Category Archives: Verling

Captain Sir Robert Hall 1778 -1818

This is the start of a slight Hornblower moment or two. Robert Hall is Mary Roche’s (neé Verling) son by her first marriage to “Captain Hall”. She is 4 x Great-Granny  He is John Roche’s step-son.

The starting point for this post was coming across a couple of cuttings from the Irish Times, and the Irish Independent.

City of Cork Freedom Box

Irish Times, Saturday 22 January 2005.  A rare Irish silver freedom box, right, giving the Freedom of the City of Cork dating from 1808 is up for auction at John Weldon next Tuesday (25th January 2005)  with an estimate of €10,000-€15,000. The square box is hallmarked Dublin 1808 and is inscribed with the City of Cork arms and an inscription. It was presented to a Captain Robert Hall on August 22nd, 1809 for gallantry for his part as a midshipman on board The Dart in battle with four Dutch gunboats in 1796 and with a French frigate in July 1800.

The inscription reads: ” With this box the Freedom of the City of Cork in Ireland was unanimously given to Capt Robert Hall for his gallant conduct in his Majesty’s Navy the 22nd day of August 1809 “.

Irish Independent; 3 Apr 2015 – A Cork Freedom Box, made in Dublin in 1808 and given to the naval officer Captain Rob Hall for gallant conduct in the Napoleonic wars, sold at John Weldon Auctioneers on March 24 for €5,500.

So some local recognition of a local naval hero. But we need a little more. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography (edited) we can get the following:  HALL, Sir ROBERT, naval officer; baptized 2 Jan. 1778 in County Tipperary (Republic of Ireland); his father remains unidentified, while his mother is known only through the probate of his will, where she appears as “Mary Roche, heretofore Hall”;  Robert Hall’s early years have not attracted the attention of naval biographers. It is known, however, that he was gazetted a lieutenant in the Royal Navy on 14 June 1800, a commander on 27 June 1808, and a captain on 4 March 1811.

HMS Dart and La Désirée

The Canadians go on at some length about Rob Hall’s career and achievements in Canada, but seem to have missed his early “gallant conduct”. The information with the presentation of the freedom box is for his “gallantry for his part as a midshipman on board The Dart in battle with four Dutch gunboats in 1796 and with a French frigate in July 1800”. So what was this early gallant conduct. It turns out to be the capture of Dutch ships in the Zuiderzee in 1799, not 1796, and a French frigate in 1800.

Rob Hall, later Sir Robert Hall [ 1778 -1818 ] is Mary Roche (neé Verling) son by her first marriage to “Captain Hall”. He is John Roche’s step-son, and John Roche O’Bryen’s step-uncle. He seems to have had a distinguished  naval career, and the Dictionary of Canadian Biography closes its entry on him as follows ” An affable, gallant, and cultivated officer, Hall in his Canadian posting had proved himself a conspicuously fair-minded, innovative, and efficient administrator. His heirs were a natural son, Robert Hall, born in 1817 to a Miss Mary Ann Edwards, and his mother Mary Roche, who was his residuary legatee. The son, baptized on 2 Nov. 1818 by George Okill Stuart, rector of St George’s Church in Kingston, became a vice-admiral in the Royal Navy and died in London on 11 June 1882 after having served for ten years as naval secretary to the Admiralty. “

I really like the fact that he acknowledged and provided for a bastard son, and was happy for it to be acknowledged in the family, and according to the Pedigree of the Verlings of Cove by Dr. Gabriel O’Connell Redmond, ” An obelisk was erected to his memory in Aghada Wood by his stepfather John Roche of that place.”;  so they certainly weren’t ashamed of him. There is more work  to be done on the early life, but there is certainly evidence that his step-sister Mary Roche seems to have been born in Ireland in 1780, and died in 1852, according to the obituary notice “Mary O’Brien, relict of the late Henry Hewitt O’Brien, aged 72,”. Her probate notice spells the name O’Bryen, but notes the will spells it O’Brien. So it seems highly likely that Mary Hall (neé Verling) had re-married as a widow with a son under the age of two, and that John and Mary Roche brought up three children. Mary’s son Rob Hall, and then Mary Roche junior, and, finally, John Roche junior, who was one of the parties to his sister’s [Mary Roche junior] marriage settlement in 1807.

So back to the Canadians.

It is known, however, that Robert Hall was gazetted a lieutenant in the Royal Navy on 14 June 1800, a commander on 27 June 1808, and a captain on 4 March 1811. He attracted attention for sterling service in the defence of a fort on the Gulf of Rosas, Spain, in November 1808 while in command of the bomb-ketch Lucifer. On 28 Sept. 1810 he enhanced his reputation when, as commander of the 14-gun Rambler, he captured a large French privateer lying in the Barbate River, Spain.

This does provide one slight problem if the inscription on the freedom box is correct. The inscription reads: ” With this box the Freedom of the City of Cork in Ireland was unanimously given to Capt Robert Hall for his gallant conduct in his Majesty’s Navy the 22nd day of August 1809 “. If the inscription is right, then the Canadians are wrong because they don’t make Rob a captain until 1811. If the Canadians are right, then the City of Cork has promoted him early.

More from the DCB.  In September 1811 Hall was appointed to command a flotilla entrusted with the defence of Sicily against naval forces operating from French-occupied Naples. He achieved a major success at Pietrenere (Italy) on 15 Feb. 1813 in a raid on a convoy of about 50 armed vessels, French supply ships escorted by many Neapolitan gunboats. With only two divisions of gunboats carrying four companies of the 75th Foot he neutralized the enemy’s shore batteries and captured or destroyed all 50 ships. In recognition of this feat he was made a knight commander in the Sicilian order of St Ferdinand and of Merit. Permission to accept this honour was granted by the Prince Regent on 11 March, at which time Hall was described as a post-captain and a brigadier-general in the service of Ferdinand IV of Naples.

The DCB goes into rather greater detail once Rob Hall arrived in Canada. It is probably considerably more interesting to Canadians so there is a link to the full entry here. My version is edited from the full version.  On 27 May 1814. Hall was designated acting commissioner on the lakes of Canada, to reside at Quebec; his actual headquarters would be the naval dockyard at Kingston, Ontario. [Kingston is at the junction of Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River, and was the main naval headquarters for the British Great Lakes fleet].  He was not immediately available and did not report for duty in Kingston until mid October. His new assignment involved a dual responsibility: to the commander-in-chief on the lakes, Sir James Lucas Yeo, for the building, outfitting, supply, and maintenance of naval vessels, and to the Navy Board in London for the administration of the navy yard at Kingston and its dependencies on the Upper Lakes and Lake Champlain, and all naval victualling and stores depots in the two provinces.

Burning the White House, 1814

The British and the Americans were in the middle of the War of 1812 [which actually lasted from 1812 – 1815]. Robert Hall’s arrival in Canada was at an interesting time; almost eight weeks earlier, a British attack against Washington, D.C., resulted in the “Burning of Washington”. On August 24, 1814, after defeating the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, a British force led by Major General Robert Ross occupied Washington and set fire to many public buildings, including the White House, and the Capitol. It marks the only time in U.S. history that Washington, D.C. has been occupied by a foreign force. The new commissioner’s immediate concern was the implementation of Yeo’s plans for a decisive campaign against the Americans in 1815. These involved the completion or construction of five frigates, two ships of the line,  a number of gunboats, and brigs, To this ambitious program Hall made an important addition: a scheme to rid the naval units of transport duties He sent this proposal to the Navy Board, but all plans for a campaign in 1815 became redundant when the Governor  was notified of the ratification of an Anglo-American peace signed at Ghent (Belgium) on Christmas Eve 1814.

The peace posed immediate and serious problems for Hall and his staff. The yard and its dependencies had incurred expenses of some £40,000 in wages alone in 1814, the building of  the St Lawrence had been immensely costly, and a huge outlay was required to pay for the ships under construction. Prudence dictated the maintenance of a strong fleet for the time being. In March 2015,  Hall was dispatched to England for consultations with the Admiralty about the future naval establishment in the Canadas.

Hall remained in England for more than a year, during which time the British government was engaged in negotiations with the United States which eventually led to the Rush–Bagot agreement of April 1817 to demilitarize the lakes. On 29 Sept. 1815 Hall was named commander on the lakes and resident commissioner at Quebec, thus combining the two senior naval appointments in the Canadas. The first authorized him to style himself commodore; the second confirmed him in the post of commissioner. He was knighted on 15 July 1816 and, distinguished with the additional honour of a companionship in the Order of the Bath, returned to Kingston on 9 September 1816.

He was seriously ill with a lung infection in October 1817, recovered sufficiently to return to duty for a few weeks at the end of the year, but died of this disease at his quarters at Point Frederick on 7 Feb. 1818. An affable, gallant, and cultivated officer, Hall in his Canadian posting had proved himself a conspicuously fair-minded, innovative, and efficient administrator. His heirs were a natural son, Robert Hall, born in 1817 to a Miss Mary Ann Edwards, and his mother Mary Roche, who was his residuary legatee. The son, became a vice-admiral in the Royal Navy and died in London on 11 June 1882 after having served for ten years as naval secretary to the Admiralty.

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Why it was a good idea to join the Navy.

There seem to be some professions that run through the family again, and again. One that I hadn’t really paid much attention to until recently was the navy. It is an almost completely Irish thing, and is largely members of the family who were born, brought up, and lived in co. Cork.  Starting furthest back [great grandpa x 5] Henry Hewitt was a Customs Officer, specifically at one time Captain of the Beresford Revenue Cutter. Then the Verling family pick up the strain.  Bartholomew Verling of Cove, co. Cork and Anne O’Cullinane,[also great grandparents x 5] had five children, both daughters married naval captains, and of the three sons, Edward was a “Staff Captain R.N”, another Garrett “died at sea”, and the eldest son John Verling didn’t appear to go to sea, but his second son was James Roche Verling (1787 – 1858) who was a naval surgeon, and attended Napoleon Bonaparte on St. Helena. John Verling and Ellen Roche also had a daughter Catherine who married Henry Ellis “Surgeon R.N.”. 

Cobh Harbour

Edward Verling, the “Staff Captain R.N”, had three children The eldest son Bartholomew Verling (1797 – 1893) was another naval surgeon, and Mary Verling married Capt. Leary R.N. Edward Verling’s sister, another Mary Verling married first a Captain Hall, and the secondly John Roche of Aghada [great grandparents x 4]. Mary Roche (neé Verling) had the distinction of being the mother of a Commodore, and grandmother of a vice-Admiral, albeit a bastard grandson. Finally, their nephew, another Bartholomew Verling (1786 – 1855) was Harbourmaster of Cobh, and also the Spanish Consul there.

So a lot of boating. What this did pose was the question why the navy? The logical answer was why not?  It is estimated that around a quarter of the Royal Navy crew present at Trafalgar were Irishmen.  It was regarded as a profession certainly at officer level, and was well paid. In 1793 a captain’s pay rate ranged between £100 – £336,[£128,000 – £433,000 at today’s value] and by 1815 this had risen to £284 – £802.[£212,000 – £600,000 at today’s value]. After 1806, a naval surgeon’s salary  was set at 10s. per day for less than 6 years experience, up to 20s. per day for over 20 years  experience £182 – £ 365 [£164,000 – £328,000 at today’s value]. So, apart from the minor problem of being killed, it was very well paid. But in addition to the pay ( especially if you were an officer) was the prize money paid for capturing enemy ships.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, captured ships were legally Crown property. In order to reward and encourage sailors’ efforts at no significant cost to the Crown, it became customary to pass on all or part of the value of a captured ship and its cargo to the capturing captain for distribution to his crew. Similarly, all warring parties of the period issued Letters of Marque and Reprisal to civilian privateers,[essentially legal pirates] authorising them to make war on enemy shipping; as payment, the privateer sold off the captured booty.

This practice was formalised via the Cruisers and Convoys Act of 1708. An Admiralty Prize Court was established to evaluate claims and determine prize money, and the scheme of division of the money was specified. This system, with minor changes, lasted until the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

If the prize were an enemy merchantman, the prize money came from the sale of both ship and cargo. If it was a warship, and repairable, usually the Crown bought it at a fair price; additionally, the Crown added “head money” of £ 5  per enemy sailor aboard the captured warship. Prizes were keenly sought, for the value of a captured ship was often such that a crew could make a year’s pay for a few hours’ fighting. Hence boarding and hand-to-hand fighting remained common long after naval cannons developed the ability to sink the enemy from afar.

All ships in sight of a capture shared in the prize money, as their presence was thought to encourage the enemy to surrender without fighting until sunk.

The distribution of prize money to the crews of the ships involved persisted until 1918. Then the Naval Prize Act changed the system to one where the prize money was paid into a common fund from which a payment was made to all naval personnel whether or not they were involved in the action. In 1945 this was further modified to allow for the distribution to be made to Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel who had been involved in the capture of enemy ships; however, prize claims had been awarded to pilots and observers of the Royal Naval Air Service since c.1917, and later the RAF.

The following scheme for distribution of prize money was used for much of the Napoleonic wars, the heyday of prize warfare. Allocation was by eighths.

  • Two eighths of the prize money went to the captain or commander, generally  making him very wealthy.
  • One eighth of the money went to the admiral or commander-in-chief who signed the ship’s written orders (unless the orders came directly from the Admiralty in London, in which case this eighth also went to the captain).
  • One eighth was divided among the lieutenants, sailing master, and captain of marines, if any.
  • One eighth was divided among the wardroom warrant officers (surgeon, purser, and chaplain), standing warrant officers (carpenter, boatswain, and gunner), lieutenant of marines, and the master’s mates.
  • One eighth was divided among the junior warrant and petty officers, their mates, sergeants of marines, captain’s clerk, surgeon’s mates, and midshipmen.

The final two eighths were divided among the crew, with able and specialist seamen receiving larger shares than ordinary seamen, landsmen, and boys. The pool for the seamen was divided into shares, with:

  • each able seaman getting two shares in the pool (referred to as a fifth-class share),
  • an ordinary seaman received a share and a half (referred to as a sixth-class share),
  • landsmen received a share each (a seventh-class share),
  • boys received a half share each (referred to as an eighth-class share).

An example of how large the prize money awarded could be was for the capture of the Spanish frigate Hermione on 31 May 1762 by the British frigate Active and sloop Favourite. The two captains, Herbert Sawyer and Philemon Pownoll, received about £65,000 apiece,[£115m.at today’s value] while each seaman and Marine got £482–485. [£854,700 – £860,000 at today’s value]

Robert Hall would definitely have benefited from prize money. He was involved with the capture of the French frigate Desirée in Dunkirk in 1799, and later he captured a large French privateer lying in the Barbate River, Spain in 1810.

Dr Bartholomew Verling 1797-1893

Bartholomew Verling of Cove [ b. c.1715 ] has two grandsons also called Bartholomew Verling who are first cousins.

The elder Bartholomew Verling (1786 – 1855) of Cove is John Roche of Aghada’s nephew twice over. His mother is John Roche’s sister [ Ellen, or Eleanor Roche ] who married John Verling, and his father is Mary Roche’s (nee Verling) brother John Verling. He is the political one, and a merchant, and Spanish Consul in Cobh.

The younger Bartholomew Verling (1797 – 1893) of Oxclose, is also a nephew of John Roche of Aghada, but only as the son of Edward Verling and Anne Ronayne, – a brother-in-law, and sister-in-law. He is one of two contemporaneous Dr Verlings. The other being James Roche Verling (1787 – 1858). Both were naval surgeons.

Bartholomew Verling (son of Edward Verling and Anne Ronayne) naval surgeon, of Oxclose, Newmarket, County Cork; formerly of Heathfield Towers, near Youghal, born1797; died 1893; married (1st) Mary (who died 18 January 1844; aet. 30 years), daughter of Thomas Walsh, of Youghal. A tombstone in the North Abbey, Gneeves, Newmarket, bears the inscription “Erected by Bart. Verling, of Gneeves, Newmarket,in memory of his wife Mary and infant son Bartholomew.”

By his wife Mary, he had issue: Bartholomew; ob. juv.; Catherine; ob. juv.; Mary;
married Francis Power, of Roskeen, near Mallow.

He married (2nd) Sabina, daughter of Walter Hervey Kavanagh, of Ballyhale, County
Kilkenny (who died 1853), son of Morgan Kavanagh, of Ballyhale, and of his wife,
the Lady Frances Butler, and great grandson of Morgan Kavanagh, of Castle Morres,County Kilkenny.
By his wife, Sabina, he had issue: Walter Kavanagh Verling, MD, of Oxclose, who
married Mary, daughter of … Malpas, Esquire, and had issue nine sons and one
daughter; Arabella, died young.

And also.

There was a Mary Walsh, daughter of Thomas Walsh of Youghal, who died 18 January1844 aet 30, who married Bartholomew Verling, Naval Surgeon, of Oxclose, Newmarket, County Cork. A tombstone in the North Abbey, Gneeves, Newmarket, bears the inscription “Erected by Bart. Verling, of Gneeves, Newmarket, in memory of his wife Mary and infant son Bartholomew.”

Bartholomew and Mary had three children:

  • Bartholomew, ob. juv.,
  • Catherine, ob.juv., and
  • Mary, who married Francis Power, of Roskeen, near Mallow.

The above is from Frederick W. Knight, “Notes on the Family of Ronayne or Ronan of Counties Cork and Waterford” (Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society for April June, July September, October December, 1916; April June, July September, 1917.

and from the NUI Landed Estates database

Verling – In the 1870s Bartholomew Verling, Springfield Lodge (Oxclose), Newmarket, county Cork, medical doctor owned 883 acres in county Limerick and 110 acres in county Cork. He appears to have acquired his county Limerick estate post Griffith’s Valuation. Bartholomew Verling (1797-1893) was a naval surgeon of Oxclose, Newmarket, county Cork. He was the son of Edward Verling and his wife Anne Ronayne. The Verlings were established at Newmarket by the late 18th century. 

The Will and codicil of John Roche, January 1826:

Lower Aghada, co Cork

The Will and codicil of John Roche, January 1826: 


Whenever it happens that the Aghada estate, is absent of male heirs, to wit, of the said James Joseph Roche, or by any other contingency reverts wholly to me, I hereby leave it in as full a manner as I can convey it to my nephew, William Roche, to be enjoyed by him and his lawful begotten heirs male for ever ; and, as I have perfected leases to be held in trust, of the demesne and two adjoining farms of Aghada, subject to a yearly rent accord-ing to a valuation made, I leave him my interest, if any I had, in those leases ; and in case of his not coming into possession of the estate by the means before-mentioned,  I leave him  £6,000 of my £4   per cent. stock, to be held by trustees, the interest of which is to pay the rent of the demesne and two farms above mentioned ;

  • to my eldest grandson, James (sic)  J. R.  O’Brien   I leave   £10,000   £4 per  cent. stock ;
  • to my grand-daughter, Jane O’Brien, I leave  £4,000 £4 per cent. stock ;
  • to my daughter, Mary O’Brien,  I leave the  £4,000  £4 per cent. stock I settled on her as a marriage portion on her marriage, for her use and that of her younger children ;
  • to my niece,  Ellen Verling,  I leave  £1,000 £4 per cent, stock, with £30 a-year profit rent I leave on her brother Bartholomew Verling’s stores ;
  • to my grandson, J. Roche O’Brien, I leave also my interest in White Point, after his mother’s death ;  
  • I leave  £100 to my sister, Ellen Verling ;
  • to my sister, Julia Enery, £100 ;
  • to my nephew, Doctor Verling,  and his sister, Catherine Ellis, £100 each,  and I desire the stock on the farm to be sold to pay these legacies ;
  • to my nephew,   William Roche, and my grand-daughter,  Jane O’Brien, I give my household furniture, plate, &c., and it is my wish, if the rules of our church allow it, that they should be married and live in Aghada house ; may it bless and prosper them and their offspring.

To the parish of Aghada, I leave the school-house, and £20 a-year for its support, and also the chapel and priest’s house  I leave to the parish rent-free for ever, as long as they shall be used for such qualified purposes ; the five slate houses I built in the village, I leave to five of the poorest families rent free ; to David Coughlan I leave the house he now lives in during his life ; to my servant, James Tracy   I leave the house his wife now lives in ;    and to my wife’s servant, Mary Ahearne, otherwise Finne, her house rent-free during their lives ; and to each of those three, viz.,David Coughlan, James Tracy, and Mary Ahearne,  otherwise Finne, I leave £10 a-year during their lives : 

having had unfounded confidence in my unhappy nephew, James Roche,  I did not take legal means under  the settlement I made to secure those last bequests out of the Aghada estate ; I trust, and hope, and desire that whosoever is in possession of the estate do confirm these my wishes and intents. I appoint my trusty friend, Henry Bennett, (my present law agent) William Roche, and my daughter, Mary O’Brien as executors of this my last will.”

 The codicil to the will was as follows :—

 By my will dated the 5th day of January, 1826, I appointed my friend Henry Bennett, my nephew, William Roche, and my daughter, Mary O’Brien, executors to that will ; now, by this codicil, I annul that appointment, and appoint John Gibson, barrister-at-law, Bartholomew Hackett, of Middleton, distiller, and my nephew, William Roche, as my executors to that will, and do hereby empower them to name and appoint two trustees for the purpose of managing the sums I left to my nephew, William Roche, my grand-daughter, Jane O’Brien, and my grandson, J. O’Brien, as it is my intent and will that they should only receive the interest, and the principal to remain untouched during their lives, to go to their children ; out of William Roche’s interest the rent of Aghada which I have leased him is to be paid ; and I desire that he and my grand-daughter Jane, who are shortly to be married, will reside there. I leave William Roche all the stock, &c., on the farm, and to him and his wife all my household furniture, plate, and china, and make them my residuary legatees ; it is my will that my grandson, James R. O’Brien, shall live with them at Aghada until he is of age, which is to be at the age of twenty-five, and not before ; and the trustees are to pay him until that period £100 a-year to complete his education, and another £100 a-year during that period to his mother, and the remainder of the interest of his £10,000 to be paid William Roche to assist him in keeping up Aghada during that period, and I trust by that time he will have a profession by which he will add to his income ; I request and desire that nothing shall prevent his following his profession;  it is my intention that William Roche and his wife shall step into possession of Aghada house, demesne, and farms, which are leased to him in the same way that I leave it when it shall please God to take me ; in case of the death of William Roche before his wife, she is to be paid the interest of her £4,000, to be made up £200 a-year as her jointure ; and if she dies before him, he is to have the £10,000, provided she has no issue; but if she leaves issue, it is to go to them after William Roche’s death, as before directed.”

The Verlings of Cove [Cobh]

Cobh, co. Cork. with St. Colman’s Cathedral in the foreground.

For almost two years it has been clear that there was more than one Bartholomew Verling who were part of the story. John Roche’s will of 1826 left some very significant bequests to various members of the Verling family. One is a sister, and there are nephews and nieces. The key to who they all are was apparently an article in The Journal of the Cork Historical & Archaeological Society. It has taken a long while to track it down, but a lot of this post is based on that article.Dr. James Roche Verling by Dr. Gabriel O’Connell Redmond, in The Journal of the Cork Historical & Archaeological Society,  1916,  Vol. 22, No. 110, page(s) 64­ – 71]  Gabriel Redmond is a third cousin, three times removed, and is also a great grandson of both John and Eleanor (Ellen) Verling, and Daniel O’Connell. Ellen Verling is John Roche’s sister, and John Verling is John Roche’s wife’s (Mary Verling) brother.

Anyway to quote from Dr Redmond…

“The Verlings had long been settled at Cove and were one of the principal families in that place, of whom I am able to supply the sub-joined genealogical notice.

The surname Verling is of rare occurrence in Ireland, and is almost peculiar to the County Cork, where for centuries branches of the Verling family have been located, and became wealthy and influential, The exact period when the Verlings settled in Ireland cannot now be ascertained with any precision. But that they were of Danish extraction there appears to be no reasonable doubt. The form of the name suggests a Scandinavian origin. It has been found spelled in various ways, viz., Verling, Verlang, O’Verlang, Verlin and Verlon; and it is not improbable that the Verlings may have settled in the south of Ireland contemporary with the first of the Coppingers, Goulds, Skiddys, and other Co. Cork families who claim to be of Danish descent, whilst others assert that they came from the Low Countries. The first of the name of whom the writer has any record is Richard Verling of Aghada, Co. Cork, who was living in 1594, was mar­ried, had several daughters and two sons, from one of whom were derived the Verlings of Cove, whose pedigree is annexed.

Henry Goold, son of Adam Goold, Alderman of Cork, who died in May, 1634, had by his first wife Ellen Rochford, a son John, who married Eleanor, dau. of Henry Verlon of Cork, gent. Henry Goold’s second wife was Elan (sic.) dau. of John Verlon of Cork, gent. O’Hart identifies the surname Verlon with Verling, into which he states it has been modernized. But it appears more probable that Verling is the more ancient form of the name. A William Verling was Recorder of Cork in the 18th century. He married Martha, dau. of Hodder Roberts of Bridgetown and other estates in Co. Cork, who died in 1747. (See “ Burke’s Landed Gentry,” 1863, under Roberts of Cork). “

And to paraphrase from the pedigree referred to above:

Bartholomew Verling of Cove, co. Cork married Anne O’Cullinane, or Cullinane who was the daughter of Edmond O’Cullinane, whose mother Helen was a Kearney of Garretstown. [It’s slightly guesswork but he, BV, must have been born around 1715.] They had three sons, and two daughters

  1. John Verling m. Eleanor Roche of Cove
  2. Garrett Verling “died at sea”
  3. Edward Verling “Staff Captain R.N” m. Anne Ronayne of Ballinacrusha, Cuskinny
  4. Catherine m. 1st Rogers, 2nd Captain Sellars R.N
  5. Mary m. 1st Captain Hall 2nd. John Roche of Aghada

Cousin Gabriel isn’t particularly helpful here, because he is very much more concerned with the male line(s). But John and Edward Verling both have families, and I think Catherine Verling didn’t but Mary Roche (neé Verling) did. Again, it is speculation, which I try to avoid; but John Roche [Mary Verling’s second husband] had a son called John, and a daughter called Mary. We know this from Mary Roche’s marriage settlement of  1807, given the names involved, John and Mary. It doesn’t take much of a leap of the imagination to assume that John Roche and Mary Verling had a son and daughter each named after themselves, in addition to Mary’s son Robert Hall, who was named after his father, and gave the same name to his bastard son.

 

John Verling and Eleanor (or Ellen) Roche had five sons and two daughters.

  1. Bartholomew Verling (1786 – 1855) of Cove. Harbourmaster, and Spanish Consul
  2. James Roche Verling (1787 – 1858)
  3. Edward Verling d. unmarried.
  4. Hugh Verling d. unmarried.
  5. John Verling d. unmarried.
  6. Ellen m. James Fitzgerald of Lackendarra, co. Waterford
  7. Catherine m. Henry Ellis “Surgeon R.N.”

Edward Verling and Anne Ronayne had two sons and a daughter

  1. Bartholomew Verling (1797 – 1893) of Oxclose, Newmarket, co. Cork
  2. Patrick Verling Parish Priest of Charleville
  3. Mary m. Capt. Leary R.N.

So Bartholomew Verling of Cove has two grandsons also called Bartholomew Verling who are first cousins. The elder Bartholomew Verling (1786 – 1855) of Cove is John Roche of Aghada’s nephew twice over. His mother is John Roche’s sister, and his father is Mary Roche’s (nee Verling) brother

The younger Bartholomew Verling (1797 – 1893) of Oxclose, is also a nephew but only as the son of Edward Verling and Anne Ronayne, – a brother-in-law, and sister-in-law.

The notes on Bartholomew Verling of Cove from the Pedigree of the Verlings of Cove published in 1916 are as follows:

Bartholomew Verling of Ringmeen, Cove (Queenstown) owned considerable property there including Ringlee, Cuskinny &c. He was a man of influence there, greatly respected and beloved. A story is told of him which shows his kindly disposition and consideration for those around him. In 1849, when the effects of the Famine which broke out in 1847, were still being felt, a brig called the “Westmoreland” lay at anchor at Cove laden with potatoes for England. This so aroused the anger and indignation of the townsfolk that a number of the young men of Cove boarded the vessel, landed the potatoes, and distributed them amongst their needy fellow townsmen. They were of course arrested and sent for trial, the penalty, if found guilty, being transportation to Botany Bay. Mr Verling, however, came to their rescue. He and some friends drove off to Dublin in one of Bianconi’s cars – at that time a long and tedious journey – obtained an interview with the Lord Lieutenant, and so successfully pleaded extenuating circumstances that the Lord Lieutenant pardoned those youths who raided the “Westmoreland”. A song was composed to commemorate the capture of this vessel which is now almost entirely forgotten.

Mr Bartholomew Verling was one of the deputation which waited on the late Queen Victoria to obtain H.M.’s permission to change the name of Cove of Cork to Queenstown when she landed therein August 1849. Letters of his to the Cork Press still extant show that he was an able advocate of Queenstown’s claims to be made a Naval Station and Mail Packet Port.

And the notes on Mary Verling are as follows:

The only child of Captain Hall and Mary Verling was Robert Hall who was knighted for distinguished and conspicuous bravery while serving in the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean. he died unmarried while in command of a naval station in Canada where a fine monument was erected to his memory. In recognition of his courage and daring he was presented with the Freedom of the City of Cork in a valuable silver box inscribed:- “With this box the Freedom of the City of Cork in Ireland was unanimously given to Captain Robert Hall for his Gallant Conduct in His Majesty’s Navy the 22nd of August 1809.” An obelisk was erected to his memory in Aghada Wood by his stepfather John Roche of that place.

James Roche Verling, (1787–1858)

View from Spy Hill, Cobh, co. Cork

James Roche Verling, (1787–1858), was born at Cove,[Cobh] co. Cork, on 27 February 1787, the second son in the family of five sons and two daughters of John Verling and his wife, Ellen [Eleanor] (née Roche), of Cove. He is John Roche’s nephew, and a first cousin, five times removed.

John and Ellen’s children were

  • Bartholomew Verling (1786 – 1855) of Cove
  • James Roche Verling (1787 – 1858)
  • Edward Verling d. unmarried.
  • Hugh Verling d. unmarried.
  • John Verling d. unmarried.
  • Ellen m. James Fitzgerald of Lackendarra, co. Waterford
  • Catherine m. Henry Ellis “Surgeon R.N.”

The Verlings were a wealthy and influential Catholic family long established at Cove. James Roche Verling’s eldest brother, Bartholomew Verling (1786–1855), was harbour master and Spanish consul there, as well as a landowner and magistrate. As was fairly common at the time, there were a number of different generations all taking the same forenames. Their grandfather was also Bartholomew Verling of Cove, and a younger first cousin, Bartholomew Verling (1797 – 1893) of Oxclose. He, in turn, named his son Bartholomew.

James was apprenticed to Sir Arthur Clarke, a well-known Dublin physician, and afterwards studied under Gregory at Edinburgh, where he graduated MD at the age of 23, with a thesis “De Ictero”. He was then commissioned as Second Assistant Surgeon to the Ordnance Medical Department on Jan 25th, 1810. The Ordnance Medical Department was quite distinct from the Army Medical Department, and a rather higher standard of medical education was required. He was first stationed at Ballincollig, Cork, and then proceeded to Portugal shortly after Albuera, in medical charge of a battery of Royal Artillery, and was at once placed in charge of wounded, including wounded of the Artillery of the King’s German Legion. He was present with the Artillery throughout the subsequent campaign, at the sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo, Vittoria, Pampeluna, the storming of San Sebastian, the passage of the Bidassoa, Nivelle, Nive, and Bayonne. He marched with the Royal Horse Artillery to Paris, and received the Peninsula Medal with five clasps.

He was not present at Waterloo, but in July, 1815, was ordered with a battery of the Royal Artillery to St Helena. On Aug 8th he sailed from Torbay on “HMS Northumberland,”  which also carried  Napoleon and his entourage. Verling spoke both French and Italian, and, it is likely, he became personally acquainted with Napoleon on the voyage. The emperor seemed to be ready to talk with any of the officers who could understand him.

Longwood House, St Helena

After a two month voyage they landed at St Helena on 17 October, with the other passengers, he disembarked on the Atlantic island. The governor, Sir Hudson Lowe (1769–1844), another Irishman, appointed Verling his medical officer. After Napoleon’s favourite physician, Barry Edward O’Meara, quarrelled with the governor and was dismissed, it was Verling who replaced O’Meara at Napoleon’s residence, Longwood (25 July 1818). Napoleon refused to be treated by Verling, regarding him as ‘l’homme du gouverneur’. When Napoleon’s aide, Count Montholon, with whom Verling regularly conversed, suggested that he could become ‘l’homme de l’empéreur’ by agreeing to give Napoleon copies of his medical reports and not to pass on private conversations to Lowe (April 1819), Verling was uncooperative, though he always detested having to inform Lowe of what he learned at Longwood.

James Verling left St Helena, on the 25th April 1820, just over a year before Napoleon died (5 May 1821) Later he served in Malta, the Ionian Islands, and Nova Scotia. He was promoted to full Surgeon (1827), senior Surgeon (1843), and finally Deputy Inspector-General (1850), and appears to have served most of the last thirteen years or so of his carreer at the Royal Ordinance Hospital at Woolwich After his retirement in 1854, he returned to Cobh, by then, renamed Queenstown, where he died on 1st January 1858 at his home, Bellavista. It’s a rather pleasing irony that “Mr Bartholomew Verling [his eldest brother] was one of the deputation which waited on the late Queen VIctoria to obtain H.M.’s permission to change the name of Cove of Cork to Queenstown when she landed therein August 1849. “  according to Gabriel O’Connell Redmond’s memoir  of James Roche Verling in 1916.

View from Bellavista House, Cobh, co.Cork

It’s also rather pleasing that Bellavista still exists, but is now a hotel, and Chinese restaurant.

Verling wrote a diary of the daily round of events on St Helena  which passed into the hands of his nephew, Surgeon John J. Ellis, R.N.[ the sixth, and youngest, son of his sister, Catherine] , who took it to sea with him and lent it to a friend, who left it after him on board a ship in the China Sea. It fortunately was found by someone who recognising its value handed it over to Mr. Morgan, the British Consul, at Tientsien, in China. Consul Morgan thought it would be a good thing to present the Diary to the late Emperor, Napoleon the Third, and sent it to him by a French Naval Officer. The Emperor accepted the gift and had it deposited in the “ Archives Nationales” in Paris, where it now remains.

He never married, and the main beneficiary of his will was his first cousin Bartholomew Verling (1797 – 1893) of Oxclose. His estate was very large, just under £ 5,000 in England, and a further £6,000 in Ireland, or just over £ 10m. in modern terms.

A lot of Bartholomew Verlings

It became clear very early on that there was more than one Bartholomew Verling who were part of the story. John Roche’s will of 1826 left some very significant bequests to various members of the Verling family.

“to my niece,  Ellen Verling,  I leave  £1,000 £4 per cent, stock, with £30 a-year profit rent I leave on her brother Bartholomew Verling’s stores ;……..  I leave  £100 to my sister, Ellen Verling ; to my sister, Julia Enery, £100 ; to my nephew, Doctor Verling,  and his sister, Catherine Ellis, £100 each,”

From the will, it was clear that at least one Bartholomew Verling was John Roche’s nephew, and another nephew was a doctor. What wasn’t clear was whether this was one person or two. After some research, it became apparent that the “Dr Verling” referred to was Dr James Roche Verling, who was a naval surgeon of some distinction, and had been, for a time, Napoleon’s doctor on St Helena.

But there were also some early other pointers, The entry for the Verlings in the NUI Landed estates database [http://landedestates.nuigalway.ie] is as following:

Verling – In the 1870s Bartholomew Verling, Springfield Lodge (Oxclose), Newmarket, county Cork, medical doctor owned 883 acres in county Limerick and 110 acres in county Cork. He appears to have acquired his county Limerick estate post Griffith’s Valuation. Bartholomew Verling (1797-1893) was a naval surgeon of Oxclose, Newmarket, county Cork. He was the son of Edward Verling and his wife Anne Ronayne. The Verlings were established at Newmarket by the late 18th century.

The key to the whole question seemed to be an article written in 1916, and published in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 1916, Vol. 22, No. 110, page(s) 64­ – 71. It is titled ” Dr James Roche Verling”, and written by Gabriel O’Connell Redmond. Dr Redmond was the local G.P in in Cappoquin co. Waterford between 1880 and 1914.  He was a great grandson of Daniel O’Connell’s and also John Verling and Ellen Roche’s great grandson. In a pleasing way with numbers this makes him a third cousin, three times removed. He was a noted historian and antiquarian, and also the town’s columnist with the Waterford News.

So to start sorting them out.

Bartholomew Verling of Cove has two grandsons also called Bartholomew Verling who are first cousins. The elder Bartholomew Verling (1786 – 1855) of Cove is John Roche of Aghada’s nephew twice over. His mother is John Roche’s sister, Ellen, and his father is Mary Roche’s (nee Verling) brother, John Verling

The younger Bartholomew Verling (1797 – 1893) of Oxclose, is also a nephew of John Roche, but only as the son of Edward Verling and Anne Ronayne, – a brother-in-law, and sister-in-law. Edward Verling is John Verling, and Mary Roche (neé Verling)’s brother.

It all becomes clearer in the pedigree of the Verlings of Cove.