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The Domvilles of Southern Ireland

The Domvil(l)es became an important family in Ireland. Early in the 17th century Gilbert Domvile, with his second brother John, came to Ireland from Lymm in Cheshire.

Gilbert married the daughter of the Archbishop of Dublin, Thomas Jones, who was also Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Through his father-in-law's influence in 1603 Gilbert was appointed Clerk of Decrees and Recognizances. In 1634 he was elected MP for the borough of Donegal. He died in 1638. His brother John died in 1634, leaving a widow and 3 sons, William, John and Ned, and a daughter, Bridget.

To Gilbert's son, Sir William Domvile, (1608-1689), were granted the lands of Loughlinstown (about 457 acres), ousted from their previous Cromwellian settler owners. Sir William was Attorney-General for Ireland and ‘an excellent and learned lawyer, and a faithful servant of the Crown’ (Carte's 'Life of Ormond', Clarendon edition).

Sir William built a country residence at Loughlinstown. While studying in Oxford William had met and married Miss Bridget Lake, a daughter of Sir Thomas Lake, former Secretary of State to James I. Sir William's illustrious career is described in detail in Francis Elrington Ball's paper on 'Loughlinstown and its history' (Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1901).

Sir William had ten children, and left Loughlinstown to his eldest son, also Sir William (1640-1698). Tradition says that James II and his army encamped near Loughlinstown for several days after the Battle of the Boyne, and a very ancient tree near the house was planted by James II with his own hands at the time. Nine years later Sir William the second died, and the house passed to his son William (1680-1763), who was a friend of Jonathan Swift. Swift often refers to him in his journal to Stella. However William spent most of his time in England and the house fell into disrepair. In 1763, on his death, the property passed to his cousin Sir Compton Domvile (1696-1768).

Though the elder Sir William (born 1608) left Loughlinstown to his eldest son, he seems to have left the greater part of his property to his younger son Thomas (1650-1721), who was created a baronet by James II, and settled at Templeogue. The daughter of Thomas’s first marriage, Bridget, married the third Lord of Santry. The eldest son of his third marriage was Sir Thomas Compton Domvile (1696-1768), to whom the Lordship of Santry was left by his disgraced nephew, the fourth Lord Barry of Santry (qv) who had been sentenced to death for murder.