Tag Archives: Edward Verling

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.

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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 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.

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.