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

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

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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