HEYWOOD, Queen’s County. Lithographs. View from the Dublin Approach to Heywood in the Queens County. The Seat of Frederick Trench, Esq.
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THE CREATION OF A ROMANTIC LANDSCAPE
London: 1818. Oblong quarto. 43 x 28cms. Signed by F.W. Trench. Fine. Extremely rare.
In 1711 William Trench married Suzanna Segar, heiress of Redcastle, Queen’s County. They settled in the area and in 1728 were leasing property in the plantation town of Ballinakill. Their family’s wealth grew and the third generation produced Michael Frederick Trench (always called Frederick), a GrandTour-educated connoisseur and amateur architect, who pieced together lands at Ballinakill for the demesne he named Heywood where he created a romantic landscape highlighted by a series of elegant follies. Frederick was called to the Irish Bar in 1774 and in the same year married Anne Helena Stewart, a cousin of his great friend Andrew Caldwell, who was a named party in their marriage settlement. Helena was the only daughter and heiress of Patrick Stewart and his wife Mary Heywood of Drogheda. It was from this Mary that ‘Heywood’ got its name. To understand Frederick Trench’s interests it is important to consider his life outside Ballinakill, particularly his life in Dublin, where he was one of that close group of friends who were all members of the Dublin Wide Streets Commissioners and supporters of the architect James Gandon. The Heywood demesne today, a small estate of just over 250 acres at Ballinakill, County Laois (formerly Queen’s County) is but a fraction of what the Trench family rented from the owner, Lord Stanhope, in
the 18th and 19th centuries.
Patricia Friel in her study ‘Frederick Trench (1746-1836) and Heywood, Queen’s County’ considers Trench as a late eighteenth-century gentleman whose society was that of fellow connoisseurs (the cognoscenti?) of Dublin and London, and how these sensibilities were reflected in the creation of Heywood demesne, in his relationship with the English landowner, Lord Stanhope, with the tenants who formed the local labour necessary to develop such a landscape, and with the many friends and visitors who came to admire and experience his particular creation. In the intervening years, Frederick Trench had done enormous work at Heywood, he demolished hills, mounded up other hills, made roads, and then improved this landscape with gatehouses, obelisks, ruins, temples, view points, eye catchers, an orangerie, a bath house, a summer house and a grotto. He built a mortuary for his mother-in-law, his wife and then for his own remains when his life would end. James Gandon described Trench as “a gentleman of large fortune, and great taste in the Fine Arts, who devoted his time and his unwearied exertions, to promote by every means in his power the improvement of every department of this noble charitable institution [the Rotunda].” According to Patricia Friel, in 1818 Frederick’s son, Frederick William Trench, made a series of views of Heywood, which were engraved and printed for private circulation, and according to her “Six of these are known.” The only item relating to this demesne is a drawing in the National Library: ‘View of the Dublin Gate and surrounding gardens at Heywood, Co. Laois’.
[L2 CMZF 1 Beside Altar]
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