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Bunbury of Johnstown House, County Carlow, Ireland

A branch of the Bunbury family lived at Johnstown House outside Carlow town for most of the eighteenth and part of the early nineteenth century. This account looks at such characters as the travel writer Selina Bunbury and the pioneering postmaster Sir Henry Noel Bunbury, as well as connections to the Irish Volunteers, William Pitt, Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Galton, Oscar Wilde, the Conellan family and sub-branches in Liverpool, Essex and Cuba. An abbreviated version of this piece was published in the 2020 edition of Carloviana.

Johnstown House, near Carlow Town, 2020.


The Arrival Of The Bunburys

The Bunburys of Johnstown descend from the Baron de St. Pierre of Normandy, France, whose sons were granted lands at St Boniface’s Borough (or Bone-borough, later corrupted to Bunbury) in Cheshire in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Almost five hundred years later, the Baron’s descendent Sir Henry Benjamin Bunbury was stripped of his lands and imprisoned for his support of King Charles I during the English Civil War. Sir Henry’s half-brother Thomas Bunbury, a clergyman, was simultaneously hounded out of his vicarage in Reading by Presbyterian’s.

Thomas’s twin sons Benjamin and Joseph Bunbury moved to County Carlow in Ireland in the 1660s and Benjamin appears to have taken over James Wall‘s lease of Killerrig from the Duke of Ormonde in 1669. Joseph Bunbury, gent., was administrator to John Robinson when the latter claimed a £120 mortgage on a portion of Patrick Wall‘s lands at Pollardstown (Pollacton), just east of Carlow Town, in 1684. The back-story of the Wall family is dealt with here. [1]

In 1699, Joseph Bunberry [sic] was recorded as ‘Impropriatr in the parish of Killereek’ (Killerrig) in the Congregational (Tithe) Records for County Catherlogh  compiled by the Society of Friends. [2]

In 1712, Benjamin’s youngest son, Benjamin Bunbury junior, paid £500 to buy up lands at Killane and Myshall, County Carlow, from Patrick Wall, formerly of Ballynakill and Johnstown, and Ulick Wall, Patrick’s son and heir. [3] It is sometimes assumed that the lands seized from dispossessed Jacobites was simply swiped and handed to loyal subjects. While this is true to an extent, it appears to me that the new landholders did actually have to pay something for their leases. That was the case with those who took over the land of John Warren, who had to forfeit much of his land for being a member of the Patriot’s Parliament for the borough of Carlow under James II between 1689 and 1691.[4]

In 1713 Joseph Bunbury paid £165 to take over a lease from John Green ‘of the town of Catherlogh, Gent’ from the Earl of Thomond on the estate right, title and interest on ‘all that tenement and plot of ground situated in Dublin Street in the Town of Catherlogh’, as well as a tenement and plot ‘in Southcott Lane in the town of Catherlogh along the River Barrow’. [5]Among the witnesses was Joseph’s younger brother, Thomas Bunbury of Cloghna. This is the earliest known deed in the Land Registry Office in Dublin connected to Joseph.

On 1 July 1713, Joseph married Hannah Hinton, a daughter of the Venerable Archdeacon Dr Edward Hinton, Dean of Ossory. [6]The following November, Joseph, a former High Sheriff for County Carlow, and his brother Benjamin, the then High Sheriff, were drawn into controversy over an apparent fixing of a result in the election of Jeffery Paul that year. [7]

The 1717 conveyance from Hugh Fagan of Killerig to Joseph Bunbury.

In June 1717, Joseph was conveyed 130 acres of Wentworth Harman’s estate at Rathdean, County Carlow by Hugh Fagan of Kilewick, co. Carlow, gentleman. Thomas Bunbury was again a witness, alongside John Smith, a public notary from Dublin City, while the lease also referenced Richard Butler, Gent. This was possibly the future Sir Richard Butler, 5th Bart, of Ballintemple, although Richard would have been only 18 or 19 at this time. [8] Wentworth Harman was probably the former Captain of the Battle-Axe Guards and resident of Castle Roe, County Carlow, who died in 1714, or his son, Wentworth Harman of Moyne, who married Lucy Mervyn of Trillick, County Tyrone, in 1714.

Many Catholic families like the Walls undoubtedly mortgaged their lands to raise troops for James II in 1689. Had he won the war, they would have been rewarded. However, his absolute defeat meant that aside from actual confiscations, many hitherto prosperous Catholic families found themselves in debt for long years afterwards and were ultimately obliged to sell land. As well as the Bunburys and the Burtons, numerous other English families were establishing themselves in County Carlow at this time. The Browne’s were in Carlow from the 1650s when Robert Browne arrived from Wickham in England and is recorded as living in Tullow Street; his descendants built houses at Viewmount (1750) and nearby Browne’s Hill (1763). [9] I think the land at Browne’s Hill had been seized from the monasteries and granted to the O’Briens, Earls of Thomond, in the 16th century. Thomas Duckett bought Kneestown (aka Duckett’s Grove, just north of Killerrig) off Thomas Crosthwaite of Cockermouth in 1695, and I believe that his son, also Thomas Duckett, bought Philipstown, [Rathvilly?], Co Kildare, from the Earl of Ormonde. I’m unsure who had either property before Crosthwaite or Ormonde. Russellstown Park was built by William Duckett in 1824 after, I think, he obtained the land fromHarry Bunbury, another family member who went bankrupt.

An extract from Sir William Petty’s Down Survey of the 1650s, with Carlow Castle in the top left corner, shows the various properties associated with the Bunbury family in Urglin parish, namely Johnstown, Ardnehue, Fryarstown (Friarstown) and Killerrig.

Joseph Bunbury of Fryarstown & Johnstown House


I am, as yet, unsure when Joseph Bunbury acquired the land at Johnstown. This may have included some of the present two-storey, four-bay, double-pile house at Johnstown. Johnny Couchman, who lives at Johnstown today, believes the house to be the oldest continually occupied building in Carlow. They suggest the foundations date to the time of the de Valles although Johnny Couchman counsels that it’s impossible to pin a date on it. The two foundation walls lie beneath the gravel at the front of the present house and measured perhaps 2-3 feet thick. They may have been buttress walls. On the house itself the windows at the front are 19th century but there is evidence of an earlier house. A large and very pronounced chimneybreast projecting from the gabled wall at the South West end represents a style found during the 17th century, but which continued into the early 18th century, when Joseph is reputed to have built the house. The narrower windows may reflect a time when families like the Bunburys were still wary of Jacobites, while the turret and crenelations along the present front may have been designed either to recall the original castle or to reflect the fashion for Tudor Gothic architecture. It’s all a guessing game and it seems most likely that, like the yard out the back, the whole place just grew organically having, perhaps, started out as some sort of bawn or tower house. [11]

28 June, 1718: Mortgage of the lands of Parke by Edmond Cullen to Joseph Bunbury. (25. 244. 14839.)

He was still referred to as Joseph Bunbury of ‘Fryarstowne’ in deeds of Lease and Release, dated 23-24 December 1723, by which Charles Butler, Earl of Arran, sold the fee farm interest in the town and lands of Tobinstown (except the Mill & Lands) to Joseph and his cousin William Pendred of Broghillstowne for £2665. The interest had previously been rented from the Arrans by Joseph’s father Benjamin Bunbury for £68 a year since 1669. [10] The townland of Fryarstown (Friarstown) is midway between Killerrig and Johnstown, about 3km east of the latter. There is a castle depicted here on the Down Survey.

Joseph died on 14 January 1730 and was buried in Urglin two days later. [12] Hannah followed him on 19 December 1738. They left at least one son, Henry Bunbury, and a daughter, Henrietta Bunbury (1708-1761), who married Paul Minchin (see below).

The Minchin Connection

Henrietta Bunbury, daughter of Joseph and Hannah, married Paul Minchin, variously described as of Ballynakill, King’s County, and of Bogh (or Bough), just outside Rathvilly, County Carlow. Paul served as High Sheriff of Co Tipperary in 1736 and died in 1764.

The Minchin family had formerly owned land in Gloucestershire. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, three brothers, John, William and Daniel came to Ireland as adventurers and purchased estates. John Minchin’s wife Mary was a sister of Colonel Thomas Walcot of Croagh, Co. Limerick, executed for his part in the Rye House Plot of 20 July 1683. John’s eldest son Colonel Charles Minchin (1628–1681), Paul’s grandfather, served with both Cromwell and Ireton in Ireland and was awarded a Crown Grant of Busherstown, Co. Offaly, after the Restoration (later confirmed 1680). In 1669, he purchased the Annagh estate in Co. Tipperary from Major Solomon Cambie and in 1680, he purchased the Ballinakill estate from Sir Richard Stephens. By his wife Elizabeth (Paulet?), he had at least six sons and two daughters. His second son Humphrey Minchin succeeded to Ballinakill Castle and later purchased the Busherstown estate from his elder brother’s estate. Humphrey built the Round Tower at Busherstown and began reconstruction of the house. He was High Sheriff of Co. Tipperary in 1686 and later MP for Tipperary. In December 1660, he married Rebecca, daughter of Joshua Paul of Bough, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow, who gave him seven sons and eight daughters. The eldest daughter Rebecca married John Carden (see here) while other daughters Anne married Thomas Bernard of Ratho, County Carlow, and Sophia married Benjamin Hobart of Co. Carlow (Hobart is assumed to have been the Carlow school teacher). Humphrey died in 1733 and was succeeded at Ballinakill by his eldest surviving son, Paul Minchin, who married Henrietta and later settled at Bough.

Paul and Henrietta had two sons and three daughters.

Their eldest son Humphrey Minchin (1727–1796), a keen cricketer, was a prominent political ally of William Pitt and sat in the House of Commons as MP for Okehampton and, later, Bossiney, from 1778 until his death in 1796. He succeeded to Ballinakill, presumably in 1764, but sold the property in the 1760s and moved to England where he had large estates at Aston Hall, Staffordshire and Holywell, Soberton, Hampshire. In August 1750, he married Clarinda, daughter and co-heiress of the Dublin banker George Cuppaidge. Among their children were Vice Admiral Paul Minchin, also a noted cricketer; Lieutenant Spencer Minchin, RN, killed in the Battle of Copenhagen; and Henry Minchin, Lord of the Manor of Soberton. Humphrey died very suddenly from a fit while hanging up his hat before dinner.

Paul and Henrietta’s second son (Joseph) Paul Minchin was born in 1730 and educated at Trinity College but died without issue.

Paul and Henrietta’s elder daughter Rebecca Minchin (d. 1800) was married in November 1760 to Daniel Toler, MP of Beechwood, Co. Tipperary, from whom descended the Earls of Norbury.

Paul and Henrietta’s second daughter Elizabeth Minchin was married on 9 June 1780 to Rev. Charles Woodward.

Paul and Henrietta’s youngest daughter Jane Minchin married William Maunsell.

Also of interest in the Minchin family was Paul’s nephew, Captain William Minchin (1774–1821), son of Captain George Minchin, who was caught up in a mutiny when he and his wife went to Australia in 1797 on the female convict ship, Lady Shore, and were cast adrift off Brazil. He was later involved in the rebellion against Governor William Bligh in Australia, finishing up as Director of the Bank of New South Wales. William’s brother, George Minchin, settled in New Brunswick where he became fantastically wealthy merchant and a noted philanthropist. Another of Paul’s nephews was Ensign George Minchin, 29th Regt, son of Humphrey, killed in action at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill in 1778.


Harry Bunbury (1716-1772) of Johnstown


Joseph and Hannah’s only son, Henry – or Harry – was born in 1716 and educated at John Garnet’s Latin School in Athy in 1717-1718, alongside his cousins Billy Bunbury (later of Lisnavagh) and Tom Bunbury (later of Kill). [13] He then went to Trinity College, Dublin, from which he graduated with an M.A. in 1736. He succeeded to Johnstown on his father’s death in 1730, although the house was presumably held in trust for him until he came of age.

Harry appears to have become directly involved with the Jacobite Rising which erupted in August 1745 and concluded with the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden in April 1746. This came to light with the discovery of a document relating to the trial and execution of Philip Nowlan of Ballykealy in the Pat Purcell Papers. [14] This was almost certainly Peter Nowlan (or Nolan), the last chief of the Nowlans of Ballykealy and a descendent of the 16th century chieftain, Cahir O’Nolan of Ballykealey. He may have been caught recruiting Irishmen for service in the Irish Brigades in France. [15] According to the 1744 document, an unusually large turnout of sixteen Magistrates, Justices of the Peace, Sheriff’s and members of the gentry of county Carlow became involved in the case, underlining the seriousness of the charge. Nowlan was subsequently hanged in Clonmel in 1745 for “high-treason” for his support of the Jacobite cause.

It seems likely this was the Henry Bunbury involved in a property transaction in July 1762 concerning the present-day location of the Carlow County Council offices with the Hon. Arthur Dawson of Athy Street, Carlow. [16] Henry served on the Carlow Council in 1768, and probably earlier. On 14 July 1767, he was the presiding magistrate in the case of Sarah Conners of Hacketstown who had been attacked by Hugh Conneron when he came to her house three days earlier ‘in a very Gross Manner … a Razor open in his hand and made Several Attempts with said Razor to cut [her] Throat [and] verily Believes he would Murder her on the spot’ were it not for the intervention of bystanders. The fate of Sarah Conners and her intended terminator is unknown. [17]

In about 1760, the Bunburys knocked down some sheds at the back of Johnstown House and built a new Palladian style front, which now faced north-west, as it does today. The old broad avenue – a very wide road with huge verges – still runs straight to the present garden side, which used to be the front, while a large window under the plaster at the first landing is exactly aligned with where the original front door was. Some stones strewn around the farm look like the surround to an elaborate doorway. The reorientation of the house also explains why the cellars do not match; the cellars from the old part were bricked up. The fact that the Bunburys finances were waning in the late 18th century may also be relevant.


Above: The British prime minister William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham (1708-1778), was the unlikely heir of a fortune once destined for the Bunburys. This portrait is by William Hoare

The Pynsents & William Pitt


Harry Bunbury’s wife, Henrietta Pynsent was a daughter of Captain Robert Pynsent, who died in 1738, and a sister and sole heiress of the Rev Sir Robert Pynsent, the fourth and last baronet. The Pynsent baronetcy was created by James II on 13 September 1687 for William Pynsent, sometime Sheriff of Wiltshire. [18] Henrietta’s brother Robert Pynsent, aka ‘Pinsenty’, was also a past pupil of at John Garnet’s Latin School in Athy, where he was schooled alongside the Bunburys and Pole Cosby. He became a prominent cleric in Ireland, serving at various churches in Limerick, Cork and Derry between 1741 and his death in 1781. [19] Robert was also heir to the baronetcy from his wealthy cousin Sir William Pynsent. As such, he had good reason to anticipate a substantial inheritance from the childless Sir William when the latter died in 1765. However, he was to be most disappointed. Sir William had been a prominent Whig MP in the parliament of Queen Anne but retired to the country when the Tories came into power. As Waylen and Goddard put it, ‘his manners were eccentric, his morals lay under suspicion, but his fidelity to his political principles remained unalterable.’ When Sir William died in 1765, he controversially left a fortune worth £30,000 to the Whig leader William Pitt (later Earl of Chatham, and a close ally of the Bunbury’s cousin Humphrey Minchin, see above), as well as 1000 guineas to ’the notorious John Wilkes.’ Pitt’s inheritance, and simultaneous elevation to the earldom, inspired a parody-ballad, ‘Pynsent’s Ghost’, readable here. Robert Pysent, then rector of Killmore, unsuccessfully contested the will in the Court of Chancery in April 1771, as did Henry Daw Tothill, another kinsmen of the Pynsents. Robert married Mary Nuttall, but died without issue in 1781, at which point the Pynsent baronetcy became extinct.

Henrietta Pynsent was apparently 17 years older than Harry but nonetheless bore him at least two sons, Joseph and Robert, and two daughters who were christened in Urglin at this time – J. Edith Bunbury (25 August 1733) and Henrietta (23 July 1735). Edith died on 12 January 1739. It is to be noted that a Benjamin Bunbury of Killerig was baptised in Urglin on 2 August 1736.


James Archibald Hamilton


I believe Harry and Henrietta were also parents of Harriot Bunbury who married James Archibald Hamilton, the clergyman and distinguished astronomer. [20] His wife was certainly a Bunbury although I have seen it claimed that her first name was Jane and that she was from the Kilfeacle branch. However, neither proposition tallies with this notice from the Freeman’s Journal of 5-7 June 1770: ‘MARRIED. At Johnstown, County Carlow, James Archibald Hamilton, Esq; to Miss Harriot Bunbury.

James Archibald Hamilton transpires to be a remarkable man. His grandfather was Archibald Hamilton (d. 1741), a Belfast-born merchant who ran A. Hamilton & Meynen in Rotterdam and who was married at Dordrecht, Holland, in 1723 to Elizabeth Rees (d. 1770). [21] Archibald and Elizabeth were the parents of Gustavus Hamilton, a dragoon officer in a regiment raised by (later Field Marshal) James O’Hara, 2nd Baron Tyrawley and 1st Baron Kilmaine. In 1747, Gustavus married the beautiful Huguenot heiress Jane Girardot, as per these notices:

‘This Week Capt. Hamilton, a near Relation to his Grace the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, was married to Miss Girardot, the only Daughter and Child of John Girardot , of Tilleux, near Greenwich, Efq; a beautiful young Lady, with a Fortune of £10,000.’
Newcastle Courant
 – Saturday 16 May 1747

‘MARRIAGES. Capt, Hamilton, a near relation to His Grace the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, to Miss Girardot, only Daughter of John Girandot, Esq, of Tillieux, near Greenwich, with £30,000.’
Ipswich Journal – Saturday 23 May 1747

Jane Giradot was a daughter of South Sea Company director Jacques Girardot. [22] James Archibald Hamilton (JAH) was born in Athlone later that same year; his father is assumed had been garrisoned there at the time. Gustavus resigned from Tyrawley’s Dragoons in 1751. [Lord Tyrawley’s Dragoons became the 10th Regiment of Foot in 1751, and later the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment.] He may have then moved to Summerseat, Clonee, County Meath, which is often given as his address. However, he died when James Archibald Hamilton was a boy, as per this record in the Scots Magazine of 7 October 175:

‘At Dublin [on 30 Sept], Major Gustavus Hamilton, late of [Lord] Tyrawley’s dragoons.’

His widow Jane Hamilton was married secondly to Arthur Blennerhassett of Ballyseedy (County Kerry), London and Bath.

According to JAH’s entry in the Dictionary of Irish Biography by David Murphy, he was sent to the Royal School at Armagh in 1754, the year of his father’s death, where he studied for six years under the Rev. Arthur Grueber, D.D.. Canon Leslie’s succession lists states that he entered Trinity College Dublin in November 1764, ‘distinguished himself in the study of natural sciences and practical astronomy, graduating BA in the spring of 1769,’ a year before he married Harriot Bunbury. [23] He went on to hold a welter of positions in the church before being appointed Dean of Cloyne in 1804. Having had his own observatory at Cookstown since 1780, he was appointed first astronomer to the Armagh Observatory from 1790 until his death, at the observatory, until his death on 21 November 1815. He was buried at Mullaghbrack. He was survived by two daughters Harriett (who married circa 1797 Peter Holmes) and Jane (married in 1800 Alexander Holmes of Scribblestown, near Finglas).


The Liverpool Branch

There is also a possibility that Henry and Henrietta were the forbears of a branch of the family who were established at Ardnehue, near Johnstown, as well as in Liverpool, England. For more of this, see Bunbury of Ardnehue and Liverpool.

On Wednesday 4 March 1772, Finns Leinster Journal noted that Colonel Henry Bunbury had died at Johnstown the previous Thursday morning and that ‘by his death, an estate of 900l. per annum devolves to his son, Rev. Joseph Bunbury’. [24]


Badge of the County Carlow Legion, a volunteer unit formed in September 1779 under Colonel J. Rochford and Major Henry Bunbury. Embroidered on silk, it depicts Hibernia leaning on a Harp, holding a staff and flag in the left hand and a leafy sprig in the right hand. The Motto ‘be true to yourself’ is inside a border of shamrocks.
The banner was up for sale at Adam’s for €5000-6000
in April 2012, but didn’t sell. Carlow historian Michael Purcell believes it used to hang from a bracket on the wall in St. Mary’s Church, Castle Hill, Carlow alongside three other Militia-type banners, which were removed in 1972.

Major Henry Bunbury, Carlow Legion

I remain confused by the origin of Captain / Major Henry Bunbury who, co-founded the Carlow Legion, a unit of the Irish Volunteers, with Colonel J. Rochford, in September 1779. He may have been another son of Harry and Henrietta. In 1780, he captured an outlaw, as per this report from the Freeman’s Journal of 20-23 May 1780.

‘Carlow May 17: Early on Tuesday morning a detachment of the Palatine Town Volunteers commanded by Captain Henry Bunbury marched to Cranny[?] in the County Kildare, and after some resistance, apprehended one Murtagh Darcy, a notorious rioter….for an assault committed on one of the Volunteers of said company, and brought him before Sir Charles Burton, Bart, who committed him to gaol.’

Major Bunbury was also mentioned in this report from Walkers Hibernian Magazine:

‘Carlow July 12, 1785. This day the volunteers of this County, with some corps from the Queen’s County, and county of Kildare, were reviewed on the field of Pollarton [Pollacton]; at twelve o’clock, Sir Charles Burton, the reviewing general, came to the field, attended by Lieutenant Colonel Doyne, Majors Bunbury and Dillon. There were present most of the principal gentlemen of the county; the troops went through their evolutions and firings to the perfect satisfaction of the general, and the numerous spectators. The day was remarkably fine; the review ended at half past three o’clock; several of the distant corps were hospitably entertained by the general, in tents pitched in his lawn.’

On a similar vein, I have yet to place Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bunbury, late of the 5th Regiment, who was listed as a member of the Loyal and Friendly Society of the Blew and Orange from 11 April 1785. The Society was founded between 1733 and 1736 by officers of the King’s Own Royal Regiment to commemorate the Revolution of 1688 and the accession of the House of Hanover to the English throne in 1714.[25] Blew was the 18th Century spelling of blue. I’m unsure who this man was. There was a Joseph Bunbury promoted through the ranks of the 49th Foot in the 1780s but he only ranked Captain by 30 May 1786, according to Saunders Newsletter.

Rev. Joseph Bunbury, Rector of Urglin

According to an information sign at Urglin Church, “The three-bay Gothic Revival church was built between 1787 and 1820 on the site of an older church and was extended around 1870. The older church was built in 1669 and may itself have been built on the site of a more ancient church.’ In 1820 the Select Vestry approved a motion to keep watch on new graves for a week or so after burial to prevent the body snatchers taking cadavers for students to practice on. “It must have been a lonely scary business sitting up all night in Rutland graveyard,” remarked the Reverend Henry Vaux Boake in his book ‘Rutland: Church and Graveyard’ (1991). “We can take it that he had steady nerves, a good blackthorn, and the company of whatever was the equivalent in those days of a pit-bull terrier.”

The Rev. Joseph Bunbury, the eldest son of Harry and Henrietta Bunbury, was Rector of Urglin, or Rutland, 2¼ miles from Carlow. St Mary’s Church, Urglin, where the families of Duckett, Burton, Denys, Crosbie and Bunbury gathered to pray in the 18th and 19th centuries was located a few fields away from Johnstown. The church enjoys a splendid view across County Carlow and Wicklow to Lugnaquila mountain, and the line of the Wicklow Hills leading along to Wexford and the Blackstairs. You can access a fine collection of public records for Urglin from 1710 at this link, while the late Richard Corrigan provided his own immensely valuable records and transcriptions to the IGP Carlow site as per this link. A weather-beaten slab above the front door of Urglin church in Latin translates as:

‘Richard Tighe, Knight, ordered this sacred building to be erected at his own cost in the year of Our Lord 1659. The Rev. Joseph Bunbury, Rector, placed this tablet that his piety and generosity might become known to his posterity A.D. 1787. The building in its old age, being a complete ruin, was rebuilt and its tower beautified, by the Rector, Rev. Thomas Brooke, A.D. 1820.’

The present church was erected in 1821 and is just as Samuel Lewis described it in 1837 – ‘a neat plain building with a spire’. Its construction was paid for ‘by aid of a loan of £700 from the late Board of First Fruits’. This would have been the closest church to Killerig (2 ½ m) and also seems to have welcomed members of the Palatine community from the Rhineland, 88 of whom had settled on the Burton estate earlier in the century. The fields of Johnstown occupy the foreground, with roads and bridges in the distance, and the fairy tale towers of Duckett’s Grove on the eastern horizon.

Framed by his fellow peers,Sir Edward Crosbie, the so-called ‘head’ of the 1798 rebels in Carlow has a prominent connection to the church. The Duckett family of nearby Duckett’s Grove also had close ties with Urglin Church for many years. Their family vault, built in 1851, is to the north of the church. In 1878 William Duckett gifted an organ to the parish that was made by the Dublin firm Telford and Telford, which is still used today. In 1855 William and Joseph Duckett donated £5 each, and John Duckett donated £3, towards the provision of a new school in Rutland to replace an older building which had fallen into disrepair. The building was refurbished and officially opened in 1991 as the Urglin Centre by Mary Robinson, the President of Ireland. Also of note, on 30 March 1861, the Select Vestry decided to construct a number of stables to the north of the church, with subscriptions from the Shaw, Burton, Duckett, Wright, Colclough and Dowse families. The stables were strictly for the use of those attending the church.

Joseph Bunbury married Elizabeth Nixon, a daughter of Abraham Nixon (or Nickson) of Munny House, County Carlow. She may well have been a sister of Rachel Nickson who, in December 1765, married the Rev. Christopher Harvey of the Bargy Castle family in Co. Wexford. [26] They had two sons Henry Bunbury (1753-1819) of Russellstown and Bunbury Lodge and Benjamin (who died aged 4 on 7 December 1758.) Joseph does not seem to have been too keen to move into Johnstown. A year after his father’s death, he placed this advertisement in Saunders’s News-Letter (21 May 1773):

Carlow. To be set, for Lives or Years, the House and Demesne of Johnstown, within 3 miles of Carlow, and 3 of Castledermot; the House is in great Order, and the Demesne remarkable rich Meadow, well divided and inclosed, and fit for the immediate Reception of a large Family.
Proposals to be made to the Rev. Jo. Bunbury at Johnstown aforesaid, near Carlow, or Mr Richard Frizzel at Rathfarnham, near Dublin, either of whom will immediately declare an improving Tenant, on reasonable terms. May 13th 1773.

The Rev Joseph Bunbury was Chaplain to the County Carlow Legion, commanded by John Rochfort. On 25 May 1784 he chaired a meeting of the corps in Tullow in which they declared solidarity with the wider Volunteer movement across Ireland, approved the stance of their parliamentary representative, Sir Richard Butler, and appointed Beauchamp Bagenal as their ‘reviewing General.’ [27]Johnstown was described as the Rev Joseph Bunbury’s house in Wilson’s 1786 Post-Chaise Companion to Ireland. When John Rochfort of Cloghrennan sold 200 acres of riverside woods to pay off his debts in 1789, Joseph was one of the two principals whom interested parties could contact, the other being Mr Eustace of York Street, Dublin. [28]


Colonel Robert Bunbury (1734-1790) & the Walsh Family


The hint of a ‘Bunbury’ for ‘Bunbury’ on a grave at Urglin church.

Robert John Bunbury, second son of Henry and Henrietta Bunbury of Johnstown, was a Colonel in the 12th (Prince of Wales) Light Dragoons. He was born in 1734 at Portarlington, a Huguenot settlement on the banks of the River Barrow straddling the border of the King’s and Queen’s Counties (now Offaly and Laois). A deed relating to his son Henry’s marriage to Eleanora Shirley in 1790 refers to him as Robert John Bunbury of Borlanlinstone, Queen’s County. [29]

On 29 October 1762, he married Jane Walsh, the sister of one of his fellow officers in the 12th, Major Philip Walsh. [30] The Walsh’s father, also Philip, was a prominent barrister in Georgian Dublin, graduating from Trinity College Dublin to become a Bencher at the King’s Inn and a senior counsellor before his death in 1745. Jane’s grandfather, the Rev. Philip Walsh (1655-1740), was Chaplain to Archbishop Michael Boyle, Primate and Chancellor of Ireland. Jane’s uncles were all clergymen – Rev. John Walsh (d. 1756), Rector of Kilcoole, Co. Tipperary; Rev. Jeremiah Walsh (d. 1789), Rector of Killiah, Co. Meath; and the Rev. William Walsh (d. 1781), Vicar of Blessington and Rector of Ardnurcher, Co. Meath, and Kill and Lyons, Co. Kildare. The latter is an ancestor to Lesley Fennell (née Walsh) of Burtown House, Athy, Co. Kildare, while the family were also connected to the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin City.

Jane Despard’s letter recalled:

Lady Allen was a gentle creature and left two sons, two daughters and two beautiful grand-daughters, whom I mentioned before.
Of another sister I never heard anything but that her immediate descendants, the Moore’s, live in the County of Cork and Tipperary.
Mrs. Rowe, the youngest of the five, left two daughters, one of whom was killed by jumping out of a carriage while the horses were running away.
The other married my grandmother Despard’s brother, who was Solicitor General of Dublin when he died and his property descended to her grandson, Bunbury, who has squandered away every shilling of it as I mentioned before.
These are five co-heiresses of Killaghy Castle [Mullinahone, Co. Tipperary], a memento of whom, an immense oak tree with five great arms, was felled to the ground with peculiar bad taste by the late Mr. Despard. The axe had not been idle among their descendants.’The brother who ‘became Solicitor General’ was, in fact, Philip Walsh, and he was merely a King’s Counsel, not Solicitor General. The lost fortune appears to have gone to Robert and Jane’s son, the Rev Henry Bunbury, below, who did indeed go bust. [31]

Robert is believed to be the member of the Coulter Club, according to the following report in the Pat Purcell Papers. I do not know what the club was, save that its opponents sound like Whiteboys:

Leighlinbridge, August 2, 1773. The Members of the COULTER CLUB, having a just abhorance [sic] to the violent and wicked outrage committed lately on Mr John Gorman, by setting fire to a large parcel of hay belonging to him, in the deerpark at Garryhunden, in the county of Carlow, and entirely consuming the same; and being desirous of bringing to condign punishment the person or persons guilty of the villainous and atrocious a crime, do hereby offer a reward of ONE HUNDRED POUNDS Sterl. for the discovering and prosecuting to conviction at any time, the person or persons guilty of the said crime.
The said reward to be paid immediately on conviction by THOMAS GURLY, Esq.
[signed by] William Steuart, Ben Roche, Wm. Paul Butler, James Butler, Richer Mercer, Wm. Dawson, Simon Mercer, Robert Bunbury, Thomas Gurly, Thomas Bennett, Matt Humphrey, Owen Whelan, John Gorman, Richard Pack, Edward Vigors, John Humphrey, Amyas Thomas.

Colonel Robert Bunbury died in 1790. In his will dated 30 November 1790, he appointed his brother-in-law William Walsh (solicitor) as his trustee. His son Henry had married Henrietta Shirley just 10 days earlier.

Rev. Henry Bunbury (1768-1845) & Eleanora Shirley (1772-1841)


Colonel Robert Bunbury’s eldest son Henry was born in c. 1768 and followed the path of his uncle Joseph by entering the church. He went to Tynan, County Armagh, where the Stronge family lived, which may have been arranged by his uncle (?) James Archibald Hamilto, the astronomer? Henry was at Tynan on 20 November 1790 when, at the age of 22, he married 18-year-old (Henrietta) Eleanora Shirley (1772-1841). Born in Bath, she was a daughter of the Hon. and Rev. Walter Shirley and niece of the Earl of Ferrars. The wedding took place at Annadale, County Dublin. [32]

Henry Bunbury, BA, became Rector of Mansfieldstown, County Louth, in 1793, but ‘discharges the duties from a distance of six miles’ as there was no glebe house at this time. [33] He had an address at Beaulieu, near Drogheda, but when their twins Selina and Robert were born in 1802, Henry and Eleanora were apparently based at Kilsaran House in County Louth. (Curiously theMcClintocks of Drumcar held the living of Kilsaran at about this time). He resigned from Mansfieldstown in 1815.

According to the memoirs of Lady Allen, Henry inherited a considerable fortune from the Walsh family but ‘squandered away every shilling of it.’ Henry appears to have gone bankrupt by 1819, and may have sold Johnstown House to John Campion as early as 1814. There is a suggestion that Johnstown House was abandoned at about the time of the 1798 Rising, when Henry was 26 years old. In June 1800, ‘the Joice Floors Doors Windows, Door and Window Cases Boards Rafters Lentals and other Timber and valuable Articles’ of the house were ‘feloniously stolen at different times and carried away’. Henry set off at the head of a party of the Tullow Yeoman Infantry, then quartered at Grangeford, and searched several houses. They found a good deal of the missing timber in ‘the dwellings’ of Michael Wall and Lawrence Dempsey, both of Johnstown. [34] Some of Henry’s sisters or daughters are said to have moved to a cottage on Johnstown Lane and there were still Bunburys living there when Mary Moore of the excellent pub in Grangecon was a young girl in the 1930s. Johnny Couchman believes the last of the Johnstown Bunburys died in about 1937. Bun’s Bog exists today nearby, see below.

Eleanora moved to Dublin with the family, although she also appears to have had an address at Loughrea, County Galway. In about 1830 she moved to Liverpool with a number of her children, to be close to her son Robert, who was now a clergyman in the vicinity. When the 1841 census was taken, Henry was staying in Shropshire while his wife and their daughters, Harriet and Augusta, were living in Liverpool. Eleanora Bunbury died in Falkner Street, Liverpool, aged 69, on 21 December 1841 ‘in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life. [35] At the time of her passing, her sons Robert and Thomas were clergymen.

By 1821, Henry was the Church of Ireland curate of Drummaul, County Antrim, from where he wrote to the Office of Chief Secretary of Ireland complaining of his reduced circumstances and debt, which he blamed on ‘frauds having been committed against his property’ resulting in ‘a very weighty Chancery suit’. [36] This may have been a case taken by the Hon. Benjamin O’Neale Stratford (later the 4th Earl of Aldborough) over lands at Burntchurch and Gracetown, County Tipperary. [37] [NB: There is also mention of a Rev. Henry Bunbury of Rochestown, Co. Tipperary, living at this time.]

By 1824 he was receiving the tithes as Rector of the vicarages of Kilcoan and Kilbride in County Waterford, or the Diocese of Ossory, although he lived in another parish at the time. [38] He was still rector of Kilcoan when his son James was married in 1840. He died at South Frederick-street, Dublin, aged 83, on 22 February 1846. [39]

Henry and Eleanora had fifteen children, including:

(1) Harriet Jane Bunbury, their eldest daughter, born c 1792, painted a portrait of her sister Selina and died unmarried at Upper Canning Street, Liverpool, in 1854. [40]

(2) James Hamilton Bunbury (1793-1873), see below.

(3) Maryanne Bunbury, born c. 1795, died at Kilsaran on 11 April 1801, aged six.

(4) Molesworth Bunbury, born c. 1797, died on Army service in America in 1815.

(5) Henry Bunbury, who died at Kilsaran on 14 April 1801, aged one.

(6) Frances Bunbury, born 1801, died unmarried at 72 Canning Street, Liverpool, in 1855, her oldest sister Harriet having died on that same street (and probably that house?) 18 months earlier. [41]

(7) Selina Bunbury (1802-1882), see below.

(8) Rev Robert Shirley Bunbury (1804-1846), see below.

(9) Rev Thomas Henry Bunbury (1805-1888), see below.

(10) Louisa Bunbury, born c. 1809 and died in Ranelagh in 1829. [42]

(11) Augusta Bunbury, born 1816, of whom little is known except she was living in Liverpool with her mother Henrietta Eleanora and sister Harriet in 1841.

(12) Henry Bunbury (1815-1827), their youngest son, who died aged 12 at Williamstown, Blackrock, ‘in perfect submission to the will of his Heavenly Father, humbly trusting in the merits of his Redeemer.’ [43]

(13) Clara Bunbury (b. 1823), see below.

James Hamilton Bunbury (1793-1873) & the Cuban Link


James Hamilton Bunbury, Henry and Eleanora’s eldest son, was agent to the Rev Hans Hamilton, Rector of Knocktopher, he appointed Edmund Butler, a local butcher as tithe collector. In 1831, Butler was killed at the height of the Tithe Wars, alongside as Sub-Inspector, eleven constables and three others in a riot at Carrickshock, County Kilkenny. [44] In 1840, James was married in Tramore to the considerably younger Johanna Kettlewell (1822-1906), youngest daughter of Major-General John Wilson Kettlewell (1790-1857), Royal Artillery, of Hammondsville, Tramore, Co. Waterford. The Tithe Applotment Booksshow James Hamilton Bunbury with lands in the Kilkenny parish of Kilbride (1833), as well as the Waterford parish of Killahy (1827). James also appears in Griffiths Valuations as owner of considerable property. There are also several Dublin deeds relating to his failure to pay his sister Selina Bunbury her due inheritance. James died in 1873. His widow died on 26 February 1906. It seems unlikely that he was the James Bunbury of Raheen, Co. Carlow, a yeoman, arrested for stealing a frieze coat from the Watsons of Ballydarton but I had best not rule him out. [45] Raheen is close to Hackettstown.

The author Selina Bunbury (see below) was particularly fond of JHB’s only son, Henry Shirley Bunbury (1843-1920), a civil servant and contender for Oscar Wilde’s ‘Bunbury.’ His parents lived in Dublin for a while and were apparently good friends with Oscar Wilde’s parents. Born in Waterford on 6 April 1843, HSB was educated at Magdalen College School, King’s School, Ely and King’s College, London. He entered the Civil Service in 1863 and served in the Chief Inspector’s Department (Stamp and Taxes, Somerset House, London). He travelled extensively, visiting Russia, Sweden and Denmark, Holland, Italy, etc. and lived for some time in Canada, the United States and Cuba. He lived with his aunt Selina in Hammersmith / Kensington, London, for a period between 1864 and 1870. In May 1880, he married his first cousin Clara Augusta Jones, daughter of Robert Henry Jones and his wife Clarissa Bunbury (see below). Henry lived in Stirling, Scotland, where he was a surveyor of taxes and assessor. He appears to have become bankrupt and moved via Ontario, Canada, to Jamaica when he retired in 1903, becoming a prolific contributor to the Jamaican press. [46] He died at Mandeville, Jamaica, aged 77 on 24 April 1920, having written a poem five years earlier, ‘The Wind, The Water and The War’, about parents suffering the death of children in the war. [47] See here for more on his poems.

Henry and Clara also appear to have developed a strong link to Cuba, where Clara died in 1926. Sir Henry Noel Bunbury recalled: ‘These I knew well, and once stayed with them at Stirling, where he [HSB] was Inspector of Taxes. He was an eccentric, addicted to literary activities, and she kept the establishment on the rails – a pleasant, kind, sensible woman, who, I fancy, had a good deal to put up with.’

Henry and Clara had four children:

  1. Walter H. H. Bunbury(born 1 Nov 1881, Dixton, Monmouth; d. Apr 1960, Falmouth, Cornwall, aged 79. m. (1) Henrietta, a Dutch lady, who was born in 1881 at Teborg, Holland, and died in Plympton, Devon in May 1949, m. (2) (Dec 1950) in Plymouth Kathleen Selwood (who died in 1960, aged 68). He was a Commercial Intelligence Officer at the British legation in Havana until 1939 when he retired and went to live in Plymouth)
  2. Molesworth Charles Bunbury(1882-1941, whose grandson Ignacio Fiterre of Miami, Florida, gave me this information)
  3. Cecil James Bunbury(1886-1957), born in Newton Abboyt on 30 June 1886, died in Havana in 1957.
  4. Eleanora Shirley Bunbury(1888-1957, known as Nora), an employee of the British Embassy in Havana, who also moved to England when she retired.

This branch are now scattered in places such as Havana, Boston and Miami and Jacksonville, Florida. [48]

In 1866, JH Bunbury’s only daughter Harriet Eliza was born in Waterford on 4 November 1840 and was married in Kensington, London, in 1866 to William Johnson (1835-72), a clerk with the Bank of England and son of the late Rev. M. Johnson, with whom she had a daughter Isabella Mary, born in Lewisham, Kent, in 1867. [49] William seems to have died in the 1870s. By 1881, Harriet was a nun with the Sisters of Mercy working at the All Hallows Orphanage, Ditchingham, Norfolk. [50]

Above: The frontispieces of various Selina Bunbury books.

Selina Bunbury, Travel Writer (1802-1882)


Selina Bunbury, daughter of the Rev Henry and Eleanora Bunbury, was a well-known early Victorian travel writer and novelist. Henry Boylan’s Dictionary of Irish Biography states that she was born in Kilsaran, County Louth, in 1802. Selina’s mother moved to Dublin with the children shortly after her father went bankrupt in 1819. Selina took up a job as a primary school teacher and began to write books about pre-famine Ireland, such as A Visit to my Birthplace (1820, 12 editions in her lifetime), Cabin Conversations and Castle Scenes (1829) and Tales of my Country (1833). In ‘Cabin Conversations’, she slammed both the ‘evils of Popery’ and the proselytising efforts in the west of Ireland. Her most successful work was Coombe Alley (Dublin: Curry 1844), a Guy Fawkes narrative set in the reign of James I. Another hit was the two-volume Sir Guy D’Esterre (London: Routledge 1858), following the adventures of an English soldier in the train of Sir Henry Sidney who is captured in Ireland -‘the cursedest of all lands’, falls in love and meets Hugh O’Neill.

She may also have been author of an anonymous book, ‘Notes of a journey in the North of Ireland in the summer of 1827’, available via Google Books.  The author is evidently a woman, with an interest in rectories, and she wrote her preface in Louth. However, it transpires the book was printed in 1828 by J & J Jackson of the Market Place, Louth, and I think this must be Louth in Lincolnshire.

Above: An illustration from Selina Bunbury’s book, Coombe Abbey.

She moved to Liverpool in about 1830 to keep a house for her brother, the Rev. Robert Shirley Bunbury (see below), at which time she wrote many popular novels. After Robert’s marriage to Adele Galton in 1845, she visited most of the countries of Europe and published a number of travel books, such as The Pyrenees (1845), Summer in Northern Europe (1856) and Russia After the War (1857). She visited every country in Europe, except Greece and Portugal, and moved frequently between Ireland and England. She was especially fond of her nephew Henry Shirley Bunbury and her niece Clara Jones, to whom she provided support. (See above) These two cousins eventually married and it was at their home in Cheltenham that Selina died in 1882. [51]


Rev. Robert Shirley Bunbury (1804-1846), Vicar of Swansea


The Rev Robert Shirley Bunbury was born on 18 March 1804 and christened at St Chad’s in Shrewsbury, at which time his family were living at ‘Mansfield Town‘ in County Louth.[52] He was awarded his MA from of Trinity College, Dublin, and ordained in 1832 by the Bishop of Chester John Bird Sumner (later Archbishop of Canterbury). (His younger brother, Thomas, was ordained by Bishop Sumner in 1831.) According to the “Memoir of the late Robert Shirley Bunbury MA Vicar of Swansea”, his first role was the curacy of Hawkshead in the “romantic Lakes of Westmoreland”, which he recalls in his memoir as “a region that might just before have been said to be lying in darkness, so great was the moral want and spiritual ignorance of the people”. From there he went to Knaresborough and for a short time he was at South Shields. While at the latter church, he was preaching a charity sermon one cold, snowing evening and the church was so stuffed with poor and working class parishioners that the regular congregation was unable to get in. Moreover, Robert himself was only able to access the church via the vestry, from whence he was ‘almost lifted’ into place.

“It was said of our Blessed Lord, that “the common people heard him gladly” and your Pastor has frequently heard to advert to his circumstance at South Shields as an instance of the suitability of the Gospel for the poor, and the readiness with which its pure and simple truths are received by them. So poor were these anxious hearers, that out of such mass of people only a little more than one guinea was collected for the charity.”

From South Shields he went to St. Peter’s, Nottingham, where he put his life and soul into his ministry. His preaching apparently excited so deep interest, especially with the working classes, but took a great toll on his physical and mental health. He developed an illness of an “alarming nature”, and he was unable to work. For a short time, it appeared doubtful that he would ever resume his ministry. While he rested for a few months with his family in Liverpool, his brother Thomas (who had studied with him, entered college with him and ordained just before) him filled his place in Nottingham.

He was then appointed to the curacy of Stapenhill, Derbyshire where he was well respected and loved. His next post was one of much influence on his brief career, albeit with his poor health showing. He became curate of Leamington, where he met his future wife, Adèle Galton, a first cousin to Charles Darwin and a brother of Sir Francis Galton, the eugenics pioneer who coined the term ‘eugenics’ as well as the phrase “nature versus nurture”. [53] Adèle’s face had been badly cut in an accident when the donkey carriage she was riding in overturned. She also had a spinal curvature that obliged her to spend long periods on her back. She was known in the family as Delly.

Above: Sir Francis Galton, a brother-in-law of the Rev Robert Bunbury, by Gustav Graef.

Robert resigned and took temporary charge of St Thomas’ Parish in Birmingham where his friend the Rev Dr Marsh was then Rector. He afterwards assisted at Christ’s Church in the same town. In Birmingham he met with a different type of congregation, held evening meetings for young men and preached on Sunday evenings to a crowded congregation of usually two thousand people at St Thomas’ Church. At the request of the people of Birmingham, he declined the offer of a new church in Manchester, a decision he later regretted. His obituary in the Coventry Standard would later state: ‘Mr. B. was well known in Birmingham, from having had the temporary charge successively of St. Thomas’s and Christ Church.’ [54]

However, he did however accept the proposal of his cousin, Archdeacon Shirley, to supply the duty of Glossop for a short time. After his death, the people of Glossop recalled “Mr Bunbury found the church here degraded, depressed, almost forsaken; and in the short time we were blessed with is ministry, he filled the deserted pews with an attentive and anxious congregation, which hung in the breathless admiration on his words. He introduced decorum into its services; where only the voice of the clerk had been heard, the general response arose; Bibles, which never had been opened, were eagerly referred to, and the subjects of his discourses read again in numerous houses in private.” And “Our school was filled to overflowing, our children idolised him; when he entered every eye was turned to him, every ear bent to listen. How he laboured for the formation of a girls’ school amid this manufacturing population, and for a district visiting society”.

Not long after his mother’s death in Liverpool in 1841, he accepted the Living of St Thomas’s Church, in St Helens near Liverpool. However, he very quickly realised that aside from the comfort he enjoyed in the society of his patron and his family, St Helens was not suited to him. Often when he came, weary and heavy laden, to spend an evening with his sisters in Liverpool, he would say with a sigh “Well, I think my ministry is nearly ended! It appears to me that the Lord will soon have no more need of me”. [55]

“On the 13th of May 1845, the happiest event of his most diversified and difficult life took place; he was married, at the church of his Venerated friend Dr Marsh of Leamington, and by his esteemed relative the Archdeacon of Derby, to one he looked upon as a wife “from the Lord” whom he loved and respected, and who occupied thenceforth the foremost place in that most loving and tender heart. It had long been his hope and prayer that he should find such.”

Amazingly her name is not mentioned but his bride was, as mentioned earlier, Adèle Galton. Four months after their marriage to Adèle, he was appointed Vicar of Swansea. [56] However, tragedy struck when Robert died of gastric fever in 1846 aged 42, just weeks after the birth of their daughter, Millicent Galton Bunbury, in Swansea. The christening of his daughter was the last service Robert performed.

Robert’s courtship, marriage and death were all chronicled in the memoirs of Adèle’s sister Elizabeth Ann Galton and can be found in the footnotes. [57] His Swansea residence had lasted ‘barely nine months’, noted the Cambrian Newspaper. The funeral procession left Robert’s home at Russell-Place at 11:30am on the Wednesday after his death, proceeded slowly and solemnly through Gower-street, Goat-street and Cross-street, before reaching the church shortly before midday. It comprised of four coaches – one for clergymen, one for doctors, one for servants and one for ‘the brother of the deceased and another gentleman.’ The shops were closed in token of respect. He was interred in a new vault near to that of two predecessors (Rev Miles Bassett and Rev D Hewson). ‘The ceremony being over, the bells of St Mary’s rang a solemn mourning peal.’ St. Mary’s Church was rebuilt in 1898 but subsequently destroyed in the three-night Swansea Blitz in February 1941. It reopened in 1959 and in the early sixties the graveyard around the church was reordered with the gravestones laid flat and covered with six inches of soil. The tops of the chest tombs over the vaults were laid as a path around the north side of the church. In February 2020, Paul Murray, the archivist of St Mary’s informed me that while he had found the tomb tops of his predecessors Bassett and Hewson, there was no sign yet of Robert’s. His name appears on the Rectors/ Vicar’s Board at St Mary’s, while his burial was also entered into the parish register.

‘A brief memoir of the late Rev. Robert Shirley Bunbury, MA, vicar of Swansea’ was published in London by B. Wertheim, Aldine Chambers, Paternoster Row, 1846. It does not seem to be online and the only known library copy is in National Library of Wales. (Thanks to John Kelly)

Adèle Bunbury, died on 31 December 1883 at Edymead House, Launceston, Cornwall. In 1866, her daughter, Millicent – or Milly, as she was known in the family – married John Christopher, Baron Lethbridge of Tregeare, Cornwall, had nine children, and died on 29 July 1942. [58]


Clare Bunbury Jones (1823-)


Clara Bunbury, the youngest of Henry and Eleanora Bunbury’s daughters, was born in Drogheda in 1823. In 1850, she was married at St. Paul’s Church, Liverpool, to Robert Henry Jones, a flax and hemp merchant who was variously based between Liverpool, the Wirral and London. [59] Clara’s brother, the Rev Thomas H. Bunbury, officiated at the service. [60]

The Jones’s moved to London circa 1856 where Robert Henry Jones continued in the flax and hemp trade and became a Commission Agent. By 1871 they had returned to the Wirral. It is not known what happened to Clarissa or Robert Henry Jones post 1871 or where they died. The family’s hemp and flax business appears to have dwindled during the early 1860’s.

Robert Shirley Jones, the eldest of their four children was born in 1851, changed his name to Robert Bunbury Jones and went to New Zealand in the early 1870’s where, in 1875, he married Hannah Elizabeth Bennett at Dunedin. They had eight children, all born in New Zealand. A complex character, Robert Bunbury Jones died in 1901 at Bygalorie, New South Wales, Australia, under the assumed name of ‘Alan Forbes’. His wife Hannah Elizabeth Bennett remarried and died at Auckland in 1930.

Robert and Clara’s second son Alfred Henry Jones was born at Tranmere, Cheshire, in 1853 but nothing else is known of him.

Robert and Clara’s eldest daughter, Henrietta Louisa Jones, was born in Liverpool in 1856 but died in London just three years later.

Robert and Clara’s youngest daughter Clara (Clare) Augusta Jones was born in Feltham, London, on 16 January 1858. A favourite of her aunt, the novelist Selina Bunbury, Clare married her cousin Henry Shirley Bunbury, a civil servant, in 1879. When he retired in 1911, they moved to Jamaica. She died in Cuba. (See above, under James Hamilton Bunbury).

Thomas Henry Bunbury (1805-1888), Vicar of Great Warley


Christ Church, Great Warley, Essex, where the Rev Thomas Henry Bunbury was rector. The church was built in 1853.

Born in County Louth on 24 June 1805, Thomas Henry Bunbury was the fourth surviving son of the Rev. Henry Bunbury and his wife, Eleanora (née Shirley). Having been awarded a BA from Trinity College Dublin in 1831, he was admitted to Holy Orders as a Deacon that same year by Dr. John B. Sumner, Bishop of Chester, at an ordination service in the Cathedral Church. [61] From 1831 until 1839, he was licensed to the Curacy of Birkenhead Parish Church although, like his brother Robert, he appears to have had a stint as a curate of St. Peter’s, Nottingham. On 28 September 1837, he was married at St. Nicholas’s Church, Nottingham, to Mary Bell (1804-1869), second daughter of the late William Bell of Nottingham. [62]

In 1839 he became curate of Whitwick, near Leicester, which living was in the gift of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. By the time Mary gave birth to their firstborn son, Thomas Henry Bunbury junior, on 14 February 1840, Thomas was living at Whitwick Vicarage. [63] He was still in Whitwick at the time of the 1841 census, when his three-week-old son, Shirley Bunbury, was also registered.

In 1846, he commenced a nine-year run as “Perpetual Curate”, or Vicar, of the Holy Trinity Church in Seghill, a large mining area in Northumberland. A new church was built at this time for which Thomas worked closely with the Carr family, who owned Seghill Colliery, to raise the money. Designed by John and Benjamin Green, architects, of Newcastle, the new church opened in 1849.

He remained at Seghill until 1855 when he was appointed Vicar of Christ Church, Great Warley, in Brentwood, Essex, which came with a residence and £270 per annum. He would remain at Great Warley for the next 33 years until his death in 1888. The Essex Standard noted that, as ‘a member of the Low Church School, [he] was most zealous in the discharge of his Ministerial duties, and he was held in the greatest respect by all classes in the district.’ [64] During this time he officiated at many family weddings, including his sister Clara Bunbury’s marriage to Robert Henry Jones, a Liverpudlian flax and hemp merchant in 1850, and his niece Millicent Bunbury’s marriage to John Christopher Baron Lethbridge, in 1860. [65]

His ‘beloved wife’ Mary died at the Vicarage in Great Warley on 19 January 1869. [66] T. H. Bunbury also died at the vicarage, aged 82, early in the morning of Monday 2 January 1888. [67] At his funeral, his son Thomas played the “Dead March” in Saul, while his sons Shirley Bunbury and the Rev. Robert J. Bunbury were also present, as was Miss Bunbury, daughter. [68]

The Rev Thomas Henry and Mary (née Bell) had at least four sons and two daughters, viz.

1) Rev. Thomas Henry Bunbury (1840-95), see below.

2) Rev. Shirley Bunbury (1841-1914), Vicar of Brooke, Norfolk, and British chaplain at Spexia, Italy, [69] and Rector of Fyfield, Ongar, Essex from 1908. [70] He was married, firstly, in 1870 to Sarah Lucy Gibson (1844-1906), daughter of the Rev Henry Gibson, Rector of Fyfield, and had issue,

(a) Rev Walter Shirley Gibson Bunbury, BA, of Heanor, Derbyshire (1873-1938), married Marjorie Mee Stain of Canada.

(b) Rev Alfred Bunbury (1874-1910) [71]

(c) Arthur Bunbury (1877-1900), Assistant-Paymaster, Royal Navy, died on board HMS Hermione at Nanking on 1 August 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion. [72]

(d) Lucy Mary Bunbury, authoress under the nom de plume “Margaret Shirley”.

Shirley Bunbury was married secondly at the age of 67 on 7 October 1908 to Florence Mary Stewart Cook in London. He may have been an ancestor of Frederick Molesworth Bunbury, who was in the Royal Navy, and possibly emigrated to Canada.

The Rev Shirley Bunbury died at Fyfield Rectory on 17 September 1914, having latterly had the parish of Willingale Spain.

3) Rev. Robert John Bunbury (1842-1913) was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Hereford in 1869 after graduating from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1866. [73] He was Curate of Hope-under-Dinsmore, Hertfordshire (1968-1870), Curate of Halberton (1870), Assistant Curate of East Stonehouse, Devon (1872), curate of Ecclesfield (1874) and was licenced to a curacy for Camden Town by the Bishop of London in 1883. [74] He was based in Downton when he narrowly survived the North Charford Railway Accident of 3 June 1884. [75] He died at Bromley-by-Bow in 1913. [76]

4) Walter Francis Bunbury (1844-1903), youngest son, died aged 59 on 22 March 1903. [77]

5) Dorothea Bunbury, Formosa Street, Maida Hill, London W.

6) Mary Henrietta Eleanora Bunbury (1847-1870), the youngest daughter, who died aged 23 at Croft House, Fairford, Gloucestershire, on 28 February 1870. [78]

[NB: One of the above was father to Mary Bunbury and Master Harry Bunbury.]


Rev. Thomas Henry Bunbury (1840-95) of Highgate


Thomas Henry Bunbury, the eldest son of the Rev Thomas Henry Bunbury (1805-1888) and his wife Mary (née Bell) was born at Whitwick Vicarage, Leicestershire, on 14 February 1840. On 24 June 1875 he married Marion Martin at Thorpe, Surrey. Her brother the Rev Henry Martin officiated, assisted by the Rev. T. H. Bunbury, father of the bridegroom, and the Rev. M. J. Sutton, a brother-in-law of Marion. [79] At this time, the Rev T. H. Bunbury senior was vicar of Christ Church, Great Warley. [80]

Thomas Henry and Marion Bunbury lived at Highgate, London, and had five children between 1876 and 1885, namely:

(1) Sir Henry Noel Bunbury
(2) Cecil Molesworth Bunbury,
(3) Rev Percy St. Pierre Bunbury,
(4) Marion Shirley Bunbury
(5) Edith Marjorie Bunbury.

Thomas died at Bareilly, Claremont-road, Highgate, on 12 December 1893, aged 53. [81] Marion subsequently moved to Khandallah, Willingdon Road, Eastbourne, on the coast of East Sussex, where she was still living in 1911. [82]


Sir Henry Noel Bunbury by Elliott & Fry. He was the author of The Early History of The Bunburys, of Bunbury and Stanney’, March 1965.

Sir Henry Noel Bunbury, KCB (1876-1968)


Sir Henry Noel Bunbury, the eldest son of Thomas Henry Bunbury and his wife Marion (née Martin) was born in Mitcham, Surrey, England, on 29 November 1876. He was educated at Merchant Taylor’s School, and St John’s College, Oxford (BA). He joined the Civil Service in 1900, working as a Clerk in the War Office. In 1903, he was transferred to the Exchequer and Audit Department at the Treasury where he was based for the next six years. [83]

On 20 April 1911, he married Dorothea Merivale, youngest daughter of an adventurous railway engineer Walter Merivale, M.I.C.E., and his equally vivacious wife Maggie, aka Emma Magdalene Merivale (née Pittman) (1854-1940) of Chiswick. [84] Henry and Dorothea’s wedding took place in St. John, Paddington, Westminster, and was performed by the Rev. Meyrick J Sutton and the Rev. P. St. P Bunbury, uncle and brother of the bridegroom.

The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford holds a catalogue of correspondence of the Merivale Family from 1869-1943, mainly relating to Walter and Maggie Merivale, covering their time in India (1881-1889), Costa Rica (1890-1892) and Barbados (1894-1899). Dorothea’s older brother Philip Merivale was a respected stage actor who entered the cinema during the silent era, appearing in twenty films before his died from a heart ailment aged 59 in 1946; he was married to two actresses in succession, Viva Birkett and Gladys Cooper. Maggie’s sister Agnes was married to Captain Richard Walter Rawlins. Part of this correspondence was handed over by Judith Bunbury, third daughter of Sir Henry Noel Bunbury. (See also Appendix 2).

In 1912, Henry Noel Bunbury was a founder member of the National Health Insurance Commission, serving as its first Accountant and Comptroller-General, and later as a Commissioner from 1913. [85] For this he was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 1913 Birthday Honours. In 1917 he was appointed Accountant-General and Financial Adviser to the Ministry of Shipping and in 1920 Comptroller and Accountant-General of the General Post Office, serving in the post until his retirement in 1937. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 1920 New Year War Honours.

The Bunburys lived in Park Hill, Ealing, and later at Malt End Cottage, Ewell, Surrey. In 1945 their address was given as Orford, Suffolk. In March 1965, Sir Henry Noel Bunbury published a private manuscript entitled ‘The Early History of The Bunburys, of Bunbury and Stanney’. He died at 8 Church Street, Ewell, on 2 September 1968. Between 1912 and 1926, Sir Henry and Lady Bunbury had seven daughters, the ‘remarkable sequence’ earning a mention for ‘The Seven Misses Bunbury’ in the Yorkshire Evening Post in 1926. [86] The seven daughters were:

  1. Elizabeth Marion Bunbury(b. 1912)
  2. Katharine Littleton Bunbury (b. 1913)
  3. Judith Shirley Bunbury (b. 1915, civil servant, lived at 100 Homecross House, Fishers Lane, Chiswick, London; died 24 February, 2006, aged 90, buried at Putney Vale Crematorium. [87]
  4. Patricia Merrivale Bunbury (b. 1917, became Mrs J Barber, seems to have been involved with Special Operations Executive personnel during Second World War. [88]
  5. Janet Dorothea Bunbury (b. 1920, married Greiser and settled in Boston).
  6. Penelope Frances Bunbury (b. 1922, married in 1945 to the inventor (and former RAF pilot) Philip Neville George Knowles, son of Capt. and Mrs. G. Knowles, Tankerton.
  7. Rachel Mary Bunbury (1926-2005). Born at Bedford Park, West London, she was married on 1 September 1953 to Thomas, 2nd Baron Bridges (1927-2017) of Headley, co. Surrey and of St. Nicholas at Wade, co. Kent. [89] Thomas was Assistant Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary (1963-1966), Counsellor to Moscow (1969-1971), Private Secretary (Overseas Affairs) to the Prime Minister (1972-1974), Minister (Commercial) to Washington (1976-1979), Deputy Under-Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1979-1982) and UK Ambassador to Italy (1983-1987). Baron and Baroness Bridges had three sons,
    (i) Mark Thomas, 3rd Baron Bridges, personal solicitor to HM Queen Elizabeth II;
    (ii) Hon Nicholas Edward Bridges, architect
    (iii) Hon. Harriet Elizabeth Bridges.

Cecil Molesworth Bunbury (1878-1970)


Cecil Molesworth Bunbury, the second son of Thomas Henry Bunbury and his wife Marion (née Martin), was born at Mitchm, Surrey, on 15 Apr 1878. During the Anglo-Boer War, he enlisted with the 26th (Younghusband’s Horse) Battalion Imperial Yeomanry. An engineer by profession, he remained in Africa and joined the East African Railway Transport Department as a skilled maintenance engineer. He was Assistant Engineer and, later, Superintendent of the Busoga Railway from 1906 until 1917. Constructed for the cotton trade, this was a line of the Uganda Railway that provided a link between Lake Victoria and the Lake Kyoga basin. In 1913, he was based at Masongaleni in Kenya, where he was employing 400 men, made up from different tribes, which was unusual given that so many labourers were brought in from British India at the time.

During the First World War, he joined the Uganda Railway Volunteers as a Secondary Lieutenant, retiring with the rank of Honorary Major. [90] He rose through the ranks to become Chief Engineer of the Kenya and Uganda Railway by 1928, and Chief Engineer and Government Inspector of Railways and Harbours, Kenya and Uganda. [91] He was a member of the International Organization for Standardization, founded in 1947.

On 12 March 1914, he married Margaret M Hamill at the Catholic Church, Chiswick; they had several daughters and a son, John. On their return from Africa, they lived at 32 Harold Road, Upper Norwood, London. In 1939, their eldest daughter Dorothea Marion Bunbury was married at the Church of the Faithful Virgin in Upper Norwood to Cuthbert Joseph Richardson. Her sister, Margaret Molyneux Bunbury was bridesmaid. [92]

When the Second World War broke out, he went to work as an Air Raid Warden. In a widely publicized gesture, he donated 40 guineas, the sum total of his earnings as a warden, to the Finland Fund in 1940. [93] His only son John was killed in the war. (See below). Cecil died on 16 May 1970 at 106 Foxley Lane, Purley, Croydon, Surrey.


Above: F/O John Shirley Bunbury (1922-1942)

F/O John Shirley Bunbury (1922-1942)


F/O John Shirley Bunbury, Cecil’s only son, was born in Nairobi in 1922 and educated by the Jesuits at Beaumont College in Berkshire. He served with the Royal Airforce Volunteer Reserve during the war. He was injured at Kinver after having to force-crash a Tiger Moth during pilot training at Stourbridge, Worcester.

After a short recovery spell at Corbett Hospital in Stourbridge, he was awarded his wings and posted in December 1941 to 455 Squadron RAAF which had Australian ground crew at Swinderby Lincolnshire and was equipped with Hampden bombers. Initially he carried out sea mining and attacks on the Channel ports before moving to German cities. He completed 17 missions with the squadron before posting to 50 Squadron at Swinderby at the end of April 1942 where he flew an Avro Manchester. He took part in Operation Millennium the “1,000 aircraft” raid against Cologne on 30/31 May 1942.

On August 17th 1942 he piloted a Lancaster bomber that left from RAF Swinderby to join a stream of 139 aircraft on a bombing mission to Osnabruck. His plane was lost without trace and neither it nor the bodies of John or his six crew were found. They may have been shot down by AA flak off the Dutch coast. Although he was only twenty years old, this was John’s 30th mission after which he would have been rested from operation. He is recalled at Runnymede RAF memorial. [94]


Rev. Percy St. Pierre Bunbury (1879-?)


Percy St. Pierre Bunbury, the third and youngest son of Thomas Henry Bunbury and his wife Marion (née Martin), was born at Hornsey, Middlesex, on 25 October 1879. He graduated from St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, with a BA in 1904, after which he was ordained a priest and became Curate of St. Clement’s, Barnsbury, Islington and of St. Ann, Stamford Hill (1904-09). [95] Having earned an MA in 1906, he became something of a wandering curate in London, serving at Salehurst, East Sussex (1909-11); Sandy (1911-12); St Stephen’s, Battersea (1912-13); St. Mark, Peckham (1913-16); St. Matthew’s Denmark Hill (1917-19); Lane End, Bucks (1920-21) and St. Michael’s Stockwell (1922-23). It is not yet known where he went from Stockwell but he died in St Barnabas Homes, Dorman, Lingfield, Surrey, on 16 November 1963.


Marion Shirley Cater (1881-?)


Marion Shirley Bunbury, the eldest daughter of Thomas Henry Bunbury and his wife Marion (née Martin), was born at Hornsey, Middlesex, on 26 June 1881. In 1923, she married Captain Francis Leonard Cater. He was probably a son of the Rev Joseph Cater, MA, who served as Rector of St John the Baptist, Bisley, near Woking, Surrey, from 1886 to 1895. The Rev Cater was Worshipful Master of Bisley Lodge No. 497, and an associate of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and knew Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer. If this is the right link, Francis Leonard Cater was born on 2 February 1889 and died in November 1975. [96]


Edith Marjorie Bunbury (1885-1971)


Edith Marjorie Bunbury, the youngest daughter of Thomas Henry Bunbury and his wife Marion (née Martin), was born in Islington on 6 July 1885. She was a charity worker and lived at Lyndhurst Road, Peckham, Camberwell, and wrote an unpublished diary. Part of this referenced her horror at drunken munitions workers during the Great War, and her support of Lloyd George’s campaign to end drinking. [97] In 1916 she was a donor to ‘a maternity unit for the relief of refugees’ from Russia and Poland at 50 Parliament Street, London. [98] She died on 26 May 1971.


Johnstown House – After the Bunburys


The grave of Corry Langrishe Connellan at the back of Urglin church.

By 1837, John Campion had sold the house, with 700 acres, to a Thomas Elliot. He is assumed to have overseen a substantial renovation of Johnstown House in the 1840s, when the Tudor Revival façade enrichments were added, including stepped gable, crenelations, turrets finials and the high double chimneystacks rising above the North East and South West gabled ends of the front part of the house. In 1867, Mr Elliot’s eldest son, Nicholas G Elliot, was married in Dublin to Anna, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Ross of Castletown, Co. Carlow.[99]  In 1870, it was registered as belonging to Robert Tighe with Mr Elliot as agent, and had 1,652 acres. From Elliot it went to Arthur Fitzmaurice, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquarians. [100]

The house was rented in 1913 and then purchased in 1918 by Corry Langrishe Connellan. The Connellan, or O’Connellan, family receive several mentions in the Annals of Four Masters in the 10th and 11th centuries as Princes of Hy Laoghaire, a large territory situated in the present-day counties of Meath and Westmeath. Branches of the family were settled in Limerick, Galway, Roscommon and Mayo by the 13th century while Abraham O’Connellan was Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland in 1260. In 1619 Donogh Mac Shane O’Connallan was granted land at Rahassan outside Craughwell in the barony of Dunkellin, County Galway. This branch, who supported the Jacobites, was reputedly dispossessed after the battle of the Boyne and the house at Rahassan is now gone, although the chapel still stands, as does the ruin of the stables and the entrance. From this line descended Peter Connellan (1782-1807), who married Harriet Corry, daughter of James Corry, clerk of the journals to the Irish House of Commons and Secretary to the Irish Linen Board. Peter’s son, also Peter, was deputy lieutenant and high sheriff of County Kilkenny and built the family home at Coolmore, Thomastown, County Kilkenny.

Corry Langrishe Connellan, who bought Johnstown, was Peter’s second son. He married Geraldine Mary Georgiana, second daughter of Sir Charles Fairlie Cunnigham. [The Cunnigham’s descend from a daughter of the 2nd Duke of Hamilton. Her picture is in the dining room at Johnstown; her sister married a Blair, from the other side of the family.] In 1937, Phyllida, the Connellan’s only daughter, married Admiral Sir Walter Couchman, KCB, CVO, DSO, OBE, a former Vice-Chief of Naval Staff. At the Coronation Naval Review in 1953, Admiral Couchman led the Fleet Air Arm Fly Past in a Vampire jet. The Couchmans divorced and the admiral was married secondly in 1965 to Hughe Thelma, widow of Lieutenant Colonel David Walter Hunter Blair and daughter of Captain Hugh Edward Reid, Royal Scots. Following her death on 31 May 1972, he was married thirdly to Daphne, widow of Captain Edmund H.N. Harvey, R.N. The admiral died on 2 May 1981 and Daphne on 23 Jan 1997. Phyllida died on 4 July 2002, aged 96, leaving a son, Johnny, and two daughters, Caroline Murphy and Fiona Bolingbroke-Kent. Johnstown is now the home of the Admiral’s grandson Toby Couchman and his wife Maria.




Wit thanks to the late Peter R Bunbury, Kieran O’Conor, Michael Purcell (of the Pat Purcell Papers, aka PPP), John Kelly (Carloviana), Gill Miller, Michael Brennan, Johnny Couchman, Ken Baker, Captain Mike Bolton, Dr Marie Boran (Special Collections Librarian, James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland – Galway), Raymond Blair (Vice-President, County Donegal Historical Society), Anne Marie Kalishoek, Bill Webster, Tom La Porte, Ron Medulison, Alan Martin, Bob Fitzsimons, Ignacio Fiterre, Susan Bunbury, William Minchin, James Grogan, Maurice O’Neill, Paul Murray, Susie Warren, Cara Links, Corrine Morris, Yvonne and the manifold contributors to the Carlow IGP Website.

Page one of Sir Henry Noel Bunbury’s booklet, ‘The Early History of The Bunburys, of Bunbury and Stanney’, dated March 1965. With thanks to Nigel Rose.

Appendix  – Mrs Hickey’s Reflections (1862)

This article from the Pat Purcell Papers gives some added insight into the family history at this point. It is based on a letter sent to Pat in May 1931 which was 52, double sided hand-written pages in length, and which has been kindly edited, transcribed and abbreviated by Michael Purcell. The letter of 1931 was sent by J. Hallam [?] of Threadneedle Street, London, and sought ‘information on the present ownership and standing of Steuart’s Lodge situated in Leighlinbridge, County Carlow.’ Mr. Hallam enclosed the following chronicle compiled by his Carlow-born grandmother, the wife of Rev. William Hickey of County Cork. He reckoned ‘she commenced writing this on her 49th wedding anniversary in 1862’. She lived to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of her wedding day – they were married in 1813, her husband died in 1875, she died in 1877.

December 11th 1862.

Family motto ;
Today is the anniversary of my marriage, 49 years ago !.
How like a dream does that period seem to me now !.
I can scarcely identify myself with the then blooming bride of twenty-one summers, and alas ! what changes have passed upon those who witnessed my wedding ; many of them have entered into eternity, and upon those that remain Time has laid a heavy blighting hand.
But I must not sentimentalise.
I have been asked by my children to note down my personal recollections, and also the traditional accounts of my ancestors, and of those connected with me by ties of blood ; in short to write a family chronicle, and I shall endeavour to do so, although the task will be a sad and difficult journey into the Golden days of past.
I was born on the 24th May 1792, at Steuarts Lodge, in the County of Carlow. My father, John Steuart, was the proprietor of a small estate which had been in his family for only two generations. His grandfather, the Honourable John Steuart, was a younger son of the third Earl of Galloway. He left Scotland to serve as Colonel of a British Regiment, and was in 1707 Brigadier General at the Battle of Almanza in Spain during the War of succession. He was left for dead on the battlefield of Almanza, but was rescued by the servants of a Spanish lady who resided near the field of battle, and who despatched her servants to help the wounded. Upon his recovery he was received by Queen Anne, who, as a mark of her favour, bestowed upon him a magnificent diamond ring, and also it is said gave him the white satin quilt and pillow case all now in my possession. He sold his Army commission and bought an estate and house in County Carlow. He moved to Carlow and at the age of 60 married Bridget, sister to Admiral Pocklington.
They had two children, a daughter, Henrietta, who married Anthony Weldon, Esquire, of Kilmarony, and a son, William who married twice, first to Anne Eliza Butler, daughter of Sir Richard Butler, of Ballintemple, Carlow and secondly Miss Swift.
My father’s step-mother, Miss Swift was a woman of extravagant habits, is said to have indulged in a new pair of gloves every day, and a new pair of stays every week, and as her other tastes corresponded to these small items, she found it necessary to raise money in order to gratify them, therefore, following my grandfather’s death, she sold the Diamond ring which had been presented to my ancestor, the Honourable John Steuart by Queen Anne. She also sold a silver shield which had been an heirloom in the Steuart family of the ROYAL STUARTS of which the Galloway family were the elder Branch.
By his first marriage to Anne Butler, he had a son John (my father) and five daughters viz., Bridget, Henrietta, Anne, Mary and Hannah,
by his second marriage to Miss Swift he had a son, William, and three daughters, viz., Emily, Catherine, and Sophia.
[The letter then names in great length and detail who the children married. Here are some of the marriages that may be of interest to our readers – Michael Purcell]
Anne married Thomas Whelan, Esquire. [related to Pilsworth Whelan ].
Mary married Edward Dillon, Esquire. and had a numerous family.
Hannah married Mr Ward, and had no family.
Of the children by the second marriage, William became Colonel of the 3rd Bombay Infantry.
Emily married Mr Medlycott.
Catherine married Mr Keegan.
Sophia married first, Mr Boyce and secondly, Mr Snow, an Englishman.
Henrietta married twice, first to Captain Obins, ( her son Hamlet, Colonel Obins married Miss Keogh of Killbride, Carlow. )
Henrietta’s second marriage to Rev. Joseph Miller, produced three daughters, Henrietta (Mrs Le Hunte of Artramont ) Mary Ann (Mrs Jacob), Ellen, (Mrs Bayly).
I must now speak of my great grandmother Lady Butler.
I remember as a child sitting upon her great bed. I was about 4 years old when she died. She was formerly Miss Percy, of the Northumberland House. Her husband was Sir Richard Butler, she was early left a widow when her husband, Sir Richard, died on a visit at Kilkenny Castle. to visit his cousin, Lord Ormonde, having been accidentally suffocated by the sulphur of Kilkenny coal in his bedroom.
Her eldest son was killed by a fall from his horse when out hunting ;
Her second son, Pierce, emigrated to America, and served under General Washington in the American Army. ( his grandson, Pierce Mease Butler married Miss Fanny Kemble in 1834 , the noted British actress and writer. )
Her third son, William, married Harriet Nickson.
Her eldest daughter, Anne Eliza, married my grandfather William Steuart.
Her second daughter was Henrietta, Mrs Eustace, from whom is descended the present Countess of Howth.
Her third daughter, Jane, married the Hon. Mr French, brother to the Earl of Clancarty. (Her son was Captain Nicolas French, Inspector of Constabulary. ).
Her fourth daughter, Miss Butler, married Mr Gordon of Belmount.
Her fifth daughter, Fanny, died unmarried.
It is a rather singular circumstance that for several generations there have been three Ladies Butler living at the same time, owing to the premature death of their husbands.
As my grandfather’s first wife died early in life, and my grandfather married again, Lady Butler took my father and his five sisters to live with her at Ballintemple. Her daughter, Mrs Eustace also died young and my grandmother also took her children into her care at Ballintemple. At one point thirty of her descendants resided at one time beneath her roof. Her only income was £1,000 per annum, what would the present generation think of so many being supported by such a sum ? However, she had several acres of land in her own possession and tended a very productive garden that supplied all of the necessary dietary needs for her extensive extended family. She attained a great age, and her death was a heavy loss to many of her descendants.
Having given the foregoing account of my paternal relatives, I must proceed to that of my maternal ones.
My mother was the only daughter of a Carlow gentleman of the name of Whelan, who by his first marriage had a son who married my father’s sister Ann Steuart, whose children, of whom, I shall speak presently, were thus doubly connected with myself, as in the case of the Butlers of Broonville.
My grandfather Whelan must I think have been dead at the time of my birth in 1792 or soon after, as I have no remembrance of him, but my earliest childish reminiscences are connected with my venerable grandmother, Anna Maria Whelan, formerly Nickson, who always lived with us till her death, which took place at the advanced age of eighty-five.
She was one of a very large family, her sisters being of the classic number of the muses, and as they all but one married and had families, my connection is necessarily a very large one ; indeed my daughters sometimes jokingly say it must extend over half Ireland.
I have said that this is to be the family chronicle, so I am bound to give the names of my great aunts, and of some of their descendants. Their name was Nickson, (1) Elizabeth, (2) Rachel, (3) Christiana, (4) Anna Maria (my grandmother, Mrs Whelan), (5) Lydia, (6) Hester, (7) Mary, (8) Letitia, (9) Harriet, (10) Francis.
My eldest great aunt, Elizabeth, married Mr. Bunbury, a gentleman of landed property in the County of Carlow. ( of whom more anon ). She had but one child, a son, Harry Bunbury, whom I remember as an agreeable oddity; he died unmarried.
(2) Rachel married the Reverend Christopher Harvey, D.D., of Kyle, in the County Wexford. She had one son, the late William Harvey, and two daughters, Mrs Freke (mother of the present Lord Carberry, and of the Honourable Mrs Charles Bernard), and Mrs Randall, whose only child is now Mrs Hastings Parker. My great aunt Rachel Harvey lived to the age of ninety-one. She used to pay an annual visit to Steuart’s Lodge, where her coming was always a matter of rejoicing, and her daughters were two of the most fascinating creatures I ever knew.
(3) My great aunt Christina was named after her great aunt and godmother, Mrs Hutchinson, the wife of her great uncle, Richard Hutchinson, a gentleman of large property, and the possessor of Knocklofty, near Clonmell, County Tipperary. She, Christina, was adopted by the Hutchinsons, as they had no children, and became their heiress. She married a barrister of the name of Hely, who added the name of Hutchinson to his own name when he succeeded to the estates. He was afterwards Provost of Trinity College, and Secretary of State. He was offered a peerage, which he
declined for himself but accepted for his wife, who thus became Baroness of Donoughmore. The title was raised to that of Earl, in the person of her eldest son, Richard, and he dying unmarried, her second son, John Hely-Hutchinson, became Earl of Donoughmore. Previous to his accession to his brother’s earldom he had received the title of Lord Hutchinson for his services in Egypt, where he commanded the army after the death of Sir Ralph Abercrombie, and achieved those brilliant victories which wrested Egypt from the French. I have seen two beautiful boxes given by the Sultan to two brothers of Lord Hutchinson, who had been sent to an Embassy to Constantinople ; one was a blood stone with a crescent of diamonds on the lid, the other of purple enamel with a star of diamonds ; they were lined with gold.
This second Earl of Donoughmore was succeeded by his nephew, also named John, who had first distinguished himself in the retreat of Corunna, and afterwards acted a conspicuous part in aiding the escape of General Lavalette. John was a personal acquaintance of mine, as after his return from Spain he came to visit my mother, who was a favourite cousin of the Hutchinsons.
This John was father of the present Earl ( 1862 ).
My great aunt, Christina, the first Lady Donoughmore, besides the two earls I have mentioned here, had three sons, viz., Abraham, Christopher and Lorenzo. And also three daughters, Honourable Mary, married to a Mr. Smith, Honourable Margaret, and Prudence. The two latter died unmarried. They were great friends of Hannah More, and in order to enjoy her society took a place near Barley Wood, where during their latter years they always resided.
My fourth great aunt (5) Lydia married John Nunn, Esquire, ………..


[1] Ryan’s History of Carlow (p. 153).

[2] Society of Friends Tithe Records, 1699.

[3] Memorial dated 26th & 27th October 1712 & registered on 22nd January 1712. Patrick WALL of Catherlogh, co Catherlogh, Esq and Ulick WALL, son and heir apparent of said Patrick WALL – in consideration of £500 sterling grant lands of Clonmshoneene, Ballybreene, Ballycoolune, Cranochan, one moiety or half of the lands of Killane and Myshall, co Catherlogh. To:- Benjamin BUNBURY of Killerrig, co Catherlogh, Gent. Witnesses: James FITZPATRICK, Catherlogh, co Catherlogh, apothecary, Matthew HUMFREY, Catherlogh, co Catherlogh, merchant and Thomas PURLEVENT of Catherlogh, co Catherlogh, Gent. Signed: Benjamin BUNBURY [seal] (Thanks to Susie Warren).

[4] See Dr. Padraig Lenihan’s essay, ‘The Catholic Elite and Aughrim’ in ‘Reshaping Ireland: 1550-1770, a collection of essays in honour of Prof. Nicholas Canny, published by Four Courts in 2011. Another potentially useful essay is Michael O’Dwyer’s ‘Confiscation of land in county Kilkenny and transplantation to Connacht’, Ossory, Laois and Leinster 7 (2019), pp.123-134. I have not read this yet but it would be interesting to see what resources he used. Thanks to Dr Marie Boran.

[5] The memorial can be found at #9230 vol. 18 p. June 6, 1717 John Green to Joseph Bunbury in the Grantor Indexes to the Deed Memorials at the Dublin Land office. The indexes are also recorded by the Church of Latter Day Saints in their Family History Libraries. Tom La Porte kindly made the following notes on the memorial although, as he said, ‘ this isn’t anything like a transcription, it’s just some words selected here and there to get the flavour of the people and the land involved’. Having had a lifelong fear of land law ever since I purchased Wylie’s magnum opus, I do not understand the actual linguistics of the memorial. His notes read: ‘Memorial of a mortgage bearing date Mar. 12, 1713 between John Green of the town of Catherlogh Gent. of the one part and Joseph Bunbury of Johnstown, in the said county Esq. of the other part whereby Green in consideration of 165 pounds paid to him by Joseph Bunbury has sold to Joseph Bunbury his Estate Right Title and Interest in and to One Fee Farm deed of lease dated Sept. 26, in the 11th year of the reign of the late Queen Anne made by the Right Hon. Henry Earl of Thomond to John Green of all that tenement and plot of ground situated in Dublin Street in the Town of Catherlogh (followed by land description) also a tenement and plot in Southcott Lane in the town of Catherlogh along the River Barrow (further land description).

[6] Congreve’s Irish Friend, Joseph Keally , Kathleen M. Lynch, PMLA, Vol. 53, No. 4 (Dec., 1938), pp. 1076-1087.

[7] ‘Thomas Burdett Esq: the Case of Thomas Burdett’; occasioned by a printed paper entitled ‘The Case of Joseph Bunbury, Esq, late High Sheriff of the County of Catherlogh’ [complaining of Bunbury’s conduct with regard to the election in Co. Carlow]. This may refer to an incident in November 1713 ( ‘The History and Antiquities of the County of Carlow’, John Ryan, 1833 page 261) where Burdett challenged the results of the election, claiming ‘that Benjamin Bunbury Esq., high sheriff of said county, having been guilty of partial, undue and illegal practices at said election, in favour of Jeffery Paul Esq., did return the said Jeffery Paul as knight of the shire for said county’. Benjamin was accused of interfering in in the election process in ‘a zealous and most industrious manner’, menacing, managing, seducing, and creating freeholders. A further reference on page 16 of ‘The Carlow Parliamentary Roll’ by Robert Malcolmson, M.A.T.C.D., states ‘that Benjamin Bunbury Esq. high sheriff of the said county’ had been found guilty of the above charges. The complaint was referred to the Committee of Privileges and Election but nothing seems to have come of this. Perhaps the challenge was lost amid the events surrounding the death of Queen Anne and the Hanoverian Succession in August 1714.

[8] #9238 vol. 18 June 5 & 6, 1717 Fagan to Bunbury, Grantor Indexes to the Deed Memorials. The deed concerns a memorial of mortgage ‘by way of lease and release between Hugh Fagan of Kilewick, co. Carlow, gent of the one part and Joseph Bunbury of Johnstown, co. Carlow Esq. of the other part’. By this deed, Fagan ‘conveyed unto Joseph Bunbury part of the lands of Rathdean, co. Carlow, lately Wentworth Harman’s part containing 130 acres profitable land’. The lease also covered ‘the lease for three lives renewable for ever made to the premises by Wentworth Harman to Richard Butler, Gent who assigned the same to Hugh Fagan to hold unto Joseph Bunbury, his heirs and assigns during the three lives in the lease’. Once again, Thomas Bunbury of Cloghna was a witness.

[9] Michael Purcell writes for IGP: “When King James II came to the throne of England in 1685, Mr Browne suffered great hardships and loss. His house was occupied by his enemies and his family imprisoned. His land and stock sequestered and plundered and still worse might have happened only for the intervention of a worthy and respectable Roman Catholic gentleman of the name of Allen from Pollerton near Carlow town. Upon their release, Robert Browne-Clayton built a roomy Mansion close to the Tullow Gate in Carlow town.” In 2007 Lennon’s Cafe Bar occupied these premises.’ See a more detailed Facebook post by Mick on the townhouse here. The house still exists – a yellow house set back from the street in the line of the old Tullow Street; the stonework under the gutters looks like the original stonework.

[10] Arran to Pendred & Bunbury
B Rathvilly, C Carlow
Deeds of Lease & Release, made 23 & 24 December 1723, whereby Charles, Earl of Arran, for the sum of £2665, granted in fee farm to William Pendred of Broghillstowne & Joseph Bunbury of Fryarstowne, County Carlow, Esqrs, the town and lands of Tobinstowne (except the Mill & Lands thereto bef.), which had been demised 30 March 1669 by Richard, Earl of Arran, to Benjamin Bunbury of Killerig, gentleman, father of the said Joseph for Lives, at the rent of £68 and Receiver’s Salary.
To hold by the Rent of 45.6.8, Receiver’s Salary, and Suit of the Manor Courts of Rathvilly.
Inrolled 8 April 1724
John Lodge, Records of the Rolls, vol. 14

[11] ‘The original house forms the main part of Johnstown as it is today. The shutters suggest a date between the 14th and 16th century but the construction remains a mystery as there seems no particular logic to it. An expert on ancient houses was utterly foxed by the whole setup; all his presumptions about old houses were knocked on the head! The cellars start halfway across the hall. The “loggia” outside the present house has a bricked up cellar underneath it. There are all sorts of oddities too – when we were putting in a waterpipe to our new house, we came across the foundations of another building in front of the present front door which was at right angles to same! In the yard I was digging a hole some years ago for a pit and found, about five feet down, a corner wall with big well-cut stones, again at right angles to the existing farm buildings. The house has two ley-lines running through it.’

The two foundation walls that Johnny referred to were beneath the gravel at the front of the present house and measured perhaps 2-3 feet thick. They may have been buttress walls. On the house itself the windows at the front are 19th century but there is evidence of an earlier house, dating to circa 1720, which is about when Joseph moved here. The narrower windows at the side may reflect a time when families like the Bunburys were still wary of Jacobites, while the turret and crenelations along the present front may have been designed to recall the original castle. It’s all a guessing game and it seems most likely that, like the yard out the back, the whole place just grew organically having, perhaps, started out as some sort of bawn or tower house.

[12] A memorial deed connected to the Burtons of Burton Hall suggests that Joseph was dead by April 1719, which is a little confusing. Memorial (78.216.54765) dated 12th April 1719 reads as follows: ‘Benjamin Burton of Burton Hall Co Carlow to James Jones of Killmacart Co Carlow The Warren lands of Killmacart – 88 acres Barony of Rathvilly [Lop] ??? of Clonmore county of Carlow deed dated 25th March 1718 for the lives of said James Jones, Hanah Jones, wife and Mary his daughter… with £13.6d provided … received fees plus 4 capons at Christmas or 5/- in lieu of. [Capon is a French word for castrated male chicken or fat male chicken] Joseph Bunbury of Johnstown county of Carlow deceased. Witnessed by John Whelan, John Russell of Rutlands. John Whelan and Francis Robinson, Francis Hardy.’ (Thanks to Susie Warren).

[13] Thomas U. Sadleir, ‘Loveday’s tour in Kildare in 1732‘, Kildare Archaeological Society Journal 7 (1912–14) 168–177. In Loveday’s Tour of Kildare in June, 1732, he remarks “We returned to dinner to Col. Nevil’s [Dollardstown], who dined with us y e day before, when we had also y e company of Mr. Henry Bunbery’s lady, of Mrs. Spencer [Mr. Stratford’s sister], and 3 of y e Plunkets her nieces.’ The editor says that this is the Harry Bunbury mentioned in the Autobiography of Pole Cosby of Stradbally, Queens County, as being a school-fellow of his at John Garnet’s Latin School in Athy in 1717-1718. In fact, Pole Cosby names ‘Billy and Tom Bunbury of y County Carlow and Harry Bunbury who married Miss Pinsent’ as being ‘the chief of my schoolfellows’, albeit alongside almost fifty other names. He also mentions ‘Robert Pinsent now a Minister’.

[14] November 1744 – Hear Ye. By Virtue of a Warrant under the hand and Seal of Jacob Peppard Warren Esquire. High Sherriff of Carlow upon a Writ issued forth of his Majesties Court in Ireland bearing to Peter Nowlan of BallyKeeley now a Prisoner in the Gaol of Carlow under a Warrant of Henry Bunbury Esq. for Treason whenever he shall be brought for Trial. Witnessed : Beauchamp Bagenel Esq.~ Thomas Gurly Esq.-Beaumont Astle Esq.~ Harcourt Pilsworth Lightburne Esq.~Hardy Eustace Esq. (Pat Purcell Papers).

The High Sherriff for Carlow in 1744 was Jacob Peppard Warren from Nurney]. Maurice Warren, his father, had supported William III yet Jacob’s grandfather John Warren, MP for the borough of Carlow 1689, supported James II and served as a Captain in the Jacobite army under Sir Maurice Eustace. John Warren was attained, lost considerable lands in Carlow and his will was proved in 1701. It is not known whether he died of natural causes or was hanged but he reputedly had a large family, including Maurice, most of whom lived in County Carlow. Thanks to Michael Purcell, Roger Nowlan and Susie Warren. For more, see and “The Early Cullen Family” page 188.

[15] For instance, William O’Shaughnessy (1674-1744), was colonel of Clare’s regiment in the Irish Brigade and attained the rank of marshal after almost fifty years of active service in France, a period which began when he served in King James’s army at the Boyne.

[16] Henry may be the Henry Bunbury referred to in the following document which is an abbreviated transcription from a long account of property transaction on faded parchment in the Pat Purcell Papers and is provided courtesy of Michael Purcell. It is to be noted that.

This Indenture made the fourteenth day of July in the Second Year of the Reign of our Sovereign and Chief Lord, George, King, and so Forth, of the Kingdom of Ireland, between the Honourable Arthur Dawson, of Athy Street in the County of Catherlough, and the Court of the Exchequer in Ireland, Dublin, Esquire, one of the Barons of our Lord the King of the one part and Henry Bunbury, of the same, Esquire, one of our Justices of the Peace of our Lord the King, of the other part.
Witnessed here that in consideration of the yearly Rent and Covenants herein mentioned to lett the house, outoffices and garden adjoining, situate on Athy Street, in the Town and County of Catherlough, bounded on the West by the River Barrow walk, on the East by Athy Street, on the North by Gurley’s Plotts and on the South by Dobbyn’s and Proctor’s Holding.
ALL THAT TO HAVE AND TO HOLD ALL THAT herein mentioned for and during the Reign of our said Lord the King, by the said Henry Bunbury, his Executors, Administrators, and Assigns, the said House and the Ground adjoining commencing the twentyfirst day of July in the Second Year of the Reign of our said Lord the King.
(signed) George Dawson, Bart. Henry Bunbury, Esquire, J.P.
Witnessed this the Fourteenth Day of July in the Second Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord the King, (signed) Walter Carmichael, Clerk for Catherlough, James Jackson, Assistant Clerk.

[17] Pat Purcell Papers.

[18] A history of the Pynsent (sometimes Pinsent, or Pysint) family of Chudleigh in Devonshire can be found in ‘A history, military and municipal of the ancient borough of the Devizes’ by James Waylen and E. H. Goddard (Brown & co., 1859), p. 394-397. A branch settled at Erchfont near Devizes where they have a large vault in the chancel of the church (later appropriated by others), but no memorial to state who any of them were. Two hatchments of the Pynsent family were also destroyed. There is a record of a Robert Pynsent from circa 1738. Sir William was buried at Erchfont.

[19] Sir Robert was Rector of Kilmurry and Dunmoylan, Limerick (1741-1772), P. Donoghmore, Limerick (1764-1766), R. V. of Macroom (1767-1772) and Vic. Chor of Limerick(1773-1778) ; and P. Moville, Derry (1772 to his death in 1781).

[20] Canon Leslie’s Succession Lists 1790, printed in Portadown Times, 2 January 1931, is among those to suggest the Kilfeacle line. I had also wondered if James Archibald Hamilton was somehow related to the James Hamilton, who was tied up with Carlow Castle and who leased Hamilton’s Brewery in Carlow town to Constantine Brough. The goose chase evolved with the realisation that Constantine Brough, his wife and his daughter are all buried at Urglin, but I haven’t established any further link.

[21] I think Archibald and Elizabeth also had a daughter Elizabeth who married Johan Gerard Francois Meijners although Cornelius Meynen of the Dutch firm also married a Hamilton.

[22] (Mary) Jane Crommeline Girardot (not Giverdot) (c1723/4 d.24/25.7.1808) was a daughter of John [Jacques] Girardot de Rochebrune and his wife Jeanne Crommelin. John Gorardot was a French Huguenot city merchant and South Sea Company director who had managed to import considerable capital to London. (‘The Religious Culture of the Huguenots, 1660-1750’ (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006, edited by Anne Dunan-Page, p. 77).

[23] He had been in holy orders before his graduation and held the position of rector of Kildress, Co. Armagh (1766–84). He subsequently served as perpetual curate at Lisnadill (1780–88), rector of Derryloran (1780), prebendary of Dunbin (1784), rector of Creggan and treasurer of St Patrick’s cathedral, Armagh (1784–90), prebendary of Tynan (1790), prebendary of Mullaghbrack, and archdeacon of Ross (1780–1804). With the exception of the archdeaconry of Ross, all these positions were in Co. Armagh. David Murphy adds: ‘While noted for his pluralist tendencies, Hamilton was by all accounts a conscientious and diligent clergyman and graduated BD and DD (Dubl.) in 1784. He was appointed as dean of Cloyne in September 1804 and resigned his position as archdeacon of Ross.’
David Murphy continues: ‘It was in the field of astronomy, however, that Hamilton was to achieve a level of scientific notoriety. In 1780 he acquired a residence at Cookstown, Co. Armagh, and fitted out a private observatory. He devoted himself to the study of perihelia and meteors and made valuable observations on the transit of Mercury. Like most astronomers of his era, he endeavoured to find a viable method of making longitude determinations and based his calculations on the movements of Jupiter’s satellites. He was one of the first fifty members appointed to the RIA by royal charter in early 1786, and maintained a high profile in scientific circles in England and Ireland. A friend of Nevil Maskelyne, the astronomer royal, he visited him at Greenwich and maintained a correspondence with him on astronomical matters. When Primate Richard Robinson began work on Armagh observatory, Maskelyne recommended Hamilton for the position of astronomer and keeper of the observatory and museum. He was duly appointed (July 1790) and oversaw the equipping of the observatory. Retaining this position until his death, he made numerous contributions in the field of astronomy and developed a portable mountain barometer. He published several papers in Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, including ‘An account of perihelia seen at Cookstown’ (1787), ‘On a new kind of portable barometer for measuring heights’ (1791), and ‘On the method of determining longitude by observations of the meridian passage of the moon and a star at two places’ (1797). He died 21 November 1815 at the observatory, and was buried at Mullaghbrack.

[24] He is this not to be confused with another Henry Bunbury who represented the parish of Fennor as a prebendary in Cashel from his collation on May 14th 1781, and who died in 1785 and was buried in Tipperary.

[25] With thanks to Charles Horton.

[26] Educated at Trinity College Dublin, the Rev. Christopher Harvey was an eminent churchman in the hey-day of the Church of Ireland, being variously Rector of Kyle, Incumbent of Rathdowney and Rosscarbery, and Prebendary of Edermine. He became a key player in the Volunteer movement of the late 1700’s, openly speaking out against England’s neglect and misrule of Ireland. He gave a sermon of thanks for the Volunteers, a portion of which ran: “To our public misfortune was added every distress of a private nature, the small remnant of trade dealt out with a niggard hand to us…Manufacturers were pining in our streets for lack of bread and the labourers and useful peasant – one of the glories and support of empire- forced by distress to flee from their families and native homes.” This reference to the crippling trade laws imposed by England became the hallmark of his persona. In his last years he tried to create an apolitical society for the betterment of agriculture.

[27] Dublin Evening Post – Tuesday 8 June 1784, p. 1.

[28] Dublin Evening Post, 3 November 1789, p. 4.

[29] Deed 426 532 278682 dated 29.11.1790.

1 WALSH, WILLIAM, Esq. 25 Oct. 1783. Full tf> p. 14 Feb. 1785. Brother and heir of Philip Walsh, deceased, late a Major of Dragoons. My brother’s and my debts to be paid and thereafter my real, freehold and personal estate to my brother-in-law Robert Bunbury, Esq., exor. Witnesses to will and memorial: Peter McDermott, city of Dublin, Edwd. Hunter, city of Dublin, Jno. Carroll, Golden Lane, attorney. 363,421,244985 Robt. Bunbury (seal).

[31] With thanks to John Colclough.

[32] A deed dated 29th November 1790 – and which is probably a marriage settlement refers to “Revnd Henry Bunbury eldest son & heir at law of Robert John Bunbury of Borlanlinstone, Queen’s Co; & Henrietta Eleonora Shirley spinster & Hon: Henrietta Maria Shirley widow and guardian of said Henrietta Eleonora both of Annadale, Dublin.” (Deed 426 532 278682 dated 29.11.1790).

[33] JB. Leslie, History of Kilsaran union of parishes in the County of Louth, being a history of the parishes of Kilsaran, Gernonstown, Stabannon, Manfieldstown and Dromiskin; with many particulars relating to the parishes of Richardstown Dromin and Darver, comprising a large section of Mid-Louth”.

[34] Pat Purcell Papers.

[35] DEATHS. At Liverpool, on the 21st December, aged sixty-nine years, Henrietta Eleanora. wife of the Rev. Henry Bunbury, and daughter of the late Hon. and Rev. Walter Shirley. Perthshire Courier – Thursday 6 January 1842, p. 2.

On the 21st ult. in Falkner-street, Liverpool, Henrietta Eleanor, wife of the Rev. Henry Bunbury, and mother of the Revs. Messrs. R. S. and T. H. Bunbury, formerly curates of St. Peter’s, Nottingham. Nottingham Review and General Advertiser for the Midland Counties, 7 January 1842.

On the 21st inst., in Falkner street, Liverpool, in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, Henrietta Eleanora. wife of the Rev. Henry Bunbury, and daughter of the late Hon. and Rev. Walter Shirley. Waterford Mail – Wednesday 29 December 1841

[36] The registered papers of the Office of Chief Secretary of Ireland from 1818 to 1852 include a letter from Reverend Henry Bunbury, then a Church of Ireland curate of Drummaul, County Antrim, to the Chief Secretary’s Office at Dublin Castle and dated 10th August 1821. In the letter, he complaining of his reduced circumstances and debt. He enclosed a memorial requesting relief and claimed that ‘the entire of his Landed property in the hands of a Receiver under the Court and owing to frauds having been committed against his property he has been obliged to seek redress by engaging in a very weighty Chancery suit’. He also included a certificate from Captain Thomas Martin, indicating that Henry was both the representative and heir of Colonel Philip Walsh of 12th Regiment of Dragoons, ‘a most excellent officer’. Does this refer to Philip Walsh, his grandfather? (NAI REFERENCE: CSO/RP/1820/250)

[37] For details of a case in the Court of Chancery in which the Rev Henry Bunbury and others were defendants against Hon. Benjamin O’Neal, Stratford, plaintiff, over lands at Burntchurch and Gracetown, County Tipperary, from circa 1813-1824 era, see, for instance here or here … This linked in with Robert Bunbury, late of Portarlington.

[38] Journals of the House of Commons (1824), Volume 79, p. 990. See also references to tithes and Henry Bunbury here, such as letters from 26 Aug 1833-31 Aug 1833 (CSO/RP/1833/4138) from [Rev Henry] J Bunbury, Grosvenor Square, London, [England], to [Lieut Col Sir William Gosset, Under Secretary, Dublin Castle], asking how to proceed against a tithe commissioner who does not certify an agreement between Bunbury and parishioners; stating that he is incumbent of Kilcoan and Kilbride, [County Waterford], also mentioning his son James Bunbury, Waterford, [County Waterford] to whom he enclosed a letter.

[39] Feb. 22, at South Frederick-street, Dublin, at the advanced age of 83 years, the Rev Henry Bunbury, for many years Rector of Kilcoan and Kilbride, in the diocese of Ossory, and formerly Rector of Mansfieldstown, in the county of Louth. Belfast Commercial Chronicle, 2 March 1846, p. 3.

[40] March 20, in Upper Canning-Street, Harriet, eldest daughter of the late Rev. Henry Bunbury. [Liverpool Mercury – Tuesday 21 March 1854, p. 7]

[41] On the 28th inst., at 72, Canning-street, Frances Anne, second daughter of the late Rev. Henry Bunbury. (Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser -Tuesday 30 October 1855, p. 7)

[42] DEATHS. At Ranelagh, Louisa, fifth daughter of the Rev, Henry Bunbury. Dublin Morning Register, 14 November 1829, p. 4.

[43] DEATHS. At Williamstown, Blacrrock, aged 12 years, Henry, youngest son of the Rev. Henry Bunbury; he died in perfect submission to the will of his Heavenly Father, humbly trusting in the merits of his Redeemer. Saunders’s News-Letter, 8 August 1827, p. 3.

[44] He was almost certainly James Bunbury of Gaulskill, Cappagh, who was land agent to the Rev Hans Hamilton, Rector of Knocktopher. Butler was killed alongside Sub-Inspector James Gibbons (a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars), eleven constables and three others on a boreen in the townland of Carrickshock Commons, between Ballyhale and Hugginstown.

[45] In 1839, James Bunbury, late of Raheen, Co. Carlow, and described as a Yeoman, is charged with theft on 5th July. His crime was to ‘feloniously’ steal, take, and carry away ‘against the Peace of our Lady the Queen, her Crown and Dignity’, one Frieze Coat, value one shilling, ‘of the goods and chattels of one Thomas Watson of Ballydarton’. (Pat Purcell Papers). At this time, Thomas Watson was Master of the Hunt, a position he held for 62 years from 1807-1869. He was grandfather of Myra Bunbury, who married Jack Bunbury, and ancestor of Joe T. Watson, the Chairman of the Augusta Golf Club.

This ‘James Bunbury’ could feasibly have been Henry and Eleanora’s son. But does this James really fit the yeoman description?

[46] Jamaican details via Stirling Observer, 8 April 1916.
The shipping lists for Ellis Island that on May 3rd 1905 HSB and his wife Clare and daughter Eleonora arrived in New York on the S.S. Mesaba and the ship’s manifest showed HSB as being headed for Hamilton, Ontario whilst lower down on the passenger list and immigration list both CB and EB are headed for Home at 13,Bold Street, Hamilton, Ontario. The papers show that HSB had previously entered the U.S. whilst for his wife and daughter it was their first time. In 1908 HSB entered the U.S. at Ellis Island as a passenger from Cuba to meet his wife who was at a Brooklyn address. So he left Canada for Cuba sometime in 1906 or thereabouts. Obviously after his bankruptcy someone in the family organized the funds to get the family to Canada and later on to Havana.

[47] The Scotsman – Thursday 20 May 1920, p. 12. Henry Shirley Bunbury is claimed as a muse of Oscar Wilde, as per here:
Modern Drama, 41 (1998) 327 328 W, CRAVEN MACKIE: “Thirty years later Kerry Powell would echo Reverend Ridgway’s disappointment: “Bunbury’s name, like so many in Wilde’s plays, is difficult to pin down in terms of its source.”4 Green himself rejects the possibility of place names as a source, arguing instead for names of actual people. He concludes that Bunbury was “a composite” of two contemporary figures, classical scholar Edward Herbert Bunbury and an acquaintance of the Wilde family in Dublin during Wilde’s youth, Henry Shirley Bunbury. Among the replies to Ridgway’s inquiry, Green discovered a letter from Henry’s son Walter recalling , “My father gave me to understand that it was he whom Wilde had in mind” at the time the play was written. Walter further recalls that his father “was in rather poor health,” convincing Green that Henry Shirley Bunbury was indeed “the primary model.”5 Without crediting Green, Richard Ellmann adopts the family friend thesis: “Many of [Wilde’s] relations lived in England, and so did friends like Henry S. Bunbury … who would give his name to the errant behaviour of Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest.,,6 Kerry Powell argues that “the concept of Bunburying – and its name – could have been suggested to Wilde by the recent success of Godpapa,”7 an unpublished farce that had enjoyed a modest run in 1891 and in which an aspiring drunk named Bunbury unwittingly facilitates a kind of Bunburying by the hero. Joseph Donohue and Ruth Berggren reason that “Wilde appears to be following his habit of deriving surnames from place names,'” citing the village in Cheshire, and Peter Raby dutifully reports that the name can be found in the Army Lists of 1894.” Do any of these speculations, however, provide a logical explanation for what prompted the hastily scribbled note “Mr. Bunbury – always ill”? Wilde had not seen or heard from the family acquaintance for sixteen years. He never met or acknowledged the classical scholar. That he would have had any desire to recall a nearly forgotten play by a rival playwright seems doubtful. And there is no proof that he had any knowledge of the village in Cheshire or of the Bunbury tucked away in the 1500 pages of the Army Lists. ”

[48] In August 2017, I was contacted by Ignacio Fiterre of Miami, Florida, who told me that his mother Clara Teresa Bunbury was born in Cuba in 1916 and was a daughter of Molesworth Charles Bunbury who died in Cuba four years before Ignacio’s birth in 1945. Ignacio added: ‘I knew my great uncle, Cecil Bunbury and great aunt Nora Bunbury. Both passed away in Cuba in the mid 1950’s. Their older brother, Walter Bunbury was a Commercial Intelligence Officer at the British legation in Havana until 1939 when he retired and went to live in Plymouth. The remaining Bunburys in Cuba fled to the United States in 1960. All I have are copies of letters from my great uncle Walter Bunbury to his cousin, Sir Henry Bunbury and a family tree.’
In September 2017, I was contacted by Ignacio’s first cousin Susan Bunbury, daughter of Charles Bunbury (1913-2008), who was a brother of Clara and thus a son of Molesworth Charles Bunbury. Susan, a graphic designer, was born in 1955 in Havana, Cuba. She has a sister, Elizabeth (1943) in Jacksonville, Fl, and a brother, Richard (1956) who lives near her in the Boston area. She was too young to meet her grandfather and his siblings but she also has copies of the aforesaid letters and tree.

[49] BUNBURY —June 26, St. Philip’s Church, Kensington, by the Rev. A. Johnson, brother of the bridegroom, M Johnson, Esq. of Cleveland Terrace Gardens, Kensington, son of the late Rev M Johnson, to Harriet Eliza, only daughter of J. H. Bunbury, Esq., of Waterford, and granddaughter the late Rev. Henry Bunbury. and of the late Major-General Kettlewell, RA. Northern Whig – Saturday 30 June 1866, p. 2.

The Lisnavagh agent William Johnson was still alive in 1874 so seemingly not the same man!

[50] White’s History of Norfolk – Ditchingham – The House of Mercy, or Female Reformatory, was founded in 1858 by the late rector, the Rev. William Edward Scudamore, M.A., and has a Refuge at Norwich in connection with it. It is a large red-brick building, with room for 30 inmates, and surrounded with a high wall, in the precincts of which is a Community House, erected in 1868 for the use of the sisters, who have a small chapel, built in 1864. It is conducted by the Church of England Sisterhood, who have also, at a short distance from the Reformatory, an Orphanage for daughters of clergymen and others, built in 1864, at a cost of £2000, to accommodate 30 children, and enlarged in 1881, at a further cost of £700, as a School for Boarders of a higher class. Attached to it will be an Industrial Training School for 16 girls, now in course of erection, at a cost of £600. Between the Orphanage and the Reformatory is the chaplain’s house, a neat Gothic building, built in 1873 at a cost of £600; also a gardener’s house and other lodges.

[51] Brian McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800-1875: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale Research Co. 1978) McKenna (Irish Lit., 1974) summarises, ‘freshness and humour distinguish the best of her work, including her early novels on Irish themes.’ See also Irish Book Lover, Vols. 1 & 3; and ibid., Vol. 7 (1916) pp.105-07. According to the Mormon database, Selina Bunbury was born in 1807, daughter of Henry Bunbury of Tynan, Armagh, and Henrietta Eleanor Shirley. Other sources date her birth to 1806. For a biography of Selina, see DeBurca. See more here or a detailed account from Orlando here or another one showing her book covers here and also here. (Thanks to Victoria House)

[52] I previously, erroneously, had Robert as Selina’s twin, but was rightly corrected by Corinne Morris, author of this page on Robert.

[53] MARRIED. On Tuesday, the 13th Instant, at St. Mary’s Church, Leamington, by the venerable Archdeacon Shirley Bunbury, incumbent of St. Thomas’s, St. Helens, son of the Rev. H. Bunbury, and grandson of the late Hon. and Rev. Dr. Shirley, to Millicent Adele, third daughter of S. Tertius Galton, Esq. of Dudson House, Warwickshire, and Lansdowne Place, Leamington, Waterford Chronicle – Saturday 17 May 1845, p. 2.

Millicent Adèle Galton was born at Ladywood, Birmingham, on 21 July 1810. She was a first cousin to Charles Darwin through her mother Frances Ann Violetta Darwin. Her brother Sir Francis Galton, the pioneer of eugenics, married Louisa Jane Butler (1822–1897) on 1 August 1853; the union of 43 years proved childless.

[54] Coventry Standard – Friday 05 June 1846, p. 4.

[55] Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser- Tuesday 31 January 1843, p. 6.

[56] Hampshire Advertiser – Saturday 13 September 1845, p. 2.

[57] BIRTHS On the 13th inst., at Swansea, the lady of the Rev. Robert Shirley Bunbury, Vicar of Swansea, of a daughter. (Leamington Spa Courier, Saturday 21 March 1846).

Extracts from the memoirs of Adèle’s sister Elizabeth Ann Galton, with kind thanks to Yvonne ____.

……’I mentioned that Adèle had been upset in her donkey carriage and her face cut and plastered up. The day after my Mother and I went to St. Leonards and Adèle was left alone, Mr Robert Bunbury called to see her. He had been curate to Mr Craig at the Parish Church for some time and knew Adèle, seeing her at the school and at Dr Marsh’s. He left Leamington and soon after got a living in Lancashire, and immediately came to Leamington to propose to her, saying that he had long been attached to her, but had not means to marry her till then. Adèle, with her patched face, told him that she must think about it and talk it over with her family before she could give him an answer. When she joined us, she told me what had happened, and we both agreed nothing could be said or done while my Father was so ill. Adèle wrote to tell him she could not think about it under the circumstances. He however was very persevering and, soon after we returned home, he told my Mother and came to Leamington and was soon after accepted. He was an excellent clergyman, much liked and respected wherever he had been. His Mother was a Shirley, his Uncle and Aunt a good old couple in Derbyshire, respected and liked by everyone.’

…….. ‘On 24th January (1845) I returned home, Mr Bunbury came to Leamington and called every day, and was finally accepted by my sister. His cousin became Bishop of St. Asaph, and a curious thing happened. Mr Shirley, to escape legacy duty, made over all his money to his son the Bishop, who however died before his father, so that he had to pay all the expenses to get his own money back!….

…….’On 13th May, my sister Adèle was married to Robert Bunbury at St. Mary’s Church. As we were all in deep mourning, the wedding was perfectly quiet: Darwin, Mary, James and Lucy, Erasmus, Francis, Mr Thomas Bunbury, Emma and I went to Church. Darwin gave her away, and Archdeacon Shirley (afterwards Bishop of St Asaph) married them. Dr Marsh and Mrs Chandos Pole came to breakfast with us and, soon after, Adèle and her husband set off to the Isle of Man. We were de­lighted with Archdeacon Shirley, so truly religious a man, without any cant. Religion seemed to pervade everything he said, and we were sorry when he went.’…..

……’About this time Robert Bunbury had the living of Swansea given to him, the value about £860 a year, and he and my sister were glad to leave St. Helens and remove there. Swansea was a large place, and many of the inhabitants were Uni­tarians, but Robert gradually made friends with them by conciliating manners, and was much liked by all the Protestants. He preached excellent practical sermons, and he and my sister did much good during the short time they were there.”….

…….’My sister Adèle Bunbury was getting near her confinement and, as I was so near, it was settled we should go to Swansea that I might be with her. We therefore left Cross, after a pleasant visit, went by post to Ilfracombe, and the next day went in a small sailing packet across the Bristol Channel, being assured we should soon get across. All went well till we were half way, when the wind fell and there was a dead calm, and not an inch could we move. The cabin was a small place one could not move in, and no room to lie down in, and we began to think we should be all night. The sailors whistled for a wind, and after not moving for an hour at so, one exclaimed “She’s coming,” and soon after, a breeze came on and we landed at six o’clock at the Mumbles, not far from Swansea. A large omnibus, capable of carrying sixteen people inside, was just starting, and we went in it to Swansea. There was no one but ourselves in the vehicle, and we were consequently jolted all the way. We were received very kindly by Adèle and her husband in their comfortable house, and we found her pretty well. The next day we took a lodging near her, which was fortunate, for I was laid up for some days and not able to leave the house.’……

…….’I have said before that many of the principal families and others in Swansea were Unitarians, and soon after Mr Bunbury came, they challenged him to prove they were wrong in their belief. Mr Bunbury wished to decline controversy, but they insisted. In consequence, he preached a sermon, a copy of which I have, which created a great sensation in Swansea. It was delivered a Sunday or two before we arrived, and everyone was talking about it and praising it. The Church was crammed to hear it – many Unitarians present. A young officer, Mr Wills, told me the interest was so great, you might have heard a pin drop, as the saying is; though the service lasted three hours, everyone was sorry when it was over. As soon as I was well, I spent most of the day with my sister, who was confined on 13th March of a little girl, Millicent. She made a good recovery, and we stayed in Swansea till 26th March. It was a large town and not well kept. The pipes which carried the water down from the tops of the houses did not go down into a drain, but stopped about a foot from the ground, and consequently the water ran upon the footpath after rain. Many lobsters were caught in curious baskets; the bay was covered with these baskets.’…….

……’On 5th May we went to stay at Claverdon and saw a letter come from Adèle, saying that Robert Bunbury was dangerously ill of gastric fever, which was just then very prevalent in Swansea; nearly every house suffered more or less. At one time the account of Robert was better, and we quite hoped he would recover.’………

……..’In the meantime, Adèle was in constant anxiety about her husband and sent her baby and its nurse to my Mother, for fear it should take the fever, and she and Robert would follow as soon as he was well enough, but on 25th May he had a relapse and became worse every day till the 28th, on which day he died. My poor sister had gone through much trouble, the two doctors disagreeing about his treatment and quarrelling by his bedside. Robert Bunbury was only forty-two years old’.

‘It was agreed among us that Edward and I should go at once to Adèle, and we set off on the 30th, as far as Bristol, where we slept, and the next day we went on in the Swansea mail, a long day’s journey. Being Sunday, there were scarcely any passengers but ourselves. An intensely hot day, and the dust covering everything, I was alone inside, and vary glad when Edward recommended me to come out­side with him. We arrived very late and slept at the hotel. I went to see my sister as soon as I arrived and found the house full. I was with Adèle all day, and we urged her to return with us after the funeral, for sickness and fever were raging in the town.

‘On 3rd June the funeral took place. Mr Thomas Bunbury, my Husband, three clergymen, and three doctors attended, and this scarcely a month after I had left them so happy with their child. The last service Robert Bunbury performed was christening his own child. The day after, the Bunburys left, and we began packing away everything in the house safely till she returned. Great sorrow was expressed by all at Swansea at the loss of their Vicar, and Mr Warner preached a very good sermon on the occasion.’…..

[58] YARDLEY. On Wednesday last, at the Parish Church of Yardley, Mr. John Christopher Baron Lethbridge, of Tregeare, near Launceston, Cornwall, was married to Millicent Galton, only daughter of the late Rev. Robert Shirley Bunbury, M.A., Vicar of Swansea. The bride was given away by her uncle, the Rev. Thomas Henry Bunbury, B.A., and the service was performed by her cousin, the Rev. Hesketh Biggs, M.A. The bride is the grand-daughter the late Mr. Samuel Tertius Galton, of Duddeston Hall, near Birmingham ; and the bridegroom a justice of the peace in Cornwall, who succeeded his father, Mr. John King Lethbridge, for twenty years the highly respected Chairman of the Quarter Sessions in that county. The old parish church was tastefully decorated by Miss Baird, Miss Ashmore, Miss Sarah Barrows, and other friends of the bride, with wreaths and flowers, and the walls were ornamented with the following appropriate mottoes:—”God bless, preserve, and keep them,” “Peace be on them and mercy,” “The Lord make His face to shine upon them, and be gracious unto them,” &c.
The weather was very fine, and the village presented an animated appearance. elegant triumphal arch was erected over the gate leading to the church, under the direction of the Rev. Frederick Beynon. The youthful bride was dressed rich white moire antique dress, and wore a tulle veil, with a wreath of orange blossoms. The bridesmaids, eight in number, consisted of Miss Lethbridge, Miss Annie Lethbridge, Miss Elinor Lethbridge, Miss Lucy Wheler, Miss Alston, Miss Emilia Lloyd, Miss Emma Lloyd, and Miss Chapnis, and were accompanied by their respective groomsmen, viz., Captain Simcoe, R.N.; Mr. Philip Simcoe, the Rev. S. L. Warren, Mr. Christopher Lethbridge, Mr. Paul Simcoe, Mr. George Fillingham, Mr. John King Lethbridge, and Mr. Shirley Bunbury.
The appearance presented in the chancel of the church during the performance of service was not only pretty but imposing. After the marriage the happy pair, together with the bridesmaids, groomsmen, relations, and friends, were conveyed to the Oaklands, the residence of Mrs. Bunbury, the mother of the bride, in twelve carriages, and partook of an elegant breakfast. Among those present were—Mrs. Lethbridge, the mother of the bridegroom, Mrs. Alston, the Rev. Jones Burleton Bateman and Mrs. Bateman, Mr. Edward Wheler and Mrs. Wheler, Mr. Thomas Lloyd and Mrs. Lloyd, Miss Galton, of Leamington, Miss von Scriba, Miss Sarah Barrows, the Rev. Henry Gisborne Cooper, Mr. William Evans, &c. Later in the day the newly-married couple left the Oaklands for Shrewsbury, en route for North Wales and Scotland.
Aris’s Birmingham Gazette – Saturday 26 May 1866, p. 8.

[59] In 1850, the 27 year old was married in Liverpool to Robert Henry Jones. Born in Lancashire in 1824, Robert Henry Jones was a son of John Jones, who started the business in the 1820s, ultimately bequeathing it to Robert and his brother Alfred in the 1840s. In the mid- 1840’s, Alfred Jones & Co., Flax and Hemp Merchants, had their base at 17 Goree Piazzas. Directory listings for the 1850’s show Alfred living at Grove Road, Wallesey. It is suspected that the family had residences on the Wirral, but little is known about them.

[60] On the 8th instant, at St. Paul’s Church, Prince’s-park, by the Rev. T. H. Bunbury, Incumbent, of Seghill, Northumberland, Robert Henry Jones, Esq., of this town, to Clara, youngest daughter of the late Rev. Henry Bunbury. Liverpool Mail, 12 January 1850, p. 7.

[61] Westmorland Gazette – Saturday 24 December 1831, p. 3.

[62] On Thursday, the 28th ult., [Sept] at St. Nicholas’s church, Nottingham, (by the Rev. Henry Bell, B.B.,) the Rev. Thomas Henry Bunbury, B. A., to Mary, second daughter of the late Mr. Bell, of Nottingham. (Lincolnshire Chronicle, 6 October 1837, p. 3.) An online forum suggests Mary was a daughter of Nottingham grocer John Bell and his wife, Dorothy (née Fox).

[63] At Whitwick Vicarage, Leicestershire, on the 14th inst. the lady of the Rev. Thomas Henry Bunbury, of a son. (Lincolnshire Chronicle – Friday 28 February 1840) This was THB junior.

[64] DEATH of the Rev. T. H. BUNBURY. We regret to announce the death of the Rev. T. H. Bunbury, Vicar of Christ Church, Warley, which took place early on Monday morning. Mr. Bunbury had reached the ripe age of 83 years, and was appointed Vicar of Christ Church in 1855, and he had, therefore, held the living nearly 33 years. The deceased gentleman, who was a member of the Low Church School, was most zealous in the discharge of his Ministerial duties, and he was held in the greatest respect by all classes in the district. (Essex Standard – Saturday 7 January 1888, p. 3.)

‘The Rev. Thomas Henry Bunbury, B.A. (Trinity College, Dublin), has just died at Christ Church Vicarage, Great Warley, Essex, a vacancy in that benefice being thus created. On being ordained in 1831 by Dr. John B. Sumner, Bishop of Chester, Mr. Bunbury was licensed to the Curacy of Birkenhead Parish Church, which he retained until 1839, when he accepted a similar appointment at Whitwick, near Leicester, which living is in the gift of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. After holding the Vicarage of Seghill, Northumberland, for nine years, he in 1855 accepted the living of Christ Church, Great Warley, which now becomes vacant. The benefice, to which a residence is attached, is worth £270 per annum, the patrons being the trustees. Mr. Bunbury was on his 83rd year.’ Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 5 January 1888, p. 3.

[65] Among other marriages he officiated at was this one: Earthy— Trimm.— April 25th, at Christ Church, Great Warley, by the Rev. Thomas H. Bunbury, Vicar, Mr. William George Nixin Earthy, Officer of Excise, Tower Hill, to Emily, second daughter of Mr. Charles Trimm, of the Brewery, Brentwood. Essex Standard – Friday 5 May 1871.

[66] Bunbury – 19th inst. at Christ Church Vicarage, Great Warley, Mary, the beloved wife of the Rev. Thomas Henry Bunbury, aged 64. (Chelmsford Chronicle, 22 January 1869, p. 8.)

[67] BUNBURY – Jan. 2nd, at Christ Church Vicarage, Great Warley, the Rev. Thomas Henry Bunbury, for 33 years Vicar of the parish, in his 83rd year. [Essex Standard, 7 January 1888, p. 5].

See here for the story of a theft of silver from the Rev Bunbury’s house at Great Warley on 18 December 1861, resulting in a sentence of 15 months hard labour on a mechanical engineer, see … Or see here for theft of Dorothea Bunbury’s gold Geneva watch from the Great Warley kitchen in 1871, while on loan to the cook, for which the culprit received a days imprisonment and 12 strokes with the birch.

[68] At a committee meeting of the Christ Church Reading-room, Warley, the following resolution has been passed unanimously : “The committee of the Christ Church Reading-room and Mutual Improvement Institute, in adjourning as a mark of respect to the memory of their late president, beg to express their deep sense of the great loss they have sustained through the death the Rev. T. H. Bunbury, and tender Miss Bunbury and the other members of the family the respectful assurance of their warmest sympathy with them their sad and sudden bereavement.”
On Sunday Christ Church was draped with crape and black cloth, the work having been carried out by Mr. and Mrs. Spells, assisted by Mr. Mason and others. The hymns sung were appropriate, and the sermons preached by the Rev. Julian Harvey bore upon the sad event which filled the minds of his congregation. At the close of the morning service Mr. Thomas Bunbury, eldest son of the deceased, played the ” Dead March” in Saul. At the Congregational Chapel on Sunday the Rev. W. Legerton paid a high tribute to the work and character of the late Mr. Bunbury, and spoke of the loss which the Christ Church district has sustained by his death.
The great respect entertained for the deceased gentleman and the regret felt at his death were strikingly manifested on Monday afternoon last on the occasion of the funeral. The shops were either wholly or partially closed, blinds were drawn, and a large and representative company assembled first in the church and afterwards in the Great Warley Cemetery to show their regard for the memory the deceased and their sympathy with the bereaved family.
The body was met at the entrance to the church by the Bishop of Colchester, the Rev. Canon Fraser, the Rev. H. R. Bailey, and the Rev. Julian Harvey, the opening passages of the Burial Service being read by the Bishop Colchester. The Rev. Julian Harvey took the next part of the service, and the beautiful hymn, “Now the labourer’s task is o’er,” was sung. The lesson was read by the Rev. Canon Fraser, and this was followed by the hymn, “How bright those glorious spirits shine.”
As the body was borne out of the edifice Mr. Thomas Bunbury, the deceased’s eldest son, played the “Dead March” in Saul. A procession was then formed and moved slowly down the Warley-road to the Cemetery, where a large crowd was in waiting.
At the head of the procession, walking two abreast, were Mr. E. Ind, Colonel Wood, Mr. W. A. Turnbull, Mr. W. J. Burgess, Mr. E. J. Burgess, the Revds. J. H. Newnum, R. T. Pollexfen, JS Goodday, J. A. Hull, A. H. Stephens, J. Donaldson, A. M. Greenwood, B. A., H.J. Clay, Kilburn, C . Gregson; W. Legerton and A. M. Carter, B.A. (Congregationalists), W. Walker (Baptist), W. Burnett, and Messrs. J. Biggs, Nichols, J. Young, O C. Cramphorn, R. Earthy, G. Davey, O. Brook, J. W. Pratt, E. King, A.T.G. Woods, T. Tate (representing Mr. Daldy, a former churchwarden), T. Hayes, H. Harlock, French, R. J. Longmore, F. C. Longmore, Gibson, Matt, Bridge, Messrs. P. Slaughter. G. Hammond, Jos. Winter, S. G. Carter, Warner S. Ford, G. Morris, W. King, Lloyd, Brewster, Rose, and many others. The officiating clergy came next, followed immediately by the coffin, which was covered with beautiful wreaths, and was borne by relays of bearers.
The mourners were Mr. Thomas H. Bunbury, Mr. Shirley Bunbury, and the Rev. Robert J. Bunbury, sons of the deceased; Miss Bunbury, daughter; Mrs. Thomas H. Bunbury, Mrs. Shirley Bunbury, Miss Mary Bunbury, Master Harry Bunbury, and the Rev. R. Martin.
The procession was brought up by the carriages of Mr. Ind, Mr. Turnbull, Mr. H. Joslin, Mr. Biggs, and others. The first part of the service at the grave was read by the Rev. H. R. Bailey and the concluding part by the Bishop of Colchester, the body of the deceased lowered into the same grave which contained the remains of his wife.
The inscription upon the coffin was “Rev. Thomas Henry Bunbury, born 24th June, 1805, died 2nd Jan., 1888.”
Among those who sent wreaths were the district visitors, the children of the Christ Church and Crescent-road Sunday Schools, the teachers of Christ Church and Crescent-road and Day Schools, the members of Church Reading-room, some of the oldest parishioners, the Misses A. K. and M. Parley, Mr., Mrs., and the Misses Biggs, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Clowes, Mr. and Mrs. Nichols and family, Mr. and Mrs. Cramphorn, Mr. O. C. Cramphorn, parishioners’ churchwarden, Mrs. Moull, Mrs. Taylor (cut flowers), and others. The funeral arrangements were carried out with perfect decorum Mr. W. Cudby, undertaker, of Warley road.
Chelmsford Chronicle, 13 January 1888, p. 6.

[69] Rev Shirley Bunbury had an address at 10 Turle Mansions, Tolington Park N, London. He was born on 16 May 1841 and married Lucy Gibson on 13 Oct 1870. Norfolk News, 09 June 1906.

[70] Essex Newsman – Saturday 18 January 1908.

[71] Rev Alfred Bunbury of Rickmansworth, Herts was curate of Hammersmith Parish Church, London. He was married on 15 May 1901 to Florence, daughter of Richard Greenham of Trieste, and had a son, Richard Ferrers Bunbury, born 5 March 1903. Alfred was ‘greatly beloved, and especially so by the poor and the members of the Church of England Men’s Society, of which he took a deep interest.’ His nephew Percy Bunbury was at his funeral. Chelmsford Chronicle – Friday 10 June 1910, p. 8.

[72] Details of Arthur’s demise here.

[73] Morning Post – Thursday 23 December 1869, p. 6. He was born on 27 December 1842.

[74] John Bull, 3 March 1883, p. 13.

[75] An Account of the Railway Accident at North Charford on 3 June 1884 The terrible railway accident which happened at North Charford on Tuesday, June 3rd, is too fresh in our minds to need any detailed description here. One of the middle carriages of the 4.50 train from Downton got off the rails about two hundred yards below the pile bridge across the Avon, and gradually working further to the left and inner side of the curve, finally caused seven carriages to fall down the embankment into the meadow. The three central ones were smashed to pieces, and two of these fell into a pool of water. A few men who saw the accident from the road, and the professors and students of the Agricultural College, were soon on the spot to render assistance, and Dr. Hartley and other medical men arrived shortly afterwards. About thirty persons were more or less seriously injured, some of whom were taken to Salisbury Infirmary, and others were received by Professor Clarkson into the Agricultural College. Four persons were killed, whose names are well known to many of us. They were Mr George Waters, jun., Mrs Lush, Mrs Corbin, and Miss Lilian Chandler; and one more Mr Dent died at the Infirmary next day. The Rev. R. J. Bunbury was in the second carriage, and had a most fortunate escape, of which he thankfully spoke in his sermon on Sunday morning. This event has been a great saddening of our Whitsuntide festivities, and has been much in the thoughts of us all. It is, in fact, a great sermon preached by God himself in the ears of every man, woman and child in Downton, which they can never forget as long as they live. (From Downton Parish Magazine, July 1884)

[76] Chelmsford Chronicle – Friday 14 February 1913.

[77] Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park and Dagenham Gazette – Saturday 04 April 1903

[78] Essex Standard, 11 March 1870, p. 3.

[79] Morning Post, 1 July 1875.

[80] Chelmsford Chronicle – Friday 02 July 1875, p. 8.

[81] Bareilly is a city and district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. BUNBURY.— Dec. 12, at Bareilly, Claremont-road, Highgate, Thomas Henry Bunbury, eldest son of the late Rev. T. H. Bunbury, vicar of Christ Church, Great Warley, aged 53. [London Evening Standard – Tuesday 19 December 1893, p. 1]

[82] Khandallah is a suburb of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand but the house is more likely named for Khandela in the Sikar district of the Indian state of Rajasthan, which s said to mean “Resting place of God” in an unspecified language.

[83] Dod’s Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland, Including All the Titled Classes (1921), p. 130.

[84] BUNBURY-MERIVALE.—On April 20, at St. John’s Church. Paddington, by the Rev. Meyrick J Sutton and the Rev. P. St. P Bunbury, uncle and brother of the bridegroom, Henry Noel Bunbury, of the Treasury, eldest son of the late Thomas Henry Bunbury and Mrs. Bunbury of Khandallah, Eastbourne, to Dorothea , youngest daughter of the late Walter Merivale, M.I.C.E., and Mrs. Merivale of Chiswick. (Eastbourne Gazette – Wednesday 3 May 1911, p. 1.)

‘The marriage took place at St. Giles’ Church, Oxford, on Tuesday, of Captain Richard Walter Rawlins, of the 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, only son of Lieutenant-Colonel J. Rawlins, of Great Houghton, and Miss Agnes Merivale. second daughter of the late Mr. Walter Merivale, M.lnst.C.E., and Mrs. Walter Merivale. of Oxford.’ Northampton Mercury – Friday 17 August 1906.

[85] Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer – Friday 22 January 1937, p. 10.

[86] Yorkshire Evening Post – Friday 23 April 1926, p. 8.

[87] Daily Telegraph 28 Feb 2006.

[88] See National Archives here.

[89] Thomas inherited the title in 1969 on the death of his father, Edward Ettingdean Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges; his mother was the Hon. Katharine Dianthe Farrer, a daughter of Thomas Cecil Farrer, 2nd Baron Farrer and Evelyn Mary Spring Rice.

[90] His medal card is here.

[91] He was promoted to Acting Chief Engineer on the Uganda Railway from 18 December 1925. Recorded as District Engineer, Uganda Railway, Nakuru, in Kenya Gazette, 27 April 1927; he was Chief Engineer of the Kenya & Uganda Railway by 1928. (Lawrence Saunders, The Railway Engineer, Volume 49 (S. R. Blundstone, 1928).

[92] Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Friday 4 August 1939, p. 4.

[93] ‘Mr. Cecil M. Bunbury, an Air Raid Warden, of Upper Norwood, London, S.E., has sent a cheque for 40 guineas to the Finland Fund. This sum represents his earnings as a warden since soon after the outbreak of war.’ Staffordshire Sentinel – Saturday 10 February 1940.

[94] See his picture and more details at

[95] Morning Post – Tuesday 04 October 1904, p. 5.

[96] A leading stoker with the Royal Navy named Francis Leonard Cater died on HMS Jupiter when it struck a mine on 27 February 1942. Alternatively, he may have been the Francis Leonard Cater who was born in 1873 and died in Manhattan in 1944.

[97] Her 1914-1915 diary is held by the London Metropolitan Archives, A/FH/F15/001/001-2 Jerry White, ‘Zeppelin Nights: London in the First World War’ (Random House, 2014). The National Archives (UK) hold a letter of 1936 from Edith M.Bunbury, Hazel N. Napier, Anne Elizabeth Rees, Ayana Angadi, Bela Menczer, Ruth von Schulze Guvernitz with suggestions on Abyssinia. (LP/WG/ITA/397)

[98] Common Cause – Friday 18 February 1916, p. 12.

[99] The Gentleman’s Magazine, 1867, p. 809.

[100] The following notes are provided by Bill Webster via Carlow Rootsweb, taken from Irish Genealogy Carlow COI records, Thomas and Anne Elliott had the following children baptised -1825 Mary Elliott at Aghold Parish
1828 Mary Anne Elliott of Johnstown House at Urglin Parish
1830 Thomas Bookay Elliott of Johnstown House at Urglin Parish
1833 Nicholas Goselin Elliott of Johnston House at Urglin Parish
1835 Elizabeth Elliott at Painestown Parish
1838 Charles Simeon Elliott at Painestown Parish
In 1870 Thomas Gosselin Elliott, son of Nicholas and Anna was baptised at Urglin Parish.

Freeman’s Journal, November 5, 1840; On the 30th ult. the Rev. Charles Elliott, of Ballintubber, in the Queens County, son of the late Thomas Elliott, Esq., Racrogue, County Carlow, to Sophia, daughter of the Rev. Samuel Downing, rector of Fennagh [sic], County Carlow.

Dublin Evening Mail. “Marriages” “Elliott and Courtenay” August 13, 1861, at St. Anne’s Church by the Rev. Charles Elliott, rector of Ballintubber, Queens County, Laois, uncle to the bridegroom, and the Rev. Alexander Pollock, Nicholas G. Elliott, late Lieutenant 62 Regiment, eldest son of Thomas Elliott, Esq., of Johnston [sic] House, County Carlow, to Jane Adelaide, second daughter of Edward Henry Courtenay, Esq., of St. Stephens Green.

Charles Elliott, 2 Nov 1818 aged 16 [b.c. 1802] son of Thomas, generosus. Born in Carlow. BA Vern. 1823 MA Nov 1832. From Griffiths to at least 1867, Rev Charles Elliott is recorded at Ballintubbert co Laois. Elliott did another wedding for his brother’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth, in 1857.Elliott was rector of Ballintubbert between 1831 and 1879 after which Ballintubbert was joined to Stradbally. So, the Thomas Elliott having children above in the 1830s was a brother of Charles, sons of Thomas.
Charles Elliott Cairns of Monkstown dying while skating in Moritz, Switzerland.