Henry Bruen (1741 –14 Dec 1795) was an Irish politician.
In the pre-Act of Union Parliament of Ireland, he was
Member of Parliament (MP) for Jamestown from 1783 to
1790, and then for Carlow County from 1790 until his
death in 1795.
Henry was the second son of Moses Bruen (died 1757),
from Boyle, County Roscommon. He married Dorothea
Henrietta Knox, daughter of Francis Knox, in 1787. They
had three sons and three daughters: their eldest son
Henry (1789–1852), was an MP for County Carlow for most
of the period from 1812 to 1852, and their youngest
child Francis was MP for Carlow Borough in the 1830s.
Henry's son Henry Bruen (1828–1912), was MP for County
Carlow from 1857 to 1880.
Extract from page 53 - Bruen of Oak Pak from the Carlow
Gentry by Jimmy O'Toole
"Henry came to Carlow after a career in the Quarter
Master General's office in the U.S. army, where he made
his fortune. The story -embellished, no doubt, by
political enemies of the family later - was that while
responsible for supplying coffins, he had them designed
with false bottoms, which facilitated re-cycling!
House party, Oak Park, Carlow,
October 1901. Oak Park was home to the Bruen
family. House parties were a significant feature
of big house life. Photo from the National
Library of Ireland
its source, Bruen certainly had a fortune, and during
the last decade of the 1790s. he took full advantage of
the forced sales of part of the Bagenal, Whaley and
Grogan estates in County Carlow. He bought 3,702 acres
from Thomas 'Buck' Whaley of Castletown, who had gambled
away his fortune. By 1841, when the surveyor Jacob
Neville prepared field maps of every Bruen farm for
Henry II, the family estates in County Carlow covered
20,089 acres. Land ownership meant political muscle and
in 1790. Henry Bruen I was returned to parliament with
William Burton of Burton Hall, in an uncontested
election. The old Anglo-Norman Butler family were not
amused by Bruen's steamrolling for the nomination,
feelings expressed by Lady Butler of Ballintemple in a
letter to The Leinster Journal about her grandson
Richard's chances of holding his seat. But she faced
disappointment in her opinion that he was "determined to
support an old and steady interest, and has the most
flattering prospect of having again the honour he now
From 1775 until 1957, the family lived in
Park House, near Carlow town.
of Carlow <email@example.com>
1795, Colonel Henry Bruen.
brochure in the PPP, among the papers bearing the stamp T.
Printed for Distribution to the Family and Friends of the
Colonel Henry Bruen.
Park Estate, Carlow.
FUNERAL CEREMONY AND PROSESSION
the Late and Lamented
COLONEL HENRY BRUEN.
Soldier - Officer - Gentleman.
Member of Parliament.
Governor and Custos Rotulorum for County of Carlow.
19th December 1795 the funeral procession took place from
his house at Oak Park Estate to his new town of Nurney of
the late Colonel Henry Bruen.
Militia quartered at Waterford, paraded for the purpose of
doing military honors to the memory of their deceased
regiment were in mourning; and the late Colonel's sword,
sash, gorget, spurs, etc. were bound with crape and borne by
then ordered to be reversed, and the regiment were put in
march by Captain Wolsey, the band playing a Dead March.
order the regiment proceeded to the review-field, opposite
Oak Park House where they formed a line, rested on reversed
arms, and gave room for the officer carrying the late
Colonel's sword etc. to pass through, the band playing and
drums beating a Dead March.
commanding officer, claimed the attention of the Regiment,
and with much pathos addressed them.
CAPTAIN WOLSEY [abbreviated].
BY the grief
which I observe in the countenance of this Corps, I am,
convinced that it joins heartily with me in the high opinion
I had formed of its much lamented late Colonel ; and I shall
try to suppress my feelings while I endeavour to explain to
you your loss.
HE was the
soldiers steadfast friend;
as a soldier, he was high indeed in the estimation of
veterans, he knew and was known to them all ; and by all was
At a very
early time of life, as a volunteer, he carried arms on
actual service; soon distinguished himself - and was
period, his military career was a continued train of
honourable, intrepid and generous actions; raised during the
late WAR in America, to one of the highest and most
important posts in the army, he acted with great gallantry,
pushing himself forward in every enterprize of danger.
diligence, his generosity, his hospitality, had no bounds;
helping his fellow officers in their promotion; and
furnishing an open, a princely table for the whole army --
an army of ABOVE TWENTY THOUSAND MEN; not merely confining
himself to officers of high rank, but embracing the whole of
every corps, the navy as well as the army.
THE name of
- BRUEN AND ABUNDANCE - went hand in hand, were echoed and
re-echoed by the unanimous voice of an approving and
the outlines of his military life! ---
SEE him in
the calm retreats of peace!
VIEW him as
a citizen, establishing manufactures; rewarding industry,
and rendering by his liberality, a thinly-inhabited and
sterile part of Oak Park into a populous and fruitful area.
VIEW him as
a magistrate ; you recollect the disturbed state of the
Collieries in the neighbourhood Carlow in 1793, and their
threats against the Inhabitants of Carlow; you were witness
as to how the late Colonel brought these lawless people to a
proper sense of their duty and restored confidence to the
well-affected and loyal.
YOU saw him,
in person, apprehend several men in your own County of
Carlow, of the most desperate characters ; men who were a
pest to society, were in possession of arms, were the terror
of their neighbourhood, and had set all law at defiance.
In a word
you saw him one of the most active magistrates in Carlow.
shall I talk of him in private life?
He was the
most happy, the most indulgent of husbands, the best of
fathers, and a warm and faithful friend.
soldiers! let me not forget on the Solemn occasion, and as
the moment of his interment draws near, to remind you, above
all, of his acts as a moral man and as a Christian.
FED THE HUNGRY; HE CLOATHED THE NAKED; -
GAVE PRINCELY SUPPORT TO THE NECESSITOUS;
he built a
sanctuary to his God! -
consecrated walls of the Church of Nurney of which his
corpse is now about to be deposited."
SAVE THE KING.
abbreviated version Captain Wolsey's
silence followed - the regiment leaning on their reversed
band commenced solemn music; a signal was then given, and
the regiment fired three volleys with great precision, the
band filling up the interval of time required for reloading.
whole we never were witness to a procession and ceremony
more solemn and affecting.
The printer of this Pamphlet was George Cooke,
Carlow, dated 1796.