkaguiny Dublin: Sealy, Bryers & Walker.
Next in line - Frederick Rossmore Wauchope Eveleigh de Moleyns - 1861 - 1923 - 5th Baron Ventry