John and Arthur Oram’s employers and agencies


For most of his time in Mayo John Oram lived with his family at Burrishoole Farmhouse in the townland of Corraunboy in the parish of Burrishoole. John’s principal employer was the owner of the ‘Burrishoole Estate’.

John’s first employer was Captain Alexander W Wyndham who had recently acquired the estate when John moved to Burrishoole in 1853. The story as to how John Oram, youngest son of a dairyman in Somerset came to meet Captain Alexander Wadham Wyndham, a retired Captain in the Scots Greys who lived at West Lodge in Dorset is the main theme of “2013 essay on John Oram’s life prior to 1854″ in this site.

In the NUI Landed Estates database  the entry for the Wynham family includes:

“In the early 1850s the Reverend John Hervey Ashworth bought lands in the barony of Burrishoole, county Mayo, from the sale of the O’Donel of Newport estate but appears to have sold them on very rapidly to Alexander W. Wyndham.” 

Map of land Captain Wyndham owned or leased  as recorded in Griffith’s Valuation for County Mayo published in 1856-57.

John must have been appointed as the Estate Farm Manager before he left England because as soon as he arrived in Burrishoole John built a ‘Somerset style’ farmhouse, always referred to as ‘Burrishoole Farmhouse’. The family’s move on 18 January 1855 was recorded by John as “Left Maryland and came to Carraunboy to live and very glad to make the change.”

It was in the autumn of that year that Captain Wyndham appointed John as the agent to his Burrishoole estate. On 25 Oct 1855 John “Wrote to Capt concerning the report that Caine was not what he should be”  then on 9 Nov 1855 “Capt W came” and on the 13th: “Examining Caine’s accts much exposure of hand – appointed Agent to the Estate”. 

Captain Wyndham sold off parts of the estate during his lifetime, for instance in 1856 he sold Mallaranny to Colonel Vaughan for £4,000.  John Oram was annoyed as he had made the same offer. Following the death of Captain Wyndham in 1869 the core of the estate including Corruanboy, where John Oram lived was sold to Victor C Kennedy  while other parts of the estate were sold to various people, including the Stoney family.

Captain Wyndham’s obituary and probate is available here. After John Oram’s wife Jane died in 1906 John received a letter from Alfred Wyndham in Alberta, Canada.

Burrishoole House

Burrishoole House was built during the lifetime of Captain Wyndham.  In his diaries John Oram recorded that the foundation stone of Burrishoole House was laid on 25 June 1860. On 14 January 1862 John received an order to stop building Burrishoole House, but on 19 March 1863 the chimney tops were installed. The next time that John mentions Burrishoole House was when it was let, along with shooting and angling rights to Captain Goff  on 20 April 1864.

Victor C Kennedy

On 30 June 1869, nearly six months after the death of Captain Wyndham John “received notice that Mr Kennedy has purchased the Burrishoole Estate” and on 29 July “looked over the place with Mr Kennedy” and “arranged to continue with Mr K”.

Link to the Kennedy Family in NUI Landed Estates Database

Burrishoole in Arthur Oram’s time

Mr Kennedy was the owner of the Burrishoole Estate when Arthur Oram took over his father’s agency work in 1881.  Arthur Oram lived at Wilford Lodge and the estate farm manager, William Rose lived at Burrishoole Farmhouse.  Mr VC Kennedy died in 1894 and a year after the death of his son, Mr J Kennedy in 1897 and the estate was bought by Henry Moutray Anketell-Jones.   Arthur’s principal source of income would have come from the Burrishoole Estate until Mr Anketell-Jones sold the tenanted holdings to the Congested Districts Board in 1905. On 17 May 1905 Arthur went “into Burrishoole, interview with Mr A Jones who shows me offer of CDB for Estate as offered by him £8700 exclusive of lands retained viz all in hand except Carheenbrack and farm save 80 acres of Knockalegan, walked home….” On 19 June 1905 “I walk to Burrishoole Mr HR Vereker arrived at Burrishoole and took formal possession of the Estate on behalf of the CDB from Mr Anketell-Jones, ie all tenanted lands together with Carheenbrack, and the greater portion of Knockalegan, Mr A-Jones not having sold the mountain farm or other lands at Burrishoole.  I was not present when possession of given to Mr Vereker by Mr A-Jones.” [2013 note: seems to be confusion about Carheenbrack]

John and Arthur Oram between them had been agents for the Burrishoole Estate since 13 November 1855, a few months short of fifty years.  Three weeks after the sale Arthur visited his parents in Somerset and on the way kept an appointment with the secretary of the CDB in Dublin about the sale of land at Lagduff, see below, where they had been agents for over forty years.

Arthur’s work for Mr Anketell-Jones did not stop completely as Arthur arranged the letting of Burrishoole House until the rest of the estate was sold.  In November 1914 Arthur was given the particulars of the sale but three years later on 30 September 1917 Arthur “Spoke to Mr Jones re letting Burrishoole next year”. Arthur’s final reference to Mr Anketell-Jones that I, Carolyn have found was on  5 May 1918 when “…Mr A Jones handed me a cheque for accdt insurance”.


Throughout John’s diaries and most of Arthur’s there are regular references to visiting Clogher in the parish of Islandeady, to the north east of Westport.  In the map of Map of land Captain Wyndham owned or leased  Captain Wyndham had an interest in six townlands near Clogher Lake.   By Arthur’s time land in the same area was owned Martin Carey, who has been described as the principal business man of Newport in the late 19th century.

When Martin Carey died in 1909 he left a complicated will that was disputed by a niece in the USA. One clear instruction was that £10,000 should go towards building a new Roman Catholic Church in Newport.  Arthur was an executor and then appointed administrator and receiver.  It was not until 23 September 1913 that Arthur recorded that he received the probate of Mr Carey’s will.  See  Martin Carey’s page for more about the will.


John and then Arthur were agents for “The Estate of HJ Grant based around Lagduff, that was under the control of trustee Henry Jeffreys Bushby for much of their time.


Around the time that Captain Wyndham sold Mallaranny to Colonel John Francis Vaughan, see above, Captain Wyndham forbade John Oram to become agent for Colonel Vaughan.  Nevertheless in June 1858 John was “Collecting Col Vaughan’s rent”. Then a month later “Col Vaughan breaks up his establishment at Mallaranny”.

In August 1863 John Oram, during one of his trips to England stayed three nights at “Courtfield”, home to the Vaughan family in the Wye Valley in Herefordshire. John described the place and church as ‘beautiful’.  In 1872 Colonel Vaughan was one of the local Burrishoole landowners who where trying to find a farm for John to rent in England.  John visited and declined a farm near “Courtfield”.

It was through Colonel Vaughan’s influence that John Oram’s son John Samuel Oram secured an apprenticeship at the Great Western Railway’s Swindon works, and later Arthur may have become a lad clerk at Paddington Station, London on Colonel Vaughan’s recommendation.

Two questions

Before John Oram went to farm in Sussex he reported on 5 Dec 1872: “Closed Mr Vaughan’s Agency accounts & handed over books to Mr Hope”.  Was Mr Vaughan related to Colonel Vaughan?

In September 1897 Arthur reported in his diary “I get post card from Colonel Vaughan & go to Mallaranny, interview & chat with Colonel & travel back with he & Mrs Vaughan on their way to Westport to Kylemore.”  There is a slight problem with this as internet sources suggest that Colonel John Francis Vaughan lived from 1808 to 1878.


Arthur Oram occasionally acted on behalf of other land owners including:

  • The O’Donel family for the letting of Melcombe House.
  • Mr O’Dowd for Tully near Louisburgh.

Sources: Information in has been very helpful in compiling this page and its associated pages.

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