Turtle Bunbury

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Extracts from the following appear in the book ‘CORKAGH - The Life & Times of a South Dublin Demesne 1650-1960’ by Turtle Bunbury, published by South Dublin County Council in May 2018. The County Library in Tallaght have the books as part of their Local Studies collection; readers can either visit the Library or contact them via 01 4597834.

During the mid-eighteenth century, David Chaigneau leased Corkagh House, Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, with seventeen acres of gardens and meadows, to the Hon. Major General Henry De Grangues for an annual rent of £64. The general was in residence in 1749 and 1750 when Corkagh was advertised for sale in the Dublin Journal. [i] However, he appears to have relocated to nearby Newlands by the time of his death in 1754.

Born at Caen in Normandy, Henry was the eldest son of Henri Daniell De Grangues, 2nd Marquis de Martragny, by his wife Ann, daughter of Daniel de Chamberlan. [ii] The family claimed an Irish kinship through Williams Danyel, Baron de Rathwine; his wife was apparently a granddaughter of the Duke of Norfolk exiled by Richard II in 1399. Added to the mix were the Ogles, a prominent landed gentry family from Northumbria who intermarried with the Cavendish and Lumley families.

Henry’s grandfather Guillaume Daniel married Jane Randall of Salisbury. Their second son Henri Daniell returned to France and settled at Caen in 1635, where he acquired the fiefs of Gresons, Moult, and Grangues. To avoid a new tax imposed on France’s non-citizens in 1640, Henri Daniell obtained his rights of naturalization in 1646. He appears to have been created Marquis de Martragny by Louis XIV in 1675.[iii]

General De Grangues is believed to have been christened Jean-Henri Daniel De Grangues but later anglicized his name to John-Henry.[iv] Confusingly his will in 1754 named him as the Hon. Henry Daniel de Grangues, while the name is sometimes spelled as Desgrangues. His four younger siblings were named Marthe Suzanne, Guillaume, Suzanne and Samuel. [v]

It is said that Henry De Grangues served as an aide-de-camp to the ill-fated Duke of Schomberg at the battle of the Boyne in 1690 but a detailed biography of the Duke makes no mention of him.[vi] Other accounts suggest the Marquis de Martragny himself was a lieutenant in Schomberg’s cavalry. [vii]

Military records indicate that Henry actually entered the English Army as a Cornet in 1695. Two years later the Peace of Ryswick brought an end to the War of the League of Augsburg, which had pitted France against the Grand Alliance of England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the United Provinces. At this point De Grangues may have been assigned to the 8th Regiment of Horse, also known as ‘Schomberg’s Horse’, which may be the source of the confusion alluded to above.

On 26th February 1699-1700, John Henry De Grangues submitted a petition to be naturalized in London, with fellow émigrés James Vezian and James De La Rouviere attesting for him.[viii] This was to enable him to retain his existing commission or at least to give himself a chance of rejoining the army in the future. He was listed as ‘De Grange’ in the act that subsequently naturalized him while another reference in these lists described him as ‘John Henry Daniel De Grangues’. Both he and Vezian were described as ‘poor French refugees’. Vezian later became a ‘Purveyor of Oats and Beans’ for William III’s stables in London and Kensington for seven years but was ‘turned out upon the King's death’, obliging him to petition the Lord High Treasurer that he was still owed £1,400.[ix]

During the reign of Queen Anne, De Grangues served with the Earl of Strafford's Dragoons under Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. In July 1702 Strafford’s Dragoons were encamped at Dukenburg, near Nijmegen, along with three squadrons, including Wyndham’s Horse (with which Major Philip Chenevix served) and Schomberg’s Horse (with which John Arabin may have served). However, while Wyndham’s and Schomberg’s saw action at Blenheim, Stafford’s Dragoons were posted to Spain in December 1703. They later became the Royal Regiment of Dragoons.

On 22nd July 1707 Henry De Grangues was appointed captain in a French Regiment of Dragoons in the Dutch service commanded by the Belgian poet and general Henry de Cort, Baron de Walef (1652-1734). His commission, signed by the Duke of Marlborough, coincided with a resurgence of the French threat on all fronts, and more political infighting within the Grand Alliance itself.

At the close of December 1711, Marlborough was dismissed from his command of the army following a series of corruption scandals. His successor was the Duke of Ormonde who duly made his way to the frontlines. On 14th July 1712, while based at Cateau-Cambrésis, Ormonde signed a commission appointing De Grangues to the rank of Major in Baron de Borle's Dragoons; de Borle was de Walef’s son.[x] Grangues was listed as one of the two captains in de Borle's Dragoons in 1715 or 1716 when Parliament received a ‘Petition of the Protestant Officers of the Baron de Borle's late Regiment of Dragoons, praying that (in Regard of their long and faithful Services) a provision be made for Half-Pay for them’. He was duly placed on half pay on the English Establishment.

One wonders how de Grangues reacted when, following Queen Anne’s death, both Ormonde and Lord Stafford, his former colonel, threw their lot in with the Jacobites. Stafford was one of the masterminds of the Atterbury Plot of 1720–1722, which sought to restore the throne to the exiled James Stuart, otherwise known the Old Pretender. Although the plot collapsed in the spring of 1722, the Old Pretender elevated Stafford to the rank of Duke in the Jacobite Peerage.

In 1740, a succession crisis within the Hapsburg dynasty prompted another major European war. The following January, De Grangues was appointed colonel of the 60th Foot and given a royal warrant to raise a new foot regiment comprising of ten companies.[xi] He went on to command the 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot before being transferred to command Wynne’s Dragoons, later to become the 9th Dragoons.[xii] Originally formed during the Jacobite Risings in 1715, Wynne’s Dragoons were regarded as the second most senior cavalry regiment in the British Army.[xiii]

On 18 June 1745 Whitehall promoted De Grangues to Brigadier General. Three months later, he met with Lord Chesterfield, the Viceroy, and expressed his distaste for the manner in which the French prisoners at Kinsale were being treated, as Chesterfield remarked, ‘more inhumanely … than negroes in the West Indies.’[xiv] In a letter to the Duke of Bedford, Chesterfield described De Grangues as ‘a man of truth and honour’. His regiment may have served at the battle of Culloden in 1746. He saw out the rest of the decade with the 9th before he obtained the colonelcy of the 4th Irish Horse (later 7th Dragoon Guards) in 1749, at which point ‘De Grangues's Foot’ was disbanded.[xv]

De Grangues’s youngest brother Samuel, known as Colonel Samuel Daniell, served in Colonel Murray's (46th) Regiment of Foot. The regiment was raised at Newcastle in 1741 and may have served at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. It was stationed in Ireland from 1749 until the outbreak of the Seven Years War when they were dispatched to Nova Scotia and the Caribbean. [xvi] However, it appears Samuel was already dead by 1749 and General de Grangues was executor to his will. In 1727 Samuel married Magdalen Catherine Charlotte D’Apremont, daughter of François Varignon D'Apremont and Judith de La Placette. Their daughter Judith Daniell married John Arabin and was mother to the Henry Arabin who would be so closely tied to Corkagh during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. When Magdalen Daniell’s father died in 1747 he was buried at the French Church in Peter Street, Dublin. Two years later, probate for Monsieur D'Apremont’s will was granted in the Prerogative Court of Armagh to no less a soul than Brigadier General Henry de Grangues.[xvii]

It is not known when Henry De Grangues came to Corkagh. His niece, Judith Arabin, was related by marriage to the Chenevix family and the general clearly knew Colonel Philip Chenevix. The Dublin Journal indicates that he was renting Corkagh by 1749. Perhaps he moved there when his regiment was disbanded earlier that year and then simply moved across the Naas Road to Newlands after Thomas Finlay bought the house.

It is notable that he was described in the Dublin Journal as ‘Major General’ because on 11th June 1754 George II promoted him to the rank of ‘Lieutenant-General.’ [xviii] He would not enjoy his new status for long. On Saturday 22nd June 1754, Thomas Waite, Under Secretary for Ireland, wrote to Lord George Sackville, the Chief Secretary, informing him that ‘General de Grangues is still in the land of the living, but very weak and believes himself dying.’ [xix] The general died at Newlands the following afternoon. He was a rich man and, upon his death, most of his fortune devolved upon his niece Judith and her husband John Arabin.[xx]

Two days after his death, Colonel Arabin (Judith’s father-in-law) and Colonel Chenevix were among those who wrote to Lord George Sackville. Colonel Arabin noted that the late general had ‘disposed of his fortune more to the advantage of his niece, Mrs. Arabain [sic], than was expected’. He estimated that ‘the General is dead worth eleven thousand pounds, and his legacies do not amount to more than four thousand.’ Colonel Arabin added rather darkly that the general’s generous bequest to his niece was a surprise ‘considering the situation he has been in for some years past with respect to those about him.’ [xxi]

Writing from the Powder Mills at Corkagh, Colonel Chenevix itemized some of General Desgrangues [sic] bequests: £120 a year for life, plus £300, to his sister; £2000 plus the house in Dublin with all furniture to Mrs Cartier, and £300 to her husband; £200 to Captain Sheyla; and £500 in ‘small legacies, with his country house, to Captain Arabin’s lady, which may amount to near £8000.’ [xxii] The general’s executors were named as Colonel Arabin, Captain Sheyla and Captain Desbrisay. Theophilus Desbrisay had been Agent to the 5th Horse in 1749, when de Grangues was its colonel, and had leased land at Corkagh since at least 1743. [xxiii]

The Arabins were fortunate that the general died when he did. According to a letter written by Major Pepys to Lord George Sackville on 1st August 1754, the general ‘had sent for an attorney the day before he died to make a new codicil to his will in favour of a female friend’ - Mrs Cartier, perhaps? – ‘by which she was to enjoy his seat at Newland during her life and £3000 more than he had left her before.’ Captain Arabin and his lady had a lucky escape.’ [xxiv] Where’s Miss Marple when you need her?


[i] The particulars of the Dublin Journal advertisement in 1749 and 1750 noted that ‘the Mansion House’ plus seventeen acres of gardens and meadows were leased to ‘the Hon. Major Gen. Henry De Grangues’ for £64 a year.

[ii] Anne de Grangues, widow of Henry Daniell de Grangues, died in 1723. See: ‘Huguenot Archives: A Further Catalogue of Material Held in the Huguenot Library - Margaret Harcourt Williams, p. 28.

[iii] The De Grangues pedigree is laid out by Henry Wagner in ‘Annuaire de la noblesse de France et des maisons souveraines’, Vo. 20, but it is difficult to determine how these names connect to Samuel Daniell or General de Grangues. The link may be through Guillaume Daniel and his wife Jane Randall, of Salisbury, England. Their second son Henri Daniel lived a while in England but returned to settle at Caen in Normandy in 1635, acquiring the fiefs of Gresons, Moult, and Grangues. To avoid a new tax imposed on non-citizens in 1640, he obtained his rights of naturalization in 1646. It appears one of his sons or grandsons became marquis de Martragny. See also: Philip & Mabilia Daniell, ‘Biographical history of the family of Daniell or De Anyers of Cheshire, 1066-1876, comprehending the houses of Daresbury, De Bradley, and De Tabley’ (1876), p. 35.

[iv] He is named as John Henry “de Grangne” in the Huguenot Society of London’s Quarto series (1911), Volume 18, p.307.

[v] Huguenot Archives: A Further Catalogue of Material Held in the Huguenot Library, Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 2008, p. 28.

[vi] Matthew Glozier, author of ‘Marshal Schomberg 1615-1690, "the Ablest Soldier of His Age"’ (Sussex Academic Press, 2005), refers to three of the Duke’s aides-de-camp, namely Henri Foubert, Isaac Monceau de Meloniere and the Duke’s own grandson Charles de Sibourg (the natural son of Charles von Schomberg who succeeded as 2nd Duke). The suggestion that Henry De Grangues’ was the Duke’s ADC was printed in John Marshall’s ‘Royal Naval Biography’ (Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1831), p. 69. Henry Daniel de Grangues, marquis de Martragny, served under the Duke of Schomberg at one point. Adding to the confusion, it is sometimes said that the Duke’s ADC at the Boyne was John Arabin. Whoever the ADC was, he did not do very well because the elderly Duke was killed in the battle.

[vii] Henry Wagner’s de Grangues, ‘Annuaire de la noblesse de France et des maisons souveraines’, Vo. 20.

[viii] Manuscripts of the House of Lords, H.M. Stationery Office, p. 88, p. 90.

[ix] Calendar of Treasury Papers, Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1974, p. 287.

[x] Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Volume 24 (Society for Army Historical Research., 1946), p. 49.

[xi] William A Shaw, ed. (1901). "Treasury Books and Papers: February 1741", pp. 441–448.

[xii] In October 1742, he took command of the 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot, but on 1 April 1743 he took command of the 9th Dragoons.

[xiii] Reynard, Frank H., ‘Ninth (Queen's Royal) Lancers 1715–1903’ (William Blackwood, 1904), p. 1. In 1717, the 9th Dragoons embarked for Ballinrobe, in Ireland, and were placed on the Irish establishment

[xiv] The Monthly Review (Hurst, Robinson, 1842), p. 77.

[xv] On 1 November 1749 he obtained the colonelcy of the 4th Irish Horse (later 7th Dragoon Guards), from Morduant, which he retained until his decease in June 1754. The London Magazine, Or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer, 1749, Volume 18, p. 529.

[xvi] Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London - Volume 14 (1933), p. 230.

[xvii] Huguenot Archives: A Further Catalogue of Material Held in the Huguenot Library (Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 2008), p. 29.

[xviii] Notes and Queries, 12th Series Volume II. London. 1916. pp. 152, 313; Carter, Thomas (1871). Curiosities of war and military studies: anecdotal, descriptive, and statistical. London: Groombridge & Sons. pp. 129–130. In its acknowledgment of his passing in 1754, the Scots Magazine (1754), Volume 1, noted that he was colonel of a regiment of horse and a Major General on the Irish establishment.

[xix] Letter from Thomas Waites to Lord George Sackville, 22 June 1754, Report on the Manuscripts of Mrs. Stopford-Sackville, of Drayton House, Northhamptonshire (Ardent Media,1904), p. 214.

[xx] Ibid, p. 215.

[xxi] Letter from to Col. John Arabin to Lord George Sackville, 25 June 1754, Report on the Manuscripts of Mrs. Stopford-Sackville, of Drayton House, Northhamptonshire (Ardent Media,1904), p. 215. General de Grangues will of 12 August 1754 is held by the National Archives in the UK.

[xxii] Letter from to Col. Philip Chenevix to Lord George Sackville, 25 June 1754, Report on the Manuscripts of Mrs. Stopford-Sackville, of Drayton House, (Ardent Media,1904), p. 215.

[xxiii] The Quarters of the Army in Ireland, 1749.

[xxiv] Letter from to Major Pepys to Lord George Sackville, 1 August 1754, Report on the Manuscripts of Mrs. Stopford-Sackville, of Drayton House, Northhamptonshire (Ardent Media,1904), p. 221.