Turtle Bunbury

Writer and Historian

 
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HISTORY

FAMILY HISTORY

THE SWIFTS OF COUNTY WESTMEATH

A Report by Turtle Bunbury – 19th January 2012

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Belfast Newsletter, 25 November 1842.

FOREWORD

In January 2012, I set out to fill an ongoing gap in written knowledge as to how the Swifts of Kenagh, Co. Longford (or Streete, Co. Westmeath), were connected to the Swift family of whom Jonathan Swift, the celebrated Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, was a member. This report was based on the work of Mr. Derrick Swift, a descendant of the Kenagh branch, who had clearly spent a long time on a very thorough research of this subject. The following is merely intended to both complement and confirm what he has discovered.

I begin my report with a recap of the Swift family history from their origins in Allergill to their move to Ireland. This is followed by various chapters in which I have tried to probe the many branches of the family for any possible connection to the Swifts of Streete. And I conclude with the Genealogical Report which was compiled in conjunction with Timeline.ie

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Above: These two documents from the Westmeath Gazette of 13 October and 3 November 1894
respectively came to my attention in September 2015 and need to be explored in much greater depth.
I did not have these details to hand when I researched the main text for this account, and I presently
have not the opportunity to explore myself ... if anyone else has time to do so, and can draw any
deductions relevant to the quest of this particular history, that would be terrific.

With many thanks to Maria O'Brien.

The challenge was to try and find out where William Swift (1760-1842) of Streete fitted into the wider Swift pedigree. A number of possibilities are explored but, at this stage, none of them can be considered anything other than speculative.

I have highlighted various areas that might yet be pursued. One matter that might be worth finding out is when did the Swifts of Streete become Methodists? Were they early converts when John Wesley was roaming around Co. Westmeath in the middle of the 18th century? And could this have caused something of a rupture with the other Church of Ireland branches of the family?

There is also room for excitement with the close connections between the Stoyte family (from whom the Dowager Countess of Darnley descended) and Dean Swift.

I am confident that Richard Swift (1809-1877) was the son of William Swift (1760-1842). Some detail about his wife’s family, the Moffatts, is also included in this report.

As with any family history search, this is an ongoing quest and vital new information could come to the fore at any moment. Any further clues would be greatly appreciated.

With best wishes,

Turtle Bunbury

FEUDAL ORIGINS

According to Burke’s Irish Family Records, the earliest ancestor the Swift family was Bryan Swyfte who had a grant from Godfrey de Beaumomt, Lord Bishop of Durham (who d. 1333) 'of part of the lordship of Allergill, co. Durham, to be held of the Palatine Earldom of the bishop, by service of the eighth part of a knight's lee.’ The Bishop of Durham was, in fact, the ostentatious Lewis de Beaumont, a French-born cleric, and his consecration made him monarch of all the lands around Durham in northern England.

The Beaumonts were an exceedingly influential family during the Middle Ages. The Bishops’ sister Isabella de Vesci was an intimate friend of England’s Queen Isabella, wife of the wimpish Edward II. (Incidentally, while William Wallace and Queen Isabella indulge in a passionate affair in ‘Braveheart’, she was, in reality, a mere baby when he was executed).

In 1327, Edward II was deposed while Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer effectively seized control of England. A new era of hostility between the English and Scots erupted as northern England became a battleground. Allergill, where Bryan Swyfte held his land, was located in Weardale, a landscape of grouse moors and heathery fells on the east side of the Pennines. That summer, Edward III camped his army in the valley when a Scot’s army led by James Douglas surprise-attacked, killing several hundred English. The young English king was lucky to escape. One wonders whether Bryan Swyfte was present at the time. His son, whom Burke’s identify as Sir Humphrey Swyfte, was reputedly born three years after the Weardale ambush of 1327.

THE CANTERBURY YEARS

The Swyftes continued to live at Allergill for several centuries, while a second branch established itself at Rotherham, a prosperous market town in south Yorkshire. In 1566, while Queen Elizabeth was puzzling over what to do with her troublesome cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, the Rev. Thomas Swift of the Allergill family was assigned to St. Andrew’s Church in central Canterbury. The historic Cathedral city where Thomas a Beckett once lived had been considerably plundered since the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1540s.

In the summer of 1575, the Privy Council asked the Mayor and Council of the City of Canterbury to take in 100 families of Protestant Huguenots who were on the run from persecution in France and the Netherlands. These Walloons (as the English called them) were mainly in the wool trade, weavers, dyers and woolcombers. Both their cloths and their looms were superior to the English and by 1582 they were paying tax on nearly 400 looms.

Perhaps the Rev. Swift encountered Robert Cushman, the volatile youth who refused to accept the authority of the official church and who was hurled into a cell in the city’s West Gate Tower in 1606. Cushman later organised the first trip of the Pilgrim Fathers to the New World on board the Mayflower.

The Rev. Swift’s wife Margaret was the daughter and heiress of the Rt. Rev. Thomas Godwin, DD, one of Queen Elizabeth’s favourite preachers, who became Dean of Canterbury in 1567. As such, the Swifte’s social standing was considerably enhanced when Dr. Godwin was consecrated as Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1584. Dr. Godwin died in 1590 and his son-in-law followed two years later.

The Rev. Swift’s only son William was born in 1566 and also joined the church, becoming Rector of Harbaldown, a small village just west of Canterbury. He later became Rector of his fathers’ old church at St. Andrew’s. During his lifetime, Canterbury’s Huguenot population soared to nearly 2,000. Many of the newcomers were skilled in silk-weaving which now took over from wool weaving as the city’s main income earner. In 1592, the Rev. William Swift married Mary Philpott with whom he had a son, Thomas, and two daughters.

Like his father and grandfather, Thomas Swift joined the church and was given the rectories of Goodrich and Bridstow in south Herefordshire. His wife Elizabeth was a daughter of John Dryden and a sister of Sir Erasmus Dryden, 1st Bart, of Canons Ashby, whose grandson would become the famous Restoration poet, John Dryden. According to Monck Mason, they had ten sons and four daughters. Further details about some of these sons follows below.

The Rev. Swift made his mark during the English Civil War when the old Marcher Castle beside his church in Goodrich was besieged and captured by Sir Thomas Fairfax’s Parliamentarian army in 1646. This was one of the occasions involving the famous mortar canon, Roaring Meg, which was cast in the nearby Forest of Dean. Thomas, a man who apparently had a ‘head mechanically turned … contrived a spiked obstacle in the river (Wye) whereby Parliamentary troops are said to have lost 200 men drowned or trodden to death’. He was duly stripped of both his church living and his estate.

Following the annihilation of the Royalist army at the battle of Worcester in September 1651, Prince Charles made good his escape, famously hiding in an oak tree in Shropshire while the Parliamentarians searched high and low for him. It is not known quite how but Burke’s maintains that the Rev. Thomas Swift distinguished himself ‘to the person of Prince Charles, afterwards Charles II, during his protracted wanderings after the battle of Worcester’. According to the Mercurius Rusticus of 1685, he was 'plundered by the roundheads six and thirty times'. Further details of these events can be found at p. 227 of Monck Mason’s book.

When the Rev. Thomas Swift passed away in 1658, he was survived by at least five sons, all of whom were trained in the law. His eldest son was Godwin who married a relation of the Marchioness of Ormonde and was installed as Attorney for the Count Palatine of Tipperary by the Duke of Ormonde. By the time Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, four of Godwin’s brothers had also migrated to Ireland to seek their fortunes.[i]

THE MOVE TO IRELAND

The Census of 1659 named Thomas Swift who, together with Redmond Pettitt, was joint Titulado for the townland of Fennor, Co. Westmeath.[ii] This was located about 8km north east of Mullingar and 30km southeast of Streete. In 1642, seventeen years earlier, the nearby castle at Rathconnell was the setting for a battle between Sir Richard Grenville’s English Parliamentarian army and General Thomas Preston’s Irish Confederates. Grenville won and later became governor of Trim. Nothing more is yet known about Thomas Swift’s background but this moory landscape was to become home to the Swifts for several hundred years afterwards.

SWIFT OF PUTTENHAM & VIRGINIA

It is possible that Thomas Swift the titulado of Fennor, Co. Westmeath, was the Rev. Thomas Swift’s third son Thomas who married Mary, a daughter of Sir William Davenant, Poet Laureate under Charles II and manager of the Duke Theatre in London.

In 1694, Thomas and Mary’s only known son, the Rev. Thomas Swift (1665-1752) became Rector of Puttenham in the North Downs of Surrey. The clergyman became somewhat notorious as Jonathan Swift’s “little parson cousin” when he claimed, with some merit, to be co-author of A Tale of a Tub. [iii]

The Rev. Thomas Swift of Puttenham had several children, including the Rev. William Swift who was born in 1696 and christened at Puttenham on 22nd January 1697.[iv] William attended the Merchant Taylors School in London from 1710 -1714, where he won a sizar (scholarship) to study at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1714. He was ordained to the priesthood of the Anglican Church in 1719. He was married on 12th January 1722, in St. Dunstan's Church, Kent, to Dianah Hodgkins. Their son William Swift Jr was born in Bermuda the following year, and was followed by two more sons, Thomas and Richard. The Rev. William Swift became first minister for St. Martin's Parish in Hanover County, Virginia, but died on 24 March 1734. He may have owned 2000 acres near Lickinghole Creek in Goochland County, Virginia.

One of John Wesley’s earliest followers in the USA was Richard Swift, who was appointed the first pastor of St. Mary’s on Virginia’s Winchester Circuit in 1790. In 2012, I wrote to the church to see if they had any information on his background as he may be connected to one of the Westmeath branches. I've had no word back yet. A contemporary visitor to Winchester was Henry Smith who recalled him as follows: ‘Richard Swift [was] one of the first Methodist preachers I became acquainted with. He had been a traveling preacher for many years but broke down, as did most of the early preachers, located and married in the neighborhood of Shepherdstown. He was a very able and successful minister of Jesus Christ. He was one of my nursing fathers when I first traveled Berkley circuit in the fall and winter of 1793. He came to our meeting and preached from, “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him”. He was much drawn out and animated and preached his last sermon. He came in the morning and returned in the evening sick of a bilious fever and soon died.’[v]

It seems unlikely that William Swift of Streete was closely connected to this branch.

GODWIN SWIFT OF SWIFTE’S HEATH

For Derrick Swift to be a kinsman of the Swift family about whom I have written above, it stands to reason that the connection may well have come through the Rev. Thomas Swift of Goodrich’s eldest son Godwin who was named for his grandfather’s mentor. By his fourth and final wife Elinor Meade, Godwin was father to Meade Swift of Co. Westmeath.

Godwin Swift served as Attorney-General for the County Palatine of Tipperary on behalf of the King’s close friend, the ‘Great Duke’ of Ormonde, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. By way of payment for his service, he received a residence on Ormonde Quay in Dublin and an estate at Swifte's Heath, Jenkinstown, just outside Kilkenny City. When his younger brother Jonathan died prematurely in 1667, Godwin took the dead man’s small daughter and baby son into his household. The boy, who was also called Jonathan grew up to be Dean Swift, author of ‘Gulliver’s Travel’s and ‘The Drapier’s Letters’, and one of the most remarkable men of the 18th century. (It has been suggested that the baby was in fact the illegitimate child of Sir William Temple, a cousin of the Swifts, for whom Temple Bar in Dublin is named).

According to William Monck Mason's ‘History of the Antiquities of the Church of St Patrick’ (1819), ‘Godwin Swift did at one time possess a very considerable revenue but by engaging in some expensive projects he became at length much embarrassed. In 1688 he was seized with a lethargy and was soon after deprived of his speech and memory, a malady like that which afterwards befell his illustrious nephew’.

Godwin Swift of Swifte’s Heath was married four times before his death shortly before Christmas in 1695 and fathered at least eleven sons. Elinor, his last wife, was the eldest daughter of Colonel William Meade of Ballymartle, Kinsale, Co. Cork. In 1666, Colonel Meade raised a troop of horse for Charles II, under commission from the same Duke of Ormonde whom Godwin worked for.

According to Burke’s, Elinor bore Godwin five sons between 1682 and 1691, namely Meade, Thomas, Edward, William and John.[vi] However, aside from a baptism date of 18th November 1684 for William and a birth year of 1691 for John, the only one of these sons that we know anything concrete about is Meade Swift. (Other sources say that Godwin and Elinor had seven sons, including two pairs of twins). The Geni website suggests that Godwin and Elinor’s son Thomas was born in Co. Longford in 1681 and died in 1779 and that he had a daughter Margaret, born in Longford in 1707, who married Thomas McClaughry and settled in Salem, New York, where she died circa 1783. In July 2015 I was contacted by Wesley Weir of Irish Genealog Ireland who advised me that an Alexander McClaughry of Mosstown, County Longford, changed his name to Alexander Kingston (ie: Claugh Ri) and became an influential Methodist. This connection to Methodism may be relevant although I do not know if or how Alexander and Thomas were related.


THE SWIFTS OF LYNN, CO. WESTMEATH

Connecting Derrick’s ancestor to the Swift’s of Lynn seemed the most sensible way of showing his kinship to the family of the great Jonathan Swift, given the Westmeath connection. Unfortunately there are no obvious match ups.

Meade Swift, son of Godwin and Elinor, was born on 29th June 1682. His father died when he was thirteen years old. He later studied at Trinity College Dublin, served as a Justice of the Peace and married twice. His first wife Mary was a daughter of John L’Estrange of Keoltown, a fine mansion just south-east of Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.

Meade and Mary settled at Lynn on the north-east shore of Lough Ennell, a few miles east of Keoltown. Meade’s first cousin Jonathan Swift was a frequent visitor and his memory is now encapsulated in the nearby Jonathan Swift Park and the Lilliput Adventure Centre.

This branch of the Swifts were to remain at Lynn until at least the 1870s when Richard Lynn of Lynn, magistrate, was described as owner of 480 acres. Lynn is just 30km south of the village of Streete where Derrick Swift’s great-great grandfather William Swift died in 1842.

Meade and Mary Swift had three sons, John, Thomas and Meade. The eldest son John married Katherine Swanton and is recorded as the father of just one son, Richard. Given that ‘Richard Swift’ is a name common to Derrick’s part-lineage, this is of note. This Richard was married in 1770 to his cousin Miss Jane Swift, a daughter of his father’s half-brother Alexander Swift of Lynn. [See Freeman's Journal, 13-15 Sept 1770] Time-wise, Richard and Jane would be a near perfect fit as the parents of William Swift of Streete in 1760, but there is no such record of him. Richard and Jane are recorded as the parents of just two sons, Benjamin and John, and five daughters.[vii]

Nor does there seem to be any obvious openings for Derrick’s family in Meade and Mary Swift's second son, Thomas Swift of Lynnbury, Co. Westmeath, whose two sons were to be the beneficiaries of the ultra-wealthy Lord Tracton.[viii] Nothing further is yet known of their third son, Meade, who was born in 1713, save that he is mentioned in the will of his father (1739) and brother Thomas (1767). He could be the Meade Swift Snr mentioned in the Freeman's Journal of 1772 as having been attacked on Aran Quay by a footpad, who knocked him down and gave him two cuts on the face. Some people appeared and the footpad left with Meade's hat. [Fr J 26-28/11/1772]

After Mary’s death, Meade Swift was married secondly to Frances Delgarno, daughter of the Rev. Alexander Delgarno who lived in the rectory at Moylisker, 3 ½ miles south of Mullingar on the road to Tyrrell's Pass.[ix] The nearby big houses of Belvedere, Rochfort and Tudenham Park became famous for the erection of the so-called Jealous Wall in 1760, the year of William Swift of Streete’s birth.

According to Burke’s, Meade and Frances had one son, Alexander Swift, born in 1729. However, an abstract of Meade Swift’s will which proved in 1739 lists six sons and three daughters. As well as Thomas and Meade, mentioned above, and Alexander, there was Michael, Godwin and Theophilus.[x] His firstborn son John is not named. Burke’s offers no clues as to what became of the sons Michael, Godwin and Theophilus who, of course, may have had families of their own.

Was this the Alexander Swift who is listed in the Freeman's Journal of 18-21 March 1780 as being on the Grand Jury for County Westmeath? (Thanks to Bob Fitzsimon)

Alexander lived at Lynn and married Elizabeth Pratt, daughter of Benjamin Pratt of Agher, Co. Meath. They appear to have had just one son, Meade Dennis Swift, with two daughters, Jane Swift, who married her cousin Richard Swift, mentioned above, and Fanny Swift who was married on 26th March 1771 to David Jones of Clonmore, Co. Westmeath.[xi])

In 1773, Meade married Anne, eldest daughter of Sir Richard Levinge, the eccentric 4th Baronet, of Knockdrin and Levington Park, both near Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.[xii]

On the basis that William Swifte of Streete was born thirteen years before this marriage, there seems little point in pursuing this line any further, save to note that Meade and Anne’s son and grandson both in turn succeeded to Lynn.

LORD TRACTON & THE DENNIS CONNECTION

Meade and Mary Swift's second son, Thomas Swift, was born in 1711, lived at Lynnbury, Co. Westmeath and married Frances Dennis of Kinsale, Co. Cork. Their two sons, the Rev. Meade Swift and his brother John enjoyed a splendid windfall in 1782, courtesy of their mother’s brother James Dennis, 1st and last Baron Tratcon. Dennis was legal advisor to the influential Henry Boyle, 1st Earl of Shannon, and in 1777 he became Chief Baron of the Exchequer. He married the Cork heiress, Elizabeth Piggott and, in 1767, he built a mansion, Neptune (subsequently Temple Hill House) in Monkstown, Co. Dublin. His full title was ‘Baron Tracton of Tracton Abbey’, which was a curious choice given that the lands of Tracton Abbey belonged to the Daunt family who had lived within the remains of the abbey for at least 100 years. The wider lands around Tracton formed part of Lord Shannon's estate. Some of Lord Tracton's letters can be found within the Shannon papers at the PRONI archive.

James Dennis was a founding father of "The Monks of the Screw". John Philpott Curran, father to Robert Emmett's beloved Sarah, was Grand Prior of the Order which counted Flood, Grattan, Lord Charlemont and Bowes Daly among its impressive list of members. In later years, wringing tears from his aged eyes, Curran recalled the club's hey-day as a time "which we can remember with no other regret than that they can return no more … we spent them not in toys, or lust, or wine, but in search of deep philosophy, wit, eloquence and poetry." As David Ryan noted in an email to me in October 2015, a Meade Swift of Mullingar, County Westmeath, wrote a polemic attacking the Holy Fathers, a blasphemous club, in April 1771 (see Freeman's Journal, 20-23 April 1771).

On 13th December 1780, James Dennis was created Lord Tracton of Tracton Abbey in "Daunt's Country", Co. Cork. Lord Tracton died suddenly in eighteen months later and with him expired his title. His widow erected a grandiose monument to his memory in the old St Finbarr’s Cathedral. When the cathedral was demolished and rebuilt in the mid 19th Century, the monument was moved to St. Nicholas’ Church in Cork City – and when that closed it moved to the Crawford Art Gallery, where it can still be seen today.

In the absence of any children, he bequeathed his estates in Co. Kerry to his nephew the Rev. Meade Swift and those in Counties Cork and Dublin to his other nephew John Swift. In return the brothers were obliged to adopt the surname and arms of Dennis and to pay the widowed Lady Tracton a substantial annual jointure of £1800 (approx. €180,000 in 2012).

 

WILLIAM SWIFT, BARRISTER, OF DUBLIN CITY

Godwin Swift of Swifte’s Heath was married, secondly, to Katherine Webster, daughter of London merchant William Webster. Her father may well be the same William Webster "of England and Newton-Drangan, Tipperary", whose daughter Jane married Sir Henry Ludlow of Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire, and died in 1683. Sir Henry was a brother of the republican General Edmond Ludlow.

Katherine died in 1672, leaving Godwin two sons, Godwin and Robert. While Robert died unmarried, Godwin Swift of Dunbrow, Co. Dublin, married his first cousin Elizabeth Swift, with whom he had four sons and two daughters. Elizabeth was a daughter of his uncle William Swift, fourth son of the Rev. Thomas Swift of Goodrich.[xiii]

Godwin of Dunbrow succeeded to Swifte’s Heath and, upon his death in 1739, it passed to his eldest son, the Rev. Godwin Swift. As to Godwin’s other three sons, Michael settled in Co. Down and died in Dublin in 1777, while Jonathan and William settled in Co. Dublin.[xiv]

Burke’s states that William, the youngest son, married Elizabeth Bor, or Borr, daughter of Robert Bor, a wealthy Dutch merchant who lived at Big Butter Lane (now Bishop Street) in Dublin.

Finns Leinster Journal of 14th February 1776 states that William Swift Esq., Counsellor-at-law, died at his house in Donnybrook earlier that week.[xv]

By his will of 1769, he devised all his estates and the residue of his personal property to his widow. Elizabeth died in 1793 and was succeeded by her only surviving child William Longueville Swift. (Burke’s suggests there may have been another son called Michael). The use of the ‘Longueville’ name highlights the kinship between the Swifts and the Longfields of Longueville, Co. Cork, as well as the Bors. W. L. Swift died in 1812, bequeathing all his real and personal estates to his first cousin, the Rev Godwin Swift.[xvi]

WILLIAM SWIFT OF LIONSDEN

The Rev. Thomas Swift of Goodrich’s fourth son William acquired lands in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Leitrim and Roscommon. His first wife was a daughter of Rev. Ralph King, DD, with whom he had a son who died young and a daughter Elizabeth who married her first cousin, Godwin Swift of Dunbrow.

William Swift was married secondly to Elizabeth Arrom, daughter of Captain Ralph Arrom. (She died in 1716). William died in 1705 leaving a young son, also William.

In 1755, the younger William married Elizabeth Longfield, daughter of William Longfield of Kilbride, Co. Meath. Her Welsh grandfather Robert Longfield (1652-1711) had obtained extensive lands in Counties Westmeath, Meath and Clare under the Commission of Grace in 1685.

In his will of 1769, William is referred to as ‘of Dublin City’.[xvii] Elsewhere he is described as a barrister.[xviii] However, the Longfield family history refers to him as ‘of Lionsden’, referring to a property at Longwood, Co. Meath, about six miles south-west of Laracor, where the famous Jonathan Swift had his living a generation earlier. Lionsden later passed to his first cousin, the Rev. Godwin Swift of Swifte’s Heath, who built Lionsden House in 1788.

Betham’s Sketch Pedigrees suggest that William and Elizabeth had three or four children, one of whom was killed in 1769 ‘by the kick of a horse’. This was noted in Freeman's Journal (15-18 July 1769) as follows:

'DUBLIN. A few days ago, as a young Gentleman, son of William Swift, Esq; Counsellor at Law, was handling a Horse he usually rode, the Beast gave him a violent Blow, which fractured his Skull, but is not dead as mentioned in Saunders's Paper.'

The only one of William and Elizabeth's children that is named by Betham’s is a son, William.[xix]

This tallies with the will of Elizabeth Swift’s nephew Robert Longfield (1746-1790) which states that William and Elizabeth had one son, William Swift, who was still living in 1790.

But why was he not mentioned in his fathers will in 1769? And why did he not inherit Lionsden? He cannot have been any older than fourteen when his father died so he was surely too young to have done anything to merit disinheritance. Or was he duly despatched to distant family lands in Co. Westmeath to become a farmer?!

There is another curiosity here in that Elizabeth Swift’s youngest sister Editha Longfield was married in 1760 to a Jonathan Swift.[xx] Burke’s say he was ‘apparently unrelated’ to William Swift the barrister, but it stands to reason that he may, in fact, have been his brother Jonathan. I have found no record of whether Jonathan and Editha had children. The Freeman's Journal of 6-10 Dec 1768 notes the following: 'DIED - At Stephens Green, Mrs Edytha Swift'.

Could it be possible that this points to ‘John Swift’, father and son, of the town of Streete whose name appears on two Indented Deeds of Assignment from 1789 in which they appear to be assisting two family members Martha Foster (nee Swift) and William Swift. (See the genealogical report in the appendix below).

It is all ludicrously speculative but nonetheless it is possible that this William Swift settled in Streete and was the father of Richard Swift.

STREETE & KILCOMMOCK

The parish of Street, or Streete, lies on the Longford-Westmeath border and comprises just under 17,000 acres of mixed arable and bog land.[xxi] It is partly encompassed by the barony of Ardagh but mostly – Tinode included – within the barony of Moygoish. It’s close to Lough Dereveragh, as well as the lakes of Ruddan and Dooloughan, with the River Inny forming part of its boundary.

In 1831, there were 4,362 people living there, 2,993 in the Westmeath section. By 1841, it was down to 3,905 (2,732 in Westmeath), scattered in 648 houses. There were four hamlets in the Westmeath section – South Tinode (where William Swift had his land), Middle Tinode, North Tinode and Boherquill. Tinode, or ‘Tigh an Fhóid’, means 'House of the sod'. There is also a mote here.

The big houses were Kildevin (home to magistrate Robert Sproule) and Coolamber (Philip O’Reilly, Esq). Sproule was ‘an authoritarian figure of much local notoriety [who] apparently used the basement of Kildevin House as a temporary prison from time to time. Cast-iron chains and restraining devices are still in situ according to local information. A 'police station' was located to the west of the house, within the grounds of Kildevin, adjacent to the main road in 1837. It was later home of the Tyndalls and Edith Wise, a cousin of William Butler Yeats. Yates is said to have stayed in the house on several occasions.’[xxii]

The parish of Kilcommock is situated in the baronies of Moydow, Rathcline and Shrule, and hosts a stretch of the Royal Canal on its run from Dublin to Longford. One of the Moffatts was a lock-keeper on the canal.[xxiii] The west side comprises a flat bog, while the remainder was ‘well intersected with roads and ditches’. The 1836 survey suggests it was by then ‘the property of Lady Ross, containing 252a. 1r. 4p. County Cess - £5 17s. 2d.

SWIFT OF CLONCONNELL

One of the more enticing wills referred to in the report, under Betham's Prerogative Wills Abstracts, is that of Richard Swift of Clonconnell, Co. Westmeath, farmer. Dated 18th April 1763 and proved on 22nd October 1763, it appears to only mention his daughter Martha, her husband Thomas West and their son, also Thomas West.

The use of the names Richard and Martha is relevant as both were popular with the Streete family.

And according to the 1901 and 1911 census, Clonconnell is practically in Streete. Unfortunately, Richard Swift's will has not survived. Nor was it registered in the Registry of Deeds. A search of the Land Index Books for the denomination of Clonconnell, alias Clunconnell, noted that between 1739 and 1810 there were eight deeds registered under the denomination of Clonconnell. None of these deeds named the grantor of grantee as a Swift. As such, the one remaining option would be to pursue the line of Martha Swift (nee West).

THE DARNLEY / STOYTE CONNECTION

A lease of 1789 makes it clear that William Swift of Street was leasing 33 acres at south Tinode from the Dowager Countess of Darnley. This estimable lady provides another intriguing link between Jonathan Swift and Streete through her grandparents who were close friends of the Dean and whose eldest son John lived at Streete.

Her great-grandfather, another John Stoyte, alderman, was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1715 while her great-great-uncle Sir Francis Stoyte was Lord Mayor in 1704.[xxiv] Her grandfather, another John Stoyte, a barrister and Recorder of Dublin, settled at Rossana in Co. Wicklow. He is also presumably the John Stoyte who took a lease on Eccles Grove, Co. Wicklow, in 1717. [xxv] One of Swift’s biographers described him as ‘a prosperous merchant and alderman [who] lived at Donnybrook with his Welsh wife and her unmarried sister’. The Stoytes were part of Swift’s intimate circle during the years when he was enjoying his ménage à trois with Esther Johnson, his "Stella", and Rebecca Dingley, her "dear friend and companion" who "loved animals, wore spectacles, chewed large quantities of tobacco and tripped over her petticoats when she walked." The Dean frequently joined the Stoytes for card parties in the long winters and they are regularly referred to in his letters.[xxvi] John Stoyte died circa 1733. The fact his granddaughter subsequently owned the land at Streete which the Swifts of Tinode rented is certainly food for thought.

It is also worth noting that this John Stoyte also owned land at Tyrrelstown, Co. Westmeath, where John Wesley was to frequently speak, and was closely affiliated to the Meares family who, connected to the Handys, were amongst those gentry families to subscribe to Methodism.[xxvii]

His son, also John Stoyte was a barrister who lived at ‘Streete, in the County of Westmeath.’ [xxviii] On 7th October 1746, almost exactly a year after Jonathan Swift’s death, John Stoyte Jr. married Mary Howard, daughter of Dr. Robert Howard, Bishop of Elphin, and a sister of Viscount Wicklow. [xxix]John and Mary had one child, a daughter Mary (later Countess of Darnley) who was born on October 8th 1747. John Stoyte died on 5th April 1748, when Mary was a six-month-old baby.

Mary Stoyte was married on 11th September 1766 to John Bligh, 3rd Earl of Darnley. Born in 1719, he was thirty years her senior. His father John Bligh, 1st Earl Darnley (1687-12 Sep 1728) had died at Epsom, Surrey, and was interred at Westminster Abbey, as were the 1st Earl's wife and son Edward, 2nd Earl of Darnley (1715-1747). John had actually succeeded to the titles and land in 1747, the year of Mary's birth, upon the death of his unmarried older brother Edward. (Edward was said to have been was a lover of the Irish actress, Margaret Woffington.) In 1742, he was made Lord of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales, a post he held until his death in 1781 which took place at the family's Kentish seat, Cobham Hall. They had three sons and four daughters . [xxx] Their eldest son John succeeded as 4th Earl and, in 1791, he married a daughter of William Brownlow of Lurgan. The Dowager Countess of Darnley died aged 55 on 27th March 1803.[xxxi] The Gentleman’s Magazine noted that ‘a number of poor children, educated and clothed at her expense, attended [her] funeral in mourning’.[xxxii]

She was survived by her mother Mary who, after John Stoyte’s death, married Captain the Hon. Robert Butler of the Battle-Axe Guards, sometime MP for Belturbet, who inherited his house, Hermitage, from his brother, the 1st Earl of Lanesborough. Mary Butler died on 5th June 1809.

THE WESLEY CONNECTION

By the late 19th century, the Swifts of Tinode were Methodists. One of the big questions we must ask is when did they convert? John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church, visited Ireland an impressive twenty-one times between 1747 and 1789. Co. Westmeath was high on his port of calls as his Midlands headquarters was at Coolalough, the home of Samuel Handy, gentleman, in the parish of Ardnurcher, Co. Westmeath, about 40km south of Streete.

Furthermore, Streete is actually named as one of the places where Wesley preached in the “Register of John Wesley’s Preaching Texts”. Other places in Co. Westmeath where he preached were Athlone, Drumcree, Moate, Mullingar, Rahugh, Rosmead, Templecateer and Tyrrellspass.[xxxiii] He is also said to have stayed at Belvedere (beside Lynn). A Methodist church was built circa 1767, close to Court Devenish House in Athlone. Another was built in Mullingar in 1806 with the charismatic Rev. Adam Averall as minister, and operated until 1965.

The spirit of Methodism spread like wildfire through the Irish Midlands, particularly amongst settler and gentry families such as the Handys and the Brookes of Rantavan House, Mullagh, County Cavan. Amongst those who converted to Methodism was Theodosia Tighe, a granddaughter of the first Earl of Darnley.[xxxiv]

It is utter speculation at this stage but, given that the Swifts were such a strong Church of Ireland family in the 18th century, it could be possible that the Swifts of Streete were disowned for converting to Methodism, which would explain why there appears to be no record of them in the family pedigrees.

Ruth Illingworth, a Westmeath historian and former Mayor of Mullingar, who specializes in minority religions such as Methodism, concurs that there was a degree of hostility towards early Methodist converts from the Anglican church, albeit of a lesser degree in Ireland than in England. She adds that Streete, in the mid-18th century, was on the outlying fringe of the Ulster plantations where there was a degree of denominational rivalry between Anglicans, Presbyterians and, in due course, Methodists.

Searching for Methodist records is a complicated procedure, not least because, until 1816, its adherents continued to be members of the established Church of Ireland as well. Further complications are usefully explained by the Methodist Church c/o www.irishmethodist.org/about/genealogy.php The Streete Historical Society are also considering all this.

MOFFATTS OF STONEPARK

On March 21 1839, according to the Speculum Gregis of Killashee, Margaret Moffitt of Kilcommock Parish and Richard Swift of the Parish of Street were married in Kilcommock Parish Church by Geo. Brittaine. Witnesses John Cooney and D McCutcheon.’

Margaret was the daughter of Westmeath farmer Samuel Moffitt (or Moffett/Moffatt) (c. 1763-1844) and his wife Mary (c. 1764-1847). Their home was at Stonepark, just north of Kenagh in Kilcommock Parish.

The Moffatts had been well established in the Killashee and Clongish Parishes since the early 18th century. Family lore holds they came from Scotland in the army of Sir Arthur Forbes. Samuel’s father Thomas Moffat (Moffit) was a prosperous farmer based in the townland of Upper Kilmore. In 1746, he married Jane McCloughrey of Abbeyderg.

It is notable that one of the Moffatt’s cousins, Patrick Moffatt, was a hackler, meaning someone who beats the fibres off flax, for linen. Flax had been a vital cash crop in Co. Longford during the 18th century and, while the linen industry declined in the early 1800s, there were still many places where flax was soaked and bleached during Richard and Margaret Swifts day.

Samuel Moffitt was living in nearby Cartron, on the east side of Kilcommock parish, when, on 11 Jun 1792, he commenced a 31-year lease on Stonepark.[xxxv] The lessor was the Dublin banker Sir William Newcomen Bart. Some of the money which Samuel paid Newcomen went into recruiting James Gandon, one of the best known architects in the country, who Sir William commissioned for nine drawings of a proposed new residence, stable yard, etc., for Carriglass Manor, between 1794 and 1796. Unfortunately, Gandon's mansion was never constructed, but his designs for the out-offices were utilised, and, especially, his grand arched entrance gates were erected. Sir William came in for a good deal of criticism when he seemingly changed sides during debates over the Act of Union in return for a large fee.[xxxvi]

Samuel was based at “the Stone Park” when his daughter Mary was christened in 1805, and he is also listed in the Tithe Applotments Book. According to the Ordnance Survey / Boundary Survey compiled by John O'Donovan in 1836-1837, Stone Park ‘is situated in the centre of the parish, and is bounded by the townland of Cartron, Cornahoo, Laghlooney, Snugborough and Aghnacranagh. The property of Lady Rosse, held under a deed for ever. It contains 71a. 3r. 10p., about 2/3 of which is bog and plantation. Co. Cess”.[xxxvii]

According to the Speculum Gregis of Killashee, Margaret’s siblings are likely to be as follows:

1) Mary Moffett, Samuel’s fourth daughter, who was baptised on 5th July 1805 by (Rev) Robert Beatty.

2) Anne Moffett who was married on Nov 20 1822 to John Corry of Kilcommick by Henry W. Cobbe.

3) Elizabeth Moffatt of Kilcommock Parish who was married in Kilcommock on Sept. 28 1829 to Alexander Shaw of Killashee by licence, with consent of parents, by Geo. Brittaine Rector. Witnesses W ? A Moffett John Cooy ???? Mary Shaw.

4) Catherine “Cathe” Moffatt of the Parish of Kilcomack who was married in Kilcommock Parish Church on July 27 1835 to George Union or (Onion) of the Parish of Killashee. They were married by banns by George Ballance. Witnesses: Robert Onion, Rose Dennan and William Moffett. George Onion was born in Mohill, Leitrim, and served in the 32nd and 88th foot regiments 1825 - 1840 - WO 97/508/23. In 1855 he was at Cloncallow Townland in Noughaval Parish, Co. Longford, with Harman as landlord. George and Cathe’s second daughter was Julia.

5) Maria Moffet of Kilcommick and William Kenny ? of Killeshandra were married in Kilcommock Parish Church by Licence on. March 30th 1836. Witnesses John Covey, William Little and ?? Coney ??

Old Samuel Moffatt of Stonepark was buried age 81 years on 3rd February 1844; his widow Mary died aged 83 in March 1847.

The Rev. George Brittaine (1790-1847) who officiated at the wedding of Richard and Margaret Swift has been described as an ultra-Protestant on account of his book ‘The Confessions of Honor Delany’, published in 1829, the year of Catholic Emancipation, which derided the Catholic peasantry for their superstitious beliefs and ‘priestcraft’. Another work, Irish Priests and English Landlords (1830), obliged the Dublin Literary Gazette to close ranks and disassociate themselves from him. At about the time of the Swift’s marriage in 1839, he published an anonymous novel entitled ‘Hyacinth O’Gara, Honor Delany, Irish Priests & English Landlords’ which again vilified priests.


END NOTES

[i] According to William Monck Mason, ‘History of the Antiquities of the Church of St Patrick’ (1819), p. 227-231, the Rev. Thomas and Elizabeth Swift's children included:

1. Godwin, married four time and had 15 children, of whom more above in the main text.

2. Dryden, died unmarried.

3. Thomas, educated at Oxford, married the eldest daughter of Sir William Davenant.

4. William Swift of Dublin had four wives, will dated 14 May l703, proven March 1705.

5. Jonathan married Abigail Erick of Leicestershire who was descended from Erick the Forrester who opposed William the Conqueror. Jonathan died soon in April 1667, not long after his marriage and the birth of his only son, the famous Dean.

6. Adam Swift of Green Castle, County Antrim, Esq, the sixth son, whose will was proved on 26th May 1704. By his marriage to Miss. Coterell, he had a son William Swift (married to whom his father left only £100 'on account of his undutiful behaviour') and two daughters, Anne (married James Perry of Perrymount, Co. Down, was mother of Adam Perry) and Martha (married (1) Rev. Theophilus Harrison, Dean of Clonmacnois, with whom she had a daughter Mary [who later married her cousin Deane Swift], and married (2) Edward Whiteway, of Dublin, with whom she had two sons, Foliot Whiteway (an attorney) and John Whiteway (a surgeon, who inherited £100 from Swift). The fact that the sixth son Adam gave his son William such a measly inheritance is worth bearing in mind ... could this be the missing link! Adam's will of 1704 is at the Belfast Public Record Office, T.1077 and could be worth pursuing. According to Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland (1899), young William married a widow called Elizabeth Naylor circa 1665 which may have caused the breakdown.

The Rev. Thomas and Elizabeth also had four daughters - Emily, Elizabeth, Sarah and Catherine.

[ii] A Census of Ireland circa 1659, Irish Manuscripts Commission (Seamus Pender, editor)

[iii] In this matter he was supported by his uncle Dr Charles Davenant, LL.D. (son of Sir William Davenant), an economist and Tory pamphleteer, who wrote to the Duke of Marlborough's secretary, requesting a chaplaincy for his nephew. Dr Davenant condemned the Occasional Conformity Bill. According to him non-conformity was strong amongst seafarers, low artificers, manufacturers and day labourers and he wrote that James II's measures on religion caused a reaction amongst Dissenters. He was in touch with Poussin the French Charge d'Affaires in London but his party, called the "Poussineers", were rejected by the constituencies.

[iv] The Rev. Thomas Swift of Pattenham’s other children include Davenant Swift (born 1705), Godwin Swift (christened 10 Apr 1705) and Dean Swift (christened 22 July 1706). See here for more.

[v] Recollections and reflections of an old itinerant: A series of letters originally published in the Christian advocate and journal and the Western Christian advocate (Carlton & Phillips, 1854), p. 166.

[vi] In 1702, the widowed Elinor (Eleanor) Swift was married secondly to the Rev. Theophilus Harrison, Dean of Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly. See also footnote [i] 6.

image title

Above: Rev. Richard Meade Swift (reputedly), Incumbent of Mountfield, Omagh.
(With thanks to Fergal Browne)

[vii] Richard Swift, Esq., will dated 26th January 1796, proved 25th March 1796. Eldest son Benjamin; son John; wife Jane; daughters Elizabeth, Susanna, Christina, Frances & Jane.

Benjamin Domville Swift, their elder son, was married in 1805 to Mary Vaughan and their son, the Rev. Richard Swift was Incumbent of Mountfield, Omagh.

John Swift, the younger son, was married on 14 February 1805, at the age of 21, to Charlotte Ahmuty (born 28.4.1773). John became an ecclesiastical proctor. Charlotte was the daughter of Thomas Ahmuty (son of Townley of Dublin) by his first wife Mary Staples (died 1781). Charlotte's sister Grace married Michael Grogan of Bristol in 1801, but was disinherited by her father. In her will of 1801 from Taunton, she left money to Charlotte.

[Thomas Ahmuty was married secondly in 1782 to Alice Frideswide Moore [grand dau of Dixie Coddington]. She died in 1790 and he was married thirdy in 1792 to Caroline Quin, widow of Geo Quin, son of Valentine Quin of Adare. Caroline Ahmuty died 1801].

[John and Charlotte Swift had two sons, Robert Swift (who married Miss North) and John Swift (who married Emily Mostyn, daughter of Thomas Mostyn of Sligo). John Swift Jun and Emily Mostyn had four children - Thomas, Emily, Charlotte Margaret and John Staples Swift who was born in 1843 in Sligo and emigrated to USA where he had a daughter Isabella who married William Jenkin. For more see http://www.happenstances.com/]

The five daughters were Elizabeth, Susanna, Christina, Frances and Jane Sophia Swift (who married her cousin Godwin Swift of Lionsden, son of Rev Godwin Swift, and died in 1814).

The Grantor's Index Books for the periods 1760-80 include two deeds registered under the grantor's name of Richard Swift:

Memorial of Indented Deed of Agreement (283-391-185093)
Dated 28th February 1771
Between: Richard Swift, Dublin, Esq, 1st Part; Jane Swift of Lyn, Co. Westmeath, spinster & daughter of Alexander Swift of Lyn, Esq 2nd part; Meade Swift of Lyn and John Smyth of Violetstown, Co. Westmeath 3rd Part.
Reciting that a marriage was to be shortly had between Richard and Jane and that Richard was to receive the sum of £750.

Memorial of Deed of Lease (317-86-210261)
26th November 1776
Between: Richard Swift Esq., formerly of Dublin, but now of Lyn, Co. Westmeath 1st part; Shepard French, Newross, Co. Wexford, gentleman.

[viii] Thomas Swift of Lynn, Co. Westmeath. Dated 22nd March 1765, proved 3rd April 1767. Brother Meade Swift; sons Meade & John Swift; wife Frances; brother John Swift; sisters Elizabeth Borr and Susanna Stubbs; nephews Richard & John Swift; brother Alexander Swift.

[ix] In Burke’s his address is erroneously given as “Moyh’s Ker, Co. Westmeath”.

[x] Meade Swift of Lynn, Co. Westmeath, Esq., dated 5th August 1738, proved 6th June 1739. Wife Frances; sons Michael, Godwin, Alexander, Thomas, Theophilus and Meade. Daughters Susanna, Mary and Elizabeth.

Thomas Swift of Lynn, Co. Westmeath. Dated 22nd March 1765, proved 3rd April 1767. Brother Meade Swift; sons Meade & John Swift; wife Frances; brother John Swift; sisters Elizabeth Borr and Susanna Stubbs; nephews Richard & John Swift; brother Alexander Swift.

It is to be noted that two of the daughters were Susanna Stubbs and Elizabeth Borr.

[xi] FJ, 28-30 Mar 1771 - 'MARRIED A few Days ago, David Jones, Esq; to Miss Frances Swift of Lynn, co. Westmeath.' Burke’s erroneously have the Jones address as “Clonmole”.

[xii] 'Married. A few days ago, Meade Swift of Lyn, Co. Westmeath, Esq. to Miss Levinge, dau to Sir Richard Levinge of High Park, in the said co., Esq' [Fr J 29-31/7/1773] Levington Park is now home to the author J.P. Dunleavy. Sir Richard is said to have designed the nine-bay house at the time of his first marriage to Dorothea, daughter and co-heir of William Kennedy, MP, of Mallow, Co. Longford, in 1748. See Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 414, for a description of the house and Sir Richard's idiosyncratic innovations

[xiii] Elizabeth Swift of the City of Dublin, widow. Dated 11th April 1761, proved 17th March 1769. Husband Godwin Swift Esq, deceased; son Godwin; daughter Elizabeth Whitney otherwise Swift, youngest daughter Hannah Maria; sons Michael, William & Jonathan; grandson Goodwin; son William.

[xiv] Michael Swift of Capel Street, Dublin City, Gentleman. Dated 23rd December 1774, proved 21st October 1777. Wife Mary; only son Robert; daughters Catherine, Elinor, Maria, Sarah; daughters ____ Brown, Mary Steuart and Anne Bayley; son-in-law William Steuart; granddaughters Emily & Anne Steuart. Bob Fitzsimons alerted me to entry in The Freeman's Journal (11th - 15th Feb 1766) for a marriage of Mr William Stuart Esq. to Miss Swift, daughter of Michael Swift Esq.

[xv] Finns Leinster Journal, Wednesday, February 14, 1776, p. 2. Freeman's Journal: 8-10 Feb 1776 Died at his house in Donnybrook, William Swift Esq, counsellor at law [William Swift, 2nd son of Godwin, ed TCD MT 1734, T 1741]

[xvi] Young v Swift Chancery, 28th June 1836. Quoted in ‘A treatise on leases for lives, renewable for ever’ by James Lyne (Hodges and Smith, 1837) Google Books.

[xvii] William Swift, Dublin City, Esq. Dated 1st February 1769, proved 2nd March 1769. Wife Elizabeth Swift, otherwise Longfield.

[xviii] Betham Sketch Pedigrees. NLI., GO. Ms. 261-76 Vol. I, p. 219.

[xix] Perhaps they were parents of ‘Edward Swift’ who is entered in the Wilson's Hospital (Multyfarnham) register of boys since the opening of the school in March 25 1761. He joined in April 20 1761 aged 12 and was only the 3rd boy in the school. Apparently the register says he was from Co. Westmeath and left the school April 30 1763 ‘to be apprenticed’.

[xx] ‘The register of the parish of St. Peter and S. Kevin, Dublin, 1669-1761’, p. 226.

[xxi] “Anciently called Sraid Maighe Breacraighe, ie the Street of Moybrackr, [the parish of Street] occupies the north east corner of the Barony of Ardagh, bordering on Co. Westmeath and lies between the parishes of Granard and Mostrim. It contains 3,377 acres.“ The journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1911, p. 219.

[xxii] Kildevin House, County Westmeath – National Inventory of Architectural Heritage Reg. No.15400210.

[xxiii] Speculum Gregis of Killashee

[xxiv] This information can be found as a footnote in ‘The peerage of Ireland: or, A genealogical history of the present nobility of that kingdom, Volume 2’ by John Lodge, Mervyn Archdall (J. Moore, 1789), p. 213. The Freeman's Journal, Dec. 1, 1764, also refers to an ‘eminent Master Tailor’ called John Stoyte who died on College Green, Dublin, in 1764. And there also appears to have been a John Stoyte who served as agent to the 2nd Duke of Leinster for the Carton estate.

[xxv] Lease of Eccles Grove, Co. Wicklow by Sir J. Eccles to J. Stoyte, May, 1717. Fee farm grant of same lands by R. Robnett to Isaac Ambrose, of Dublin, March, 1722 (1723). Belfast Public Record Office, T. 1128 (11, 13, 24)

[xxvi] Swift: the man, his works, and the age, Irvin Ehrenpreis, p. 356. See also ‘Letters Written by The Late Jonathan Swift, D. D. Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin; And Several Of His Friends: From The Year 1703 To 1740’ Volume 3 (Davies, 1768).

[xxvii] Lease - Tyrellstown 16th June 1724. John Stoytes of Eccles Grove Co Wicklow, Thomas Marley of Dublin, His Majesty’s Solicitor General, and Lewis Meares and Walter Burton, both of Dublin, lease to Stephen Bomford of Gallow the town and lands of Tyrellstowne containing 214 plantation acres (347 statute) in the Parish of Moyleskar in the Barony of Fertullagh in which Stephen Bomford is now in possession, at a rent of £66 for ever. (Book 41 Page 378 No 26395)

Tyrellstown is situated about l½ miles south of Gainstown and immediately south of Anneville. Anneville is one of the family homes of the Smith family, ‘in-laws’ of Stephen. Tyrellstown remains a Bomford property until 1837 when Isaac Bomford bequeathed it to his nephew David North.

In 1711 John Stoytes leased Gurteen and Gainstown to Stephen, and there is another deed about these two places in 1715. The Master of the High Court of Chancery witnesses the second deed. Now in this deed the Solicitor General is brought in with two others who together grant the lease; something odd happened to John Stoytes. It may be that there were two Johns, the father who died before 1715, and a son who may have been a minor and possibly a ward of court.

[xxviii] The earliest reference I can find to John Stoyte being addressed at Streete dates to 1785: ‘The present peerages: with plates of arms, and an introduction to heraldry ; together with several useful lists incident to the work’, Joseph Edmondson (J. Dodsley, 1785), p. 356.

Collins's peerage of England, Volume 7 (F. C. and J. Rivington, Otridge and son, 1812), p. 64, describes Stoyte as ‘barrister-at-law and Recorder of Dublin’.

[xxix] John Stoyte’s wife Mary Howard, a sister of Ralph, Viscount Wicklow, and one of two daughters (with three sons) born to Robert Howard (d. 1740), Bishop of Killaloe (1726) and Elphin (1729) and his wife Patience (d. 1764), daughter and sole heiress of Godfrey Boleyne of Fennor, Co. Meath. See George Kearsley's ‘Complete peerage, of England, Scotland and Ireland’ (1799), p. 471-472.

[xxx] Given the Stewart links to the Swift family, it is to be noted that the Darnley’s fourth daughter Lady Catherine Bligh (1774-1812) was married in 1804 to Charles William Stewart (1778-1854), subsequently 3rd Marquess of Londonderry.

The Speculum Gregis of Killashee of 1849 states that “Two Presbyterian families reside in Clondra village and its neighbourhood, one named Montgomery - the other Stewart [DELETED] - both large - never come to Killashee church.” One wonders could this be the same Stewart family with whom the Swifts inter-married.

[xxxi] At the churchyard in Bidborough, Kent, Richard Westmacott created a beautiful and elegant monument “To the Memory of Mary Dowager Countess of Darnley, only Daughter and Heiress of John Stoyte, Esq, of Street, in the County of Westmeath in Ireland, and wife of John, Earl of Darnley. Born October 8 1747. Died Mar 27 1803. Aged 55”.

[xxxii] The Gentleman's magazine, Volume 93, by John Nichols.

[xxxiii] The Mullingar Court House where Wesley spoke is now the Greville Arms Hotel.

[xxxiv] Theodosia was a widow of William Blachford, ‘a clergyman of extensive property, who was in charge of Marsh's Library in Dublin’. She became a Methodist after her husband’s death in 1773. (The Letters of John Wesley, Jan 11, 1777, to Dec 29, 1779).

[xxxv] Cartron is bounded by the townlands of Cornahoo, Stone Park, Aghnacranagh, Keenagh and Glenmore in Kilcommock parish, and by Abbeyderg townland in Taghsheenod Parish.

[xxxvi] See: 'Life In Old Dublin' (1913) by James Duffy, Chapter 3. Sir Jonah Barrington in his "Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation’ claims Newcomen was one over by the promise of money and ‘a peerage for his wife.’ Irish Quarterly Review adds the following:-
"Sir William G. Newcomen, Bart., member for the Co. Longford, in the course of the debate, declared he supported the Union, as he was not instructed to the contrary by his constituents. This avowal surprised many, as it was known that the county was nearly unanimous against the measure, and that he was well acquainted with the fact However, he voted for Lord Castlereagh, and he asserted that conviction alone was his guide. His veracity was doubted, and in a few months some of his bribes were published. His wife was also created a peeress. One of his bribes has been discovered registered in the Rolls Office - a document which it was never supposed would be exposed, but which would have been found for impeachment against every member of the Government who thus contributed his aid to plunder the public and corrupt Parliament.
The following is a copy from the Rolls Office of Ireland:-
"'By the Lord Lieutenant and General Governor of Ireland - Cornwallis.
"'Whereas Sir William G. Newcomen, Bart., hath by his memorial laid before us represented that on the 25th day of June, 1785, John, late Earl of Mayo, then Lord Viscount Naas, Receiver-General of Stamp Duties, together with Sir Thomas Newcomen, Bart., and Sir B. Denny, Bart., both since deceased, as sureties for the said John, Earl of Mayo, executed a bond to his Majesty conditioning to pay into the Treasury the stamp duties received by him; that the said Earl of Mayo continued in the said office of Receiver-General until the 30th July, 1786, when he resigned the same, at which time he was indebted to his Majesty in the sum of about £5,000, and died on the 7th of April, 1792; that the said sureties are dead, and the said Sir Thomas Newcomen, Bart., did by his last will appoint the memorialist executor of his estate; that the memorialist proposed to pay into his Majesty's Exchequer the sum of £2,000 as a compensation for any money that might be recovered thereon, upon the estates being released from any further charge on account of said debt due to his Majesty. And the before-mentioned memorial having been referred to his Majesty's Attorney-General for his opinion what would be proper to do in this matter, and the said Attorney-General having by his report unto us, dated the 20th day of August, 1800, advised that, under all the circumstances of the case, the sum of £2,000 should be accepted of the memorialist on the part of the Government, etc., etc.
"'J. TOLER."
"By this abstract it now appears, even by the memorial of Sir William Glandowe, that he was indebted at least £5,000 from the year 1786 to the public Treasury and Revenue of Ireland; that; with the interest thereon, it amounted in 1800 to £10,000 that Sir William had assets in his hands as executor to pay that debt, and that, on the Union, when all such arrears must have been paid in to the Treasury, the Attorney-General (afterwards the famous Lord Norbury), under a reference of Lord Castlereagh and Cornwallis, was induced to sanction the transaction as reported-viz., under all the circumstances to forego the debt except £2,000. Every effort has been made to find if any such sum as £2,000 was credited to the public-none such was discovered. The fact is that Lord Naas owed £10,000, consequently Sir William owed £20,000; that he never bona-fide paid to the public one shilling, which, with a peerage, the patronage of his county, and the pecuniary pickings also received by himself, altogether formed a tolerably strong bribe even for a more qualmish conscience than that of Sir William."
On the 30th July, 1800, Lady Newcomen was raised to the Irish peerage by the title of Baroness Newcomen of Mosstown, and in 1803, she was advanced to the dignity of Viscountess Newcomen. She was succeeded by her son, on whose death, in 1825, the title became extinct.

[xxxvii] County cess was a tax levied on property occupiers by the Grand Jury and used to fund the payment of county officials and the building and maintenance of infrastructure including roads.

 

APPENDIX - GENEALOGICAL REPORT ON THE SWIFT FAMILY

Initial Information and Research Strategy

Robert Swift was born in 1901 at Kenagh, the seventeenth child of Richard John Swift and Isabella Stewart. Richard Swift was born in 1847 the son of Richard Swift, farmer and Margaret Moffatt. Richard Swift was born in 1809 the son of William Swift. He originated in the parish of Street, Co. Westmeath. William Swift leased land in the townland of Tinode in this parish. William Swift, according to his newspaper obituary, was born ca. 1760 and died in 1842, with six living sons. William Swift was possibly the son of Edward Swift (b. ca. 1725). The name Bligh / Blythe Swift appears through generations of the Swift family. An 18th century deed shows that William Swift leased his land at Tinode from the Dowager Countess Darnley.

The object of this search is to establish that Richard John Swift was the son of Richard Swift and Margaret Moffatt and to try and find a documented link between the Swift family of Street, Co. Westmeath and the family of Jonathan Swift and John Dryden.

The results of this research are detailed in the ensuing pages.

1. Parish Records: Church of Ireland Kilcommick

Unfortunately, the Church of Ireland parochial records for Kilcommick are still in local custody. The RCBL stated hese would be deposited by the Diocese of Ardagh sometime in 2012. This has meant that we have not been able to inspect the parochial records for the Baptism of Richard John, son of Richard Swift and Margaret Moffat.

While at the RCBL we noted that a small combined register for the Church of Ireland Parish of Streete, Co. Westmeath, was present at the RCBL. This include births, marriages and deaths for the periods 1802 to 1827 and Vestry Minutes for the periods 1802-1875 (source: RCBL. P. 600/1/1). This was examined in its entirety and we have recorded all events for the family name Swift, which includes two Baptismal Records for children named Richard issuing from different fathers named William Swift.

Baptised on 12th February 1802, William, the son of Peter & Ellen Swift of Street.

Baptised on 7th December 1802, Thomas, son of William & Mary Swift of Street.

Baptised on 8th October 1804, William, son of William & Mary Swift of Street.

Baptised on 30th November 1806, Ann, daughter of William & Mary Swift of Street.

Baptised on 27th November 1808, Richard, the son of William & Mary Swift of Street.

Baptised on 14th February 1813, Edward, son of William & Mary Swift of Street.

Baptised on 1st July 1815, Blythe, the son of William & Mary Swift of Street.

Born on 29th December, Baptised on 31st December 1820, Maria, the daughter of William & Mary Swift of Street.

Baptised on 8th September 1803, Martha, daughter of John & Catherine Swift of Street.

16th April 1806, George.

Baptised 25th September 1803, James, son of Thomas & Ann Swift of Fermore.

14th May 1805, Elizabeth.

Baptised on 12th June 1808, William, son of William & Catherine Swift of Street

Married by licence on 4th January 1819, John Swift to Jane Murry

Married on 9th November 1817, William Swift & Catherine Darby.

Born on 2nd July, Baptised on 9th July 1820, Richard, son of William & Catherine Swift

Born on 18th November, Baptised on 23rd December 1821, Thomas, the son of William & Catherine

Born on 10th December, Baptised on 26th December 1826, Maria, the daughter of William & Catherine

Buried 13th May 1802, John Swift of Street.

Buried 10th March 1807, William Swift of Street.

Buried 30th March 1810, Martha Swift of Fermore.

Buried 9th November 1810, Sarah Swift later of Fermore, aged 65 years.

Buried 24th August 1817, John Swift.

Buried 12th January 1819, Jane Swift of Street.

Buried 8th August 1820, Richard Swift, aged 32.

Buried 9th September 1820, Peter Swift of Street.

Buried 17th May 1821, Anne Swift of Street, aged 23.

Buried 17th October 1822, Mary Swift of Tinode, aged 50.

Buried 24th December 1823, Peter Swift of Street, aged 40 years.

Buried 1824, Thomas Swift of Dunamon, aged 60 years.

Buried 25th October 1825, Eleanor Swift of Street, aged 67 years.

First Select Vestry. William Swift elected Vestryman on and off through to 1840. Also served for periods as Church Warden. Thomas Swift elected in 1810. John Swift elected 1813.

Our research identifies the family of William and Mary Swift who had a son, Richard (bapt. 27th November 1808) who is likely the father of Richard John Swift. The parish registers record 5 sons born to William and Mary Swift, although it is likely that another son may have been born to the family prior to the commencement of the parish registers in 1802. This would account for the six sons of William Swift who carried his coffin at his funeral.

Richard had at least two elder brothers, Thomas and William and two younger brothers, Edward and Blythe. Edward and Blythe are known Swift family names.

The parish registers also record Peter, John and Thomas Swift having children at the same time as William and it is possible that these men were all brothers or cousins.

The registers also list the burial of Mary Swift of Tinode, aged 50, on 17th October 1822. It is to be noted that William and Mary Swift of Street baptised a daughter called Maria in 1820, and yet Mary would seemingly have been 48 years old at the time.

2. Marriage of Richard Swift & Isabella Stewart: 21st June 1876

The marriage of Richard John Swift and Isabella Stewart was registered at Ballymahon in 1876 [1876: Richard John Swift, Ballymahon, 8/23] and read as follows:

Married on 21st June 1876 at the Presbyterian Church of Moyvore Church in the Civil Parish of Templepatrick, Co. Westmeath according to the Form & Discipline of the Presbyterian Church

Richard John Swift, a bachelor and farmer of full-age, who was residing at Kenagh at the time of his marriage, the son of Richard Swift, a farmer To Isabella Stewart, a 20-year-old spinster who was residing at Kenagh at the time of her marriage, the daughter of William Stewart, a land steward. Alexander Ferguson and Matthew Douglass stood as witnesses to the marriage.

The marriage certificate confirms that Richard John Swift was the son of Richard Swift, a farmer of Kenagh. Although we have not found a baptismal record for Richard John Swift, the marriage certificate indicates that we are looking at the correct person.

Note: The family recorded that they were 'Methodists' in 1901 & 1911 Censuses of Ireland.

3. Burke's Publications

An examination was made of Burke's Irish Family Records (1975) and Burke's Land Gentry of Ireland (1912 & 1958 edn) for the Swift family. Both of these publication hold extensive pedigrees, but neither provide a link between Godwin Swift and the Swift family of the current search. The former records the sons by Godwin Swift's (d. 1695) four marriages as follows:

Thomas
Willoughby
Godwin
Robert
Deane
Joseph
Meade (b. 29th January 1682)
Thomas
Edward
William (b. 17th November 1684)
John (b. ca. 1691)

While some of the some of these children are well documented both in Burke's and the subsequent pedigrees that we have examined – several were deceased either unmarried or without issue – the youngest three sons are very poorly documented and one would suspect that if there is any link then this is where it is to be found.

GO 261-76 Vol I Betham Sketch Pedigrees – see below – records the marriage and some issues of the tenth child, William (d.1769), which includes a son named William:

William Swift of Dublin, Esq, will proved 1769, Barrister-at-Law = Elizabeth Longfield had issue:
Unnamed Child.
A daughter born in 1769.
Unnamed Child. Killed 1769 by the kick of a horse.
William

4. Registry of Deeds: Land Index Books

An examination was made of the Registry of Deeds Land Index Books for the periods 1708-1828 for the land denomination of Tinode, Co. Westmeath. During the periods of this search only two memorials registered under the denomination of Tinode where either the grantor or grantee was identified as Swift (1708-1828). These two memorials of deeds are those described in Derrick Swift's 'Deductions'.

Memorial 420-526-275430
Indented Deed of Release
Dated 13th April 1785
Between: Mary Countess Dowager Darnley and John Swift and his son John Swift of Street, Co. Westmeath, farmers of the other part.
For the considerations therein mention did set unto John Swift and John Swift the younger the lands of south Tinode being part of Street, containing 67 acres 25 perches plantation measure for a during the natural lives of John Foster, aged 13, and Thomas Foster, aged 10 or thereabouts, the sons of William Foster and Martha Foster, otherwise Swift, of St. Johnston, Co. Longford, Innkeeper, at the yearly rent of £63 16s.

[St. Johnston is now known as Ballinalee. It was a plantation town owned by Lord Granard.]

Memorial 439-523-286258
Indented Deed of Assignment
Dated 1st May 1789
Between John Swift Snr., and John Swift Jnr., both of the town of Street, Co. Westmeath, farmers of the one part and William Swift of Street, farmer of the other part, purporting to be an assignee of all that of the one half of the lands of South Tinode containing 33 acres and a half to hold for the remainder of the ground lease made to John Swift Jnr., and Snr., by the Dowager Countess Darnley, for and during the natural lives of John Foster and Thomas Foster, sons of William Foster of Clooncose, Co. Longford, farmer, mentioned in the ground lease.

The second deed documents that, in 1789, John Swift Senior and Junior granted a portion of their lands in Tinode (part of the town of Street) to William Swift, a farmer of Street. To have undertaken this lease, William Swift would have to have been over the age of 21, which is consistent with a date of birth ca. 1760. It is likely, therefore, that this William Swift was the father of Richard Swift (b. 1808, Street). His relationship with John Swift is unclear. John Swift may have been a brother, uncle or cousin of William.

5. Prerogative Wills Abstracts: 1699-1800

Betham's Prerogative Wills Abstracts held in the National Archives of Ireland were examined for references to the family name Swift (source: NAI., BET1/61-66). We have recorded all of the beneficiaries and family connections to the testator recorded by Betham, the majority of who are the sons of Godwin Swift (d. 1695):

Adam Swift of Greencastle Co. Down, will dated 26th May 1704. Wife's mother, Elizabeth Cotterell; daughter Anne Perry, grandson, Adam Perry, brother William Swift and son, William Swift.

Deane Swift of Castlerickard, Co. Meath, gent. Will dated 16th May 1713, proved 27th May 1714. Brother Willoughby Swift. Wife Elizabeth; sister Hannah Maria Swift, son Deane, brother Godwin, brother Meade; John son, Meade son; brothers Michael and Christopher.

Willoughby Swift of the Co. Hertfordshire, son of Godwin Swift, Esq., deceased of aforesaid county. Dated at Lisbon 19th March 1713, proved 4th July 1715. Grandfather Thomas Swift of Hertfordshire, clergyman. Mother Elizabeth Swift, alias Wheeler. Brother Dean Swift; brother Thomas Swift.

Godwin Swift of Dublin, Esq. Will dated 1st November 1739, proved 26th January 1739/40. Wife Elizabeth.

Meade Swift of Lynn, Co. Westmeath, Esq., dated 5th August 1738, proved 6th June 1739. Wife Frances; sons Michael, Godwin, Alexander, Thomas, Theophilus and Meade. Daughters Susanna, Mary and Elizabeth.

Michael Swift of Lynn, Co. Westmeath. Will dated 22nd April 1747, proved 11th June 1748. Brothers Alexander and Godwin Swift.

Richard Swift of Clonconnell, Co. Westmeath, farmer. Dated 18th April 1763, proved 22nd October 1763. Daughter Martha Swift, otherwise West, her husband Thomas West and son also Thomas West.

Thomas Swift of Lynn, Co. Westmeath. Dated 22nd March 1765, proved 3rd April 1767. Brother Meade Swift; sons Meade & John Swift; wife Frances; brother John Swift; sisters Elizabeth Borr and Susanna Stubbs; nephews Richard & John Swift; brother Alexander Swift.

Elizabeth Swift of the City of Dublin, widow. Dated 11th April 1761, proved 17th March 1769. Husband Godwin Swift Esq, deceased; son Godwin; daughter Elizabeth Whitney otherwise Swift, youngest daughter Hannah Maria; sons Michael, William & Jonathan; grandson Goodwin; son William.

William Swift, Dublin City, Esq. Dated 1st February 1769, proved 2nd March 1769. Wife Elizabeth Swift otherwise Longfield.

Michael Swift of Capel Street, Dublin City, Gentleman. Dated 23rd December 1774, proved 21st October 1777. Wife Mary; only son Robert; daughters Catherine, Elinor, Maria, Sarah; daughters ____ Brown, Mary Steuart and Anne Bayley; son-in-law William Steuart; granddaughters Emily & Anne Steuart.

Richard Swift, Esq. Dated 26th January 1796, proved 25th March 1796. Eldest son Benjamin; son John; wife Jane; daughters Elizabeth, Susanna, Christina, Frances & Jane.

6. Swift Pedigrees in the Genealogical Office of the National Library

An examination was made of McAnliss, Virginia Wade., Consolidated Index of the Manuscripts at the Genealogical Office of the National Library of Ireland, the most complete inventory of the records held in this repository (Scanned Copy Enclosed). The following items noted in McAnliss were inspected, none of which provides the missing link:

Betham Sketch Pedigrees
NLI., GO. Ms. 261-76 Vol.XII, pp.200-1
Pedigree of Usher of Dublin, through Meade and Swift

Godwin Swift, Esq., died 1695 = Elinor, daughter of Col. William Meade, Esq. This pedigree only follows the line of the son, Meade Swift and his wife, Mary, daughter of Robert L'Estrange and their issue:

John = Catherine Swanton
Theophilus Swift
Meade Swift
Thomas Swift.

Pedigree through the Harrisons:

Deane Swift, Castlerickard, Co. Meath = Mary Harrison, daughter of Rev. Theophilis Harrison
Theophilus Swift, Castlerickard, died 1735 = Lady Charlotte Pead and their issue:
Deane Swift of Castlerickard = ??
Henry Theophilius Swift
Christopher Swift, only surviving son, living 1828.
Edmond Lenthall Swift.

Betham Sketch Pedigrees

NLI., GO. Ms. 261-76 Vol. I, pp. 93, 217-9

p. 93 Swift of Allergill. This pedigree ceases with the issues of Sir Robert Swift: Sir Edward Swift, deceased 1668.
pp. 217-9. A very detailed pedigree.
p. 217 Begins with Godwin Swift
p. 218 Begins with pedigree of John Swift, died 1536. This page includes the brothers of Godwin Swift, including a brother William, who married twice and had issue of a son, William Swift who appears on p. 219
p. 219 Includes issues of Godwin Swift and Elinor Meade, as well as issues of William Swift, a brother of Godwin.

No issues/marriage recorded for Edward, the youngest son of Godwin Swift’s 4th marriage, but does provide detail on Godwin’s nephew:

William Swift of Dublin, Esq, will proved 1769, Barrister-at-Law = Elizabeth Longfield had issue:
Unnamed Child.
A daughter born in 1769.
Unnamed Child. Killed 1769 by the kick of a horse.
William

It is possible, although far from certain, that this William Swift was the father of Richard Swift – although William Swift Senior, nephew of Godwin, was a barrister in Dublin and not a farmer in Co. Westmeath.

Davis MSS
NLI., GO. Ms. 405 Davis MSS, pp. 228-9.
Pedigree begins with The Rev. Thomas Swift and his marriage to Elizabeth, the daughter of John Dryden, the sister of Sir Erasmus Dryden, who was the father of John Dryden the poet.

Betham Sketch Pedigrees
NLI., GO. Ms. 261-76 Vol. XVI, pp. 194-99.
Pedigree beginning with _____ Swift of Rotheram, Yorkshire, 15thc. This includes the four marriages of Godwin Swift.

Carmichael MSS.
NLI., GO. Ms. 406. Carmichael Ms. #s 31 & 32
Two Swift Pedigrees.

It should be noted that many of the sons and indeed daughters of the cadet branches of the Swift family intermarried and it is possible that the link to Godwin Swift and William (d. 1842) is through a daughter or granddaughter of Godwin Swift rather than a son or grandson. Betham’s Prerogative Will Abstracts for Michael Swift of Capel Street, Will Pr. 1777, named one of his married daughters as Mary Steuart, wife of William Steuart. Could this family by related to Isabella Stewart?

7. Not Inspected

Collectanea Genealogica XXIII/1. One of the NLI., GO. Ms. states that this holds a full pedigree of Swift Family.

Marriage Settlement of Richard Swift of Lynn, Co. Westmeath & Martha Bryan of Dublin, 1813 (NLI., D. 26731).

NLI., GO. Ms. 496-511 ST. Swift of York, Meath and Kilkenny. Staff cannot locate or even identify where this pedigree is now situated.

NLI., GO. Ms. 64-79 Vol. 14. Funeral entries. Godwin Swift (d. 1695).

The Heraldic Sketches, Betham Letter Book, Reynell MSS and the eleven will abstracts held by the GO and recorded in McAnliss Calendar (scanned copy enclosed). The will abstracts will be repetitive of the Prerogative Will Abstracts inspected in the NAI.

King's Inns Admissions records for William Swift, barrister.

Trinity College Admissions for issues of the Swift family. If the family of Richard Swift were farmers, it is unlikely that they will appear in the Trinity College Admissions.

9. EXTRACTS FROM FREEMAN'S JOURNAL COURTESY OF BOB FITZSIMONS

6-10 Dec 1768: DIED - At Stephens Green, Mrs Edytha Swift

14-17 Jan 1769. DIED - In Capel Street, the Widow Swift.

16-20 May 1769. DIED - Miss Swift, Daughter of Counsellor Swift.

15-18 July 1769. DUBLIN. A few days ago, as a young Gentleman, son of William Swift, Esq; Counsellor at Law, was handling a Horse he usually rode, the Beast gave him a violent Blow, which fractured his Skull, but is not dead as mentioned in Saunders's Paper.

19-23 Sept 1769.MARRIED. In Park Street, Mr John Swift to Miss Hannah Swift.

21-24 July 1770: Kilkenny, July 21. Yesterday Morning died, after a tedious illness, which he bore with Christian Patience, Counsellor Godwin Swift, a near Relation to the late great Dr. Jonathan Swift.

31 July - 3 Aug 1770: Premium results at the Hibernian Academy; COMPOSITION, Letter, Swift; Verses, Swift; MUSIC, Swift; DANCING, Swift.

13-15 Sept 1770. MARRIED Richard Swift, Esq., to Miss Jane Swift, daughter of Alexander Swift, of Lyn, County Westmeath, Esq

18-20 Dec 1770 Premium results at the English Grammar School (Grafton St) For Reading and Speaking, John Swift

15-18 Dec 1770 Praemium results at the Hibernian Academy: COMPOSITION, Essay, Swift; MUSICK, Swift. [According to the Freeman's Journal, the Swift who attended the Hibernian Academy completed his studies in Dec 1771].

28-30 Mar 1771 MARRIED A few Days ago, David Jones, Esq; to Miss Frances Swift of Lynn, co. Westmeath.

The committee who certified Mr Achmet's Baths on Bachelor's Quay included Deane Swift. {Fr J 16-18/1/1772]

John Swift Dryden LLD elected Clerk of the Parish of St. Werburgh [FJ 12-14/4/1772 and 14-17/11/1772] He is not in 'Burtchael and Sadlier' but is in the 'Catalogue of Grads' by Charles Miller: Sch 1757, BA 1758, MB 1761. He must be a descendant of Jonathan Swift's grandmother. Strangely he is not in the 'Clergy of Dublin and Glendalough'.

Died: A few days ago in Fownes St., Mrs Hannah Lightburne, relict of the Rev Stafford Lightburne and mother of the Hon Lord Mayor. [Fr J 2-5/10/1773] Hannah Swift was dau of Willoughby Swift and married Rev Lightburne (?when). Her son Willoughby had been sworn in as Lord Mayor a few days earlier.

7-9 July 1774 - Freeman's Journal reports that 'John Swift and Laurence Brennan were tried and found guilty at His Majesty's Commission of Oyer and Terminer, of robbing a clergyman on 7th May last, in his Majesty's park the Phoenix, of a gold watch and £9 13s in cash, and received sentence to be executed on Saturday 14th inst [Sat was actually the 16th]. There was nothing around the 16th to say the execution did or did not happen. Bob Fitzsimons asks: 'Might this explain the disappearance of the other son of William Swift - easier perhaps to link it with the accident rather than wrongdoing?'

Mrs Ridgeway, housekeeper to Dean Swift died age 78 in Oct 1774. [18-20 Oct 1774]

Fr J 22-25 May 1779 almost full frontpage letter by Adam Swift to the Journeymen of the Liberties of Dublin.

Fr J 17-19 Jun 1779 Marriage of Mr Thomas Kinsley, Apothecary of Dr Stephen's Hospital to Miss Elizabeth Dryden of Swift's Hospital

Fr J 31 Jul- 3 Aug 1779 County Westmeath, Grand Jury incl Alexander Swift

Fr J 21-24 Aug 1779 Married: Mr Mauruce Adams, sword cutler, to the widow Swift of Marlborough St.

Fr J 22-24 Jun 1780 Married: In Kildare Street the rev Mead Swift, to Miss Delia Sophia Saunders.

SURGEON DEANE SWIFT & THE SINKING OF THE TREVOR

It is assumed the following relates to the one and the same man:

19-22 Jan 1771 Mr Dean [sic] Swift is appointed Surgeon in the City Workhouse, in the Room of Mr Croker, resigned.

Married. Mr Swift, surgeon, to Mrs Nugent, relict of Arthur Nugent, Esq. [Fr J 21-23/9/1773]

'On Thursday the 19th (Oct 1775) instant the brig Trevor Totty master, and the brig Nonpareil Davies master, sailed from Parkgate [west of Liverpool] for Dublin. About eight o'clock that evening, these vessels being then near Holyhead, the wind came about from SSW to the westward, and so violent a hurricane arose that they could not carry any sail, but were obliged to lie down and drive before the wind. In this situation Totty's ship drove upon the banks near the Lancashire shore and is totally lost. Every person on board perished except one Samuel Fairclough, a mariner, who miraculously saved his life by leaping on board another vessel, called the Charming Molly, Hollyway master, which by accident ran foul of the Trevor and at the instant the two vessels struck together Fairclough made his leap. The Nonpareil it is supposed stranded upon Hoyle-sands and is lost. Not one person is saved ... The Trevor and the Nonpareil had on board near 200 passengers among whom were the Hon. Major [Francis] Caulfeild [MP for Charlemont], his lady and daughters ... [and] the two Mr Frenches, one of them Member for the County of Roscommon ... We are informed that there were on board the two last mentioned vessels £6,000 in specie, besides silks, woollen clothes, jewels and other things to the amount of between £30 and £40,000'

28-31 Oct 1775 A letter from Chester to his friend in Dublin, dated 21 Oct "I am sorry to acquaint you with the melancholy news of the loss of the Trevor, capt Totty; she sailed from hence the 19th inst, and meeting with a violent storm, was drove on the Lancashire coast the 20th where she beat to pieces in a very short time, and all on board perished, and all perished, except one seaman who jumped overboard....."

31/10- 2 Nov 1775: Information from the above sailor, also a letter from Parkgate concerned about the fate of Capt Davis and his vessel which sailed at the same time

9-11 Nov 1775 The Trevor wrecked on the foreshore of the estate of Bold [?] Fleetwood Hesketh, a minor, son of Fleetwood Hesketh of this city [?Dublin]. On board, Mr Swift, surgeon of Dublin, his wife and daughter etc.

Bold Fleetwood Hesketh was a minor at the time and must have died young, as his brother Roger inherited the estate and fathered Peter Hesketh who, in honour of his grandmother, changed his name to Hesketh Fleetwood, and became an MP and founded the town of Fleetwood.

It must have been a particularly vicious storm as the Fly packet from Liverpool was lost as was the Nonpareil from Chester, both carrying passengers.

5-7 Dec 1775: The Trevor, Totty, which sunk in the violent storm of the 19th and 20th of October last, has been discovered about ten miles off the coast of Lancashire, standing upright on hard ground.

28-30 Dec 1775: Mr James Boyton is elected assistant surgeon to Steeven's hospital, in the room of Mr Deane Swift, deceased.

Surgeon Perrin begs leave to inform his friends that the General Board of Election for a surgeon to the Work House, in the room of the late Mr Swift, is fixed for Monday next the first of January, at the Work Hopuse etc.

There is a will in Wills in Reg Deeds Vol 3 for Mary Swift, formerly wife of Deane Swift, made 14 Apr 1777, Narrate [?what] 1 Oct 1794, in which she appoints trustees and guardians for her two granddaughters Mary and Elizabeth, daughters of her younger son Deane Swift, 'then lately deceased'. This is probably the Deane Swift who died on the Trevor. Other children mentioned in this will are her son Theophilus Swift, barrister, and his son Deane Theophilus, her daughter Maria. Also an interest in lands in Tullynacross and Drumlin bequeathed to Jonathan Swift, Esq, City of Dublin and Rev Godwin Swift, Lyons Den, Co. Meath, which are left to Mary and Eliz above. Vol 1 has the marriage settlement of Meade Swift of 9 Jan 1728 confirmed on 3 Aug 1738.

Fr J 11-13 Oct 1781 Married: Robert Swift Esq., to Miss Lyster, daughter of John Lyster of Summer-hill.

 

With thanks to Ann Swift, Bernadette Clancy, Barbara Haines, Bob Fitzsimons, Derrick Swift, Ken Mitchell, Fergal Browne, David Ryan, Richard Hodgson, Alan McCool, Nicola Morris and Ruth Illingworth.

 

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