Maritime History

Acacia of Barnstaple and Ada of Appledore: Biography of Sailing Merchant Vessels

Acacia of Barnstaple and Ada of Appledore:

Biography of Sailing Merchant Vessels

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

In 1900 the waters around Britain and Ireland were full of sailing merchant vessels carrying coal, timber, grain, iron, china clay and all kinds of other bulk cargoes between the great and small ports. These vessels were of varied size and shape with different rigging such as ketch, barquentine and schooner. They were built in purpose designed ship yards around Britain and Ireland and some were built in North America and a few parts of Europe. Yet some of these vessels were built on the seashore or river banks between high and low tide in yards that have vanished just like their creations.

Yet by 1960 only a handful of these vast numbers of vessels continued to ply their trade commercially. A few of these vessels remain today as museum items or stuck in limbo waiting for a source of money to keep them afloat. Some professional schoonermen, such as Hugh Shaw, Richard England and William Slade, wrote about their lives aboard these sailing vessels and give us a feel of what it was like. Yet the vast majority of masters and sailors left little written accounts of those days. Many of these sailors have now (2018) passed on, their once proud vessels broken up or buried beneath the waves and commercial maritime trade is now done by motor vessels, great and small. Biographies of some of the vast number of sailing merchant vessels that once existed are given below to give some idea of the characters of these vessels and their sailors.

Bideford circa 1894, photographer unknown

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Acacia of Barnstaple

The Acacia was a wooden ketch that was built in 1880 by David Banks of Plymouth. The vessel measured 60.3 feet X 18.6 X 7.4 feet. Her tonnage was 60 tons gross and 45 (later 40) tons net. The Acacia Official Number was 81036 and her signal hoist in 1935 was MFSM. The Acacia was still on the Lloyd’s Register of shipping in 1935.[1] The Acacia was first registered to Plymouth on 30th April 1880 with 45 net tons.[2] The builder of the Acacia, David Banks of Plymouth, operated in the second half of the nineteenth century. Banks was “perhaps the best of the Plymouth schooner builders” according to Basil Greenhill. In 1875 he built the schooner Little Willie for William Stephens of Par who sailed from Fowey. David Banks also built the schooners Blanche and Telephone for John Westcott of Plymouth. He also built the Mildred for W.C. Philips of Port Isaac.[3]

In early 1881 the crew list of the Acacia included Joseph Holten (aged 43) as master; John Holten (aged 51) was the mate while Thomas Baiter (aged 19) was also described as a mate. Joseph and Thomas came from Plymouth while John was from Polperrio.[4] In 1882 the Acacia had the signal hoist of TDVJ and was measured at 45 net tons with a cutter rig. She was then owned by David Banks of Plymouth.[5] In 1888 William Pearn of 5 Commercial Place in Plymouth was the master of the Acacia. William Pearn was born in 1846 in Plymouth. Another William Pearn, born in 1870 in Looe, was mate on the Acacia. In 1888 the Acacia had two cooks, Alfred Laurence (born 1869 at London) and George Campbell (born 1870 at London). It was George Campbell’s first vessel and so the two cooks may be a master and apprentice.[6]

In 1890 David Banks still owned the Acacia with an address at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth.[7] In 1892/3 the Acacia was sold to William Rogers of East Street in Braunton, Devon who also acted as the vessel’s new captain. The vessel was reduced to 40 net tons as she acquired a ketch rigging.[8] In 1894 the Acacia was reregistered to Barnstaple.[9] In 1907 the Acacia was owned and managed by William James Rogers of South Street in Braunton.[10] In early 1913 the crew of the Acacia were William J. Rogers as master (born 1865 at Braunton), Charles Henry Clarke as first mate (born 1892 at Braunton) and William Williams as second mate (born 1883 at St. Agnes, Cornwall). Charles previously served on the Ellerslie of Cardiff while William worked on the Marjorie of Barnstaple.[11] A published photo of the Acacia shows Captain Stanley Rogers tarring the bottom of the then Braunton ketch with his mate George Dendle.[12]

The Acacia remained the property of William J. Rogers until 1931 when the vessel was sold to John Ford of Pembroke between then and 1933. In 1933 John Ford was recorded as owner and master.[13] In 1934 the Acacia got a new signal hoist of MFSM.[14] In 1937/8 the Acacia was sold to Charles Rees of 5 Kingsbridge in Pembroke who became owner and manager.[15] The Acacia was broken up circa 1946.[16] The 1947 registry still records Charles Rees as the owner of the Acacia but the vessel was dead or near the end by that time.[17]

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Ada of Bideford

The Ada name was used on numerous sailing vessels in the nineteenth century and at other times. The Ada of Bideford was a wooden ketch that was built in 1844 at Padstow. She was a small vessel of 38 tons net. The Ada’s Official Number was 22736. In 1865 the Ada of Padstow was owned by Thomas Hawke of Port Isaac and had 33 net tons.[18] In 1867 the tonnage of the Ada was increased to 46 and Thomas Hawke had a new address as he went to live at St. Endellion in Cornwall.[19] The Cornwall Archives Office has crew lists for the Ada for 1872.[20] By 1872 the Ada, with a ketch rigging, was now owned by John Stribley of Padstow.[21] In 1877 the Ada found a new owner in William Rundle of St. Blazey in Cornwall.[22]

In 1884 John Rowe of Lyme Regis in Dorset became the new owner of the Ada.[23] Between 1898 and 1899 the Ada was transferred to Alfred Rowe of Lyme Regis who became owner and manager.[24] Alfred only stayed owner for a short time as by 1900 George Bynon of 30 New Street in Appledore became the owner/manager.[25] By 1902 the Ada was reregistered to Bideford from Padstow with Mrs. S.A. Bynon as owner/manager of 37 New Street in Apledore.[26]

Between 1907 and 1909 the Ada was sold to Arthur Galsworthy of Appledore who became the owner/manager. The Ada kept her ketch rigging but was reduced in tonnage to 38 net tons.[27] In 1913 William Fowler was the master of the Ada. Born in Appledore and aged 36 William Fowler was master of the Ada for a few years. Daniel Fowler (aged 34 from Appledore) was ship’s mate having previously served on the Flower O Portsoy of Plymouth and Alex Marshall (aged 16 from Appledore) was ship’s cook. The Ada was Alex’s first vessel in his seafaring career.[28] In 1913 Arthur Galsworthy became owner of the Waft of Brixham (ON51347) which he retained until 1919 when he sold the vessel to William Lewis of Penarth.[29]

Arthur Galsworthy retained the Ada until 1919 when the vessel came to the end of her life’s journey.[30] In May 1919 the Ada was on a passage from Lydney to Appledore with coal. But on 14th May 1919 bad weather or fog made the vessel divert from her passage and she went aground on the South Tail in Bideford Bay and sank. The loss was made good when all the crew were saved.[31] Arthur Galsworthy had lost the Ada but acquired other vessels like the Francis Beddoe (ON 70557) which he purchased in 1920.[32] But sadness was soon to come again when in March 1924 the Francis Beddoe went aground on Cefusiden Sands in Carmarthen Bay. Although later refloated the vessel was considered beyond repair and was beached where she became a total wreck.[33]

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[1] Bennett, D. (edited by David Clement), Schooner Sunset (Rochester, 2001), p. 171

[2] Appropriation Books, Official Numbers 81001-81050 (81036)

[3] Greenhill, B., The Merchant Schooners (2 vols. London, 1951), Vol. 1, pages 101, 134, 135, 136, 152

[4] Devon Archives and Local Studies, 1976/ACACIA/81036

[5] Mercantile Navy List, 1882, p. 159

[6] Devon Archives and Local Studies, 1976/ACACIA/81036

[7] Mercantile Navy List, 1890, p. 271

[8] Mercantile Navy List, 1893, p. 321

[9] Mercantile Navy List, 1894, p. 332

[10] Mercantile Navy List, 1907, p. 510

[11] Devon Archives and Local Studies, 1976/ACACIA/81036

[12] Bouquet, M., Westcountry Sail: Merchant Shipping 1840-1960 (Newton Abbot, 1971), p. 87

[13] Mercantile Navy List, 1933, p. 948

[14] Mercantile Navy List, 1934, p. 814

[15] Mercantile Navy List, 1938, p. 858

[16] Scott, R.J., Irish Sea Schooner Twilight: The Last Years of the Western Seas Traders (Lydney, 2012), p. 115

[17] Mercantile Navy List, 1947, p. 984

[18] Mercantile Navy List, 1865, p. 3

[19] Mercantile Navy List, 1867, p. 4

[20] Cornwall Archives Office, MSR/1008

[21] Mercantile Navy List, 1872, p. 92

[22] Mercantile Navy List, 1877, p. 120

[23] Mercantile Navy List, 1884, p. 182

[24] Mercantile Navy List, 1899, p. 399

[25] Mercantile Navy List, 1900, p. 390

[26] Mercantile Navy List, 1902, p. 424

[27] Mercantile Navy List, 1909, p. 551

[28] Devon Archives and Local Studies, 1976/ADA/22736

[29] Mercantile Navy List, 1913, p. 988, Ibid, 1918, p. 992, Ibid, 1919, p. 995

[30] Mercantile Navy List, 1919, p. 640

[31] Scott, Irish Sea Schooner Twilight: The Last Years of the Western Seas Traders, p. 93

[32] Mercantile Navy List, 1920, p. 781

[33] Scott, Irish Sea Schooner Twilight: The Last Years of the Western Seas Traders, p. 97

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Political History

Dublin Castle 16th January 1922

Dublin Castle 16th January 1922

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

On 16th January 1922 Dublin Castle, seat of the British government in Ireland, was surrendered or handed over, to representatives of the Irish Provisional Government, as a first step to the transfer of most government functions in Ireland to a new, independent Irish state. Over the previous seven centuries many attempts were made to seize Dublin Castle without success. Edward the Bruce tried to take the castle in 1315 but only got as far as the suburbs of Dublin before he was repulsed. In 1534, Thomas Fitzgerald, 10th Earl of Kildare, got into the streets near the castle but was repulsed. In 1641 Irish chieftains from Ulster tried to take the castle but were betrayed while still making their way through the city. Robert Emmett tried in his failed rebellion of 1803 but didn’t come close to the castle before his rebellion collapsed. At the Easter 1916 rising an attempted was made to take the castle and the sentry on duty was shot. But the Irish failed to press home their advantage and the few British military inside the castle somehow managed to close the gates just in time. During the War of Independence, 1919-1921, the castle remained in British hands while Royal Irish Constabulary barracks fell around the country and government offices were attacked in other parts of Dublin, like the Custom House. Having come to a truce in July 1921 the Irish and British reached an agreement to separate the two countries and on 16th January 1922 the British simply handed over Dublin Castle to the new Irish government.

Kevin O’Higgins and Michael Collins (person with X mark) leave Dublin Castle after the handover

Dublin Castle

In 1204 King John issued a writ to build a new castle in Dublin.[1] In medieval times Dublin Castle was the main military base of the English government in Ireland. The Dublin administration held a number of offices in the castle or in buildings elsewhere around the city. The main offices of state usually followed the justiciar, or viceroy, around the country. In the sixteenth century the English area of influence was reduced to the Pale area around Dublin and so the viceroy, then known as the Lord Deputy, stayed in Dublin Castle. in the seventeenth century the Lord Deputy, now called Lord Lieutenant, held formal sessions in Dublin Castle and had a country house near Kilmainham. In 1780 the government purchased the park ranger’s house in the Phoenix Park which became the Viceregal Lodge. From January to March the Lord Lieutenant mostly lived in Dublin Castle during the social season and moved out to the Viceregal Lodge in the summer months. The head of the English administration in Ireland was the Chief Secretary. He worked in Dublin Castle but from the eighteenth century lived in the Phoenix Park. The Under Secretary, who held the administration when his two chiefs were gone back to England, also lived in the Phoenix Park while working in Dublin Castle. The fabric of the castle varied in quality over the centuries sometimes suffering from neglect, storms, fires or lack of money. Two fires in 1675 and 1683 destroyed many of the medieval buildings within the castle and much of the present fabric is from the eighteenth century. In early January 1922 Dublin Castle hosted its last social function of a children’s party.[2]  

The Treaty and Provisional Government

On 7th January 1922 Dáil Éireann met in the Dublin University College premises on Earlsfort Terrace to vote on the Treaty, officially known as the ‘Articles of agreement for a treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, 6th December 1922’. The vote was 64 for and 57 against. The Treaty recognised southern Ireland as having the same constitutional status as the other dominions in the community of nations known as the British Empire; that was, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Irish were expected to adopted a constitution and establish a parliament under that constitution to become the Irish Free State and be in a position to manage its own affairs. In the interim the British Government agreed to transfer the functions of the Irish government to a provisional government. The Treaty didn’t formality recognise Dáil Éireann, the Irish parliament that was established in January 1919 by the Sinn Fein party, as a legitimate government and so wouldn’t transfer functions to it. Under Article 17 a Provisional Government was to be established by representatives elected for southern constituencies since the passing of the 1920 Government of Ireland Act, to receive the government departments and law courts along with all the functions of government. The Provisional Government was only allowed to exist for twelve months and so adopting a constitution was important item to get done. The constitution was ready by June 1922 with parliamentary elections in June and at the new parliament session in September/October the constitution was adopted on 25th October 1922 and the Irish Free State was formally established on 6th December 1922. The September session of parliament was held in Leinster House where the Irish parliament continues to meet in to this day.

Dáil Éireann and the Provisional Government

On the morning of 6th January 1922 Eamon de Valera, President of the Dáil, offered his resignation as he could see that his side would lose the vote on the Treaty.[3] He hoped that his action could delay the vote or get some deputies to change sides. His offer was rejected and the vote on the Treaty was taken the next day. When the Dáil resumed on 9th January Eamon de Valera again resigned and it was accepted. When he tried to get re-elected his lost by two votes. The next day Arthur Griffith was elected President of the Dáil after De Valera and his supporters absented.[4] That same day the gates of Dublin Castle were left permanently open for the first time in two years – a change in the air.[5] On 14th January 1922 pro-Treaty elected representatives of southern constituencies met and established a Provisional Government under Michael Collins as chairman. A group of ministers were approved to run the Provisional Government. There was a concern on the pro-Treaty side that if they proceeded fully with the Provisional Government approached that the anti-Treaty deputies could claim to be the legitimate Dáil Éireann. Therefore Arthur Griffith stayed on as President of the Dáil and a number of ministers in the Provisional Government were also ministers in the Dáil government of Arthur Griffith. Among the exceptions was Richard Mulcahy, Dáil minister for Defence, who didn’t join the Provisional Government. Many in the army didn’t initially support the Provisional Government and so it was important to keep the army affiliated to the Dáil. President Griffith said that the Provisional Government were not answerable to the Dáil and the Dáil cabinet were working in concert with the Provisional cabinet.[6] Thus you had two official governments operating for most of 1922.

There was also the Dublin Castle government which although reducing its functions during the year was still there until the end of the year. When the civil war started in June the anti-Treaty deputies established their own government so making four governments. When Michael Collins was killed on 22nd August 1922, William Cosgrave was elected acting chairman of the Provisional Government three days later. On 30th August a new Provisional Government was formed under William Cosgrave. On 9th September William Cosgrave was elected President of Dáil Éireann while retaining the chairmanship job, thus united the two pro-Treaty governments under one person.[7]

Upper Yard, Dublin Castle, the meeting was held over the end archway

Dublin Castle 16th January 1922

On the 16th January 1922 eight representatives of the Provisional Government went to Dublin Castle to meet the Lord Lieutenant, Viscount FitzAlan, and present their credentials as the recognised government. Viscount FitzAlan continued as Lord Lieutenant until 6th December 1922 and was the last Lord Lieutenant. He was also the first Catholic to hold the position since 1685 as the Government of Ireland Act 1920 said anybody could hold the position regardless of religious affiliation. Crowds gathered along the approached streets to the castle from early morning as all knew this was a historic day. Popular myth has it that the ministers of the Provisional Government arrived into the castle yard driving military vehicles and in military uniform. In reality the Irish ministers arrived in three black cabs and wore business suits. The eight ministers were: Michael Collins (chairman & Minister for Finance), Eamonn Duggan (Home Affairs), William Cosgrave (Local Government), Kevin O’Higgins (Economic Affairs), Fionán Lynch (Education), Patrick Hogan (Agriculture), Joseph McGrath (Labour) and James Walsh (Postmaster-General).

Folklore says a red carpet was laid down for the Lord Lieutenant but it is not clear if the Provisional Government representatives made use of it.[8] On arriving from the Mansion House, the Under-Secretary is said to have welcomed Michael Collins to Dublin Castle to which Collins is said to have replied ‘Like hell we are!’ The two sides then proceeded to the Privy Council chamber where Michael Collins told Lord FitzAlan that the Treaty was formally ratified and a Provisional Government was established. After presenting their credentials, Lord FitzAlan, on behalf of the British Government, said that his government would proceed with the necessary steps to transfer the ‘powers and machinery requisite’ to the functions of the government to the Provisional Government.[9] There were no trumpets or rituals or drinks on the sideboard. Lord FitzAlan introduced the heads of the various departments and handed over the Castle and the administration to the new government.[10] Lord FitzAlan wished that a free and prosperous Ireland would come. The meeting lasted just short of an hour.

After the meeting film footage showed the Provisional Government leaving the castle by a side door (the doorway into the Chief Secretary’s office) and not the formal front door. Lord FitzAlan also left by the same side door so it seems that nobody was trying to have one over the other.[11] After leaving Dublin Castle, the Irish delegation issued a press statement that the Provisional Government ‘have this day (16th January 1922) undertaken and entered upon the discharge and performance of the duties and functions of the Provisional Government’.[12] The Provisional Government told all law courts, judges, departments of State, councils, corporations, Boards, civil servants, officers of the peace and all public servants and functionaries to continue with their normal activities as they previously did up until that day on behalf of the British Government and to continue to carry out their functions until they were transferred to the Provisional Government.[13]

If the Provisional Government and the Treaty were opposed by a significant minority of Dáil Éireann the Provisional Government also faced the real prospect that current civil servants working in Ireland would alter the wage packages or fire staff or destroy documents because they couldn’t accept that British rule was coming to an end. In the press release of the Provisional Government on 16th January they prohibited the ‘appointing or altering f the status, rights, perquisites or stipend or transfer or dismissal of any officer … without the specific authority’ of the Provisional Government.[14] Even with this prohibition a number of civil servants just upped and left the country. On 26th April 1922 the Minister for Home Affairs, Eamonn Duggan, told the Dáil several officials in the Department of Home Affairs had resigned.[15]

The 16th January statement also prohibited the removal, tampering with or destruction of any records, documents, correspondence, account books … of a public nature … [that] came into existence for the purpose of government’.[16] On 20th January Mark Sturgis did empty a cupboard in the office of the Assistant Under-Secretary which contained documents from before 1870 that nobody had touched in years.[17] It doesn’t appear that any great numbers of documents were destroyed.

Surrender or hand over

Depending on which side of the argument you were on Dublin Castle was surrendered on 16th January or just handed over to the Provisional Government. The British administration in their press statement said that the two sides had met and administration of Dublin Castle was handed over to the Provisional Government. In contrast Michael Collins told Arthur Griffith in more direct language that ‘The Castle has fallen!’[18] After leaving the Castle the Provisional Government returned to the Mansion House where Michael Collins told the assembled members that ‘members of the Provisional Government received the surrender of Dublin Castle at 1.45pm to-day; it is now in the hands of the Irish nation’. The British filmmaking company, Pathé, also said in its caption on the film of the day’s events, said ‘Dublin Castle, symbol and citadel of British rule in Ireland for centuries “surrenders” to Sinn Fein Provisional Government.[19] Mark Sturgis, assistant secretary (1920-1922) to Sir John Anderson the Joint Under-Secretary of Ireland, remarked on the 18th January that the newspapers the previous day were full of headlines about the surrender of Dublin Castle. He though it was ‘caddish’ and that it left a nasty taste in the mouth.[20] The Irish Times of 17th January possible summed it up well when it said that ‘After its fluctuating history of seven centuries Dublin Castle is no longer the fortress of British power in Ireland. Having withstood the attacks of successive generations of rebels, it was quietly handed over … to eight gentlemen in three taxicabs’.[21] On 28th February 1922 President Arthur Griffith formally told the Dáil a meeting of elected representatives of southern constituencies met to formally endorse the Treaty and establish a Provisional Government. He said that Dublin Castle had been handed over to the Provisional Government.[22]

The 7 minutes and 750 years

It is often said that when Michael Collins entered Dublin Castle on that cold January morning that Viscount FitzAlan marked that he was 7 minutes late, to which Collins is said to have replied that we waited 750 years for this day and so you can have your 7 minutes.[23] Yet all were late as the meeting was supposed to start at 12 noon but didn’t happen until 1.45pm. Viscount FitzAlan arrived at the Castle after the Irish delegation had arrived. It is suggested that Michael Collins’ delayed arrival was not to fulfil some gesture towards the end of the 750 years or as a ‘mark of disrespect’ as General Macready described it but the result of practical issues. Collins had spent the weekend in Granard with his girlfriend, Kitty Kiernan and had to attend a meeting to solve a railway strike on his way to the Castle.[24] But as it is often said – never let facts get in the way of a good story. Yet the end of 750 years was a sentiment held by a lot of Irish politicians and soldiers at the time. When George Lennon led his men into Waterford city in early 1922 to take-over the evacuated military barracks he said ‘after the elapse of 750 years it was our privilege to enter the city with native troops’.[25] On 3rd January 1922, during the Dáil debate on the Treaty, Art O’Connor, Minister for Agriculture, spoke against the Treaty because it didn’t the ‘essential thing for which a struggle for the late 750 years has been going on’.[26]   

Using Dublin Castle after 16th January

After the 16th January 1922 Dublin Castle continued to be used by the previous, and in many cases still current, British State Departments as well as military personal. The transfer of offices and departments was a gradual business over the year up to the formal establishment of the Irish Free State on 6th December 1922. It was only on 1st April 1922 that the British Government formally recognised the Provisional Government ministers and began transferring power. The Dáil government, started in 1919 and expanding across the country since then, continued to function after January 1922 and Irish ministers worked at their briefs while not overly concerned about a declining British administration. On 28th February 1922 the Dáil voting 52 to 44 to approve estimates for the next six months. On 1st March the Dáil approved reviving the Aonach Tailteann or ancient games at Tara. On 2nd March the Dáil approved the vote for women over the age of 21 to be included in the forthcoming constitution and was informed that a committee of the Provisional Government would look into the future of the Haulbowline shipyard.[27]

The majority of the State departments, then as now, were located outside the castle and most of the castle was used to host official functions rather than accommodate state offices. Even in medieval times important state departments like the Exchequer were located outside the castle. The Dáil government had its offices scattered around the city and these remained the centre of activity. The Provisional Government didn’t fully occupy Dublin Castle after January 1922. Instead the principal offices of the Provisional Government were in Dublin City Hall.[28] This building was located just outside the north gate of the Upper Castle Yard. Knowing the difficulties of keeping the army and the country together, Michael Collins didn’t want to be seen sending out hard letters with a Dublin Castle address while trying to keep all sides onboard. A number of units of the RIC were still in Dublin Castle in the end of April on their way to demobilisation.[29] On 17th August 1922 the Civic Guards moved into Dublin Castle and took over offices in the Upper and Lower Yard.

South garden view of Dublin Castle

Over the following months more administration tasks were handed over to the Provisional Government while at the same time the British army was reducing its presence in the country as thousands of soldiers returned to England or were sent to the colonies or to occupied Germany. Sir Hamar Greenwood, last Chief Secretary of Ireland, stayed in office until October 1922 as did many of his under secretaries. By 1st March the courts system was handed over to the Provisional Government.[30] The Department of Post and Telegraphs was transferred to the Provisional Government in April 1922.[31] In the same month the secretariat staff of the GPO moved into Dublin Castle as the postal service was always short of accommodation since the GPO in O’Connell Street (then called Sackville Street) was destroyed in the 1916 Rising.[32] By the 26th April a number of state departments were already transferred to the Provisional Government including that of Home Affairs, Education, and Local Government. These were added to the Dáil departments of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Labour.[33]

On 20th February 1923 the majority of the Civic Guard administration left Dublin Castle to move to their new home in the former Royal Irish Constabulary depot in the Phoenix Park.[34] The Parkgate Street location is still today (2022) the headquarters of the Garda Siochana. The bloody civil war was ongoing in August 1922 when the Civil Guard took over Dublin Castle and was still undecided in February 1923 when the unarmed police force was in its early days. Not all the Civic Guards left Dublin Castle. The Dublin Metropolitan Police division of the Civic Guard continued to occupy offices in the Lower Castle Yard for many years.[35] Today, a memorial garden to fallen Gardaí is situated on the south side of Dublin Castle.   

By 1932 a number of government department’s occupied buildings in Dublin Castle and some are still located there today. These offices included the Chief State Solicitor, the Railway Tribunal, and the Register of Business Names, Joint Stock Companies & Newspapers.[36] The Department of Industry and Commerce had a number of subsections in the Lower Castle Yard including the Office of Trade Boards, the Statistics Office and the Finance & Establishment Office.[37] The biggest department in Dublin Castle was the Revenue Commissioners who still reside in the Lower Castle Yard today.[38] For some observers then Dublin Castle can still hold an oppressive image long after the British left in the late summer of 1922.

The Upper Castle Yard contained the great state rooms used in the days of British rule for the Lord Lieutenant to host state occasions. The government of the Irish Free State, and later that of the Republic of Ireland, continued to used St. Patrick’s Hall and its surrounding rooms for state occasions. In June 1938 Douglas Hyde was inaugurated as President of Ireland in Dublin Castle.[39]

Conclusion

The handover of the Dublin Castle and more appropriately the Dublin Castle administration, to the Irish Provisional Government on 16th January 1922 was not the end of British rule in Ireland but it was the beginning of the end. Over the centuries the Castle had become a byword for the oppressive rule of the British.[40] It was the target of many unsuccessful attacks. Yet in the end the British just walked out, even if the actual walk out from the Castle was in December 1922, at the end of the year, the end of an era. The large crowds, who gathered that January morning one hundred years ago, knew that the 16th was a special day. The Treaty still divided opinion about a republic in one big step or many small steps to a republic but the handover of Dublin Castle showed all that the British were leaving and the Irish flag would fly over Dublin Castle for as long as the Irish people decided, in their own country. As the Irish Times reported on 17th January, ‘Having withstood the attacks of successive generations of rebels, it [Dublin Castle] was quietly handed over … to eight gentlemen in three taxicabs’.[41] A historic day    

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[1] Gilbert, J.T., History of the Viceroys of Ireland with notices of the castle of Dublin (Dublin, 1865), p. 503

[2] Robins, J., Champagne & Silver Buckles: The Viceregal Court at Dublin Castle, 1700-1922 (Dublin, 2001), p. 164

[3] Dáil Éireann, Tuairisg Oifigiuil, Session December 1921-January 1922 (Dublin), p. 275, 6th January 1922

[4] Flynn, W.J., Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932 (Dublin, 1932), p. 9

[5] Hopkinson, M. (ed.), The Last Days of Dublin Castle: The Diaries of Mark Sturgis (Dublin, 1999), p. 227

[6] Dáil Éireann, Tuairisg Oifigiuil (Dublin), p. 188, 1st March 1922

[7] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, p. 14

[8] Robins, Champagne & Silver Buckles: The Viceregal Court at Dublin Castle, 1700-1922, p. 164

[9] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, p. 11

[10] Robins, Champagne & Silver Buckles: The Viceregal Court at Dublin Castle, 1700-1922, p. 165

[11] YouTube, British Pathé, Dublin Castle (1922) film

[12] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, p. 11

[13] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, p. 11

[14] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, p. 11

[15] Dáil Éireann, Tuairisg Oifigiuil (Dublin), p. 239, 26th April 1922

[16] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, p. 11

[17] Hopkinson (ed.), The Last Days of Dublin Castle: The Diaries of Mark Sturgis, p. 228

[18] Forester, M., Michael Collins: The Lost Leader (Dublin, 1971), p. 278

[19] YouTube, British Pathé, Dublin Castle (1922) film

[20] Hopkinson (ed.), The Last Days of Dublin Castle: The Diaries of Mark Sturgis, p. 227

[21] Robins, Champagne & Silver Buckles: The Viceregal Court at Dublin Castle, 1700-1922, p. 165

[22] Dáil Éireann, Tuairisg Oifigiuil (Dublin), p. 91, 28th February 1922

[23] Kissane, B., ‘The Politics of the Treaty Split and the Civil War’, in John Crowley, Donal O Drisceoil & Mike Murphy (eds.), Atlas of the Irish Revolution (Cork, 2017), pp. 649-660, at p. 651, fig. 3

[24] Forester, Michael Collins: The Lost Leader, p. 277

[25] Murphy, Sean & Sile, The Comeraghs “Gunfire & Civil War”: The Story of the Deise Brigade IRA, 1914-24 (Kilmacthomas, 2003), p. 122

[26] Dáil Éireann, Tuairisg Oifigiuil, Session December 1921-January 1922 (Dublin), p. 176, 3rd January 1922

[27] Dáil Éireann, Tuairisg Oifigiuil (Dublin), p. 131, 28th February 1922, Ibid, p. 165, 1st March 1922, Ibid, p. 214, 2nd March 1922, Ibid, p. 228, 2nd March 1922

[28] Forester, Michael Collins: The Lost Leader, p. 279

[29] Dáil Éireann, Tuairisg Oifigiuil (Dublin), p. 250, 26th April 1922

[30] Dáil Éireann, Tuairisg Oifigiuil (Dublin), p. 137, 1st March 1922

[31] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, p. 162

[32] Ferguson, S., The GPO: 200 years of history (Cork, 2014), p. 159

[33] Dáil Éireann, Tuairisg Oifigiuil (Dublin), pp. 244, 245, 26th April 1922

[34] Lee, J.J., ‘The Irish Free State’, in John Crowley, Donal O Drisceoil & Mike Murphy (eds.), Atlas of the Irish Revolution (Cork, 2017), pp. 781-795, at p. 781, fig 1

[35] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, p. 135

[36] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, pp. 122, 137, 179

[37] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, pp. 154, 155

[38] Flynn, Free State Parliamentary Companion, 1932, p. 121

[39] Ferguson, The GPO: 200 years of history, p. 192

[40] Robins, Champagne & Silver Buckles: The Viceregal Court at Dublin Castle, 1700-1922, p. 4

[41] Robins, Champagne & Silver Buckles: The Viceregal Court at Dublin Castle, 1700-1922, p. 165

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Railway History, Waterford history

Mallow to Waterford Diesel Locomotives: A Class

 Mallow to Waterford Diesel Locomotives: A Class

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

“A” Class

As late as 1948 a report for Córas Iompair Éireann recommended continuing with steam tractor traction and proposed building 50 new steam trains. Meanwhile in the late 1940s the Inchicore works experimented with building five diesel-electric locomotives which proved successful. In 1950 Oliver Bulleid was appointed as Chief Mechanical Engineer from his work with Southern Railways in England. Bulleid favoured buying North American locomotives but a shortage of dollars meant the government favoured a British manufacture. In 1954 CIE signed a contract with Metropolitan-Vickers for 90 locomotives of which 60 were to have a Co-Co wheel arrangement and 1,200hp and these units became known as A Class with the letter A signifying the top power rating of the planned diesel fleet. The Co-Co wheel arrangement means three axles on each bogie given 6 wheels per bogie and twelve per locomotive. [Source: Irish Railway Models, Córas Iompair Éireann/Irish Rail, A/001 Class Diesel-Electric Locomotive (Dublin, 2021), pp. 1, 2]

Metropolitan-Cammell of Birmingham made the bodywork while the bogies were by the English Steel Castings Corporation of Sheffield. The bogies proved highly successful and it was said that on the worst line in Ireland that you wouldn’t feel a bump. The engines were manufactured by Crossley Brothers of Manchester. The locomotives were assembled at Dukinfield with delivery beginning in 1955. The A Class pulled passenger and freight trains across the network. The braking system on the A Class was very responsive to its work load, especially working loose couple freight trains. The Crossley engines were not so satisfactory. Although powerful the engine caused excessive vibrations and imbalanced the locomotive. In 1968 the engines were replaced by General Motors Electro-Motive Division 1,325hp engines. A58 and A59 were the first two to get the new engines and had the letter R applied to their loco number to become A58R and A59R. The GM motors saved the A Class from the scrap yard as the Crossley engines cost an arm and a leg to maintain. [Source: Irish Railway Models, Córas Iompair Éireann/Irish Rail, A/001 Class Diesel-Electric Locomotive (Dublin, 2021), pp. 2, 3, 7]

The specifications of the A Class were 51feet long with a wheel base of 12foot 3inches and a wheel diameter of 3foot 2inches. The locomotive weighted 85 tons with an axle load of 14.1 tons. The Crossley V8 engine gave a max speed of 75 miles per hour with a traction effort of 61,000lbs (pounds). Before getting the GM motors the locomotives often developed oil leaks in the engine room and had a high failure rate with the cabs noisy and draughty. After re-engineering the locomotives proved to be the work horses of the system with few failures and better driver comfort. [Source: Jack O’Neill, Engines and Men, Irish Railways: a View from the Footplate (Portlaw, 2005), pp. 59, 60] Michael Baker once travelled between Waterford and Cork via Dungarvan in a passenger train pulled by an A Class loco with a Crossley engine. The machine billowed brown smoke and proceeded with a ‘continuous shattering roar’. The engine struggled on the steeper inclines pulling the wooden-bodied carriages. [Source: Michael Baker, Irish Railways Since 1916 (London, 1972), p. 151] The re-engineering programme only began with A58 in 1968, a year too late to have any chance to prove itself on the Mallow to Waterford line.

In 1955 the A Class arrived with a silver grey livery which proved to be ill suited to the Irish weather. Over the next forty years the locomotives received various different liveries from green to black and tan, to super-train livery and everything in between. [Source: Tom Ferris, Irish Railways in colour: From Steam to Diesel 1955-1967 (Dublin, 1992), pp. 88, 89] In 1972 CIE replaced the letter classification to a number system and the A Class became the 001 Class. In 1977 the arrival of the 071 Class displayed the 001 to branch duty. By 1990 some 43 locomotives of the A Class were still in service but these were quickly withdrawn by the arrival of the 201 Class. The lack of air brakes to handle the new freight liner trains of the late 1970s onwards meant that the A Class was left to do secondary work on the network. In 1995 the last A Class was withdrawn. [Source: Irish Railway Models, Córas Iompair Éireann/Irish Rail, A/001 Class Diesel-Electric Locomotive (Dublin, 2021), p. 4]

A39r at Downpatrick

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Loco number A9: in 1966 Tony Price travelled in the cab of A9 between Dungarvan and Waterford (driven by Harry Acheson of Waterford) as it hauled a goods train and took a film of the journey. [Source: Irish Railway Record Society film uploaded to YouTube entitled CIÉ A Class A9 – Dungarvan to Waterford Railway (1966) = accessed on 31st October 2020]

In 1967 loco A9 was filmed by Tony Price at Ballyduff hauling a goods train from Waterford to Mallow. On another occasion A9 was filmed at Cappagh station pulling a freight train from Mallow to Waterford. She was in the black livery with the CIE broken wheel logo on the side. [Source: Irish Railway Record Society film uploaded to YouTube entitled CIÉ – Passenger + Freight trains @ Mallow – Waterford (1967) = accessed on 31st October 2020]

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Loco number A11: in March 1963 loco A11 was photographed at Fermoy station pulling a west bound goods train. Beside it on the station platform was B141 pulling a passenger train bound for Cork while loco 90 was standing in the Mitchelstown platform. [Source: photo uploaded to Facebook group “North Cork Railways by Paudie McGrath on 19th September 2020 = https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10223944706501185&set=pcb.1337308653274373 accessed 26th November 2020]

In 1982 Tony Price filmed 011 passing through Kilmacthomas station as the driver collected the token from Jim Kirwan, the signalman. The loco was pulling 20 freight cars possibly containing dolomite for Ballinacourty. Another part of the film shows 011 parked at Ballinacourty with some Quigley magnesite factory workers and the C.I.E. crew standing in front of it. [Source: Irish Railway Record Society film uploaded to YouTube entitled CIÉ – Freight trains @ Ballinacourty to Waterford Railway (1982) = accessed 31st October 2020]

A11 remained in service on the Irish railway network for many years after the closure of the Mallow to Waterford line. In 1988 she was filmed by Joe St Leger pulling a permanent way train around Mallow area. [Source: Irish Railway Record Society film uploaded to YouTube entitled CIÉ A Class PWD-trains @ Mallow (1988) = accessed 7th December 2021]

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Loco number A19r: in 1971 Joe St. Leger filmed A19r pulling a fifteen car magnesite train from Ballinacourty to Tivoli in Cork through Limerick Junction. [Source: Irish Railway Record Society film uploaded to YouTube entitled CIÉ – Passenger + Freight trains @ Limerick Junction & Rathpeacon (1971) = accessed on 31st October 2020]

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Loco number A20: in about 1960 Tom Tobin photographed the A20 at Dungarvan station pulling a passenger train westwards to Fermoy and Mallow. It appears to have the grey livery. [Source: Waterford County Museum, No. TT476]

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Loco number 030: on 6th June 1975 Liam O’Mahony took a photograph of loco 030 near the magnesite plant at Ballinacourty pulling a train of tanker wagons. The photograph included Liam O’Mahony sitting on a farm gate with the train driver looking out of the cab right window. [Source: Waterford County Museum, No. UK2519] 

==============

Loco number A39r: this loco was a member of the A class of locomotives. In January 1971 Joe St. Leger filmed the A39r pulling a lifting train between Abbeyside and the Ballinacourty junction. The train uplifted and took away both rails and sleepers. [Source: Irish Railway Record Society film uploaded to YouTube entitled CIÉ A Class A39R lifting train – Ballinacourty-Dungarvan (1971) = accessed on 31st October 2020]

The A39r is persevered by the Irish Traction Group in Co. Down at the D.C.D.R.

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Loco number 041: in July 1982 number 041 pulled a five car passenger train for the Irish Railway Record Society between Waterford and Ballinacourty and back on a farewell tour of the railway. She had the black and tan livery. [Source: film by Tom Ryan posted on the Facebook page Mallow Fermoy Lismore Waterford Railway & Branch Lines on 3rd December 2020]

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Gloucester History

The Langford family of Gloucester: stationers and booksellers

The Langford family of Gloucester:

stationers and booksellers

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

The City of Gloucester in the seventeenth century was a well-educated place with many book shops serving a population from shoemakers and weavers to gentlemen who were eager for books and reading.[1] The growth of education via the local grammar schools from the mid-sixteenth century had increase the literate public. As Gloucester was the county town a good stream of high valued customers with income to spend would be attending the assizes, or social functions in the town and hopefully purchase some books on their way.[2] The Langford family were prominent stationers and booksellers in seventeenth century Gloucester serving this market.

Gloucester Cathedral (photographer unknown)

Nicholas Langford, stationer

It is not known when the family began the stationery business in Gloucester but it would seem that Nicholas Langford was operating from at least the final quarter of the sixteenth century. On 7th October 1595 Nicholas Langford, son of Nicholas Langford, stationer of Gloucester, was made apprentice for nine years to John and Margaret Baugh, mercer of Gloucester.[3] In the following year, 1596-1597 Nicholas Langford and John Baugh were the sheriffs and bailiffs of Gloucester under the mayoralty of Grimbald Hitchins.[4] In 1605 Thomas Baugh was elected an alderman but Nicholas Langford didn’t attain that honour.[5]

On 25th March 1599 Henry Langford, son of Nicholas Langford, gentleman of Gloucester, was made apprentice to Nathaniel and Isobel Busshope, woollen draper, for nine years.[6] It is not clear if this was the same Nicholas Langford the stationer but it possibly was as in 1600 we are told that Nicholas led a multi-functional life. On 25th March 1600 Thomas Comminge, son of Thomas Cominge of Pauntley parish, was made an apprentice to Nicholas and Ann Langford for eleven years. Nicholas was supposed to teach Thomas the art of being a stationer. Yet the apprentice entry also allowed Nicholas to teach Thomas whatever ‘art or mystery’ that Nicholas was practicing from time to time.[7]

In 1602-3 Nicholas Langford was the joint sheriff of Gloucester with Thomas Adams under the mayoralty of Richard Cox.[8] Nicholas and Thomas must have developed a good relationship as sheriffs. On 24th June 1603 John Langford, son of Nicholas Langford, gent, was made apprentice for seven years to Thomas and Jane Adams to learn the art of a weaver.[9] In 1612 Thomas Adams was elected as one of the twelve aldermen of Gloucester.[10]

On 25th March 1606 Thomas Smith of Deerhurst Walton was made apprentice for nine years to Nicholas Langford, mercer of Gloucester.[11] Nicholas Langford had qualified as a mercer two years previously. On 29th September 1629 Edward Langford, son of Nicholas Langford, gent of Gloucester, was made apprentice for eight years to Richard Terry, cordwainer.[12] It is not known when Nicholas Langford died but it would appear that he had many years previously passed on the book trade to his relation, Tobias Langford.

Tobias Langford the elder

The early life of Tobias Langford is unknown but by 1605 he had qualified as a stationer and had built up a successful business so as to be able to take on an apprentice. On 21st September 1605 Thomas Jelfe, son of John Jelfe, husbandman from Hartpury, was made apprentice for eight years to Tobias Langford, stationer of Gloucester.[13] On 25th July 1610 Theophilus Maysey, son of Ralph Maysey, clerk from Randwick, was made apprentice for eight years to Tobias and Eleanor Langford to learn to be a stationer. This was a new apprenticeship for Theophilus Maysey as in 1608 he was first made apprentice for ten years to Robert and Anne Whittington to become an apothecary.[14] It would seem that Theophilus Maysey was not suited to becoming an apothecary, or some other reason, as Robert Whittington continued as an apothecary into the 1630s, taking on other apprentices, and after his death, his son William Whittington went into training as an apothecary.[15]

It would appear that Thomas Jelfe and Theophilus Maysey didn’t go into business as stationersin Gloucester after qualification, provided they even completed the term of their apprenticeship. Possibly 20 to 30 per cent apprentices never finished their training, or if some did they never took the time to have it recorded in the corporation archives. In 1615 the Langford family faced potential completion from a Londoner named William Pernill, stationer, who applied to Gloucester Corporation to trade in the town free of tolls as granted by various royal charters given to the City of London.[16] But it seems that William Pernill was just a travelling salesman as his name doesn’t appear in the Gloucester apprentice book for taking on any apprentices.

On 28th August 1626 Tobias Langford was one of seventeen jury members at the inquisition post mortem held in Gloucester relating to Marmaduke Hodshon, gent of Gloucester, who left two messuages in the town along with an acre of arable ground and a parcel of pasture with two barns.[17]

On 21st August 1635 Tobias Langford was one of fifteen jurymen who sat before John Browne, the mayor, at Gloucester to give their opinion on the inquisition post mortem of Thomas Field, gent, who left property in the parishes of Upton St. Leonards and St. Oswald along with property at Down-Hatherly.[18] On 18th April 1636 Tobias Langford was a juryman in Gloucester at the inquisition post mortem of John Rogers, gent, who left a messuage and 26 acres of land in the parish of Upton St. Leonards.[19]

Tobias Langford the younger

In 1614 the future bookseller of Gloucester, Tobias Langford, was born.[20] His parents are unknown for certain. He could have been the son of Tobias Langford or maybe Nicholas Langford. The documentary evidence is not yet available. In 1638-9 Toby Langford was admitted as a freeman of Gloucester as the son of a freeman.[21]

In 1643 Gloucester was declared a free city from Popery and Episcopacy.[22] In 1646 Tobias Langford became publisher and prime bookseller of a book on lay preaching.[23] This book was entitles Private men no pulpit men: or A modest examination of lay-mens preaching. Discovering it to be neither warranted by the Word of God; nor allowed by the judgement, or practice, of the Churches of Christ in New-England. People back then loved books with long titles. The book was printed in London by F. Neile and Tobias Langford’s book shop was one of the main centres for selling the book in the west of England.[24] The main London bookseller was Thomas Vnderhill at the Bible bookshop in Woodstreet.[25] The author was Giles Workman, M.A., clerk of Alderly, Gloucester and master of the College School at Gloucester.[26] The 1646 book was written as a reply to a previous book by John Knowles (a native of Gloucester) which justified the practice of lay-men’s preaching.[27] In 1648 John Knowles produced A Modest Plea for Private Men’s Preaching as a reply to the book of Giles Workman.In the eighteenth century Gloucester booksellers like John Palmer and Thomas Price bounded books as well as selling books.[28] It would seem that Tobias Langford specialised in publishing books and selling them.

On 18th July 1662 Tobias Langford was one of many leading officials and townsfolk of Gloucester who were summoned to take an oath of allegiance and declare that the Solemn League and Covenant was null and void.[29] For taking the oath Toby Langford was named as a member of the common council on 21st July 1662.[30] In 1662-3 Tobias Langford was joint sheriff and bailiff of the city of Gloucester with Edward Tither under the mayoralty of William Russell.[31] This followed the removal of many leading officials from office because they favoured the old regime.[32]

On 21st September 1666 John Langford, son of Tobias Langford, stationer of Gloucester, was made apprentice to his father for seven years.[33] For some unknown reason five apprentice contracts were made in September 1666 whereby the child became apprentice to the parent.[34] Unfortunately John Langford didn’t live to carry on the family business as he died on 25th April 1679, aged 27 years.[35]

In 1668 Toby Langford(bookseller), was elected one of the twelve aldermen of Gloucester. This was a great achievement for Toby and his family but it was short lived because in 1672 he was removed as alderman by the government.[36] He was possibly removed as part of the persecution of dissenters among the common council.[37] Toby Langford was not the first bookseller of Gloucester to suffer that fate. In 1658 Toby Jordan, bookseller, was elected an alderman but in 1663 he was removed by the government.[38] In 1644-5 Toby Jordan was sheriff of Gloucester and in 1659-60 he was mayor of the city.[39] His removal was possibly because he supported the Commonwealth government which had become old fashioned with the restoration of the monarchy.

In 1679 the government decided to disband part of the army and desired to raise £206,462 17s 3d of which the city of Gloucester was to contribute £19 14s. Toby Langford, gent, was named as one of the thirty-three commissioners appointed in the city to assess, collect and pay the subsidy to the government.[40]

After finishing his brief public career Toby Langford continued in the book trade and into his sixties was still active enough to take on new apprentices. On 24th June 1680 Edward Griffiths, son of John Griffiths, a yeoman from Ross in Herefordshire, was made apprentice for seven years to Tobias Langford, bookseller of Gloucester.[41] But Edward Griffiths never got to finish the seven years as Toby Langford died in 1685.

When he died, Tobias Langford left some £300 worth of books, a considerable sum for the time and an equal match to any London bookseller.[42] Unfortunately no details were given as to the type of books Tobias had in stock.[43] Tobias Langford left a personal wealth of £435 19s 3d which was good when compared to most of the other trades people in the city but a nice distance from the wealthy merchants who left estates of £874 to £1,884.[44] His business debtors owed him £83 14s 4d at the time of his death which compared well to other business people in the city who were owed over a hundred pounds and several hundred pounds in a few cases.[45] Tobias Langford was buried in October 1685 at St. Michael’s churchyard after seventy-one years of life.[46]

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[1]Bardle, Stephen, The Literary Underground in the 1660s (Oxford, 2012), p. 38

[2] Ripley, Peter J.G.,‘The Economy of the City of Gloucester,1660-1740’, in Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Vol. 98 (1980), pp. 135-154, at p. 147

[3] Barlow, Jill (ed.), A calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700 (Bristol & Gloucester Archaeological Society, 2001), no. 1/3

[4] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 1/19

[5]https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/glos/vol4/pp374-381 [accessed on 4th September 2020]

[6] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 1/49

[7] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 1/73

[8] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 1/103

[9] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 1/105

[10]https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/glos/vol4/pp374-381 [accessed on 4th September 2020]

[11] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 1/136

[12] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 1/212

[13] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 1/122

[14] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 1/160, p. 275

[15] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, nos. 1/181, 1/333, 1/337, 1/520

[16]Stevenson, W.H. (ed.), Calendar of the Records of the Corporation of Gloucester (Gloucester, 1893), no. 1281

[17] Fry, Edward Alex. (ed.), Abstracts of Gloucestershire inquisitions post mortem for King Charles the First, 1625-1642 (British Record Society, 1899), p. 89

[18] Phillimore, W.P.W. & Fry, George S. (eds.), Abstracts of Gloucestershire inquisitions post mortem for King Charles the First, 1637-1642 (British Record Society, 1895), p. 4

[19] Phillimore & Fry (eds.), Abstracts of Gloucestershire inquisitions post mortem, 1637-1642, p. 15

[20] Austin, R., ‘The City of Gloucester and the Regulation of Corporations,1662-63’, in Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Vol. 58 (1936), pp. 257-274, at p. 273

[21] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, p. 272

[22]Bardle, The Literary Underground in the 1660s, p. 38

[23]Hyett, Francis A., & Bazeley, Rev. William, The Bibliographer’s Manual of Gloucestershire Literature (Gloucester, 1895), Vol. 1, p. 258

[24]Phelps, John D., Collectanea Glocestrensia: or a Catalogue of Books, Tracts, Prints, Coins etc., relating to the County of Gloucester  (London, 1842), p. 137

[25]https://www.worldcat.org/title/private-men-no-pulpit-men-or-a-modest-examination-of-lay-mens-preaching-discovering-it-to-be-neither-warranted-by-the-word-of-god-nor-allowed-by-the-judgement-or-practise-of-the-churches-of-christ-in-new-england/oclc/7332981 [accessed on 4th September 2020]

[26]Phelps, Collectanea Glocestrensia, p. 137

[27]Hyett & Bazeley, The Bibliographer’s Manual of Gloucestershire Literature, Vol. 1, p. 258

[28] Ripley, ‘The Economy of the City of Gloucester,1660-1740’, pp. 135-154, at p. 145

[29] Austin, ‘The City of Gloucester and the Regulation of Corporations,1662-63’, pp. 257-274, at p. 261

[30] Austin ‘The City of Gloucester and the Regulation of Corporations,1662-63’, pp. 257-274, at p. 263

[31] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 2/291

[32] Austin, ‘The City of Gloucester and the Regulation of Corporations,1662-63’, pp. 257-274, at p. 268

[33] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 2/342

[34] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, nos. 2/341, 2/342, 2/343

[35]https://en.geneanet.org/fonds/bibliotheque/?go=1&nom=LANGFORD&page=27&prenom=&prenom_operateur=&size=50&with_variantes_nom=&with_variantes_prenom= [accessed on 6th September 2020]

[36]https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/glos/vol4/pp374-381 [accessed on 4th September 2020]

[37] Ripley, Peter J.G., ‘A Seventeenth-Century Consistory Court Case’, in Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Vol. 100 (1982), pp. 211-220, at pp. 211, 218

[38]https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/glos/vol4/pp374-381 [accessed on 4th September 2020]

[39] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, nos. 1/567, 2/247

[40]https://www.british-history.ac.uk/statutes-realm/vol5/pp897-934 [accessed on 4th September 2020]

[41] Barlow (ed.), A calendar of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, 1595-1700, no. 3/199

[42]Ripley, P.J.G., “The City of Gloucester, 1660-1740” (unpublished thesis, University of Bristol, 1977), p. 77

[43] Ripley, ‘The Economy of the City of Gloucester,1660-1740’, pp. 135-154, at p. 145

[44] Ripley, ‘The Economy of the City of Gloucester,1660-1740’, pp. 135-154, at pp. 145, 146

[45] Ripley, ‘The Economy of the City of Gloucester,1660-1740’, pp. 135-154, at p. 153

[46] Austin, ‘The City of Gloucester and the Regulation of Corporations,1662-63’, pp. 257-274, at p. 273

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Waterford history

Ballinacourty Magnesite Factory and the Railway

Ballinacourty Magnesite Factory and the Railway

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

The Quigley Magnesite Limited factory at Ballinacourty by the sea, and east of Dungarvan, operated from 1970 to 1982 producing magnesite which was used in the manufacture of heavy duty furnace bricks.[1] The factory was situated beside Ballinacourty lighthouse and is now (2021) the location of the Gold Coast golf course. It used dolomite limestone from Bennettsbridge to manufactory the magnesite. The enterprise was established by John A. Mulcahy, an emigrant with ancestors in the Dungarvan area. The plant was built in 1969 by P.J. Hegarty and Sons of Cork.[2] The railway network was an essential component in the success of the enterprise. The Waterford to Kilkenny railway passed along the west side of the quarry at Bennettsbridge, just south of milepost 32. Freight wagons carried the dolomite to Waterford where it passed over the Suir Railway Bridge and onto the Waterford to Dungarvan railway. At milepost 49 a short spur line of 1½ miles was built off the Waterford to Dungarvan railway to reach the Ballinacourty factory. On 4th September 1968 Córas Iompair Éireann (C.I.É.) applied to the Minister for Transport and Power for permission to construct the new line of track. A ministerial order of 9th December 1968 gave powers to C.I.É. to compulsory purchase the necessary land, and to build the single line of railway.[3]

030 brings full oil wagons and empty magnesite wagons to Ballinacourty (Waterford County Museum photo)

Not everybody in Ballinacourty was happy with the new railway. The area was noted for its early potatoes and the new railway seemed to like travelling across the best of farmland.[4] Although angry at first, the local farmers accepted the railway.[5] They possibly found the seemingly endless white clouds that came out of the magnesite factory more irritating.

On 5th June 1968 Deputy Richard Barry, T.D. (Fine Gael, North-East Cork), asked Deputy Patrick Lalor, T.D. (Fianna Fail, Laois-Offaly, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Power), if it was intended by C.I.É. to re-open the Mallow to Waterford railway for passengers and freight following the awarding of a contract to bring dolomite to the proposed new Ballinacourty factory. The last service on the Mallow to Waterford line ended on Saturday 25th March 1967.[6] Deputy Lalor replied that C.I.É. had no intention of re-opening the line for passengers or freight. Instead the Waterford to Ballinacourty line was purely just for the dolomite traffic and the magnesite would be transported to Cork via Waterford and Limerick Junction.[7] C.I.É. said the magnesite/oil train between Cork and Ballinacourty would not of itself make it economic to open the line between Ballinacourty and Mallow. By March 1968 a large section of the railway between Lismore (milepost 32) and Ballyhane (milepost 38) east of Cappoquin had already been removed. This was even done before an extraordinary general meeting of the Fishguard & Rosslare Railway Company (owners of the line) on 4th April 1968 approved the Abandonment Order and appointed C.I.É. to implement the winding up proceedings.[8] Deputy Thomas Kyne, T.D. (Labour, Waterford), asked Deputy Lalor, T.D., if the 1½ miles of track from Dungarvan to the proposed Ballinacourty junction be retained so to allow passenger services to continue between Dungarvan and Waterford. Deputy Lalor expressed no personal objections but that the re-opening of the line was only for a specific purpose.[9]

On 3rd April 1970 the first dolomite train travelled over the newly reconditioned Waterford to Ballinacourty railway.[10] The line was in pretty good condition in 1970 to take the heavy freight traffic.[11] The first production manager at Quigley-Magnesite was Frank O’Riordan. Yet the satisfaction of seeing the new factory begin operations and provide employment in the Dungarvan was short lived for John Mulcahy. The cost of setting up the facility was a bit too much and in 1971 John Mulcahy sold the factory.[12] Fortunately the new owners, Pfizers, were willing to continue operations for another eleven years.

Initially there were two dolomite trains at day travelling in each direction with one train a day service to Cork. The business for C.I.É. was worth about £1½ million per year.[13] The service with Cork supplied the factory with usually five tank wagons of heavy fuel oil and about a dozen empty magnesite wagons. The return journey carried the loaded magnesite wagons to Tivoli, east of Cork, for export and the empty oil wagons. Occasionally the empty dolomite wagons would collect ballast at Carroll’s Cross quarry as the railway line passed through the quarry.[14]

The magnesite/oil train between Ballinacourty and Cork was usually pulled by an A Class diesel locomotive.[15] The A Class locomotives were built in 1955 by Metropolitan-Vickers using parts made by Metro-Cammell and engines by the Crossley Works. The original Crossley engine was insufficient for the mainline work asked of the A Class and so in 1968-70 the locomotives received the better General Motors engine from the US and so could work the freight trains.[16] The loaded wagons were placed next behind the locomotive for better braking effect. Thus coming from Cork the oil wagons were next to the locomotive with the empty magnesite wagons at the rear. On the return journey the magnesite wagons would be next to the locomotive with the empty oil wagons at the rear.[17] A20r pulled such a train towards Cork as seen on the section of track between Clonmel and Cahir.[18]

The oil tankers and the magnesite wagons began their journey at Tivoli but were hauled as separate trains through Glanmire station and Glanmire tunnel uphill as far as Rathpeacon. There a number of sidings beside the double track mainline allowed the two trains to be joined into one train for the long journey to Ballinacourty. At Limerick Junction the locomotive had to do a run around and push the train around a curved track onto the Limerick railway. After straightening up and given the all clear to cross the Cork-Dublin mainline, the driver received the staff from the signalman as he proceeded onto the Waterford bound railway.[19] At Waterford the locomotive had to run around the train again so as to face the curved track onto the Suir Railway Bridge. As he went the driver would have received another staff to take him as far as Kilmacthomas where Jim Kirwan exchanged the staff for another one to allow the train to proceed onwards to Ballinacourty. The Dungarvan to Mallow railway would have eliminated all that running around by a short west facing spur line at Ballinacourty junction with an east facing spur for the dolomite trains.

Sometimes, depending on production schedules, an A Class locomotive would bring a train of only empty magnesite wagons to Ballinacourty, usually about 15 to 22, and return to Waterford with just empty oil tank cars, usually 5 wagons. A loaded magnesite train would be about 15 to 22 wagons. The number of oil cars varied between 3 and 5 wagons. Sometimes empty oil wagons would be left in the sidings at Kilmacthomas station.[20] Occasionally a longer 9 to 10 empty oil wagons train came off the Ballinacourty railway across the Suir Bridge and onto Cork hauled sometimes by A8r. This 10 wagon train would later return to Ballinacourty from Cork with full wagons without any magnesite wagons.[21] In the beginning the magnesite wagons were often covered with just a tarpaulin cover.[22] Later an iron roof was placed over the wagons which could be opened and closed for loading and unloading.[23]    

The dolomite train was usually hauled by a pair of locomotives of the 141 Class.[24] The 141 Class were built by General Motors of the USA and introduced in 1962 with double cabs. The heavy dolomite trains often required the driver to work the route with the throttle at full power.[25] Before the development of the Tara Mines railway freight traffic, the dolomite trains from Bennettsbridge to Ballinacourty were the heaviest on the railway network. The dolomite train was usually about 24 wagons long.[26] Occasionally a single 141 Class locomotive would haul a short dolomite train of about a dozen wagons between Bennettsbridge and Ballinacourty as B144 did in 1971.[27] The Waterford to Ballinacourty railway was serviced by the engineering department at Waterford station. Line inspection vans, permanent way crew, weed spraying train and mechanical serving units at various times travelled and worked on the line.

Ballinacourty
freight wagons
   
    
 DolomiteMagnesiteOil
Capacity20 tonnes20 tonnes20 tonnes
Load empty10 tonnes10 tonnes12 tonnes
Maximum load30 tonnes30 tonnes32 tonnes
Car numbers26612/2662726590/2659326570/26589
Car numbers26632/2663526595/2659626628/26631
Car numbers26594/26597/2659826599/2660026636/26652
Car numbers26601/26607/2661026602/2660626723/26728
Car numbers26760/2676926608/26609 
Car numbers 26611 
    

To extract the magnesite from the dolomite the rock needed to be mixed with sea salt hence the location of the factory at Ballinacourty beside the sea. The factory was able to achieve an extraction rate of 92%.[28] Apart from the endless white clouds across Dungarvan Bay, the factory was a major boost to the local economy. Some 150 workers were employed at the factory generating about £1½ million in annual wages for the local economy. Local business also benefitted from about £3½ million in local supply contracts.

Before the Ballinacourty factory closed in 1982 the volume of magnesite transported to Cork/Tivoli by rail had decreased with an increasing amount carried by road as there were difficulties offloading the railway wagons at Tivoli.[29] By 1982 the Quigley-Magnesite Company discovered magnesium carbonate in East Asia that could be extracted cheaper by open cast mining. The seams at Bennettsbridge were still available and further seams of dolomite limestone were available at the Ballyellen quarry on the east side of the River Barrow. The manufacturing process could also be done cheaper in Asia.[30] Another consideration was that the factory had outlived the ten year obligatory period for state grant aid. Thus the company announced the closure of the factory in 1982. The last railway traffic serving the factory was made on 28th July 1982.[31] Inspection cars and the occasional locomotive without any wagons travelled the line until 1990.   

In August 1993 the Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company announced that they intended to abandon the railway between Waterford West junction and milepost 49 on the Waterford/Ballinacourty railway. The 1½ mile rail line from milepost 49 to the former Ballinacourty factory was owned by C.I.É. The crossover at Waterford West was discounted and the signals were removed. On Sunday 21st November 1993 the line at Waterford West was converted into a railway siding.[32] The track was lifted using diggers and excavators. Much of the track was recycled for use elsewhere on the railway network.[33] In 1997 a group was formed in Waterford with the purpose of building a narrow gauge railway between Kilmeaden and Waterford. In 2002 the group took on their first passengers as the Waterford and Suir Valley Railway with the line extending from Kilmeaden to Bilberry by 2004.[34] In the 1990s the Gold Coast Golf Club purchased the derelict Quigley-Magnesite factory. The site was cleared of its industrial past and the Club’s previous 9-hole golf course was expanded into an 18-hole one.[35]

Weed spray train at Ballinacourty (Waterford County Museum photo)

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[1] Waterford County Museum, photo image, No. UK2530

[2] Power, Patrick C., A history of Dungarvan Town and District (Dungarvan, 2000), p. 294

[3] Shepherd, Ernie, Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company: An illustrated history (Newtownards, 2015), pp. 161, 162

[4] Cantwell, Eddie, The Way it Was, Ballinacourty, Ballinroad & Clonea: The Families & their History (Dungarvan, 2004), pp. 14, 16

[5] Barry, Michael, Tales of the Permanent Way: Stories from the Heart of Ireland’s Railways (Dublin, 2009), p. 87

[6] Flaherty, Cian, William Fraher, Julian Walton & Willie Whelan (eds.), The Towns & Villages of the Waterford Greenway: a history of Dungarvan, Abbeyside, Stradbally, Kilmacthomas, Portlaw & Waterford City (Dungarvan, 2018), p. 254

[7] Dáil Éireann debates, Vol. 235, No. 4, 5th June 1968, oral questions and answers, Mallow-Waterford Railway Line.

[8] Shepherd, Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company, p. 162

[9] Dáil Éireann debates, Vol. 235, No. 4, 5th June 1968, oral questions and answers, Mallow-Waterford Railway Line.

[10] Baker, Michael H.C., Irish Railways Since 1916 (London, 1972), p. 151

[11] Barry, Tales of the Permanent Way: Stories from the Heart of Ireland’s Railways, p. 87

[12] Power, A history of Dungarvan Town and District, p. 294, based on information given by Frank O’Riordan to Patrick C. Power, 21st March 1999

[13] Flaherty, Fraher, Walton & Whelan (eds.), The Towns & Villages of the Waterford Greenway, p. 254

[14] www.irishrailwaymodeller.com questions and answers, Waterford Station, answer posted 17th October 2014 by Junctionmad who occasionally travelled on the dolomite train and saw it stop at Carroll’s Cross (accessed 8th November 2021)

[15] www.irishrailwaymodeller.com questions and answers, Waterford Station, answer posted 17th October 2014 by aclass007 (accessed 8th November 2021)

[16] Baker, Irish Railways Since 1916, pp. 171, 188

[17] www.irishrailwaymodeller.com questions and answers, Waterford Station, answer posted 10th October 2014 by aclass007 (accessed 8th November 2021)

[18] Irish Railway Record Society, film, Irish Railway Film Show-“From Cork to Mayo and the Suir Valley” by Joe St Leger/Ciarán Cooney as seen on YouTube

[19] Irish Railway Record Society, film, Irish Railway Film Show-“From Cork to Mayo and the Suir Valley” by Joe St Leger/Ciarán Cooney as seen on YouTube

[20] Irish Railway Record Society, film, CIÉ-Freight Trains @ Ballinacourty to Waterford Railway (1982) as seen on YouTube

[21] Irish Railway Record Society, film, Irish Railway Film Show-“From Cork to Mayo and the Suir Valley” by Joe St Leger/Ciarán Cooney as seen on YouTube

[22] Irish Railway Record Society, film, Irish Railway Film Show-“From Cork to Mayo and the Suir Valley” by Joe St Leger/Ciarán Cooney as seen on YouTube

[23] Irish Railway Record Society, film, CIÉ-Freight Trains @ Ballinacourty to Waterford Railway (1982) as seen on YouTube

[24] www.irishrailwaymodeller.com questions and answers, Waterford Station, answer posted 17th October 2014 by aclass007 (accessed 8th November 2021)

[25] O’Neill, Jack, Engines and Men, Irish Railways: a View from the Footplate (Portlaw, 2005), p. 63

[26] Irish Railway Record Society, film, CIÉ-Freight Trains @ Ballinacourty to Waterford Railway (1982) as seen on YouTube

[27] Irish Railway Record Society, film, CIÉ-Passenger + Freight trains @ Waterford West (1971) as seen on YouTube

[28] Power, A history of Dungarvan Town and District, p. 294

[29] www.irishrailwaymodeller.com questions and answers, Waterford Station, answer posted 18th October 2014 by aclass007 (accessed 8th November 2021)

[30] Power, A history of Dungarvan Town and District, p. 294

[31] Anon, ‘Irish Railway News’, in the Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society, Vol. 18, No. 123 (February 1994), pp. 353-363, at p. 359

[32] Anon, ‘Irish Railway News’, in the Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society, Vol. 18, No. 123 (February 1994), pp. 353-363, at p. 359

[33] Barry, Tales of the Permanent Way: Stories from the Heart of Ireland’s Railways, p. 87

[34] Shepherd, Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company, pp. 173, 174

[35] Power, A history of Dungarvan Town and District, p. 294

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Biography, Cork history

Rev. Henry Harrison of Castlelyons

Rev. Henry Harrison of Castlelyons

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

In Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976 (facsimile edition 2007) page 294 Rev. Henry Harrison is described as rector of Rathcormac parish in the diocese of Cloyne in the early decades of the eighteenth century. Church records show this not to be the case. Instead Rev. Henry Harrison held a number of parishes in the neighbourhood of Rathcormac and some livings in other dioceses. From 1671 to 1677 he held the vicarages of Skerke, Clarage and Dungarvan in the diocese of Ossory. In 1677 Rev. Henry Harrison was the rector and vicar of Nathalash; vicar of Kildorrery, vicar of Castlelyons, vicar of Clondulane, and the rector of Britway, all in the diocese of Cloyne. He held these livings until his death in 1747.[1] The Clondulane vicarage was joined to the vicarage of Castlelyons from 1661 to 1759.[2] The vicarage of Kildorrery was held with Nathalash from 1661 to 1863. [3] In 1727 William Spratt of Mitchelstown became curate at Castlelyons and in February 1748 succeeded Henry Harrison in the vicarage at Castlelyons. In 1685 Rev. Henry Harrison became vicar of Ahern and Ballynoe which he held until 1747.[4] In 1747 the rectory of Britway was joined to the vicarage of Ahern.[5]

Castlelyons church

Rev. Henry Harrison had two brothers, John Harrison of Castlelyons and Samuel Harrison of Carrigabrick.[6] In 1736 Mary, daughter of Samuel Harrison, was the prospectus bride of John Peard of Castlelyons. As part of the marriage settlement John Harrison gave the lands of Ballyhamshire to Samuel and Rev. Henry Harrison for life while retaining the rents and after his death, John Peard would receive the rent.[7] Rev. Harrison’s sister, Priscilla Harrison, married Henry Peard of Coole Abbey and left issue including Priscilla Peard.[8] In 1731 John Harrison was a trustee for Priscilla Peard in the lands of Coole, Brown’s Land, Grange and Francistown. The other trustee was Daniel Keeffe of Ballyglisane.[9] Another sister, Mary, married William Nason. In May 1715 Henry Harrison was a witness to the grant of land and a dwelling house at Bowling Green Marsh in Cork City for 993 years between Richard Harrison, carpenter of Cork City and John Harrison of Castlelyons.[10] In June 1716 Rev. Henry Harrison was a witness to the lease of land at Maharry between Francis Price of Castlelyons and John Harrison of Castlelyons.[11]

In May 1681 Rev. Henry Harrison was one of four witnesses to the will of Richard Vowell of Castlelyons.[12] In 1719 Rev. Henry Harrison was one of the witnesses to the marriage settlement made between Edward Norcott (son of John Norcott, Ballygarret, Co. Cork) and Mary Vowell (second daughter of Christopher Vowell of Ballyovane, Co. Cork). John Harrison of Castlelyons was a trustee of the marriage settlement.[13] In 1733 Mary Vowell married Hawnby Longfield, merchant of Cork City.[14] In 1724 the will of Christopher Vowell of Ballyoran in the parish of Castlelyons described himself as brother-in-law of Henry Peard of Coole and John Harrison of Castlelyons.[15]

In 1736 Rev. Henry Harrison was the lessor of various unspecified lands around Lismore, Co. Waterford.[16] In September 1737 Standish and David Barry of Leamlara, Co. Cork, gave unspecified lands to Rev. Henry Harrison.[17] In December 1737 Thomas Grant of Kilmurry, Co. Cork, gave a lease to Rev. Henry Harrison of various lands in County Waterford.[18] In October 1748 the executors of Rev. Henry Harrison released the lands of Inchinleamy for £1,000 to Stephen Bernard of Prospect Hall, Co. Waterford. These lands were previously released to Rev. Harrison by Thomas Grant of Kilmurry for £1,000 subject to redemption.[19]

Rev. Henry Harrison got married and had a son called Henry Harrison (born c.1681). Henry Harrison junior entered Trinity College Dublin in May 1698 and was a scholar in 1702. In July 1705 Henry Harrison junior was prebend of St. Michael’s parish in the diocese of Cork.[20] Henry Harrison junior died in 1711 without issue.[21] In 1716 William Nason of Killavullen married Mary, the sister and heiress of Rev. Henry Harrison. Their son, John Nason inherited his uncle’s property at Newtown near Ballynoe.[22] By his marriage to Elizabeth Keeffe, John Nason had a son John Nason who inherited Newtown which remained in the Nason family until the early twentieth century.

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[1]Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 6, p. 812

[2]Casey &O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater, vol. 6, p. 819

[3]Casey &O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater, vol. 6, p. 844

[4]Casey &O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater, vol. 6, p. 812

[5]Casey &O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater, vol. 6, p. 805

[6]Casey &O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater, vol. 14, p. 677

[7]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 132, Page 385, Memorial 89676

[8]Casey &O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater, vol. 14, p. 677

[9]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 108, Page 12, Memorial 74266

[10]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 31, Page 75, Memorial 18242

[11]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 29, Page 440, Memorial 18245

[12]Casey &O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater, vol. 14, p. 635

[13] Registry of Deeds, Vol. 47, Page 537, Memorial 31783

[14]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 75, Page 209, Memorial 52608

[15]Casey &O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater, vol. 14, p. 678

[16]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 91, Page 474, Memorial 64899

[17]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 87, Page 349, Memorial 62028

[18]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 89, Page 158, Memorial 62637

[19]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 132, Page 385, Memorial 89673

[20]Casey &O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater, vol. 6, p. 812

[21]Cork Past and Present, Vol. 1, p. 291

[22]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976 (facsimile edition 2007) p. 294

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Waterford history

Kilmeaden Railway Station Staff

Kilmeaden Railway Station Staff

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

In 1872 construction began on building the Waterford, Dungarvan and Lismore Railway which linked the city of Waterford via a station at Bilberry on the south side of the River Suir with the town of Lismore via Dungarvan. At Lismore the line joined the existing Fermoy & Lismore Railway (opened 1872) which took passengers and goods to Fermoy from where they continued on to Mallow via a railway built in 1860. The line took six years to build and was opened in August 1878. Kilmeaden was the first station on the line out of Waterford after the railway had passed along by the River Suir. The location of the station not only facilitated local access for passengers and goods to the port cities of Waterford and Cork but also had good road communication with the important industrial town of Portlaw. In 1906 the construction of the Suir Railway Bridge linked the Mallow to Waterford line with the station at Waterford North. This connection allowed the through run of the Rosslare express from the ferry at Rosslare to Cork via the new South Wexford Railway. The bridge also connected Kilmeaden with the other railway lines in the south-east such as through Kilkenny and Carlow and a more direct route to Dublin than going all the way around via Mallow. [Cian Flaherty, William Fraher, Julian Walton & Willie Whelan (eds.), The Towns and Villages of the Waterford Greenway (Dungarvan, 2018), pages 246, 250]

Modern Kilmeaden Railway Station

In 1916 a number of local farmers in the Kilmeaden area came together to form Kilmeaden Co-op and a new creamery was built in the village. The first month of operations (October 1916) processed 10,932 gallons of milk and by July 1920 some 38,000 gallons per month was received. The railway facilitated the transportation of this milk and process butter and cheese to Waterford, Cork and further afield. The train time table allowed a few minutes for the engines of passenger trains to attach freight cars of milk and butter for transportation to the big cities. [Michael Carberry, (edited by Donnchadh Ó Ceallacháin), Ballyduff-Kilmeaden: Portrait of a Parish (Kilmeaden, 1998), page 31]

Since before 1900, the Mallow to Waterford railway had competed with the Waterford and Limerick Railway for the best connection between the Rosslare ferry and Cork city. The 1906 gave the route through Kilmeaden the edge but it was never outright victory for the southern route. In 1950 CIE proposed closing the Mallow to Waterford railway and send the ferry train through Clonmel and Limerick Junction but this was opposed locally and the idea was put on the back burner. In 1959 CIE changed the train time table and made the Rosslare express stand at Mallow for ten minutes so as to give the impression that the route was slow. On 26th March 1967 the last passenger train passed through Kilmeaden as CIE finally won its plan to close the line. Work at dismantling the line began almost overnight at Mallow and had reached Dungarvan before the building of the Quigley Magnesite factory at Ballinacourty required the reopening of the line between Waterford and Ballinacourty. CIE agreed to this but removed the track between Ballinacourty and Dungarvan to make sure the line was only for freight traffic. Government regulations and the changing economic environment forced the closure of the factory in 1982 and the last loaded freight train passed through Kilmeaden on 28th April 1982. [Cian Flaherty, William Fraher, Julian Walton & Willie Whelan (eds.), The Towns and Villages of the Waterford Greenway (Dungarvan, 2018), pages 250, 254] The permanent way was thereafter occasionally inspected by an inspection railcar and a loco engine until 1990. In August 1993 the Fishguard & Rosslare Railway Company got permission to remove the tracks while CIE were allowed to remove the short section of track between Ballinacourty and milepost 49. [Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society, Vol. 18, No. 123 (February 1994), page 359]

It was likely that the permanent way between Waterford and Ballinacourty would be totally destroyed like that between Mallow and Dungarvan but ideas of opening the line as a heritage railway quickly surfaced. It was considered that reopening the full line with the standard gauge to be overly ambitious so a narrow gauge railway was begun at Kilmeaden station in 2003 and it has progressively extended the line back towards Waterford city and presently (2021) reaches the old WD&LR station at Bilberry. The old line from Bilberry to Dungarvan was opened in 2017 as a greenway with a hard surface roadway for walkers and cyclists. 

John Connington, station master = in April 1885 Mr. Connington was the station master at Kilmeaden when on 17th April their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales arrived at the station. They were accompanied by Prince Albert Victor, the Marquess of Ormond, the Earl and Countess of Listowel along with Lord and Lady Lismore. The royal party was greeting by the station decked out with flowers and flags along with a large police presence and a large crowd of local people observing in silence from the railway bridge overlooking the station. [Ian d’Alton, ‘Before Molly Keane: image and reality in the lives of the nineteenth-century gentry of east Cork and west Waterford’, in Decies, No. 70 pp. 85-101, at p. 91, note 30 a transcript of the newspaper article in the Waterford News, 19th April 1885]

In 1901 census records a John Connington, aged 50, as a station master at Carrick-on-Suir. He was originally from County Mayo. John could read and write but only speak English. He was a Roman Catholic as was his wife Margaret Connington. Margaret Connington, aged 43, was a native of County Waterford and could read and write. In the house at Knocknaconnery was a general servant, Mary Connington, aged 14. The house was the Carrick-on-Suir station house owned by the GS&WR and had three rooms within for the family use with four windows in the front elevation and no outbuildings. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1901] By 1911 John Connington had moved house to become the station master at Milltown in County Kerry. Living with him at house number 4 in Rathpoge East was his wife of 27 years Margaret Connington. The couple had no children of their own and nobody else lived in the house. The house was separate from the railway station house and had six rooms with four windows in the front elevation and no outbuildings. It was owned by the GS&WR as was the house of Timothy Sullivan next door. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

John Burgess, station master = in September 1889 John Burgess was appointed station master at Kilmeaden. [Ernie Shepherd, Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company (Newtownards, 2015), page 273] The periods of employment at Kilmeaden station of John Burgess, George Mulcahy and James Cunningham appear to be a bit incoherent in the published history books and warrants further investigation. 

George Mulcahy, station master = on 1st May 1892 George Mulcahy was appointed station master at Kilmeaden. It would seem that George only stayed a short time before he was replaced by James Cunningham in 1893 but George was reappointed station master at Kilmeaden on 25th April 1904. [Ernie Shepherd, Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company (Newtownards, 2015), page 273]

James Cunningham, station master = in 1893 James Cunningham was the station master at Kilmeaden [Guy’s Postal Directory, 1893, County Waterford, page 47] In 1901 census records a James Cunningham, aged 50, who was a railway ganger in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny. The 1901 census records a James Cunningham, aged 44, at Cooltederry near Portarlington who was a train examiner. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

John Burgess, station master = In 1901 John Burgess was the station master at Kilmeaden. John Burgess was then 28 years old, a Roman Catholic, born in County Waterford who could read and write but not speak any Irish. John Burgess was unmarried in 1901 and lived with Kate Power, aged 67, an unmarried house keeper who could read and write and was born in County Waterford. John Burgess described himself as the son of Kate Power yet Kate said she was unmarried. John and Kate lived in the station master’s house which had four rooms, five windows in the front elevation and one outbuilding. The Great Southern & Western Railway Company owned the building which still stands today (2021). [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

In 1911 John Burgess was aged 40 and a mill labourer at Kilmeaden. He was married to Mary Burgess for six years and they had four children, three sons (John, aged 6; Patrick, aged 1 and Francis a few weeks old) and one daughter (Kate, aged 3). They lived in a house rented from Robert Ardagh. The house had three rooms with three windows in the front elevation and one outbuilding. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

Francis Lappin, station master = in 1901 Francis Lappin (aged 22) was living in Bennetsbridge where he worked as a postman. He lived with his sister Jane Lappin, aged 24. Both were born in County Kilkenny and members of the Church of Ireland. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1901] In 1911 Francis Lappin, aged 31, from County Kilkenny, was the station master at Kilmeaden. He could read and write and was a member of the Church of Ireland. Francis Lappin was married to Kate Lappin (aged 30, from County Waterford) for six years and they had three children of whom only one, Martha, was alive in 1911. On census night there were two visitors in the station master’s house; Maurice Herbert, aged 74, a gardener from County Cork and Martha Stafford, aged 14, a school pupil from County Kilkenny. Both were members of the Church of Ireland. Maurice Herbert was a widower along with being deaf and dumb. The station master’s house had seven rooms with five windows in the front elevation and one outbuilding, a fowl house. Initially somebody wrote on the census form that the G.S. & W.R. Company owned the house but this was later crossed out. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

Patrick O’Keeffe, railway porter = in 1901 Patrick O’Keeffe was a railway porter at Kilmeaden station and he lived in the townland of Stonehouse. Patrick O’Keeffe was aged 24 years, a Roman Catholic born in County Waterford who could read and write. In 1901 Patrick O’Keeffe was unmarried and lived with his widowed father and three sisters. Patrick’s father was William O’Keeffe, a railway labourer. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

Peter Sweeney, railway porter = in 1911 Peter Sweeney, aged 17, was a railway porter at Kilmeaden station. He lived in the townland of Gortaclade with his father Edmond Sweeney (general labourer at the woollen mill) and his mother Kate Sweeney. Also in the house were Peter’s five brothers and two sisters.  [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

Michael Cuddihey, railway labourer = in 1901 Michael Cuddihey lived in house number 15 in the townland of Kilmeaden, County Waterford. Michael was 52 years old, a Roman Catholic born in County Waterford who could read and write. He was married to Bridget Cuddihey, aged 46, a house keeper and native of County Waterford who could not read or write. The couple had four sons (Thomas, 19; Edmond, 12; Patrick, 10 and Michael, aged 7) and four daughters (Kate, 17; Bridget, 15; Margaret, 5 and Ann aged 1) who were all born in County Waterford. Michael Cuddihey lived in his own house with four rooms, three windows in the front elevation and one outbuilding. The house was built of stone with a slate roof. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

In 1911 Michael Cuddihey, aged 62, was described as a milesman for the Great Southern and Western Railway Company. He was married to Bridget Cuddihey for 34 years and they had ten children of whom nine were alive in 1911. In 1911 one son (Patrick) and three daughters (Maggie, aged 15; Annie, aged 11 and Katie, aged 9) lived in the family home and all were unmarried. Patrick Cuddihey also worked as a milesman for the railway. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

Patrick Cuddihey, railway milesman = in 1911 Patrick Cuddihey was a railway milesman for the Great Southern and Western Railway operating in the Kilmeaden area. His father Michael Cuddihey was also a milesman making the Cuddihey household a railway family. Patrick Cuddihey was 20 years old, a Roman Catholic born in County Waterford who could read and write. He was unmarried and lived with his parents and three sisters at house 14 in Kilmeaden townland. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

Peter Dee, railway labourer = in 1901 Peter Dee lived in the townland of Kilmoyemoge East. Peter Dee was aged 59 years, a Roman Catholic born in County Waterford who could read and write. Peter Dee could speak both Irish and English as could his wife Margaret. Margaret Dee was aged 56 years, a house keeper born in County Waterford. Living with the Dee family in 1901 was Margaret Mulcahy, a boarder aged 11 from County Tipperary who was a school pupil who could read and write. The Dee family lived in a house owned by the Great Southern and Western Railway. The house had two rooms with two windows in the front elevation and no outbuildings. The house was built with stone walls and had a slate roof. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

In 1911 Peter Dee described himself as a railway servant. He was married to Margaret Dee for 46 years and they had five children all of whom were still alive in 1911. Margaret Dee couldn’t read. Also in the house was Margaret Mulcahy, aged 20, who was still a boarder in the Dee household and worked as a dressmaker. She was unmarried and could speak only English but could read and write. Contrary to her statement in the 1901 census Margaret now said that she was born somewhere in County Waterford. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

Train at Kilmeaden Station

Patrick Hearne, railway servant = in 1901 Patrick Hearne was a railway servant living house number 8 in the townland of Gortaclade in Kilmeaden District Electoral Division. Patrick Hearne was aged 55 years, a Roman Catholic born in County Waterford who could read and write. Patrick Hearne was married to Bridget Hearne, aged 58, a house keeper born in County Waterford who could also read and write. They had two sons, Patrick (aged 22, labourer) and P. William (aged 15, scholar). The family lived in a house rented from Robert Ardagh that had three rooms and two windows in the front elevation with one outbuilding. The house had mud walls and a thatched roof. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

By 1911 Patrick Hearne had retired from the railway and was employed as a general labourer. Patrick and Bridget Hearne was still living in Gortaclade. They were married for 41 years and had seven children of whom six were still alive in 1911. At census time their son Patrick Hearne was living with them. Young Patrick was aged 34 years and was employed as a general labourer. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

Thomas O’Keeffe, railway labourer = in 1901 Thomas O’Keeffe lived in house number 29 in the townland of Ballyduff East in the District Electoral Division of Kilmeadan. Thomas O’Keeffe was aged 50, a Roman Catholic born in County Waterford who couldn’t read. Thomas was married to Margaret O’Keeffe, aged 43 who was born in County Waterford and could read and write. The couple had two children, Anastasia, aged 11 and Patrick aged 5. They lived in a house rented from Mrs. K. Nichol that had two rooms and two windows in the front elevation with one outbuilding. The house had mud walls and a thatched roof. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

In 1911 Thomas O’Keeffe was employed as a railway milesman and was aged 62 years. Thomas could speak Irish and English. Thomas and his wife Margaret O’Keeffe were married 25 years and had two children of whom one (Patrick) was deceased by 1911. A granddaughter, Anastasia, was only a few weeks old. The records say their house was built with stone walls and had a thatched roof. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

William O’Keeffe, railway labourer = in 1901 William O’Keeffe lived in Stonehouse townland in the Kilmeaden District Electoral Division. William O’Keeffe was aged 50 years, a Roman Catholic born in County Waterford who could read and write. By 1901 William O’Keeffe was a widower. In 1901 William lived with his son Patrick and his three daughters, Minnie (aged 22, domestic servant), Anastasia (aged 19, domestic servant) and Sarah (aged 12, scholar). In 1901 William’s son Patrick O’Keeffe was a railway porter at Kilmeaden station and lived in the family house. The O’Keefe house had four rooms with two windows in the front elevation and two outbuildings. It was built of stone with a slate roof. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1901]

Maurice Fitzgerald, general railway labourer = in 1911 Maurice Fitzgerald lived in house number 2 in the townland of Stonehouse. He was 31 years old, a Roman Catholic born in County Waterford who could read and write. He was married for 12 years to Kate Fitzgerald (aged 28) and they had three daughters who were all alive. Their children were Kate, aged 11; Bridget aged 1 and Mary a few weeks old. Kate junior could read and write. The house had only one room with only one window in the front elevation and no outbuildings. The house was made with mud walls and a thatch roof. It was rented from Daniel Lynch. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911]

Richard and William Joy, engine drivers = the 1911 census records Richard (aged 25) and William Joy (aged 27) as living in the townland of Curraghataggart in Kilmeaden and that both were engine drivers. They lived with their mother Catherine Joy (widow), farmer, and brothers, Ned (aged 28, farmer’s son) and Michael (aged 21, farmer) with their sister Anastasia (aged 33, farmer’s daughter). All were unmarried. Their house had six rooms and three windows in the front elevation with five outbuildings. [National Archives of Ireland, census returns 1911] It is not clear if the Joy brothers were train engine drivers or drivers of steam lorries.

Robert McBride, signalman = in the 1960s Bob McBride was the signalman at Kilmeaden station. [Michael Carberry, (edited by Donnchadh Ó Ceallacháin), Ballyduff-Kilmeaden: Portrait of a Parish (Kilmeaden, 1998), page 46]

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Biography, Cork history

Nason of Mellefontstown

Nason of Mellefontstown

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Mellefontstown is a townland in the parish of Gortroe, Co. Cork. It is a Latin place-name meaning homestead of the fountain of honey. In 1641 the townland of 176 acres 2 roots and 16 perches was held by Teige and Katherine Cartaine. As Irish Catholics their property was seized by the government. On 22nd May 1667 it was granted, with neighbouring townlands to James Stuart, the Duke of York.[1] In the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century it was held by Robert Rogers of Luctamore (Lotamore). Robert was the son of Francis Rogers a merchant of Cork City in the 1650s/1660s and brother of George Rogers of Ashgrove. Robert Rogers married Elizabeth Dunscombe of Mount Desart and had four sons and one daughter. Robert Rogers made his will in March 1717.[2] Robert’s will was proved in 1718.[3] It was possibly Francis Rogers who first purchased Mellefontstown.

The road by Mellefontstown

William Nason: this William Nason was born circa 1681 and died on 3rd February 1726. He was buried at Gortroe cemetery.

Richard Nason of Mellefontstown: in 1686 Richard Nason married Catherine Woodley.[4] Around this time Richard Nason leased Mellefontstown from Robert Rogers and it became the home of his descendants for several generations.On 23rd July 1706 Richard made his will in which he named his three sons (William, Andrew and John) and his daughter, Catherine. The witnesses were; John Enness, Michael Bourke and Thomas Dougan.[5] In February 1724 Richard Nason and his son, William, were among the witnesses to the last will of Barbara Hodder of Ballinterry.[6] Richard Nason died on 24th April 1727 and was buried at Gortroe, leaving a son, John Nason. Richard’s will was proved on 12th September 1727 in which he appointed his son as executor.[7]

  1. John Nason of Mellefontstown: John Nason inherited Mellefontstown from his father in 1727. He married Sarah, daughter of William Lapp of Bandon. Together they had a number of children.[8] In 1731 John was a witness to the lease between George Rogers of Ashgrove and John Nason of Rahenity of the lands of Rahenity which John Nason gave to his son William Nason and to William Nason, merchant of Cork, for their lives.[9] In 1740 John Nason was named as executor to the will of his brother, William Nason.[10] John Nason died in 1743 but Sarah lived on at Mellfontstown until her death in 1780.[11] On 6th February 1780 Sarah Nason made her will which was witnessed by Dennis Keeffe, John Keating and Stephen Scannell. In the will she named her three sons, Richard, John and Lancaster and appointed Lancaster as executor.[12]
    1. Richard Nason of Mellefontstown: in 1743 Richard Nason inherited Mellefontstown from his father, John Nason. In 1754 Richard married Dorcas Bengers and had a number of children by her. In 1759 Richard Nason received land in Ballynoe from Arthur Chapman of Ballynoe to be held with his sister, Mary Nason.[13]
      1. Elder Nason of Mellefontstown:
      2. Richard Nason of Bettyville: Richard Nason was the second son of Richard Nason of Mellefontstown. As his elder brother inherited Mellefontstown, Richard junior had to find a new home and settled at Bettyville, near Clondulane, a few miles east of Fermoy. In 1787 Richard Nason married Catherine Sherlock and had seven daughters.[14] On 10th June 1809 Richard Nason was a witness to the lease of land at Ballynafana between the Carey family of Careysville and Thomas Dennehy of Bellview with Mathew Glissan of Brook Lodge.[15] On 19th June 1816 Richard Nason attended the creditors meeting in Fermoy that followed the bankruptcy of John Anderson.
        1. Elizabeth Nason of Bettyville: Elizabeth inherited Bettyville from her father as his eldest daughter. In 1808 she married her kinsman, John Nason of Newtown, Ballynoe, Co. Cork. Together they had two sons; Rev. William Henry Nason and Richard Nason, along with a daughter, Katheine Nason (wife of John Bellis).[16]
        2. Dorcas Nason: in 1818 Dorcas Nason married John Gaggin from Midleton, Co. Cork, and had a number of children by him. One of their daughters, Catherine Elizabeth, married in 1840, her first cousin, Rev. William Henry Nason, as his first wife. They had four sons (John, William, Charles and George) and three daughters (Elizabeth, Dorcas and Mary).[17] Dorcas Nason Gaggin died in 1867.
        3. Alicia Nason: Alicia Nason was born in 1795 and died in 1867. In 1824 she married Christopher Crofts (died 17th March 1861) of Ballyhoura Lodge, near Buttevant, Co. Cork. They had two sons (Christopher, 1826-1913 and Richard Nason, 1834-1905) and one daughter (Catherine, 1825-1904). On 22nd October 1868 Richard Nason Crofts married his cousin, Elizabeth Nason, daughter of Rev. William Henry Nason. They had two sons (Christopher Nason Crofts of Ballyhoura Lodge, 1877-1947, left a daughter, and Richard Nason Crofts, 1882-1924, died unmarried) and twounmarried daughters (Alicia Nason Crofts, 1870-1925 and Maud Nason Crofts, 1879-1943).[18]
        4. Ann Nason: in 1826 Ann Nason married John Sherlock of Sandbrook who was a son of Richard Sherlock of Woodville, near Buttevant, Co. Cork.[19]
        5. Catherine Nason:
        6. Margaret Nason:
        7. Mary Nason: in 1842 Mary Nason married Nelson Kearney Cotter (1806-1869), MD, fourth son of Sir James Laurence Cotter, 2nd Baronet, and had three daughters by him including Isabella Mary Cotter (died 30th June 1925). Nelson Cotter died on 18th July 1869.[20]
      3. Mary Nason: in 1759 Mary Nason was named as the sister of Richard Nason of Mellfontstown.[21]
    2. John Nason: in 1780 John Nason was mentioned in the will of his mother, Sarah Nason of Mellefontstown.[22]
    3. Lancaster Nason: in 1780 Lancaster Nason was mentioned in the will of his mother, Sarah Nason of Mellefontstown. Lancaster was appointed as executor of the will which was made in February 1780.[23] In 1774 Lancaster Nason was living at Coolconan, Co. Cork when the land became subject to a marriage settlement between John Croker of Cahergal and Jane Andrews of Cahergal, daughter of John Andrews of Cork City.[24]
    4. William Henry Nason: another son of John and Sarah Nason is said to be William Henry Nason who died in 1820.
  2. Andrew Nason of Whitewell (Whitehall): Andrew Nason, the second son of Richard Nason of Mellefontstown, settled at Whitewell (Whitehall) where he got married and had children.[25]
  3. William Nason of Cork: William Nason, the third son of Richard Nason of Mellefontstown, became a merchant in Cork City. In 1724 William Nason and his father, Richard, were witnesses to the last will of Barbara Hodder of Ballinterry.[26] In 1727 he married Huldah Claver and had children by her.[27] In 1735 William Nason was living in the North Suburbs of Cork when he was named as executor to the will of his cousin, William Nason of Rahinity, Barony of Barrymore, husband of Jane Nason, and son of John Nason (then living). The will was proved on 11th June 1736. The witnesses were Joe Deyos and Richard Kinefick.[28] William Nason made his own will on 31st March 1740 and this was proved on 30th June 1740. The witnesses were Joe Deyos, Richard Kinefick and William Cumins. William named his wife, Huldah, and his brother, John Nason, as executors.[29] William Cummins was a cooper in Cork City while Richard Kinetick was a merchant of the city.[30]
    1. William Nason:William Nason of Cork was the son of William Nason the merchant.[31]
  4. Catherine Nason: in 1720, Catherine Nason, daughter of Richard Nason of Mellefontstown, married Thomas Carey.[32]

It would appear that the Nason family ceased to hold Mellefontstown by the early nineteenth century. In 1837 Pierce Cotter took out a lease on Mellefontstown house and 210 acres for 200 years from Thomas Wise at a rent of 19 shillings 5 pence per acre on 182 acres and 20s 10d on 28 acres.[33] A number of other tenants of Thomas Wise held leases of 31 to 50 years. In June 1846 Pierce Cotter held Mellefontstown house (worth £10) which measured 58.6 feet long by 21 feet wide by 21 feet high with an extension measuring 38 feet by 21 feet by 21 feet. His outbuildings included a boiler house, fowl house, coach house, stable, two car houses, dairy, two cider houses (one derelict), a barn and a cow house,[34] In about 1850 Pierce Cotter held Mellefontstown house (worth £19 including outbuildings) along with 197 acres of land (169 acres around the house and another 28 acres in the townland). The landlord of the whole townland (containing 566 acres) was Thomas Wise.[35] Thomas Wise held some of the townland in fee while other parts were by a lease for lives renewable forever. Thomas Wise of North Mall, Cork, died on 7th September 1852 leaving effects worth £404 the administration of which was granted to Joseph Gubbins.[36] In the 1860s John Cotter was proprietor and a well-known local athlete. By 1871 the property passed to John Barry who was the owner of 242 acres 2 root and 10 perches at Mellefontstown.[37] In the early twentieth century it passed to a different Barry family. The house was destroyed by fire in the early 1990s and demolished.[38]

Old wall beside Mellefontstown

In the 1901 census Richard and Ellen Nason lived in house number 3 in Melfontstown townland. Richard was 69 years old, a Roman Catholic, born in Co. Cork. He was a farmer who could speak Irish and English but couldn’t read. Ellen Nason was 52 years old, a Roman Catholic from Co. Cork and she could read as well as speak both languages. They rented the one room cottage from Hanora Scannell.[39] After 1901 Richard and Ellen Nason moved to Ballinure near Bartlemy. On 11th May 1908 Richard Nason died leaving effects worth £60. His will was proved at Dublin on 10th June 1908.[40] By 1911 Ellen Nason was living on her own, at a house in Bride’s Bridge near Castlelyons, now aged 76 years to qualify for the newly introduced state pension.[41] In 1901 John Barry lived in Mellefontstown house with its eleven rooms and thirteen windows in the front elevation along with eleven outbuildings. John Barry held two other cottages; one occupied by Cornelius Cashman and the other unoccupied. John Barry was 46 years old, a Roman Catholic and a farmer who could only speak English. He could read and write as could his wife and eldest daughter. Margaret Barry was 44 years old and also from Co. Cork. They had two daughters (Margaret, aged 9 and Bridget, aged 7) and three sons (Thomas, aged 6, James, aged 5 and William, aged 4). They had two servants, James and Bridget Condon, both unmarried.[42] By 1911 Mellefontstown house was still owned by John Barry but unoccupied as the family had moved to Kill St. Anne townland in the parish of Castlelyons with James and Bridget Condon as their servants.[43]

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[1]Waters, A. ‘A Distribution of Forfeited Land in the County of Cork, Returned by the Downe Survey’, in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol. XXXVII (1932), pp. 83-89, at p. 84

[2]Ffolliott, R., ‘Rogers of Lota and Ashgrove’, in theJournal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol. LXXII (1967), pp. 75-80, at p. 75

[3] Eustace, P. Beryl, ‘Index of Will Abstracts in the Genealogical Office, Dublin’, in The Genealogical Office, Dublin (Dublin, 1998), pp. 79-282, at p. 252

[4]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[5]Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 1453

[6]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 44, Page 352, Memorial 29738, dated 20th February 1724

[7]Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 1453

[8]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[9]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 73, Page 54, Memorial 49717, dated 13th January 1731

[10]Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 772

[11]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[12]Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 1453

[13]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 248, Page 103, Memorial 159056, dated 7th September 1759

[14]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[15]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 615, Page 117, Memorial 419629

[16]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[17]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, pp. 294, 295

[18]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[19]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[20]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[21]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 248, Page 103, Memorial 159056, dated 7th September 1759

[22]Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 1453

[23]Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 1453

[24]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 306, Page 58, Memorial 202478, dated 12th July 1774

[25]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[26]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 44, Page 352, Memorial 29738, dated 20th February 1724

[27]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[28]Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 772

[29]Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 772

[30]Registry of Deeds, Vol. 73, Page 54, Memorial 49717, dated 13th January 1731

[31]Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 772

[32]Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 294

[33]Tenure Valuation Books, 1848, Valuation Office of Ireland, now in National Archives of Ireland

[34]House Valuation Books, 1846, Valuation Office of Ireland, now in National Archives of Ireland

[35]Griffith’s Valuation, Mellefontstown, Gortroe Parish, Barrymore Barony, Co. Cork

[36]National Archives of Ireland, Wills and Administration, Wise

[37]Owners of one acre and upwards, 1871, province of Munster, County Cork, p. 117

[38]Hajba, Anna-Maria, Historical, Genealogical, Architectural notes on some Houses of Cork, Vol. 1 – North (Whitegate, 2002), p. 261

[39]National Archives of Ireland, Census 1901 returns, Melfontstown

[40]National Archives of Ireland, Wills and Administration, Nason

[41]National Archives of Ireland, Census 1911 returns, Bridebridge

[42]National Archives of Ireland, Census 1901 returns, Melfontstown

[43]National Archives of Ireland, Census 1911 returns, Kill St. Anne

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Biography, Cork history

Roger Brettridge of Duhallow and his descendants

Roger Brettridge of Duhallow and his descendants

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Roger Brettridge came from the West Country in England and at first settled on the Brook estate in Co. Donegal in the early 1650s. Towards the end of the 1650s he became involved with the Munster army and in the 1660s received lands in the Barony of Duhallow in North West County Cork. These lands were centred on the manor of Castle Magner which Roger renamed as Castle Brettridge. Roger’s brother Samuel Brettridge received a smaller estate in Duhallow which he gave to Roger. In his will of 1683 Roger Brettridge left the townland of East Drumcummer (now called Drumcummer More), to found an alms house for ex-soldiers in the Shandon area of Cork City. In the parish re[1]gister of Whaddon, Gloucester, it is recorded that Roger Brettridge, gent, was buried there on 4th October 1683 having died at Tuffley.[2]

Roger Brettridge was the son of Francis Brettridge. Roger Brettridge married Joan Brettridge (maiden name Hawnby) and sister of William Hawnby of Rasheen. John Hall, rector of Ardstragh, Co. Tyrone was a nephew of William Hawnby. The said William Hawnby had two daughters, Mary (mother of Robert Longfield) and Elizabeth (mother of Bartholomew Purdon).[3] Roger and Joan had three daughters; Mary (wife of Francis Hartstonge), Elizabeth (wife of Robert Deane) and Jane (wife of Thomas Badham). In 1683 Roger’s estate consisted of Castle Brettridge, Cappabrack, Cappagh, Killebraher, Knocknesheling, Knockneineater, East Drumcummer, Rathmahiry, Rossendry, Knockballymartin, Ardagh, Ballyheene, Killballyheen, Clashbale, Kilrush (also called Kilbrash), West Drumcummer and Horse Island, plus a house in Millstreet town.

Roger Brettridge gave some property to his nephew Roger Brettridge, namely West Drumcummer and Horse Island which he had previously received from Samuel Brettridge. Roger Brettridge, the nephew, had a son also called Roger Brettridge the third.[4] In 1758 Roger Brettridge the third married Abigall Sandys.[5] But the couple had no children and his property reverted to Elizabeth Badham Deane.

The castle of Castlemagner = photographer unknown

Mary Brettridge Hartstonge

Mary Brettridge, the eldest daughter, received the lands of Castle Brettridge, with its manorial rights, along with Cappabrack. But these lands were first entrusted to Joan Brettridge for life. A third townland, Cappagh, was granted to Mary’s son, Arthur Hartstonge.[6] Mary married Francis Hartstonge and was the mother of Arthur and Standish. Arthur Hartstonge had no children and Cappagh passed to Price Hartstonge, son of Standish. Price Hartstonge had a son called Henry Hartstonge. In 1751, Henry Hartstonge married Lucy, daughter of Rev Stackpole Pery. She was a sister of Edmond Sexton Pery, speaker of the Irish House of Commons. The couple had no children and much of the Hartstonge estate including Castle Magner and Cappagh passed to the speaker’s son, Edmond Pery, 1st Earl of Limerick. The 1st Earl had married in January 1793 Mary Alice, only daughter and heir of Henry Ormsby by Mary, sister and heir of Sir Henry Hartstone.[7] His grandson, William Henry, 2nd Earl was the owner at Griffith’s Valuation (circa 1850) by which time Cappagh had become Kippagh and was divided into three parts. The 2nd Earl of Limerick died in 1866 and the property was sold to Sir Henry Wrixon-Beecher of Ballygiblin. The present (2021) holder of the title as 7th Earl of Limerick is Edmund Christopher Pery.

Jane Brettridge Badham

Jane Brettridge, the second daughter received as her inheritance the lands of Ballyheene, Killballyheen, Clashbale and Kilbrash. In addition Jane Brettridge also got the lands of Killebraher, Knocknesheling, Knockneineater and Rathmahiry with its mill which property had been grant to her mother Joan for life.[8] Joan married Thomas Badham and had two sons, one of whom was called Brettridge Badham, M.P. for Rathcormac. In 1744 Brettridge Badham was living at Rockfield, Co. Cork at the time of his death.[9] Rockfield was formerly known as Ballyheene and came from the Roger Brettridge inheritance. Brettridge Badham married Sophia, daughter of John King, 3rd Lord Kingston, and had two sons who died young and two daughters Sophia, born in 1720 and, Martha. Sophia Badham inherited Rockfield and her Brettridge lands which she passed to the family of her first husband.

Sophia Badham married Richard Thornhill (1707-1747), M.P., son of Edward Thornhill by Ann, daughter of Rev. Francis Quayle of Brigown, and grandson of William Thornhill (husband of Elizabeth Newenham), and great grandson of William Thornhill from Derbyshire who acquired Castle Kevin and other Irish property as reward for his service in the Parliamentary army of the 1640s civil war. Richard Thornhill took his wife’s surname for his children and the family became known as Badham-Thornhill. Sophia Badham-Thornhill had a number of children including Anne (died unmarried 1790), Sophia (wife of Major-General John Stratton), Major James Badham-Thornhill who died in 1796. Major James married Elizabeth and was the father of Anne (second wife of Richard Tonson-Rye of Rye Court) and Sophia (wife of Samuel Godsell, possible relation of Amos Godsell of Moorestown, Co. Limerick, whose will was, dated 1714).[10] Richard Tonson-Rye and Anne Badham-Thornhill were the parents of John Tonson-Rye (born 1797) who in 1818 married his cousin Mary Godsell, daughter of Samuel Godsell. John Tonson-Rye left one son and five daughters with many descendants as documented in Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976 (reprinted 2007), page 1004.

The eldest son of Sophia Badham and Richard Thornhill was Edward Badham-Thornhill (1730-1798) who married Mary Marsh, daughter of Henry Marsh of Moyally, King’s County (Offaly), by his wife Barbarra, daughter of Jonathan Gerard of Dublin and Mary Mason. Edward Badham-Thornhill had three sons (Henry, Gerrard and Richard) and seven daughters (Mary, Charolette, Harriot, Barbarra, Alicia, Louisa and Juliet). Henry Badham-Thornhill (1771-1821) married Catherine Odell as her first husband (she later married Francis Roche and had a son), daughter of Thomas Odell and Sarah Westropp. Henry Badham-Thornhill had three daughters; Sarah, wife of William Beamish Ware; Mary who in 1820 married Rev. Benjamin Burton Johnson and they had three children with many descendants in Australia and Canada; and Catherine who married William Maitland. Henry Badham-Thornhill had five sons (Edward, John Thomas, John, James and Henry R.I.C. officer). The eldest son, Edward Badham-Thornhill (1808-1889) sold Castle Kevin in 1851 to Dorothea Reeves because of debts accrued during the Great Famine. Edward Badham-Thornhill married Elizabeth, daughter of Lawrence O’Donovan of Dublin and had two sons, Henry and Lawrence.[11]

Sophia Badham married secondly, on 2nd September 1752, to John Cuffe, 2nd Lord Desart. John Cuufe was the third but first surviving son of John Cuffe, 1st Baron of Desart by his second wife Dorothea Gorges, daughter of Lt. Gen. Richard Gorges of Kilbrew, Co. Meath. John Cuffe died on 25th November 1767 without any children when the barony passed to his brother Otway Cuffe, 3rd Lord Desart, who left issue. Sophia Badham died on 2nd August 1768 at Merrion Street in Dublin.[12]  

Martha Badham, second daughter of Brettridge Badham and Sophia King, married Rev. Thomas Ryder, rector of Brigown and great grandson of John Ryder, bishop of Killaloe. Some records say that Martha was the sister of Brettridge Badham.[13] I think she was the daughter of Brettridge. Thomas and Martha Ryder were the parents of four sons (Henry, Badham, St. George, and John) and one daughter Jane (wife of Rev. James Graves and grandparents of Rev. Richard Hastings Graves, rector of Brigown). Badham and John Ryder appear to have left no descendants. Henry Ryder was the father of Abraham St. George Ryder who married (1777) Frances, daughter of William Harrington. Abraham had a number of children including Captain William Ryder of Riverstown House, Co. Kildare (husband of Anne Dickson) who was the father of William Ryder, genealogist. Local folklore said the Ryder family tried to block up the nearby St. Brigid’s Holy Well but the well fought back and won. In the 20th century Riverstown House had a number of owners, and after empty for a number of years, it was sold again in 2016.

The other sons of Abraham Ryder were Harrington Ryder (husband of Elizabeth Gore, daughter of Arthur Gore) and St. George Ryder (husband of Annabella Pennicuick). Abraham Ryder was the father of Emma, wife of James Cassidy of Bray. Harrington Ryder of the Abbey, Co. Tipperary, was the father of Rev. Arthur Gore Ryder who was the headmaster of Carrickmacross School and later rector of Donnybrook, Co. Dublin. Rev. Arthur married twice (1st to Anne Gore (d.1863), daughter of William Gore of Tramore, and 2nd to Nina MacMahon, daughter of Sir Beresford MacMahon). His eldest son, Harrington Dudley Ryder died in 1858 and his second son, St. George Ryder died in 1859 and Arthur Gore Ryder of Riverstown House (husband of Caroline Grogan) died 1906 by his first marriage. The second marriage produced Nina Beryll Ryder, Ralph Ryder and Beresford Burton MacMahon Ryder (husband of Eleanor Curle).[14]  

Meanwhile St. George Ryder of Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, married Margaret, daughter of William Murphy of Mitchelstown, and was the father of Martha Ryder (d.1846 and wife of Charles Venters), St. George Ryder, barrister (husband of Abigail Rothwell) and John Ryder (d.1819 and chancellor of Cloyne). John Ryder married Margaret, daughter of Rev. Joshua Brown (husband of Margaret, daughter of Llewellyn Nash), and was the father of three sons (St. George, Rev. Joshua and Rev. William) and two daughters (Dorothy and Margaret). St. George Ryder left no issue while Rev. Joshua Ryder married his cousin Lucinda Wood, daughter of Michael Wood, merchant of Cork, by his wife Margaret, daughter of Rev. William Nash, son of Llewellyn Nash. Rev. Joshua Ryder, rector of Castlelyons, was the father of Michael wood Ryder (d.1847) and Lucinda Ryder (d.1875). Rev. William Ryder, archdeacon of Cloyne, married Ann, daughter of Rev. John Ross. Rev. William Ryder (d.1862) was the father of John Ross Ryder and William Ryder (1856). Rev. William Ryder was the father of a number of daughters including Margaret (wife of George Browne), Marianne (wife of John Hendley and later James Murray, leaving descendants presently living by Hendley), Eleanor (wife of Walter Fitzsimon), Isabella and Annie (wife of Walter Browne).

Elizabeth Brettridge Deane

Elizabeth Brettridge, the third daughter, received the lands of Rossanarny (owned by Pierce Purcell of Altamira by the 1840’s), Ardagh and Knockballymartin. After the death of her mother, Elizabeth also got a house in Millstreet.[15] Elizabeth married c.1679 to Robert Deane (d.1714) of Springfield Castle, Co. Limerick, 2nd Baronet, and son of Sir Matthew Deane created 1st Baronet in 1709 and died in 1710.[16] They were the parents of Sir Matthew Deane (c.1680-1747), 3rd Baronet and M.P. for Charleville and later for Co. Cork in the Irish parliament. Sir Mathew Deane married Jane Sharpe, only daughter of Rev. William Sharpe, and was the father of three sons and three daughters. In 1781 Sir Robert Deane, the 6th Baronet, was raised in the peerage to Baron Muskerry. The present (2021) 9th Baron Muskerry lives in South Africa. The Deane family did continue the Brettridge blood line but little of the estate as in 1883 the family held only 28 acres in Co. Cork.[17]

Conclusion

In 1683 Roger Brettridge, army officer and grantee of forfeited estates in north-west County Cork, died in Gloucestershire without any male heirs to continue his name. Yet his three daughters, Mary, Jane and Elizabeth, have continued his blood line over the next 250 years to the present-day.     

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[1] Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling, O’Kief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater in Ireland (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 650

[2] Extracted from web site – www.glosgen.co.uk/whadreg.htm, in November 2005

[3] Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling, O’Kief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater in Ireland (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 650

[4] Niall O’Brien, ‘Roger Brettridge: and the 1662 Act of Settlement and Duhallow Affairs at the Court of Claims’, in Seanchas Dúthalla, Vol. XV (2011), pp. 11-17, p. 14

[5] Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling, O’Kief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater in Ireland (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 5, p. 112

[6] Niall O’Brien, ‘Roger Brettridge: and the 1662 Act of Settlement and Duhallow Affairs at the Court of Claims’, in Seanchas Dúthalla, Vol. XV (2011), pp. 11-17, p. 12

[7] George E. Cokaye, The Complete Peerage (Gloucester, 1987), vol. VII, p. 663

[8] Niall O’Brien, ‘Roger Brettridge: and the 1662 Act of Settlement and Duhallow Affairs at the Court of Claims’, in Seanchas Dúthalla, Vol. XV (2011), pp. 11-17, p. 12

[9] P. Beryl Eustace, ‘Index of Will Abstracts in the Genealogical Office, Dublin’, in The Genealogical Office, Dublin (Dublin, 1998), pp. 79-282, at p. 97

[10] P. Beryl Eustace, ‘Index of Will Abstracts in the Genealogical Office, Dublin’, in The Genealogical Office, Dublin (Dublin, 1998), pp. 79-282, at p. 186

[11] Jane Hills, ‘’, in the Mallow Field Club Journal, No. 20 (2002), pp. 144-153

[12] George E. Cokaye, The Complete Peerage (Gloucester, 1987), vol. IV, p. 228

[13] Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling, O’Kief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater in Ireland (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), vol. 14, p. 641

[14] Alison-Stewart blogspot entitled DubStewartMania with the article title of ‘Rev. John Grogan and Lizzie Bourne, Balrothery and Clyde Road’, posted on 16th August 2013

[15] Niall O’Brien, ‘Roger Brettridge: and the 1662 Act of Settlement and Duhallow Affairs at the Court of Claims’, in Seanchas Dúthalla, Vol. XV (2011), pp. 11-17, p. 12

[16] Debrett’s Illustrated Peerage, 1901, p. 590

[17] George E. Cokaye, The Complete Peerage (Gloucester, 1987), vol. IX, p. 443

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Maritime History

Agnes, Lady Acland, Agnes & Constance: Biographies of Sailing Merchant Vessels

Agnes, Lady Acland, Agnes & Constance: Biographies of Sailing Merchant Vessels

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

In 1900 the waters around Britain and Ireland were full of sailing merchant vessels carrying coal, timber, grain, iron, china clay and all kinds of other bulk cargoes between the great and small ports. These vessels were of varied size and shape with different rigging such as ketch, barquentine and schooner. They were built in purpose designed ship yards around Britain and Ireland and some were built in North America and a few parts of Europe. Yet some of these vessels were built on the seashore or river banks between high and low tide in yards that have vanished just like their creations.

Yet by 1960 only a handful of these vast numbers of vessels continued to ply their trade commercially. A few of these vessels remain today as museum items or stuck in limbo waiting for a source of money to keep them afloat. Some professional schoonermen, such as Hugh Shaw, Richard England and William Slade, wrote about their lives aboard these sailing vessels and give us a feel of what it was like. Yet the vast majority of masters and sailors left little written accounts of those days. Many of these sailors have now (2018) passed on, their once proud vessels broken up or buried beneath the waves and commercial maritime trade is now done by motor vessels, great and small. Biographies of some of the vast number of sailing merchant vessels that once existed are given below to give some idea of the characters of these vessels and their sailors.

A model of a ketch

Agnes

The Agnes was a wooden ketch built in 1904 by Henry Stapleton of Bude. Her dimensions were 70.6 feet long by 18.5 feet wide at the beam by 8 feet. She had 67 tons gross and 54 tons net. The official number of the Agnes was 105246 and her signal hoist was MLGV.

In 1904 the Agnes was created as an enlargement of the smack called the Lady Acland built in 1835. The Agnes was a collection of other vessels. Her mizzen mast came from the wrecked Italian barque, the Capricorno and her mainmast came from the wrecked ketch, the Wild Pigeon. Having completed her career as a sailing merchant vessel the Agnes was purchased for use as a yacht in 1957. Unfortunately her new life didn’t last long and she was wrecked in the West Indies in 1958 at the good age of 123 years old![1]

In 1906 the Agnes was owned and mastered by Nicholas H. Tregaskes of Bude in Cornwall while the vessel was registered to the port of Bideford in Devon.[2] The stern of the Agnes had written “Agnes, Port of Bideford”.[3] Yet she was not the only vessel of that name registered to Bideford. In 1907 another Agnes of Bideford (official number 62955) was a schooner built in 1869 and owned/managed by John Kelly of Appledore.[4] By 1913 there was only one Agnes registered at Bideford, that of 105246.[5]

In 1914/5 the Agnes acquired a new owner/manager in the form of John P. Tregaskes of Bramble Hill in Bude.[6] In 1915 the crew of the Agnes consisted of John James Hallett, master, born 1859 at Bude; Archie Hallett, mate, born 1888 at St. Mawes; and Fred Jeffrey, able seaman, born 1895/6.[7] In 1918/9 the Agnes was sold to the Cookson Barytes Company of Milburn House, Newcastle-upon-Tyne with Frank Reid as her new master.[8] She was not registered in 1920 or in later years.[9] In 1923 the Agnes reappears in the registers with a new owner/manager, Frederick R.E. Wright of Braunton in Devon and having a reduced net tonnage of 45 tons.[10] The reduction was due to the installation of an auxiliary engine. In 1924 her signal hoist was KNJR.[11] In 1934 her signal hoist changed to MLGV.[12]

The 1935 owner of the Agnes was F. Wright of Braunton. That same year a photograph was taken of the Agnes off Bude.[13] In 1957 the Agnes was sold by Peter Herbert of Bude to Alastair Barr of Oban for a voyage to the West Indies. After a successful crossing to Barbados the vessel was wrecked in 1958.[14]

Lady Acland

The Lady Acland was built at Bude in 1835 with an official number of 13418. The early history of the vessel is obscure. She does not appear on Lloyd’s List in the 1840s or 1850s. In 1851 she was registered to the port of Bideford in Devon. In 1863 Oliver Davey of Bude, Cornwall was the owner of the Lady Acland and John Elliott of Bude was her master. She then measured 47 net tons. Her crew consisted of Elliott (aged 51, born Kilhampton) with John Marshall, aged 32 as mate (born Bude) and Richard Heard, aged 20, as boy (born Poughill). All three had previously served on the Lady Acland.[15] In 1865 the Lady Acland was owned by Oliver Davey.[16] In 1878/9 the tonnage of the Lady Acland was reduced from 47 tons to 44 net tons.[17] In 1882/3 Oliver Davey changed the rigging of the Lady Acland from that of a schooner to a ketch without any change in her tonnage.[18] In 1890 the Lady Acland was still owned by Oliver Davey and was registered to Bideford in Devon. She measured 44 net tons and had a ketch rigging.[19] In 1893/4 the tonnage of the Lady Acland was reduced to 32 net tons.[20] In 1898 Oliver Davey was described as the owner/manager of the Lady Acland.[21] In 1898/9 the Lady Acland was sold to Edward Rudland of Holsworthy in Devon as owner/manager.[22] In 1901 the register was closed on the Lady Acland until she was reborn in 1904 as the Agnes of Bideford.[23]

Agnes & Constance

The Agnes & Constance was a wooden ketch that was built in 1889 by Curel of Frindsbury, Kent. She measured 63 tons net, with an official number of 97711 and having a signal hoist showing MJCP.[24] The first owner of the Agnes & Constance was James Little of Strood in Kent. He was both her owner and master and registered the vessel at Rochester. She then measured 66 net tons.[25] In 1892/3 the vessel received modifications that reduced her net tonnage to 63 tons.[26] James Little was the owner of a number of vessels which were generally known as Thames Barges.[27] In 1915 the crew of the Agnes & Constance was E.R. Jackson, master, born 1880 in Kent; Hanley Payne, mate, born 1892 in Kent; and John Stankey, mate, born 1888 in Kent.[28]

In 1916/7 the Agnes & Constance was sold to John T. Rayfield of 16 Milton Place in Gravesend who became the owner and manager.[29] In 1919 she had the signal hoist of JTHG.[30] In 1924 the Agnes & Constance was owned by John Rayfield junior of Dock Row in Newfleet.[31] In 1924/5 the Agnes & Constance was sold to William A. Ellis of Runnymeade Road, Stanford-le-Hope in Essex.[32] In 1925/6 she was sold again with Joshua Francis of New Town Road in Colchester as her new owner.[33] In 1934 her signal hoist was changed to MJCP.[34] In 1935 the Agnes & Constance was owned by Francis & Gilders of Hythe Quay in Colchester with Joshua Francis as her master.[35] Between 1940 and 1947 the Agnes & Constance disappears from the register.[36]

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[1] Douglas Bennett (edited by David Clement), Schooner Sunset (Rochester, 2001), page 171

[2] Mercantile Navy List, 1906, p. 494

[3] Basil Greenhill, The Merchant Schooners (2 vols. Percival Marshall, London, 1951), Vol. 1, page 71

[4] Mercantile Navy List, 1907, p. 514

[5] Mercantile Navy List, 1913, p. 617

[6] Mercantile Navy List, 1915, p. 659

[7] Royal Museums Greenwich, RSS/CL/1915/3517

[8] Mercantile Navy List, 1919, p. 642

[9] Mercantile Navy List, 1920, p. 671

[10] Mercantile Navy List, 1923, p. 731

[11] Mercantile Navy List, 1924, p. 743

[12] Mercantile Navy List, 1934, p. 817

[13] Richard J. Scott, Irish Sea Schooner Twilight: The Last Years of the Western Seas Traders (Black Dwarf Publications, Lydney, 2012), page 101

[14] Richard J. Scott, Irish Sea Schooner Twilight: The Last Years of the Western Seas Traders (Black Dwarf Publications, Lydney, 2012), page 115

[15] Devon Archives and Local Studies, 1976/Lady Acland/13418

[16] Mercantile Navy List, 1865, p. 207

[17] Mercantile Navy List, 1879, p. 359

[18] Mercantile Navy List, 1883, p. 383

[19] Mercantile Navy List, 1890, p. 468

[20] Mercantile Navy List, 1894, p. 526

[21] Mercantile Navy List, 1898, p. 568

[22] Mercantile Navy List, 1899, p. 584

[23] Mercantile Navy List, 1902, p. 607; National Archives, UK, Kew, BT 110/160/38

[24] Douglas Bennett (edited by David Clement), Schooner Sunset (Rochester, 2001), page 171

[25] Mercantile Navy List, 1890, p. 276

[26] Mercantile Navy List, 1890, p. 326

[27] http://www.thamesbarge.org.uk/barges/Willmott/owners/FWJames%20Little.html [accessed on 22nd May 2018]

[28] Royal Museums Greenwich, RSS/CL/1915/3447

[29] Mercantile Navy List, 1917, p. 665

[30] Mercantile Navy List, 1919, p. 643

[31] Mercantile Navy List, 1924, p. 744

[32] Mercantile Navy List, 1925, p. 758

[33] Mercantile Navy List, 1926, p. 770

[34] Mercantile Navy List, 1934, p. 817

[35] Mercantile Navy List, 1935, p. 839

[36] Mercantile Navy List, 1947, p. 987

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