Obituary of Mr Justice Walton in 1910

Page 14, 20th August 1910


MR. JUSTICE WALTON.It is with very deep regret that we have to announce the death of Sir
Joseph Walton, who had been a Judge of the King’s Bench Division since 1901, which occurred
with startling suddeness at his residence at Shinglestreet, near Woodbridge, Suffolk. Since the
Courts rose a few days ago Sir Joseph Walton had been enjoying a well-earned rest. Apparently
he was in the best of health and spirits. On Friday evening, indeed, he went for a short walk. On
his return home he had dinner, and shortly after was seized with an attack of heart failure,
expiring before mediCal aid could he summoned. There was no necessity to hold an inquest, Sir
Joseph’s London physician having informed the authorities that the late judge was recently
attended by him for an affection of the heart, and upon that report it was decided to issue a
certificate of death. Joseph Walton was a Lancashire man, being born at Fazakerley, Liverpool, in
1845. He was educated at Stonyhurst College and in 1865 graduated at the University of
London with First Class Honours in Mental and Moral Science. In November, 1888, he was called
to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn. He was a favourite pupil of Charles Russell, afterwards Lord Chief
Justice, then a prosperous junior on the Northern Circuit. The earlier years of his professional
life were passed as a local practitioner in Liverpool, where he remained for the first ten or a
dozen years. A member of the Northern Circuit, he established a substantial business not only
before the Judges of Assize, but in the local tribunals with which Lancashire is so well equipped.
He had established a large practice when in the early eighties he came to London, where his
reputation as an advocate in commercial cases steadily increased. He took silk in 1892, and
three years later he was appointed Recorder of Wigan, a position which he held until his
elevation to the Bench. In 1896, he was made a Bencher of his Inn. His success as a junior was
fully maintained after his call within the Bar, and for some years he was a ” leader” in fact as
well as name on the Northern Circuit, where he and Mr. Bigham were generally briefed on
opposite sides. Among other positions which he held at the Bar was that of counsel to the
Jockey Club, where he succeeded Sir Charles Russell. As such he helped to argue the famous
case in which the courts decided that Tattersall’s ring at Kempton Park was not a “place” within
the meaning of the Betting Acts. Mr. Walton who had previously acted as a Commissioner of
Assize, was made judge of the King’s Bench Division in 1901, on the promotion of Mr. Justice
Mathew—also a Catholic—to the Court of Appeal. Both at the Bar and on the Bench he
displayed his strength mainly in commercial and especially shipping business. When he came to
London his position was well established, and he did not lose by the change. The only alteration
was the addition to the number of his clients’of large City firms familiar with charter parties and
bill of lading and other mercantile instruments. But his general practice in the common law was
considerable, and he was also concerned in some of those painful litigations of which the
subject is children’s religious education. Two of these were conflicts between the late Dr.
Barnardo and the Catholic authorities, and were taken to the House of Lords, where Walton
carried the day. Even from behind the Bar the late judge was engaged now and again in
maritime cases in the Privy Council. ” He possessed,” says The Daily Telegraph,” a singular
charm or manner, of which the root lay in a real grace of character and a genuinely religious
spirit. His style in court was precisely that which commends itself to a iudge sitting without a
jury or to a Court of Appeal. It was polished and urbane, and, above all, it was both clear and
concise. Not a word was wasted, and when once Walton realised that the argument had
reached the judge’s mind he was content to leave it and not irritate his hearer by repetition.”

“His was one of the best of Lord Halsbury’s appointments,” says The Manchester Guardian,

and it was received with acclamation at the Bar, which had shown its appreciation of Mr. Walton’s amiable qualities no less than of his eminence as a practitioner in 1899 by electing him chairman of its general council—the mouthpiece of the profession. It is pleasant to add that unlike that of some other judges, Mr. Walton’s popularity at the Bar survived his appointment to the Bench. He was the embodiment of courtesy and patience, and, helped by a gentle pilot, the bashful junior and the timid witness soon lost their nervousness in his presence. Like Lord Eldon, he was rather given to the cunctative. He spared no pains in sifting both evidence and argument, and his extreme conscientiousness sometimes rather impeded the dispatch of business in his court. But in his case slowness went with sureness, and his decisions always commanded the respect of the profession and of those who sometimes had to review them. In the Crown Court at Assizes Mr. Justice Walton showed himself a mild criminal judge. He will be remembered with gratitude by those who are interested in the reformation of the criminal, for the precedent which be set—a precedent which has been followed since—at the Manchester Assizes in April, 1905, when, accompanied by Mr. Justice Bray, and escorted by the javelin men, with all the impressive panoply of a Judge of Assize, he attended the annual meeting of the local Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Society. A sentence from the speech which he then made may be fittingly quoted as giving an insight into the workings of the mind of a merciful judge. “His Majesty’s judges,” he said, “feel so often in doing that which their duty calls upon them to do that they are perhaps making sacrifices of lives. When the unfortunate criminal comes before them, and they remember what his or her chances in life have been, what the temptations have been, what the surroundings have been, it is often a very painful thing to pass those sentences which we are bound to pass. One feels that so far as the individual personally is concerned the law may be doing more harm than good.”

The Times in its obituary notice pays the following tribute to the deceased Judge’s memory : “Sir Joseph Walton was a Judge of a high order of merit, learned, courteous, and patient. No appointment in recent years was more thoroughly approved by the profession. The last man to seek popularity, he attained it in full measure by the charm of a sunny nature and of genuine humility. His promotion for the last few years of his professional life was recognised as inevitable, and the profession would have made it earlier than the Lord Chancellor if it had been in their hands. But the admission must regretfully be made that Walton did not quite realise the high expectations which had been formed, and will hardly rank with the first men of his time among the occupants of the Bench. The cause of this result was in itself a merit, for it was his over-conscientiousness and a certain want of confidence in himself.”

In 1871 he married Teresa, daughter of Mr. N. D’Arcy, of Ballyforan, co. Roscommon, who survives him. One of his sons died of fever caught in South Africa, where he served in the war. Another son is a secular priest, and two others are members of the Society of Jesus.

A South London correspondent writes : “The death of Mr. Justice Walton has occasioned the deepest regret in all parts of the diocese of Southwark, where he was exceedingly popular amongst his co-religionists, and in the churches in South London. On Sunday prayers were asked for the eternal repose of his soul. Since his elevation to the Bench, Mr. Walton seldom attended public meetings, because as he himself said on one occasion at a meeting in Southwark, ‘he was not allowed to talk politics.’ He was an ardent educationalist and one of the few occasions on which he visited South London was in connexion with a bazaar at Lewisham held only a few months ago to raise funds for the erection of a Catholic school for the locality. He was then careful to explain that he desired to say nothing which would be considered of a controversial character, but his address was nevertheless a clever and learned exposition of the rights of Catholic parents to teach religion in the schools which they had erected at their own expense. Mr. Justice Walton was also a generous supporter of various South London charities and as a member of the Prisoners’ Aid Society he was instrumental in securing a fresh start in life for many prisoners discharged from Wandsworth Gaol. He also evinced a deep interest in the work of the League of the Cross, and at several of the meetings of that body on Sunday in South London resolutions of sympathy were carried.” R.I.P.


The body of the deceased Judge was brought to London from Suffolk on Tuesday, and taken to his parish church, St. James’s, Spanish-place, where it remained all night on a bier before the sanctuary. The funeral took place on Wednesday. At eleven o’clock a Low Mass of Requiem was celebrated by the Rev. James Alexander Walton, a son of the late Judge. Two other sons, the Rev. Edmund Walton, S.J., and the Rev. Joseph Walton, S.J., served the Mass, during which the “Pie Jesu,” ” Quando Corpus,” and the ” Beati Mortui” were sung. There was a large congregation, which included the Lord Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Phillimore, Mr. Justice Warrington, Lady Day, widow of Mr. Justice Day ; Lady Prirrrose, Father Pinnington, S.J., Father Gerard, S.J., the Rev. Father Bodkin, S.J., rector of Stonyhurst ; the Rev. C. C. Martindale, S.J., the Rev. John Rickaby, S.J., Major F. J. A. Skeet, Mr. George Lewis, Mr. E. R. Cook, representing the Law Society ; Mr. W. Hanbury Aggs, of the Northern Circuit ; Mr. Laing, K.C., and a number of Sisters from the Providence-row Refuge, of which Mr. Justice Walton was a trustee. The chief mourners were Mr. Arthur Walton and Mr. Philip Walton, Sons; Mrs. Jasper White, sister ; and the Rev. Mother Theresa Walton, Superior of the Convent at St. Leonards, sister ; Mr. Jasper White, brother-in-law ; and Mrs. Arthur Walton, sister-in-law. After the absolutions had been given at the conclusion of the Mass by Father Walton, the cortke was formed and proceeded to Kensal Green where the body was laid to rest, Father Walton, attended by Canon Gildea and Father Pinnington, S.J., reciting the last prayers.


Sir Samuel Evans in the Vacation Court on Wednesday referred to the death of Mr. Justice Walton as follows : “If the Courts had been sitting to-day there would have been general expressions of sadness at the great loss the profession has sustained in the death of Mr. Justice Walton. As this is the only Court sitting I cannot refrain from saying a few words offering sympathy to the members of his family. He lived a strenuous life in the profession which he adorned, and he died in full harness, as I know he would have wished to do. We all remember him as an advocate at the Bar. He was a superb advocate in the law in which his practice lay. He was lucid in thought, and clear and cogent and most persuasive in his reasoning. When he was called upon to fill the office of Judge his appointment was hailed with gratification by every member of the Bar. In words which were written long ago : ‘He was eminently qualified for the high office, which he filled with the greatest reputation to himself and satisfaction to the public. His knowledge was sound and extensive ; the clear and comprehensive manner in which he delivered his opinions could not but make the dullest hearer sensible of their weight. He shone in those chief characteristics of a Judge—temper and patience. He heard all with attention and then decided with readiness, enforcing his decrees with such convincing reasoning as equally gave information to the Bar and satisfaction to the parties. He greatly encouraged industry in young members of the Bar by showing particular attention to their argument and noticing what would admit of approbation. He was engaging and polite in his maner, and yet failed not in every point to support the dignity of his office. He commanded univeral esteem and reverence.”

“As a man,” continued his lordship, “he was of the kindliest nature and of the sunniest disposition. No one in the profession was more beloved by its members than the late Judge, and no one better deserved their admiration and esteem. In the name of the Bench and of the Bar I respectfully offer sympathy to all those who have suffered by this bereavement.”

Mr. Bramwell Davis, K.C., and Mr. L. Edmonds, K.C., responded for the Bar.

Charlie Hussey-Walsh- 1911

from the Tablet,Page 28, 9th September 1911


chateau-du-fayelWe regret to announce the death of Mr. Charles William Hussey-Walsh, aged 18, son of Major Wm. Hussey Walsh, Reserve of Officers, and grandson of the late Mr. Walter Hussey-Walsh, who was for so many years the Honorary Secretary of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Mr. C. Hussey-Walsh was educated at Beaumont and Repton Colleges, and had just passed into the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. A boy of rare promise he died very suddenly at the Château du Fayel, Canly, Oise, France, the residence of his uncle, Mr. V. Hussey-Walsh. R.I.P.

Poor little rich girl – Pauline Roche 1835 – 1894

I love Pauline Roche, she’s the sort of relation everyone should have in their family history. Her story is so bizarre that it reads like a novel.

She is John Roche’s great-granddaughter, and in an unintended way, one of the major beneficiaries of his will, at her marriage, she was said to have about £7,000 (roughly £ 7.5m today). So to set her in context; Pauline Roche is Ernest O’Bryen‘s first cousin on her mother’s side. Her mother Jane is John Roche O’Bryen‘s eldest sister. She is also his second cousin on her father’s side, because William Roche, Pauline’s father is their ( Jane and John Roche O’Bryen) first cousin once removed.

Vatican City Bridge and St Peters
Vatican City Bridge and St Peters

Pauline was born in Rome in 1835, and her father died the same year, when she was three months old. Her mother died the following year (1836) when she was eleven months old. She becomes John Roche O’Bryen’s ward for not entirely clear reasons.

However, JROB is her uncle, and only he, and Jane O’Bryen were Catholic. All their remaining siblings are Church of Ireland. JROB and Jane/William Roche are the only O’Bryen beneficiaries of John Roche’s estate. It is also reasonable to consider other factors.  In 1836, John Roche O’Bryen is married with two young children, Emily who is four, and Henry (the future Mgr O’Bryen) who is almost exactly the same age as Pauline. None of the other O’Bryen siblings have established families, Robert marries that year, and Stephen the year after. 1836 is also the year that Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Senior dies, so Pauline’s grandmother Mary O’Bryen is a recent widow.

It may also be as simple as the fact that John Roche O’Bryen is almost twice as rich as all his remaining siblings, and mother put together.  Robert, Stephen, and Mary O’Bryen were the main beneficiaries from their father’s will, but the majority of their inheritance was from their parents’  £4,000 marriage settlement, which Mary (Roche) O’Bryen was still benefitting from until her death in  1852; whereas JROB had inherited £ 10,000 from his grandfather in1829. Well, technically he received the income from the money in 4% stock, with his children being the ultimate beneficiaries of the capital on his death, with a number of caveats regarding him receiving the full benefits until he was twenty five, or married. In part, that might explain, his marriage at the age of twenty one, in Bordeaux. Wealth comparisons are notoriously complicated, the measuring worth website can be useful because it provides a range of calculations and comparisons depending on what you are looking for. Using their income value calculation, JROB’s annual income was, a present day equivalent of, over £ 500,000 a year.

Anyway, for what ever reasons, Pauline is part of the O’Bryen family, and is shown living with them in Bristol in 1841, and again in 1851.

Lower Aghada
Lower Aghada, co . Cork
Bellevue, Clifton, Bristol

However in 1847, James Joseph Roche dies, triggering a dispute in the family that culminates in Roche v. O’Brien which goes through the courts in 1848, and 1849. James Joseph Roche was the main beneficiary of John Roche’s will from 1826. It is quite clear that John Roche was attempting to build a Roche dynasty to maintain the family name, and the house that he had built for himself  (Aghada House).   James Joseph Roche, who inherited Aghada from John Roche, married Catherine Callaghan. The marriage itself has all the appearances of being at least in part a commercial link between two merchant families. John Roche’s will refers to his contribution of £4,000 to a marriage settlement in 1821. Coincidently, the same amount, that he contributed to his own daughter’s marriage settlement in 1807.  John Roche “amassed great wealth during the French wars”, and Daniel Callaghan Senior was, “one of the most enterprising and successful merchants of Cork”.  Pauline as a minor of 12 or 13, is a party to the case. Aghada House, and the land was sold in 1853 in the Encumbered Estates Court, with Pauline Roche listed ex parte.

This is where the story gets much, much, more interesting. In 1854, aged about 19, Pauline runs away from home in Bristol, crosses the Irish Sea to her uncle Robert O’Bryen in Cork, and goes to court seeking a change of guardian. It all sounds relatively straightforward, and even better it’s all over the papers, well some of them anyway, The Daily News, in London, the Dublin Evening Post, The Liverpool Mercury and Supplement, and  The Tralee Chronicle.

The Daily News called it a “A singular minor case, involving charges of cruelty against a guardian”, The Dublin Evening Post said it was an “EXTRAORDINARY CASE…..the question at present before the court being whether the guardian of the minor should pay the costs of proceedings consequent upon an alleged system of cruelty practised towards her.”  The Liverpool Mercury headlined the story the “PERSECUTION OF A WARD IN CHANCERY” and the Tralee Chronicle said  “The general nature of the charge against the late guardian appeared to be this – that although he was allowed from 1850 a maintenance of £ 130 per annum, this young lady was not properly fed – had been most cruelly treated and subjected to personal violence.”

Pauline Roche’s maintenance allowance of £ 130 per annum, was a huge sum of money. In modern day terms, it is about £ 180,000 a year. Not bad for a teenager, and possibly quite irritating to your uncle that you are entitled to an equivalent of about thirty per cent of the O’Bryen household income. JROB’s income from the interest on capital is about £ 500,000 p.a.

The reporting is amusing, and shows the Victorian press weren’t so different from todays. The  Dublin Evening Post  manages to muddle up which uncle Pauline runs off to, and the Tralee Chronicle not only gets the uncles wrong, but also has Pauline being mistreated by ” Dr Robert O’Brien, of Belfast”.

However, the gist of the story is still Pauline wants a new guardian, and she says she’s been mistreated. Actually, if her story is true, it’s much worse than that. According to the Daily News, “Miss Roche was a young lady whose constitution was delicate, and therefore, it was contended she required great care and attention, instead of which she was provided with bad food, bad clothes, and was deprived of such necessaries as sugar and butter; she was likewise deprived of horse exercise, which was indispensable to her health. A pony, the bequest of a dying patient…….” –  I particularly like the fact that this was a gift from a dying patient – “was given to her; and when she was deprived of this, a carriage horse was procured, which kicked her off his back, and she refused ever again to mount him. She also complained that upon two occasions he (guardian) beat her severely – that he made her a housekeeper and governess to the younger children, that he led her to believe she was dependent upon his benevolence; and further, that she was not permitted to dine with him and his wife, but sent down to the kitchen with the children and the servants.”

carriage horseThe Dublin Evening Post told us ” she was provided with bad food, bad clothes, and was deprived of such necessaries as sugar and butter; she was likewise deprived of horse exercises which was indispensable to her health………..” and in his answer to the allegations.. “Dr O’Bryen replied that he had treated his niece with kindness – that her preservation from consumption was solely ascribable to his judicious and skilful treatment – that he caused her to be well educated, had given her many accomplishments and a horse to ride, which was not a carriage horse but an excellent lady’s horse – that she upon two occasions told him untruths which required correction, and that he would have punished his own children much more severely.”

And in a fairly un-subtle piece of character assassination;  It was likewise contended that she would have better consulted her own respectability and displayed better taste, if she had abstained from taking such proceedings against her uncle and guardian with whom she had been for so many years.”

The Dublin Evening Post continues, and the story just gets worse. From the reporting, the (Irish) Master of the Rolls, is clearly on Pauline’s side. He “said that a petition was presented by Mr Orpin, the solicitor for the minor, for the purpose of removing the late guardian for misconduct. His lordship made an order on that occasion to the effect that the minor should reside within the jurisdiction of the court, which was indirectly removing her from the protection of the late guardian.”

It continued “The general nature of the charge against the late guardian appeared to be this – that although he was allowed from 1850 a maintenance of  £139 per annum, this young lady was not properly clothed – that she had not been properly fed – had been most cruelly treated and subjected to personal violence. Six or seven years ago she was actually driven to run away, which of course she had since been obliged to repent, and even if she did get education it was the education of a poor relation of the family. The governess who was employed to educate her cousins swore, as he (the Master of the Rolls) understood, that if the minor did get education it was at the expense of the guardian, and that she gave her instructions as a matter of charity. This young lady was obliged to run away, and conceal herself in a neighbouring village, and no person who looked at the subsequent transactions could entertain a doubt but that she had been treated with cruelty. It was sworn by Mr Sweeny, a solicitor of the court, that he was ashamed to walk with her she was so badly dressed.”

The mauling from the Master of the Rolls continued, ” The Master found, and it was actually admitted by the respondent ( JROB) , that he told her on one occasion, her father had left her nothing; that she would be in the poorhouse but for his generosity. He (the Master of the Rolls) adverted to this circumstance  for the purpose of asking this gentleman who struck this young lady, in delicate health, with a horsewhip for having told him, as he represented an untruth – what punishment he deserved for having told her the falsehood that her father had left her nothing?”

letterAnd it just goes on, and on.. ” On the morning of the 4th of May 1854, the transaction took place which led her to write the first letter to her uncle who was now her guardian. It appeared that one of her cousins brought her a piece of leather which the child had got in the study of the late guardian, but not telling her anything about it she asked her to cover a ball, and she did so. He interrogated her on the subject, and having denied she took the leather, he took his horsewhip and struck this delicate young lady a blow which left a severe mark on her back to the present day. His lordship then read the letter of the minor to her uncle in Cork inquiring about her father’s circumstances, and complaining bitterly of the treatment she had received, and stating that, though she was then nineteen years of age, she had no pocket money except a little which had been supplied by friends. His lordship continued to say that the facts contained in that letter were corroborated by the statements of the guardian himself. On another occasion, the minor being in the room with her uncle, his powder-flask was mislaid, and being naturally anxious about it, as there were younger children living in the house, he asked this young lady respecting it, but she laughed at his anxiety, and he struck her a blow, according to his own version, with his open hand, but after the blow of the horsewhip, he (the Master of the Rolls) was inclined to think it was with his fist as she represented.”

So, a doctor in Bristol, in his mid-forties, who admitted in court that “she, upon two occasions, told him untruths which required correction” which seems to have been using his horse whip, and fists, and that  ” he would have punished his own children much more severely.” basically attacks  a teenage girl.

Now the Dublin Evening Post continues in the same vein, ” The general nature of the charge against the late guardian appeared to be this – that although he was allowed from 1850 a maintenance of £ 130 per annum, this young lady was not properly fed – had been most cruelly treated and subjected to personal violence. This young lady was obliged to run away, and conceal herself in a neighbouring village, and no person who looked at the subsequent transactions could entertain a doubt that she had been treated with cruelty. It was perfectly clear that this young lady had been kept ignorant up to a late period of the state of her circumstances.”

And the catalogue of criticism from the Master of the Rolls just continues, and continues. More from the Dublin Evening Post:

  • “Six or seven years ago she was actually driven to run away, which of course she had since been obliged to repent,”
  • “The Master (of the Rolls)…..found that the minor, who was in her nineteenth year,  dined with the servants.”
  • “The Master (of the Rolls) found, and it was actually admitted by the respondent, that he told her on one occasion her father had left her nothing; that she would be in the poorhouse but for his generosity.” 
  • “She got half a pound of butter for a week, but no sugar or any of those matters which were considered by mere menials to be the necessaries of life.”
  • “On the 9th of October a letter was written, by the dictation of this young lady, giving the most exaggerated account of her happiness, and this was alleged to be her voluntary act, though by the same post Mr Orpin (her solicitor) received a letter from her stating that she was under the influence of her aunt when she wrote it.”

And finally, though they get the uncles the wrong way round:

  • “Ultimately, in the absence of her uncle, and late guardian, and apprehending his anger when he returned, she left the house and went to reside with her uncle John (sic) in Cork, her present guardian. A circumstance occurred when Mr Robert O’Bryen (sic) went to recover possession of his ward, which corroborated strongly the minor’s statement. When he was passing through Cork, she was looking out of the window and fainted upon seeing him – so much frightened was she at his very appearance.”

There is a full transcript of the newspaper reports, here.  JROB’s defence of his behaviour is quite extraordinary,and also included in the transcripts. It is something I’ll come back to in another post. It is quite clearly carefully planned, and done with the support of the editor of the Bristol Mercury. The italics for inference are printed in the paper, so it is definitely planned with some care, and not just a letter to the editor.

It’s also a classic example of bad PR probably making things worse. In a taster of things to come, JROB starts his letter with the Latin tag “Audi alterum partem” best translated as “let the other side be heard as well”, and finishes with “Fiat Justitia, ruat caelum”  – “Let justice be done though the heavens fall”. This was most famously used by Lord Mansfield in 1772 in the first major English case on the legality of slavery.

So pompous, self-serving, and an astonishing attack in print on a teenager. Still, greater consideration of that is for another time.

Back to Pauline; she stayed in Ireland, and was married two years later in 1857, aged about 21. According to the “Barrymore Records of the Barrys of County Cork”   “Pauline Roche, (is the) only child of William Roche, son of Lawrence Roche, whose brother, John Roche, amassed great wealth during the French wars, and built Aghada House. John Roche’s only daughter, married to ” O’Brien, (sic) [Henry Hewitt O’Bryen]  of Whitepoint, Queenstown, J.P., left a daughter, who married her cousin, William Roche, and with her husband died shortly after the birth of their only daughter, Pauline, who was entrusted to the guardianship of her uncle, Dr. O’Brien, of Liverpool, and at marriage had a fortune of  £ 7,000.”

Pauline Roche married William Henry Barry, of Ballyadam, who was described as a gentleman. He was also a Justice of the Peace. William was his uncle Henry’s heir and was for many years postmaster of Cork. The Barrys of Ballyadam were part of the vast, interconnected Barry family in Cork. William Henry was  the grandson of William Barry (1757 -1824) , of Rockville, Carrigtwohill, in county Cork. Various branches of the Barry family trace themselves back to the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in the C12th.

In a slightly curious irony, the Master of the Rolls who sat on Pauline Roche’s case in 1855 ( Sir Thomas Berry Cusack-Smith) married into the Smith Barry family, as did Pauline and William’s daughter Mary, making him and Louisa Cusack-Smith, Mary Barry’s husband’s great-uncle and aunt. It’s a small, small world…

Pauline and William Henry Barry had seven children, including William Gerard Barry – the Irish painter, Mary who married into the Smith Barry family of Ballyedmond, and Edith, whose second husband, William Babtie won a Victoria Cross in the Boer War.

Pauline appears to have died in 1894, and various of her children were still living at Ballyadam almost twenty years later.

Is there an O’Bryen-Bagshawe connection?

I have been struggling with this for a while. There are some hints that there is some connection between the Bagshawes and the O’Bryens, it is difficult to work out what it is. It is probably a useful little piece of the jigsaw, and may explain a little more clearly where the O’Bryens come from.

In Philip O’Bryen’s obituary in the Tablet, they say he “ was a cousin of Archbishop Bagshawe,”,  and in “Found Worthy -A Biographical Dictionary of the Secular Clergy of the Archdiocese of Liverpool (Deceased), 1850-2000″  by Brian Plumb,  published by the North West Catholic History Society, Wigan, 2005.  He describes both Monsignor Henry O’Bryen, D.D., and Father Phil, as  a nephew of +E.G. Bagshawe, Nottingham,”. 

The description of “cousin”, is probably closer to the truth, and not necessarily particularly close cousins at that.

The nephew description seems to be wrong, at least on the part of Philip. He and Henry are half-brothers, with a twenty-six age gap between the two of them, and there doesn’t seem to be any sort of link between the Bagshawes on either the O’Bryen side of the family, or on the Grehans – Philip’s mother’s family. Nor does there seem to be any connection from uncles and aunts by marriage.

Henry’s mother was Elizabeth (Eliza) Henderson, born in 1805 – with the description of her birthplace as – “America-British subject.”. So the connection might be there…..



Booth Classification – Description of class

Charles Booth  literally walked the streets of London. He was an English social researcher and reformer,and set out to discover the true extent of poverty in London. He published Life and Labour of the People in 1889, and a second volume,  Labour and Life of the People,  in 1891. His research showed 35% of people in the East End were living in abject poverty.A third expanded edition  Life and Labour of the People in London appeared 1902-3.

Booth mapped the entire city (colour-coded from black for poorest to red for richest) and classified the population into eight classes. All the research is available online, including the original notebooks. It’s useful in getting a picture of what sort of neighbourhood people lived in.

Booth Classification Description of class

A The lowest class which consists of some occasional labourers, street sellers, loafers, criminals and semi-criminals. Their life is the life of savages, with vicissitudes of extreme hardship and their only luxury is drink

B Casual earnings, very poor. The labourers do not get as much as three days work a week, but it is doubtful if many could or would work full time for long together if they had the opportunity. Class B is not one in which men are born and live and die so much as a deposit of those who from mental, moral and physical reasons are incapable of better work

C Intermittent earning. 18s to 21s per week for a moderate family. The victims of competition and on them falls with particular severity the weight of recurrent depressions of trade. Labourers, poorer artisans and street sellers. This irregularity of employment may show itself in the week or in the year: stevedores and waterside porters may secure only one of two days’ work in a week, whereas labourers in the building trades may get only eight or nine months in a year.

D Small regular earnings. poor, regular earnings. Factory, dock, and warehouse labourers, carmen, messengers and porters. Of the whole section none can be said to rise above poverty, nor are many to be classed as very poor. As a general rule they have a hard struggle to make ends meet, but they are, as a body, decent steady men, paying their way and bringing up their children respectably.

E Regular standard earnings, 22s to 30s per week for regular work, fairly comfortable. As a rule the wives do not work, but the children do: the boys commonly following the father, the girls taking local trades or going out to service.

F Higher class labour and the best paid of the artisans. Earnings exceed 30s per week. Foremen are included, city warehousemen of the better class and first hand lightermen; they are usually paid for responsibility and are men of good character and much intelligence.

G Lower middle class. Shopkeepers and small employers, clerks and subordinate professional men. A hardworking sober, energetic class.

H Upper middle class, servant keeping class.

Class Description Map colour for streets

A The lowest class of occasional labourers, loafers and semi-criminals Black

B Casual earnings: “very poor” (below 18s. per week for a moderate family) Dark blue

C Intermittent earnings Together “the poor” between 18s. and 21s. per week for a moderate family Light blue Purple

D Small regular earnings

E Regular standard earnings – Above the line of poverty Pink

F Higher class labour – Fairly comfortable good ordinary earnings

G Lower middle class – Well-to-do middle class Red

H Upper middle class – Wealthy

Herman Bicknell and Harriet Bagshawe October 1897

This wedding has entertained me for a while, partly because it is so ludicrously grand, and also for the  guest list, and the wedding presents . It has some members of the wider family at it, though some of the relationships are wildly complicated. Mrs Herman Lescher, for example, was at this point newly widowed, and is the aunt of [Thomas] Edward, Frank Graham,  Carmela , and Adela Lescher, and the wife of Celia O’Bryen’s step-mother’s nephew.  Mrs. Kuypers, is Frank Purssell’s mother in law. Mrs. Charles Cassella, is Edward Lescher’s wife’s aunt,  and then up crop the Roper Parkingtons, though in this incarnation as plain Mrs RP because the knighthood didn’t come until five years later in 1902.

The bride’s parents Judge, and Mrs Bagshawe also crop up at a number of the other weddings, most interestingly Alfred O’Bryen’s wedding in 1900, as does his brother Bishop Bagshawe. Also at some of the other weddings are the Macfarlanes, and the Stanfields,

The other intriguing thing was the almost throwaway line at the end ” the newly married couple left for Milford Haven en-route for Rostellan Castle, County Cork, kindly lent for the honeymoon by Mr. and Mrs Thackwell.”  We’ve come across the Thackwells before; Kitty Pope-Hennessy married Edward Thackwell early in 1894 at Rostellan Castle in Cork. She was a forty-four year old widow, and he was twenty six. He was a year older than her eldest son who died young, and three, and seven, years older than his step-sons.

Rostellan Castle

Rostellan Castle had been the seat of the Marquis of Thomond for over two hundred years, and was bought by Kitty’s first husband on his retirement. It’s about five miles from Aghada House, which Edward Thackwell’s grandfather bought in 1853, about forty five years after John Roche had built it. It’s all a very small world…………

It all looks so promising, they were both twenty two. He was  born in the spring of 1875, and she was born a little later , in the summer of the same year.  But it all appears to go wrong quite fast, and culminates in a spectacular divorce in 1908.

The Tablet, Page 15, 23rd October 1897

Our Lady of Victories 1908
Our Lady of Victories 1908

The marriage of MR. HERMAN KENTIGERN BICKNELL and Miss HARRIET BAGSHAWE was solemnized at the Pro-Cathedral on Tuesday. The Bishop of Nottingham, uncle of the bride, performed the ceremony, assisted by the Abbot of St. Augustine’s Monastery, and the Very Rev. Canon Bagshawe. The bride, who was given away by her father, Judge Bagshawe, wore a white satin dress with jewelled embroidered front draped with chiffon and Honiton lace. The Bridesmaids were Miss Teresa, Miss Gertrude, and Miss Nelly Bagshawe, sisters of the bride; Miss Henrietta Stanfield, cousin of the bride; Miss H. Bicknell, Miss Muriel Crook, and Miss Frost, cousins of the bridegroom. They wore rose-coloured satin dresses and white felt hats with feathers. Each carried a bouquet of Parma violets and wore a gold bangle set with diamonds, the gift of the bridegroom. The bridegroom was attended by his cousin, Mr. E. Bicknell, as best man. Owing to the large number of wedding guests the reception after the ceremony was held by Judge and Mrs. Bagshawe in the Empress Assembly-room at the Palace Hotel. In the course of the afternoon the newly married couple left for Milford Haven en-route for Rostellan Castle, County Cork, kindly lent for the honeymoon by Mr. and Mrs Thackwell.

Among the many presents were: From the Bridegroom, diamond tiara, two large diamond rings, one large diamond and sapphire ring, gold curb bracelet, gold watch bracelet. From Mrs. Bicknell, diamond crescent brooch, diamond marquise ring; Mrs. Bagshawe, gold and turquoise bracelet ; Judge Bagshawe, silver headed walking stick; Mrs. Hermann Lescher, silver dish and spoon; Mrs. Ullathorne, -silver dish and spoon; Mrs. Mort and Miss Bethell, silver dish; Mrs. Green, silver book marker; Mrs. Danvers Clarke, ivory tusk paper knife; Mrs. Pfachler, photo frame; Miss Roskell, silver frame; Miss N. Roskell, cameo chain bracelet; Miss Pickford, night dress sachet; Lady Parker, large vase; Mr. and Mrs. C. Payne, glass vases; Miss Kerwin, white china vase; Mrs. Shearman, ivory and silver paper knife; Mrs. Fuller, ostrich feather fan; Mrs. Bolton, knife and fork sets; Judge Stonor, silver mounted scent bottle; Mrs. Herbert, turquoise ring; Mr. Morton, Dresden china inkstand; Miss Fortescue, silver mounted purse; Miss N. Fortescue, tortoiseshell carriage clock; Miss Robins, screen; Miss Teresa Bagshawe, gold chain; Mrs. Roper Parkington, books; Miss Gunning, jewel case; Mrs. Cobbold, Nankin vases; Mrs. Noble, blotter; Mrs. Steward, blotter; Lady Macfarlane, antique miniature set with pearls and brilliants; Mrs. Clare, silver mounted scent bottles; Lady Knill, gold lined spoons; Mrs. Hewett, small spoons in case; Mrs. Bagshawe, of Oakes Norton, tortoiseshell and silver paper knife; Miss Eyre, Worcester china vase; Miss Hooper, large flower pot; Mr. and Mrs. Stanfield, dressing case, silver fittings; Mrs. Nettlefold, silver basket; Miss C. Shearman, cushion; Mrs. Troup, silver frame; Lady Austin, hand-painted d’oyleys; Mrs. E. Perry, silver card case; Mrs. Charles Hayes, silver bonbonniere; Mrs. Norman Uniacke, table cloth and d’oyleys; Miss Hall, sacred photos in frame; Count and Countess delle Rochetta, gold and tortoiseshell writing case; Mr. Burton, marble clock; Mrs. Fox, paper knife; Mrs. Payne, silver baskets; Mrs. Kuypers, blotter and paper case; Mrs. Sydney Peters, toast rack; General Sir Frederick Maunsell, tortoiseshell and silver frame; Mrs. D. O’Leary, ivory and silver paper knife; Miss de Freitas Bianco, silver scent bottle; Mr. Bruce, ivory mounted silver bottles; Miss Leeming, antique salt cellars; Mrs. Stafford, silver scent bottle; Mrs. de Colyar, silver bonbonniere; Mrs. Rymer, double silver frame; Miss Henrietta C. Stanfield, silver smelling salts bottle; Mrs. Dunn, frame; Mrs. Bullen, cushion; Miss M. L. Shee, antique casket; Mr. Read, silver pen and pencil; Mr. Fleming, silver frame; Mrs. Mansfield, silver mirror; Miss Allitsen, glove basket; Mademoiselle Delaware, little card case; Miss Gertrude Bagshawe, glove and handkerchief case; Miss Mary Bagshawe, rosary bracelet; Mrs. Le Begue, set of Sevres china plate; Mr. Eland, gold chain bracelet; Mrs. Pridiaux, silver-mounted bottle; Miss Nelly Bagshawe, handkerchief sachet; Miss Lowry, antique gold and silver spoons; Mrs. Semper, Imitation of Christ; Eva and Maurice Stammers, silver and glass sugar basin; Dr. and Mrs. Ball, silver-handled paper knife; Mrs. Chilton, large silver spoons; Misses Chilton, silver preserve jar; Mrs. Jenkins, silver dish; Mrs. Bicknell, cushion, embroidered Indian work; Dr. and Mrs. Bagshawe, large vase; Mrs. O’Brian, silver spoons; Lady de Gee, French clock; Mrs. Clement Bagshawe, casket; Mrs. Charles Goldie, fan; Mr. Waldron, silver tray; Mrs. Henry Slattery, silver frame; Dr. O’Connor, gold and pearl swallow brooch; Mrs. Stephens, vase lamp; Mrs. Anson Yeld, silver salt cellars; Mr. Percy Rogers, ivory and -silver paper knife; Mrs. Lane, silver scent bottle; Mrs. Charles Mathew, antique silver crucifix; Mr. J. Tomlinson, silver napkin rings; Miss Quintor,, menu cards; Miss Graham, silver sugar jar; Mr. James Macarthy, gold bangle set with pearls, emerald shirt pin; Mr. and Mrs. Snead Cox, gold sovereign-purse; Mr. and Mrs. Jessop, silver vases; Mrs. Margetts, handbag fitted; Mr. and Mrs. Pugin, glove and handkerchief bag; Mr. and Mrs. Brown, silver dish for nuts, with cracker; Miss Brown, silver fruit fork; Dr. and Mrs. Ford Anderson, fan; Mr. and Mrs. Jennings, scent bottle; Father Dewar, golden manual; Mr. Owen Lewis, large china vase; Miss C. Bagshawe, necklace of seed pearls; Mr. Nettleship, silver salt cellars; Canon Bagshawe, books; the Bishop of Nottingham, photograph book; Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Stanfield, large silver sugar sifter; Mrs. Charles Cassella, china vase; Mr. Charles Roskell, antique silver dish; Mrs. Charles Russell, silver clock; Miss Henrietta Bicknell, silver purse; Mr. and Mrs. Wood Wilson, inkstand; Mr. Charles Weld, silver horn scent bottle; Father Cox, silver hat brush; Rev. Father Stanfield, work-case; Mrs. Lamb, glass and silver sugar basin. Many other presents were given to the bride and bridegroom, including massive silver salver, silver candlesticks, &c.