Countess Cecile de Sommery 1804 -1899

This seemed so simple to start with, and turns out to be full of twists and turns.

There are rather faded entries, in difficult to decipher hand-writing, in John Roche O’Bryen’s family bible which list all his 16 children, the dates and times of the births, and where they were. It also lists the god-parents. The entry for Cecilia Agnes, the ninth child, and seventh daughter is as follows:

Page from John Roche OBryens Family Bible.

9. Cecilia Agnes [O’Bryen] at Bellvue  Novr 17th 1846          10 A.M  Gdfather, Wm Jones Esq, Pike Inn, Glamn Wales.  GdMother, Miss Cecile De Lonmery, Bath.  Died at The [French] Convent Belgium Janr 5th 1856 at 9 yrs & was buried in the Parish Church attended at her grave 320 persons who thanked God that she was taken to her  [chosen end] whilst innocent to God

I’m almost completely sure that Miss Cecile De Lonmery, is in fact Countess Cecile de Sommery. Almost all of that generation’s godparents appear to be wealthy, landed, titled, or Catholic, or in a number of cases at least three out of four.  

Willie Leigh 1829-1906 [Basil O’Bryen’s godfather – child 10] inherited the Woodchester estate in 1873, which his father had bought for £ 170,000 in 1845. He built the Church of the Annunciation, and Woodchester Priory for the Dominicans  shortly after their arrival in October 1850. It housed the noviciate of the Dominican order in England for more than 100 years; they only left in the 1960s when the buildings became too expensive to maintain. The monastery was demolished in 1970 leaving a small contingent of Dominicans to look after the parish.

Philip O’Bryen’s [ child 13] godfather Simon Scope came from a recusant family had had acquired their estates in Wensleydale in the 12th century, and still owned Danby Hall into the 1960’s.

But back to the Countess, this is her obituary in The Tablet.

THE COUNTESS CECILE DE SOMMERY.

Eyre Chantry, Perrymead, Bath

The Requiem Mass for the Countess Cecile de Sommery took place on Monday at the Franciscan Friary, Clevedon, and the body was then , conveyed to Bath for interment in the family vault [the Eyre Chantry] in the Catholic cemetery at Perrymead, where the remaining portion of the service was conducted. The grand-nephew of the deceased, the Marquis de Sommery, and Mr. Thomas Eyre, and his wife, Lady Milford, were the only relatives present. His Royal Highness the Duke of Madrid, head of the House of Bourbon, telegraphed an expression of sympathy with the late Countess’s relatives. The Countess Cecile de Sommery, Chanoinesse of the Royal Order of St. Anne of Bavaria, whose death occurred at Clevedon, Somerset, on April 26, was born in London in the year 1804. Her parents. Armand de Mesniel, Marquis de Sommery, and Cecile Riquet de Caraman, came over to England with the Bourbons during the French Revolution. Her mother was among the ladies last presented at the Palace of Versailles to Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette. One of her sisters married Count Eyre, father of the Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow. R. I. P.

The above text was found on p.26, 13th May 1899 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 .

So far, all very factual, but fairly astonishing all the same. An elderly single lady being buried in Bath, whose mother met Marie Antoinette, and one of whose nephews was the first Catholic archbishop of Glasgow since the Scottish Reformation, and one of the first patrons of Celtic FC. Another nephew, William Eyre was the rector of Stonyhurst between 1879 -1885, and would have been so for almost the entire school careers of both Ernest and Rex O’Bryen there. So Cecile de Sommery’s nephew was the headmaster to her god-daughter’s youngest two half-brothers, although she [Cecilia O’Bryen] had been dead for eleven years when the elder of them was born.

The sister who married Count Eyre, father of the Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow was Augustine Cécile Pulcherie de Sommery (1797 – 1876). They married in 1828, three years after the death of his first wife Sarah Parker (1790 -1825). John and Sarah had five sons, four of whom became priests, and four daughters, three of whom died young, in the eight years of their marriage. So Augustine would have been very much a mother to all the children, who were all under nine when she became their step-mother.

John Lewis Eyre (1789-1880), Count Eyre, was an entrepreneur and one of the founding directors of the London and South Western Railway Company, taking for many years a leading part in the development of that railway. His title was a papal one, granted by Pope Gregory XVI, who created him a Count of the Lateran Hall and Apostolic Palace in 1843. According the Burke’s  A Genealogical And Heraldic Dictionary Of The Peerage And Baronetage Of The British Empire” 1845.  ” The dignity of a Count of the Lateran Hall and Apostolic Palace was conferred by the sovereign pontiff Gregory XVI on Count Eyre the brevet or patent is dated at St Peter’s Rome under the seal of the Fisherman the 3rd day March 1843 and in the thirteenth year of his pontificate signed A Cardinal Lambruschini.”  Pius IX made the title hereditary in 1847, it was inherited by the Archbishop in 1880.

The best known of his four priest sons is Charles Eyre, the first post- Reformation Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow. the others being John, a priest in Newcastle, William Eyre S.J., Rector of Stonyhurst and Vincent Eyre, parish priest in London, first of St Mary’s Cadogan Street and then St Mary’s,Hampstead.

Another nice touch, St Mary’s Cadogan Street was the church that Bishop Bidwell was parish priest of, for thirteen years [from 1913 – 1930], and St Mary’s,Hampstead was, in part, founded by Joseph Francis Lescher (1768 – 1827).

In 1894, Archbishop Eyre  invited the Sisters of Notre Dame to come from the Mother House in Liverpool to establish a community in Glasgow. The Notre Dame Training College was opened in 1895 at Dowanhill. Joseph Francis Lescher’s great granddaughter Mary Adela Lescher ( 1847 – 1926)  [Sister Mary of St Wilfrid] was its first Mother Superior.

She  was Harriet Grehan’s niece, and Harriet Grehan was John Roche O’Bryen’s step-mother-in -law. She was also Fanny Lescher’s niece, she [Fanny} was another nun – [Sister Mary of St Philip] who was the Mother Superior at Notre Dame in Mount Pleasant,Liverpool.

It is still a mystery why Thomas Eyre’s wife still called herself Lady Milford after her first husband’s death  in January 1857. She and Thomas married in 1861, she was Lady Anne Jane Howard, daughter of William Howard, 4th Earl of Wicklow, so was a Lady in her own right. But it does seem odd that she still called herself Lady Milford  years after her first husband’s death, and only three years of marriage [ his second after a twenty eight year first marriage].

The Eyres were an old English recusant family, at Newbold, Derbyshire and Lindley Hall, Leicestershire, very wealthy, and owned a substantial amount of land in Ireland, as well as in England. Thomas Eyre had a large Georgian house at Uppercourt, Freshfort, county Kilkenny, . In the 1870s he owned 762 acres in county Tipperary, 1,909 acres in county Kilkenny and 164 acres in county Waterford.

In 1891, he and Lady Anne were living at 16 Hill Street, in Mayfair, just off Berkley Square. It was a very grand household, with  a butler, two footmen, two ladies maids, two housemaids, a kitchen maid, and two scullery maids, and curiously on the night of the census, no cook living in.He was succeeded by his cousin Stanislas Thomas Eyre in 1902, and left the modern day equivalent of £ 120m.

It’s all a very small world

If you’re related to Patrick Grehan Senior (1756 -1832) then you are a cousin to Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth 1.

Anne Boleyn

I’ve avoided this one for a while, partly because it is out of period, and also partly because it is hard to work through. It does also appear to be slightly showy-offy, which it isn’t intended to be, well maybe a bit.

It does make it a bit slow going around the National Portrait Gallery, as well as getting a bit of a look when I chime up with “That’s another one of yours…”

Where I do think it helps, is in helping to set into context, how the Grehans would have felt about themselves. In a period when lineage, and status was very important to people; and when there was a strong emphasis on family backgrounds, then it is almost impossible to believe that there wasn’t talk of being the descendants of Irish kings, and of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy. It almost certainly colours some of the wedding choices in the C19th.

But a word of warning from Sir Bernard Burke, in the preface to the 1912 edition of Burke’s Irish Gentry.

“Of course, one knows that every Irishman is the descendant of countless kings, princes and other minor celebrities. One admits it, the thing is unquestionable. One knows, of course, also, that every family is the oldest in Co. Galway, or Co. Sligo, or somewhere else, and that, for some reason or other, every Irishman is the ” head ” of his family…”

Elizabeth I – The Armada portrait

However, it does appears that if you are somehow descended from Patrick Grehan Senior (1756 -1832) and Judith Grehan (nee Moore), [in our case, they are great,great,great,great, grandparents, so ha ha Danny Dyer] then you are a fourth cousin of Anne Boleyn [yes that one.], and a fifth cousin of Elizabeth 1st [yes that one, as well.], as well as descended from a number of Kings of Laois, and a fair smattering of Irish Earls.

The first major clue comes from Burke’s Landed Gentry in the 1871 edition. In the lineage of Patrick Grehan III (Patrick Grehan senior’s grandson) there is the following statement.

(lineally descended from Lewis, the 4th son of  Roger O’More (more commonly, referred to now as Rory O’More), of Leix, by Margaret, dau. and heiress of Thomas, 3rd son of Pierce, 8th Earl of Ormonde). Through this marriage with the co-heiress of Moore, Mr Grehan of Mount Plunkett quarters the arms of O’More of Leix, and Butler, Ormonde.”

Patrick Grehan III had his rights to the arms confirmed in June 1863, so it must have been accepted by the Ulster King of Arms.

Broken down in, I hope, the simplest way; Judith Grehan’s great-grandfather was Edmund Moore, and he, in his turn, was the great-grandson of Lewis More, the youngest son of Rory O’More, and Margaret Butler. So they are separated by seven generations.

Therefore, Judith Grehan is a fourth cousin of Anne Boleyn, seven times removed, and a fifth cousin of Elizabeth 1st six times removed. In order to work out your own relationship simply add on the right number of generations. In the case of my children, it is a fourth cousin of Anne Boleyn, fourteen times removed, and and a fifth cousin of Elizabeth 1st thirteen times removed.

Rather than expand this post too much, I have decided to link to two further posts, containing the workings-out.

How Margaret Butler and Anne Boleyn are related.

More-Butler-Grehan

There is also more detail on the More-O’Farrell post, though that is possibly the most confusing entry in any edition of Burke’s Landed Gentry ever.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Motto–Ne oubliex

Seat–Mount Plunkett, Licarrow, Roscommon

Clonmeen Lodge

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

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

St Leonards Bromley-by-Bow

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

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

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

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

Stonyhurst College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Hall Essex
New Hall Essex

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

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

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

Anyway back to the Tablet in 1925

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

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

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

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

THE CARDINAL’S ADDRESS.

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

THE BISHOP OF BRENTWOOD.

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

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

 

The above text was found on p.16, 27th June 1925 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

 

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.

George Lynch 1862 -1929

George-Lynch
George Lynch

George Lynch married Carmela Lescher in October 1902. This was a nicely complicated family wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Harwood Lescher, the bride’s parents are both O’Bryen cousins.Mrs. Frank Harwood Lescher (nee Mary O’Connor Graham Grehan), is Celia O’Bryen’s niece. She is the eldest daughter of Patrick Grehan III, Celia’s brother. Frank Harwood Lescher is the son of Joseph Sidney Lescher, whose sister Harriet Lescher is the second wife of Patrick Grehan Junior, so he is Celia O’Bryen’s step-mother’s nephew.

So the O’Bryen boys are all first cousins of the bride’s mother, and first cousins once removed of the bride’s father. This makes [Thomas] Edward, Frank [Graham], [Mary] Carmela [Anne], and [Mercedes] Adela Lescher all second cousins. 

I’ve been slowly tracking down who’s who at the wedding, and will be posting that soon, but if you want to read the un-annotated write-up of it it’s here.

Back to George, this is his entry from the Catholic Who’s Who, 1908

Lynch, George — born in Cork 1868; educated at the Oratory School, Edgbaston; explorer in the Pacific Islands and Western Australia; correspondent for The Daily Chronicle in the Spanish American War, and during the Boer War for Collier’s Weekly, and other papers; his daring effort to leave Ladysmith during the investment involved his capture and imprisonment in Pretoria. He has since been with the International Forces to Pekin, followed the Russo-Japanese War, and been several times round the world. Mr Lynch married (1902) Carmela, daughter of Frank Harwood Lescher, and is the author of The Bare Truth about War — The Impressions of a War Correspondent — The War of the Civilizations and other books.

OBITUARY: MR. GEORGE LYNCH, 1929.

George Lynch demonstrating his patented gloves for handling barbed wire in August 1916

We regret to state that Mr. George Lynch, F.R.G.S., the explorer and war correspondent whose inventive genius was so useful during the Great War in the work of overcoming barbed-wire entanglements, died at his residence in West London on December 29, aged sixty. Mr. Lynch was a Cork man. After early education at St. Vincent’s College, Castleknock, he came to England and entered the Oratory School. A traveller at heart, he found an opportunity, as a young man, to explore ‘extensively the Pacific Islands and Western Australia. After the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, he became correspondent, for those operations, to the Daily Chronicle; and during the Boer War he acted in a similar capacity for the Illustrated London News and for Collier’s Weekly. A daring attempt to get out of Ladysmith at the time of the famous siege led to his being captured and imprisoned by the enemy. Since that time Mr. Lynch had been with the International Forces to Pekin, had followed the Russo-Japanese War, and was with the Belgian Army in the Great War; it was in this last campaign that he invented the S.O.S. (” Save Our Skin “) gloves and other appliances for dealing with barbed wire. In his time he represented many important papers, and he had been six times round the world.

Among Mr. Lynch’s published work, apart from his many letters from seats of war, were several volumes based on his experiences : The Impressions of a War Correspondent; The Bare Truth about War; The War of the Civilizations; Realities; The Path of Empire, Old and New Japan.

The funeral took place on Wednesday last, after a requiem at St. Mary’s, Bayswater.—R.I.P.

The  text immediately above was found on p.21, 5th January 1929 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 .

Joseph Sidney Lescher – (1803 – 1893)

2930029178_25c5fc52d5_b
Church Row, Hampstead

Joseph Sidney Lescher (1803 – 1893, aged 90), son of William Lescher and Mary Ann Copp; so on our side of the Lescher family. He’s the father of  Frank Harwood Lescher,Patrick Grehan III’s son-in-law;  Father Wilfred, Sister Mary of St Wilfrid, and Herman the accountant. He was a partner of the wholesale druggists Evans, Lescher, and Evans. His father William Lescher (1768 – 1817), had emigrated from Alsace, France, in 1778, before the French Revolution. Family tradition holds that “Lescher of Kertzfeld” received his patent of nobility in the reign of Louis XIII, in the middle of the C17th. The Leschers were Roman Catholics. His wife, Sarah Harwood  was the daughter of a West India merchant in Bristol and a member of a staunch Baptist family, but she converted to Catholicism two years after her marriage. This branch of the family lived mostly in Hampstead, including 17 Church Row, later the home of H.G.Wells, and even later, in the 1960’s, the home of Peter Cook, where he had Lennon, McCartney, and Keith Richard to kitchen suppers in the basement.  Joseph Sidney also lived at Oak Lodge, in Pond Street, further down the hill, where he was living with his sister Harriet, Patrick Grehan Junior’s widow in 1870; three months after that census was taken Harriet Grehan’s step-daughter, Celia O’Bryen was herself to become a widow when John Roche O’Bryen died in South Kensington on the 27th July’

Joseph Sidney Lescher’s obituary from the Tablet is below.

We regret to record the death of MR. JOSEPH SIDNEY LESCHER, at the ripe age of 90 years, by which a link is broken with a long Catholic past. Born in 1803, Mr. Lescher was, about the year 1810, for a short time at a school at Carshalton, in Surrey, under the Dominican Fathers, and was afterwards amongst the first, if not the first, of the students at Ushaw College. In after life Mr. Lescher took an active part in City affairs, until about twenty years ago he retired from active life in order to devote himself more largely to those works of charity and beneficence which had always occupied his leisure. It has been said of him that he was never known to refuse an appeal calling for the exercise of genuine charity. The extent of his means was the extent of his charity—a charity that went hand-in-hand with an earnest faith and with extreme simplicity of heart and character. He was happy in having given to the Church a son, Father Wilfrid Lescher, of the Dominican Order, and an only daughter, Sister Mary of St. Wilfrid, of the Order of Notre Dame, now the Superioress of the Everton Valley Convent, Liverpool. Two of Mr. Lescher’s nieces had joined the same Order, the elder one, Miss Frances Lescher (better known as Sister Mary of St. Philip) being the Foundress and present Superioress and presiding genius of the Mount Pleasant Training College at Liverpool. Another of his nieces, Miss Monica Lescher, is present Lady Abbess of East Bergholt, where her sister holds the office of Mother Prioress, and there are others of the family at Atherstone, and at the Convent at Taunton—all following the family tradition of service in the cause of Catholicity in England.

The funeral took place at Kensal Green Cemetery on Monday last, after a Solemn Requiem Mass, sung by the Dominican Fathers in their church at Haverstock Hill, whither the body had been taken over night. The Very Rev. Father John Procter, Prior, sang the Mass, and there were present in the church and at the funeral, amongst others. Mr. F. Harwood Lescher, Mr. Herman Lescher, and the Rev. Wilfrid. Lescher, 0.P., sons of the deceased ; the Rev. Edward Lescher, Mr. Lescher, of Boyles Court, Mrs. F. Harwood Lescher, Mrs. Herman. Lescher, Mrs. Patrick Grehan, and Miss Clare Grehan, &c., &c.

The above text was found on p.29, 15th July 1893 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 .

Grehan of Clonmeen

Clonmeen House

 Technically the Grehans of Clonmeen are the senior branch of the family, because Peter Grehan is Thady Grehan’s eldest son  by his first wife. The introduction to the Grehan Estate Papers at  the Boole Library, University College Cork helps explain the origins of the estate.

“The Grehan’s, originally prosperous Dublin wine merchants, first acquired land in Co. Cork through a legacy of the lands of Clonmeen left by one John Roche in about 1830.”  John Roche was Stephen Grehan Senior’s uncle twice over. His wife Mary Roche (nee Grehan) was Stephen’s aunt, and his sister Mary Grehan (nee Roche) was Stephen’s mother.Stephen Grehan Senior ([1776] – 1871), the main beneficiary of Roche’s will, then set about acquiring more land in the area and also in County Tipperary. This work was carried on by Stephen’s son George ([1813] -1885), who in about 1860 moved from his Dublin home at 19 Rutland Square, to take up permanent residence at Clonmeen, where his son Stephen Junior(1859 – 1937 ) was raised.

Clonmeen Lodge
Clonmeen Lodge

When the Grehans first moved to their property in Co. Cork they lived in a small Georgian house now known today as Clonmeen Lodge.

Clonmeen House
Clonmeen House

In 1893, Stephen Grehan who had married a fellow member of the Ascendancy, Esther Chichester in 1883, built the present day Clonmeen House. Large tracts of land were sold off by Stephen Grehan through the auspices of the Land Commission throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, but Clonmeen remained a working farm until the death of Major Stephen Grehan in 1972, after which the property was sold.”

Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O’Connell

To provide the family context; Stephen Grehan Senior is Celia O’Bryen’s first cousin, once-removed on the Grehan side. He is also a second cousin on his mother’s side of Charles O’Connell, who was the MP for Kerry from 1832-1835, and married Catherine(Kate) the second daughter of Daniel O’Connell in 1832. Stephen is also a second cousin on his mother’s side of Garrett Standish Barry,elected to the House of Commons for county Cork in 1832, Garrett was the first Catholic Member of Parliament elected after the Emancipation Act of 1829.

Stephen Grehan Junior and Ernest O’Bryen are third cousins. This is quite a good illustration of how often families intermarried, and how strong their instincts were to keep the money within a tight circle.

It also entertaining that while Peter Grehan’s descendants made the move from trade to land, and it has to be said, kept the estate in the family for more than one hundred and fifty years right up until the 1970’s, it was his younger brother Patrick who married into the Old English and Gaelic aristocracy through his marriage to Judith Moore. Either way, I think it fair to say that the whole family is not “Ascendency” as described above, but are better described as prosperous, landed, upper-middle Catholic Irish.

This is the entry for a branch of the Grehan family from Burke’s Landed Gentry published in 1912.

STEPHEN GREHAN, of Clonmeen, co. Cork, J.P. and D.L., High Sheriff 1883, born. 1858 ; married. 1883, Esther, daughter of Col. Charles Raleigh Chichester, of Runnamoat.co. Roscommon (see CHICHESTER- CONSTABLE of Burton-Constable, Yorks.). She died 11 April, 1900, having had issue,

1. George, died an infant, 1892.

2. STEPHEN ARTHUR, b. 1896.

1. Mary.

2. Magda.

3. Kathleen, m. 18 Aug. 1910, Richard, only surviving son of George Edward Ryan, of Inch, co. Tipperary (see that family).

4. Aileen.

Lineage.

THADY GREHAN, of Dublin, died in 1792, leaving, with a daughter, Mary, who married John Roche, three sons,

1. PETER, of whom below.

2. Andrew, who married the daughter of Patrick White.

3. Patrick (Senior), who married  Jane (sic) Moore, of Mount Browne, and had a son,

Patrick (Junior),who married Catherine, daughter of George Mecham, and had,

Patrick (III)who married in 1842, Frances, daughter of John Pitchford, and

left issue.

The eldest son,

PETER GREHAN, married Mary, daughter, of Stephen Roche, of Limerick

(see ROCHE of Granagh Castle), and had issue, two sons and five daughters.,

1. Thady.

2. STEPHEN, of whom next.

1. Margaret, who married  John Joyce.

2. Anne, who married in January 1800, Thomas Segrave, of Dublin, who died in 1817, having had issue (see SEGRAVE of Cabra).

3. Mary, who married in 1804, Hubert Thomas Dolphin, of Turoe, co. Galway, and had issue (see that family) . He died 1829.

4. Helen, who married Alexander Sherlock.

5. Lucy, who married Christopher Gallwey.

The 2nd son,

STEPHEN GREHAN, of 19, Rutland Square, Dublin, married in May 1809, Margaret, daughter of George Ryan, of Inch, co. Tipperary (see that family), and had issue, a son,

GEORGE GREHAN, of Clonmeen, Banteer, co. Cork, High Sheriff 1859, born 1811, married 1855, Mary, daughter of Philip O’Reilly, of Colamber, co. Westmeath (see that family). She died in 1859. He died in 1886, leaving issue, an only child,

STEPHEN, now of Clonmeen.

Seat Clonmeen, Banteer, co. Cork.

Clubs Windham and Kildare Street.

Burke’s Landed Gentry 1912

Why the Grehans are quite posh.

Patrick Grehan III, Celia O’Bryen’s brother had inherited land in the parishes of Killinvoy and St Johns, barony of Athlone, county Roscommon via their grandmother Catherine Hodson. Their grandmother Judith Grehan (nee Moore) was the great, great, great, great, great grand-daughter of Rory O’More, and Margaret Butler, and therefore related to Anne Boleyn

Rory O’More is sometimes referred to as King of Leix (modern day Co.Laois), but is essentially a clan chieftain. But in Irish terms he is Gaelic nobility, Margaret Butler is the daughter of Piers Butler, the 8th Earl of Ormond. The Butlers are Old English aristocracy, i.e they were part of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in the C12th.

Patrick’s entry in Burke’s Landed Gentry in 1871 reads as follows:

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

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

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

Motto–Ne oubliex

Seat–Mount Plunkett, Licarrow, Roscommon

Their is a record of the confirmation of arms to Patrick Grehan III, in 1863

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

To help the trail a bit:

Patrick Grehan Senior married Judith Moore, daughter of Edward  Moore. Edward Moore was a partner with Thady Grehan, Patrick’s father. In some sources, Thady is referred to as Edward’s drayman, they were brewers together. In which case, it is a pretty spectacular case of social mobility, pretty much, the van driver’s lad marrying the boss’s daughter.

Edward Moore’s father, James died in 1741. James Moore’s great grand father was Walter More.

Walter More’s father was Lewis (Lysagh) O’More,  one of four sons of  Rory O’More (Ruairi Caoch O’Mordha) who married Margaret Butler. Margaret was the daughter of Thomas Butler and granddaughter of Piers Butler, eighth earl of Ormond.

There is more detail in possibly one of the most complicated entries in Burke’s LG, for the More – O’Farrells of Balyna