Sue Young Histories

Charles Powell Leslie 1821 - 1871

October 06, 2008

Charles Powell Leslie III 1821 - 1871 was Member of Parliament for Monaghan from 1843 to 1871. His family seat was at Castle Leslie in Monaghan, and also the Manor House at Snarestone, a small rural village in North West Leicestershire, England. The Leslie’s have been landed gentry in Britain for centuries.

Charles Powell Leslie was an enthusiastic advocate of homeopathy, and he was a friend of Marmaduke Blake Sampson, George Thomas Keppel 6th Earl of Albemarle, Christian Karl Josias Bunsen, Paul Francois Curie, Thomas Roupell Everest, Robert Grosvenor, William Leaf, James More Molyneux, Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, James Wilson, Thomas Egerton 2nd Earl of Wilton and many others.

Charles Powell Leslie was involved in the founding of the London Homeopathic Medical Institution, and Vice President and on the Board of Management of the Hahnemann Hospital at 39 Bloomsbury Square in 1850.

Charles Powell Leslie of Glaslough, HM Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of Co. Monaghan, Hon Colonel of Monaghan Militia and MP for Co. Monaghan 1842 – 1871.

In 1842 the third Charles Powell Leslie [see J/8] came of age, … [and] there were great festivities in Glaslough … . The year 1845 ushered in the terrible Famine, and though a good farming district like Glaslough may have been spared the extremities of suffering, the misery must yet have been acute.

To give employment, the present limestone demesne wall was hurriedly constructed; rather too hurriedly in fact, for it is continually falling down in places! … Charles Leslie (Powell) must be given the credit for the leadership [of the post Famine revival]; it was to him that many of the local farmers owed their free education in, and journey to, the best parts of Scotland, there to study scientific farming…

The Ulster Railway decided to construct a line through Glaslough to Monaghan and Clones … [and] the time occupied in journeying from Glaslough to London was thus reduced from days to a matter of hours. A large house, the “Agency”, was built in the ‘sixties by the Colonel; it is rather finely built of the best limestone in the Scotch fashion, but much too large and extravagant for its purpose…

The Colonel certainly had ideas of building a new house for himself, but he did not live to do more than build an extension, now the billiard room. In 1871, he died very suddenly, two years after his mother, at Glaslough. He had represented … [Co. Monaghan] for thirty years.

Having no children, he was succeeded by his younger brother, John. … In 1874 a bronze bust of the late Colonel, by [Samuel] Lynn [brother of the architect of the ‘new’ Castle Leslie built in 1877-1878], was erected over a fountain in the village - “from his grateful tenantry”.

Charles Powell Lesiie was a first class cricketer, as was his brother John Leslie.

Charles Powell Leslie III simply loved big house parties and wanted to entertain on the Grand scale. His taste in architecture ran from ‘Free Range Gothic’ ‘Early Taj Mahal’ ‘Late Rothschild’ ‘Bahnhof Baroque’ and ‘Jacobean Bloody’.

Some of his plans included a cut price copy of the French Chateau de Chambord at least six times larger than the present house and a nine storied gothic tower in the middle of the lake reachable only by Venetian gondolas.

Although Charles Powell Leslie III never married he achieved a number of quite successful erections among them the Grain Merchant Store in Glaslough village and the entrance lodges at the main gates to the Castle.

Sadly for Charles but fortunately for Leslie family finances he choked on a fish bone before he could realise any of his major architectural fantasies. He died in 1871 and the building of a new castle was left to his brother John. John Leslie (later to become Sir John Leslie 1st Baronet of Glaslough) was a fine painter of the Pre Raphelite school.

Over the years, various members of the family were involved in political life. Three successive patriarchs named Charles Powell Leslie were MPs for Co Monaghan. They were also involved in the Irish militia and the Irish Volunteer movement.

The Leslie Family Papers are here.


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