Above: Robert Clements, later 1st Earl of Leitrim, has a quiet word with Homer. Lady Sarah Bunbury,
nee Lennox, the love of his life, stands to his right. (c/o Art Institute, Chicago)
Clements of Killadoon, Co. Kildare
In the mid 17th century, a Leicestershire family emigrated to Massachusetts and so escaped the ravages of the English Civil War. Only one son, Daniel Clements, remained behind, serving a commission in the army of Oliver Cromwell. For his military services in Ireland he was rewarded with an estate in Cavan. His descendents rapidly scaled the heights of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy gaining the Earldom of Leitrim in 1795. Meanwhile, in America, Daniel’s sister Mary was arrested for witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. Daniel’s grandson Nat Clements was one of the great amateur architects of Georgian Ireland. Perhaps his best-known legacy is the Irish President’s residence, Arás an Uachtaráin, in Phoenix Park. In 1767 Nat’s eldest son Robert took the first lease on a property at Killadoon, Co. Kildare. A series of prudent marriages and the will of the assassinated 3rd Earl of Leitrim boosted the fortune of the Killadoon branch, but the subsequent land acts considerably reduced the size of the estate in the 20th century. Killadoon is presently home to Charlie Clements, representing the tenth generation of the Clements family since Daniel’s arrival in Ireland.
FROM LEICESTERSHIRE TO AMERICA
The Clements of Killadoon descend from Robert Clements (1595–1658), a prosperous English wine merchant living at Croft, six miles south of Leicester City, in the reign of James I. By his first wife Lydia, Robert was father of eight children - Job, John, Robert, Sarah, Lydia, Daniel, Abraham and Mary.
During the 1620s, the Clements had a fleet of three ships that plied the Atlantic Ocean between England and North America. By the late 1630s, it seemed inevitable that the escalating division between Royalists and Republicans in England would result in Civil War. The Clements appear to have been opponents of Charles I at this time.
Lydia Clements died in March 1641 causing much distress in the family. Her son Job appears to have journeyed to America at this time with some freinds and, having scouted around New England, deduced that it was a suitable place to live. He subsequently convinced his distraught father to sell their estate in England and voyage to America with him. Robert Clements was subsequently hailed as a co-founder of the frontier settlement of Haverhill, Massachusetts.
MARY OSGOOD & THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS
In due course, several of Job’s brothers and sisters also crossed the ocean, except for two brothers Abraham and Daniel (see below) and his youngest sister Mary Clements who, born in 1637, may have been considered too young to travel in 1642. Mary was left in Coventry with a Mrs. Biddle. She finally sailed for New England in 1652.
On November 15th 1653, Mary was married by arrangement to another early Haverhill settler, Captain John Osgood. Mary’s father, Robert Clements, now a New England magistrate, personally conducted the marriage ceremony. Over the next twenty years, Captain Osgood became a man of prominence in the state, having his own cavalry troop and acquiring considerable lands around Andover.
In the summer of 1692 the towns Massachusetts were immersed in a hysteric frenzy that became known as the Salem Witch Trials. The origin of this horrific affair probably stems from an African slave called Tituba who entertained the young white children with his stories of voodoo. This initially amounted to little more than floating an egg white in a glass of water and predicting future husbands. However, for unknown reasons, certain girls started having fits, making strange noises and contorting their bodies in an alarming manner. Doctors were summoned and the town elders, Puritans to a man, began to speak in increasingly high voices of witchcraft. The girls were apprehended and asked to provide the names of any witches living locally. Over the next three months, 141 people were arrested. 19 of these were hanged, including Tituba, while seven died in prison and one was crushed to death. In September 1692 Mary Osgood, hitherto regarded as "a remarkably pious and good woman", was suddenly accused of witchcraft. Her accuser appears to have been Dudley Bradstreet, a friend of her husband. As one of the leading women in Andover at the time, her arrest caused much astonishment to the local community but the frenzy of what became known as the Salem Witch Trials was at full steam with nearly twenty people already executed. Her own son Peter Osgood, then Constable of Salem, oversaw her transportation to trail in Salem where she was asked to confess that she had indeed been had been "dipt" by Satan. The confession came on her husband’s advice, it being considered the only feasible way she might escape execution by burning. However, in the end, the awfulness of a confession that one had given body and soul to Satan, outweighed in Mrs. Osgood's mind the desire for life and she recanted, and with others signed the following petition:--
"Our nearest and dearest relations seeing us in that dreadful condition, and knowing our great danger, apprehended there was no other way to save our lives.... Indeed, that confession that it is said we made was no other than what was suggested to us by some gentlemen, they telling us that we were witches, and they knew it and we knew it, which made us think that it was so, and our understanding, our reason, our faculties almost gone we were not capable of judging our condition. As also the hard measures they used with us rendered us incapable of making our defence, but said any thing and everything which they desired and with most of us, what we said was but in effect a consenting to what they said. Sometime after, when we were better composed, they telling us what we had confessed, we did profess that we were innocent and ignorant of such things. Mary Osgood, Deliverance Dane, Sarah Wilson, Mary Tyler, Abigail Barker, Hannah Tyler." 
Mary was discharged in January 1693. Captain Osgood died the following August, apparently through sheer stress of the trials. His widow lived on until October 1710. The story of the “Salem Witch Trials” formed the basis of Arthur Miller’s play, “The Crucible”.
DANIEL & ABRAHAM CLEMENTS
While the majority of Robert and Lydia Clements children emigrated to North America, two sons stayed behind, Abraham and Daniel. It is thought they had both been conscripted into King Charles I's army but later joined Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth (or Republican) army. It is not clear when or why they made this decision. Perhaps it was in response to the destruction of nearby Leicester City, a Republican stronghold, by Prince Rupert’s Royalist forces in May 1645. In 1646, the brothers both went to Ireland with Cromwell's army, arriving into the port of Waterford in the south of Ireland.
Daniel Clements was a Cornet, or junior officer, in Colonel Chidley Coote’s cavalry regiment. He later transferred to the regiment of Chidley’s brother, Colonel Thomas Coote, with whom he was stationed in Belfast. Unconfirmed sources suggest he was present at the siege of Drogheda in September 1649. In 1657, by way of a reward for his military service, Daniel received a grant of about a thousand acres at Rathkenny, County Cavan.
Abraham Clements also settled in Cavan and married Jane _____. His only child was a daughter, Lydia, who married Joseph Pratt. He left no sons so the name did not carry on through his blood-line.
ROBERT CLEMENTS, TELLER OF THE IRISH EXCHEQUER
Daniel died in June 1680 and was succeeded by his son Robert who, like so many Cromwellian settler families, was attainted by the Irish Parliament of James II in 1689. However, with the accession of William III and Mary, he was restored to his estates and appointed Deputy Treasurer of Ireland. Robert, who lived at Abbotstown near Castleknock, served as High Sheriff for County Cavan (1694), MP for Carrickfergus (1692) and as Teller of the Irish Exchequer in the reign of Queen Anne. He married Elizabeth Sandford, daughter of Colonel Theophilus Stanford and had four sons and a daughter.
The eldest son Theophilus Clements, a bachelor, succeeded to Rathkenny and 1722 and served as MP for Cavan from 1713 through to his death, aged 41, in 1728. In 1724 he presented the Borough of Cavan with its Silver Mace.
The second son Robert became MP for Newry in 1715 and was forebear to the Lucas Clements family of Rathkenny, Co. Cavan.
The third and youngest brother Nathaniel (“Nat”) Clements (1705 – 1777), a Dublin banker, architect and politician, was a close friend of the property developer Luke Gardiner. When Gardiner retired from public office in 1755, Nathaniel succeeded him as both Deputy Vice-Treasurer and Deputy Paymaster-General of Ireland. The two men worked together on the development of Dublin’s north side and Nat designed an imposing house for himself in Henrietta Street. He also worked in conjunction with Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, the most distinguished architect in Ireland, and his successor, Richard Castle. In April 1751, Nat was appointed Chief Ranger of the Phoenix Park, to which purpose he built a house in the Park known today as Arás an Uachtaráin, home to the Irish President. Nathaniel Clements is credited with the design of many other buildings of note such as Newbery Hall and Williamstown in Carbury, Lodge Park in Straffan and Colganstown outside Newcastle, Co. Dublin.
In 1729 Nat married Hannah Gore, daughter of the Rev. William Gore, Dean of Down. Her uncle Sir Ralph Gore of Belle Isle, Co. Fermanagh, was a close friend of Speaker William Conolly and succeeded him as Speaker of the House of Commons in 1729. He was subsequently appointed Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer. Hannah was also a cousin to the “Nine Gore” brothers who sat in the Commons during the 1740s. Nat and Hannah had two sons – Robert and Henry.
ROBERT CLEMENTS, CONTROLLER OF CUSTOMS
Nat and Hannah's elder son Robert seems to have inherited the Gores bent for politics and devoted considerable time and expense to ensuring his position in the government of the day. He also expended considerable effort petitioning for an Earldom, which title he was eventually granted through a combination of skilled political manoeuvring, social positioning and sheer persistence. Over the years, he held a succession of offices: Controller of Customs - which he held for 46 years until his death; Ranger of Phoenix Park 1777-87 and Searcher, Packer & Gauger at the Port of Dublin in 1787. In each role, he created connections and established relationships with the prime movers in both government and society. In 1765 he married Elizabeth Sandford of Maynooth which brought him further estates in County Kildare.
In 1767, Robert leased 140 acres at Killadoon outside Celbridge from Tom Conolly of Castletown. Tom’s great uncle, Speaker Conolly had purchased the property from the Plunkett family in 1724. In 1769 Robert leased a further 112 acres at Killadoon and commenced building a new house. His architect father does not seem to have had a say in the design, attributable perhaps to an unexplained rift that had evolved between the two men. The agricultural observer Arthur Young visited Robert in June 1776, shortly after Killadoon’s completion. He described it as “an excellent house, and planted much about it with the satisfaction of finding that all his trees thrive well. I remarked the beech and larch seemed to get beyond the rest.” Young felt Robert was “a good farmer, growing cabbages to feed the sheep and potatoes to feed the pigs”. In 1795, as a reward for his assistance in securing a parliamentary seat for the Lord Lieutenant’s private secretary, Robert was finally given the Earldom he had sought since his youth. He died in 1804, having been one of the most prominent supporters of the Union of Great Britain and Ireland
HAL CLEMENTS & THE SEVEN YEARS WAR
On May 15th 1756, Great Britain, in alliance with the German states of Prussia and Hanover, declared war on France. Within weeks, the French had managed to secure the support of Austria, Russia, Sweden and Saxony. The war quickly spilled across the Atlantic Ocean to North America where French and British troops were attempting to wrestle control of one another’s’ territory. Amongst those troops sent to assist the British in America was 23 year-old Henry Theophilus Clements, the younger son of Nat Clements the architect. Henry – known as Hal – was a junior officer in Lord Blakeney’s Inniskilling Regiment, the 27th Foot.
In August 1757, a sizeable French army under the Marquis de Montcalm laid siege to the British stronghold of Fort William Henry on the southern banks of New York States’ Lake George. A short distance away, lay a significant British force commanded by Hal Clements future father-in-law, General Daniel Webb. General Webb is a somewhat controversial figure in 18th century military history, contributing to one of the more memorable scenes in “The Last of the Mohicans”. Faced with a French assault, Fort William Henry’s commander, Colonel Monro, sent urgent messages to Webb for assistance. Webb declined the request, despite strong words from his second-in-command, Sir William Johnson. "General Webb, just what in the hell are you doing sitting here when Fort William Henry is under attack? We've got men fighting and dying up at the lake. They have got to have help. Now!" Webb remained unmoved and Monro was obliged to surrender. The following day Monro’s retreating garrison was attacked by Panaouska, war chief of the Abnakis. Nearly a hundred British soldiers were killed and scalped within minutes.
The assault on Fort William Henry had been orchestrated from Fort Carillion, a French fortress on the Ticonderoga peninsula. In July 1758, Hal Clements was one of 16,000 British Redcoats who attempted to oust the 3200-strong French garrison from Fort Carillion. Under the command of General Abercromby, the assault was an unmitigated disaster. The British lost over 1900 men, a third of whom were members of the Highland "Black Watch" Regiment. Despite being outnumbered 4 to 1, the French prevailed.
The Seven Years War came to an end with the treaty of Paris in February 1763. Having obtained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Hal duly returned to Ireland. Seven years later, he greatly enhanced his personal fortune when he married Mary Webb, daughter and heiress of the afore-mentioned General Daniel Webb. He was appointed High Sheriff of Co. Cavan in 1766 and Leitrim in 1773. He sat in Parliament from 1769 until his death in 1795, variously representing the borough of Cavan and county of Leitrim. In 1777, he succeeded his father as Deputy Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, an office that greatly increased his personal wealth but which was abolished in 1793. He principally resided at Woodville near the Lucan spas outside Dublin where he often entertained the Lord Lieutenant. Woodville previously belonged to John Hawkins, the Ulster King of Arms.
Mary Clements provided Hal with three daughters before dying young in the winter of 1777. Hal married his second wife Catherine Beresford in August 1778. His timing couldn’t have been better. Catherine’s father John Beresford, a brother of the 1st Marquess of Waterford, had lately been appointed to the lucrative post of Taster of the Wines in the Port of Dublin. Over the course of the 1780s and 1790s Beresford became the central figure in a powerful trio of Irish ministers (the others being John Foster and John Fitzgibbon) who governed Ireland on behalf of successive lord lieutenants in the lead up to the Act of Union. Beresford’s position as Chief Commissioner of the Irish Revenue from 1780 gave him control of extensive patronage, of which his son-in-law was content to take advantage.
Colonel Hal Clements died on 26th October 1795 and was succeeded by his 14-year-old son Henry John Clements.
HENRY JOHN CLEMENTS (1781-1843)
Henry John Clements was 17 years old when rebels struck at Killadoon during the 1798 Rebellion but the house survived the looting. A committed Tory, Henry represented Counties Leitrim (1804 – 1818) and Cavan (1840 –1843) in the House of Commons. He was also a Colonel in the Leitrim Militia. In December 1811 he married Louisa Stewart (d. 27 April 1850) and settled at Ashfield Lodge, Cootehill, Co. Cavan.
Louisa’s father was James Stewart, MP, of Killymoon, Co. Tyrone. Stewart was a leading advocate for the abolition of penal laws against the northern Presbyterians. In 1772 he married Lady Elizabeth Molesworth, one of the heiresses of the substantial Molesworth estates. In 1763, Lady Elizabeth was badly injured in a fire at the family’s London townhouse that killed her widowed mother, two sisters and six servants, and sent her only surviving brother insane. By 1840, however, the Stewart family were in such terrible financial difficulty that Louisa’s siblings were obliged to seek refuge from their creditors in Boulogne. Following the death without issue of her only brother, Colonel William Stewart, in 1850, the Molesworth rents passed to her.
Louisa’s husband, Colonel HJ Clements had died seven years earlier at the age of 62 and thus, on her death in the winter of 1850, the Molesworth estate passed directly to her eldest son, Henry Theophilus Clements.
HENRY THEOPHILUS CLEMENTS (1820-1904)
Henry Theophilus Clements was a man on whom destiny kept bestowing great fortunes. He was born at Ashfield Lodge, Co. Cavan, in 1820. After an education in England and on the Continent, he followed family tradition and became a gentleman and magistrate in his home county. Following the death of his father in 1843, he inherited Ashfield and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant, JP and High Sheriff for Cavan (1849). He later became a Colonel in the Leitrim Rifles and High Sheriff for Leitrim (1870). When he was 30-years old, his mother died and left him the Molesworth estates.
On 3rd December 1868, the 48-year-old Colonel was married at St Gabriel's, Pimlico to Gertrude Markham, youngest daughter of David Markham, Canon of Windsor and Rector of Great Horkesley in Essex. Her brother was Sir Clements Robert Markham, the celebrated explorer and President of the Royal Geographical Society.
On April 2nd 1878, Henry’s second cousin, the 3rd Earl of Leitrim, was assassinated near Milford in co. Donegal. The murder was in part a reaction to Lord Leitrim’s callous policy of evicting tenants and in part because the disreputable landlord had allegedly “debauched” a servant girl whose father was among the assassins. As it happened, the Earl had fallen out with his own immediate family and so he bequeathed his vast property, consisting of nearly 96,000 acres in Leitrim, Donegal, Galway and Kildare, to a rather surprised Colonel HT Clements. On hearing this news, the Colonel promptly volunteered the Donegal estates to Robert Clements, the new Earl. The Colonel subsequently employed Sir Thomas Drew, RHA, to add a substantial new wing to Lord Leitrim’s magnificent lakeside house at Lough Rhynn, completed in 1889. His inheritance also included the Clements estate at Killadoon, granted in fee to the 2nd Earl of Leitrim in 1853.
Colonel HT Clements died on 7th January 1904 leaving two sons and two daughters, Gertrude (1873–1949) and Selina (1885–1961).
HENRY JOHN BERESFORD CLEMENTS (1869–1940)
Born in 1869, the Colonel's eldest son Henry John Beresford Clements was educated at Eton and earned the unusual epitaph of being the world’s most acknowledged expert in the field of “armorial book-binding”. This was a 14th century practice, greatly developed in subsequent centuries, whereby the family arms of private individuals were placed on book covers. Henry’s collection, bequeathed to the Victoria & Albert Museum after his death, is the largest of its kind in the world. As a young man, he served in the Great War, in India and on the Western Front. He was sent home twice – once with frostbite, once with a wounded leg – and finished the war, like so many of his forbears, with the rank of Colonel. He was also involved in the judicial and administrative running of counties Leitrim and Cavan, serving variously as High Sheriff, DL and JP, as well as JP for Co. Kildare.
“According to one of his employees, Thomas Boyle, Henry was a `very good employer'. Although he spent most of his time at his Killadoon estate, near Celbridge, Co. Kildare, Clements with his family and their servants spent about a month at Rynn each year. Boyle recalls that there were 46 workers on the payroll at the time, including Mr Steward the estate manager, Revd JG Digges the chaplain, Mr Hardy the steward and a housekeeper. In addition to a weekly wage of ten shillings (about €0.65), all the married workers received a partly furnished house, grass for a cow or donkey, ground for sowing potatoes a good sized garden and turbary rights - and seven tons of good farm manure. Thomas recalls the workers' concern over Lloyd George's Agricultural Wages Act of 1917: they were sure that Clements would dismiss a lot of the men rather than pay the newly mandated rate of 27/6 a week. Apparently not one man was dismissed - and while there were new contributions to be made for house rent, grazing, etc, the deductions amounted to less than 5 shillings a week”. 
Henry married Eleonore Wickham (d. 1955) of Binstead Wyck, Yorkshire. Her father William Wickham, MP, was a keen biologist and Fellow of the Linnean Society while her great-grandfather, also William Wickham, was a master spy for the British during the French Revolution and, like the Scarlet Pimpernel, helped numerous aristocrats escape the guillotine.
They had three sons (Henry, Charles and Robert) and three daughters (Eleonore, Cecily and Violet). The youngest son Bob Clements, or Riobard Mac Laghmainn, is of particular interest as became a prominent supporter of the Irish Republican Army during the 1930s. Born in 1900, he became a Nationalist while studying at Trinity College Dublin during the Anglo-Irish War of 1919. He was interred at the Curragh during the Second World War, during which time he learned how to speak fluent Irish. In later years, he lived at Killadoon. He was still speaking soft, fireside recollections when Charlie and Sally Clements moved into the house in 1991.
Henry’s younger brother Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Clements, DL, JP, was born on 29th September 1879 and educated at Harrow and Trinity College Oxford. He served with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in the Great War, was wounded and retired from the army in 1924 to live at Ashfield Lodge in Cavan. On 14th April 1932 he married Wilhelmina, only daughter of Lt Col William Lennox-Conyngham, OBE, of Springhill, Moneymore, Co. Derry, by whom he had a son Marcus and daughter Kate.
Henry’s eldest son Lieutenant Colonel Henry Theophilus Clements was born in November 1898 and educated at Eton. After a short spell at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, he saw action in France during the Great War. He served again in World War Two, commanding the 144th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery in the Allied assault on Italian occupied Sudan in 1941. He was later Chairman of the Irish branch of SSAFA (the Soldiers', Sailors', Airmen and Families Association). He lived at Lough Rynn while his younger brother Robert, a solicitor, and sister Cecily, lived at Killadoon. He died unmarried on 6th August 1974, having made over Lough Rynn to his cousin Marcus (see below) in 1963. In his will, he bequeathed Killadoon to his sister Cecily, known as Kitty, for life with remainder to Charlie, eldest son of his cousin Marcus.
Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Clements died on 17th February 1952 and was succeeded by his 17-year-old son, also Marcus, then a student at Eton. Ashfield Lodge was sold shortly afterwards and sadly demolished. His widow remarried Colonel Bob McClintock, DSO, youngest son of the Arctic explorer Admiral Sir Francis McClintock. Nearly all of the original Lough Rynn Estate had by now been sold off by the Land Commission - mostly to descendants of the tenants of the previous century. The Clements' continued to live at Lough Rynn up to the 1970s, but on a much reduced estate. In 1990, the remainder of the estate was bought by Mike Flaherty, an Irish-American businessman.
Marcus went on to study agriculture at Cirencester and, in May 1959, married Joanne Fenwick. Her father, Commander Charles Edward Fenwick, RN, was head of India’s naval fleet after Indian independence was granted in 1948 and later served as an attaché with NATO in Brussels and Greece. They have three sons – Charles (1960) who is married to Sally and now runs Killadoon; Nat (1964), a decorative art specialist and Hal (1965), a wallpaper specialist – and two daughters – Fiona (1961) and Selina (1967). In 1961 Marcus’s sister Kate married Frank Mashahiro Okuno of Yokohama, Tokyo, with whom she had Richard (1962), Marcus (1963) and the late Mary Okuno.
With thanks to Fiona Clements.
NB: Those interested in the Clements story might like to seek a CD of a book written by an American relative (and Republican politician) Percival Wood-Clement (1846-1927) of Rutland Vermont, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percival_W._Clement According to Fiona Clements, 'Percival was passionately empirical about his research, and photo-copied as many original documents as he could find, including the deed of sale between the founders of Haverhill and the Passaaquo and Saggahew Indians.'
 Charles W. Upham, Salem Witchcraft, With an Account of Salem Village and a History of Opinions on Witchcraft and Kindred Spirits (1867).
 Chidley was the second son of Sir Charles Coote, a bloody-minded “New English” planter, killed leading a cavalry charge against Confederate forces at Trim in 1642. Chidley’s descendents were the Eyre-Cootes of Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. In 1808 Sir Eyre Coote was appointed Governor of Jamaica. In “In His Own Words: Colin Powell”, published in 1995, General Powell, US Secretary of State under the Bush administration, claimed kinship with the House of Coote by way of a secretive liaison between the Governor and a slave girl called Sally.
 I am indebted to Anthony Malcolmson’s expert insight into the “Killadoon Papers” and “Ancestors & Descendants of Robert Clements of Leicestershire & Warwickshire, Eng., first settler of Haverhill, Mass”, P. W. Clement. 2 vols,. 1927.
 The murder was to prove the inspiration for Shane Leslie’s story, “Lord Mulroy’s Ghost”.
 This arrangement was later confirmed when Parliament passed the Leitrim Estate Act 1879. the 4th Earl rapidly set about regaining the trust of the Leitrim people. His son Charles Clements (1879 – 1952) was the 5th and last Earl of Leitrim. He was second only to Colonel Fred Crawford in organizing gun-running for the Ulster Volunteer Force between 1912 and 1914. In 1915 his wife, the Countess of Leitrim, caused quite a stir when she argued for compulsory recruitment of the Irish for the Great War. She stated that in “so many ways they [the Irish] are like children & they don’t understand an invitation where they would quietly obey an order”. Anglo-Saxons & Celts: Study of Anti-Irish Prejudice in Victorian England, L.P. Curtis (New York, 1969).
 Fiona Slevin, Lough Rynn: Lives & Times.
 The IRA in the Twilight Years, 1923 – 1948, Uinseann MacEoin (Argenta, 1997).
 Flaherty developed the gardens and opened them to the public. The current owners are developing a hotel and golf resort on the site.