Carlow History

Ballynamire, Co. Carlow: an outline history

 Ballynamire, Co. Carlow: an outline history

 

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

 

The townland of Ballynamire is located in the civil parish of Fennagh, in the barony of Idrone East, County Carlow. The townland measures 38 acres 1 root and 36 perches. It is located on the west side of the road between Fennagh in the south and Hunt’s man crossroads in the north. Ballynamire in Irish is Baile na Maoir and means “Mouth of the Ford of the Stream”.[1]

Tithe Applotment 1826

Under the tithe Applotment records Thomas H. Watson held Ballynamire, then written as Ballinamire. The tithe record gives the area as 24 acres 1 root and 28 perches.[2] The additional 14 acres can be accounted by the fact that pasture land was exempted from paying tithes.

Thomas Henry Watson was the only son of Samuel Watson of Lumclone, County Carlow by his wife Anne, daughter of Samuel Brewster. Lumclone is located on the east side of the same road that Ballynamire is on but a short distance to the south of Ballynamire.

Thomas Henry Watson was born in 1790 and succeeded his father in 1830. In June 1815 Thomas Watson married Anne, only daughter of Daniel Walker of Dublin, and granddaughter of William Walker, twice Lord Mayor of Dublin. Thomas Watson served as a captain in the Carlow Regiment of Militia and died on 7th January 1853, leaving Samuel Henry Watson of Lumclone along with Rev. Thomas Watson, John Watson, Robert Lecky Watson (of Lumclone and Kilconner), Sarah Watson, Annette Watson, Emily Watson, Elizabeth Watson and Anne Watson. His wife Anne Brewster Watson died in 1859.[3]

Ballynamire in 1841

In the 1841 census there were four people living in Ballynamire (two males and two females) in one house.[4]

Ballynamire in 1840-1846

On 13th December 1840 Lawrence Brien and his wife Elizabeth Farrell had their son Daniel Brien baptised in the Dunleckney parish register. This event was witnessed by Edmond Cowley and Bridget Murphy. The Brien family gave their address as Ballenamire.[5] On 13th March 1842 Lawrence Brien and Elizabeth Farrell had their son, Pat Brien, baptised at Dunleckney. They gave their address as Ballinamaire and this was witnessed by Martin Murphy and Mary Lennon.[6] On 25th December 1843 Lawrence Brien and his wife Elizabeth Farrell had their daughter Catherine baptised. They gave their address as Ballynamaire and this was witnessed by James Farrell and Bridget Murphy.[7] On 5th April 1846 Lawrence Brien and Elizabeth Farrell still lived at Ballynamire on the occasion of the baptism of their son, Lawrence. James Dray was a witness to this event.[8]

Ballynamire in 1851

If the family of Lawrence Brien lived in Ballynamire in the 1840s by the 1851 census there should be four males (Lawrence and his 3 sons) and two females (Elizabeth and her daughter). In the 1851 census there were five people living in Ballynamire (one male and four females) in one house.[9] This is at odds with what should be there if the Brien family indeed lived at Ballynamire in the 1840s.

Of course this doesn’t mean that the Brien had left Ballynamire. Without the actual individual census returns it is difficult to know if some of these people on the 1851 census were visitors to the Brien house or servants living in or if some members of the Brien family were absent from the Ballynamire house on the census night.

 

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View westwards over Ballynamire

Griffith’s Valuation, c.1850

By the time of Griffith’s Valuation in the 1850s the Brien family had left Ballynamire. In about 1850 James Jenkinson rented the townland of Ballynamire from Thomas H. Watson. The property contained a dwelling house called a herdman’s house with an outbuilding and the 38 acres of land. The land was worth £29 10s while the buildings were worth 5s.[10] It would seem that James Jenkinson may not always have lived in Ballynamire. Up the road in the village of Ballybrommell he held a house, outbuilding and garden (1 root 15 perches) from Samuel Watson of Lumclone. The house and outbuilding were worth 15s and the garden 5s.[11]

In 1826 William Jenkinson held land at Ballaghadereen and at Ballydarlon in Fennagh parish.[12] It is not clear what relationship he was to James Jenkinson.

Ballynamire in 1861

In the 1861 census there were eight people living in Ballynamire (five males and three females) in one house.[13]

Ballynamire in 1891

In the 1891 census there were eight people living in Ballynamire but by 1901 they had all gone and the townland had no residents.[14]

Ballynamire in 1911

In the two published census returns of 1901 and 1911 the townland of Ballynamire had no residents. The Poor Law valuation of the land and buildings in 1911 was £29 10s. These buildings must have been farm buildings as there was no dwelling house at Ballynamire by 1911.[15]

It may be possible to find other documents in archive centres in Carlow or Dublin to add to our knowledge of Ballynamire but for the present we are left with what we have. Today (2017), just like in 1901 and 1911, Ballynamire is still uninhabited.

 

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[1] http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Carlow_placenames_01.htm accessed on 6th August 2017

[2] http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie/reels/tab//004587442/004587442_00231.pdf accessed on 11th July 2017

[3] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, pp. 1191, 1192

[4] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/13270/page/340868 accessed on 11th July 2017

[5] http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptism_Dunleckney_29.htm accessed on 6th August 2017

[6] http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptism_Dunleckney_32.htm accessed on 6th August 2017

[7] http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptism_Dunleckney_35.htm accessed on 6th August 2017

[8] http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptism_Dunleckney_38.htm accessed on 6th august 2017

[9] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/13270/page/340868 accessed on 11th July 2017

[10] Griffith’s Valuation, Ballynamire, parish of Fennagh, barony of Idrone East, Carlow

[11] Griffith’s Valuation, Ballybrommell, parish of Fennagh, barony of Idrone East, Carlow

[12] http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie/reels/tab//004587442/004587442_00235.pdf accessed on 11th July 2017

[13] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/14544/page/375710 accessed on 11th July 2017

[14] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/21959/page/613975 accessed on 11th July 2017

[15] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/21959/page/613975 accessed on 6th August 2017

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Carlow History, Cork history

Deane Tanner family: some biographical notes

Deane Tanner family: some biographical notes

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

 

The following information relating to the Deane-Tanner family of Carlow and Cork was gathered in April 2011 to assist another historian who was researching Ireland’s early exploration into cinema production.

William Desmond Taylor, a film director in the United States was born William Cunningham Deane-Tanner in County Carlow. For more on his life and career see = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Desmond_Taylor

 

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William D. Taylor directing a 1921 film

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Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964)

Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), Vol. 14, page 1172 = will statement = William Kearns Tanner: 1881; effects £12,934-19-5; February 14; The will & codicil of WK Tanner, late Lapp’s Quay, Cork, esquire, M.D., deceased died 22 December 1882 at same place, was proved at Cork by James Deane of Queenstown, Thomas Babington and Eliza Tanner, widow, both of Cork, executors.

Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), Vol. 14, page 1689 = will statement = Eliza Tanner; effects £249-5-2; March 27th; will … late Lapp’s Quay, Cork, widow, deceased 11th October 1897 at same place, was proved at Cork by Charles Kearns Deane Tanner, of same place, esquire, M.D.; M.P.; one of the executors.

For more on the life and career of Charles Kearns Deane-Tanner see = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Kearns_Deane_Tanner

 

Charles_Kearns_Deane_Tanner,_Vanity_Fair,_1888-08-04

Charles K. Deane-Tanner as in Vanity Fair, 1888

Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), Vol. 15, page 1770 = abstract of deeds = Deane/Tanner, 1839/15/81, barony East Muskerry, 5/8/1833; indented deed of marriage settlement. John Conlon Deane, Dundanion Castle, Blackrock, Cork City, eldest son of Thomas Deane, Dundanion; Catherine Creighton, spinster, only daughter of George Wright Creighton, Dublin city, B.L.; William Kearns Tanner, Dublin city, M.D.; John Croker Creighton, Dublin city, B.L.; J.C. Deane in consideration of his intended marriage with Catherine Creighton and to make provision for her and for any children of said marriage assigned onto William K Tanner and John C Creighton in their actual possession the lands of Ummarie, Tomerade, East Knockvally, Gadrony, and West Knockvally, barony of Muskerry upon trust and should said Catherine survive said John; she should have an annuity of £150 and £2,000 should be charged on said lands for children. Witnesses: Joseph Francis Spearing & Edward Brewster Creighton; sworn 2/8/1839; Assistant registar Walter Glascock

Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), Vol. 15, page 1769 = Deane/Savage = 1844/1/75 = barony East Muskerry; 6/1/1844 = mentions Kearns Deane, Cork city, as getting £10 in mortgage from Osborne Savage in 1844 = others names are Sir Thomas Deane, Dundanion castle (got mortgage of £1,450 in the same deal) & John Conlon Deane, Dublin

Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), Vol. 15, page 1770 = Deane/Sullivan 1836/5/264 barony East Muskerry = 3/4/1821 = says Thomas Deane, Cork city and Catherine Deane nee Conlon, his wife

Albert Eugene Casey & Thomas O’Dowling (eds.), OKief, Coshe Many, Slieve Loughter and Upper Blackwater (15 vols. Wisconsin, 1964), Vol. 15, page 1769 = Deane/O’Sullivan 1835/6/133 barony of West Muskerry = 24/3/1835 = Sir Thomas Deane, Cork city, executor of last will of John Conlon, deceased

 

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Edward Walford (ed.), The County Families of the United Kingdom (London, Robert Hardwick, 1860)

 

Edward Walford (ed.), The County Families of the United Kingdom (London, Robert Hardwick, 1860), p. 170 = Sir Thomas Deane, Knt. (cr. 1839), was the son of Alexander Deane, architect of Cork. Sir Thomas was born 1792 and marry firstly in 1809 to Catherine, daughter of E. Coulon [Conlon?] and married secondly in 1827 to Eliza, daughter of Robert O’Callaghan Newenham. Sir Thomas’s third marriage was in 1853 to Harriet, daughter of the late Major Williams.

Sir Thomas Deane was an eminent architect and was High Sheriff of Cork 1839 and 1851. In 1860 he lived at Dundanion Castle, near Cork.

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Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A biographical dictionary of Cork (Four Courts Press, 2006)

Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A biographical dictionary of Cork (Four Courts Press, 2006), p. 78 = Alexander Deane, a prominent Cork builder – father of Sir Thomas Deane (1792-1871), Dundanion castle – architect – establish firm of Deane & Woodward with Benjamin Woodward (1816-1861) – father of Sir Thomas N. Deane (1828-1899), Dundanion castle – architect – father of eldest son Sir Thomas M. Deane (1851-1933) – architect

Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A biographical dictionary of Cork (Four Courts Press, 2006), p. 219 = Robert O’Callaghan Newenham (1770-1849) prominent landscape and topographical draughtsman – son of Sir Edward Newenham (1732-1814) M.P. in Irish parliament – son of William Newenham

Page 220 = Thomas Newenham (1762-1831) Irish parliament M.P.; nephew of Sir Edward Newenham – Thomas opposed Act of Union – supported Catholic Emancipation – unsuccessful attempts to unite Catholic & Protestant churches in Ireland

 

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The above is only a brief gathering of information on the Deane-Tanner family. More can be got from other book sources and from online databases and information sources.

 

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Carlow History

Ballintrane (Carlow) land purchases 1918 and 1919

Ballintrane (Carlow) land purchases 1918 and 1919

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

 

In February 1918 the world was still fighting another year of the Great War. Civil War was raging in Finland between Russian Communists and Finnish independence fighters.[1] In Ireland the Irish Parliamentary Party and the Sein Fein Party went head-to-head in the South Armagh by-election (the I.P.P. won by 2,324 votes to 1,305). The result temporarily halted the rise of Sinn Fein after four by-election victories.[2]

Also in the news was a meeting in Dublin of the Town Tenant’s League. This meeting was of interest to people in County Carlow as a landlord in Bagenalstown attempted to evict a shopkeeper.[3] If the land war was still ongoing among urban tenants, out in the countryside the tenant farmers were becoming owners of their own land such as two people in Ballintrane on the road between Carlow town and Ballon.

Ballintrane land purchases 1918

On 26th February 1918 Thomas Nolan of Ballintrane, Co. Carlow, purchased his farm under the 1903 Land Act from the estate of Robert A. French Brewster. The property consisted of two parcels of 10 acres 3 roots and 19 perches each. The purchase price was £254 for parcel one and £271 for parcel two or £25 in total. The government advanced the full purchase price repayable on annuities of 3¼ per cent.[4]

In 1911 Thomas Nolan (aged 37, farmer) lived with his wife Mary (aged 36) at house 8 in Ballintrane (Ballintrain). They were married in 1909 and both could read and write.[5] The dwelling house had four windows in the front façade and three rooms within used by the family.[6] There were five outhouses consisting of one stable, one cow house, one calf house, one piggery and one fowl house.[7]

It seems that Thomas Nolan was living in Ballybrommell in 1901 as an agricultural labourer and son of Michael Nolan (agricultural labourer, aged 66) and his wife Sarah Nolan, nee James (born Co. Kilkenny).[8] The land purchase acts did not only benefit tenant farmers to become the owners of their own land but help farm labourers to achieve some economic standing. In 1911 Thomas Nolan described himself as a farmer.[9]

Ballintrane land purchases 1919

One year later, in May 1919, further land purchases were made at Ballintrane. By that time the Great War was over but the Irish War of Independence had begun. Other parts of the British Empire were also at war with unrest in India and Egypt. Labour unrest across Ireland was adding to the climate of uncertainty. Yet there was also time for entertainment with a five day Feis Ceoil at the Dublin Mansion House.[10]

Meanwhile in County Carlow Mr. E. Dowling of Bagenalstown paid £75 for a two year old bullock at Carlow fair while another part of the Brewster estate at Ballintrane was sold to the occupying tenant.[11] On 16th May 1919 William O’Brien purchased a parcel of 11 acres and 3 roots from the estate of Robert A. French Brewster at Ballintrane for which the government advanced £194 as the full purchased price under the 1903 Land Act. The repayable annuities were at 3¼ per cen. On 23rd November 1911 this property was consolidated with land from the trustees of L. Walker.[12] In 1911 there was no person called William O’Brien living in Ballintrane. Across County Carlow there were five people called William O’Brien in the 1911 census but it is uncertain which person, if any, was the William O’Brien who purchased his holding in May 1919.

Also on 16th May 1919 Thomas Doyle purchased a parcel of 16 acres 3 roots and 10 perches from the estate of Robert Brewster at Coole (Rathvilly parish) with a purchase price of £315 fully advanced by the government. This holding was consolidated on 23rd November 1911 with land from the trustees of L. Walker.[13] In about 1850 Coole townland was owned by Philip Newton.[14]

Ballintrane in about 1850

In about 1850 Pilsworth Whelan of Rathglass owned 290 acres of Ballintrane while Thomas Singleton owned 2 acres. The remaindered of the 547 acres of the townland was owned by William Garrett of Janeville house. William Garrett was a cousin of Robert A.F. Brewster as noted below.

 

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Carlow countryside

Brewster family in County Carlow

The Brewster family had settled in County Carlow in the time of Charles II and acquired a number of properties over the years and married into the local gentry families.[15] Samuel Brewster married Elizabeth Garrett, second daughter of Thomas Garrett (born 1711) of Kilgaran, otherwise Janeville, and his wife Anne, daughter of John Cole.[16]

In 1789 Anne (died 1851), daughter of Samuel Brewster, married Samuel Watson (died 1830) of Lumclone, second son of Samuel Watson of Ballydarton, Co. Carlow by his wife Mary, daughter of Jonathan Beale of Mountmellick, Co. Laois by his wife Rebecca Lecky and left one son, Thomas Henry Watson of Lunclone, Co. Carlow.[17]

Brewster in Griffith’s Valuation for Carlow

In the time of Griffith’s Valuation (c.1850) the Brewster family held the following property in County Carlow. At Rathnapish townland in the parish of Carlow Abraham Brewster was joint landlord with the Rev. Thomas Durdin of just over 36 acres of lands with a house and outbuildings (rented by James Nolan). In the parish of Haroldstown, Abraham Brewster was landlord of a number of properties in the townland of Ballykilduff Upper amounting to about 119 acres. In the townland of Haroldstown (parish of Haroldstown) Abraham Brewster rented 338 acres from Sir Ralph Howard and was landlord of three vacant houses and two occupied houses. In the parish of Tullowphelim and in the townland of that name Abraham Brewster was landlord of over 20 acres and 4 houses. In the town of Tullow Abraham Brewster was landlord of three houses.

This Abraham Brewster was son of William Bagenal Brewster of Ballinulta, Wicklow, by his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Bates. Abraham Brewster was called to the Irish bar in 1819. In 1846 he became Solicitor-General for Ireland and in 1853 was made Attorney-General.[18] In 1866 he became Lord-Chancellor of Ireland. On 26th July 1874 Abraham Brewster died at his residence, 26 Merrion Square South, Dublin, and was buried at Tullow, co. Carlow, on 30 July. By his marriage in 1819 with Mary Ann, daughter of Robert Gray of Upton House, co. Carlow, who died in Dublin on 24th November 1862, he had issue one son, Colonel William Bagenal Brewster, and one daughter, Elizabeth Mary, wife of Mr. Henry French, both of whom died in the lifetime of their father.[19]

Other Brewster land owners 1850

Other members of the Brewster family held land in County Carlow about 1850. In Fennagh parish Edward Brewster was landlord of 59 acres in the townland of Mountmelican with Henry Bruen as landlord for the remaining two acres of that townland. In the townland of Kilknock (parish of Kellistown) Sarah Brewster was landlord of about 450 acres. In the townland of Commons (parish of Ballon) William Brewster was landlord of 39 acres. Michael Brewster rented land in Dunleahny and a house in Tullowphelim.[20]

Brewster family in 1876

In 1876 the only property owned by the Brewster family in County Carlow was the 59 acres 2 roots and 17 perches held by Edward Brewster at Mountmelican.[21]

Robert A.F. Brewster as landlord

By 1889 the Brewster family had expended their holdings in the county. In that year Robert A. Brewster French-Brewster was landlord of Bennekerry. In about 1850 the townland was held by Walter and Philip Newton (Philip also owned Coole in Rathvilly, another Brewster property).[22] In 1889 John Gorman got a judicial reduction in his rent from £18 to £13 for a holding of 15 acres and 37 perches that he rented from Robert Brewster.[23]

Robert A.F. Brewster as MP

Robert Abraham Brewster French-Brewster elected Conservative M.P. for Portarlington in 1883 with 70 votes against Thomas Mayne, Liberal, with 57 votes.[24] He served as M.P. until the general election of 1885 when the constituency was abolished.

Robert A.F. Brewster in the army

After his short lived Parliamentary career Robert A. Brewster joined the army. By 19th July 1899 he was a second lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers and was a lieutenant by 27th June 1900. In 1899-1900 he served with the Fusiliers in the South African War. He was engaged at the battle of Colenso, and was also the at Pieter’s Hill, Hussar Hill, and Hlangwani, and went to the relief of Ladysmith. Robert Brewster also took part in operations in Transvaal, including engagement at Rooidam and the operations in the Western Transvaal under Sir Archibald Hunter.

He then changed to the Irish Guards and by 10th July 1901 was a second lieutenant. On 22nd January 1902 Robert Brewster was made a lieutenant.[25] Later Robert Brewster became a major in the Irish Guards.[26]

Death of Robert A.F. Brewster

On 17th February 1917 Robert A.B. French-Brewster died at 10 Hanover Square, Middlesex in England. In his will he left effects totalling £15,380 19s 8d. Probate was granted in London on 3rd May 1917 to Houston French and Philip Martineau.[27] The death of Robert Brewster in 1917 possibly released any impediments to the sale of his County Carlow estate to the occupying tenants. The land purchases at Ballintrane in 1918 and 1919 noted above formed part of that change of ownership which was repeated across Ireland since the 1870s and continued into the 1960s.

 

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[1] Evening Telegraph (Dublin), 2nd February 1918, front page

[2] O’Connor, S., (ed.), The Revolution Papers, 1916-1923, number 13 (Dublin, 2016)

[3] Evening Telegraph (Dublin), 2nd February 1918, page four

[4] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/22658/page/638831# accessed on 12th March 2017

[5] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001675863/ accessed 12th March 2017

[6] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001675849/ accessed on 12th March 2017

[7] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001675851/ accessed 12th March 2017

[8] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000420566/ accessed on 12th March 2017

[9] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001675863/ accessed on 12th March 2017

[10] Freeman’s Journal, Wednesday 14th May 1919, page two, five

[11] Freeman’s Journal, Wednesday 14th May 1919, page two

[12] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/22658/page/638926# accessed on 12th March 2017

[13] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/22658/page/638926# accessed on 12th March 2017

[14] Griffith’s Valuation, Coole, Rathvilly parish, Barony of Rathvilly

[15] Walford, E., The County Families of the United Kingdom (London, 1860), p. 73

[16] Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland, 1899, p. 162

[17] Burke’s Irish Family Records, 1976, p. 1191

[18] Walford, E., The County Families of the United Kingdom (London, 1860), p. 73

[19] Dictionary of National Biography at https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Brewster,_Abraham_(DNB00)

[20] Griffith’s Valuation for County Carlow – various locations

[21] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/16252/page/194437# accessed on 12th March 2017

[22] Griffith’s Valuation, Bennekerry, Ballinacarrig parish, Barony of Carlow

[23] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/18337/page/486333 accessed on 12th March 2017

[24] Walker, B.M. (ed.), Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922 (Dublin, 1978), p. 308

[25] Hart’s Annual Army List, Militia List and Imperial Yeomanry List, 1908 (London, 1908), pp. 224, 224a

[26] http://www.willcalendars.nationalarchives.ie/reels/cwa/005014920/005014920_00038.pdf accessed on 17th March 2017

[27] http://www.willcalendars.nationalarchives.ie/reels/cwa/005014920/005014920_00038.pdf accessed on 17th March 2017

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Carlow History

Adelaide Memorial Church, Myshall, Co. Carlow

Adelaide Memorial Church, Myshall, Co. Carlow

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Introduction

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Church of Ireland engaged itself in erecting new parish churches that were almost uniform in their architectural form. These churches of simple lines were mostly financed by the Board of First Fruits, the official body responsible for building churches for the Church of Ireland.

In contrast to these simple churches, the parish church at Myshall, Co. Carlow is a riot of ornate style, pinnacles and colour.[1] The beauty of the Adelaide Memorial Church of Christ the Redeemer is as breath-taking as it is unexpected. And the tragic love story behind its construction is as compelling as its craftsmanship.

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The legend of the Adelaide Memorial Church at Myshall, Co. Carlow was that it was raised by John Duguid of Dover, England, in memory of his wife Adelaide and his daughter Constance who were killed in a riding accident while visiting friends in Myshall area.[2]

After the burial of his wife and daughter at Myshall John Duguid erected a memorial statue of ‘Innocence’ carved by Thomas Farrell from Sicilian marble over the grave. But the harsh Irish weather caused the marble to deteriorate rapidly. This prompted John Duguid to build the Adelaide church as a protective structure around the sculpture.

The church is described as an architectural gem and is a miniature of Salisbury Cathedral in England. It is constructed in limestone over a granite base. The limestone came from Stradbally, in Co Laois, and was transported by steam engine to Myshall, 15 tons at a time. The finest of materials were used and no part of the building was left unadorned. Delicate carving can be found everywhere and especially on the Bath stone which lines the interior.[3]

Inside the church are ten rows of carved-oak pews flanking the single aisle leading up the step, into the choir stalls. Polished Peterhead granite, quarried close to the Duguid ancestral home in Aberdeen, was used for the columns of the archway into the chancel, where the eye is drawn to the colourful mosaic behind the altar. Mother-of-pearl and gold leaf are used in this depiction of the Last Supper, in the style of Leonardo da Vinci

The interior has some fine stained glass including some by Evie Hone.[4] At the consecration the local bishop described the church as “one of the finest and most finished specimens of ecclesiastical art in Ireland”.[5]

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The church was consecrated in September 1913 and continues, under the official name of The Church of Christ the Redeemer, to provide a beautiful place of worship for the local Church of Ireland community.[6]

Within the church was built a mausoleum where John, Adelaide and Constance Duguid are buried. Sculptured panels on the mausoleum show the English rose and Scottish thistle (Mr. Duguid was of Scotch descent, his wife was English).[7] Much of the information about the construction and opening of Adelaide Memorial Church comes from a book written by Canon Pettipiece’s wife Kate for the occasion of the church’s consecration in 1913.

Constance Duguid

The story of the Church began in 1887 with an accident involving Constance Duguid. Constance was the daughter of John and Adelaide Duguid. Constance Duguid first came to Myshall on holiday to visit her sister, Madeline who married to a cleric and was living in the local rectory. While there she met Inglis Cornwall-Brady of Myshall Lodge. The couple began to see each other more often as they both enjoyed the fun of horse riding and their own company. The relationship blossom and they got engaged to be married.

But it was while out fox hunting that plans for the wedding came to a crashing end. It was in the field adjacent to the Adelaide Church that then 25-year-old Constance Duguid was seriously injured when she fell from a horse. A cross in the field marks the beginning of a chain of events that led, many years later, to the consecration of the new Church of Ireland place of worship in Myshall.

One, possibly fanciful version of the incident, was that a jealous former girlfriend of her fiancé spooked Duguid’s horse. The marriage of Constance’s intended to another woman within months of the accident seems to support some foul play. Constance Duguid lived for some time after the accident and knowing that she would not recover, Constance wished to be buried at Myshall.

Inglis Cornwall-Brady

The intended husband of Constance Duguid was Inglis Cornwall-Brady of Myshall Lodge. Myshall Lodge was built by Robert Cornwall on land acquired in the late eighteenth century. Robert Cornwall came from Co. Tyrone and was a nephew of Sam Faulkner of Dublin. As a barrister he was able to pick up some properties that were in trouble on the cheap such as that of Richard Whaley in Carlow. Robert Cornwall was very active in 1798 suppressing the Rebellion in County Carlow.

Major John Cornwall inherited Myshall Lodge and in 1810 married Jane Brady, daughter of Henry Brady of Limerick. They had no children and Myshall was inherited by Jane’s cousin, John Beauchamp Brady who added the name of Cornwall to his own. John Beauchamp Cornwall-Brady was High Sheriff of Carlow in 1853 and had three sons and one daughter by his wife Jane Harriet George. The eldest of these sons was John Cornwall-Brady, father of Inglis Cornwall-Brady, the intended husband of Constance Duguid.[8]

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If the tragic accident of 1887 played on the mind of Inglis Cornwall-Brady he didn’t show it in public. Instead on 14th February 1888 (St. Valentine’s Day) he married Mary Louisa Watson of Ballydarton. They had one daughter called Mona. Inglis Cornwall-Brady died in 1896 aged 37 years. Three years later, in 1899, his widow married Hon. Ralph Bowyer Norton.[9]

Inglis Brady left two sisters; Florence (died 1898) and Georgiana who married (1882) Edmond Hartstonge-Weld of Rahinbawn, Co. Carlow and inherited Myshall Lodge. Georgiana and Edmond left the house in 1915 and it was burnt by the I.R.A. in 1922.[10]

Adelaide Duguid

The mother of Constance Duguid was Adelaide Duguid, an English woman. It is Adelaide’s name that was given to the new Myshall church. In the 1891 census Adelaide Duguid was living in Dover, Kent. She was born in about 1842 in Sussex.[11] Adelaide Duguid never forgot her daughter’s grave at Myshall and when she died on 30th March 1903 she was buried beside her at Myshall.[12] It was after this double loss that John Duguid decided to build a new church at Myshall as a memorial to his wife and daughter.

John Duguid

The English census of 1911 records that John Duguid was 83 years old and was born in 1828 in Argentina. The occupation of John Duguid was given a private means.[13] These private means was a wine importer.[14] By all accounts John Duguid was a well-travelled, formidable man, standing more than six feet tall. He was the son of a Scottish father and English mother, and was raised in the manner of Spanish nobility.

In his early life John Duguid lived many adventures included riding coast to coast across bandit-country Mexico. Into adulthood he decided to settled down and in time he took over his father’s successful wine business, based himself in Dover and made it a success.

Earlier in 1889 John Duguid appeared among the Register of Electors in the parish of St. John the Apostle in the Borough of Dover in Kent.[15] In 1891 John Duguid was also on the same Register of Electors.[16]

After the death of his wife John Duguid further put to grief. When she was laid to rest at Myshall John Duguid struck up a close friendship with the then rector, Canon Pettipiece.

An offer by Duguid to fund the reroofing of Pettipiece’s church, as well as the need to erect a protective case around the weather-beaten statue of Innocence, developed into a far more ambitious plan for a new church on the site, incorporating his loved ones’ tombs.

“For him it was to stand as an exemplary mark of permanence, when everything in life can be swept away,” said today’s rector in Myshall, the Rev. Lester Scott.

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John Duguid died, aged 87, just months before the church was consecrated, on September 29th, 1913, so he was there only in spirit to hear the opening service. John Duguid did get to see the church and, in fact, there is a photograph in existence of him outside the church. John’s ashes were buried in Adelaide Memorial Church, alongside his wife and daughter. On consecration day the Duguid family was represented by his nephew Basil Duguid and his wife.[17]

Architect of the Adelaide Church

The Adelaide Memorial Church stands in beautifully maintained grounds and was designed by George Coppinger Ashlin, one of the foremost architects in the country in the early twentieth century.[18]

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George Coppinger Ashlin was born about 1837 at Carrigrenane House, Little Island in Co. Cork. He was the third son of John Mason Ashlin (who died when George was an infant) and Dorinda Coppinger of Midleton. George Coppinger Ashlin was educated in Liege (Belguim), at Oscott College and at the Royal Academy in London. Between 1856 and 1860 he studied architecture under Edward Welby Pugin, son of Augustus Welby Pugin.[19]

George Coppinger Ashlin returned to Ireland and worked on various commissions with Edward Welby Pugin. These included SS Peter and Paul’s, Cork, (1859), Convent of Mercy, Clonakilty, County Cork (1867), Convent and Orphanage, William Street North, Dublin (1867) and the SS. Augustine and John, Thomas Street, Dublin (1860).

In 1867 George Coppinger Ashlin married Mary Ashlin (aged 66) who was born about 1845 in England. Mary Ashlin was formerly Mary Pugin, Edward’s sister. They had one child. In 1911 George Ashlin was lived on Killiney Hill Road.[20]

Among the works of George Coppinger Ashlin, apart from the Adelaide Memorial Church, included about fifty other churches, Clery’s Department Store in Dublin, St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh and SS. Peter and Paul’s Church in Cork. On 10th December 1921 George Coppinger Ashlin died at his residence.[21]

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Conclusion

“It cost £50,000 to build the church, which is literally, millions in today’s money. At the time, it would have bought up most of Carlow,” explained Rev. Lester Scott. In conclusion to the story of the Adelaide Memorial Church we leave with the words of Rev. Scott when he said “The church is a memorial to love and that love comes from God, so really this church is a testament to God’s love.”[22]

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[1] Anon, An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of County Carlow (Government of Ireland, 2002), p. 36

[2] http://trails.carlowtourism.com/adelaide-memorial-church.html accessed on 16 September 2015

[3] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say! (Carlow, 1993), p. 36

[4] http://archiseek.com/2013/adelaide-memorial-church-myshall-co-carlow-built-1903/ accessed on 18 September 2015

[5] http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/memorial-to-a-parent-s-love-1.1526667 accessed on 16 September 2015

[6] http://trails.carlowtourism.com/adelaide-memorial-church.html accessed on 16 September 2015

[7] http://trails.carlowtourism.com/adelaide-memorial-church.html accessed on 16 September 2015

[8] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 40

[9][9] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 38

[10] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 38

[11] http://search.ancestry.co.uk for Adelaide Duguid in English census 1891 accessed on 16 September 2015

[12] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 35

[13] http://www.ukcensusonline.com for John Duguid in English census 1911 accessed on 16 September 2015

[14] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 34

[15] https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJ8K-D5H3 accessed on 16 September 2015

[16] https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJ8K-64JX accessed on 16 September 2015

[17] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 36

[18] http://trails.carlowtourism.com/adelaide-memorial-church.html accessed on 16 September 2015

[19] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2006), p. 8

[20] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Dublin/Killiney/Killiney_Hill_Road__Part_of/97866/ accessed on 18 September 2015

[21] Tim Cadogan & Jeremiah Falvey, A Biographical Dictionary of Cork, p. 8

[22] http://www.carlow-nationalist.ie/2013/09/30/church-love-built/ accessed on 16 September 2015

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Carlow History

Huntington castle, Clonegal, Co. Carlow

Huntington castle, Clonegal, Co. Carlow

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Huntington castle lies on the edge of the village of Clonegal in County Carlow. The castle is a private house, yet it is open to the public for guided tours throughout June, July, August and September. It was the setting for Stanley Kubrick’s film Barry Lyndon.[1]

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Front facade of Huntington castle

The original tower house was built in the 15th century as a stronghold for the Cavanagh family.[2] In 1607, Richard Netterville, Corballies, Co. Dublin, owned part of Clonegal. In that year he entrusted all his Irish lands, including Clonegal, to Christopher Fleming and others for the use of Richard Netterville. On 4th September 1607 Richard Netterville died and was succeeded by his nephew Nicholas Netterville.[3]

In October 1641 the manor of Clonegal was held by Lawrence Esmond, Lord Esmond and his wife, Dame Ellis.[4] Lawrence Esmond was the second son of Walter Esmond of Johnstown, Co. Wexford, by his wife Margaret, daughter of Michael Furlong of Horetown. Lawrence Esmond was sheriff of Co. Waterford in 1607 and was constable of Duncannon fort, Co. Wexford from 1606 until his death in 1644 or May 1645; the year is different in various sources.[5]

In 1622 Lawrence Esmond was created Lord Esmond, Baron of Limerick. In 1628 he married Ellis, widow of successively John Sherlock and Sir Edward Gough, daughter of Walter Butler, 4th son of James Butler, Earl of Ormond. Although Lawrence Esmond at one time was Major General of all Royal forces in Ireland, Lord Esmond joined the Parliament cause in 1644 and defended Duncannon fort during a long siege by Confederate forces. The fort surrendered in March 1645. After his death with no children, his titles became extinct and administration of his estate was granted to his nephew, Richard Esmond.[6]

Clonegal passed in 1645 to Katherine Gough, wife of the late Patrick Esmond, for use during her life. Revenue from half the manor was assigned to the daughters of Patrick Esmond.[7] Due to the strategic importance of the village of Clonegal on the road between Dublin and Wexford, the castle was captured by Oliver Cromwell as he marched on Kilkenny in 1649.[8]

The Esmonde family laid out most of the gardens in the 17th century. In 1663, Lawrence Esmonde of Ballignestragh, Co. Wexford, filed a claim for various properties in Counties Wexford Tipperary, and Carlow including the manor of Clonegal. This Lawrence Esmond called the place Huntington castle after the ancestral home place in Lincolnshire and was the son of Sir Thomas Esmond, baronet.[9] Thomas Esmond was the son of Lawrence Esmond, Baron of Limerick, by his first wife Ailish O’Flaherty, a granddaughter of Grace O’Malley. Lawrence Esmond was an ardent Protestant while his wife was a devout Catholic and they disagreed on what religion their son Thomas should follow. One night Ailish left with the child and returned to Connacht and Lawrence Esmond subsequently married Ellis Butler. Thomas Esmond was declared illegitimate and excluded from inheriting the Barony of Limerick.[10]

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The Huntington castle gardens

The gardens at Huntington castle include the French limes on the avenue, the lawns to the side of the house, the fish ponds on either side of the centre walk through the wilderness and the majority of yew trees which comprise the Yew Walk.[11]

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In the second half of the seventeenth century, Huntington castle passed from the Esmond family on the marriage to John Durdin, a prosperous merchant from Essex who moved to Ireland in the 1630s. John Durdin enjoyed the good Carlow air and lived to the remarkable age of 108.[12]

In the eighteenth and nineteenth century further extensions were made around the original tower house at Huntington. Yet the house does not figure highly in the recorded social life of the Carlow gentry. In Edward Walford’s book of 1860 recorded the gentry families of the United Kingdom and Ireland, Huntington castle is excluded from the thirty-three gentry houses mentioned.[13] The house also escapes mention in the work of the Carlow gentry by Jimmy O’Toole.[14]

In 1875 Alexander Durdin of Huntington castle held 296 acres in County Carlow which was valued at £269. Rev. Alexander Durdin of Lower Mount Street in Dublin held 1,121 aces in County Carlow.[15]

Alexander Durdin made further improvements to the gardens at Huntington. A lake at the bottom of the wilderness garden at Huntington was built for ornamental purposes and next to it was constructed one of the earliest water turbine houses in Ireland, providing the castle with its own electricity as early as 1888.[16]

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In 1880, Melian Durdin married a Robertson. The Durdin-Robertson family have kept Huntington castle since that time.[17] In 1901 Helen Durdin-Robertson was living in the castle with her mother-in-law, Melian Durdin. Also there was Helen’s son, Magnus Robertson and her daughter, Helen Robertson with nine servants.[18] In 1901 there were 40 windows in the front façade and 22 rooms within along with 31 outbuildings.[19] In 1911 Arthur M. Haines rented Huntington castle from Herbert Robertson. The house then had 38 windows in the front façade and 25 rooms within with 30 outbuildings.[20] The castle today (2016) is still a private house, yet it is open to the public for guided tours throughout June, July, August and September.

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[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington_Castle,_Clonegal accessed on 17 December 2016

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington_Castle,_Clonegal accessed on 17 December 2016

[3] Margaret C. Griffith (ed.), Calendar of Inquisitions formerly in the Office of the Chief Remembrancer of the Exchequer prepared from the MSS of the Irish Record Commission (Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 1991), No. J1 54/35

[4] Geraldine Tallon (ed.), Court of Claims: Submissions and Evidence 1663 (Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 2006), no. 415

[5] G.E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage (Alan Sutton, Gloucester, 1987), Vol. V, p. 112; Geraldine Tallon (ed.), Court of Claims: Submissions and Evidence 1663, no. 415

[6] G.E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. V, p. 112

[7] Geraldine Tallon (ed.), Court of Claims: Submissions and Evidence 1663, no. 415

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington_Castle,_Clonegal accessed on 17 December 2016

[9] Geraldine Tallon (ed.), Court of Claims: Submissions and Evidence 1663, no. 415

[10] http://www.turtlebunbury.com/history/history_houses/hist_hse_huntington.html accessed on 17 December 2016

[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington_Castle,_Clonegal accessed on 17 December 2016

[12] http://www.turtlebunbury.com/history/history_houses/hist_hse_huntington.html accessed on 17 December 2016

[13] Edward Walford, The County Families of the United Kingdom (London, 1860), p. 812

[14] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say! (Carlow, 1993)

[15] www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/16252/page/194438# accessed on 17 December 2016

[16] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington_Castle,_Clonegal accessed on 17 December 2016

[17] http://www.turtlebunbury.com/history/history_houses/hist_hse_huntington.html accessed on 17 December 2016

[18] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000419807/ accessed on 17 December 2016

[19] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000419805/ accessed on 17 December 2016

[20] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001679594/ accessed on 17 December 2016

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Carlow History

Duckett’s Grove: a mansion house that’s upside down

Duckett’s Grove: a mansion house that’s upside down

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

 

Duckett’s Grove is a ruined mansion near the northern boundary of Co. Carlow. Its name is taken from the Duckett family who held the area for about two hundred and fifty years. At its height many visitors came to Duckett’s Grove to enjoy the place and their company. After the departure of the Duckett family and the fire of 1933 the visitors still come. Today visitors come with curiosity to understand the place which is home only to the birds. Yet Duckett’s Grove is no straight forward gentry’s mansion. It is rather a mansion house that’s upside down in many respects.

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The front door and side of Duckett’s Grove

Duckett’s Grove in the wrong townland

The present ruined mansion and associated buildings lie just inside the eastern boundary line of townland of Rainestown. Yet when Thomas Duckett, ancestor of the Ducketts of Duckett’s Grove, came to the area in 1695 he purchased the townland of Kneestown which adjoins Rainestown on the east.[1] In 1852 John D. Duckett owned the entire 201 acres of Kneestown where he had some farm buildings and land and no residents. The entire area of the townland of Rainestown (620 acres) was in 1852 owned by William Burton of Burton Hall. John Duckett only had a long term lease on 179 acres around Duckett’s Grove from William Burton thus the Duckett family didn’t really own the land their house was built on.[2] This long term lease was taken out sometime in the eighteen century as Jonas Duckett (1720-1797) was the first to address himself as of Duckett’s Grove.[3]

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The area around Duckett’s Grove c.1840 and c.1900

John Duckett also didn’t own the grand entrance gateway at Russellstown Cross Road which was owned by his brother, William Duckett of Russellstown Park.[4] The grand house at Russellstown Park was demolished in the 1950s by the Land Commission but in the early 1900s the Ordnance Survey had already removed the house and outbuildings from their maps.[5]

Russellstown Cross Roads gateway

The grand entrance gateway at Russellstown Cross Roads is the wrong way round and in the wrong place. There are in fact two gateways in one structure at the Cross Roads. The smaller gateway opens to along avenue the heads north-east across Russellstown townland and towards the two grand houses of Rainestown House to the left and Duckett’s Grove to the right. This long avenue is used by present day visitors to Duckett’s Grove. The grander gateway at the Cross Roads is not in use today but in the past lead eastwards at first before curving round to the north-east and heading straight for Duckett’s Grove. This abandoned avenue can still be seen today as visitors leave the mansion house and take the right hand turn towards Rainestown House. The abandoned avenue was joined by another abandoned avenue that came from a gate way further east along the Russellstown road at a ninety degree turn. Thus the Russellstown gate way takes visitors in the wrong direction.

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Russellstown gateway – the usual entrance is on the left

The Russellstown gateway is also in the wrong place because before 1840 the straight avenue from the Russellstown Cross Road was just an ordinary public road. The original entrance to Duckett’s Grove was via a gate way and gate lodge located half way down the straight avenue on the right. The third gateway into Duckett’s Grove is located straight past the house and out onto the R418 Castledermot to Killerrig road. The accompanying map shows the road patterns around Duckett’s Grove in the 1840s and around 1900.

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The grand entrance at Russellstown cross road which once led to Duckett’s Grove

Duckett’s Grove built of brick

Another oddity about Duckett’s Grove is the materials used in its construction and the manner of its eventual destruction. The vast majority of Duckett’s Grove is built of brick. Often when you build with brick, one thinks of fire brick. If the builders of Duckett’s Grove had ideas that the extensive use of brick would protect the house from fire they were to be sadly mistaken. In April 1933 locals notice smoke coming from the empty house and took swift action to prevent disaster. But on 20th April 1933 a second fire took hold of the building and consumed it in its entirety. Nobody knows if the two fires were started accidentally or otherwise but the red bricks did little to stop it.[6]

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Remains of spiral stairway from basement to ground floor

The unseen servants made visible

The fire of 1933 destroyed the mansion of Duckett’s Grove yet exposed the underground cellars where the servants who kept the house in running order worked away unseen when the house was standing.

But even long before the fire the servant quarters were empty. In 1911 Duckett’s Grove was described as a house with 24 windows in front and 40 rooms within and 27 outbuildings.[7] The census records show no servants were living in the house. Instead, at that time William Mackey lived in the house with his sister and acted as land agent for Maria Duckett.

This is in contrast with the early years of the house when the servant quarters were a hive of activity. In the 1841 census 17 people lived in Rainestown in two houses and by 1851 there were 32 people in the townland living in three houses.[8]Although we can’t say for certain how many of these people lived at Duckett’s Grove it would seem to be the case that the number of servants at the house increased in those years.

At one time there were eleven men employed full-time maintaining the lawns, gardens and driveways. Along these driveways for nearly eighty years visitors in great numbers came to picnic on the well maintained grounds. As many as 150 sat down for lunch on the same day. The great kitchens under Duckett’s Grove were hot with cooking at those times. The ice house out by the back avenue would help to keep thing cool. But by 1900 the family had turned cold against this open policy as visitors damaged flowers entered the enclosed yards, looking in the windows and laughing loudly.[9]

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The main kitchens 

Catholic servants not approved but still employed

Maria Duckett, wife of William Duckett (last male owner of Duckett’s Grove), was said to have a hatred of Catholics and the Catholic Church. It was said that she would not employ Catholics. She was reported as saying that “people are in league with the Catholics to poison and kill me”.[10] Yet the census returns for 1901 and 1911 show at that time that she was not so against Catholic servants as later commentators may have suggested.

In 1901 the census returns account for six servants at Duckett’s Grove of whom five were Roman Catholics or as William Duckett called them “Church of Rome”.[11] William Duckett died in 1908 and his widow left the house for Raglan Road in Dublin. There in 1911 Maria Duckett had five servants two of whom were Roman Catholics or as it is written “Church of Rome”.[12] If Maria Duckett was totally against Catholics among her employees it must have occurred later in life.

The 1926 census, which is the next after 1911, is not due for publication until 2026 and thus we must wait ten years to see the religious affiliations of her servants at that time. Maybe Maria’s dislike of Catholics could be from a discovery that the Duckett family were not all Protestant. Back in the days of religious Reformation and Counter Reformation in England many members of the Duckett family in Lancashire and Westmoreland stayed Catholic while a prosperous Protestant branch settled in Wiltshire. The Catholic branches produced two Catholic martyrs in the form of James and John Duckett. Another member, John Duckett, was priest in 1660 to Colonel Mervyn Touchet, later Earl of Castlehaven.[13]

Servants well cared for

Even if the Ducketts kept their servants unseen in the basement or even may have disliked their religion, the family did have a reputation of caring for their servants. New suits of clothes, boots and a cash bonus was given to the men servants at Christmas while their wives got new bed clothes and cash with gifts for the children. Such was the respect for the family by the locals that when the I.R.A. occupied the house they left it intact and did not burn it or loot it like they did at other houses like Mitchelstown Castle in Co. Cork.

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Servant’s quarters

Of course in any relationship there will be ups and downs. In 1893 William Duckett of Duckett’s Grove brought an action against his former coachman and groom, John Sweeney, for theft. John Sweeny countered with an action of slander and claimed damages of £500. The case was settled with Sweeney getting £65 in damages.[14] In 1901 John Sweeney was living at Strawhall near Carlow town and employed as a coachman – though not for the Ducketts.[15]

The walled gardens at the far end

Another curiosity at Duckett’s Grove is the situation of the two walled gardens. The two walled gardens are separated from the mansion house by the enclosed farm yard and servant buildings. Because today’s visitors enter the mansion complex via the farm yard entrance with the walled gardens to the left and the mansion far to the right you get a strange sense of situation. It would seem that visitors to the house of the nineteenth century would have to walk through the farm yard seeing servants and heaps of horse dung to get to the gardens from the house.

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It is only when you go to the far end of the gardens that you find a sculptured doorway through which visitors of the past entered the gardens. This doorway is on the south side of the gardens.

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Yet still the gardens seem to be place in an odd place. Visitors of the nineteenth century would have to exit the mansion by a side door or the front door and walk around the outside of the walled farm yard to get to the gardens. It would seem better if the walled gardens were at the side of Duckett’s Grove rather than at the further rear of the house.

Of course if the original Duckett’s Grove was in Kneestown townland then the walled gardens would be right beside the house and not far away from it. The townland boundary between Kneestown and Rainestown passes just outside the eastern wall of the walled gardens.

Duckett’s Grove entry by the back door

Owing to the 1933 fire present-day visitors don’t enter the mansion house by the front door or the door frame of the front door. This is because the front door is barred with an iron gate which is mostly locked. Instead modern visitors enter the enclosed farm yard, pass through the servant’s area and enter the mansion house via the back door. This line of approach allows visitors to see the workings behind the big house and get an appreciation that these large gentry’ houses may have been built by a landlord family but could only operate with all the servants and their associated buildings in the back.

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The front door – or should say gate – into the mansion house

Duckett’s Grove in conclusion

There are possibly other curiosities at Duckett’s Grove waiting to be discovered such as the oval window on the south side of the main reception room that was changed into a square window with semi-circular top. Every visit brings new discoveries and new wonders. It is a wonderland of exploration and discovery – an Alice in Wonderland place – even if it is a mansion house that’s upside down.

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The north facade with gateway to enclosed farm yard in middle picture & house to right

 

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[1] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow gentry: What will the neighbours say! (Carlow, 1993), p. 101

[2] Griffith’s Valuation, Rainestown townland, Killerig parish, Carlow barony, Co. Carlow

[3] Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland (London, 1899), p. 125

[4] Griffith’s Valuation, Russellstown townland, Killerig parish, Carlow barony, Co. Carlow

[5] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 107; http://map.geohive.ie/mapviewer.html historic 25 inch maps 1888-1913

[6] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 104

[7] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001664569/ accessed on 15 September 2016

[8] http://www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/13270/page/340863 accessed on 15 September 2016

[9] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 102

[10] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow gentry: What will the neighbours say!, pp. 97, 98

[11] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000417551/ accessed on 15 September 2016

[12] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000126649/ accessed on 15 September 2016

[13] J. Anthony Williams, Catholic recusancy in Wiltshire 1660-1791 (Catholic Record Society, 1968), p. 100

[14] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 103

[15] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000418986/ accessed 23 September 2016

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Carlow History

John Burgess: an evicted Carlow tenant reinstated

John Burgess: an evicted Carlow tenant reinstated

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Introduction

In the 1910 Parliamentary report of the Estates Commission only one former tenant in Co. Carlow was successfully reinstated in his former holding under the Evicted Tenants (Ireland) Act, 1907. On 25th April 1898 John Burgess was evicted from his holding at Coolnamara in Co. Carlow. John Burgess paid £16 9s 4d for sixteen acres of land on the estate of Walter Kavanagh.[1] The townland of Coolnamara was situated in the civil parish of Ullard in the Barony of Lower St. Mullins in County Carlow. It contains about 261 acres and is on the R703 heading north-east out of Graiguenamanagh.

Coolnamara in 1827

In 1827 an earlier John Burgess held thirteen aces and three roots of land in the townland of Coolnamara according to the Tithe Applotment books. Coolnamara measured about 261 acres but only 155 acres qualified under the Tithe books.[2] Pasture land was not subject to Tithe payments. We can say therefore that John Burgess had thirteen acres of tillage ground and the remaining eleven acres was in pasture.

In 1827 the Church of Ireland churchwardens for Ullard and Graig calculated £69 10s as the money needed to pay parish expenses for the year. This money would be mainly raise through the payment of Tithes on tillage land with Protestants and Catholics contributing to the collection.[3]

In the late 1820s and early 1830s there was great unrest and resistance across the country to the continuation to paying Tithes to the Church of Ireland. Due to intimidation and outrages the Tithe collectors had made no attempt at recovering the amounts due. In a report to the government the collectors said any legal proceedings against the defaulters would be unsuccessful due to the unrest. In 1831 John Burgess, farmer, was listed among eleven other people in Coolnamara as a Tithe defaulter. In the parish of Ullard there were 147 defaulters. After further unrest and long debate in Parliament the Tithe payment was transferred to the landlord who in most cases passed the bill onto the tenants as part of the rent payment.

Coolnamara and Mount Leinster

Coolnamara looking towards Mount Leinster

Coolnamara in 1850

In about 1850 John Burgess held twenty-four acres and twenty perches of land with a dwelling house and outhouses at Coolnamara. The land of John Burgess was worth £16 and his buildings valued at £2. John’s landlord was Michael Sweetman who in turn held his property from Thomas Kavanagh. John Burgess was one of seven farmers in the townland which included Michael Sweetman. The biggest farmer was Redmond Dalton was forty-two acres.[4]

In the 1851 census reported 103 people living in Coolnamara compared to 113 people in 1841. In 1841 there were 16 dwelling houses and this had increased to 17 houses by 1851.[5] Clearly Coolnamara was little affected by the Great Famine of the 1840s and the 1850s were good also as the population remained at 103 in the 1861 census.[6]

The Kavanagh landlords of Coolnamara

This Thomas Kavanagh III was the first son of Thomas Kavanagh II of Borris House by his second wife Lady Harriet Le Poer Trench, daughter of 2nd Earl of Clancarty, a staunch Presbyterian. Thomas Kavanagh II was the youngest son of Thomas Kavanagh I by his wife Lady Suzanne, daughter of the 16th Earl of Ormond. Thomas Kavanagh II succeeded to the Kavanagh estate following the early deaths of his three brothers. Sometime before 1798 Thomas Kavanagh II conformed to the Church of Ireland. Thomas Kavanagh II was twice married. His first wife was Lady Elizabeth Butler by whom he had nine daughters and one son. In 1825 he married his second wife, Lady Harriet Le Poer Trench and she gave birth to three sons, the youngest of whom was the limbless Arthur McMurrough-Kavanagh.

Thomas Kavanagh II died in 1837 and was successively succeeded by his sons Walter Kavanagh, Thomas Kavanagh (owner of 1850) and Charles Kavanagh. After the death of Charles Kavanagh in 1853 the limbless Arthur McMurrough-Kavanagh became lord of Borris House.[7]

Michael Burgess of Coolnamara

In November 1846 Michael Burgess of Coolnamara was sponsor for the baptism of Daniel, son of Arthur Kavanagh and Margaret Burgess.[8] In October 1850 Michael Burgess of Headfield married Anne Moran with Michael Dalton and Anne Doyle as witnesses.[9] In February 1853 Michael Burgess of Coolnamara and his wife Anne Murrin baptised their daughter Bridget. Ellen Burgess and Stephen Murrin were the sponsors.[10] Michael Burgess was possibly a son of John Burgess.

Kavanagh evictions

After the death of Thomas Kavanagh II in 1837 a good number of tenants were evicted from the estate in the name of land improvement. At Ballydine 208 people were evicted. Some of the evictions were in situations where the leases of middlemen had expired.[11] In 1850 John Burgess held his land from a middleman. After these middlemen leases expired some of the under-tenants were adopted as direct tenants of the Kavanagh landlord. As we see from the above the Burgess holding at Coolnamara came directly under the Kavanaghs between 1850 and 1898.

In 1879-80 the Kavanagh estate came under pressure from tenants who variously were unable or unwilling to pay their rent. The estate was the biggest recipient of financial support from the Government to keep it out of the bankruptcy courts. See related article = https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/arrears-of-rent-act-1882-in-carlow/

On 25th April 1898 John Burgess was evicted from his holding at Coolnamara. John Burgess had paid £16 9s 4d for sixteen acres of land.[12] But it seems that John Burgess was unable to pay the rent, or unwilling to do so, and was evicted. The exact circumstances are unknown but non-payment of rent was the official reason.

eviction in co clare

Photo of an eviction in Co. Clare not unlike

Burgess house with its three windows and thatched roof

In the three months from April to June 1898 there were twelve eviction notice filed in the Carlow county court.[13] A small number compared to the 309 evictions in County Mayo but every eviction is somebody’s life and not just a statistic. It seems that in the twelve Carlow cases above, eviction was not immediate and that all were given caretaker status on their holdings for a brief time.[14] Overall there were 1,438 evictions in 1898 across Ireland for non-payment of rent, a small increase on the 1897 figure.[15]

The 1901 census

After his eviction in 1898 John Burgess disappears from the records for a time. The 1901 census records that the house of John Burgess was vacant and held by Walter Kavanagh.[16] The evicted John Burgess is not recorded in the census. He was not living in Ireland on census night in April 1901 but it is unclear if he had moved temporarily or permanently abroad. Instead the 1901 census a person called John Burgess (aged fifty-two years), was an unmarried farm servant in the household of Michael Dalton at house number three in the townland of Coolnamara.[17] Elsewhere another John Burgess (aged forty years) lived with his family at Ballaghaderneen by Fennagh in Co. Carlow.[18]

Political fortunes of Walter Kavanagh

It is not known where John Burgess lived between 1898 and 1907. After the passage of the Tenant eviction Act of 1907 John Burgess applied to the Estates Commission for redress. In the meantime the political fortunes of his former landlord were temporarily restored. In 1908 Walter McMurrough-Kavanagh was nominated as a Nationalist candidate in the Co. Carlow by-election. The vacancy was caused by the death of John Hammond, an anti-Parnellite, who was first elected M.P. for the County in 1891. At the end there was no contest and Walter McMurrough-Kavanagh was elected unopposed. It was a big change from the heavy defeat suffered by his father, Arthur McMurrough-Kavanagh, in 1880 when the tenants voted comprehensively for two Home Rule candidates.[19] But Walter’s time in Parliament was short lived. Before the 1910 Walter disagreed with the Government’s tax policies and didn’t contest the general election in January 1910 in which Michael Molloy was returned for Carlow.[20]

At a local level Walter McMurrough-Kavanagh served as chairman of Carlow County Council from 1907 to 1918 but lost his job due to his support for conscription. He died July 1922 leaving two sons.[21]

John Burgess reinstated to family land

By December 1909 the Estates Commission had reinstated John Burgess on a holding of twenty-four acres and twenty perches at Coolnamara. This was the same area and place as his ancestor had in 1850. Back in 1898 John Burgess was evicted from sixteen acres. It is not clear if the eight acres was held under a different lease agreement.

The annuity payable was £12 14s 10d on the twenty-four acres. John Burgess received £80 towards his building and other improvements. This amount was to be repayable as part of his annuity payment. John Burgess got £100 as a free non-repayable grant towards purchasing stock and farm implements.[22] The Poor Law Valuation of the former holding held by John Burgess and his new farm is not given.

1911 census

In the 1911 census John Burgess lived as a single farmer in house number four in the townland of Coolnamara. John Burgess was a Roman Catholic and was born in Co. Carlow. In 1911 John Burgess gave his age as thirty-nine and could read and write.[23] John’s dwelling house had three windows at the front of the house and was strongly built with a slate roof. It seems that John Burgess may have put on the slate roof as in 1901 the house had a thatched roof. John used three rooms in the house and had three outhouses.[24] The three outhouses consisted of one cow house, one barn and one shed.[25]

Later history

The later history of John Burgess after 1911 is unknown to this author. It is hoped that he enjoyed a long and happy life on his ancestral property. No person with the Burgess surname lives today at Coolnamara according to the telephone directory.

 

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[1] http://www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/21621/page/606464 accessed on 19 August 2016

[2] http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie/reels/tab//004625731/004625731_00014.pdf

[3] http://www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/10167/page/224846 accessed on 19 August 2016

[4] Griffith’s Valuation, Coolnamara, Ullard Parish, Lower St. Mullins Barony, Co. Carlow

[5] http://www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/13270/page/340874 accessed on 19 August 2016

[6] http://www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/14544/page/375716 accessed on 19 August 2016

[7] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say! (Carlow, 1993), pp. 131, 132

[8] http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptisims_Borris_53a.htm accessed on 19 August 2016

[9] http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Marriages_borris_06.htm accessed on 19 August 2016

[10] http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptisims_Borris_58a.htm accessed on 19 August 2016

[11] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say!, p. 136

[12] http://www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/21621/page/606464 accessed on 19 August 2016

[13] http://www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/19648/page/534843 accessed on 19 August 2016

[14] http://www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/19657/page/534896 accessed on 19 August 2016

[15] http://www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/19835/page/542447 accessed on 19 August 2016

[16] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000424970/ accessed on 19 August 2016

[17] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000424973/ accessed on 19 August 2016

[18] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000420542/ accessed on 19 August 2016

[19] Jimmy O’Toole, The Carlow Gentry: What will the neighbours say!, pp. 134, 135, 136

[20] B.M. Walker (ed.), Parliamentary election results in Ireland, 1801-1922 (Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 1978), p. 332

[21] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_MacMurrough_Kavanagh accessed on 19 August 2016

[22] http://www.dippam.ac.uk/eppi/documents/21621/page/606465 accessed on 19 August 2016

[23] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001678955/ accessed on 19 August 2016

[24] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001678945/ accessed on 19 August 2016

[25] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001678947/ accessed on 19 August 2016

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