The Wandesfordes were a very old Yorkshire gentry family with an estate at Kirklington. Christopher Wandesforde was the first Wandesforde to come to Ireland. He came in 1633 with his friend[1] Thomas Wentworth (later Lord Strafford) who was Governor of Ireland. He appears to have brought over some of his relatives also, as his brother Nicholas was an M.P. for Thomastown and his eldest son, George, was an M.P. for Clogher in 1639[2]. Within a short space of time he was made Master of the Rolls- a legal appointment – and became a very powerful man in the administration.

Christopher bought the lease of Kildare castle and Manor from Sir Charles Coote shortly after his arrival in Ireland and intended living there. He did in fact live in the castle for a year with his family

[1] In Burke’s Landed Gentry it is stated that ‘Christopher Wandesforde, Esq. of Kirklington, being upon close habits of intimacy and friendship with Sir Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, accompanied that eminent and ill fated nobleman into Ireland’.

[2] Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.

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