Monthly Archives: November 2016

Captain Lord Petre, Funeral at Thorndon 1915

chapel ThorndonPark

The mortuary chapel, Thorndon Hall

The funeral of Captain Lord Petre took place at Thorndon Hall, Essex, on Saturday, where the body had arrived that morning from France. The service took place in the private mortuary chapel. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, on which lay Lord Petre’s coronet, sword, his Coldstream bearskin, and wreaths of white flowers from his wife, mother, and sisters. A party of non-commissioned officers of the Coldstream Guards, under Lieut. Elwes, were present and acted as bearers. At the entrance to the chapel a large detachment of the Irish Guards were lined up, under the command of Lieut.-Col. the Earl of Kerry. The little chapel was filled with members of the family and outside were grouped the large gathering of tenantry, servants, and friends. The service was a Low Mass of Requiem, celebrated by the Rev. Father C. Kuypers, chaplain to Lord Petre, in presence of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, who gave the absolutions. The music was rendered by some members of the Westminster Cathedral choir. At the conclusion of the Mass, the buglers of the Irish Guards sounded the “Last Post.” The tenantry and friends then entered the chapel and passed in front of the coffin, white flowers being placed round the mass of wreaths by children of the Thorndon Hall School. The coffin was then lowered into the vault. The chief mourners were :—Lady Petre, widow ; Julia Lady Petre, the Hon. Barbara Petre and the Hon. Clare Petre, mother and sisters ; the Hon. John and Lady Margaret Boscawen, father-in-law and mother-in-law ; the Hon. Mary Petre and the Hon. Teresa Petre, cousins ; Lieut.-Col. Oswald Turville Petre, Mr. Lawrence Petre, Mr. Loraine Petre, Lieut. Bernard Petre, Lieut. Jack Petre, and the Rev. Ralph Trafford, cousins ; Mr. and Mrs. Sebastian Petre ; Major and Lady Henry Forbes ; Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. F. Stapleton Bretherton ; Mrs. Van Cutsen ; Mrs. R. Feilding and Miss Bretherton. Among others present were : Canon Norris, Brentwood ; the Rev. R. Grant, chaplain at Ingatestone Hall.

REQUIEM AT WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL.

Whilst the funeral was taking place at Thorndon a Requiem was celebrated at Westminster Cathedral by Mgr. Howlett. Several of the Cathedral clergy were present in the sanctuary. At the termination of the Mass, at which the music was rendered by the Cathedral choir under the direction of Dr. Terry, the buglers of the Brigade of Guards sounded “The Last Post.” Among those assisting at the Mass were : Audrey Lady Petre, aunt, the Hon. Mrs. Albert Petre, Miss Petre, Mrs. Henry Petre, Lieut. the Earl of Lisburne (representing Major-General Sir Francis Lloyd, commanding the London District), Lady Mary Howard, Colonel Drummond Hay (Coldstream Guards), the Hon. Walter Maxwell, the Hon. J. Maxwell-Scott, Countess de Montholon, Sir Henry Howard, Count and Countess de Torre Diaz, and many others.—R.I.P.

The above text was found on p. 12, 16th October 1915 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

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The Funeral of Mary Theresa, 13th Lady Petre in 1895

The funeral of the Right Hon. Mary Theresa Lady Petre, widow of William Bernard, 12th Baron Petre, and mother of William Joseph, the 13th Baron Petre, and of Bernard Henry Philip, the 14th and present Baron, whose death we recorded last week, took place on Saturday last in the Mortuary Chapel at Thorndon Park.

Lady Petre was 72 years of age, and was the eldest daughter of the Hon. Charles Thomas Clifford, of Irnharn Hall, Lincolnshire, son of Charles, the 6th Lord Clifford. She was married on September 26, 1843, and lost her husband in the July of 1884. She had been suffering for some time past from repeated attacks of bronchitis. She leaves three sons—the present Lord Petre, the Hon. Philip Benedict Joseph Petre, and the Hon. Joseph Lucius Henry Petre ; and eight daughters—the Countess of Granard ; the Hon. Mrs. Isabella Mary Bretherton, of Fareham ; the Hon. Margaret Mary Petre, a nun ; the Hon. Catherine Mary Lucy Petre, the Hon. Theresa Mary Louisa Petre, a nun ; the Hon. Mary Winifrede Petre, a Sister of Charity ; the Hon. Eleanor Mary Southwell Trafford, of Wroxham Hall; and the Hon. Monica Mary Butler Bowdon, of Lancaster. Nearly all of these were able to be present during Lady Petre’s last illness. Her ladyship, who was conscious to the last, received all the rites of Holy Church.

Although it is some years since the neighbourhood of Thorndon was deprived of the Petre family, by reason of the disastrous fire which broke up their home there, the memory of Lady Petre, as well as that of her noble lord and children, lives fresh and is cherished by both rich and poor. The various charities which were instituted during the residence of her ladyship and her late husband have been maintained by the late (13th) Baron and the present Lord Petre. Nor was her ladyship’s charity confined to the country. In London she instituted, among other things, a creche, or day nursery, for poor little children, in imitation of the same institution in Paris. She took a lively interest in all Catholic philanthropic work and her loss will be severely felt.

From the time of her decease until the coffin was removed from Belmont, Bournemouth, the residence of her ladyship, the body was laid in state in the drawing-room, and masses for the dead were said by the Rev. Father Cooney, of Bournemouth. The remains were removed from Belmont at -5.30 on Friday evening, and were conveyed in a hearse by the 6.40 p.m. train from East Bournemouth to Waterloo station. At Waterloo the hearse was taken from the train, and the remainder of the journey to Thorndon was accomplished by road. The coffin was accompanied from Bournemouth by the Hon. Philip and the Hon. Joseph Petre. Thorndon Hall was reached soon after two o’clock on Saturday morning, and the coffin was placed in the mortuary chapel, a short service being held. Mortuary candles were lighted round the coffin, and during the remainder of the night it was watched by members of the congregation and the nuns at Thorndon.

The remains of her ladyship were enclosed in an elm shell lined with white satin, a second elm case, a lead coffin, and an outer coffin of mahogany, covered with crimson velvet. On the lid was a full length brass cross with steps, the base bearing the following inscription : “Mary Teresa, Lady Petre, widow of William Bernard, 12th Lord Petre, Baron of Writhe, born 1st Septr., 1823, died 31st Decr., 7895. R.I.P.”    A small brass plate at the head bore a similar inscription. The brass medieval handles had a coronet over each. At each corner were brass clasps. The coffin was covered by a black pall, with a white cross, white fleur-de-lys on black border, and the family escutcheon at the head. The Norwich express, leaving London at to o’clock, was stopped at Brentwood on Saturday morning for the convenience of the mourners. Most of the mourners arrived by this train, and were driven over to Thorndon Hall. The funeral service took place in the Mortuary Chapel, which had been enlarged by the erection of a marquee at the entrance. This work was carried out by Messrs. H. and T. C. Godfrey, of Chelmsford. The marquee and the passage leading to it were hung ,with black and white drapery. There was a large attendance of the tenantry and those employed on the estate at the service, which was of a most solemn character. The musical portion was arranged by the Rev. C. J. Moncrieff Smyth, of Warley, and was rendered by the following members of the London Priest Choir : The Revv. G. B. Cox, H. Cafferata, E. Pennington, C. Turner, G. Curtis, J. Butler, E. Smith, and J. Heditch. Requiem Mass was sung by the Right Rev. Mgr. Crook, chaplain at Thorndon Hall. The Rev. Edmund Meyer, of lngatestone Hall, was deacon, and the Rev. Dean T. F. Norris, of Brentwood, was sub-deacon. The master of ceremonies was the Rev. W. H. Cologan, of Lilystone Hall, Stock. After the Requiem, Mass Cardinal Vaughan, who was assisted by the Vicar General .(Canon Barry), gave the Absolution. The coffin was then deposited in its last resting-place between those, of her ladyship’s husband and son.

The family mourners were as follows : Lord Petre, the Hon. Philip Benedict Joseph and Mrs. Petre, the Hoh. Joseph Lucius Henry Petre, the Countess of Granard, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Stapleton Bretherton, Mr. E. and the Hon. Mrs. Trafford, Colonel and the Hon. Mrs. Butler Bowden, the Hon. Catherine Mary Lucy Petre, Winifred Lady Howard’ of Glossop, Miss Blanche Petre, the Rev. Augustus Petre, the Rev. John Petre, the Hon. Frederick Petre, Mr. Sebastian H. Petre, the Count de Torre Diaz, and Mr. Philip W. Colley. Among the congregation in the chapel were Colonel Maguire, Colonel Wood, J.P. Captain Digby Neave, J.P., Colonel Disney, Mr. R. J. VValmesley, the Rev. C. Earle (rector of Ingatestone), the Rev. H. J. Tilley (Romford), Mr. J. F. Lescher, J.P., Messrs. F. J. Coverdale (agent), F. Coverdale, C. Gray, and J. Gallagher, from the Thorndon Estate office, Ingatestone ; Mr. E. J. Fooks, solicitor to Lord Peter ; Mr. Philip Witham, solicitor to Lady Petre ; and Mr. W. Walker, steward. There were also present a large number of the tenants of the estate, besides cottagers and workpeople. , Telegrams and letters regretting inability to be present at the funeral were received froth his Grace the Duke of Norfolk, K.G., the Earl of Denbigh, Lord Clifford, Lord Herries, Mr. Edward Petre, the Hon. Mrs. Charles Petre, the Hon. Albert Petre, and the Rev. H. D. Heatley, rector of Ingrave. In accordance with that old Catholic custom at funerals of members of the family, 72 loaves of bread and 72 shillings were afterwards distributed to poor widows of the neighbourhood. We are indebted for much of our report to the columns of The Essex Herald..

The above text was found on p.27, 11th January 1896 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

Sandars- Molyneux-Seel 1937

Mr. George Edward Sandars, M.B.E. whose marriage to Miss Vera Margaret Molyneux-Seel took place on September 8th at St. Peter’s, Ludlow, is the eldest son of the Rev. George Russell Sandars, Rector of Davenham and Honorary Canon of Chester, and so is a third cousin both of Mr. J. W. E. G. Sandars, of Gate Burton Hall, whose wife is a daughter of Lady Winefride Elwes, and of Mrs. H. A. Burke whose marriage to Mr. Patrick H. A. Burke, Grenadier Guards, took place a couple of months ago. Mr. Sandars, who was at New College shortly after the War, is in the Sudan Political Service and received the M.B.E. in 1933.

The Sandars family was originally seated at Charlwood in Surrey, where the church contains several of their monuments, and the present line descends from an uncle of the famous Dr. Nicholas Sander, or Saunders, the Catholic controversialist and historian, who, on the defection of Queen Elizabeth, resigned his preferments, “ob fidem conservandam,” and went to Rome where he was ordained by Thomas Goldwell, Bishop of St. Asaph, the last survivor of the ancient hierarchy. Dr. Sander has been described as “the most noted defender of the Roman Catholic cause in his time,” and his manuscript treatise on the Holy Eucharist so impressed the Prince-Bishop of Ermland that he took him as one of his theologians to the Council of Trent. He afterwards settled in Louvain, where he became Regius Professor of theology and plunged into controversy including “a Confutation of such false Doctrine as M. Jewel hath uttered,” and about the same time he received a commission to publish in England the papal sentence that under no circumstance could attendance at the Anglican service be tolerated. About twelve years later, in 1579, he went to Ireland as Nuncio, when he showed extraordinary activity in the Earl of Desmond ‘s insurrection, a risk of his life which the leading English exiles, who knew his worth, grievously deplored. Their fears were justified, for after about eighteen months he died, probably of want and cold.

Dr. Sander was the author of the first great history of the English Reformation, a work which was vigorously attacked but which later research has largely justified. An instance of this is’ his account of the matrimonial troubles of John Ponet, Bishop of Winchester, wherein the error of his critics was confirmed on the publication in 1847 of the Diary of Henry Machyn in which there appears the entry : “The xxvij day of July (1551) was the nuw bisshope of W . . . was devorsyd from the bucher (butcher’s) wyff with shame enog (h).” Bishop Ponet, incidentally, appears to have had interesting ideas on the royal supremacy, for he seems to have been responsible, at any rate in part, for the theory “that to give license to sin was sin ; nevertheless, they thought the king might suffer or wink at it for a time”—” it ” being the question of the Princess Mary attending Mass.

Miss Vera Margaret Molyneux-Seel is a daughter of Major Edward Honore Molyneux-Seel, D.S.O.’ the second son of the late Edmund Richard Thomas Molyneux-Seel of Huyton Hey, a Chamberlain to Pope Pius IX, who married a daughter of the Duque de Losada y Lousada. Through his mother, Agnes, daughter of Sir Richard Bedingfeld, fifth Baronet, of Oxburgh, Mr. E. R. T. Molyneux-Seel was descended from three of the beatified English Martyrs, BB. Margaret of Salisbury and Philip and William Howard. His father, Thomas Molyneux-Seel, J.P. & D.L., of Huyton Hey, who built the church of St. Agnes at Huyton, took the name and arms of Molyneux-Seel in 1815, on inheriting the estates of his maternal ancestors. The Huyton property had been inherited by a younger branch of Molyneux of Sefton from the Harringtons, an ancient Catholic family descended from a brother of the Sir William Harrington who fought at Agincourt, and these predecessors are also commemorated in the names of Major Molyneux-Seel’s brother, the late Edmund Harrington Molyneux-Seel of Huyton, the father of Mrs. Carr-Saunders, and of his uncle, Henry Harrington Molyneux-Seel, Richmond Herald, who died in 1882.

The letters P. & 0. must be familiar to many who cannot give off-hand the full name of the great Company which they represent, and the name Brodie Willcox, which has once more come to the fore owing to the celebration of the P. & 0. centenary, probably means little except to Catholics and to those interested in the history of that famous shipping company. To Catholics, certainly, the name has an interest beyond its connection with shipping, for Brodie McGhie Willcox, M.P., was the maternal grandfather of that great Catholic of the last generation, Brodie Manuel de Zulueta y Willcox, third Conde de Torre Diaz. The Conde de Torre Diaz— the title dates from 1846, when it was granted to his grandfather by Isabella II of Spain—was a ” gentilhombre de Camera” to the King of Spain and held the Grand Crosses of Isabel la Catolica and San Gregorio, and in England, where he was also closely associated with the business interests of his family, he was Chairman of the Catholic Seamen’s Home and Institute, the forerunner of the present Chaplaincy to the Port of London, and Vice-President of the Superior Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

The third Conde de Torre Diaz ‘s father, whom he succeeded in 1882, was Chamberlain to the King of Spain and a member of the Spanish Senate until the Revolution of 1868, and two of his nephews have suffered similarly from a later revolution, for Don Pedro de Zulueta was an attaché at the Spanish Embassy in London until the proclamation of the Republic caused him to resign, and the Marques de Merry del Val, the eldest son of his sister Josephine, was Spanish Ambassador in London from 1913 until the Revolution.

Page 26, 18th September 1937

The children of Sir Joshua Walmsley

The eldest daughter Elizabeth (b 1817) married Charles Binns (b 1815), a member of a prominent Quaker family, in 1839. Charles was the son of Jonathan Binns, a Liverpool-born land agent and surveyor living in Lancaster. Charles became manager of a coal and iron mine in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, which had been established by George Stephenson (and of which Sir Joshua Walmsley was a director), producing coal for transportation by his own railway. Elizabeth had four children (all girls) but then seems to have died in the early 1850s. Charles died in 1887. Emily Rachel Binns, Elizabeth and Charles’s youngest daughter married Samuel Rickman, and is the mother of Reginald Binns Rickman.  Emily Rickman and Adah Russell are first cousins.

Little is known about Sir Joshua’s eldest son Joshua (1819-1872). He joined the Army and attained the rank of captain. He lived in southern Africa for many years and served as a border agent in Natal on the Zulu frontier. His account of his travels formed the basis of a book (novel) by his younger brother Hugh Mulleneux, The Ruined Cities of Zulu Land. He was buried at St Mary’s, Edge Hill in Liverpool on 12th December 1882

The next son Hugh Mulleneux ( 1822-1882) also had an exotic career. He too joined the Army, including time with the 25th Bengal Native Infantry, and then volunteered to join the Bashi Bazouks, an unsavoury formation of irregulars in the service of the Ottoman Empire. In due course he rose to the Ottoman rank of colonel. On his eventual return to England in about the mid 1850s he penned a succession of volumes, including several describing his own extensive travels on military service, a biography of his late father and also some adventure novels. He married Angelina Skey (b 1826) in 1870 and took up residence near his father in Hampshire. He was buried at St Mary’s, Edge Hill in Liverpool on 14th December 1872, having died at “Chantilly, Zulu Frontier, in South Africa” on 20th April the same year.

James Mulleneux (b 1826), by contrast, became a civil engineer. In the 1850s he was lodging and working in Derbyshire. His Egstow address suggests he was involved with coal mining. He died on December 6th,1867 aged 41 and was buried on December 12th with his sisters at St Mary’s, Edge Hill. He died in Torquay. James was unmarried, and his addresses for probate were given as 101 Westbourne Terrace, and also Wolverton Park, Hampshire, both his father’s houses, and “latterly of Torquay, Devon”. Probate was granted to his father’s executors because Sir Josh was the “Universal Legatee”. It wasn’t granted until 1874, about three years after Sir J’s death in 1871. James left £2,000.

Emily (b 1830) became the second wife of William Ballantyne Hodgson (b 1815), a noted teacher, newspaper proprietor and academic. Hodgson was employed at the new Mechanics’ Institution (later Liverpool Institute) when Sir Joshua was mayor (and Emily but a child) and went on to become its Principal. He married Emily in 1863 and they mostly lived in London till Hodgson was appointed the first Professor of Political Economy in Edinburgh University in 1871. After he died in 1880, Emily stayed on in Edinburgh with their two children (one son and one daughter).

The youngest daughter Adah (b 1839) married a Welsh banker, William Williams, in 1866. They went to live in Merionethshire and had at least two daughters. Adah possibly died as early as 1876. Their daughter Adah Adeline Walmsley Williams (1867–1959) married Charles Russell in 1889. Gwendoline  Walmsley Williams married Denis Kane in 1897,

information from http://www.researchers.plus.com

In 1861, Sir Joshua and Adeline, whose occupation was given as “Lady” were living in some style at Wolverton Park, outside Kingsclere in Hampshire with James, and his sisters Emily, and Adah. The whole household comprised of the family, plus Maria Butts (60) who was the cook, three housemaids, one of whom was thirty five, the other two were twenty-four. There were also three male servants, and what was so surprising is how young they were. Richard Pratt, the butler was only twenty-four, there was a sixteen year-old house boy, and Charlie Jacob, the groom was twenty.

Sir Joshua Walmsley 1794–1871

 After the death of his father, Hugh Walmsley, wrote a rather hagiographic biography of  Sir
Joshua Walmsley which was published in 1879. [The Life of Sir Joshua Walmsley, by his Son
Hugh Mulleneux Walmsley. Chapman and Hall, 193, Piccadilly 1879]. It’s a surprisingly good read,
large sections of it are from Sir Josh’s note and diaries, and it’s certainly massively better than
at least one of Uncle Hugh’s other books  “The Ruined Cities of Zululand”.  I will be posting
extracts in a series called the “Life of Sir Josh”
Joshua_Walmsley

Sir Joshua Walmsley (1794–1871)

Joshua Walmsley (1794–1871) was an English businessman and Liberal Party politician.The son of John Walmsley, an architect, builder and marble mason, he was born in Liverpool on 29 September 1794, and educated at Knowsley, Lancashire, and Eden Hall, Westmorland. After his father’s death in 1807, he became a teacher, and book-keeper at  Eden Hall school; and following an argument in Westmorland he returned to Liverpool in 1811, and started teaching at Mr. Knowles’s school. He apprenticed himself to a corn merchant in 1814, and at the end of his apprenticeship went into the grain business himself.

He was an early advocate of the repeal of the duty on corn, and worked with Richard Cobden, John Bright, and others in the Anti-Corn Law League. In 1826 he took the presidency of the Liverpool Mechanics’ Institution. At about the same time Josh got to know George Stephenson, in whose railway schemes he was interested, and with whom he joined in purchasing the Snibstone estate, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch, where rich seams of coal were found.  Along with Stephenson, he was amongst others one of the founding directors of the Clay Cross Company in 1837. He was elected a member of the Liverpool city council in 1835, and worked to improve the police, sanitation and education of the city. He was appointed Mayor in November 1838, and knighted on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s marriage.

He, and Lord Palmerston, unsuccessfully contested Liverpool standing as Liberals in June 1841. He retired to Ranton Abbey, Staffordshire, in 1843, and at the general election of 1847 was elected M.P. for Leicester, but was unseated on petition. He started the National Reform Association about this time, and was its president and chief organiser for many years. In 1849 he was returned as M.P. for Bolton in Lancashire, but in 1852 exchanged that seat for Leicester, where his efforts on behalf of the framework knitters made him popular with the workers but not their employers. He lost his seat in 1857, largely due to organised opposition from the employers, and he practically retired from public life, although he retained the presidency of the National Sunday League from 1856 to 1869.

In 1861, Sir Joshua and Adeline, whose occupation was given as “Lady” were living in some style at Wolverton Park, outside Kingsclere in Hampshire with their youngest son James, and his sisters Emily, and Adah. The whole household comprised of the family, plus Maria Butts (60) who was the cook, three housemaids, one of whom was thirty five, the other two were twenty-four. There were also three male servants, and what was so surprising is how young they were. Richard Pratt, the butler was only twenty-four, there was a sixteen year-old house boy, and Charlie Jacob, the groom was twenty.

He died on 17 November 1871 at Hume Towers, his house at Bournemouth, leaving issue, of whom H. M. Walmsley wrote The Life of Sir Joshua Walmsley (London 1879). He was interred at All Saints Church, Edge Hill, Liverpool. His wife, whom he married in 1815, née Adeline Mulleneux, survived him by two years.

From Wikipedia

The eldest daughter Elizabeth (b 1817) married Charles Binns (b 1815), a member of a prominent Quaker family, in 1839. Charles was the son of Jonathan Binns, a Liverpool-born land agent and surveyor living in Lancaster. Charles became manager of a coal and iron mine in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, which had been established by George Stephenson (and of which Sir Joshua Walmsley was a director), producing coal for transportation by his own railway. Elizabeth had four children (all girls) but then seems to have died in the early 1850s. Charles died in 1887. Emily Rachel Binns, Elizabeth and Charles’s youngest daughter married Samuel Rickman, and is the mother of Reginald Binns Rickman.  Emily Rickman and Adah Russell are first cousins.

Little is known about Sir Joshua’s eldest son Joshua (1819-1872). He joined the Army and attained the rank of captain. He lived in southern Africa for many years and served as a border agent in Natal on the Zulu frontier. His account of his travels formed the basis of a book (novel) by his younger brother Hugh Mulleneux, The Ruined Cities of Zulu Land. He was buried at St Mary’s, Edge Hill in Liverpool on 14th December 1872, having died at “Chantilly, Zulu Frontier, in South Africa” on 20th April the same year.

The next son Hugh Mulleneux ( 1822-1882) also had an exotic career. He too joined the Army, including time with the 25th Bengal Native Infantry, and then volunteered to join the Bashi Bazouks, an unsavoury formation of irregulars in the service of the Ottoman Empire. In due course he rose to the Ottoman rank of colonel. On his eventual return to England in about the mid 1850s he penned a succession of volumes, including several describing his own extensive travels on military service, a biography of his late father and also some adventure novels. He married Angelina Skey (b 1826) in 1870 and took up residence near his father in Hampshire.He was buried at St Mary’s, Edge Hill in Liverpool on 12th December 1882

James Mulleneux (b 1826), by contrast, became a civil engineer. In the 1850s he was lodging and working in Derbyshire. His Egstow address suggests he was involved with coal mining. He died on December 6th,1867 aged 41 and was buried on December 12th with his sisters at St Mary’s, Edge Hill. He died in Torquay. James was unmarried, and his addresses for probate were given as 101 Westbourne Terrace, and also Wolverton Park, Hampshire, both his father’s houses, and “latterly of Torquay, Devon”. Probate was granted to his father’s executors because Sir Josh was the “Universal Legatee”. It wasn’t granted until 1874, about three years after Sir J’s death in 1871. James left £2,000.

Emily (b 1830) became the second wife of William Ballantyne Hodgson (b 1815), a noted teacher, newspaper proprietor and academic. Hodgson was employed at the new Mechanics’ Institution (later Liverpool Institute) when Sir Joshua was mayor (and Emily but a child) and went on to become its Principal. He married Emily in 1863 and they mostly lived in London till Hodgson was appointed the first Professor of Political Economy in Edinburgh University in 1871. After he died in 1880, Emily stayed on in Edinburgh with their two children (one son and one daughter).

The youngest daughter Adah (b 1839) married a Welsh banker, William Williams, in 1866. They went to live in Merionethshire and had at least two daughters. Adah possibly died as early as 1876. Their daughter Adah Adeline Walmsley Williams (1867–1959) married Charles Russell in 1889

information from http://www.researchers.plus.com

 

Mary I.E.Fetherstonhaugh/Blood (nee O’Bryen)1867-1947- another orphan

mrs-jordan

Dora Jordan

Mary Isabel O’Bryen is another splendid character. Pauline Roche was a definite ace, Mary Isabel, her first cousin is another. Not only is she another orphan, but very  entertainingly her great, great aunt was Mrs Jordan, the mistress of William IV.

Mary Isabel Emily O’Bryen was born in 1867, probably in February,  in Gibraltar, and died in 1947, in the Hall, West Farleigh, Kent  leaving  £15,769. Her executors were Henry Pollock (her son-in-law) and her step-son, Horace Blood. The Hall was her daughter Mary Corinne O’Bryen Margetts’ [nee Fetherstonhaugh] house.

Mary Isabel is Stephen Hewitt O’Bryen’s daughter, and was orphaned in 1872, at the age of five. She is a first cousin to Pauline Roche, Mgr HH O’B, Ernest O’Bryen, et al. She seems to be about seven months older than Rex O’Bryen, who was the youngest of the sixteen children of John Roche O’Bryen. She was also thirty years younger than her eldest cousins, Pauline Roche and Mgr Henry O’Bryen

Stephen Hewitt O’Bryen, (about 1816  -1872) is one of the seven children of Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Senior, and Mary Roche. He was the collector of revenue at Gibraltar. He had married Mary Hewson (1841- died before 1872) in Dublin in 1866. She would have been about 25, and he was about 50,  and Mary Isabel seems to be their only child. It is unclear whether Stephen and Mary died at the same time, but on Stephen’s death on 26th April 1872 in Gibraltar, Mary Isabel’s aunt Fanny became her guardian.

rock_of_gibraltar_1810

Rock of Gibraltar c.1810

“18 July 1874. Administration of the effects of  Stephen Hewitt O’Bryen late of Gibraltar in Spain late Collector of Her Majesty’s Revenue there who died on or about 26 April 1872 at same place granted 6 July 1874 at Dublin under the usual Limitations to Fanny Augusta Fetherstonhaugh [wife of Capt Henry Fetherstonhaugh] of Tullamore Kings County the guardian of Mary Isabella Emily O’Bryen a Minor the Daughter and only Next of Kin. Effects in England under £ 3000.”

Fanny is probably the most obvious, and logical choice as a guardian. She is twenty-three years old when Stephen dies, and Mary Isabel is orphaned, and has been married for just over three years. She has had two daughters, although Mildred died aged eight months in 1871. By 1875, Fanny and Henry have four children, two boys, and two girls.

  • Emily Cecilia Fetherstonhaugh 18 Jan 1870 – died 30 Jul 1938 in Belfast
  • Mildred Elizabeth Fetherstonhaugh 13 Apr 1871- died 5 Dec 1871 aged eight months
  • Laura Hardy Fetherstonhaugh 11 Sept 1872 – died 15 Jan 1938 Belfast
  • Henry Hewson Fetherstonhaugh 10 Jan 1874 – died 1939 London
  • Rupert John Fetherstonhaugh 9 July 1875 – died 20 July 1954 Ireland
  • and Mary Isabel O’Bryen became part of the household.

There was no obvious candidate to be a guardian amongst her O’Bryen uncles and aunts. Indeed, all but two of the seven were dead; Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Junior died eleven months after his brother Stephen in February 1873, leaving only Robert O’Bryen who was fifty eight.

The Hewsons were similarly complicated, there were four sons and five daughters. By 1873, Laura, Robert, and Mary herself were dead, John and Conrad were unmarried. Of the remainder, Dora was married to Richard O’Connor who was serving as the Chief Magistrate in Singapore, so not really a candidate. Cecilia was married to the splendidly named  Xaverius Blake Butler; she was, apparently, a secret drinker, and he had also taken to drink following the death of their three year old son in 1873, so that probably ruled them out. That left only two remaining Hewson uncles and aunts, Francis was recently married, and his wife Jane was expecting their first, and only, child, and then there was Fanny, the logical choice, as the only suitable one of Mary’s sisters, the unfortunate choice, in as far as, she died on the 5th November 1875.

tullamore-gaol

Tullamore Gaol

Henry Fetherstonhaugh (1826-1898) seems to have died in the summer of 1898 aged 72 in Tullamore, co.Offally.  He and Fanny Hewson had married on the 19th January 1869,  in Tullamore, when he was forty-three, and she was twenty. He had been a Captain in the Westmeath Rifles, and then served as the governor of Tullamore gaol, co.Offally, it appears right up to his death.

He and Fanny had four children who lived to adulthood, Emily, Laura, Henry Hewson, and Rupert. Mary Isabel Emily O’Bryen seems to have been part of Henry Fetherstonhaugh’s family, and household until she married  Alfred Joseph Fetherstonhaugh, who is a cousin on her mother’s side, in 1888. It was a relatively short-lived marriage, and Alf died on the 12th February 1894 in Biarritz, aged thirty-one.  They had a daughter Mary Corinne O’Bryen Fetherstonhaugh (1890-1973).who was born on the 21st Dec 1890 in Dublin, and died on the 29th November 1973 at Malling Place, West Malling, Kent.  She married Arthur Pearson Margetts in the summer of 1916 in Dublin.

Mary’s husband Alf is her uncle (and presumed guardian) Henry Fetherstonhaugh (1826-1898)’s first cousin once removed.  Or to put it another way, Henry’s great grandfather,William Fetherstonhaugh (????-1770)  is Alf’s  great, great, grandfather. And to make things even more complicated, Henry’s elder sister Jane is Alf’s aunt, having married his father’s  eldest brother, another William Fetherstonhaugh (1828-1914) . So her uncle’s sister is her husband’s aunt.

Alfred Joseph Fetherstonhaugh was the son of Stephen Radcliffe Fetherstonhaugh (1830 – 1895)  and Jane Boyce who had eleven children.  Jane was the daughter of Joseph Boyce who was a Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1855, and a ship owner

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William IV

Mary Isabel’s maternal grandfather Frank Hewson was the nephew of  Dorothy Bland, (1761-1816). known as the actress Mrs Jordan. She was the mistress of William, Duke of Clarence (later William IV), who she had five sons and five daughters with; she had previously had a daughter by Richard Daly (1758-1813), an Irish actor and theatrical manager. She was then the mistress of Sir Richard Ford (c.1759-1806), having three more children, two daughters and a son (who died at birth). She died unmarried at 1 Rue d’Angouleme, Saint-Cloud, Paris, 5 July 1816.

Mary Isabel’s second husband was Alexander Findlater Blood, who she married in 1897. They both had children from a previous marriage, he had three, she had one and they then had a daughter, Millicent Alix Blood, born 1898. She married Lt.-Col. Jack Gronow Davis in 1932, and they had three sons. He served in the Indian Army, and retired to Sussex. Both died in Kensington in the mid 1980’s

Alexander Findlater Blood was born in Dublin, on 25 July 1853, the son of John Lloyd Blood and Margaret Findlater. He was a barrister in Dublin, and came from a Dublin brewing family.  The Bloods were distantly related to Colonel Thomas Blood (1618 –1680) best known for his attempt to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London in 1671.

Alexander’s first wife was Rachel Anne Park, the daughter of Lt.-Col. Archibald Park, who he married  on 28 September 1880; and the granddaughter of  Mungo Park (1771 – 1806) who was a Scottish explorer of West Africa. He was the first Westerner known to have travelled to the central portion of the Niger River.  His second wife was Mary Isabel O’Bryen, who he married on 23 April 1897, in Dublin. He died in Dublin, on 13 June 1933 aged 79.

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Trinity College Dublin

Alexander Blood went to Trinity College, Dublin, and was admitted to the Irish Bar in 1877. He then practised as a barrister, and solicitor in New Zealand between 1878 and 1883. On his return to Ireland he was admitted to the Inner Bar in 1899. He was a member of the Senate of Dublin University, a practising Bencher of King’s Inns, Dublin and eventually a King’s Counsel (K.C.)

The Bloods lived in some style in Dublin in the early 1900’s. In 1901, they were at 7 Gardiners Row, in a thirteen room house, with a governess, nurse, cook parlourmaid, and a housemaid. 13 rooms. By 1911, they were in a larger house at 43 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin; this time with nineteen rooms, and a stable at the back. There were fewer staff, only a cook parlourmaid, and a housemaid, but the children were older so there was no longer a need for the governess, and nurse.

Alex had three children from his first marriage to Rachel Anne Park. Her father served in the 24th Bengal Native Infantry, and 29th Bengal Native Infantry, and his father was Mungo Park (1771 – 1806) the African explorer. Alex and Rachel’s children were

  • Dorothy Margaret Blood (1882-1973).  She was born in New Zealand, married Henry Brodhurst Pollock (1883-1952) They both lived at Castleknock Lodge, Castleknock, County Dublin; and are buried in St Brigid’s  Church of Ireland churchyard in Castleknock.
  • Horace Fitzgerald Blood (1885- unk). He was a doctor, and served as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the First War. he seems to have lived in co. Wicklow, having had two sons in 1915, and 1917.
  • Brigadier Jeffrey Armstrong Blood (1893-1966) . he served in the Indian Army, and seems to have settled in London on his retirement. He married Mildred Mary O’Connor, in London, on the 12th  June 1926. Charles O’Connor was the last Master of the Rolls in Ireland, and one of the first judges of the Supreme Court of Ireland. 

In another of those curious twists about quite how close families were inter-linked,  Jeffrey Blood’s  sister-in-law  Evleen O’Connor, married Percy John Vincent MacDermot  (1875- 1955) the son of Rt. Hon. Hugh Hyacinth O’Rorke MacDermot.  Hugh MacDermot was a J.P. , and  Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) in co. Sligo, and was Solicitor-General [Ireland] in 1886, and then Attorney-General [Ireland] in 1892. He also became a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) that year.

Percy MacDermot, was a Captain in the West Indian Regiment. He lived and died at Drumdoe, co. Roscommon. Percy married twice, they married in 1927,  and his second wife was Amy Mary French. She was the daughter of Charles French and Constance Ellinor Chichester.  Constance Ellinor Chichester, was  Mary Esther Grehan (nee Chichester)’s sister. She is married to Stephen Grehan Junior, who is Ernest O’Bryen’s third cousin.

So Mary Isabel O’Bryen’s step-son’s second wife is the niece of her first cousin’s third cousin by marriage. Do keep up……God, these people make my head hurt at times.

Charles French, Amy’s father was the M.P for co. Roscommon between 1873 and 1880, and in a curious case of inheritance was passed over from inheriting his father’s title. Charles French,(1790-1868) was the 3rd Baron De Freyne, . His [Catholic] marriage to “Catherine Maree, a peasant girl (b. c. 1827; d. 13 Oct 1900)” in 1851 was held to be invalid under the laws of Ireland at the time – as a consequence his eldest son, Charles and his two immediately younger brothers were held to be illegitimate hence incapable of inheriting the title, which accordingly passed on their father’s death to the fourth son.”  [ all from cracroftspeerage.co.uk].  Charles and Catherine had a second [Church of Ireland] marriage in 1854, and the fourth son Arthur (1855-1913) inherited the title.

The Pauline Roche case – JR’s reply

The Pauline Roche story seems to have been very popular. This is a transcript of the very lengthy letter that John Roche O’Bryen wrote to his local paper “The Bristol Mercury and Western Counties Advertiser” on the 29th December 1855, giving his side of the story.

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. He was against.

So pompous, self-serving, and an astonishing attack in print on a teenager from a forty five year old doctor. Quite why he chose to go public when he did is not entirely clear, but it seems to be provoked by a decision by “the Court of the Corporation of the Poor” [they ran the Bristol workhouse]. I assume they had made the decision to remove JR as one of the guardians, but as yet I have no evidence to support that.

To be fair to JR, the Master of the Rolls who heard the case was Sir Thomas Berry Cusack-Smith (1795–1866), who does appear to be faintly bonkers. He was the Attorney-General who prosecuted Daniel O’Connell in 1844 on charges of conspiracy, sedition, and unlawful assembly. During the course of that trial he challenged one of the opposing counsel, Gerald Fitzgibbon, to a duel.

This is JR’s letter in full:

THE BRISTOL MERCURY, AND WESTERN COUNTIES ADVERTISER, SATURDAY DECEMBER 29 1855

DR. O’BRYEN AND THE CORPORATION OF THE POOR

Audi alterum partem,

To the Editor of The Bristol Mercury

SIR – I need make no apology for asking your indulgence to enable me to defend myself by bringing before the public such explanation as I can offer of certain expressions that fell from the Irish Master of the Rolls when called on to settle a mere matter of costs. What purported to be his language appeared in your paper of the 22nd of June last. The course the Court of the Corporation of the Poor have thought proper to adopt, at their meeting of the 11th instant, obliges me, most reluctantly, to re-open a matter I had rather forgotten, not that I feel at all conscious of having done wrong, for, were it so, I would not now ask a hearing. The manifestly partial and one-sided import of the words used by the Master of the Rolls, it was considered, would be their own antidote, for all who knew me in private life were aware how unfounded such “surmises” and “inferences” as he thought it not beneath him to indulge in, were in fact. For this, amongst several other valid reasons, not adverse to myself, which I cannot publish, my friends advised me to let the matter rest, and I now regret that I permitted myself to be prevailed on to leave the matter to public opinion, which, it was alleged, would not fail to discern the ex parte nature of his language, and judge accordingly, instead of at once showing (at all risks) how entirely at variance it was with the judgement of the Master in Chancery, to which no exceptions were taken.

Before entering into the merits of this case, or making any justifications of my conduct, three points of special difficulty must be borne in mind: –

1st – By the manner of proceeding in the court of Chancery, charges to any amount, in number and gravity, may be made at pleasure, without regard to their truth or application, and I was called on to prove a negative, and that extending over a period of 18 years, not even illustrated by dates, to a long list of charges so got up.

2nd – I laboured under the great and irremediable disadvantage of the absence of the most important, I might almost say the only, witness capable of directly answering who had lived with me for eight years: she had left and gone on the Continent, to a situation, some time previously. The rules of the Court require all testimony to be sworn before a Master Extraordinary of that Court. None such being on the Continent, I was deprived of her evidence; my children at home were very young, the others were on the Continent at school, under age, and therefore inadmissible. Hence, to prove the negative, I was compelled to rely on my own and my wife’s evidence, that of any servant I could find who had lived with us during that period, and the very few visitors and friends who knew our private household life sufficiently well (and all know how few such can exist) to be able to speak to the untruth of one or more of these charges.

3rd – I have now, in addition, to contend with the “surmises” and “inferences” which the Irish Master of the Rolls thought proper to indulge in when called on to settle a mere matter of costs.

The Minor, Miss Roche, made certain complaints to the Lord Chancellor Brady, who directed that the Master in Chancery, J.J.Murphy, esq, should proceed to examine into and report upon them to him, which was done, and the report presented to his Lordship, when he directed the Master of the Rolls to settle the costs.

Every impartial reader of the reported language of the Master of the Rolls must be struck with one fact, that, to use a mild expression, he allowed the gravity of the judge to disappear in the one-sided earnestness of the advocate. It is manifest his language did not meet the justice of the case, and for this view I rely on the finding and judgement of the Master in Chancery, the officer to whom the complaints were referred, and before whom all the witnesses were brought, and the evidence was investigated, and within whose province it came to decide on the validity and effect of the allegations against me; and notwithstanding all the difficulties I had to encounter in rebutting these charges, and the almost impossibility of finding evidence, yet I refer the reader with confidence to his verdict.

“In the matter of J.P.Roche, a Minor, – Hy. Thos Keane, plaintiff, Hugh Roche and others, defendants; Hy. Thos Keane, plaintiff, Elizabeth Roche defendant; Hy. Thos Keane, plaintiff, Peter Cook and others, defendants.”

“ To the Right Honourable Maziere Brady, Lord High Chancellor of Ireland. May it please your Lordship, pursuant to your Lordship’s order mad into this matter, and in these tatises bearing date 2nd day of November 1854, whereby it was referred to me to inquire and report whether the treatment of the said Minor had been proper and according to the direction of this court; and for the purpose of ascertaining and determining upon the guardian’s treatment of the said Minor, I directed that a specification should be prepared, setting forth in writing the charges or causes of complaint alleged by her, or on her behalf, against the said John Roche O’Bryen: the same were accordingly specified and marked with my initials.”

The charges laid before the Master in Chancery for investigation, were as follows:-

FIRST GENERAL CHARGE

“ That said john Roche O’Bryen treated said Minor in a harsh and cruel manner, unsuited to he age and constitutional delicacy.” Viz:-

  1. “By striking her with a riding whip, and on other occasions making use of personal violence to her, and generally treating her with cruelty and harshness.”
  2. “ In having compelled her, or induced her by false statements as to her position in his family, to undertake and perform menial services, such as washing and dressing the younger children of said J.R.O’Bryen, acting as nursery governess, sweeping rooms, and like offices.”
  3. “In having compelled, or induced said Minor to dine in the kitchen or servants hall, in company with the female servants and younger children of said J.R.O’Bryen.

SECOND GENERAL CHARGE

“That said John Roche O’Bryen treated said Minor in a manner unsuited to her age and constitutional delicacy, and prospects in life, and not in accordance with the allowance made for her maintenance in that behalf by the reports on orders in said matter, viz:-“

  1. “In supplying her with clothes unsuited to her age and prospects in life.”
  2. “In supplying her with food unsuited to her station in life and natural delicacy of constitution.”
  3. “In not allowing said Minor pocket money suited in its amount to her age and prospects in life.”
  4. “In not providing said Minor with horse exercise, in accordance with the report bearing date 28th May, 1850.”
  5. “In having caused the acquaintances and teachers to believe that said Minor was a dependant on the charity of said John R. O’Bryen, and to act towards her accordingly.”
  6. “That said John Roche O’Bryen concealed from Minor her true position in his family, and made false statements to her respecting her prospects and the true position of her affairs.”

J.J.M.

The evidence on both sides having been entered into in respect to these charges, Master Murphy gave the following judgement to which no exceptions having been taken, it was formally embodied in his report to the Lord Chancellor, and to this I now refer, as my reply to the following charges.

“The 1st is sustained so far as to striking her with a riding-whip, and on another occasion (see evidence) striking her with his hand – no other proof of actual violence. It further appears the Minor at an earlier period (see evidence) felt such apprehension that she left her guardian’s house. &c. The striking I consider wholly unjustifiable, and I have no further evidence of cruelty. As to harshness, I think Dr O’Bryen’s manner may have laid a foundation to that charge. He appears to me to entertain very high notions of the prerogatives of a guardian as well as a parent, but I have no sufficient or satisfactory evidence of any general or deliberate harsh treatment on his part.”

“I have not evidence that satisfies me that Dr O’Bryen made use of false statements as to the Minor’s position in his family. The Minor may have undertaken and performed what are termed menial offices, which she now complains of, but in my opinion she never was induced or compelled to do so by Dr O’Bryen. I think she was, to an advanced period of her life, left too much in communication with servants, governesses, and younger children having regard to her prospects in life and her constitutional and moral tendencies and her due self-respect. This coarse, I think, latterly made her reckless and indifferent, and indisposed to avail herself of the opportunities which may then have been afforded her of associating with Dr and Mrs O’Bryen.”

“Upon the evidence before me I consider this a misrepresentation. I do not see any reason to believe that she ever dined in the kitchen – servants’ hall there was not in the house. If she ever dined in the kitchen, or in company with the servants, she did so, in my judgement, without any inducement or compulsion on the part of Dr O’Bryen.”

“The second I have already partially answered (see above).”

“I consider it due to Dr O’Bryen to state that whatever fault of judgement or manner he may be chargeable with in the moral treatment of the minor, he appears to have had her well educated according to her position and capacity, and to have bestowed on her medical treatment very commendable attention and skill, and that he also gave her full opportunities of taking horse exercise if she pleased; also latterly, opportunities, so far as she appears to have desired, of associating with his respectable acquaintances; and, with the exception of the article of clothing (about which I doubt), and the defects of moral treatment above referred to, I can discover no well-founded reason to complain of his conduct as a guardian.”

“The specific complaints under this band are:-

  1. “In the article of clothes, but for the evidence of Mr Stephen O’Bryen, having made a complaint to Mr Sweeny on this (unclear) as appears in the evidence of the latter, I should have found against the charge; after that evidence I am inclined to think there was some ground for the Minor’s complaint on this bead.”
  2. “As to the supply of food, it was not exactly what I could have wished in some respects; but it was always the same as that given to Dr O’Bryen’s own children; and it further appears that the Minor was allowed to keep the keys, and could have taken what she wished. I consider the cause of this complaint was much exaggerated.”
  3. “It does not appear that Minor ever asked or expressed a wish to get pocket-money. It also appears that she had actually given some money to Dr O’Bryen to keep for her.”
  4. “As to not providing Minor with horse exercise, I consider this charge colourable, and without any real foundation or just cause of complaint.”
  5. “The evidence on this point is conflicting: there is a good deal of it on the part of the Minor, but the charge has not been established to my satisfaction.”
  6. “This I have already answered as to the Minor’s position in his family. As to her prospects, and the true position of her affairs, Dr O’Bryen has himself stated that he did think it not prudent to disclose in this respect, with his reasons he may have withheld. I cannot satisfactorily arrive at the conclusion that he made any false statements in this regard. I must, however, state my belief that the minor was not, for a considerable time past by any means so ignorant of the state of her property and the condition of her affairs as has been represented on her part. And, upon the whole, I find that she has been maintained and educated in a manner which entitles him to be paid the allowance payable for said minor.”

J.J.MURPHY

The above official document fairly disposes, after a thorough investigation, of a long list of specified charges; but there remain a few new ones, brought forward for the first time by the master of the Rolls, and I will now proceed to deal with them.

It appears in evidence that the minor went daily to the house of a governess for a fixed time, and that this person thought proper, during this time to give her a few lessons on the harp, which she alleges she did without charge as she considered the Minor an orphan and dependant. This was done without the knowledge or consent of her guardian. The Master of the rolls found on this “an inference” and a grave charge. He says- “It appears to me that if she did receive a proper education, it was that of a poor relation, and my inference is, that the money was spent on the ducation of the cousins of Minor, and that the governess, from motives of benevolence, gave this young lady, whom she supposed a dependant, instructions with her pupils.” No charge of this nature was ever made by my opponents: but on the contrary, it was admitted that Minor had received as good an education as she was capable of; a view confirmed by the report of the Master as follows:- “ I deem it right to state, in justice to the said guardian, that he appears to me to have displayed very commendable attention and skill in the medical treatment of said Minor, and to have had her duly and properly educated, and upon the whole that she has been maintained and educated by him in a manner which entitles him to be paid the allowance payable for the said Minor.”

Again the Master of the Rolls indulges in inferences. He is represented to have said-“Now, if the Minor deserved punishment for a falsehood, what punishment would be sufficiently ample for the man who told his niece such a falsehood as that her father died in debt and left her nothing.”  The facts of the case show the Master of the Rolls to have been ill-informed, and to have made a grave charge which he ought to have known was untrue in fact. The facts are these:- The father of Minor made his will in 1832 and died in 1835, when Minor was three months old. He left all his real and personal property to his brothers absolutely, save an annuity to his widow, and made no provision for any child or children. Master Goald’s report of 1836, when minor was made a ward, makes it appear that only £1374 remained in Irish funds out of £ 10,000 to which Minor was entitled under the will of her maternal great-grandfather, to whom her father was executor. Her father admits in his will that he drew and spent the money, and accordingly bills were filed against his brothers to recover deficiency. All the property was sold, and did not realise anything like the debt. Hence it was perfectly true to tell Minor that her father had left her nothing and died in debt.

That the letter of May 4th,  1854, written by Minor, was a part of a conspiracy, must appear to everyone, when I state that it was proved by several witnesses that the Minor knew she had property of her own, and was not dependant. Sympson, the man-servant who accompanied her when she rode out states in his evidence, “ Minor frequently told him when out riding with her, and he particularly recollects one occasion in the summer of 1851, and he heard her tell the other servants of the house the same thing, that she had property of her own, and that Dr O’Bryen was allowed for her maintenance, and also the keep of a pony for her use;” and the master has found, “I must, however, state my belief that the Minor was not, for a considerable time past, by any means so ignorant of the state of her property and the condition of her affairs as has been represented on her part.” So much for her alleged ignorance up to August 1855 which I am deeply grieved to say she has sworn to. In regard to the letter which this Minor has declared she wrote to Mr Orpen, at the dictation of Mrs O’Bryen, I will only say that Mrs O’Bryen has twice sworn that she only, as was her custom, connected the Minor’s ideas, and faithfully expressed her wishes at the same time without suggestion of her own, and I will add, we both now believe that she thus acted to deceive and put Mrs O’Bryen off her guard. The Minor took care to send to her solicitor the pencil sketch, which at least, demonstrates deep cunning. Again, this unfortunate child has sworn that on October 3rd 1854, when Mr Orpen called to see her, she was engaged sweeping out the school-room, and doing other menial work, while two persons clearly prove on oath that she was dressing to go out to pay a visit and not engaged as stated by her, and one of these witnesses was the servant, who was actually at the moment employed in these duties, who swore, “ saith that Minor hath not been, and was not employed in sweeping out the school-room, or making up her own room at the time of said Mr Orpen’s visit; inasmuch as this deponent was in the act of making said minor’s bed, dusting her room &c.2 Whilst said Minor was dressing to go out, saith “that whilst in said house Minor  never swept out school-room, never made up her own room, or did any other menial service.” After this, what reliance can be placed on this Minor’s statement?

I will say one word as to dress. This minor so wilfully neglectful of her dress and personal appearance, that for several months Mrs O’Bryen declined to speak to her on the subject for when she did so she received an insolent reply. Hence I was myself obliged, if in the house, to inspect her daily before she went out and when she came down in the morning, and it rarely happened that I had not to send her to her room to change or arrange her dress, brush her hair, and  often even to wash her face and neck. For a reason then unknown and unsuspected by us, but which has since transpired (viz:- her intention to found a charge and give it the appearance of truth), she would persist in only wearing old and worn-out dresses that I had several times made her lay aside, and directed to be thrown into the old clothes bag. In fact I had to threaten to search her room and burn them before I could succeed. She put on one of the worst of them outside the day she left my house. I often met her in the street, and had to send her back to change her dress, &c., and notwithstanding all this trouble, my wishes were evaded or neglected the moment my back was turned. The amount of vexation and annoyance this child gave us by her habits and general conduct cannot easily be described. Not a single article of dress was bought for her after Mr Orpen’s visit, and yet an excellent wardrobe was found in her room the day she left. The list is too long to add.

There is only one point on which the Master finds against me, viz. striking: on this subject I am unwilling to give details. It is quite true that in a moment of hastiness on two occasions (in 18 years) caused by extremely bad general conduct on the part of Minor, remonstrance having failed, which at these times was brought to a point, and I did strike her once each time as she was leaving the room, and of this, which in reality is nothing, much has been made by those who wanted to make costs, certain to be paid by either party.

My counsel in Ireland recommended an appeal, but my law adviser in this country said “What are you to gain? All material charges have been disproved; the master’s report is in your favour; no costs have been thrown on you; the allowance has been paid; would it be worth your trouble to appeal only to get rid of the language used by the Master of the Rolls? For this is all you could expect, while the expense of an appeal would prove considerable, and the trouble not a little.”

I will only add, in conclusion, that I hols certain instructions in Minor’s handwriting that she received from a gipsy, proving on the face of it that she was employed to act on this child’s mind.

I now submit the case, which I have shadowed(?) out in this letter, not so much in the hope of appeasing the unthinking anger of incompetent and prejudiced persons, as in the certainty of finding justice at the hands of all those who may have taken a very natural and justifiable interest in the allegations made against me, and are yet open to conviction, and are willing to give its just weight to a true and honest statement of facts.

It is a most painful position to be placed in, after many years spent in gratuitous and honourable professional service, to be summoned before a tribunal which has no power to acquit or condemn, but can only cast a stigma. But no man of earnest(?) and conscious rectitude chooses to withhold a defence beyond a certain limit, however strong his private reasons may be for so doing. That limit has now been reached in the opinion of friends and in my own, and I take with the utmost confidence the on course which appears left open to me.

“Fiat Justitia, ruat caelum

Yours, &c, Mr Editor,

JOHN O’BRYEN, M.D.