Capt. Jasper Grant of Kilmurry, Co Cork

Hayes in "Descriptions of Ireland" gives this family as being of BallyGrant in 1598. The first reference to the Christian name Jasper is with John fitz Jasper Grant, who was made a freeman of Waterford in 1537. Then in 1604, Jasper Grant, an Irishman, was Secretary in England to the King of Spain. A Jasper became a freeman in 1632 and was noted as a proprietor in Waterford in 1641 with a house in High St, and is also cited for refusing to ferry English families over the river at Waterford in 1641. He was denounced by M. Christian, Comptroller of Customs in Waterford. Jasper is described as a Protestant turned papist, living at Whitefieldstown, Co Kil.

Jasper Grant, who served in the Restoration navy. He was born about 1625 and died in 1697.

From Feb 1642

And sayth that the parties Rebells that soe robbed and dispoyled him are theis that follow, vizt, John Poore of Kilmeyden, Esqre, Nicholas Modden of Downing, gent, both of the County of Waterford ; Jasper Grant of (blank) (I) nere Whitfieldstowne, but in the County of Kilkenny, Esqre;

He is named as one of the 1649 officers in the mainly Protestant army of Munster, but did not get his land back after the confiscation's. We next find him in St Malo in France petitioning unsuccessfully in August 1661 to be allowed to return to Ireland. He described himself as a merchant banished from Waterford. He petitioned Ormond again in 1664 from St Malo, offering to furnish privateers from Waterford if he were allowed to return. It becomes difficult to distinguish between the father (b.@ 1595) and the son (b.@ 1625). I think the son returned as a privateer.

He served in the navy from 1665 to 1674. He had only 4 commands during that period. Before 1665, he was a merchant captain and privateer. His commission dated 17 April 1664 appointed him to "The Mermaid", and dated 2 April 1672 to the command of "The Reserve". Both commissions were signed by James Duke of York, then Lord High Admiral."

From Pepys, we know a little more about Jasper Grant. Pepys has him appointed to the Mermaid in 1665. Later in 1665, he was appointed to command the 4th Rate Sapphire. By May 1666 he was shipboard at Kinsale. After a short cruise to the south west, he arrived back on 3 July 1666 with two prizes and three frigates. Leaving port on 21 July to convoy the West India Fleet home, returning on 17 August with a ship from Antigua, he took his own ship ashore for graving. Ormond to Captain Jasper Grant, commander of H.M.S. Sapphire, written from: Dublin Castle 7 June 1666 "The ship Sapphire is to convoy to the Caribee Islands certain vessels laden, at Kinsale, by one Chosines, a Frenchman, with beef & other merchandize; under circumstances herein stated. " At the time of the Four Days Battle, Jasper Grant was operating off Ireland with the Sapphire. He was still assigned to Ireland during the St. James's Day Battle on 25 July 1666. In Sept the Lord Lieutenant is reported banqueting aboard his ship "The Sapphire" at Kinsale.

Burke gives Capt. Jasper Grant R.N. as buying land at Grantstown, Co Waterford in 1667 from Wm Dobbin.

In 1670 to 1672, he was appointed to command the 4th Rate Reserve, 533 tons, 42 guns. He was apparently discharged by a court martial in 1672, but I have not been able to find the original record.In the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Jasper Grant fought in the Battle of Lowestoft on 3rd June 1672, in the Mermaid (28 guns), where he was assigned to the Duke of York's squadron.

The available pedigrees (gen office ms 272 & 232)show that he was not anxious to say much about his past. Perhaps understandable in the politics of the period. Certainly this family were Protestant by 1700. The younger son and heir, Jasper, bought estates in Kilmurry, Co Cork, and this became their family seat until they sold it around 1930. In 1667 he was appointed agent to establish Huguenot artisans in Clonmel. He is described as a man well known for his observation on the Bill of Morality, and he was still working on the project in 1674 as Ormond's agent.

Elected Sheriff of Waterford in 1669, he was expelled from the council three years later for non attendance. He was back in trouble in the Williamite wars, with a Capt. Jasper Grant of Carrols Dragoons being on King James Army List and links him with the Iverk family and Ballinabouly. He was listed as a forfeiting proprietor under the Williamite confiscations. A Manus O'Brien had a petition to the King and another to the Lords of the Treasury, praying for the custodian of certain land, forfeited by Jasper Grant, junr., called Kilmurry, in the barony of Condons and Clongibbons in the county of Cork, of about 500 acres valued at 60l. per ann. In the Minute Book, vol. 6, p. 15, 27 April 1695:—“Manas Obrien to have a small custodian

By whatever means they regained their estates, his widow Gillian claiming an estate in 1700, and being allowed it for her life.

After this the family stayed on the right side of the political divide, and flourished. They are well pedigreed in reference material until they sold Kilmurry. The house at Kilmurry was owned by an eastern religious sect when I saw it in 1975. Burkes Gen. Armoury gives the same coat of arms for Grant of Crundall, Hants and Inner Temple - so they may have come to England on the sale of Kilmurry.

ERRATUM - Jasper Alexander Grant married Jane Leslie Collis (not Collins as above) 
The children William of India, Alexander, Jasper and Charles should be connected to Jasper Alexander Grant and not Alexander Grant .


According to historical accounts, highwayman William Brennan was born in Kilmurry, Co. Cork and was tried and executed for his crimes at Clonmel, Co. Tipperary in 1804. Versions of Brennan's start as an outlaw claim that, as a day labourer on the Grant estate at Kilmurry House, he stole the watch of an arrogant army officer as a prank but was nonetheless proscribed (Healy 1965, 120; Seal 1996, 72; compare this to a similar story told of James Freney in O'Sullivan 1977, 143-4). Seventy-eight year old Thomas O'Riordan of Kilworth told folklorist Tomas O Ciardha in 1934 that Brennan had enlisted in the army, found it as oppressive as poverty, deserted, and thus became a hunted man (ibid., 139-41). Apparently Brennan's Blunderbuss hung over the fireplace at Kilmurry up till the Grant family moved out. It is not known what became of the blunderbuss.

We move on to 1999 after the property had been sold by the Grants :-

Notice found on the gate in 2008

The Independent, (London), Sep 14, 1999 by Gary Finn

TO THE locals of Fermoy in Co Cork, the new aristocrats from "over the water" in England appeared to have all the trappings of the landed gentry.

Lord and Lady Johnson had snapped up the crumbling stately pile Kilmurry House, they drove around in a 30ft limousine and even if they did insist on being called by their title they impressed with their common touch by supping pints of Guinness in the pub.

But yesterday, the common touch turned out to be a bit more genuine than expected - the pair were, in fact, consummate fraudsters who had conned banks, building societies and Harrods out of more than pounds 250,000.

And Lady Johnson appeared to be not quite the lady she seemed; 20 years ago she had been plain Clive Dillon until she had "corrective surgery".

Yesterday, at St Albans Crown Court, "Lady Guinivere Johnson", real name Jennifer Mallows, 52, admitted two charges of conspiring to defraud and obtaining credit while a bankrupt. Her husband, Lord Johnson, real name Arnold Mallows, is still in Ireland, fighting extradition proceedings.

Miles Bennett, for the prosecution, told the court how in the late Eighties, Mallows borrowed pounds 46,000 from Lloyds Bank plc with the intention of investing it in a company. But she failed to make any of the repayments and as interest mounted the debt almost doubled.

In October 1990, she obtained a mortgage for pounds 207,000 to buy a five-bedroom house near Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. Once again repayments were never made. Harrods added to the trail by claiming she owed the store pounds 10,000; she was eventually declared bankrupt because of the debt.

Mr Bennett said that to stay one step ahead of those after her she claimed a fictitious company called Johnson and Johnson had a charge on her home. She claimed she was a legal adviser with the company who paid her pounds 60,000 a year.

The prosecution said the Abbey National Building Society had lost a total of pounds 20,293 after being duped by the defendant using the alias Lady Guinivere Johnson. She failed to notify she had been bankrupted and used the same alias to obtain a Midland Visa card.

Fleeing creditors in England the couple set themselves up in Fermoy, calling themselves Lord and Lady Johnson, and so entranced neighbours that the local paper, the Evening Echo, even did a Hello- style feature picturing them in their own ballroom.

Jailing her for a total of 30 months, Judge Joseph Gosschalk said: "It was a careful, meticulously planned, premeditated and sophisticated fraud. It was difficult to detect and prove."

Ralph Riege in a later report Monday December 29 2003

AN IRISH con woman - who was previously a man - is back living on the grounds of a North Cork mansion after completing a 30-month jail term in Britain for fraud offences.

Jennifer Mallows - also known as Lady Guinevere Johnson and Clive Dillon - is back living on the grounds of Kilmurray House outside Fermoy in North Cork with her husband, Arnold Mallows.

In 1999, Jennifer asked to be repatriated to Britain after she was detained by Fermoy Gardai after a request from St Alban's Police.

With her husband, Arnold, Jennifer had been living for some months in a caravan on the grounds of Kilmurray House - and describing themselves as British aristocrats. The couple arrived one year after a group of New Age travellers had camped on the grounds of Kilmurray House and vandalised the house. Jennifer and Arnold Mallows introduced themselves to locals as Lord and Lady Johnson.

The couple indicated they wanted to restore Kilmurray House to its initial glory after the destruction caused by the New Age squatters - and said they were prepared to spend an initial €1.9m on restoration.

However, neighbours were surprised when the couple immediately moved into a caravan on the Kilmurray grounds - and began to frequent local pubs while there was no sign of any work starting.

Jennifer Mallows was originally born in Dublin as Clive Dillon, a member of a well-known business family.

In 1980, he underwent sex change surgery in Britain and changed his name. She then married Arnold Mallows and undertook a number of substantial loans from British banks.

In September 1999, after agreeing to return to the UK to face a series of charges, Jennifer Mallows was convicted on a number of counts at St Alban's Crown Court.

These included fraudulently borrowing money including stg£46,000 from Lloyds Bank in 1983 and a stg£207,000 mortgage in 1990 from the National and Provincial Building Society.

The couple who are once again socialising in Fermoy were unavailable for comment on their latest plans for Kilmurray House.

- Ralph Riegel


It becomes difficult to see what has happened. The pair referred to in the newspaper articles appear to have resumed residence, at least in a caravan in the grounds. They have put up notices warning off anyone entering the grounds, the local postman no longer will call. I can only assume the the "real" owners either cannot be found, or else do not want to have anything to do with the property, given its current state of repair.

I have tried and failed to find any living male Grant descendant of Jasper. With the dna, one could see if they were in fact from Kilkenny originally, and hence fit with the other Grants in Ireland.

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