CROFTON MOORE VANDELEUR JP DL (1808-81), of Kilrush House, is principally associated with the large number of evictions that took place in the Kilrush Union during the Famine years. He was a magistrate and a Deputy Lieutenant for County Clare; High Sheriff in 1832; became Colonel of the Clare Militia in 1838; and was elected MP for Clare from 1859-74.

The Vandeleur family are descended from Maxmilian Van Der Leur, a Dutch merchant, who had settled in Ireland by the early 17th century. His son established himself in county Clare at Sixmilebridge. His grandson, the Reverend John Vandeleur, was rector of Kilrush, barony of Moyarta, county Clare in the 1680s. In 1712 the Earl of Thomond leased the Kilrush estate to Boyle Vandeleur in trust for his brother the Reverend John, who married Elizabeth Crofton, an heiress from county Limerick. From their eldest son John, who purchased the estate in 1749, descends the Vandeleurs of Kilrush.

His father, John Ormsby Vandeleur, played a major role in the development of the town of Kilrush in the early 19th century. He built Kilrush House in 1808 and died in 1828.

In 1828 Colonel Crofton Moore Vandeleur succeeded to his father's extensive estates, which by the mid 19th century the Vandeleur estate amounted to almost 20,000 acres in county Clare. Colonel Crofton Moore Vandeleur gave land for the building of the Catholic Church, convent, a fever hospital and Kilrush workhouse. However, his lack of compassion during the Great Famine and later as an absentee landlord, left a legacy of hostility to the family, exacerbated by widespread evictions in the 1880s.

A large portion of their estate was in the barony of Moyarta, where they held at least 17 townlands in the parish of Kilrush at the time of Griffith’s Valuation, with additional lands in the parishes of Kilmacduane and Kilfearagh and in the neighbouring barony of Clonderalaw, parishes of Kilfiddane, Killofin, Killimer, Kilmihil and Kilmurry. They also held six townlands in the parish of Clooney, barony of Corcomroe, and some land in the baronies of Bunratty Lower and Ibrickane. Over 400 acres in the parish of Mungret, barony of Pubblebrien, and land in the parish of Monasteranenagh, county Limerick, also belonged to the Vandeleurs of Kilrush.

He is described by O'Murchadha in his new book as a 'Cabin tumbling warrior'.

In 1832, he married, the Lady Grace Graham-Toler, second daughter of Hector John, 2nd Earl of Norbury, and had four children:

Crofton Toler;
John Ormsby Moore;
Elizabeth Frances; Frances Letitia; Grace Dorothea.

Hector Steward Vandeleur inherited the estate in 1881 but spent very little time in county Clare and large scale evictions again took place under his ownership in the late 1880s. Kilrush House was burned down accidentally in 1897 and the estate was taken over by the Land Commission in the 1910s.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1809  
Date of Death 8th Nov 1891  
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Lady Frances Moore, daughter of Charles, 1st Marquess of Drogheda  
Father (First Name/s and Surname) THE RT HON JOHN ORMSBY VANDELEUR (1765-1828)  
Names of Siblings Henry Seymour Moore VANDELEUR Anna Frances VANDELEUR Alice VANDELEUR  


The Vandeleurs in Kilrush County Clare Ireland VIEW SOURCE

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