The Hurly Family; Fenit, Glenduff & Tralee

Richard Kirwan

1812 Richard Kirwan of Gregg Castle, Co. Galway. Grandfather of Anna Maria Theresa Hill. He was President of the Royal Irish Academy

In 1309

the Hurley’s were one of the principal chieftains of Thomond. Limerick Later they also held the title of Baronet (The order of Baronetcy was established by James l in 1611).

In I585 Thomas Hurly of Knocklong Castle represented Kilmallock in Perrotts Parliament Sir William Hurly represented Kilrnalock in King James Parliament in 1689. Sir Williams’s son, Sir John Hurly, was arrested in Dublin in 1714 on a charge of raising a body of men for the Pretender. He made his escape from prison but of his subsequent career nothing is known- The descendants of his illegitimate son, John, lived at Drumacco, near Kinvara in 1840.

In 1601 Thomas’s son, Maurice of Knocklong- obtained a patent for a weekly market to be held in Knocklong on Tuesdays and two yearly fairs which were held on May 28th and October 15th. The May fair was for cattle, sheep and’ pigs whereas the October fair was mainly for horses.

Maurice married twice, first Racia Thornton and secondly Grania O’Hogan. Maurice and Grania had a son, Sir Thomas Hurly. Sir Thomas’s son, Maurice married Johanna Browne and they had a son John. John had a son, John and four daughters, Catherine who married Pierce Buttler, Lord Dunboyne, Anne who married Daniel Ryan, Grace who married Walter Bourke and Ellinor married David Barry by whom she had Edmund (Queen Almes foster father).

Sir Thornas’s great great grandson, Denis (Donogh), was the first Hurly to settle in Co. Kerry. He held a commission in the Kerry Militia In 1701 he married Anne Blennerhasset ( 1663) fifth daughter of Robert and Avice (nee Conway), Castle Conway Killorglin. (Killorglin Castle was renamed Castle Conway in 1587 when granted to Capt. Jenkin Conway). Denis (Donogh) and Anne had five sons and three daughters, Thomas, Charles, John, Donogh, William, Alice, Avice and Sarah.

Thomas the eldest son married his cousin Alice Blennerhassefl and his brother, John, married Jane, Alice’s sister. When Jane’s husband, John, died in 1731 she married Maurice O’Connell and the daughter of that union. Mary married Daniel O’Connell. ‘The Liberator‘ Denis (Donagh) and Anne’s second son. Charles, married Alice only daughter and heiress of Edmund Fitzgerald Of Murrigane. They had two sons, Thomas and John and a daughter Mary Anne. The eldest son Thomas married his first cousin Letitia Brown and they had a son Charles.

John Hurly LP. (youngest son of Charles & Alice) married Mary Conway on I8/05/I784. He died on the 26/11/1829 leaving two sons. Robert Conway & John, and six daughters. Letitia, Alice, Christian  Lucy, Arabella and Mary. The eldest son, the Rev. Robert Conway Hurly. Rector of Killiney, Vicar General and Surrogate of the Diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe died unmarried in May 1849. He is interred at Ballyseedy Churchyard, Tralee.

Rev. Robert Conway Hurly was succeeded by. his younger and only brother. John Hurly who was a Clerk of the Peace and a J.P. for Kerry. John owned Bridge House (the old Tralee Garda Station) and Glenduff House. John married Anna Maria Theresa Hill on the 19/05/1814. Anna was the daughter of Col. Hugh Hill, Armagh and Devon. In March 1852 John Hurly and TB Hurly were among the elected Guardians for the Tralee Electoral Division. When John died on 19/06/1854 he left three sons. Robert, born in 1815, Hugh Richard Kirwin 1825, John Conway Hurly 1833 and four daughters, Elizabeth. l816, Marie Theresa I817. Alice 1819 and Leticia l825.

John & Anna’s eldest son,

Robert Conway Hurly, Barrister, who was born on the 02/06/1815 at Bridge House Tralee married Dorcas Blennerhasset by special licence on the 27/05/1845. The couple were married by Roberts Uncle, Rev. Robert Conway V.G. of the Diocese. Dorcas was the eldest daughter of Arthur Blennerhassett M.P. of Ballyseedy, Kerry. Dorcas died in October 1854 at the age of 32, she is interred at Ballyseedy Churchyard, Tralee. When John Hurly, Robert’s father, passed away he left Bridge House, Tralee and Glenduff House to his eldest son, Robert. The tomb of John Hurly lies inside the ruin of the old Church in the Burial Ground at Ballyseedy. Robert subsequently married Annie Cummins (1837-1902) on the 23/06/1860. Annie was the daughter of William Cummins, formally of Witheridge. Devonshire and the sister of Lady Mary Colleton. Rev. Francis‘ Hill. Rector of Terling Essex, assisted by Rev. Joshua Willoughby, Rector and Rev. Stephen Brown, Rector, married them at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Hartland Road.

Robert and Annie had four sons, John Conway J.P. born on the 18/3/1862, William Willoughby 1863, who died young, Maurice Randall 1864, who married Honoria Fitzmaurice in 1896 (marriage dissolved in 1907), Maurice Randall then married Jemina Hutcheson and Rev. Francis Thomas Barnwell born in l866 and died in 1897, unmarried. They had two daughters, Evelyn Mary Stanell 1868 who died young and Roberta Mary Conway 1870. Roberta Mary resided in Dublin and she died, unmarried, in May 1947.

Robert Conway Hurly died on the 11/09/ 1870 and is interred at the New Cemetery, Tralee. Robert’s widow. Annie, later married Rev John Ross (1819 – 1908) MA Vicar of Coynham Salop, Devon in 1873, (they had one daughter, Annie Euphemia).

Tomb of John Hurly

Tomb Of John Hurly

Hurly Family Crest

Hurly Family Crest

John Conway Hurly,

eldest son of Robert and Annie, was educated at Harrow and Cambridge. John first married Maude Isobel Grogan (1872) on the 01/06/1891. They had one son, Robert William Conway Hurly, born on the 18/03/1892. He died on the 08/04/1919, unmarried.

John and Maude divorced and John subsequently remarried Mary Anderson (1881-). Limerick, in 1904. They had six sons. John Hugh (12/2/1906). Denis (18/2/1907), Francis (6/1/1909-1913). Maurice (23/8/1911-23/12/1911), cause of death being acute laryngitis. Patrick Willoughby and Maurice Francis (1915) and a daughter, Margaret Mary (27/01/1908). Patrick Willoughby and Maurice Francis were born in Canada.

The 1901 Census of Population recorded John as being a widow, County Magistrate and of the Church of Ireland faith but the1911 Census recorded him as being a Farmer & Railway Shareholder and a Roman Catholic. His wife Mary and three sons are also recorded as been RC. But Robert’s sister, Roberta Mary, is listed as being of Church of England religion in both Censuses.

John Conway Hurly J.P. Fenit The Lyreacrompane Landlord

John Conway Hurly (I833-1878)

the youngest son of John and Anna married Elizabeth Boyd (widow) on the 18/12/1858. They haul a son, John Charles Denis J.P. High Sherriff, burn on the 25/07/1864, who died unmarried on 26/05/1929 and two daughters, Eleanor Mary Augusta (1859) (Mrs. Samuel Frazer) and Augusta Hobart (I859) (Mrs. Harnet Fuller).

Mr John Conway Hurley became the Landlord of Lyreacrompane in 1857. When he purchased part of the Locke estate which contained l7,6l4 acres. Mr. John Littledale sold the estate by public auction at his sales rooms. No.9 Upper Ormond Quay Dublin. Mr. John Conway bought nine lots, for £13,525, containing 7.830 acres and producing over £410 rent yearly.

Lot N0. 29.
Knocknaglough 626 acres

Lot No. 30.
Bugaugnamlavogue and Glasanacree 742 acres

Lot No. 31
Glountaneyalheen 643 acres

Lot No. 32.
Cloughboola 686 acres

Lot No.33.
Drommadabeg 855 acres

Lot No.34.
Drommndamore Upper and Lower 2,000 acres

Lot No. 35,
Canigcannon 233 acres

Lot No. 36,
Currigcunnnn 728 acres

Lot No. 37.
Lyreacrompane 980 acres.

The total acres in Lots no. 29 to 37 do not correspond exactly with the total figure quoted at auction.

John C Hurly Landlord of Lyreacrompane

John C Hurly Of Fenit 1878, The  Landlord of Lyreacrompane

John Hurly's shaving mirror

John Hurly’s shaving mirror

Will Of John Hurly Fenit House


Will made 15th November 1877 and proved 24th March 1879) in the Principal Registry Office Dublin. Testator (John Hurly) died 17th November 1878 at Fenit House. The will deals with his settled and unsettled estates. The unsettled estates included. Lyreacrompane, Carrigcannon, Dromadmore Lower and Upper, Dromadaheg, Cloghboola, Knocknaglough, Glashnacree, Boughnamalovogue and Glantanyalkeen. The will included the following… A yearly payment of £600 to his wife, Elizabeth Augusta. £4,000 charged on settled estates, in trust for his two daughters Elenor Augusta and Augusta, Hobart. He left his unsettled estate to Lucy Anne Thompson on condition of her paying £200 yearly to his wife for life, £50 yearly to each daughter till marriage and £600 yearly to his son, John Charles Denis Hurly, until 26 years or on his mother’s death when he would inherit the entire estate. A codicil placed a charge on Inward and Outward Fenit of £200 yearly, f or her life, for Miss Lucy Anne Thompson (his agent).

In l876 the Hurley’s were the registered owners of 12,234 acres of land in Kerry but by 1880 the Hurly’s had run into financial trouble and they were forced to sell their extensive property around the county.

The Right Honourable Judge Flanagan sold the Hurly Estate in eleven lots at the Four Courts. Inn‘s Quay, Dublin on Friday 25/06/1880 at 12 p.m. Richard Huggard was the solicitor for the estate. Glenduff House and 118 acres of land was bought for £2,200, in trust, by Mr Thomas F. O’Connell solicitor, for John Conway Hurly a minor.

Fenit House

which stands today, was built by the Hurly Family in Victorian times. The previous Fenit House which had connections with the Hickman Family was sited on a higher piece of ground about 100 yards away from the present house. The Hurly Family also built a Protestant Church in Fenit. A Stone remains in the grounds of Fenit House inscribed ‘J.H. 1 860′.

John Charles Denis, son of John Conway Hurly, The Lyreacrompane Landlord resided at Fenit House. He died unmarried on 26/05/1929. He left the house to his sister, Mrs Augusta Fuller, and her son Franklin. Franklin married Mary Bailey (niece of the Countess of Ross) but they had no family. Franklin was drowned in a boating accident at Fenit. After his death his wife. Mary, remained on at Fenit House for some time. She eventually sold the residence to Ciara (former Rose of Tralee) and John Byrne (Brandon Hotel, Tralee) and went to live in Dublin.

Letitia Hurly

Letitia Hurly

A John Hurly portrait from further back

A John Hurly From Further Back

Bridge House

Tralee was built by the Blennerhassetts of Ballyseedy as a town residence, exactly when is not clear. The Hurly’s bought it about 1850.

The House was auctioned in Tralee Courthouse on 01/05/1880. It was at this point that the house took on the familiar role of police headquarters. The lease at a yearly rent of five shillings and three pence was taken up by the R.I.C. During the Civil War it was damaged by fire. After the formation of the Free State it was taken over by the Garda Siochana and Bridge House remained in their hands until it was demolished in September I983. The present Tralee Garda Station is built on the same site.

Glenduff House

Glenduff House was built prior to 1840. Originally it had been a lodge but the Hurly family retained it as a Country Residence. John Conway Hurly, grandson of J.P. and Anna, lived at Glenduff House. He married Mary Anderson, Limerick. In 1912 John Hurly sold Glenduff House, and at the age of fifty he and his family immigrated to Canada. They settled in Alix, Alberta.

Jim Erraught bought Glenduff House, for £1,200. Jim Erraught had previously worked as a labourer for the Hurly’s. On being dismissed from his employment he immigrated to America, where he amassed enough wealth to return and buy Glenduff House.

John Hurly's tomb

The Inscription Say’s “Family Tomb of John Hurly Fenit R.I.P.”

John Hurly JP (1791 – 1854)

At a Vestry meeting held in the parish church of Tralee, 19th day of October, 1835 for the purpose of making a new registry of the seats in said church. It was then agreed that the under named persons are proprietors of the seats to which their names are annexed. Gallery, isle and sittings allocated. Gallery No. 32, John Hurly…..

Many Thanks to the “Lyreacrompane & District Journal” for giving permision to use part of an article that appeared in Issue No. 7 in the writing of this History

All Hurly photographs are courtesy of; Honor Sherbrooke Walker Hurly, New Zealand and Kay O’Leary, Lyreacrompane


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Address: Kielduff, Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland

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