All Posts page

Dolphin of Turoe, co. Galway,

This post started very differently. Sometimes it becomes much more interesting following the female line – it’s often more difficult because things like Burke’s Landed Gentry often only list the girls by name, or just as  ” had issue, two daus.” but it can throw up some surprising results.

This started with a search for more information about Thady Grehan II (1775 – unknown) who was Peter Grehan (1749 – unknown) and Mary Roche’s eldest son. Why Thady was in the West Indies, and why his younger brother was the main beneficiary of their uncle’s will is another story.  The search led to their sister Mary who married ” Hubert Thomas Dolphin, of Turoe, co. Galway, and had issue.” and the splendidly named Dolphin family is where this all comes from.The Dolphins were one of the original Anglo-Norman families in Ireland, so by the time of Hubert and Mary Grehan’s marriage they had been in Ireland for about six hundred years. The family ” sustained great losses by confiscations and forfeitures” during the seventeenth century. But they still had land, and Hubert Thomas inherited the estates of his uncle John Dolphin, who had seven daughters. Two became nuns, and the rest all married in a very close circle.

Hubert Dolphin’s first cousin Eleanor Dolphin married Thomas Reddington, and Eleanor and Tom’s daughter Eleanor Reddington married Stephen Roche who is Mary Dolphin’s [nee Grehan] first cousin.  Another of Hubert Dolphin’s first cousins Celia Dolphin married John McDonnell and their daughter Cecilia marries into the O’Conor family. In this case to Roderic O’Conor, who is a fourth cousin of Owen O’Conor (1763 – 1831) who became the O’Conor Don in 1820 having succeeded to the title on the death of his fourth cousin Dominick O’Conor (d. 1795).  So lots of cousins marrying cousins, and some great -uncles and aunts in the picture, specifically 5x Great-Uncles and Aunts Peter Grehan, Mary Roche, and  Jane Moore, and Owen O’Conor. Owen is also Patrick Grehan I’s brother-in-law.

But it also brings us Maria O’Conor – Roderic O’Conor’s sister, her husband John Kelly, their children, and most specifically two of their grandsons Gerald and Arthur Neilan.

On either side in the Easter Rising 1916

” Gerald Neilan was the first British officer to die in the Rising; his brother was a rebel.” – Irish Times. The shot that killed him was fired from the Mendicity Institute on the banks of the River Liffey.

Mendicity Institute, Dublin

I came across three extraordinary articles recently. Two from the Irish Times, and one from the Irish Mirror, they were all written about two years ago, on the centenary of the Easter Rising, and I’m not going to quote them entirely. You can read them here – Irish Mirror – 26 Mar 2016Irish Times – Mon, Mar 28, 2016, – Irish Times – Sun, Apr 24, 2016,

I’ll let the Irish Times tell the next part of the story.

 

” In Glasnevin Cemetery there is a faded headstone over the Neilan family plot. Husband and wife John and Eva Neilan are buried there. They came originally from outside Roscommon town. After her husband died, Eva Neilan moved to Dublin. She died in 1930, outliving the first of her children listed on the headstone Lieutenant Gerald Neilan R.D.F (Royal Dublin Fusiliers).”

” His date of death is instructive as to when and why he died — “killed in Dublin, Easter Monday 1916, aged 34”. Neilan was the first British officer to die in the Easter Rising. He was an Irishman so “strongly nationalistic in his sympathies as to be almost a Sinn Féiner”, according to the author Stephen Gwynn. He was one of four Neilan brothers who served in the army during the first World War, three of them as doctors in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC)……. One Neilan brother though took a different path. Arthur Neilan was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in 1913 and joined the Irish Volunteers shortly afterwards. He was only 18. On Easter Monday, Arthur Neilan was told by Patrick Pearse to proceed to the Four Courts garrison which needed reinforcements and found himself fighting in the same garrison that had killed his brother earlier that day. ” – Irish Times

All the stories reflect quite strongly on the tragic irony of Arthur Neilan serving along side the men who killed his brother, and the story of Irishmen fighting Irishmen on the streets of Dublin. What they don’t do is look in greater depth at what and who these men were, and I suspect the real story is a great deal more complicated than it looks at first sight.

The second Irish Times article, and the Irish Mirror article both quote a niece of both men, and the overall tone of the articles creates a very different picture from what is actually the case. As is often the way, the family folklore takes on a life of its own, and doesn’t appear to quite tell the real story. The first real clues to look at are the sentence ” He (Gerald)  was an Irishman so “strongly nationalistic in his sympathies as to be almost a Sinn Féiner”, according to the author Stephen Gwynn.”  and “ It is so, so sad because they should have been a happy co-operative family. They were loyal to the British. They looked on Arthur as a rebel.”. – S.M. –  Gerald and Arthur Neilan’s niece

Stephen Gwynn (1864-1950)

The two seem to contradict each other quite strongly. So let’s look at them in a little more depth. The quote from Stephen Gwynn seems to have been added to the Irish Times article from a book ” According to their Lights by Neil Richardson “ The Collins Press, 2015. A fuller quote is below.

” Stephen Lucius Gwynn – Irish Party M.P. , and also a Connaught Rangers officer later wrote in John Redmond’s Last Years (1919) about the ambush that killed Gerald Neilan on Ellis Quay. He recalled that Neilan “was so strongly Nationalist in his sympathies as to be almost a Sinn Féiner”, and that among the other Royal Dublin Fusiliers casualties “Others had been active leaders in the Howth gun-running. It was not merely a case of Irishmen firing on their fellow countrymen; it was one section of the original Volunteers firing on another. “

So the question now is how ” British ” were the Neilan brothers. The family folklore continued in an interview in the Irish Mirror  “The family had always lived in Roscommon. My grandfather was a Justice of the Peace and a loyal British subject. Of course a lot of the people were then – they were in Great Britain. I never met my grandmother because she died in 1930. My grandfather John Alexander Neilan had sadly died in 1903, so I didn’t meet him either. But seven of their children survived to be grown-ups, and I knew all but two quite well………But because they had been brought up to be extremely British, and my grandfather was a Justice of the Peace, I think they were terribly hurt when Arthur went and fought for the rebels.”

This part of the story of the two brothers is starting to cause some problems. It’s told from a very British perspective, and almost certainly reflects the side of the family that had either moved to co. Durham before the First War, or settled there after the War. I think the bigger question is how Irish were the Neilan brothers, and the answer is very.  Maria O’Conor their maternal grandmother was a fourth cousin of Owen O’Conor (1763 – 1831) who became the O’Conor Don in 1820. He was Patrick Grehan I’s brother-in-law, so stretching things almost to breaking point there is a family link. So the Neilan boys are fourth cousins twice removed from great-uncle Owen.

Silver Jubilee of a Sister of Mercy (Agnes Bellord)- September 1910.

This is a revision and addition to an old post from almost two years ago. It was originally included because the Bellord siblings are all brothers and sisters-in-law of the other Agnes Bellord (neé Purssell) who is one of Lady O’Bryen’s sisters.  They are all almost twenty years older than she (Agnes) is. What hadn’t struck me at the time was some of the other connections in what is initially a very simple paragraph.

Both Elizabeth and Josephine Bellord were Sisters of Notre Dame in Liverpool and are the direct successors of Sister Mary of St. Philip [Fanny Lescher] at Mount Pleasant, and Sister Mary of St. Wilfrid [Adela Lescher] at Everton respectively. So in one of those nice twists and turns, Ernest O’Bryen’s cousins are replaced by his wife’s sisters in law in Liverpool, and another of her sisters-in-law is a nun at the Convent of Mercy in Crispin Street, in the East End. The nuns also helped support the Providence Row Night Refuge which provided nearly 2,600,000 free nights’ lodgings, and 5,200,000 free meals between 1860  and 1931. Providence Row was run as charity separate from the convent, and heavily supported by the Purssell family, with Alfred Purssell chairing the committee, followed at various times by his son Frank, and two sons-in-law Wilfred Parker, and another of the Bellord siblings Edmund.

It’s all a long way from the Original Red Cow, at 22 Long Lane in Smithfield where all the children were born.

 

On September 1, Mother Mary Aquinas,[Agnes Bellord] of the Convent of Mercy, Crispin-street, E., celebrated the Silver Jubilee of her profession. In addition to the blessing of the Holy Father, the jubilarian was the recipient of many congratulations from clergy, convents, the friends of the Night Refuge and Homes in Crispin-street, with which she has been so long connected, and the past and present pupils of St. Joseph’s School. Mother M. Aquinas is a sister of the late Bishop Bellord. Three of her sisters, two of whom survive, became Sisters of Notre Dame, one being at present Sister Superior at Mount Pleasant Training College,[Elizabeth Bellord – Sister Edburga of the Cross] and the other Sister Superior at Everton Valley, Liverpool. [Josephine Bellord – Sister Gilberta of the Blessed Sacrament]

The above text was found on p.21, 10th September 1910 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 .

Dalglish- Maxwell-Scott wedding 1897

I came across this a couple of years ago when I was tracking down a whole bunch of family weddings. It really just came across as a very grand society wedding. But rather pleasingly, the groom’s step-father is a Lescher cousin. But it’s all madly posh

Church of the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon

 

The marriage of Mr. Alexander Augustus Dalglish, eldest son of the late Mr. J. Campsie Dalglish, of Wandara, Goulburn, New South Wales, with Miss Mary Josephine Maxwell-Scott, daughter of the Hon. J. and Mrs. Maxwell-Scott, of Abbotsford, Melrose, N.B., and great-great-granddaughter of the novelist and poet, was celebrated on Tuesday forenoon at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Father William Kerr, S.J. [First cousin once removed of the bride] The bridegroom was attended by Mr. Ralph Kerr as best man. There were eight bridesmaids : Miss Elsie and Miss Daisy Maxwell-Scott, sisters of the bride ; Miss Dalglish, Miss Dorothy Dalglish, the Hon. Gwendolen Maxwell, Miss Marcia Maxwell-Stuart, Miss Ida Bellingham, and Miss Cecile Kerr. The bridegroom’s gifts to them were pearl and turquoise heart brooches. The nuptial ceremony was followed by Mass, Father Kerr being the celebrant. At the offertory Gounod’s Ave Maria was sung with violin accompaniment. The bridal couple had the happiness of receiving the Papal Blessing. Breakfast was served at Germistoun, Wimbledon Common, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Rudd, and during the afternoon the newly-married pair left for Arundel Castle, placed at their disposal by the Duke of Norfolk.

Arundel Castle

Among the presents were : From the bridegroom, diamond and pearl pendant brooch ; the bride’s parents, diamond, ruby, and pearl necklace ; the bride’s brothers and sisters, the Border Edition of the Waverley Novels ; Mrs. Dalglish Bellasis,[groom’s mother] diamond star ; the Duke of Norfolk,[bride’s uncle] diamond necklace ; the Ladies Mary and Margaret Howard,[bride’s aunts] diamond and sapphire bracelet ; Lord and Lady Edmund Talbot,[bride’s uncle and aunt] enamel and moonstone bracelet ; the Marquis of Bute, diamond ring ; the Marchioness of Bute [bride’s second cousin], antique lace ; Lord and Lady Herries, [bride’s second cousin.Their daughter Gwendolen Maxwell became the 15th Duchess of Norfolk  in 1904, marrying her first cousin once-removed] Russia leather travelling bag, with ivory and silver fittings ; Mr. Walter Maxwell-Scott, silver buckle ; Mr. Michael Maxwell-Scott, R.N., Maltese lace ; the servants of Abbotsford, torquoise chain bracelet and gold pencil case ; Mr. and Mrs. James Hope, pearl and diamond crescent ; besides gifts from the Countess of Yarborough, the Countess of Powis, and many others.

The above text was found on p.27, 25th September 1897 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 .

Eustace Thomas Edward Cary-Elwes

Eustace Thomas Edward Cary-Elwes, TD, late Major, the Royal Norfolk Regiment (Territorial Army), of Albion House, Poringland, Norfolk, and previously of Thurton Hall, Norwich, scion of the landed gentry family of Elwes of Roxby, died 12 August, 2004. He was aged 95.

He was born 21 December, 1908, the fifth son of Charles Edward Joseph Elwes (1869-1947), of Staithe House, Beccles, Suffolk, by his wife Edythe Isabel (d. 1961), second daughter of Colonel Sir John Roper Parkington, DL, JP.

His grandfather, Windsor Charles Cary Elwes (1839-1916), married Augusta Caroline Louisa Law, scion of the Barons Ellenborough; his gt-grandfather, George Cary Elwes, married Arabella Heneage, scion of the Barons Heneage, &c.

Eustace was educated at Downside and Ampleforth. He married in 1933, Marjorie Henrietta (Daw) now deceased, daughter of Major-General Sir Henry Francis Edward Freeland, KCIE, CB, DSO, MVO, of Hayland, Suffolk, by whom he had a son, Peter (b. 1946); and two daughters, Caroline (Lady Egerton, wife of Sir Stephen Loftus Egerton, KCMG), and Gillian.

The funeral takes place at St Benet’s Minster of Beccles, Friday 3 September, 2004.

Source: Daily Telegraph 17 Aug, 2004.

The Late Mr. Serjeant Bellasis – August 1893

A Serjeant-at-Law (SL), commonly known simply as a Serjeant, was a member of an order of barristers at the English bar.  The Serjeants were the oldest formally created order in England, having been brought into existence as a body by Henry II. There were rarely more than 40 Serjeants. The Judicature Act 1873, removed the need for common law judges to be appointed from the Serjeants-at-Law, removing the need to appoint judicial Serjeants. With this Act and the rise of the Queen’s Counsel, there was no longer any need to appoint Serjeants, and the order ceased after seven hundred years.

MEMORIALS OF MR. SERJEANT BELLASIS.

The lives of men who have lived well, or fought well, or studied well, must always possess some interest for the student of human nature. Their struggles are probably akin to his struggles, their joys and sorrows are identical. In all creative and dramatic art, as in all literature, the human element is the centre of interest, —the actors on life’s stage command our deepest attention.

Light has been shed broadly and powerfully on all the leaders of the great Oxford movement. Their motives and main-springs of action have been analysed and dissected until little is left to analyse or dissect. The battle-field is still whitened with innumerable relics of a doubtful battle. Profoundly interesting as were those times, and profoundly momentous the issues of them, it seems hardly possible to learn anything fresh about them. ” Tracts for the Times, “ “No. 90, “ the Gorham decision, the Anglo-Prussian bishopric, the Anglican succession,—it is inevitable that all biographers of men who lived in those times should describe the same well- known facts and repeat the same well-worn phrases. There seems hardly space for another biography of an individual who played a part, though a comparatively small one, in a movement of which Dean Church and Mr. W. Ward have so lately recounted to us the principal events, giving us such brilliant portraits of the principal actors.

In the preface to this Memoir of the late Mr. Serjeant Bellasis, we read:— ” It has been deemed that some notice of Mr. Serjeant Bellasis, beyond the two or three columns in the National Dictionary of Biography, would not be out of place among the memoirs of the time ; for the late Serjeant, although not one of the more conspicuous public men of his day, nevertheless played some part in the Tractarian Movement of 1833, in connection wherewith he has left papers of interest. He was also an able and, for nearly a quarter of a century, a notable member of the Catholic body. “

The Serjeant’s early life and legal career are dismissed in the first chapter ; the rest of the volume is chiefly taken up with theological arguments and writings on the questions of the day, and letters from well-known people. Some of these letters  have already appeared in Mr. R. Ornsby’s Memoir of James Hope-Scott. Edward Bellasis was born in 1800 at Basilden, a pretty village on the Thames, of which his father was the vicar. Dr. Bellasis died when his son was an infant, and shortly afterwards his widow married the Rev. Joseph Maude, a Low Churchman, whose intimate friends were chiefly Quakers and Evangelicals. The household was taught to pray against ” the machinations of Popery “ and the ” devices of the Bishop of Rome ; “  card-playing and theatre-going were forbidden. In spite of this prohibition, young Bellasis went to Drury Lane, and there ran against his step-father’s brother, the Rev. John Maude, in the pit, who remarked,—” If you tell of me, I’ll tell of you. “ He seems to have had a love of play-going all his life, and to have encouraged private theatricals in his children’s holidays. He was called to the Bar in 1824, and began a long and very successful career, being almost exclusively employed in Parliamentary business, often connected with railways, until his retirement in 1866. There is a graphic account of his receiving the ” degree of the Coif “ and the ancient forms and ceremonies attending the creation of a Serjeant-at-Law. His intimate friend, Mr. Badeley, was his ” colt, “ and presented the rings to the Lord Chancellor and the Judges. The Queen’s ring was ” large and massive enough to cover two joints of the finger. “ In conjunction with Mr. Hope-Scott, the Serjeant was appointed trustee of the Shrewsbury estates, a duty that both fulfilled with characteristic disinterestedness and high principle. ” There was a great deal in common in the dear Serjeant and Hope-Scott, “ wrote Dr. Newman; ” This similarity is what made them such great friends. “ The history of one is in great measure a counterpart of that of the other. Both were distinguished members of the Bar, both followed the Anglican revival with the greatest interest, finally both joined the Church of Rome, Bellasis in 1850, Hope-Scott in 1851, and Badeley, the third point in this friendly triangle, in 1852.  When the news of the conversion [of Mr. Serjeant Bellasis] reached Quernmore Park, the residence of Mr. Garnett,[his father-in-law] Mrs. Bellasis’ aunt, Miss Carson, as a sincere Evangelical, was naturally much distressed, and the old family cook, seeing her mistress in tears, inquired the cause.  ‘ Mr. Bellasis had gone over to Rome.’ Ah ! ‘ replied the cook, ” tis a pity. Isn’t it very cold there ? Hard nigh upon Rooshee, rye heard tell.’ “ Mr. Bellasis seems always to have had an inquiring mind in regard to religious matters, and to have started in life with a decided bias against ” Popery.” A visit to a Roman Catholic chapel in Moorfields in 1820 only ” impresses him with the superiority of the reformed Protestant religion. “ However, foreign travel corrected many of his ideas about the Roman Catholics. He notes the earnestness of the people at their prayers, and the admixture of devout observances with their ordinary daily occupations. He came home still a ” thorough Anglican,” but he could neither abuse, nor listen to abuse, of Catholicsor Catholicism. After his second marriage in 1835, Mr. Bellasis took a house in Bedford Square, and then began the intimacy with Mr. Oakeley, of Margaret Street Chapel, in whose footsteps, in religious matters, the Serjeant closely followed. Mr. Oakeley gave him letters of introduction to some of the most prominent leaders of the Oxford movement,—Newman, W. G. Ward, and J. B. Morris. He made several visits to Oxford, and got to know Hope-Scott, Badeley, Dr. Pusey, and Bounden Palmer ; he also stayed with the Yonges at Otterbourne, and met Keble and Wilberforce. ” We have had a rather pleasant, interesting man visiting us,” writes Canon James Mozley to his sister in January, 1840, ” a Mr. Bellasis, a barrister from London, very High Church, a friend of Ward of Balliol, who happens to be away just now, Newman and others have entertained him. It is amusing to see the variety of a Londoner in Oxford. Of the London element lie retains enough to make a change from what one commonly sees here ; though with none of the disagreeable features of it,—for example, he is so much more fluent, and can give regular narrations with spirit, showing a person who has been accustomed to argue and make speeches. “ In one of the Serjeant’s letters to his wife, there is a graphic account of Newman’s farewell sermon at Littlemore; he used to say afterwards that there was not a dry eye in the church, except Newman’s own. In 1845 the Serjeant wrote to his brother, ” I do not conceal from any one that I hold what you call ultra opinions; “ but he goes on to say, ” it has never occurred to me that it is the duty of persons holding such opinions to quit the Church of England. “ He had, however, thought much on the subject, as we read in the Memoir :—” The Serjeant himself had painfully gone through all stages, from Low Evangelicism to extreme High Churchmanship, until at length the time came when he found little of real difficulty in any Catholic doctrine. This is sufficiently illustrated, some time before his actual conversion, by a little paper of September, 1847, referring to Confession, perhaps a greater stumbling- block to Protestants inclined to Catholicism than anything else after Papal supremacy. “ The Serjeant was accustomed to weigh difficult questions, and to analyse the balance of evidence ; his excessive pains to get at the exact truth of Catholicism abroad gave Dr. Scholl, of Treves [Trier], the idea that he was too cautious ever to leave his own Church. “Ala, ce pauvre Monsieur Bellasis, it a taut de scrupules ; it n’entrera janmis dans l’Eglise.” Outward and visible signs and symbols. always attracted him—” believing himself to be a man without much sentiment or feeling, he said that he relied greatly upon externals in religion “—and he was always most exact in all outward observances. Much is said of his great industry and power of concentration. He writes of himself,—” It is my nature to be eager in whatever I take up, whether it is meteorology, geology, theology, or business ; “ but no recreation was ever allowed to interfere with business. His family life seems to have been particularly happy ; he was devoted to his children, and drew up many wise rules of conduct for their instruction, which are worth reading and copying. With one daughter, afterwards a nun, he kept up a playful warfare as to the amount of their mutual love. In 1871, he wrote to her:—” I have got a puzzle for you : St. Alphonsus says that of all love, paternal love is the strongest; now I think I have checkmated you.” There are many instances told of his unvarying kindness and courtesy to strangers, and to any one who served him or needed his help. Mr. Hope-Scott’s clerk, who saw him every day, said he never once knew the Serjeant ruffled or disturbed, and never heard him utter a harsh or unkind word. ” He died at Hyéres,” wrote his friend, Hope-Scott, during his own last illness, “l eaving an example to us all,” and Archbishop Manning and Dr. Newman echoed the words.

Such a life as the Serjeant’s does not contain much of deep interest to the general reader. His contributions to the literature of the day consisted of a few pamphlets, and the Memoir is naturally written from a devout Roman Catholic point of view ; but the surroundings of his life were interesting, and he was intimate with men whose names are written in Church history. It was probably Dr. Newman’s example and influence that finally led the Serjeant to abandon the Church of England. As Sir Francis Doyle has written,—” That great man’s ardent zeal and extraordinary genius drew all those within his sphere, like a magnet, to attach themselves to him and his doctrine.”

From The Spectator 5 August 1893, Page 18