Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin, 4th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl KP PC (I)
(12 February 1841
– 14 June 1926
), styled Viscount Adare
between 1850 and 1871, was a Irish
The son of the 3rd Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl
, he succeeded as 4th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl
in the Peerage of Ireland
and 2nd Baron Kenry
in the Peerage of the United Kingdom
on the death of his father in 1871.
Education & early career
Dunraven was educated at Christ Church, Oxford
. After serving some time as a lieutenant
in the 1st Life Guards
, a cavalry
regiment, he became, at age twenty-six, a war correspondent
for the London newspaper The Daily Telegraph
and covered the Abyssinian War
. In this capacity, he shared a tent with Henry Stanley
of the New York Herald
. Dunraven then became a special correspondent for a "big London
daily" during the Franco-Prussian War
in 1870–71. He reported the Siege of Paris
, saw the Third Carlist War
and war in Turkey
, and probably the Russo-Turkish War
. Dunraven witnessed both the signing of the Treaty of Versailles
which ended the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, and later the signing of the Treaty of Versailles
The fourth earl spent a great deal of his leisure time hunting wild game in various parts of the world. Hearing of the fine hunting in the American West and decided to visit Estes Park, Colorado
in 1872 and again in 1873. In 1874 he decided to make the whole of Estes Park as a game preserve for the exclusive use of himself and his English friends. By stretching the provisions of the Homestead Act
and the rights of preemption
, Dunraven claimed 15,000 acres (61 km²) in present-day Rocky Mountain National Park
. His efforts resulted in what has been called "one of the most gigantic land steals in the history of Colorado
." The coming of more settlers in 1874 and 1875 stopped this wholesale appropriation of land. Although for thirty—three years Dunraven considered the Park his personal property, the settlers did not. Their hostility forced him to give up the game preserve idea.
Dunraven later described the influx of settlers and his consequent plans:
The noted landscape artist, Albert Bierstadt
, induced by Dunraven to paint in Estes Park, helped select the site for Dunraven's 'English Hotel', which was built in 1877. It was situated in a meadow east of the present Estes Park village and was the first strictly tourist hotel built in the Park. The hotel was a three story timber-frame building. There were twelve narrow windows, and a large door opening onto a one-storied, columned porch. The roof of this porch formed an open deck surrounded by a small hand railing. The porch ran the full length of the front of the building and about halfway around each end.
Despite the success of this 'English Hotel and Lodge', the disillusioned Dunraven left the area forever in the late 1880's. He later explained:
Dunraven realized it would be impossible for him to control all of the park region and in 1907 sold his property to B. D. Sanborn of Greeley and F. O. Stanley of Estes Park. Stanley would later build the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Dunraven's 'English Hotel' burned to the ground in 1911.
He later held office twice as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
in the Conservative administrations from 1885–86 and 1886–87. During 1888-90 he was chairman of the Commission on Sweated Labour. As a constructive moderate Unionist
he sought to bring about a peaceful solution to the Irish land question and to the demand for Home Rule
. In 1897 he published The Outlook in Ireland, the case for Devolution and Conciliation
which was reprinted in 1907.
Dunraven was a model Irish landlord on his 39,000 acre Adare Manor estate at Adare, co. Limerick and following the initiative of Chief Secretary for Ireland George Wyndham was instrumental in calling and in the formation of the 1902 Land Conference of which he was chairman, representing the landlord side. Together with William O'Brien MP. who represented the tenant side the conference resulted in the enactment of the very successful Wyndham Land Purchase Act (1903) which terminated landlordism and enabled tenants to purchase lands from their landlords under favourable financial provisions. He was as well as president of the Irish Reform Association and a member of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick.
He maintained a famous equestrian stud farm on his Adare Manor estate and experimented in growing tobacco until his factory was burned down in 1916 Upon the foundation of the Irish Free State he became a member of thr first Senate in December 1922.
A keen yachtsman, the earl was the owner and co-owner of the 1893 and 1895 America's Cup
yachts Valkyrie II
and Valkyrie III
As he died without a male heir the Earldom passed to a cousin, Windham Wyndham-Quin, 5th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl
, and the Barony of Kenry, which had been created for his father, became extinct. He is buried at St. Nicholas' Church of Ireland
in Adare, County Limerick, Ireland. Here is a A detailed photo of his gravestone.jpg#file
of his headstone.
In 1895 he lived at 27 Norfolk Street, then 26 years after his death in 1939 the street was renamed Dunraven Street in his honour.
The fourth earl married Florence Kerr
, second daughter of Lord Charles Kerr
, first son by his second wife of the 6th Marquess of Lothian
. They had three children: