Name: Laurence Parsons
Birth: ABT 1572 in Leics? Norfolk?
Death: 8 SEP 1628 in Rathfarnham, Dublin
Residence: Birr, King's County, Ireland
Occupation: Baron Exchequer of Ireland 1624
Note: 1 2|
Change Date: 3 MAR 2013
OR Son of William Parsons of Norfolk.
He and his brother William came to Ireland about 1590.
"The fortunes of the Parsons in Ireland were founded by two brothers, William and Lawrence (or Laurence), who came over from England about 1590. Like the Earl of Cork (with whom they had marriage connections), they were members of the group of tough and capable Englishmen that pioneered the resettlement of the country after the wars of the 16th century. (These people were called undertakers because they undertook the control of the plantations.) William, the elder, became a Commissioner of Plantations, and the Surveyor-General of Ireland, obtained large grants of lands, mostly in Wexford, and was created a baronet in 1620. (William had 5 sons and 7 daughters.) He was the ancestor of the Earl of Rosse of the first creation whose line died out in 1764.
"The younger brother, Laurence, was trained as a lawyer, became Attorney-General for Munster in 1612 (when he was Knighted), a Judge of the Admiralty in 1619 and, in 1620, joint Receiver-General of Crown Lands with his brother, William. His official career was more successful than meritorious; and it is his activities as a colonizer and developer of plantation lands that are interesting. In 1620 he acquired 1000 acres of arable land and 277 of wood and bog in the territory in central Ireland known as Ely O'Carroll. This acquisition centered on the town and castle of Birr; on June 26 of the same year it was constituted a manor under the new name of Parsonstown. Parsonstown and Birr have remained alternative names for the town up til recent years" ...quotes from the Rosse papers. Laurence and his wife, Ann Maltham, had 3 sons and 3 daughters. His grandson, (son of William) Lawrence Parsons, took the title of 2nd Earl of Rosse when his cousin's line died out. The current occupant of Birr Castle is a direct descendant, Brendan Parsons the 7th Earl of Rosse.
Sir Laurence Parsons is granted 1,277 acres of land, takes possession of Birr town in 1620 and commences the tradition, which continues to the present, of making Birr Castle the home of the Parsons family. He starts weekly markets as well as a glass factory. He also lays down ordinances for the townsfolk: those who 'cast dunge, rubbidge, filth or sweepings in the forestreet' are fined 4d. Those who lit fires in their houses other than in stone chimneys are to be banished from the town, and any woman serving beer as a barmaid is 'to bee sett in the stocks by the constable for 3 whole markett dayes'. Most of the castle today dates from the time of Sir Lawrence. He builds a 'dwellin house' over and around the gate house of the original fortress which forms the centre of the present castle, and either builds or restores two flanking towers on either side. A generation later these towers are incorporated into the house.
Father: James Parsons b: ABT 1545 in Leicestershire?
Mother: Catherine Fenton b: ABT 1545
Jane or Anne Maltham or Malham b: in Yorkshire, England
- William Parsons b: ABT 1612
- Catherine Parsons
- Type: Book
Periodical: The Complete Baronetage
Date: abt 1900
- Type: Book
Periodical: The Midland Septs and the Pale
Author: F R Montgomery Hitchcock
- Title: Ancestral File
Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Publication: Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998
Text: Generally reliable, but not to be taken totally at face value. Mistakes occur, and some of their dating and naming conventions puzzle me.