George II

John's brother George inherited the estates on the death of George 1 of Moorehall. Previous to this his main interests seem to have been literary and historical. He mixed with the literary figures of London and wrote a history of the French Revolution.

He married Louisa Browne - a marriage his nationalist-minded descendants never quite forgave. Louisa appears to have been the managing type of woman.

George read, wrote and dreamt his life out in the library in Moorehall - a library he added to until it was one of the best private collections in Ireland. All was destroyed in the fire of 1923 including a manuscript copy of Annála Ríoghachta Éireann or as it is more popularly known "The Four Masters".

John Moore passed out of life and out of mind, for a century and a half. His brother George occupies a minor niche in the development of historical research. The next Moore George Henry is of more importance by far. George ( and Louisa Browne had three sons. George Henry, John and Augustus. John was inj ured in a riding accident and died in 1829 at the age of eighteen.

George Henry ,born in 1810, played about in Moorehall and having been educated up to the age of nine by various governesses was sent to Oscott, an English Roman Catholic school near Birmingham in 1819. Here he remained until 1827. He then went up to Cambridge, but from letters between himself, his mother and their banker he seems to have been a keener student of racing form than of the arts.

He left Cambridge in 1829. Daniel O'Connell's campaign for Catholic Emancipation was at its height but he does not appear to have been moved to any particular stand on the issues involved. Some time in 1829 or early 1930 he went to London and studied or pretended to study law, but it appears that the gambling bug had bitten him badly and he was soon heavily in debt and in addition deeply involved in a love affair with a married woman. All efforts to trace who this woman was have failed. It has been surmised that she was (a) a former Miss Browne, a relation of Lord Kilmaine or (b) a Miss Bell of Streamstown, Claremorris (Bellfield).

There is a long correspondence between George Henry and his mother, her letters usually very plaintive and George's always restrained. In 1833 George started a tour that covered Southern Russia, Turkey, Syria and Palestine and he left an interesting diary. The original was burned in 1923 but much of it is contained in "An Irish Gentleman".

On his return in 1837 he seems to have taken very little interest in anything but hunting and racing. He was joined in these activities by Augustus who had left Cambridge and a promising career as a mathematician. Rowan-Hamilton considered Augustus to be the coming mathematician of his day.
George II died in 1840 and is buried in Kiltoom.

From 1840 to 1845 George Henry and Augustus continued to devote themselves wholly to racing and hunting. They were not given to heavy drinking, and chasing women does not appear to have been one of their pastimes as it was with some of their fellow landlords of the day.

Then in 1845 Augustus Moore died as a result of a fall from "Mickey Free" in the Grand National. After this George never rode in a steeplechase again.

This tragedy seems also to have directed Georges mind to more serious things. The potato failure of 1846 coincided with a great win for George with "Coranna" in the Chester Cup. Between stakes and bets George won £9,000. He immediately sent home over £1,000 for relief. The correspondences regarding the allocation of this money alerted George to the real seriousness of the situation and in August of that year he returned home. He spent over £9,000.00 in direct relief and in providing employment when this was possible. In addition he and Fr. Conway of Partry set up two relief committees. By Spring 1847 Trevelyan's measures were to some extent in operation but they were completely inadequate and whole families were wiped out. Of Moore's tenants not one died of hunger. He gave complete rent remission (which continued until 1849) to all tenants of £5.00 rent or less. 75% to those £5-10.00, 50% £10-20.00. Over 80% of the rents were under £5.00

How badly the relief schemes worked is illustrated by a letter from Fr. James Browne P.P. of Carnacon describing conditions in the north end of the parish. None of the other local landlords appear to have done very much at this period.

Much of the work was hampered by delays in the bureaucracy. As today, official paper-throwing by indifferent officials caused much unnecessary hardship, but Moore's part in the work of relief in Mayo was greater than any other single person's, and in histories is inexplicably ignored, as indeed are his later activities in politics.

Moore was at this time a confirmed opponent of the Union but the Repeal Movement of O'Connell had by now become a party of place-hunters who lived a grubby life of jobbery with whatever party happened to be in power in Britain. Moore regarded with sympathy the ideals of Davis, Mitchel and Gavan Duffy but regarded them as inept and impractical in their political method.

He offered himself as Independent candidate in the 1846 election but was beaten by Joe Mór McDonnell, the official Repealer, who had a large amount of patronage.


When Russell called a general election in 1847 Moore went forward and topped the poll. The second seat was won by Robert Dillon Browne and Joe Mór was defeated.

In February 1848 he outlined his proposals for independent opposition in a letter to Archbishop MacHale. When Dillon Browne died in 1859 Isaac Butt was defeated by Ouseley Higgins another placeman but in the following year the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill provided a common cause to which Moore, Duffy, Lucas, Sharman, Crawford, Sadlier and Keogh rallied. By playing the Tories against the Whigs, the Independent opposition of Ireland - the first "Home Rule" party - learned the tactic later employed with success by Butt ,Parnell and John Redmond.

In the election that followed the resignation of Russell's Government all the Irish Brigade (or "Pope's Brass Band" ) were returned. Moore now had as his aim the formation of a real Home Rule Party to replace the now moribund Repeal Association. He knew that the "Brigade" had many doubtful friends of Irish Independence in its ranks. His first target was Tenants' Rights with the ultimate aim of Repeal of the Union.

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