- 1604-2006 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
Toler Roberts Garvey was born at Thornvale, Moneygall, County Offaly, son of George Garvey, land agent and his wife, Jane. He took over his father's land agency business on his death in 1879. He managed many estates, the largest of which was the Rosse estate at Birr. Due to the size of this estate he maintained another residence on the Rosse estate called Tullynisk, and this became the headquarters of his land agency which extended across Offaly and into Tipperary. Garvey was a magistrate and served on the North Tipperary and King's County Grand Juries from 1871. In 1881 he became High Sherriff of the county and was foreman at the spring assizes. He served on most of the King's County boards, such as the Poor Law Commissioners, Parsonstown Town Commission, and the Lunatic Asylum.
He married Amelia, daughter of Samuel Cox of Henley Grove, Gloucestershire and had six children. His eldest son, George, qualified as an electrical engineer and worked in England. His second eldest son, also called Toler Roberts Garvey, worked with him in the land agency and took it over on his death at the age of 80 on 30 November 1914. He is buried in Borrisnafarney church near Moneygall, County Offaly.
Name of creator
Toler Roberts 'Rob' Garvey was the third generation of Garvey land agents. He took over the land agency business, with its headquarters at his residence at Tullynisk Park, Birr, in 1914 on the death of his father, Toler Roberts Garvey Sr. He looked after the estate at Birr Castle and other estates of gentry in south Offaly and north Tipperary during the revolutionary period 1916-23 and beyond. As a result he managed the estates through turbulent times, notably the requisitioning of Birr Castle by the Free State Army during the Irish Civil War (1922-23). He died at the age of 80 on 1 April 1946 and is buried at Clonoghill cemetery, Birr.
Name of creator
George Garvey is best known as a land agent in King's County/Offaly in the mid-1800s and during the Great Famine. His first career, however, was as a military man and he served as a captain in the Royal Navy from 1807, with victories in battles at Helgoland (1807), Cadiz (1811) and Genoa (1814). Garvey's father was also an officer in the British army and was killed at the British capture of St Lucia in the West Indies in 1796. After a short but distinguished service, Garvey retired to Thornvale, Moneygall, King's County , near to Loughton, which was the estate of Major Pepper, his wife's uncle. He was given his first job as a land agent of the Loughton estate by Pepper in 1827. By the 1840s he was agent for seven major estates, including Norbury at Durrow. He was not well-liked by the tenantry and there were several attempts on his life. He took to carrying a pistol and wearing a steel vest as protection. The 2nd earl of Norbury was assassinated at Durrow but the real target was Garvey. He took over the Rosse estate at Parsonstown (Birr) in 1853 from George Heenan. He was a member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland and the Kilkenny and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society, and was responsible in the late 1830s for the restoration of the medieval well of St Columcille at Durrow. He died on 4 August 1879 at the age of 85 and is buried at Borrisnafarney Church near Moneygall, County Offaly. His son, Toler Roberts Garvey, followed him into the business of land agency.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Papers transferred from the former Birr Estate Office, mainly dating from c. 1850, but including 26 boxes of leases some of which date back to the 17th century. The material is arranged as follows: leases and leasebooks (1-99); rentals and rent accounts (100-250); other accounts (251-314); miscellaneous, including Irish Land Commission papers (315-326); and letter-books and correspondence (327-395).
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Access strictly by appointment only. Please contact [email protected] for more information.