Celbridge: Some people in history

John Alen (c.1500-1561 ) buried at Donaghcumper and his cousin John Alen, Archbishop of Dublin, and Chancellor of Ireland, (1476–1534), casualty of the “Silken Thomas” Fitzgerald rebellion in 1534.

Patrick Browne (d1614) from Backweston, an outspoken opponent of religious persecution of Catholics who was imprisoned for his beliefs.

Thomas Dongan, 2nd Earl of Limerick (1634-1715), a member of Irish Parliament, Royalist military officer during the English Civil War, colonel of an Irish regiment in Louis XIV’s army as Thomas D’Unguent, and first governor of the Province of New York (1682-8).

William “Speaker” Conolly (1662–1729) who became the most powerful and wealthiest politician in Ireland in the first decades of the 18th century and redeveloped the town of Celbridge.

Arthur Price (1678–1752) serial bishop of four different dioceses for the Anglican/Escopalian church, culminating in the Archbishopric of Archbishop of Cashel, and benefactor to Brewer Arthur Guinness.

John Wynn Baker (c.1730–1775), New York born entrepreneur who established the first factory in Ireland in 1765 at Elm Hall, manufacturing agricultural implements. It was destroyed by fire in 1767.

Thomas Conolly (1738–1803) radical Irish politician of the 1780s and grand nephew of William “Speaker” Conolly, he was involved in the 1789 effort to establish a separatist monarchy with the Prince of Wales as King of Ireland.

Louisa Conolly (1743–1821), wife of Tom Conolly (1738–1803), and her sister, Sarah Napier (1745–1826), wife of George Napier, great granddaughters of Charles II of England by his mistress Louise de Kéroualle and daughters of Charles Lennox (1701–1750), Duke of Richmond). An elder sister Emily Fitzgerald (1731-1814) married James Fitzgerald, Duke of Leinster (1722-1773) and lived in Carton House in Maynooth.  The sisters’ lives were celebrated in Stella Tillyard’s 1995 book Aristocrats and a six part BBC TV series based on the book in 1999.

Henry Grattan (1746-1821), 18th Irish patriot politician, who lived with his uncle Thomas Marlay (1719-1784) at Celbridge Abbey between 1777 and 1780. He afterwards wrote: “Along the banks of that river, amid the groves and bowers of Swift and Vanessa, I grew convinced that I was right”

Charles Napier (1782-1853) British Army Commander-in-Chief in India, noted for his brutality towards the native population.

George Napier (1784-1855) British Army general and Governor of the Cape Colony 1838–1844.

John Sheehan (1809–82) poet, jailed in 1833 for campaigning journalism against the tithe system he later became editor of the Independent of London and writer of poetry under several pseudonyms.

Art O’Connor (1888–1950) Minister for Agriculture in the second Dáil cabinet (1921), in which role he drew up the founding legislation for the Land Commission. He was briefly leader of Sinn Féin after the foundation of Fianna Fáil by Éamon de Valera (1927) and later served as a judge.

Three Celbridge residents were elected Lord Mayor of Dublin:

Bartholomew Van Homrigh (d1703) was born in Danzig/Gdansk and came to Dublin from Amsterdam in Charles II’s reign. He served as commissary-general to William III’s army and agent to General Godert van Ginkel. He was elected lord mayor in 1697. His daughter, Esther Van Homrigh became the ‘Vanessa’ of Jonathan Swift

James Lambert (1811-77) was a merchant who lived in Stacmuny and was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1859

Ben Briscoe (b1934) was a Teachta Dála for 37 years, representing a series of constituencies in Dublin and was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1989, the city’s millennium year.

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