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Maurice Eustace, Lord Chancellor of Ireland

Died 1665

Maurice Eustace  was the son of William Eustace of Castlemartin in Co Kildare.  He was called to the bar at an early age and was appointed Serjeant in 1634. In 1639 he was elected Speaker of the House of Commons.  He became Master of the Rolls in 1644 and he was the first Lord Chancellor of Ireland after the Restoration of the English monarchy in1660. As Lord Justice, Eustace deputised for the Duke of Ormond, who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, during the Duke’s absences. Eustace lived in some style in a house that once stood on the north side of Dame Street, Dublin with a garden sloping down to the river.[1]  A street in Dublin, near the site of the house, still bears his name.  The Chancellor also owned large tracts of land on the outskirts of Dublin and the Abbey of Cong in Co Mayo.[2]  A well laid out garden with a lake was a feature of his rural residence in Harristown where the house as described by O’ Flanagan was “spacious and commodious”.[3]  Eustace was, with the Duke of Ormond, responsible for the creation of the Phoenix Park, for which King Charles II purchased four hundred acres from the Chancellor.[4] 

Maurice Eustace died in 1665.  A clause in the Chancellor will documents a bequest of “20l per annum for the maintenance of a Hebrew lecturer in Trinity College, Dublin”.[5]  He also recorded a request to be interred in Castlemartin in the family vault but he was buried in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.

1) Burke, O. J., op. cit. 1879, p. 88.

2) O’ Flanagan, J. R., op. cit., 1870, vol. I., p. 37O.

3) Ibid. See Chapter I, p. 33 for a description of the garden..

4) Craig, Maurice, Dublin 1660-1860, Dublin, 1969, pp, 13-14.

5) O’ Flanagan, J. R., op. cit., 1870, vol. I., p. 377.

These pages Ronald Eustice, 2009