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Loftus Family Vault
 
Alice Loftus (1579 – 1608)
Alice was Abp. Adam's sixth surviving daughter, all of whom were to marry well, fitting for the daughters of the most powerful man of his time in Ireland.  Little is really known about Alice beyond speculation, which is tragically the case with most women of the period.  History seems to record the wild and often foolish peregrinations of the men of that age and seldom spared a thought for the women whose main task it was to replenish the World's supply of wild and foolish men.  How different will the history books of tomorrow be?  There are, however, at least as many magnificent portraits of ancestral ladies as there are their men-folk.  Sadly, because of the lack of biographical detail, these frequently strayed from their actual lives when old family estates were broken up around Britain.  They can be found like history’s orphans gathering dust in the corners of antique shops the world over, waiting to be adopted by an interested browser keen to acquire a borrowed ancestry, lost in someone else’s identity.  Lady Alice Warren (née Loftus) died at the age of 29 at her home in Warrenstown, having left issue of at least one son (William?) to her husband Sir Henry Warren of Bally Bret.
 
Martha Loftus (1575 – 1610)
Lady Martha Colclough (née Loftus) was Adam’s fourth daughter, married to Sir Thomas Colclough of Tynterne Abbey, Co. Wexford.  By him she had eleven children with five daughters and three sons surviving (the eldest called Adam after his grand-father) over the twenty years or so of their marriage.  Sir Thomas Colclough was an avaricious property developer, forever in the courts contesting litigious claims against him, including some from members of his own family.  He successfully acquired properties around New Ross and Fethard in Wexford, which were to come into the Loftus family in the next generation, rapidly becoming the principle source of family power and influence, with as many as eight seats in the Irish Parliament lasting until the Act of Union in 1801.  The Hook in Wexford was to be the new family domain and the future location of  Loftus Hall.  Martha died aged 35, leaving Thomas free to marry Eleanor, daughter of Dudley Bagenal of Dunleckney, ensuring that Thomas was never to join his first wife in her family vault.
 
Isabella Conway (?? – 1612)
Even after the death of Abp. Adam and Jane Loftus, there continued a strong association with the Purdon family.  Isabella Conway (née Purdon) was the last of that family to be buried with her kinswoman Jane.  There is some confusion, however, as to who Isabella really was.  It is most likely that she was Mary Conway’s sister; they just both happened to marry into the Conway family (Isabella married William Conway, Robert’s brother).  Another appendix has Isabella as daughter of Mary and Robert; the truth will likely never be known.
 
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Letitia Loftus (1610 – 1633);
Jane Franke (1633 – 1659);
Sir William Parsons (1632 – 1659)
Abp. Adam Loftus’s eldest son Sir Dudley Loftus became head of the family in 1605 and himself died only eleven years later.  He evidently chose not to accompany his parents in the family vault in the Cathedral where he himself was christened and married, which in itself is a mystery.  Perhaps out of respect for his Father, or more likely to escape from beneath his over-bearing shadow or maybe he just he preferred to join the Knights' Templars at his Manor of Kilcloggan (formerly the Templar’s preceptory, now called Templetown)?  Dudley marked a break in the families’ use of the vault that was to skip a generation, so that none of Abp. Adam’s grandchildren are registered at St. Patrick’s.  Whether this was intended or represents a gap in the record is not known.  Nevertheless, Sir Dudley’s eldest son Sir Adam Loftus did break the seals to the vault twenty years later for his eldest daughter Letitia Parsons.  Letitia was married to Richard Parsons in around 1632 and died at the age of 23 having born him a son and a daughter, who were both to join her in the Loftus family vault.  Sir William Parsons was interred alongside his mother in the family vault in January 1659 only to be joined nine months later by his sister Jane (married to Captain Franke) both aged 26, both dying like their mother still young.
 
Sir Thomas Loftus (1571 – 1635)
2nd CupThomas Loftus was the fourth son - the survivor of twins of Abp. Adam and Jane Loftus.  His twin (Henry Loftus) died young, his fate unknown, as he is not registered in the family vault.  Career options were surprisingly limited for the younger sons of Abp. Adam and Thomas was no exception.  He too pursued a military career, although this was one old soldier who outlived his exploits.  As Constable of Castle Wicklow, he was knighted by the Earl of Essex and granted lands in Co. Meath, where his descendants lived for over two hundred years in grand houses that are still lived in today.  His father turned the Great Seal of Queen Elizabeth into three magnificent cups, the second of which (right) was left to Sir Thomas on his death.  What became of Sir Thomas’ is unknown.  Not much has survived about this man during his lifetime, and he might have been forgotten altogether but for the fact that he is the ancestor of the only documented unbroken male Loftus line that survived into the new millennium.  Sir Thomas Loftus died at his home of Tymaghoe just before the Christmas of 1635.
 
Sir Robert (1598-1640) and Lady Eleanor Loftus (?? – 1639)
Sir Robert LoftusIn 1639, the Loftus family vault was for the first time called upon to accommodate cousins not descended from Abp. Adam Loftus.  Lady Eleanor Loftus (née Rush) was married to Sir Robert Loftus the eldest son of Lord Adam Loftus, first Viscount Ely (left). Lord Adam Loftus is often confused with his namesake uncle Abp. Adam Loftus because they were both Lord Chancellors of Ireland and both immensely powerful.  Lord Adam was in fact the son of Robert Loftus, Abp. Adam’s elder brother who travelled with him to Ireland leaving his inherited estates in Yorkshire for a time.  They fathered two quite separate dynasties that were eventually to come together through marriage.  Lady Eleanor had a bitter property dispute with her father-in-law and in 1639 managed to have him imprisoned for breach of promise.  Eleanor was to die the year following her short lived victory and was interred in her cousin’s family vault probably as an act of defiance against Lord Adam Loftus.  Sir Robert followed his wife into his cousin’s family vault the following year pre-deceasing his father who died a broken man at his second son’s estate at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire a few years later.
 
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