Turtle Bunbury

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FAMILY

LISNAVAGH

William Bunbury (c. 1674-1710) of Lisnavagh, Co. Carlow

 



In 2010, a metal detector unearthed three coins at Lisnavagh - one dated to the reign of Edward III and two shilling pieces of silver minted between the reigns of Henry VII (from the 1480s) and James I (early 17th century). It's rather wonderful to imagine that these coins once, perhaps, slipped from someone's purse or pocket into the earth to lie undisturbed for the next however many centuries.

The Bunburys arrived at Lisnavagh at sometime in the 1680s or 1690s, possibly earlier, when Benjamin Bunbury of Killerig bestowed the property on his son William. It seems that Benjamin was himself renting the land from the Duke of Ormond's brother but when the Butlers ran into financial difficulty, particularly after the Jacobite Rising of 1715, the Bunburys may have better placed to buy the property.

As we learn more of the various players - Butler, Leyn, Meredith and Korton - who were connected to Lisnavagh before the Bunburys arrived, it is uplifting to think we are now on first name terms with some of those who may have visited such forts three or four hundred years ago. Perhaps, for instance, Redmond Lyne popped into the ringfort by Oldfort for a mug of mead in 1610! Presumably these people were well aquainted with all the sites around us that are now ruined or gone - the monastery and castle at Acaun, the rigngforts at Knocknagan, Rathmore and Rathgall, the castles of Tullow, Clonmore and Rathvilly, the Norman motte beside the Haroldstown dolmen in Tobinstown ... certainly the more I learn about the past, the more connected I feel to the future.

The Move to Ireland

Born in about 1674, William Bunbury was the third of five sons born to Benjamin Bunbury (1642-1707) of Killerig, Co. Carlow, the first of the family to settle in Ireand, by his wife Mary. (1a) The Bunbury family have been connected to Ireland at least since Elizabethan times when Thomas Bunbury was appointed one of the executors of Sir Walter Raleigh's Lismore estate in 1585. Several of William's aunts and uncles may have been living in Ireland at this point. In 1669, Benjamin Bunbury took a lease on the lands at Killerig in Co Carlow from the the Earl of Arran, younger brother of James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde.

The SIBLINGS of WILLIAM of LISNAVAGH

William's eldest brother, Joseph Bunbury (d. 1731), settled at Johnstown, just outside Carlow town, married Hannah Hinton and was ancestor to the Bunburys of Johnstown.

His second brother Thomas Bunbury (d. 1743) married Rose Jackson and was ancestor to the Bunburys of Cloghna & Cranavonane.

His younger brother Matthew Bunbury (d. 1733) moved to Tipperary and was ancestor to the Bunburys of Kilfeacle, including Lord Roberts.

His youngest brother Benjamin Bunbury inherited Killerig and married Hester Huband of Dublin.

His sister Diana Bunbury (d. 1728) married Captain Thomas Barnes (d. 1710), said to have been one of the Duke of Ormonde's officers, and lived at Grange, Co. Kilkenny.

Benjamin Bunbury Senior died aged 64 on April 4th 1707. In 1916 the noted historian Lord Walter FitzGerlad found ‘a small fragment of a limestone slab, now placed on a Heap of stones' on which he could make out the words Killer[rig] and [Benja]min Bunbu[ry]. However, he said the remainder of the headstone had already 'quite disappeared'. FitzGerald added that Benjamin's 'tomb-slab exists in St. Mary’s churchyard, Carlow'. The inscription footnoted below claims he was 44 but this is surely incorrect. (2d)

RATH FIELD RINGFORT

In the woodland belt beside our home at Lisnavagh there is a typical, textbook and very well preserved Gaelic ringfort, or rath, dating from the 6th-11th century. This was one of at least 40,000 of these defended farmsteads built across Ireland during the early medieval period. These constitute an extremely rich and utterly unique settlement archaeology; nowhere else in Europe has anything approaching this wealth of archelogy from that period. It becomes richer still when considered alongside the vernacular and literary heritage of the period and the remarkable archaeological finds like the Derrynaflan Chalice and the High Crosses, and the great works of art from this Golden Age in Irish history.

The ringfort itself comprises of a big sausage of earth in a circle, measuring about 30 metres across, plus the remnants of a ditch that has “silted” up over the years. The ditch outside would have been much, much bigger and wider, perhaps 10 metres wide at its peak, and that would have been topped off with this earthen bank around the fort itself which would itself have been considerably higher, a couple of metres higher than it is now, which would in turn have had a big palisade around it. It would have been very stoutly defended.

The interior would have had a collection of houses, maybe two or three, probably round, made from wattle and daub, with perhaps a souterrain or underground passage also which served as a sort of fridge. A huge body of new information from excavations in last 20 years shows these houses were large, round and circular, capable of taking 2 or 3 modern bungalows on the floor-space, generally built of post and wattle, lovely and cosy inside with a heart at the centre, timber posts supporting the roof like a wigwam. There’d often be a second, smaller house next door, the Granny Flat, and then there would be workshops and places for metalwork and other annexes.

This would have been the residence of a strong farmer in the area, somebody who had substantial – and good - land attached to the ringfort. There’s an element of continuity here from pre-history when people are living in enclosed, defended residences, particularly in the Bronze Age, defending against cattle raids. About twenty or so people would have lived here. There would also have been animals here.

The Irish laws from the time this was built provide chapter and verse of how to build a ringfort, with the dimensions of the ditch, how many houses you could out inside.

LISNAVAGH - FORT OF THE WOODS

Spelled in Irish as either Lios na bhFeá [Fort of the Woods] or Lios na bhFiodh [Garden of Beech], Lisnavagh has inumerable alternative spellings in the archives, including Lisnevagh, Lisnevahe, Lisnavea, Lisnevea, Lyssnevey, Lissenevy, Lysneva and Lesenevae. It is spelled as Lisnevagh on Petty's survey of 1659 and the Bunbury family appear to have spelled it that way until some as yet unknown date in the late 19th or 20th century when they opted for 'Lisnavagh' instead. (4a)

In terms of the original meaning of the name, my money is on Lios na bhFea [Fort of the Woods], which was the conclusion of Liam Ó Paircin in his excellent 1998 thesis 'Logainmneacha Cheatharlach - Tráchtas do chéim dhochtúireachta sa Nua-Ghaeilge'. One wonders where the original fort was? I often find myself looking at Bowe's Grove halucinating past residences from amid its curious earthen banks and scattered grainte rocks. It has a very ancient feeling there, of humans from another age.

The Irish spelling of Lios na BhFeá appeared on the brown tourist signs directing people to Lisnavagh Gardens in around 2001. This encourages the suggestion that Lisnavagh means 'a garden or enclosure of beech'. This is not an absolutely definite translation. We have no idea where this interpretaion came from and we can only assume that it is a realistic transcription based on sound research or knowledge. Apparently 'Fea' can mean “beech” or (more generically) simply “trees”. It depends how far back the name goes. Certainly some of the oldest trees at Lisnavagh are the beech trees around where we believe the old house was situated, or otherwise marked on the 1840 ordnance survey map? Beech trees generally don’t live longer than about 200 years, so it’s hard to know. There is also a theory that 'Lisnevagh' is an English mistranslation of 'Lios na Aoife', meaning Aoife's Fort. This last suggestion appeared in 'Place Names of County Carlow c1937' by the late Edward O'Toole of Rathvilly.

By the end of the seventeenth century, a great deal of Ireland's natural woodland had been cut down and timber was beginning to be in short supply. This coincided with the spread of estate embellishment, with planned gardens and amenity planting of trees. As early as 1672, Sir William Petty, disturbed by the rapid deforestation of wooded areas in Ireland, suggested that two million trees should be planted during the next fifty years. Although nothing appears to have come of this, the first of seventeen Acts was applied to Ireland in 1698 to enforce, or at least to encourage, planting.

THE BUTLER & LEYN FAMILIES

Peter, 8th Earl of Ormond, was given the Castle and town of Rathvilly (as well as Clonmore, Tullow, Powerstown, Kellistown, Leighlin and Arklow) as a reward for helping to suppress the rebellion of Silken Thomas.

The Elizabethan Fiants of 1566 suggest that Lisnavea was held by Theobald Butler fitzThomas at that time. Theobald m'Tho Butler of Lesnevee is likewise recorded in the Fiant of 1581. [1]

By 1608, Lesenevae (as it is spelled) appears to have been held by a fellow called Redmond Leyn; he is named as a freeholder of the Barony of Ravill [ie: Rathvilly] in the Calendar of the Carew manuscripts. Another Rathvilly freeholder named in the Carew Papers is Edmond Leyn of Shroughbooo, elsewhere spelled Shrowboe (Straboe?), who he is also mentioned in deeds relating to the de Vale / Wale / Wall family of Johnstown. The Leyns may very well be connected to Edward O'Lynn of County Carlow, mentioned in the Chancery Rolls during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Edmund Line was appointed constable of Castledermot Castle in the 1560s while the townloand of Ballymoag in Forth barony was held by Tirlough Line (O'Leyne/Lyne) in 1641. The Elizabethan Fiants also point to a William O'Leyne who held Rathmore, presumably both manor and lands, in 1566. As the Bunburys would later own Johnstown in the parish of Urglin (spelled 'Urrighlin ' in the Carlow Inquisitions) it is also to be noted that The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (1907) proposes that Urglin"probably stands for Urrigh ua Fhloinn, or O'Lyn." [4b]

SIR ROBERT MEREDITH

Amongst the documents at Lisnavagh are an extract from an award made by James I, dated 3rd October 1618, in a dispute between the Earl of Ormonde and Lord Dingwall, in part affecting the title to the lands of Lisnavagh, Co. Carlow. The National Library holds a copy of various leases by the Earl of Ormonde of 1633: Ormonde leased 'the manor of Rathvillie' to R. Meredyth (1633), of 'Tobinstown and the site of the Abbey of Skan (Acaun?)' to H. Masterson on 20th March 1633 and 'the lands of Lisnevagh and Williamstown, Co. Carlow' to R. Cope [Robert?] on March 26th 1635. (i)

R. Meredyth was Sir Robert Meredith, knt. of Greenhills and Shrewland, Co. Kildare, privy-councillor, and Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland. His father Richard Meredith was Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral from 1584 to 1589 when he became Bishop of Leighlin. Bishop Meredith died in 1597 and was buried at Sr. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Sir Robert was knighted by Black Tom Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, in 1635, two years after he acquired his property in Rathvilly from Lord Ormonde. He also owned land at Birr, Co. Offaly, and Blanchestown (Blancardstown?). In 1647, he was one of the commissioners appointed to administer the executive government after the Marquess of Ormonde stepped down, suggesting that Meredyth was a Cromwellian who nabbed Rathvilly from the Butlers. He was married in 1618 to Anne Ussher, sixth daughter of Sir William Ussher, clerk of the council. When he died in 1668, Meredyth was succeeded by his son Sir William Meredith who died the following year, when the barony became extinct. It seems likely that the Bunburys came into Lisnavagh following this double death in the Meredith family.

In 1641, the castles at Clonmore, Tullow, Raththvilly and Hacketsown were seized by the Confederates and held in the name of Piers Fitzgerald of Ballyshannon. (It was at this time that Hackestown Castle, which was possibly built by the de Lacy’s, was destroyed). A flavour of just how unpleasant it was to be alive in the mid-17th century can be found in this dreadful deposition by Ann Hill, extracted from an article in the 2011 edition of Carlovina 2011 by James P. Shannon entitled 'Hacketstown and the 1641 Rebellion - List of people detailing Property Lost / Damaged' relating to the 1641 Depositions at Trinity College Library.

'As she was coming to Dublin she was assaulted at Bordkillmore by Murtogh McEwn of Hacketstown and William of Killclouagh, commonly called William the Plaixsterer and nine or ten more who pulled off her back a child of about a year and trod it to death, stripped herself and her fower small children naked. And through the could they gott contracted by such vsage her other three children are since dead.'

On Petty's Survey of 1656-1658, his map of the 'Barony of Ravillie in County of Catherlough' suggests that Lisnavagh (unnamed) was then part of the parish of Rathvilly which was "the unforfeited Land of Rathvilly & Sr Robert Meredey, Protestant, prop.' Nothing is marked as happening in the parish itself but, on its the north-eastern border, the land of Williamstowne [sic] is described as 'arable and healthy' and there is a castle marked on it. Just south-east of Williamstown, 'Tobins towne' is noted for 'past & Ar' (ie pasture and arable) and has an Abbey marked on its northern bounds. Some of the these lands marked Tobinstown appear to have been subsequently incorporated into Lisnavagh. The lands north east of Tobinstown in the Clonmore lordship belong to Sir John Temple. There is no mention of the raths at Tobinstown or Oldfort, not o the Haroldstown dolmen. Also of interest is a castle and windmill at Ballybit, down by the River Slaney. Curiously, the land in the north of the “Parish of Kinghagh”, immediately west of Rathvilly Parish, is called the “Towneland of Rathdonnell” (near Bough?) and Rathdonnell was, of course, the title taken by John McClintock when he became a Baron in 1868. McClintock’s mother Jane Bunbury was from Lisnavagh, and his brother William built the present house at Lisnavagh, so this may have influenced his decision to choose the Rathdonnell name. However, tradition states that he actually chose the name for Rathdonnell in County Donegal, a house (and ringfort) that was owned by some of the earlier generations of the McClintocks in Ireland.

Petty's 1659 population survey of the townland of Lisnevagh [sic] shows that it was occupied by fourteen people – 9 Catholics and 5 Protestants – and registered to John Korton, gent. He may also have had ownership of Williamstown (4), Tobinstown (14), Bonecery & Busherstowne (51) and Carnescough (20). In the Barony of Rathvilly there were 176 English and 719 Irish. Other settlers in the Barony include Jeffery Paule, Hugh Doyne, the Flenters, Francis Browne and Mr. Papworth.

It seems that the Meredith family off-loaded some of the Carlow estates following the deaths of Sir Robert and Sir William in 1668n and 1669 respectively. Richard Meredith, a nephew of Sir William, succeeded as family head but he was only 12 years old at this time. Richard, who was MP for Athy from 1703-1713 and died in 1743, married Sarah Paul, daughter and co-heiress of the influential Jeffrey Paul of Bough, Co. Carlow. Benjaimn Bunbury II of Killerig, high sheriff of Carlow in 1713, would face accusations of using undue influence to ensure Jeffrey Paul's electoral victory that year.

Speed’s map of Leinster from 1670 indicates that the lands at Lisnavgh were owned by Edmond Butler, but I am unsure who this Edmond might have been. He does not seem to have been a brother or son of the 1st or 2nd Duke of Ormond. The original lease on Lisnavagh was granted by Richard Butler, Viscount of Tullogh and Earl of Arran (brother of Lord Ossory and uncle to the 2nd Duke) to Benjamin Bunbury of Killerick in 1676. The estate is bordered by the ringforts of Knocknagan and Tobinstown on the east, Rathmore to the north, Williamstown to the south and Rathvilly to the west. In the 4th century, these raths formed the epicentre of the Hy Kinsellagh's power base. The residents of the ringfort at Tobinstown enjoyed an excellent view all the way to Keadeen Mountain with its giant imprints by Boleycarrigeen where Finn McCool and his wife once lay.

A map from 1685 shows that the Lisnavagh townland was by no means populated. Curiously the name of ‘Rathdonell’ is listed, just north of Rathmore.

Benjamin Bunbury also had the lease of Tobinstown which, on 16 June 1683, he leased to a Catholic soldier named John Baggott. Baggott was later attainted for serving the Catholic King James II. Many of Baggott's Carlow estates were acquired in 1702 by the Right Honourable Philip Savage, Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland. Meanwhile, on 20th December 1695, Benjamin Bunbury assigned the Lisnavagh lease to his son, William Bunbury. On 21st December 1695 - the Winter Solstice - Benjamin also assigned the lease of his Tobinstown lands to William. William was not yet 25 years old.

The Marriage to Elizabeth Pendred

On 16th January 1696, 22-year-old William Bunbury was married at St Andrew's Church, Dublin. His bride was Elizabeth (Mary) Pendred, the 24-year-old daughter of Isaac Pendred (1630-1682), a yeoman farmer from Sywell, Northamptonshire, by his second wife, Sarah Beech. Isaac was one of the younger grandsons of Francis Pendred (1550-1616), husbandman, of Overstone in the parish of Sywell. Elizabeth's only brother William Pendred (1665-1736) married Catherine Eustace, heiress of Broughillstown House, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow. When Catherine died in 1701, Broughillstown passed to William Pendred. He succeeded to the Irish farms of his maternal uncle, George Beech, who died in 1703. William and Catherine Pendred had a son, Captain George Pendred (1696-1741), who married Cordelia, daughter of Morley Saunders, LLD, MP for Enniscorthy, of Saunders Grove, by his wife Frances Goodwin. Captain Pendred's son Morley Pendred-Saunders married Lady Martha Stratford, daughter of the 1st Earl of Aldborough.

William and Elizabeth Bunbury enjoyed just fourteen years of married life before their deaths in 1710, Elizabeth on 28th February and William, aged 36, on 13th October. He was buried in Tullow on the 17th. Little is known of their life but it cannot have been a happy one. The Church of Ireland in Tullow records the baptism of six of their children between November 1700 and March 1705. These were Sarah Bunbury (born 21.11.1700), Benjamin Bunbury (born 28.6.1702), William Bunbury II (born 12.6.1704, who succeeded), Joseph Bunbury (born 1705), Thomas Bunbury of Kill (born March 1706, father of William Bunbury III of Lisnavagh) and Mary Bunbury (born 26.3.1705, married the Rev. Gibson Raymond). (6) There was also a daughter Elizabeth Bunbury who, it seems likely, married Richard Lockwood.

THE 1696 HOUSE AT LISNAVAGH

According to an inscription above the main staircase of Lisnavagh House (apparently etched on a relict of the original house), the first Lisnavagh House was built in 1696 - midway through the reign of William of Orange and presumably in response to William's recent marriage and his aquisition of Lisnavagh the previous year. We do not know what it looked like. It may not have been built to last. William's grandson, William Bunbury III, MP, was certainly planning to build a new house at Lisnavagh when killed in a horse fall in 1778. The original house seems to have been felled in its entirety by the time work commenced on the New House in 1847.

We do, however, have a good idea where it was situated in the Lisnavagh parklands at the top of Kinselagh's Hill in what is now part of the Pigeon Park. The exact spot is thought to be marked by three lime trees and the old Carlow-Hacketstown Road is said to have passed right bt here. The avenue started at the west side of the house, went north along what are now the Terraces, east across the edge of the Front Lawn (where there is a pathway in some old photos of the house) and on to the Kitchen Lawn from where it swung right (or north east) through the middle of where the Yew Trees now stand, then straight to where the “Grand National” rhododendron grows at the corner of the Mare’s Paddock, and on out into the Mare’s Paddock. It then turned almost due east and out to the present Rathvilly-Tobinstown road. Its entrance and Gate Lodge must have been roughly opposite where the gate goes into the Schoolhouse Field.

As my brother William notes, the 1840 plan also suggests the presence of an ornamental garden or herbaceous borders to the east side of the 1696 farmhouse (covering part of Pegasus Paddock, Cullen’s Dell and the Pigeon Park. To the north of that there appears to be a plantation of some kind which covers the rest of Pegasus Paddock and the main Pleasure Grounds area, roughly speaking. Perhaps this as an orchard? It would also have offered shelter from the cold north easterly winds. To the south of the house, there are buildings – presumably farm buildings and stock yards. There are some softwood trees planted to the south and west, again presumably to offer shelter from prevailing winds.

My father also tells me that when they first ploughed Whelan's Bank, the line of a North-South road down that line of trees was very clear. This line of trees is also evident on the 1840 map.

FEE FARM GRANT OF LISNAVAGH, 1708

The fee farm grant of Lisnavagh by the Duke of Ormonde was dated 22nd February 1708 with Benjamin named as the grantee; the annual rent was £105.5s.4d. I believe it was granted to William Bunbury I and his heirs in fee farm indentures of lease and release dated 21st and 28th February 1708 respectively. On 20th December 1723, Joseph Bunbury and William Pendred purchased the fee farm for Tobinstown from the Earl of Arran for £2600 and 64 shillings.

1/20 31 Aug. 1773 Abstract of the title of Thomas Bunbury Esq. to the lands of Lisnavagh, Tobinstown, Ballybitt, etc, in the county of Carlow.

'James Duke of Ormonde and his trustees being empowered by several acts of parliament to make fee farm grants, by deeds of leases and release, dated the 21st and 22nd February 1708, did grant ... unto William Bunbury Esq., deceased, the townland of Lisnavagh, containing 666 acres more or less, part of the manor of Rathvilly in the barony of Rathvilly and county of Carlow, to hold to the said William Bunbury his heirs and assignees forever ... - see this deed which was registered the 23rd November 1709.

By virtue of which conveyance the said William Bunbury became seized and held and enjoyed during his life and upon his decease the said lands became vested in fee in his eldest son, William Bunbury Esq., since deceased. That Charles, Lord Baron Weston in England and Earl of Arran in Ireland being seized in fee of the lands of Tobinstown in the said county of Carlow, containing 512 acres more or less, by deeds of lease and release dated the 23rd and 24th December 1723 ... did grant release and confirm unto William Pendred and Joseph Bunbury, executors of William Bunbury and guardians of his sons, William and Thomas Bunbury, all the said lands except the mill and lands thereto belonging to hold to them their heirs and assignees forever ... - see these deeds which were enrolled in Chancery and registered 18 March 1723.

That by other deeds of lease and release dated 20th and 21st June 1726 the said William Pendred and Joseph Bunbury ... did grant release and confirm unto William Bunbury and Thomas Bunbury the said lands ... by virtue of which deeds the said William and Thomas Bunbury became seized and tenants in common ... .

THE TITHES OF GRANEY

On 24th April 1700, Joseph Bunbury officially conveyed the rectory and tithes of Graney to his younger brother William Bunbury. The Duke of Ormonde’s release to William is dated 20th April 1703.

The Act of Resumption

In 1702, William Bunbury was, along with his brothers Joseph, Thomas and Benjamin, among the Carlow elite who sign the Petition from Protestants of the County of Carlow on the Act of Resumption 1702. My limited understanding of this Act is that, following the Jacobite Wars, William of Orange had tended to reward his favourites with vast tracts of land forfeited by his enemies, much as Queen Elizabeth and James I had done two generations earlier. He was particularly generous to non-English retainers like the Earl of Galway and his mistress Elizabeth Villiers. In 1699, the Commission of Irish Forfeitures Report estimated that a staggering 1,600,000 Irish acres had been forfeited by Irish Jacobites, many of whom had since fled to France and America. The Act of Resumption was tacked onto a land tax bill which few dared oppose. 'It cleared and placed all estates into the hands of a seven-member commission, nominated by the Commons. Each case was judged on its own merits and if declared null and void - as was the case with Galway's forfeiture - it would revert to the Trustees for Forfeited Estates to be auctioned'. (5)

Context: The Great Storm of 26 November 1703 killed an estimated 8,000 people in southern England. It also blew ships hundreds of miles, blew down more than 400 windmills, demolished more than 2,000 large chimneys in London alone and destroyed the Eddystone Lighthouse. Daniel Defoe produced his full-length book The Storm (July 1704) in response to the calamity, calling it "the tempest that destroyed woods and forests all over England". He wrote: "No pen could describe it, nor tongue express it, nor thought conceive it unless by one in the extremity of it."

Sir Henry Bunbury, Commissioner of the Revenue

The Bunburys in Ireland presumably benefited from the appointment of their cousin Sir Henry Bunbury, head of the English branch, to be Commissioner of the Revenue for Ireland during the reign of Queen Anne. Sir Henry was a close colleague of the Duke of Ormonde, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with whom he shared great apprehension at the prospect of the German House of Hanover occupying the British throne once Queen Anne had died. Like many of their contemporaries, they gave their support to the cause of the Old Pretender; like so many other Jacobites they discovered they had backed the wrong horse, and both men were summarily dismissed from their posts. The Bunbury allegiance to the Ormondes stood through until 1715 when, following the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion, the 2nd Duke fled into permanaent exile in France. As such, I presume Sir Harry enjoyed making the toast across the water, whereby, after standing, persons would wave their drink over a glass or jug of water on the table. This symbolised "the king over the water", which is a reference to the Pretender and a sign of solidarity with the Jacobite cause and against theHanoverian succession.

In August 2015, I emailed Daniel Szechi, Professor of Early Modern History at The University of Manchester, to seek his recommendations on books / essays / sources where I could find a good summary of how Ireland responded in 1715, and why there wasn't much of a showdown over here? He very kindly replied: 'Absolutely the best book on Jacobitism in Ireland (and it has a section on Ireland around 1715) is Éamonn Ó Ciardha, Ireland and the Jacobite Cause, 1685-1766 (Dublin, 2002). The fact that not much happened in Ireland is deceptive: the army of Ireland overseas, a.k.a. the Irish Brigade in French service - at that point still overwhelmingly 1st generation exiles and military migrants (i.e. young men who left Ireland specifically in order to join the French army) - was very active in helping obtain covert French support for the rising, and in its final days there were something like 600 Irish officers and men in Calais alone waiting for the ice to clear so they could embark for Scotland. At that time the Irish soldiers in French service still took a dual oath of loyalty when they enlisted, one to the king of France and one to King James, and by privately going to Calais and other Channel ports to take ship for Scotland after the Regent had forbidden them to do so they were in effect potentially throwing up their French careers, so this betokens a serious commitment on their parts. The great majority of them subsequently silently rejoined their regiments in the Irish Brigade and the French government turned a blind eye to what had happened (it was not about to eviscerate one of its best units by dismissing them), but even after that the Irish brigade played a major role in supporting the Scots exiles of 1715 on the continent by quietly allowing some to enlist in the ranks of the brigade (despite the fact they were Protestants) and unofficially allowing the Scots access to their military messes when they were garrisoned in the provinces. This made the difference between abject poverty and minimal decency for not a few of the exiles.

There is not a great deal of official interest in the anniversary of the '15 in the UK. Partly it is because of competition with other 'safer' anniversaries (i.e. anniversaries that fit in better with national mythistory and historical orthodoxies) such as Agincourt, Magna Carta, Waterloo and Gallipolli, and partly because the '15 was an incipient civil war with some very ugly episodes that in and of itself implicitly gives the lie to the great myth of British political stability after 1688. There is going to be a one-day conference on the battle of Preston in November, and the Records of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland have/will be doing exhibitions on the subject, but that is about it. Even in Scotland the SNP are not comfortable with the whole Jacobite phenomenon (being an implicitly republican - small 'r' - party) and tend to pass over it as quickly as possible to get to the modern era.

 

 

Footnotes

1. (a) There is a record of Benjamin and his twin brother Joseph being christened/baptised on 13.9.1642 at Stanney - this according to Ormerod.

1 (b) The name of John Bunbury's wife is unknown; they had two sons, Henry and Thomas. The elder son, Henry Bunbury, died unmarried in Dublin in 1682. The younger son, Thomas Bunbury (1628 – 1682) lived at Ballyseskin. In 1668, Thomas married Anne Codd, daughter of Nicholas Codd of Castletown. The marriage produced at least six sons. The eldest, John Bunbury, died unmarried. The third son Thomas married and had a daughter, Anne, who married Colonel Philip Savage of Kilgibbon. The sixth son, Henry Bunbury was father to Lettice Bunbury (who married Henry Archer of Ballyhoge), Anne Bunbury (who married Cadwallader Edwards of Ballyhire) and Sarah Bunbury (who married Benjamin Hughes of Hilltown). The names Hughes and Archer return again in the last paragraph below relating to the Lockwood marriage.

1 (d) As to John and Sir Henry's other sisters, Mary Bunbury married Thomas Draper of Walton and Martha Bunbury died in 1664.

2d. "Journals for the Preservation of the Memorials for the Dead", Vol, Issue 1916, CARLOW, page 18. According to John Ryan's "History & Antiquities of the County of Carlow" - Page 331, their memorial reads: ' IN : HOPE : OF : A : BLESSED : RESURRECTION : HERE : LIETH : THE : BODIES : OF : BENJAMIN : BUNBURY : THE : FATHER : AND : BENJAMIN : BUNBURY : THE : SON : BOTH : OF : KILLERIG : ESQRS : THE : FORMER : DEPARTED : THIS : LIFE : APRIL : YE : 4TH : 1707 : AGED : 44 : YEARS : THE : LATER : JANY : YE : 3 : 1715 - 16 : AGED : 39.'

3b. D.W Hayton, Dependence, Clientage & Afiinity in ‘The Dukes of Ormonde

4. "The place names cited in lines 1769 – 1770, viz ‘Lios na bhFiodh’ and ‘Baile Uiiam’ are not obsolete. They are now Lisnevagh and Williamstown." (p. 252, Irish Historical Society, Dublin, published 1947, Hodges, Figgis & Co). Referred to as ‘Lisnevahe’ on p. 171 of The Calendar of Ormond Deeds, 1172-[1603] by Ormonde, Irish Manuscripts Commission, published 1932 by the Stationery Office).

5. 'Ireland's Huguenots and Their Refuge, 1662-1745: An Unlikely Haven', Raymond Hylton, p. 106, Sussex Academic Press, 2005.

6. In an earlier report, I had recorded that the above six children had all died on those dates, which led me to lament their passing and wonder what had killed them. I speculated about the endless possibilities - disease, pneumonia, typhoid, polio, measles - and how there was nothing anyone could do to prevent death, no matter how much money one had. Queen Anne experienced 17 pregnancies between 1683 and 1700. Only five children were born alive and only one, a son, outlived infancy, but he did not survive to inherit the throne. However, all this now seems irrelevant because I performed a search via the excellent www.irishgenealogy.ie/index.html in March 2011 and discovered that the children did not die on those dates. The dates in fact referred to their christenings. Such are the hazards of genealogy.

With thanks to Peter Bunbury, Hilary Jarvis, Roger Carden-Depper, Gill Miller, Susie Warren, Arthur Carden, George Thompson, Jane Paterson, Michael Brennan, William Minchin, Michael Purcell, Roger Nowlan and the Carlow Rootsweb.

 

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