From Partry to Persia, Ballinrobe in Co. Mayo

The Story of the Lynch Brothers

Henry Blosse Lynch and his brother Thomas Kerr Lynch of Partry House, Ballinrobe, were born in 1807 and 1818 respectively, sons of Major Henry Blosse Lynch. Their father served in the 73rd Regiment and the boys grew up on his 1,500 acre estate north of Ballinrobe.

In 1823 Henry became a midship man in the Indian Navy and served in the survey of the Persian Gulf where he availed himself of the opportunity to learn Arabic and Persian. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1829 and made interpreter to the Gulf squadron. Five years later he was appointed second-in-command to Col. F.R. Chesney on an expedition to explore the Euphrates route to India. In 1837 Henry was placed in command of the expedition and ascended the Tigris to Baghdad, a feat of navigation never before accomplished, for which he was made a member of the Order of the Lion and the Sun of Persia. He was joined by his younger brother on the expedition.

Thomas went on to establish a steamer service on the Tigris linking Baghdad with India. Henry was stationed at Beles on the Euphrates and at Baghdad until 1851.

Next he commanded a squadron of the Indian Navy during the second Burmese War. He retired in 1856 and settled in Paris.

At the end of the Persian War of 1856/7 he was delegated to conduct the peace negotiations which resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Paris in March 1857. In the meantime Thomas travelled extensively throughout Mesopotamia and Persia and was appointed Consul-General for Persia in London. In recognition of their services Henry was nominated by the Shah to the Highest Order of the Lion and the Sun and Thomas was made a Knight of the Order of the Lion and the Sun. Henry died at his home in Paris in 1873 and Thomas died in London in 1891.

(from South Mayo Family Research Centre Journal 1991)

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