The Grace Mausoleum
Grace mausoleum is a conspicuous object in the adjoining grave-yard. It
was built in 1818, in place of the original one-erected in 1687, by
Oliver Grace, Chief Remembrancer of the Exchequer; by Mrs. Alicia
Kavanagh, daughter of Michael Grace of Grace-field; Sir William Grace,
Bart; and his brothers Sheffield Jurisconsult, and Percy, Admiral of the
Royal fleet, for themselves and posterity, on the site of the southern
wing of the church of Arles.
The following is the inscription upon it, recording
Grace de Gracefield, Arm.; Gulielmus Grace, Baronettus, et fratres ejus
Sheffieldus, jurisconsultus, Perceus Regiae Classis Praefectus, poni
curaverunt, A.D. MDCCCXVIII., sibi posterisque. Quo loco fuit olim
Australis ala aedis Arlesianae ab Olivero Grace de Shangano sive
Gracefield, Armig. Anno Salutis MDLXXXVII. aedificata, jamdiu vetustate
This mausoleum is fully described and illustrated
in the family Annals, compiled by Sheffield Grace.
family were the descendants of William Fitzgerald, called Raymond
Fitzwilliam, who accompanied Richard "Strongbow"
de Clare to Ireland in 1170 and who got the name
Raymond le Gros from his great size and strength. They got great grants of
land in Ossory and were sometimes styled Barons of Tullaroan. They came to
Queens County over 200 years ago and settled in the ancient district of
Shangana, which they styled Gracefield. They were a rich and enterprising
family and worked a colliery for many years They also had a cotton factory
which was later transformed into a corn mill.
A descendent of the local Grace family, William Russell Grace
founded the well known international company W.R. Grace & Company (1854).
- One of them emigrated to South America early in the
1800's and was so successful in the shipping business that he established
the "Green Line" shipping company. He returned to Ireland and invited
emigrants from Laois, Carlow and Kilkenny to travel on his ships to South
America where they would get employment.
The Graces of America now operate an air line known as
to South America. One of the family came to Ireland in the 1960's and became
interested in Urney Chocolates Ltd.
The last member of the Grace
family in Laois married a Captain White and the beautiful mansions and
property passed to J.J. Parkenson, the famous race-horse owner. The place
passed through many hands since including an Italian Countess who sold the
mansion for the sum of £30,500 in the 50's.
William Russell Grace
Russell Grace (born May 10, 1832, Ballylinan, County Laois, Ireland; died
March 21, 1904, New York) was the first Roman Catholic mayor of New York and
the founder of W. R. Grace and Company.
In 1885 William was Mayor of New York and he accepted the
Statue of Liberty from the French on behalf of the American people.
He began his business career in Peru, where he was a partner with the
firm of John Bryce, later to become Grace Brothers & Co., and then W. R.
Grace & Co.
William Russell Grace was a renowned philanthropist, at one point
contributing a quarter of the aid delivered to Ireland aboard the
steamship Constellation during the famine of the later 1870s. In 1897,
he and his brother, Michael, founded the Grace Institute for the
education of women, especially immigrants.
Opposing the famous Tammany Hall, Grace was elected as the first
Irish American Catholic mayor of New York City in 1880. He conducted a
reform administration attacking police scandals, patronage and organized
vice; reduced the tax rate and broke up the Louisiana Lottery. Defeated
the following year, he was re-elected in 1884 on an Independent ticket
but lost again the following year.
Images kindly donated by William
Muldowney & Wikipedia