Document of the Day – The Borrowes Archive


Olive Morrin, Special Collections & Archives

Special Collections & Archives hold a collection of the legal documents relating to the Borrowes family of Gilltown, Co. Kildare.  The legal documents relate to their property in Kildare, Dublin and Queen’s County and includes leases, mortgages, tenancies and marriage settlements.  The documents  are dated between  1720 and 1840 but mostly relate to the second half of the 18th century.

Kildare Borrowes (2)Sir Erasmus Borrowes was the 1st baronet.  He was married three times and lived at Gilltown, Co. Kildare.  He held the office of Sheriff of County Kildare from 1641 to 1642 when the 1641 Rebellion broke out.  He was created 1st Baronet Borrowes of Grangemellon, Co. Kildare in 1645/46.

The second baronet was Walter Borrows who married Eleanor FitzGerald daughter of George FitzGerald 16th Earl of Kildare.  This marriage raised the prestige and status of the Borrowes family within the landed gentry class.  Sir Walter acquired Barretstown Castle which had formerly belonged to the Eustace family and the family retained possession of the castle for over two hundred years.  Sir Walter also served as High Sheriff and represented  Kildare in the Irish House of Commons from 1703 until his death in 1709. Other members of the family such as Sir Kildare Borrowes also represented Co. Kildare and Harristown in the Irish Parliament over the years.

The 4th Baronet Sir Walter Borrowes added the Dixon to his name because of a condition in the will of Robert Dixon which stipulated in tail male of his “assuming and continuing the name of Dixon”.  But during the 19th century the five Borrowes baronets who spanned the century played no part in public life.

Barretstown castleIn 1918 the Borrowes family left Ireland and Barretstown was sold.  The Weston family presented the estate to the Irish Government in 1977 and it was subsequently leased to the Barretstown Gang Camp which Paul Newman setup in 1994 to care for seriously ill children and their families from Ireland and Europe.


Wikipedia, Journal of Co. Kildare Archaeological Society, Borrowes Archive and Google Images

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