Barnewall family genealogy

Baron of Turvey and Viscount Kingsland

(Dormant, A.D. 1833.)[1]

Arms: Erm. a bordure engr. gu. Crest: A plume of five feathers or, gu., az vert, and ar., thereon a falcon with wings disclosed of the last. Supporters: Dexter, a griffin ar.; sinister, a lion gu. Motto: Malo mori quam foedari.

Nicholas Barnewall, Lord Kingsland, was an officer in Lord Limerick’s Dragoons. His family was long settled at Turvey, in the county Dublin. He was the third bearer of the “Kingsland” title, which was bestowed upon his grandfather by Charles I. for eminent loyalty. He married Mary, youngest daughter of George Count Hamilton, and soon after entered King James’s Irish Army, as Captain of a troop in Lord Limerick’s Dragoons, with which regiment he followed the fortunes of his legitimate sovereign to the last. He fought at the Boyne, at Aughrim, and at Limerick, for which he was outlawed by the Williamites; but, being included in that celebrated Treaty, his outlawry was reversed and he was restored to his honours. He was summoned to King William’s first Parliament; but, though taking the oath of allegiance to that Monarch, he refused to take other tests which were against his conscience, as a Roman Catholic, and was accordingly prevented from taking his seat. He died on the 14th June, 1725, leaving issue two sons and four daughters. His sons were: 1. Henry Benedict, who succeeded to his title as fourth lord; and 2. George, born 24th November, 1711.

Henry Benedict, born 1st Feb., 1708, married Honoria, daughter of Peter Daly, of Quansbury, county Galway; no issue, at least up to 1768.

The fifth Viscount’s name we have not learned; but the sixth Viscount was Matthew, who died in Dec., 1833, s.p., leaving a widow, in reference to whom the following paragraph appeared in the London Times of 26th March, 1878:


“The Earl of Beaconsfield has recommended a grant from the Royal Bounty Fund of £100 to the Universal Beneficent Society, 15 Soho-square, to be applied for the benefit of Viscountess Kingsland, one of the society’s pensioners.” The public will naturally desire to know something concerning—first, the Viscountess Kingsland, and next as to the society that has obtained for her such salutary relief. We have made inquiries on the subject, and communicate the following particulars:—Viscountess Kingsland was married to the late viscount in 1819. After his death the interest on the sum of £1,200 was her only means of support. One of the two trustees appointed having died, the other trustee, her own brother, absconded with the principal and left her completely destitute and penniless. The authorities of the parish in which she resided then allowed her out-door relief at the rate of 2s. 6d. per week, and with her needle she managed to eke out an existence, earning weekly on an average from 2s. to 3s. She lived in a small room in Lambeth in extreme poverty, and endured for a long time in silence her hard lot. At last in her distress she applied to a subscriber to the society, who brought the case to the notice of the council. Satisfactory evidence and certificates having been obtained verifying the truth of her statement and confirming her sad tale of woe, she was placed on the list of the society’s pensioners. Matthew Barnewall, sixth Viscount Barnewall of Kingsland, in the peerage of Ireland, died in December, 1833, when his title became extinct, he having no male issue or heir. He married, 2nd January, 1819, Julia, daughter of Mr. John Willis (physician), who is the present Viscountess. Lady Kingsland has no relatives living who are in a position to assist her, her sister being herself a pensioner on Government, and receiving £40 a year. The sister lives with her two daughters, who are engaged as machinists (sewing machines). The third daughter of that sister lives with Lady Kingsland, and earns a small weekly pittance by braiding mantles and other needlework. The house in which they reside has been condemned, and will shortly be pulled down. They occupy one small back room about 13 feet square, in which there is scarcely any furniture. Lady Kingsland’s bedstead is only an apology for this necessary piece of furniture; and her niece has none at all, but sleeps on the boards at night, or rather in the morning, when she has finished her daily toil. Lady Kingsland has continued her needlework, but this she is obliged to confine to shirt-making. She is remunerated at the rate of 2d. for each shirt made! It has been decided, with Lord Beaconfield’s approval, to expend the £100 grant in purchasing an annuity of about £10 or £12 a year for Lady Kingsland, after laying out a small sum in making a new apartment to be procured for her ladyship a little more comfortable than that which she occupies at present.”—Social Notes, A.D. 1878.


[1] Barnewall: This name is claimed by some to have been of Anglo-Norman origin; but, according to No. 112 on the “O’Beirne” pedigree, p. 607, Vol. I. of this Edition, “Barnewall” is of Irish extraction.