Extracted from a talk given by Michael Brabazon at the family Reunion – September 2003
The Tudor Conquest of Ireland and the transplantation of the Brabazons to the new realm - like the move from Betchworth - has greater meaning than simply a change of scenery. Sir William Brabazon - sent to Dublin by Henry VIII in 1534 as part of the new Irish Establishment - left his community in Leicestershire, and like his antecedent Jacques, displayed all the qualities of a fierce and able warrior, but without regard to the national community of which his descendants would become a very integral part.
From his grandfather fighting against the Tudors, William became one of their greatest supporters. He must have been very much a favourite of Henry VIII as he excelled at jousting, being one of the main English contestants at the historic meeting between Henry and Frances I of France at the so-called Field of the Cloth of Gold near to Calais. The name was drawn from the appearance of so many gold covered tents housing the assembled Courts. The king liked to surround himself with young knights who were intended to revivify the spirit of Arthurian Albion. Who better then to champion Henry in Ireland than William - like Jacques, a standard bearer for a conquering king? To add, there may have been a further reason; that of existing Irish land ownership. There are a handful of pre Tudor references to names like Brabazon occurring in Ireland, one such record is for a John Brabesoun in Ardee in the year 1362. There is a John Brabazon at Eastwell at this time – is it the same person? The reason I pick on this reference is the co-incidence of the name with the town of Ardee. We are all aware, I assume, that the title of Baron Ardee preceded that of the Earldom of Meath by one generation – but why Ardee when, to my knowledge the acquisition of property by Sir William was principally in Dublin and its environs? Is this pointing to a more ancient connection to Ireland than we assume? I leave the question necessarily open but would be most interested if anyone is able to elucidate.
Welcome to the Brabazon Blog! We are trying to get a forum going that would be more instantaneous and universal than either the family website (brabazonarchive.com) or separate emailing. We have commenced with a handful of topics - taken from the website - to kick-start conversations. Your suggestions for additional areas of interest and emails of a personal nature can be sent to Michael Brabazon at firstname.lastname@example.org
As we are probably all now aware, the Brabazon Clan is not homogenous but rather a mosaic of smaller genetic groupings, sometimes explicable by descent via a Brabazon female line, sometimes due to the adoption of the Brabazon name for various known or unknown reasons. By casting the discussion network as wide as possible perhaps we can begin to shed more light on each of the sub-lineages of the Clan - worldwide brainstorming, so to speak!
The Earl and Countess of Meath remain the standard bearers of the Brabazon name, and I think we would all agree that we have an excellent family at the very heart of the Brabazon Clan. Across the spectrum of our Family we are a good microcosm of Irishness in all its cultural forms and our cohesiveness in diversity is perhaps the best testimony to the greatness of our ancestors. So start blogging and let's see where it goes!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied mathematics and later entered the legal profession. However, with his inherited wealth he could afford to travel widely, capturing the scenery in his impressionistic watercolours.
His social circle encompassed many of the leading names in the music and painting world, including Liszt and John Singer Sargent. Brabazon was a leading member of the New English Art Club, holding his first one-man exhibition at the age of 71. He was much praised by Ruskin and Sir Federick Wedmore wrote of him, "a country gentleman, who at seventy years old made his debut as a professional artist, and straightway became famous".
He was unmarried and left his estates to his nephew Harvey Combe of Oaklands. The Combe lineage, although no longer at their country seat, has continued to the present day. Eileen (Combe) Barber was the last of the family to live at Sedlescombe and she has a daughter Robin Brabazon Wells and two grandsons, Robert and Patrick