Select Ireland Miscellany


Here are some Ireland stories
accounts over the years:


Sir Gilbert Ireland and John Middleton

John Middleton, reputed to have reached 9′ 3″ in
height, was born in Hale in Lancashire in the 1570’s.
Legend has it that he was originally of
normal size and grew in a single night.
In 1617 his patron Sir Gilbert Ireland took him to the Court of
King James
I in London where he put out the thumb of the King’s wrestler in a bout.  This feat was reported to have earned him the
disdain of the courtiers and a gift of £20 from the King.

The Irelands at Crofton Hall

Irelands of Lydiate Hall on Merseyside were Catholic and William
Ireland of that family, an eminent lawyer, took that faith with him
when he
crossed the Pennines to make his home in Yorkshire.
His son Sir Francis and wife Elizabeth
suffered for their faith, losing their estates at the time of Cromwell.

Francis and his wife left two sons and
two daughters.  The eldest William
resided at Crofton Hall near Wakefield.
He was a Royalist cavalry captain during the Civil War, but –
like his
brother – was reported to have been slain during the conflict.  One of his daughters was renowned for her
beauty.  It was said when
Rawdon was on a visit to York in 1656:

seldom went abroad but he was accompanied with some ladies, amongst
which there was a young beauty Madam Ireland, the daughter of Sir
Ireland, in whose company he took the most delight of any.”

William Ireland became a Jesuit in
1655.  Twenty three years later he was
implicated in the Popish plot to assassinate the King.
He was arrested and tried and executed at
Tyburn in early 1679. 
grandson Ralph stayed at Crofton Hall and was registered there as a
non-jurer in 1717.


Ireland Surname
Distribution in the 1891 Census


County Numbers (000’s) Percent
Lancashire    1.5    25%
Yorkshire    0.5     8%
Gloucestershire    0.4     6%
Devon    0.3     5%
London    0.8    13%
Elsewhere    2.7    35%
Total    6.2 100%


John Ireland from Ashburton in Devon

the Dean of Westminster, was born in 1761 at Ashburton in Devon, the
son of a
local butcher.  His education began at the
free grammar school of Ashburton under the Rev. Thomas Smerdon. William
the founder of the Quarterly
magazine, was a fellow-pupil, and their friendship continued unbroken
death.  They are buried together at
Westminster Abbey.

Ireland was Dean
of Westminster for 26 years and crowned three monarchs, King George IV,
William IV, and Queen Victoria.  There is
a Georgian building in Ashburton, Ireland House, which was given to the
governors of Ashburton grammar school as a boarding house by a grateful
Ireland later in his life.

Ireland Arrivals in America by Country
of Origin

Country Numbers Percent
England    242    54%
Ireland    141    31%
Scotland     54    12%
Elsewhere     15     3%
Total    452   100%


Irelands in Burlington, Ontario

of Joseph Ireland from Yorkshire who moved to Burlington, Ontario in
1819 were
invited to attend a family reunion in 2007 at the Oakbridge Farm home
Joseph Ireland had built in 1835 and is now a museum.
Prior to that time four generations of the
Ireland family lived in the house.  Over
that time the Irelands rarely threw anything out.  So
the house still retained many of the
prized possessions of its earlier generations.

Some heirlooms have, however, gone.
Oakbridge had at one time, hanging on an overhead beam, the
saber which
John Ireland, the brother of Joseph, carried with him in the War of
1812.  There were in the early days a
number of
weapons from that war on the beams.
But these weapons are no longer hanging there.

There were 150 Ireland family descendants that attended the
reception that was hosted by Allan Ireland, the last Ireland family
member to
have lived at the Ireland House before it was purchased by the city of
Burlington in 1987.  A service was held
at St. John’s church in Nelson county which Joseph Ireland helped found.  Many Irelands are buried there.



Return to Ireland Main Page


Leave a Reply