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Clotworthy Skeffington (1742 - 1805):
2nd Earl of Massereene


Clotworthy Skeffington, 2nd Earl of Massereene, was probably born in County Antrim and was educated at Cambridge University. As a youth he fell from his horse and this seems to have had a permanent effect on his posture, since he insisted on crossing his arms across his chest and holding both shoulders. He was considered a dandy and when his business ventures failed and Antrim Castle would no longer pay his debts, he went to a debtor's prison in France for eighteen years. He married (against the wishes of his family) Marie-Ann Barcier, who tried for twelve years to win his release, and when she eventually succeeded in doing so he deserted her. He returned to Ireland, and a neighbour is reputed to have said she 'had previously heard a report that he was a lunatic, but she then thought that if he was a lunatic he was the pleasantest one she had ever met'. It is said that when his second wife's dog died, he decreed that fifty local dogs in white scarves should attend the funeral.

Born: 28 January 1742
Died: 28 February 1805
Kate Newmann