Category Archives: Barry

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.

Dorothy Bell — mistress of the Big House at Fota

Dorothy Bell was the daughter of Arthur Smith-Barry, Lord Barrymore.  So she is a second cousin of Pauline Barry (nee Roche)’s granddaughters Nina, and Emily, who are in turn, Mgr Henry, Corinne, Basil,  Alfred, Philip, Rex, and Ernest O’Bryen‘s third cousins.  Dorothy’s father had owned Fota House, which was inherited by his brother James, and then his nephew Robert. Dorothy Bell bought the estate back from her cousin Robert in 1939, for £ 31,000.  Quite how the family managed to hold onto their land, and money given Lord Barrymore’s behaviour to his tenants in the 1880’s is some mystery, as is the following description of life at Fota House in the 1940’s. Essentially, it wouldn’t have been much different at any time in past hundred and fifty years.

The following description of life at Fota House is largely taken from ‘Through the Green Baize Doors: Fota House, Memories of Patricia Butler’ , and various interpretations of it in the Irish Times, and Irish Independent about five years ago. The subtle distinctions between Irish and English staff, – Two weeks holiday for Irish staff, and a month for English staff, separate dining rooms, and an acceptance of the big house having hot and cold running water while there was none in the village, and  the  “Oh weren’t the gentry lovely” take on things appears to be a perfect example of false consciousness. Over to Patty Butler.

Fota House 2

Fota House

Back in the 1940s, when Dorothy Bell — mistress of the Big House at Fota — arrived home from a day’s hunting, she never did so quietly. She would, recalls former maid Patty Butler, rush through the front door, ringing the bell, and stride through the hall and up the stairs, calling the servants one after the other, “Mary!” “Patty!” “Peggy!”, discarding as she went her picnic basket, jacket, the skirt she wore over her jodhpurs for side-saddle riding, her whip and her hunting hat. As the staff, including the butler, rushed to pick up Dorothy’s belongings, her lady’s maid hurried to run a bath.

Patty was just 23 when she started work as the “in-between maid” at Fota House in 1947, after returning to Cork from England. On the advice of her cousin Peggy, who was working in Fota as the parlour maid, Patty applied for the job.

On the day of the interview, a somewhat awed Patty, who came from the nearby village of separate, was shown into the library by the butler, George Russell. “To me, the inside of Fota House on that day seemed like a palace,” she recalls. “I felt very small but also very excited in the midst of all this grandeur.” She was greeted by the mistress, who was sitting at a desk. The interview was brief. “Patty, have you come to join us?” inquired Dorothy. “The housekeeper will show you your duties. It won’t be all clean work, so you won’t be dressed up as you are now. Mrs Kevin will tell you what to wear.” And with that began a quarter of a century of dedicated service, as Patty became a member of staff in the efficiently run, though sometimes-eccentric, household a few miles outside Cobh. Over the years she was promoted to housemaid, lady’s maid and eventually cook.

fota-staff

The Fota House stafff in c.1920

Before Patty’s arrival, the family — The Honourable Mrs Dorothy Bell, her husband Major William Bertram Bell and their three daughters, Susan, Evelyn and Rosemary — had been looked after by an army of servants.  According to the census return for 1911, 73 people were on site at Fota House on Sunday, April 2nd, 1911. None of them were the Smith-Barry family who had lived in Fota House for generations, as records show they were away on holiday at the time. In the 1930s, an estimated 50 men had worked on the grounds of Fota alone, but by the time Butler took up employment in the Big House in 1947, overall staffing levels had fallen to about 13.

“I began working in Fota House in 1947. I worked there for about 25 years. I was initially employed as an in-between maid but later I worked in almost every capacity, as a housemaid, cook and housekeeper. The cook, Mrs Jones, who came to Fota with Mrs Bell from England, left after 45 years so Peggy Butler, my cousin, and I managed the cooking for Dorothy, her husband, Major Bell, other members of the family and visitors.”

“Mrs Bell had a secretary too, Miss Honor Betson. She had an estate agent and clerical staff who lived in the courtyard. Mr Russell, the butler from Yorkshire in England, supervised the household until he died on January25th, 1966. He died in Fota House.”

fota-4“There was a lovely homely feeling there. It was a very pretty house and Mrs Bell was very into flowers, so it was always lovely and very pretty,” recalls Patty, now 87.

She was given her own comfortable bedroom in the servants quarters. “I had everything I needed: a bed, a wardrobe, a dressing table with a mirror and an armchair near the fireplace. I remember also a beautiful washstand shaped like a heart with three legs. On top of that, there was a jug and basin with a matching soap dish. “There was also a towel rail with a white bath and hand towel. All the servants’ rooms were similar.”

“There was some distinction between the upper (mostly English and Protestant) servants, and the lower (mostly Irish and Catholic) servants. We dined in separate rooms, the upper servants in the housekeeper’s room and the lower servants in the still room. But we were all the best of friends. There was no rivalry or no animosity.”

“We also enjoyed food and board. The food was fabulous in Fota, of course, as fresh fruit and vegetables were produced there all the year round in the market garden and in the fruit garden and orchard. From the farm in Fota came milk, cheese, butter and cream. Rabbit and pigeon were eaten regularly in those days. The servants ate the same as the Anglo-Irish family, more or less.”

The anecdotes are legion — the way the servants occasionally ‘borrowed’ the Major’s Mercedes to go to Sunday Mass when their van didn’t work. How the housekeeper, a kindly soul with a strong Scottish accent, kept a cupboard in her bedroom especially for the pieces of china she broke while dusting Dorothy’s treasured ornaments. The times the servants were all driven to Cork Opera House by the chauffeur — the Bells had a great affection for the theatre and felt their staff should enjoy it too.

And then there was Dorothy’s eccentric habit of cutting the fruit cake in such a way that nobody could take a slice without her knowledge, and, of course, the parties that took place when the Bells were away, travelling the world.

Local lads from the village were invited up to the Big House by their sisters for a bath and a fry-up — there was no running water in many houses until the 1950s, or even the 1960s, says Patty. However, Fota had its own generator for electricity and water was always supplied from a nearby well. “We’d fry them up rashers and sausages and they’d have the bath and use the beautiful big, soft white towels and they’d think they were in heaven. The boys would love the bath — they were in their 20s and wanted to go into Cobh all poshed up!”

One day, however, Dorothy remarked that she had received an anonymous letter claiming that Patty and Peggy were having “parties” in the house while she was away. As Patty stood there, quaking, Dorothy laughed and told her relieved maid that she had thrown the letter in the fire.

Every morning, Mrs Kevin’s bell rang at 7am. Patty rose, dressed in a blue dress with a big white apron and white cap, and set to her housekeeping duties, which included cleaning the Major’s study and hoovering, dusting and polishing the Housekeeper’s Room before having breakfast at 8am. At 8.45am, Patty would bring her assigned guest — Fota nearly always had guests — morning tea on a tray with dainty green teapots with a gold rim and matching teacups. “I’d wake her in the morning with a breakfast tray and a biscuit, open the shutters, pull back the curtains and tidy the room. If there were any shoes that needed to be polished, I would take them down and they would be polished by a man who came in.”

The bed linen was beautiful. Each linen pillowcase had the Smith Barry crest in the corner and frills around the edges. After ironing, Patty remembers, each frill had to be carefully “goofed” or “goffered” by hand until it was perfectly fluted.

fota-house-dining-roomThe gentry came down for breakfast — kippers, kedgeree, rashers, sausages and eggs or boiled eggs, served with toast and fresh fruit from the garden — each day at about 9am. “You always knew they were gone down because their bedroom doors would be open. So you’d go up and make the beds and tidy the room and wash out the bathroom — but you had to be back behind the green baize door by 11am.” In the evenings, she wore a black dress with a small apron and a smaller white cap with a black velvet ribbon. Male servants also wore black.

“There was always lots to do,” she recalls. After the morning household tasks came lunch. “I’d be helping in the pantry and at the lunch. There was a long walk from the kitchen to the dining room — it was three or four minutes, but there were no trollies, so everything was carried by hand.” Lunch — which could be anything from roast beef to pigeon pie, rabbit, fish soufflé or cold meat in aspic jelly with vegetables from the garden, water and a selection of wines — could last from 1pm to 2.30pm.

fota-5Tea was at 5pm in the Gallery in summer and in the library in winter. “Tea, for which there were cucumber and marmite sand-wiches, scones, tea and a cake, could last until 6.30pm,” she says.

At 7pm, the gentry would go up to their bedrooms to change and have a bath before dinner — a lengthy four or five-course affair, which usually included game from Fota Estate. “Each dinner was served with suitable trimmings. Butter and cream were used in food preparations, so the flavours were always delicious,” she says. The kitchen had meat from the cattle and Fota’s home-produced milk, cheese and butter, as well as veg and fruit from the garden.

“There were always visitors, there was always somebody staying. They had the shooting season, the fishing season, the tennis season, the seaside in summer, the hunting — all the seasons brought different activities. You’d know by the season what was happening.”

Christmas was a particularly memorable time, she recalls. A single large Christmas tree was placed in the Front Hall, decorated with streamers, silver balls and other decorations, and on Christmas morning Dorothy gave each of the staff presents. “I remember I got a white apron,” recalls Patty, who says the mistress also distributed gifts to her tenants.

“On Christmas morning, the family went to the library to exchange presents. They loved gifts such as books and music records, ornaments or exquisite boxes of chocolates.” The chocolates, she says, often lasted for weeks, as the family usually ate only one at a time.

On Christmas Day, the servants had Christmas dinner in the middle of the day in the Servants’ Hall, while the family helped themselves to a cold lunch in the dining room. “This was the only day of the year that they waited upon themselves so that we could enjoy our Christmas dinner,” Patty recalls. That evening, the servants lined up in the Hall to watch the family, in full fancy-dress — these clothes were stored in a special chest in the attic — parade into the dining room.

“We had to bow to them as they passed by. I remember one year in particular when I could scarcely stop myself from laughing. Mrs Kevin, the housekeeper, carried a bell behind her back and as she bowed to each individual, the bell rang out!” After the fancy-dress parade, the family enjoyed a traditional Christmas dinner followed by plum pudding. They later drank to each other’s health from a silver ‘loving cup’, which was passed around. The men played billiards and the women talked and drank coffee in the library until late in the evening.

There were plenty of famous guests at Fota: Lord Dunraven of Adare, Co Limerick, Lord Powerscourt from Wicklow, the Duke and Duchess of Westminster and, according to the Visitors Book of Names, “eight international dendrologists with illegible signatures”.

The Bells enjoyed life, Patty recalls. “They had a lovely life; they were into everything. They went to the Dublin Horse Show and to the summer show in Cork. In his study, the Major had pictures of the bulls and cows with their first-prize rosettes. “They had a very privileged life and they enjoyed it,” she continues. There always seemed to be plenty of money. Mrs Bell had her own money, while the Major was, says Patty, “supposed to be a wizard on the stock exchange. They also had the farm and they owned a lot of houses and property in Cobh and Tipperary”.

In the evenings, Patty recalls, it was her job to go back upstairs, remove bedspreads, turn down beds and prepare hot-water bottles. “Some guests brought their own beautifully covered bottles, otherwise, stone jars were used. Most ladies brought their own pillows covered with satin pillowcases because they believed satin did not crease the face. “They had pink satin nightdress cases covered with lace and tied with ribbons.”

Fota House, Patty remembers, was a home from home. “It was a very happy place. Mrs Bell was excitable and eccentric. She was very athletic and quick. It was a very happy time, all of it.  In every household little things will happen to ruffle your feathers but, overall, it was a fabulous place to work, and it was the people who made it.”

“There were lovely people at Fota,” she continues. “They were extraordinary. There were men who were extraordinary craftsmen — there was a blacksmith, for instance and a shepherd and a stone mason. They’d usually have a young apprentice that they would be training up.”

By the 1960s, however, most of the servants had left. “There was only me and Peggy running the house. Pat Shea was the last butler. Little by little, the staff dwindled away: the cook left, the ladies’ maid left.” When George Russell died in 1966 — he had been butler at Fota for 45 years and came with the Bells from England — it was the end of an era, she recalls. “Mr Russell told me he would love to write a book about Fota. He was going to call it, ‘What the Butler Saw’.”

The household slowly began to change. A series of nurses were employed to nurse Major Bell in his declining years until he died. Dorothy moved to the Gardener’s House, which was situated in the orchard at Fota, and lived there until she died a few years after her husband, in 1975.

The estate today comprises 47 hectares of land, including the parkland, gardens and arboretum. In December 2007, the Irish Heritage Trust took over responsibility for Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens.

‘Through the Green Baize Doors: Fota House, Memories of Patricia Butler’ — a revised edition of ‘Treasured Times’ transcribed and arranged by Eileen Cronin

Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry 1843-1925

Lord_Barrymore_Vanity_Fair_31_August_1910

Lord Barrymore from Vanity Fair in 1910

Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry, 1st Baron Barrymore, PC (17 January 1843 – 22 February 1925), was an Anglo-Irish Conservative politician.

He was the son of James Hugh Smith Barry, of Marbury, Cheshire, and Fota Island, County Cork, and his wife Eliza, daughter of Shallcross Jacson. His paternal grandfather John Smith Barry was the illegitimate son of James Hugh Smith Barry, son of the Hon. John Smith Barry, younger son of Lieutenant-General The 4th Earl of Barrymore (a title which had become extinct in 1823)  He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.

Smith-Barry entered Parliament as one of two representatives for County Cork in 1867, a seat he held until 1874. Smith-Barry remained out of the House of Commons for the next twelve years but returned in 1886 when he was elected for Huntingdon, and represented this constituency until 1900. He was also High Sheriff of County Cork in 1886 and was tasked by Arthur Balfour to organise landlord resistance to the tenant Plan of Campaign movement of the late 1880s. He was sworn of the Irish Privy Council in 1896. In 1902 the Barrymore title held by his ancestors was partially revived when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Barrymore, of Barrymore in the County of Cork.

Smith-Barry played two first-class cricket matches for the Marylebone Cricket Club, playing once in 1873 and once in 1875.

Lord Barrymore married firstly Lady Mary Frances, daughter of The 3rd Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, in 1868. After her death in 1884 he married secondly Elizabeth, daughter of U.S. General James Wadsworth and widow of Arthur Post, in 1889. There were children from both marriages, a son from the first, and a daughter from the second. Lord Barrymore died in London in February 1925, aged 82, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. His only son James had died as an infant in 1871 and consequently the barony became extinct on Barrymore’s death. The Irish family seat of Fota House was acquired by his daughter from his second marriage, the Hon. Dorothy Elizabeth Bell (1894–1975), wife of Major William Bertram Bell. Lady Barrymore died in May 1930.

Carrigtwohill

Fota Island

On the death of Arthur Hugh Smith Barry in 1925, the estates, which were entailed, passed to his brother James Hugh Smith Barry and on his death it passed to James Hugh’s son Robert Raymond Smith Barry. In 1939 the estate of Fota Island and the ground rents of areas was acquired by Arthur Hugh’s daughter, The Hon. Mrs. Dorothy Bell for the sum of £31,000. On her death, in 1975, it was left to her daughter Mrs. Rosemary Villiers, and Fota House is now the property of The Irish Heritage Trust.

Hayes citations 1914 -1918

This is one of a series of posts covering Pauline Roche’s marriage into the Barry family,All three of her daughter Edith’s sons served in the First War, both Will and Joe in the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, and Gerard in the Royal Fusiliers.

The following text was found  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 following names are of wounded officers :—Major Adrian CARTON DE WIART, D.S.O., 4th Dragoon Guards, attached Gloucester Regt. (Oratory) ; SecondLieut. Peter Paul MCARDLE, York and Lancs. Regt. (Stonyhurst) ; Lieut. Henry Aidan NEWTON, Northumberland Fus. ; Second-Lieut. Edward Thomas RYAN, R. Irish R. (Stonyhurst); Second-Lieut. William J. ROCHE, R. Irish R:; Captain William J. HENRY, M.B., R.A.M.C., attached 6th Wilts R.; Captain Henry Edward O’BRIEN, R.A.M.C.; Lieut. G. P. HAYES, R. Fus., attached Trench Mortar Battery (Beaumont) ;

The above text was found on page 20, 5th August 1916

THE MILITARY CROSS. • The award of the Military Cross is gazetted to the following officers : To Lieutenant (temporary Captain) Joseph Barry Hayes (Beaumont and Wimbledon), son of the late Major P. A. Hayes, R.A.M.C.—” For organizing a front line after an attack, under heavy fire and in difficult circumstances lasting for two days. He had lost both his subalterns in the attack.”  

The above text was found on page 11, 7th October 1916

The following names, accorded special mention by Sir D. Haig, form a continuation of those published last week. The concluding portion will appear in our next issue :HAYES, Capt. (T. Major) William, E. Surrey R. (Beaumont.)

The above text was found on page 22, 26th May 1917

Captain William Hayes, D.S.O., Queen’s (R. West Surrey) Regt. and Staff Captain, died on October 20, at a stationary hospital abroad, of pneumonia following influenza.. He was the eldest of the three sons of the late Major Patrick Aloysius Hayes, R.A.M.C., and of Lady Babtie, and step-son of Lieut.-General Sir William Babtie, V.C. Born in 1891, he was educated at Beaumont and Sandhurst, and was gazetted to the Queen’s in 1911. With the 1st Battalion he accompanied the original Expeditionary Force to France, taking part in the Mons retreat and the battles of the Marne and the Aisne, in the latter of which he was very severely wounded. He returned to the Front in 1915, joining the 2nd Battalion of his regiment, but was soon afterwards invalided as a result of shell concussion. In 1916 he rejoined the 2nd Battalion in time to take part in the battle of the Somme. He was appointed second in command, with the temporary rank of major, and for his services in that capacity while in temporary command of his battalion was mentioned in dispatches, and awarded the D.S.O. in 1917. Later in that year he proceeded to another front, and in 1918 he was appointed Staff Captain on the lines of communication. He had just returned from leave in England when attacked by influenza. One who knew him writes :—” A keen soldier, whose heart and soul was in the honour and credit of the Queen’s, he was a man of character and of great personal charm, and his memory will live long in the hearts and minds of his regiment and of his multitude of friends in and out of the Army.”

The above text was found on page 18, 2nd November 1918

Pauline and William Barry’s grandchildren

Pauline Roche (1835 -1894) has been part of the story for a while. But I’m becoming increasingly sure that she helps place a lot of things into context.  This is one of a series of posts covering her marriage into the Barry family, and her daughter’s marriage into the related Smith-Barrys, and a look at where they all fit into both Irish, and British society. 

Pauline & William Henry Barry  had seven children, five of whom were unmarried, only two of the girls marry. Their children were:

  • (Patrick) Henry, born 1862; d. poss 1930, who appears to have been unmarried
  • William Gerard; born 1864; d. 1940 in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, unmarried.
  • Pauline; prob born 1865 or b.1867 – d. after 1911; unmarried.
  • Edith,born probably 1866, but possibly as early as 1861, and possibly 1863. Edith and Mary both give their ages as 35 in the 1901 census so it’s likely they are twins.
  • Mary Barry, b. 1866,  married Cecil Smith Barry, (b. 19 Oct 1863, d. 21 Nov 1908) so Cecil was Pauline Roche’s son-in-law. 
  • Henrietta (Rose) , b. 1873/4,unmarried
  • Kate. b 1879 unmarried.

Edith marries twice, and has three sons with her first husband;  William, and Joseph b. 1891 who are twins, and then Gerard b. 1893, a year later,, and a daughter, Janet b. 1905,  with her second.

Mary married Cecil Smith Barry, and had two daughters Cecily Nina b 1896, and Edith b 1907

So the grandchildren are:

  • William Hayes  1891 – 1918, aged 27
  • J B (Joseph Barry )Hayes 1891-1927, aged 36
  • Gerard Patrick Hayes 1892 – 19??
  • Cecily Nina Smith-Barry b 1896
  • Janet Babtie b 1905;
  • Edith Smith-Barry b 1907

Edith married Patrick Aloysius Hayes (1847-1900)  who was born in Dingle, Co Kerry in 1847, and was a surgeon-major H. M. Army Medical Department, and they had three sons; William Hayes  1891 – 1918, J B (Joseph Barry )Haynes 1891 – 1927, and  Gerard Patrick Hayes.  Will and Joe appear to be twins, according to the 1901 census, both aged 9, Gerry is a year younger at 8, so probably born in 1892. Patrick Hayes Senior died in Wimbledon on the 20th March 1900. Edith then married Lieutenant General William Babtie V.C (1859 -1920), as a widow in 1903, and had a daughter Janet born in 1905.

Edith died on 25th June 1936 at 18 St Patrick’s Place, Cork and her address was given as The Hermitage, Rushbrooke, Cork; probate was given to Gerard Patrick Hayes, who described himself as an advertising salesman.

Mary and Cecil Smith-Barry had two daughters, Cecily Nina b 1896, and Edith b 1907. Cecily died in Bournemouth in the winter of 1954, “aged 56” actually 58. By that point she was firmly calling herself Nina Cecily. She was entered on the General Register of Nurses on Feb 16 1923, and still on the register in 1940, where her address was given as 9 Walkers Row, Fermoy, co. Cork. 1937 her address was Ruddiford, Wimborne Road, Red Hill, Bournemouth. She got her nursing certificate between 1917-1920 at St George’s in London. By 1943 she was at 3 Bodorgan Road, Bournemouth. There is very little trace of Edith Smith-Barry to date.

All three of Edith’s sons served in the First War, both Will and Joe in the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, and Gerard in the Royal Fusiliers.

Will was awarded a D.S.O. (Distinguished Service Order), and Joe a M.C. (Military Cross). The D.S.O. is awarded for an act of meritorious or distinguished service in wartime and usually when under fire or in the presence of the enemy. The Military Cross is a decoration for gallantry during active operations in the presence of the enemy. The decorations rank two, and three, respectively, in the order of precedence behind the Victoria Cross, which, incidentally, was awarded to their step-father Lieut.-General Sir William Babtie during the Boer War.

William Hayes  died of  flu on the 20th October, 1918, in Italy, and is buried at Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa. He had served throughout the First War, having been part of the original Expeditionary Force in 1914; out of the 1,000 men of 1st Battalion The Queen’s Royal Regiment who landed in France in 1914, only 17 were alive at the Armistice. So Will almost made it.

Gerard was wounded in 1916, when he was also mentioned in dispatches by Sir Douglas Haig, and Joe was awarded the Military Cross the same year. Will was  mentioned in dispatches, and awarded the D.S.O. in 1917.

Joe survived the war, but died on December the 19th, 1927, aged 35. He had married in the winter of 1920, and his widow Gwen [nee Harold] survived him, and died almost fifty years later in 1976.  Their address was given as the Very House, Worplesdon, Surrey, when Gerard Patrick was granted probate. Joe left £ 226. 13s. 11d., a present day equivalent of about £ 66,000.

Pauline Barry died in the autumn of 1894, aged 56. The registration district was Midletown, in co. Cork, so we can safely assume that she died at home in Ballyadam. All three of her grandsons had been born before she died, but none of her granddaughters.

Patrick Hayes died at Wimbledon on the 20th March 1900, presumably at 132 Worple Road Wimbledon where the boys were living at the time of the census in 1901. The house itself appears to be a relatively small two storey late Victorian semi-detached house. The greatest curiosity is that, at the time of the 1901 census, all three boys were living there without their mother, and only three servants looking after them.  Elizabeth O’Shea aged 30, described as a nurse domestic on the census, but presumably their nanny; and Mary Phillips, a 21 year-old house maid, and Violet Gatling, also 21, who was the cook.  The census was taken ten days before Will, and Joe’s tenth birthday on the 11th of April.

The censuses in 1901 in both Ireland, and England were taken on the same day 31st March, though the forms in Midleton in Ireland were not filled in until the 12th April 1901. They show that Edith Hayes was in Ireland staying with the Coppinger family at Midleton Lodge, rather than with her brother and sisters at Ballyadam House, nearby. There could be any number of reasons for this, Pauline, and Rose Barry are both living at Ballyadam with only one servant, in a sixteen room house outside of town, whereas the Coppingers are in the middle of Midleton in a rather larger house, with four daughters aged between eleven and twenty-one, a governess, and seven servants.  Quite simply, it may well be that life at Midleton Lodge was a bit livelier, and as the widowed mother of three youngish sons Edith was looking for a rest, and some adult company. In all likelyhood, the Coppingers were also likely to be cousins of some sort.

Both families, the Barrys, and the Coppingers were living in considerable comfort,  compared to the majority of the population of Ireland at the time. The Coppinger house appeared to have 22 rooms, and 20 outbuildings including 6 stables, a coach house, harness room, three cow houses, a calf house, dairy, piggery, fowl house, boiling house, barn, and a workshop, shed, and store. The house had “16 windows at the front” , in fact from the look of it, five windows at the front in a good solid double fronted Georgian house that is now the local council offices. Just to give some idea of how mobile all the families were Thomas Stephen Coppinger says in the 1901 census that he was a 57 year old merchant,  born in Lucca, Italy in 1842.

Ballyadam, by contrast, was marginally smaller with 16 rooms, and 9 stables, a coach house, a harness room, 2 cow houses, a calf house, 2 piggeries, a fowl house, boiling house, barn, potato house, and 2 sheds. The Barrys were also listed as the owners of two 2-room cottages, each with 2 outbuildings  next door to Ballyadam House.

The family living in the smallest house, though still more than comfortably, were Cecil, and Mary Smith-Barry. In 1901 they were in Castlemartyr, co. Cork, in the second largest house in the village, with 10 rooms, “eight windows at the front” , two stables, and a coach house. It was a mixed marriage, with Cecil a member of the Church of Ireland, and Mary and the children Roman Catholic. They only had one servant with them though, twenty-three year old Julia Casey.

At the time, 1901, Worple Road was just round the corner from the All England Tennis and Croquet Club, until it moved to Church Road in 1922. The site became the sports ground for Wimbledon High School for Girls.

By 1911, Will had been gazetted into the Army, Gerry was at Beaumont College, in Windsor, and Joe was an “army student” boarding at Edge Hill Catholic College in Wimbledon. Edge Hill became Wimbledon College, and it was a third of a mile, or about five minutes walk from 132 Worple Road.  Amongst Joe’s fellow students were Charles Joseph Weld, Thomas Joseph Weld, and Cecil Chichester-Constable, whose aunt Esther had married Stephen Grehan Junior in 1883, and was the mother of  Major Stevie Grehan, (1896 -1972) whose memoirs of the First War are held, and documented in the Grehan papers at University College, Cork.

So, slightly curiously, both Joe Hayes, and Cecil Chichester-Constable were both related to the O’Bryen’s at Ernest O’Bryen’s generation. Joe, Will, and Gerry’s mother was his second cousin, and Cecil’s uncle, Stephen Grehan Junior, was also his second cousin. It’s all a very small world.

It is not entirely clear as to where all the Hayes boys went to school. Both Will and Gerry went to Beaumont, in Windsor, with Will going on to Sandhurst, before receiving his commission in 1911. Joe was just short of twenty years old when he was described as an “army student” at Edge Hill, so old to still be at school. He may well have been at Beaumont as well. It would be slightly odd to send two out of three boys to one school, and one to another.

Beaumont was certainly grand, being where it was on the edge of Windsor Great Park, it rapidly developed a claim to being the “Catholic Eton”, a tag at the school was “Beaumont is what Eton was: a school for the sons of Catholic gentlemen”, though similar claims have been made for Stonyhurst , Ampleforth, and the Oratory. Beaumont was one of three public schools maintained by the English Province of the Jesuits, the others being Stonyhurst, and St Aloysius’ College, Glasgow. To be fair to all of them, Stonyhurst has much the greatest claim, having been founded in 1593 at St Omer, in France to educate the sons of Catholics, who couldn’t get a Catholic education in Elizabethan England. None of the other three were founded until the C19th.

The family were still all very close, and in the 1911 census all the unmarried Barry siblings were at Ballyadam House, along with Edith’s eight year old daughter,  Janet Babtie, who was the youngest of Pauline and William’s grandchildren. They had a couple of servant girls, and amusingly, Pauline claimed to be two years younger than she was ten years before, and Rose was a year younger.

Meanwhile Mary Smith-Barry had moved to a smaller house about ten miles away at Ballynoe, on the outskirts of Cobh. She is forty-five years old, and has been a widow for three years. The house is rented from her late husband’s cousin Lord Barrymore, who seems to own most of the village. Mary seems to be living quietly in the village with her daughters (Cecily) Nina who is now fifteen, and four year old Edith, and a nineteen year old servant girl.

To put things in perspective, when Cecil died in 1908, he left just over £ 5,000 [ the best current-day equivalent is £ 3.2m]. In the same year, The Old Age Pensions Act 1908 introduced a non-contributory pension for ‘eligible’ people aged 70 and over. The pension was 5 shillings a week, about half a labourer’s weekly wage, or £ 13 p.a.  Cecil’s £ 5000 was the equivalent of three hundred and eighty four years of old age pension, so Mary, and the children, were hardly paupers.

Captain Richard Hugh Smith-Barry 1823-1894

Pauline Roche (1835 -1894) has been part of the story for a while. But I’m becoming increasingly sure that she helps place a lot of things into context.  This is one of a series of posts covering her marriage into the Barry family, and her daughter’s marriage into the related Smith-Barrys, and a look at where they all fit into both Irish, and British society. 

Captain Richard Hugh Smith-Barry  is Mary Barry’s father-in-law. Mary Barry is William Henry, and Pauline Barry (nee Roche)’s daughter, probably the third daughter, and fifth, out of seven, children.  The Smith-Barrys  seem thoroughly respectable, apart from the fact that  John Smith-Barry was born illegitimately in 1793, his father, James Hugh Smith-Barry was born in 1748, and James’s grandfather, James Barry, (1667-1748) was the 4th Earl of Barrymore

Fota House 2

Fota House, co. Cork

Richard Smith-Barry was born on 21 February 1823. He was the son of John Smith-Barry and Eliza Mary Courtenay. He married Georgina Charlotte Grey, daughter of Colonel J. Grey, on 18 April 1850, and died on 23 January 1894, at age 70. The family lived at Fota House, in co. Cork, and then Ballyedmond, which Richard inherited from his unmarried uncle, John Courtenay. Richard was the youngest of five siblings

  • James Hugh Smith-Barry b. 27 Jan 1816, d. 31 Dec 1856. (Father of Arthur Hugh SB 1843-1925-Lord Barrymore)
  • Anne Smith-Barry b. 14 Mar 1817 d. 8 Dec 1834 unmarried.
  • John Smith-Barry b. 25 Sep 1818 d. 9 Apr 1834 unmarried.
  • Captain Robert Hugh Smith-Barry b. 13 Jan 1820, d. 25 Apr 1849 unmarried.
  • Captain Richard Hugh Smith-Barry b. 21 Feb 1823, d. 23 Jan 1894
ballyedmond-entrance-front

Ballyedmond House, co. Cork

He was a Captain in the 12th Lancers, and a Justice of the Peace (J.P.), and Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) for County Cork. He was also a J.P. in Hampshire. He was Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club for a while, as was his eldest brother James Hugh Smith-Barry (1816-1856), the father of Lord Barrymore.  He inherited Ballyedmond, in Midleton, County Cork, from his uncle John Courtenay. Richard’s mother was a member of the Courtenay family who owned Ballyedmond, and he inherited it from his unmarried uncle, John Courtenay.

Richard and Georgina Smith-Barry had five children;

  • Robert Courtenay Smith-Barry b. 19 Feb 1858. He died unmarried,at Bar View Strand, Youghal on 13th March 1930 and lived at Bar View, and Ballyedmond, County Cork,. His estate amounted to £ 57,091. 8s. 5d. in England.
  • Nina Mary Georgina Smith-Barry b. 15 Jun 1859. She married Major Thomas Henry Burton Forster in September 1885 and lived at Holt, Wiltshire, England. Guy Smith-Barry is the only son of Major Thomas Henry Burton Forster and Nina Mary Georgina Smith-Barry. He lived at Holt, and Ballyedmond, County Cork. His name was changed to Guy Smith-Barry when he inherited Ballyedmond from Uncle Robert. He was given the name of Guy Forster at birth. They also had a daughter Nina Georgina Mary, she marries Dennis George Darren Darley. Thomas Henry Burton Forster is curiously absent from the record but that could be just an army thing
  • Aileen Emma Smith-Barry b. 25 Apr 1861, d. 1948 married Godfrey Hugh Wheeler Coxwell-Rogers and lived at  Dowdeswell Court, Lower Dowdeswell, Gloucestershire, England, and at Ablington Manor, Bibury, Gloucestershire. They have two children Florence Aileen Coxwell-Rogers b.17 Jan 1883, and Richard Hugh Coxwell-Rogers b. 10 May 1884. Also a spectacular divorce case in 1889, she says he gave her the clap, and regularly physically, and verbally, attacked her, he says she was shagging the vicar in a field in Gloucestershire…… Her petition seems to have been dismissed.
  • Cecil Arthur Smith-Barry b. 19 Oct 1863, d. 21 Nov 1908 married Mary Barry. Pauline Roche’s son-in-law. They had two daughters Cecily Nina b 1896, and Edith b 1907
  • Katherine Winifriede Smith-Barry b. 25 Oct 1868 died unmarried

James Hugh Smith Barry (1816-1856)

This is one of a series of posts covering Pauline Roche’s (1835 -1894) marriage into the Barry family, and her daughter’s marriage into the related Smith-Barrys, and a look at where they all fit into both Irish, and British society.   John Smith-Barry (1793-1837)  was the grandfather of both Cecil Smith-Barry ( Pauline Barry[nee Roche]’s son in law, and also Arthur Smith-Barry, Lord Barrymore. In turn, John’s great-grandfather, James Barry, (1667-1748) was the 4th Earl of Barrymore.

Carrigtwohill

Fota Island, co. Cork

When John Smith Barry (1793-1837) died in 1837, his eldest son, yet another James Hugh,[like his grandfather, James Hugh Smith Barry (1748-1801)]  inherited the family estates at Marbury, in Cheshire, and Fota Island in co. Cork.  James Hugh,died in 1856, aged forty years old, and the estates were inherited by his thirteen year old son, Arthur Smith-Barry (1843-1925).

 

ballyedmond-entrance-front

Ballyedmond House, Midleton, co. Cork

James Hugh Smith-Barry (1816-1856) inherited both Marbury Hall, and Fota House  on the death of his father in 1837. His mother’s family,the Courtenays,  owned Ballyedmond, in Midleton, co. Cork, which was inherited in turn by Eliza Courtenay’s brothers, George, and then John.  John Courtenay, who appeared to be unmarried, left Ballyedmond to his nephew [and James Hugh’s youngest brother] Richard Smith-Barry in 1861. He, in turn, leaves it to his son Robert Courtenay Smith-Barry [Cecil Smith-Barry’s eldest brother], who, in turn, leaves it to his nephew Guy Forster/Smith-Barry on his death in 1930.

Fota House 2

Fota House

The gardens at Fota were begun in 1825 when John Barry-Smith, commissioned Richard Morrison and his son Vitruvius to transform an old hunting lodge into his principal Irish residence. The Morrisons were responsible for the ancillary buildings and probably also helped with the garden layout and demesne park, whose surrounding walls and plantations were largely created at this time. The spreading lawns and Walled Garden, with its rusticated piers and wrought-iron gates, belong to John Barry-Smith’s time.

James Hugh Smith Barry had the formal gardens at Fota House laid out, and was responsible for creating the famous arboretum in the 1840s. He constructed the Fernery and the Water Garden by reclaiming a large area of boggy ground, and the Orangery and Temple soon followed. James Hugh disliked the damp climate, however, and spent much of his time away from Ireland, but his son Arthur who became the first (and last) Lord Barrymore devoted himself to Fota; with the help of his gardener William Osbourne, he laid the basis of the famous collection of trees and shrubs that it now contains. Lord Barrymore’s work was continued by his son-in-law and daughter, Major and Honourable Mrs Dorothy Bell, who continued planting here until the late 1960s, adhering faithfully to old gardening traditions.

marbury-hall-aerial-view

Marbury Hall, Cheshire

Around the same time that this work was being undertaken in Cork, he made the decision to carry out extensive changes to the buildings and parkland at Marbury. In the 1840s, using the services of Anthony Salvin as architect and James Nesfield as landscape gardener, the extended 18th century house was transformed in the style of a French chateau. Both Salvin and Nesfield were highly regarded nationally in their respective fields and were prolific in their work in England.

It was a slightly curious commission  because Anthony Salvin seemed to specialise in re-modelling castles , and cathedrals.  In 1835 he worked on Norwich Castle,  the following year he repaired  Newark Castle.  and in 1845  In the early 1840s,he repaired Carisbrook , and Caernarvon Castles, and in the 1850’s, he restored the Salt, Wakefield, and the White Towers at the Tower of London,and the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Following this he was instructed by Prince Albert to carry out work on Windsor Castle. In 1852 he also started work on the restoration of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.

Salvin, also worked on Norwich, Durham, and Wells Cathedrals, and he also  rebuilt the keep of Durham Castle for student accommodation, and worked on restoring Trinity College, Cambridge.

The re-modelling of Marbury cost £7,700 and housed his grandfather James Hugh Smith Barry (1748-1801)’s 1770’s valuable and grand collection. Marbury Hall apparently had elegant, spacious rooms, an impressive staircase and intricate plaster work, and according to  the 1911 census return signed by Alice Knappett, the thirty eight year-old housekeeper, the house had 60 rooms. The house was demolished in 1968, and the grounds now form part of Marbury Country Park.