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Bunbury of Kilfeacle & Shronell, County Tipperary

Irish Whiteboys from S. G. Goodeich’s ‘Pictorial History of England’ (W & R Chambers, 1858). The Bunburys of Kilfeacle came down hard upon such people in the late 18th century.

The Bunburys of Kilfeacle and Shronell, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, descend from Mathew Bunbury (1675-1733), fourth son of Benjamin Bunbury (1642-1707) of Killerig, County Carlow, and includes the family of Field Marshal Lord Roberts and Henry Sadleir Prittie, 1st Baron Dunalley.

Mathew’s three elder brothers were Joseph Bunbury of Johnstown, Thomas Bunbury of Cloghna & Cranovonane and William Bunbury of Lisnavagh. His younger brother Benjamin succeeded to Killerig while his sister Diana married Captain Thomas Barnes of Grange, County Kilkenny, a soldier in the Duke of Ormonde’s army.

The Kilfeacle branch are the only branch of the descendants of the first Benjamin Bunbury of Killerig to have a straight male line descent direct, via Mathew, from eldest son to eldest son, without recourse to the female [distaff] side. I believe this continues to this day but I’m always willing to stand corrected.


Matthew Bunbury (1675-1733)


In about 1697, 22-year-old Matthew Bunbury accompanied the brothers, William and John Carden, taking up leases in the rather depressed Barony of Upper Ormonde in County Tipperary. [1]  Like the Bunburys, the Cardens originated in Cheshire but moved to County Carlow during the 1680s. In moving further south to Tipperary, these young men were presumably attracted by low or graded rents, long leases and the prospect of large holdings. Matthew Bunbury settled in Kilfeacle, a parish of 7,152 statute acres located 3½ miles S.E. by E. of Tipperary town on the road to Cashel. Over the ensuing years, as his credibility strengthened, he increased his landholding onto the adjacent estates such as the Matthew estate at Thomastown, and later onto the Maude, Smith and Trinity College Dublin estates.

The Ormonde Papers includes a lease between Colonel Thomas Butler of Kilcash, Co. Tipperary, and Matthew Bunbury of Kilfeakle [sic] of the town and lands of Laffany, County Tipperary, totalling 43 acres, for twenty-one years at a yearly rent of £12. This deed was signed by Mathew on 20 March 1715, while a simple, hand-drawn map by Patrick Greene, attached to the deed, also names the surrounding territories. [2] This arrangement was renewed by Mathew’s son Benjamin in 1742.


“Lord Bunbury’s Road”


In March 2014, I was contacted by Martin Collins who told me of a path that once ran from Dromclieve to Tipperary town known as ‘Lord Bunburys Road’. ‘Hardly anyone would know this now,’ wrote Martin. ‘It was shown to me by my late father. Dromclieve is about three miles from Tipperary town in the old parish of Templenoe. If you take a right turn off the Dundrum road and two more right turns you will end up in the general area. The path would have been a shortcut between the Dundrum and Kilfeacle roads. When I was younger it was known as Lord Bunbury’s Road. Hardly any off it exists today. My own family are from this area and would have been tenants of Rudolph Scully of Dromclieve whose family were also living in Kilfeacle.’


Popish Priests


We know little of Matthew’s subsequent affairs in County Tipperary save that, as a Justice of the Peace, he appears to have adopted a hard-line policy towards Roman Catholicism generally and ‘popish priests’ specifically. This runs contrary to my early speculation that the Bunburys still retained a soft spot for the Old Faith as nurtured by them during the Elizabethan Age when Sir William Stanley was a kinsman. The close ties with the Duke of Ormonde also made me think there may have been some sympathy for the plights of the Jacobites and, by extension, the Catholics. However, just because one sibling thinks one way does not mean that the rest of one’s family follows suit.

There are certainly allegations of Cromwellianism in the family annals and perhaps Matthew took a stronger line than his brothers. Or maybe he was simply being Machiavellian at a time of considerable uncertainty. Jacobitism was a very real threat during the first two decades of the 18th century. At any rate, in 1714, he added his signature to those of fellow JPs James Dawson, Jona Ashe and William Barker in a letter to the Deputy Lieutenant of County Tipperay in which they declared that, ‘in obedience to the directions which we received from his Grace the Duke of Shrewsbury, Lord Lieutenant of the kingdom’ on 28 May 1714, ‘we summoned the principal popish inhabitants of the Barony of Clanwilliam to appear before us at Tipperary on the 22 instant’.

It seems those summoned refused to show up, obliging the JPs:

‘… to have recourse for information to the meaner sort of people by whom we found that Thomas Grace and David Hedderman, popish priests (and not qualified by law to exercise their function) have of late Sellebrated Mass in the Parishes of Tipperary, Latten and Sronell for which we issued warrants against them’.

The JPs sought to assure the Lord Justices of Ireland that they would:

‘… use all proper means to discover whatsoever has been practiced to prejudice her Maiestie and the peace of her kingdom’.

And finally they felt inclined to add that they had summoned some new Protestant converts ‘whose conduct and behaviour gave us grounds to feare they were not sincere Protestants’ to take the abjuration oath. These converts had also failed to show up, so warrants had also been issued for their arrest. [3]


Marriage To Anne Blount


Mathew Bunbury married Anne Blount, of whom I know no more, but she sounds like she was of Huguenot stock. Bear in mind that Joseph Bunbury, a generation earlier, married the scion of another Huguenot family, Hannah Desmineers.

Mathew and Anne had 13 children. He died aged 58 in 1733, leaving [at least] four sons – including Benjamin (of Kilfeacle), Mathew (his second son, who may have been ancestor of Lord Roberts), Joseph (his third son), Thomas (of Shronell) and William (his fifth son, who lived at Mount William) and George (his youngest son).

Mathew and Anne’s eldest daughter Elizabeth Bunbury was married in May 1727 to John Lane of Lanes Park, Co. Tipperary, a descendent of the Lanes of Bentley in Staffordshire and kinsman of Sir William Barker of Kilcooley Abbey.


O’Callaghan’s Man: The Freemen Of Fethard


Cornelius O’Callaghan (c. 1681 – 3 January 1742), patron of the Bunbury family, sat in the Irish House of Commons as MP for the borough of Fethard in County Tipperary from 1713 to 1714. His son married Benjamin Bunbury’s daughter Mary.

Mathew Bunbury was admitted as a Freeman of the Corporation of Fethard in 1720. His appointment was probably part of a vote-getting exercise orchestrated by the O’Callaghan family. The historian Michael O’Donnell, Owning, proposes:

‘Bunbury may have been approached by the Borough owner (O’Callaghan) to allow his name to be admitted as a freeman. As a consequence, Mathew Bunbury would feel obliged to vote for O’Callaghan’s nominee in a contested election for MP.’

Prior to 1720, Fethard Corporation had been completely controlled by the Everard family since its creation in 1607. In the early 1700s, Cornelius O’Callaghan acquired the Knockelly estate in Fethard through marriage. Within a short time, he was sharing control of the corporation with the Everards. In 1710, Cornelius O’Callaghan was admitted and sworn to the corporation, becoming Recorder in 1712. In 1713 he was elected MP for the Borough of Fethard with Sir Redmond Everard. As Tom LaPorte writes:

“The Everard family’s Catholic faith brought them a lot of problems from King James and on until they lost a portion of the estate to the O’Callaghan’s around 1720. The O’Callaghans had declared their loyalty to the King etc but were still supporters of Catholic rights so they would not have had a big problem with the Everards or the Everards with them. There would seem to be no reason why the Everards would give up a share of their major income but somehow, although there were other large landholders in the area already, the O’Callaghans were almost immediately able to establish joint control of the Corporation with the Everards.’

In 1720, Cornelius O’Callaghan loaded the vote for Fethard’s two Members of Parliament with 138 supporters, who were admitted as Freemen of Fethard, including Matthew Bunbury. As Tom LaPorte deduced, ‘there were only a couple of appointments per year before 1720 and there were no further appointments until 1725, so 1720 was a significant event.’

A decade later, in 1730, Mathew’s son Matthew Bunbury Jr. was one of only four men admitted as Freemen that year. We don’t yet know why he was admitted.

In 1742, Redmond Everard died in France, while Cornelius O’Callaghan also died. Two years later, Benjamin, Joseph, Thomas and William Bunbury were among multiple persons admitted as Freemen in what may have been an unsuccessful attempt by Redmond Everard’s successor to get back into the corporation.

In 1746, Cornelius O’Callaghan junior, son of the Cornelius who died in 1742, married Mary Bunbury, daughter of Benjamin Bunbury of Kilfeacle.

Four years later, in 1750, the Protestant Barton family acquired the remaining Everard holdings and attempted to get control of the corporation, or even to claim just the Everard share. However, Cornelius O’Callaghan of Shanbally Castle held the Bartons off by appointing about 400 of his associates from as far away as Cork and Dublin as Freemen of Fethard to prevent the Bartons from winning an election for any senior role in the Corporation for 30 years.  In 1753, for instance, two years after Barton acquired Everard’s holdings, there were quite a few admissions as Freemen, including Matthew Bunbury, the younger, of Kilfeacle, who was sworn in 1754. This was possibly Barton’s first attendance at the annual election.

The following year, Barton ran for burgess and was narrowly defeated after a stormy session. 1754 would also see Mathew’s sons William and George sworn in as Freemen, as well as Benjamin Bunbury, Esq., and his son, Benjamin the younger, Gent.

Having nearly lost to Barton in the 1754 election, O’Callaghan now brought in 100s of supporters to load the vote against Barton in 1755; Barton then remained otherwise occupied until 1772. In the meantime, Mathew’s son Joseph was sworn a Freeman in 1755.

Cornelius O’Callaghan, 1st Lord Lismore

In 1772 the tension over the election of the sovereign of Fethard spilled into a duel between Cornelius O’Callaghan (husband of Mary Bunbury) and William Barton in which Barton was wounded in the thigh. [4] For the next three years, Barton’s attempts to gain admission to the Corporation were frustrated as O’Callaghan admitted more new Freemen each year to oppose him. In 1774, for instance, Abraham Bunbury of Garrynacanty, Esq., Lieut. Benjamin Bunbury, Light Dragoons, and the Rev. Thomas Bunbury of Lismore were all admitted.

Finally, in 1785 Cornelius O’Callaghan (nephew of the above) was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Baron Lismore of Shanbally. Possibly as a part of that deal, Baron Lismore agreed to a joint management of the Corporation of Fethard with Barton. [5]

The fact that 12 Bunburys were admitted as Freemen of Fethard between 1720 and 1774 underlined their social status. [6] It also gave them the right to sell in Fethard’s Monday markets and / or the two annual fairs – a useful market for the Bunbury estate’s produce, perhaps, although Kilfeacle would have been quite a distance [how far?] from Fethard.

NB: In 1746, the year of Culloden, the Coppinger family sold Killenaule, County Tipperary, to William Cooper of Butter Hill. The Coppinger family were originally of Norse or Danish stock and were important in the Danish sector of Cork for many generations. They had rebuilt the old house attached to the Castle ruin as a Hunting Lodge. They were Jacobites and looked after priests in penal times. William Copper was Diocese Registrar to Archbishop Price of Cashel, sponsor of Arthur Guinness and spurned lover of Swift’s Vanessa. There’s lots about the Coppingers here.


Aerial image of Kilfeacle and Golden.


Benjamin Bunbury of Kilfeacle (d. 1765)


When Mathew of Kilfeacle died in 1733, he was succeeded by his eldest son Benjamin Bunbury. In 1724, Benjamin married Mary Kelly, daughter of John Kelly of Clonreher, a community based just outside present-day Portlaoise (Maryborough) in the Queen’s County.

On 4 September 1742, he also renewed the arrangement his father had reached with Colonel Butler in 1715 with the colonel’s heir, John Butler of Kilcash, regarding what was by now 49 acres, 3 roods and 7 perches of land at Laffany for 3 lives at a yearly rent of 9 shillings per acre. [7] Kilfeacle was again spelled as ‘Killfeakill’ on the relevant documents.

Benjamin became a Freeman of Fethard in 1744.

Benjamin and Mary had three sons – Matthew, Benjamin and Joseph – who appear to have either disgraced themselves (Matthew for sure) or perished young. They also had perhaps as many as six daughters – Elizabeth, Mary, Anne, Hannah, Diana and Harriet. This was a costly business in terms of dowries. Thomas P. Power states that, before 1750, the amount paid to daughters on the occasion of their marriage would have been between £1,000 and £1,500 for a middle-ranking family like the Bunburys. [8] Clearly Benjamin had sufficient money, or his daughters were very beautiful, because they were all destined to marry well.

He also seems to have disinherited his firstborn son Mathew (see below) or, rather, when he died in 1765, the Kilfeacle estate passed to his eldest daughter, Elizabeth Richardson, more of whom anon. His wife survived him by seven years and died at Clonteer, near Portlaoise, on 22 October 1772. With her death, she left ‘a fortune of £1000 per annum’ to her nephew, ‘Benjamin Bunbury, late Lieutenant in the 3rd Regiment of Horse,’ a son of Thomas Bunbury of Shronell, Co. Tipperary. [9] (For more, see below).

I wonder was he the same Benjamin Bunbury mentioned in this bequest from the Dublin Courier of 18 October 1762, but why did Mrs Spring choose him?

‘On Lazer’s-hill, the Relict of the Rev. Mr. Spring, formerly Minister of Naas, in the County of Kildare, greatly and justly regretted: By her Death a jointure of 100 l. per Ann. devolves to Benjamin Bunbury, Esq.’

Further details about Benjamin and Mary’s daughters follow below.


Matthew Bunbury Junior & Deborah Prittie


Henry Prittie, 1st Baron Dunalley (1743–1801) was the son of Henry Prittie of Kilboy, County Tipperary, and brother of Deborah Bunbury of Kilfeacle.

Benjamin and Mary Bunbury’s eldest son was also a Matthew Bunbury, born before 1730. In 1750, this young man may well have been the ‘Matthew Bunbury’ named alongside Sir Thomas Maude, Sir William Barker and Stephen Moore as being responsible for bringing the Rev. John Hayly on trial at the assizes for attempting to convert William Moore, a Protestant. Hayly was charged under the infamous Tory Acts. [10]

On 22 September 1752, the younger Mathew married 15-year-old Deborah Prittie, eldest daughter of Henry and Deborah Prittie of County Tipperary. There may be some confusion here as the marriage of Matthew Bunburry [sic], High Sheriff of Co. Tipperary, and a ‘Daughter of Mr. Prittie’ was recorded in the Gentleman’s and London Magazine as taking place on 26 September 1741. [11] Thomas P. Power suggests that, before 1750, a daughter of a leading family like the Pritties could have expected anything between £2000 and £6000 on the occasion of her marriage. [12]

Deborah Bunbury’s father was Henry Prittie (1708–1768) of Kilboy, County Tipperary. In 1678, Charles II had granted his father lands in Ormond, County Tipperary, including the appropriately named Silvermines mountains where Henry and his father endeavoured to establish a lead mining trade during the 1720s and 1730s. From 1730, the mines were left in abeyance until 1802 when the Dunalley Mining Company was formed with the intention of exploiting the ore there and in other places. He was also an uncle of Viscount Clanwilliam.

Deborah Bunbury’s mother Deborah Neale (sometimes O’Neale), who died on 3 November 1760, was a daughter and co-heiress of the Rev. Dr Benjamin Neale, Archdeacon of Leighlin and Ferns (a lineal descendent of the O’Neills of Ulster). The Rev Neale’s wife Hannah was a daughter of Jeffery Paul. The Neale’s owned considerable estates in Counties Carlow and Wexford, which were inherited by Deborah and her sister Martha, wife of John Stratford, MP for Baltinglass from 1721-1763, who became Baron Baltinglass (1763), Viscount Aldborough (1776) and Earl of Aldborough (1777). [13] Long before she married Henry Prittie, Deborah had married John Bayly of Debsborough House, Nenagh, County Tipperary, with whom she had five sons and two daughters. [14] Despite the fact she was 36 years old when she married Colonel Prittie, Deborah managed to give him a son and a further six daughters, the eldest of whom was Matthew Bunbury’s wife Deborah. [15]

Henry and Deborah Prittie’s eldest daughter was the Deborah Pritte who married Matthew Bunbury of Kilfeacle. This marriage was one of many linking the influential families in the north of the county – Sadlier, Harrison, Lane, Otway, Holmes, Head, Balyly, Meade, Carden, Baker, Barton, Scully, Clutterbuck and Bunbury. This formed the basis for a unified gentry and a cohesive landed class, strengthened when peerages and knighthoods began to be bestowed upon the family heads.

Deborah’s only full-brother Henry Sadleir Prittie became 1st Baron Dunalley in 1800. Born on 3 October 1743, he was one of the most influential men in Munster during the last decades of the 18th century. [16] During the 1776 general election, he met Francis Matthew in the duelling field at Kilworth, County Tipperary. His first shot injured Matthew, but not dangerously. The intervention of the seconds prevented the affair going further. [17]

In 1761, Henry Prittie, Deborah Bunbury’s father, topped the electoral poll to become MP for Co Tipperary, retaining the seat until his death aged 60 in 1768. As a magistrate, he clearly tended towards the no-nonsense school of Protestant thought. At the Clonmel assizes of June 1762, for instance, he was one of 27 leading landowners to offer a £20 reward for the discovery and prosecution of ‘each of the first three Papists guilty of carrying arms in said county’. [18]

Matthew Bunbury served as High Sheriff of County Tipperary in 1755. Stirred up by the Mathew-Maude controversy, this was to be the age of the Whiteboys, a violent and extremist agrarian protest movement that kicked off in Tipperary in late September 1761 and spread through Munster and West Leinster. Matthew was much involved in suppressing the movement during the 1760s, including the execution of James Farrell in 1766 and the trial of Connor, Lord Maguire. [19]

I do not understand why he did not inherit Kilfeacle on his father’s death in 1765. Perhaps it was connected to the collapse of Mathew’s marriage to Deborah who, according to one Dublin Deed, threatened him with divorce and demanded an annuity. A later report described Mathew as living ‘mostly in England, his wife and he live separate, and his affairs much embarrassed’.

I suspect he was the Mathew Bunbury who had four houses at Glandonnel ‘maliciously set on fire and burned to the ground’ in May 1775. The main suspects for the late night attack were the last occupants of the houses who had apparently ‘absconded’ a few weeks earlier, owing six months’ rent to John Gahan. [20]

By 1781, he had moved to Exton, Hampshire, about 15 miles east of Southampton, ultimately acquiring ‘a close of land’ just south of Exton at Droxford on the surrender of William Cornelius, gent, in 1807. On 4 August 1781, and again on 16 August, he placed this ad in the Dublin Evening Post:

FROM the first day of May next, O. S. for the Term of Three Lives, Thirty-One Years, that part of the LANDS of KILFEAKLE now in the possession of the Representatives of the late William Russel, Esq; containing, by estimation,177 Acres.
These Lands are the estate of Mathew Bunbury, Esq; and are situate in the barony Clanwilliam, and County of Tipperary, and lie adjoining the Turnpike-road leading from Cashel to Tipperary. They are well divided and enclosed, and every part of them fit for fattening bullocks the largest size.
Not an acre of coarse ground or waste on the whole farm, no land more remarkably profitable for maintaining stock in Winter.
Any person who would wish to treat for said lands will direct their proposals to Mathew Bunbury, Esq; Droxford, Hants, England, or to John Tydd, Esq., Dublin.
John Edmonds will shew the Lands.
August 2, 1781

Note also this case from May 1781 regarding lands at Kilfeacle, Gormadane, Mobegg,  Knocklinimy and Monearle here. And why did he sell all his possessions at a massive auction in Hampshire in July 1780, as per here.

Mathew also apparently confronted the United Irishmen in the 1790s. [21]

Mathew died at ‘Hexton’ on Friday 19 February 1808, aged 85. [22] After his death, this land passed to the Rev. Edward Nott. [23]

Deborah does not get a mention in Mathew’s will, in which he appointed his friends and kinsmen Paul and Henry Minchin as executors.  Based on South Frederick Street, Dublin, Paul was to deal with his Irish interests, while Henry Minchin of Botley Grange in ‘the County of Southampton’ would look after his English affairs. His will was proven in England by the Prerogative Court to Henry Minchin. I believe this was the will in which he directed his considerable wealth to be left to his niece Hannah Gahan, which ultimately passed into the Bunbury-Tighe family.


Mrs Bunbury & The Rebels


Matthew’s widow Deborah Bunbury lived to the ripe age of 92 and died at Shannonvale, County Tipperary, in the summer of 1830. By then, her nephew had become the Right Hon. Lord Dunalley[24] One wonders was she the ‘Mrs Bunbury’ singled out by the High Sheriff of Tipperary in a letter dated 10 May 1798 where he:

‘… thinks it is his duty to praise Mrs. Bunbury who so gallantly defended her house and compelled the rebels to retire [at Lisheen on 20 April 1798] … such heroic conduct should raise the crimson blush of shame on those heroes who disgracefully and cowardly surrendered large quantities of arms to the rebels on their first approach without having fired a single shot’. [25]


The Bunbury Girls


Benjamin and Mary’s eldest daughter Anne Bunbury married Robert Lane.



The Gahan / Tighe Connection


William ‘Statistical’ Tighe of Woodstock, Co. Kilkenny, by George Romney.

Benjamin and Mary’s second daughter, Hannah Bunbury, married Daniel Gahan of Coolquill. He descended from Sir Daniel Gahan and his wife Susanna (widow of Thomas Ashe (or Ask), and sister of Richard Warburton) who, in 1666, was granted about 1,000 Irish acres in the barony of Slievardagh, County Tipperary, including Coolequill, Killnehone, Ballynonly and Slieveardagh, and the former O’Rourke estate at Modoragh, County Leitrim. A Hugh Gihen (sic) at Ardristan may connect to this family.

O’Hart records three sons of Sir Daniel and Lady Susanna’s marriage, Sir Daniel, George and John. The second son George inherited Modoragh as well as a townhouse called Turkey Cock House on Church Street, Dublin. George married Eleanor Warren, born abt. 1678, the youngest daughter of John Warren, MP, of Nurney, County Carlow, by his second wife, Catherine Walsh. They had two sons, Daniel and George, the latter of whom became Governor of Scilly.

The elder George died in 1731. His son Daniel Gahan Snr. of Coolquill (b. abt. 1696) was married in 1721 to Penelope Jolly, daughter of Robert Jolly and Elinor Meagher of Knockelly. Daniel snr. died in 1764, having had three sons, Daniel, Robert and John (who became Surveyor General of Ireland). He may also have been father to Mary, who married Thomas Rogers of Dungarvan in 1775.[i] Penelope died at Grange, near Rathfarnham, in 1778.[ii]

Daniel and Penelope’s eldest son Daniel Gahan jr. was married twice. I think his first wife was Sarah Smyth, daughter of Joseph Smyth of Ballintubber, Queen’s County and Pichfordstown, Co. Kildare, with whom he had a daughter Penelope. His second wife was Hannah Bunbury, daughter of Benjamin Bunbury of Kilfeacle, and co heiress of her uncle, Matthew Bunbury. Daniel and Hannah had a daughter Marianne (sometimes spelled Mary Anne).

Affiliated with the influential O’Callaghan family, Daniel was a Member of the Irish House of Commons for the borough of Fethard in 1797 but died in 1799. As he had no sons, his property at Coolquill was inherited by his daughters Penelope Gahan (who married John Jacob Gledstanes [Gledstones] of Annesgife near Fethard) and her half-sister Mary Anne Gahan.

Mary Anne Gahan was married in 1792 (or 1793) to to William ‘Statistical’ Tighe of Woodstock, Co. Kilkenny, and was mother to Daniel Tighe Bunbury. See the Tighe family here. She died in 1853 at Tunbridge Wells aged 77.

By the mid 19th century, Coolquill was held in fee by Colonel Palliser, husband of Anne Gledstanes. The castle was valued at £5. The castle ruin and other buildings are still extant at the site.


[i] Hibernian Journal, 6 November 1775, p. 3.
[ii] Saunders’s News-Letter, 15 September 1778, p. 2.
With thanks to Susie Warren.




Benjamin and Mary’s daughter Mary Bunbury was married on 16 May 1746 to Cornelius O’Callaghan junior. [26] Their nephew Cornelius O’Callaghan (1741-1797) was MP for Fethard from 1768 until 1785 when he was made Baron Lismore, of Shanbally, in the Peerage of Ireland, and assumed his seat in the Irish House of Lords.




Benjamin and Mary’s daughter sister Hannah (or Harriet) was married in 1759 to Henry Irvine who, born in 1734, was a twin brother of the Colonel William Irvine of Castle Irvine, Co Fermanagh who presided over the famous Dungannon Convention of 1782. Hannah and Henry Irvine’s daughter Mary Irvine married Colonel John Caulfeild of Donamon Castle, County Roscommon. [27]




Richardson-Bunbury coat of arms.

Benjamin and Mary’s daughter, Elizabeth Bunbury was married in May 1749 to Captain St George Richardson, 6th Dragoon Guards, MP for Augher (1755-1760). The family descend from Alexander Richardson who bought the Craigbalk estate in County Tyrone in 1617 and built Drum Manor, or Manor Richardson as it was also known. Alexander married  Grizel Stewart, sister of James Stewart of Ballymenagh, County Tyrone.

The Richardson Baronetcy of Augher in the County of Tyrone was created on 30 August 1787 for St George and Elizabeth’s son Sir William Richardson (c. 1750-1830). He ‘served with distinguished honor in the first American war,’ after which he was MP for Augher (1783-1790) and Ballyshannon (1798-1801), as well as High Sheriff of Tyrone in 1789. [28]

Sir William was married twice: firstly, to Mary, widow of Carey Hamilton, and daughter and coheir of William Newburgh, of Balyhaise, co. Cavan and secondly to Eliza Richardson.

Sir William died at Bath in 1830. He was succeeded as 2nd Baronet by his only son Sir James Mervyn Richardson (1781-1851), who was living at Castle-Hill, near Augher, when his father died. [29] Sir James changed the name to Richardson-Bunbury by Royal Licence in honour of his grandmother. In 1832, he restored and extended Augher Castle, which had been burned in 1689. The castle would one day become home to Alannah Finlay, a friend of my sister-in-law, Liz Cairns.

Sir James’s wife Lady Richardson-Bunbury emigrated to Western Australia, along with her sons William  and Alfred, and her eldest daughter Diana. By coincidence they settled in the district bearing the same name as that of their family, Bunbury, it having been called after Lieutenant H. W. Bunbury, who in 1836 explored the country between the Dale and Williams rivers. William Richardson-Bunbury (1817-1877), settled in removed to Beechlands, Vasse, was ancestor to, amongst others, the geologist Dr Judith Bunbury, Senior Tutor at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, and Teaching Associate in Earth Sciences.  Sir William was the rector at Avoca, Tasmania. His older sister Diana Richardson-Bunbury (1811-1898) lived in Picton, near Bunbury, and was described as ‘one of the most respected colonists in Western Australia’ in her obituary in the West Australian, 7 October 1898, p 2:

‘Upwards of 70 years of age at the time of her death, she had spent the greater part of her life in the colony, and, till the infirmities of age came upon her, devoted herself to works of charity and benevolence, giving largely of her means and energies to all in need of assistance. She was also a devoted adherent of the Church of England, to which she gave liberally … Of late years Miss Bunbury lived in comparative seclusion, occasioned chiefly by the infirmity of deafness, from which she was a great sufferer. Her favourite recreation had always been the study of botany, and no greater admirer of Western Australian wild flowers ever lived. Indeed she possessed one of the most perfect, if not actually the most perfect, of collections in the colony, and to her knowledge of Western Australian flora, the late Baron Von Mueller, with whom she corresponded, was indebted in no small degree.’

Olive Forrest (née Richardson Bunbury). With thanks to Gillian Close.

Upon his death in 1851, Sir James was succeeded by his older son, the Rev. Sir John Richardson-Bunbury, 3rd Baronet (1813–1909), who married Maria Anketell. They were the parents of Sir Mervyn William Richardson-Bunbury, 4th Baronet (1874–1952) and Olivia Forrest. [30] In 1891, Olivia – known as Olive – married Colonel George Atherley William Forrest (1846-1904) of the Hampshire Regiment. Born in Coventry on 20 October 1846, Colonel Forrest was the son of Captian John Henry Forrest, chief constable of Hampshire, and his wife Selina (néee Atherley). He became Commandant of Duke of York’s Royal Military School, Chelsea. Colonel Forrest died in Christchurch Place, Hampshire, in 1904, aged 57. His widow later lived at Catherine Place, Bath, and died in a Bath nursing home on 27 July 1939. Their eldest son Evelyn Arthur Atherley Forrest (1892-1915) was born in Bath on 4 January 1892 and educated at Horris Hill Preparatory School, Newbury, Berkshire, and Sherborne School (1904-1910, becoming Head of School in 1909, playing on the 1st XV Rugby team (1908-1909) and winning the Mathematics medal (1909, 1910). He took part in the 1905 Sherborne Pageant. (See here) After school, he attended Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and was an exhibitioner. During the Great War he served as a Lieutenant in the Gloucestershire Regiment, 11th (S.) Bn. He fought in Gallipoli but died of blood poisoning in Malta on 9 December 1915. [i] Mrs Forrest donated £10 towards the Sherborne School War Memorial in his memory. His brother Leslie Bunbury Lousaine Forrest (1893-1960) emigrated to Australia and was working as a miner in the outback town of Miles when the war broke out. He enlisted as a Trooper in the 2nd Australian Light Horse on 24 November 1914 and he went on to serve in the Gallipoli campaign also. In 1918 he married Kathleen May Ashman, the daughter of daughter of George Ashman, a Suffolk saddle maker, and his wife Fanny Sarah A (née Bowsher). On demobilisation, he settled with her in Berkshire and died on 9 February 1960. [i] He is commemorated at Pieta Military Cemetery, D. XII. 6,%20E%

The baronetcy survived through Sir Michael Richardson-Bunbury, 5th Baronet (1927–2017) to Sir Thomas William Richardson-Bunbury, 6th Baronet (born 1965), aka Tom Bunbury, Headmaster of Papplewick School in Ascot. Tom’s son Harry William Richardson-Bunbury (born 2002) is the heir apparent.

Lady Richardson Bunbury, née Maria Anketell. With thanks to Gillian Close.


Rev. Sir John Richardson Bunbury. With thanks to Gillian Close.




Lamberton Park in County Laois, as painted by the Countess of Meeus. As Lady Tydd, Diana Bunbury lived here for several decades during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. With thanks to Daniel Byrne-Rothwell.

Benjamin and Mary’s daughter Diana Bunbury was godmother to Augusta Lane, presumed to be a daughter of her sister Anne.  In May 1772, she married Sir John Tydd, Bart, of Lamberton Park in the parish of Dysart Enos near Maryborough (ie: Portlaoise), County Laois.

Sir John, a close friend of Sir John Parnell and Henry Grattan, who represented numerous constituencies in the Irish Parliament during the 1780s and 1790s. He was created a baronet on 24 July 1795 and died without heir in 1803 or 1805. He apparently adored Lamberton so much that when he was wheeled through the grounds in a bathchair shortly before his demise, he lamented, “Oh, Lamberton, Lamberton, must I leave you?” He was buried in St. Anne’s, Dublin. Sir John left Lamberton Park to his widow, Diana, for her lifetime and then to his cousin, Judge Moore of Moore Valley House. [31] Diana was still resident at Lamberton Park when a robbery too place on 17 September 1805 as The Times reported on as follows:

‘A most daring robbery was lately committed at Lamberton, in the Queen’s County, Ireland, the seat of Lady Tydd. The robbers (three or four in number) having entered Lady Tydd’s bed chamber window by means of a ladder, about one o’clock in the morning, compelled her Ladyship to conduct them to an apartment in a distant part of the house, which they rifled of cash and bank notes, to the amount of £200 and upwards.’

Sometime after this raid, and almost certainly because of it, she moved to Rivers Street in Bath where she died on 22 October 1821.


Lieutenant Matthew Bunbury (1702- 1766)


Mathew of Kilfeacle, who died in 1733, had a second son, also called Mathew, who was probably born in about 1702. He became an Ensign in Sutton’s Regiment (later The Green Howards) in 1720 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1733, six years after his commission was renewed. [32] On 22 April 1743, he was invalided out as unfit for further service with the 19th Foot.

He may have lived at Garranacarty, County Tipperary, and died aged 64 in 1766. If this is the case, he was probably the father of Major Abraham Bunbury and great-grandfather of Field Marshal Lord Roberts. And if that is the case, then his wife was called Elizabeth and he also had two daughters, Ann and Harriet. The late Peter Bunbury (1928-2015) postulated the following:

“It is feasible that this Matthew married an Elizabeth? after leaving the Army and fathered Ann, Abraham and Harriet Bunbury and could have died in 1766 and have been living at Garranacanty, Co. Tipperary, Ann as the eldest could well have been born abt 1745, Abraham abt 1748, and Harriet 1750. This would fit with Abraham being an Ensign in 1769 in the 62nd Foot and his younger sister marrying William Cooke (see below).’


Major Abraham Bunbury, 62nd Regiment (1748-1799)


Abraham Bunbury’s signature from a regimental paylist dated Bradford, England, 20 February 1783

Abraham Bunbury was a son of a Matthew Bunbury of Garranacanty, who died before 1769, and his wife Elizabeth Bunbury, of Cork. [33] He appears to have been born at Kilfeacle in 1748. Abraham’s father died sometime before 5 June 1769 when he, Abraham, granted his widowed mother an annuity of £50 in exchange for her renouncing all claims to her late husband’s estates. He also granted £15 annuities to Ann and Harriet Bunbury, his elder and younger sister respectively. [34]

Perhaps, as Peter Bunbury suggest, he knew his military career might be precarious and, as the head of the family, he was simply making provisions for his dependents. On 31 December 1769, six months after making those grants, he was commissioned an Ensign. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 17 September 1773 and to Captain on 21 December 1775.

In late April 1776, his younger sister Harriet was married in Cashel to William Cooke, of Poyntstown, Esq. [35]

Meanwhile, in North America, Captain Abraham Bunbury commanded a battalion company of the 62nd Regiment (later Royal Gloucesters) during the entirety of the Northern Campaign of 1777, including the ferocious Battle of Freeman’s Farm on 19 September 1777, in which he was wounded. [36] He surrendered with the rest of Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne’s army at Saratoga on 17 October 1777, and he remained with the regiment during its period of captivity. He was one of the three officers who signed the parole application at Cambridge after the capture of General Burgoyne in May 1778, but the Patriots were in no great hurry to grant it.

Upon the exchange and promotion (into another regiment) of light infantry company Captain Alexander Campbell in 1778, Captain Bunbury assumed command of that elite flank company and remained as such through the rest of the war. He had re-joined the repatriated regiment in England by August 1781. His signature from a regimental pay-list dated Bradford, England, 20 February 1783 can be seen here.

This is believed to Anna Maria Bunbury (1793-1875), fourth daughter of Abraham Bunbury and Christine Innes who was married in 1820 to Arnold Hill Thompson and later, circa 1835, to Frederick Bolton Kennedy. See further details in footnotes. (Photo courtesy of Peter Bunbury).

Miss Christy Innes (1761-1847) who married Major Abraham Bunbury in 1784. She was grandmother to Field Marshal Lord Roberts.

On 21 June 1784, he was married in St Nicholas, Aberdeen, to Christine ‘Christy’ Innes, daughter of Alexander Innes, of Cathlaw. [37] They had the following children of whom more extensive details can be found in the footnotes below:

  • Christian [Christine?] Eliza Bunbury [38] (born in Torphichen, West Lothian, 7.4.1786)
  • Harriot Bunbury [39] (born in Edinburgh, 25.5.1787, married John Taylor, died 1841).
  • Major Mathew Alexander Bunbury [40](born Edinburgh, 29.4.1791, married Isabella Brady).
  • Margaret Isabella Bunbury [41] (Matthew’s twin, born 29.4.1791. married in 1821 to the Rev. Edward Litchford.
  • Anna Maria Bunbury(1793-1875) (pictured, born in Edinburgh, 8.8.1793; christened in Saint Cuthbert’s, Edinburgh, married Arnold Thompson and, later, Frederick Bolton Kennedy). [42]
  • Abraham Bunbury [43] (born in Edinburgh, 25.12.1796).
  • Isabella Bunbury, mother of Field Marshall Lord Roberts, born in Edinburgh, 23.1.1799; m. (1) Major George Maxwell and (2) Sir Abraham Roberts, d. 1882, Hampton Court, Palace). [44] In 1901, Lord Roberts was created ‘Viscount St Pierre’, recalling the old Norman title of his mother’s clan. [45]

Captain Abraham Bunbury retired from the army on 27 February 1788. Little is known of his later years save that, in 1795, he became one of the subscribers to ‘A New Plan for Speedily Increasing the Number of Bee-hives in Scotland’ by James Bonner. He was also a patron of Bonner’s aptly named 1796 sequel, ‘Treatise on the Natural History and Management of Bees’. He died in Edinburgh on 1 September 1799. [46]


Isabella (née Bunbury), Lady Roberts, the Edinburgh-born daughter of Abraham Bunbury and mother of the Field Marshal Lord Roberts; former wife of Hamilton Maxwell, and later wife of Sir Abraham Roberts. She died in 1882.


Field Marshal Lord Frederick Sleigh Roberts was born at Cawnpore, West Bengal, on 30 September 1832. This ‘most impressive officer’ won a host of medals, accolades, titles, and the Victoria Cross for ability, bravery, and gallantry during the course of his life. His successes earned him many top commands, including the position of commander-in-chief in India (1885-1893), commander-in-chief in Ireland (1895-1899), and the last commander-in-chief of the Forces (1900-1904). He was also president of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland from 1898 to 1902. He died on 14 November 1914, St Omer, France, whilst visiting the Indian Corps.


Zoo council members inspecting the new lion house at Dublin House, aka the Roberts House, with Christopher Flood, lion keeper, 1902.


The Roberts House, the oldest animal house in Dublin Zoo, opened as a lion house in 1902. It was named in honour of Field Marshal Lord Frederick Roberts, president of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland from 1898 to 1902. Photo: Sunday 23 July 2023.


Thomas Bunbury (c.1705-1772) of Shronell


Thomas Bunbury, the fourth son of Mathew Bunbury of Kilfeacle and his wife Anne Blount, lived at Shronell, a civil parish and townland near the villages of Lattin and Emly in County Tipperary. He was also the direct ancestor of Benjamin Bunbury of Belmont, County Waterford, and of the late Peter Bunbury (1928-2015).

In 1731, he married Grace Chadwick, the second of three daughters born to William Chadwick, of Gortnekilleen and Ballinard, by his marriage of October 1713 to Jane, daughter of Rodolphus Greene, of Kilmanahan, Co Waterford. When Grace’s father passed away circa 1750, Grace and her sisters were given £10 each ‘to buy mourning’. This was presumably over and above the dowries they had received upon their respective marriages.

Grace’s eldest brother Richard Chadwick succeeded to the family property at Ballinard although her next oldest brother William, aka ‘Big BillyChadwick may have taken some of it. [47] A third brother Rudolphus Chadwick settled in Cork, became a merchant and, in 1739, married Prudence Healy of the parish of St. Mary in Shandon. A fourth brother Michael was a Quarter Master in 1743, married Anna Maria, daughter of William Connor of Clonmel, who survived him; he died between 1752 and 1757. [48]

Grace’s two sisters were Ann Blood (married in 1748 to William Blood, of Roxton, County Clare, some time High Sheriff; she had a marriage portion of £1,000 and an annuity of £100 a year if left a widow) and Catherine Hunt (married Vere Hunt, of Curragh, County Limerick, and had issue one son who died in infancy).

Thomas and Grace settled in Shornell, lands owned by the Damer family had ensured that, by 1766, there were eighty-two Protestant families living in the area. Grace gave Thomas seven children, including at least three sons – Matthew Bunbury of Dungarvan, Captain Benjamin Bunbury and Rev Thomas Bunbury, of whom more anon – and two daughters, Jane (Green) and Elizabeth (Thornhill).

This is speculative (and based on a second Travers link to the family, see below) but Thomas and Grace may also have been parents of the Margaret Bunbury who was married on 27 December 1758 to Boyle Travers of Belvedere, County Cork. Boyle Travers was elected Mayor of Cork in July 1764 but died on 5 April 1765. [49] Margaret survived him until her death in October 1807, leaving two sons, Captain John Travers and Boyle Travers, and a daughter, Harriet. [50]

Another possible child of Thomas and Grace was another Grace Bunbury (ca 1748-1826), who married Dr Denis O’Dwyer, surgeon in the Antrim Militia, and died on 2 June 1826, aged 78. She was buried in Clonoulty Old Graveyard, Co Tipperary, with a headstone erected by her son Thomas O’Dwyer MD, who went to the US. Her other children included Alicia Ismena who married Thomas Hogg, a surgeon in the 76th regiment, in Edinburgh. I don’t have any definitive evidence of who this Grace Bunbury was, or how she connects, but this extract refers to ‘Dr. Thomas O’Dwyer, a native of Ireland’ as ‘a nephew of Dr. John Bryan Bunbury , one of the founding fathers of …” [51] But what was he a founding father of!!? Masonry perhaps? (Try here)

Thomas of Shronell’s will was drawn up and dated 9 January 1772, two days before he died.  His house was put up for rent soon afterwards as advertised in the Limerick Chronicle of 23 January 1772:

‘To be set (sic) the large house in the town of Tipperary wherein Thomas Bunbury Esq: deceased lived —– proposals to the Revnd Mr Thomas Bunbury his executor’.


Matthew Bunbury of Dungarvan


Thomas and Grace’s eldest son Mathew was still around in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford in 1773 as Dublin Deeds indicate. He may have been the Matthew Bunbury listed as an Ensign in the 43rd Regiment of Foot, as of 4 Sept 1754. [52] He may also have been the ‘Matthew Bunbury Esq’ who was commissioned ‘Captain of a company in the 2nd Battalion of Lord Forbes 76th regiment of Foot’ in 1759, or perhaps this was Matthew of Kilfeacle’s second son? [53]


Captain Benjamin Bunbury (c.1731-1791) of Mount William


A depiction of an Irish cavalrymen from the 17th Regiment of Light Dragoons during  the American Revolution, 1775-1783.

Thomas and Grace’s second son Benjamin Bunbury of Mount William was born circa 1731. He served with the 3rd Light Dragoons as a young man but on 30 June 1766, having attained the rank of lieutenant, seems to have transferred to the 17th Regiment of Horse as a cornet, serving with them in Ireland in 1773. [54] In October 1772, he inherited £1000 on the death of his aunt Mary Bunbury (née Kelly), enabling him to secure a promotion from the rank of cornet to lieutenant in the 18th Dragoons the following week. [55]

On 12 March 1774, he married Jane Hall, daughter of Ralph Hall of Ballyhall and Crottobeg, with whom he had five children. [56] The following year, Tipperary society was greatly shaken by the murder of Ambrose Power, landlord and magistrate, during an assault on his house by Whiteboy supporters. Ambrose Power’s brother Richard, a Baron, had heard some Whiteboy trials in Clonmel while Ambrose himself arrested William Mackey, a Whiteboy from Fethard. [57] Over 60 of the county’s leading figures subsequently pledged their lives and fortunes to the suppression of Whiteboyism. A revised and extended Whiteboy Act was passed, increasing the power of local magistrates and adding to the list of those felonies for which the death penalty could be administered.

By May 1776, several Volunteer groups had been formed, including one under Captain Benjamin Bunbury and one under Sir Cornwallis Maude (a staunch government supporter, who succeeded his brother to become Baron de Montalt in 1777 and was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Hawarden in 1793). In July 1776, Peter Holmes founded another corps at Nenagh, while John Carden founded one at Templemore. By the end of the year there were 28 corps in the county.

The 17th Dragoons were sent to America and the late family historian Peter Bunbury (who descended from this line) had a record of Benjamin Bunbury being in Boston, Mass, on 5 January 1776; on Staten Island by 9 August of the same year. and in Philadelphia on 7 February 1778 by which time he was a Lieutenant in the 11th Dragoons. However, the Freeman’s Journal of 2-4 Sept 1779 records:

‘Capt Bunbury of the troop of light dragoons of the Tipperary Volunteers escorted 640 French prisoners enroute from Kinsale to Dublin.’

Is this the same Captain Bunbury!?

Ralph Hall died in 1781, leaving the fee simple to his lands at Ballyhall and Crottobeg to his daughter, Jane Bunbury. As he lay dying at Mount William a decade later, Jane promised her husband Benjamin that she would leave these lands to their second son, Ralph, subject to a rent charge of £100. This property was to become the subject of a complex legal dispute in 1844. Captain Benjamin Bunbury died on 18 June 1791. Jane survived him until July 1842.

Also of note, the Freeman’s Journal of 10-12 Jan 1782 records a message from Dublin Castle dated Jan 9 1782: ‘3rd Regiment [of Horse?] Lieutenant Jeremiah Smith to be Captain, vice Bunbury resigned.’

Captain Benjamin Bunbury and his wife Jane (née Hall) had five children, viz:

  1. Captain Benjamin Bunbury (1772-1855), see below.
  2. Death of Lieutenant Ralph Bunbury 2nd Bn 95th Rifles at Obidos August 1808. He was the first British officer to be killed in the Peninsular War. I think this is by James Dann but would love to hear more or see a better version of the picture.  A painter of Napoleonic military scenes, Dann’s illustrations can be seen in the 4-volume “Rifle Green in The Peninsula”. 
    (Courtesy of Peter Power-Hynes)

    Ralph Bunbury, who is said to have been prone to extravagance, may have been the Ralph Bunbury who entered Kilkenny College in 1793. As a lieutenant, he had the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first British officer to be killed in the Peninsula War. He fell at Óbidos, Portugal on 15 August 1808, along with two other men killed in a skirmish with French cavalry; Captain Pakenham and six men were wounded. (See painting by James Dann opposite). In Sir Arthur Wellesley’s opinion, his blood was spilt unnecessarily; the future Duke of Wellington wrote to Lord Castlereagh stating: “The affair was unpleasant because it was quite useless and was occasioned solely by the imprudence of the officer and the dash and eagerness of the men; they behaved remarkably well, and did some execution with their rifles.’ [58]

  3. Jane Bunbury (1779-1846), was born at Mount William and married in 1799 to Major Charles Madden JP (1774-1845), 44th Regt., son of Samuel Madden and Cassandra Travers. Charles, who served as was Mayor of Kilkenny, was a son of Samuel Madden and actually descended from the Rev. John Madden, Rev Samuel’s brother. Charles and Jane had a large family between 1800 and 1819, of whom only Samuel Madden (1802-1880) married and had a family. In 2021, it was suggested that Major Charles Madden had a son, possibly natural, named Henry St. John Madden (1810-1873). The boys’ mother was named as Ida Ellena Ormond Butler and is said to have been born in Kilkenny in around 1788. I could find no record of Ida Ellena. In the 1830s, Henry St. John Madden was convicted of larceny while working as a baker in Guernsey and transported to Australia. Another possible ancestor for Henry was Arundel Madden, 6th son of previously mentioned Rev John Madden, whose third son Henry (c.1770-1848), 7th Regt, and his wife Lucy had a son Henry, of whom there is no further detail.
  4. Kilfeacle records of Judith Bunbury and Hans Allen above are here and this tallies with the above oil painting of Judith Bunbury, which Pat Murray kindly alerted me to.

    Judith Bunbury was born in Ireland in about 1785 and married in July 1804 to Colonel Hans Allen, with whom she had twins, Hause and Jane, and a younger daughter Harriett.
    Born in Ireland in about 1782, Hans Allen served in the Royal Irish Artillery. On 1 April 1828, Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Hans Allen of the 1st Regiment of Dragoons retired on full pay to be Paymaster of the Royal Irish Artillery. On 10 January 1837, the War Office promoted him from Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel. At the time of the 1841 census, the 59-year-old was living in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. He died on 22 April 1846, aged about 64, and was buried at St. Philip and St. James Church, Leckhampton, Cheltenham.
    Judith died on 9 December 1861 in Montpellier Terrace, Cheltenham. [59]

  5. Elizabeth (Eliza) Bunbury, who came of age on 28 March 1807 and married Captain Owen Thomas Lloyd, son of the Rev. Thomas Lloyd, on 4 April 1807, after what sounds like a dramatic day. (See here, page 643). Their son Thomas Lloyd laid claim to the lands at Ballyhall and Crottobeg in 1842. [60]



Captain Benjamin Bunbury (1772-1855) of Johnstown, County Kilkenny


Captain Benjamin Bunbury, of Johnstown, County Kilkenny, was born in 1772, before his father went to America for military duties. In 1798, he married his first cousin, Emily Bunbury, daughter of Rev Thomas Bunbury, rector of Ightermurrogh. I think he was the father of Benjamin Bunbury II of Noremount, see below.

Re: Benjamin Bunbury of Noremount, New South Wales Government Gazette, 26 Mar 1886.

On 12 May 1815, Benjamin Bunbury ‘of Kilkenny City’ renewed the age old lease on the c. 50 acres at Laffany, Co. Tipperary, with Walter, Earl of Ormonde. [61]

On Saturday, May 20, 1843, the Tuam Herald reported that ‘the tenantry on the Benbury [sic] estate between Thomastown and Tipperary, and containing 1,800 acres, have received an abatement of 20% through the recommendation of the agent, Captain Benbury [sic], of Kilkenny.’

Captain Bunbury was also closely involved with a house on Patrick Street, Kilkenny, that was tied up with the Madden family in 1848:

TO BE LET, OR THE INTEREST SOLD, THE HOUSE and PREMISES in PATRICK STREET, lately occupied by the Rev. Samuel Madden. The House is modern, and contains Parlour, and Drawing-room, Seven Bed-rooms, Large House Closet, Kitchen, Cellars, &c. There is excellent Garden at the rere, with Coach House, Stables, &c., &c., and a Site for building. Also, TO BE SOLD, the Interest in the House in Patrick-street, now occupied by Mr T. E. Murphy, Surgeon Dentist. Application to be made to Captain Bunbury, Patrick-street, Kilkenny, Rev. Samuel Madden, Attanna, Durrow. [62]

Benjamin was again recorded as a resident of Patrick Street, Kilkenny, on 5 July 1854, when he attended a meeting of the Kilkenny and South East Archaeological Society at their apartments, also on Patrick Street. As it happens, I lived at No. 8 Patrick Street for a year or so, circa 2000-2001. He died in August 1855. [63]

In April 1842, Benjamin’s only daughter Jane Diana Bunbury was married in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, to William Francis Butler (1814-1906) of Wilton, a Gray’s Inn barrister and son of John Butler (of Belleville, County Kilkenny) and his wife Catherine Butler (of the Templemore Butlers). Her father was recorded as Captain Bunbury of the Kilkenny Militia. [64] John Butler had inherited Wilton House, Urlingford, County Kilkenny, from an uncle sometime prior to 1822. William’s sister Jane Butler was married on 7 February 1839 to the Rev. Edward Walsh (who died in 1863) of Moneymore, County Londonderry. The Walsh’s ran a school that taught science, classics and other subjects to British boys at No. 6 Rue Bernadotte, Pau, in the French Pyrenees, which was still going in 1856. Among their young Irish students was Tankerville Chamberlaine (later Chamberlayne) who went on to a military and colonial service career, as well being as an amateur antiquarian and mediaevalist – his mother Margaret was the daughter of Archdeacon Crinus Irwin of Ossory, who lived in Kilfane. William Francis Butler and his wife Jane (née Bunbury) lived at Wilton, where they had two sons and five daughters between 1843 and 1855, including the surgeon Dr John Butler (1843-1885) of Kilkenny, father of Clara Archer Butler and great-great grandfather to Jody Johnstone who contacted me in January 2021. Wilton was demolished in the 1960s or 1970s by the farmer who took on the land.


Benjamin Bunbury II (1800-1872) of Noremount & Johnstown


Benjamin Bunbury II was born in 1800 and was, I think, the son of Captain Benjamin Bunbury and his wife Emily. He would have been 21 years old when, on 18 November 1821, seventeen people burned to death in a house in Tubber, Co Tipperary, probably started by ‘Rockite’ agitators.

On January 24, 1827,  ‘Benjamin Bunbury of Johnstown, County Kilkenny’ was married at Banshaw Church (Bansha), Co. Tipperary, to Elizabeth Baker, only daughter of the late Richard Baker of Ballydavid, Co. Tipperaary. The Rev. B. H. Benner officiated. [65]

Major Ralph Hall Bunbury, in hunting dress. (Geary of Kilkenny).

Given the Johnstown connection, he is assumed to have been the Captain Benjamin Bunbury who inherited lands in Counties Kilkenny and Tipperary via Maria Doran (or her husband Patrick?), including Croghtabeg, aka “the house and lands of Littlefield”, near Ballaghtobin, County Kilkenny. As such, he appears in an extraordinary case that came before the courts in 1878 in relation to the will of one Edward Cook:-

At the Tipperary (South Riding) Assizes, two men named Benjamin Bunbury and Ralph Hall Bunbury sued Patrick Doran and his wife for the possession of a farm of nearly 200 acres. It appeared that a Mr Edward Cooke, who owned extensive estates in the county of Tipperary, had, at his death, in 1859, left the farm at Littlefield (the subject of dispute) to Patrick and Mary Doran, who had been his faithful Steward and housekeeper for many years.
The words of the will were, that he “between the house and lands of Littlefield to Patrick Doran and his wife until he” (the legatee) “could live there and enjoy it himself.” The Rev. Mr Feehan, parish priest of Galbally, was called as a witness, and said he was intimately acquainted with Mr Cooke, who entertained and implicit belief in the millennium, and earnestly intended, when that period arrived, to come back to his farm, and hunt and shoot at Littlefield as of old.
Baron Fitzgerald, on hearing the evidence as to the facts, at once directed the jury to find a verdict for the defendants.’

There was a curious case before the Court of Exchequer Chamber on Monday. It was an appeal from a judgment of the Court of Exchequer. The question turned on the construction of the will of one Edward Cooke. The action was one of ejectment on title brought by the plaintiffs, who claimed under the will the right to evict a devisee of the lands of Littlefield, Tipperary, given by the said will to the defendants, thus: “I give and bequeath to my steward, Patrick Doran, £50, and the same to Maria Doran” and also the “house and lands of Littlefield, until I am able to live there and enjoy it myself.” The testator then added: “I give and bequeath my property in the county of Tipperary and county Kilkenny to Captain Benjamin Bunbury,” through whom the testator now claimed.
The case was tried before Mr Baron Fitzgerald in the summer assizes of 1878 for the South Riding of the county of Tipperary, when it was contended on behalf of the plaintiffs that the devise of the lands of Littlefield was altogether void of uncertainty, and that consequently the plaintiff took the estate under the latter clause of the will; while on behalf of the defendants it was contended the only portion of the clause that was insensible were the words, “Until I am able to live there and enjoy it myself;” and that that insensible clause being subsequent to the words which vested the estate in the defendants, the devise could not be disturbed by subsequent unintelligible words.
Evidence was also offered at the trial to show that the words may not have been insensible, in as much as the testator was a firm believer in the millennium, and that his meaning in using these words was to give the defendants an estate until the testator would come back to earth with Christ and His saints during the millennium, when, he said he intended to occupy the place in question. The judges have ruled that the words, even taking them to be insensible, do not perfect or cut down the previously created estate.’ [66]

Benjamin Bunbury II later lived at Noremount on the east bank of the River Nore, towards Friars Inch, Bleach Road, Kilkenny. He and his wife Elizabeth had five children, the eldest of whom was Benjamin Bunbury III who moved to Sydney, Australia, in 1852. It is thought that Benjamin left most of his estate son to his second son Major Ralph Hall Bunbury who subsequently purchased Lismacue in Bansha, County Tipperary.

Benjamin II died at Noremount in 1872. Noremount was purchased by Richard Langrishe in 1874 although Major Bunbury was still sufficiently involved to establish his stud at Noremount in the 1880s. Noremount was subsequently home to the writer and historian Tom Lyng.


Annual Silver Medal awarded by Kilkenny College to Benjamin Bunbury in 1841. The reverse shows Minerva seated left holding a wreath, with an owl at her feet and the initials WB engraved in exergue. I note that a Benjamin Bunbury obtained an Honour in Science from Kilkenny College in 1848, but that is presumably a different fellow?



Benjamin Bunbury III (1827-1884)


Benjamin Patrick Edward Cooke Bunbury, North Tipperary Militia, c. 1875.
( J. Pender, Waterford)

Insignia of the North Tipperary Militia, 1860s.

Benjamin Bunbury III (1827-1884), the great-grandfather of the late Peter Bunbury, was the eldest son of Benjamin Bunbury II and his wife Elizabeth. Born on 18 December 1827, he is thought to be the recipient of an Annual Silver Medal awarded by Kilkenny College to a Benjamin Bunbury in 1841. There was also a Benjamin Bunbury who obtained an Honour in Science from Kilkenny College in 1848. Was this the same fellow?

He married Augusta Susan Nunn in 1852 in Dublin and then had a 4½ month honeymoon on a 476-ton barque arriving Sydney in July 1852. After a stint with the water police, Benjamin was appointed clerk of the court of N.S.W. Benjamin and Augusta’s four children were born in Sydney and Peter’s grandfather George Henry Bunbury was the youngest, born in 1860. Benjamin and Augusta other children included Benjamin Cooke Bunbury and Frances Josephine Bunbury. He  died on 28 August 1884. This may be his photograph.

On 20 November 1872, Benjamin Patrick Edward Cooke Bunbury, Gentleman, became a sub-lieutenant in the 2nd or North Tipperary Light Infantry Militia. [67] This militia has been established, along with the South Tipperary Artillery Militia, shortly after the reorganization of the militia via “The Militia Act Ireland 1854” to augment the artillery. Its uniform was scarlet with green facings. On 12 May 1875, he was promoted to lieutenant. Five years later, he became a captain.

George Henry Bunbury was born in Sydney on 21 August 1860 and died in the UK on 26 February 1926. They seem to have returned to Ireland, if George Henry Bunbury really was born in Sydney, as there are photographs of him as a young boy, with his mother, taken by Geary Brothers of Patrick Street, Kilkenny, in about 1864. See here to view the photos. [68]

By his London-born wife, Harriet Eliza Randall (1864-1929), G. H. Bunbury had five children. Among these were Cecil St Pierre Bunbury and Valerie Ammie D Bunbury (1900-1955) who were both born in Richmond, Surrey. Valerie was the mother of Peter Bunbury, below.

In 1932, Cecil St Pierre Bunbury married Lily Ling, with whom he had two sons, the late Jolyon, and Nicolas. By his second marriage, Nicolas is father to Nancy Bunbury, Director of Research and Conservation at the Seychelles Islands Foundation, and her brother. They knew Lily as ‘Nanny Loo.’ However, Cecil then divorced Lily to marry Iris Wright, a ‘much younger’ lady, with whom he had a daughter Tania (Pollington). Cecil’s divorce caused a fall out with his two sisters and his younger brother.


The late Peter Bunbury and his wife Linda with Ken Baker in Sydney, October 2005.


Peter Bunbury (1928-2015)


Born in Norwich, England on 2 September 1928, Ralph Peter George Bunbury-Murray was the only son of Valerie Ammie Bunbury. She was was married firstly to Angus Culley in 1928, with whom she had a daughter Valerie D. Lenare Culley (b. 1931, married Colin Thompson and had two sons). She then married Harry Murray, with whom she had a daughter Juliet.

Peter served in the British Army in Germany. On being “demobbed”, he sought a job in the Far East. He arrived in Sandakan in Borneo on 1 September 1949, employed on a 4 year contract with the British Borneo Timber Company. He left Borneo some 33 years later, having become their General Manager. He later did a stint with the Bowater Company in Sumatra and then back to Sabah with Inchcape and the Kuwaiti royals.

In 1955, having spent five years as logging engineer in north Borneo, Peter came home on six months’ leave. A friend of the family introduced him to a student nurse at the County Hospital at Redhill (Surrey) – Susan Elizabeth Brunger, the second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William V. Brunger, of Valley Cottage, Horham. Until shortly before she met Peter, her family had lived for nearly twenty years at Goldbrook, Hoxne, and her father, who was chairman of the Parish Council, and a former president of the British Legion, represented the village Hartismere Rural District Council for a number of years.

Peter and Susan were married at St Mary’s Church, Horham, on 1 May 1955. According to the Diss Express of 6 May 1955

‘The Rector (Canon C. S. Scott) performed the ceremony and Mrs. B. J. Chapman was the organist for a fully-choral service which included the hymns O Perfect Love and The Lord’s My Shepherd (Brother James’ Air). The bride, given away by her father, wore a full-length gown of white figured brocade with a train, a veil and a coronet of orange blossom. Her bouquet was of red roses, maiden-hair fern and white heather. Her younger sister. Miss Ann Brunger. attended her, and she wore a full-length dress of pale blue grosgraln taffeta, with a white floral head-dress, and carried bouquet of pink carnations and fern. The best man was Mr. Ralph Bunbury, uncle of the bridegroom. There was a reception at the Village Hall, Horham, and afterwards the couple left to spend honeymoon on the Sussex coast. Today (Friday) the couple fly back to Borneo that the bridegroom can resume working for the British Borneo Timber Company.’

Peter’s mother Valerie died at her home at Lismacue, Wonersh, Guildford, on 4 June 1955, a month after Peter’s wedding.

‘I am slightly deaf,’ he once wrote, ‘as one ear was damaged at the closing party of Segama Estate near Lahad Datu, the Imperial Tobacco Company’s cigar wrapper leaf plantation. Some clown let off a fire cracker alongside my head whilst I was observing the sunrise, result a broken eardrum, which thankfully healed but is still defective. I spent most of my time in the timber camps, and it took me more than 20 years to get an invite to the Sandakan Residency, so the scuttlebutt passed me by in the main.’

Having selected Australia for his daughter’s education, Peter retired to Sydney in the early 1980s and became an Australian citizen. He later married a woman by name of Linda. In the early 1990s he was surprised to discover his grandfather was born in Sydney, and from there on he tried to find out as much as he could about the Irish and English Bunburys and any family that may have married into the Bunbury’s. He was an immense help to me in my research over the years. Peter passed away in Sydney aged 87 on 9 December 2015.


Major Bunbury & The Noremount Stud Sale, 1898


In February 1885, Major Ralph Hall Bunbury’s Mohican aged 11 competed in the Grand National. This painting of the hose is by George Paice and was painted in 1887. Mohican was a successful racehorse during the 1880s. Major Bunbury married the widow of Hugh Baker of Lismacue House, Bansha, County Tipperary. There was a dispersal of his bloodstock from Lismacue after his death. (Photo: Peter Bunbury via Maximilian Baron von Koskull)

After his death, Major Ralph Hall Bunbury’s extensive stud of 53 horses was put up for sale. [69] The sale took place at Lismacue, near Bansha, County Tipperary, and began at midday on Friday 6 May 1898. It was hosted by William B. Fitt, auctioneer, of 46 George St., Limerick, who advertised it as a “Highly Important & Unreserved Auction of Thoro’-bred Horses, consisting of the Stud of the late Major Bunbury.’

Lismacue, the catalogue noted, was just a five-minute stroll from the railway station, 4 miles from Tipperary and 6 miles from Limerick Junction. The sale came the day after the Old Fair of Clonmel, and just before the Cashel Races. According to the blurb on the sales catalogue:

“The late Major Bunbury established the Stud now to be sold about 16 years ago [ie: 1882] at Noremount, County Kilkenny. A glance at the breeding will at once show that he made his selections from the stoutest blood of that day, blood, too, which has been successful, over the country principally, and also on the flat.
Uncas, on the sires’ side, and, through him, to Stockwell and Touchstone; the mares claiming relationship to Sir Tatton Sykes, Verbena, Caractacus, Macaroni, Valour, Jacobite, Arbitrator, Umpire.
Major Bunbury did not breed on a large scale, but more for pleasure than profit; amongst others, he bred Mohican, Nautch Girl, Thurles, Bohemian Girl, Barbette, Lady Edith, &c.
Thurles, from his breeding, is a promising sire, and, as a stud horse, must prove invaluable. [Added to this in writing is “Sire of Eremon, Winner of the Grand National.”]
The horses in work and training are untried.
Horses purchased can be boxed at Bansha station.” [70]


Rev. Thomas Bunbury, Curate of Castlemartyr


Thomas and Grace’s third son was the Rev Thomas Bunbury, BA. I think he was the Rev. Thomas Bunbury of Lismore, who was admitted a Freeman of Fethard in 1774 and served as Vicar of Whitechurch, 1780-85 and Rector of Outeragh, 1785-93. Was this the same man who was Rector of Ightermurrogh, Co Cork, and vicar of Kilmacdonagh, Kilcredan and Garryvoe on letters patent of 7 August 1784 in place of Southwell. Thomas was licensed to the curacy of Castlemartyr from 20 June 1777 and from 1784 until his death in 1793. [71]

Despite his Christian credentials, I wonder if he and his older brother Benjamin were the ‘Captain’ and ‘Thomas’ Bunbury mentioned in the following anecdote from ‘Bowen’s Court’ & Seven Winters’ by Elizabeth Bowen. [72]

‘In 1770 Richard Chester, a humourless lawyer based in Dublin, wrote to his client Henry Bowen expressing his pleasure at the financial demise of a rival solicitor by name of Bradshaw whose client Mrs Wilson had been taking on the Bowens. ‘There goes a report about this city not to Mr Bradshaw’s advantage. I think it is, that Mr. Lloyd, Captain Bunbury and a Mr. Thomas Bunbury met at his house the other day, that the latter got Drunk and satt down to play and lost £14,000, that he compounded the Debt on paying ten, and passed Mr. Bradshaw’s bond for £1,700, his brother David’s for £ 400, Mr. Lloyd’s own for £700, and other securities to that amount as payment. By these stories and other Enquiries I have found out that Mr. Bradshaw owes between five and £6000 … This I mention to you as a hint to make you more peremptory in demanding a settlement.’

Thomas married Jane Greene by whom he had a son, Matthew Bunbury (born 1779, died 12 August 1786 aged 7, buried Ballyoughtera Churchyard, near Castlemartyr, on 13 September 1799, in same churchyard as Lord Shannon), and two daughters, Emily and Jane.

Born in 1777, Emily married her first cousin, Captain Benjamin Bunbury (the son of Benjamin Bunbury and Jane Hall) by whom she became ancestress of the late Peter R Bunbury. Her younger sister Jane was born in 1778 and married her cousin Rev William Greene (the son of Michael Greene and Jane Bunbury) but died in 1799, two years after her marriage.

See also references to the Rev Thomas Bunbury and Jane Bunbury (née Keane) and John Keane, a minor, and Robert Cooke and Josiah Cooke in Saunders’s News-Letter, 27 June 1774. Is this connected!!?


Jane Bunbury (c. 1740-1817) & Michael Green (1739-1812)


Thomas and Grace’s daughter Jane Bunbury was apparently born at Moyle, County Carlow, in 1740, which once again raises questions over just when did the Bunbury relationship with Moyle commence. Described by Pue’s Occurrences  as ‘a very beautiful young lady with 1500L fortune,’ she was married at Shornell, County Tipperary, in April 1755 to Dungarvan-born Michael Green (1739-1812) of Killnemack, Co. Waterford. [73]

Jane is not mentioned in her father’s will of 1772 but survived him by almost half a century. Michael Green, her husband, died on 1 August 1812. Jane died on 14 April 1817 in Midleton, County Cork. Their daughter Maria Greene married Thomas Bunbury of the Bunbury-Isaac family and this provides an interesting latter day connection between the Kilfeacle and Lisnavagh branches of the family.

Another daughter, Eleanor Greene (1757-1832) was married on 9 July 1784 to a Scotsman, Major Laurence Dundas (1759-1796), 13th Light Dragoons. Major Dundas died at sea on 1 March 1796 while on board HMS Dictator off the coast of Madeira on his way to the West Indies. Their son, also Major Laurence Dundas (1787-1866) was born in Ireland and became a major in the 5th Fusiliers and ADC to the Duke of Wellington. In September 1812, he was married in Dublin to Charlotte Maria (d.1871), daughter of George Slator, of Swiftbrooke, Co. Dublin, with whom he had four sons and two daughters. [74] They lived at Clobemon Hall, Ferns, Co, Wexford. He went on to become a very controversial Chief Magistrate in the Peace Preservation Force, but dismissed in 1828 for making irregular deductions from pay. On 7 May 1828, his clerk, Constable Richard Paige, was also dismissed for being privy to frauds. He later resided at Hollycourt, Careysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, and died in 1866. [75]


[JIM HERLIHLY has a photograph of Laurence Dundas & portraits of his parents.

Laurence Dundas, born in Ireland in 1787]


Elizabeth Thornhill  (c. 1747-1835)


Thomas and Grace’s youngest daughter Elizabeth Bunbury was born in about 1747. As of 3 August 2022, I am awaiting confirmation from Judie Morris on her suggestion that Elizabeth was married in about 1768 to Major James Badham Thornhill (1745-1796).  [76] They had a large family of six sons, including his heir, Richard Badham Thornhill, and four daughters. All the sons had military careers but only one of them seems to have had any further male issue. [77] Elizabeth Thornhill and her mother ‘Mrs Bunbury’ are referenced in a book of Mary Wollstonecraft’s letters, presumably relating to her time as tutor to the children of Lord Mount Cashell. Elizabeth Thornhill lived to be an old woman, passing away in 1835 and was buried at Clenor.


William Bunbury (1707-1776) of Mount William


Matthew Bunbury of Kilfeacle’s fifth son William Bunbury was born in about 1707 and settled at Mount William, a few miles north of Kilfeacle. His wife Diana (?) died in 1759 and was buried in Kilfeacle churchyard.

In his will of 1776, William listed his surviving children as William, Thomas, Mary, Hannah, Ann, and Elizabeth. His eldest son Mathew Bunbury who was born before 1741 had predeceased him in 1771.

He also mentioned his servant Elinor Heffernan, by whom he had a son Joseph Bunbury, his youngest. It’s possible this was the Joseph Bunbury who, born in 1752, enlisted on 14 January  1775, was commissioned as an Ensign in the 49th Foot and promoted to lieutenant on 20 February 1775. [78] This was quite possibly the army officer Joseph Bunbury who played a prominent role in negotiating with American-Indians and surveying lands between Ohio and Montreal in the 1790s. He rose to become Lieutenant Colonel but resigned amid some controversy when, in March 1801, he married the 16-year-old daughter of an unnamed attorney. And yet this Joseph may be a little too old to be William and Elinor’s son, though conceivably they gave a false age when he was commissioned – the King was clamping down hard on commissions for under-16s at this period. Or he might be Joseph Bunbury, the second son of Benjamin Bunbury and Mary Kelly, but this Joseph was born about 1736 so, in 1775 he would be nearly 40 – too old for an Ensign. What riddles! [79]

William died in February 1776. His will was dated 8 April 1772; probate was granted on 28 February 1776. In his will, he requested burial alongside his wife in Kilfeacle churchyard. [80]  In a codicil to his will, dated 9 October 1772, William Bunbury revoked the original legacy of £20 per year bestowed upon his daughter Hannah as she had married an Oliver Smithwick and been paid her fortune. Instead, he left her the sum of 5 shillings. On the other hand, he left his daughter Ann a fortune of £500, to be paid from a bond with Richard Lockwood and John Max, now in the hands of Minchin Carden. He bequeathed her a further £200 from lands and farms at Gaile on condition that if she died before she was married, £400 of her legacy was to go to her sister Elizabeth and £200 to her brother Thomas. His daughter Mary also received a token payment of 5 shillings as she was already married and had received her fortune. His youngest daughter Elizabeth was bequeathed the sum of £600 from lands at Gaile and other effects. (She may well have gone on to marry Richard Lockwood). In order to discharge these debts and legacies, William Bunbury’s farms and land at Ballynagrane were to be sold.

The Religious Census 1766 from Clonbeg, Clanwilliam, County Tipperary, as signed by Reverend Henry Bunbury. Courtesy of Dr Maeve O’ Regan.


The List of Freeholders of the County of Tipperary for the year 1776 refers to three Bunbury clergymen – the Rev Thomas Bunbury of Castle Martyr, Ballydavid, the Rev. Thomas Bunbarry [sic] of Mount William, Bally, and the Rev. Henry Bunbury of Clonbeg.


Kilfeacle in 1837 & 1867


By 1837, Kilfeacle House was the residence of Mrs. Scully. The parish was described by Lewis as ‘in the diocese of Cashel, and is a rectory, forming part of the union of Tipperary: the tithes amount to £369 4s. 7½d. In the Roman Catholic divisions, it forms part of the union or district of Golden, and has a chapel near the Moat. About 80 children are educated in a public and the same number in a private school. There are the remains of castles at Grantstown and Castle Field, also a large Danish moat.’ In 1837, Lewis recorded the population as 2033 inhabitants and valued the land, as applotted under the tithe act, at £7950 per annum. Lewis described the parish as having some land ‘of excellent quality, and good limestone is abundant’. A fair is held on July 10th, chiefly for wool and lambs.

During the ill-fated rising Fenian Rising of 1867, the Fenians at Kilfeakle, Co. Tipperary, were commanded by Fethard-born Thomas Francis Bourke who had emigrated with his family to the US as a child, served in the Confederate Army during the war, become foreman in one of New York’s largest painting firms and was latterly the organiser of the Fenian Brotherhood in Manhattan. His poorly trained force was captured at Ballyhurst Fort near Bansha.

The Scully house (presumed to be the same house where the Bunburys once lived) is now with kinsmen of Rory Dicker, a friend of my late uncle James.



Bunburys in 1911


At the time of the 1911 census, there was a 54-year-old Catholic bachelor farm servant called Daniel Bunbury living on the farm of Thomas Tobin of Templenahurney, Bansha, County Tipperary. Aside from the Lisbryan Bunburys, he is the only other Bunbury recorded in County Tipperary in 1911. The 1901 census does not record Daniel anywhere but has a 60-year-old Catholic boot and shoemaker called William Bunbury living on Blind Street in Tipperary Town.







With thanks to the late Peter Bunbury, Joe Kenny, Michael O’Donnell, Jim Herlihy, Denis Bergin, David Butler, Tom LaPorte, Bob Fitzsimons, Christopher Normand, Tom @bighappyhead, Judith Morris, Joy Hogg of Cadillac, Michigan, Nick Perry, Daniel Byrne-Rothwell, June Dronfield, Lynn Norton, Ida Bunbury, Conan Kennedy, Isabel Cosgrave, Jane Paterson, Don Landy, Katherine Johnstone, John A Whyte, Donald Brady, Paul O’Farrell, Karen Ievers and Eric Schnitzer.




[1] Land, Politics, and Society in Eighteenth-century Tipperary, Thomas P. Power, p. 126.

[2] See Ormonde Papers MS 48,371/55 1715-42, ‘A collection of estate property deeds generated by the Butler family relating to properties in Counties Kilkenny, Tipperary and Carlow, as well as some properties in northern England (1635-c.1940),’ compiled by Owen McGee, 2011.

[3] “The Irish priests in the penal times (1660-1760) [microform] : from the state papers in H. M. Record Offices, Dublin and London, the Bodleian Library, and the British Museum”, Rev. William Burke. (Printed by N. Harvey & Co, 1914).

[4] James Kelly, That Damn’d Thing Called Honour (Cork University Press, 1995), p. 140.

[5] For those interested, Dr David Butler recommends Tom Power’s book, ‘Land, Politics and Society in Eighteenth Century Tipperary,’ for further information, as well as his own book, ‘South Tipperary, 1570-1841: Religion, Land and Rivalry.’

[6] As printed in The Irish Genealogist, Vol. 4, No. 4, Nov. 1971, pp.308-322; Extracts from the Minutes of the Corporation of Fethard, Co. Tipperary (continued) by Rev. W. G. Skehan; p. 319-320. The additional notes in brackets are by the author. With thanks to Tom LaPorte.

Abraham Bunbury of Garrynacanty, Esq. admitted 1774
Benjamin Bunbury, Esq. admitted 1744; sworn 1754
Benjamin Bunbury, the younger, Gent. admitted and sworn 1754 (son of preceding)
Lieut. Benjamin Bunbury, Light Dragoons admitted 1774
George Bunbury, sworn 1754 (youngest son of Matthew of 1720 below)
Joseph Bunbury admitted 1744, sworn 1755 (3rd son of Matthew of 1720 below)
Mattw. Bunbury, Esq. admitted 1720 (of Kilfeacle)
Mattw. Bunbury, junior admitted 1730
Matthew Bunbury, the younger, of Kilfeacle admitted 1753, sworn 1754 (2nd son of Matthew of 1720 above)
Thomas Bunbury, Esq. admitted 1744 (of Tipperary; father of Rev. Thomas below)
Rev. Thomas Bunbury of Lismore, admitted 1774 (Vicar of Whitechurch, 1780-85; Rector of Outeragh, 1785-93)
William Bunbury admitted 1744; sworn 1754 (5th son of Matthew of 1720 above)

[7] The lease and counterpart is held by the Ormonde Papers. As with the 1715 lease, a simple, hand-drawn map by Patrick Greene, attached to the deed, names the surrounding territories. See Ormonde Papers MS 48,371/55 1715-42, ‘A collection of estate property deeds generated by the Butler family relating to properties in Counties Kilkenny, Tipperary and Carlow, as well as some properties in northern England (1635-c.1940),’ compiled by Owen McGee, 2011.

[8] Power, p. 93.

[9] Freeman’s Journal, 20-22 Oct 1772. DIED At Clonteer near Maryborough, Mrs Bunbury, by whose death a fortune of £1000 per annum devolves to Benjamin Bunbury Esq.; late Lieutenant in the 3rd Regiment of Horse. With thanks to Bob Fitzsimons.

[10] This may feasibly have been his uncle Matthew, father of Major Abraham Bunbury, who was invalided out of action some years earlier? Power, p. 240.

[11] The Gentleman’s and London magazine (Sarah and John Exshaw, 1755).

[12] Power, p. 93.

[13] Martha Neale / O’Neale and John Stratford were married in October 1726.

[14] The marriage of Deborah Prittie and John Bayly produced five sons and two daughters who were Deborah Bunbury’s half-siblings – viz.
1. John Bayly  (1724-1797, high Sheriff in 1759, m (1) Ann, dau of John Croker of Ballymagarry, Co. Tipperary; (2) Martha, daughter of Robert Holmes and sister of Peter Holmes, MP for Banagher);
2. Benjamin Bayly (a barrister (or ‘councillor at law’) and collector of Wexford, of Silverspring Co. Wexford, m. Ann Belchier of the kingdom of England and had one son Benjamin);
3. Constantine Bayly (m. Charlotte Falkner of Co Cork, no issue);
4. Rev Henry Baily (a rector ‘of considerable livings in the county of Limerick’); and,
5. Paul Bayly (died young).

As to the two Bayly daughters, Hannah married to Mason Gerrard of Bellgriffin, Co. Dublin and Elizabeth married Captain Thomas Scott, a cavalry officer from Co Wexford by whom she had several sons who served in the Navy and East India Service.

[15] Henry and Deborah Prittie’ second daughter Elizabeth Prittie married Peter Holmes of Co Tipperary. The third daughter Martha Prittie married firstly Thomas Otway (1730-1786) of Lissen Hall and Castle Otway, Co Tipperary. Martha was married secondly to Thomas Parker. Despite her fetching name, the fourth daughter Kitty Prittie, perished unmarried. The fifth daughter Hannah Prittie was married in 1765 to Captain Francis Brooke, a light horse cavalry officer from Co Fermanagh and brother of Sir Arthur Brooke. Hannah died in June 1819, leaving four sons, Lt.-Gen. Sir Arthur Brooke (d. 1843), Maj.-Gen. Richard Prittie Brooke (d. 1836), Sir Henry Brooke, 1st Bt (1770–1834), George Frederick Brooke (1779-1865); and two daughters, Caroline Brooke and Harriet Brooke (d. 1858). The sixth and youngest daughter Sarah married Edward Head of Co Tipperary. (The Peerage of Ireland A Genealogical and Historical Account of All the Peers of that Kingdom by Edward Kimber, John Almon).

[16] Henry Sadleir Prittie, 1st Baron Dunalley, was born on 3 October 1743. He married Catherine Sadleir, co-heiress of Colonel Franics Sadleir of Sopwell Hall, Co. Tipperary. (Catherine Sadleir’s sister Mary married Frederick Trench, son of Frederick Trench and Mary Geering, on 20 August 1754. She bore him a rather astonishing 20 children, including the 1st Baron Ashtown, and died in 1819). Catherine was the widow of John Bury, heir to Lord Charleville’s estates. In 1764, she gave birth to Charles William Bury, RIA, FRS, who would go on to be created 1st Earl of Charleville in 1806. Henry was elected to the Irish House of Commons for Banagher in 1767, a seat he held until 1768, and then represented the pocket borough of Gowran from 1769 to 1776 (later held by George Bunbury of Rathmore) and County Tipperary from 1776 to 1790. His name was not listed for the gentry of Co Tipperary who, in advance of the 1783 general election, formed a body known as ‘The Constitutional Associating Freeholders’. Parliamentary reform was their aim, primarily the reduction of the influence of both the Crown and ‘the great interests’. As someone who availed of pocket boroughs, he was probably opposed to the CAF. He also seems to have been hostile to any form of Catholic Relief, reportedly forcing his tenants to sign the Nenagh Address by which they promised to ‘vigorously oppose all attempts at innovation or alteration in the Church and State’. Nonetheless, he and Daniel Toler, the two standing MPs for Tipperary, both voted with the minority seeking reform when the Volunteer Bill was defeated. (T. Power, Land, Politics & Society in 18th Century Tipperary).

In 1780, he commissioned William Leeson to build the new Kilboy House, famed for its ‘superb entrance front with engaged Doric portico … very fine interior with good plasterwork and imperial main staircase’ (‘The Vanishing Houses of Ireland’, Knight of Glin, David Griffin, Nicholas Robinson). Kilboy House was burned in 1922, rebuilt without the attic storey but then demolished in the 1950s. A single storey house now surmounts the basement, accessed by the original steps. It was lately the home of Shane Ryan, son of the late Dr Tony Ryan of Ryanair. In 1800 he was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Baron Dunalley, of Kilboy in the County of Tipperary. In 1800, he became one of the beneficiaries of the Act of Union when he gained the title of 1st Baron Dunally. Fat lot of good it did him; he died soon after on 3 January 1801 aged 57. He was succeeded as 2nd Baron Dunalley by his only son, Henry Prittie (1775-1854), MP for Carlow from 1798-1801. In 1802, the 2nd Baron married Maria Trent, niece of John Fitzgibbon, 1st Earl of Clare, and netted a dowry of £5,000.

[17] James Kelly, ‘That Damn’d Thing Called Honour’ (Cork University Press, 1995).

[18] The Prittie papers (also called the Dunalley Papers) are held by the National Library of Ireland.

[19] Thomas P Power in ‘Publishing and Sectarian Tension in South Munster in the 1760s’, Eighteenth Century Ireland (Vol. 19 (2004) pp 75-110) where he writes “Others involved in the purge of the 1760s who subscribed to a single volume [new edition of Temple’s 1641] were…and Matthew Bunbury, Kilkeacle, a sheriff of the county in 1755.”

[20] The Freeman’s Journal of 25-27 May 1775 reported: ‘Country News, Kilkenny May 24. Between the hours of 12 and 1 last Friday night, four houses on the lands of Glandonnel, part of the estate of Mathew Bunbury, Esq; and Mrs Christian Payne, in the neighbourhood of Mullinavat; and county of Kilkenny, were maliciously set on fire and burned to the ground, by persons unknown. There are, however, strong reasons to believe that said felony was committed by the late occupiers, who eloped on 1st inst from said lands, and have since absconded with half a years rent due to John Gahan, Esq.’

[21] He is referenced as such in ‘The Literary Life and Correspondence of the Countess of Blessington’ by Richard Robert Madden (1855) on GoogleBooks.

[22] Salisbury and Winchester Journal – Monday 29 February 1808, p. 4.

[23] See Hampshire County Council Archives.

[24] Belle Assemblée or Court Fashionable Magazine, Vol XII, July-Dec 1830, p.138.

[25] “Land and Violence – a History of West Tipperary from1660”, Denis G Marnane.

[26] Deed Memorial 132-467-90048.

[27] A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, p. 609, John Burke, Bernard Burke (1841). See also the Irvine Archives.

[28] Belfast News-Letter, 16 November 1830.

[29] Belfast News-Letter, 16 November 1830. In 1808, Eliza Richardson, Sir James’s sister, married James Denham of Rathfryland (aka Rathfriland) in County Down, and subsequently settled at Fairwood Park (formerly Nixon Hall), near Enniskillen. It has been suggested that Fairwood Park was built by the same architect as Florencecourt, and it also bears a resemblance to Mantua, Swords where Redmond Kane lived. An advert in the Dublin Evening Post of 5 July 1817, and inserted once a week for a period, advised:

‘To be SOLD, or LET for Ever, the beautiful Demesne of FAIRWOOD PARK, near Enniskillen.—Application to made to James Denham, Esq., on the spot. Letters be post paid.’

Mr Denham was still there, or back there, four years later as per this from the Erne Packet,  published in the Dublin Evening Post of Saturday 15 December 1821:

‘FERMANAGH. Enniskillen, Dec. I3. —On the evening of the last Fair-day of this Town, J. Denham, Esq., of Fairwood Park, returning home, interfered as a Magistrate to quell a party of disorderly persons who were rioting near West Bridge, when some the ruffians had the audacity to insult, and even menace that Gentleman with personal injury, for doing his duty to preserve the peace. Mr. Denham very properly called on the assistance of the Fermanagh Staff, and subsequently a party of the 88th, by which means some of the principal rioters were taken prisoners, and the rest dispersed.’ Fairwood Park was a ruin by 1840, subject to various court cases over responsibilities under various leases.’

 (With thanks to Marion Maxwell).

[30] Born in Coventry on 20 October 1846, Colonel George Atherley William Forrest (1846-1904) of the Hampshire Regiment, was the son of Captain John Henry Forrest, chief constable of Hampshire, and his wife Selina (née Atherley). He became Commandant of Duke of York’s Royal Military School, Chelsea. In 1891 he married Olive Emma Richardson-Bunbury, daughter of the Rev. John Richardson-Bunbury, 3rd Bart, (1813-1909) and his wife, Lady Maria (née Anketell). Colonel Forrest died in Christchurch Place, Hampshire, in 1904, aged 57. His widow later lived at Catherine Place, Bath, and died in a Bath nursing home on 27 July 1939.
Their eldest son Evelyn Arthur Atherley Forrest (1892-1915) was born in Bath on 4 January 1892 and educated at Horris Hill Preparatory School, Newbury, Berkshire, and Sherborne School (1904-1910, becoming Head of School in 1909, playing on the 1st XV Rugby team (1908-1909) and winning the Mathematics medal (1909, 1910). He took part in the 1905 Sherborne Pageant. After school, he attended Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and was an exhibitioner. During the Great War he served as a Lieutenant in the Gloucestershire Regiment, 11th (S.) Bn. He fought in Gallipoli but died of blood poisoning in Malta on 9 December 1915. He is commemorated at Pieta Military Cemetery, D. XII. 6 Mrs Forrest donated £10 towards the Sherborne School War Memorial in his memory.
Colonel and Mrs Forrest’s second son Leslie Bunbury Lousaine Forrest (1893-1960) had emigrated to Australia and was working as a miner in the outback town of Miles when the war broke out. He enlisted as a Trooper in the 2nd Australian Light Horse on 24 November 1914 and he went on to serve in the Gallipoli campaign also. In 1918 he married Kathleen May Ashman, the daughter of daughter of George Ashman, a Suffolk saddle maker, and his wife Fanny Sarah A (née Bowsher). On demobilisation, he settled with her in Berkshire and died on 9 February 1960.

On 12 July 1870, Olivia’s sister Matilda Anne Richardson-Bunbury, another daughter of the Rev. Sir John and Lady Maria Richardson-Bunbury, was married at Bray Church (by the Rev. James G. Scott) to George Charles Brackenridge Trimble of Ashfield Park, County of Tyrone, Barrister-at-Law. Matilda died on 4 January 1919.

[31] Lamberton Park was re-modelled by Judge Arthur Moore after he inherited the property from his cousin Sir John Tydd. His son Rev. John Tydd Moore later moved to the house before settling in another house near Portlaoise. As Daniel Byrne-Rothwell observed, the Rev. Moore ‘… had a stroke but the unfortunate man killed himself at Rosleighan, near Portlaoise. The Times reported the death on 12 January 1865: ‘The Rev. John Tydd Moore, incumbent of the valuable living of Erke, in the diocese of Ossory, committed suicide on Friday morning last in his residence near Maryborough. He rose about 9 o’clock, and was supplied with his shaving materials by his valet, who then saw nothing strange in his appearance or conduct. Sometime afterward a housemaid entered the room and found him lying on the bed with his throat completely severed and the razor which he had used beside him. At the inquest which was held the following day a verdict of ‘temporary insanity’ was returned. The unfortunate gentleman was the eldest son of the late Hon. Arthur Moore, for many years a puisne judge of the common pleas. The living which is worth 500l. per annum, reverts to the Crown.’

[32] As Peter Bunbury wrote, he is shown as witnessing a property Deed for his father Matthew of Kilfeacle Deed #94 294 66402 dated 3 January 1733 and is titled Matthew Junior a Lt in Sutton’s Regt of Foot

[33] Note that this Abraham has nothing to do with Abraham Bunbury of Castledermot, County Kildare, born in 1792, the youngest of 5 sons of Henry Bunbury of Bunbury Lodge, Russelltown and Margery Walsh, who were never married. This Abraham married a Margaret Leonard on 13.10.1819. She died in 1827, whilst he died in 1828. There may have been a daughter who married a fellow called Horwood in India, but I have no proof of this last as being fact.

[34] In Bunbury Deeds 271 242 176213 dated 5.6.1769 Abraham Bunbury son of Matthew Bunbury late of Garranacanty, Co: Tipperary, deceased & Elizabeth Bunbury of Cork, widow of the said Matthew and mother of Abraham. Abraham grants his mother an annuity of 50 pounds in exchange for her renouncing all claims to her late husband’s estates. Two further deeds 276 253 177217 & 276 234 177219 record Abraham granting 15 Pound annuities to Ann & Harriet Bunbury, his elder and younger sister respectively. If correct this leads us to Isabella Bunbury and Lord Roberts.”

[35] Freeman’s Journal of 27-30 April 1776: “Married: A few days ago at Cashel, William Cooke, of Poyntstown, Esq. to Miss Harriet Bunbury, of Carnacanty (Garranacanty?) in the co. of Tipperary.”

[36] Some historians suggest his wound occurred in the Battle of Bemis Heights instead (7 October 1777), but original casualty lists clarify that error.

[37] London Magazine, Enlarged and Improved (printed for R. Baldwin, London: 1784). The marriage was also noted in The London Magazine, Or, Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer of 1784, published by Isaac and Edward Kimber. ‘Abraham Bunbury, Esq. captain in the 62d regiment of foot, to Miss Christy Innes, daughter of Mr. Innes, of Cathlaw.’

[38] The Edinburgh Annual Register of 1816, edited by Walter Scot, noted the marriage on 25 February, at Edinburgh, of George Hunter Esq to Miss Bunbury, eldest daughter of the late Captain Abraham Bunbury, 62nd Regt. I presume this was Christian Eliza Bunbury.

[39] The Scots Magazine and Edinburgh Literary Miscellany of 1813 (p.878) noted the marriage, on 16 October 1813, in Prince’s Street, Edinburgh, of Glaswegian barrister John Taylor Esq to Miss Harriet Bunbury, ‘second daughter of the late Abraham Bunbury Esq, Captain of the 62d foot.’ John Taylor was a son of William Taylor and Jean Birkwise. The Taylors had two sons – William Tydd Taylor (1814-1862) and John Bunbury Taylor (b. c. 1815). It is sometimes stated that Harriot was married secondly in 1851 to a man called JS Mill. I think there is some confusion here with the philosopher John Stuart Mill who did indeed share an intimate friendship for 21 years with a married English woman called Harriot Taylor whom he later married. However, Harriet Taylor (née Bunbury) actually died in the autumn of 1841, as evidenced by a monument in the churchyard near Clifton Church which is inscribed as follows:

‘TAYLOR, Mrs. Harriet, widow of John Taylor, of Glasgow; d. 25 Sept. 1841, aged 54. Mont. erected by her sons, Wm. Tydd and John Bunbury Taylor.’ (Notes and Queries, p. 224, March 26, 1932, ‘Scottish M.I. from Bristol Churchyards’, C. Roy Huddleston

William Tydd Taylor, the eldest son, was born on 1 Jan 1814 and may have been named Tydd after a John Tydd who married a Diana Bunbury in 1772; she one of the many daughters of Benjamin and Mary Bunbury of Kilfeacle. On 28 July 1839, the 24-year-old barrister and graduate of Edinburgh University, married Margaretta Lucy Lind in Monifieth, Angus, Scotland. Born in Calcutta in 1818, she was a daughter of Alexander Lind and Anna Macan. On 5 October 1839, less than three months after their Church of England wedding, the couple sailed out of Bristol for Sydney, arriving on 29 March 1840. William and Margaretta subsequently settled at ‘Terrible Vale’, Kentucky, District of Armidale, New South Wales, where they had issue, 6 daughters and 4 sons. This property was first settled in 1832 and William Tydd Taylor and his family took up the run in 1838, which at that time covered 42sq miles. The property is much smaller today but is still held by descendants of the Taylor family. William was Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly (11/2/1858-11/4/1859) & Member for New England & Macleay (11/2/1858-11/4/1859). William died on 1st December 1862. Margaretta died in 1882 in Uralla, New South Wales. Elizabeth Gardiner, great-great granddaughter of William Tydd Taylor, is interested in hearing from anyone who believes their ancestors died on the Terrible Vale Run between 1832-1940 and has proof (Death Certificate) that the person was buried on the property. The present custodians of the cemetery are David and Alex Taylor. A book has been published titled “Terrible Vale: No Time Like the Past” and additional information on the names of those listed on the plaque are contained in that book. Anyone who has any connections with these names may like to contact Elizabeth Gardiner at East Oaks, Uralla, NSW 2358.

It is thought that their second son John Bunbury Taylor was born in Scotland circa 1815. He appears to have dropped the John and was known simply as ‘Bunbury Taylor’. He married Christiana Emma Elizabeth Innes (1812-1887), presumably a cousin, with whom he had three children: Harriet Emma Ballantine Taylor (b 1843), Major Frederic Norman Innes Taylor (b. 1846) and Aline Mary Innes Taylor (b 1848 / 1850). The latter married Arnold Hill Thompson (b 1853), see footnote 42 below. He was the tea planter son of George Hunter Thompson (whose mother Anna Maria was a daughter of Abraham and Christy Bunbury), and they had a daughter Evelyn Maud Innes Thompson, born in 1881. However, Arnold and Aline divorced in 1887 after it was discovered Arnold had committed adultery with ISABEL Alicia Barrett with whom he had a daughter, Maud and a son, Frederick Arnold. Isabel was calling herself Thompson and the children were called Thompson also. When the divorce was granted Arnold took off to Ceylon leaving them all (ie: he didn’t marry Isabel either) Isabel instead began living with a married man named Arthur Wood as well as her son Frederick Arnold Thompson who was brought up to believe that Arthur Wood was his father. Frederick discovered the truth when he sought his birth certificate in order to marry Marta Hemme (d. 1978) but he opted to keep the name Wood; he and Marta were licenced innkeepers.

[40] Major Matthew Alexander Bunbury was married in Fort William, Calcutta, on 19 Sept 1810 to Isabella Brady. Born in 1792, she was a daughter of Philip Brady, a court clerk who worked in Bengal and became the marshal of the vice-admiralty court in Calcutta. Philip Brady, who died in 1819, is briefly mentioned in the memoirs of the Irish / India artist William Hickey. [Isabella’s only sister Mary Anne Brady was married in Calcutta on 6 Feb 1810 to Stephen Nation, son of Matthew and Anne Nation, of Dulverton. [Stephen died at Cawnpore 2 Aug. 1828, of cholera; Mary Anne died 21 Dec. 1867, aged 73. Details via List of the Officers of the Bengal Army, 1758-1834: Constable, 1946, p. 376. Thanks also to Theo Steele for some of this information].

Matthew and Isabella had at least three sons (William, Matthew and Abraham Charles), and six daughters, all born in India and Penang. He served as a Major in the 40th Regt Bengal Native Infantry (NI) and with the East India Company. He died aged 50 at Segowlee, Bihar, India, on 1 September 1841. His eldest son, William Douglas Bunbury, was born on 29th April 1818 on Prince of Wales Island (Penang) and baptised in Penang on 21st February 1819. He was a Captain in the Bengal Army and, in 1857, transferred to the Military Police. He married Jemima MacAndrew in Lucknow, India on 2nd February 1857. Jemima was the daughter of John McAndrew, an Inverness-based solicitor who was in partnership with Jemima’s brother Henry Cockburn MacAndew and Robert Palmer Jenkins (father of Leoline John Bunbury Jenkins, born in Inverness in 1887, whose grandson Don Landy (with Peter Bunbury) supplied me with much of this information). The Scottish connection was presumably through William’s grandmother, Christina Bunbury (née Innes). There were no children born to William and Jemima. WDB died from a bout of acute bronchitis aged 82, at 11:30am on 25th August 1900 at Willowbank, Inverness, Scotland. His widow died on 2nd February 1907 aged 80, also at Willowbank. Probate for WDB Will was granted to George Bunbury Macandrew. [Thanks to Garry Fraser Smith for some of the above].

Matthew and Isabella’s son Abraham Charles Bunbury was born in 1824. He married Mary Walrand; their daughter Lenora Frances Bunbury was born on 10 November 1883 and baptised in St Saviour, Jersey, on 10 December 1883.

Matthew and Isabella’s second daughter Mary Ann Stephina Bunbury was born in Bengal in 1817. On 7 October 1833, aged 16, she was married in Dinapore, India, to (later Colonel) John Grant Gerrard (See here) (b. 8 Nov 1808 in Calcutta), son of Major John Gerrard (b. 16 Oct 1785) of Drumconrath, Co Meath. (The Calcutta Christian Observer, Volume 2, 1833). They had 9-10 children before the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny of 1857 changed their lives forever. In November 1857, Colonel John Gerrard was sent at the head of 1,500 men to confront rebels at Nasibpur. He was killed by musket shot in what ultimately turned out to be a British triumph at the battle of Narnaul. His widow Mary subsequently went to Littleham, Devon, England, where she died nearly 50 years later at St Thomas in 1904.

Another of Matthew and Isabella’s daughters was Anna Maria Elizabeth Bunbury, born 30 May 1827 at Penang. On 1 October 1845 she was married at Sylhet to Lt. William Henry Drummond Ross, 28th Bengal Native Infantry, son of Surgeon Andrew Ross (Bengal Medical Service). Born at Nagpur, January 1824, Lt Ross served as an Interpreter and Quarter Master for the 18th but died on 20 December 1854 aged just 30. (Inscription on grave at Ambala cemetery – “Sacred to the memory of Lieutenant William Henry Drummond Ross Interpreter and Quarter Master 28th Regiment Native Infantry who departed this life the 20th December 1854 aged 30 years and 11 months.”) Their grandson Douglas Ross (aka Charles Douglas Bunbury Starkie-Bence) married Maithal Gertrude Halhed, by whom he was father to Richmond Douglas Starkie-Bence of Chemainus (known as Bunny Ross). The Starkie-Bence family moved back to England in 1938 and changed their name from Ross by deed poll in order to take over an inheritance and Kentwell House. Bunny Ross was a Wireless Air-Gunner with the RAF but was killed in World War Two when his bomber was shot down while on convoy duty. (Thanks to Hillary Everitt for this information).

[41] Although Margaret Isabella Bunbury’s name does not show up on the Scottish records, she is registered on the to the India Office Card Index as the twin sister of Matthew Alexander Bunbury. Early speculation that she perished young (based on premise that a later daughter of Abraham and Christian Bunbury was named Isabella) seems to be undermined by a record of her marriage in Blackwood’s Magazine (p.351). The marriage took place at Clifton on 22 November 1821, by the Rev Henry Kirby, between the Rev Edward Litchford, Rector of Boothby Pagpell, Lincolnshire, and Margaret Isabella, third daughter of the late Captain Abraham Bunbury, 62nd Regt of Foot.

[42] Anna Maria Bunbury and her husband Arnold Hill Thompson had four children, namely:

1. Diane Thompson (b. 1821, never married);

2. Arnold Bunbury Thompson (b. in England in 1822, m. his cousin Charlotte Bunbury, daughter Ethel was born in 1858);

3. Major General George Hunter Thompson (1827-1895), Bengal Staff Corps, a veteran of the Sutlej and Punjab campaigns, as well as the Afghan War of 1878-9. He was married in 1849 in Jullander, Bengal, to Anna Hill, daughter of John Montgomery Hill, and was father to
i. Lynsey Thompson (b. 1852)
ii. Arnold Hill Thompson (b. 1853, m. Aline Mary Innes Taylor, daughter of John Bunbury Taylor (see footnote 39 above) of Scotland, but later divorced, Arnold was a tea planter, also connected to Barrett, Wood and Hemme families)
iii. Georgina Thompson (b. 1856);

4. Harriet Innes Thompson (b. 1829, in Fredericton. New Brunswick, Canada, m. (1854), as his second wife, Major Jonas Stawell(1814-1885), 45th Regt, who was born in Templeroan & Doneraile, Co. Cork.

Above: Frederick and George O’Brien Kennedy, sons of Frederick Bolton Kennedy. (With thanks to Conan Kennedy)

After Arnold’s death, the 42-year-old Anna Maria Thompson (née Bunbury) is thought to have been married secondly in Dublin circa 1835 to Frederick Bolton Kennedy, a son of solicitor George Kennedy of Tullamore, County Offaly (King’s County). Frederick’s great-grandson Conan Kennedy believes Anna Maria may have been living in a grace and favour apartment in Hampton Court Palace at the time. Frederick had been married previously in Offaly to Jane Shaw Low (possibly Shalloe, but more likely to be a kinsman to the Gavin Low family of auctioneering note), with whom he had four sons, Henry, Frederick, Thomas and George O’Brien. It sees that Frederick was constantly in and out of debt. On 28 January 1833, for instance, the Dublin Mercantile Advertiser, and Weekly Price Currentrecorded that “Frederick Bolton Kennedy, of Lower Gardiner-street, and formerly of Aungier-street, also of George-street, afterwards of Skinner-row, all in the city of Dublin, gent, and law-clerk” was shortly to have a petition discharged by the Insolvency Debtor’s Court on Lower Ormond-quay, Dublin. Following the marriage in 1835 or so, Anna Maria become stepmother to his four children.

On 20 November 1841, the Dublin Monitor listed Frederick Bolton Kennedy, “late of Peter Street, gent” as being an ‘Insolvent Debtor’ again, with a petition to be heard on 11 December next. His addresses were variously given as Belfast, Dublin and Ballynafeigh, County Antrim. (Belfast Commercial Chronicle, 27 May 1846, p. 2). He succumbed to liver disease on 11 September 1857. (Dublin Evening Packet, 15 Sept 1857, p. 3; The Advocate: or, Irish Industrial Journal, 16 September 1857, p. 4). He was buried in St Marks, Pearse Street, Dublin. His son George O’Brien Kennedy, a prominent attorney, of York Street, married Clara, eldest daughter of John Abercrombie, M.D., of Suffolk Square, according to Cheltenham Looker-On, 26 July 1873; he was found dead in a railway carriage in Dalkey 1910. Anna Maria survived her second husband by 18 years and died aged 81 on 27 Feb 1875 at 3 Rodney Place, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

With thanks to Conan Kennedy, Daphne Dittman and Bill Norton for details. See also here and here and here and here.

[43] In 1805, there was record of a Captain Bunbury of the ship Mary who touched at New York on his voyage from Baltimore to St. Domingo. His Christian name is not given – some suggested he was Abraham Bunbury, son of Captain Abraham Bunbury, but the dates do not stand up. He was subsequently registered as a member of St Andrew’s Society in New York. ‘The only references in the newspapers, from 1819 to 1826, are his name on the passenger list of ships from Bristol and Liverpool. The directories show that he did business here from 1827 to 1830 inclusive at 65 Pine Street, while he lived at 26 Park Place. He was elected first in 1818, probably as Honorary, and re-elected in 1828. The Dues Book of 1835 has the words “in England” opposite his name’. (Biographical register of Saint Andrew’s society of the state of New York, Vol. II, 1807 – 1856, William M. MacBeant, LL.D. Printed for the Society 1925.

[44] Isabella Bunbury was married twice. Her first husband was Major Hamilton George Maxwell of Ardwell, Wigtownshire, Scotland. They had a daughter, Innes Lloyd Maxwell (married Captain John Sherston of Evercreach, Somerset, d. 1897, mother of Major Charles Davies Sherston and Captain John Sherston who was killed in the Boer War) and a son, Colonel Hamilton Maxwell. On 2 August 1830, Isabella was married again in India to General Sir Abraham Roberts (born Waterford, 11 April 1784; died 30 December 1873), son of Reverend John Roberts and Anne Sandys. Conan Kennedy believes they lived in a grace and favour apartment in Hampton Court Palace.
Sir Abraham and Lady Isabella’s eldest son was the well-known Field Marshal Lord Frederick Sleigh Roberts, see captioned image above. Sir Abraham and Lady Roberts also had a daughter Harriet Mercer Roberts (born at Cawnpore in 1833, died unmarried on 8 October 1889) and another child who died on 3 March 1861. The late Peter Bunbury had a copy of Abraham’s will which does not mention the younger Isabella as she was born after it was drawn up.

[45] Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume VXIL, Issue 7167, 3 April 1901, Page 2: ‘VISCOUNT ST. PIERRE – The origin of Lord Roberts’ new title —Viscount St. Pierre— has excited much speculation. Many amateur pedigree-finders have searched in rain for a clue among the Field-Marshal’s ancestors,’ through his great-grandfather, John Roberts, of Waterford, who married a Miss Santelle, who belonged to a well-known French refugee family. The real origin of the title is no doubt to be traced through the Field-Marshal’s mother, by birth Miss Isabella Bunbury, daughter of Abraham Bunbury, of Kilfeacle, co. Tipperary. Whether the Irish Bunbury family are or are not proved scions of the old Cheshire family of Bunbury of Stanney is difficult to , determine, but they probably are. The Cheshire family claims a descent from Sir Henry Bunbury, of Stanney, knighted in 1608 [?]. Burkes Peerage commences the Bunbury pedigree thus:— This family of Norman origin was, according to Kimber’s Baronetage, originally called St. Pierre, but adopted the name of Bunbury from the Manor of Bunbury, part of their lands obtained at the Conquest.” So Lord Roberts, in becoming Viscount St. Pierre, carries us back to the times of that other illustrious soldier, William the Conqueror.’

[46] His death was noted in The European Magazine, and London Review, published by the Philological Society (Great Britain) in 1799.

[47] Richard Chadwick was married, firstly, February, 1738, to Rebecca, eldest daughter of James Ellard, of Newtown, County Limerick. She had a settlement secured on Ballinard, Gortnekilleen and three other estates. Richard was married secondly in February 1768 to Jane, second daughter of Nicholas Sadleir of Golden Garden, County Tipperary. She had a jointure of £1,000 if left a widow. She survived him and was married, secondly, in 1772, to Anthony Armstrong, of Emly, and had several children.
Source: Antony Maitland, ‘The Chadwicks Of Guelph And Toronto And Their Cousins’ (Davis & Henderson Ltd, 1914).

[48] Michael and Anna Maria Chadwick had a daughter Jane, married, 1759, to Francis, eldest son of George Davies, of Bunreagh, County Clare; and a daughter Mary, married to John Lackey, of Clonmel and of Kilkenny, who had issue, viz: (besides others) a daughter Maria, married to Francis Despard, of Fethard, eldest son of William Despard of Killaghy Castle. It appears that there was (in 1759), in the office of William Connor, attorney-at-law in Dublin, apparently a relative of Anna Maria, a William Chadwick, very probably a son of Michael and Anna Maria. Also it is possible that Surgeon Michael Chadwick, 69th Regt., who has not been identified, may have been of this family.

[49] Dublin Courier, 6 July 1764.

[50] Margaret and Boyle Travers three children were:

  • Captain John Travers (who m. (25.07.1783) Grace Lysaght d 12.07.1816, dau of John Lysaght, 1st Baron Lisle of Mountnorth, and dsp 15.11.1834)
  • Boyle Travers of Dublin (who m. (1795) Judith Payne (d 03.05.1823) and died in 1822) and a daughter
  • Harriet Travers (d 04.1833) who m. (20.12.1785) Vesey Colclough Hill (d Scringapatam 04.05.1799) and died in April 1833).

With thanks to Christopher Normand.

[51] ‘The Ancient Maritime Village of Murfreesborough, 1787-1825’ p. 81 (Thomas C. Parramore, 1969).

[52] A list of the general and field-officers, as they rank in the army, Army list, 1756.

[53] Owen’s Weekly Chronicle; or Universal journal, 1759, p.134.

[54] The Scots Magazine, 1766, p. 447.

[55] Freeman’s Journal, 29-31 Oct 1772: “Promotions: 3rd Regiment of Horse, Cornet Benjamin Bunbury to be Lieutenant, vice Houston, by purchase.” The late Peter Bunbury, a family historian based in West Australia, was confident that the Benjamin Bunbury who inherited £1000 in October 1772was a son of Thomas Bunbury of Shronel, Co. Tipperary, and his wife Grace Chadwick

[56] Freeman’s Journal 31/3-2/4 1774 Married: A few days ago Lieutenant Bunbury of the 18th Dragoons to Miss Jane Hall, dau of Ralph Hall.

[57] Art Kavanagh, ‘The Tipperary Gentry,’ p.20, p.151.

[58] Wellington Despatches iv. 95.

[59] The Gentleman’s Magazine 1861, p. 114.

[60] With thanks to Cliodhna Doyle.

[61] The Ormonde Papers includes the updated articles of agreement. Ormonde Papers MS 48,371/84 1815, A collection of estate property deeds generated by the Butler family relating to properties in Counties Kilkenny, Tipperary and Carlow, as well as some properties in northern England (1635-c.1940), Compiled by Owen McGee, 2011.

[62] Kilkenny Journal, and Leinster Commercial and Literary Advertiser, 2 September 1848.

[63] The death of Captain Benjamin Bunbury of Kilkenny was recorded in the Limerick Reporter on 10 August 1855.

[64] Limerick Reporter, 26 April 1842: ‘At the Cathedral. Kilkenny, William Butler. Esq., Barrister-at-Law, of Wilton, to Jane, only daughter of Captain Bunbury, Kilkenny Militia.’

[65] Finns Leinster Journal.

[66] These extracts were sent to me in March 2017 by Tom @bighappyhead.

[67] It was formerly stated that a photograph of Benjamin showed him in the uniform of the North Irish Horse but, given the date of the photograph, circa 1875, that could not be the case. In 2018, Douglas W Vaugh kindly delved deeper and identified his uniform. He discovered from the London Gazette of 19 November 1872 (Issue: 23921, page: 5380) a notice from the War Office, dated that same day: ‘MILITIA. 2nd or North Tipperary. Benjamin Patrick Edward Cooke Bunbury, Gent., to be Lieutenant. Dated 20th November, 1872.’ The London Gazette of 10 October 1876 (Issue: 24371, p 5406) has an update from the War Office that he had been promoted from Sub-Lieutenant to Lieutenant in the North Tipperary Militia on 12 May 1875. Five years later, a War Office announcement in the London Gazette of 30 April 1880 (Issue: 24840, p. 2789) stated that he was to be a captain in the same militia, effective from 1 May 1880. The uniform is thus deemed to be that of the 2nd or North Tipperary Light Infantry Militia. Its uniform was scarlet with green facings. Doug Vaugh believes the cap badge “looks for all the world to be an artillery one … however the North Tipperary Militia had a similar badge which was the Light Infantry bugle on top of a scroll with Tipperary on it and above was the harp of Erin surmounted with a Queens crown.”

[68] With thanks to Paul O’Farrell and Karen Ievers.

[69] This was revealed by a catalogue that Jim Nicholson kindly scanned and emailed to me in July 2018.

[70] The catalogue details the following:

  • 3 x Sires: Verbeck, Warspite and Thurles. Born in 1888, Thurles, a bay, who “won the Irish Grand National in 1893, when only half trained, but having met with an accident, was put to the stud. “
  • 9 x Brood Mares: Zerlina, Sweetberry, Barbette, Providence, Perel, Bayberry, Carol, Kit, Barberry.
  • 10 x unnamed horses in work and training
  • 7 x Yearlings (colts and fillies)
  • 7 x two-year-olds.
  • 6 x unbroken three-year-olds.
  • 2 x unbroken four-year-olds.
  • 2 x unbroken five-year-olds.
  • 2 x unbroken six-year-olds.
  • 2 x unbroken seven year olds
  • 3 x Work Horses (black mare and two geldings)

[71] The List of Freeholders of the County of Tipperary for the year 1776.

[72] Elizabeth Bowen, ‘Bowen’s Court’ & Seven Winters,’ p. 176.

[73] Pue’s Occurrences, 29 April 1755: ‘Last week was married at Shronell in the co Tipperary Michael GREEN, the younger of Killnemack in the co Waterford Esq to Miss Jane BUNBURY, a very beautiful young lady with 1500L fortune’.

[74] The Dundas children were (twins) Adelaide Maria, Laurence George, (b. 21/6/1813), Rev. George Charles (b. 10/5/1814), Thomas Henry (b. 1815, King’s County), Sarah Georgina (b.1819) and William John (b. 8/7/1820, Dublin); Adelaide Maria married on 7/6/1853 at Monkstown Church, Co. Dublin, (Rathdown Registrar’s District, vol. 9, p. 622), James White Minchin, captain 63rd Regiment of Foot (West Suffolk Regiment) (Cork Examiner 10/6/1853).

[75] Rathdown Registrar’s District, 1866, vol. 12, p. 653.

[76] He was one of the sons of Richard Thornhill and Sophia Badham, daughter of Brettridge Badham & Lady Sophia King. Richard Thornhill took the name ‘Badham’ by royal permission when he married Sophia. [Awaiting confirmation by Judie Morris.]

[77] It is not known whether Richard Badham Thornhill, the eldest son, married or had children. He was in the Dragoons and was still alive in 1832 when aged about 62. Thomas, the second son, died in action in 1794 at Martinique and was probably too young to be married and have a child. Robert King Thornhill, the third son died unmarried in 1825. George King Thornhill, the fourth son, became an Honourable, Order of the Bath and such like and his son moved to Australia. The fifth son, James Badham Thornhill, may have had a first marriage that we don’t know about, but he definitely married a widow, Eliza Morris, in about 1835 and died about 10 years later. Eliza and James were both born 1788/9 so there were almost certainly no children by their marriage. Badham Thornhill, the sixth and youngest son, was killed in action in 1813 and left all his worldly good to his mother, Elizabeth, so it’s unlikely he had a wife or child.
As for the daughters, Sophia Thornhill married Samuel Godsell; Anne married Richard Tonson Rye of Ryecourt; Caroline Thornhill m. Chambre Croker, or Cor Cor as sometimes written, from Cor Cor Castle; and Eliza m. Reverend Edward Warren, 6th son of Sir Robert, Bart., of Warren Court. Info awaiting confirmation by Judith ‘Judie’ Morris, March 2014.

[78] Freeman’s Journal, 14-16 Feb 1775: “Promotions: 49th Regiment of foot, ensign Joseph Bunbury to be Lieut, preferred.’ In 1774, he was 21, according to the regimental inspection return for the 49th Foot in WO27 at Kew.

[79] With thanks to Nick Perry.

[80] Peter Bunbury had a map of the grave’s location.