Birth: 23 January 1779

Place or Registered Place of Birth: Thurles, Tipperary, Ireland

Baptism: Not Known

Place of Baptism: Not Known

Death: 3 May 1860

Place or Registered Place of Death: Drumcondra Castle, Meath, Ireland

Father: Rt. Hon. John Staples (1736-1820)

Mother: Hon. Henrietta (Harriet) Molesworth (1747-1813)

Spouse(s): James Wandsford Butler

Date of Marriage: 12 October 1807

Place or Registered Place of Marriage: Ballycastle, Antrim, Ireland


John Butler, 2nd Marquess of Ormonde (1808-1854)
Captain Lord James Wandesford Butler (1815-1893)
Lady Louisa Grace Butler (1816-1896)


Grace Louisa Staples was the daughter of Rt. Hon. John Staples and Hon. Henrietta Molesworth. She married James Wandesford Butler, 1st Marquess of Ormonde, son of John Butler, 17th Earl of Ormonde and Lady Frances Susan Elizabeth Wandesford, on 12 October 1807. She died on 3 May 1860.

John Staples was born 1 March 1736 and died 22 December 1820. Henrietta Molesworth was born in July 1747 in Dublin, Ireland (this is disputed, but see family tragedy below) and died in 1813. John and Henrietta were married 14 October 1774.

Rt. Hon. John Staples was born on 1 March 1736. He was the son of Reverend Thomas Staples and Grace Houston. He married, firstly, Harriet Conolly, daughter of Rt. Hon. William Conolly and Lady Anne Wentworth, on 14 June 1764. He married, secondly, Hon. Henrietta Molesworth, daughter of Richard Molesworth, 3rd Viscount Molesworth of Swords and Mary Jenney Ussher, on 14 October 1774. He died on 22 December 1820 at age 84.

Rt. Hon. John Staples was , Member of Parliament (M.P.) for County Antrim. He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) [Ireland]. He lived at Lissan, County Tyrone, Ireland.

Children of John Staples and Harriet Conolly:

Louisa Anne Staples
William Conolly Staples (-1798)
Henrietta Margaret Staples (1770-1847)

Children of John Staples and Henrietta Molesworth:

Frances Staples
Grace Louisa Staples (-1860)
Catherine Staples (-1830)
Richard Staples (-1819)
Charlotte Melosina Staples (-1847)
Elizabeth Staples
Sir Thomas Staples, 9th Bt. (1775-1865)
Reverend John Molesworth Staples (1776-1859)

Hon. Henrietta Molesworth was the daughter of Richard Molesworth, 3rd Viscount Molesworth of Swords and Mary Jenney Usher, daughter of the Reverend William Usher, Archdeacon of Clonfert. Mary had married in 1748 Richard, thiird Viscount Molesworth, an union between a beautiful girl of nienteen and a bridegroom of sixty-three.

Henrietta married Rt. Hon. John Staples, son of Reverend Thomas Staples and Grace Houston, on 14 October 1774. She died in 1813.

Waldie's Select Circulating Library 1837
Misfortunes of Lady Molesworth and her family.
There happened about this time, (May, 1763), an occurrence in private life, which seemed to interest all London as deeply as if it bad been an event in the issue of which the whole kingdom was at stake. It was attended with such extraordinary and affecting circumstances, that I conceive the render will not be displeased at finding the particulars detailed in this place, carefully collected from the most authentic testimonies.

Lady Molesworth was the widow of Lord Molesworth, a field marshal in the British army: she was a lady of great accomplishments, handsome, intelligent, amiable, and affable; and devoted her whole care to the education of her family, which adored her. An unfortunate accident destroyed, in a few hours, the happiness of several years. A fire broke out in the house of Lady Molesworth at four o'clock in the morning; her ladyship was in bed with her eldest daughter, who was about sixteen years old. Suddenly awaking, "Henrietta," said she, " I hear a noise ; I am almost suffocated with smoke ; is the house on fire ?" Miss Molesworth leaped out of bed immediately, ran to the chamber-door, and attempted to open it; but the lock of the door was so hot that it burnt her hand. Finding herself almost stifled, she ran to the window for air; and, as she opened it, the door gave way to the violence of the flames ; which, filling the room in an instant, obliged Miss Molesworth to throw herself out of the window, and she fell senseless. There were pointed iron railings in the front of the house ; Miss Molesworth fell upon one of these, and broke both her leg and her thigh. She was carried into an adjoining house, which happened to be Lady Grosvenor's. Lord Grosvenor, her son, who had been informed that the fire was near his mother's, had hastened thither; and he now received the unfortunate young lady, whom he knew, and whom he loved. Nothing more was ever heard of Lady Molesworth : it is supposed that she was suffocated immediately after she had called her daughter; as her ring was found among her bones, and the remains of the bed.

To return to Miss Molesworth. As they were carrying her up stairs at Lady Grosvenor's, she first opened her eyes, fixed them upon Lord Grosvenor, and, without recollecting him, said, " Sir, are you my uncle ?" He replied, " No; that he was Lord Grosvenor. " Well, Lord Grosvenor," said she, " pray take care of me," and then relapsed into her former state of insensibility. The surgeon had already been called in: he was decidedly of opinion that she could not live, unless her leg were amputated above the knee. The operation was performed before she recovered her senses. When she came to herself, it was thought advisable not to acquaint her with the loss of her leg, lest her grief at the circumstance might prevent that repose which was so necessary to her recovery; and the fever continuing, she remained in this state of ignorance for nearly two months. During that time, she frequently complained of painful shootings which she felt in her legs; and sometimes in the foot which in fact she had lost. This illusion in the sense of pain is easily accounted for. Sensation is in the nerves; the extremities of which were formerly in the foot, but since her loss they terminated above the knee; and the mind, accustomed to refer pain to different parts of the nerves, and ignorant of any part having been taken away, continued to think that the pain which was felt at the extremities, proceeded from the leg or the foot. To deceive Miss Molesworth, her other leg was wrapped up with pasteboard and bandages, and a second wrapper of a similar kind served to conceal from her the loss she had sustained. A lady, one of her relations, who was always with her, and who was appointed to acquaint her with her loss, at a suitable opportunity told me that she was more than fifteen days in devising different plans of informing her of her condition, so as to prevent such unexpected tidings from being fatal to her health. For this purpose, she told her by degrees that the wound grew worse, and that it was probable she might be obliged to have her leg amputated. At last she brought her to express a wish that the operation had been performed while she was insensible, and she seized that moment to tell her that it was already done. When she heard this, she turned pale, was silent for a minute or two, and then raising her eyes to her friend, " Well," said she, " I am very glad that the operation is not now to be performed."

During six months that she remained in the house of Lady Grosvenor, Lord G. omitted no attention which might contribute to soothe her misfortunes. When she was in a state to receive him, he passed the greatest part of his time with her, and exerted himself to amuse her; sometimes by a select company which was agreeable to her, and sometimes by little concerts: and such was his assiduous attention, that it was supposed there was some mixture of love in it. In fact he was in love, but the delicacy and generosity of his conduct were not affected by his passion ; his love was confined within the strictest bounds of compassion and respect, and he took every possible precaution to conceal even the effects of it. Among other things, he went to Miss Moleworth's guardian, and gave him a considerable sum, which he begged him to dispose of in favour of his ward, in case the accident that had happened should have injured her fortune by destroying the family papers ; recommending to him, at the same time, the most rigorous secrecy: and it was not till some years afterwards that Miss Molesworth, having occasion for the assistance, was informed of this.

Young Lord Molesworth was then at Westminster school; his mother had sent for him, on the evening of the accident, to pass some days with her; but by some mistake he never received the message, or he would in all probability have perished.

Two children of eight or nine years old were burnt in their beds, no one being able to rescue them from the flames.

Two others of her daughters, twelve or thirteen years old, went up to the top of the house with their governess. The crowd, assembled in the street, had placed mattresses and feather beds upon the pavement, and called out to them to throw themselves down. The governess threw herself off first; she fell upon the pavement, and was shockingly mangled by the fall before the eyes of her pupils. The eldest, frightened at the height she had to leap, said to the other, " Sister, I see that there is Do other way of saving ourselves but by throwing ourselves down, yet I have not courage to do it; pray, push rat off, and jump after me." The youngest, without waiting any longer, pushed her sister, and jumped after her, and fortunately they both fell upon the feather beds which had been spread not to receive them, and were saved.

I pass over in silence the grief of these young ladies for the loss of their mother, but I cannot help relating a very singular instance of the misfortune that pursued Miss Molesworth.

Some years after this accident, a young nobleman who was both rich and amiable, became enamoured of that lady. She consented to become his wife; the marriage articles were drawn, and the wedding day fixed, when, as they were riding together on horseback, the lover was thrown from his horse and killed on the spot, before the eyes of his mistress. She however married afterwards, and had several children.

(From the Memoirs of the Life and reign of King George the Third - For some time, disappointment and misfortune seem to have pursued Miss Molesworth. She was riding, a year or two afterwards, with a young nobleman to whom she was engaged to be married, when to her horror she beheld him thrown from his horse and killed on the spot. She subsequently, in 1774, married the Right Honourable John Staples, grandson of Sir Robert Staples, Baronet, by whom she became the mother of several children.)

One of the two youngest sisters who had thrown herself from the top of the house, afterwards married Mr. Ponsonby, son of the speaker of the Irish house of commons.

Grace Louisa Staples

Henrietta Molesworth