Anglo-French Relations The Cloak of Secrecy A personal voyage of detection

Irish Despard Origins

A subsequent listing in 1671 shows a considerably greater 20,000 acre grant in this area, including Glengariff and Hull Island shown as 6,065 acres. This may have been a grant from the Duke of York’s lands. His 1666 grant was also for land in Queen’s Co. exceeding 2,000 acres including Coolbally and Garryduff, both subsequently held by the first Despards ‘of him’.

In 1691 the Bantry and Bear property was granted by Arthur Annesley’s widow Elizabeth Altham (d1698) to her London based second son Altham Annesley. He died of a stroke in 1699, and his brother Richard inherited the title. The property grants by Elizabeth included property to William Coward who had married Altham’s sister Philippa, and to Edward Eyre whose sister Margaret had married Charles Annesley (Tree 2). I must note here that Edward Eyre had married Jane daughter of William Maynard, a relative of the Maynards of Great Easton Essex, who had Kendall connections.

William Coward was a Sergeant-at-law of Lincoln’s Inn, and was a Recorder and Member of Parliament for Wells, Somerset. William’s father, also a Recorder of Wells, seems to have been a cousin of William Chiffinch, and with him was a guardian to Chiffinch’s niece, Rachel. William Chiffinch was Page of his Majesty’s Bed-Chamber and Keeper of the King Charles II’s Private Closet. It was Chiffinch who received and distributed the funds from King Louis following the Secret Treaty of Dover (see Article).

While the Bantry holding was sold by Richard D in 1717/1731, I was not able to locate a sale of the property that was also supposed to be held by Despards at Glengariff. We were said to have had iron workings at Glengariff, but the Beare peninsular also had copper workings.



  1. Please don’t publish my name or email. I have not read everything here, so perhaps I missed this information, but the reason that the Despards in Ireland are traced only to the date you mention is that the family, as Huguenots had fled to Ireland from France after The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

    1. Thank you for that. However – from 1572 until 1692 there are no records showing the use of the Despard or d’Espard names in either Ireland or England. There are no records of the use of that name in France before that date. Balzac, writing in circa 1840 used that name in a coded fashion which I analyse in my article.

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