Explore Beyond the Trees Avondale
Beyond the Trees Avondale Beyond the Trees Avondale

The Parnell

Beyond the Trees Avondale
Explore Beyond the Trees Avondale

In 1795, Sir John Parnell inherited Avondale House and Estate from his cousin Samuel Hayes.

In accordance with the terms of Hayes will, the estate is bequeathed to younger sons of the family.  In 1835 grandson to the above-named John Parnell, also called John, and his American born wife Delia Tudor Stewart made Avondale their home. Delia’s father, Admiral Charles Stewart was a famous officer in the American Navy, and a hero of the Anglo-American War of 1812-1814. When her fourth son was born in Avondale House in 1846, he was called after his grandfather.

John and Delia had eleven children, six girls and five boys. They spent most of their childhood in Avondale. Delia left Ireland to live in Paris in 1854 with some of the children, while the others were made wards of court, following the sudden death of their father in 1859.  Eight years later, when he turned 21, Charles Stewart inherited Avondale House and Estate and it would remain in the ownership of the Parnell family until 1891.

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Parnell became a Member of Parliament, representing Meath in 1875

He was an advanced Irish nationalist and at the forefront of the campaign for Home Rule, a movement that sought self-government for Ireland, within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Influenced by his experience running Avondale Estate, he was also a campaigner for tenants’ rights, and was one of the founders of the Irish Land League in 1879.

Influenced by their mother, Charles’ two younger sisters, Fanny and Anna, were intelligent, independent political thinkers.  Although they had very little formal education, which was common for women in the 19th century, they were widely read. According to her brother, John Howard, Fanny ‘knew every book in the library and both sisters wrote articles, books, and poetry. Fanny established the Ladies Land League in America, while Anna travelled all over Ireland helping evicted tenant farmers and their families and encouraging women to get involved in the Land League.

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