William Gibson, 2nd Baron Ashbourne
William Gibson, 2nd Baron Ashbourne (16 December 1868 – 21 January 1942) was born at 20 Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin, the son of Edward Gibson, 1st Baron Ashbourne
Edward Gibson, 1st Baron Ashbourne
Edward Gibson, 1st Baron Ashbourne PC, QC was an Irish lawyer and Lord Chancellor of Ireland.-Background and education:...

 and Frances Maria Adelaide Colles, grand-daughter of Abraham Colles
Abraham Colles
Abraham Colles was professor of Anatomy, Surgery and Physiology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Descended from a Worcestershire family, some of whom had sat in Parliament, he was born to William Colles and Mary Anne Bates of Woodbroak, Co. Wexford...

 and niece of John Dawson Mayne
John D. Mayne
The Rt. Hon. John Dawson Mayne P.C. was a British lawyer and legal expert who practised largely in the Madras Presidency. He is largely remembered as the author of Mayne's Hindu Law regarded as a classic and the most authoritative book on the subject.- Life :Mayne was born on December 31, 1828 to...


He was educated at Harrow School
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

, Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

 and Merton College, Oxford
Merton College, Oxford
Merton College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its foundation can be traced back to the 1260s when Walter de Merton, chancellor to Henry III and later to Edward I, first drew up statutes for an independent academic community and established endowments to...

 University. He succeeded to the title of 2nd Baron Ashbourne, of Ashbourne, co. Meath in 1913 and held the office of Justice of the Peace for County Dublin
County Dublin
County Dublin is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Dublin Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the city of Dublin which is the capital of Ireland. County Dublin was one of the first of the parts of Ireland to be shired by King John of England following the...

 and County Meath
County Meath
County Meath is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Mid-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the ancient Kingdom of Mide . Meath County Council is the local authority for the county...

. He was a founder of the Roger Bacon
Roger Bacon
Roger Bacon, O.F.M. , also known as Doctor Mirabilis , was an English philosopher and Franciscan friar who placed considerable emphasis on the study of nature through empirical methods...

 Society and Vice-President of the Irish Literary Society. he was the author of The Abbe de Lammenais and the Liberal Catholic Movement in France and was a contributor to The Dublin and other reviews. In 1896, he married Marianne de Monbrison (d.1953), daughter of Henri Roger Conquerré de Monbrison of Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, a French Protestant from the Languedoc. Marianne's sister was married to Count Edmond de Poutales. Lord and Lady Ashbourne left no children.

Gibson was an enthusiastic cultural nationalist
Irish nationalism
Irish nationalism manifests itself in political and social movements and in sentiment inspired by a love for Irish culture, language and history, and as a sense of pride in Ireland and in the Irish people...

 and converted to Catholicism. He insisted in speaking only Irish, even in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

, and rather than speak English to those who didn't speak Irish, the only other language he would converse in was French. He adopted Irish dress and was a member of the Conradh na Gaeilge.

His father had left in his will £100,000 (roughly £7 million at today's rate), and though 'Willie' was the eldest son and heir, because of his nationalist leanings, he was left with only a 'paltry' £800, the bulk having been passed to his younger brother, Edward Gibson (1873–1928), father of the 3rd Baron Ashbourne
Baron Ashbourne
Baron Ashbourne, of Ashbourne in the County of Meath, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1886 for Edward Gibson, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. His grandson, the third Baron , was a Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy...


Mary Leslie, of the Baronets Leslie of Glaslough said of Lord Ashbourne:
"I am so interested by the Ashbourne's son, a half hatched philosopher & saint who has an article in this 19th Century & is writing on "Danton" for the next. He has the eyes of a Melanethon but the mouth & wit of a Paddy. He was a positivist before he turned Catholic. He has the worst clothes of any philosopher I've met..."

For all his Irishness, he lived near Dorking
Dorking is a historic market town at the foot of the North Downs approximately south of London, in Surrey, England.- History and development :...

 in Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

, before he and his wife removed to France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. They lived at Compagnie where he died. On the back of a letter that he wrote to his wife in 1937, he wrote the opening lines of a poem:
"I turned away, my soul was rich with sadness, And wondered thence in brooding reverie..."

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