The Lawrence family owned extensive lands in the counties Mayo and Galway. The former were in the townlands of Cloonbanaum, North, Middle and South, situated in the Electoral Division of Shrule, Union of Ballinrobe, Parish of Shrule, Barony of Kilmaine. The lands in Galway were located primarily in the baronies of Clare and Longford. The townland of Belview, where the Demesne of Belview was located was in the Electoral Division of Lawrencetown, Union of Ballinasloe, Parish of Kiltormer, and Barony of Longford.
The Lawrence family formerly owned all the lands of this townland. The extensive details on lineage included in the Album stated 'John Lawrence, in common with other gentlemen surrendered his property to the Crown after the death of Elizabeth, and received it back again under Patent from James I (see Patent Rolls, 16. James I). John Lawrence settled at Ballymore, where he erected his Castle by regulation temp. Queen Elizabeth in the Parish of Clonfert, Barony of Longford and county of Galway…. Walter Lawrence of Ballymore succeeded his father, and repaired his Castle after the death of Elizabeth. The initial W.L. 1620 was carved on one of the Castle chimney pieces and was seen as late as 1844 by persons now living…..
The village of Lawrencetown was first erected by Walter Lawrence in circa 1700 and rebuilt by Col. Walter Lawrence, 1765 to promote the linen industry in the West of Ireland'
The house was built by Walter Lawrence in 18th century. It was described in the Landed Estate Court Rental (1852) as ‘commodious and good. There is an ornamental piece of water in front of the House. The entire makes a very handsome Demesne’. The art treasures of house were sold in 1912, followed by the final sale in 1920. The house was demolished, not as an act of treachery, but to provide building materials for houses, bridges, etc in the area.
Archival History ↴
In the 1980s the decendants of the family sent the volume sent from Australia, (18 Eastbourne Street, Lynwood 6155, West Australia) to the Australian Embassy in Ireland for deposit in an appropriate respository. The Embassy then sent it to Galway County Library.
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: William Lawrence ↴
Leather bound gilt-edged album of photographs of portraits of various members of the Lawrence family, the local village, and the interior of and frescoes at Lisreaghan, generally includes biographic detail on the leading family members together with a brief family history, and an account of the geography and history of Lawrencetown. Front cover also includes an engraving of the family crest.
The extensive details on lineage included in the Album stated
‘John Lawrence, in common with other gentlemen surrendered his property to the Crown after the death of Elizabeth, and received it back again under Patent from James I (see Patent Rolls, 16. James I). John Lawrence settled at Ballymore, where he erected his Castle by regulation temp. Queen Elizabeth in the Parish of Clonfert, Barony of Longford and county of Galway…. Walter Lawrence of Ballymore succeeded his father, and repaired his Castle after the death of Elizabeth. The initial W.L. 1620 was carved on one of the Castle chimney pieces and was seen as late as 1844 by persons now living…..
Mr (John) Lawrence had the whole of his extensive Estates seized and sequestered on ‘account of the Rebellion which began in the Kingdom on the 23rd October 1641 but claimed them from the usurped Powers sitting at Athlone in 1654 as his ancient property….; he died at the Castle of Ballymore in 1675 and was buried in the Cathedral of Clonfer. (St Brendan’s)…..He was succeeded by his only son Walter Lawrence Esq. of Lisreaghan, .….’.
Includes photographs of Ballymore Castle, Lawrencetown ; the Volunteer Gate at Lisreaghan, erected by Colonel Walter Lawrence (1729-1796); the village of Lawrencetown depicting several thatched cottages and a common area ; the village of Lawrencetown depicting a street with two storey houses and some cottages, includes several horse drawn carts, with accompanying detail ‘First erected about the year 1700 by Walter Lawrence …rebuilt by Col. Walter Lawrence, 1765 to promote the linen industry in the West of Ireland…’. Also includes photographs of a portrait of John Lawrence (1698 – 1730), of Col. Walter Lawrence (1729 – 1796), of portrait of Rear Admiral Sir Peter Lawrence (1702 – 1758), with biographical detail such as ‘In 1755, he retired from the service and died, at Woodfield, Eyrecourt, Co. Galway, 1758, and was interred with his distinguished ancestors, in the Mortuary Chapel, of the Cathedral Church of St. Brendan’s Clonfert, Co. Galway’.
Photographs and details of various frescoes include ‘The Rape of the Sabines A Fresco on the left hand panel in the Aurora Hall, at Lawrencetown, County Galway 1760, after Picture Da Cortona in the Capitol at Rome, born 1596, Died 1669, Right background a Temple ; Left background columns of a Temple with statue of Neptune…’ and ‘Romulus and Remus A Fresco on the front panel in the Aurora Hall, At Lawrencetown, County Galway, 1750, after Ruben in the Capitol at Rome, Born 1577, Died 1646. The Wolf in centre of picture with the children ; to the left allegorical figure of the Tiber…..’
Includes photocopy of letter from Peter Scotland, 18 Eastbourne Street, Lynwood 6155, West Australia, to the Galway County Librarian (29 January 1987) noting that the Library has included the ‘family book’ in its collection.
IE GCCA GPO1/ Papers of the Lawrence Family, Lawrencetown, Co. Galway (1826-1930), includes Golding Letters, Shrule, Co. Mayo, 1916.
Due to its overall poor physical condition, and rapid deterioration of the paper and degradation of the photographs, the album underwent extensive conservation treatment in 2002. This included treatment of the paper i.e. washing and sizing (where possible), removal of a highly acidic support board and replacement with a conservation board of similar weight and colour. This element of the project is recognised as restoration (non-reversible) rather than conservation, but was considered necessary for the overall long-term preservation of the album. The album was also rebound. Lost or torn boards, where evidence of same existed, were replaced with new card. This gives support to the structure as it was originally intended. The conservation project also incorporated photographic conservation which included photographing the album in its entirety prior to conservation work; treatment of the photographs so as remove silvering; and production of 4” x 5” copy negatives of each photograph. As a lining of the wove text paper was removed from the photographs at this time it was deemed prudent to ensure their protection to place the photographs in a protective mylar envelope. This insulates the photographs from the alkaline environment of a conservation board.
The assistance of the Heritage Council in providing a grant, under its Museums and Archives Grant Scheme 2002, to assist with the costs of the conservation project is gratefully acknowledged.
Descriptive Control Area
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.