Brendan Parsons, 7th Earl of Rosse

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The Earl of Rosse
William Clere Leonard Brendan Parsons

(1936-10-21) 21 October 1936 (age 85)
London, England
Other namesBaron Oxmantown
Alma mater
Alison Margaret Cooke-Hurle
(m. 1966)

William Clere Leonard Brendan Parsons, 7th Earl of Rosse (often known simply as Brendan Rosse;[1] born 21 October 1936), is an Anglo-Irish peer. He is also 10th Baronet Parsons, of Birr Castle.[2]


Birr Castle, County Offaly, seat of the Earls of Rosse

Lord Rosse was the eldest son of Laurence Michael Harvey Parsons, 6th Earl of Rosse, and Anne (née Messel, mother of Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon by an earlier marriage). Lord Rosse was educated at Eton College, Aiglon College, University of Grenoble 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 earldom in 1979, he was known as Lord 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.[citation needed] The archive is held in the Muniment Room of Birr Castle. The Calendar is of great value to researchers delving into the history of the Parsons family, the English settlement of the Irish midlands in the 17th century, the Williamite wars, early Irish nationalism, the Royal Navy in the eighteenth century, nineteenth-century science and astronomy, and the fate of the Irish landed gentry in the early twentieth century.[citation needed]

Lord Rosse appeared in Great British Railway Journeys and in an episode of Lords & Ladies that focused on Birr Castle. His wife, Alison Parsons, Countess of Rosse, and his children Lady Alicia Clements and Michael Parsons, also appeared in this programme.

Marriage and children[edit]

He married Alison Margaret Cooke-Hurle, daughter of Major John Davey Cooke-Hurle and Margaret Louisa Watson, on 15 October 1966.[3] They have three children:

  • Lawrence Patrick Parsons, Lord Oxmantown (b. 31 March 1969); married Anna Lin Xiaojing in 2004 and has two children.
  • Lady Alicia Parsons (b. 1971), a goddaughter of Princess Margaret; married Nathaniel Clements in 2007
  • The Hon. Michael Parsons (b. 9 November 1981)


  1. ^ "The Earl of Rosse". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  2. ^ Official Roll of the Baronets Archived 6 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine, accessed October 2017
  3. ^ Profile,; accessed 21 December 2015.


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