Ponsonby Barker

Ponsonby Barker

The fine Palladian residence, in which the subsequent Barker descendants lived, was built around 1762 by the last Sir William though his father was alive at the time. Sir William IV had a sister, Mary, who married Chambré Brabazon Ponsonby. Chambré’s father was the Hon. Henry Ponsonby, the younger son of the Earl of Bessborough.

In 1772 Sir William granted leases to Palatine families that he brought to Kilcooley from Adare, on condition that they never employed anyone professing the popish religion.[1]

Sir William IV married Catherine Lane, an heiress but had no family and so when Chambré Ponsonby died in 1762, Sir William invited Mary Ponsonby, his sister, to stay in Kilcooley with her children Chambré and Mary.

[1] One of the families was named Switzer – Christie Switzer from Kilcooley established the famous Switzers of Grafton St., Dublin and James Switzer, his brother, built the Kilkenny Alms house, which he called St. James. The Alms House was to accommodate twenty widows or unmarried women of good family, eight Roman Catholic and twelve Protestant. He provided an annuity of £20 for each woman and the porter and the chaplain. Another famous Palatine was Richard Sutcliffe who became one of the world’s foremost mining engineers.

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