William Bence Jones

WorksCommentaryReferences


Life
1812-1882; Irish agriculturist, b. Beccles, Suffolk; his gf. bought an estate at Lisselane, Co. Cork, and Jones undertook its management in 1838 following embezzlement by agent; built Glenville, the family home, and lived there till 1880; his opposition to relief work - advocating emigration and drainage as alternatives - led to attacks by the Land League, followed by a boycott which he successfully resisted; he strenuously opposing Gladstone’s Irish Land Act of 1881, but left Ireland that year;
 
works include Life’s Work in Ireland of a Landlord Who Tried to Do His Duty (1880); and works on ecclesiastical matters such as What Has Been Done in the Irish Church Since its Disestablishment (1875); his son Col. Philip Reginald Bence-Jones worked on the Blue Nile dam and became head of the engineering school at Lahore; he also worked on repairs to Waterloo Bridge; Mark Bence-Jones [q.v.] was his son in turn, and residing at Glenville - latterly part-time - until his death in 2010. ODNB

[ top ]

Works
The Life’s Work in Ireland of a Landlord Who Tried to Do His Duty (Macmillan 1880), rep. in Letters and Commentaries on Ireland, ed. & intro. by Michael Hurst [Irish history and culture ser.] (London: Thoemmes 2001), Vol. 5.

Note: he is called William Bence Jones of Lisselan, Co. Cork, in Macmillan’s Catalogue in end-papers of Burke’s Irish Affairs, ed. Matthew Arnold (1881) - citing the review: ‘Mr. Bence Jones, every one must own, has a fair claim to be heard, and no one can be in a position properly to discuss Irish affairs till he has read his really valuable book.’ Literary World.

[ top ]

Commentary
Mark Bence-Jones [his grandson], The Twilight of the Ascendency (1987), contains references to his estate and its ultimate burning in the Civil War.

[ top ]

References
Ulster libraries: Belfast Public Library holds The Life’s Work in Ireland of a Landlord who tried to Do his Duty (1880) [under fiction]. The Library of Herbert Bell, Belfast, holds William Bence Jones, Life’s Work in Ireland (London 1880).

[ top ]