Jump to: navigation, search

Windham Wyndham-Quin, 4th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl

The 4th Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl.

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 an Irish Peer.



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. [1] 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 in 1919. [1]

Colorado huntsman

The fourth earl spent a great deal of his leisure time hunting wild game in various parts of the world.[1] After hearing of the fine hunting in the American West he decided to visit, first arriving in 1872 where he met and befriended Texas Jack Omohundro who acted as a guide and lead the earls party on buffalo and elk hunts.[2]

In 1874 he decided to make the whole of Estes Park, Colorado 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 33 years Dunraven considered the Park his personal property, the settlers did not. Their hostility forced him to give up the game preserve idea. [3]

Dunraven later described the influx of settlers and his consequent plans:

Folks were drifting in prospecting . . . preempting, making claims; so we prepared for civilization. Made a better road, bought a sawmill at San Francisco, hauled the machinery in, set it up, felled trees, and built a wooden hotel. . . .
—Windham Wyndham-Quin

Tourist enterprise

File:Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin, Vanity Fair, 1878-05-04.jpg
"active". Caricature by Ape published in Vanity Fair in 1878.

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. [3]

Despite the success of this 'English Hotel and Lodge', the disillusioned Dunraven left the area forever in the late 1880's. He later explained:

People came in disputing claims, kicking up rows: exorbitant land taxes got into arrears; and we were in constant litigation. The show could not be managed from home, and we were in constant danger of being frozen out. So we sold for what we could get and cleared out, and I have never been there since.
—Windham Wyndham-Quin

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. [3]


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 publication of a unanimous report in January which led to the enactment of the very successful Wyndham Land Purchase Act (1903) which terminated the last vestige d landlordism and enabled tenants to purchase lands from their landlords under favourable financial provisions.

The presiding genius of the Land Conference, Lord Dunraven, went on from that triumph of conciliation to found the Irish Reform Association which, while reflecting primarily the views of progressive landlords like himself was intended to be a rallying point for all, regardless of political affiliation, who wished to see the 'conference policy' applied to other spheres of Irish life. In the course of 1904 this body had produced a scheme of ‘devolution’ -- that is, for granting to Ireland limited powers of local self-government. The Under-Secretary for Ireland, Sir Antony MacDonnell, had a hand in drafting it. [4]

Greeted at first as a significant step towards self-government, while not Home Rule, the idea could be seen as a significant step in that direction. Such a policy failed to gain sufficient nationalist support, the new proposals dismissed by John Dillon. Unionist responded by forming the Ulster Unionist Council in 1905. For Dillon, devolution was not enough, for the alarmed Ulster Unionists, it was a Trojan Horse for Home Rule. [5] In the end the controversy resulted in Chief-Secretary George Wyndham being driven in ignominy from office. [6]

Dunraven was as well as president of the Irish Reform Association, a member of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick. [1]

Upon the foundation of the Irish Free State he became a member of thr first Senate in December 1922.


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 [7]

A keen yachtsman [8], the earl was the owner and co-owner of the 1893 and 1895 America's Cup yachts Valkyrie II and Valkyrie III. [9]


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[10] in Adare, County Limerick, Ireland. Here is an File:A detailed photo of his gravestone.jpg 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. [11]


The fourth earl married Florence Kerr, second daughter of Lord Charles Kerr, first son by his second wife of the 6th Marquess of Lothian.[1] They had three children:

  • Lady Florence Enid Wyndham-Quin (13 June 1870 – July 1891)
  • Lady Rachael Charlotte Wyndham-Quin (20 February 1872 – 30 January 1901), married Desmond FitzJohn Lloyd FitzGerald, 27th Knight of Glin and had issue
  • Lady Aileen May Wyndham-Quin (9 April 1873 – 25 February 1962), married Reginald Brabazon, 13th Earl of Meath and had issue


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Rocky Mountain Administrative History". NPS.gov. http://www.nps.gov/archive/romo/resources/history/adhi/adhi1e.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  2. Hunting in the Yellowstone or On the Trail of the Wapiti with Texas Jack in the Land of Geysers, Earl of Dunraven, The Macmillan Company, 1925
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The Pioneers of the Estes Park and Grand Lake regions". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/archive/romo/resources/history/adhi/adhi1.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  4. Lyons, F. S. L.: John Dillon, Ch. 10, p. 273-4, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London (1968), SBN 7100 2887 3
  5. Bew, Paul: Ireland' The Politics of Enmity 1789-2006', p.363, Oxford University Press (2007), ISBN 978-0-19-956126-1
  6. ibid. Lyons p. 272
  7. A Dictionary of Irish History since 1800, D. J. Hickey & J. E. Doherty , Gill & MacMillan (1980)
  8. The Earl of Dunraven (1892). "International Yachting". North American Review 155: pp.706–720. http://www.archive.org/stream/northamreview155miscrich#page/706. 
  9. "Americascup.com - Acclopedia". americascup.com. http://32nd.americascup.com/en/acclopaedia/circlinggalaxy/profil.php?idContent=4617. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  10. "FindaGrave". findagrave.com. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=19612219. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  11. "ShadyOldLady.com - Guide to London". http://www.shadyoldlady.com/location.php?loc=1121. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...