James Francis Bernard, 4th Earl of Bandon,
Grand Secretary 1875 - 1895 and Provincial Grand Master of Munster.
James Francis Bernard, the 4th Earl of Bandon, was Grand Secretary from 1875 - 1895 and Provincial Grand Master of Munster.
James Francis Bernard (nicknamed Bucksot Bandon), the 4th Earl of Bandon (1850-1924) was a British Deputy Lieutenant in Ireland and Representative Peer. Lord Bandon was a cousin of the Earl of Middleton, who was head of the southern Irish Unionists at the time of the Anglo-Irish War (1919-1921).
Castle Bernard became known as one of the most hospitable houses in Ireland and the house parties held by the fourth earl and his wife were legendary.
In an early morning raid on 21st June, 1921 during the days of the Black & Tans, a party of IRA under Sean Hales called. They intended to kidnap Lord Bandon, but Buckshot Bandon and his staff had taken refuge in the cellars. Apparently disappointed in the first object of their call the IRA decided to burn the house.
James Francis Bernard, 4th Earl of Bandon, KP (12th September, 1850 - 18th May, 1924)
Castle Bernard prior to being burnt down in 1921.
Hales was heard to say - "well the bird has flown, so we'll burn the nest".
At that the Earl and his party appeared from the cellars, but it was too late, the fire had started.
Ironically the IRA carefully took out all the furniture and piled it on the lawn before setting the building on fire.
The Lady Bandon of that time had to sit and watch the flames for some hours, when the flames were at their height, she suddenly stood up in her nightgown and sang God save the King as loudly as possible, which disconcerted the incendiaries, but while they may not have stood to attention, they let her have her say and did nothing about it.
Lord Bandon was then kidnapped by the local IRA and held hostage for three weeks, being released on the 12th July. The IRA threatened to have him executed if the British went ahead with executing IRA prisoners of war. During his captivity, Bandon coolly played cards with his captors, who treated him well. Tom Barry later stated he believed the kidnapping helped move the British towards the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the cessation of hostilities.
The elderly Earl Bandon never recovered from the experience and died in 1924.
Castle Bernard, as it stands today.