Papa Jack's Room

Papa Jack was the pet name given to the second Sir John Leslie, in order to distinguish him from his father, the first baronet and from his son, Jack, who took up the Irish cause and changed his name to Shane. The first Sir John painted Papa Jack in a Grenadier Guards officer uniform and this picture hangs outside the room today.

Papa Jack was also Colonel of the Monaghan Militia. However, he hated his duty of attending public hangings, failed to blow up a certain bridge through plain ignorance and even drilled the enemy IRA militia by mistake. Absent-minded and amiable, he was an amusing storyteller, who could entertain the dinner table for hours on end. He married the lovely Leonie Jerome, the younger sister of Jenny Churchill, and took over Castle Leslie Estate from his aging parents when they decided to settle in London.

He was also a good painter. The two swan panels, located on the top floor opposite the staircase, are painted by him as are the portraits of himself and his wife, Leonie, in the Blue Drawing Room. He also painted the golden child in the corner, using his grumpy grandson,Desmond, as his model. He died in his nineties in January 1994 and was laid in the family vault.

In this room, guests will find Gothic marbles with saints' niches, ogeeve arches and a marble relief, depicting the baptism of Christ in Jordan, by St. John. Sammy Leslie rescued these treasures - they had been ripped from the once beautiful high altar in Monaghan Cathedral and dumped in a field by a potty bishop. The present Sir John Leslie brought the Italian pictures and furniture from his house in Rome.

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