The Blake family were of British extraction, said to be descended from one of the Knights of the round table. They arrived in Ireland with Strongbow, and became a powerful family in the area, with several important seats.
These included Menlo, Ardfry, Ballyglunin, Castlegrove and several others. The family became one of the Tribes of Galway and are still well represented in around County Galway.
The name is derived from the Saxon, Blac, a colour; yet, Debrett, in his Baronetage, says, “they are traditionally descended from Ap-lake, one of the knights of King Arthur’s round table,” and adds, “that in the reign of Henry II, one of this family accompanied Strongbow, and after many exploits built himself a castle, at Menlo, near Galway.” — Richard Caddell surnamed Blake, from whom, the Blakes of Galway are descended, was sheriff of Connaught, Vicecomes Conacioe, he was also sheriff in 1306.
The arms of this family were first borne by Richard Caddell and descended to his posterity. The family of Ardfry, descended from Sir Richard Blake, who chairman of the assembly of the confederate catholics of Ireland, at Kilkenny, in 1647, was raised to the dignity of the peerage, in the year 1800, in the person of Joseph Henry Blake, Esq. He was then created Lord Baron of Wallscourt, in Ireland.
The name Blake is at present common in Ardfry, Ballyglunin, Belmont, Castlegrove, Corbally, Forbough, Frenchfort, Hollypark, Killeencastle, Mace, Menlo, Merlinpark, Moorfield, Orancastle, Rahara or Annbally, Renville, (formerly of Lehinch, in Mayo,) Tully, Waterdale and Windfield, in the County of Galway; and Ballinafad, Brookhill, Garracloone, Milltown and Towerhill, in County Mayo.Back