Turtle Bunbury

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5. POLITICAL RISE (1835-1866)

General Election 1835 - Kavanagh & Bruen vs. Cahill & O'Connell

The Whig opposition were preparing to take on Peel's Ministry over the abolition of slavery. Polling for the General Election was due to start in Carlow on Wednesday 14th January 1835 with Thomas Kavanagh of Borris and his son-in-law Colonel Henry Bruen standing for the Tory party. On Sunday 11th January the Rev. Thomas Tyrell, PP of Tinryland from 1823 - 1843, visited Colonel Bruen and proposed that he share the county with the enlightened Whig Nicholas Aylward Vigors of Old Leighlin. (43a) Tyrell hoped that by avoiding a contest, tempers would be cooled but Bruen refused to compromise. The outgoing MP, Walter Blakeney (44), proposed Maurice O'Connell, son of the Great Emancipator, and Tyrell proposed Michael Cahill, a young barrister from the Queen's County whose father owned some property in Carlow Town. Thomas Kavanagh and Colonel Bruen were duly returned but a Select Committee of the House of Commons then found that the Carlow Tories had been elected "by the forcible abduction of voters and by unfair and fraudulent scheme and practices" not unlike those lately employed by Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF Party in Zimbabwe. The election was declared null and void and a new election called for in June.

On Sunday 15th June 1835, the Rev. Patrick Kehoe (1791-1858) delivered a sermon from the altar of the chapel in Leighlinbirdge which amounted to a volatile condemnation of Bruen and Kavanagh's Conservative campaign. He began with an attack on 'the hypocritical proselytizing apostate lick-spittle Pat Neill and his brother ... [who] got £70 for voting against his country, his religion and his God on the last election'. Appalled by the impending Poor Laws, he goes on to lambast the 'bloody landlords, these tyrannical despots'. Into his path now stepped 'Orange Bruen - he who always opposed Catholic Emancipation till it was extorted from the government and his opposition could no longer be any injury ... it is Bruen who said in Parliament (the only time that he did not give a silent vote) that the Priests instigated the people to commit murder and all kinds of outrage and that till the Priests were exterminated the country would not be fit for Christians to live in ... why this Bruen always supported tithes - blood-guilty tithes - tithes that have murdered and bayoneted you ... as they did at Rathcormac and Newtownbarry ... but i tell you, if you gain this election before the end of the year, there will be no such thing as tithes ... Well boys, Bruen and Kavanagh, I think you'll agree with me are neither fit, discreet nor honest men to represent the County of Carlow. But I'll tell you who is an honest man. Vigors is an honest man - he who has taken upon himself the people's rights and is determined to protect them ... The Protestant clergy are now very different from what they were; they are no longer the fine gentlemen they were, but are in a sad hobble and we'll make them in a greater hobble .... these Orange Conservatives (ie: Bruen and Kavanagh) are very confident like the devil when he tempted our Saviour in the wilderness, but we'll strike terror and fear into their hearts on Tuesday. I hope it will not be necessary to draw the sword for I hope the very sight of the scabbard will be enough to frighten them. But I tell you boys, if the Conservatives gain this election - they can't gain it - but if by perjury, threats and violence, they do gain it - if the do trick us out of our representatives on this as they did at the last election, more blood will flow than there is water in the River Barrow'. (With thanks to Anne Buckley).

In the ensuing election, Vigors and Alexander Raphael won the contest, but they were in turn unseated by a committee of enquiry with the Tories ultimately managing to retain their seats.
Following the Lichfield House Compact, Lord Melbournes' Whig minority government is dependent on honouring Melbourne's promise to O'Connell of "justice for Ireland", enabling him to tackle issues on reforming local government in Ireland. In this regard, O'Connell is helped by protestants in Dublin Castle such as the brilliant Thomas Drummond (under-secretary of state) and Viscount Morpeth (Chief Sec) who were both encouraging Catholic participation in the judicial and administrative ranks. A Commission of Enquiry is set up to investigate the reform of Irish municipal corporations.

(43) Fr. Thomas Tyrrell was a native of Bally roan, Co. Laois. He was PP of Doonane from 1815-1823 when he was transferred to Tinryland where he remained until his death on 24 August 1842. Many of his parishioners at this time were tenantsof the landlords Bruen and Beresford and this probably began his interest in politics .At this time in Carlow the Borough of Carlow sent one representative to Parliament and the County*sent two. The bill giving Catholic Emancipationwas made law on 13 April 1829. A separate bill was passed at the same time, which raised thecounty franchise from forty shillings to £ 10. Thishad the effect of reducing the number of people who could vote in the County constituency fromabout 4000 to 530. This was an attempt to limit the effect of the emancipation bill and it deprived many forty-shilling freeholders of the vote. Thevery people who had forced the question of emancipation were to be deprived of thefruits of it. This just added to the feelings of bitterness, which had built up over the previous decade. However a Reform Bill was passed in August 1832 and it increased the electorate in the County to about 1246. Also, the borough franchise was extended to £ I 0 householders, the same as in England. Special sessions for the registration of new voters were set up and the number of people entitled to vote in the next borough election would be considerably greater than the thirteen who had the vote in the last one. In the 1832 election 278 people **had the right to vote in the Borough. It must be remembered that at this time voting was not secret and sometimes the local papers published a list of the voters and how they cast their votes. The landlords expected that their tenants would vote as directed by them. The previous elections in the County from the Act of Union in 1801 were just contests between various landlords. Now with the coming of Catholic Emancipation and the passing of the Reform Act the power of the landlords could be challenged. This was the situation into which Fr. Tyrrell threw his energies. In May 1830 he addressed a Poor Law meeting in Maryborough and he also proposed a motion at a Reform meeting in Carlow on 24th May, 1832. He seconded Wallace, the Liberal candidate, at the election in December 1832. Wallace and the other Liberal candidate, Walter Blackney were elected. The Conservatives tried to have the result overturned and a Parliamentary Committee investigated the election. Fr. Tyrrell travelled from Tinryland to London and gave evidence before this committee in May 1833.
Vigors co-founded the Zoological Society of London with Sir Stamford Raffles and was its Honourable Secretary for its first 7 years. He was also a member of many European literary and science societies. His son CFS Vigors was killed in April 1844, aged 33, while competing in the Grand Military Steeplechase at the "Moor of Meath". He is also presumably related to Colonel Philip Vigors, editor of Irish Memorials of the Dead.
(44) Blakeney was the only Catholic gentleman resident in Ireland at this time. His 800 acre estate was tied up with Lord Kenmare.

1836 Events

· Daniel Robertson working on Dunleckny Manor.
· Darwin returns from five years at sea on the Beagle.
· N.A.Vigors accusing John Alexander of harassment of Catholic tenants - an accusation that, to quote Jimmy O'Toole, was hotly denied.
· Death of Walter Kavanagh, eldest son of Thomas Kavanagh.
· Grand Orange Lodge, hampered by prohibitions against their demonstrations and dismissals of sympathetic magistrates, disbands itself in April.
· The Dublin Metropolitan Police is established.

'WB McClintock, who afterwards changed his name to McClintock Bunbury ... at the age of 36 years became a commander.' (Charles Benedict Davenport, 'Naval Officers: Their Heredity and Development', p 132 (Heredity, 1919).

May 20 1836: An Act amalgamates the county constabulary and Peace Preservation Force into a centralized police force – the Irish Constabulary – which will later become the Royal Irish Constabulary.

The Great Trek: In 1834 the British abolished slavery in South Africa. The Boer burghers were offered remuneration but on the absurd condition that they went to London in person to get it. This was one reason why they were inspired to make the Great Trek in 1836 to create their own autonomous Boer republics, aka the South African Republic (known as the Transvaal), the Orange Free State, and the Natalia Republic. That same year, 35 voortrekkers under the command of Andries Potgieter, brilliantly repulsed a major Matabele attack by a force of 5000 in the battle of Vegkop. Among those present was 11-year-old Paul Kruger who loaded guns for the older men during the battle. On 6 February 1838, the Voortrekker leader Piet Retief met with the Zulu King Dingane for an event that was supposed to be a celebratory day confirming their land grant. However, like the Red Wedding in G.O.T., the ambience changed dramatically midway through the day when Dingane screamed out a command to kill the Boers. Retief was made to watch while his 100-strong delegation was clubbed to death, including his son, before he was likewise murdered. The victims were impaled on Zulu spears as part of the ritual. The Zulu impis then went on the rampage and killed 41 more Boer men, 56 women and 185 children in the Wassen Massacre.

Death of the Rev. Alexander McClintock

On 6th August 1836, William's 61-year-old uncle Alexander 'Alick' McClintock passed away in Wexford after a long illness. Born on 6th January 1775, he was the second son of Bumper Jack McClintock and younger brother to John McClintock of Drumcar. He obtained an MA and became Rector of Newtown Barry and Clonegal in the diocese of Ferns, and was much involved with the tragic death of fourteen people in Bunclody during the Tithe Wars. In 1790 he married Anne (Nancy), daughter of Mervyn Pratt. His brother Henry wrote that 'he had been ill for more than a year with some inward complaint & died near Enniscorthy (where he had removed for the benefit of sea air) in the County Wexford. Alick and Nancy had nine children who were first cousins of Captain William McClintock Bunbury and the 1st Lord Rathdonnell. These were:

1) The eldest son Henry Fitzalan McClintock, A.M., obtained a BA from Trinity College Dublin. He was Rector of Kilsaran from October 1832 until he resigned the parish on May 5, 1835. He became Prebendary and Vicar of Ballymodan (Bandon) from 1835 to 1846, before settling down as Rector of St. Michael’s Church in Kilmichael & Maclonleigh for 33 years. After he died, unmarried, on 6th October 1879, aged 73, the parishes of Kilmichael & Maclonleigh were joined to Inchigeela. He had two brothers.

2) The second son was the Rev. Lowry Cole McClintock, Prebendary of Kilmeen, Co. Cork, and formerly Rector of Ballincholla near Ballinrobe in the diocese of Tuam. He was also Rector of The Neale, Co. Mayo. He died unmarried in 2nd April 1876.

3) The third was Alexander Edward McClintock who died in 1900. On 17th June 1862, he married Mary Selina Cottingham, daughter of Major Edward Cottingham, JP, 28th Regiment, Inspector General of Prisons in Ireland. Their only son Captain William Maxwell McClintock was born on 16th July 1868 (and baptised in Leeson Park, Dublin) but died unmarried aged 30 in 1898.

4) The eldest daughter Annette was born in 1799 and lived to be 100, dying on 24th October 1899.

5) The second daughter Francis Hester McClintock died in October 1881.

6) The third daughter Louisa died in 1882.

7) The fourth daughter Elizabeth Chomondelay was married in 1846 to Edward Beaufort, son of Rev. William Lewis Beaufort, LLD, and nephew of Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857), inventor of the Beaufort Scales. Edward’s mother was a daughter of Thomas St. Lawrence, Dean of Cork. Edward and Elizabeth had issue.

8) The fifth daughter Lucy Hester McClintock died unmarried in June 1882.

9) The sixth and youngest daughter Hester McClintock was married on 11th February 1840 – as his second wife – to Walter Hussey de Burgh, JP, of Donore House, Co. Kildare, and Dromkeen House, Co. Limerick. He was a grandson of the famous orator Walter Hussey Burgh, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who had died so unexpectedly young aged 41 in 1783. Hester bore her husband three sons and six daughters, which was precisely the same number of boys and girls that her mother before her had begotten. Hester de Burgh died on 27th June 1858. Walter found time to marry a third wife, Jane Hughes (nee Dighy), and died 19th October 1862.


In his report to the Poor Law Commissioners, Father J. Gahan, PP, maintained that the parishes of Rathvilly and Kiltegan - with a combined population, of 7,297 and rising - had been ‘uniformly peaceable’ since the 1820s ‘except a partial disturbance occasioned by the Moll Doyle system in the winter of 1820, and the spring following, which I succeeded in suppressing immediately we were favoured by the presence of the police’. He nonetheless warned that ‘if anti-tithe agitation considered a disturbance, it is one which I am confident no power will succeed in putting down as long as tithe shall be demanded.’ Father Gahan believed that the general condition of the poorer classes ‘as to food and raiment’ had ‘greatly deteriorated’ but as that ‘moral conduct’ had much improved since the Peace of 1815. He said the population was primarily poor farmers, paying £3-10s for a lot with a garden and or £1-15 for no garden. These cottiers generally bound themselves to work out the rent directly with the farmer. There were about twenty instances within the parishes where two or more families were resident in the same cabin. The housing was described as ‘mud or sod walls, so as to keep out the rain, a box, a few boards hung against the wall for a dresser, two or three stools, a pot, a table, a straw bed on the ground, one or at most two blankets and a plentiful supply of smoke when the materials can be procured to raise it.’ There were no savings banks, benefit societies or pawnbrokers shops in the parish, but there were ‘nine public houses’ and ‘distillation does not prevail’. These reports were presented to both Houses of Parliament. [Reports from Commissioners, Vol. 17, 4 Feb – 20 August 1836] (W. Clowes & Sons, London, 1836), p. 48. [Thanks to Trevor Clowry for the pointer].


"The image of [Lord] Beresford as an absentee landlord was tough and uncompromising, a policy carried out with ruthless effect during the time of agent Charles Doyne. Doyne, whose family had a large estate in Tullow, was also land agent for the Kavanagh's of Borris, and with such a large block of tenant farmer votes under his control, he wielded enormous power during the political turmoil of the 1830's ... There were few estates in the county during that period to equal the level of evictions experienced by tenants of Beresford. In 1836 , the Liberal politician Nicholas Alward Vigors, in a petition to Parliament, said 86 families had been evicted in the parish of Bagenalstown during the previous few years. Fifteen families were issued with notices to quit in Slyguff, and at one point, Beresford was accused of having evicted 103 families. In March 1835, Doyne was quoted as having told a meeting of tenants -"that Lord Beresford was determined to provide a class of tenants for his estate over whom the priests would have no influence". In that policy , Doyne seems to have succeeded because Fr. Andrew Phelan , a curate in Dunleckney, accused Beresford of "persecuting Catholics because of their religion". Seventeen families were evicted from Kilcloney, and of the 120 acres involved, 100 acres were given to two Protestant families, and the remainder to two Catholic tenants. Evictions were a much used political propaganda weapon capitalised on by the opponents of landlords at election time ; and frequently , notices to quit -- sometimes not acted upon -- were added to the statistics of actual evictions. Landlords were sensitive in such propaganda wars, and in 1841, Beresford successfully sued The Morning Chronicle for its inaccurate and libellous description of evictions on his estate near Tinryland' .
From pages 24--27. "The Carlow Gentry" by Jimmy O' Toole (1993), pp. 24-27.


The Carlow By-Election - Bruen v. Vigors 1837

February saw County Carlow plunged into what The Times ambitiously described as an electoral campaign of great 'turbulence and excitement' the likes of which had 'never [been] witnessed, even in Ireland'. William's uncle Thomas Bunbury of Moyle was called back from Bath to represent the Conservative interest alongside Colonel Bruen. At stake was the vacant seat of Thomas Kavanagh, who had died earlier in the year. In the by-election that followed, Sir Thomas Butler had nominated 'that upright man and kindly landlord, Thomas Bunbury, Esq, of Moyle, as a fit and proper person to represent this county in Parliament', a proposition followed by 'partial applause and hissing'. Mr. W. F. Burton seconded the nomination and said Tom Bunbury was 'an upright gentleman and well deserved the honour of being elected as their representative'. R. Clayton-Browne and Henry Faulkner also voiced support for Tom. In opposition, W Blackney (proposing Nicholas Vigors) and the Rev. Tyrrell (again seconding Vigors) apologised for disputing 'any gentleman remarkable for his kindness and his domestic virtues' (ie: Tom) but principle obliged them to do so. In his address to the electorate, Father Tyrrell launched a scathing attack on Colonel Bruen before concluding that Thomas Bunbury should 'go to his family in Bath'. Mr. Bunbury, he noted, was 'a man in years and no one has ever made a figure in Parliament when he entered it in his old age. He could make no figure there and he was too old to be a laughing stock. In his [Tyrrell's] opinion, God or nature never fitted Tom Bunbury out for a public man'. This was followed by loud cheers. A heated row then ensued between Colonel Bruen and Vigors, with the latter calling for Tom Bunbury to stand up and make his principles known. Bruen seems to have dominated the speaking platform, largely in defence of his past actions, and Bunbury did not speak at all. When the poll was taken at day's end, Vigors duly beat Bunbury by 501 votes to 465, a gross poll victory of 36.


Amongst the Alexander family archives at Milford House in County Carlow is a document dated March 1st 1837 in which Thomas Bunbury of Moyle grants Lorenzo Alexander (1810-1867), father of Anne de Robeck, all rights to be Gamekeeper over an extensive area, much of which was in the confines of the Alexander estate. It's witnessed by W.B. McClintock, aka Captain William McClintock Bunbury. As Shay Kinsella says, this throws up several questions. Why would Thomas Bunbury have held game rights over land held by another landlord? What was the relationship between Lorenzo and the Bunburys? Would this offer to be Gamekeeper have carried social prestige for a younger son like Lorenzo? What would he have been paid?

General Election

William IV the Sailor King died on June 21st 1837 and his 18-year-old niece Princess Victoria succeeded as Queen of Britain and Ireland. One of her first acts was to dismiss Sir John Conroy, the Roscommon-born rogue who had effectively controlled her life up to that point. At the General Election which followed her accession, the return of the Tory administration under Sir Robert Peel signified the end of the Whig-O'Connell alliance, as Peel's dominance in the House of Lords enabled him to restrict the promised social and economic reforms in Ireland. O'Connell then set about organising his mass rallies, which culminated at Clontarf in 1843. The Captain received a letter his maternal uncle,Thomas Bunbury of Lisnavagh, in relation to the forthcoming Co. Carlow election: '... It is the unanimous wish of the Carlow gentry that I should again suffer myself to become a candidate. I fear that I must yield to this request. This, however, must be the last time of asking. ..' [SeeG/5/6 and G/6/2.] Tom Bunbury and Henry Bruen duly stood for the Tories in Carlow again but Vigors was returned, along with John Ashton Yates, bringing the Catholic Whig interests to the heart of Westminster in the first year of Queen Victoria's reign. I believe this victory was later called into question. I need to look at these events more closely.

Death of Lord Clancarty

On 24th November 1837, life at Drumcar came to a brief halt with the news of the death of Lady Elizabeth McClintock's brother, the 2nd Earl of Clancarty, at Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath. He was succeeded by his eldest son, William Le Poer Trench (1803-1872). Captain Bunbury was in the Louth neighbourhood, as he drove from Drumcar to visit his uncle Henry on 27 November.


The Lisnavagh archives (G/10) contain a diary from 1837, indicating the Captain went on a tour of his ancestral land, Scotland. This includes a hotel bill from Edinburgh.

1837 Events

· Captain McClintock Bunbury purchased a complete volumes of Wilberforce’s Memoirs when they were published in 1837, suggesting he had an interest in what the man who abolished slavery had to say.
· In India, Hugh Gough is given command of the Mysore division of the Madras Army.
· William Tighe appointed High Sheriff for Co. Carlow.
· John McClintock's brother-in-law, John Lefroy, promoted to lieutenant and sent to Chatham in August where he became devoted to the study of practical astronomy, his talent for magnetic observations being such that he was sent to St. Helena in 1840 (where in 1842 he assisted at the disinterment of the remains of Napoleon I when they were removed to France) and later to North America to make various meteorological and magnetical surveys.
· Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) begins mapping Ireland, ultimately producing handrawn maps of the entire country. These maps, drawn at a scale of 6 inches to a mile, were etched in reverse on copper plate, printed in gray scale and then hand colored. Now after three years of work, ESRI Ireland, a geographical information systems firm working for the OSI has taken these historic maps and joined them together seamlessly. The ultimate goal is to make them available online.
.  The two-storey Royal Arcade, formerly the General Post Office, on College Green, Dublin - is completely destroyed by fire. It was purchased by entrepreneur George Homes who commissioned the architect Francis Johnston to convert it into what was probably Dublin’s earliest shopping centre.

In the small hours of 6 April 1837, Henry Beresford, Earl of Tyrone (later 3rd Marquess of Waterford), Edward Raynard and his fox-hunting pals arrived in Melton Mowbray at the Thorpe End tollgate in a state of intoxication. They nabbed a pot of red paint and then painted the whole town red. Henry also drove from Dublin to Waterford, knocking the balls off every gate post they passed.

1838 Events


the night of the big wind 1839

Every person in Ireland must have been greatly affected by the events of the first week of January 1839. It began with the assasination of the 3rd Earl of Norbury, grandson of the famous Hanging Judge who sentenced the Finnegan Gang of Rathvilly to death back in 1822. Lord Norbury died at midday on Thursday January 3rd having been shot in the lung and arm with eight slugs of a gun while strolling down one of the avenues of his home at Durrow Castle two days earlier. And then, on January 6th, came the Night of the Big Wind. Over 15,000 trees were apparently uprooted from the Clancarty estate. A further 20,000 were lost on the estate of the Charlevilles. In Carlow, Oak Park and Browne's Hill experienced similar losses and one assumes the Lisnavagh estate was similarly hammered. 700 trees were flled at Adare Manr. And at Moydrum Castle in County Westmeath, Lady Elizabeth McClintock's brother-in-law, 78-year-old William Handcock, 1st Viscount Castlemaine [husband of Lady Florinda Trench (daughter of William Power Keating Trench, 1st Earl of Clancarty and Anne Gardiner, Countess of Clancarty] was killed when the storm blew his bedroom window open with such force that he was flung onto his back and ‘expired instantly’. Ireland was devastated although only about 400 died. Norman tower houses and old churches collapsed. Factories and barracks were destroyed. Fires erupted in the streets of Castlebar, Athlone and Dublin. The wind blew all the water out of the canal at Tuam. It knocked a steeple off Carlow Cathedral and a tower off Carlow Castle. It stripped the earth alongside the River Boyne, exposing the bones of soldiers killed in the famous battle 150 years earlier. Roads and railway tracks in every parish became impassable. All along the Grand Canal, trees were pulled up by the roots and hurled across the water to the opposite bank. Perhaps this was the moment when families like the Clancartys began to harden in their religious beliefs. Certainly many who witnessed the carnage of that dreadful night were inclined to think the Day of Judgment was close at hand. The annals noted that Dublin was "visited by a hurricane of unprecedented ferocity'.


On Wednesday, March 20, 1839, William's uncle Thomas Bunbury of Lisnavagh was again noted on the Grand Jury for Carlow, with Sir Thomas Butler as foreman. (Freemans Journal) One of the grim cases he was obliged to consider was the murder in Tankardstown of Henry Pollard by stonecutter Patrick Byrne. Patrick was later transported to Australia. According to Ursula Byrne, a descendant of the family, his brother Andrew Byrne, with an address in Tobinstown, appealed on his behalf but in vain. The following details of the murder appeared in the Freeman’s Journal, 23 March 1839:


Carlow, Wednesday Night.—At the sitting of the court this morning Patrick Byrne, a respectable-looking countryman, was arraigned for the wilful murder of Henry Pollard, at Tankardstown, near Tullow, on the 11th of September last.
Martin Dalton examined—I recollect the day that Pollard was murdered; on that morning I saw a man name James Gibbon; he came into my house at five o'clock in the morning; he was bleeding from the head; in about a hour I went out of my house, and saw a person lying on the road side; I did not know him at the time, but I found afterwards that it was Pollard.
Jane Dalton examined— I am sister to the last witness; about five o'clock on the morning in question I saw three men pass by our house, going on the road towards Tullow; I did not see anything in their hands; the prisoner was one of the persons; after they passed, I saw a person lying on the road; I saw Byrne standing on the road at Mr. Doyle’s iron gate; he had two men with him.
Edward Valentine examined—On the morning of the 11th of September I was going, in company with other persons, to Tullow to sell turf; there were a great many cars on the road, and it was not day light; Pat Whitty was [in] company with me, and we stood behind at a stream to give our horses a drink when the prisoner came up to me and asked me had I any oats on my car ; I said I had not; he was going to search it when I prevented him; he then collared me, and I struck him twice with a loaded whip, and knocked him down at the second blow; he still kept hold of me, and I told him if he did not let me go that I would give him a kick; he did let me go, and I drove on my horse pretty lively, and passed the others who were on the road; I was about half-a-mile on when Byrne came up accompanied by two men, overtook Henry Pollard, and knocked him down; he had something like a stick in his hand, with which he beat him most unmercifully; he cried out murder; James Gibbons, who was with us, was also beaten.
Cross-examined by Mr. Berwick—I had no corn on my car that morning; I heard that the car-boys going to the market with turf before day-light used to steal the corn along the road, and that some of the prisoner's was taken a few mornings before that; the reason he arrested me, or took hold of me at first was, because he suspected that I stole his corn; I struck him so hard that the lead flew off the end off my whip; I cut him severely in the head, and knocked him down.
The jury, after a few minutes' consideration, brought in a verdict of guilty of manslaughter; and the sentence of the court was that he should be transported for life.
Arthur Kinshella was indicted for a malicious assault upon Patrick Byrne. It appeared in this case that the parties were at a funeral, and when coming home they went into a public-house to drink; a fight ensued, when the prisoner was knocked down, and whilst Byrne was standing over him, and holding him down, he took out a penknife and stabbed him in two or three places. The jury brought in a verdict of guilty.

(PS: I think second Patrick Byrne who was stabbed by Arthur Kinshella may be a different man?!)

1839 Events



Pat Purcell Papers.
A Memorial of Registry of the Society or Knot called The County Carlow Principal Knot being one of the Knots of the Society of the Ancient and most benevolent order of the Friendly Brothers of Saint Patrick.
Usual Place of Meeting - At Samuel Whitmore's Club House Hotel in the town of Carlow [later St. Bridget's Hospital].
Usual times of Meeting - 17th March, Ist May, 17th June, 17th August, 17th October, 17th January in each year.
The Names and description of all and every the Members of the said Knot.
John Alexander, Esquire, Milford.
John Alexander, Esq. Milford.
Lorenzo Alexander, Esq. Milford.
William Browne, Esq. Brownes Hill.
Charles Bernard, Esq. Dublin.
Sir Thomas Butler, Bart. Ballintemple.
James Butler, Esq. Broomville.
Bernard Butler, Esq. Dublin.
Edward Butler, Esq. Carlow.
Rev. Richard Butler, Clerk, Garryhundon.
John B. Brady, Esq. Myshall.
Nicholas Browne, Esq. Clohannan.
Henry Butler, Esq. Carlow.
Col. Henry Bruen, Oak Park.
James Battersby, Esq. Carlow.
Rev. Thomas Brooke, Clerk, Urglin.
Uleyess Burgh, Lord Downes, Bart.
Lieut. Col. Richard Brough, Wollwich.
Richard Brough, Esq. 83rd Regiment.
Edward Burton, Esq. Rutland Lodge.
Philip Bagenal, Esq. Bennekerry House.
John Cornwall, Esq. Myshall.
Henry Cary, Esq. Carlow.
Rev. Joseph Chapman, Clerk, Bagenalstown.
William Carruthers, Esq. Knockbeg.
Simion Clarke, Esq. Carlow.
William Cope Cooper, Esq. Cooper Hill.
Darby Herring Cooper, Esq. Shruel Castle.
William Duckett, Esq. Russellstown.
Joseph Duckett, Esq. Ducketts Grove.
Rev. George Dawson, Clerk, Ballynoe.
Major James Eustace, Castlemore.
Samuel Elliott, Esq. Racrouge.
Richard Ellis, Esq. Ravinden.

[The remaining members names is not available yet. According to the records in the Pat Purcell Papers, the Carlow "Knot" in March 1839 discussed the Bible, the New Testament and passed a resolution that no person should be allowed to "swear an Oath on the Holy Evangelists whilst their head was covered by any type of head covering". They also discussed tree planting, tolls on roads and bridges, customs charged at fairs and base coinage, food and wine, putting a stop to Duelling, Faction Fights and Cock Fighting, the drinking of spirits among the "lower class of persons" in the County, chartiable donations, and amalgamating with the Freemasons. At this time many of the Knot members were also members of the Freemasons.

The Paget - McClintock Marriage

On 24 January 1840, Charles Paget was married secondly to Leopold McClintock's sister, Emily Caroline McClintock, first cousin of William and daughter of Henry McClintock.

Sheriff John McClintock

William's brother John McClintock Junior served as High Sheriff for Co. Louth during 1840. On April 2nd 1840, representing ‘the inhabitants of the County Louth’, he was one of a hundred gentlemen who presented an address of congratulation to the Queen and Prince Albert at Buckingham Palace after their marriage. (The Times, Friday, Apr 03, 1840; pg. 5; Issue 17322; col F)

Death of Nicholas Vigors

On 26th October 1840, Nicholas Vigors of Old Leighlin, the 53-year-old Whig MP for Carlow died. Just how dangerous was it to be an MP for Carlow in those early Victorian days?! He had co-founded the London Zoological Society alongside Sir Stamford Raffles. At a meeting chaired by Tyrell, the Hon. Frederick Ponsonby, a Whig, was chosen to contest the vacant seat. After a spirited contest, Colonel Bruen won the seat in the by-election of 30th November, which meant Carlow now had a Whig (Yates) and a Tory (Bruen) in Westminster. (45)

The Lisnavagh Archives include detailed voters lists for the Barony of Carlow from this election, giving the name, address, land value and date of registry for each voter. These lists have been excellently transcribed and digitized by Trevor Clowry of Carlow Rootsweb and are accessible at this link.

(45) "The Rev. Thomas Tyrell: A Priest in Politics", PJ Kavanagh, Carloviana, date unknown. Also "Gems of History", Una Doyle, Carloviana.

the clive-somerset marriage

William's first cousin Theophilus Clive jun., son of Theophilus and Fanny (nee McClintock) Clive, was married in Florence on 23 April 1840 to Frances Caroline Somerset, second daughter of General Lord Edward Somerset, GCB, (1776-1842) who was himself the fourth son of the 5th Duke of Beaufort. Theophilus jun. died on 1 August 1875, leaving a son Colonel Henry Somerset Clive (b. 9 January 1841) who married (1) Ada Blanche Thomas, December 1862 and (2) Ellen Lizzie Lugard, daughter of Lt.-Col. H. W. Lugard, 19 June 1879.

Death of William McClintock

On 30 November 1840, William's 63-year-old uncle William Foster McClintock died. Born on 18th October 1777, he was the third son of Bumper Jack McClintock and younger brother to John McClintock of Drumcar. In 1803 he married Mary, daughter of Major General Helden, with whom he had issue. See Burke's LG.

1840 Events

July 1841 General Election - Bunbury & Bruen vs. O'Connell & Yates

On 17th July 1841, Disraeli wrote to his wife Sarah from London with the ‘good accts [have] just arrived from Dublin and Carlow – the first safe, as it is polled out – and Bruen and Bunbury at the end of the 3rd day 34 ahead’. (Benjamin Disraeli Letters, John Alexander Wilson Gunn, Melvin George Wiebe, No. 1173). Sure enough, in the election of 1841, Colonel Henry Bruen and Thomas Bunbury were returned to parliament for County Carlow, despite a brief challenge to the election result. Daniel O'Connell (based in Florence and on the verge of becoming Lord Mayor of Dublin) had convinced his son John O'Connell to stand with Yates for the Whigs against Colonel Bruen and Thomas Bunbury of the Tory Party. The Whig campaign commenced in June with the arrival in Carlow of O'Connell Junior, alongside Tom Steele, Arthur Ffrench (later Secretary to the Reform and Precursor Club) and Thomas Reynolds (later Marshal of the City of Dublin). Initial enthusiasm amongst Carlow's general populace soon waned. At this time, landlord intimidation was fair game in the bid for votes - coercion by eviction threats and such like. The high-profile Repealers adopted and indeed greatly improved upon the methods of the most bigoted Tories so that every Catholic was torn between "the Devil and the deep blue sea".
At this stage it is well to consider the extent of power wielded by the miscellaneous candidates.
Colonel Bruen of Oak Park, the largest landowner in the Carlow county, had holdings exceeding 16,477 acres.
Thomas Bunbury's Lisnavagh estate was a comparatively small 4960 acres but it seems likely that the Colonel and Bunbury could have relied on the next two major landowners after Bruen - Lord Bessborough (10,578 acres) and Lord Courtown (7,395 acres). Either of these might have supported the candidacy of either Bunbury or Bruen and would have directed his tenants accordingly.
On the other hand, Yates does not seem to have owned a single acre of County Carlow and O'Connell wasn't even from the county.

The threat of tenants voting for landlords was too much for O'Connell's supporters. There were many reports of undecided Catholic free-holders being attacked by the Repealers, of men dragged from Mass and beaten up, of abduction and indoctrination. In one instance, 120 voters were captured, tied on carts, covered in straw and thrown on to a barge bound for Kilkenny, a major stronghold for the Repealers at a time when Carlow loyalties were still tied to the old house of Kavanagh. The police looked aside as these unfortunates were then locked away in an old Brewery until after the election had finished. Again, Zimbabwe springs to mind although this time the perpetrators were the Repealers themselves. On election day, the 12th July, John O'Connell organized a mass march of some 50,000 pike-waving Kilkenny supporters on Carlow Town. Both The Kilkenny Moderator and The Carlow Sentinel alleged that the purpose of this march was to intimidate and coerce potential Tory voters, ransack Oak Park and burn and loot Carlow. I presume Lisnavagh would have been next on the agenda. An O'Connellite billboard poster of the day read:

Do they know what Bruen and his party call the people of Ireland? They call the Catholic people "SAVAGES". They call the venerable and anointed Catholic priesthood "SURPLICED RUFFIANS" and "DEMON PRIESTHOOD". They call the Catholic religion "AN ABJECT SUPERSTITION" and "VILE IDOLATRY".

Daniel O'Connell arrived in Carlow at this time and, either losing his nerve or fearing that the mob was out of hand, warned the authorities in Carlow that he could no longer be responsible for the safety of the town. He and Tom Steele joined police in disarming the pikemen from 6am onwards. Colonel Jackson meanwhile organized the troops while the Constabulary, under Sub-Inspectors Judge, Seymour and Morton and County Inspector A. Roice took possession of the Court. The 6th Dragoon Guards and half a troop of Artillery were summoned forth with a 12 Pounder while the 12th Lancers (under Lieutenant Bernard ) (47) and 10th Hussars (under Sir James Beard and Lord George Beauclerk) lined the main street and blocked off the Court House. This imposing force, commanded by Colonel Jackson, aided by the High Sheriff, HH Cooper. The magistrates on duty at this time were Horace Rochfort, Hugh Faulkner, James Butler, William Duckett, Pilsworth Whelan, Clement Wolseley and Samuel Elliot. A few warning shots were fired but as the evening came, so the mob retired slowly and sullenly from the town "which would, in all probability, have been sacked but for the vigilance of the public authorities". The High Sheriff himself was actually on duty for 14 hours without rest.

The story goes that O'Connell's brother-in-law Finn was so confident of victory that he built a Ballroom at his home, Evergreen Lodge, in Cox's Lane, where the Repealers hoped to celebrate victory. (But it was Bruen and Bunbury's supporters who had the last dance).
Voting continued as normal with neither party showing a convincing lead. At 3 o'clock Bruen and Bunbury were 226 against 213 for Yates and O'Connell.

By 6 o'clock their slender 13 majority had increased to 30 but by 8 o'clock on the Wednesday had dwindled again to 8. On Saturday at 2 o'clock the Court and Hustings were crowded to excess - it was the largest Conservative assembly witnessed in the county. There were three cheers for the Military, Police and Artillery, each officer being named in succession after Colonel Jackson. Mr. Joy, the Assessor, came forward and was loudly cheered. He declared the State of the poll as follows:

Colonel Bruen - 705. Mr. Yates - 697.
Mr. Bunbury - 704. Mr. O'Connell - 696.

"The High Sheriff, amid the most deafening cheers, declared Colonel Bruen and Thomas Bunbury, Esq, duly elected". It was another short-head victory for the die-hard Ascendancy, even though some of Colonel Bruen's own tenants risked eviction to vote against him but then again if the Catholic freeholders were caught voting Conservative they would be persecuted and pilloried.
There seems to have been a collection to finance Bruen's defence of the election petition but, when he received a petition for the erection of a new church and the petitioners had only £2,000 in hand, he agreed to cover the rest of the cost from the funds raised for his case - presumably the money not having been needed after all.

(46) Quoted in "O'Connell and Terror in Carlow", R.P. Murphy, Carloviana (1988 - 1989).
(47) A possible relation of the Bunburys as a daughter of Benjamin of Killerig named Deborah married a Bernard of Burren Street, Co. Carlow. Is this also where George Bernard Shaw's Carlow connections come into play?

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The old front avenue to Lisnavagh,
up which Captain Bunbury would
have driven his carriage in the 1850s.
Photographed circa 2005 .


1840 November 5 (Thursday) - The first meeting of the Carlow Poor Law Guardians was held in the Court House where Colonel Bruen was elected Chairman, Sir Thomas Butler Vice-Chairman and William Fishbourne Deputy Vice-Chairman. At the December Meeting George Wilson, Graigue was appointed Valuator with responsibility to value all the rateable property in the Union, which comprised about 188,304 statute acres (County Carlow 151.935 acres, Queen's County 35,491 acres and Kildare 878 acres). Robert Davies, Dublin Street was appointed Clerk of the Union. George Wilson lived at Somerton House on the Leighlin Road, Graiguecullen, and later moved to Barrow View House. He died on October 17th 1862 aged 65. By his wife Margaret he had four sons Robert Wilson (b c 1827), Susanna Wilson (born 1829), John Isaac Wilson (born 1830), George Percival Wilson (born 1832) and Richard Wilson (born 1834). (Carlow Poor Law Union - The Early Years', by Sean O'Shea, previously published in CARLOVIANA December 2003. No. 52. Pages 28-35).

The Wandesforde Marriage of 1841

On the fine, snow-speckled morning of Tuesday 16th November 1841, William's youngest half-sister Emily McClintock (aka Emily Selina Frances McClintock) was married in Castle Bellingham Church to Mr John Wandesforde, D.L., the Castlecomer coal mining magnate from Co. Kilkenny. He descended from Sir Christopher Wandesforde, who sided with Queen Elizabeth in the Great Northern Rebellion, for which he was made a Knight of Greenwich and awarded Kirklington, the principal family seat in North Yorkshire. His grandson, also Sir Christopher Wandesforde, was granted 35,000 acres of land on the Castlecomer plateau in 1635 by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The plateau had previously belonged to the Brennan Clan of Idough. Sir Cyprian Horsefield had extracted iron ore in the area previous to Wandesforde acquiring the land. Sir Christopher, who also took over the iron works, brought 600 men from the Borders area of England and Scotland with him to Ireland. At least some of these men are likely to have had expertise in mining and farming. [With thanks to John Slattery, grandfather of Jack Brophy, for these details].

John Wandesforde was the eldest son of the Hon. Charles Wandesforde, MP and brother to the 2nd Marquess of Ormonde. The Rev Robert McClintock performed the ceremony which was packed to the rafters and followed by 'a grand dejune' for 44 guests at Drumcar. The 44 included the Wandesfordes, the Marquis of Ormonde and senior members of the Balfour, Fortescue, Le Blanc, Lefroy, Trench, Maxwell, Tighe, Woolsey and Longfield family. William and his brother John also attended, as did Stanley and George. Henry McClintock records all their names in detail as well as the fact 'there was plenty of champagne and claret at the dejune ... at quarter past two, the bride and bridegroom set out in his chaise with four horses for Dublin - they are to stop at Tommy's Hotel in Sackville St & go on tomorrow or next day to Newtown, not far from Castle Comer, where Mr Prior lives'. Henry returned home later and 'took tea & eggs &c", presumably to sober up a little. John Wandesforde passed away on 26 June 1856. There were no children.

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The Church at Tynan where William
McClintock Bunbury married Pauline
Stronge in the autumn of 1842.

One presumes talk was still relatively fresh of a scandal from two years earlier which was published in the Leinster Independent under the heading 'A YOUNG GENTLEMAN SHOT BY A GAMEKEEPER'. The article, which Jack Langton alerted me to, was also published in the Hobart Town Courier (Friday, 22 February 1839, page 4) and reads as follows: 'We are informed that a fine young gentleman, Mr. O'Reilly, son to Dr. O'Reilly, formerly of Carlow, was shot on Wednesday, near Castlecomer, by the gamekeeper of the Hon. C.B. Wandesforde. According to the report, Mr. O'Reilly, who carried a fowling piece, had fired at a crow on a tree, when the gamekeeper came up to demand the gun, which Mr. O'Reilly refused to give him, whereupon the gamekeeper instantly shot him dead. The gamekeeper has been apprehended, and committed to Kilkenny jail.'

The Wandesforde papers are held by the NLI and are available on line.



From the Carlow Sentinel, published in The Times (of London) on January 21, 1841 (p. 3).

On the 2nd inst., about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, a large body of men proceeded to the lands of Williamstown and Rathmore, in this county, shouting and blowing horns. They visited the houses of Myles Burke and John Kelly, and threatened others with death if they did not proceed to Tullow on the Monday following to register before Mr. Hutton. They next visited the adjoining townlands, and stated they were the friends of Mr. O'Connell and would burn the houses of any who refused to attend the registry. They paraded that part of the county until a late hour at night, spreading terror among the peaceable inhabitants, who are afraid of being murdered if they attend fair or market.

ANOTHER ATTACK. On Saturday last a man named Kelly, a tenant to the Hon. Somerset Maxwell, was dragged out of a house in Kildavin by a ruffian named Connor, and both Kelly and his wife were savagely treated, for daring to exercise his privilege conscientiously. From every part of the barony of Rathvilly we receive almost daily accounts of the outrages committed on persons and property; and, not only are the people's lives endangered if they attend the worship of God, but they are suffering at home a kind of systematic persecution unparalleled in the annals of the most barbarous nations.

BLACK LIST --Last week black lists were posted up in the barony of Rathvilly, containing the names of the independent electors who voted at the late election against the Government candidate, and calling on the people to mark them, and to dispose of the traitors that voted against their clergy. Copies of these lists were forwarded to Carlow, as a proof that they were written by a higher class of incendiaries. [Google 'The Reign of Terror in Carlow' for more].

CHAPEL RIOTS.-On the 6th inst., as William Dawson was proceeding to the chapel of Tullow, he was met at the gate by a mob, and threatened with death if he entered the chapel. The gates were shut against him, and he was hooted from the place by the mob. They next entered the chapel, and dragged out his brother, Francis Dawson, and ordered him to be off, saying every supporter of Colonel Bruen should be excommunicated, and placed beyond the pale of civilised life. The Dawsons were under the necessity of effecting their escape from the lawless mob, that were instigated to the committal of these outrages by the disappointed agitators.

1841 Events

January 1842 - Storm destroys 6-700 trees at Adare Manor (on top of Night of Big Wind losses of three years earlier).

The Marriage to Pauline Stronge

On 29th September 1842 Thomas Bunbury of Lisnavagh, then in Paris, wrote to his nephew, William, at Tynan Abbey, congratulating him on his engagement to Pauline Stronge and regretting that he would not be able to attend the marriage owing to my "arrangements here". He offered a gift of £5000 as a wedding present. In the letter he also asks where on earth John (later 1st Baron Rathdonnell) had got to? Pauline was the second daughter of 56 year old Sir James Matthew Stronge, 2nd Bart, of Tynan Abbey, Armagh, by his wife, Isabella, eldest daughter of Nicholas Calvert of Hundson House, MP for Hertfordshire. Her grandmother Frances Pery Calvert was a tremendous society beauty in the Regency period, whose journals can be found here. And for more on the Stronge family generally, see Turtle's Potted History of the Stronge Family. Thet were married in Tynan Church by his Grace the Lord Primate of Armagh on a cold dry day, Thursday 3rd November 1842. (Nenagh Guardian, Wednesday, November 9, 1842). The Primate was Lord John George de la Poer Beresford, second surviving son of George de La Poer Beresford, 1st Marquess of Waterford.


One wonders whether William was involved with the ill-fated 74km long Ulster Canal, connecting Lough Erne to Lough Neagh, which opened for business in 1842. (17,000 passengers traveled on steamers on the Shannon in that same year). With 26 locks, it runs very close to my wife's family home at Bishopscourt (en route to the River Finn), reaching its summit level (highest point) at Smithborough. There was to be some black comedy for the canal when it emerged that its 26 locks, scaled on those of the Royal Canal, transpired to be a foot too narrow to accommodate the average boat operating on waterways linked to the Ulster Canal. William Thomas Mulvanny, the Dublin engineer who masterminded the arterial drainage along the Ulster Canal, went on to open the first deep coal mine in Germany’s Ruhr Valley, as well as developing the region’s canals, railways and shipping.

Just before Christmas 1842, the Countess of Erne, became the first paddle steamer to sail Lough Erne. Owned by the Carlow-born canal and railway engineer William Dargan, she cast out from Wattlebridge, called in at Crom and then onwards to Lisnaskea. It was the first time most people in the area had ever seen a steamer. The Countess of Erne provided a daily service from Belturbet to Enniskillen, until she caught fire and sank in 1846. Brian Osborne from Lough Erne Heritage knows all there is to know of the vessel. Other steamboats operating on Lough Erne were the Belturbet and Knockninny.

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Above: Manor Highgate near Clones and Newtown Butler where Captain Bunbury lived in the 1840s.

Manor Highgate

It appears that William and Pauline moved to Fermanagh at this promising point in Lough Erne's history. They settled in a house by name of 'Manor Highgate', located a mile outside the small village of Magheraveely on the Newtownbutler - Rosslea Road, some 4 miles north-west of Clones. [1] The house stands close to Gorta House which was home to the Crozier family for many years and given that the Croziers were also a major naval dynasty, this connection may be very relevant. The house had an address as 'Clones, County Fermanagh', although it is probably closer to Newtown Butler. Given the Captain's friendship with the Erne's, Highgate may have been an outlying part of the Crom estate. The Captain's diaries reveal that he was constantly visiting Crom Castle so they were evidently great friends, which is presumably how he met William Walker, the architect he originally commissioned to design his house on Lough Erne. The Patons house of Knockballymore is also close.

In any event, the fact that Captain Bunbury lived just outside Clones for somewhere in the region of five years is remarkable to me because my wife grew up in another large house outside Clones called Bishopscourt. During the Captain's time in these parts Bishopscourt was home to the Very Rev. Henry Roper, DD, Rector of Clones and Dean of Clonmacnois. It seems reasonable to suppose that Captain Bunbury would, at some time or other, have had occasion to visit Dean Roper at Bishopscourt in the 1840s.

Presumably the Captain was drawn to the region because of all the possibilities for sailing on Lough Erne. Johnny Madden tells me that yachts were still toing and froing between Crom Castle and Hilton Park during his childhood in the 1950s although sadly that seems to be all past tense now. In any event, for much of the 1840s, the Captain now found himself living close to the waters of Lough Erne. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, these waterways were dominated by the Maguires, Kings of Fermanagh, who ruled from their dual headquarters at Lisnaskea and Enniskillen. In the late 14th century, Philip of the Battle Axe, one of the most expansive of Maguire kings, secured ‘mastery on the water’ and established a fleet of white sail boats on Lough Erne, giving him the power to conduct silent but devastating raids on their enemies. During the 1590s, the Maguires were compelled to fight the ever encroaching Tudor army, uniting with O’Neill, O’Donnell and other clans for the Nine Years War. The death in action of Hugh Maguire in 1600 in Cork was a massive blow for the Gaelic alliance, even before their crushing defeat at Kinsale. Eight years later, having masterminded the Flight of the Earls, the last of the Maguire kings died of fever in Genoa.

In June 2018 George Knight kindly responded to a request by me and consulted his copy of Leslie's "Clogher Clergy and Parishes" to learn more of James Heygate [aka Huggatt / Higate / Highgate] who became Archdeacon of Clogher in 1609, shortly after the death of the last Maguire king. James Heygate was resident in Clones in 1622. He went on to be consecrated Bishop of Kilfenora in Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin in 1630. He died in 1638 and was buried back in Clones, probably within the walls of the old church building. No trace of his tomb remains after all the reconstruction on the site over the 18th and 19th centuries. A final sentence states that the bishop received 'Letters of Denization, 20th May 1617' and 1000 acres known as Mount Calvert, which duly became the Manor of Heygate, thus proving a suggestion fired at me by Christine Rusk. After James Heygate died, the Manor of Heygate passed to Dr. Alan Cooke, who was Bishop Bedell's Chancellor and Vicar General.

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Above: The sale of Manor Highgate as advertised in the Northern Standard, 1846.
(With thanks to Eamonn Fitzsimons).

The house at Manor Highgate is still in existence today and I visited it in March 2012 and met with the owner Hugh Ruttledge, whose great-uncle Hugh Ruttledge purchased the property in the early 20th century. It is ostensibly a typical Georgian block, with probably the same walls, chimney stack and window frames that were there in the Captain's day, although the exterior has been rendered and the portico renovated. Hugh recalls how there were formerly ten bells in the house, connected to a servants wing below ground. There is a farmyard to the rear with cattle. It overlooks rolling drumlins, with a farm on the other side of a wooded drumlin called Bellawillin [sic] which Hugh Ruttledge believes would have been part of the Highgate demesne in the 19th century. Hugh's uncle owned it but then sold it although the Ruttledges now own much of this land.

According to his 1844 diary, the Captain took possession of Manor Highgate on 15th May. The property was advertised for an August 1846 sale in the pages of the Northern Standard (after his electoral success) although the captain was still noted at that address in The Annual register, or, A view of the history and politics of the year 1847 (Publisher: J.G. & F. Rivington, 1847). His 1845 diary suggests he loves walking, and was always walking, to Armagh, to Clones, to Crom, to Tynan. He occasionally sails with the Earl of Erne who was apparently going to call a boat 'Pauline' after his wife. He also attends church every Sunday. His friends include Mr. Fleming of Monaghan, Mr. T. Butler and Mr and Mrs Trench. By 1846, he is often visiting the Fortescues at Dromisken, Co. Louth. He also attends cattle shows a good deal. He also stayed at Duckett's Grove and Castle Comer (where his half-sister lived). He also attends the Assizes in Enniskillen in 1844 or 1845, along with Lord Erne.

Lady Erne stood as godmother to one of Captain Bunbury's children in 1847. As an aside, when we were growing up at Lisnavagh, the nearby house at Rathmore (once Colonel Kane Bunbury's home) was occupied by Baron Michael and Lady Rosanagh Raben-Levetzau and their four sons, Mathew, Alexander, Victor and Seamus. Lady Rosanna is a daughter of the 5th Earl of Erne. Their youngest son Seamus Raben became a great friend of mine. In 2007, he stood as godfather to my daughter Jemima and I stood as godfather to his son Charlie. Unbeknownst to us at the time, our respective forebears had signed up to similar godparent duties 160 years earlier. When I mentioned this to Seamus, and the Captain's nautical connections, he wrote: 'The Erne family were great boat designers due to competitive yacht racing against rival aristos on Lough Erne. Boat building at Crom was well know and followed with great interest from all over Europe. It is said that the Kaiser regularly asked is officials in his navy what was the latest design from Crom.'


[1] Manor Highgate was previously home to Christopher Edmund Allen, father of Edmund Allen (a well-known Dublin barrister) and the Rev. Thomas Meredith (1777-1819) of Dublin. The latter married Elizabeth Mary (1792-1855), a daughter of Richard Graves, Dean of Ardagh, Co. Cork, and sister of Ireland's celebrated surgeon, Robert James Graves (1797-1853) of Merrion Square, Dublin, and later of Cloghan Castle, Co. Offaly. The Rev. Meredith died mysteriously in 1819 and his widow married again and went to Canada. However, the Rev. Meredith's 'strikingly handsome' son, Edmund Allen Meredith (1817-1899) became a Canadian politician and Principal of McGill University, Montreal. Another family associated with Manor Highgate were the Scotts. On Saturday June 2nd 1908, The Weekly Irish Times noted the death at 13 Leeson Park, of Hannah Georgina Scott, eldest daughter of the late Ralph Scott, of Manor Highgate, Newtownbutler'. She died on 27 May 1908.

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The entrance gates to Tynan Abbey, above, were remarkably
similar to those at Lisnavagh until the latter were
necessarily modernized in the 1990s.

Tynan Abbey

Tynan was never far away. I visited Tynan with my wife in the spring of 2007. While it is difficult to forget the murder of Sir Norman Stronge and his son, the lands around Tynan are rolling, fertile, defiantly optimistic. A stream runs by the old granite front gates, itself astonishingly similar to the old front gates at Lisnavagh. Through them one can see the long straight avenue running towards the house. The village of Tynan is tiny; its old high cross which Bourke Cochrane had replicated over his gravestone in New York, is eroding fast but one can still decipher Adam and Eve sniffing each other out. A boy racer whistles by; a horse, being broken in, rears its head in a small field behind us. Across the road from the cross is the church where Captain Bunbury married his Pauline - or was she too known as Poly? There is a hefty monument to the "STRONGE" family by the front door and many graves round about, including two I photographed of Sir Francis Stronge and Alice Stronge. The town is on the road to Middleton, one of the most bombed border towns in Ireland.
A daughter Kate Isabella McClintock Bunbury was born in December 1843. She was destined to pass away the following year.

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The headstones of Sir Francis and Alice Stronge at Tynan.

Paget and McClintock - 5 hrs 10 m a.m

Nicky McClintock owns a set of six volumes of the "Lives of the Admirals" each of which carries the same inscription on the fly-leaf: "From Charlie Paget, late Captain of the old Samarang to his friend and ship-mate Francis Leopold McClintock, May 19th 1842 at 5 hrs 10 m a.m." I have yet to discover the significance of that particular moment.

General Election of 1842

Tom Bunbury and Henry Bruen are returned for Carlow.


March 30; Ryan, John; --; Carlow; Borris
April 6; Sheil, John; Labourer; Carlow; Forth
May 11; Hayes, John; Labourer; Carlow; Carlow
May; Farrell, James; Bailiff; Carlow; Carlow
May; Kennedy, James; Gentl Servant; Carlow; Idrone West
October; McDonnell, Mrs. L.; Respectable; Carlow; Idrone East

(From House of Lords report on 'Murders or Attempts to Murder committed in Ireland since the 1st January 1842, specifying the County and Barony of the County where such Murders of Attempts to Murder were committed or made, and the Name and Condition of the Persons so Murdered or Assaulted.')

Carlow 1842.

Military Barracks, Cavalry and Infantry, Barrack Street, Carlow.
Major Peter Browne, District Barrack Master for Carlow, Athy and Baltinglass.
Constabulary Barracks, Burrin Street, Carlow.
Inspector Abraham Royse, Sub-Inspector George Browne.
Revenue Police Barracks, Bridewell Lane, Carlow.
Inspector, Lieut. John Reynell Murray.
County Gaol, Bridewell Lane, Carlow.
Governor Robert Mc Dowell.
Excise Office, Royal Arms Hotel, Dublin Street, Carlow.
Supervisor, Mr Edward Philip, Esquire.
Stamp Office, 134 Tullow Street, Carlow.
Sub-Distributor, Mr John Church, Esquire.
Office at Carlow Court House. Dublin Road, Carlow.
County Treasurer, Mr Thomas Whelan, Esquire.
Secretary to the Grand Jury, Mr Robert Browne, Esquire.
Inspector of Weights and Measures, Mr David Campion, Esquire.
Lunatic Asylum, Athy Road, Carlow.
Governor, Mr William Parsons, Esquire.
Matron, Lavinia Parsons.
Barrow Navigation Company, Graigue, Carlow.
Secretary, Mr Peter De La Touche, Esquire.
Comptroller, Mr Henry Cole, Esquire.A Good Season.

(from a note in the Browne-Clayton papers).

Carlow Cricket Club have unbeaten season in 1842 playing 2 home matches and 5 away - at Desart (Kilkenny); Loughcrew (Meath); The Heath (Queens), Avondale (Wicklow) and Phoenix Park.

Carlow Union Workhouse was constructed in the years c1842-1844 on a site on the Kilkenny Road, Carlow, close to where the Technical College is today. It was designed to accommodate 800 inmates and cost £9,000 to build. 'At the end of January 1847 there were nearly 1,200 persons crammed into the accommodation meant for 800. The guardians had two sheds built urgently in the yards as temporary dormitories and a further 250 persons were admitted to these.' See: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/whouse_2.htm for more. It was demolished in the 1960's. Ask About Ireland have a photograph taken by Jim Banbury for the Office of Public Works c.1955.


'We are sorry to announce the death of this estimable gentleman, which took place at his seat, Ballyellen, county Carlow, on Wednesday night, under circumstances which have plunged his large family into the deepest affliction. He had been some days previously on a visit at a friend's place beyond Kilkenny, and drove home in his gig that evening, a distance of about sixteen miles. On his arrival he complained of being greatly fatigued, and retired to bed. In about an hour afterwards he complained of a violent oppression about his heart, and within five minutes expired. An inquest was held yesterday before Edward Gorman, Esq., county coroner, and a respectable jury, who brought in verdict of "Died hy the visitation of God." -Mr. Blakeney was a Deputy Lieutenant of Carlow, and had been twice returned to Parliament, for that county Pilot of Friday.'
(Cork Examiner, Monday 19 September 1842 ).

The Nation

The Young Ireland Movement is formed to cater for the growth of nationalist politics and arts. The Nation was founded on 15th Oct 1842 by three young barristers, Charles Gavan Duffy, John Blake Dillon and Thomas Davis, all central figures in the group later known as Young Ireland. On its first day of publication the print-run of 12,000 copies was sold out, and within a short time The Nation had a higher print circulation than any other newspaper in Ireland.

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The First Opium War (1839-1842) concluded when William's cousin, Hugh Gough lead a spirited campaign against the
Chinese, forcing them to sign the Treaty of Nanking, on HMS Cornwallis, on 29 September by which Britain gains control of
Hong Kong. For his efforts, Gough was created a baronet and received the thanks of both parliament and the East India
Company. Gough is the red-haired, red-coated man seated to the left in this close up from “The Signing and Sealing of the
Treaty of Nanking in the State Cabin of H. M. S. Cornwallis, 29th August, 1842”, painted by Capt. John Platt.

Death of Henry McClintock (1843)

William's uncle, the diarist Henry McClintock died on 27th February 1843. That same year, Henry's son Leopold passed his Lieutenant's examination and joined the Gorgon steamship, under Captain Charles Hotham, in South America. The ship was driven ashore at Montevideo and salvaged, a feat of seamanship on the part of her captain and officers that attracted much attention. On the strong recommendation of his captain, Leopold McClintock received his lieutenancy on 29th July 1845. He spent the next five years serving on the American coasts.

1843 Events

'The Lord Primate (ie: Lord John Beresford) has appointed Wednesday the 13th instant, for holding a conformation at Castlebellingham, after which his Grace will proceed to Drumcar, the seat of John McClintock, Esq.'. (Nenagh Guardian, Wednesday, September 13, 1843, p. 3).

1844 Events


April 24; Tracey, Thomas; Labourer; Carlow; Idrone East
September 22; Henry, William; Labourer; Carlow; Carlow
February; Keane, Mary; Poor Woman; Carlow; Idrone East
September; Kehoe, Pat; Boy (trespassing); Carlow; Carlow

(From House of Lords report on 'Murders or Attempts to Murder committed in Ireland since the 1st January 1842, specifying the County and Barony of the County where such Murders of Attempts to Murder were committed or made, and the Name and Condition of the Persons so Murdered or Assaulted.')


The Devon Commission (officially 'Commission on Occupation of Land (Ireland)' was appointed by Sir Robert Peel to research the problems with unfair land leases, with Pierce O'Mahony of Grangecon to the fore. Sensing this was simply to facilitate British takeover of Irish lands, Daniel O’Connell likened it to ‘a jury of butchers trying a sheep for its life’. Headed by William Courtney, 10th Earl of Devon, it reported in 1845 that the population of Ireland had exploded from 6 million people to close on 8 million people. Amongst other findings:

1845 Events

The only Bunbury listed for County Carlow in Slater's Directory of Ireland 1846 is a cobbler called Robert Bunbury.

The present University College Cork, then known as Queen's University, opened to students.

USA annexes Texas.

21st day of January 1845. John Conran left his Horse yoked under his Car at Coal Market Carlow and left him untied. Said Horse is vicious and headstrong and unsafe to be left without Control, said Horse ran violently against a Window in the House of Gabriel Thorpe in John Street Carlow and knocked down Mrs Mary Thorpe by which Mrs Mary Thorpe has sustained serious bodily harm, her Arm being broken and she being otherwise seriously injured through the Negligence of aforesaid John Conran. ( signed) Thomas Thorpe. Sworn before me Carlow January 21st 1845. C.H. Tuckey. (PPP)

7 Feb 1845: Lord Haddington appoints Sir John Franklin commander of expedition to Northwest Passage, with Francis Crozier as his No. 2. Did Captain McClintock Bunbury harbour any desires to go with them, or was he exhausted by his previous exploits?!

19 May 1845: Erebus and Terror moved into Thames & set off on expedition.

26 July 1845: Franklin’s expedition last seen by Europeans when a whaler spots them moored to an iceberg in Lancaster Sound.

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A cricket match from 1850 as depicted in the Illustrated London News.



From the Pat Purcell Papers (undated, circa 1845?).
To the Clerk of the Peace for the County of Carlow.
A Memorial of the Society or Lodge of Freemasons called Carlow Lodge and being No 116 of the List of Freemasons in Ireland.
Usual Places of Meeting - Masonic Hall, Dublin Street, in the town of Carlow.*
Usual Times of Meeting - First Monday in each month at 8 O'Clock.
The Names and Description of all and every Members of said Lodge.
Thomas Crawford Butler, Solicitor, Carlow.
Sim Clarke, Miller, Carlow.
T. H. Cooper, Gentleman, Queen's County.
Richard Davis, Shoemaker, Carlow
Sam Edge, Medical Doctor, Crettyyard, Queen's County.
M.[ ? ] R. Fitzmaurice, Gentleman, Everton, Carlow.
George Faircloth, Painter, Carlow.
Stanley Johnson, Baker, Carlow.
William Johnson, Baker, Carlow.
Richard McMullen, Wine Merchant, Carlow.
James Porter, Surgeon, Carlow.
George Wilson, Gentleman, Graigue.

* This was possibly the Club House, later St. Bridget's Hospital.
[Note added 2012 - there were many more names recorded but unfortunately only one side of the Registration Form was photocopied.]

FURIOUS DRIVING (Pat Purcell Papers, 1845): The Jurors for our most Sovereign Lady Victoria the Queen, upon their Oath, present that John Holbrooke of Leany late Servant to Pillworth Whelan and the house of Robert Durden on the 4th of January in the eight year of the reign of our most Sovereign Lady Victoria the Queen, with force and arms, at Ballon in the County of Carlow in and through the Queen's common Highway there, unlawfully, furiously, and at a rapid pace, did drive and ride a certain two wheel, one horse carriage by reason whereof the liege subjects of our most Sovereign Lady Victoria the Queen on the day and year aforesaid at Ballon, could not go, return, pass, re-pass and labour in and through the Queen's common Highway there without great hazard and danger of being maimed by the said horse and carriage and losing their lives, to the great damage, terror, and common nuisance of all liege subjects of our most Sovereign Lady Victoria the Queen in, by and through the said Queen's common Highway at Ballon there going, returning, passing and re-passing and labouring to the evil example of all others in the like case offending, and against the peace of our most Sovereign Lady Victoria the Queen, and her Laws , her Crown, and Dignity. ~~~ Confined till further notice ~~~~ (signed) ? Browne-Clayton Browne, Brownes Hill. Members of the Jury, Abraham Derenzy, James Eustice, Philip Nowlan, Thomas Bennet, John Langrill, John Brooke, James Warren, James Galbraith, Francis Caulfield, Sam Seabrooke (Leabrooke ?), William Keir, John Corrigan, James Hagarty.

Death of Kate Bunbury and Charles Paget

The Armagh Guardian reported the death on April 21 at Manor Highgate, Co. Fermanagh, of 'Kate Isabella, daughter of Captain W. B. M'Clintock, R.M., aged one year and five months'. (48) Her father appended her death in his diary with a biblical quotation. She presumably died before the birth of her sister Isabella who grew up to write witty poems ... so I need to double check when the latter was actually born.

Kate Isabella McClintock of Manor Highgate, 23rd April 1845, 17 months & 3 days. Henry Tottenham, Rector. [Galloon Register, Baptisms & Burials 1845-1881, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland, PRONI MIC/1/51]

A month later, on 26th May 1845, William heard that his friend and former Captain Charles Paget had died aged 38. He had been sick since February but died 'fully in his senses & in peace & hope, with his head on his wife's arm - she bore the blow fimrly at first, Rosa being with her was a great comfort to her, he was buried in Portsmouth in a week after' (H McClintock Diary). In August, there was some consolation with the news from South America that Leopold McClintock had officially received his lieutenancy 'as a reward for his zeal & activity on board the 'Gorgon' when she was aground at Monte Video' (H. McC Diary). Edward Tipping.

(48) The Armagh Guardian, April 29, 1845


Conveyances are always ready to carry passengers from Carlow to the Grand Canal Harbour, Portobello, Dublin
Day Boats and Night Boats available. Parcel, Coal and Lumber Boats also ply between Dublin and Waterford also for the conveyance of butter, flour, etc. for the English Markets.
The following Mail and Day Coaches pass through Carlow every day on the road to Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford, stopping at towns in between Carlow and their respective destinations:
The New Ross Day Car.
The Cork Mail Coach.
The Kilkenny Day Mail Coach.
The Clonmel Day Car.
The Waterford and Kilkenny Day Coach.
Printed for The Sheaf Inn, Burrin Street, Carlow, and The Coach Hotel, Burrin Street, Carlow
Further Information from The Sheaf Inn Proprietor and your Servant, Thomas Hanlon.
also serving The Coach Hotel, Burrin Street, Carlow. (Ample Coach Yard at rear).
Proprietor : Mrs Carpenter.

From a poster in the Pat Purcell Papers (circa 1845).


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William Bunbury's cousin Sir Hugh
Gough, from a very early 1850
photograph. In 1843, Gough
became Commander-in-Chief
of the British Army in India.

Outbreak of the Great Famine

According to his diary, on 11th November 1845, William 'attended a meeting on the subject of the potato disease' while based at Crom. The first reports of diseased potatoes in Carlow came in September 1845. The ensuing blight took out most of the potato crop in Ireland, bringing about the greatest famine in modern Europe. Within five months, between a third and a half of all crops had been destroyed. The south of County Carlow was particularly hard hit with some 80% of employees in the Borris district being unemployed. In Hacketstown and Clonmore, unemployment was running at about 50% although in Tullow, where the crop had been seriously blighted, there was apparently no unemployment. In November, Sir Robert Peel, Britain's Prime Minister, purchased £185,000 (£2 million today) worth of Indian corn or maize, most of it paid for by the Irish tax-payer. When it arrived the following February, it fed one million people for one month, and was sold rather than given out. Henry Bruen and Tom Bunbury were the sitting MPs for County Carlow when the Great Famine struck.
See also Mick Purcell's excellent article.

Baron Gough & the First Sikh War

With the outbreak of the First Sikh War in early December, William's cousin Sir Hugh Gough assembles an army and moves them forward 150 miles towards the Punjab. Viceroy Harding loyally places himself under Gough`s orders as second-in-command. Gough's army defeats the Sikh "invaders" by dint of sheer hard fighting at Mudki (December 18th) and Ferozshah (December 21st). On February 10th 1846, Sir Hugh Gough wins further victory against Sikhs at Sobraon. Nearly 20,000 Sikhs and sepoys had been killed since outbreak of war two months earlier on December 11th. Gough now negotiated a peace with the Sikh durbar at Lahore whereby all the fertile lands between the Rivers Beas and Sutlej, and strategic mountain areas (including the Kashmir) were surrendered to the British. Gough was duly raised to the peerage as Baron Gough of Ching-keang-foo (China), Maharajpore and the Sutlej (East Indies). Click here for more on Gough and the Punjab.

Drumcar Church


The Drumcar mausoleum in January 2009, just weeks before
the Bunbury siblings appraoched it with saws and scythes.

Drumcar Church was built by John McClintock in 1845, two decades before that good God-fearing Victorian stawlwart became the 1st Lord Rathdonnell. He also paid for the construction of a particularly striking mausoleum, inside of which he and his wife were buried, and which my siblings and I set about restoring in March 2009. (Further details of the church can be found here). That same soggy wet Saturday, the centre spread of the Irish Daily Mail consisted of a story I wrote suggesting that Queen Victoria was the illegitimate daughter of an Irishman, Sir John Conroy. While I pulled the ivy from the mausoleum walls, it occurred to me that the 1st Lord might very well appear from the Far Side and give me a good whack on my ass with his cane for my treasonable thoughts.

The mausoleum itself was locked at this time and we were unable to get in, although my brother William slipped his camera through a small slip of a window and managed to snap what appeareed to be a broken and desecrated tomb. Had grave robbers been down to see if the Rathdonnells were buried with any jewelery? Didn't people know better than that - Irish Protestants would never be buried with their wealth! It turns out that the tomb might not have been quite so violently desecrated as we thought. A family freind who was familiar with the interior explained that this single slab, now broken, covered over a hole. Wooden steps run from the hole to a lower level inside which are fifteen coffins for McClintocks. (We couldn’t think why the three McClintocks buried just outside the mausoleum didn’t make the grade). The mausoleum was a popular destination for local beer swillers and they may have broken the slab but the coffins are believed to be intact. The steps are quite possibly rotten. Some effort was put into restoring the mausoleum in the 1970s; re-slating the roof which was a very tricky operation what with it being a pointy roof without any real grip potential. Sylvia McClintock also played a role when she requested the church fell a tree that was in danger of falling on the building. Edgar and Charlie Treadwell replied that they were not allowed cut trees without the express permission of the head honchos of the RCB in Armagh. So they craftily reclassified the tree as a bush and down it came!It does seem as though the church is effectively closed now. Irene Bell and the Treadwells are practically its only parishoners and I believe they said the last service was held there in September 2008. There is thus an argument that the church is now a ruin. As such, we may have to be wary of plunderers stealing the memorials from the walls. One memorial seemed to be gone already and that might well have been the 1st Lord Rathdonnell’s memorial. I would propose that the church be gifted to the Saint John of Gods of Drumcar House. They might not thank anyone for it but, on the other hand, perhaps they could conceive a useful purpose for the structure and so justify its ongoing maintenance.

See also this article from Drogheda Independent, 2011.

The McClintock's stepmother Lady Elizabeth McClintock was a serious Protestant Evangelical and in 1825 she founded a Protestant elementary school in Drumcar. In fact, I think the whole family were pretty Evangelical in the 1830s and 1840s. Watching Jeremy Paxman’s series on The Victorians , it seems this was something of a last gasp from the Christian world as science began to undermine their beliefs in eternal life and so on. (The word ‘dinosaur’ was born in 1842). And building fancy flamboyant mausoleums was their way of sticking two fingers up at all those who derided the concept of an afterlife. I’m not sure when things changed. Certainly the letters that Billy Bunbury’s sisters sent to their parents after his death in Africa in 1900 continue that religious theme … rest assured that he is now seated at the right hand of God the Father and the Lamb of God sort of stuff. What did Captain Bunbury think of it all? Presumably he was one of the first to read Darwin's thoughts, having met the man back in the 1830s? I also think the Captain's son - Thomas Kane McCB, the 2nd Baron and Billy’s father, was the sort of guy who fully understood the wonder of science and engineering, making sure Lisnavagh was one of the most cutting edge farms of its day with saw-mills and what not. It’s also curious to note that TKMcCB’s grave comprises a large Celtic cross and is just in front of my Grandfather’s rock in Rathvilly.



The Lisnavagh Archives contain three outsize drawings (2 plans and an elevation) by William Walker, architect, 'For a proposed house on the banks of Lough Erne for Capt. McClintock, R.N.' [the future Capt. W.B. McClintock-Bunbury, who had not yet double-barrelled his name]. This two story over basement gentleman’s residence, which as far as is known was never built, may have been designed for the McClintock estate in Co. Fermanagh, or it may have been attached to the Crom estate. Wallker became an expert in the Tudor style during the 1820s, specializing in churches and country houses. He was closely linked to the Shirleys of Carrickmacross and may have done some work for the Earl of Erne at Crom Castle, after the 1840 fire, which was probably the basis of his introduction to ‘Captain McClintock'.

Death of Tom Bunbury

On 28th May 1846, Thomas Bunbury of Moyle and Lisnavagh, eldest son of William and Catherine Bunbury and sitting MP for Carlow died at his London residence, St. James's Hotel. He was in his 72nd year, had never married and had no children. In accordance with his mother's will, he gave, devised and bequeathed all his estates, freehold, copyhold and leasehold, to trustees therein named upon trust for his 70 year old brother, Kane Bunbury, for life, with two thirds remainder falling to his nephew, William Bunbury McClintock and his heirs, and one third remainder to his other nephew, John McClintock Jr. Further details follow below as published in the Nenagh Guardian (p. 4) on Saturday, August 22, 1846, and the Statesman and Dublin Christian Record (Tuesday 18 August 1846). Three things stand out from this report for me. Firstly, Tom Bunbury’s request that Kane 'give to each of the labourers and others employed on the estate suit of clothes as he had done when he took possession.’ Secondly, the concept of a family estate valued at £180,000 in Canterbury, which is news to me. And thirdly, the record that Tom executed his will just two days before his death. :

'Thomas Bunbury of Lisnevagh and Moyle has left all his real, freehold and copyhold and leasehold estates, to his brother, Kane Bunbury, Esq., for life, and after his decease to his nephew, William Bunbury McClintock, and his heirs, for ever, upon condition that he shall apply for the necessary license under his Majesty’s sign manual to use and bear the surname and arms of Bunbury, and bequeaths to his brother, for his own absolute use, the furniture, books, farming stock and implements, and other effects at Moyle – the plate for his life only, and then to his nephew, John McClintock, absolutely, to whom he leaves all his furniture and effects at Bath, and at the St. James's Hotel – and also bequeaths,
to his nephew, John McClintock, a legacy of 50,000l sterling and 10,000l Irish currency, secured on mortgage;
to his nephew, W. B. McClintock (to whom he leaves the reversion of his real estates) a legacy of 30,000l.
To his cousin Thomas Bunbury, 2000l.
To Mrs. C. Elmore an annuity of 400l, or a sum equivalent, and an immediate bequest of 200l.
A few other legacies, including his bailiff and household servants; and hopes that his brother Kane, on his succeeding to Moyle, will follow his example and give to each of the labourers and others employed on the estate a suit of clothes, as he had done when he took possession.
All legacies to be free of duty.
The residue of his personal estate he leaves in trust to pay the interest, dividends, and annual proceeds, to his brother Kane for life, and at his demise to divide the said residue into three parts, giving two-thirds to his said nephew, W. B. McClintock, and the remaining third to his said nephew, John McClintock, absolutely.
The executors are his two nephews W. B. McClintock, Esq., of Manor Highgate, Highgate, near Cloves [sic], Fermanagh, and John McClintock, Esq., of Dromoskin House, near Castle Bellingham, Louth, and William Elliott, Esq., of Harcourt-street, Dublin.
The personal estate in England, and within the province of Canterbury, was estimated for probate duty at 180,000l which is exclusive of the value of the real estates and other effects in Ireland. The deceased died at the age of 71, and executed his will only two days before his death – Morning Post’.

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The McClintock Bunbury Coat of Arms at Drumcar.

The McClintock Bunbury Surname

Following the news of his uncle's death Captain William B. McClintock (then living at Manor Highgate, Fermanagh) moved to Lisnavagh where not only did he succeed to the parliamentary seat of his maternal uncle in Carlow (1st July), but also, in compliance with his will, he adopted the name and arms of McClintock Bunbury (1st August). He was granted new arms, crest and motto on his assuming, by Royal licence, the additional name and arms of BUNBURY, 'in compliance with the testamentary injunctions of his maternal uncle, THOMAS BUNBURY, of Lisnevagh and Moyle, co. Carlow, M.P'. The crest of Bunbury of Moyle family was a gold leopard's face with two silver swords thrust through it from opposing diagonals. This was now combined with the McClintock crest of a lion, as found on the Lisnavagh crockery. Likewise, on the family arms, the three red and blue chess rooks on the Bunbury arms were now quartered with the silver scallops of the McClintocks. The family motto was the sobering reminder that 'FIRMUM IN VITA NIHIL' (Nothing in life is permanent).
In a letter of 1868, Pauline McClintock Bunbury counselled her uncle-in-law, Colonel Kane Bunbury, when she and William first came to live in Carlow, 'we had a capital, I think, of between 60 and 70,000 pounds'. She said William had spent between £20 - 30, 000 pounds ('I forget the exact sum') on the purchase of small properties at the Aldborough 'and those near Tullow and Hacketstown'. However, she assured the old man, 'the remainder of his capital he spent on this house, gardens, place, and on our own living, our children, elections & c'. (48b)

48 a. Bunbury of Moyle, co. Carlow, Ireland. ARMS: Ermine, a chess rook between two leopards' faces in bend between two bendlets Sable (black).
CREST:..Two swords saltierwise through the mouth of a leopard's face Or (gold). MOTTO: FIRMUM IN VITA NIHIL. (Nothing in life is permanent).
McClintock-Bunbury. ARMS: Quaterly, 1st and 4th, Argent (silver), on a bend Sable (black), three chess rooks of the field (i.e., silver), for BUNBURY; 2nd and 3rd, per pale Gules (red) and Azure (blue), a chevron Ermine, between three scallops Argent (silver), for MCCLINTOCK. CREST: 1st - Two swords in saltire Argent (silver), hilted Or (gold), pierced through a leopard's face of the last (i.e., gold); 2nd - A lion passant Proper (natural color).
48 b. Lisnavagh Archives G/J/13: Colonel Kane Bunbury Correspondence.

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Above: This portrait is reputedly of William's
uncle, Thomas Bunbury, MP for Carlow.
When Thomas died in 1846, he made William
his heir at Lisnavagh - on condition that he take
on the name and arms of Bunbury as well
as McClintock. Hence, McClintock Bunbury.

The Carlow By-Election

Thomas Bunbury's death had also left Carlow with a vacant seat in Westminster. As was the fashion in the 18th and 19th centuries, his nephew William McClintock - soon to be McClintock Bunbury - was proposed by General Robert Clayton-Browne and seconded by John Dawson Duckett. The Perthshire Courier were quick to pick up on the story, under an article entitled 'Representation of Carlow' published on Thursday 18 June 1846:

'The Tories of Carlow have called upon Mr McClintock, of Drumcar, county of Louth, to become a candidate for the representation of Carlow county, vacant the recent death of Mr Bunbury. Mr McCiintock is nephew tothe deceased member, and will eventually inherit his large estates and vast accumulations. This amounts, it is said, to several hundred pounds. The estate and funded property descend to Col. Bunbury, who resides in England, but at his death they go to Mr McClintock. This latter gentleman is a Captain in the army, and his father formerly represented Louth in the Imperial Parliament. Another report is that Sir Thomas Butler, Bart., will be the new member for the county.'

William, who had only lately returned to Carlow from Ulster, succeeded in the representation in an uncontested election five weeks after his uncle's death on 1st July 1846. He retained the seat at the Westminster Parliament in London for 16 years until his retirement in 1862, save for a short stint between 19 July 1852 and 25 April 1853 when John Ball (later Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies) held the seat. As such he was MP during such epochs as the Great Famine, the Young Ireland Rebellion, the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny. His fellow MP from 1847 to 1852 was the notorious financial rogue, John Sadlier.


'His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant left Viceregal Lodge, on Thursday last, at one, and arrived by a special train in Carlow, at 20 minutes past two o'clock, the journey, 56 miles, being performed in one hour and 29 minutes - the speed at some parts of the line averaging 50 miles an hour. His Excellency was accompanied by Sir John Macneil, Engineer - in-chief, Mr Durance, head of the locomotive department, who drove the engine himself; and by Mr Elwin, chief superintendent of the traffic department. His Excellency expressed to Sir John Macneil and the officers of the company, his marked approval of the entire arrangements, and observed that hitherto he entertained no idea of the perfection to which railways had approached in Ireland.
There were eight horses from the Carlow Club House in readiness at the terminus, and his Excellency, without further delay, accompanied by Ladies Harriett, Emily and Kathleen Ponsonby, the Hon. Gerald Ponsonby, Captain Henry Ponsonby, and Mr Gerry Connellan, in two private carriages, proceeded to Bessborough, the family residence of the noble Earl at Piltown. We are happy to learn that his Excellency appeared in the enjoyment of good health. His Excellency travelled in a strictly private capacity, and, consequently, there was no guard of honour in waiting to receive him.'
(Pat Purcell Papers. Transcribed by Selina Lawlor. Carlow Sentinel. August 1846).

1846 Events

· John Lefroy marries a daughter of Sir John B. Robinson, CB. She died in 1859.
· Repeal of Corn laws: The Duke of Wellington had long advocated to Peel the importance of the abolition of the Corn Laws. Peel duly abolished the Corn Laws and so secured Free Trade. Thus Wellington was due some of the massive emotional outpouring of grief that swept Britain when Peel was subsequently killed in a horsefall.
. Carlow Races take place at Ballybar in August; the opening of the Great Southern and Western Railway was brought forward in order to accommodate racegoers. Some useful illustrations from the Illustrated London News of 1850 on http://www.igp-web.com/carlow/Horse_racing.jpg
. March 12, 11 ½ P.M.; Murphy, John; Labourer; Carlow; Idrone East (homicide)


The Captain's first cousin Elizabeth Chomondelay McClintock, daughter of the Rev. Alexander McClintock, was married in 1846 to Edward Beaufort, son of Rev. William Lewis Beaufort, LLD, and nephew of Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857), inventor of the Beaufort Scales. Edward’s mother was a daughter of Thomas St. Lawrence, Dean of Cork. Edward and Elizabeth had issue.

The Famine Continues

In early June 1846, Richard Pennefather of Rathsallagh House, Under-Secretary in Dublin Castle, reported to Charles Trevelyan, Secretary to the Treasury, that aggravated distress existed in some parts of the county. Trevelyan proposed that the typical Irish peasant worked for about five weeks a year "a fortnight planting, a week or ten days digging, 14 days cutting turf" and spending the remaining 47 weeks or so sitting on a ditch, smoking and philosophising. The situation worsened over the autumn and the first relief schemes were set in motion. The wants of the poor were to a large extent catered for by the activities by local Relief Committees organized by the gentry and clergy. Horace Rochfort, the former High Sheriff, set up the Idrone West Committee and supplied his tenants with seed potatoes at his own expense. John James Lecky of Ballykealy established another Relief Committee in Forth where he distributed bread, soup and meal to famine victims. Money poured in from the landed classes and gentry - the Dean of Leighlin subscribed £700; the Misses Vigors gave £35, Father Patrick Kehoe £5, Dr. Haly £3 and Colonel Bruen a whopping £50 (to Rochfort). In Tullow, over £250 was collected. Lord Duncannon, the Lord Lieutenant of the County, sanctioned government grants to obtain two thirds of the amount subscribed for 5 of the 10 Relief Committees set up in the county, namely those of Tullow, Bagenalstown, Kiltennal, Hacketstown and Borris. By the end of June 1846, public work schemes were operational in nearly every barony.

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The shape of County Carlow in 1840.

Relief Schemes in Carlow

Relief and employment schemes in Carlow continued to boom under the sponsorship of the landed gentry, including Lord Bessborough (the new Lord Lieutenant), Kavanagh and Lecky. By 6th March 1847, more than 3,000 people were employed in these schemes; the figure was 734,792 for Ireland as a whole. Most of these were employed in public works as opposed to agricultural employment but I guess a fair few found work in the construction of the New House at Lisnavagh. Although there were occasional evictions during the Famine years in Carlow, Thomas P. Neill believes "landlords as a body played a noble part in assisting the poor". They took their place on Relief Committees and 'devoted their time generously'. They were willing to tax themselves almost to the last penny of their income to get these government schemes underway. Neill believes they deserved better thanks from the Government for their efforts; the Government in fact blamed the failure of their own schemes on the landlords. The taxation of each landowner in a barony to raise money for the poor, irrespective of the landlords' private actions, tended to smother the benevolence of good landlords. (49)

Footnote (49): "The Famine in Carlow", Thomas P. Neill, Carloviana (1947). See also "Rathvilly Through the Ages", Carloviana, 1951, p.153.

Captain Bunbury, MP for Carlow (1846-1852)

Stung by the failure of the unnecessarily harsh Irish Coercion Bill, Sir Robert Peel and the Tory party fell from power in the summer of 1846. Lord John Russell and the Whigs filled the vacancy. The Queen was again called forward to dissolve parliament and the Irish electorate once again went to the polls. At teh General Election, Conservatives were returned unopposed in a number of county constituencies. In Co. Carlow, Conservative candidate Col. Henry Bruen expressed pleasure that ‘all sects and parties’ were uniting to ‘rescue the country from its perilous position’, but his only specific reference to the famine was to express general concern about the operation of the new law for the relief of the poor (Carlow Sentinel, 14 August 1847). The other Conservative, Capt. W. B. McC. Bunbury, praised the unity within the county and merely promised to support whatever measures he thought best for the country. Neither mentioned the land question. The Whigs who then took office under Lord John Russell did "less than the Conservatives" and, in 1852, were defeated on the Militia Bill, an attempt to provide for the defence of Great Britain and Ireland in the event of an invasion.

NB: Captain Bunbury's Diary for 1847 can be found here.


With thanks to Michael Purcell, Michael McClintock, William McClintock Bunbury, Lord Rathdonnell, Rev. Mervyn McCullagh, Dick Corrigan, Adam Perkins, Captain Bill Hawarth, Kevin Bright, Bill Webster, Liz Wade, Andrew Davis, Harry Furr, Michael Brennan, Patricia Sigley, Kathryn Rountree (Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand), Brian White (Bray Cualann Historical Society) and Shay Kinsella.