| The Loftus family vault was located “within the rails of the alter on the right hand of the Earl of Cork’s monument " in the Choir on the south side of the steps to the Altar”. The monument no longer exists and indeed much has been destroyed or removed over the years to the extent that the Loftus remains may well have been moved during the extensive Cathedral renovations in the 19th Century (Lee, 1893). These renovations were funded and supervised by the Guinness family having themselves descended from Archbishops of Dublin. Lord Iveagh was a strong advocate who worked tirelessly to preserve the memory of the Loftus family and others, and is unlikely to have sanctioned the breaking up of the tomb. Records of what precisely did happen, however, are scarce. All that remains today to denote the existence of the vault at all, just to the right of the Altar high up on the wall, is a boar's head “erect and erased”; the Loftus family crest (right). To the unexpected eye straining through the dark, this is a curiosity unrecognisable as a boar’s head that must denote some distant but lost event in the Cathedral's long and fascinating past. The facts are more real and intimate than that. |
Archbishop (Abp.) Adam Loftus prepared the Loftus family vault in St. Patrick’s Cathedral which he believed represented the fount of his life’s work. You can imagine that he may have wanted to share eternity side by side with his beloved wife and the family who were tangibly so important to him, and indeed five generations of his family shared that dream and joined him there. Their lives were to become the ancestry of dynasties with their moments of honour and disgrace that invigorate all family tales. The names of the Great, like the Duke of Wellington, and lesser known like O’Connor, Pemberton, Johnson, Prestridge, Webb, Worsop and White, are all equally descended from Adam Loftus, as are many of those who still bear his name. This is the story of one family’s brief journey through Ireland, where brother fought brother in a spiral of events that have shaped modern Ireland.
These are the men and women history left behind.A family tree has been created to show the relationships between those believed to be entombed in the family vault: a full family tree(html) or (PDF) can be examined elsewhere. The bottom of the page shows a biographical list of each of those believed to be at rest in the family vault in the order in which they were interred. To condense anyone’s life into a single paragraph is a travesty, the more so when there is a wealth of factual information available to give breath to the characters, opinions and influences of those singular lives.
This is the stuff of History: the biographies presented here offer only glimpses of the lives of real people, whose dry bones were once flesh and