Dominick Browne, (1787 - 1860), became the first Lord Oranmore and Browne, the title Oranmore being taken in view of the family lands and property at Oranmore, Co. Galway. The Browne family were the largest landowners in Connaught at that time. The Brownes had 13 country houses throughout Connaught, including Ashford Castle at Cong. They owned 54,000 acres.He was made a Privy Councillor for Ireland in 1834 and became one of twenty eight elected representative Irish Peers. He spent vast sums of money on electioneering. It is said that on one election he spent £40,000, of which £600 was spent on lemons for punch. The Great Famine completed his ruin. With the exception of Castlemacgarrett, 2000 acres, he had to sell off all his other estates in the encumbered Estates Court. The whole of the Galway property, some of which had been in the family for 600 years, then passed from the Browne family. Dominick Browne descends from Mary Prendergast, who was a descendant of Maurice de Prendergast who's father Gerald came to Ireland with Strongbow during the Norman invasion in 1170. Castlemacgarrett Old, depicted in the background of this image, was once the ancestral home of the Prendergast Family, but a large part of the property of Castlemacgarrett had been in the possession of the Brownes for over 5 centuries before Geoffrey Browne married into the Prendergast family. The old house became unsafe, so Geoffrey and his wife Mary Prendergast built a new house in 1694. This new home lasted for several generations until it was destroyed by fire in 1811. After the fire of 1811, Dominick Browne,built the part of the present castle with its tower, on the right hand side of the main entrance. (www.ballindineschool.com/castlemacgarrett.html)
Barrett had painted another portrait of Dominick Browne which is thought to be from an earlier year; see image cgjc0943.
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