In 1740, Thomas Pakenham wooed and won an heiress from Longford
and aquired her estates and family title. His wife, later created
Countess in her own right, founded the magnificent family library
which has been added to by successive generations.
son, the 2nd Baron, brought back his sword from the French Wars
to hang beside the ancient elk-horns in the Great Hall, and then
turned the place into a mansion fit for a nobleman, including
a system of central heating designed by his friend, the famous
Irish inventor, Richard Lovell Edgeworth.
he earned immortality by telling the great Duke of Wellington,
then a young Irish officer, he was not good enough for his daughter,
Kitty. They married despite him.
Wellington in the Peninsular, Kitty's brothers, Edward and Hercules
Pakenham, gained high honours in the campaign against the French.
Their battle trophies returned to hang beside their father's in
the Great Hall at Tullynally.
Edward, as he became, had the misfortune to be chosen as Commander-in-Chief
of the British army in America in 1814, and died leading his troops
in the hopeless attack on New Orleans. His body was sent home,
according to the custom of the time, pickled in a barrel of rum.
Preserved at Tullynally are some tragic mementos of the battle
- Pakenham's last hastily written battle orders for the doomed
men, the musket ball that killed him and the Duke of Wellington's
letter regretting his death in such a cause.
home, the 2nd Earl had turned the mansion back into a castle again,
with four Gothic towers, a moat and six hundred feet of battlements,
designed by the great Irish architect, Francis Johnston. These
defences were not entirely for show, as the 2nd Earl was a sworn
enemy of O'Connell and Catholic Emancipation. The 3rd Earl finally
completed the pile, adding a further six hundred feet of battlements,
a servants hall for forty, and an immense kitchen with cast-iron
range, and coronetted copper pots large enough to serve a hundred
or more at dinner when the Viceroy came to stay.
And so it has remained. It is true that a private gas-works was
installed by the 4th Earl, and a water turbine by the 5th. There
are also some fascinating relics of other generations. In the
library, are the papers of the Hon. Charles Reginald Pakenham,
son of O'Connell's opponent, who gave up a brilliant career in
the army to become a Catholic and a Passionist monk. ("You've
been a good officer, Charles," said his uncle, the Duke of
Wellington, "now be a good monk.") As
Father Paul Mary Pakenham, he founded the ~Irish Passionist order
at Mount Argus.
are also many momentos of the 6th Earl, who devoted his life to
the Irish theatre and served as an Irish senator. His brother
the 7th Earl of Longford, became leader of the English House of
Lords, and wrote many books, including the official life of President
as to the building itself, later generations were content to leave
the Castle as they found it. Today, the present owner, Thomas
Pakenham and his wife, welcome visitors to Tullynally, both as
their own home, and as a magnificent example of the Irish castle
as it was in the days of the Duke of Wellington and Daniel O'Connell.