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Loftus Family Vault
 
Thomas Boyd (1654?-1657)
Thomas Boyd’ s registration is a lonely footnote in history, one of so many who died young and forgotten for lack of years to have left a perceptible imprint on the lives of others for posterity.  He was the son of Mary Loftus, Grand-daughter of Abp. Adam Loftus (daughter of Sir Adam Loftus) who married Thomas Boyd a Dublin merchant.  Of several issue only one daughter survived, retaining the Boyd family name by marrying her cousin William Boyd Earl of Kilmarnock.  Their descendants were to die at the scaffold having supported the Stewarts but Thomas died younger than four years old like so many of his contemporaries.
 
Colonel Sir Arthur Loftus (1616?-1659) and
Lady Dorothy Loftus (?? – 1668)
Arthur Loftus was Mary’s elder brother and like her was brought up in their great grandfather’s rambling estate at Rathfarnham Castle.  He too followed a military career but was a politician as well, representing Wexford in the Irish Parliament from 1639 and becoming Provost Marshall of Ulster, a condition that had eluded his great-grandfather in that long troubled Province.  Like so many of his contemporaries, he was a Royalist who changed sides to preserve the family estates in 1641, playing the chameleon for survival.  He endured the siege of Duncannon only to become the Governor of Duncannon Fort in 1644.  The intricacies of that period are expressed in the inconstancy of those who survived it and the terrible slaughter that was to follow at the hands of Cromwell.  Arthur was part of the political machinery guided by his powerful uncle Nicholas Loftus (ancestor of Mount Loftus) that eventually became subservient to Cromwell’s purposes.  Arthur married Dorothy Boyle, daughter of the Earl of Cork, whom he pre-deceased.  Dorothy went on to marry again (Gilbert Talbot) but re-joined her first husband in the family vault when she died nine years later.  They were to have four sons and three daughters, many of whom joined them later in the family vault.
 
Grissel Loftus (1628 – 1672)
Grissel was one of nine daughters of Sir Adam and Jane Loftus (née Vaughan).  Raised with her seventeen siblings at Rathfarnham Castle, it is assumed that she remained there until her death at the age of 44, the only one not to have made an excellent match.  It seems that Grissel (Griselda?) was a puritanical spinster who disapproved of the wild antics of her extended family, giving them only trinkets in her will, leaving the bulk of her valuable estate to her Minister, Mr. Isaac Smith.  She did choose, however, to remain in death as she had been through life, in the bosom of her by now vast extended family at St. Patrick’s.
 
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Theobold Bourk (?? – 1676)
Eleanor Bourk was the second daughter of Col Sir Arthur Loftus, named after her mother.  Eleanor married Theobold Bourk (later to become the Earls of Mayo), who was not the first son-in-law to be interred in the Loftus family vault.  The mystery is that there is no record of his wife having joined him there, which seems unthinkable.  This is attributed to the incompleteness of the record rather than her actual exclusion from the family vault.  Theobold died on the 5th of January 1676 and was buried in the Loftus family vault three days later.
 
Adam Loftus (1654-1688) 
Adam Loftus was the second son of the polyglot Dr. Dudley Loftus referred to above.  There were eighteen Adam Loftus’es in the family and it was because of this potential for name confusion that the family tree was created.  Mr Adam Loftus has left nothing to distinguish himself, which in itself distinguishes him from those others bearing that name who clearly did.  He died at the age of 33 in 1688 (the year of Jonathan Swift's first public address referring to his father) without issue as far as is known, and was interred “in the buryall place of his ancestors”, in the Loftus family vault.
 
Lord Adam (1625-1691) and “Lady Loftus” (??-1709)
The eldest son of Col Sir Arthur Loftus and Lady Dorothy (née Boyle) followed his father in pursuit of a military and a political career.  He was much more his own man than his father, but had a reckless opportunistic streak in him that was to characterise his life. Adam persuaded Charles II to let him take control of state finances of Ireland in 1671, which he followed through by persuading King William to appoint him Paymaster General of England in 1691, conning his way in to the coffers of both states.  Having narrowly escaped the confiscation of his family estates during Restoration purges, Adam eventually succeeded in selling his allegiance to the new King James II to be elevated to the peerage styled Adam Loftus, Baron of Rathfarnham and Viscount Lisburne.  He spent much time in France, serving in 1672 under the Duke of Monmouth, tempting Royal disfavour.  When he returned to Ireland five years later, he re-entered political life and was made Privy Counsellor for Ireland in 1684.  He joined the new King William of Orange on his “Glorious Revolution”, taking Carrickfergus in 1689 and serving at the Battle of Aughrin.  Adam’s final act came in 1691 at the siege of Limerick when he had his head blown off as he emerged from his tent, which he had evidently pitched too close to the defences of the beleaguered city.  King William of Orange was so incensed by his death that he ordered his body "be placed in the middle of the field" (of battle) over which he "causedLucia a Royal tent to be Lucypitched which was hung with mourning and garnished with Military Ensigns and other tokens of honour.  Here the corpse lay in state and after a proper time was removed to the City of Dublin and buried on the 28th September 1691 in St. Patrick's Cathedral where the cannon ball that killed him is placed to an iron bar from which it pends over his grave, against the wall, near the top and within the south side of the said church near the alter." It is that ball that we see today still hung like a warning over his remains and those of his family.   The spurs are assumed to be those of the unfortunate Adam, although there is no documented evidence to support that.  King William was to quit Ireland shortly after Adam’s death, never to return.  Lord Adam married the beautiful Lucy (left), daughter of Lord Chandos, who gave him a son James (who died young) and a not so beautiful daughter Lucia (right), who seems to have inherited her father’s nose, well matched in appearance to the character of her husband to be, the vile Marquis Wharton.  In 1709, a “Lady Loftus” is described as being interred in the family vault – It is speculated here that this may be Lord Adam’s second wife Dorothy, née Allen, although this is not substantiated.
 
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