Turtle Bunbury

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There are inumerable Bunbury references at the brilliant Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland via http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~registryofdeeds/by_name/name065.htm and http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~registryofdeeds/by_name/name066.htm …. there seems to be enough there to keep me distracted for a fortnight so, with deadlines a-plenty in my life, I am going to pretend I didn’t see it for now!


NB: Be sure to keep an eye out for Bunburye as well as Bumbry and Bumbury spellings!



The examinant knew Nicholas Loftus for ten years and has also known the Mayflower of Waterford, thirty tons, for the last twelve months. Loftus is the sole owner of the vessel. David Cheevers affirmed that Loftus bought the ship with a mortgage for £80 sterling. The examinant lately saw the ship at Bideford in Devon.

(HCA 13/58 Examinations, 1642-1644, from ‘A Calendar of Material relating to Ireland from the High Court Of Admiralty 1641–1660’, edited by Elaine Murphy.)



Richard Bunbury was recorded as a Cornet in Captain Edward Scott’s troop in the Kentish horse in 1644. 'Surnames beginning 'B'', in The Cromwell Association Online Directory of Parliamentarian Army Officers , ed. Stephen K Roberts (2017), British History Onlinehttp://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/cromwell-army-officers/surnames-b [accessed 20 February 2020].


There are not either reputed Popish Priests or Friars residing in any of the above Parishes. The reputed Popish Priest is Felix Nowlan, and his coadjutor is Nicolas Duggan, both residing within the union of Hacketstown. (Signed.) John Bunbury, Minister of said Parishes. (Analecta Hibernica, Issue 39 (2006), p. 101. This is presumably the Rev Nicholas Doogan (who died 28th January 1767) and the Rev Felix Nowlan (who died 21st November 1774), who are both buried in Clonmore, County Carlow, but who was John Bunbury!!?



Mon. 6. [June, 1766] In the Evening a Dispute arose at New Gardens in Britain-street, between Mr. Butler of the County of Kilkenny, and Cornet Bunbury; they immediately returned with their seconds to a Tavern, where they fought with Pistols in a very confined Room; the former was shot dead, and the other wounded in the Mouth; the Verdict returned by the Inquest was Murder. Mr. Bunbury has since stood his Trial, and was acquitted. (The Gentleman's and London Magazine: Or Monthly Chronologer, June 1763)

Dublin, June 11. On Monday evening a dispute arose at the new gardens, between one Mr Butler of the county of Kilkenny, and Captain Bunbury of the army, which they agreed to decide immediately with pistols; for which purpose they adjourned with their seconds (gentlemen belonging to the army) to a tavern, and, after ordering supperand a bottle of hock, as a blind to the people of the house, they began the combat ; when Mr. Butler received a ball in his side, and instantly expired; Capt. Bunbury was dangeroufly wounded in the Mouth, by the rebounding of a ball fired by Mr Butler. The Coroner's inquest have since sat on the body, and brought in their - verdict, murder. It is said that both the Gentlemen were in liquor.
Caledonian Mercury - Wednesday 22 June 1763


Seamus Bunbury, a poet or critic circa 1820, quoted in an extract from 'Mere Irish & Fíor-ghael: Studies in the Idea of Irish Nationality, Its Development and Literary Expression Prior to the Nineteenth Century' by Joseph Theodoor Leerssen (John Benjamins Publishing, 1 Jan 1986) !



John Bunbury, who was buried in Bunhill Fields in London ... or is he muddled with John Bunyan!!?


Mysterious Bunbury’s - In August 2019, Alison FitzGerald of the Department of History at Maynooth University informed me she is seeking details of a silversmith called Thomas Bunbury. He was in debt in Ireland in 1765 but by 1770 was in the West Midlands of England where he was employed by Matthew Boulton of Birmingham (the terms of the memorandum of agreement describe him as 'late of the City of Dublin in the Kingdom of Ireland but now of Handsworth').


Bunburys registered at Kilkenny College

William Bunbury, entered 1715 (NB: He was probably of Lisnavagh branch)
Josiah Bunbury, entered 1748
Ralph Bunbury, entered 1793
Thomas Bunbury, son of Benjamin, entered 1797
George Bunbury, son of Benjamin, entered 1798
Benjamin Bunbury, entered 1840
Ralph Bell Bunbury, entered 1845

With thanks to Andrew Whiteside, Archivist, Kilkenny College.


According to Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry (1847), Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Philip Shepherd, Esq, was married secondly to a Mr. Bunbury.


1716 DEED (August 4, 16/422/78700):

Elizabeth TEAKER of City of Dublin Widow of the one part; John UNDERWOOD of City of Dublin Ironmonger; Hugh BRADY of Kilcooney Co. Galway, Gent & William BARRY of City of Dublin Gent of the other part. Tripartite deed Btw said Elizabeth TEAKER of the first part John BRADY of Raheens Co. Clare Esq of the 2nd pt & John UNDERWOOD, Hugh BRADY and William BARRY of 3rd pt.
Reciting that Lucretia ARUNDELL of City of Dublin widow relict and executor of Robert ARUNDEL of same City Alderman deceased being possest of a considerable estate on lands & several Houses and Tenements in the Suburbs of Dublin and having four daughters viz: Hanna, Deborah, Abigail and Lucretia ARUNDEL unprovided for did on 5 Feb 1670 make her last will bequeathing her estate equally to her four daugters …
Reciting that Thomas TEAKER late of Rathmore Co. Kildare Clke deceased having intermarried with Hannah ARUNDELL he the said Thomas & Hannah his wife and Henry BUNBURY merchant to the said Deborah [ARUNDEL] his wife & Thomas SPRUNGER Gent and the said Abigail [ARUNDEL] his wife & Luke LOWTHER & Elias BEST Alderman who were left executors for nd on behalf of the said Lucretia the Younger … 4 lots … incl the house on Patrick Street and backside adjoining Mill House Barkhouse Tanyard & Garden formerly in possession of Lucretia ARUNDEL deceased and afterwards in the possession of Elias BEST held by leases from the City of Dublin for a term of years … reciting 9 Jan 1681 Thomas THEAKER & Hannah his wife … drew the first lot … Hannah having died before the said Thomas THAKER who then married Elizabeth THEAKER… Thomas THEAKER made his will 7 July 1713 leaving all to wife Elizbeth THEAKER. Also reciting John CARTY of City of Dublin Gent by his lease 30 Aug 1715 in consideration of £500 released to Elizabeth THEAKER lease 18 Apr [1716] made by Anne STANDISH and Mary MIDDLETON Widow to said John CARTY the Dwelling House or houses, Brewhouse & Malthouse then in possession of Ann STANDISH & Mary MIDDLETON & their undertenants … being on the Poddle Water & New Roe in Liberty of Thomas Court & Donore in Co. Dublin with all Outhouses or Tenements, Stables Backsides, Gardens Ways, Passages & Appurts … bounded on the west by the street of Newroe on the south with Mr. SALEs Houses or concerns & on the North with the Kings pavement on the Poddle Water aforesaid and on the east with [Abel?] Robert MASONs and Mrs. GUSTARD’s houses containing in front to the Poddle Water 103’ & in front to Newroe 137’ for lives of James STANDISH & Henry STANDISH sons of Anne STANDISH for and during natural life of Mary CORNIN als MIDDLETON daughter to Mary MIDDLETON … several brick houses erected on the Premises in Room of Old Houses …. Marriage to be solemnized shortly btw Elizabeth THEAKER & John BRADY … WITNESS: John CARTEY & Henry BUCKLEY Gents of City of Dublin. (With thanks to Sharon Browne).


MARY-LA-BONNE. Attempt to Poison. —Yesterday, Christopher Bunbury, a middle-aged man [and grocer] of respectable appearance, was charged withan attempt to poison his wife and son, by mixing a quantity of arsenic in a beverage known by the name of egg-hot. Esther Bunbury, the prisoners wife, deposed that she lived apart from husband, under the protection of her son, who keeps a shop in Devonshire-street, Lisson Grove. Her husband, however, was in the habit of visiting her there, and on the 5th of August last, he came in the evening and proposed that they should have something to drink, which being agreed upon, he procured some beer and eggs, which having boiled up together, he poured into two vessels, glass and pitcher. She and her son drank the contents of the glass between them, the prisoner drinking only from the pitcher. During the night she became exceedingly unwell, and vomited as if she had been poisoned, and on coming down stairs in the morning she learnt that her son had suffered in asimilar manner. A medical gentleman having been called in, examined the pan into which part of the beverage had been thrown, as well as the glass from which they had been drinking, when he discovered a white sediment, which he immediately pronounced to be arsenic. This evidence having been corroborated by the son and the medical man already mentioned, the prisoner was fully committed to Newgate to take his trial for the offence. He asserted that he was innocent, and that the whole affair was a plot to ruin him on the part of his wife and son. (The Evening Chronicle - Thursday 03 September 1835)


In Brian Walsh's excellent transcripts of Dunleckney (Catholic) Church in County Carlow, he records at at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Baptism_Dunleckney_8.htm, the baptism of Harriet Bunbury, was a daughter of Robert Bunbury and Catherine (nee Boyle) of Bagenalstown, on 11 April 1824 , with James Nolan and Anne Costello as sponsors.

Brian also found a record of Harriet's Sacramental Marriage in Carlow on 26 November, 1847, to John Morris, with Edward Nolan and Mary Rigney as witnesses.

The Bunburys were were generally C of I but there were RC off-shoots such as 'HENRY BUNBURY (1753-1819) OF BUNBURY LODGE', and at Ardnehue. It's possibly relevant that the only Bunbury listed for County Carlow in Slater's Directory of Ireland 1846 is a cobbler called Robert Bunbury.

Who was Robert Bunbury (1779-1861) who married a Julia Dowling in 1810 and had 8 children? Robert is said to have been the son of William Bunbury (1774-c.1794) while Julia Dowling was apparently born in 1790. Their children are named as William, Robert, George, Bridget, Jane, Martha, Mary and John (1832-1912) who was married in 1860 to Catherine (b. circa 1842). John and Catherine Bunbury apparently had 13 children, namely Mary, Robert, Joseph, Thomas, Julia, John, Anne, George, Peter, William, Catherine, Teresa and Ambrose. Their son William Bunbury (1883-1958) was married in 1922 to Elizabeth Stack (1900-1973), with whom he had nine children, Mary, John, Joseph, William, Ann, Patrick, Elizabeth (Eileen), Teresa and Tony. Their second son Robert married Ellen Coughlan and were parents of John Bunbury (born in County Laois in 1894) who married Katherine Carolan (born in County Mayo in 1892). I note a 69-year-old Roman Catholic carpenter named Robert Bunbury living at Ardrass Lower, Celbridge, County Kildare, on the 1911 census, with his 58-year-old Wicklow-born wife Kate. (Thanks to John Bunbury, New York) This detail came from someone called Vincent Leonard in Ireland, which may suggest a link to the Leonards who married Abraham Bunbury of Russellstown.

Also note details of a Father Joseph Bunbury’s alleged suicide



"At the Great Rooms in Fishamble-Street, on Monday, 14th February [1774] will commence the First of six Grand Subscription Ridotto Balls, under the Patronage and Direction of the Rt. Hon. the Countess of Shannon, Mrs. Latouche, Mrs. St. Ledger, Mrs. Bunbury, Mrs King and Mrs Cuff. Six guineas and half, entitle a subscriber to two ladies and one gentleman’s ticket, not transferrable. the number of subscribers to be limited to 150.

A ridotto was a kind of masquerade or fancy dress ball. According to John C. Greene in 'Theatre in Dublin, 1745–1820: A Calendar of Performances’ (Lehigh University Press, 2011), the Great Rooms on Fishamble Street was the Music Hall where Handel perforemd The Messiah three decades earlier. They were also known as Gibson’s Great Rooms, after its owner William Gibson in 1773-1774. The 3rd ball took place on 8-10 Mar 1774 and the last of the six on 4 May.

25-27 April 1776 Ridotto Ball in Fishamble St, Patroness Mrs Bunbury. Could be any of the Bunbury wives, but also Sir Charles's wife?


Peter James St. Pierre Bunbury of Blackrock, Dublin, died at the Blackrock Hospice, surrounded by his loving family, on Friday 28th July 2017. He had formerly been in the care of the nurses and staff of Belmont House Nursing Home and St. Vincent’s University Hospital. He was married to Lorraine, whose daughter is Nivek Dunne. Peter’s sister is Pamela Forbes. Peter's funeral took place on Friday Aug. 4th in the Church of St. Philip and St. James, Cross Avenue, Blackrock, after which he was cremated at Mount Jerome, Harolds Cross. He was educated at St Columba's College, where he became freindly with the Bielenbergs. A keen golfer, associated with Portmarnock, he also installed the water system at the Paknasilla course in County Kery circa 1995.


War Office Aug 1st; 47th Regt of foot; Volunteer Thomas Bunbury to be Ensign, vice James Poe, having been was appointed ensign on 18 June 1775, according to the army list. He went to fihht in the American War. In August 1777, Thomas Bunbury of the 47th Foot was promoted to Lieutenant.

Two Benjamin Bunburys were serving in the Irish cavalry in the early 1770s, one in the 3rd Horse, aged 23 in 1774 with six years' service; the other in the 17th Dragoons (which went to America), aged 33 in 1774 with 13 years' service: the first, I assume, is 'Ben the Cornet' of the Kill/Lisvanagh branch, and the second the Capt Benjamin B, of Kilfeacle though if the age is correct he would have been born c1741. [With thanks to Nick Perry]

William Bunbury was commissioned into the 17th Foot on 23 Aug . He later transferred to the 49th Foot, so he and Joseph were serving in the regiment at the same time, presumably not a coincidence. He was discharged from the army in 1780 and was still seeking to justify himself in 1787. One of the more absurd charges against him was that he had been 'drinking tea with the Quartermaster and Serjeant's wife and eating with the Serjeant Major' (this information comes from Mark Odintz's 1988 Michigan PhD thesis on the British officer corps from 1754-83) ... I have further details of this somewhere on this beats of a website!




Here are some UNIDENTIFIED BUNBURYS courtesy of Bob Fitzsimon's useful notes from FREEMAN’S JOURNAL.

6-9 JUNE 1772. DIED At Stephens Green Mrs Bunbery. Haven't a clue. Note spelling Bunbery?.

William Bunbury, commissioned into the 17th Foot on 23 Aug 1775; and Thomas Bunbury, commissioned into the 8th Dragoons on 14 May 1785.

29/7-1/8/1775 Dublin. Corporation Instituted for relieving the Poor in the House of Industry, subscriptions and benedictions: Capt. Bunbury by Mr Houghton 11s 4d Similar to item of 4-7 May 1776.

4-7 May 1776: From the Minister and church wardens of the parish of St. Mary's, in part of the general collection of said parish, for the year 1776. From Captain Bunbury, by Mr Benjamin Haughton, 11s 4d. [Is the Mrs Bunbury above the wife of Capt Bunbury perhaps] Don't know which Capt: Bunbury this may have been.

Fr J 28-31 Aug 1779 Fatal duel involving G------- B------ and H-------- W-------, Clonegal Carlow. Could GB be George Bunbury? He was shot in the breast.

Fr J 2-4 Sept 1779 Capt Bunbury of the troop of light dragoons of the Tipperary Volunteers escorted 640 French prisoners enroute from Kinsale to Dublin.

Fr J 11-14 Nov 1780 In Cashel, Donough McCraith of Loughloher, Esq. to Miss Elizabeth Bunbury.