History of the House / 1864 to 1878 - Bunbury McClintock

Previous / Next: 1844 to 1864 - Cornelius Egan / 1878 to 1896 - The Knox family

See also: The Mystery of Emily Cottage

Earlscliffe residents 1864 to 1878

The next person we have details of who owned Earlscliffe was Royal Navy Captain William Bunbury McClintock Bunbury (known as William Bunbury McClintock until 1846). [1]

Captain William Bunbury McClintock Bunbury

Family History

Bunbury McClintock Family Tree
Bunbury McClintock family tree

William Bunbury McClintock was born in Dublin on 8th Sept 1800, the second son of John and Jane McClintock of Drumcar House, Co. Louth.

Captain William Bunbury McClintock
Captain William Bunbury McClintock (picture courtesy of Turtle Bunbury)

John McClintock was the MP for Drumcar in Co. Louth and had married Jane Bunbury on the 11th July 1797. They had three children, with William being the youngest.

Sadly, William's mother, Jane died seven months after William's birth on 28th April 1801.

His father remarried in 1805 to Lady Elizabeth La Poer Trench and went on to have another eight children.

The Naval years

At the tender age of 12, William joined the navy in July 1813 as a first class volunteer on HMS Ajax. The Napoleonic wars were in full swing and William saw his first action in March 1814 when Ajax captured L'Alycon, a French national corvette of 16 guns and 120 men. [2]

William served on a number of ships until his promotion to Lieutenant on 12th September 1822. Five months later, on 2 February 1824, he was appointed to the HMS Samarang, on which he would serve for much of his remaining naval career. [2]

From the 26 July 1831, the Samarang sailed from Spithead, Great Britain, to Rio de Janeiro, The purpose of the trip was to support Charles Darwin on his ship, HMS Beagle. According to Turtle Bunbury a descendent of the Captain's family:

[Those on board the ship]...would not see England again until January 1835 during which time they surveyed the east coast of South America from Pernambuco to Monte Video and rounded Cape Horn on no less than four occasions to explore as far north as Guaymas in the Gulf of California. Their journeys encompassed a staggering 56,610 miles - and that was before they set sail on the long trip home.

-Turtle Bunbury [3]

During this time, McClintock Bunbury secured the first post on HMS Samarang for one of his young cousins, Francis Leopold McClintock. Francis was the son of William's father's brother, Henry McClintock.

Francis Leopold became an arctic explorer who later discovered the Prince of Wales Island and Prince Patrick Island and also ascertained the fate of the explorer John Franklin who had perished looking for the Northwest Passage [4]

Marriage, political years and a change of name

William married Pauline Stronge in 1842. Pauline was the second daughter of 56 year old Sir James Matthew Stronge, 2nd Bart, of Tynan Abbey in Armagh. Her mother, Lady Isabella Stronge, was the eldest daughter of Nicholas Calvert of Hundson House, MP for Hertfordshire. [5]

After a life in the Navy, Captain McClintock Bunbury became MP for Carlow on the 1st July 1846 after the death of his maternal uncle, Thomas Bunbury of Moyle who had been the sitting MP for Carlow. [6]

To comply with his Uncle's will, William adopted the name and arms of McClintock Bunbury. The fact that he already had Bunbury as a middle name was 'overlooked' and his official title became Captain William Bunbury McClintock Bunbury[6]

Soon after he succeeded Thomas and took over the family home at Lisnavagh, Co. Carlow in 1846, William organised the building of a new house at Lisnavagh.  [6]

Emily Cottage or House

The Captain first rented a property in Howth in 1862. Correspondence sent to me by Turtle Bunbury (a descendent of the Captain's) states that this property was called "Emily House", although it could also have been originally called Emily Cottage.

I am still researching into where Emily House was and if Emily House was actually what Earlscliffe was originally called. For more details of my research so far see the following:


Although I have seen correspondence from the Captain written from Earlscliffe in 1863, by 1864 the Captain had certainly bought Earlscliffe. [8] The property was possibly chosen by the Captain because his own or his wife's health required sea-bathing, and Earlscliffe had its own route to the sea.  [7] 

Although the Captain initially owned Earlscliffe in 1864, he wasn't there long as he died on the 2nd June 1866.

His wife, Pauline, continued to own and live in Earlscliffe for some years until her death in 1876. In Turtle Bunbury's excellent website exploring the history of the Bunbury family, it is mentioned that living at Earlscliffe was good for the health of the Captain's wife. [7]

The house was put up for auction in 1877 by their son, Thomas Kane McClintock-Bunbury, for around £2,000. However, it wasn't sold until 1878 when the price had dropped to £1,500. [9]

Richard Whelan

As an aside, whilst Pauline lived at Earlscliffe, we believe that the caretaker/gardener at the time was Richard Whelan.

Richard was born in 1846 and was married to Victoria Price, who was born in 1847. Her father was Christopher Price and her mother was Jane Reinard who married on 25 Jan 1847

Richard and Victora Whelan had five children, with the first four of them probably born at Earlscliffe. 

  1. Elizabeth in 1868
  2. Patrick in 1870 who died at birth or shortly after
  3. Richard in 1873 and baptized in Howth
  4. James in 1877
  5. William in 1880 who also dies at birth or shortly after.

The father, Richard, was employed as a the caretaker/gardener until at least 1877 (according to details that a direct Whelan descendant found out). [10] This would fit in with the timeline of the house being put up for sale in 1877. Sadly Richard died in 1880 at the age of 34.

His wife, Victoria and the three surviving children moved to Warrington in England. On 6th August 1910, Victoria remarried to John Marratt at the age of 63. She died at the end of 1925.

• The Mystery of Emily Cottage • 

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List of Earlscliffe Residents

1844 to 1864 - Cornelius Egan
1864 to 1878 - Bunbury McClintock
1878 to 1896 - The Knox family
1896 to 1901 - John Randal Plunkett
1901 to 1922 - John Pentland Mahaffy
1922 to 1924 - CT Ovenden
1924 to 1927 - Robert Rooney
1927 to 1930 - Dr Ella Webb
1930 to 1945 - Sir John Lumsden
1945 to 1949 - William Martin Murphy
1949 to 1950 - Lily Margaret Graham Gough
1950 to 1952 - Stanley-Clarke
1952 to 1961 - Woods
1961 to 1969 - Knowles
1969 to today - Robinson & Foley family 


Disclaimer: Parts of the data found in these history pages are derived from sources currently available on the internet. In researching the previous owners of Earlscliffe, certain assumptions have been made as to the validity and accuracy of this internet data. If you believe that some of this data is inaccurate or should not be published on this website, please contact .

This page was last updated on 27-Jul-2023 .