Blennerhassett Family Tree
Genealogy one-name study      by Bill Jehan
Arthur Blennerhassett of Ballyseedy
born 1799 Elm Grove, Ballyseedy - d.1843 Nantes, France - buried Ballyseedy Old Graveyard
Frances Blennerhassett (nee Frances Deane Grady)
(born <???>, died shortly before 8-Mar-1834, in childbirth with her 9th child)
dau. of Henry Deane Grady (a.k.a. O'Grady) of Mount Eagle, Stillorgan, Co.Dublin & of Lodge, Co.Limerick & his wife Dorcas
In 1821, 100 years after his house "Elm Grove" had been built in 1721, Arthur Blennerhassett completed improvements begun by his father, who was also named Arthur Blennerhassett of Elm Grove.  A gothic north wing was added, with turrets and battlements in the fashion of the day, the house "Elm Grove" renamed  "Ballyseedy", the traditional name for their family seat.
Two identical  "foundation stones" set in exterior walls of the new north wing display a shield with chevron and  "A * B  1821". 1821 is also the year of Arthur's  marriage to Frances Grady (sometimes incorrectly named Frances Deane Grady) but the stones carry only his initials, not those of his wife, so they clearly commemorate the building work. They may be intended as a memorial to his father Arthur, who commenced the alterations. The work done at Ballyseedy has similarities with Glin House, Co.Limerick, remodelled <date?> in similar fashion for John F. FitzGerald, 24th Knight of Glin and afterwards renamed "Glin Castle".
In 1832 Arthur Blennerhassett fought a duel with Maurice O'Connell (b.1803 d.1853) of Derrynane, a Politician & Lawyer (MP for Co.Clare 1831-2; MP Tralee 1832-53; and eldest son of Daniel O'Connell, "The Liberator"). The cause was a dispute over Arthur Blennerhassett canvassing voters, who had previously promised their support for Maurice O'Connell, asking them to support his rival candidate Sir Edward Denny. Maurice O'Connell called at Ballyseedy Castle during the evening of 29-Nov-1832, leaving a letter with Mrs Frances Blennerhassett. For involving his wife, Arthur challenged O'Connell to a duel. They met with pistols at 5 am on 30-Nov-1832 but neither man was hurt; this event was reported in [TIMES 6.12.1832] and ["Dublin Evening Mail"].
Arthur Blennerhassett was reported [TIMES 8.2.1843] to have died on 23-Jan-1843 at Nantes, France but inside Ballyseedy Church is a brass plate under a stained glass window (St.Mark Ch. V V.25-34), erected to his memory by his nephew Arthur Blennerhassett; this plate has him died 3-Jan-1843, which is probably correct as one would assume the family would use the correct date. Arthur and Frances are buried in in the "Blennerhassett of Ballyseedy House" vault Ballyseedy Old Graveyard.
Warning which tomb? - there are several large old vaults at Ballyseedy without surviving inscriptions
 Frances Deane Grady
portrait miniature of c1821 

Item Ref. 3214

CHARLES FOOT TAYLER, active 1818-1853

This is an attractive half-length portrait miniature with a poignant story.
The portrait is of a young lady, Frances Deane Grady, in a white wide-shouldered dress and heavy gold necklace with a pink rose tucked in to her belt.  Her hair is arranged in ringlets and she stands on a balcony with a trailing plant and sky background.
Frances was the eldest daughter of Henry Deane Grady of Stillorgan Castle in Co. Dublin who was the Member of Parliament for Limerick City 1801-02.  She married Arthur Blennerhassett of Ballyseedy in 1821. Sadly, she died in 1834 after giving birth to their ninth child - “The little stranger doomed never to behold a mother’s smiles, or feel the warm caresses of a mother’s care and tender solicitude”.
[Kerry Evening Post, 12 March 1834].

Watercolour on ivory housed in a traditional papier-mâché frame with a brass surround and acorn hanger. Excellent condition.

Portrait to view
: 33/4 x 23/4" (94 x 70mm)
Framed size:
6 x 47/8" (151 x 124mm)

Price: £1100

Charles Foot Tayler was born in 1800.  He lived on the Isle of Wight but subsequently moved to Bath where he married Ann Thomas, the daughter of a baker from Melcombe Regis in Dorset. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1820 and 1853.  The use of stylised landscape backgrounds is a recognised feature of his work.

as described in 2008 when advertised for sale by  
'Wigs on the Green' Portrait Miniatures
Wigs on the Green specialises in fine portrait miniatures, silhouettes, small portraits, and provincial art, predominantly from the 18th and 19th centuries. Our portraits are selected for their historical interest and character. They are not only by listed artists but also those who painted and drew for their own entertainment and pleasure - true to life portraits, with real character and, often, a pretty face! 

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