agar-pic-1Agar of Kilkenny

The origins of the Agar family according to Malcomson in his book about Archbishop Charles Agar were somewhat obscure. The first of the family in Ireland was a Charles Agar from Yorkshire. He came over to Ireland during the early years of the Cromwellian government and later settled at Gowran. He married Ellis the daughter of the dispossessed Peter Blanchville and claimed the ownership of the Blachville estates in Co. Kilkenny centred on Rathgarvan. However he did not get ownership to those lands but some of them were later purchased by the Agars in succeeding generations. Charles did lease the castle and some lands in the Gowran area from the 2nd Duke of Ormonde. James Agar, his son, made substantial purchases of lands in the first decade of the 18th century, including Rathgarvan.

[1] It is just possible that the Agars were in Ireland much earlier. Anthony Colclough of Tintern (d. 1584) was married to Clare Agere, daughter of Thomas Agere esq.

Most authorities including Burtchaell agree that Charles Agar was the first of the family to settle in Kilkenny. Burtchaell implied that he was a trooper in Cromwell’s army and had very little when he settled in Gowran. Despite this he was able to send both his sons to school in Kilkenny College, so his wife may have provided an ample dowry.

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