Shelburne Lodge (c. mid-18th century) was the original house in the Kenmare area of the Petty - Fitzmaurice family William Petty
Fitzmaurice (1737-1805), known as Lord Shelburne.
Lord Shelburne was commissioned with the design of the town of Kenmare which was completed in 1775.
William Petty Fitzmaurice (1737-1805) was born in Dublin. His family owned property in Dublin and in Ardfert, Co. Kerry, where they had land and a large residence. Around 1760, now known as Lord Shelburne he inherited vast areas of land in the Kenmare area through his mother, a grand-daughter of William Petty, Cromwells map maker. He came to Kenmare and built Shelburne Lodge around 1769. This was the first house built in the area. Later he commissioned the building of Kenmare town which was completed around 1775. He had a great love of the area and lived in the house as a young man.
In about 1776 he entered politics and became a member of the old Irish parliament opposite Trinity College in Dublin. Later he moved to London, where he had a successful political career, becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain in July 1782 until February 1783. The Treaty of Paris which bought the conflict between Britain and America to an end was signed with American leaders, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Adams among others. He was made the first Marquis of Lansdowne by the King. This was a hereditary title. The present Lord Lansdowne lives in Bowood House in England.
Shelburne was popular with the American leaders and after the Treaty was signed Adams named a town after him in Pennsylvania, Lansdowne. Other areas in America were called Shelburne to honour his memory by the American leaders.
When addressing both houses of Parliament in London in May 2011, American President Obama emphasized that the political alliance between Britain and America was one of the longest lasting in history. There was one brief falling out in 1812 when part of the White House was burned down. However the alliance has remained solid ever since.