Niall Gossan, a Transition Year student from St Joseph’s in Rush, spent a week with us in April. Niall is passionate about history and was keen to carry out research on the Taylor family. His interest in the social history and legacy of the family shone through in the astute research he undertook. Niall is an advocate for creating more awareness of Kenure House and has been involved in fundraising to carry out projects there. Below is his article on Captain Edward Richard Taylor.
Edward Richard Taylor was born on the 21st of September 1863 to Thomas Edward Taylor (Col.M.P.) of Ardgillan Castle and his wife Sarah Tollemache. He was known as Uncle Ned to his nephew and last Taylor to inhabit Ardgillan castle Basil Richard Henry Osgood Taylour. Edward Richard Taylor inherited Ardgillan castle on the death of his father, Thomas Edward Taylor(M.P).
Throughout the period that Edward Richard Taylor owned Ardgillan, everything houses such as Ardgillan stood for changed and the power the local lord would have on local affairs or political affairs would change forever after the Irish Free State was created in 1922. Edward Richard Taylor had not only inherited the Ardgillan estate but also lands in Meath, Skree and Slane Lower. His great grandfather Sir Thomas Taylor who was the 1st earl of Bective also had land in Meath and his seat was in Headfort house in Kells.
Like the Taylors before Edward Richard, he left his own unique mark on the house. He had ordered the execution of the fine carving in the dining room which had his initials on the door and also the date it was completed in 1889. The carving work was carried out by Italian brothers Guardorici. During his time he had also commissioned the work of the bookshelves in library which was completed by Pim brothers limited. There are two doors either side of the library which were lined with mock shelving of books which had the Taylors crest on them and acted as secret doors.
Edward Richard Taylor was not involved in political affairs unlike his father who was M.P for the county of Dublin, a title which he would hold for the rest of his life. He was however involved in local government during his time as the Deputy Lieutenant of Dublin which involved representing the Lord Lieutenant. He also served as a Justice of the Peace at the Balbriggan Petty sessions which met fortnightly and it involved aiding in local disputed and witness oats. Edward Richard Taylor fought in the Boer War in the 3rd battalion grenadier guards. He gained the title of Captain Edward Richard Taylor in 1918 and held the title until his death in 1938.
In 1935 Captain Edward Richard married Ada Janet Bodley as far as the records know. However the name Ada Janet Bodley does not appear on any records and it is likely her name was Bradley and not Bodley. Ada was the Daughter of William Hoe Bodley. Captain Edward Richard Taylor was listed in the private house list of names for the petty sessions in Balbriggan during his time as a justice of peace. The seat of Captain Edward Richard Taylor was Ardgillan Castle and he was also a member of clubs such as the Carlton in London and also the Wellington in London both of which are still functioning today. He was not registered on the 1901 census of Ireland which is most likely due to the fact that he was not in the country as the landed gentry were always travelling. Captain Edward Richard Taylor was most likely in one of his clubs in London or travelling India or some other countries in the commonwealth. Captain Edward Richard Taylor died in 1938, just three years after his marriage to Ada Janet Bodley. Captain Edward Richard Taylor and Ada Bodley left no heirs and on Captain Edward R Taylors death the house and estate passed to his brother, Basil R.H.Taylour (Captain) and his wife Harriet Clendenin.