Category Archives: Essex

Grehan of Mount Plunkett. – from Burke’s Landed Gentry [London 1871] with additions

The irony of this entry isn’t mentioned. 2,745 acres were advertised advertised for sale under a bankruptcy proceeding in January 1870, with part re-advertised in May 1870. So sadly, by the time the fourth edition of Burke’s Landed Gentry came out, the gent was landed no longer !

Grehan of Mount Plunkett. from Burke’s Landed Gentry (1871)

Grehan Patrick, esq. of Mount Plunkett and St John’s co Roscommon, J.P., b 21 March 1818; m. 4 April 1842, Frances, eldest dau. of the late John Pitchford, esq. of Norwich, a descendant of the old family of Pitchford of Shropshire, and has issue,

  1. Wilfrid b. 6 Aug 1848
  2. Charles b. Nov 1850
  3. Gerard b. May 1852
  4. Francis b. Oct 1855
  1. Mary O’Conor Graham 
  2. Alice
  3. Louisa 
  4. Clare
  5. Agnes 

Lineage – The family of Grehan claims descent from the Grahams of Montrose, and tradition narrates that its ancestor, escaping from the persecutions in Scotland, fled to Ireland and changed his name to Grehan.

The present Stephan Grehan, esq. of Rutland Square, Dublin succeeded by the recent death of his cousin Major Grehan, s.p. to the representation of the Grehan family. His cousin, Patrick Grehan, esq., now of Mount Plunkett, is the son of the late Patrick Grehan, esq. of Dublin ( by Catherine his 1st wife, dau. of George Meecham, esq., and co-heiress of her mother Catherine, dau. and eventual co-heiress of William Hodson, esq. of St John’s, co. Roscommon) and grandson of Patrick Grehan, esq. of Dublin who m. Judith, dau. and eventually co-heiress of Edward Moore, esq. of Mount Browne, co. Mayo (lineally descended from Lewis, the 4th son of  Roger O’More, of Leix, by Margaret, dau. and heiress of Thomas, 3rd son of Pierce, 8th Earl of Ormonde). Through this marriage with the co-heiress of Moore, Mr Grehan of Mount Plunkett quarters the arms of O’More of Leix, and Butler, Ormonde.

Arms–Or, a trefoil, slipped, vert, on a chief, sa., three escallops, of the first; quartering O’More of Leix, Butler of Ormonde, and Hodson of St. John’s–the family of Hodson of St. John’s, is one of considerable antiquity, and at the decease, in 1829, of the last male heir, Oliver Hodson, Esq., a moiety of the St. John’s estates devolved on the present Patrick Grehan [III], Esq.

Crests–A demi-lion, gu. gorged, with three escallops

Motto–Ne oubliex

Seat–Mount Plunkett, Licarrow, Roscommon

Clonmeen Lodge

So that’s what Bernard Burke has to say; the reference to Stephan Grehan ([1776] – 1871) is slightly confusing, particularly in regard to “succeeded by the recent death of his cousin Major Grehan, s.p. to the representation of the Grehan family”. This branch of the Grehan family are the Grehans of Clonmeen, in co. Cork, and the elder Stephan Grehan really did live until 95. This branch of the family were rather better at holding on to their land than Uncle Patrick. They descend from Peter Grehan, Patrick Grehan Senior’s eldest brother, and his wife Mary Roche. Her brother John Roche married Mary Grehan, their sister. Stephan Grehan ([1776] – 1871) succeeded his father Peter, and was the principal beneficiary of his uncle John Roche. John Roche’s legacy brought Clonmeen into the family, and they successfully held onto it for roughly the next one hundred and fifty years. The family sold Clonmeen in 1975, and the estate and family papers are now in the Boole Library, University College, Cork. At its height in the 1870’s the estate amounted to 7,000 acres [approximately 11 sq. miles]  in co. Cork

There are three Patrick Grehans in this post, I am going to use  suffixes to distinguish between them.  The suffix was not used by them and does not appear in any records. Patrick Grehan III  is Celia O’Bryen’s brother, and so a great, great, great uncle. He was the son of Patrick Grehan Junior (1791 – 1853), grandson of Patrick Grehan Senior (1758 – 1832),  and  Thady Grehan’s (c.1726 – 1792) great grandson. But this post is principally about Uncle Patrick.

St Leonards Bromley-by-Bow

He was born  in Ireland in 1818, and died 1877 in Hampstead.  He married Fanny (Frances Susan) Pitchford in 1842 in Poplar, [probably the parish of St Leonard, Bromley (not the South London one)] London.  She was born 1821 in Stratford, (the Olympics one, not the Shakespeare one) then in Essex, and died 1893 in Hampstead. 

I’ve struggled with whether the Grehans regarded themselves as Irish, or English, or British. In all probability, it’s a mixture of all three, with further shading done with a mixture of class, and religion. The family is fairly mobile, moving between Ireland , and England, and a substantial part of Patrick Grehan III’s early life seems to have been in England, though he was born in Ireland. He is the eldest of the three children of Patrick Grehan Junior by his first wife Catherine Meecham.

    1. Patrick III (born 21 Mar 1818)
    2. Joseph Maunsell (born about 1829)
    3. Celia Mary (born about 1831)

Patrick was born in Ireland, Maunsell in “foreign parts” according to the 1841 census, and Celia in Preston. Initially, it all seems rather peculiar. But as both Patrick, and Maunsell went to Stonyhurst; and Patrick was there between September 1830 and July 1836, it would help explain Celia’s birth in Preston, nearby.

Stonyhurst College

So far, it’s relatively uncomplicated. We have an affluent Anglo/Irish family sending their sons to the oldest Catholic boys school in England. Stonyhurst had started as the Jesuit College at St Omer in what was then the Spanish Low Countries in 1593, moving to Bruges in 1762, then to Liège in 1773, and finally moving to Lancashire in 1794.  Patrick Grehan III was following a family tradition, his father and both uncles went to Stonyhurst soon after it moved to England. Their cousin Stephan Grehan was one of the last pupils to have studied in France, the school being forced to move because of the French Revolution. The tradition continued in the family, with some of Patrick Grehan Junior’s sons, grandsons, great grandsons, and great great grandsons all attending as well.

In 1841, the Grehans were living at Furze Hall, in Fryerning, Essex, where we find Patrick Grehan Junior aged fifty, his wife Harriet, and ten year old Celia, four year old Ignatius,[his only child with his second wife Harriet (nee Lescher)] and four servants. Patrick Grehan Junior had married Harriet Lescher as his second wife, in Brighton in 1836. It was the start of a long inter-linking between the Grehan and Lescher families.

Two Lescher brothers, Joseph Francis, and William had emigrated from Kertzfeld, in Alsace by 1778, eleven years before the fall of the Bastille. The two brothers became partners in a starch factory.  Joseph purchased the estate of Boyles Court in Essex in 1826, but William remained in London, in Bromley, East London where he had married in 1798. The two households are about twenty miles apart.  Boyles Court, is still in the countryside just outside  Brentwood, and just outside the M25. It’s about four miles west of the Petre family at Thorndon Hall, and about ten miles from Furze Hall.

According to “the Life of Sister Mary of Saint Philip” (Fanny Lescher). “William Lescher’s youngest sister Harriet had married Patrick Grehan of Worth Hall. Her stepson, Patrick Grehan, married Fanny Pitchford in 1842, and the young couple made their home at “ The Furze ” at Southweald in Essex, near Boyles Court. In this same year, Fanny Lescher made her social debut at the wedding of another cousin, Eleanor Walmesley, who married Lord Petre’s second son.”

It all gets massively intertwined at this point. But to try to put it as simply as possible. Patrick Grehan Junior married twice, first to Catherine Meecham in 1817, and then, after she died to Harriet Lescher in 1836. The relatively straightforward statement  “Her stepson, Patrick Grehan, married Fanny Pitchford” should also include the fact that Fanny Pitchford is also Harriet’s great niece. William and Harriet’s mother was Mary Ann Copp (1775 –1858), and her elder sister, the splendidly named Cleopha Copp had married John Nyren (1764 -1837). He was a first-class cricketer, and the author of  “The Young Cricketer’s Tutor, comprising full directions for playing the elegant and manly game of cricket, with a complete version of its laws and regulations, by John Nyren; a Player in the celebrated Old Hambledon Club and in the Mary-le-Bone Club.” published in 1833 which was one of the first published Laws of cricket. Their daughter Susan Nyren married John Pitchford (1772 c.-1839) who was a chemist, and political radical  in Norwich. He had also been educated by the Jesuits in St Omer.

So radical, and Catholic; it’s a combustable mixture at a time when both were regarded with suspicion.  Paddy and Fanny were marrying only seven years after the Marriage Act of 1836 had been passed, allowing Catholics to legally marry in Catholic churches; and Catholics in public life were regarded suspiciously up to, and beyond, the turn of the C19th.

It’s not entirely clear whether the newly-weds lived with his father, and step-mother at Furze Hall, or whether Patrick and Harriet had moved. They later lived for a time at his brother’s house, Worth Hall, in Sussex. But certainly in 1841, various sides of the family were in very close proximity. Two of Harriet Grehan’s nephews, Edward and William Lescher were at Stonyhurst, as was her step-son Joseph Maunsell Grehan. All are clearly visible on the census return that year.

“The Grehans left Southweald, in Essex, in the autumn of 1847 to fix their home at Mount Plunket in County Roscommon..” according to the Life of Sister Mary of Saint Philip (Fanny Lescher).  It’s an extraordinary time to move to a poor, rural, part of Ireland. It’s the height of the Famine, in one of the areas that suffered most. They lived at Mountplunkett, Roscommon, Ireland, in the 1850s; leased by Patrick III in 1847 and then bought by him in 1851.  In the 1850s Patrick Grehan III also held lands in the parishes of Killinvoy and St Johns,  co. Roscommon, which he had inherited  via his maternal grandmother,  Catherine Hodson, who was the co-heiress of William Hodson, Lord of the Manor of St. John’s, co. Roscommon.

Patrick Grehan Junior died in Clifton, Bristol,in 1852,  and his will was proved in  London on the 24th March 1853, where Patrick III was the residual legatee. He had previously been left £ 1,000 in his grandfather Patrick Grehan Senior’s will, and received that in 1832.

Patrick Grehan III claimed descent from Rory O’More of Leix, and Thomas, 3rd son of Pierce, 8th Earl of Ormonde, via his paternal grandmother Judith Moore.  As a result, Patrick III was granted Arms in 1863 that included those from St. John’s and quartered O’More of Leix and Butler of Ormonde. There is a record of the confirmation of arms to Patrick Grehan III, in 1863

  • National Library of Ireland: Arms of Grehan of Mount Plunkett, Co Roscommon, 1863. GO MS 179: 101
  • National Library of Ireland:  Copy of confirmation of arms to Patrick Grehan (III), Mount Plunkett & St Johns, Co Roscommon, grandson of Patrick Grehan (Senior)of Dublin, merchant, 5 June 1863. GO MS 109: 13-14

In January 1870 the Estate of Patrick Grehan III amounting to 2,745 acres in the baronies of Athlone, Ballintober, Ballymoe and Castlerea was advertised for sale under a bankruptcy proceeding. The Mountplunkett estate and the part of South Park Demesne in the barony of Castlereagh were re-advertised in May 1870. The Irish Times reported that these lots were sold to Rev. W. West and Owen O’Connor. 

Patrick Grehan III died in Hampstead, in early 1877, at almost the same time as his step-mother Harriet Grehan. This seems to have been at the house of Frank Harwood Lescher [Harriett’s nephew and  Patrick Grehan III’s son-in -law]  Mary O’Conor Graham Grehan [Patrick Grehan III’s daughter] had married her cousin Frank Harwood Lescher [Harriett’s nephew] in 1873.

Link to BLG 1871: http://tinyurl.com/pqu2tuj

Link to Wikipedia for Piers Butler: http://tinyurl.com/nurhox8

A Historic Essex Convent – the 125th anniversary of New Hall, Essex in 1925

New Hall Essex

New Hall Essex

I stumbled across this when I was looking for more  information on the Roper Parkingtons, and this was on the same page as the notice of Lady RP’s death.

PARKINGTON.—Of your charity, pray for the soul of Marie Louise Parkington, wife of the late Col. Sir John Roper Parkington, who died on June 13, fortified by the rites of Holy Church, at Broadwater Lodge Wimbledon. R.I.P. 

It is all part of a very small world because Great, Great, Great, Great Aunt Jane Grehan joined the convent  about 1800, and Great, Great, Great Grandpa Patrick Grehan Senior left her, and presumably the convent, £ 1,500 in his will of 1830. It was a huge sum of money. New Hall was the girls’ equivalent of  either Douai, or more probably Stonyhurst (though 100 years later than either). It’s also entertaining that the house belonged to Thomas Boleyn because he was Jane Grehan’s third cousin about seven times removed, and the Butlers got the Earldom of Ormond back on the grounds of Thomas Boleyn not having any male heirs. The execution of his son George along with his sister Anne having something to do with it…

Anyway back to the Tablet in 1925

The one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the foundation of the Convent of the Holy Sepulchre, New Hall, near Chelmsford, was commemorated on Tuesday, when new school buildings were opened by His Eminence Cardinal Bourne, in the presence of a distinguished gathering of clergy and laity. New Hall is an historic Tudor mansion, purchased at the end of the eighteenth century for the English branch of the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, which was founded at Liege in 1642, and came over to England in consequence of the French Revolution. The place originally belonged to the Augustinian Canons of Waltham Abbey, and was the summer residence of their Abbots, who frequently entertained royalty here on their way, via Harwich, to and from the Continent. It subsequently became Crown property. Henry VIII, who acquired it from Sir Thomas Boleyn, father of the ill-fated Anne, gave it the name of Beaulieu, and kept the great feast of St. George here with his whole Court in 1524. His arms are to be seen to this day in the chapel ,of the Convent, which was originally the ” great hall ” of the mansion. The blessed Thomas More, the martyr, visited here with the Court, and it was Mary Tudor’s favourite abode. Queen Elizabeth also visited here, and on the front entrance over the chapel door are the Royal Arms and an inscription to her. The new school buildings, designed by Mr. Sidney Meyers, consist of six new class rooms, a dormitory, an art studio, and practising rooms. The principal addition is a spacious hall to serve as gymnasium, as a theatre for the performance of plays, and as a recreation room in inclement weather.

Pontifical High Mass, “Coram Cardinale” was celebrated by the Bishop of Brentwood, with Father Wilfrid Thompson, rector of Chelmsford, as deacon, and Father M. Wilson, of Brentwood, subdeacon. The assistant priest was Canon Dolan, of Sheffield (brother of the Mother Prioress), and the deacons at the throne were Canons Shepherd (of Stock) and McKenna (Southend). Mgr. Wm. O’Grady, V.G., was assistant priest to the Cardinal, and Mgr. G. Coote master of ceremonies to His Eminence. In the sanctuary were the Archbishop of Bombay ; Abbots Smith and White, C.R.L. ; Mgri. Watson and Rothwell ; Canons Bloomfield, Shepherd, and Driscoll ; the President of St. Edmund’s College, Old Hall; the Rector of Beaumont College; the Rector of Manresa House, Roehampton ; the Superior of the London Oratory (Father Crewse); Revv. B. S. Rawlinson, O.S.B., Bede Jarrett, 0.P., C. Galton, S.J., Bradley, C.SS.R., G. Nicholson, C.SS.R.,Burnham, Blackett, S.J., James Nicholson, S.J., E. King, S.J. O’Gorman, S.J., P. L. Craven, Coughlan (Braintree), Gay (Kelvedon), and P. Butler (chaplain of the convent).

Among the laity were Audrey Lady Petre, Sir Thomas and Lady Neave, Lady Shiffner, Lady Horder, Lady Keith Price, Admiral and Mrs. Haggard, Commander and Mrs. Fell, Mr. Mitchell Banks, K.C., M.P., Captain and Mrs. Curtis, Major and Mrs. Fleming, Mrs. Hunter Blair, Major, Mrs. and Miss Tufnell, Madame Girod de l’Ane, Colonel and Mrs. E. Blount, Mr. and Mrs. Turville Petre, Mr., Mrs. and Miss H. S. Petre, Mrs. Weld Blundell, Miss Trappes Lomax, Mr. C. Trappes Lomax, and Mr. Robert Trappes Lomax (who was train-bearer to the Cardinal).

After lunch a splendid performance by the pupils was given of ” A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which was beautifully staged in the new Hall and produced by Miss Winifred Dolan. The young performers displayed a fine dramatic •instinct, and had an enthusiastic reception. At the close they sang for the first time “New Hall School Song” (in which are traced the historical associations of the place), the words by Miss Dolan. It was composed by Madame Emilie Clarke, who played selections from her own compositions, while the incidental music was played by Miss Janet Curtis.

THE CARDINAL’S ADDRESS.

Speaking at the close of the performance, Cardinal Bourne offered the very sincere congratulations of all to the Mother Prioress and the community of New Hall on the anniversary they had been celebrating. One hundred and twenty-five years !—well, they had not invented a name for such a celebration. They had jubilees of different kinds—silver, golden, diamond—and centenaries. What they would call 125 years he did not quite know. A century and a quarter, and on that occasion it marked the opening of what he believed was certain to be a new epoch in the history of the school. The community had, to his mind very wisely, not been afraid to embark on a great enterprise. They had seen that day in the splendid entertainment provided for them what one might call the first fruits of the new enterprise ; and in expressing to the children of the school their appreciation of what they had shown them, the excellent way in which every-thing had been staged and presented, he took that as an augury of the future. What they had done that day showed what they were capable of, and although they might be the first to admit that such an entertainment was not the most important thing in their school life, still it did take an important part in it, and gave them courage and to us all the assurance that in the most important things they would do as they had done in that entertainment. That morning in the chapel they had what he regarded as something to be welcomed—a truly liturgical High Mass with not a single word in the vernacular, and he appreciated a liturgical Mass like that very much. Then very wisely the community set an example for all of them that might be pursued in other places : there were no speeches at the luncheon. And so until that moment they had not an opportunity of offering their good wishes to the Mother Prioress, the community, and the children on what had been achieved and what that achievement meant for the future. The school occupied a very important place in the educational life of the country, and he hoped that would never be forgotten. It represented a very old and very important tradition. There was a time not so long ago when the number of children there seriously diminished, and, as he had said, the community had determined to place the school once again in the forefront of Catholic schools for girls. They had done so very wisely, and on behalf of the visitors he wished all those connected with the school, the Mother Prioress, the community, the young girls and the old girls, the realization of their hopes and dreams for the future. He had said that school had occupied a very special place on account of its links with the past, and he thought those communities that go back in the history of this country now for 125 years, and go back in their own history for a much longer period of time, had a very special place in the history of the Catholic Church in this country. They were one of the answers, and a very important answer, to the false theories of continuity that had become rife in this country in more recent years. New Hall, the Benedictine houses, the Canonesses Regular of the Lateran, and other religious houses were founded abroad, remember, because their existence was impossible in England ; their existence in England would not have been impossible had there not been a radical change in the religion Of the country. Let them never forget that. It was because their English Catholic maidens who had desired a religious life could not find that religious life in England, owing to the religious change of the sixteenth century, that those houses were founded abroad. They were living in happier and better times, and thanked God for it. Let them never forget the history of the past. They do no service to their country or to its religious interests if they forgot that. And so, said His Eminence in concluding, I thank this religious community for their continued existence. Their presence among us, their continuance in difficult and easier times, are things for which the country and the whole Catholic Church in this country have reason to be thankful. Looking at the new buildings and upon the children, we look forward to the future full of hope and confidence that the next seventy-five years, which will have to elapse between this and the second centenary, will see New Hall always growing in strength, always filling that religious place in the educational life of this country, and always doing the work for which it was founded.

THE BISHOP OF BRENTWOOD.

The BISHOP OF BRENTWOOD thanked His Eminence for coming there and also for speaking words of encouragement to the good nuns who were living on that historic spot and doing a splendid work that had been carried on for 125 years. The existence of New Hall was one of the brightest features in the diocese of Brentwood. He believed there were some people who would not have known anything about the diocese of Brentwood or of Essex except for New Hall. One class knew of Essex by Southend, and another knew of Essex by New Hall. He had been in many parts of the country, and everywhere met people who had told him that they had been brought up at New Hall, and that meant to him that New Hall had made the diocese and the county known. He wished to thank the community for all they had done. When the nuns first came there 125 years ago they found the place very much dismantled. They paid a good sum of money for the property. They found the children were separated too far from the rest of the community, and it took them a year before they were able to get the work accomplished. He could not help thinking as he looked at the new buildings that day that the spirit of the nuns of New Hall was exactly the same spirit of 125 years ago. Anybody who had been associated with New Hall would say that those who had come from that school had always had the same charming homelike spirit. There was something about it, something about the children, that produced a most charming type and at the same time a love of New Hall that brought people back there again and to send their children in order to get the benefits of the place. He wished to thank the nuns for creating that spirit, and re-echoed the words of His Eminence the Cardinal. There was a charm, but they could not be content merely with that. They must move with the times. He thought the community had come to a right decision ; that they would go on singing the Divine Office and saying all the prayers, and also go on educating the children put into their charge. In order to do that properly they must have the buildings and equipment which’ they saw that day. He congratulated the nuns, and echoed the words of the Cardinal that that might be the beginning of a new epoch, and the next 525 years a more glorious period than the last in educating children to be staunch workers, and so help on the great work they were trying to do here in England.

FATHER JAMES NICHOLSON, S.J., who is acting as one of the chaplains, conveyed the thanks of the Mother Prioress and the community to the visitors. In a tribute to New Hall he observed that there is a home feeling in it that comes of the charity that exists there.

 

The above text was found on p.16, 27th June 1925 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 .

 

The funeral of the 14th Lord Petre 1908

The reason for including some of the Petres is partly they are a great story, and also that at George Lynch, and Carmela Lescher’s wedding the present from “the Hon. Mrs. Petre” was “a writing case” . She can only be Julia, who becomes the 15th Lady Petre in June 1908, and the Dowager Lady Petre five months later.

chapel ThorndonParkThe funeral of Lord Petre took place at Thorndon Hall, Brentford, on Monday morning. A Requiem Mass was celebrated in presence of the Archbishop of Westminster, and the music was rendered by fourteen members of Westminster Cathedral Choir, under the conductorship of Mr. R. R. Terry. The following music was sung :—In the chapel : “Dies irae,” Anerio ; “De Profundis,” Tollemache ; ” Ne irascaris,” .Farrant; ” Libera me,” Casciolini ; “In Paradisum,” Gregorian ; and during the procession : ” Miserere,” Viadana ; ” Benedictus,” Terry. The priests taking part in the service were Father Norris, Father Musgrave, Father Grant and Father Shepherd. After the Requiem the body was laid to rest in the private cemetery in the grounds. A large number of people attended and all the chief county families were represented. Among the mourners were the Hon. Philip Petre (who succeeds to the title), and the Hon. Mrs. Petre, Mr. Lionel Petre, and Miss Petre, the Hon. Albert and Mrs. Petre, the Earl of Granard, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Bretherton, Count and Countess Blucher, Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Petre, Mr. Lawrence Petre, Miss Agnes Petre, Mrs. Chadwick, Lord Clifford, Lord Mowbray and Stourton, Mr. F. L. Petre, Mr. 0. T. Petre, Mr. B. Petre, Mr. Lydden Clark, Mrs. de Windt, Lord Howard, Sir Henry Bedingfeld, ord Howard, and Mr. R. Bedingfeld. R.I.P.

The above text was found on p.15, 27th June 1908 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 .