Loftus of Mount Loftus
The Loftus story in Ireland began with Rev. Adam Loftus, private chaplain to the viceroy, Thomas, Earl of Sussex, when he came with him to Ireland. Rev. Adam was advanced to the See of Armagh and was consecrated Archbishop of Armagh in 1562. He was one of the founders of Trinity College, Dublin and was its first provost. He resigned that post in 1594. In 1578 he was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland, a position he held until his death in 1605. He was granted the lands of Rathfarnham in the late 16th century and built Rathfarnham Castle. This castle was one of a ring of fortresses defending Dublin from the Irish clans in the Wicklow Mountains. The Castle and lands descended through the Loftus family and through a Loftus heiress to the Wharton family who were so profligate that the estate had to be sold in 1723. It was eventually bought back in 1767 by Nicholas Loftus Hume, 2nd Earl of Ely, whose uncle and heir, Henry Loftus, set about remodelling the Castle on a scale of ‘regal magnificence’, employing the most talented artists and craftsmen including Angelica Kauffman.
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