Brendan Parsons, 7th Earl of Rosse

William Clere Leonard Brendan Parsons, 7th Earl of Rosse (known as Brendan;[1] born 21 October 1936), is an Irish peer. He was the eldest son of Laurence Michael Harvey Parsons, 6th Earl of Rosse, and Anne (née Messel, mother of Lord Snowdon, by an earlier marriage). Lord Rosse was educated at Eton College, Aiglon College, Grenoble University and Christ Church, Oxford. He was an officer in the Irish Guards from 1955–57 and worked for the United Nations from 1963-80. He succeeded his father in 1979. He lives at Birr Castle, County Offaly. From his birth until he succeeded to the peerage in 1979, he was known as Baron Oxmantown.

From 1979 to 2007, Lord and Lady Rosse facilitated many decades of research by A.P.W. Malcomson, former director of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and latterly sponsored by the Irish Manuscripts Commission, to enable the production, for the first time, of a comprehensive Calendar of the Rosse Papers in 2008. The archive is held in the Muniment Room of Birr Castle. The Calendar is of inestimable value for researchers delving into the history of the Parsons family, including English settlement of the Irish midlands in the 17th century, the Williamite wars, early Irish nationalism, the British navy in the eighteenth century, and nineteenth century science and astronomy, and the fate of the landed gentry in the early twentieth century.

Marriage and children

He married Alison Margaret Cooke-Hurle, daughter of Major John Davey Cooke-Hurle and Margaret Louisa Watson, on 15 October 1966.[2] They have three children:



  1. Profile,; accessed 21 December 2015.
  2. Profile,; accessed 21 December 2015.


Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Laurence Parsons
Earl of Rosse
1979 – present
Lawrence Parsons

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