According to Samuel Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of Ireland from 1837, a nunnery is said to have been founded by St. Patrick for his sister, St. Richella, at Kilboght, near Kilrickle in County Galway. In the 12th century, the Whaley family founded a monastery for the Third Order of Franciscans, the remains of which are still visible. Kilboght in Irish is “Cill Bhocht” and means Church of the Poor. This presumably originated with the Friars and their tradition of hospitality towards the poor and sick, like St. Francis of Assisi, their founder.
The Blake Mausoleum is located in Kilboght graveyard and was dedicated to the memory of James Henry Blake who died in 1841, by his wife Maria Louisa Blake. Maria was the sister of Henry Blake, the local landlord who was the owner of the nearby 367-acre Dartfield estate. Henry died in 1851, and in his will named Maria as the administratix of the estate. She and their one child, Emilia, seem to have lived most of their lives outside of Ireland, though continued to manage the estate. She died at her Chelsea home in 1876. Her remains are contained in the mausoleum along with those of her husband.
Two members of the Hardy family are also buried in the mausoleum, Joseph Hardy and his son James. Joseph Hardy, a grazier, was living at Dartfield which by 1873 was an estate of 1,304 acres. By 1880, he was grazing some 6,000 acres for five landlords, a practice that flourished in post-Famine Ireland, whereby landlords, frustrated by low yields from small farms and difficult tenants found it to their advantage to let out large parts of their estates to be grazed with cattle. The Hardys eventually acquired Dartfield estate, which is how Joseph and his son came to be buried here.
At the central apex of the mausoleum, the following incised inscription can be found:
[Image of a Latin Cross]
the Memory of
James Henry Blake
late of St Stephens Green
Dublin Barrister at Law
who departed this life on the 4th
of August 18 [space] in the year of his age
Talents of a varied and transcendent
order combined with a mild and amiable
disposition and inflexible integrity of character
raised him to the highest estimation in his profefsion
This mausoleum has been erected by his afflicted
widow as a resting place for his honoured remains and as a
melancholy tribute of affectionate respect to his beloved memory
Seio enim quod Redemtor mens vivit Job XIX.xxx.
Requiem pat III