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THE EARL OF MAYO-Death in London. A newspaper article on the death of the Earl on 31 Dec. 1927.

Leinster Leader: 07/01/1928
The Earl of Mayo-Death in London
           The death took place at a London Nursing Home on Saturday of the Earl of Mayo, K.P. Deceased had been in failing health for some time past, and as a result of a recent change for the worse a surgical operation was found necessary. Deceased passed away shortly after the operation. Born on July 2nd, 1851, the Earl of Mayo was the son of the sixth Earl and Blanche, daughter of the first Lord Leconfield, a descendent of the historic family which, with that of Clanrichards, derives from the common ancestor William Fitzadelm de Burgo, who succeeded Strongbow, was Chief Governor of Ireland in 1177. Educated at Eton, Dermot Robert Wyndham Bourke, or Viscount Mayo, as he then was, entered the Army as a cornet in the 10th Hussars in his nineteenth year, and but two years later succeeded his father as seventh Earl under well-remembered tragic circumstances. The New Earl continued to fulfil his military duties for four ensuing years, and retired from the Army in 1876 as a lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards.
Prior to this time, in December 1874, Lord Mayo had undertaken a trip to Abyssinia with a small party of fellow sportsmen in quest of big game. Though full of stirring adventure, the expedition was comparatively short, for its leading member was obliged to return home in ill health during the late spring of 1875, having suffered severely from dysentry during the latter stages of the tour. During the next few years Lord Mayo travelled extensively, visiting many lands, and making special studies of their political, economical and social conditions. He became somewhat of an authority upon such topics and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. On November 3rd, 1885, Lord Mayo married Geraldine Sarah, eldest daughter of the Hon. Gerald Henry Brabason and Lady Maria Ponsonby, and in 1890 he was elected a representative peer for Ireland in succession to the sixth Earl of Milltown.
It was from this period that Lord Mayo’s deep interest in the social and industrial well-being of his native country began to take a practical form. His ambition was to promote a widespread and more intelligent knowledge of Irish history and antiquities, to create a truer appreciation of art as applied to crafts, and generally to raise the level both of labour and of social life. With such objects in view, he in the first place founded the County Kildare Archaeological Association. The organisation established at Palmerstown on April 25th, 1891, on the same basis as similar societies in other Irish counties and in England.
But a movement of still wider scope, designed to benefit the industrial classes at large, was instigated a little later. In April 1894, Lord Mayo, issued a circular letter in which he recommended the formation of an “Arts and Crafts Society,” the main purpose of which would be “to improve the craftsman, to raise the artistic level of his work, and to make the worker less of a machine producing many objects from one pattern.” He further proposed to hold a small exhibition in Dublin during the autumn of 1895, and to raise a guarantee fund of at least £15,000 in order to carry the design into full effect. The scheme met with universal approval and prospered from its inception
The first Exhibition of the Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland was opened at the Royal University Buildings by His Excellency Lord Cadogan on November 26th, 1895. the Exhibition attracted a large number of visitors, and was closed on December 28, when Lord Roberts spoke in commendation of the work that had so far been achieved. The second Exhibition, held in 1899, was opened by Lord Mayo as President of the Society, in the absence of Lord Cadogan. The Exhibition closed on Dec. 23rd, but throughout its course, as was regretfully noted in the society’s publication the attendance was lamentably small, “and testified to the lack of a civilised interest in art industry which notoriously prevails in Ireland.” After this, unhappily the movement languished and ultimately died out due to the great disappointment of its patriotic promoter, but not, at any rate, until it had accomplished some beneficial results.
During the visit to Dublin in February, 1905, of His present Majesty, then Prince of Wales, Lord Mayo became a conspicuous figure. He was one of those who accompanied the Prince to the National Museum, Kildare Street, in order to inspect the exhibitions of paintings from the Forbes collection, which, as the newspapers of the day recorded, “Mr. Hugh Lane and an influential local committee hope to acquire permanently for the citizens of Dublin,” and his investiture as a Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick was the last and most public function, in which the Royal visitor took part during his stay. From the outset he exhibited the liveliest interest in the generous offer made by Sir Hugh Lane to present the citizens of Dublin with an unrivalled collection of modern paintings, and took a prominent part in the public discussions to which it gave rise. As Vice-Chairman for the Provision of a Permanent Art Gallery, “he lost no opportunity of emphasising the importance of acquiring the great national placed within reach. While a chance remained of securing the donation he earnestly advocated its acceptance both by voice and pen, but for reasons which might easily be imagined found himself unable to attend the final meeting of the committee held on October 30, 1915, when a resolution in accord with his sentiments was unanimously adopted, expressing regret at the “unwise and unreasonable action of the Municipal Council in rejecting the conditions of Sir Hugh Lane’s gift, and depriving the city of a unique and most valuable Gallery of Modern Art.”
The services which Lord Mayo rendered from time to time in the general interests of Irish art were many, and will be gratefully remembered. His efforts devoted to its encouragement, especially in connection with its application to industrial methods were inspired by motives at one patriotic and practical, which none ever misunderstood or failed to appreciate. His personal attributes won for him high esteem alike in private and in public life, and his presence will greatly be missed in social circles both at home and in England. He is succeeded in title by his brother, the Hon. Algernon Henry Bourke, born December 31st 1854.
The Earl of Mayo was nominated by President Cosgrave to the first Senate of the Irish Free State and took a great interest in the proceedings of that body. The methods of extremists in the disturbances of 1922 and early part of 1923 to intimidate senators and members of the Dail did not deter him in the pursuit of his duties; but on the contrary, seemed to stimulate him to constant attendance at meetings of the Senate, where he took part in the debates on matters of importance before the Chamber. Even the destruction of his own beautiful house at Palmerstown did not shake his faith in the destiny of the country, and he carried out his determination to reside in his home when it had been partly restored, and to take his place in the Senate to which he had been nominated.
The meets of the Kildare Hounds have been postponed until after Lord Mayo’s funeral.
The Funeral
The Remains of Senator the Earl of Mayo, K.P., P.C., were laid to rest on Thursday in the family burial place, Johnstown Cemetery, County Kildare. Arriving at Kingstown by the morning mail boat, they were taken by motor hearse to Kill Church and thence to the ancient little cemetery two miles distant. There was a very representative attendance of members of the Senate, the Dail, the learned professions, county families, sportsmen and farmers.
A large number of people walked behind the hearse the entire distance from the church to the graveyard, while motor cars extended over half a mile along the road.
The Service in the church was brief and simple, there being no music. The Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev. Dr. Gregg, officiated, assisted by the Ven. Gerald W. Peacocke, Archdeacon of Kildare and the Ven. Archdeacon James Adams.
At the graveside the final prayers were said, and the Benediction pronounced by the Archbishop.
The grave was lined with moss and flowers, and the breastplate on the unpolished oak coffin bore the following inscription-“Dermot Robert Wyndham, 7th Earl of Mayo. Born 7th July, 1851. Died 31st December, 1927.” The Countess of Mayo stood at the foot of the grave during the Burial Service. At its conclusion she dropped a bunch of flowers on the coffin, and then left with some friends.
The chief mourners were-The Countess of Mayo (widow); the Earl and Countess of Dunraven, Lord Adare, Commander the Hon. Valentine Wyndham Quin, R.N., the lady Olein Whndham Quin, Lady Alfreda Bourke and Mrs. Bevan.
The Attendance
The general public present included-Baron de Robeck, Capr. R.H. Fowler, M.F.H.; Capt. J.F. Tuthill, Col. Guilfoyle (representing the Goverbor-General), Senator Sir Bryan Mahon, Lieut.-Col. and Mrs. Harrison, the Earl of Dunraven, Lieut. Commander the Hon. V. Wyndham Quin, R.N., Mr. Geo Wolfe, T.D.; Mr. Donal O’Sullivan, Clerk of the Senate; Senator O. St. John Gogarty, M.D.; Major J.W. O’Reilly; Mr. Henry Mansfield, Miss de Robeck, Mr. and Mrs. Algernon Aylmer, Major R.M. Aylmer, Major Mainguy, Rev. Lionel Fletcher, Major E.M. Connolly, Mr. R.A. Faulkner, Mr. G. Leycester, Fenrhyn, Capt. Gerald Dunne, Sir John Milbanke, Sir F. Brooke, Capt. H. de Burgh, Col. F. Blacker, Major C. Mitchell, Captain Harding, Col T.J. de Burgh, Capt. A.B.W. Higginson, C.B., Hon. Secretary, Kildare Hunt Club; Mr. Charles de Robeck, Mr. J.M. Sweetman, the Rev. Canon Craig, Mr. Claude Odlum, Major H. de Courcy Wheeler, Mr. G.A. Fanshawe, Mr. E. Mc Loughlin, Miss Tuthill, Mrs. Dansey, Mr. J. Barry Brown, Mr. E.I. Gray, Mr. Peter Nettlefold, Mr. Thos. Ritchie, Miss Culshaw, Miss Mona Peacocke, Mrs. Jackson, Miss Rea, Mr. A. K. Sergeant, Mr. Stamer Roberts, Mrs. and Mrs. T.M. Sadher, the Rev. Chancellor Clover, Mr. S. J. Brown, Mr. W.T. Kirkpatrick, Mr. H.C. Gillespie, Mr. W. Smith, Mr. C.Pratt, Mr. S.H. Barker, Mr. J.C. Eacret, Mr. E.K. Simpson, Miss Houghton, Mr. J. White, Mr. W.G. Jameson, Mr. B. J. O’ Kelly, Mr. T. R. Gibson, Mr. Cecil Pratt, Mrs. E. Kennedy, Mr. Edward Kennedy, Mrs. W. J. Gill.
The Palmerstown estate staff were represented by Messrs. J. Neale (steward), S. Doyle (head gardener), J. O’Connor (gamekeeper), P. Carroll, W. Tapper, C. Lacy, M. Burchill, T. Burke, J. Mitchell, D.Connor, J. Mc Cormack, J. Burchill, J. Leavy, J. Mc Garr, Mr and Mrs M. Davis, P. Kenny, P. Hart, Miss R. Murphy, Mr. T. Mc Cormack and Miss Kate Walsh.
Mr. Derek Burton, Straffan House was unavoidably absent from the funeral.
Wreaths were placed on the grave from the Countess of Mayo, “Marjorie”, “Dick and Helen”, Captain J. F. Tuthill, Sir Anthony and Lady Weldon, Lt. Col. J F. Higginson, “Madeline and Howard,” Employees Palmerstown Estate, Mrs. Bevan, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Sadler, “From Olive”, Mr and Mrs Algernon Aylmer, “Abee,” (In remembrance of happy Palmerstown days), Mr and Mrs Winter Bourke, Mr and Mrs F.G. Burroughes, Miss May Culshaw, Lt. Col. and Mrs Harrison, “Eve and Wyndham,” “Valentine and Marjorie,” Archdeacon and the Misses Adams, T. O’Connor Gamekeeper.

An article from the Leinster Leader on the death of the Earl of Mayo in December 1927, telling of his achievements and reporting on details of his funeral.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; typed and edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]

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