The Irish Bomfords

North family interests in the lands of Kilbride

The North family owned interests in land at Kilbride from before 1757 until at least the early 1900s.  Kilbride lies a little more than halfway along the road running south between Mullingar and Rochfortbridge, in the Barony of Fartullagh, County Westmeath.

Accoring to Bainbridge, a John North was resident at Kilbride in about 1660, after the Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland.  However, very little is heard of any Norths at Kilbride for most of the ensuing century.  John's son, 1a Roger North of Newcastle, died in 1701. His son, 2d Roger North of Kilbride Castle, married in 1704 and died in 1766.

In 1757, Thomas Smyth executed two deeds transferring two parts of Kilbride.  One part, Whitewell, 240 acres plantation, then in occupation of Roger of Kilbride Castle's second son, 3b John North, went to John North - see below.

The other part was Kilbride, including Tonlegee (sometimes Tonglegee), total 223 acres plantation, then (1757) in possession of 3a William North, first son of 2d Roger North of Kilbride Castle, was transferred to William by Thomas Smyth in 1757. It was a deed of lease and release, which deeds seem to take the form that on one day the land is leased for a year for a nominal rent, which puts it 'in actual possession' of the intended buyer, and then the following day it is 'released', i.e. leased again, this time for lives, a fixed term or in perpetuity.

Deed 1815 659 477526 recites that by indd deed of lease and release, the release bearing date the 22nd day of July 1757 (deed 1757 187 347 125349), Thos Smith of Drumcree in the county of Westmeath esqr & said deed demised unto Wm North of Kilbride in said Co of Westmeath deceased all that and those that part of the town and lands of Kilbride & Tonlegee in the possn of sd Wm North contg in the whole 223 acres more or less situate in the Barony of Fertullagh & Co of Westmeath to hold unto the sd Wm North his heirs & ass for three lives therein named with covt for perpl renl [covenant for perpetual renewal] subject to the yearly rent of £102-0-6 & a pepper corn renl fine on the fall of each life

William mortgaged the land to Alexander Barrington in 1772 (deed 289 309 190947 of 8 May 1772), for £300 subject to redemption on re-payment of the £300. 

Deed 289 309 190947 of 8 May 1772 records William North of Kilbride 1st part; and Alexander Barrington of Barretstown, Co Kildare, 2nd part - reciting indentures of lease of 21-22 July 1757(deed 1757 187 347 125349) re Thos Smith 1st part and Wm North other part purporting to be a demise of part of the lands of Kilbride and Tonlegee for 3 lives renewable at a pepper corn fine - the said Wm North in consideration £300 did grant bargain to said A Barrington all that part of the town and lands of Kilbride and Tonglegee in the occupation of said William North containing 223 acres & premises unto said A Barrington his heirs etc to the sole and only use of said A Barrington during the natural life of said William North, Roger North his eldest son, and Jn Gerrard of Parcelstown [Parsonstown], Westmeath, the three [lives] in said recited lease named and survivors of them and such others by virtue of covenants – subject to redemption upon payment of £300

William also leased all that part of the towns and lands of Kilbride, Westmeath, commonly known by the name of Rathnowland lying northwest of Kilbridg, 57 acres 2 roods 15 perches plantation measure,to Robert Rochfort (deed 549 369 364150 of 25 Sep 1802).  That lease was subsequently renewed (deed 549 369 364150, a renewal of a lease of Rathnowland, 57 acres 2 roods 15 perches plantation measureoriginally made to the Robert Rochfort, in favour of Anne Rochfort, his widow and administrator of the wills of Hon Robert Rochfort, late of Bowden Park, Westmeath).

William died in 1782 or 83 and his will split his interest in Kilbride into two equal moieties, share and share alike (deed 1815 659  477526 of 16 Sep 1815 refers), one for son 4a Roger of Kilbride the other for son 4c Joseph of Northbrook. Joseph then leased his half share to his brother Roger, who put the land in trust as part of his marriage settlement:

Deed 356 125 238786 of 20 Oct 1783 is son 4a Roger's marriage settlement: Roger North of Kilbride, 1st part; William Abernathy of Humefield & Thomas Gerrard of Parsonstown, Westmeath 2nd part; and Mary Gerrard of Parsonstown - reciting that Thomas Smith by indenture dated 22 Jul 1757 demised to Wm North deceased all land Kilbride [then in his possession], 223 acres, to hold for 3 lives renewable forever at the yearly rent therein mentioned; and that the said William North died having by his last will demised said lands to his two sons, said Roger North and Joseph North; and the said Joseph North by deed by him duly demised his part of the lands to the said Roger North for 3 lives renewable forever at yearly rent mentioned; and also reciting that a marriage was intended by the grace of God to be had and solemnized between said Roger North and Mary Gerrard; and said Roger North, in consideration of said marriage and the marriage portion therein, conveyed the said lands of Kilbride to the said Wm Abernathy and Thomas Gerrard their heirs and assigns forever under trust to the use of the said Roger North for his life and after his death if Mary Gerrard survives him and if no issue between then Mary Gerrard to get £40 per annum for life --- witnesses Lewis Rochfort, John Rochfort, Sidebrook, Westmeath, etc

4a Roger's half interest  passed to his daughter Mary Elizabeth North under the settlement for her marriage to Abraham John Pilkington (deed 1815 693 476083)and was then inherited by their son, William Pilkington, a party to deed 1875 54 299.

4c Joseph of Northbrook made over his half interest (moiety) to his brother Roger for three lives renewable forever at yearly rent (as stated in deed 356 125 238786), but retained a residual/reversionary interest (i.e. the land went back to Joseph if/when the lease was terminated). 

By deed 582 258 393193 of 25 Apr 1805 Joseph North of Northbrook leased the East Division of Kilbride, 91 acres, to Mary Elizabeth North, a minor (she was about 10 at the time), daughter of his brother Roger of Kilbride.  And deed 1815 659  477526 of 16 Sep 1815 recites that Mary Elizabeth North renewed the 1757 Thomas Smyth lease of the whole 223 acres of Kilbride so far as Joseph's moiety was concerned. 

Deed 1815 693 476083 refers to the East Division, 91 acres, and the lands of Kilbride and Tonlegee, 223 acres, as if they are separate parcels: 'all that and those all that part of the lands of Kilbride called the east division situate in the By of Fartullagh and county of W Meath …laid out by a survey made by … contg 91.3.14 [acres, roods, perches] and also all that the those that part of the towns and lands of Kilbride and Tonlegee contg 223 [acres] situate in the By of Fartulagh and coty of WMeath'.

These deeds look like Mary Elizabeth, her mother/guardian and later her husband, Abraham John Pilkington, were all trying to keep alive 4c Joseph of Northbrook's lease to his brother 4a Roger of Kilbride, of which they were the beneficiaries.  No doubt they were looking after 4a Roger's half interest as well.

4c Joseph of Northbrook had three sons, 5a William of Northbrook who got Northbrook through his marriage settlement, 5b Joseph of Cappa who died in 1840, and 5c Roger of Cappa, who married Deborah North of Tyrrellspass, sold Cappa and moved to Tyrrellspass. 

Son 5b Joseph of Cappa died intestate in 1840 and brother 5c Roger of Cappa was his administrator.  It looks like Roger and Joseph between them got their father Joseph of Northbrook's moiety in Kilbride, though it is not clear that Joseph junior got any of it: the Oswego letters may indicate that Joseph senior's will was made wholly in Roger's favour and that Joseph was cut off with a shilling.  Roger was earning rents from Kilbride East Division under the lease of 25 Apr 1805, recited in deed 1870 37 155 (except that deed says the year was 1865 - which may or may not be a mistake or a coincidence: possibly the 25 Apr 1805 lease was renewed on 25 Apr 1865).

In 1870 5c Roger, formerly of Cappa, but by then of Tyrrellspass, deeded the income from Kilbride East Division and the whole of his interest and estate in the lands of Kilbride and Tonlegee to his wife Deborah North's nephews, Joseph Pim North and David Bomford MD as tenants in common in equal shares, in return for an annuity for the rest of his life (deed 1870 37 155).  Joseph Pim North was executor of Roger's will and also subject of deed 1875 54 299 above.

David Bomford North died in 1873 and Joseph Pim North was his executor, but as the land was held as tenants in common may not have inherited David's share. 

Possibly he did, because deed 1875 54 299, which sorts out the legal situation regarding the 1805 East Division lease between the parties that have inherited interests in it by 1875, suggests that Joseph Pim North was the sole lessor at that time and was able to confirm the lease of the East Division to William Pilkington and receive the rent.

Joseph Pim North died in 1890.  Deed 1902 33 127 is a memorial of a deed poll by David Trotter MD of Summerhill Co Meath and David North of Fairview, Lt Col in Her Majesty's Army, re the will of Joseph Pim North as trustees and referring to appointment regarding lands at Moyally.  Whether that includes sorting out the reversionary interest in Kilbride is not clear, and it is not known what became of Joseph Pim North's interests in Kilbride after he died.


In 1757, Thomas Smyth executed two deeds transferring two parts of Kilbride.  The second one concerns Whitewell, 240 acres plantation (about 390 acres statute measure), then in occupation of Roger's second son, John North.  Whitewell lies half a mile south of Tyrrellstown, Co Westmeath.  Map.

John had interests in Whitewell before 1757.

'John North of Kilbride' was witness to deed 1726 50 54 32031 in the Registry of Deeds dated 7 & 8 Jun 1726.

Deed 152 471 104582 is a lease dated 2nd June 1749: John North of Kilbride, Westmeath, farmer, did demise let and to farm to Bartholomew Egan of Kilbride all that part of Kilbride joining Gibbonstown, 110 acres, to hold for 24 years – witness John Egan son of Bart Egan and William [North?] City of Dublin.  In deed 154 472 104583 of 1752, John North of Whitewell set Bart Egan 129 acres of Whitewell from 1 May for 22 years at £90.That is a total lease of about 240 acres.

Then by lease of 22 Jul 1757 (deed 1757 434 125350, recited in deed 290 362 192544), Thos Smith of Drumcree, Westmeath, did demise and set unto John North all that part of the town and lands of Kilbride by the name of Whitewell and then in the possession of said John North, 240 acres more or less, Fartullagh, Westmeath, to hold to said John North heirs etc for the lives of Roger North of Dublin, Chas North, 3rd son of Roger then of Newcastle, Westmeath, and Jas McCabe of Bracklin – yearly rent £97 19s 6d lease containing covenants for renewing the same forever on payment of a peppercorn fine for renewal on the fall of every life.  This presumably is the same 240 acres plantation as that leased earlier to Bartholomew Egan.

There is a complication.  Deed 200 338 133388 of 22 & 23 Aug 1759 records that John North of Cornhill, Co Tipperary, did lease and confirm to Roger North of Newcastle his heirs etc, that part of Kilbride known as Whitewell, ~240 acres, to have and hold during the natural lives of Roger North, Charles North and James McCabe and their survivors, with a clause of renewals forever, with a proviso that the deed would become void on payment of £300 with interest on 1 Feb next [so effectively, the deed is a mortgage]; witnesses Ulysses North of Newcastleand Daniel Colo of Newcastle, yeoman.  This lease is not mentioned again, so presumably the £300 was repaid.  There is no other evidence to suggest that either John North of Cornhill (m Mary North in 1767) or Roger North of Newcastle (d 1765) had interests in Whitewell.  One explanation would be that John North of Cornhill is the same person as John North of Whitewell, and had moved to Cornhill in 1757 from where he concluded deed 200 338 133388.  John was married to Margaret Abernethy, and a John Habernathy was a witness to the marriage settlement of John North of Cornhill and Mary North of Clonfad in 1767.  It seems likely that Margaret Abernethy had died and John moved to Cornhill, and subsequently married his cousin Mary North. 

In 1760 John of Whitewell's son Roger North married Deborah Leland and Whitewell was part of his marriage settlement: Whitewell was put into trust for Roger subject to a £40annuity payable out of the lands (deed 206 401 136607).  Roger was an ironmonger in Dublin, so was not involved with farming the land.  Subsequently John and Roger took £200 in cash for a further annuity out of the lands of £20 per annum, payable to Edward Mockler and Thos Bond (deed 290 362 192544 of 4 Aug 1772).

In deed 425 55 275840 of 20 Apr 1786, an indented deed of rent charge, between another Roger North, Roger North of Loughkeen, Co Tipperaray, and John North of Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath, Roger gave granted bargained and made over one annuity of yearly rent charge of thirty pounds a year to the said John and Mary North his wife to be issuing and payable out of the lands of Whitewell in Westmeath and also out of the lands of Tinnekelly, in consideration of an assignment of the said John North’s interest in the lands of Tinnekelly in Co Tipperary to the said Roger North.  Quite what is going on there is not clear - but John of Tyrrellspass and his wife Mary seem likely to be John of Cornhill and Whitewell and Mary his wife and cousin.  Why Roger of Loughkeen would be making over an annuity out of Whitewell to John and Mary is a mystery as it is not otherwise evident that Roger had any interest in Whitewell - unless John's interest in Whitewell had previously also been assigned to Roger.

The eldest son of Roger who married Deborah Leland was John North of Whitewell b c1750 or c1760, and he appears to have inherited Whitewell.  Possibly he got it as part of his marriage settlement when he married Anne Bomford in 1786. On 24 Jul 1809 John North of Whitewell, Westmeath, gent and John Roger North of Whitewell, gent [John's eldest son], did demise grant set to farm to Ed Synge Cooper all that and those part of the town and lands of Whitewell then the prop (by virtue of a lease for a year dated the day before) of said Edward Synge Cooper, 60 acres 2 roods 35 perches plantation, measure from 1 Nov for the lives therein mentioned at a yearly rent (Deed 609 374 4219659).  In 1810 John demised to his eldest son, John Roger North, lands of Whitewell known as Hopes farm (deed 1829 846 146 566646 refers).  In 1829 John made provision for his unmarried daughters by putting a £700 charge on the lands of Whitewell, and in the meantime gave his son John Roger North a £25 annuity out of the rents until he (John) died; and Whitewell was put into the hands of trustees for a thousand years (deed 1829 846 146 566646).

Two years later, John was insolvent: deed 874 451 580951 is an Indenture of Lease dated 20 Aug 1831 concerning this John North.  It was made between Godfrey Wills Berry of Tyrrellspass [John's son in law], assignee of estate & effects of John North an Insolvent 1st part; and John North of Tyrrellspass 2nd part; & Arthur Grose of Whitewell 3rd part - that part of Whitewell in John's possession, 104 acres 2 roods 30 perches plantation measure, and the house and offices thereon, was transferred to Arthur Grose for yearly rent of £208 per annum from 1st May during the natural life and lives of Eleanor North wife of John Roger North, Arthur Grose the lessee, and Arthur Gallagher Grose his only son, or 31 years, etc.  The 1838 Ordnance Field Namebooks record, 'Whitewell, Parish of Kilbride, 403 acres [statute measure, about 249 plantation measure] all arable and pasture. Contains a house and garden called Whitewell House, the seat of A Grose Esq.'  Deed 1857 266 describes Arthur Grose as a lieutenant in her Majesty’s Royal Navy living at Greystones in Co Wicklow.  It notes Maria his wife, and Catherine Margaret Barker otherwise Grose and Danial Gallagher Grose as their children (CN email 16 Jun 2009).

John died about 1838 and John Roger had Whitewell (subject to leases etc).  The 1831 lease to Arthur Grose seems to have ended well before the 31 years expired because in 1847, by deed 1847 14 55 (CN email 28 Aug 2009),John Roger leased for lives or 31 years the dwelling house, offices and demesne lands of Whitewell containing 100 acres Irish plantation measure [about 162 acres statute, i.e. lot 7], late in the possession of Edward Danial Duffy,to John George Battersby, MD, of Milltown, Co Westmeath, 'all mines minerals and royalties of what nature or kind soever' excepted, for £201 a year.  The deed outlines other parts of Whitewell at that time, including W Cooper’s holding of Whitewell on the north, Nancy Egan’s holding of Whitewell to the east, and the said Roger North's tenants' holdings of the lower part of Whitewell to the south.

By 1854 Whitewell, or at least part of it, was again occupied by a John North according to the Griffith’s Valuation.  This was probably John Roger's eldest son John, who married Susanna Clarke in Aug 1869. John may have lived at Whitewell up until at least 1859, when he leased for lives or 31 years, at a rent of £201 pa, the 'dwelling house, office and demesne' of Whitewell, 100 acres plantation (162 statute), to Laurence and Michael Gavan (deed 1859 37 180) (this would be Whitewell House, lot 7, the same house and land as the 1847 deed).  The deed outlines the other parts of Whitewell at that time, including Mrs Cooper’s holding of Whitewell to the north, Nancy Egan’s building of Whitewell to the east, and John and his tenants' land in the 'town part' of Whitewell to the south. John then seems to have moved to Dublin, if he wasn't already there, leaving Whitewell to lessees.  The 1862 Griffiths lists Michael Egan as the Occupier of lot 9 (49 acres) as lessee from John North, and he sub-let 3 houses: one to William North valued at 5 shillings; one to Mary Casey valued at 5 shillings, and one to Anne McDonnell valued at 10 shillings.  William North continued to lease his house from Michael Egan, then Marcella Egan and then from John Looram until 1898, at which time his entry is crossed through; the building was still valued at 5 shillings.

Deed 1875 2 50 of 5 Jan 1875 looks like a renewal of the Cooper lease: between John North of Bushfield Ave, Donnybrook, Dublin; and Colonel Joshua Harry Cooper of Duboden, Westmeath - reciting lease/deed of 24 Feb 1809 (deed 609 374 4219659 above) in which John North and John Roger North demised unto Edward Synge Cooper and his heirs --- he the said John North did thereby grant unto said J H Cooper, his heirs etc all that part of towns and lands of Whitewell --- North hunting rights --- Cooper to pay rent of £127.

Following John's death in 1902, Whitewell seems to have passed to his brother Alfred Roger North and/or Alfred's son, Henry Herbert North.  Deed 1902 52 299 refers to Henry Herbert North of 85 Marlborough Rd, Dublin (John North's Dublin address), and Thoms The Mecredy of 91 Merrion Sq, Dublin, solicitor, regarding hereditaments, reciting the said Henry Herbert North was desirous of barring the entail of the said hereditaments … consisting of part of the lands at Kilbride known by the name of Whitewell containing 240 acres (presumably this is the original 240 acres plantation measure, about 390 statute).  By 1904 Henry Herbert North had moved to Canada.

Sheila Perino has obtained (hard copy; SP email 26 Apr 2009 refers) Griffiths records (valuing land and buildings for rating purposes) and the relevant map of the various subholdings for 1862 (part), 1875, 1881, 1890 (part), 1893, 1898 and 1920.  A note included with the 1875 record states that Joshua Cooper owned the fee farm in Whitewell [from an unknown date up until at least 1881], and that John North owned a lease for lives renewable for ever over most of it at that time.  The total area of Whitewell is constant through the records, at 403 acres, 3 roods and 18 perches (about 249 acres plantation measure).  From 1893 onwards, the Coopers are only mentioned as Occupiers of lot 1 and Immediate Lessors to the Occupiers of lots 2 to 6, and John North appears to hold the primary interest in Whitewell.  Lot 1 is recorded as leased by the Coopers from John North, which is odd if the Coopers owned the land in fee farm - it seems they leased it to John who then leased it back to them.  A possible explanation is that in 1809 the then John North leased the land of lots 1 to 6 to the Coopers (deed609 374 4219659, 60 acres plantation measure, about 97 acres statute measure) before the Coopers owned the land in fee farm; and that subsequently the Coopers bought the fee farm from the head landlord, over the head of the Norths, when the land was already encumbered with the 1757 lease to the Norths and the 1809 sub-lease to the Coopers.  It appears that the Coopers occupied lot 1 of their lease and sub-let lots 2 to 6 to various tenants: all of lots 1 to 6 may have continued to be held on lease by the Coopers from the Norths, who in turn leased it (for lives, but renewable for ever) originally, in 1757, from Thomas Smyth as then owner of the fee farm grant or some other form of holding, but from some later date from the Coopers once they obtained the fee farm interest in the land from Thomas Smyty or his successors in ownership.

In the 1920 Griffiths record, several lots have the immediate lessor's name crossed out, and have 'In fee' and a stamp 'L.A.P.' in its place.  It appears that a process of conversion of land from leasehold to freehold was in progress, with the actual occupiers of the land gaining freehold title from the absentee landlord: John North had been living in Dublin since at least 1875, and following his death in 1902 his interest in the land was held by his legal representatives (executors).  The 1920 Griffiths records:

Lot Occupier Immediate
Description Area
(acres, roods, perches)
Value of Land Value of House
1 Col Edward Cooper In fee L.A.P.
John North
Land 40, 2, 5 £32/5/0 -
1a - - Church & graveyard 0, 1, 16 Exempt Exempt
2A & B Francis Carty In fee L.A.P.
Joshua Cooper
House, office, land 4, 2, 17 £3/0/0 £0/15/0
3a, 4 James Bradburn In fee L.A.P. House, office, land 15, 2, 7 £12/5/0 £2/5/0
5ABa Bernard Neill In fee L.A.P.
Joshua Cooper
House, shops, office, land 10, 0, 35 £7/5/0 £2/10/0
5Bc; 6 James Leogue In fee L.A.P. House, office, garden; land 0, 1, 0; 27, 1, 6 £22/12/0 £1/8/0
7a Christopher Gavan
Michael Gavan
In fee L.A.P.
John North
House, office, land 162, 0, 10 £134/10/0 £9/10/0
8 Michael Farrelly John North House, office, land 67, 0 21 £37/0/0 £1/10/0
9A John Looram John North Land 49, 0, 16 £32/15/0 -
9B Edward Kenny Westmeath Co
Board of Health
Labourer's house and land 0, 2, 0 £0/10/0 £1/10/0
10AaB, 11AB Andrew Farrelly
Mary A Farrelly
John North House, office, land 25, 1, 5 £15/0/0 £0/15/0
12 Reps Joseph Carley
Edward Carley
Guardians of
Mullingar Union
House, office, land 1, 0, 0 £1/0/0 £1/0/0


Mitch Gavan owned Whitewell  House in 2006.

If you can help with additional facts or details on the histories of these lands of Kilbride, please contact us.