10th Earl of Mayo (1962-2006)
Born 1929 Died 2006

Terence Patrick Bourke, known to his friends and family as 'T', was born on the 26th August 1929 at Gosport in Hampshire, being the son of Bryan Longley Bourke and Violet Wilmot Heathcote. Educated at St Aubyns School, Rottingdean and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, he became a lieutenant in the Fleet Air Arm in 1952 and flew Sea Hunter fighter bombers during the Suez Campaign in 1956. He subsequently joined 703 squadron, an aerobatics team, and distinguished himself flying solo at the Farnborough Air Show in 1957 but was invalided out of the Royal Navy with an ulcer in 1959. After leaving the navy he returned to Gosport where he started a printing company, joined the Conservative Party becoming a member of the local business community, served on the Gosport Borough Council between 1961 and 1964, was President of the Gosport Chamber of Trade in 1962 and was also a local school governor from 1963 to 1964.

His father, who died in 1961, was the third son of the 8th Earl of Mayo, and so when his uncle the 9th Earl died without issue on the 17th December 1962, Terence became the 10th Earl of the County of Mayo, although being an Irish title this brought with it no specific priviliges, in particular there was no seat in the House of Lords.

Not long after inheriting the title, Terence fell out with his local party over their failure to back his plans to build a £5 million yacht marina. He left the Conservative Party and became an independent councillor, and stood for Parliament at the 1964 general election as the Liberal Party candidate for Dorset South. But despite handing out matchboxes inscribed with the slogan "There's no match for Mayo" he came bottom of the poll with 7,100 votes well behind his Tory opponent's 21,209, and thererafter gave up any idea of a political career.

In 1965 he left England and moved with his family to County Galway in Ireland where he became the managing director of Irish Marble Ltd, a company which quarried Connemara marble. There he patented a bonded marble veneer which was sufficiently lightweight to be be used in high-rise buildings, and founded the Galway flying club, which later led to the creation of Galway Airport. Terence eventually sold the marble business to an American company in 1982 and left Ireland for south-west France and eventually set up residence in the Château d’Arlens at Couloumé-Mondebat, which he acquired in 1989 and where he established his own deer park with imported English deer. It was there that he died on the 22nd September 2006 at the age of seventy-seven, and was buried in the Anglican cemetery at Mondebat.

The 10th Earl of Mayo was twice married. His first marriage was to Margaret Jane Harrison in 1952 who bore him three sons; Charles Diarmuidh (born 1953), Patrick Anthony (born 1955) and Harry Richard (born 1960) before their divorce in 1987. In that same year he married his second wife Sally Anne Matthews, who bore him a fourth son named James Edward in 1986. His titles naturally passed to the eldest son, Charles Diarmuidh John Bourke, previously known as the Lord Naas, who has two sons of his own.


  • Obituary: The Earl of Mayo 27/10/2006
  • The entry for MAYO from Burke's Peerage and Baronetage
  • http://www.chateauarlens.com/index.html

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