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Fredrick Hervey.

Earl of Bristol.

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Fredrick Hervey.

1730 - 1803

Hervey was born on 1st August 1730 at Ichworth, the family seat in Suffock, England. He was educated at Westminster school and Cambridge University. In 1752 he had married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Jermyn Davers. He took holy orders in 1755, his brother George 2nd Earl of Bristol became Lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1766. Fredrick came to Ireland with him and was appointed bishop of Cloyne, County Cork. In 1768 while playing leapfrog, he learned that he had been appointed bishop of Derry, a more profitable position, he is reputed to have remarked 'Gentlemen I have have surpassed you all. I have jumped from Cloyne to Derry.'

Hervey and Elizabeth had five children two sons and three daughters, one of theit daughters Elizabeth became the mistress of the William 5th Duke of Devonshire, marrying him after his wifes death

Hervey introduced church reforms, he added spires to churches to make them more visible, he campaigned for relaxing of the penal laws against Roman Catholics. In his new diocese he built two great houses, Downhill on the north coast, and the unfinished Ballyscullion House near Lough Beg on the upper river Bann, his wife is said to have described it as 'A stupendous monument to folly.' she left him in 1782.

His mansion Downhill on the north Antrim coast is now in ruins, it came into the possession of the Bruce family close to it on the edge of a cliff he built a library in the form of a round tower, this is known as Mussenen Temple it still survives it is in the ownership of the National Trust and can be hired for weddings or other functions.

He was a great traveller during his travels he collected Flemmish and Italian art treasures to furnish his houses. Hervey was an essentric man associating with courtesans such as Lady Hamilton and Countess Lichtenau. In his later years he was seldom in Ireland, prefering to spend his time on the continent, he died near Rome on 8th July 1803.

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