The Beresford family connection with the county of Armagh was by and large an ecclesiastical affiliation. The Beresford's first came to the shores of Ireland during the plantations of the seventeenth century and though they would later be much associated with the Waterford area some members of the family rose to prominence as Archbishops of Armagh. Their names are recorded within St.Patrick's Church of Ireland in Armagh.
This ecclesiastical calling continued to the next generation in the form of Lord
John de la Poer Beresford, nephew of the Most Reverend Lord John George Beresford,
Archbishop of Armagh. Born on April 27th 1814, John de la Poer Beresford was educated
at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, before receiving his MA in 1836. As the
younger son of the Marquess of Waterford, John took up the church as his profession.
He served as Curate of Kilmore from 1841 to 1844 and as Rector of Baronstown from
1844 to 1849 before settling to the charge of St. John's Church of Ireland at Mullabrack.
Upon the death of his elder brother on March 29th 1859 John was elevated to the position of 4th Marquess of Waterford. He resigned his ministerial charge but gave to the parishioners the gift of a Chapel of Ease in the town of Markethill. The building continues to bear the inscription,
"This tablet is erected by the parishioners of Mullabrack in grateful acknowledgement of the munificent gift of this Chapel of Ease by their Rector, the Most Honourable and Reverend John de la Poer, Marquess of Waterford, on his retirement from the incumbency, 1859".
Lord John de la Poer Beresford died on November 6th 1866. By his marriage to Christina, daughter of Colonel Charles Powell Leslie, he left behind issue:
As a third son of the family William Leslie de la Poer Beresford was forced to seek employment. Adopting the military as his chosen career he became a Captain with the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers. Posted to Zululand Captain Beresford distinguished himself in battle. For actions of personal courage and leadership he was awarded the Victoria Cross. William Beresford went on to become a Lieutenant Colonel in the army. He died on December 28th 1900. A memorial was erected to his memory at Clonagam Churchyard in County Waterford.
Kerr, Rev.WG, Parish of Mullabrack (1953)
McCorry, FX, Journeys in Co.Armagh and Adjoining Districts (Lurgan, 2000)
McHugh, A Guide to St.John's Parish Church Mullabrack (Mullabrack, 1985)