Henry Hewitt was described as the “Captain of the Beresford Revenue Cutter.” at the time of his daughter Jane’s marriage to Laurence O’Brien in Castletownsend in 1778. The following is from The Town and Country Magazine, and The Lady’s Magazine.
21[August 1780] Captain Kearney, regulating captain at Corke, in a letter to Mr Stephens, of the Admiralty, incloses one from the master of the Beresford cutter to the collector of that port, of which the following is a copy.
Castle Townsend, Aug 13, 1780, Two O’Clock P.M.
By express this morning, we acquainted you with an engagement off the harbour, on which we sent out a hooker, which has since returned, and find the fleet seen off to be that which sailed from Corke for America yesterday, all safe. The engagement was between his Majesty’s ship the Biensaisant, and one of the frigates with her, and a French 74, which we have the pleasure to acquaint you is taken. They are now lying too off this harbour, shifting the prisoners on board the different ships. The French ship had 600 men, on hundred of which were killed or wounded, and eleven killed and wounded in ours:- This is the account the officer that went out in the hooker brings us, but thinks it is the Compte d’Artois, but is certain she is a 74; and he towed a boat with some of the prisoners. Another ship, a privateer, was in fight with the Frenchman, but she is not now in fight
T. Hungerford, Surveyor
H. Hewitt, Master of the Beresford Revenue Cutter.
To the Collector of Corke.
The Ambuscade was the frigate which is mentioned in the above dispatches.
From The Town and Country Magazine, Or, Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction, and Knowledge. Volume XII, for the Year 1780, London. Printed for A. Hamilton Jnr near St John’s Gate.
The same report was in The Lady’s Magazine; Or, Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex Volume XI, 1780
and from the LONDON GAZETTE August 5 1797, the Beresford was still in action along the coast of Southern Ireland.
It’s unclear, but unlikely, as to whether Henry Hewitt was still in command. But, given his likely age, he almost certainly was not. Assuming he was about 50 years old at the marriage of his daughter Jane in 1778 [ using a 25y/o+ 25y/o formula], he would have been born about 1728. So in 1797, he would have been 69 years old. If he had been the same age as his son in law’s father who was born in 1717, he would have been 80 years old. So, one hopes, the Irish Customs Service had managed to find a slightly more youthful Captain than Great Grandpa Henry…
Admiralty Office August 1 1797
Copy of a Letter from Vice Admiral Kingsmill, Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Ships and Vessels at Cork to Evan Nepean Esq. [ He was Secretary to the Board of Admiralty 1795-1804, and later Chief Secretary in Ireland, and later one of the Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty] dated [HMS] L’Engageante, Cork Harbour July 5 1797
Please to inform my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that having Intelligence of a small Privateer being off Bally Cotton, I sent out Lieutenant Pulling, in the Mary Revenue Cutter, in Quest of her, and in a few Hours he fell in with the Beresford, coming from Waterford, just as she had captured the said Privateer, a chasse marée, named L’Acheron, of 28 Tons, out of Morlaix, carrying 1 Carronade Eight-Pounder and six Swivels, and 40 Men. She is just arrived here, and had taken Three Vessels, all of which I understand are recaptured.
I have, &c. R. Kingsmill.
The ship was decommissioned in 1819, and sold for scrappage in Plymouth, although the name lived on in more ships in the Royal Navy.
1778, March 20th, at Castle-Townsend co. Cork, Laurence O’Brien, to Miss Hewitt, daughter of Henry Hewitt, Esq, Captain of the Beresford Revenue Cutter.
The Gentleman’s and London Magazine: Or Monthly Chronologer published in Dublin, printed by John Exshaw in Dame Street.
Laurence O’Brien and Jane Hewitt are Henry Hewitt O’Bryen [1780-1836]’s parents, and John Roche O’Bryen‘s paternal grandparents, so in our case, great, great, great, great, grandparents. Jane Hewitt is also the reason for the Hewitt name occurring as a forename in the next four, or five generations
A Revenue Cutter was a Customs vessel and each cutter master was answerable to and received his sailing orders directly from the Collector of Customs of the port to which his ship was assigned. All crew pay, requests for supplies, arrangements for repairs to the cutter, and mission-specific tasking came directly from the port’s Customs House.
So great grandpa x 5 Henry Hewitt was a Customs Officer.
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.
To recap briefly, she runs away from home in Bristol to Ireland in 1854, aged about eighteen. She takes her uncle, and guardian, John Roche O’Bryen to court, successfully gets her guardianship changed, and within two years of her court case has married into the Barry family. The Barrys, one way or another, trace themselves back to the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 1170’s, and in various ways have managed to hold on to land, and money, or both, since then. Their original seat was Barryscourt Castle, and they were given the land from Cork to Youghal, about 50 sq. km. One of the main tactics for keeping wealth in the family was marrying cousins, or through the use of marriage settlements, so Pauline’s marriage was unusual. Having said that, she was bringing the modern-day equivalent of about £ 7,000,000 to the marriage, which helps.
So Pauline is marrying into a junior branch of an old established Anglo-Irish family. It all tends to point to her having some established pedigree, as well as cold, hard, cash. At the risk of speculating, I think it may well turn out that in Pauline’s case, the cash, as we know, comes from John Roche, who is both her maternal great grandfather, and paternal great-uncle. The pedigree, is more speculative, but here goes. Henry Hewitt O’Bryen, Pauline’s maternal grandfather, is the grandson of Daniel O’Brien (1717-1758).
Daniel O’Brien appears to be either a bastard son of William, the third Earl of Inchiquin, or potentially more likely, the bastard son of Charles O’Brien, William’s second son. Charles is rather curiously listed as died unmarried, rather than d.s.p. (died without issue). In Irish Pedigrees by John O’Hart; 1892, O’Hart lists an otherwise unlisted elsewhere, Donal, a fourth son of William O’Brien. I don’t think we are pushing things too far to consider William O’Brien bringing up his bastard grandson as part of the household. It’s interesting that another grandson of William’s, Murrough O’Brien, the 5th Earl of Inchiquin, and 1st Marquess of Thomond was reputed to have a bastard son Thomas Carter, the composer (1769 – 1800) who lived with him at Taplow Court in Berkshire
The Irish landed gentry had a much more relaxed attitude to illegitimacy than is perhaps now realised. Henry Hewitt O’Bryen and Mary Roche were staying at Fort Richard, in co. Cork when their first three children were born, and John Galwey, who owned Fort Richard, and their probable host, and Henry’s contemporary, fathered seven children illegitimately at Fort Richard, starting in 1814, before finally settling down and marrying fifteen years later. Father O’Connor, the parish priest, wrote ‘Bastard’ next to each of those names.
So, in Pauline Roche’s case, the cash comes from John Roche who “amassed great wealth during the French wars, and built Aghada House“. We know JR was a merchant, but little more. Ireland’s exports were predominately agricultural, with a fair proportion heading across the Atlantic to the West Indies, and West Indian goods returning, so there is a reasonable possibility of part of John Roche’s money being tainted by slave labour, though no actual evidence yet.
The pedigree is rather looser; quite possibly a link to the O’Bryens at Rostellan Castle. The Earls of Inchiquin, who later became the Marquesses of Thomond lived at Rostellan, which is about a mile away from Aghada, where John Roche had built his house in 1808. In a slight curiosity, both families started spelling O”Bryen with a “y” rather than an “i” at about the same time. We’ve considered the possible link to William O’Brien earlier. Henry Hewitt O’Bryen, Pauline’s maternal grandfather, was the son of Laurence O’Brien, and Jane Hewitt. Their marriage settlement refers to Laurence having a malt house, and the Hewitt family were brewers, and distillers. There is no firm evidence to link Jane Hewitt, and Henry Hewitt, her father, directly to the Hewitt brewing and distilling dynasty, but all the signs point in that direction. The Hewitts established a distillery in 1792, and ran it until 1864 when they sold it to the Cork Distillery Company who eventually evolved into Irish Distillers, now part of Pernod Ricard.
So Pauline’s maternal great, great, grandfather seems to be the bastard son of Irish aristocracy, and Old Irish at that. Topped up with strategic marriages that bring in money at each generation. The trustees and witnesses of the marriage settlement are significant. “John Sarsfield of the City of Corke Merchant & Richard Connell of the said City Esq” are the trustees of the settlement, “Francis Goold & Wm Galway, and Richard Townsend of Castle Townsend” are signatories to Laurence O’Brien’s indentures of leases. “Thomas Hardy of the City of Corke Gent & Matthew Thomas Hewitt of Castle Townsend aforesaid Esq.,” are the witnesses to the agreements.
William Henry Barry of Ballyadam, is William Barry, of Rockville’s grandson, and the husband of Pauline Roche.Pauline Roche is Ernest O’Bryen‘s first cousin on her mother’s side. Her mother Jane is John Roche O’Bryen‘s eldest sister. She is also his second cousin on her father’s side, because William Roche, Pauline’s father is their ( Jane and John Roche O’Bryen) first cousin once removed. So Pauline Roche’s children are EAOB’s second cousins on their maternal grandmother’s side, and third cousins on their maternal grandfather’s side. All fabulously complicated…….
Pauline Barry (nee Roche) had died in the autumn of 1894, aged fifty eight,or fifty nine, almost exactly a year before the death of her cousin Mgr. Henry O’Bryen. They were both born in 1835, Pauline was born in Rome, and Mgr. H.H. was born in Montpellier, and they were brought up together in his father/ her uncle’s household.
William and Pauline Barry’s children were: (there is more detail here)
(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 1863, but possibly as early as 1861, and possibly as late as 1866. Died 19??
Mary, born 18?? d. after 1911
Henrietta, b. 1873/4,unmarried
Kate. b 1879 unmarried.
Only Edith, and Mary Barry, get married, out of all seven brothers and sisters, .Both Edith’s husbands were Army Surgeons. Mary married into the Smith-Barrys of Ballyedmond. In a slightly curious irony, the Master of the Rolls who sat on Pauline Roche’s case in 1855 ( Sir Thomas Berry Cusack-Smith) married into the Smith Barry family, as did Pauline and William’s daughter Mary, making him( Sir Thomas) and Louisa Cusack-Smith, Mary Barry’s husband Cecil’s great-uncle and aunt. It’s a small, small world…
Edith has three sons with Patrick Hayes, and a son and a daughter with William Babtie.
Mary has two daughters with Cecil Smith-Barry.
Ballyadam House, the family home seems to be large. According to the 1901 Irish census it had 16 rooms, and the out-buildings listed are
1 coach house
1 harness room
2 cow houses
1 calf house
1 fowl house
1 boiling house
1 potato house
A total of 24 outbuildings
In 1901 Pauline Barry is listed as the head of household at Ballyadam, and was living there with her sister (Henrietta) Rose and a servant, and she is also listed as the owner of 2 2-room cottages each with 2 outbuildings. In 1911, both Pauline, and Rose are still living there, and they have been joined by their younger sister Kate, and eldest brother Patrick, who is listed as the head of the household. There are two servants living in the house, and their six year old niece Janet Babtie is living with them as well.
In 1901, Cecil and Mary Smith-Barry were living in a reasonably sized house in Castlemartyr, Cork. They had ten rooms, and a couple of stables, and a coach house. the household comprised of Cecil, and Mary, their five year old daughter Cecily Nina, and a twenty three year old house and parlourmaid, Julia Casey. Ten years later, Mary has 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 who is now fifteen, and four year old Edith, and a nineteen year old servant girl.
TRANSCRIPTION OF THE MARRIAGE SETTLEMENT OF LAURENCE O’BRIEN AND JANE HEWITT DATED 10th MARCH 1778 (237348)
To the Registrar appointed by Act of Parliament for the publick registring of Deeds Conveyances & Wills
Memorial of Articles of Agreement made concluded and agreed upon the tenth Day of March one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight Between Laurence O Brien of Castle Townsend in the County of Cork Merchant of the first part Henry Hewitt Esq. & Jane Hewitt Spinster his only daughter both of Castle Townsend aforesaid of the second part & John Sarsfield of the City of Corke Merchant & Richard Connell of the said City Esq. of the third part reciting that by Indenture bearing date the fourteenth Day of October one thousand seven hundred and seventy two & made between Elizabeth Crofton of the City of Corke Widow of the one part & the said Laurence O Brien of the other part the said Elizabeth Crofton for the consideration therein mentioned did demise unto the said Laurence O Brien his Exeors Admins & Assigns then being in his actual Possession for the term of sixteen years from the twenty fifth day of March then last past All That that part of the Farms & Lands of Burrgashogh called Colbane then held by the said Laurence O Brien containing twenty three Acres english Statute Measure & under yearly Rent of nine pounds six shillings & eight pence & also reciting that by Indenture bearing date the twenty fifth Day of February one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven & made between Richard Townsend of Castle Townsend aforesaid Esq. of the one part & the said Laurence O Brien of the other part the said Richard Townsend for the consideration therein mentioned did demise unto the said Laurence O Brien All That his the said Laurence O Brien’s Dwelling House Malt House & Stables together with a little Field adjoining the said Holdings situate in the Barony of Carbery & County of Corke in his actual Possession then being To Hold the said demised Premises unto the said Laurence O Brien his Heirs & Assigns for & during the natural Lives & Life of the said Laurence O Brien Francis Goold & Wm Galway & the Survivor of them at the yearly Rent of seven pounds & reciting that a Marriage was shortly to be made & solemnized between the said Laurence O Brien & Jane Hewitt then the said Articles witness that in Consideration of said Marriage & of three hundred pounds the Marriage Portion of the said Jane Hewitt paid by the said Henry Hewitt to the said Laurence O Brien & in Consideration of ten shillings paid to the said Laurence O Brien by the said John Sarsfield & Richard Connell the said Laurence O Brien did for him his Exeors Admins & Assigns settle unto the said John Sarsfield & Richard Connell & the Survivor of them & the Heirs & Assigns of such Survivor that part of said Lands of Burrgashogh called Colbane & also All That the said Laurence O Brien’s Dwelling House Malt House & Stables together with the little Field adjoining the said Holdings situate in the Barony of Carbery & County of Corke they the said John Sarsfield & Richard Connell permitting the said Laurence O Brien to take & receive the Rents Issues & Profits of the hereinbefore mentioned Lands & Premises for & during so many years of said Term as he shall live for & as his Joynture out of the Rents of the said Lands & Premises with full power to distrain for the same & also to the use & Behalf of any Child or Children of the said Laurence O Brien by the said Jane Hewitt if more than one Child to be disposed of in such manner as the said Laurence O Brien should think proper by any Deed to be by him executed in his life Time or by his last Will & Testament in Writing & for Want of such Appointment by Deed or Will to be equally divided between them share & share alike & that in Case the said Laurence O Brien should survive the said Jane Hewitt & should thereafter marry any other Wife or Wives by whom he may have Issue that then they the said John Sarsfield & Richard Connell & the Survivor of them should be deemed to be seized & possessed of all & singular the Lands & Premises aforesaid & of all & every other that real freehold & personal Fortune & Estate whereof the said Laurence O Brien may die possessed or intitled unto thereout by Lease Sale or Mortgage to levy & raise the sum of five hundred pounds for the Use of the Children begotten by the said Laurence O Brien on the Body of the said Jane Hewitt and if but one Child the sum of two hundred & fifty pounds & no more And the said Articles further Witness that if the said Laurence O Brien should survive the said Jane Hewitt that it should be lawfull for the said Laurence O Brien to settle & convey all & singular the Lands & Premises aforesaid as a security for any Joynture not exceeding eighty pounds yearly for may after to be taken Wife or Wives provided always that such Joynture to be so settled on such Wife or Wives should not barr affect lessen or prejudice such provision before mentioned for any Child or Children to which said Articles of Agreement the said Parties put their Hands & Seals Witness thereto are Thomas Hardy of the City of Corke Gent & Matthew Thomas Hewitt of Castle Townsend aforesaid Esq., & this Memorial is witnessed by the said Matthew Thomas Hewitt & Percy Rugge of the said City of Cork Gent.
Joynture – sole estate limited to wife, to be employed by her after her husband’s death for her life.