O is for outlaw

In the six years following the ‘Irish Rebellion’ of 1641, upwards of two thousand Irishmen were outlawed, among them my 8th great grandfather Dennis Cavenagh (c. 1620 – after 1685).

Dennis Cavenagh is named in two depositions associated with the County Kildare rebellion 1641, part of a collection held by Trinity College Dublin.

Part of the deposition by Henry Peirse of Clane
  • Thomas Leigh of Killeclone, co Kildare, deposed 19 January 1642 that losses were inflicted on him by Dennes Cavenagh of Clane, William Fitzgerald of Blackhall, Esqres, and Martin Nangle gent. The total loss valued at £1296. [This was a large sum of money. A historic currency converter suggests that £1296 in 1641 was roughly the equivalent of £297,000 pounds today.]
  • Henry Peirse of Clane, Co Kildare, gent, sworn 5 March 1642 states that in December last he was robbed and spoyled of his goods and chattels by WilliamFitzgerald of Blackhall in the same county Esqre, Oliver Wogan of ffersnston (fferanston ?) in the same county, Maurice Eustace of Moone, Nicholas FitzJames als FitzGerald of Clane, Lewes Moore of the same, and Dennys Cavenagh of the same, and Dominick 0 of the same, tailor, with divers others whose names petitioner knoweth not, total loss valued at £1173 [estimated £270,000 pounds today].
A burning house at the time of the 1641 Rebellion
Some of the places mentioned in the depositions are shown in red as is the town of Athy

The name ‘Dennis Cavenagh’ was included on a list of outlaws promulgated on 19 November 1642 at Athy, County Kildare

… indicted of treason in the King’s Bench Dublin in Hillary Term 17th Charles Rex 1641, and outlawed thereupon:

  • Co. Kildare Cavenagh Dionisius of Clane gent.

The depositions do not seem to accuse Cavenagh and associates of treason. However, given the timing, the inclusion of Peirse‘s and Leigh’s depositions in the Trinity College collection, and Cavenagh being named as an outlaw, it seems the robbery of Henry Peirse and Thomas Leigh by Dennis Cavenagh and others was part of the rebellion. Henry Peirse / Persse is I believe Anglo-Irish and one of the Persse family which were the subject of a 2016 book “The Persse Family of County Galway Genealogy and History, 1554-1964” by Gerry Kearney. The book blurb states “Revd Edward Persse and his brother, Henry, were fortunate to survive the worst excesses of the 1641 rebellion.”

In 1652, in an attempt to settle Ireland and bring the troubles to an end, the English Parliament passed legislation punishing owners of Irish land who had been involved in the 1641 rebellion. If they had played a major part they were dispossessed entirely. For a minor role they forfeited a proportion of their land. For this forfeiture they were to be recompensed by grants of land west of the Shannon, where they were to be given an area equal to the proportion they were entitled to retain. This was called transplanting.The province of Connacht and the county of Clare were set aside for the Irish rebels to transplant themselves, their families, dependents, livestock and goods before 1 May, 1654. The penalty for not transplanting was death by hanging. By 1 May 1654, 44,210 names were recorded on certificates of transplantation.

Dennis Cavenagh, almost certainly a Catholic and probably involved to some degree in the rebellion, seems to have been treated fairly leniently. His name does not appear on the list of transplanters, and it seems that after his outlawry he continued to live quietly in the district.

In the church registers of Athy, County Kildare. Dennis Cavenagh’s son James was recorded as a Protestant. The attainder of his father perhaps gave rise to this change in religious affiliation.

Dennis Cavenagh was still living in 1685 as he is is named in his son James’s 1685 will.

The will of James Cavenagh, dated the 8th of March, 1685, was proved in the Prerogative Court at Dublin on the 23rd of April 1686 by Elizabeth, his wife and the Reverend James Moore. James Cavenagh is described as of Grangemellon. He left sixteen pounds to his brother Martin, and one hundred pounds to his wife, to be paid out of a bond for five hundred pounds due by Captain Fitz-Gerald. He directed that what lands were then in the actual possession of his father, Dennis Cavenagh, and of his mother, they were to enjoy the same during their natural lives, with remainder to his son, Wenford [Wentworth]; should he die before his grand-parents, with remainder to Elizabeth, his wife; should she predecease his parents, with remainder to his brother, Martin.

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N is for Nenagh

One of my fifth great grandfathers was a clergyman named Henry O’Neale Bayley (also spelled Bayly or Bailey), born in 1757 at Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland to John Bayley (1724 – 1797) and Martha (or Bridget) nee Holmes (c. 1730 — ?).

Henry Bayley was first educated by a Mr Brown of Castlelyons.  In 1774, at the age of 17, he enrolled at Trinity College Dublin, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree five years later. Ordained on 19 March 1780, he was appointed rector and vicar at Kilquane (Ballyshonboy), County Limerick in 1782, becoming rector of Nenagh in 1803.

In Dublin on 3 June 1783 he married Anne Penelope Grueber. They had 16 children, perhaps more:

  • James Bayly 1784–1857, a naval officer
  • Henry Aldborough Bayly 1785–1840
  • Peter Bayly 1787–1852, a naval officer
  • John Bayly 1789–, an army officer in the 2nd Bengal Light Cavalry
  • Jane Bayly 1790–1849, wife of Henry Rathborne
  • Penelope Mary Bayly 1794–1845, wife of William Rathborne
  • Charlotte Elizabeth Bailey 1795–1846, my fourth great grandmother, who married William Pulteney Dana in about 1812
  • Benjamin Bayly 1797–1850, an army officer in the 21st Fusiliers
  • William Prittie Bayly 1798–1842, an army officer in the 92nd Highlanders
  • Samuel Bayley 1800–
  • Barbara Bayley 1800–
  • Isabella Bayly 1802–1866, wife of William White
  • Helen Maria Bayly 1804–1869, wife of Sir William Rowan Hamilton, noted mathematician and astronomer
  • Maria Bayly 1805–1851, wife of George Coplen-Langford
  • Amelia Bayly
  • Humphry Bayly

On 29 January 1826 Henry Bayly died at the age of 68 at Scripplestown house, near the Dunsink Observatory.

Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier 7 Feb 1826: On the 29th ult., at Scripplestown, the residence of his son-in-law, William Rathborne Esq., the Rev. Henry Bayley, Rector of Nenagh, in his 69th year.

Henry’s wife, Anna Penelope, died at at Dunsink Observatory, the home of her son-in-law, William Rowan Hamilton, on 30 September 1837.

The lady whom Hamilton married in the year 1833 was a daughter of the Rev. Henry Bayly, Rector of Nenagh, in the county of Tipperary, a member of the family whose head is settled at Debsborough in that county : she was in this way connected with Lord Dunalley and with Dean Head, Dean of Killaloe, who were neighbours in the country, took an interest in the marriage, and were subsequently Hamilton’s acquaintances and correspondents. Miss Bayly’s mother, whose maiden name was Grueber, and who by her letters appears to have possessed a bright mind and amiable disposition, was at this time a widow and resided at Bayly Farm, near Nenagh. She (Anne Grueber) had many children, two of whom were married to brothers, Mr. William and Mr. Henry Rathborne, whose country-houses, Scripplestown and Dunsinea, were in immediate neighbourhood to the Observatory. With the elder of these sisters, Mrs. William Rathborne of Scripplestown, Helen Bayly was often a guest.

Life of Sir William Rowan Hamilton, Andrews professor of astronomy in the University of Dublin, and Royal astronomer of Ireland, including selections from his poems, correspondence, and miscellaneous writings by Graves, Robert Perceval; De Morgan, Augustus. Publication date 1882-89. Pages 1-2 of volume 2 retrieved though archive.org

From A topographical dictionary of Ireland; exhibiting the names of the several cities, towns, parishes and villages, with the barony, county, and province, to which they respectively belong … Collected from the most authentic documents, and arr. in alphabetical order. Being a continuation of the topography of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland by Nicholas Carlisle, published 1810. Page 597 retrieved through archive.org.

NENAGH, in the Barony of Lower Ormond, Co. of TIPPERARY, and Province of Munster : a R. and V., united by Act of Council, on the 16th of February 1798, to the R. and V. of Knigh : a Church, in good repair, in the Town of Nenagh : no Glebe House, but the Incumbent is under orders to build : a Glebe, of 2 acres, in the parish of Nenagh, near the church; and, of l6a. 3r. Op., in the parish of Knigh, two miles distant from the former : The Rev. Henry Bayly, A. B., the Incumbent (in 1806), who has cure of souls, and is under orders to reside : the duties are performed by his Resident Curate, The Rev. Thomas Falkener, A. B., at a Salary of £50. per annum. Nenagh is in the Diocese of Killaloe, and Province of Cashel. It is 75 m. S. W. b. W. from Dublin. It has six Post-days in the week. The Fairs are holden on the 29th of May, 4th of July, 4th of September and 10th of October. It is situate upon a River, which empties itself into Lough Deirgeart, and is a large, regular, and well built Town. Here is a handsome old Castle, of great strength, called Nenagh Round. The parishes in the Union of Nenagh are contiguous ; their estimated extent from North to South being 3 miles, and from East to West 5 miles. ” About the beginning of the year 1200, an Hospital was founded here for Canons following the Rule of St. Augustin, who were constantly to admit the sick and infirm; it was dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and was usually called Teacheon, or, St. John’s House. Theobald Walter was the founder. A Friary was founded here for Conventual Franciscans, in the reign of King Henry the Third, by one of the family of Butler, or, as others say, by Kennedy. This Friary was supposed to be one of the richest foundations of the Franciscan Order in this kingdom.” Archdall’s Monast. Hibern. pp. 670. et seq.

Nenagh Castle (Nth West view) Dublin Penny Journal, Volume 1, Number 38, March 16, 1833. Image retrieved from Hidden Tipperary. The Norman keep was built about 1200.

I am not sure if the Reverend Henry Bayly did build the Glebe House. In 1820 or thereabouts he did, however, build a farm house at Ballyclough, a few miles from Nenagh. The farm was originally called Clover Hill. It stayed in the family for nearly 200 years. In 2017, then operating as bed-and-breakfast accommodation, it was advertised for sale.

Bayly Farm from the sale advertisement in 2017

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M is for William Mitchell

William Mitchell, one of my fourth great grandfathers, was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, on 20 November 1803. There is a family story that William and his three brothers were orphaned as young children when their father, also called William, was killed in a Dublin riot. The boys grew up in the care of a nurse in “Stackallen House“, County Meath, the home of their uncle. In 1810, at the age of seven, William was sent to Dublin to live with his grandfather, Blayney Owen Mitchell, a well-known attorney. William was apprenticed to a Dublin apothecary for about a year. He was released from his indenture and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, but did not graduate. He then moved to London to become a missionary.

Reverend William Mitchell portrait from “Mitchell Amen” by Frank Nelder Greenslade

I have been trying to find sources for these stories without much success. I have, for example, been unable to find any reference to the death of William’s father in a Dublin riot.

In 1797 Blaney Owen Mitchell and William Owen Mitchell, attorneys at law of Dublin City jointly witnessed a deed. (Memorial 329391 index; image) It seems very likely that these were father and son, with this Blaney Owen Mitchell young William’s grandfather.

In 1802 there is a Memorial of an indenture deed of settlement bearing the date 12 April 1802 made between William Owen Mitchell of the city of Dublin attorney at law of the first part Jane Bartley of the town of Monaghan spinster of the second part. The deed, 384305, has been transcribed. I think these might be the parents of William. William Mitchell’s oldest son born 1829 was named William Owen Mitchell. However, William did not name any of his daughters Jane.

In 1807 Blaney Owen Mitchell was the victim of a robbery at Stackallen House. A trial at the Trim Assizes was reported in Saunders’s News-Letter of 13 April 1808. At the time of the robbery Blaney Mitchell was visiting Stackallen House with his two sons. They were there to collect the rents of the estate for Lord Boyne; it seems Mitchell did not live there at the time. The Dublin Evening Post of 11 August 1808 reported that “At Trim assizes, Richard Fotterall was convicted of a robbery at Stackallen-house, the 26th December, on the person of Blaney Owen Mitchell, Esq. and received sentence of death.”

According to the Alumni Dublinenses, William Mitchell was admitted as a pensioner to Trinity College Dublin on November 3 1823 aged 22, son of William defunctus [deceased], born Monaghan. He did not receive a degree. His brothers are not in this list of alumni.

Monaghan, Stackallen House, Trim, Dublin City

I find it frustrating not to be able to verify more of the story of William Mitchell, in particular not to have found out more about his parents and brothers.

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L is for Anne Cavanagh nee Lane

Two of my fifth great grandparents were James Cavenagh and his second wife Anne Cavanagh nee Lane (? – 9 June 1742). An inscription on the family gravestone at the Abbey Graiguenamangh Co. Kilkenny records their names.

Graiguenamangh tombstone 2002

Anne Cavanagh nee Lane died 9 June 1742. She was the second wife of James Cavenagh as mentioned on Inscription on the tombstone of the family vault at the Abbey Graiguenamangh Co Kilkenny. They married about 1735. James and Anne are two of my fifth great grandparents.

James’s first wife Elizabeth had died, childless, in 1734.

James and Anne had at least three children:

  • Kildare 1736 –  1769
  • Matthew 1740 – 1819
  • Margaret married John Howard in 1779

After Anne’s death, James married a third time, to Elizabeth Archdeacon. This marriage produced at least six children.

In his notes on the Cavenagh family Wentworth Odiarne Cavenagh records an Indenture dated 15th December 1736 between Henry Agar of Gowran, Co Kilkenny Esquire and James Kavenagh of Graig, Co Kilkenny gent, letting dwelling house, Mault house and 3 ½ acres of land known as Tillots holding at Graiguenamanagh to James Kavenagh for lives of himself, Ann Kavenagh, his wife, and Kildare Kavenagh, his eldest son.

 From this it appears that James and Anne were married about 1735 and that Kildare was born about 1736.

The deed was registered 9 December 1741 and is found in the Irish Registry of Deeds at volume 104 page 24 memorial number 72851 and can be viewed through FamilySearch.

Wentworth Odiarne Cavenagh also compiled notes on The Lanes of Lanes Park County Tipperary. He appears to believe that Anne, wife of James Cavenagh, was the daughter of Ambrose Lane of Lanes Park, who died 1724.  He suggests that Anne was the person also known as Amey, daughter of Ambrose’s second wife. (Lanes Park is near New Birmingham and Killenaule, barony Slievardagh, Co Tipperary.)

Ambrose Lane married twice. By his first wife, Eleanor Gabbitt, he had three sons: John, Ambrose and Thomas, and three daughters: Eleanor, Sarah, and Mary. By his second wife Amey Ladyman he had a son Samuel and a daughter Amey.

Ambrose married Amey Ladyman in 1721 (Ireland Diocesan And Prerogative Marriage Licence Bonds Indexes for the Diocese of Cashel and Emly). In his will dated 17 December 1724 Ambrose mentions his children Samuel and Amey by his second wife. Amey Lane appears to have been born between 1721 and 1724.

If Amey Lane is indeed the Anne Lane who married in 1735 she must have married and had a child when she was only 14 or 15.

I have found no documents that show Anne Cavenagh nee Lane to be the daughter of Ambrose Lane. There appears to be no marriage settlement, for example. And it is perhaps worth noting that Killenaule Co. Tipperary is about 60 kilometers from Graiguenamangh Co. Kilkenny. Who knows how Amey Lane and Matthew Cavenagh met?

Map showing Killenaule and Graiguenamangh


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Bridge crossing the River Barrow linking the town of Graiguenamanagh in Co Kilkenny with Tinnahinch in Co Carlow. Image from geograph.org

K is for Ellen Keane nee Nihill died 1792

Ellen Keane nee Nihill, my 4th great grand aunt, was the daughter of James Nihill and Margaret nee Lane. Her husband Owen Keane, whom she married about 29 May 1791, was from Corbally, Co. Clare. He also had property at Kildimo in Co. Limerick.

On 1 July 1792, a year after their marriage, Owen Kean was thrown from his horse and killed.  Ellen died, childless, within a month of the accident, perhaps from complications of childbirth. 

Owen Keane’s death was reported in the Ennis Chronicle of 5 July 1792:

Last Sunday Mr Owen Keane of Kildimo in the west of this county was thrown from his horse and unfortunately killed on the spot

From the Irish Newspaper Transcript Archive, Ffolliott Collection 1756-1850 retrieved through  FindMyPast

Ellen’s death and marriage were mentioned in a 1794 deed between James Nihill and Richard Leake

volume 483 page 167 memorial 311694. Viewed through FamilySearch https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSJW-V9D1?i=390&cat=185720

311694 To the Regr appd by Act of Parliament for Reg of deeds & soforth A Meml of an Indented deed made the first day of Novr one thousand seven hundred and ninety four Between James Nihill of Rockville in the Cof of Limerick Esq of the one part and Richd Leake of Rathkeale Abbey in the Co of Limerick Esq one of the Attornies of the other part. Whereby after sealing that the said James Nihill was seized of the Town and lands of Glasscoone [Glascloune?] situate in the Barony of Ibrickan and Co of Clare Esqr by virtue of a Lease made to him by the Right Honble Geo Earl of Egremont for the life of Ellen Nihill his Mother & Bourke Furnell of Cahirduff in the Co of Limerick Gent and that the said Lands then produced Eighty pounds yearly and afterwards prophet Rent that the said James Nihill on or about the 29th day of May 1791 granted and made over unto Owen Keane of Corbally in the Co of Clare the sd Lands of Glasscoone upon the Intermarrg of him the said Owen Keane with Ellen Nihill Eldest daur to the said James Nihill but on the Express proviso that if the said Ellen shd die without issue that in such case the said James Nihill his Heirs and ssrs shd yearly during the residue of said lain for ??? receive to his own use one annuity or yearly sum of Forty pounds silver to be levied out of said Lands of Glasscoone and after  first reciting that the said Ellen Nihill died in the Month of Augt 1792 witht issue then the said James Nihill for and in Consdn of the sum of Two hundred pounds stov to him in hand paid.

The deed specifically mentions Corbally County Clare but I notice there is a Corbally in County Limerick closer to Kildimo. I think Glasscoone may be present day Glascloune.

Ellen Keane nee Nihill was my 4th great grand aunt.


J is for Julia Morris nee Hickey (1817 – 1884)

On 6 December 1840 Julia Hickey, aged 23 arrived at Adelaide, South Australia, on the “Birman” which sailed from Greenock 23 August 1840. She was travelling with her sister Mary, 21, and brother Michael, 28, and Michael’s wife and children. On the passenger list Julia and Mary were described as farm servants from Castleconnel, County Tipperary, Ireland. Michael Hickey was a carpenter from Ennis, County Clare, Ireland and a cousin of a fellow passenger Catherine nee Hogan, a servant from Ennis, County Clare. Michael died on the voyage. His wife and children returned to Ireland.

Castleconnell and Ennis are just over 40 kilometers apart.

Travelling on the Birman was William Morris, aged 21, a painter and glazier from Limerick. On 10 February 1841 Julia Hickey and William Morris married in the Roman Catholic Chapel on West Terrace, Adelaide. Between 1841 and 1857 they had eight children:

  1. John 1841–1861
  2. William George 1843 – 1906
  3. James 1845–1918
  4. Celia Catherine 1848–1916
  5. Michael Christopher 1850–1897
  6. Julia Mary 1852–1881
  7. Ellen 1854–1856
  8. Gordon William 1857–1917

In December 1844 William Morris, who had previously been employed as a keeper in the Limerick District Asylum, was appointed Keeper for lunatics at the Adelaide Gaol. Twelve months later twelve lunatics were housed at the gaol. This was deemed unsatisfactory and a public asylum opened the next year in the East Parklands modified for the purpose. Nine lunatics were placed there under the care of the Colonial Surgeon, the Keeper William Morris, a second keeper, and the wives of the two keepers.

A much larger asylum opened in 1852. The new asylum held sixty patients and staff. This building was destroyed in 1938. The East Lodge however still survives. It had been home to the Morris family.

Adelaide Lunatic Asylum and Adelaide Botanic Garden (foreground), c.1860. State Library of South Australia photograph B2773.
The Lunatic Asylum in 1869. SLSA B5014.
East Lodge photographed in 1898. Retrieved from Flickr.

In the article South Australian Lunatics and Their Custodians, 1836–1846 by Marian Quartly published in 1966, Quartly wrote:

. . . the real control of the asylum fell to William Morris, the Head Keeper. Morris appears to have been a kind and honest man who did his best by his charges, but nevertheless Sheriff Newenham’s judgment of his capabilities was probably correct: Morris ” . . . tho a very proper person to superintend the care of lunatics as respects their safekeeping is not in my mind qualified by experience or habits to watch over the mental charges and graduation of insanity so frequent amongst this unfortunate class.” Morris’ “five or six years” of experience with lunatics prior to his Adelaide appointment was all in Ireland, where the emphasis still seems to have been on custody rather than cure. He could not have held a position of any authority in Ireland as he was practically illiterate.

Quartly, M. (1966), South Australian Lunatics and Their Custodians, 1836–1846. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 2: 13-31. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1839-4655.1966.tb01210.x

On 13 January 1857 William Morris died aged 43 years. The death notice in the Adelaide Times read:

On Tuesday, the 13th January, Mr William Morris, for many years Head Keeper of the Lunatic Asylum, regretted by a large circle of friends and acquaintances

Julia Morris worked  as Matron of the Asylum from 1846 until her death in 1884. In turn she was succeeded by her daughter Celia Morris who was Matron for eight years. The Morris family thus worked in the Asylum for nearly fifty years.

MORRIS. —On the 24th May, at Botanic-road, after a short illness, Julia Morris, the beloved mother of Celia and M. C. Morris, aged 64 years.
For 40 years in the Government service.

Family Notices (1884, May 27). Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 – 1912), p. 2 (SECOND EDITION). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197795572

THE Friends of the late Mrs. JULIA MORRIS are respectfully informed that her REMAINS will be Removed from her late residence Botanic-road To-morrow (Sunday), the 25th inst., at 3 o’clock p.m., for Interment in the West-terrace Cemetery. S. MAYFIELD & SONS.

Advertising (1884, May 24). Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 – 1912), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197795511

Miss Celia Morris to be matron of the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum, 6th class, vice Mrs. Julia Morris, deceased.

GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. (1884, June 6). The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 – 1922), p. 3 (HALF-PAST ONE O’CLOCK EDITION.). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208277210

Julia’s brother-in-law Gordon Mainwaring kept a diary in 1851. He mentions visiting the asylum several times:

24 February 1851: Went down to the lunatic asylum with Mary and the children in Mr. Kerr’s dray.

25.—At the asylum all day; walked to the Arab Steed with William Morris. 

26.—Returned from the asylum in Mr. Kerr’s dray.

March 23.—Walked to the asylum with Mackie all well. 

June 21.—Went to town to get settled with Taylor and was disappointed; saw Morris in town. 

23.—Went down to the asylum and fetched home the children on a visit.

The Mainwarings were living at Pine Forest, now the suburb of Enfield; it was about 7 kilometers or an hour and a half’s walk to the Botanic Gardens and the Asylum.

Julia Morris nee Hickey was my 3rd great grand aunt, sister of my 3rd great grandmother Mary Mainwaring nee Hickey.

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I is for Innishannon

Two of my thirty-two 4th great grandparents, both Irish, were Matthew Cavenagh (1740 – 1819) and Catherine Hyde Cavenagh nee Orfeur (c. 1748 – 1814). They married in 1765 or thereabouts.

Wentworth Odiarne Cavenagh writes in his “Cavenaghs of Kildare” that Matthew and Catherine were wards of a certain Lord Loftus, from whose castle they eloped. One story has it that they were so young and inexperienced that they dismissed the waiter from the parlour of the inn they were staying at rather than display their inability to carve a fowl put before them for their dinner.

Lord Loftus was probably Nicholas Loftus, 1st Viscount Loftus (c 1687 – 1763), elevated to the peerage as Baron Loftus, of Loftus Hall in County Wexford in the Peerage of Ireland on 5 October 1751. Loftus Hall, since rebuilt, is on the Hook Peninsula, County Wexford.  Innshannon, County Cork, is a hundred miles southwest along the coast.

Shortly after Matthew and Catherine’s marriage they lived at Innishannon, Co Cork, where, in 1766, their son James Gordon Cavenagh was born. Catherine, it seems, was a minor at the time of their marriage. Matthew was probably an adult at law.

Catherine Orfeur was the daughter of John Orfeur (1695-1753) of Drillingstown [Dreelingstown], Kilkenny, a Captain in General Phineas Bowles’s regiment of horse, later known as “the Carabiniers” or 6th Dragoon Guards.  Born in Sussex, John Orfeur had settled in Ireland.

In a 1766 deed partitioning the Drillingstown property between his wife and her two sisters Matthew Cavenagh is styled ‘of Innishannon, gentleman’.

An agreement for the division of Drillingstown between Thomas Weston of Clonmell co Tipperary and Dorothy Weston, otherwise Orfeur, his wife of the 1st part, Lieutenant George Waters of the Guernsey Man of war and Mary Waters his wife, otherwise Orfeur, of the 2nd part, Mathew Cavenagh of Innishannon Co Cork and Catherine Cavenagh, otherwise Orfeur, his wife, of the 3rd Part. Whereas Captain John Orfeur late of Drillingstown, Co Wexford, died some years ago intestate, leaving the said Dorothy, Mary and Catherine, his only children, upon whom the interests of Drillingstown estate devolve share and share alike: in order to save law proceedings for a writ of partition, they agree that the said lands be divided amicably between them, the Westons to receive 67 acres, the Waters 68 acres and the Cavenaghs 84 acres, being the worst land. Signed and sealed by the above named parties, 16 May, 1766.

transcribed by Wentworth Odiarne Cavenagh

Matthew Cavenagh and his father James (1702 – 1769) held office in the Irish Customs as ‘gaugers‘ (customs inspectors), and it is possible that it was in connection with his Customs appointment that he and Catherine were living at Innishannon.

Matthew and Catherine Cavenagh returned to Wexford, where they lived in Back Street (now known as Mallin Street), a fashionable part of the town.

Matthew and Catherine had 15 children, named on the couple’s tombstone at St Patrick’s Abbey Wexford.

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H is for Huguenot

It has been estimated that in the early part of the 18th century 10,000 Huguenots – French Protestant refugees from religious oppression – settled in Ireland, about half of them in Dublin. Among these were several of my forebears.

Nicholas Grueber (1671 – before 1743), one of my seventh great grandfathers, was one. Grueber emigrated to Ireland from England, arriving by Michaelmas 1698. He had previously come to England from Lyons in France with his family by 1682. In Dublin he became a Freeman under the terms of a 1661 Act of Parliament, legislation meant to encourage Protestants to settle in Ireland.

Grueber’s occupation on his arrival was recorded as ‘merchant’. In 1717, however, he was awarded a 21-year contract to supply gunpowder to the government, and two years later established Dublin’s first large-scale gunpowder manufacturing factory, at Corkagh in south Dublin. There was a family connection: his father Daniel (1643 – 1692) had operated gunpowder mills at Faversham, Kent.

On 19 May 1703 Nicholas Grueber married Marguerite Moore at L’Eglise Française de St Patrick (part of St Patrick’s Cathedral set aside for the use of Huguenots). Marguerite was the daughter of the Reverend Moore, a minister of the English church.

The Lady Chapel of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland. Special services for Huguenots ceased in 1816, by which time the Huguenots had been fully assimilated into the city population. Photographed in 2015 by David Iliff. License: CC BY-SA 3.0. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.

Nicholas Grueber and his wife Marguerite had six children baptised at the Nouvelle Église de Ste Marie:

  • Nicholas Grueber 1704–1705
  • Elizabeth Grueber 1706–
  • Susana Maria Grueber 1707–
  • Nicholas Francis Grueber 1709–
  • Arthur Grueber 1713–1802 (my 6th great grandfather)
  • William Grueber 1720–1782

Of the four sons of Nicholas, one died in infancy, one followed him into business and the other two attended university and became clergymen in the Protestant Church of Ireland.

My sixth great grandfather Arthur Grueber was a pupil of the well-known Anglican divine Thomas Sheridan, a friend of Jonathan Swift. Grueber studied at Trinity College, Dublin, gaining his MA in 1737 and DD in 1757. He was ordained as a deacon in 1736.

In 1754 Dr Arthur Grueber was appointed headmaster of the Royal School Armagh. This flourished under his administration, becoming one of the finest schools in Ireland.

Grueber later abandoned teaching to become a bookseller and publisher, in this venture, however, meeting with less success. By 1793 he was bankrupt. He died in 1802.

A miniature of Reverend Arthur Grueber, one of my sixth great grandfathers, handed down through the generations to my father

William Grueber, Arthur’s brother, also attended Trinity College; he was admitted in 1739, gaining his BA in 1745 and his MA in 1749. He was the rector at Athboy, County Meath in 1759. He became Chancellor of Lismore Cathedral in 1772, then treasurer in 1778, and in 1779 was appointed the cathedral’s Precentor.

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G is for Graignemanach

Some of my Cavenagh forebears are buried in a family vault at the Abbey Graignemanach or Graiguenamangh County Kilkenny. Wentworth Odiarne Cavenagh (1856 – 1935), one of my first cousins three times removed, transcribed the gravestone in 1891. In his family history notes WOC stated the stone was in the pathway leading to the north transept door and was moved 3 feet nearer to the church in 1906.

Underneath are interred the bodies of Wentworth Cavanagh of Ballynomona in the County of Kildare, who died November 1752, James Cavanagh of Graig, who departed this life May 4th, 1769, also the bodies of Elizabeth Lindsay (said James’ first wife) who died April 7th, 1734, Anne Lane, his second wife who died 9th June 1742, and of Elizabeth Archdeacon his third wife, who died 18th March 1787. Underneath are likewise interred several of his children by Elizabeth his third wife, viz Mary, wife of Robert Carpenter of Ross who died April 16th 1787, of Arthur Cavanagh who died the 19th December 1797, and of Wentworth Cavanagh of Ross, who died the 20th August 1793 : also Harriet wife of said Wentworth Cavanagh who died in June 1786.

Later, a footpath was made over it, and in 2002 several Cavenagh cousins arranged for a stone with the same inscription to be placed at the Abbey.

Graiguenamanagh  tombstone 2002 – photograph from Diana Beckett

Wentworth Cavenagh (1675 – 1752) was one of my sixth great grandfathers. He was born at Athy, County Kildare and baptised 22 August 1675 at St Michael’s Athy as Wenford Cavenor, son to Mr James Cavenor of Grangemellon.

The following christenings are recorded at Athy parish:

  • Wentworth Kavanagh, baptized Athy 23 Sept 1704, died an infant. Son of Wentworth Kavanagh of Ballynomona.
  • Kennedy Kavanagh 16 September 1706, parent Wentworth Kavanagh
  • Isabella Cavenagh 22 April 1707, parent Wentworth Cavenagh. She was buried 22 April 1709, infant daughter of Wentworth Kavanagh of Ballynomona

Wentworth Cavenagh was active in the parish:

  • Signature of Went. Kavanagh amongst other names of parishioners at Vestry held in St Michael’s Athy Oct ye 27th 1703.
  • Wentworth Cavenagh elected sidesman 1706.
  • The Minister and churchwardens and Parishioners have confirmed the grant made by Wentworth Cavanagh of half his seat to James Ross. Witnessed by Fran Moore Minister, April 25th 1707
Map showing Athy, Ballynamony, Kilkea castle and Grangemellon from Google maps

Ballynamony is about 12 kilometers south-east of Athy. From the glossary of words commonly found in Irish place names: baile townland, town, homestead; móin(also: mónaidh) bogland. Wentworth Odiarne Cavenagh wrote in the late 1920s:

a portion of the Kilkea castle estate and was held by George, Earl of Kildare, a Protestant, in 1654.  A lease for 3 lives was granted Wentworth Cavenagh of Ballynamony gent by Robert Earl of Kildare in Jany 1724. The lives not being renewed by Mathew Cavenagh of the town and county of Wexford, the estate lapsed to the FitzGeralds. The house once a fairly substantial one is now reduced to be an ill kept farmstead. It is situated about one mile to the NE of the Kilkea demesne, just off the road passing thro Ballynamony bridge.  On the left bank River Greese: to the east of Kilkea Castle.

Google street view of the countryside close to Ballynamony
Kilkea Castle from Antiquities of Ireland by Francis Grose 1792 retrieved from Wikimedia Commons

The abbey at Graiguenamangh is 60 kilometers south of Athy and Ballynamony and seems a long way away. However, Wentworth Cavenagh’s son, James, had been appointed a guager, a customs collector for the canals and waterways. 

Bridge over River Barrow at Graiguenamangh . Photograph from geograph.org

Athy and Graiguenamangh are both on the River Barrow , an inland link between the port of Waterford and the Grand Canal, which connects Dublin to the River Shannon.  In the mid-18th century it became a commercial navigation route, with Graiguenamanagh serving as a base for commercial barges operating on the river.

James Cavenagh acquired Tillots Holding at Graiguenamanagh  in 1736 on a lease of lives renewable for ever, the head rent being paid to Lord Clifden. Tillots Holding consisted of a house, malthouse, and 2 ½ acres of land.  

Wentworth Odiarne Cavenagh writing in the late 1920s records that the house had “been let for some years past to the Roman Catholic priests of the Abbey” and that “it is now known as the ‘Priests house’…[standing] opposite the little gate of the churchyard leading to the north door of the Abbey.”

The north of Duiske Abbey at Graiguenamanagh from Google street view. Perhaps James Cavenagh’s house is to the left of the photo.

Duiske Abbey at Graiguenamanagh had been founded in 1204. The Abbey was suppressed under Henry VIII in 1536. Following the dissolution the abbey church continued to be used as a local place of worship. The Church of Ireland re-roofed the west end after the tower collapsed into the nave in 1744. The church was returned to the Roman Catholic community in 1812 and restoration was completed in the 1980s.

Graignemanach Abbey. From The antiquities of Ireland by Francis Grose 1791, at archive.org.

Related posts

Wikitree: Wentworth Cavenagh and James Cavenagh

F is for field day

My fourth great grand uncle George Kinnaird Dana in 1811 served as colonel of the 6th Garrison Battalion quartered in Nenagh, Tipperary. The Battalion paymaster was his brother William Pulteney Dana, one of my fourth great grandfathers.

Garrison Battalions were reserve troops, primarily concerned to maintain defence and good order in potentially troublesome territory. They were recruited from elderly veterans or other troops considered unfit for front-line combat. The 6th Battalion had been raised at Dublin from limited-service personnel of three regiments of foot. It was stationed at Nenagh in Tipperary, a hundred miles to the southwest.  

In June 1811 the 6th Garrison Battalion had a field day. Blank ammunition had been issued but unfortunately a ball cartridge had been mixed with it. One man was shot in the back.

Saunders’s News-Letter 25 June 1811 page 2. Image retrieved from FindMyPast and reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

At Nenagh William Pulteney Dana met Charlotte Elizabeth Bailey, a daughter of the Reverend Henry Bayley, Rector of Nenagh. Around 1812 they were married. Their two oldest children were born in Ireland.

In April 1814 Napoleon had surrendered to the allies and since the war was over Garrison battalions was no longer needed. On 5 December 1814 the Garrison battalion was disbanded.

Captain William Pulteney Dana now on half-pay returned to live in Shropshire. William and Charlotte had ten more children all born in Shropshire.

In June 1814 William’s brother George Kinnaird Dana was promoted to Major-General and returned to England.