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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