Blennerhassett Family Tree
Genealogy one-name study      by Bill Jehan
Blennerhassett Inscriptions at
The Church of St.Anne, Blennerville, Co.Kerry
Church of Ireland - Diocese of Ardfert & Aghadoe
Church demolished 1930, churchyard renamed "Robert Emmet Park"     Warning when renamed?





Family Burying Place


The Blennerhassetts



Erected at the Decease


Arthur Blennerhassett Esq

Who Deceased May 31st





click image to see inscription
Bill Jehan struggling with the inscription 

Robert Emmet (b.4-Mar-1778 d.20-Sep-1803), known in Ireland as "The Patriot", was Church of Ireland protestant and a Blennerhassett descendant. In 1803 he led the second United Irishmen rebellion against British government in Ireland. The rebellion failed, Emmet losing control of his followers, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland dragged from his carriage and hacked to death outside Dublin Castle. Robert was charged with High Treason and tried on 19-Sep-1803 at Green Street Courthouse. He was convicted and sentenced to death, the final part of his speech from the dock entering Irish folklaw.
The following day Emmet was publicly hanged on a scaffold erected opposite St.Catherine's Church, Thomas Street, Dublin. His body was then beheaded, the old punishment for treason. A death mask was made, usual custom following execution of a "notorious criminal", by Scottish-born Dublin artist James Petrie, on which he later based his Portrait of Robert Emmet, believed painted for Emmet's grieving girlfriend Sarah Curran. The death mask was owned by Garland Emmet, descendant of Thomas Addis Emmet, but is now in the museum at Kilmainham Goal, Dublin. The portrait is displayed on loan at House Number Twenty Nine, Dublin's excellent "Georgian House Museum". 
The body was taken first to Newgate Prison, then Kilmainham Goal, to be buried that same day nearby at "Bully's Acre" graveyard in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. It is generally accepted that, not long after the event and before his head could be reunited with his body, he was removed from Bully's Acre by friends to be reburied elsewhere at a secret location, the precise place ever since a topic for discussion. Emmet family tradition is that his final resting place was St Peter's Church, Aungier Street, Dublin, this being the Emmet family church and place of Robert's baptism. Several alternative Dublin City locations have been suggested, namely the Church of Ireland churches of St.Michan (with strong "United Irishmen" connections); St.Anne, Dawson Street; Glasnevin Churchyard and St.Paul, North King Street - and, away from Dublin, at St.Anne's, Blennerville in Co.Kerry.
"Robert Emmet Park", Blennerville, occupies the site of the churchyard of St.Anne's, Church of Ireland, demolished in 1930. It is named thus because of a local tradition, recorded on the sign reproduced here, that Robert Emmet lies buried at Blennerville, in an unmarked grave under the back porch of the church. The story is that Emmet's headless body was transported to Co.Kerry by Patrick MacMahon (whose wife, formerly Miss Mason, had previously married a Blennerhassett). The detail of this legend is recorded in "Blennerville: Gateway to Tralee's Past" 1989 [BLENNERVILLE/1 pp.84-87] and in "Robert Emmet's Final Resting Place?" in "A Guide to Blennerville and the Dingle Peninsula" by Frank Blennerhassett with Sara Hollwey [BLENNERVILLE/2 pp.17-19].
Alternative burial sites are discussed in Sean Murphy's 2003 paper "Irish Historical Mysteries: The Grave of Robert Emmet" published in 2003, he dismissing Blennerville and coming to the conclusion that the place of re-burial was temporarily St.Michan's (church still standing) but ultimately either St.Peter's (sadly demolished in the 1980s) or St.Paul's (the building is reused, interior gutted), and of these two most probably St.Peter's as the Emmet family always maintained.

Thomas Addis Emmet
b.24-Apr-1764 d.14-Nov-1827
Elder brother of Robert Emmet, lawyer for the "United Irishman" at Dublin and Attorney-general for the State of New York 1812-13, he lies in the David S. Jones vault (No.10) at the churchyard of St.Mark's-in-the-Bowery, New York City, USA 



Bill Jehan is on LinkedIn 

copyright © 2008-2020 Bill Jehan